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ray jones 109/10/2020 18:38:42
53 forum posts
29 photos

HI i am contemplating buying another DRO for my mill.

Short of buying a very expensive unit such as a Newlall or similar, there are currently numerous china made DRO units on Ebay for less than £75.

I currently have a number of magnetic reader heads all with the standard 9 pin plug. Assuming I purchased a china made unit , or any other unit with a 9 pin fitting. , what are the chances of my magntic reader heads working with a strange main unit? do they all use a similar language to comminicate.?. This question is assuming the box I may buy has the same 9 pin plug as my readr heads. thank you

Martin Connelly09/10/2020 20:41:15
1510 forum posts
170 photos

According to a recent thread there are different ways of connecting them that all use the same 9 pin connector and are not directly interchangeable.

Martin C

ray jones 109/10/2020 21:17:49
53 forum posts
29 photos

Hi martin thank you , can you direct me to that link please? ray

Mike Poole10/10/2020 09:13:20
2796 forum posts
66 photos

The home page of this site contains a google search box that limits the search to this forum, the black bar above this thread has a link to home. There is plenty to browse through on DRO’s


Edited By Mike Poole on 10/10/2020 09:14:19

Brian Wood10/10/2020 10:09:15
2287 forum posts
37 photos


Irrespective of the quality or make of the DRO you buy in the end, I would urge you to be sure it includes the PCD function for setting out patterns of holes, an especially useful function for odd numbers of divisions for example that are tedious in the extreme to place by coordinate methods.

Mine is a Newall as I have had good experience in the use of equipment made by that company before I took the plunge in my workshop.

It will index repeatedly and accurately up to 99 divisions in a full circle just by the action of winding the handles to move the table back to a 0.000 x 0.000 display before calling for the next set of numbers for the following division..

Regards Brian

John Hinkley19/10/2020 09:54:48
970 forum posts
331 photos

I have been having problems with the Warco-supplied Z-axis scale on my mill occasionally so I resolved to replace the undersize X-axis scale with a longer one and substitute the Z-axis scale with the one removed from the X-axis. I took a punt on a 600mm glass scale from a seller on eBay and paid around £45 for it, delivered. As it happens, it's a non-slimline unit which only just fits but clears everything it should and, best of all, it worked with my DRO directly. To come to the point of this post, included in the box was a short connecting cable with 9-pin male plug on one end and a female 9-pin socket on the other. I can only imagine that this is required to convert the wiring from one system to another to suit different DRO requirements. There was no manual or instructions of any kind included in the bundle.

I would suggest buying the scales and DRO display from the same source and not do what I did. I was lucky. However if you decide to mix and match and you find you need a cable such as I have described, drop me a PM with your address and I'll pop it in the post to you.


Edit:  I've checked the pins for continuity with my multimeter and there is certainly some cross-wiring going on within.

Edited By John Hinkley on 19/10/2020 09:56:24

Brian H19/10/2020 10:46:42
1854 forum posts
106 photos

I can recommend M-DRO as merely a satisfied customer.


John Hinkley19/10/2020 11:37:59
970 forum posts
331 photos
Posted by Brian H on 19/10/2020 10:46:42:

I can recommend M-DRO as merely a satisfied customer.


I, too, have bought stuff from M-DRO and well pleased I was with it. I thought that Ray was on a tight budget - that's why I responded as I did. Low budget M-DRO are not. You get what you pay for, as always. I'm prepared to have a bit of a gamble on eBay from time to time.. The original Warco scales and DRO were relatively cheap when I bought them with the mill, but have increased in price since then inevitably. E.G. - the replacement scale from Warco is over twice the price I paid.


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