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I need to retrofit my acer mill with a new controller

VividVisions

Plastic
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Location
Michigan
The machine is an Acer 3VKH 10 x 50. Has/had Mititoyo millstar II box on it. X&Y servos. Linear scales X: AT-111-900 Y: AT-102-400 Z: AT-111-150. Servos are Glentek 1215 (only eligible numbers) what can I retrofit on this machine that's not going to make me poor? Can I use anything that I have to make something work?

The millstar II worked good until a power outage and now I have an error message "motion control card not detected" Mititoyo does not support this anymore so I need to come up with something, and $13k from prototrak is too much for me right now. Any help would greatly be appreciated.
 

EndlessWaltz

Cast Iron
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Location
Midwest
You can look at what it will take to retrofit a Acu-Rite MillPWR on it. Apparently really easy to use and is already the go-to for Taiwan/chinese cnc knee mils today brand new.
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
Machines are pretty cheap, you are probably better off getting a machine with a control that is still supported. I have retroed a machine before, 25 years ago, it is a pile of work, and a big learning curve and was 20k back then.
Look at what the cash you have will buy in a complete machine.
 

Freedommachine

Stainless
Joined
May 13, 2020
What centroid system do you have? I've been looking into the Acorn setup, I'm waiting on a reply from them to see if that's the setup I can run.

I've been running the Centroid All-in-one-DC on my clausing kondia fv1 since 2019 and I love it. Total cost for the retrofit was about $4500.
 
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gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
I've been running the Centroid All-in-one-DC on my clausing kondia fv1 since 2019 and I love it. Total cost for the retrofit was about $4500.
I didn't realize they had anything reasonable anymore. ISTR they went from cheap to not cheap over time.
Still kind of hard to navigate what you need from their website.
I still would not get into this unless one was confident/proficient in wiring and electrics, and it is still bound to be a project, but that sounds pretty reasonable.
A brief explanation of your experience might be useful to the OP
 

Freedommachine

Stainless
Joined
May 13, 2020
I didn't realize they had anything reasonable anymore. ISTR they went from cheap to not cheap over time.
Still kind of hard to navigate what you need from their website.
I still would not get into this unless one was confident/proficient in wiring and electrics, and it is still bound to be a project, but that sounds pretty reasonable.
A brief explanation of your experience might be useful to the OP
Sure.

The DIY options Centroild offers are:

• Acorn - a step and direction, open loop motion control board that interfaces with stepper motor drives. This is popular for cheap diy cnc hobby builds.

• OAK - a closed loop motion control board for AC servo motors. Iirc, this board still requires separate motor drives.

• All-in-one-DC - A closed loop motion control board with built in motor drives. This is designed to be a replacement for DC systems often found on older knee mills and lathes. All of the inputs and outputs are built right into the board.
No more finicky westamp or Glentek drives or separate PLC board with ice cube relays.

The operating software is (was?) free. You can download it from their website to get a demo and see how it looks.

The nice thing about it is that you can configure your control however you want based on price. You can buy everything from centroid or you can source your own; things like a keyboard, touchscreen monitor or the pc that runs the centroid software. I got my pc from a used computer place, I just sent them the hardware and configuration requirements provided by centroid and they set up a p.c. for me, I picked it up ready to go for $210.

Centroid requires 2000 line quadratiture encoders to be mounted to the motors. I bought them from centroid at $250 each. You can likely find them cheaper elsewhere.

The physical installation of this system was like climbing a mountain for me. I am not very electrically inclined but it wasn't hard just taking it one step at a time and I learned a lot in the process.

Once your cabinet is configured the way you want it, just follow centroid's step-by-step instructions to get everything set up and configured properly. It's easy as long as you do not deviate from the instructions. If you really get stuck, for $90 per hour, they offer live tech support through teamviewer where they remotely access your control through wifi. They can diagnose issues, tune your motors or do whatever. Other than remote access support, they have a free tech support forum where you can get help. https://www.centroidcncforum.com

Here is the centroid sales page for All-in-one-DC

^^^their website looks like it's gotten a lot better.

Here is the downloads page. It has all of the instructions, manuals, tech bulletins, schematics, ect for centroid products. https://www.centroidcnc.com/centroid_diy/centroid_manuals.html

A good source for information is Marty's cnc Garage youtube channel. He is one of the lead tech support guys on the centroid forum. https://youtube.com/channel/UCTNt9IIjsk5HNwnjzer6GVQ

I'm not collecting a paycheck from centroid so I'll leave it there. I do not mind answering any specific questions though.

I tried to attach a pic of my cabinet but it's too large. I will resize it if someone wants to see it.
 
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