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emco pc turn 55 conversion to mach3

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geoff adams03/02/2019 14:46:25
107 forum posts
101 photos

any of you guys help i want convert this cnc lathe to mach3 or something similar

i know nothing about electronics the cad cam is driving me mad i can programme quicker by hand

could you recommend a firm or someone that can do this for me iam in the Bournemouth area

Thanks Geoff

John Haine03/02/2019 14:59:37
2420 forum posts
132 photos

These people seem to do CNC conversions, though up in Leicestershire.

Why Mach 3? It's old fashioned and no longer supported. I have used it for quite a while on my lathe but will need to change soon. Compatibility with PCs and Windows depends on the goodwill of what is probably a dwindling user base finding fixes.

Alternatives are LinuxnCNC, Mach 4, or a number of others have been mentioned here, but it may depend on how much of the current machine you want to keep.

geoff adams03/02/2019 16:29:10
107 forum posts
101 photos

thanks for the link looks good will ring them tomorrow

only reason for mach3 is my two mills syili x4 and tormach 1100 run on mach3 which i know i also have a sieg lathe with a fanuc based control

thanks Geoff

John Alexander Stewart03/02/2019 17:14:58
744 forum posts
51 photos

Geoff;

1) There's a fellow who posts here sometimes (can't remember his name at the moment) who had figured out how to drive a parallel-port equipped Emco CNC lathe from LinuxCNC. He and his father got a batch of them.

2) A local club member took his Emco Compact-5 CNC lathe and LinuxCNC'd it, including tool changer. Works very well, when he gets the chance to use it. (young family syndrome)

3) If you have a Tormach 1100, you'll know that the PathPilot upgrade (*) is LinuxCNC with a Tormach UI and conversational programming layer.

(I put a star on "upgrade" as I know we all have our own preferences, and some people have difficulty with anything other than Windows on a computer). Tormach dropped Mach in favour of LinuxCNC for a reason.

4) I CNC-converted a Unimat SL lathe, which I gave to a club member, and have recently picked up a Sherline lathe, CNC controller is my old LinuxCNC one from my Unimat-SL. Sherline's CNC controller is LinuxCNC, so that's another company who chose LinuxCNC for their products.

I'm a LinuxCNC advocate, as, not only is the price right, it just works 100% of the time for me, on 3 machines. I have converted to the "GMOCAPY" UI, which I like more than the standard UI.

Again, there's lots of choice out there; every solution has good points and bad points.

geoff adams03/02/2019 17:16:17
107 forum posts
101 photos

John some photos of the machine had it for about ayear never used it the cad cam is a nightmare get fed up and use my other machine the fellow i got form got it as an ex demo dont thick it has ever cut anything want to kep as much of the machine as possible as it all looks as new

Geoff

img_0724.jpgimg_0722.jpgimg_0718.jpgimg_0723.jpgimg_0717.jpg

The Novice Engineer03/02/2019 20:56:49
48 forum posts
20 photos

Hi,

I've converted an Emco Turn 50 to run of Mach3 a while back, ripped out all the Emco controls but kept the original Main Drive motor and stepper motor's.

I used a Generic Chinese [E-bay] parallel port interface controller card, Vertex 5 phase stepper drives, and a Omron VFD .

It was mostly re-wiring rather than building new electronics.

I run off a Windows XP pc the Operating System has been stripped down to the essentials and NEVER connect it to a network or the Internet. [Mach 3 control via the Parallel Port only works under XP or 2000. Windows 7 and above should use a USB interface card]

The Main drive is under manual control as is the Tool changer, Mach 3 looks after the X and Z axis.

So far this has done every thing I have asked of it, including taper turning, threading .... the awkward stuff ...etc.!!!

I use Fusion 360 for the CAD - CAM, and the Mach3 Wizards for simple stuff.

Steve

The Novice Engineer28/02/2019 22:13:01
48 forum posts
20 photos

Here are some photos of my Emco PC Turn 50 cabinet with the rewired power side , the Rack mounted PC and 5 axis controller, the Drive motor VFD and the Vertex 5 Phase stepper drivers.

I had been using this as test bed for trying out ideas before modifying a Emco PC 50 Mill, The lathe retains the original  Emco 5 phase stepper drive motors and the 3 phase main drive. 

img_20190225_124846.jpgThe transformer was retained to provide 24v for the tool changer. The Vertex drives are 110v and are run form tapping on the primary side of the transformer.

img_20190225_124952.jpg

 

The Power supply at the front is for powering the PC [a Mini ITX dual core running XP off an SSD ..very quick] it also powers the Mach 3 control card, and recently the Tachometer RPM meter

img_20190225_124901.jpg

The terminal block is a power take off for testing the RPM Tachometer of the Main drive.

Steve

Edited By The Novice Engineer on 28/02/2019 22:13:56

Edited By The Novice Engineer on 28/02/2019 22:18:50

The Novice Engineer01/03/2019 20:57:10
48 forum posts
20 photos

 

Update:

A bit of a senior moment dyslexia with the spelling of the drives I used!

The 5 phase drivers are by VEXTA , to use these the Emco Berger-Lahr stepper motors have to be re-wired internally about a 5 minute job changing links around. The Vexta pentagon drivers have five output terminals; each one connects to two motor cable conductors

img_20190301_182842.jpg

img_20190301_183137.jpg

I've added the information about how I did my modification to this thread as the title may draw folk in who are looking to do a modification.

Steve

Edited By The Novice Engineer on 01/03/2019 21:00:18

terry callaghan02/03/2019 15:44:06
134 forum posts
9 photos

Mach3 is just running software, what makes or breaks the system is the breakout board. after years of fulling around with cheap rubbish from china and old PC,s running with printer ports I went for the CS=LABS CSMIO motion control unit which uses the lang port. great bit of kit and works right out of the box. I use the units on my large router and a Denford engraving machine I converted. all work with mach3 and windows 10. mach4 is too full of bugs at the moment, so happy with the software I have.michael

Andreas Chronz25/03/2019 09:31:19
1 forum posts

Hello!

I`am Andy from Germany and a friend of me bought a PC Turn 55 too. But he had also Problems with the original Fanuc Control and want to Keep them out and replace it with another control (i`am looking for Mach3 too).

Anybody knows which mainspindle Motor the machine has? (Didnt find a Information sign on it). And how epensive are These vexta Drivers?

Kind regards

Andy

John Haine25/03/2019 10:16:34
2420 forum posts
132 photos

I use Mach 3 on my self-converted Super 7 and Denford Novamill and have been doing so for some years with success. I've got quite a lot invested in it in terms of macros for tool setting and modified screen sets.

BUT, if you are looking at converting a machine NOW, why would you want to use a controller like Mach 3 which is no longer supported by its supplier and you are dependent on fixes developed by the use community, for example to cope with problems created by upgrades to Windows? That user community will itself decline as they move to modern supported systems.

It must be better to use Mach 4 or a different controller such as LinuxCNC or UCCNC.

David Colwill25/03/2019 10:17:00
563 forum posts
32 photos

I run Mach 3 on 2 milling machines and a Denford Easiturn lathe. They all work fine for what I do but I am still thinking of going to the dark side (linux) and have bought a Denford Orac as a test bed machine. If I get on with it I will probably switch over on everything.

The main reason is threading. While the easiturn is big enough to manage this on short threads it loses sync over 40mm or so. This is going to be much more of a problem on a smaller lathe like the PC Turn.

I have always meant to try linux but have never got round to it so now hopefully I soon will.

Regards.

David.

David Colwill25/03/2019 10:22:24
563 forum posts
32 photos
Posted by John Haine on 25/03/2019 10:16:34:

It must be better to use Mach 4 or a different controller such as LinuxCNC or UCCNC.

I wish UCCNC would go more lathe friendly I use a UC300 at the moment on the lathe running mach 3.

I have emailed them several times regarding spindle sync (it works on the mill version for tapping) but they always reply that there is no interest in lathes etc. I haven't tried the software though.

Regards.

David

John Alexander Stewart25/03/2019 10:23:56
744 forum posts
51 photos

David beat me to it - threading.

LinuxCNC works well, and blows Mach3 out of the water, from what I hear.

The reason seems to be that LinuxCNC uses two spindle sensors - one to mark 0.00 degrees, and the other divides the spindle rotation by "lots". Mach3 only has the 0.00 degrees and interpolates the spindle rotation from that.

I use "Mesa" boards, which seem to be inexpensive compared to Mach hardware. The whole stuff just works.

Note: John Stevenson (miss that guy) and I used to "argue" - he liked Mach3, I like LinuxCNC, so my comments above regarding Mach3 are from discussions with Mr. Stevenson, not my personal experience.

Emgee25/03/2019 10:32:02
1067 forum posts
197 photos
Posted by David Colwill on 25/03/2019 10:17:00:

I run Mach 3 on 2 milling machines and a Denford Easiturn lathe. They all work fine for what I do but I am still thinking of going to the dark side (linux) and have bought a Denford Orac as a test bed machine. If I get on with it I will probably switch over on everything.

The main reason is threading. While the easiturn is big enough to manage this on short threads it loses sync over 40mm or so. This is going to be much more of a problem on a smaller lathe like the PC Turn.

I have always meant to try linux but have never got round to it so now hopefully I soon will.

Regards.

David.

Please keep us posted on any upgrade, I am still using an Orac with OEM controls.

Emgee

blowlamp25/03/2019 11:16:27
avatar
1172 forum posts
82 photos

If you want true spindle-synchronised lathe threading, there are three reasonably priced options that I know of.

1/ LinuxCNC.

2/ Centroid Atom.

3/ PlanetCNC TNG.

Martin.

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