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Emco PC Mill 50 conversion to mach3

A description of what I've done ...and hopefully others will add to this thread

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The Novice Engineer28/02/2019 23:10:07
48 forum posts
20 photos

I have been curious about CNC machine tools since I saw my first one in action in 1984 when I worked at Ricardo's in Sussex.

I had been looking at obtaining my own CNC mill for years and contemplated converting a small Hobbymat 65 mill that I had. Then I came across a pair of ex college Emco PC 50 Mill and Lathe that had been used to provide spares and been left to rust in a storage unit.

I did a lot of internet searches and gathered a folder full of snippets and information.

The project is evolving as I try out new ideas.

The machines were stripped de-rusted and cleaned, mechanically they were good . The electrics were good , but the electronics were suspect. I didn't have the Emco software or the PC interface card

I looked at what control software was available and decided to go with mach3 as the Artsoft Forum had a lot of useful infrmation and at the time when I started this project it was still being actively supported. The fully working demo version was a good start, I could do testing without too much of a learning curve.

As a cost effective solution for a hobby machine for myself I looked at Chinese control cards. These are available from ebay from £5 upwards ..... I had a couple of old XP pc's and decided to use parallel port control. This is an obsolete technology dead end , but it works and I was confident to support it myself.

The current card is a TB6600 3 axis all in one control , drivers and relays.


This runs off the 24v power supply of the original Emco


On the panel is a TB6600 driver card for the 4th axis, it picks up its control signals from the all in one card. There is also a voltage control card for the LED lights.

The spindle Main drive is an Omron VFD rated at .4kW. This is run from a manual control box with Stop ,Start Direction switches and a Cotrol for speed.

I have recently trial fitted an additional High Speed 24,000 rpm 1.5kW spindle and there is an additional 2.2kW vfd contoller [the red one] along side the Omron.


I'll post more later.


Michael Gilligan01/03/2019 08:16:13
13293 forum posts
578 photos

Thanks, Steve yes

This should be an interesting 'read' and a useful reference.


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