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    Default two machines

    this is a tale of two machines---both using EMC2 software as the operating system. Alfagta-Ross raised the question regarding the damaged FP4A I picked up about suitability of EMC2 for control. I actually had not considered this but I did investigate the user group website. Here are some findings:

    EMC2 is a Linux based operating system for tool control
    it is open source and essentially free
    there does not appear to be a corporate sponsor-this means anecdotal advice prevails regarding hardware selection and system integration. In my experience corporate sponsorship is essential to bring order to prevaling chaos in the world of software/hardware tool retrofits. More to the point, a company must be willing to shoulder legal product liability on an integrated working system-and most of us are willing to pay for this.
    Well, as I go thru machine retrofit forum the impression I get is that fewer than 20% of project machines actually reach a state of completion.
    God bless the router crowd-and there is a bunch of them. But you cannot compare mail box sign makers with a 3 to 5 axis machine needed for mold and die making.
    A few Deckel and Maho retrofits are featured. All are european based. Two project machines illustrate the frustation--and the promise of EMC2.

    here is a Deckel FP41--UK based. look at the pics and scan the posts. A motivated retrofitter, end user is at work. progress is slow and questions are many, questions relying upon the kindness of strangers to help resolve.
    LinuxCNC.org - Deckel servo setup with linear scales 5i20 hm2. - EMC Support Forum

    Then along comes a thread regarding retrofit of Maho 700. The new forum member states he tore the machine apart, replaced a bunch of stuff including glass scales and his machine with rotary table works just super. This can't be. I mean, a newbie retrofitter could never pull this off. And as we look closer it appears this is not the case. The member is a graduate engineer with doctorate, german based, and has website advertising retrofit services. And this is my point. For order to emerge from what I perceive as retrofit chaos in the EMC2 realm, a gifted individual such as the Maho 700 retrofitter must offer an advanced system of hardware/software integration.
    look threads over and see what you think

    LinuxCNC.org - proudly presenting a Maho MH700 retrofit .. - EMC Support Forum

    Dr.-Ing Ulf Dambacher, Ingenieurbüro für Maschinenbau

    jh

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    Interesting analysis. Confirms my perception.
    But I would add:
    Of the 20% claiming completion 50% lie.
    Of the remaining 50% half runs Ok, but is basically unusable because you have to use the computer mouse to jog, or click, or because it never went beyong a brassboard construction and wires hang everywhere.
    The remaining 25% (of the 20%) supposedly exist, but I have never seen on, or seen reliable decriptions with pictures. Certainly they never remotely reach the brilliant operator friendliness of a Deckel CNC (with Dialog control, much less so on the Siemens).

    I'd put zero confidence in the claims of the german website you link to. This is a SW dude, who played some with machine tools probably just once. If his experience is like his web site or his german grammar one should not expect much.
    Last edited by Martin P; 08-17-2010 at 03:04 AM. Reason: number missing

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    i used to wonder why anyone in there right mind would want to rebuild/retrofit/convert a machine for CNC (then i remembered we are all crazy ) after seeing what some few people have done i can see the appeal for a CNC at home but still why

    i think im off the point of this thread but it would be interesting to pole these home rebuild/retrofit/convert CNC crowed and see what backgrounds these people have and what the appeal is oh and why people stop half way thought

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    I know you mentioned Centroid earlier. Centroid is right up the road from me. A guy that used to work at our shop had some connections with them. He also has two CHNC machines running their controllers. My impression about them was that they are good retrofits if you buy one of their kits designed for a specific machine that they've already done. I'm looking to buy their retrofit for my Hardinge CHNC to replace the Allen Bradley controller.

    In regards to the FP4A, I would really look into repairing/running it as is. It would be a shame to have that nice iron sit unused, and there are tons of Hurco parts out there. Hurco iron is an absolute hodge podge of whatever they could get cheap, but the controls are the same, with maybe 3 different servo drive options for that era. The Industrial Servo Drives (which yours has) being the most expensive to repair/replace.

    Ron Morgan of Pittsburgh CNC may very well be able to diagnose a problem over the phone. He is also probably the best source for parts for the Hurco end of things.

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    Spork

    Hurco Deckel machines are Deckel Iron not a hodge podge as you put it.

    Ron has sold his last 2.5 Deckels with MAXII control.

    The weak point in the MAXII/Deckels are the industrial servo drives they are no longer available except by repair and there are only a couple of people fixing them making them unobtainable !

    The Spindle Drive is also Industrial Servo brand is not available at all and there for unobtainable !

    The MAX II Control does not do G code very well, Hurco really never developed the G Code side because they were to busy with "look at us conversational" programming.

    Ron is a good friend of mine,we went to robotics school together and I got him his job at Hurco because I was working for them as Deckel Service Engineer. When Ron got tired of Hurcos' BS he went into business for himself as I did. Since I no longer live in Pittsburgh Ron and I have helped each other over the years.

    Jackson has already made a commitment to change this MAX control.

    I have thought of some problems with Jackson thoughts about his plans that we talked about a few nights ago,but I will discuss them off line.

    Regards
    DD

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    There are quite a few people that I know of that have converted large machining centers to emc2. I am in the proccess. (slow process because it is a hobby for me and I only get time to work on it once a week.)

    I am very impressed with emc2. With minimal cost of hardware you can interface with the standard +/-10v servo amps. (or steppers (yeck) ) The servo loop is closed within emc - like most industrial controls. I consider it a Swiss army knife.

    The main advantage, I think, is that emc does everything. It has motion, and ladder logic integrated so all you need is relatively dumb interface cards. It has a Hal layer that has tons of virtual components that can be hooked between emc and your equipment. (and(s), or(s), lowpass, pwmgen, stepgen, pid, scale, and so on.) plus you can write your own.. (isn't that bad)

    I have a Old Large K&T that I am converting to emc2. It is a 60's vintage NC that had hydraulic servos and a transistor control (yes transistor). We have some large brushed servos we have mounted in place of the hydraulic one and are using some amc B40A40 +/-10v drives. This thing needs a lot of I/0 we are using 2 mesa cards. each card gives you 72 I/O. we are using it in a setup that has 48 as I/0 and 24 are use to run a 4 axis servo interface card (the card has 4 encoder counter and 4 +/-10v outputs). We are using 2 cards - so that will give us 96 strait i/o and 8 axis of encoders and +/-10v. For the I/O - the mesa card plugs into a few opto22 boards. (ebay finds) It is going really smooth. I figured the tool chain would be a pain. but I think I had the logic working in about a day. The K&T also has a 16 speed spindle gear box. I decided to make a hal companent for that. I have it about 90% done. That is also going easier than I thought

    It has been a long project. We should have axis moving soon. Here is a video of the tool chain logic working. The tool chain is 60 tool - with each tool having a 15bit mechanical barcode. I am using ladder within emc to do it. Emc sends ladder the tool number it wants - the ladder finds it and tells emc that it is prepped. not external plc or nothing - just using the mesa i/o and ladder within emc.

    YouTube - Kearney and Trecker tool chain logic working in EMC2. Mechanically barcoded tools

    here are some other conversions..

    one of the developers converted a mori seiki mv jr to emc2. Took him about a month. He also developed touchy. A touch screen interface for emc that doesn't use a keyboard or mouse. Need a minimum amount of hardware for it to work (jog wheel, cycle start and so on)

    YouTube - Boring and measuring a bearing seat with EMC2

    he also converted a Hardinge lathe

    YouTube - Hardinge HNC conversion running EMC2

    Here is a threading video - showing the spindle synced motion. Emc can use a full encoder with index (index required) for threading.
    YouTube - EMC2 Threading
    You can see they sync here
    YouTube - EMC2 Threading

    emc can also do rigid tapping.
    YouTube - EMC2 rigid tapping a fixture plate
    YouTube - EMC Rigid Tapping M3 holes
    YouTube - M6 rigid tapping
    this was done on a hobby type machine using just the printer port (well - I think it shows how powerful emc is)
    YouTube - Rigid Tapping M3X 5 750rpm
    rigid tapping on a lathe
    YouTube - Hardinge HNC Rigid Tapping 2

    Here are some random videos showing emc in action.
    YouTube - Hardinge HNC Rigid Tapping 2
    YouTube - EMC2 Retro Fitted to Hardinge Superslant Internel threading
    YouTube - Chiron FZ16
    YouTube - Chiron FZ16 - EMC2 Retrofit at work
    YouTube - Hobbing (Gear cutting) on a Mini-Mill with EMC2
    YouTube - DSCN0771.AVI
    YouTube - EMC2 cinci test cut

    Emc requires you to do a lot of the work in understanding its internals. Someone isn't going to do it for you. It isn't that bad - just do a lot of reading. there is IRC and message board for help. Lots of smart people on there. Come prepared - they are not going to hold your hand.

    EMC Documentation
    here is the supported hardware list..
    EMC Documentation Wiki: EMC2 Supported Hardware
    the mesa card + servo daughter board is aprox $180 (that would give you 48 I/O + 4 axis closed loop servo)
    (mesa also does hardware step generation with the same card)

    you can download the livecd from LinuxCNC.org - Installing EMC2
    and try it on your computer. (it will boot and run linux without effecting your installed OS)

    I was rambling - ask if you have any questions. I love emc - the developers are constantly improving it.

    sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkworks View Post
    . It is a 60's vintage NC that had hydraulic servos and a transistor control (yes transistor).
    FWIW, I once owned an early 1960's NC Burgmaster with *vacuum tube* control ! Wish I had kept it as a museum piece now...control was Hughes make..as in Howard.

    Never used the Burgmaster but I did use for years a late 70's OKK mill that had hydraulic servos. As memory serves, there were no electric servos at that time that could handle the loads of the larger machines. The hydraulics were amazingly accurate, but had the usual fluid leakage issues.

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    Yes - we never had postion issues. It was a awesome setup for its time. It had none of the bells and whistles of a current control - like full 3 axis (it shared one hydraulic servo with X,Z and B.), cutter comp, read ahead... The control finally smoked and we decided it was time

    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    The hydraulics were amazingly accurate, but had the usual fluid leakage issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deckeldoctor View Post
    Spork

    Hurco Deckel machines are Deckel Iron not a hodge podge as you put it.

    Ron has sold his last 2.5 Deckels with MAXII control.

    The weak point in the MAXII/Deckels are the industrial servo drives they are no longer available except by repair and there are only a couple of people fixing them making them unobtainable !

    The Spindle Drive is also Industrial Servo brand is not available at all and there for unobtainable !

    The MAX II Control does not do G code very well, Hurco really never developed the G Code side because they were to busy with "look at us conversational" programming.

    Ron is a good friend of mine,we went to robotics school together and I got him his job at Hurco because I was working for them as Deckel Service Engineer. When Ron got tired of Hurcos' BS he went into business for himself as I did. Since I no longer live in Pittsburgh Ron and I have helped each other over the years.

    Jackson has already made a commitment to change this MAX control.

    I have thought of some problems with Jackson thoughts about his plans that we talked about a few nights ago,but I will discuss them off line.

    Regards
    DD
    You misunderstood my comment the "Hurco" iron was just whatever they could buy cheap. I would never refer to a Deckel regardless of the Hurco control as Hurco iron, or a Hurco machine. The BMC20 and BMC30 that we have are both nice box way machines. I have seen BMC20's from the next year that were ugly cheap looking linear guide machines.

    As for:

    "I have thought of some problems with Jackson thoughts about his plans that we talked about a few nights ago,but I will discuss them off line."

    If neither you nor Jackson want to share any more information online, then he might as well delete this thread.

    *edit:

    This sounded a bit rude, so just to be clear, it's disappointing when doing a search on something like this and finding 100 threads that started out then had nothing, then an update 2 years later about how the project is finished, or why it failed. Info along the way can help other people make these decisions without posting tons of new threads about already covered topics.

    I hope if Jackson follows through with this, he keeps all his imaginary internet friends informed. It might help me when I can't get parts for my machine anymore and decide to retrofit it...

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    I've only got a 9th grade education and have built a plasma cutter controlled by EMC2 and converted a Hardinge CHNC lathe to EMC2. They both run super.

    Did I have any trouble? No.
    Did I run into things I didn't know about? Sure
    Did I get enough help from other users to learn about the things I didn't know about? Yep
    Would I do it again? In a heartbeat

    <2 cents>

    I'm sure glad EMC2 DOES NOT have a corporate sponsorship, it would limit EMC2 way too much.

    </2 cents>

    John

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    Spork

    The early BMC's, were actually iron from leadwell!
    Early Knee mills were Kondia.

    Lead well was caught at the docks with what they claimed were parts and pieces of machines sub assemblys, they were actually full assembled machines.
    Leadwell was not allowed to import for I think 10 years because of this.Leadwell was sold and imported through Canada for a while.

    Hurco got Leadwell iron to put the MaxII control onto.

    Remember Hurco started as a control company!


    Spork as for comments about sharing information, I will contribute some information here on PM,but it will be limited.

    I will not discuss anyone's project unless I have their permission to do so, and again my responses will be limited here on PM.

    I will not post my intellectual property here to the world for free after all it is part of my Business that earns my
    living and keeps me ahead of competition.
    Regards
    DD

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    spork2367
    Thad-- all of my machines are platforms for trial of my screwy ideas on motion control. Deckeldoctor was nice enough to call me and provide background on machine hardware and the Deckel-Hurco relationship. I do not know what new thoughts DD has regarding the FP4A but I will certainly share with this forum any that would seem appropriate. Yesterday I ordered new digital to analog convertor for trial on FP4A. The Kollmorgen drives are analog. The control system I am developing is called BiFi-EMC. Stands for binary filtered electro-mechanical control. No association with Enhanced Machine Controller referenced above.

    skunkworks
    video links to EMC2 show machines in motion and in the case of the Mori MV jr, a nifty touch screen. If a detailed step by step account of retrofit is available I would appreciate knowing website. The talent of this retrofitter needs to be widely known. Is there a site where you document progress on the K&T?

    thanks
    jh

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    J:
    Thanks for starting this thread...most interesting and has brought some good responses.
    Hope you will keep us informed on the retrofit.
    Bought some parts off an FP4NC from a guy up in Sacramento that was planning a Centroid retro , will see if i can find his info...you might wish to compare notes.
    Cheers Ross

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    DD,

    Do you know Bill Wilson? He and I had a conversation yesterday about Hurco machines. They were a controller based company, and iron came second. They have had good iron and bad. Being that I like the Ultimax II controller for what I use the machine for, I guess I lucked out with that partnership.

    I understand not sharing information that a customer is paying you for and is making you your living. At this point though, it sounded like brainstorming, which would be nice to have in the conversation.

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    Well, I'm one of the unfinished ones. With a MAHO 700C.

    I left the cabinet as is, replaced the glass scales (protocol of the Philips not readable) and "only" replaced the console. It is plug&play compatible, including all connectors.
    It is running, but absolutely not the way I want it. It's still missing the handwheel and all the buttons that are required if you don't want to work with the mouse (my case).
    But some of the claims made here are not true. You can almost connect anything to EMC2 and handle it properly.
    EMC is extremely flexible, just add your code (if you can). Need something special? Build your own hardware (if you can).
    This is my first EMC2 project and it took a *lot* of time until now. But I didn't regret it. And I'll do it again next time, and next time will be a *lot* faster.

    Just because I wanted it, I have built my own ModBus-interface, my own isolation amplifiers (+/-10 V), my own opto-isolated glass scale interface, ...

    Admittedly, EMC2 requires a lot of knowledge. And if you have a helping hand that already finished a project you have a big advantage.

    CNC-ready in Austria made a few retrofits that actually run.


    Nick

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    I don't know of many that have documented their conversion. I sure have not. Lots of pictures and that is about it.

    there are a few here - but I think they are pretty old
    EMC Documentation Wiki: Case Studies

    this is the jr - but it is pretty sparse.
    Milling About

    Imo - I don't know if someones retro-fit is going to apply to yours. That is one of the strong points of emc (and why some think it is too complicated) - you can retro fit a machine so many different ways - and get the same results. Like the jr - chris was able to re-use his servo drives. Will the next person do that? Maybe. My tool changer/chain is pretty unique and so on. If you are looking for a step by step on converting your particular machine - I doubt if your going to find it.

    Is it possible to convert your machine to emc - you bet!

    sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHOLLAND1 View Post
    spork2367
    Thad-- all of my machines are platforms for trial of my screwy ideas on motion control.
    I understand where you're coming from. Some people like to tinker on the machine and work with that. I personally like to make things, and could care less how the machine runs, as long as it does. I would rather pay someone to come and retrofit my machine for me. Different strokes...

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    Wink

    Big John T

    Several days ago I visited your website and have been confused since. On your list of interests-not alphabetical- cnc is half way down. I can accept that.
    But which is it-- inch thick sugar sauce or dry rub on a full rack of ribs?

    JT's Place

    jh

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    Hi guys. Just to chime in. I bought myself a Bridgeport Series II Interact 2 CNC mill in March.

    It was a fully fledged CNC machine and had a bad Heidenhain control. The price was $500.

    When I bought it, I knew nothing about CNC other than "there is a computer inside". Nor was I an expert machinist.

    It took me two months to get started, because I picked the mill up with a few weeks' delay, and it spent time in my friend's warehouse.

    So I started roughly in the beginning of June.

    I chose EMC2 for software, because I am a Linux guy.

    As of now, I have a fully working mill on which I am making parts. A few bits and pieces are not yet working, such as the original jog controls. I use a Saitek joypad for jogging and it works very well. I will try to fix all the original jog buttons in the next month. It is straightforward, just time consuming, so I postponed it, considering that I can jog the mill with the joypad already.

    For pictures, videos etc you can go here:

    Bridgeport Series II Interact 2 CNC Mill

    Like I said, when I started, I knew nothing about CNC, G-code, EMC2, etc. However, I had a lot of Linux experience, screwing around with things that I do not understand, fixing unknown problems, figuring out how machines work, and getting help online.

    In essentially two months, I went from a dead piece of metal to a working mill. In another month or two I will cleanup all unresolved issues with buttons.

    The help I got on the EMC2 mailing list and forums was always forthcoming and very direct.

    I now shudder at the thought that I almost decided to fix the Heidenhain control. It is a total POS compared to what I have now.

    i

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    Oh, and one more thing. I had A LOT of problems. I was totally clueless when I started. I was moving from one problem to another.

    But all problems were resolved, general machining and control questions mostly answered on rec.crafts.metalworking, many CNC questions on the corresponding ***zone.com, and EMC questions on IRC and the mailing list.

    I tried to resolve one problem per day. They all went away. The remaining tasks are the remaining buttons, I want every button on the mill to work right.

    i


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