Lan, can't thank you enough for the help.
I'm sure I can make out without the control console as long as its not needed, good to know. Yes, I'm in the US, I'll send Zak an email for the MSD disk as soon as I get home so I can get the serial number off the machine. I probably will go ahead and convert to Win98, but for now, my main concern is just to make sure the machine is functional. I did check the fuse in the holder at the main power cable, it was ok. I was sort of confused as there are settings for 120v and 100v, I have 110v so I am assuming I should leave it on the 120v setting? Having the back panel off, I checked the lead labeled "power supply" where it goes into the electronics and there was power there.
We just picked up a nice PC Mill 50 this week- great shape but no computer and no electrical manuals. After probing connections and jerking around with it for a few evenings, I concluded that that spindle drive would be more trouble to interface to than it is worth and that the stepper drives require a square wave pulse train to be useful. Since the steppers are 5-wire, there aren't simple, cheap drives I can use to repower them. So... the retrofit will be done next week with 3 new Nema 23 steppers, Keling drives, an Automation Direct VFD and CNC4PC relay board for the spindle, and our Mach-based Touchscreen control system. Combined with the cost of the machine this will put our investment a little higher than I'd like to, but the final result will be an amazing bench-sized machine with better capabilities than originally equipped.
We will be selling the spare motors, stepper drives, spindle drive, and motion control board (cheaply!). PM me if interested.
Most of the people that have these machines are missing the same parts as you are,
the board that goes in the computer is the one that everbody needs, but cheap spares
of the other parts that you have are good as well
We got our parts and completed the mill refit. We used Keling KL23H256-21-8B
stepper motors, Keling KL-4030 Stepper Drivers on the axes and an Automation Direct GS1-20P5 variable frequency drive and CNC4pc C6 board to control the spindle. We limited the spindle to 3000RPM and the axes to 50IPM, but tested them both much faster. Since the original ratings are 2500RPM and 29IPM we are very pleased.
The motors were very easy to retrofit. We enlarged the mounting holes in the motors to fit the 50mm spacing on the original plates, and we took the original pulleys and ran a 1/4" reamer through them. Since I don't like to drill through motor shafts I tapped the holes in the pulleys where the original 2mm roll pins were to accept 3mm set screws.
A quick question please, for anyone in the know. I have just got an EMCO PC MILL 50, and can get a card and the software. I've read all the posts, which have been helpful in warning me of all the usual pitfalls. But can the card fit in a long 8/16bit ISA slot, or must it go in a really ancient short 8-bit only slot?
Wow! You are going back quite a few years. I believe what you are referring to is an EISA slot which means Extended-ISA. The shorter slot is just an ISA slot, but, as best as I can remember the two are not interchangeable. You are going to need an old 386 or 1st generation 486 processor/motherboard combination because both of those would have the ISA slot. If you do not have one, I can give you one of mine as I have never thrown out a computer over the past twenty years. The tricky part will be finding a hard drive small enough to work with the old operating system you are going to need to run your software because I assume the software that runs your mill runs on DOS and DOS will not recognize a hard drive larger than 328 MB. Yes, these days it is almost impossible to find a 500 GB drive and you need just a tiny old 328 MB which you would never find on a store shelf anymore. I may have an old one sitting in a closet covered with dust that I could donate to your cause. If you will cover the freight I will donate an old 486 to your project. I'm guessing you will also need a serial port which has gone the way of $1.00 gasoline but fortunately the old 386's come with two serial ports. PM me and I will see what I can cook up for you.
I have a PC Mill 30 and I have it running on a 486 with DOS. While everything works, I am thinking of stripping out the old controls and upgrading to a HobbyCNC controller and then I would have all the new functionally of MACH 3, CADCam, AutoCAD, etc. Your time may be better spent upgrading your machine instead of wasting a lot of time to have a machine that runs on 20 year old technology. You could still use the stepper motors that the mill has in it. You would need to spend probably $100 at most to have a modern and accurate, feature filled mill.