Romi - Bridgeport EzPath I Lathe Jog Button Inop
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  1. #1
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    Default Romi - Bridgeport EzPath I Lathe Jog Button Inop

    One of my friends has one of the Bridgeport Ez Path lathes in the corner. It would not boot. I found a dead CMOS battery on the aftermarket EMI main board. The battery was not replaceable so I ask EMI what to do. They responded that they do not support replacing the CMOS battery and the only solution was a new 700 dollar main board. I soldered in a new battery holder and battery for under 10 dollars and the main board is now fine and the lathe boots as normal. The other problems are the manual jog button does not work and the z axis errors out if you turn the manual handle too fast. I asked EMI for support with a diagram of the jog circuit since the owner of the lathe had spent over 2K with them and their tech in the past with little to no improvement, but they are now upset that I replaced the battery on their board instead of buying a new one from them and they say they will no longer offer advice or support. Its an old machine, but I checked voltage in and out of the jog switch and it seems to be working. I do not have a diagram of what to check next. The jog stopped working after one of EMI techs replaced some stuff and has not worked since. Any ideas? I am not a machinist or a repair person, but we now have a mostly operational lathe, I just want to get the last few bugs worked out.

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    I can't help you, but appreciate the "heads up" on EMI's jerkitude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don-F View Post
    The jog stopped working after one of EMI techs replaced some stuff and has not worked since. Any ideas? I am not a machinist or a repair person, but we now have a mostly operational lathe, I just want to get the last few bugs worked out.
    Sounds like something physical down stream from the jog button got disconnected. Could also be a parameter issue????? (Jog function turned off)

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    Yes thanks for the feedback. Its just the lack off information that's the problem to try to track down the problem. EMI's (Electro Mechanical Integrators) kit switches some parts around around and they seem to use the lack of info to try to lock owners into their BS and their parts swapping schemes. I still cant believe they got so bent out of shape because I replaced a battery holder and a battery that should have been replaceable from the get go. $700 every time a $1 battery goes dead is not looking out for the customer. I do have a factory Bridgeport wiring diagram but its changed from that. An employee used the lathe today. They said it worked fine so maybe the lack of a working jog button is not a huge deal.

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    I will openly admit that I am a service org/tech for EMI for about the past 5 years, but I have never had a customer of mine (that had to deal with EMI) be dissatisfied with their support. I do know that not every person/companies experience with someone is going to be good, as I know there are people who arent satisfied with my work/knowledge.

    I would have to completely disagree with your assessment of EMI's ability and want to share knowledge. It does sound like there have been issues with the machine and changes with the machine/wiring. I have never heard of them not offering to send a diagram (granted that might have a cost associated with it) or not send one when one was requested.

    If the jog switch stopped working after a service tech/company was there and worked on it, I would be calling them and having them come back out to get it right. That would be on the tech, IMHO.

    Jon

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    We have only Created this profile to respond, just as we responded to the review left on our Google Business account.

    Don,
    1. We identified this board for you, by model, as older than 2008. You are well aware the intended service life of any computer is 5-7 years; after that is luck. The board manufacturer expressly states in the manual, not to attempt to replace that battery. No computer manufacturer intends to support a 12-to-17-year-old computer. Nonetheless, we actually do.
    2. The battery is buried in the board, such that you could not see it, and soldered, not socketed—PRECISELY because it is not intended to be replaced. It is not like batteries in a flashlight—it is like batteries in a pacemaker—you don’t replace the battery, you replace the device. This is tantamount to stating that connecting rods in engines are “standard car maintenance”—it’s just not true, any mechanic will state that. It’s major surgery with all its associated risks. If you have the skill and tools to do it, have at it. Most end-users are not prepared to de-solder and solder on a four-layer circuit board.
    3. We are glad you got lucky on this one and your surgery was successful. We do not begrudge anyone saving a buck, if they can.
    4. We certainly did NOT tell you we would not support the lathe & control—it’s what we do all day, every day. Our tech specifically said it would be difficult to troubleshoot subsequent PC-related issues, since the repair would be customer-performed--outside our control--hence very much in question. We cannot assume how a PC would behave, in this circumstance. Also, those PCs are a common source of problems in those controls, precisely because of their age. This is a position any PC technician would reasonably take. It is the same reason auto garages hesitate to let you supply your own non-factory parts for them to install, or you do not bring your own steak to a restaurant. You OMITTED that we DID proceed to give you guidance on diagnosing a jog switch issue on the same machine at the same time. For free, no part sale resulted.
    5. We GAVE you this support on a part someone purchased over a decade ago, for FREE, with courtesy and professionalism. Our recommendations come from a combined 80 years of Bridgeport controls engineering and support experience, in our organization. We troubleshoot these particular Bridgeport PC-based controls all day, every day, since 2000 when Bridgeport Machines, Inc. first put us in charge of their own Controls Division. We serve as de facto OEM for these legacy controls, even though we did not manufacture them.
    6. You asked for paid tech support. We offer that. We also provided the contact of a serviceman local to you, as the jog switch issue might get somewhat involved.
    7. 4,400 motherboard replacement kits sold since 2000 attests to the fact that users understand the value we provide. We sell reliability, not band-aids. These machines make money for users—but not when they’re down, or flakey, due to aging electronics.
    8. We are glad you got it running. It is nice to get away with an inexpensive repair when you can.

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    This is BS, I have the two emails at work and will post them tomorrow. The first email was asking about the CMOS battery and I was told it was not replaceable. Yes even the cheap pc's from china have a replaceable battery (for good reason) and they don't require you to buy a new motherboard when it goes dead. 5-7 years on a $700 board, when a $1 battery goes out? That's not looking after a customer, that's planned obsolescence. I was fine with replacing the battery myself, I told them so and asked other questions but then they said specifically that the machine was not supported unless I purchased a new board. Extortion... I am not worried about it, with help like that the owner is going to sell the lathe and go elsewhere.

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    Don,

    Again, an end user typically does not have the knowledge to solder a battery onto a 4 layer circuit board, so it is not as simple as make it out to be. Again we are happy you got it running with that. To be very clear we ARE NOT the manufacturer of that single board computer, and yes it is absolutely planned obsolescence by the manufacturer NOT EMI. If you would like to take this issue up with the manufacturer please contact Acrosser at +886-2-29999000, the model number of the board is AR-B1376. Also, to clarify we DID NOT tell you we would not support the machine since you replaced the battery we said we would not be able to support issues surrounding THAT BOARD in the future without replacing it first. Also, we DID PROVIDE you with troubleshooting tips AFTER you told us you replaced the battery on your own. We have nothing to hide, so we took the liberty of attaching screenshots of the correspondence we had with you.screenshot_20210126-075709.jpgscreenshot_20210126-075722.jpgscreenshot_20210126-075738.jpg screenshot_20210126-075650.jpg

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    Since the screenshots didn't work out so well here is the content of our correspondence:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Aaron Elam
    Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 3:07 PM
    To: Don Foreman <[email protected]>; Steve Fitche <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: #000264 Motherboard Upgrade Kit

    Don,

    The machine was not intended for the handwheels to be used quickly and that is the intended result by the manufacturer. If the need to rapid an axis they should be using the jog switch. That being said, I assume based on what you wrote that you checked at the jog switch and did a continuity check. You should really be checking it for resistance. If it checks out that way, then you either need a new pendant control cable or an AUF. This could get really deep so you would most likely need a service organization onsite, rather than by us via email or phone. You can reach Advanced CNC Technologies, Rocky Schnider at 503-290-9729. Just so you are aware, knowing that you replaced the battery on the single board computer, we will not be able to support anything that fails that may be related to that board in the future without replacing it first.

    Aaron Elam – Sales / Tech Support

    Electro-Mechanical Integrators, Inc.
    Ideas Integrated with Technology
    Physical Address:
    1 North Second Street, Suite 2
    Green Lane, PA 18054
    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 699
    Green Lane, PA 18054-0699
    P: (610) 287-4240
    F: (610) 287-4241
    Electro-Mechanical Integrators, Inc. | Plasma Pipe Cutters | United States
    The information contained in this e-mail is based on Electro-Mechanical Integrators technical expertise with similar applications and privately developed test data. The information is provided as a recommendation only and does not constitute a guarantee of performance. Given individual systems and application variables, we would strongly recommend testing under actual application conditions, to confirm actual performance characteristics. Receipt of content without expressed written contrary direction is an acceptance of the content or decision expressed here within. The information contained herein is considered to be proprietary and confidential to Electro-Mechanical Integrators. If you are not the intended recipient please notify us immediately and delete the original message.




    -----Original Message-----
    From: Don Foreman <[email protected]>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 2:20 PM
    To: Aaron Elam <[email protected]>; Steve Fitche <[email protected]>
    Subject: Re: #000264 Motherboard Upgrade Kit

    Hello Aaron,

    I soldered in battery holder to the board and with a new battery that part of the lathe is good again. There are two minor problems with the machine that were there even before the cmos battery died on the board.
    The manual jog button is not working. I tested the button it is working in forward and reverse but the machine is not responding. The other problem is if the z axis moved too fast manually the screen will error out with an error over limit, hit any key to continue message. If your company has support for these machines by email we would be interested in purchasing those services. The location of the shop makes phone calls pretty unreliable.

    On 1/12/2021 1:59 PM, Aaron Elam wrote:
    > Don,
    >
    > That board has a chip battery not meant for being changed. If that is the issue you are running into you can continue to change the settings after it has been powered off and back on again or you can replace the single board computer. Our newest replacement is part number 002544, in stock for $670.00.
    >
    > Aaron Elam – Sales / Tech Support
    >
    > Electro-Mechanical Integrators, Inc.
    > Ideas Integrated with Technology
    > Physical Address:
    > 1 North Second Street, Suite 2
    > Green Lane, PA 18054
    > Mailing Address:
    > PO Box 699
    > Green Lane, PA 18054-0699
    > P: (610) 287-4240
    > F: (610) 287-4241
    > Electro-Mechanical Integrators, Inc. | Plasma Pipe Cutters | United States
    > The information contained in this e-mail is based on Electro-Mechanical Integrators technical expertise with similar applications and privately developed test data. The information is provided as a recommendation only and does not constitute a guarantee of performance. Given individual systems and application variables, we would strongly recommend testing under actual application conditions, to confirm actual performance characteristics. Receipt of content without expressed written contrary direction is an acceptance of the content or decision expressed here within. The information contained herein is considered to be proprietary and confidential to Electro-Mechanical Integrators. If you are not the intended recipient please notify us immediately and delete the original message.
    >
    >
    >
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Don Foreman <[email protected]>
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 4:35 PM
    > To: Info <[email protected]>; Steve Fitche <[email protected]>
    > Subject: #000264 Motherboard Upgrade Kit
    >
    > Hello we have an old ROMI- Bridgeport ez-path lathe that has an upgrade motherboard kit from your company. The CMOS looses its memory if the power goes off and trys to load defaults. I want to try replacing the CMOS battery. Do you happen to know its location. I can find its location on the internet for the original board but this one has yours installed.
    >
    > Thank you, Don
    >
    > --
    > Don Foreman
    > Performance Fabrication
    > Grants Pass OR, 97527
    > Performance Fabrication Grants Pass OR.
    >
    --
    Don Foreman
    Performance Fabrication
    Grants Pass OR, 97527
    Performance Fabrication Grants Pass OR.

  13. #10
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    I had a Romi EZpath once
    The wires from the apron to the controls were solid wires or just a few strand No stranded wire like it should be
    Huge mistake IMHO
    On mine there was a disconnect in one of these wires which the Colchester tech could not find . I found it myself finally
    Perhaps check that out

    Peter

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  15. #11
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    5-7 years life of PC board? Damn, I must be the luckiest guy in the world. I have a DOS PC that has not been turned off since 1993. Several other PCs from 2000, 2003 and one from about 2010. I think I have had one motherboard die out of the seven PCs.

    I have machines with controls from 1991, 1993, 1997 and (2)2000. The 1997 machine has a SBC that died last year. Found a reasonably priced similar board online, new about 2002. Put it in and been running daily since.

    The 1991, 1993, and one of the 2000 machines are Fanuc. Had problems with the drives on several, but not with the basic control.

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  17. #12
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    Alphonso,

    You are actually pretty lucky to have PCs last 25-30 years. But the SBCs made in the 90's were made with better components, intended to last much longer than SBCs made from the early 2000s on. This is because of the internet boom and computers not being just used for business but for leisure as well. The computer companies wanted their piece of the pie when it came to more frequent updates similar to what Microsoft was doing with the Windows platform. So they started using cheaper less reliable components with the intention of planned obsolescence. Since we did not establish ourselves in this industry until the early 2000s and use aftermarket SBCs because Bridgeport no longer exists you have the 5-7 year life expectance created by the manufacturer of these SBCs, not EMI. We do not force anyone into buying these boards, if they can get it running again on their own accord, that is great! We just cannot support that board or failures related to it once it has been modified from the factory original state, because we are not the manufacturer and we do not know the state of the board after these changes have been made. I hope you continue to have the luck you have had so far with your machines and prosper from that luck.


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