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  1. #21
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    Look at the third to last picture. Not sure "rear shroud needs to be re-attached" fully describes the situation

    They also write
    "If you need a certain part from the machine you can email us."
    Hope they haven't sold too many parts off it yet.

    Deckel FP3 Milling Machine | eBay

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    Geez, Sean... Have you taken classes in motivational speaking (errrr, writing) or something? LOL OK, I won't throw in the towel. And you present some interesting opinions on the value of the all angle table.

    Actually, I have to make a comment with regards to manual machines there. Often it seems like people are quick to want to universal table over fixed table for a manual machine. Now, as you know, the universal table is an entirely different beast than the table we are talking about. The latter has handwheels to precisely adjust position whereas the universal is pretty coarse, using clamps. My feeling has always been that I'd rather have the fixed right angle table. In fact, on my FP2, that is what I keep on the machine all the time. Granted, I'm not a power user, but the table is trammed, large, and very stable. I love it.

    Gernoof: yes, I'm aware there is a PLC in there. I'm a microcontroller guy though and for some reason I kind of like the idea of off-loading the gearbox shifting. I'm not sure why... But, I'd certainly take a stab at doing it in the PLC too, if I could easily setup the drive components and required sensors.

    Miguels: That is not an FP3NC there; it is a later model FP3 that has been dropped. I told the guy awhile ago that he may want to research the NC line a bit because it wasn't an NC, but he persists on leaving it up there as such. Plus, the rear shroud doesn't "just need to be reattached", it needs to be replaced and likely has a damaged screw. That machine has more work than he is leading one to believe (IMHO) and he is asking a pretty price for it to boot. So, no, that isn't a good candidate. Again, just my opinion.

    Alan
    Last edited by wrench; 03-01-2015 at 12:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench View Post
    Miguels: That is not an FP3NC there; it is a later model FP3 that has been dropped. I told the guy awhile ago that he may want to research the NC line a bit because I it wasn't an NC, but he persists on leaving it up there as such. Plus, the rear shroud don't "just need to be reattached", it needs to be replaced and has likely damaged the screw. That machine has more work than he is leading one to believe (IMHO) and he is asking a pretty price for it to boot. So, no, that isn't a good candidate. Again, just my opinion.

    Alan
    Part of the draw of an NC machine is the screws are all set up...but clearly THAT particular unit is not worth the effort.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench View Post
    Geez, Sean... Have you taken classes in motivational speaking (errrr, writing) or something? LOL OK, I won't throw in the towel. And you present some interesting opinions on the value of the all angle table.
    Alan
    No classes, just obligatory daily self practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    There's a FP3NC carcass on the 'bay minus the controls.
    Pretty tempting to try building the controls up and having a damn nice little NC mill.
    Like Alan had mentioned, that actually is a pretty desirable machine if it was complete.

    When the seller first had it on eBay you could see the handles were bent for X-axis, so the machine was dumped on its side.
    Also in the earlier add pictures you could clearly see HGR's stock number on the ram, so now I'm pretty sure who tipped the machine over!

    I have dealt with this seller, he's a good guy, maybe not very knowledgable as far as the Deckel machines go......that being said the price is way out of line for what it is, if the machine had the power control cabinet now that would be a different story........

    With that being said I would also be interested in a control retrofit for my new yet to be picked up FP3NC, but as long as I can keep the Dialogue control running I doubt I would actually do a retrofit unless it was in the sub 10K range, most of what I do is 2 1/2 D so as I understand it the Dialogue control would work for the simple parts I make.

    Kevin

    P.S. Welcome back Sean, it's good to see you posting again, sorry to hear about your losses........I cannot fathom the amount of stress and pain you have endured in the past few years, but can relate. Hang in there buddy it will get better!

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    Kevin,
    The good news about the older Dialog line (not the 10) is that if you want to keep them going, you can. The schematics come in the book and the design doesn't use any programmable logic for which you may not have the source files. The *bad* news is that the schematics are almost illegible. They are invaluable for knowing where signals go, but you still have to do a lot of sleuthing and it can be frustrating when you are trying to get a feel for how everything goes together. I've repaired several boards for another member now, however, and they seem to be working fine.... I have never understood why vendors are nice enough to provide schematics but then do so by copying sheets that have been copied 5 times before. Chip numbers become smudges, etc. Of course, the insidious intent may be to provide the information because of demand but to make it essentially unusable; that would ensure most come back to you for service....

    Alan

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    Kevin,
    Thanks, but I don't want to claim that "I'm back" just yet. There's some major life hurdles right in front of me which might require my full attention for a bit.

    Alan, and everyone else....

    This elusive conversion is already being done by people out there, including correct control of the spindle transmission and using the original servos (scales not sure yet)

    A couple hours of browsing and I've come across at least a few retrofits that weren't available the last time I "ghosted out" of PM.

    It's being done but for some reason I think PM isn't being included in the loop.

    I have seen what seems to be fully operational FP retrofits from a company who makes hardware controls, yet also makes PC fronted controls, so it doesn't seem like a big jump from there. They have the machines working sans Bosch/Grundig using standardized signals.

    The stage it appears to be at now is one where they have all the pieces, but nobody has put them all together at once.

    To me, that looks like this:

    Original servos
    Original linear scales
    Control of spindle transmission (plus VFD)
    Control of tool change routines (with or without carousels).
    Customizable PC front end/GUI (via Linux, or black magic, or whatever) so that one could modify it to emulate the Dialog workflow, or whatever workflow they want to "load".

    Like I said, it's all there and has been done. It's a bit of a hurdle figuring it out because most of it appears to have been done in Germany (makes sense right?).

    I've already been emailing to attempt to get on top of the current state of things even though it may be a year or more before I could pursue anything. I'm even daydreaming about a Germany trip for the sole pursuit of it....because after 15 years, I'm quite tired of the retrofit thing being questionable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sable View Post
    Anyone know if this project got any further ,As far as I can remember there doesn't seem to have been any updates for a long time ,perhaps he has finished it and is now too busy using it.
    Thanks Sable for your accurate deduction….. yes I have been using it !
    And I have a job set up now so I will make a quick general reply below.
    Regards
    Wess

    Just to have a quick re-cap:-
    I don’t have a business rebuilding machining’s or retrofitting them, nor do I have any form of business that needed the completion of my machine or project.
    My interests and hobbies are in machine tools and control systems, thus I enjoy the process of stepping forward and ‘learning by doing’ I apologize if I have not made all of the updates expected from me but I have had “other things going on”
    I have made progress with getting about 20% of my paper scribble onto computer drawings but this is a very long process.

    I posted a YouTube video 2 years ago with my first stabs at rigid tapping… thus must the machine have function in order to rigid tap ? so in reply to the “Here we go again” “burned out project” guy how did you come to your conclusions and evaluation of my project.

    Anyway, now the machine is with me in America and I have set up my workshop. Its been running well and I enjoy using it.
    I did have to make one compromise though with the gear change setup… the heidenhain only works with 8 gear ranges for use with Spindle analogue output (controllable spindle speed from the console 50 to150% variation)
    Now it would be easy to just leave my gearchange ‘as is’ with fixed speeds but I do like having the control for 50 to 150% of the called program speed in that range…. I have found a ‘get round’ so I can use 16 of the 18 gear ranges and to be honest I think 8 would be fine anyhow.

    Another little mishap related to the rigid tapping…. Most controllers you can enter in the number of encoder counts and I know on the later heidenhain system you can but on my 415 it wanted 1024 CPR and that was set in stone….. I had a encoder with 2880!
    So a small calculation had to be made to get the correct thread pitch. I have a encoder divider box on its way so that is resolved now.

    Nikken 4th axis with my added direct angle encoder is working well.
    I replaced the old CRT screen with a TFT I built from a computer monitor…. But had all the heidenhain soft key buttons to add and line up on the display and multiplex so that was quite a job.
    I got a keyboard / monitor console so everything is mounted up with my Mk1 attempt at the user button panel. After I have used the machine for another 4 or 5 months I will commit to what buttons and switches I want available to me, currently I think I have to many.

    To finish off the project I have got a cable management system (basically steel cable tray’s with removable lids) that will hold all cables coming from the back of the machine and keep them clean.

    Apart from that I have a nice machine that I enjoy using and have enjoyed retrofitting.
    img_1472.jpg

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    Thanks for the reply Wess and great to hear of your success .

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    Shifting and all of the other interfaces are not what ever gave me much concern (excepting the scales, which I believe are resolver based... PITA)... It was the emulation of the much vaunted Dialog control approach that reeks of customized code. Mind you, I've never *used* that control so I don't know why y'all love it so much. But I have a healthy dose of respect for many of the members on this forum and I think, most of whom have had exposure to other controls as well. So, when they say that the Dialog is a fantastic implementation for the machine, I have to assume there is merit in what they say. Besides, if there isn't, having a control look like any of the more traditional interfaces is a cake.

    Regarding shifting... There are a lot of different ways to do this. I alluded to that in one of the last posts. If creating a PLC ladder is hard to do, however, then I'd opt for a dedicated microcontroller that took an input (speed selection) and gave two outputs (ready and error). it shouldn't be too difficult a thing to code up. The Dialog cloning is where I expected to spend the time.

    FWIW, the reason I like the Deckel CNC is that I'm assuming it offers the same advantage that the manual machine enjoys: relatively small size but with a good working envelope. But, I do have to admit, the Dialog's mammoth sized control cabinet kind of blows that "small size" concept out of the water. Hopefully a retrofit would be able to dramatically reduce the footprint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench View Post
    Shifting and all of the other interfaces are not what ever gave me much concern (excepting the scales, which I believe are resolver based... PITA)... It was the emulation of the much vaunted Dialog control approach that reeks of customized code. Mind you, I've never *used* that control so I don't know why y'all love it so much. But I have a healthy dose of respect for many of the members on this forum and I think, most of whom have had exposure to other controls as well. So, when they say that the Dialog is a fantastic implementation for the machine, I have to assume there is merit in what they say. Besides, if there isn't, having a control look like any of the more traditional interfaces is a cake.

    Regarding shifting... There are a lot of different ways to do this. I alluded to that in one of the last posts. If creating a PLC ladder is hard to do, however, then I'd opt for a dedicated microcontroller that took an input (speed selection) and gave two outputs (ready and error). it shouldn't be too difficult a thing to code up. The Dialog cloning is where I expected to spend the time.

    FWIW, the reason I like the Deckel CNC is that I'm assuming it offers the same advantage that the manual machine enjoys: relatively small size but with a good working envelope. But, I do have to admit, the Dialog's mammoth sized control cabinet kind of blows that "small size" concept out of the water. Hopefully a retrofit would be able to dramatically reduce the footprint.
    I'm just the reverse. I don't know how to get the machine hooked to a computer, but if I had one that was, I'd learn the code to program the Dialog emulation <sigh>.

    I haven't coded anything in Deckades (hehe), but I learn quick having done it in the past, and I have a pretty good handle on how the Dialog works as well as things that could be improved on it.

    The advantage to a Deckel NC vs a more generic machine is more than just the size envelope, it's that it's premium class iron, and to a large degree accepts the attachments and work style from the manual machines. Nobody is ever going to convince me that *anyone* has made a better milling "system" than the manual FP's. You might find a higher degree of precision here and there, or maybe a cool attachment, but nothing even comes close if you have a catalog/brochure in hand. The integration is mind boggling. Add to this that these high precision machines are incredibly stout and one can go from the micro-drilling attachment to the #5 Wolhaupter on the same setup and there's fairly good arguments for why it's the best system ever made.
    Ok, so you know this already, and you already own one... Jumping to CNC you still get to use most of your attachments from the manual machine you so love....and the work style and axis configuration.
    The Dialog control is hard to explain. It's not magic or anything. After using one, you just feel like it's "process" was designed in the same house that where these incredible mills were.
    Deckel users love Deckels and strangely enough, Deckel users also kind of jive with the Dialog setup. So, if that Dialog setup is on 90% of every Deckel NC made, and everyone likes what it does, and there are thousands of people familiar with it, and maybe you still have a Dialog on the machine you aren't *ready to retrofit yet*, then it seems logical to emulate it at least as an option. The other CNC controls I've used over the years feel like they were set up for production over prototyping/repair, and they feel like a mis-match to the machine...to me.

    Interactive controls aren't new, and ultimately the Dialog is just one of those... the most common one you will find on a Deckel NC, and aside from it's aging, it's a pretty good fit.

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    Sounds like those of us that us HP calculators and are used to RPN.

    FWIW, making a machine run under NC control is not terribly hard, especially if starting from a machine that has the ball screws and such already in place.
    I have no idea what a Dialog interface looks like, I suppose it wouldn't be that big a deal for a good coder to write an emulator...trivial, but a lot of work.

    Or just put Mach3 on the interface for conversational programming using the wizards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    Sounds like those of us that us HP calculators and are used to RPN.

    FWIW, making a machine run under NC control is not terribly hard, especially if starting from a machine that has the ball screws and such already in place.
    I have no idea what a Dialog interface looks like, I suppose it wouldn't be that big a deal for a good coder to write an emulator...trivial, but a lot of work.

    Or just put Mach3 on the interface for conversational programming using the wizards.
    Well the rub is that Deckel NC's used linear scales for feedback, the "other" kind of servo (AC I think), and a hard geared transmission for spindle speed (which is great for torque but a complicated thing to retrofit).

    Nobody wants to pull all their servos and make dumb adapters for some other servo like some kind of home made CNC router, and nobody really likes the idea of giving up the glass scales for feedback, and nobody wants go give up thee gear based transmission for the spindle.

    Those are 3 pretty big challenges....so far.

    Then, some after market companies come in and adapt generic controls to the FP's, and it works, but the machine becomes just as generic in it's operation. I'm talking about good controls like Heidenhain, and to their credit, they have extended the life of many otherwise dead machines, but they aren't really conversational in the same way, nor are they usually "modern" like some things you would find at the machine shows (nice big color displays....touchscreens...etc).

    Software like Mach, well it is relatively open source as far as writing interfaces and plugins, but it's birth was in hobbyist conversions and has hurdles stemming from that.

    I'm not the guy who wants to make youtube videos of soldering for days on some one-off conversion that nobody can copy. I would like to purchase the correct hardware controller for the machine.... the one the generic controller guys are using, but I'd like to front it (send commands to it) from a PC so that A. It can be customized, and B. So that it can be updated, and C. so that the same package can be purchased and copied by anyone else.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6p...PKxNyDNQI3Zkkw

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    Miguels:
    LOL... Yes, I'm an RPN guy too. It saddens me that this approach is effectively dead, though. You can thank TI's superior marketing strategy over HP's "we build the best calculator so we'll win" approach. TI got book publishers to write side notes on how one would solve an equation using a TI calculator; HP sat on their thumbs. So, what is the result... Most engineers now go to college with non-RPN calculators. Proctor an SAT test and what will you see? An ocean of TIs and a *maybe* one or two HPs.

    You are right that once you have iron that was originally setup for CNC (so, ballscrews, etc), putting on a new control is a matter of fairly mundane labor. However, the Deckel does present some additional challenges that you don't have in, say, a Haas or a Hurco retrofit. Resolvers, complex gear shifting, etc, are some of these. But the big nut is what Sean said about production vs prototype. Ross, who frequently posts here and is an uber user (for lack of a better term) pushes the limits of CNC prototype work. He has often commented about the strength of the Deckel in that role. We all, I think, universally agree that as a production machine it was made obsolete years (probably decades) ago.

    I should qualify the "fairly mundane labor" comment too, though... Many machines are easy and some have frustrating mechanical issues. Take the smaller Emco Maier industrial lathes, for instance (not that Compact 5). They are 380V, like the Deckel. The Emco will not take a VFD you can easily get off the shelf. And the axis motors are strange too. And, and, and. The devil is in the details and not all machines are as easy to convert as others. The Deckel is on the farther extreme of "ease" (meaning, PITA). That, of course, doesn't mean that one cannot convert it; it just means that it will be more difficult.

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    Maybe this guys knows? Says he's using the original servos, glass scales, and Bosch drives...

    http://youtu.be/8YqrsDAKGpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Well the rub is that Deckel NC's used linear scales for feedback, the "other" kind of servo (AC I think), and a hard geared transmission for spindle speed (which is great for torque but a complicated thing to retrofit).

    Nobody wants to pull all their servos and make dumb adapters for some other servo like some kind of home made CNC router, and nobody really likes the idea of giving up the glass scales for feedback, and nobody wants go give up thee gear based transmission for the spindle.

    Those are 3 pretty big challenges....so far.

    Then, some after market companies come in and adapt generic controls to the FP's, and it works, but the machine becomes just as generic in it's operation. I'm talking about good controls like Heidenhain, and to their credit, they have extended the life of many otherwise dead machines, but they aren't really conversational in the same way, nor are they usually "modern" like some things you would find at the machine shows (nice big color displays....touchscreens...etc).

    Software like Mach, well it is relatively open source as far as writing interfaces and plugins, but it's birth was in hobbyist conversions and has hurdles stemming from that.

    I'm not the guy who wants to make youtube videos of soldering for days on some one-off conversion that nobody can copy. I would like to purchase the correct hardware controller for the machine.... the one the generic controller guys are using, but I'd like to front it (send commands to it) from a PC so that A. It can be customized, and B. So that it can be updated, and C. so that the same package can be purchased and copied by anyone else.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6p...PKxNyDNQI3Zkkw
    A complete package can be tricky, but a well assembled one can be put together if you are careful.
    Quote Originally Posted by wrench View Post
    Miguels:
    LOL... Yes, I'm an RPN guy too. It saddens me that this approach is effectively dead, though. You can thank TI's superior marketing strategy over HP's "we build the best calculator so we'll win" approach. TI got book publishers to write side notes on how one would solve an equation using a TI calculator; HP sat on their thumbs. So, what is the result... Most engineers now go to college with non-RPN calculators. Proctor an SAT test and what will you see? An ocean of TIs and a *maybe* one or two HPs.

    You are right that once you have iron that was originally setup for CNC (so, ballscrews, etc), putting on a new control is a matter of fairly mundane labor. However, the Deckel does present some additional challenges that you don't have in, say, a Haas or a Hurco retrofit. Resolvers, complex gear shifting, etc, are some of these. But the big nut is what Sean said about production vs prototype. Ross, who frequently posts here and is an uber user (for lack of a better term) pushes the limits of CNC prototype work. He has often commented about the strength of the Deckel in that role. We all, I think, universally agree that as a production machine it was made obsolete years (probably decades) ago.

    I should qualify the "fairly mundane labor" comment too, though... Many machines are easy and some have frustrating mechanical issues. Take the smaller Emco Maier industrial lathes, for instance (not that Compact 5). They are 380V, like the Deckel. The Emco will not take a VFD you can easily get off the shelf. And the axis motors are strange too. And, and, and. The devil is in the details and not all machines are as easy to convert as others. The Deckel is on the farther extreme of "ease" (meaning, PITA). That, of course, doesn't mean that one cannot convert it; it just means that it will be more difficult.
    From my perspective that makes it easier, since all the things that seem to be problems are things I'd want to add anyway.
    Linear scales, check.
    Multi speed head, check.
    Resolvers...fine, them or absolute encoders on the axis, check.
    Real solid axis drives, check.

    The hard part isn't making the machine work like a machine should, it's making the interface intuitive and powerful.

    BTW, I have an HP11c emulator on my cell phone...the real one needs pulled apart and checked.
    It quit waking up a few years back...dammit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Maybe this guys knows? Says he's using the original servos, glass scales, and Bosch drives...

    http://youtu.be/8YqrsDAKGpg
    And that's EXACTLY how to do that.
    Real drives integrate the glass scales and the resolver feedback seamlessly...I was an apps engineer with Bosch, then a controls engr for their largest client in Colorado...damn near the whole west.
    Any other solution, while 'cheaper', would be inferior and painful...I love resolvers when implemented well...the toughest most robust system there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    And that's EXACTLY how to do that.
    Real drives integrate the glass scales and the resolver feedback seamlessly...I was an apps engineer with Bosch, then a controls engr for their largest client in Colorado...damn near the whole west.
    Any other solution, while 'cheaper', would be inferior and painful...I love resolvers when implemented well...the toughest most robust system there is.
    ...and I personally would be fine with that.

    It would be nice to lose the temperamental Bosch amps, but hey... I'd be ok with keeping them to simplify a conversion.

    So my question is what hardware needs to be purchased and where is the "how to" manual? The guy didn't just download LinuxCNC and set the disk on top of the Dialog pendant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    ...and I personally would be fine with that.

    It would be nice to lose the temperamental Bosch amps, but hey... I'd be ok with keeping them to simplify a conversion.

    So my question is what hardware needs to be purchased and where is the "how to" manual? The guy didn't just download LinuxCNC and set the disk on top of the Dialog pendant.
    I wonder what generation of drives those are.

    If you want a turn key kit you're out of luck, there just aren't enough donors to make a kit worth it.
    It doesn't look like the LinuxCNC is really set up as a conversational control, LinuxCNC isn't known for that anyway.
    LinuxCNC is a great solution for just running the machine, but hardly user friendly at the moment.

    The big draw of Mach for me is the conversational programming integrated with the g-code generation.
    It's machine/motion control aspects are a sort of secondary, but useful component.

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    I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying those things are not benefits; I'm saying they are complications. Though they are not insurmountable ones, they do add complexity.

    No, LinuxCNC is definitely not a strong front end control. That really is where Mach came into the picture and made a dent. However, Mach really isn't where I personally wanted to go either. And their macro approach is definitely not what I wanted (I don't think I would classify, even with my limited knowledge, the Dialog as being conversational either). It may have power, but people have tried to make macros that they then claim makes the control "conversation." I don't really agree. I have much more experience with the Hurco which I believe is a true implementation of the conversational approach. In Mach's land, you can create a block (ala the Hurco) but I am almost certain that you cannot execute it in that form. Essentially, the block is a one way translator into G-code. A true block or conversational approach should exist through single stepping too, IMHO.

    Servo amplifiers are an area where there have been enormous gains in the last 10 years. Heck, and amplifier really isn't more than the requisite MOSFETs, a CPU, and glue logic now. Microcontrollers are so powerful that they can run the required DSP and probably still play a video game or two (OK, I'm being flippant now). Seriously, though, the servo amplifiers now are a different beast and are 1/10 the size. It is one area that I would not keep the original.

    I would keep the scales but I'm curious how you are interfacing the resolvers. I should check the Mesa site... I vaguely recall they have a board that will work with resolvers. I must admit, though, that I'm a little skeptical of them. I would keep them primarily because they are difficult to replace. But I've also heard of issues with the Deckels wherein the light bulbs burned out, etc, etc. It just seems like binary counters are more "absolute" than some sine waves... But that is just my digital bias. Clearly resolvers are accurate and I can appreciate that. It is reading them that concerns me though. Buying expensive Hiedenhain (sp?) interface modules seems bulky and expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    There's a FP3NC carcass on the 'bay minus the controls.
    Pretty tempting to try building the controls up and having a damn nice little NC mill.

    Careful here! That is not a CNC Deckel that is listed...The seller is not correct . That is a late manual FP3...missing an important part....
    the electrical cabinet with controls and power supply for the feed.
    It also has some broken parts and my belief that likely the "Y" leadscrew is damaged....
    No ball screws, no scales, no shifting mechanism (motors,swtches,cams etc) Also has manual tool clamping...no grippers, no Hydraulics!
    Not a good choice for a retro!

    Cheers Ross


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