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Author Topic: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit  (Read 23025 times)

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Re: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2008, 10:48:31 PM »
I am *so* excited to hear about the 308.  I have a 300, same thing only it has a skirt-enclosure rather than fully enclosed and it does not have a tool changer -- I think the vector spindle controllers are different, mine is a Control Techniques (which now new because the old fried).  I  did the Galil based retrofit about 7+ years ago -- yes I've been making stuff.  I've used Mach 2 before and loved it but Galil support wasn't available so I went with Camsoft.  I don't like the Camsoft S/W I bought (I'll spare you the reasons, there are *many*), so that's why I'm excited that I happen to notice Mach 3 supports Galil!

I bought my machine on eBay (has all the original manuals and wiring diagrams), it was in great shape mechanically, but the controller board worked for a few days then fried due to damage during shipping (PCB cracked).  I decided to retrofit it -- My conversion consists of a Galil DMC-1850 (5 axis), Opto-22 (ISA card), Camsoft dial pendent (which I like a lot), Advanced Motion Control servo drivers, the original servos and power supplies, new Control Techniques vector drive (because the original decided to no longer accept commands via the +/- 10v signal line or RS 485 command interface) -- oh and Camsoft Pro (nightmare started & ended there).  I'm using a 486 PC running Windows 98, although I have an XP OS on a removable drive. I had to choose a 486 because at the time 486 boards still had ISA slots (now there are 586 boards with ISA) for the Opto-22.  On other projects I've used the Opto-22 Snap Ethernet system (way cool).

I bought the Galil WDSK tuning program from Galil to figure out the PID values and wow(!) the machine achieved fantastic accuracy.

Looking at Jeff's wiring I was happy to see that we made similar changes, quite validating.

I have *so* many questions about the implementation of Mach 3 for Galil.   

Some of the questions I have -- I haven't read the entire forum yet, just getting started with Mach 3:

Set up of the brake release on the Z axis?  I have it wired to the servo driver so when the driver powers up the brake is released (no S/W as that is quite dangerous by itself, I found out the hard way).  So now when the driver turns on, there's a delay before the servo is fully energized to hold the weight of the head, thus the Z-Axis "bounces" for a moment.  I figure a delay timer of some sort might work -- suggestions?  Once energized the Galil postions the Z correctly after the bounce, but this sudden movement cannot be good for the servos.

I'd like to know more using the Opto-22 with Mach 3 -- I'm not sure how to interface the Opto-22 with Mach 3:  Right now, in Camsoft, I use it for low-air pressure detection, low oil lube level, tool load/release, controlling the light inside the tool load/release button.  I have SSRs for other things, but not hooked up... I want to use it to turn on the coolant motor (1amp), but I'm concerned about burning up the SSR.  I had this happen once on another Opto-22 system (ethernet) the drove a solenoid for a hydraulic pump valve (toasted the solenoid and SSR) so I used a mechanical relay between the SSR and the solenoid.  One of my questions is that even though the SSR is rated for 110v and several amps, can it really handle the spike load when the motor starts and the operational load?

In Camsoft, I had to write a lot custom scripts (in this really strange language) to control and detect things (plus fix a lot of other issues such as spindle drift and incorrectly implemented g-codes).

I'm interested learning about tool eject customization too (via Opto-22 or the I/O ports on the Galil).

Implement rigid tap cycle?  My machine does have the timing pulley on the spindle, but it not connected to an encoder (need to fabricate the bracket), which the 308 does use an encoder.  I'm thinking of adding the encoder for rigid tapping.  Currently I use a spring loaded tap holder, works great, but rigid tapping would be great.  Also the encoder would allow for spindle alignment so it's easier to load the tool.

Digitizer probe anyone?

Any info or pointers to forums would be GREAT!  Thanks!

BTW: I'm in Seattle I also have met some of the original folks that repair and actually worked on these machines back in the UK.

Re: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2008, 11:04:44 PM »
Oh I forgot to memtion that I "articulated" the arm that holds the monitor and keyboard -- cut the arm, welded in a joint, this gives me more flexibility in the small space I where I had to place the machine.  The CPU is in a conventional tower box, shock mounted on top of the control cabinet.  Although I prefer the solution with the PC inside the cabinet as shown in the pictures in this forum.
Re: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2008, 12:05:12 PM »
I am also interested on how things will work out with your 308s.  We plan to retrofit this BP 412 with Mach3 also

Re: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2008, 01:08:48 AM »
Hey JH and everyone else on the forum!

Well I'm *finally* back in the game, have not worked on the machine for months -- b/c Grandma got cancer, I took new job prototyping new cell phones, had house repairs, oh... and my wife bought goats & sheep.  If that's not enough info for ya, then email me... :-P 

Most importantly, when the window of opportunity opened I needed my card upgraded super quick --> I owe great thanks to Galil for upgrading my DMC1850 (very early serial number) so it will work with the newest drivers.  They turned it in 3 days, which included shipping, for an awesome price of only $75 (so I bought the tools too).  Saved me from spending $2000+ on a new board -- gotta love THAT.
Tomorrow, we'll get the board installed run the (new) servo design kit s/w to tune the sevro loops and then try Mach3 again.

My old BP Discovery 300 (named Bridgette) will spring into life this weekend!

After that I'll crack open the plug-in S/W to continue developing & testing code to monitor lube level, air pressure, and load/eject tools.  Once I have it working all share the code.  I'm attempting to do this w/o writing any custom Galil machine code.  I'll share when it's stabled and safe.

There are 3 projects on the docket -- completely different than the last set I listed.  Cell phone accessories, new type of snow board binding system, and a mechanical calibration system for RC helicopters. 

Re: Bridgeport Discovery 308 retrofit
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2010, 04:05:34 PM »
Any progress on the 308?

I started on my 412