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Author Topic: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers  (Read 18935 times)

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Offline NJC

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Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« on: March 30, 2008, 08:01:00 PM »
Hello all, this is my first post! I have an older Bridgeport that is running with a Prototrak MX# 3 axis CNC setup. Works pretty well for how out of date it is, performs simple tasks easily. Problem is I have to program every event and it's eating time like nobody's business! I need the ability to import G code from V-carve pro or other tool path makers.  I have been successful so far with the demo versions of both Mach 3 and V-carve.  I'm looking to upgrade the system to a new up to date system. I'm thinking after much research that I will be using Mach 3 on my PC to control it, I downloaded the demo and I'm very impressed. Mach 3 does way more than I will probable ever use but it's nice that it's all there. I need to know what else I will need to complete the transformation, I have all the motors and such, they are fairly new and work well. I'm reading allot about motor drivers, boards, controllers etc, it all is new to me and I'm a little confused. I must have a motor driver or drivers now to run what I have, could these possibly still work with Mach 3? Thanks in advance for the help!
Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 12:06:21 AM »
Welcome to the Forum!

If you have motors already, you probably already have drives & a power supply.  Tell us more about your drivers (brand/model)
Assuming the drives accept step/dir input signal the  other items you would need (if you don't have them) is a breakout board to interface your PC with the drives- Home/Limit switches, an E-stop button, depending on the type/brand/model of Breakout Board you might want/need to get a couple of relays to start your spindle and/or coolant.  I use the shuttlepro pendant controller, although there are a lot of choice available for pendants.  I think that's about it- you should be good to go.

Good Luck!
Sid

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 10:21:47 PM »
OK, my motors are Magnetek model # 4020d-155, they say 1/3 HP, 2200RPM, V arm- 160, A arm- 2.97, I'm going top try to post a picture of inside of the motor end cap, it has a circuit board in there with alot of wires, maybe this board can be removed and wired directly? I'm not even sure of which parts are the drivers, there is a ton of stuff in the system, it looks very complicated, too complicated for my electronic knowledge to deal with honestly. I will try to post some pictures of the rest of the system as well, maybe someone can make some sense of it. If I have to buy new motors and drivers as well, I will, I just don't want to unless I have to.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 11:17:51 PM by NJC »

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 10:29:17 PM »
Shoot, the pictures are probably too large, does anybody know how to center the pictures or make them smaller?

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 11:47:48 PM »
Hey NJC, You can resize those in almost any photo edit program.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2008, 04:05:53 AM »
I got my hand slapped the other week - you need to re-size your pictures to 800 x 600 pixels - any of the cheap picture editing programs will bo it.

If not, download a freeware version from the internet.

Before you can get good advice, you really need to make your own mind up about what result you want to see.

My own system is as simple as it gets. A lathe/mill driven by home installed stepper motors. No measuring device or feedback, I don't bother with limit switches. My speeds are very modest. ( That said, it does the job - and I can keep my eye on it when I am running)

I am quite sure - in fact I know - that other contributors have very fast moving, large machines, they need all the safeties (and in an industrial set-up they are probably mandatory) ;D

I am familiar with Bridgeport mills - and the older ones tend to be large, slowmoving machines - very accurate etc. is it for industrial use, or the home workshop environment.

You have probably read the Mach 3 stuff over and over again, so you will know what Mach 3 can do. I would suggest that, for ease of use, you hold on until the Smooth Stepper is available ( coming soon from an outlet near you ;D), because the lads that have tried the pre production stuff say it is the bees knees. I anticipate - although I have not seen one, that this will give all the inputs and outputs necessary (and a few more besides) to wire to your lathe/mill in any configuration you want, and the only connection to your computer will be a USB lead - rather than having to mess about with the old LPT1 lead and a breakout board (which is limited and then you need other boards etc etc)

In the meantime, I would suggest you contact the makers of the motors, you say they are nearly new, and ask them what drivers and power supply systems (and more important, control systems) they recommend for them. They made them, they should know, and quite frankly, they are nothing to do with Mach3 (I don't mean that rudely). They are a bit of the machine - and that varies in all our different applications. As "Ssheidenr" said - if they are working now, something must drive them - and if they are CNC already, that probably Mach can deal with them.

If they are steppers - fine, I know about them, but I know nothing about servo motors and linear feedback instruments. The thing I do know is that Mach can deal with both easily (and does).

The spindle can be dealt with equally simply - I had to install a new three phase motor, but after that a commercial (Omron) inverter solved my control problem and Mach 3 was able to interface with that simply and easily. You might find that an inverter ( you may already have one) is fitted and you can connect speed control from Mach to your machine without any further interface.

As I say - I think the answer is up to you - how do you see it progressing.

After that, anything we can do to help.







« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 04:34:11 AM by jimpinder »
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 09:32:34 PM »
Thanks for the input Jim, I want my machine to run as fast as possible and I'm not afraid to spend some money on the upgrade. I have glass sensors on the machine for inputs and motors on the machine to make ot move, I just need a better way to move the motors. If it would be better to replace my motors with stepper motors, I would do that, the cost is not as important as the outcome, I want to do this one time and do it as best that can be done. I think Mach is the way for me, I have purchased the software licence already and have been working with the software to get farmiliar with it. I'm not new to cnc at all, in fact I run my machine everyday creating lots of different stuff. I have been reading on the "Smooth Stepper", I guess this is the way to go, if it is USB driven, does that meen that the connections will be easier? I would think that I would be quite a bit faster processing as well. How soon will these be available? weeks, months

Scott

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 11:35:06 PM »
Sorry for the large pictures guys, I'm new to this forum and still learning. I removed the old ones, try these, let me know what you think of these motors, would these be servo motors?

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2008, 11:37:18 PM »
Ahhh, I got it now, this is a picture of inside my control panel, it's an older Prototrak MX3 setup

Offline NJC

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Re: Hello 1st post, need advice on controller, board, drivers
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2008, 11:38:22 PM »
And finally, picture of my sensors