I have a Bridgeport clone mill (Chen Ho) with an anilam 1100 controller and it has served well although with some limitations for 18 months since I bought it.
Here is a picture of the machine, the guarding is my own addition so that I can use flood coolant.
About 2 weeks ago, at boot time, the machine came up with a Cmos battery error and although it booted, it just wouldnt work properly, buttons on the control head mapped wrongly and all sorts of other wierd stuff.
After a bit of research, it appeared that the options were:
1. Bin it (Nope, I like the machine)
2. Find a replacement PC / board (path of least resistance but still I will end up with a 15 year old controller and all the limitations that brings).
3. Upgrade to a modern controller (Probably going to be expensive but at the end the machine should be more in line with my needs)
I decided to go for the new controller route.
I have ordered an Ajax kit to run the existing servos from Mach 3
That might take a while to get across to the UK but Volcanos permitting, I hope to see the kit within the next week or so.
I have downloaded the latest version of Mach 3.
Had a PC sat under the desk that just needed setting up to run Mach 3. Unfortunately, there was a fault on the motherboard and it just wouldnt boot, not even bios.
I have acquired a new PC, now in the process of loading Windows and Mach 3.
Whilst I have the lid off, I would like to change one or two other things...
1. Sort out the auto lube, it's been a bit suspect for a while.
2. Single phase, I have been running the machine from a rotary phase converter and the racket gets to me after a while.
3. Control of the spindle from software.
4. A sub spindle setup for high speed work, small diameter cutters and plastics. Ideally, I would like to control this from the same inverter as the one that will be used for the main spindle, maybe some sort of switch arrangement to cut from one to the other
5. Control of coolant and air from the software (I use flood coolant for tough stuff) and low pressure high volume air for plastics work, nothing fancy it just cools the cutter a little and clears the chips away from the work area.
6. Maybe if I am feeling enthusiastic, a coat of paint.
Most of this I can see how to deal with, the part that I am currently not sure on is how to get the spindle to inverter control from a 240v supply. The inverter / motor part seems straightforward but what I donít know is a simple cost effective way of feeding back spindle speed rather than motor speed to mach 3 as the current setup uses a variable speed mechanism where a handle has to be wound manually to change the drive ratio, there is also a low ratio (backgear ?) setup for very low spindle speeds down to about 60 rpm
Does anybody know how others have tackled this aspect? Or is it just too hard?
Got mach 3 loaded and running the demo G code.
Running on Windows 7 X86, seems okay so far, I just have to wait now for the Ajax kit to show up.
And figure out the spindle control whilst I'm waiting.
Last edited by Bigbloke; 05-19-2010 at 02:40 AM.