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Another Compact 5 CNC Upgrade


gsnalven@...
 

Like everybody else I am upgrading my Compact 5. As an engineer in the 80s I am completely comfortable with the electronics and have done some repairs despite the lack of decent schematics. My machine spent a lot of time in a school but not a lot of time cutting metal. It was dirty when I got it and I did about a 50% disassembly to clean it. It was loaded with chips, mostly of the same type. The Z axis was way loose and this turned out to be just a ball screw nut needing re-tightening. What other little lathe is going to give you ball screws, hardened bed and a tool changer?

Mine works fine but being such an old example it needs updating. Some of my limitations are:
  • The lack of a good PC interface (for CAD)
  • Poor linear and angular 2 axis interpolation
  • Limited program lines (Cad systems spit out endless code!)
What I will do:
  • Replace steppers with more modern examples. I am going to try these https://www.applied-motion.com/products/stepper-motors/4023-820. These are round Nema 23s a little bit shorter but I think will work. 200SRR, Bipolar 75 oz, 1.3V 2.8A. Made in Japan. AND $10 EACH! The voltage is low and I do not have any idea of what speed can be obtained. I am using DSP drivers and Meanwell 24V power supplies (one each). I think it may work!!!  I have a couple extra power supplies if someone wants buy them.
  • I have used MACH3 and UCCNC systems before but not on this one. MACH3, although ubiquitous, is a bit of a dinosaur itself. Requiring a PC, it interfaces over a data connection with all the overhead and disruptions of Windows software. It tries to be everything to everyone and you know what that yields. The UCCNC I currently use on an old SEIKO robot to cut holes in enclosures at work. This system uses an internet connection for data with some local smarts. As an XY router it has been working fine. For this conversion I will use a Chinesium self contained specific designed Lathe Controller. At about $600 it is competitive with the other solutions but  it is built to know how to handle a lathe. Has a built in display and all the other controls. It is not small and I will need top bump out the control panel a couple inches to accommodate it. This uses a standard FANUC post.
  • For now I am keeping my spindle control board and the existing power supply. At some point I will investigate interfacing the speed to the controller. (What out for those three 10F caps, they will damage you or your boards and hold a charge for at least 30 minutes. I found out by experience!)
  • I am redoing my tool changer control with a custom magnetic encoder disk. This disk will have 6 positions and a #1 reference. The lathe controller can select any tool by number. Using an Arduino for control and will display on the control panel the selected tool position.

That's were I am.


marty_in_mesa
 

Do take a look at Centroid Acorn. Happens to be my favorite. Hardware and software from the same company specializing in CNC Machine motion control for over 30 years.
Has a true encoder port for threading, constant surface speed, rigid tapping including peck tapping as long as you put a REAL encoder belted at 1:1 with a timing belt as I have on the CNC5's


Centroid user forums: 


On Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 9:39 AM <gsnalven@...> wrote:
Like everybody else I am upgrading my Compact 5. As an engineer in the 80s I am completely comfortable with the electronics and have done some repairs despite the lack of decent schematics. My machine spent a lot of time in a school but not a lot of time cutting metal. It was dirty when I got it and I did about a 50% disassembly to clean it. It was loaded with chips, mostly of the same type. The Z axis was way loose and this turned out to be just a ball screw nut needing re-tightening. What other little lathe is going to give you ball screws, hardened bed and a tool changer?

Mine works fine but being such an old example it needs updating. Some of my limitations are:
  • The lack of a good PC interface (for CAD)
  • Poor linear and angular 2 axis interpolation
  • Limited program lines (Cad systems spit out endless code!)
What I will do:
  • Replace steppers with more modern examples. I am going to try these https://www.applied-motion.com/products/stepper-motors/4023-820. These are round Nema 23s a little bit shorter but I think will work. 200SRR, Bipolar 75 oz, 1.3V 2.8A. Made in Japan. AND $10 EACH! The voltage is low and I do not have any idea of what speed can be obtained. I am using DSP drivers and Meanwell 24V power supplies (one each). I think it may work!!!  I have a couple extra power supplies if someone wants buy them.
  • I have used MACH3 and UCCNC systems before but not on this one. MACH3, although ubiquitous, is a bit of a dinosaur itself. Requiring a PC, it interfaces over a data connection with all the overhead and disruptions of Windows software. It tries to be everything to everyone and you know what that yields. The UCCNC I currently use on an old SEIKO robot to cut holes in enclosures at work. This system uses an internet connection for data with some local smarts. As an XY router it has been working fine. For this conversion I will use a Chinesium self contained specific designed Lathe Controller. At about $600 it is competitive with the other solutions but  it is built to know how to handle a lathe. Has a built in display and all the other controls. It is not small and I will need top bump out the control panel a couple inches to accommodate it. This uses a standard FANUC post.
  • For now I am keeping my spindle control board and the existing power supply. At some point I will investigate interfacing the speed to the controller. (What out for those three 10F caps, they will damage you or your boards and hold a charge for at least 30 minutes. I found out by experience!)
  • I am redoing my tool changer control with a custom magnetic encoder disk. This disk will have 6 positions and a #1 reference. The lathe controller can select any tool by number. Using an Arduino for control and will display on the control panel the selected tool position.

That's were I am.


John Driggers
 

Another vote for the Acorn here.  I personally found it a lot less hassle and at least as feature rich as MACH3.


Michael
 

The Acorn is a great choice for these machines. Marty probably doesn’t want to blow his own horn but his YouTube channel answered questions I wasn’t even smart enough to have. He has a great series on upgrading a PC5 plus a wealth of general information on the Acorn and CNC conversions .


marty_in_mesa
 

Thanks for the compliment. I do those videos to help those wanting to embark on the project. It is somewhat ambitious for those who haven't done a conversion.

The Emco CNC lathes are good little machines. Couple them with a more modern control and some closed loop steppers you can have a machine ready to go a number of years and more enjoyable to use.

Marty

On Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 7:59 PM Michael <mebarn1@...> wrote:
The Acorn is a great choice for these machines. Marty probably doesn’t want to blow his own horn but his YouTube channel answered questions I wasn’t even smart enough to have. He has a great series on upgrading a PC5 plus a wealth of general information on the Acorn and CNC conversions .