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Author Topic: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade  (Read 18803 times)

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Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 08:25:37 AM »
I sold my benchtop 6x26 knee mill for $1000 and will just pull the trigger and get this Robotool. Hope to have it delivered today. I'll get pictures of it when it gets here.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 11:20:29 PM »
Got the mill in and wired today. It fired right up and went through the auto home  sequence. I shut it off and then I get the stop switch error again. Spent a few hours testing things. I bet this is just some loose connection probably in the stop button itself. Non the less this will be a great candidate for upgrade down the road.
Basically traded my 1984 benchtop knee mill for this delivered.
Here are some pictures.

Looks like it still has cosmoline on it. Flakes untouched through out travel on the whole machine.

Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 10:13:37 AM »
Well I am just not able to find why the brake light is on in the panel and why I am getting the stop/limit switch error. There is a guy here that is some what familiar with these machines and he is $100/hr to come look at it. There are other guys out there that are $65/hr but are not familiar with it. Without schematics I can see the cost getting up there pretty quick and just decided that it is not worth spending any more on this control as if something else goes wrong or the master disk I have gets damaged I would be hosed once again.
The $65/hr guy said he could do a basic retro with Centroid control for $2000. That sounded appealing as he is local and would support it quickly if I had questions or issues. I need to talk to him again and get firm numbers being I can do some work on it too.

Now Arturo Duncan at CNC4PC has put together some firm numbers for me. Here is a bit of the last email he sent. He has been VERY quick and helpful suggesting several options for me with and with out my skill set. This is what we finally came to what would be best for me.
I would send him one of my motors with the encoder on it to tune it all and he would assemble and tune for $300-$350

"If you want to see the numbers, here they are:

                - Controller : CX4EV12-1 1,040.35 http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product_info.php?cPath=60&products_id=532

                - Power unit: (1081.76--39.50*3 - 79.95*3) = 723.41 http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product_info.php?cPath=64_96&products_id=553 Minus        motors and encoders

                - Assembly and Testing: $300

                - TOTAL = $2,063.76

If you want to add the VFD and 4th axis, it would be around $350.

You only need to add a laptop with Mach3.

Arturo Duncan


As others have said Arturo has been stellar so far. I do plan on getting a index head in the future so 4th axis will be needed for that. For what I am probably going to do I just don't see the need for a VFD. A tach of some kind is really all I would like as with doing manual tool changes anyway I have time to adjust spindle speed accordingly.  Any thoughts on this?

I am getting giddy now that I have made up my mind to retro this. Just have to decide on to go with Arturo or the local guy with Centroid. I need to talk to him more.

Also special thanks to Spence for he has sent me many emails with info on his machine and answered question I have sent him quickly.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2012, 09:44:45 AM »
I have decided on building my own system trying to reuse my power supplies and other things as I can. Will get what I need from CNC4PC. Here is my list so far with Arturo's suggestions.

Also a schematic of a system still in testing from CNC4PC. http://cnc4pc.com/Tech_Docs/CX4EA12-1_V1.pdf
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 09:38:50 PM »
Very similar list to what I ended up with. I would strongly suggest going with a new power supply for the servos. I see you're going to upgrade the encoders...good call. Make sure the ones of have selected are at lleast 1000ppr Quads (preferably 1500-2000ppr). The units on your existing servos are 500ppr resolvers. Yuck. What will you be doing for spindle control? Just driving a contactor for on/off? I too would like a spindle tach input (spindle index pulse) at some point...could be very helpful to know what speed I'm actually running, especially with dual variables of VFD and manually adjustable belt drive in the head.

 I would seriously consider just buying bulk Cat5 cable and a bunch of RJ45 ends along with a crimp tool. Every one of my cables in both the mill and the new lathe are custom...I can't imagine trying to make a clean install with pre-made cables.

Looking good so far. I was running my mill today making parts for a client and was hitting 0.000 tolerance on a slew of circular holes. For an old machine with new controls, it does just fine.

Looking forward to tracking your progress. You know how to find me if you have any more questions.

Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 09:55:29 AM »
I hurt my shoulder and am having surgery on it on the 10th. Funds are more than tight at this point and I have to build a few walls and insulate before the surgery. Currently the shop is not heated so I have to enclose and heat the machine area at least.
I am going to just get it running with as much factory stuff as possible for right now and see if it will work for my needs as is. Upgrade as needed. With the gear reduction on the table drives I am hoping the encoder res is good enough for my needs.
I will talk to Arturo about the PS. My electrical engineer said I could use my PS but he is not familiar with the new electronics either.
I have also decided to do as much hard connections as possible so I will get different boards with screw terminals. I know it is easy to CAT5 everything but I hate connectors and would rather even solder stuff together. This will eliminate the servo panel too. The Panel is getting wall mounted for easy access.
I built two computers over X-Mas. One with Win8 and the other is an old P4 server of mine that I put 2000 Pro on. Got BobCad working on the win8 machine as well as Mach installed. Got the Mach post processor from BC, post and save a part from BobCad to Mach and ran it in Mach. All looks good so far. The pro machine will be on the mill.

There is another 2 guys currently doing a Rob retro as well that I ran into. One guy said I could have his air brake as he isn't needing it. I am not going to VFD the spindle. I will adjust approximate speed by hand at least for now. Control on/off with software as well as brake.

At least this is my current plan.
THX for everything.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 11:54:46 PM »
Well I had the surgery and got the machine shop area enclosed and heated. Been slow going with limited use of one arm. 
Got the Robo controls off and new goodies all ordered from Art. Decided to go with VFD as it looks like my spindle brake connection disappeared. That was also ordered. I also got a pendant, that should be fun. Art said that I could use my PS if it works so that is what I am going to do. Also using the rest of the HV stuff. The final decision will be up to my electronics buddy after he tests the PS.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 09:20:24 AM »
 Great! I have had excellent experiences with Arturo's stuff even though the technical documentation has much to be desired. Once it is running, it runs very well. Arturo is also fast to respond to any questions or concerns you might have.

Even though I too have a VFD running my spindle I have the brake tied into my estop circuit to rapidly stop the spindle in the event of an emergency. I also have the VFD activate the brake whenever it is not running. The linkage for the brake would be extremely easy to fabricate and I would encourage you to consider doing this as a secondary means of keeping the spindle locked when desired.

What are you doing for servo amps?

The power supply that came with my Robotool was grossly inadequate. The transformer was only 400W with a 1000Mfd capacitor. I would be surprised if yours was much different.

If you need to build a new PS, get a Toroid transformer from Antek, preferably 750W. You'll then need a 15k Mfd capacitor bank and a bridge rectifier rated to your output voltage and current. The transformer will want to be 45VAC output since the voltage gets bumped by 1.4x when you run it through the rectifier. (This is assuming your motors are rated to 63V like mine are). I'm actually going to be upgrading my motors next month to larger DC Brush servos and will need to upgrade my PS transformer when I do so....might have this one for sale. Contact me privately if you might be interested.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2013, 10:19:53 AM »
Arturo said that if the machine was working with the PS it came with then he saw no reason it would need to be replaced as it should be matched to the loads the machine was designed for. See how it tests out and if I need one I will contact you for sure. 400W hardly seems enough. Mine looks pretty darn small. I am not planning on doing heavy work, just accurate and complex.
Pretty whimpy looking PS if I do say so myself. I have seen much larger ones on other Robo's

There is a large picture of my panel I took out here. http://geckocycles.com/images/robotool/panel%20lg.jpg

As for the air brake, I don't have a cylinder so that would have to be sourced as well as brackets made which is not a big deal. Originally I have a guy contact me saying he had a brake he would let me have as well as several other cylinders. He hasn't replied back to me so I thought the VFD would handle braking. Not sure why I would need extra braking or holding power. Guess I will see. I did not talk to Arturo about what is needed for a VFD or how to hook one up. I just didn't research that as that was not on the table till the last minute. I just want to get started getting this thing built. Having the cash burning a hole in my pocket I thought I better spend what I have before I piss it away. LOL.

This is what I ordered from Arturo.
3 x DG3S-08020 DC Servo Drive (DG3S-08020) = $330.00
1 x PRG01 USB programming stick (PRG01) = $23.61
1 x C34DG - Driver to RJ45 Connector Board for DUGONG Drivers (C34DG) = $12.20
1 x C55 - DUAL 25Amp. RELAY BOARD (C55) = $39.70
1 x Ethernet Smooth Stepper Board (ESS) Breakout Board C32 - Dual Port Multifunction CNC Board= $375.00
1 x MPG2 - Pendant (MPG2) = $156.00

Got 2HP 230 Volt, Model FM50-202-C, Single Or Three Phase Input-Three Phase Output = 144.00 from Dealers Electric.

I plan on making all my own cables. I have made plenty in the past and have the tools and testers for them.

I heard that with the gear reduction on the servos the higher encoder count isn't that critical. Time will tell. I like the way these cables come out of the encoders I have. Not fond of those connectors or encoder enclosures that I have seen. Maybe I am missing something. Arturo said that the drivers will work with my encoders.

I'm sure there will be lots more to get but this should get me started and now I can move the mill to it's final resting place and lay the rest of my rubber flooring. Everything should be here before Fri. hopefully. I can get help on the weekends so timing should work out well.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 10:23:30 AM by geckocycles »
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 10:24:53 AM »
Not sure why I can't get rid of the gray background! I don't see it in the code. LOL Preview was much darker. I see now that every other post has gray BG. Must be in the JS.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 10:29:51 AM by geckocycles »