Milling Machine DRO recommendations nowadays?
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  1. #1
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    Default Milling Machine DRO recommendations nowadays?

    So, can these new Chinese DRO's be trusted? Not for production, but for my home milling machine. It seems like a lot of them are copies of each other, so I don't really know where to begin. I went through several previous forum posts, but most were so aged half of these DRO's were not even available at the time. I have an old 80's era Dynamics Research Corp DRO on my XLO at the moment, but it lacks just about every feature known to man, and some of those newer functions sure are time savers (like hole patterns). Curious if anyone had any recommendations on what's available right now, and what brands I should look at.

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    Two choices.

    $200 new Chinese
    $1300? Newall, acurite

    I bought Chinese. Some die in 2 years, some last forever.

    We have 8 anilam-acurite at work. 3 bad in 5 years. 1 scale died, 2 box died.

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    I just bought a lathe version of this Mitutoyo setup: Can-Do Machinery Sales - Specializing in Digital Readouts - DRO's
    And while I've not gotten them yet, I was happy with the support I got on the phone from the seller, as well as the pricing. If you have a typical manual mill, a two-axis readout will be under a grand, and I'd take Mits quality over a Chinese brand anytime. Yes, it's more up front, but you just cry once...

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    What size scales? I just got a Mitutoyo DRO with 10" × 40" travels quoted and it was over $1k by almost a hundo. Pretty sure it was the same place.

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    If you try the link, it says mill scales to 16 x 40 for $995.

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    I'll take ever improving China quality and low price over needlessly expensive name brands.
    Just installed the EBAY "Ding-Dow" DRO's on a lathe (About $250) and 3 axis (Just over $300) on a Horizontal Mill. Accuracy is not an issue, just as good as the $1000-2000 units at about 1/10 the cost, plus impressively fast and free shipping from NJ or Calif.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    If you try the link, it says mill scales to 16 x 40 for $995.
    I got the quote directly from one of the guys there, just checked. Only thing that worries me about "Ding Dow" and their ilk is warranty in case something does fail.

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    About 25 years ago, I bought a new 16 x 50 Acer mill with factory installed Accurite readouts . They lasted about two years. Then I installed new Sony readouts on that mill and a 15" lathe. They're still working fine. Like someone said, you only cry once.

    JH

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    I installed a 3 axis Electroniocia on my new Webb mill 4 years ago and it has been great. Does everything I need it to do. Powered on full time, never shut it off. Liked it so much I bought another one for my Feeler lathe. The nice thing about the magnetic scales is they can be cut to length and their small overall size. Bought from DRO Pros.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaybuilder View Post
    I installed a 3 axis Electroniocia on my new Webb mill 4 years ago and it has been great. Does everything I need it to do. Powered on full time, never shut it off. Liked it so much I bought another one for my Feeler lathe. The nice thing about the magnetic scales is they can be cut to length and their small overall size. Bought from DRO Pros.
    I put them on my mill and lathe. Very pleased. I really like the magnetic scales. They have like a 5 or 6 year warranty to boot if I remember correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markz528 View Post
    I put them on my mill and lathe. Very pleased. I really like the magnetic scales. They have like a 5 or 6 year warranty to boot if I remember correctly.
    6. And DROPROS handled mine under warranty a while back at 7 years.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    I too went with Electronica and am very happy so far:

    New DRO installation.

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    Question, are the scales you have broken? Assuming the scales are fine based on your post looking for more function determine the scale output signal and order a corresponding display. I just put a Chinese Dro on my mill from Aliexpress that is listed as the Big Lcd and I am pretty happy with the features and function so far. No telling how long it will last but I will see. Considering the gamble on the display is less than $100 why not.

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    I think Newall is worth the money if for no other reason than that they are much easier to install as the scales don't require continuous support and the end mounts are highly adjustable. They also are reliable etc.

    I always regret Chinese tools, there are some consumer goods that are fine (all cell phones for example are Chinese) but not tools sold by companies in China with no liability or legal requirement to fix problems as is the case for European companies at least.

    L

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    The Chinese will take your $200 and use it to back your granddaughter's 21% APR base adjustable rate mortgage someday. Then if she's very hard working and very fortunate, she'll be chosen to wash Mr. Wu's Mercedes.

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    I agree that for the scales the high end companies and support they offer is probably far superior. However thinking that the displays for any of these is made anywhere but China is foolish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaybuilder View Post
    I installed a 3 axis Electroniocia on my new Webb mill 4 years ago and it has been great. Does everything I need it to do. Powered on full time, never shut it off. Liked it so much I bought another one for my Feeler lathe. The nice thing about the magnetic scales is they can be cut to length and their small overall size. Bought from DRO Pros.
    I also have a Webb Mill (4VH, 1987, Taiwan). I installed a two axis Mitutoyo KA unit and scales ca. 2012 and it works very well.

    On the quill, I installed a Mitutoyo scale that is also very good, although not as easy to use.

    Other suggestions such as DRO Pros products are also good.

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    If you're willing to spend some time searching on eBay and eBay Germany (eBay.de) you can score some nice Heidenhain DRO components for cheap. One example, I outfitted my lathe with dro and scales for about $650. If you don't mind cutting the glass scales down to length (not bad at all) you have many more options.

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    I’m pleased with my Newall DP1200. 4 axis readout for manual mill.

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