View Full Version : Help with Emco F1 mill

07-13-2005, 07:15 PM
I just picked up an Emco F1 CNC and really need help on how the unit operates.

I am a carpenter, so I don't know gcode( a major downfall), but was always good at programing computers.

Where would I look for a good book or manual on programing gcode?

Also where would I look for a manual for the machine?

Thanks and I will be asking lots more questions in the future.

07-15-2005, 02:16 PM
You've got MAIL.

09-30-2005, 08:37 AM
Hi I have also picked up a emco F1 CNC mill. But I don't have any manuals. Here is a picture of the little beast. I want to connect this to my pc to run G code from edgecam trough rs 232. Is this possible or do I have to put the old panel and drives in the trash and buy new stuff. Anyone here using Emco F1??

09-30-2005, 01:04 PM
I believe the emco's have STEP/DIR inputs to stepper motors... You could hook these up to a parallel port and use a program like Mach2 or TurboCNC...

10-01-2005, 03:04 AM
Can I use the original stepper drivers or do I have to buy a driver card like 4AUPC froms Hobbycnc. But today I checked the stepper motors to day and it seems like there is 10 wires to these steppers. Is that rigth?? Anyone have chematics of the wiring of emcos drives and steppers

10-01-2005, 09:22 AM
They don't have pin names on them? Does the controller have a part number/brand name on it?

In the pictures of Emco F1's I've seen, there is a DC speed control for the spindle motor in the top-right corner, with about eight wires going to it, and about four trim pot adjustments for min/max.... the brand name is ELECTROL. The stepper motor drivers (at least on the ones I've seen) are on the left-hand side, towards the bottom... There are three of them, labeled X, Y, and Z, starting near the front of the cabinet. They have big black heatsinks on them.

If you can get a part number, and Google it, I'm pretty sure you can take the STEP/DIRECTION pins from each and wire them to a parallel port, and use a newer CNC control program like MACH2/3 (it would be better than anything they would have bundled with it, i especially like the wizard screens for things like surface stock removal and circular pocketing--the EMCO's were designed to teach G-code, I try to use programs that use G-CODE for me :)

10-02-2005, 04:15 AM
I'll check the drives and speed contoll. I,ll think I'll go for Mach2/3 seems like a good program

12-13-2005, 11:31 AM
My machine is up an running. I have not retrofitted it. And it is just great. But i found that i have F1P CNC and that's a much better machine than F1 Cnc.

11-21-2007, 12:29 AM
This guy I just found online seems to have the manual parts manual for the F1 CNC for $25 here:

F1 CNC Parts Manual (http://ozarkwoodworker.com/item/emco-f1-cnc-milling-machine-parts-manual/)

Hope that helps,

11-21-2007, 05:37 AM
I belive that the hardware is Identical on the F1 CNC and F1P CNC. All information regarding this you find at


Here you find all manuals pluss a lot of info regarding the machine (free:D)

There is also another thread on this forum regarding the Emcotronic 1M controll


11-21-2007, 04:24 PM
I have an f1 and would be glad to help if I can.
There is a forum dedicated to the f1 over on yahoo groups.
I believe there is a copy of the manual in the files section.
There is also alot of good info on the compact5 cnc group as they are similar in the way they work.
The steppers on the f1 are old tech and I don't know of any modern drivers that are compatible with them.
They are not very powerful anyways and only 72 steps per revolution compared to 200 for modern steppers.
Just about any nema 23 frame stepper will fit in their place from what I've heard.
the rs232 port only enables the machine to send and recieve programs.
There is a free program called nclink that will help with sending, recieving and editing code. The editing part isn't much more than a text editor. I know there are other programs that do the same thing but I haven't tried them.
If you wan't to use any modern cad/cam you will probably need to upgrade the controller.
There is a legend of an emco cad/cam software from long ago that will post the proper code to the machine.
If anyone knows anything about the software or where to get a copy, I would be grateful if you could supply me with any info.
Even if cad/cam software would work, you are still limited to 210 lines of g-code with the stock controller.
There is an upgrade available for the f1 from a company called welmill that upgrades the mill to full 3d and works with cad/cam software.
I believe it costs about $800 (about as much as gecko drives,new steppers,power supply,and mach 3) and you are still stuck with the stock steppers.
I don't think the f1 and the f1p use the same hardware(other than maybe the steppers) and I think the g-code has differences too. The iron looks the same though.
Programming partial arcs on the f1 is tricky but not impossible once you understand the quirks of the machine.
Despite it's shortcomings this machine is very accurate, rigid for it's size, has a nice variable speed spindle, quick change tooling, and ground ballscrews.
I hope this helps. If you need anything else send me a pm or post here.

11-21-2007, 04:27 PM
Wow, I just looked at the first post and realized this topic was from 2005.
Oh well maybe the info can help somebody.

11-22-2007, 05:44 AM
Wow, I just looked at the first post and realized this topic was from 2005.
Oh well maybe the info can help somebody.
Old or not this is anyway great info. Regarding Hardware I actually ment the Mechanics. Belive that moust of the mechanic is Simmilar F1 and F1P But electronics and controll is completly different. Steppers Also

06-04-2010, 06:07 AM
i got one machine but i could not find the recording cassette is there any way to find it or modification to CD rewrite
by the way i have the operator manual the compony send it to me if any one need it i am ready to send it

thanks alot

06-06-2010, 05:54 AM
Hi there is no problem that you not have your MSD data. You can load your parameters manually

If you go into my Emco M1 F1P

I just uploaded one more file there now to help you out. you have to type in MONITOR then you will be able to type inn the parameters. There is one file under the parameters scheme this is an Example from a machine. And one file that list all the paramters and the description of them. you might have to adjust your parameters a little on your machine but I belive you will be able to do that if you dig into it.

08-31-2013, 07:59 PM
HI, this is my first time on cnc zone. Ive just picked up an old emco F1 mill and would like to connect it to a pc. From the old Emcotronic box besides the motor xyz sockets, there is one other cable with a nine pin female plug and also a twelve pin female socket in the back of the Emcotronic control box. Can you help please.


09-01-2013, 01:58 PM
Hi timjam,
The plugs were no easy to find to me, so I replace it by D25 female pin conector an I use a D25 male/D9 female cable to connect it to a PC.

09-01-2013, 03:36 PM
Hi there arturonaupa and thanks for your reply. Do you have any images of your old F1 and where exactly you connected the DB25 to DB9 cable? If I can get the F1 running from Pc then it would save throwing away three working steppers and the emcotronic controller. If however this turns out to be to problematic then I will have to find out other options with new steppers and driver boards.


09-01-2013, 04:03 PM
Hi there grinderdust, I know i'm answering a post from 2007 but im new to all this. The outputs from the back of my controller are: one cable with a 9 pin (DB9) plug/connector female and the only other is a twelve pin female socket fixed in the back of the unit.(see pic) Do you recognise these and know which one should go to a PC?

Any help would be appreciated.


02-02-2014, 11:58 AM
Hi timjam,
The plugs were no easy to find to me, so I replace it by D25 female pin conector an I use a D25 male/D9 female cable to connect it to a PC.

Did you try here? DB9 Adapter | D-Sub Adapter | D-Subminiature Adapter | L-com.com (http://www.l-com.com/d-sub-adapters-couplers-splitters?cmp=LM2)

05-18-2014, 09:20 AM
Arturonaupa, do you have noticed, which cable was soldered to which pin of the DB25 or DB9 connector. I have a C5CNC and don't want to buy a cable for more than 100$ to connect a PC to the machine. I have a manual which shows, the connection from board via boardconnector cable and 12pin connector, but no cablecolors, I don't know if I can recognize the pinnumbers of the small connector.

08-04-2018, 07:23 AM
grinderdust makes some very good points, the link below is to the Yahoo Grous F1 group,to join just scrolldown and use the Subscribe address.