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Author Topic: MACH4 Turn, HiCON Integra, Gecko G320's, ADC GS2 VFD on Hardinge HNC Lathe  (Read 5057 times)

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Hey All.  I haven't posted much here, but I sure use a lot of support from the forum.  I previously converted a BOSS 5 mill with Mach 3 and now have gotten 2 new (to me) machines running Mach4. 

This lathe was previously converted to Mach 3 and was essentially running when I got it.  It did however have a 4 slot spindle index signal and I bought it with the intention to Upgrade to Mach4 for the better Turn features, codes, etc etc.  I planned threading so I wanted a better encoder signal.

I thought about it a while and decided to go with the HiCON board and I'm very happy with it.  I was able to remove a lot of the old interface wiring in this conversion and it's pretty streamlined now.  Some of the original hardware on the HNC that is still used has signals/level ranging from 110v ac, 12v dc, and 5v dc.  A small triple output power supply was installed with 5v, 12v, and 24v.  Limits (NPN) were interfaced using a 4.7k pull up to 24v on the inputs (PNP).  The turret encoder (more below) uses 12v and so far the 12v signals have proven to be a functional level for the HiCON to read.  Gecko G320's are receiving single ended (-) signals from the HiCON with 5v+ to the common.  The VFD is controlled with a FWD and REV solenoid and the 0/10v+ HiCON spindle control.  I added a ADC 1000 ppr encoder to the spindle's original resolver bracket with relative ease.

A few relays interface with the solenoids actuating the collet closer and the turret functions.  The encoder for the turret is a 4 bit binary set of outputs for the decimal number of the turret position.  I have read these into the HiCON and wrote my own M6 macro to run the tool changer.  The turret is in need of a few o-rings and some oil (and use), but it's functioning well all things considered.  The occasional missed tool change on the turret is caught in the M6 and given another try.  It hasn't made it to a second "retry" after a good number of test tool changes (test code runs 15 various changes) so it's time to cut some metal!

I'm using AutoCAD Fusion 360 for simple CAD and CAM to the machine and hopefully some testing tonight will prove it's time for light production.

All in all, it was an easy upgrade and good support from Vital Systems!  Thanks!
I have a few more tweaks to do yet on the machine but I'm basically there! This video shows some g32 threading but I'll be testing out the g76 threading soon too. Too much fun!


Offline dude1

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well done
This gives me more incentive to finish my lathe which has a Hiconn on it.

We never have the time or money to do it right the first time, but we somehow manage to do it twice and then spend the money to get it right.
Hey There jschoenly - How's it going?

Your conversion projects are becoming more and more ambitious - awesome!

I just purchased an Integra-Hobby Motion Controller 4-Axis125KHz (based on your positive review) with the intention of building a hopped up version of this little guy: http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM-MV-BenchMills.html

Any thoughts on the Integra Hobby board?  I'm thinking it ought to work out pretty well for a Mach4 conversion on a basic milling machine.