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    Default DRO advice

    I'm looking to buy a 3 axis DRO setup for my mill (Rambaudi VSR-2). Looking for advice and any gimmes/gotchas or other things to know as I am doing this for the first time.

    Thanks,
    philip

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    Dear Philip, that's a great question. There are three basic types of digital readout packages, mainly based on the type of linear scales used. Some readouts are more "up to date" than others. In order to determine which "package" you need for your mill, you should provide the make, model and table size of your mill. Example, a standard Bridgeport mill w/ a 9x42 table receives a 12x30 package...or an Acu-Rite 13x32 with Bridgeport bracketry. You can contact me directly for additional questions. Good luck and be careful, there are many very inexpensive ads out there...you get you pay for...is good advise.

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    If the "you get what you pay for" adage was true, there would be neither "great buys" nor "con artists".

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    If I were going to buy new today I'd go with Newall--their scales are bulletproof. Accu-Rite would be a
    close second...

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    Looked at DRO Pros magnetic scales for my baby Clausing 8520 and liked the small size and being able to trim them.

    Ordering even smaller scales and reader heads direct from Electronica, ended up being about 1/2 the price for better quality then DRO Pros could supply.

    Electronica Mechatronic Systems: Magnetic Linear Encoders - EMC14 Reader Head

    Electronica Mechatronic Systems: Magnetic Linear Encoders - Magna Slim

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATA91710 View Post
    Dear Philip, that's a great question. There are three basic types of digital readout packages, mainly based on the type of linear scales used. Some readouts are more "up to date" than others. In order to determine which "package" you need for your mill, you should provide the make, model and table size of your mill. Example, a standard Bridgeport mill w/ a 9x42 table receives a 12x30 package...or an Acu-Rite 13x32 with Bridgeport bracketry. You can contact me directly for additional questions. Good luck and be careful, there are many very inexpensive ads out there...you get you pay for...is good advise.

    I have a Rambaudi VSR-2. Table is 10x48. Y axis depth of travel is 12", Z axis is 18"

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    What are you wanting to get out of the DRO? What sort of resolutions? What is your budget? What sort of tolerances are you wanting to work with?

    Personally, I prefer Acu-Rite of the "main" brands out there. DRO is the most user friendly out there, for a mill their packages come standard with 5um glass. As long as they are installed properly and maintained correctly, then they will be long lasting units.

    Newall comes standard with 10um resolution on their scales but have a 3 year no questions asked warranty. Fair warning, theyve been having issues with their reader heads causing the last digit to flicker when the machine isnt moving. They arent as "doesnt need cleaning" as they like to claim, but they are resilient to chips and fluid being directly on them.

    Mitutoyo has both glass and electromagnetic, their boxes feel light and cheap. Not saying they are, but just how it feels. Havent heard of any issues with their stuff out of the box.

    Jon
    H&W Machine Repair

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    Quote Originally Posted by HWElecRepair View Post
    What are you wanting to get out of the DRO? What sort of resolutions? What is your budget? What sort of tolerances are you wanting to work with?
    Good question. I'm a weekend warrior in my garage shop. My machines are all older than me and well loved (read: don't hold tight tolerances). Budget is unclear. I've seen decent reviews from YouTube minor celebrities (This Old Tony among others) of the cheap Chinese scales so I was leaning that direction, which would be <$300 or so all up, since chances are even a cheap set of scales has more precision than my machine. Mostly trying to figure out is there something to absolutely avoid? Is there some feature that is MUST HAVE (Besides absolute/incremental/tool offsets)? Etc.

    thanks
    philip

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    I would stay away from the cheap Chinese scales if budget allows. Accuracy grade aside, they are all based on the same 40 year old design which is prone to premature aging and failure, especially if made with poor quality components.
    Check out ZS instruments DROs and scales. Made in USA, have the same features as Acu-Rite and of the same quality and reliability but a little more affordable.
    Glass scales is still a number one choice for metal working machinery. For a milling machine, bolt hole pattern is a MUST HAVE feature you are looking for. LCD screen would make it easier to use, but a traditional 7 segment would do just fine as well, and saves you some money.

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    Well for what its worth I've just fitted a Newall DP700 3 axis DRO to my Deckel FP2. The rails are Microsyn 10's and the whole system was easy to fit.

    Finally here in the UK I bought from MSC J&L and got a price that no body else could beat!

    Throw in a 5 year warrenty and it was a no brainer ...

    John

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    I have machines with Acu-Rite and machines with Newall I prefer the Acu-Rite. As stated the resolution is better and I like the way the Acu-Rite controls functions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hahnpv View Post
    Mostly trying to figure out is there something to absolutely avoid? Is there some feature that is MUST HAVE (Besides absolute/incremental/tool offsets)? Etc.
    Alot of what you are asking is going to be preference. Some hobby guys want just a positioning system that tells them where they are at, can zero, and inch/mm. Some expect these to be basically CNC controllers.

    TBH, it sounds like some sort of Sino or import cheap thing will be enough for what you want. But dont be surprised if/when they are fir and forget systems and you gotta spend that cost again to replace the whole thing. Personally, if I were to be putting a DRO on my WB Knight in my garage, I would save for an Acu-Rite. Not because I need the accuracy or functions, its mostly American made (the glass is Austrian, I believe) and it is, I believe, the best DRO system out there.

    I deal mostly with Acu-Rite, Anilam, Newall, Mitutoyo, and Fagor. I am not well versed in anything else so don't take that as they suck. These are just the brands that I have experience and knowledge in.

    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by HWElecRepair View Post
    Alot of what you are asking is going to be preference. Some hobby guys want just a positioning system that tells them where they are at, can zero, and inch/mm. Some expect these to be basically CNC controllers.
    Basically a positioning system. Hole patterns would be nice. The mill cost me $350 at auction I'm hesitant to spend north of $1500 on a DRO... I believe a cheap ebay import DRO is calling my name. Thanks.

    philip

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    Quote Originally Posted by hahnpv View Post
    Basically a positioning system. Hole patterns would be nice. The mill cost me $350 at auction I'm hesitant to spend north of $1500 on a DRO... I believe a cheap ebay import DRO is calling my name. Thanks.

    philip
    I have a difficult time with this arguement of "I only spent" on a mill, so the DRO shouldnt cost that. If you got a 67 Stang for $350 in good running condition, would you argue putting $1,500 into it? I am not saying that you arent wrong to not put that money into it, but I hear that arguement almost daily. I much prefer knowing the condition of the mill instead of what it cost, because the two are vastly different. I have seen guys buy a BP for $6k that is so worn and clapped out that a DRO wasnt accurate on it.

    I dont want you to think I am saying that to you, just venting a bit. Bugs me the same as when people in movies call Marines "soldiers" and the "Marine" doesnt correct them lol

    Jon

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    I purchased a very economical 2-axis DRO for my SB Heavy 10 lathe off Aliexpress.
    DRO 2 Axis digital readout with 2pcs 50 1020mm linear scale / linear encoder / linear ruler for milling lathe machine-in Level Measuring Instruments from Tools on AliExpress

    It is quite nice, not cheap feeling at all. I've had no problems or complaints. Would I have bought one of these when I owned my job shop? Probably not, but for my home shop it is all I need at a price that left me money for other tooling. I would buy it again. I can't speak to longevity as I've only had it for about a year.

    Here's the 3-axis version
    LCD 3 axis Digital Readout big DRO with 3pcs linear scale travel 50 1020mm for milling lathe machine dro display complete unit-in Level Measuring Instruments from Tools on AliExpress

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    Quote Originally Posted by hahnpv View Post
    Basically a positioning system. Hole patterns would be nice. The mill cost me $350 at auction I'm hesitant to spend north of $1500 on a DRO... I believe a cheap ebay import DRO is calling my name. Thanks.

    philip
    I'm sure Newall, Accurite, Mitutoyo and other name brands are good, perhaps even better than some imports, but that does not mean these Chinese imports are also not good. I bought a new R8 Mill in 2005 in China. I ordered it with a 3 axis DRO factory installed. The DRO is made by SINO. It is perfect and has all the features of those name brand mills. It is a glass scale system. Over the 15 years I have used it, I have found no accuracy errors with mine. I think the installation is very important in any case for both accuracy and longevity. SINO is the biggest DRO source in China and their units are sold under many brand names.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATA91710 View Post
    Dear Philip, that's a great question. There are three basic types of digital readout packages, mainly based on the type of linear scales used. Some readouts are more "up to date" than others. In order to determine which "package" you need for your mill, you should provide the make, model and table size of your mill. Example, a standard Bridgeport mill w/ a 9x42 table receives a 12x30 package...or an Acu-Rite 13x32 with Bridgeport bracketry. You can contact me directly for additional questions. Good luck and be careful, there are many very inexpensive ads out there...you get you pay for...is good advise.
    In your estimation, which of the 3 systems is best?

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    I installed about 3 chfoic/sinpo (not sino) in my shop and never had any problem except maybe once that the main unit died and was fixed with in a day by local dealer, also installed quiet allot of easson when I worked at machine tool dealer.
    Feature wise they have all the common bolt hole features etc... , IMO the life of scales depends a lot on proper installation alignment,using cover protection , and proper stoppers to avoid over travel and crushing of the scales.

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    Hello Phillip, Happy Thanksgiving. In the world of DROs and scales, one type does not fit all. I will be happy to make a recommendation for you but first I need to know a few bits of information.

    1. A digital readout won’t increase the accuracy of a machine. Any error due to pitch, yaw, roll, straightness, squareness, etc., will affect the accuracy of any DRO that is used. What accuracy do you feel the machine can obtain over the length of the axes?
    2. Will the scales be located in a dirty or clean environment?

    Take a look at these articles to help you understand the differences between scale technologies.

    https://www.atechauthority.com/pdf/C...bout_DROs..pdf
    https://www.atechauthority.com/pdf/U...ing_Scales.pdf



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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