Yes... I know its bad kama to reply to yourself but I thought I'd update the situation for those interested. I bought a Masso All-in-one controller. It's pretty easy to connect to the existing Black Box that has the alleged counterfeit controller board in it. I will concede it is basically a load of junk but some of the components are quite usable. Instead of buy a Geko 540 stepper controller, I'm using the existing Black Box and connecting the Masso through the parallel port. The pin outs are published on Hind's (the Masso maker) site. What is not yet on the site is the parallel pins that go to the spindle. That is coming shortly - if I find them! I found a manual for the VFD and its just about ready to fire up and start work. I ditched the PC. The Masso runs on what looks like embedded Linux. It doesn't need a PC just a monitor and keyboard. Really nice, compact stuff.

I'll let you know how it runs later in the week.