View Full Version : Used 4896 ShopSabre with No Controller - In a Quandary - Please Help!!

07-27-2018, 01:16 AM
In a bit of a quandary here and looking for some input..... I purchased an older 4896 a few months ago without a controller / computer. Everything else appears to be present - electronics box with Mitsubishi AC servo motor drivers, 10hp ATC spindle, all other wiring, sensors, etc. A quote for a new computer loaded with WinCNC, daughter board, etc. (for the hardware & spindle the machine has) was right around $2,600. They acted like this would pretty much be plug and play. And for some reason they said I could not just go to WinCNC and buy a new computer / controller, it wouldn't work.

My main dilemma is this: ShopSabre ONLY offers two options for tech support on a second-hand machine - a one year plan, and a lifetime plan, coming in at $2K and $4K respectively. Need to talk to someone for 20 or 30min even for $100+ 1-hour block of time? Not even an option. Now, I expressed this concern to ShopSabre when getting a quote for the controller and they said they would not sell a $2,600 part and then leave me dead in the water, they'd get me going, BUT where is the line drawn? What if it works at first but then a week later stops? Do I then cough up another $2K?

All this raises a few questions:

1)Could I still contact WinCNC directly and pay their hourly rate for support if needed?

2)Do I abandon the OEM WinCNC altogether and go with Centroid Acorn + Clearpath Servos? (both of whom have direct tech support for an hourly rate)

3)Would keeping The OEM WinCNC controller increase the resale value on the machine should I sell it? (plus it would be new from 2018)

4)Are there other options I'm missing?

5)Do I stop being a tight-wad and cough up the money for ShopSabre support?

BTW...I'm ONLY interested in controller options that have support options that allow me to pick up the phone and get help 5-days a week if needed. So not interested in Mach, Linux, UCCNC, Open Source Controllers, etc. I'm not opposed to paying $2,600 for a controller, but I am mainly a hobbyist (at the moment) and cannot currently afford $4,600 or $6,600 to have support with it. I'm also not opposed to paying $90-$100hr for support as needed, but hopefully I won't need $2-4K worth of support.


07-27-2018, 04:38 AM
Where are you located? Wincnc is a great controller. I have an older 4896 shopsabre also. I think wincnc has an agreement with shopsabre that all controllers and parts go through shopsabre for new machines. If you have the box with the drivers for the motors, then all you need is a pc with wincnc installed. It is a pci card that plugs into the motherboard of the pc. Then a printer cable goes from the card to the box with the drives in it. I have dealt with Kelly at wincnc with good results. You can download the wincnc manual online and it explains everthing about what it can do, along with how to. I would contact wincnc, as they do make and sell computers that work well with their components. shopsabre has answered a few questions for me without support on my second hand machine. I do understand them wanting money to babysit new customers, but the all or nothing approach is not good in my opinion.

07-27-2018, 07:15 AM
You might want to contact Gary Campbell.
He's very familiar with WinCNC, and does a lot of retrofits.
His username here is islaww.

07-27-2018, 04:01 PM
Hi kenrbass, I’m in Louisville KY. I very much like the idea of using WinCNC. And actually, buying it from SS (even at $2,600) is still going to be cheaper than getting it from WinCNC, since it’s a replacement on one of their machines I think they’re including a discount or maybe an just an upgrade rate for the software. I’ll reach out to WinCNC, to inquire about the inevitable support I’ll need at some point down the road.

Thanks ger21! I’ll also reach out to Gary Campbell.