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New Machine Setup: Brother Speedio M200X3


Jun 9, 2021
This is a follow-up to: https://www.practicalmachinist.com/...-speedio-for-small-garage-prototyping.391703/

Pictures: https://archive.org/details/brother-m200x3-canada1/

Machine Selection

Garage has limited width. I need to leave 700mm space on both sides of the machine for access. Realistic options were S300X2 (1080mm wide) or M200X3 (1280mm wide).

I chose M200X3 for mill-turn versatility (140mm DIA circular table, 2K rpm max) and natural 5-axis (without rotary table). I accept that the M200X3 is 4+1 type (simultaneous XYZ+A or XYZ+C only). I gave up the S300X2's larger table (600x400 T-slot), more compact footprint, far lower price.

I want to master the M200X3.

Floor Preparation

I chose concrete polishing for high longevity and chemical simplicity. I was worried about slipperiness (compared to epoxy) but it's been fine. The work was done with Diamatic FLOR-SIL and FLOR-FINISH; I liked their ASTM testing, LEED certification, MSDS 1/0/0, and low-VOC 50g/L. The contractors only did 1 coat instead of 2 as MFG-recommended; questionable. I should have specified flatness and leveling. Flatness turned out good, but they retained the existing slope-outward of the garage (default garage design to prevent liquid ingress/puddling but not ideal for machine).

Garage Door Preparation

The machine needed at least 96 inches opening-height to fit through. Existing garage door was 7ft (2.13m) high x 8ft wide. Opening height was expanded to 104in (2.64m).

Should have been a 1-day masonry job but there was a big steel I-beam spanning the opening top. Took several months to muster the building permit, plans/drawings signed-off by structural engineers, finally to let the masonry contractors complete the job. A temporary floor-stand supported the main garage I-beam (spanning front-to-back) while they cut its connecting-pole to the problem I-beam, cut the connecting-pole to proper length from floor, raised the problem I-beam, rewelded it to the connecting-pole. Final inspection passed.

The existing garage door was uninsulated. The existing center-mount garage opener was restricting usable interior height under 8ft. I replaced both.

The new garage door is a DoorLink 3-layer R10.25 steel-skin-interior model with windows on top-most panel. If I knew I was going to wait anyway (because of the I-beam problem), I would have procured a better-insulated door like Richards-Wilcox R19 (out of stock at the time) for less thermal variance, AC/heating power-use, and acoustic transfer.

The new opener is a side-mounting LiftMaster 8500W, allowing full use of garage height. The deadbolt device that ships with this opener (as part of the package) is notoriously defective (unlock fails, door breaks during opening); newer units are supposed to be fixed but watch out in case you get old stock or bad yield. Installer modified the default friction-coupling (between opener and garage torsion-spring-shaft) to be a pin-coupling for better reliability especially since motor has torque-sensing protection (more likely friction slips than torque-sensing fails).

Make sure to get the garage door opening fully figured out and adjusted before installing the new door/opener else you'll pay for more visits than necessary.

Electrical Preparation, Service Upgrade

Existing electrical was 100A service feeding a bad-rep Pioneer 100A panel in the basement. With a licensed electrician (required for service work), I upgraded to 200A service with a new 200A main panel in the garage (easiest connection to garage machine/tool branch wiring) and a new 100A subpanel in the basement (easiest connection to existing home branch wiring).

I chose Schneider Electric load centers because their protection features (GFCI/AFCI) were touted as reliable with no false tripping (proven true so far). I wanted panels with a good IP rating but settled again with NEMA 1. Added a full-home surge protector as electrical insurance. Electrician brought the TECK90 cables and fittings. Work started 8am, ESA inspection passed mid-afternoon.

Unfortunately there's a defect alert for QO panels MFG'd after 2020 (https://www.se.com/us/en/work/products/local/safety-notices/2022/qo-pon-loadcenters/) but it's just loose neutral-bar setscrews so easy fix.

New 200A Load Center: SE, QO Series, CQO140M200PC (40 spaces, NEMA1) (DISTR: IDEAL SUPPLY)

New 100A Load Center: SE, QO Series, CQO140M100PC (40 spaces, NEMA1) (DISTR: IDEAL SUPPLY)

Surge Protector (for main panel): SE, HEPD80C (80kA surge per phase) (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

20A 2-Pole Breaker (for surge protector): SE, QO220 (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

100A 2-Pole Breaker (for subpanel): SE, QO2100 (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

20A Dual-Protection 1-Pole Breaker: SE, QO120PDF (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

15A Dual-Protection 1-Pole Breaker: SE, QO115PDF (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

Various GFCI Breakers for subpanel (DISTR: CANADA BREAKERS)

(10k character limit reached, continued in post below)


Jun 9, 2021
Electrical Preparation, Garage Circuits

This I was legally allowed to do myself. To keep it easy and clean I used AC90-XLPE (not a fan of PVC). Passed final ESA inspection. When machine was delivered it already got ETL special-inspection-passed sticker at the dealer so that was no problem.

Sourcing was hard until I stumbled onto the right catalogs like this: https://tnb.ca.abb.com/en/pdf-catal...tings/Iberville-Commercial-grade-fittings.pdf


* Use anti-short bushings! I used #0 for 12/2+G cable and #4 for 6/3+G and 2/3+G cable.
* Strip your AC90 armor in a safe way! Say no to acute-bending! Say yes to adjustable locking-pliers!
* For normal 15/20A/AC90 circuits use TNB, L-16 fittings (or equivalent). These have anti-short bushing retention, minimal cable-fitting gap, and despite their 3/8 trade size actually fit in both 1/2-trade knockouts and 1/2-trade threads. Strongly recommended by my area inspector.
* Ground your outlet boxes by wrapping the ground wire around the green screw. Grounding via outlet doesn't pass code.

More 20A dual-prot breakers. 1x for the dedicated garage opener outlet, 2x for air-compressor outlets, 1x for backwall garage utility. Then 1x 80A 2-pole breaker for machine power (SE, QO280).


* 80A Breaker to Phase Converter: No stock of 2AWG/2C+GND so settled for Electrocable 2/3+GND AC90-XLPE 3m (Part ID:8030203) (all-copper, 130A CEC ampacity, 1.6+ safety factor on 80A breaker, 3AWG also acceptable) (DISTR: Noramco)
* 3-Phase Segments Before Outlet: NorthernCables 6AWG/3C+GND AC90-XLPE 12m (Part ID:800060) (all-copper) (DISTR:Noramco)
* Outlet to Machine: SOOW 6/3+GND 6m (all-copper) (National Cable Specialists, 12F0604) (DISTR: Noramco)
* To 120V/20A Outlets: AC90-XLPE 12/2+GND 30m (all-copper) (Southwire, 55222830) (DISTR: Home Depot, 1000417714)

Phase Converter: Phase Technologies, PTE010RQT-H3S1 (Phase Perfect Enterprise, 10HP/14.9kVA, NEMA 3R, Quiet, On/Off Switch, Protec Surge Protect)

With a step-drill bit I expanded each power I/O hole to 27mm DIA to fit 3/4-trade fittings (standard is 28mm but I wanted a snug fit because fittings were <26mm outer DIA). My 3/4-trade-size right-angle fitting was barely big enough for the 2/3+GND input cable (original plan 2/2+GND would have been fine) so when I loosely bent/clamped it, the fitting (protrusion meant to hold the armor) dug into 1 of the hot wires (short-circuited when I tripped the breaker ON). With spare 2/3+GND cable I cut the unnecessary 3rd conductor as much as possible and paid more attention to the bending process (to ensure protrusion hits armor/unused-conductor, not either hot-wire). Overall I should have checked stock first then, if forced into 2/3+GND, drill for a 1-trade-size fitting and consider straight entry (accepting the large bend radius). I did straight exit for the 6/3+GND output cable.

* How's the noise? Acceptable buzzing noise of 65 to 70dB at 2m distance (75dB rating but sounds like 65dB). Pretty much silent when OFF.
* How's the On/Off Switch? Excellent, strongly recommended. Easier access and less wear-tear than toggling the breaker.
* How's the Ablative Surge Protect? Haven't used it up yet but I wouldn't want to risk my machine without it.
* How do you feel going PTE instead of PT? I like the compactness and IP rating. Install was fine. I'll keep ambient under 30C so I expect no issues per 40C spec.

Fusible Disconnect: SE, CH362AWK (600V/60A, NEMA 3R/12). I got the IP rating and safety factor I wanted. Installed with right-angle fittings to keep centerpoint of handle at 6ft 7in "readily accessible" standard.

* Class-J Time-Delay Fuse: Mersen, AJT Series, AJT30 (slow-blow, class-J, UL/CSA, 200kA-AC/100kA-DC interrupt, open fuse indication, dual-element) (DISTR: Grainger Canada, 4TAR9)
* Fuse Reducer: Mersen J636 (UL/CSA, 600V, adapts 30A fuse to 60A fuseholders) (DISTR: House of Electrical)

Isolation Transformer: JVC, dry-type 10kVA delta-wye 3-phase 240V-220V step-down with wall-mount provisions. I replaced the default bonding provisions with nicer ones using M6 A4SS nuts/bolts.

* Single Terminal Lug (for input bonding): ILSCO, TA-2-I (DISTR: House of Electrical)
* Dual Terminal Lug (for output bonding and output neutral bonding): ILSCO, AU-1/0-I (DISTR: House of Electrical)
* Bonding Wire: SIMPULL green-insulation 8AWG stranded copper wire (this is nylon-coated PVC; not my first choice but they were out of XLPE) (DISTR:Home Depot)

1P Outlets:

* NEMA 15-20, Heavy-Duty, Weatherproof (conformal-coating), Tamper-Resistant (required by code) Receptacle: SE, SQR42204WH
* 1-Gang 1/2-Hub Box: Thomas and Betts, Red Dot (series), S100WHCN (DISTR: Home Depot)

3P Outlet:

* NEMA 15-50R, Receptacle: HUBBELL, HBL8450A
* NEMA 15-50P, Plug: HUBBELL, HBL8451C
* 2-Gang Wallplate (63mm hole DIA, stainless steel): Hubbell, SS701 (DISTR: HouseOfElectrical)
* 2-Gang 3/4-Hub Deep Box: Thomas and Betts, 2IHD5-2 (DISTR: HouseOfElectrical)

Pneumatic Preparation

I sought quiet oil-free compressors. I found Makita MAC320Q. Rated for 2.6CFM at 90psi (73L/min at 0.6MPa). I connected 2 units in parallel (with external check valves) to meet the machine flow requirement (150L/min). Still loud but acceptable (noticeably louder than phase converter, even though rated 60dB, sounds more like 70dB+).

* External Check Valve: Superlok Canada (AR Thomson), 3170848 (SPCV, A4SS, 3000psi, Viton seal, 1/3psi cracking pressure, 3/8" FNPT end)
* Quick Coupling Series: Industrial (from compressor), SMC KK130 (to machine and in between)
* Primary airline filter (close to compressors, to minimize pre-filter hose lengths): SMC, SMCAF30N02DZA (1/4 NPT Female, NO, Float-Type Auto-Drain, Gauge in PSI) (DISTR: Proax)
* All other fittings from SuperlokCanada

Air and Climate Control

* Placeholder, Winix C535 air purifier (DISTR: Costco). Keeping the ionization feature OFF until I'm more confident in its safety for the machine electronics.
* Waiting for a Mist-Fit 550 (Aeroex Technologies, Made in Canada) to arrive.
* Placeholder, Danby Dehumidifier
* Placeholder, keeping the door-to-interior open when it gets too hot or cold, leveraging the home's existing AC/furnace

Machine Install (in progress)

Remove side panels

Remove orange transport brackets

Install MPG (World Encoders, HPG-B-100-L-CL) (all-metal frame)

Toggle phase converter ON, check input phase voltages (legs: 225V, 227V, 223V, good) (legs-GND: about 110V, good)

First Power-On Test:

* Electronically seems dead quiet when ON and IDLE as expected.
* During boot, noticed that the machine controller software is Linux-based! Very happy about this.
* Coolant Thermal Error: one of the relay toggle-switches were off. Easy fix.
* Insufficient Airflow Error: I anticipated <20L/min idle air consumption (spindle purge) so I only had 1 compressor hooked up at this time. For some reason the machine was consuming what seemed like over 100L/min idle (with/without power). BROTHERFRANK informed me the typical air use is 90L/min; this helped the rigger and I realize that the extra use must be the A-axis/C-axis purges plus the fact the spindle was open (no toolholder) meant max spindle purge opening (normally only happens during ATC). As a test we considered blocking the spindle with other means (ex. a hand) but I have experience causing rust via body oil contact (plus, safety). Best to keep bare hands away from precision mating surfaces. Connecting the 2nd compressor was enough for the machine to work despite the high air use situation (I have no toolholders yet). The 90L/min estimate proved correct.

Anti-fatigue mat placed in front of machine.

Balance the position of all asymmetrical axes (XYZA) in preparation for leveling. Keep door interlock ON afterwards.

Machine Leveling (uniform gravity loading, wear-tear, fluid dynamics): Long socket wrench used. I don't think a jack was used; I wonder how much extra wear-tear on the threads.

Small upgrades (following official install instructions, so incomplete comments here only):

* Install spindle override knob: There's a default jumper that the knob wiring replaces.
* Install 500MB memory upgrade: Download/backup the existing memory to a USB drive then multiple drives. Data protection OFF. Format the machine memory. Instructions said we should see at least 500MB but we only saw 481MB available after the process. Upload from backup data on USB drive.
* Install high-accuracy BII mode: Data protection OFF. Nice stacking upgrade PCBA design.


* LED Lights
* Top Cover
* Hydraulic Unit (won't be using this for a while, but good to get it installed while the rest is happening) (also want to purge the existing fluid and test some super-safe hydraulic fluid, LubeCorp Lubritherm)
* Coolant Test (want to purge the existing lines and test some super-safe flood coolant, LubeCorp GreenCut)
* High Power Test (is the PTE010RQT sufficient for the M200X3's peak power use?)

Some nice-to-haves that probably won't get done for a while:

* Replace both back-exit door and interior-connect door with solid soundproof-optimized doors. Fix the broken air seals that the mice chewed up years ago.
* Soundproof walls/ceiling/doors with mass-loaded EVA (PVC-free)
* Soundproof the air compressors (loudest part of the setup so far) (difficult because the air compressors want airflow cooling to maintain rated 50% duty-cycle at 30min/hr according to manual)
* Airflow/duty-cycle balancer for the compressors to maximize life
* Coolant-Thru-Spindle high-pressure air-source and hook-up, will save this for when I buy an industrial building someday.

Feel free to ask any questions/requests, or point out any issues. What would you have done differently?

Will update this post as the setup completes. Then will follow up with another post on tooling up.
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Nov 4, 2021
* High Power Test (is the PTE010RQT sufficient for the M200X3's peak power use?)

The PTE010RQT will power your machine with zero issues, where the Brother machines are potentially problematic to all phase converters is with regenerated power under spindle braking, since they stop the spindle so fast without an external braking resistor. The pleasant thing about the combination of the Brother and the Phase Perfect is because they both feature tight monitoring and protection; you know if one or the other is alarming/faulting it's pointing to a problematic condition -- and the electronics are doing the right thing and protecting themselves and the equipment. _IF_ (and I stress IF) you do run into trouble, it will most likely be related to this regen. I assume you may have purchased through a distributor, but you can certainly contact me directly if you need anything or have any issues, [email protected] ... Sounds like a super cool setup! Is this the 10k or 16k spindle machine? EDIT: Nevermind, I saw in the data plate in your photos, 16k!
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Jul 11, 2012
I got some LED lights from Amazon and mounted them with magnets so I could move them around to find just the right positions. As for the top cover IMO this is MANDATORY if you want your mist collector to work, which I port through a heat exchanger and then outside. Which brings up the air to air heat exchanger. I think these should be mandatory equipment for any shop, especially small ones. The only complaint I have is my wife wants one for the house now since the air quality in my shop is better than our house.


Hot Rolled
Dec 16, 2011
I got some LED lights from Amazon and mounted them with magnets so I could move them around to find just the right positions. As for the top cover IMO this is MANDATORY if you want your mist collector to work, which I port through a heat exchanger and then outside. Which brings up the air to air heat exchanger. I think these should be mandatory equipment for any shop, especially small ones. The only complaint I have is my wife wants one for the house now since the air quality in my shop is better than our house.
Do you have a link to what this air to air heat exchanger looks like?


Jul 11, 2012
I got the Hero 200H for around $1200 last year. Here is the web page. You do need to filter the coolant out of the air before the heat exchanger cell, it is easy to clean but it is best to keep it clean. When I don't need to recover the heat I bypass the heat exchanger.