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Upgrading a Denford Triac

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Mark Slatter08/10/2017 19:19:47
43 forum posts
7 photos

Hi Folks,

I was going to ask the same queries on the Denford site but thought I would put them here as well, as there is a wealth of knowledge on this forum!

Basically I have no idea what I'm doing lol.

I have acquired a mid 80's green Triac, R8 spindle, no ATC. I'll be primarily using this for prototype development making parts out of steel, and will need to do some 3D machining. I'd like to be able to run Mach 3 on the mill as this software is well supported from a community point of view.

As for parts, I was thinking to use steppers from CNC4You...Nema 23 3.1Nm for the X and Y, and a Nema 23 4Nm for the Z. Are these going to have enough grunt for this mill and application?

Can anyone comment on the CNC4You reccomended drivers, namely the CW5045 (,-50V-CNC-Microstepping-CW5045) ? Any good? The price at £39 each seems good.

An area that is confusing to me is the pplication of a motion controller. I have heard favourable reviews of the CSMIO IP-M...but frankly have no idea why you would need to add this bit of kit. Could someone explain its function to me please? I have seen simple conversions which use stepper drivers linked up to a BoB and all seems well, so why the need for a motion controller?

Another thing I was wondering is what controls the spindle speed on a Triac? Is there a board or card that could be salvaged from the electronics and still be compatible with Mach3?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as would any suggestions for alternative components and suppliers. I am needing to do this on a tight budget.



Edited By Mark Slatter on 08/10/2017 19:20:55

David Jupp08/10/2017 19:27:26
677 forum posts
16 photos

If budget is important, you might be able to re-use existing driver board & steppers by simply connecting a breakout board to drive from Mach3 (or similar) - that's what I did with my Novamill - OK you don't get microstepping, but it works fine.

Spindle drive - probably a 0-10V signal to either DC drive board or an inverter. With minimal messing about I adapted usied hardware in original Novamill cabinet to work from PWM output (would have been even easier if not for a fault on the DC drive board in my Novamill).

Lots of good info and help scattered around the denforddata site.

Clive Foster08/10/2017 20:20:46
1736 forum posts
52 photos

Motion controller is basically a buffer between the PC running Mach 3 or whatever and the stepper drivers. Standard Mach 3 generates the stepper pulses on the PC and transmits them to the stepper driver via the printer port. If the PC needs to do anything else whilst driving the CNC machine it could interrupt the stepper motor drive pulses or case the effective frequency to vary. Obviously this can be detrimental to the job being machined.

A motion control board pushes the stepper drive pulses out at a constant frequency derived from its internal clock. Nominally the same frequency as Mach 3 but via a buffer store so should Mach falter for some reason the drive pulses can betaken from the buffer store at exactly the right frequency and interval.


David Colwill08/10/2017 20:50:38
573 forum posts
32 photos


You could almost certainly keep the old stepper motors (I did on my Easiturn and they have been fine) which means you just need drivers. I have used all sorts of drivers on various CNC conversions and they have all been very reliable so take your pick. You should also be able to keep the spindle motor / controller and interface it to Mach3 via your parallel port / motion controller. As for which motion controller, I have used the UC 300 and not had any bother with it but there have been many new offerings that I have no experience of so I can't really help on that.

There is no reason in the short term why you can't use an old PC with a parallel port on windows XP to get you going. My triac is still running as a parallel port machine and it is fine.

Also in the short term you don't need to have Mach3 run the spindle. You can do this manually using a pot to set the speed. later you can have a relay to switch the spindle on or have Mach generate the 0-10v for full speed control.



Mark Slatter09/10/2017 09:35:00
43 forum posts
7 photos
Fantastic info, thanks very much for taking the time to reply gents, much appreciated! I'm getting quite excited to get this little mill up and running now, not enough hours in the day however.

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