Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Donnie Barnes
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt

I've got the original PC that the machine used, but have no desire to even
try to get it working as it's circa 1985 stuff. The machine has Contraves
motors as well as Contraves drive units (NC 400). I've done some basic
research on retrofitting it myself using a PC running EMC. I believe that
can be done, and I believe I have the skills to do it. That said, I'd
rather spend my time learning actual machining on my mini-mill and
mini-lathe since I have pretty much zero in the way of machining skills (I
do have some good books). So in searching for possible other retrofit
options, the one that sticks out is the AjaxCNC kit.

Anyone have any experience putting one of those on this particular (or very
similar) mill? No, I'm not looking for installation help...I'm quite
certain if I bought the kit I could get it going. I'm curious about what
you thought of what you got with the kit and how well it works.

For background info on my skills, I have been soldering since I was about 8
years old. I have a degree in Computer Engineering and am *very* familiar
with Linux and PCs in general. I am handy with machinery (ie. I can do
basic car repair stuff) and I race cars, so some of why I want to learn
machining is to be able to make and repair race car parts.

The important parts of the mill seem to be in good shape and I was told
when I bought it that it was running the last time it was hooked up, but
who really knows. I'm told all the motors *are* likely fine, but that if
anything is bad it could be the encoders and/or electronic drives. The
beauty of the Ajax kit is that it retains the motors but you can update to
higher resolution encoders and it doesn't use the NC 400 drive units.

Anyway, any input on this is welcome. I am on the EMC users mailing list
and if I decide to go further down that route I'll post there about
specifics of doing this myself. Oh, I have the kit on order from
http://www.stirlingsteele.com to upgrade my mini-mill and mini-lathe to CNC
using a PC running EMC. I do plan to continue doing stuff mostly by hand
until I'm comfortable with that before I dive into CNC whole hog, but the
nice part of that kit is that it retains all manual controls, too. So with
the mini stuff I will have a basic understanding of how EMC should work on
something.


--Donnie

--
Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.
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mj
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

Donnie,
You sound like you are at about the same degree of experience with this
as I am...absolutely none. LOL
I bought a mini-lathe this summer and I just brought my mini-mill home
on Thursday, but it is still boxed up on the front porch. I'm trying to
get my basement rearranged to make room for it. I'm looking to build
some military models in 1/8 scale. I am currently working on a M146
trailer. It is being documented he

www.angelfire.com/sd2/82crewcab/index.html

I'm going to build another trailer after this one and then I might
start on a HEMMT (a huge 8-wheel drive truck).

Eventually I want to convert mine over to CNC too. But that will be
much later.

Got anything build yet with your mill and lathe?

Mike

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erik litchy
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

Donnie Barnes wrote:
I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt


is that small table common to the boss 8?
  #4   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
Donnie Barnes
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On Sat, 19 Nov, mj wrote:
Got anything build yet with your mill and lathe?


I cut a "J" in a piece of aluminum. Does that count? :-)

I've only had mine setup a few days, too. I'm not so much into modeling,
personally...one of my goals is to make my own CNC wire bender (sort of
a very small tube bender, if you will...just want to be able to make
reproducable bends on something like 3/16" steel rod). I'm sure it'll take
a while before I get to that point, though.


--Donnie

--
Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.
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Donnie Barnes
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On Sat, 19 Nov, erik litchy wrote:
Donnie Barnes wrote:
I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt


is that small table common to the boss 8?


No idea. In fact, I'm not positive it is a Boss 8, I'm just told it is.
Anyone know how to confirm that? Stamped on the front is "R2E3 - 442" and
R2E3 is on that tag on the rear.


--Donnie

--
Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.


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DoN. Nichols
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

According to Donnie Barnes :
I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt


Hmm ... could you do me a favor, please? Could you get a closer
photo of the Y-axis motor drive and belt housing? I've been
retrofitting an older BOSS-3 with servo motors instead of the steppers
which it originally used, and I believe that the belt housing and motor
mount would need to angle to the right to clear the knee casting. (At
least it was necessary to do that with my castings, which have a recess
for the much shorter and fatter stepper motor but too shallow for the
servo motor.

Thanks,
DoN.
--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
  #7   Report Post  
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Eric R Snow
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On 19 Nov 2005 15:55:52 GMT, Donnie Barnes
wrote:

Greetings Donnie,
I have done a retrofit with the Ajax stuff. It works well. There were
a couple problems with their documentation, and a couple times I was
not able to get an answer about some specific workings of the control.
I really needed to talk to one of their engineers. If I was to do it
again today Ajax would still be my choice. It is NOT a plug and play
solution. Beacuse each machine is different it really can't be. So the
instructions are fairly general. But if you have a basic understanding
of electricity you should be able to do it in about 80 hours. A good
source for encoders is US Digital. Cheaper than Ajax. If you want to
talk on the phone e-mail me and I'll send you my number or send me
your number. Did the Boss 8 machines use servos? I know the earlier
ones used steppers.
Cheers,
Eric

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt

I've got the original PC that the machine used, but have no desire to even
try to get it working as it's circa 1985 stuff. The machine has Contraves
motors as well as Contraves drive units (NC 400). I've done some basic
research on retrofitting it myself using a PC running EMC. I believe that
can be done, and I believe I have the skills to do it. That said, I'd
rather spend my time learning actual machining on my mini-mill and
mini-lathe since I have pretty much zero in the way of machining skills (I
do have some good books). So in searching for possible other retrofit
options, the one that sticks out is the AjaxCNC kit.

Anyone have any experience putting one of those on this particular (or very
similar) mill? No, I'm not looking for installation help...I'm quite
certain if I bought the kit I could get it going. I'm curious about what
you thought of what you got with the kit and how well it works.

For background info on my skills, I have been soldering since I was about 8
years old. I have a degree in Computer Engineering and am *very* familiar
with Linux and PCs in general. I am handy with machinery (ie. I can do
basic car repair stuff) and I race cars, so some of why I want to learn
machining is to be able to make and repair race car parts.

The important parts of the mill seem to be in good shape and I was told
when I bought it that it was running the last time it was hooked up, but
who really knows. I'm told all the motors *are* likely fine, but that if
anything is bad it could be the encoders and/or electronic drives. The
beauty of the Ajax kit is that it retains the motors but you can update to
higher resolution encoders and it doesn't use the NC 400 drive units.

Anyway, any input on this is welcome. I am on the EMC users mailing list
and if I decide to go further down that route I'll post there about
specifics of doing this myself. Oh, I have the kit on order from
http://www.stirlingsteele.com to upgrade my mini-mill and mini-lathe to CNC
using a PC running EMC. I do plan to continue doing stuff mostly by hand
until I'm comfortable with that before I dive into CNC whole hog, but the
nice part of that kit is that it retains all manual controls, too. So with
the mini stuff I will have a basic understanding of how EMC should work on
something.


--Donnie


  #8   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
Donnie Barnes
 
Posts: n/a
Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On Sat, 19 Nov, Eric R Snow wrote:
I have done a retrofit with the Ajax stuff. It works well. There were
a couple problems with their documentation, and a couple times I was
not able to get an answer about some specific workings of the control.
I really needed to talk to one of their engineers. If I was to do it
again today Ajax would still be my choice. It is NOT a plug and play
solution. Beacuse each machine is different it really can't be. So the
instructions are fairly general. But if you have a basic understanding
of electricity you should be able to do it in about 80 hours. A good


Wow. 80 hours? What part of it takes so long?

source for encoders is US Digital. Cheaper than Ajax. If you want to
talk on the phone e-mail me and I'll send you my number or send me
your number. Did the Boss 8 machines use servos? I know the earlier
ones used steppers.


DC Servos...and pretty decent ones, from what I can tell.

Thanks for the voice call offer...if it gets to that point I may take you
up on it. :-)


--Donnie

--
Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.
  #9   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
Errol Groff
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On 19 Nov 2005 15:55:52 GMT, Donnie Barnes
wrote:

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt


Looks like our R2E3 BOSS 8 which has recently given up the ghost.

I would like to do a retrofit on ours but our school system would
rather tell us why we can't buy a new machine for many $$$$$$$$
instead of spending $$$ on a retrofit.

I may be able to get the machine declared scrap and claim if for
myself then retro it out of my pocket. But that could lead to a
problem if I keep it in the school shop. I will have to see what
happens. It seems a shame that a machine with the flaking still
clearly visible on the ways is sitting unused because of dead
electronics.

Don, on Monday I can take pictures of our machine's Y axis motor
mount and post if for you. Probably in the Dropbox.

Errol Groff

Instructor, Machine Tool Department

H.H. Ellis Technical High School
643 Upper Maple Street
Danielson, CT 06239

New England Model Engineering Society
www.neme-s.org



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Donnie Barnes
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On Sun, 20 Nov, Errol Groff wrote:
On 19 Nov 2005 15:55:52 GMT, Donnie Barnes
wrote:
I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt


Looks like our R2E3 BOSS 8 which has recently given up the ghost.


This has education system tags on it and was in a school shop, too.

Hey, perhaps the electronics on mine could save yours for a while longer?
I'm certainly willing to try to keep stuff in good shape and could ship it
all to you once I remove it if you're interested. I'm in NC. Where are
you?

I would like to do a retrofit on ours but our school system would
rather tell us why we can't buy a new machine for many $$$$$$$$
instead of spending $$$ on a retrofit.


Sounds typical.

I may be able to get the machine declared scrap and claim if for
myself then retro it out of my pocket. But that could lead to a
problem if I keep it in the school shop. I will have to see what
happens. It seems a shame that a machine with the flaking still
clearly visible on the ways is sitting unused because of dead
electronics.


Well, I don't know what state my electronics are in, but I'd be willing to
ship you what I have once I get it ripped apart.

Don, on Monday I can take pictures of our machine's Y axis motor
mount and post if for you. Probably in the Dropbox.


I've made a note to do this, but if you get to it first, have at it. I
probably can't do it before Monday, either.


--Donnie

--
Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.


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DoN. Nichols
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

According to Errol Groff :

[ ... ]

Looks like our R2E3 BOSS 8 which has recently given up the ghost.

I would like to do a retrofit on ours but our school system would
rather tell us why we can't buy a new machine for many $$$$$$$$
instead of spending $$$ on a retrofit.


Sigh!

I may be able to get the machine declared scrap and claim if for
myself then retro it out of my pocket. But that could lead to a
problem if I keep it in the school shop. I will have to see what
happens.


Is it possible that you can get it declared a training exercise,
having the kids work on the retrofit? They might go for that more
readily than an outright plan to retrofit for continued use.

It seems a shame that a machine with the flaking still
clearly visible on the ways is sitting unused because of dead
electronics.


Agreed.

Don, on Monday I can take pictures of our machine's Y axis motor
mount and post if for you. Probably in the Dropbox.


Thanks!

Good luck,
DoN.

--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
  #12   Report Post  
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Gunner Asch
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

I believe that there is a very nice, very clean Syzouka knee mill,
with a Bandit/Dynapath control on it, available in Monrovia,
California, that a guy could get really really really cheap.
Like..maybe haul it away cheap.

But you will have to move it out of the shop yourself..or pay a rigger
to do it...which is what Id personally do if I had the room for it.

Built about along the lnes of a Gorton 1-22...or Index..which means
its like a Bridgeport Boss in size and wieght.

Email me for info..and remember me at Christmas.

Gunner

"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire.
Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us)
off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give
them self determination under "play nice" rules.

Think of it as having your older brother knock the **** out of you
for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Eric R Snow
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On 19 Nov 2005 22:25:36 GMT, Donnie Barnes
wrote:

On Sat, 19 Nov, Eric R Snow wrote:
I have done a retrofit with the Ajax stuff. It works well. There were
a couple problems with their documentation, and a couple times I was
not able to get an answer about some specific workings of the control.
I really needed to talk to one of their engineers. If I was to do it
again today Ajax would still be my choice. It is NOT a plug and play
solution. Beacuse each machine is different it really can't be. So the
instructions are fairly general. But if you have a basic understanding
of electricity you should be able to do it in about 80 hours. A good


Wow. 80 hours? What part of it takes so long?

source for encoders is US Digital. Cheaper than Ajax. If you want to
talk on the phone e-mail me and I'll send you my number or send me
your number. Did the Boss 8 machines use servos? I know the earlier
ones used steppers.


DC Servos...and pretty decent ones, from what I can tell.

Thanks for the voice call offer...if it gets to that point I may take you
up on it. :-)


--Donnie

Donnie,
Two things added to the time stated. One, I didn't want to say you
could do it in 40 and then it takes you 50. If I say 80 then you are
pleased you were so fast. Secone, my hands don't work like they used
to so things involving manual dexterity take me longer.
ERS
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Errol Groff
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On 19 Nov 2005 15:55:52 GMT, Donnie Barnes
wrote:

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill


As promised photos of the Y axis motors on our BOSS 8 machine have
been posted to the Dropbox http://metalworking.com/DropBox/

This was about 4:45 EST today and haven't shown up yet in the listing
when I checked.

The file names are Bridgeport_Knee_Motors 1,2,3,4 and 5

There is a short txt message with the photos with the same name.

BTW Tomorrow is my favorite day of the school year. The end of our
three day exploratory phase. YEAAAAAAA. Every three days another
group fo freshmen who are starting at absolute zero. 19 years of
this. Maybe I need a change pace but who else would pay me so much.

Errol Groff

Instructor, Machine Tool Department

H.H. Ellis Technical High School
643 Upper Maple Street
Danielson, CT 06239

New England Model Engineering Society
www.neme-s.org
  #15   Report Post  
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Jon Elson
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions



Donnie Barnes wrote:

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt

I've got the original PC that the machine used, but have no desire to even
try to get it working as it's circa 1985 stuff. The machine has Contraves
motors as well as Contraves drive units (NC 400). I've done some basic
research on retrofitting it myself using a PC running EMC.

You can interface this with my PPMC board set, using the existing servo
amps and power supply. Or, use my PWM servo amps and Universal
PWM controller. See http://pico-systems.com/motion.html
for more info on these products.

All of the above mentioned hardware is supported by EMC.

Jon



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DoN. Nichols
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

According to Jon Elson :

[ ... ]

You can interface this with my PPMC board set, using the existing servo
amps and power supply. Or, use my PWM servo amps and Universal
PWM controller. See http://pico-systems.com/motion.html
for more info on these products.


Interesting -- and I've bookmarked it. But the one thing which
I don't see supported for servo motors of the Bridgeport size is tach
feedback. The PWM would be a nice power saving replacement for the old
op-amp based analog servo amplifiers, but I can't believe that really
slow speeds (e.g. a very shallow angle) could be quite as smooth using
the encoder for speed feedback.

All of the above mentioned hardware is supported by EMC.


That is helpful, indeed.

Thanks,
DoN.
--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
  #17   Report Post  
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Gunner
 
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Default AjaxCNC mill retrofit questions

On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 16:42:03 -0600, Jon Elson
wrote:



Donnie Barnes wrote:

I've recently acquired a Bridgeport Boss 8, pictured he

http://gallery.donniebarnes.com/cnc-mill

The drive motors and encoder plate information is he

http://www.donniebarnes.com/~djb/mill-info.txt

I've got the original PC that the machine used, but have no desire to even
try to get it working as it's circa 1985 stuff. The machine has Contraves
motors as well as Contraves drive units (NC 400). I've done some basic
research on retrofitting it myself using a PC running EMC.

You can interface this with my PPMC board set, using the existing servo
amps and power supply. Or, use my PWM servo amps and Universal
PWM controller. See http://pico-systems.com/motion.html
for more info on these products.

All of the above mentioned hardware is supported by EMC.

Jon


Jon..you do controllers for retrofits?

Ball park..how much would a complete package cost for say..a Boss
system? Servo or steppers.

Ive several customers with machines that are collecting dust....

Gunner


"The importance of morality is that people behave themselves even if
nobody's watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace
personal morality as a means to produce a civilized society. Indeed,
the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of
defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, too many of us see
police, laws and the criminal justice system as society's first line
of defense." --Walter Williams
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