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Conect 121 lathe

Converting to a machine I can use??

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Mani Matharu04/09/2017 00:11:17
7 forum posts
3 photos

Hi all,

Firstly I'd like to say hello to everybody as I am new to the forum. I am also very new to metal work and have acquired my dads old Harrison L5 9 inch and bought a Deckel fp1 for a down at earth price I have a Fobco pillar drill and a recently acquired a 10m shaper, an old johann weisser lathe which may be 1890 vintage if I was to guess which was practically given to me

So

I have an old connect 121 lathe which I'll be putting some pics up of tomorrow. Now this lathe has been a casual nightmare. When I first bought this lathe It had no computer but had the original software on a USB stick. So eventually I managed to allocate a compaq win 95 pc to run the software and communicate with the machine.

Now my problem is I'd like to be able to draw something up in cad and follow it through to the lathe. The current software is very hard to use. I am no cnc machinist. I have never run a cnc machine but this software does not even let you change the g code from what I can see. It has its own very basic design software from which it generates g code but it is so hard to use it's unbelievable. Does anyone have instructions on how to draw with this software? I have tried importing dxf files with no luck, problem is their are so many types of dxf files only some work well I say work loosely (they don't cause the software to freeze) the ones that don't cause this draw the incorrect part on the software

I've been trying on and off between work to get something out and have decided to refit the machine with new hardware. Their is very little information off this machine on the net and so would like help with the process. Both axis move I believe as they should however at the moment my garage is supplied via 2.5mm wire, evertyime the spindle tries to turns it trips the fuse. So I have tried it with a generator and run a pre loaded programme with a degree of success.

My understanding of cnc control systems is basic and so am seeking help in retro fitting this machine. I hope to follow this through on the forum recording how we done this.

will update with some pics tomorrow once I get in the garage.

Thanks mani

Dave Martin04/09/2017 13:44:52
101 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Mani Matharu on 04/09/2017 00:11:17:

.....I have an old connect 121 lathe .... Their is very little information off this machine on the net ,,,,,

Mani,

I can't help with specifics, but I think it is spelt Conect with one 'n' - so if you search for "Conect 121" with that spelling you may unearth more useful information - a quick search on Google listed a number of conversion threads.

Dave

Matt Harrington28/11/2017 13:17:51
avatar
100 forum posts
6 photos

Mani,

How are you getting on? I have a Conect 121 that uses a Sytem25 setup and MACH3. If I can help, let mew know.

Matt

Mani Matharu04/01/2018 10:59:51
7 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Matt

Very Sorry for the late reply, I have had a bereavement in the family. I have not done anything since this last post and would now like to move with this project. So you have one of these cute lathes lol. As stated ill get some pictures up of the lathe certainly today or tomorrow. hopefully Matt you haven't deserted me lol. Be back soon with pictures!!

Matt Harrington04/01/2018 16:56:54
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100 forum posts
6 photos

Hi Mani, Still here - with the house move, the 121 is still covered up but need some impetus to get it all back together!!

Matt

Mani Matharu07/01/2018 20:06:30
7 forum posts
3 photos

So were do Well finally got them up. This is the lathe in question a connect 121 with the correct spelling. I believe the lathe is in original format however the control panel is mounted in a different position to others I've seen. this may have been modded by the college who previously owned it.

So were Do I start or even how. Do I need to change the motors for the axis feeds or even the spindle motor? As mentioned earlier I have had the spindle up and running via a generator albeit a little inconsistently. Do these lathes actually require so much electricity to run or is their a problem with the circuits on this lathe?

image1-3.jpgimage1-2.jpgimage1.jpg

Michael Gilligan07/01/2018 20:43:14
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12768 forum posts
553 photos
Posted by Mani Matharu on 07/01/2018 20:06:30:

... This is the lathe in question a connect 121 with the correct spelling.

.

Forgive me for asking, Mani ... Are you the victim of an over-enthusiastic 'Spell-Check' ?

Or have these guys got it wrong ?

http://www.eaziform.co.uk/files/Conect121Upgrade.pdf

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 07/01/2018 20:45:48

Muzzer07/01/2018 21:27:21
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

There's an interesting thread on these machines. John Stevenson obviously knew a fair bit about them and there are links to interesting stuff on his website like the PC software manual.

There's no sign of the control computer in the photo. Sounds as they started out with a BBC Micro and then moved to IBM PC. Do you have anything like that?

To be honest it doesn't really sound as if you know what you are looking at here. Not meaning to be disrespectful when I say that but this machine will be pretty much unusable in its current state, even if the original system is functional. If you succeed in making a working CNC lathe out of it, it will be by completely replacing almost all of the electronics you can see in that cabinet and fitting a PC running either Mach 3 or LinuxCNC - or possibly one of the recent CNC controllers like this that John S was discussing recently. There will be a lot of learning and elbow grease (and expense) to get from here to there...

Seems these machines were based on the Myford ML10 but I doubt there would be much point trying to revert it to a manual machine as they are actually quite different in the end.

Murray

Neil Wyatt07/01/2018 21:34:22
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Moderator
15700 forum posts
659 photos
73 articles

I'm not surprised you struggle with a Con(n)ect 121. My stepson beats me every time at Connect 4!

Seriously though, you should be OK with generic motor controllers and it may be cheaper and/or easier to swap out all the electronics and use a modern CNC driver.

Neil

Ady107/01/2018 22:26:08
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3462 forum posts
513 photos

You can try these search terms

There may be a boot file here, I picked it up via the slow download link

The correct spelling is conect 121

CoNeCt

John Haine07/01/2018 22:40:17
2416 forum posts
132 photos

Yes, the correct spelling is Conect.

Frankly I agree with Murray and Neil, it would probably be better to dump the electronics and replace with modern stuff, though the PSU transformer is probably reusable. The electronics for my Super 7 conversion probably cost not much more than £120 - a pair of stepper drivers & stepper from Arc, a BoB from cnc4you and sundry transformer etc from RS. You could do significantly cheaper on eBay from China. A new spindle controller probably also needed - KB electronics do good ones but there are also cheaper available on eBay.

I found it pretty straightforward to do. The lathe should not use much power - the spindle motor is 0.5 hp so ~500 watts, the electronics should be about 200 watts max. Either a surplus PC or as suggested above a dedicated CNC controller. I have also converted a Novamill which is probably a similar vintage to your Conect - I didn't fit new stepper motors and the originals seem to work fine, but new motors are quite cheap if needed. I use Mach 3 and have found it pretty easy.

Where are you located?

Emgee07/01/2018 23:16:46
1065 forum posts
197 photos

Hi Mani

If you download the Conect lathe pdf manual from Muzzer's JS link you will find all you need to know about manual testing and cnc operation of the lathe, a very comprehensive well written manual.

You may find all is working as designed and there are many canned cycles programmable that will produce parts needed, you will just have to write a few lines of G code, all codes usable are included in the manual.

You say the fuse is tripping, fuses either blow or remain intact, circuit breakers trip so there may be an earth fault on the lathe which trips the RCCB on the socket supply, try disconnecting the spindle motor from the motor controller before trying again.

If you want to go the CAD/CAM route then it will need a complete refit as stated by others, this may not give any better accuracy than the standard setup because of wear/play in the screws but it would allow you to work from dxf files.

Emgee

 

spelling mistake

Edited By Emgee on 07/01/2018 23:25:42

Mani Matharu09/01/2018 17:09:44
7 forum posts
3 photos

thanks guys for your input I'm going to look through the manual first and see what I can and can't do. I'm not sure why this is tripping the rcb my Harrison l5 doesn't!! on the same circuit. John I'm based in West Midlands edgbaston

Mani Matharu09/01/2018 18:02:02
7 forum posts
3 photos

Just to add Muzzer I think your right in saying I don't know what I'm doing, but I will try via the manual to get something out of it. Ultimately I was looking on advice to convert this machine so I could use mach 3 and wanted some help in terms of the gear I need to do so. Currently its working on win95 compaq pc borrowed from a friend. It was hell just to get the machine and computer to communicate without looking at the manual!! I'm going to see what I can do with what I've got now that I have the manual. but like I said I want this to run on Mach 3.

Thank you everyone for your input its been very helpful. will keep you updated!!

not done it yet09/01/2018 18:12:26
2715 forum posts
11 photos

It may be time to change the thread title to the accepted spelling? It would make it easier for the search facility in the future!

Michael Gilligan09/01/2018 18:29:55
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12768 forum posts
553 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 09/01/2018 18:12:26:

It may be time to change the thread title to the accepted spelling? It would make it easier for the search facility in the future!

.

Agreed

MichaelG.

Mani Matharu16/01/2018 20:31:27
7 forum posts
3 photos

How?? I can't find an edit button

Michael Gilligan16/01/2018 20:35:16
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12768 forum posts
553 photos
Posted by Mani Matharu on 16/01/2018 20:31:27:

How?? I can't find an edit button

.

You can't, Mani

... Only a Moderator can edit the thread title.

MichaelG.

John Haine16/01/2018 21:03:56
2416 forum posts
132 photos

If your RCB is tripping on this but not the Harrison then probably it has an earth fault in the motor controller - that needs fixing anyway for safety reasons.

Matt Harrington17/01/2018 09:22:53
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100 forum posts
6 photos

Mani,

I'm just about to blow the dust off my machine - would you like some photos and details of how mine is configured for MACH3?

Matt

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