Brother HS300 Wire Edm Problem
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  1. #1
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    Default Brother HS300 Wire Edm Problem

    Got an Old Brother Wire Hs300, Found out today these machines are no longer Supported, So the issue is Communication between PC and Machine, Made up a RS232 cable with what i think is the correct pin out, But unsure. Any one out there got any info on this procedure? Pin out, Settings between machine and PC? just getting an alarm when trying to send.
    Also anyone got the Bro-comm Communication software they are willing to copy for a guy?

    Any Help is greatly appreciated as i do not want to sit and manually enter 6000 lines of code.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Charmilles won't help you at all with that?

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    @ Jay Cee..Nope Charmilles Said I now have a big expensive Boat Anchor! Luckily for me machine was not abused and i purchased from original owner which he bought new. Now i will take very good care of this piece of machinery....Anyone out there got one of these?? willing to give up any info??

    Guess i wont be buying that NEW Brother i was thinking about since Support is always such a big issue with me. Even if the machine is 20+ years old. I still get free roadside assistance on my 1969 Mercedes Benz! As long as she is still on the road..

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    I spoke, just today, to guy at EDM Network. about a sodic, a japax, and a brother. I mentioned wanting a Brother 100-300 or such. I will try to relate this from memory. They told me the guy that was supporting Brothers at Charmiles came back from vacation to find he had no job. Within the last few weeks, I think? They said they are trying to get a hold of that guy themselves but have not got hold of him yet.

    sucks because I kind of thought I wanted a Brother 300

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    Kinda sad to see Brother gone as you'd be hard pressed to find a more reliable machine of any kind ( perhaps a hammer ...)
    Also, very disgusted by Charmilles's attitude towards past Brother customers. I have a 3100 and a 50A, and due to their utter and complete lack of support for Brother I will never ever even look
    at anything Charmilles has to offer and I don't care if they provide daily backrubs.

    Brother stopped manufacturing EDM-s about 5 or 6 years ago, since the support ( including parts ) is virtually nonexistant. Sad indeed.

    Jewelz, PM-me your email address and I'd be glad to send you the Brocomm software.
    I can also send you the pinout for the 3100 and the 50A. They are identical but not sure if the 300 is the same. And no, you cannot buy a standard cable off the shelf, it is special.
    Also, you must make sure the PC you're using provides adequate resources to the comm. software. I know WinXP and everything before works but when I last tried with Win7 it did not.
    It is a QBasic program, running in a Dos window only, no modern updates available for it. The 50A uses a windows version or Brother Comm, but that does not work with the 3100, so likely
    it won't with the 300 either.

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    In Charmilles' defense, they are one of the few that still offer free road-side advice on their machinery.
    No yearly fees or dues...

    With the Swiss government forced acquisition of Agie, they had a lot on their plate.
    With almost all other OEM's going to a much less expensively priced machine via manufacture and assembly in cheaper parts of the world, Charmilles found themselves supporting a LOT of old equipment and not selling any new ones.
    They were extremely top heavy with assuming Agie and still carrying Brother personnel.
    They had to do something while they pushed to put out a more competitively priced product.
    They opted to eliminate support of drastically aged equipment.

    This had a chance to reap benefits as it would also push customers to buy new equipment.
    Unfortunately, it alienated otherwise happy Charmilles, Agie, and Brother customers.

    I posed this question before and didn't get any response.
    Do you think they would have been better off going the same route as Mits and start charging a yearly subscription to phone support?

    FWIW, I don't work for Charmilles...
    In fact,, I have my own reasons to be disappointed in them.
    But I do understand their dilemma...

    Jay

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    Guys, Thanks for the info. @Seymour I sent you a PM, Thanks again. Everyone else, it is unfortunate what has happened in the machine tool industry, I was management at my last job and we purchased four brand new Mitsubishi EDM's one wire and three sinkers, As the tech and i were setting them up i came across a plaque on the back of the machines that read Made In China! Wow i asked WTF? and his reply was yes all Mits machines are now cast in china and controls are still Japanese, Only few are are purely made in japan and they stay in japan. So my point is it seems as if every company has to cut on manufacturing costs just to compete with that junk from you know where. Every CNC in my shop is circa early to mid 1990's era tools. Made in Japan, Germany, Swiss or USA. Almost all of them are not supported any longer with the exception of Emco out of Austria and Citizen is still great support. otherwise i have been forced to learn low voltage electrical stuff.

    Would like to sell it all buy an Okuma and call it a day! I do hope Someone takes over the Brother stuff As they did make great Tapping machines also, If anyone gets word please let us all know.

    Thanks again! If we stick together we can keep these Quality made tools out of the Scrap yard...

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    Jewelz, E-mail sent, let me know how you've made out.

    Jay
    I must confess that I understand some of your comments as I have worked for an OEM for 15 years. As a result of my 15 years and seeing, knowing, growing up with the stuff we've made
    back in 1990, even years after I've left the company I still had folks ( customers, service guys as well as my old managers ) call me to ask one thing or another.
    So yes, keeping support for old stuff is difficult and certainly not cost effective.
    With Brother tough, the support just puffff! evaporated virtually the day after the announcement of the discontinuation. Not exactly kosher IMO.
    Charmilles never really had any real "Brother" personnel, they've had Mark Lobl who did the best he can in supporting the line. He also did Charmilles stuff as well, so I hope he isn't the
    guy who got the boot as that would be grossly unfair.
    Brother International had a guy named Mike Frantzen with the sole responsibility of the EDM line, but from what I see he is now working for EDM Network. Perhaps calling them results in more fruits
    than Charmilles.
    As for paying for tech. support on machinery.... well, once again coming from the vary same field I can tell you that any company doing that immediately goes to the very bottom of my
    shopping list, no matter what they sell. I have Haas, Mori, Brother, Milltronics for CNC-s and some manual machines. None of them ever asked for anything for support.
    If Mits is doing it ( I don't know but heard ), they are on the bottom ( tough they were there for a different reason anyway)

    As for Brother, I think they are (were) the most underestimated and under considered manufacturer of any brands. If the EDM line was ever resurrected, there would be no contest
    as to my next EDM purchase..... As long as Yamazen and not some other EDM company takes it over.

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    Mr Seymour Dumore,
    We have Success!!! What you sent me worked perfect! First try! It should be said guys like you that would even take the time to help a stranger on this here great site should be voted to the top of the list! TEN STARS!! I really do appreciate your help with the Brother. If i can help you back in anyway just let me know.

    FYI, Mark was not the guy that got let go. He actually was the one who told me no more support for brother, I did manage to squeeze a little bit of info out of another guy..was not the right info anyway. But when i did call Brother Int. They said oh sure we can get you the Bro-comm software just fill out the form, It was a credit form they wanted $150.00 for the software that i just got from you, I did read somewhere that this was free software to the brother wire owners at one point.

    Now i just hope the PCB's hold up till we can afford that next wire..

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    Jewelz, Good Stuff!

    Glad to hear it worked, now go burn something!

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    Hey everyone. I have a Brother HS70A and I've been having trouble with it. Mark Lobl is still with Charmilles and tries to help me. I run the EDM but really have no training except for what I've taught myself. these posts are pretty old but I'll try asking for help anyway. I'm the only person in this shop so I only run my wire about 1 or 2 times a week at the most.

    I'm getting false error codes for wire breakage. Wire is not breaking. It started about a month ago. My only solution was to shut machine down and retry running part the next morning. That worked fine for a couple of times. Now I get the error just running the wire without cutting. Can happen in the first 10 seconds. Anyone have any ideas. I've rotated the wire drive rollers. the pinch roller doesn't look bad. Charmilles came and did a PM on it Dec 2010. I know I should get them to do it again but money is tough to come by here as this is a prototype shop. Thanks in advance.

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    Jonesey

    From the experience with both of my machines, you seem to be on the right track.
    The machine senses wire breakage by the lack of rotation of the brake roller. ( the one with the yellow neoprene sleeve on top ), or more specifically, irregular rotation of the brake rollers.
    The two most common cause I've found is that the carbide pinch rollers might be dirty, or the neoprene on the brake rollers have a groove too deep for adequate grip, and they stall for a moment.
    Remember, they are on the powder brake's shaft and they provide the necessary tension to the wire.

    There are also a couple of other, less common causes I've found.
    The obvious: Improperly wound spool. It will cause enough fluctuation in the wire speed that it'll alarm
    Pretension motor ( the one holding your wire spool ) has an electric brake clutch and a motor. It is completely dry, and over time can get rust built up inside the clutch as well as the bearings.
    If that one snags, it'll also cause a momentary stoppage of the wire.
    Also, if you have the wire chopper, worn ceramic inserts in the chopper sometimes pinch and stall the wire. The feed rollers stop for a second, and you get the wire break message.
    Turn around roller in the lower head might also have a deep deep cut in the V-groove. If that roller is dirty or the bearing is shot, then the deep groove will stall the wire.

    So, I would recommend taking apart the lower assy ( just 3 screws in total ) clean the rollers, guides, guide seat surface and the ceramic guide tube.
    If you have the brush that came with the machine, clean the long tube all the way through in the lower arm. Otherwise fish a straight wire through it to push out the built up ( it will be there !!) deposits.
    Clean the water/wire separator.
    Clean the carbide pinch rollers. Best done with acetone soaked towel, but make sure you don't get much onto the plastic.
    You may also use a fine sandpaper while the rollers are turning ( just put the machine into Thread mode, the rollers will spin endlessly and you can scrub them completely )
    Change the ceramic inserts in the chopper
    Either flip around the neoprene brake roller, or if both sides are used, put them on a lathe and turn them just clean to make the groove disappear. You can get 3-4 lives out of them that way.

    All of the above should take you less than an hour to do, I do it every 2-3 weeks or so.


    If you still get the error after the cleaning, take apart the break assy and the spool motor with brake and clutch. Clean it and you can gently lube the bearings and bushings ( NOT THE CLUTCH!!! That you can clean with alcohol! )

    Good luck, let me know how you make out.

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    Thanks a lot Seymour. I will do as much of the above as I can. As I said before, the only training I've had is what I taught myself reading the manuals. I'll let you know how I make out.

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    Seymour,

    My neoprene brake roller is only used on one side. I can turn it no problem but I would like to flip it around first. Are you supposed to be able to pry or press it off the aluminum hub? It seems like its on pretty good and I don't want to mess it up.

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    Oh, I did not meant to flip the neoprene on the AL hub!
    My guess is that you would destroy it by trying to take it off, and if you did, you'd destroy it putting it back on.
    If however your shaft is long enough, you can flip the whole hub around ( I can on one of mine ), OR, you can also slide it further onto the shaft and hit a virgin area with the wire.
    Make sure there is sufficient distance between the new area and the old groove, as the wire will inevitably find it and keep running in the old track.

    As far as training, these machines are incredibly simple to figure out and maintain without too much effort.
    My guess is that the chopper on the 70A is the same as the 3100 and the 50A, and they are wicked reliable! Simple too.
    I would kill for your threader tough! Seen it in action at Eastec, and it was by far the fastest of all brands at the time ( We've timed it, it cut, thread, misthread, recut, evacuate, rethread faster than the Fanuc did a cut and thread)
    The rest is pretty much ( from my recollection ) the same as the older ones.
    Pay close attention to the lower ground cables!
    The upper ones can easily be replaced and you can make your own from a fine strand welding or battery wire, but the lower ones have a fancy angled connector that plugs into the lower arm.
    Make sure you keep that area clean and free of buildup, as finding replacement is next to impossible ( unless Charmilles still have them )

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    Thanks again for your help.
    On the aluminum hub I have a smaller 20mm dia boss that has the 2 set screws and is a long as the larger diameter that holds the neoprene. If I turn it around the set screws would be way out on the end of the shaft and most of the neoprene would not be lined up with the 2 steel rollers. Not sure I like that. I may just take a cut on it. It really doesn't look bad but while I have some time I want to do as much as I can of what you laid out in earlier message.

    I have enjoyed a lot of success with the auto threader but it is the first machine I've run so I can't compare with anything. We had a Brother 3600 machine which was 15 years old and pretty beaten up when I lost my wire edm guy. He was good and did a great job keeping the machine up but our company gave us 6 months notice that they were shutting down the department for good. Any maintenance when out the door after that. I ran about 6 jobs trying to learn that machine after the layoff but had too much trouble threading it. Charmilles recommended a PM but my company didn't want to spend any money on it. About 10 months later I inherited the HS70A from another department that was shut down. A lot of people lost there jobs here to Taiwan and China.

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    I pick up some work from EDM Network from time to time.
    In fact, I just lost a job in Idaho to a guy who had more Brother experience.
    Frankly the job made me nervous as they had a shop full of Brothers + 15 years experience on them and couldn't figure out the problem.
    That's a long way for me to travel to not be able to resolve their problem.
    Ever try and book a flight to Idaho??? Not cheap...

    I absolutely agree with the praises of that threader.
    OEMs still haven't been able to better it much some 20 years later.
    Simple, fast, and repeatable...


    Jay Crumb

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    Hello all,

    Same machine here, bought used. Super clean and simple control. Great size, but cannot get electricity to turn on. When ELEC button is pressed, HIGH VOLTAGE light comes on and alarms out. Alarm is FET ERROR.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you on advance.

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    Hi Seymour,

    I hope you are doing well. I saw in a post from 2012 that you help a guy with some info to communicate with a Brother HS3100. I am having the exact same problem, and I was wondering if you can resent me the email you sent to him. I would appreciate it a lot.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Hi Jewelz,

    I now have the same problem you had 3 years ago, I have a brother HS3100 and I'm trying to communicate with it. I see that Seymour sent you an email 3 years ago with some info that worked for you. Would you resend me that email or help me with this issue? I would really appreciate it.

    regards


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