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Thread: IH CNC Mill Conversion Process

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    Default IH CNC Mill Conversion Process

    All,

    I've ordered an IH Mill and the CNC Conversion kit from Gene. Should be here in a month or so. Just trying to learn as much as possible so I'm ready to hit the ground running when it does arrive.

    For those of you who have installed the CNC kit on the IH mill, how difficult was that process? I'm not worried about the electronics box at all - it's the conversion of the mill that has me a little worried.

    Since I have no access to another mill, etc - can it all be done with hand tools? I'm having a hard time finding any info online for the install, so thought I'd ask the list. Gene is working on documentation, but I'm not sure when he's going to be finished with it - he's been working feverishly on a new website from the sounds of it.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

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    there are a few little things to watch out for during the install of the kit.

    1. did you get any of the travel extension portions?
    2. remove the cross support at the base of the z axis ways.
    3.i would remove the little check ball oiler ports and drill and tap these for 1/8 npt ports then you can get some fittings and attach a one shot oiler.
    4. i used 2 one shot oilers one from the screws and one for the ways.
    5.ultimately the settings and documentation for the electrical side is what i found lacking, however, gene is great for support and so is this board. if you read through my posts and follow what i did and learn from my mistakes you'll have it figured out.

    if you have any questions just ask and i'm sure you'll get a bunch of answers.



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    All I can say Is stick to the plan as laid out ! It is relatively straight forward and easy to follow. Measure, measure, then just to be sure measure. It is mostly when modifying or deviating from the system that trouble will befall you. When trouble arises call them first ! After all this is their system now and Most of the loudmouths like myself have the early v-3 or some morphadite rendition and will most likely not know exactly what is intended and lead you astray. True that there is lots and lots of information here and most of it is good strong tested info but you and I mean YOU are responsible for adding the measure of salt to sort out the proper application. So, Join the family, read all of our mistakes, rants, raves, mod's, mistakes, adjustments, did I mention mistakes !
    Huhm, I just figured out what is missing ! Our own Clubhouse !

    Don
    IH v-3 early model owner


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    Thanks, guys! I'm sure I'll be asking Gene and this list plenty of questions - it's good to know there is help just a keyboard/phone away!

    To answer a few questions:
    Here's what I ordered:
    Mill
    Table Extension
    VFD
    CNC conversion kit
    Stand

    The computer is setup, ready to roll with a touchscreen. Power and air are awaiting the machine. All the tools are being ordered as we speak. So in theory, chips should be flying a few weeks after I receive the mill/kit - assuming I don't run into huge hurdles. 99% of my material will be Aluminum, so at least I can just concentrate on that for the start. It should be a fun prototyping toy - I can't wait!

    Thanks again!



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    Just make your calls worth while, remember that your limited to 2,000 free calls !
    bwahahaha just had to couldn't help myself

    Don
    IH v-3 early model owner


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser View Post
    Just make your calls worth while, remember that your limited to 2,000 free calls !
    bwahahaha just had to couldn't help myself
    2000 ?!?!?!?!?!?

    I don't even know if that's enough calls to get just the stand setup! Gene is going to have a new phone message, "Welcome to IH CNC. If this is Bryan, please hang up. All others press 1"



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    2000 ?!?!?!?!?!?

    I don't even know if that's enough calls to get just the stand setup! Gene is going to have a new phone message, "Welcome to IH CNC. If this is Bryan, please hang up. All others press 1"



    Oh man! I think the neighbors heard me laughin` on that one!!!!




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    From doing some research, it sounds as if the IH CNC kit does not come with a breakout board. Is that correct? I'm planning on using a smoothstepper so I can hook it up via USB. Does anyone have any recommendations for a breakout board if the kit does not come with one?

    Thanks!



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    Quote Originally Posted by sdfoiler View Post
    From doing some research, it sounds as if the IH CNC kit does not come with a breakout board. Is that correct?
    Thanks!

    Yes, as far as I know, and I do have an IH Mill, They do not use a break out board other than a terminal connection board for a place to terminate the wire ends.
    I have tried breakout boards and always had issue with ground faults due to the way that power was applied. If you use the IH system, you can still use the smooth stepper as it hooks up between the parallel connectors. The question is do you need to use the smooth stepper as the two immediate advantages are of course the higher pulse speed which would increase rapids to a totally ridiculous speed and the other would be the use of usb to drive the machine from Mach.
    As a point of view as an IH owner I'd have to say that the added speed is ridiculous as it would make your inevitable crashes extremely spectacular and detrimental to the mechanics, so you would be slowing down the rates anyway. This leaves the USB as the only practical advantage ! You will undoubtedly run into many more points of view but I'd have to wonder how many were honest answers and actually showed some real plus.
    I just took off a Combo Board which was a total Pain In The A$$ and I do mean the $ signs as expense. I have a basic wiring plan that is direct and trouble free no matter what any body else has to offer or say. Add your own preferred quantity of salt to what I have stated here and double that quantity for the coming responses ! No pun intended !

    Don
    IH v-3 early model owner


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    Quote Originally Posted by sdfoiler View Post
    From doing some research, it sounds as if the IH CNC kit does not come with a breakout board. Is that correct? I'm planning on using a smoothstepper so I can hook it up via USB. Does anyone have any recommendations for a breakout board if the kit does not come with one?

    Thanks!
    Arguably, the SmoothStepper does not really require any kind of isolating breakout board, just a means going from the ribbon cables to whatever wiring you use in the machine. A passive breakout board should work just fine. The SmoothStepper has a provision for being powered from a separate power supply, rather than the USB bus itself, so chances of a machine fault damaging your PC (the nominal justification for isolated BOBs) is pretty slim. You may, of course, blow up the SmoothStepper, but it's a lot cheaper than a PC.

    Now, there may be other reasons a real breakout board would be desirable. You may need relays for spindle motor and coolant control. You may need some kind of analog voltage generator for spindle speed control. You may want to run your home/limit switches on 24V, for better noise immunity.

    If you do get a breakout board, make sure it will actually work properly with a SmoothStepper. The one I have did not, and severly limited my rapid speeds. I had to re-bias the opto-couplers to make it work properly.

    FWIW - I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about the PMDX boards.

    Regards,
    Ray L.



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    Ray and Cruiser,

    Thanks for the messages!! Your expertise is greatly appreciated.

    Here's my thought process (if you can call it that).

    I have access to many late model PCs with integrated video. So putting together a machine is not a problem. HOWEVER, adding a video card to them would be a challenge and expensive since they are a small form factor machine. Granted, I MAY not need a stand-alone vid card depending on the PC, but I'd rather not find out later that it's not going to work. It would be CHEAPER to get a smoothstepper and not have to worry about a parallel card or video card.

    Yes, one could argue that I could just find an older machine, but I'd rather not take that approach. If something happens to this machine, I can easily swap it with another newer one at that point. So I'd rather set it up correctly now, and $155 for a smoothstepper seems very reasonable to me to be able to get the video/parallel port out of the equation. I'm not interested in higher rapids... just a simple machine that works. I don't ever see me upgrading to a 4 (or more) axis system, so a simple 3-axis machine with VFD is all I'm trying to get going.

    If I could go the route of a smoothstepper without a breakout board, I'll just do that. And I agree, all the reading I've done on BOB's seem to point to issues with many of them.

    CNC4PC has this for the smoothstepper:
    http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/prod...roducts_id=187



    Here is where I'll show my ignorance (again). I'm getting the VFD motor with the IH machine. How will that integrate with the electronics enclosure? I really wish I could find installation instructions for the IH CNC kit so I could start figuring things out. So, will I NEED a BOB to be able to control the VFD? If so, I'll look into the PMDX or CNC4PC boards.

    I'd rather spend the money now instead of spending weeks trying to debug why weird things keep happening.

    Thanks again guys!
    Bryan



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    the pmdx boards are well thought out and work great. never had a problem except blowing out the fuse.
    Randy



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