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Thread: Centroid controllers
01-08-2009, 10:57 PM #1
I have a Clausing Kondia CNC knee mill in my shop that will soon need a new controller. It currently has a Dynapath Delta 20 controller, which is getting old, and it's starting to do some strange things. The machine is still in good mechanical condition, so I'm considering a retrofit.
I've been doing some research on the Centroid controllers and I was wondering if anyone could provide their opinions on the M39 controller that thay offer.
01-09-2009, 12:10 AM #2
I bought a m-400 centroid for my v2xt bridgeport. It is a fancy version of the m39. I am glad I did it. It is easy to program, the intercon software is easy to use. It is awesome to just walk up to it, turn it on and it works every time. If you lived with a Boss control you would know what I am talking about. I bought the kit of parts and installed it myself. It took me about 10 hours. When I was finnished Bill Myers from cnc services east came to the shop and started it up for the first time, set the backlash, and did some training. He is a straight shooter and knows his stuff. I would buy from him again. Bills Ph # is 724 622 5661. If you have any other ques. just ask. John
01-09-2009, 08:44 AM #3
What are the main differences between the M39 and the M400?
I was looking at the website, but I wasn't completely clear on the differences.
Have you ever had to deal with Centroid directly? I've heard good things about their controllers, but many bad things about the company itself. I guess their support is almost non-existent. I live only an hour away from Centroid, so my local contact for support is the actual company, not a retailer.
01-09-2009, 09:32 AM #4
When I have needed to call Centroid I have always been treated well. Of course we purchased our machine new so we paid for a year of tech support. It was money well spent and we never were refused help even after that year was up. Although there were not many times I needed to call anyway.
I believe most people who have trouble with them are the ones who buy the cheap kits from people like Ajax or other resellers and then try and install it themselves without getting any help from one of Centroids installers. Companies dont like to spend too much time on the phone helping someone for free.
If you go with a retrofit I strongly recomend you do like John suggested and get one of thier installers to do the start up. I would contact Centroid directly and let them know you are in the area and go see them in person. That kind of interaction will help you out a lot in the future.
Buy the way, love the Centroid control...best one that I have personally ever used.
01-09-2009, 01:24 PM #5
btm, in the short time I have had the Centroid control on my retrofit knee mill I have found it to be very easy to learn. It has many canned cycles and USB capabilities for file transfer. I looked at the main players in the retrofit market (Anilam, Acu-rite and Centroid) and decided on Centroid. Until recently Anilam and Acurite were still using floppy drives which for me was unacceptable. Centroid has been using USB for at least a couple of years.
Also if you go to the Centroid website you can take somewhat of a video test drive for the control. http://www.centroidcnc.com/video_catalog.html I had the retrofit done by Elrod machine. He has a nice link for a summary of the Centroid control features here, http://www.elrodmachine.com/Route66%...20Features.htm As far as support I think Centroid would prefer you go thru their dealers.
I chose the M39s control over the M400. The M400 operator control is an integrated assembly and the M39 you have to supply your own key board and monitor. With the M39 the control pendant is an add on option, without it you control all functions with the key board. I supplied my own new rubber coated keyboard
( http://webtronics.stores.yahoo.net/flfusiker.html )
for less than $25.00 new and I used a 17" LCD monitor which I had stored in my garage. I also purchased the add on control pendant. If you need to replace a monitor or keyboard on any integrated control you are looking at big bucks. These are some of the reasons I chose the Centroid control over Anilam or Acurite.
01-09-2009, 02:29 PM #6
Does anybody have experience with both Centroid and Prototrak controls? If so can you list the benefits of one over the other?
01-09-2009, 02:38 PM #7
01-10-2009, 11:22 AM #8
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. It's very helpful to get other people's opinions on the Centroid system.
I pass by the Centriod facility fairly often to visit one of my customers. I think I'll make an appointment to stop there and see the system before making any purchase.
01-10-2009, 11:40 AM #9
Check out MLeonards link, it says it all. I have talked to centroid several times and found then pleasant to deal with and very helpful. I decided to buy my retrofit after talking to the centroid people at the PRI trade show in orlando a year ago. JoeMiranda posts here and has used other brands of retrofits and may be able to help.
01-10-2009, 12:05 PM #10
Proto-Traks are pretty good. I've only run the 2-axis ones, but they are very easy to program and allow you to use the machine manually with the control as a DRO. Not sure how they stack up price-wise.
01-11-2009, 11:57 AM #11
During my search for a retrofit control I did look at Proto Trak. I found all the Retrofits , Centroid, Anilam, Acurite and Proto Trak) were priced fairly close. Where I did find the difference was in the control options that were standard and the ones you had to pay extra for.
The Proto Trak 3 axis control did not come with nearly as many standard options as the other controls and the prices to upgrade were very expensive. One area that the latest Centroid control is WAY ahead is the remote access feature that they just added to their controls. Remote access allows the Centroid dealer to access and diagnose control problems via the internet. This could save alot of money for repairs and down time. All you need is an ethernet connection to connect to your control.
The control companies make it hard to compare apples to apples of their controls. In order to make a good compairson call the dealer for each control and tell them you want the price sheet for the control with the standard features and a detailed break down of each and ALL availible control options and the price. It is the only way to know what is the best deal for you.
I spent several months gathering info on the various controls and it seemed to me that at Anilam, Acurite, and Proto Trak pricing is closely guarded information. An example would be the spindle speed auxilary control for the Acurite. It is not even mentioned on Acurite's website but after questioning the dealer ( he was'nt aware of an auxilary control) I discovered it was a $1,000 upgrade. The Centroid pricing for controls and options is easy to find on the net.
01-11-2009, 06:26 PM #12
I'm currently at that stage in my research where I'm trying to get pricing and info on options from each mfr.
You're correct, the Centroid info is easy to find. Most of it is well detailed on their site. I've also been looking at proto-trak and Acurite. Neither of these websites provides too much info on what is standard or an option. Also, there is no pricing info at all. I spoke with an acurite dealer several days ago, but I still haven't received pricing info from him. Seems like it should be a simple thing, but apparently it's not.
Based on everyone's opinions on this site, and other sites, I'm leaning more and more toward the Centroid. I live fairly close to their facility, so I'm going to setup a visit within the next couple weeks.