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  1. #221
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    One thing, you won't be able to do any retrofit without
    a complete set of electronic schematics.

    If you can't read the schematics you won't be able to
    do the retrofit.

    So if you are a complete electronics neophyte I wouldn't
    attempt a retrofit. Just pay for someone to do the job
    for you - like Don. He knows what to do.

    Paul

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    Paul-

    Just a few comments.

    I'm not a controls expert by any means but having done one (hobby)CNC conversion, built a couple of PLC based projects and written commercial software for 12 years, I'm not exactly clueless.

    None of what you wrote about is simple. As far as I know, Don retrofitted a DRO to an FP2 Active, not an NC machine.

    To the OP, here is a thread which discusses the Heidenhein Retrofit that DeckelDoctor sells (sold?), 30-40k it would seem if he does the work.

    Deckel retrofit cost and questions

    Might want to contact FPS and Singer to price compare that to new or refurbished machines. I am not aware of any other outfit that sells a conversion for the Deckel. I'd be interested to hear what Centroid has to say if you call them.

    Teryk

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

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    FPS would be the ones to talk to, BUT I don't believe they are going to support doing a retro-fit/add-on CNC, they are rebuilding used machines and bringing them back to spec. If you go with one of their new machines, they do have CNC products, but they will be expensive. I recently bought a new FPS 300 M, which is a clone of the very last generation of Deckel FP 1 Aktiv Digital.

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    Also, to add to that, I decided to buy a second machine (Brother Speedio) for the CNC side of things. The CNC machines are so much more evolved with modern electronics, etc than you would get with even a retro-fitted Deckel, I just don't see this path of creating a new type of Deckel with retro-fit CNC as being the way to go. And from a cost effective standpoint, this is a no-brainer, buy a used modern CNC or even a new CNC, and you'll still be ahead on this project.

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    Not that it really matters, but i am still not sure what Paul is looking to do.....
    Seems some discussion here about upgrading an older euro "NC" machine....Modern control?
    There is also some talk of taking an older Euro "NC" machine and going retrograde to make it a manual machine.....

    If the object is the latter, i would be really interested to see the plan and resulting progress on such a conversion, as in my mind there are significant hurdles to such a plan , at least in the Deckel realm.
    For openers, the FP-NC's all have constantly connected servos....as you would expect.
    These machines are fitted with hand wheels, but nobody who has spent much time with one of these machines would ever think about using the hand wheels for anything except moving the slides to gain access to a
    mechanical feature during repair work.
    The effort is high, uncomfortably so...making it difficult to execute moves of any accuracy.....Moving the slides and servos is serious work.
    I suppose fitting a system of electromechanical clutches to use on the screws to allow disconnecting the servos to ease the effort needed when using the hand wheels would be possible...Seems like a lot of work.

    There are additional issues....the ball screws have a tendency to self drive...most notably on the "Z" axis.....Deckel has brakes on the servos that prevent creep when not moving....there are also friction devices
    in the hand wheel assemblies for the same reasons....In all to get the benefit of the ball screws Deckel had to make provisions which tend to make the screw movement stiff for hand movement...

    Suppose it would be possible to replace the ball screws with conventional Acme screws...but again that presents more work and expense.

    A dedicated PLC to run the shifting and spindle direction etc would be a small exercise perhaps avoided by using two gear ranges coupled with spindle drive and a closed loop drive motor....again not
    difficult, but costly.....

    There was some mention that the manual machines ran too slow...Late FP's (2&3's) have spindle speeds of 2500 RPM....while the first gen FP-NC's run at 3150.....not record breaking on either front.
    My take is that the overall spindle speed is limited by the spindle bearing setup.....the needle rollers just won't tolerate higher surface speeds (within reason)

    If a later (Flip) head FP-NC would provide 6300 RPM , but only on the vertical spindle.....Which also has angular contact bearings in place of the needle roller setup on the vertical spindle.....

    There is a Deckel that was built as an NC machine that might convert back to a manual with fewer problems....The first generation FP3A was built as a point to point machine...having a very early control, and using
    clutches to engage each axis....
    Already setup to avoid the servo drag issue. These were built for only two years i believe and are relatively rare.....Deemed not very desirable ,might provide a base machine at a low initial cost...

    Cheers Ross

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    Quote Originally Posted by drcoelho View Post
    I just don't see this path of creating a new type of Deckel with retro-fit CNC as being the way to go. And from a cost effective standpoint, this is a no-brainer, buy a used modern CNC or even a new CNC, and you'll still be ahead on this project.
    Depends on what you are asking the machine to do.....This is not a simple one solution fits all.....New is great, but sometimes it is not the answer....
    Not everyone is focused on making runs of widgets......
    Some of us are focused on making just one part or cut...with zero defects....no scrap tags here!
    Fast rapids, tool changer....I could care less. Accurate machine geometry, well dampened (friction ways) , full spindle horse power at low RPM through gears (large diameter boring) ....
    Fully adjustable work mounting....(6 axis of movement) .....The list goes on.





    Cheers Ross

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    Ross, as usual, you have cool stuff going on there

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    Hi Guys,

    Many of you have missed the point, but that must be my lack
    of a good explanation.

    I have a Brother TC-22A which is faster than any retrofit Deckel
    will ever be. 12,000 rpm spindle, .7 sec. tool change, 26 tool atc,
    700 ipm cutting.

    So as you can see I don't need another CNC for this hobby shop.

    So what about a manual machine? I have a Gorton 1-22 hydraulic
    3D profiler, which I use as a manual or on occasion, to copy some
    part. It was broken, but I have since fixed it.

    But I would like a universal mill for the same reasons that Ross
    points out, and as I have alluded to before - those special one-offs
    that require and unusual configuration that a Deckel with a toolmaker
    table can provide. I referenced Ross's operation in this regard.
    Specialty shops doing unique one-offs.

    The Deckel NC would be my preference because of the high speed head and
    duplex bearings.

    So here we are with an NC Deckel, and it's requirements, Servos, Ball screws,
    gear shifting, German (non quadrature pulse square wave) linear scales - did
    I forget anything?

    Lets start with the servos and ball screws:

    Only a crazy person would want to get rid of either of these.
    So how to deal with them?
    The servos require a servo amplifier, and that amp requires
    a command signal, usually plus or minus 10 volts. When there
    is no voltage (0 volts), it applies the brake signal.
    So all we need to run the servos is plus or minus 10 volts -
    that is easy to provide. A simple voltage divider with a pot
    will do the trick, or you can use a raspberry Pi computer to
    do the job for you. There millions of ways to do the job.
    So that takes care of the servos and the ball screws.

    Yes - no?

    Next we have the scale issue:

    I have these scales on my wire EDM, and I believe they don't output
    a quadrature square wave like most other systems do. There is a box
    that does something, but I don't know what it's output is. So some
    research is needed. It might output a sine wave. There are ways to
    do the required conversion, but it's to complicated to explain here.
    Besides I don't know enough about the problem yet, so why waste the
    effort. At the worst you buy new scales and reader box.

    Next is the change gears problem:

    You can always change gears by hand, remember this is
    a manual machine now. If you want to do it automatically
    you need to reverse engineer the NC process, which mostly
    requires going forwards and backwards several times until
    the gears mesh. Or if you're clever you put in sensors that
    will tell you when the gears are ready to mesh. Even the NC
    can fail to shift gears and it gives you an error message.
    So by what ever method you use, use the raspberry Pi CPU
    to do the job for you. I have a complete electronics lab,
    so I could just hook up a logic analyzer to the gear actuators
    to get the timing. But if I buy a dead NC this would be hard
    to do. So I might have to rely on the good folks at PM to
    help me out.

    After writing this I think that the guy who started this
    new branch off the old post "should not try this at home"
    Instead, he should tell me who has this FP4NC for sale so
    I can buy it. If it doesn't have the Toolmaker universal
    table - forget it.

    I hope I answered some of your questions.

    Any more comments from people in the know (like Ross),
    let me have them.

    I don't really know enough about the problem and not so
    much of a chance to find out about it - I don't have any
    manuals or schematics, and these are the things you will
    need to do the job.

    PS: I would be depending on the servos and amplifiers being
    in good shape, for this to work.

    Thanks for all your great inputs,

    Paul

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    OK as i suspected and wrote above , you want to back the FP-NC down to a "manual " machine....

    So in your post above you deal with the servos...sort of.
    Several things to consider here..First off the brake only holds the axis on the NC machine when the power is off or if you are going to manual (hand wheel operation)
    Just using a 10 vdc signal and turning it off would i think not be very desirable....The normal setup keeps the servos "hunting" all the time they are on, and that
    holds position....shutting off power, seems like there would be some mechanical lag in the brake taking hold and that would result in a drift of position (Z)
    Perhaps a system of delay in stopping the servo command relative to the brake might solve this.

    The other thing not covered here, you are making an "Manual" machine.....As stated with the factory servos in play the effort to move any axis is quite high....
    Not really what one would wish on a manual machine......So servos for the feed, cool. Added effort to move an axis with the servos connected, not cool....
    My belief is that to make this setup acceptable as a manual machine, there really needs to be some method of disconnecting the servos from the screws when using the hand wheels....
    Cheers Ross

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    What about aquiring a late model Deckel with Aktiv Digital ? Plenty to be had in Europe for reasonable prices that are in excellent shape...manual machine with the added advantage of DRO, semi-CNC positioning, and you get all the Deckel accessories as desired.

    Also, at least qty(5) FP4NC on sale currently at ▷ Used Deckel Fp4nc for sale - Machineseeker

    One in excellent shape listed for 6300 Euro. Getting these machines to USA is not a big deal, done this for multiple machines now.

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    So let me continue this...
    Some questions:
    First off do you have any direct experience with one of the Deckel FP-NC's fitted with a Dialog control (preferably Dialog4)

    Here is the thing.....you want a manual machine...but there some obstacles. I have a sense of your thinking here...let me give you a bit of perspective from my side.

    I know its discussed here quite a bit. but honestly, if you had some "seat time" working with the Dialog4 control and the very user friendly interface of the Deckel console
    think you might change your focus....
    A sound FP-NC running Dialog 4 control can easily be as easy and quick to operate as a manual machine.....Think of it as a smart manual...capable of doing profiles, but as
    easy to operate and position as any manual.....You are already contemplating going with the basic platform...why not keep the control, its not a disadvantage.
    I have several manual machines here in the shop including a nice FP3.....
    Almost never do i use the manuals, because i am just as fast, more accurate have greater flexibility and better tooled when using my FP4NC. Its not hiperburble...its really true....
    That FP4NC is the sweetest mill i have run...manual or CNC....

    And here is the kicker....seems you are very competent in electronics...The Dialog4 control is fully documented, with prints for all the boards down to the component level....
    intimately repairable....
    Its not a modern CNC., not blazing fast..But the original setup is absolutely miles ahead of a manual no matter who's built it.

    Cheers ross

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    Hi Ross,

    I have no trouble with the Dialog 4 CNC control.

    The only reason I'm looking for a dead NC is the price,
    as it should be very cheap, because without a working CNC
    unit, as you point out, it's only good for an anchor.
    In fact, less than an anchor, because it's taking up
    valuable space.

    Because many have this misconception the an old Deckel is
    like a rare wine or a classic Ferrari, the prices for
    working NC Deckels are more than I can or want to justify
    spending, or more than there worth in today's market, unless
    you are doing one-off jobs in a specialty shop like yours.
    To make matters worse most of the older NC CNC units will
    not be working in several years - then how much will it cost
    to get the machine going again?

    To make matters worse, there are not many units to choose from
    in the US. If you have to import from Europe, now you have just
    added another $5,000 on to the price by the time you're done.

    What do you have when you are done, and old worn noisy machine
    that's outdated when compared to the machines today. I would not
    buy one that doesn't have the universal table. That's one of
    the primary reasons to buy a Deckel for that versatility.

    Many of the Deckel NCs for sale, that I've seen, want more
    than I paid for the CNC Brother that I have.

    Does that make sense Ross. Did I make a wrong turn in my
    thinking? Remember this is a hobby for me, and getting this
    all to work is part of the hobby for me. Many of the machines
    that I have, did not work when I bought them. If they had been
    working, I might not have been able to justify buying them.

    Well I think we have covered it all, if not always glad
    to hear a new take on it.

    Best Regards to all,

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolnuts View Post
    Hi Ross,


    The only reason I'm looking for a dead NC is the price,
    as it should be very cheap, because without a working CNC
    unit, as you point out, it's only good for an anchor.
    In fact, less than an anchor, because it's taking up
    valuable space.

    Paul
    I think you'll have trouble finding a cheap NC Deckel that isn't pretty much junk mechanically as well as electrically. They are still valuable as parts machines, both mechanical and control parts are still in demand even if the control isn't currently running. Plus one with a universal table would bring a premium, just for the table. I've found exactly one cheap FP3NC. It was at HGR, it was missing the table, had the 3M control which made it interesting only to me because I had another 3M, and it had rust on the ways from being stored in a damp environment. I still paid $1K or more plus shipping IIRC, sold that much in parts off of it and kept what I wanted(the control). That was just a lucky find, haven't seem many others, plus you'd still need a table to be usable.To really get a cheap machine worth reworking I think you'll have to stumble onto one owned by someone who doesn't know what it's worth. You are just as likely to find a manual machine cheap. I saw a FP4M with a universal table on NJ Craigslist a few years ago for about $6000, running and in current use, that would be a better deal than a clunker NC at any price.

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    And I would still recommend you don't give up on shipping a machine from Europe. There are 1000x more Deckel machines available and they are generally in better condition than ones you'll find in US. And, if you want to trade-off your time versus money, as previously discussed, there are some really excellent outfits (FPS, Franz Singer) that can take a used machine and turn it into "like new" which will last you a lifetime of trouble free usage, and will give you a little support along the way as well. I've been tracking the various marketplaces that sell Deckel parts (ebay.de, etc) and there are good deals that pop up once in a while, AND more importantly many of the unobtainium accessories DO pop up regularly whereas in USA you can forget ever finding them.

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    Ross,

    Remember I said plus or minus 10V, This implies that you vary the
    voltage between the two limits. If you just hit it with 10V
    you are making a bang-bang control system, instead of the linear
    control system, that comes with making the control voltage very
    proportionate to desired change in servo velocity.

    I can buy a very nice modern CNC for the price of a machine from
    either FPS or Singer. As I said before I don't need another CNC.

    As I said before, I want the NC version because of speed of
    the vertical head and the duplex bearings. I don't want needle
    bearing running against the spindle shaft.

    How do you know that the $6,000 FP4M manual machine wasn't
    itself a clunker. It was most likely very old and very tired.

    I think you might all be correct in saying that an old dead
    piece of junk is just junk, and I shouldn't waste my time on it.

    On the ball screw brake, look to see how the old NC unit did it's
    braking and just copy that approach. I'd bet it just one switch or
    solenoid to energize, it's not rocket science.

    I appreciate all of your inputs - any more?

    Regards,

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolnuts View Post

    I can buy a very nice modern CNC for the price of a machine from
    either FPS or Singer. As I said before I don't need another CNC.
    Paul, you are correct in your statement above. BUT, I thought you said you already had a Brother CNC machine, and that what you really want now is a Deckel to do the odd size one-off tasks? If you want the quality of a Deckel with all its advantages, you aren't gonna get it cheap. It all boils down to these trade-offs in my mind:
    - do you try to find a random low-cost most likely burned out Deckel super cheap and then put in the HUGE expense and time to MAYBE get it working to satisfaction, OR
    - do you buy a "like new" machine from a Singer or FPS, who will also handle all the shipping details from USA?

    FYI, my model year 2019 FPS 300 M with accessories was comparable in price to a new Brother Speedio....

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    How hard it will be will depend on the scope of the retrofit and will depend on what is dead.

    The MAHO MH400E I bought had a graphic card problems I couldn't fix, and then I later found it had one dead channel and one flakey one in the Heidenahin EXE board which does the A/D signal processing for the glass scale encoders, and an intermittant contact on the relay board connector.
    Retrofitting a 1986 Maho MH400E - LinuxCNC

    I did a minimal conversion, replacing the Phillips 432 with LinuxCNC, but keeping all the Indramat motion hardware, Heidenhain scales, and MAHO's control and power relays, Estop chain etc.

    So the only hardware needed was a ITX single board PC, MESA 5i25/7i77/7i84, two stand alone 602 EXE's from Ebay. A friend of mine programmed a software component for the gearbox control. That COMP is open source, so anyone can use it (a Deckel gearbox has a slightly different control set up, as it's shifter shafts rotate through 360°, whereas MAHO gearbox shifters have limited rotation between end stops) so the software would need modification for the Deckel.
    GitHub - jin-eld/mh400e-linuxcnc: MAHO MH400E component for LinuxCNC

    I never used the Phillips 432, which I understand was a pretty nice interface, but my Maho came from a school and had been speced with the lowest option processor (8088) and was only 2 1/2D. The change to LinuxCNC means it has more capablity, as it is now fully 3D capable. I did make a new control interface to take advatage of the LinuxCNC Gmoccapy touch interface, which I find really intuitive to use.
    YouTube

    I have quite a few videos on the conversion on youtube.

    Obviously this was a hobby project for me, so I had no time pressure. There are two german guys who have done the same conversion as me, and one of them had his MAHO up and running again in about two weeks.
    Mark
    Last edited by rotarySMP; 08-21-2019 at 12:07 PM.

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    Ross,

    this is off topic, but it makes me queasy looking at a few hundred pounds of irreplaceable engine cantilevered over the end of your FP4NC table with no safety line to above.
    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaGTA View Post
    I suppose this only works because you tweak the universal table to compensate for the resulting tilt/sag in the support and vertical table. Is that right?

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Bruce:
    Yes table movement used to compensate for sag....This is generally how i do long or difficult work...
    This case was extra demanding just due to its overall size....the full "Erector Set" lash up....
    Just for reference...what you see is a reproduction casting of a 1913 "Mercer" gearbox that was machined by another shop.....
    Poor work done there...and the case needed a complete rework. Center bearing bores out of line with the outside bores were out of position by over .040" .
    Required correcting all to be straight and true ,over boring and fitting with steel carriers to make up the difference needed in size.

    In a perfect world i would rather have done this on a nice Lucas horizontal boring machine or better a nice DeVlieg ....
    Sadly i have no room for such....
    Cheers Ross

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