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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    You might also check with Dynapath, they have a modern PC based control, and offer retrofit packages.

    Actually - their package will work with analog signals.
    Not many will anymore.




    Quote Originally Posted by omcgee View Post
    If I do this Retrofit it will be a Turnkey by a Factory Rep. as We don't have the time or any electrical experience beyond the basics. ...................
    The Centroid turnkey I think will come in at about 20-25 K.
    So they will doo as much of the work offline as possible and then come in and upgrade in a few days and debug?
    This is new drives and motors?
    What kind?
    I wonder how reliable they are compared to your old Getty's or ??? that were built to last?


    How about spindle drive/motor? Still use the old Reliance-A/B or whatnot?
    Maybe yours has an old skewl Fanuc spindle motor/drive? (Never seen one)

    ----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    If I was to do a serious retrofit, I think I would look hard at Dynapath also. I don't know why their controls are not more popular. They have been around a long time and they are always very helpful on the phone. They repair old boards (older than me).

    I've worked on a few Fagor retrofits that seemed pretty good. I worked on a Fidia once that was to me, but it seemed to do a good job controlling a huge machine.

    I would think you'd be close to $100k for a one off Fanuc retrofit with new servos. Probably over $100k for a new spindle motor and drive. There are not that many authorized Fanuc integrators, so you are kind of stuck with whoever is in your area.

  3. #43
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    Yeah, but good used Fanuc is EVERYWHERE.
    Finding a used control is a bit more daffycult, but drives and motors are everywhere.
    Besides, you can normally get a Fanuc 3x mill retrofit (professionally) for $30-$50K with all new. Not $100K.

    There are only 2 axi's. (ass-u_ming a hydraulic turret index)
    You can pick up a 2 channel Alpha servo amp for $1500 or so for commodity sizes. I ass_u_me that his machine is a bit bigger than "commodity", but at the same time - the screws will only have a .250" pitch as opposed to 10mm, so the same motors and drives should be fine.

    Good used motors for another $2500/pair?
    Toss in another $1000 for cables...

    On the 18 and Alpha's you just tell the control what motor (code number) that you have, and it automatically sets it up. You just need to set your acc/decc ramps and your pretty well good to go. Don't need a scope to tune.

    My 16T runs an A/B DC spindle drive, so you can pick up the card to allow that app.

    There's really not much to a 2x lathe. My old 0T control only has a few pages of params. On the other hand, my dual path 18i 8x with lives, C's, Y, and such has a print-out an inch deep of params, and I have entered them all by hand once...

    Like I said - just try to find a machine that someone is scrapping and you have it all as a package. Spindle drive and all for ??? $8-10G's maybe? Of course that would likely default you to an "0T" control rather than an 18 simply b/c it will be the cheapest junk that get's parted out first. (cheap machines have the base line control, not the flagship model)


    All you would really need is to find someone to move and update the ladder. You may even be able to find someone here that would be able to doo that for you?

    I would bet a guy could update this to a used 16/18 with Alpha's, redcaps and modern PLC for $12-15G if he did the physical work and got someone to compile the control and PC work.

    At least that is how I am looking at a possible "phase II" retrofit for our "The Money pit" (Excello 408).



    One of the big troubles with the PC based software unit's is not that "you can doo anything that you want", but rather "You hafta doo EVERYTHING!" If your time is cheap and you know how to, or want to learn how to code PC for the next few weeks, then by all means, but that is the reason that we have so much $ in our "Money Pit", b/c I paid someone else to take the time to learn it, and write it.

    If you get a "CNC control" 90% of that is done for you already. It may not be exactly as you want, and not all that editable, but at least you know what you have. .. and yes - you can write your own canned cycles of you take the time to learn that too. But you don't HAVE to.


    Dynapath is my 2nd choice. I think the reason that they are not out there much anymore, is simply b/c Fanuc and Mits (and Siemens and H/H on a few) have all the business that is not done by "builder owned controls", like Okuma, Cinci, Yamazaki to some degree... and whoever else that would apply to?

    Dynapath build s SUPER mill control! No experience with them on a lathe.



    While 2017 PC boards get harder and harder to find down the road, 1997 Fanuc parts will be ever more available as used.


    GE-Fanuc 18-T CPU, PLC, Power Supply Units, Servos, Motor, I/O, CRT and more | eBay
    I wonder if this was a live tooled machine? Not sure what the 3rd "axis motor" is for?




    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Last edited by Ox; 09-16-2017 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Woops, his is a 12" machine

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Yeah, but good used Fanuc is EVERYWHERE.

    One of the big troubles with the PC based software unit's is not that "you can doo anything that you want", but rather "You hafta doo EVERYTHING!" If your time is cheap and you know how to, or want to learn how to code PC for the next few weeks, then by all means, but that is the reason that we have so much $ in our "Money Pit", b/c I paid someone else to take the time to learn it, and write it.
    I could be wrong, but you seem to be under the assumption that a PC based control doesn't use standard G-code. They do.... My Milltronics from 1992 uses standard G-code (and has conversational) and is just an old PC... think it started as a 286 and I upgraded when I rebuilt the PC to a 486.

    The Centroids use a standard PC, can even run windows 10 and use touchscreen, they take industry standard G-code and have their own version of conversational too.... I'm not a fan of Conversational on any machine, I grew up with g-code and don't find any conversational software to be easier or faster than just writing a program.

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    Technically, every CNC machine is just a PC, even Fanuc. The 21i and newer all had Windows as the front end.

    The difference is the hardware. PC based controls are at the mercy of the designed obsolescence of the computer industry. You can't buy a new 486 motherboard that you can guarantee will just drop into your PC retrofit and work.

    Contrast that to a Fanuc. They make the hardware, and they support it back to the stone age. You can still buy a brand new 8" monochrome CRT monitor from Fanuc in 2017. It's probably made by a supplier, but they have it on a shelf and will happily sell it to you. You install it and it works.

    In production machining where down time can cost $1000+/hr, the higher initial cost of Fanuc or Mits or even Siemens is far outweighed by the service and support. That is not the same criteria that Harry Homeshop uses when he chucks his "old" control because he wants fancy graphics and lots of memory for the bloated programs his freeware CAM is spitting out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I could be wrong, but you seem to be under the assumption that a PC based control doesn't use standard G-code. They do.... My Milltronics from 1992 uses standard G-code (and has conversational) and is just an old PC... think it started as a 286 and I upgraded when I rebuilt the PC to a 486.

    The Centroids use a standard PC, can even run windows 10 and use touchscreen, they take industry standard G-code and have their own version of conversational too.... I'm not a fan of Conversational on any machine, I grew up with g-code and don't find any conversational software to be easier or faster than just writing a program.


    No - as far as "learning to program a PC" - if that's what you mean, I mean that as far as dooing the pseudo "ladder" and "PLC" work in it.

    I have 2 PC based (1 Winders, and 1 QNiX) and they both use G code for sure.


    I don't know if my experience is actual "Conversational" or not? I had a Dynapath, which I think is maybe considered a hybrid? I've never ran a Hurco or Yamazaki, so no clue anything along those lines.

    The Dynapath is absolutely super for programing at the machine. You hit "G" and your options pop up, and I think that there are less actual "G" options, and just more letter (field) options in the drop down. You don't need to know the G code for pecking, just use G1 (?) and fill in the peck field(s).

    I haven't had one in 15 yrs, so I am not 100% on it, but they are sweet! But not true G code.


    And I understand that the Dynapath 40 is 486 (?) based, but that's not what I (we?) mean by "PC Based" in this thread.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    The Dinopath can also run EIA/regular G code pretty much. I used to program a 32 year old Delta 20 with a slight teak to a CAM post.

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    Sort of off the beaten path, but Centroid has a little board $265, for the DIY guy. Almost worth a look see?

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    One of the issues I've had with using a PC for the CNC is future compatibility. After 10 years or so when the PC shits the bed, you supposedly go get a new one and all is good. What I've seen is that the old PC used an old bus and the i/o card was for that bus. New "commodity" PCs had a new bus and no old style slot. Now the question is does one buy an "industrial" PC motherboard because it still can be had with the old bus or does one replace the I/O card? The industrial PC motherboard costs big money. The new I/O board uses drivers that are not compatible with the old Windoze version. Either way it's a lot more effing around to get everything back running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    One of the issues I've had with using a PC for the CNC is future compatibility. After 10 years or so when the PC shits the bed, you supposedly go get a new one and all is good. What I've seen is that the old PC used an old bus and the i/o card was for that bus. New "commodity" PCs had a new bus and no old style slot. Now the question is does one buy an "industrial" PC motherboard because it still can be had with the old bus or does one replace the I/O card? The industrial PC motherboard costs big money. The new I/O board uses drivers that are not compatible with the old Windoze version. Either way it's a lot more effing around to get everything back running.
    Industrial PCs with any imaginable bus are still being made and win 3.1 is still up and running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexO View Post
    Industrial PCs with any imaginable bus are still being made and win 3.1 is still up and running.
    I know that and it's in my post. The point is that the industrial PC motherboard is not something you just go around the corner to your local computer store and pick up. The folks promoting PC based controls usually tout the availability and low cost of hardware replacements. IME it's not quite that easy or low cost. I recall one instance where replacing a Faraday Electronics PC mother board in a CNC laser welder cost ~$1500. Also had to replace a Winchester 10meg hard drive in the same machine for a few hundred more another time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Actually - their package will work with analog signals.
    Not many will anymore.
    FYI.....Linuxcnc can output Analog signals to run older drives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    One of the issues I've had with using a PC for the CNC is future compatibility. After 10 years or so when the PC shits the bed, you supposedly go get a new one and all is good. What I've seen is that the old PC used an old bus and the i/o card was for that bus. New "commodity" PCs had a new bus and no old style slot. Now the question is does one buy an "industrial" PC motherboard because it still can be had with the old bus or does one replace the I/O card? The industrial PC motherboard costs big money. The new I/O board uses drivers that are not compatible with the old Windoze version. Either way it's a lot more effing around to get everything back running.
    You anti PC control whiners crack me up.
    Have you LOOKED at the current Linuxcnc version lately?
    Have you looked at the hardware offerings recently?
    Of course not, it's easier to just come on here and whine about all the problems and lack of features. Except you don't know what you're talking about.
    Do you think the "newer comodity PC's" will have Eithernet Ports on them? Because there's a card out there now that is Eithernet, NO slots required.
    You're whining about shit that's never going to be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Actually - their package will work with analog signals.
    Not many will anymore.






    So they will doo as much of the work offline as possible and then come in and upgrade in a few days and debug?
    This is new drives and motors?
    What kind?
    I wonder how reliable they are compared to your old Getty's or ??? that were built to last?


    How about spindle drive/motor? Still use the old Reliance-A/B or whatnot?
    Maybe yours has an old skewl Fanuc spindle motor/drive? (Never seen one)

    ----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    We had converted the spindle drive to AC with a Teco controller and it has a new z Axis Motor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    The Dynapath is absolutely super for programing at the machine. You hit "G" and your options pop up, and I think that there are less actual "G" options, and just more letter (field) options in the drop down. You don't need to know the G code for pecking, just use G1 (?) and fill in the peck field(s).
    On a Delta 20 you can intermingle conversational and EIA G code in the same program. Download a CAM program, and if you want to edit it you can use the conversational to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    FYI.....Linuxcnc can output Analog signals to run older drives.




    You anti PC control whiners crack me up.
    Have you LOOKED at the current Linuxcnc version lately?
    Have you looked at the hardware offerings recently?
    Of course not, it's easier to just come on here and whine about all the problems and lack of features. Except you don't know what you're talking about.
    Do you think the "newer comodity PC's" will have Eithernet Ports on them? Because there's a card out there now that is Eithernet, NO slots required.
    You're whining about shit that's never going to be a problem.
    You mean the CNC control that only in the last 6 months has finally been given more than 1 line of look ahead in the trajectory planner? Any then only because Tormach hired someone to do it.

    It's still a toy for hobbyists. It always will be. The fact that it is free precludes anyone from putting any real effort into making it into a serious industrial control.

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    We retrofit / rebuild in house all the time, but we have very good EE's on staff. We use Siemens for CNC control. Robust, reliable, supported. Most of ours are 840SL because of the number of axis or the functionality required. For simple 2 or 3-axis stuff that will run permanent canned cycles (volume production machines doing one or two dedicated ops where only certain dimensions change), we use the Technology CPU Siemens PLC control (much less expensive).

    HOWEVER, the one thing to keep in mind for those doing retrofits.......

    The new machine safety requirements. You are required to bring the machine up to current safety standards if you retrofit a new control. Please remember this. It's one thing to do this for a machine you are going to use as a hobby machine in your garage, it's quite another to do this where the machine is used in a business for profit.

    This means that you will have to have a safety controller and dual channel monitored safety circuits (what the controller does). This also means that even if the machine never had a door safety switch, it must now have one and it must lock while the machine is in cycle. It also means speeds and functions must be limited if the door is open and the spindle cannot be operable with the door open except for manual jog at (very) slow speed among many other requirements. This is not do-it-yourself work if you own the business and do not have the skills or knowledge to execute it to code. It is a much different legal climate than it was even 10 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    ......You're whining about shit that's never going to be a problem.
    Whining was not the intent and hopefully did not come across as such. Just relating prior experience.

    Never is a long time. What about ten or fifteen years from now when "Eithernet" (you probably meant Ethernet) may no longer be a current standard? One may be back to sourcing some pricey legacy hardware to fix their dead PC based CNC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    When Joe wants to try a DOC change to improve the process....
    1. Joe interrupts the programmer with change request.
    2. Programmer pauses what he is currently working on and opens lathe file, makes the change, re-posts, closes the file and then tries to remember where he was before the interruption.
    3. Joe deletes previous program and downloads new code.
    4. Joe now begins prove out of new code.
    So you're going to go through all this junk to save three seconds per part ? In the long run Joe is going to waste three hours to save thirteen minutes. Just run the damn thing.

    Unless your programmer is so bad that he's off by 50% on the initial program ... which would seem to be a different problem.

    So much easier for Joe if all he has to do is edit one address on one line of code to try his idea.
    Except that the stupid cycles are so poorly-conceived that you are fucking up the machine by running them. Woooo-oooooo wooooo-ooooo woooo-ooooo eight hours a day. Nice.

    Do the four-eyed bucktooth Japs - the same people who brought you the Bataan Death March - have roughing cycles that do NOT require css yet ?

    Talked to Sandy about this twenty years ago, at that time there was nobody who had a rational roughing cycle. Except maybe Cinturn II which was built into some Cincys. Until I hear different I'm going to assume the situation is the same today, because these people would rather put color screens on their crap than fix underlying errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Well fuck. You guys retrofit with your hobby software until the cows come home. I'll stick with a Fanuc 6T circa 1978.
    Gag. Even a Bendix 5 will run circles around that p.o.s. Whose idea was it to put the datum point out in space and program all in negative numbers ? When was the last time you got a print like that ? And this whole "U" thing - there are STANDARDS for this kind of thing. U is reserved for another axis. We don't just pull it out of our ass and decide to use it for whatever we feel like. You're ragging on Linux because it doesn't do something a control shouldn't do ? Reliability-wise the electronics of today are far superior but Fanuc is crap, has always been crap and will always be crap.

    I'll take a real control - Bendix, G&L, Actrion, even a Westinghouse. (K&T D control on a mill is super, too). In fact if they could put the Westinghouse on an fpga, that'd go right to the top for turning. Nice control.

    Fanuc, gag me with a spoon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    ......Do the four-eyed bucktooth Japs - the same people who brought you the Bataan Death March - ......
    Ahh... I see the real issue now.

    Seriously, there's no room for that on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Ahh... I see the real issue now.
    The REAL issue ?

    Well, let's see. Every print I have ever had or seen for a turned part has the datum on the left end (sorry, it's a right-hander's world), or in a few cases on some feature towards the left end. The right hand end of the part is a POSITIVE number away from the datum.

    So with a real industrial control built by people who had really run machines, you go to your lathe and put the jaws on, set Z = 0 at a shoulder on the jaws or slide a stop of some sort across the hole in the chuck and set your zero there. Simple, clean, follows the conventions of 200 years. Z 0 is here at a place you can actually touch.

    Now with the wonderful groovy Fanuc, the zero is at some imaginary point in midair. Plus you get to re-interpret the print to turn all those numbers from the left into negative numbers from a zero point where it doesn't belong.

    No, I don't know what I am talking about ! you can work around that ! Yeah, and I can put the front seat of my car facing backwards and drive in the mirrors, too. But it's STUPID.

    That's just the start. Tool nose radius comp ? Not that useful on a lathe but if you will insist on it, can we do the standard tool-left, tool-right system that was well thought out in the fifties ? Heck no, we'll reinvent the wheel to come up with that half-ass quadrant crap that is perverse, illogical, and also stupid.

    On to the beloved U - there are STANDARDS in this world. Those standards were designed decades before Fanuc even existed. U is reserved for something else. We DON'T GET TO USE IT !!! But here ya are, because of creeping unprofessionalism, people rag on Linux for something that should never be done anyway.

    Seriously, there's no room for that on this forum.
    Oh of course not. You're too busy shitting on US-designed, US-built, US-made high quality sensible controllers so no room to speak ill of MITI. Man, some people are messed up.

    And yes, I grew up near people who jumped into Bataan, Corregidor, and other garden spots. Some helped build a bridge on the river Kwai, others viewed the Himalayas out the window. If you want to be a Jew who drives a Mercedes, that's fine. But don't tell me what a great car it is. Thank you for your service, now get to the back of the bus.

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