This is my first post on any engraving forum and I really hope someone can help me.
I am actually posting on behalf of my father who has recently purchased a Newing Hall Apex-350 engraving machine.
He actually got the machine second hand and its the whole stand version as shown in the picture but the control box is a version 1 as shown in the image with just the control box.
Right to the question I really need to help, when we went to pick the engraving machine up we did not notice how the control box only sits on the top of the machine and well... the control box dropped off onto a concrete floor
The control box will still operate the machine manually, what I mean by this is all the buttons on the control panel work like testing and moving the bit around and such but when you try to transfer work from a PC to the box this will not work.
At first we changed the 9 pin port on the engraver that connects to the PC because we noticed that one of the pin holes showed signs of burn damage, and we tried this again but still no luck the machine still wont take work from the PC.
We are now unsure what to do because to actually buy the machine we really struggled to scrape the money together so we are really trying to find a way to fix this without too much cost.
If anyone could help us that would be amazing, we were thinking about buying a Chinese driver panel to driver the engraver but we have no idea what would and wouldn't work.
Just a suggestion but I would be inclined to contact Newing Hall's UK agents to enquire the cost of testing / repair of your existing control box. This assumes you have the Newing Hall engraving softwares etc.
Building a new controller for your machine is quite involved, but it is not rocket science. The Chinese boards are cheap enough but their quality can vary (although I use a Chinese control board without any issue).
The next problem is choosing the motion control software etc. that you plan to use with the machine and this is a matter of personal preference (I chose to use Mach3 which allows me the options of GCode, HPGL and DXF image input with a multitude of CAD / CAM support).
Looks you have to make a difficult decision.
CNC is only limited by our imagination.