View Full Version : New Machine Build Tree Journman 320

03-04-2010, 05:41 PM
I picked up a 1983 Tree 320 ....It ran when put into storage 7 years ago ... I'm currently getting it up and going to see if the eletronics are resaleable , then I plan on retrofitting it to Mach 3 ... I think the 2020 Rutex drives look like the way to go ... any input would be greatly appreciated

03-12-2010, 03:54 PM
Lots of fun watching my buddy reseating transisters ....borrowed a monitor ....ran a 110 line in and the cpu is up and running and the encoders are feeding back great.... now the 1/2 keys are sticking and needs a back -up battery .... still need to come up with some stuff to get my rotophase hooked up (heavy on borrow)...
Thinking hard and heavy on a VFD for the motor to get on 220 single phase totally ..That 15 hp roto looks like it could make the meter spin more than I would care to pay for...
I'm leaning toward better drives ,Copley makes some nice stuff for no a whole lot more coin , I think a PLC would be a good way to go to run the relays vs. buying enough break-out boards to get the job done ...
On the machine side getting the head back together .transmission checked out ,bearing look and feel good , bought new belts , vari-drive pullys cleaned and polished ( puppys were rusted up bad)... might as well do all the timing belts ? after all they were just brand new in 1983 ....

03-22-2010, 04:45 PM
I manged to borrow a 40 amp 3 pole breaker and 80' of 4ga-4 wire cord ...Still need to scrounge up some 00 for the panel to the rotophase ....going to fire up the oiler and check out the oil lines today ...getting tooling rounded up,belts and lubes ...ect ....
As far as home and hobby projects this is getting interesting ..I've been a machinist for 25 yrs. The mechanical is no problem , but I've got a heck of a learning curve going on the electrical side of this project...Pricing out components is useing alot of my time ... TG for the internet

03-24-2010, 12:21 AM
Just because no one is responding doesn't mean we're not interested. Quite the opposite. I have a J325 that has been up and running for several months after updating the electronics. I used Gecko G320 drives but in the future I would like to get drives with differential signals like the Viper 95 or 100 . I looked at Rutex but read something that got me concerned about how long they'd be in business. Not sure if they're still in trouble but do your due diligence. I'm sure someone who knows more about Rutex can comment. Im using Mach 3 and since this is the first CNC machine that I've worked with I like what it can do.
FYI I sold my non-working electronics for more that I paid for the mill - which wasn't all that much. I'm sure most of the stuff worked so someone got a good deal but it seemed easier to rip everything out and start over. I would never say that the replacements were industrial quality but for me they were just easier to deal with. I found a good deal on a Control Techniques VFD but it still requires 3 phase power. The motors in the Tree seem to require a VFD that is not your average run of the mill :cheers: VFD. Maybe someone can comment on this but I got the CT Drive because a friend tried a Hitachi and wasn't able to make it work and ended up with a CT.

Keep us up to date on your progress - my progress was to install my monitor into the new panel I had laser cut. I need to hook up the EMO and it should be good for a while. I'd like to get a few more buttons on it to control the steps ( 1, .1, .01 .001 etc) but I'm near the end of my i/o and $$$. All the extras are controllable on Mach3 but it would be nice to have the push button control.


03-24-2010, 01:58 AM
Thanks Bill,
I've been a lurker myself in these forums since joining , so I don't mind others doing the same,good to see some responce .. ... I was in the process of getting a plas table going and bumped into this 320 , a friend of mine ran it for several years prior to it being mothballed (shop sell-out thing) ... at the last tune-up the tech moved the X & Y parametters .0001 off factory specs.. everything else was still on the nuts ... I think she is well worth using industrial quality parts in the retrofit.. I'm planing on using the VFD (GS3-23P0 DURApulse AC drive) for the spindle motor only. This will be nice cause the mill has a manual hi-low shift, low end of high being bout 650 rpm, a 50% motor speed drop would be sweet for many dril ,tap ops with out doing a manual shift and without waiting for the vari-belt....Copley drives will take the mach 3 pulse signals (and darn near any thing else you might want to shove at them), they can run premant mag motors also ,bout $1500 for the 3 of them with heat sinks.. I was getting close to a grand on Rutex by the time they were in an encloser ...
I've got 3-1.5 KVA 4:1 transformers ,need to get some 50 amp bridge rectifiers and pop can size capasitors ... and 240 single phase shall turn into DC for the 3 drive motors ( I think? or shall there be a big flash and blue smoke)...
Alot of my mill runs on 120 volts , so I think a 30 amp 240 single phase run of 4-8 wire to the machine should pretty well handle all the load requirements ..
Going with a PLC & ethernet link to the PC ,the Mach 3 modbus thu the PLC should easily run the 10 relays I've got to worry about and hopefully take care of some other goodies too ... We'll see


04-04-2010, 12:30 AM
I have a Journeyman 300 that I'm in the process of retrofitting. I haven't bought any electronics yet, but I think I will go with the Viper servo drives series 200. I was told by the original owner of the mill, that the motors can run at 130V@20amp max. So the Viper series 200, will have more than enough power. I also like the fact that Larken reads these posts, and makes suggestion as to what to do when you are having trouble setting up his servo drives.
Instant support.
Anyways.........enough of that......
I still have the original controls on the Tree, circa 1983, and I too will be selling them when the retrofit is done. Too bad drip feeding was not an option back then.
This retrofit is to also run Mach3. I'm told the encoders on this mill may be a problem, but I'll deal with it when i get there.
I will be making my own rotary 3 phase converter, because I can get a 7.5 hp three phase motor and capacitors fairly cheap.
I don't know how much more efficient VFD's are, but for now this is what I can afford, and i'm making it out of surplus parts.

Also, I was worried when I found out that my 300 would make an eccentric hole when interpolating a circle, and be out of round by 0.002".
It turns out it is completely acceptable for a machine this old, and if you need it to be more accurate, you would bore the hole to a perfect circle.
Even the newer machines have trouble being super accurate when interpolating a circle.
So keep up the progress report,.
And in any case, now you know it's not all for nothing.
Very interesting.

04-04-2010, 05:42 PM
Cool more people to share with..
We may have some similar stuff ..I've Gettys' 16-0143-04 DC motors the Arm. voltage is 68.4 @1000 rpm , with a 2:1 belt reduction and a 5 TPI ball screw will run the table @100 IPM for the rapid .... the 100 IMP is a Tree factory spec. and lots fast enough for me ...
My encoders are Dynamics Reasearch Corp. Model 152 ...My Motion control techy buddies have assured me that they will work fine. If you want to send me what type of encoders you have..I'll see what the experts have to say..Easy to do since We get together at least once a week to atempt to
empty my shop fridge of Miller Lite ...LOL
you might take a look at , http://www.andersonconverters.com/page2.html ... they sell Rotary Phase Converter Panels very resonable ...I picked up a used great condition full unit for $600 off Craig's list ... but after seeing my budies power bill running one (Phaseomatic) to power his Easy-Track.. the VFD will pay for itself in a couple of months running it on-demand vs a roto-phase going non-stop for the day...
VFD's run from 200 to 350 for a 2hp 3 Phase motor and on 3hp or less will get you on 220 single phase ..What size spindle motor do you have ?..
The only mill I ever saw or ran of the 1985 or older vintage was a 1978Devleig jig mill that would cut a true circle ....the CPU's weren't that good by todays standards not to mention the 4 quadrant programing pain in the butt.. Roughing a slug out with a G2 or G3 then 2 boring passes saved alot of time ...I think we will be suprised what these machines will do after the retro-fit and some good tuning....
After the copper price boom It's a challange to scrounge up some used #1 wire to get my roto-phase going (panel to roto) got everything else .. Need to find an electrical contractor going out of biz that din't leave his temp on the last job...
I've pretty well managed to get all the tooling together I will need (and then some) , Quick Change 30 is alittle tuff to come by for the right price ...Been busy modifing some of (the out of true spec) nmtb 30 to fit, not a big thing but takes time..Mounted my tool post grinder and am cleaning up the tapers that need it ..Was warned running 3 of not the same brand 1.5 KVA transformers wasn't a good thing ...Have been working on how to wire the 9 wire 5 KVA that came on the machine , think we have it figured out ,but are going to have to be very careful on the phasing when things strat getting hooked up.....
The wife spotted my E-Bay bill ... finally convinced her that it was less than I would spend on leather underware and tatoos if I were to buy a Harley...thought I may have to take a bed-roll to the shop for awhile..

04-04-2010, 08:06 PM
Ok so I was looking at my spindle motor, and surprise surprise, it is a PMDC motor witha tach on the motor. 4.75 HP. Is this possible?
So I did some research, and to my astonishment, the guy from Camtronics, Dan, has already done a retrofit of an old Journeyman 300.
What was really interesting, was the fact he didn't want to spend any money on a rotary phase converter, or a VFD, and bought a 1 Phase PMDC motor controller with analog input. WoW!!! Can it really be that simple? If so,
I know which way I'm Going.

Here is "Dan's" original comment on this, and Yes I checked it out, and KB electronics, still makes the controller and sells it for about 70$.

"The spindle motor is a 4.75HP PMDC motor with tachometer. It is 180VDC and ran off a three phase controller. I didn't want to spend $600 for a rotary phase converter or phase inverter. I bought a KB electronics 5HP DC speed controller that has a manual speed control or will take a +/- analog signal. It was pretty easy to install the KB speed controller and tested just fine."

He also states the problem he had with the old encoders, and this guy is a Genius. I wish he had a schematic and pictures of the work he did. It would make my life so much easier.

Here is a link to that particular page where I got this from.


I have my hopes up real high now.

Thanks to Dan, I'm miles ahead on this project already.

Hope this helps slatsmith.

04-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Sorry about that slatsmith, my mill would need the KBCC-255 dc motor control, and it retails for $226.00.
A 3 HP for a little more then $100.00.
Now I have to read up on these to see what it takes to hook them up.

04-04-2010, 10:28 PM
Sounds like you hit the jackpot hjl4. Hope it pans out.
The OEM I was employed at used alot of SCR controls on their products.They work great on DC motors ,gets my gears grinding as far as a the posibilities as far as powering my servo drives that way..My spindle motor is a 2hp 220 3phase AC motor hence the VFD for power there ... Very good link there..I would love to find one like that on my 320 ...

04-04-2010, 11:47 PM
Well, we'll see. If the motor on the 300 is still good, everything should then be OK for me.
As for your situation, you can get a brand new VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVE INVERTER VFD NEW 2HP 1.5KW 7A from ebay for $210.00.

So it would be cheaper than my deal.

Keep updating us, it will be a while before I can afford to retrofit mine. I'm doing lot's of research and asking questions.

04-29-2010, 12:20 AM
I'm another lurker who has recently started working on a Tree 320 Journeyman.
It functions now, but some of the keys stick, and the RS232 port is dead. I have it cleaned up, painted, and about to tackle the electronics portion of it. Sure would be nice to have a complete set of wire diagrams!
Now that there a a few of us doing the same thing, let's see if we can avoid reinventing the wheel on each of these machines.

04-29-2010, 07:34 AM
I don't know if this will help, but I have original schematics of a Journeyman 300. Both machine are similar. My machine was made in 1983. Let me know what you think. Also the schematics show the pin #'s for RS232.

04-30-2010, 03:09 AM
I've got most of the wiring diagrams for my 83' 320 ...what year is yours?
Got mine fired up (kinda) got the spindle running, my overhaul on the gearboxworked out nice ,pretty quite for spur gears...got some control issues,keys that don't work, still got a borrowed monitor, ect, bout wasted enough time...we jumped the servos with with an ohms meter set @1.5 volts ...they ran out real nice ... need to take a vid of them running for u-tube ...then I think it's about time to gut the eletronics out of the cabinets and get them sold ....And start buying my new componets for this project

04-30-2010, 02:08 PM
I have a Journeyman 320
S/N 9-23-84-2073 ....That makes it a September 1984 unit. It soulnds like your schematics are what I need. Do they contain the connection info to the Getty's N-360 so I'll know which wire is which?

A big hesitation for me jumping into a controls upgrade, is I have no idea what many of the parts are inside the cabinet. Sure I know the motors and encoders and servo drives, ...I see the huge motherboard and the fuses, but geez there are a ton of wires in there going to things I have no idea what they are.

Thank heaven my electronics are clean, neat and look original!

04-30-2010, 05:00 PM
I'll get someone to scan them ....one year could be night and day , hopefully they will work out for ya...the N360 drives are a great drive , but will not run pulse signal..I want to run Mach 3 , so I'm going to get Copley drives ...I'm going to have alot of empty cabnet when I get done ...
I would be runnning mine stock if it fired up turn key ....putting the retrofit off till later ...but it didn't work out that way ...lol

07-16-2010, 05:09 PM
Proved my drives finally, got some movies of them running off a AAA battery , both directions. Started gutting the cabinets and got carried away ,The gutted cabinet is layin behind the shop .Plan on cutting the back one off and just using the side cabs ,lottsa room in them for the new stuff and saves alot of machine footprint .. an extra 6' clearance on the backside is a big thing in my shop ... been cleaning 30 years worth of grime off the castings and thinking of paint colors ...

07-16-2010, 06:21 PM
.Plan on cutting the back one off ...

The Cabinet should be held onto the machine with screws, no cutting necessary. I hear what you're saying my side cabinet is very empty. I could almost just use the smaller rear cabinet to hold all the smaller modern drives etc.

Edit - I have a J325 and possibly the 300 is different...

07-19-2010, 07:20 PM
I have a J320, an 1983 model.. the the sides that are welded to the back and they are open where they skip welded them to the back ...so it's a U-shaped wonder ..It's mounted by a couple of peices of angle iron holding the rear cabinet up and a one bolt tab on each lower front .. Facing the doors the sides are 19 1/2 W x 15 D x 36 H both doors swing toward the table ( may change that ) .. Walking around back 48 W x 20 D x 36 H , The 24" doors swing out ... plan on moving the oiler goodies to the outside back of one of the side cabinets ....With the 2 side cabinets I think there should be enuf room for the new stuff ....venture a guess anyone ?
Playing with the transformer today , got the bright idea to saw the side out of it to redo the imput jumper leads ...to go from 220v 3 phase to 220v 1 phase ... got a solid block of resin ... N/P grab the air chisel ...it turned in to a regular archeolgy project ..I dug as far as I dare go with out finding what I was looking for.. Don't look to promising. I can get my 75 volts output running 110 volts to all 3 inputs but this puppy took 12 AMPs on 220 3 ph, wonder if a 30 amp single pull breaker would handle the load ...

07-27-2010, 01:16 PM
Nice to see you really moved on this project.

I have a question though, how did you hook up your spindle drive. Are you using Mach 2/3? I have 3 wire coming out of the original Westamp spindle drive. 2 are tach wires, and 1 is red, input I guess. Did you use a breakout board?

I wish you would of documented the evolution of your build up, as I have just started mine.

I don't use a VFD, so things may be different. Do you use relays for cw/ccw spindle rotation?

So many questions.

By the way the original wiring diagrams are a pain to read and interpret.

If anyone can help with my spindle wiring from breakout board to spindle, it would be great.


07-28-2010, 04:37 PM
'Nice to see you really moved on this project."
like a herd of turtles stampeding thu 2" of peanut butter ...lol
I was reading ghost voltage on my old transformer , so I picked up a 3kva 4:1 stepdown Transformer ,.. it will give me 62 volts ... 34 DC volts will give me 1000 rmp on the servos , which will put me at 100 IPM .lots fast for a rapid on that little machine ..Picked up a Bridge rectifer. 40 amp ,I'll get that on a scope and figure out what I need for Caps.. I'm going for Mach 3 ..plan on using a PLC between the PC and all the stuff. My buddy has mach 3 switching on and off everything we need thru the PLC,may have to run the output into a relays on the bigger stuff.. was going to save all the orginal switches , but having second thoughts ...
My game plan right now is just get the axis's up and running off the pc ..
so I'll work on and aquire my power supply ,drives ,box lay-out , ect....

09-25-2010, 02:33 PM
My 320 Journeyman i now giving me a Error 03 upon start-up .

I think I need to re-enter the parameters ...manually because the RS-232 connection never worked, and the tape reader isn't working. Does anyone have the parameters written down so I can manually re-enter them?



09-27-2010, 05:59 PM
these prams ..are for my 1983 J320 ... look at the attachment below...BTW nice paint job ! it looks great !

09-27-2010, 06:15 PM
I got my cabinets apart , need to get some 16 ga welded on the open backs and modify the Back brackets to get some support for them...
the rest of the machine is finally cleaned up and primered ....power supply is up running I am running a 35amp bridge for each axis and slave the V belt pulley motor off the Z .... Got my Copely drives mounted that still need wiring up....

09-27-2010, 07:48 PM
It is amazing how big a difference the vinyl logo and stripes makes in the final look of the machine. After paint (Ace paint) It looked like a old big white machine, and now it looks like almost new machine (except for the ancient controls).

Thanks for the parameters.
I think what I should have asked for is the Machine Setup Mode info. (bottom of page 3-4 that you sent to me). We will see if this solves all my problems or not. I will play with it more on Wednesday.

10-01-2010, 12:53 AM
I tried to run the paper tape per the directions on page 5-1 of the manual. After pressing "read tape" "08" "ent", I received "error 11 T-out". I assume my paper tape reader isn't working properly, so I entered the parameters in manually by going into "Disp" Stat" "7". The parameter table was all zeros before I entered data. Using the data on page 3-4 of the manual I entered P00 up until P39 ...after that I have all zeros.

Now that I've done that, when I attempt to grid the machine - press "grid" and "cycle start", I receive "error 19 no grid axis". Do you know what this error code means? The notes I have says error 19 = "no grid parameters".

I seem to be stuck with error codes and unable to grid the machine.

Does anyone have any information about machine setup mode found by entering "Disp" Stat" "9"? The information I have just says this will enter the machine setup mode. Considering this machine sat unplugged for a year and the memory battery was dead, I suspect any information that was in this file is probably lost too. Do you know what should be in here? My information says these are factory set and I should call the tree distributor or tree directly ...considering tree is long gone and this machine is 26 years old, that might be hard to do. I suspect the grid parameters should be in here.

Any suggestions besides scrap the electronics?
As long as I brought up scraping the electronics, what is the easiest way to put decent electronics on this 320 Tree without spending a fortune or tossing the motors or the getty drives. (I would rather use the motors and getty drives until they die.) I would like to eventually be able to run more complicated 3d code.


01-21-2015, 01:57 PM
Hi J320 owners, I stumbled onto this post, and was just wondering how these projects have panned out. I have recently finished a J320 build that came already upgraded to a Delta 10. Now I have a Delta 50 that I am getting ready to install.
Looks like the J320 is a rare bird (not in a good way), has anyone replaced the aluminum cased variable sheave spindle drive with a VFD spindle motor setup?

Sorry about the sideways picture, I tried everything I could think of to rotate it 90, but no luck.


265284 265290

01-21-2015, 06:55 PM
I've been tied up with too much other stuff and the mill project got put on hold a couple of years ago . I plan on keeping the v-belt set up and running the vfd on top of that . That will give you better torque when using your low range . I'm getting up a running on this project again and need to get this post updated .