View Full Version : Anilam 1100 upgrade

08-10-2009, 08:29 PM
Has anyone tried upgrading the computer in an Anilam 1100? It is, after all, a PC. The 'motion control board' looks like a regular ISA-bus board. I suppose Anilam uses proprietary firmware that would be difficult to simulate, right?

08-11-2009, 08:29 AM

I have not heard for anyone doing this. Anilam does offer an upgrade but it is very expensive. Can't remember the price. They basically remove the old computer cabinet and give you a new updated display which includes the new computer and that plugs into your old servo drive cabinet. Too much money to put into an ole control that is probably on an older machine.

You can call Anilam and talk to Jerry in their customer service department. He is there computer expert. He has always been very helpful. I don't have their number right now as I am on vacation for a few days. If you can't find it just send me a PM and I will respond when I get home.

I did have an issue with the motherboard on one of my machines and bought a generic one off of E-Bay, I could give you more details on that if you are interested. Don't forget to backup your settings and parameters prior to attempting this. Jerry at Anilam can e-mail you the necessary software to do this operation.

Good Luck,


08-11-2009, 12:49 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I bought a Sharp mill with an Anilam 1100 on eBay last year, and it's been sitting since then until I got the chance to get it going. When I start it up, the display says 'CMOS battery indication low', and it won't do anything. The keyboard won't even work.

I got Jerry's email address from cnczone (thanks guys!), and he has already replied with pictures of the various 'motherboards' they have used, so that we can figure out what one I have. Naturally, on the one that I have, you can't replace the battery, because it's part of a chip. Below the picture, it says 'battery not replaceable! Need to change the CPU!'

I have a feeling that what you said about major upgrade is going to be the recommended route. This is the good and the bad of big companies. On the one hand, they are there when you need them, and on the other hand, they want to sell you expensive repair parts that you can't get anywhere else. Their customers typically are more worried about just getting the thing running than the cost of getting it running.

From the look of the 'computer cabinet', it would be very easy to take out the Anilam 'computer', and put in an ISA motherboard, possibly in a desktop case with the top removed. I have a ton of them sitting around here, left over from various upgrades. So the question is, what would happen if I put the motion control board on another motherboard?

I tried installing the SR1100 MILL software on one of my computers in DOS mode, and it said 'divide error', and quit.

Incidentally, I'm thinking of painting the mill white, because although it may turm out to be an ok thing, right now it's like a gigantic white elephant sitting in my garage, a two-ton cast iron monument to my impulsive buying habits.

- Richard

08-11-2009, 07:33 PM
If I am not mistaken, you can send in control and Anilam will recondition and install hard drive for around $1500.00

08-11-2009, 08:41 PM
You would be better off removing the Anilam control and install a PC with Mach3 software. If you can't figure out how to mate the new PC to the servo drivers, replace them with Gecko Drives. It will be much cheaper and you won't have to rely on Anilam for support.

08-12-2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the replies. To recap, when I started it, the display said 'cmos battery indication low', plus the keyboard wouldn't work. The problem appears to be a clock chip soldered on the computer board which has the backup battery in it. So, one possibility is to replace that chip. Here's Jerry's first reply:

There are 2 options, to send this board to 1 of my distributors to have them change the battery cmos chip or option 2, we can do a Pentium upgrade here. I would need the computer chassis with all the boards installed. I would then remove the cpu and flash memory board, and VGA board. I would put in a Pentium 233 MHz with 8 meg ram cpu and an 8 gig hard drive for program storage for $1950.00 plus labor, generally 1 hour labor @ $105.00 an hour.

From my standpoint, spending over $2,000 to repair a very obsolete controller just doesn't make sense. If the machine had been churning out parts that were making me big bucks, and all I wanted was to get it back on line as soon as possible, it would.

I've already studied the whole retrofit subject a fair amount, and I think the 'upgrade to Mach3 with Gecko drives' is the logical thing to do.
That appears to be the most well-proven route, and it would improve the machine's capabilities considerably. And, not having to rely on Anilam would be a big plus.

While I was writing this, I got another request for info from Jerry. I tried the machine again, and I actually got to the point of loading the control software. So, it looks like it's going to work. We'll see.

08-14-2009, 06:54 PM
Just in case anyone is interested, a lot has happened in the last few days. Jerry has helped me set up a PC that will run the control software, and which theoretically could replace the one in the mill. However, the PC in the mill is working now, so I’m not sure I really want to pull it out. It still has the dead cmos battery problem, which makes startup a bit harder, but that doesn’t keep it from working. Date-wise I’m still stuck in 1980, but that’s ok. I was finally able to do some rapids in all three axes, which certainly was a relief.

One thing that I found out was that the ‘security device’ that the controller software was asking for in another PC was actually the ‘motion board’. That certainly makes hacking the security device rather difficult. It turns out that the dongle that plugs into the printer port is not the security device – it’s actually an ‘option key’ which allows things like automatic spindle on/off.

It also turns out that the control software from the mill will not work on a regular PC, because it is looking for the flash drive that they used. But, Jerry sent me a version of the software which works from a hard drive. I’ve running it from a 4GB compact flash ‘hard drive’. Getting that running required finding the right format commands.

When I tried to run the control software on the PC, it would bomb out on certain key inputs, but Jerry told me to disable every kind of cache and shadow in the BIOS, and that did the trick. So, the control software appears to run properly on the PC. I had started a long time ago on a BASIC program to translate a g-code program into the Anilam ‘conversational’ code. I got that working, translated one of my medium-length programs, and loaded it into the PC. I used the ‘DRAW’ utility to visualize it, and it looked fine.

Now that I’ve studied the Anilam programming manual more carefully, I have to say that although it does have some very powerful canned cycles, the subroutine handling seems a bit limited compared to my Bridgeport Boss 5. On that, you can pass variables to subroutines, but I can’t see any way to do that on the Anilam. I’m sure I’ll figure out ways to work around that, but it does seem kind of surprising that the PC-based Anilam is not in every way superior to a Boss 5.

Anyway, I have to say that Jerry was incredibly helpful, considering that he doing it all for free.

04-06-2012, 06:06 AM
Hi All i need Anılam 1100 M parameters please help me

04-25-2012, 11:20 AM
hi guys,

I'm sitting with a similar problem. got an old small megamill with an anilam 5000m controller. this machine worked fine 6yrs ago but due to rolling blacks outs back then it died on us and despite sending the pc back for repairs it never functioned properly and actually crashed into the table. after this incident it was switch off and has been off ever since.

I would like to get this mill up and running as it is still "new" relatively speaking to its age, reading here on the forum about geko drives & mach3 software - how would one go about fitting the system? if its at all posible?

is there any other alternative?

05-27-2012, 11:23 PM
Aternatives abound. Similarly, I am looking into a retrofit for my Anilam equipped lathe.

Anyway, my first choice is FlashCut CNC . . . but their initial quote of $5k is a bit more than I can comfortably afford right now because of the state of the US (and world) economy. Just Google FlashCut CNC and you'll find them easily enough.

However, since I want to keep the servos the lathe is equipped with partly to save money because they work just fine but also because they are closed loop (versus steppers), it seems LinuxCNC is the next best choice.

Previosuly called ENC, board suppliers for LinuxCNC like Mesa, and many others, e.g. Pico are plentiful. The trick is figuring out what you really need. This applies to my third option Mach 3, which is also pretty much a roll your own venture. Since this is my first dance, I am cautious.

Meanwhile, I have a Bridgeport CNC mill, which is converted from Boss 5 to a parallel port black box and three steppers (uses Mach 3) so I have some idea of what's involved . . . enough to know I'd rather not delve into equipment selection willy-nilly. E.g. BOB (Break out Boards), a spindle control board, several relay boards, plus a SmoothStepper, etc. without guidance.

I think you're in the right place, but so many folks like us come to ask for help (some without doing even basic research) that the folks who take of their time to asnwer are likely pretty burned out from answering the same questions over and over again. Frankly, my biggets surprise is there's no retrofit specific section (unless this is it).

Finally, here's what I did. First I researched the 529 threads in this section. yes, I went throguh them one by one (spending a whole day doing nothing but) before I posted a request for help.

I also visited websites of the various manufacturers of components, e.g. Vital, Pico, etc. This was another whole day of nothing but.

Why? It was my attempt to preclude my query being one of those, which 300 people look at . . . but which has zero replies. This is because it seems the ones the gurus willingly step into and offer thier valuable help are those where folks don't sit on their ass and beg to be spoon fed but have instead endeavored to do some basic reasearch.

Anyway, I turst I have pointed you in the right direction to get you started so you can ask more specific questions, which are more apt to get a helpful repsonse.

Good luck pal.

07-13-2015, 05:22 PM
New here in the forum!! i hope someone can help me. .... I have a eagle cnc 750 with the anilam 1400 control. its been down for years.. changed the cmos battery and tried to work with it and when i try to start the program it appears a ERROR... "CANNOT FIND VALID SECURITY DEVICE. ATTEMPTS TO OPERATE THIS SOFTWARE WITHOUT THE PROPER SECURITY DEVICE MAY DAMAGE YOUR MACHINE. CONTACT YOUR DEALER FOR INSTRUCTIONS.
any suggestions on how to fix this?? 286536

07-14-2015, 05:37 PM
Yes, call a place called Measurement Technologies in St Clair Shores, MI. Ask for Don. He fixes/updates Anilam computers, among other repairs. I'd tell you to tell him Tim sent you but that might not help your case:). Jk. We work together a lot. I am a service man and we send a lot of repairs to them. You'll be happy.
Best of luck! Tim