Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie


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    Default Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    Hi all,

    I am brand new here and am really excited to have found such a great resource for information. I am a high school teacher that has an Intelitek Prolight 1000 mill. Recently, the proprietary PCI card that came with the mill died (as diagnosed by Intelitek ). I have been doing tons of research and learning in regards to retrofitting these mills. From what I understand, the mill itself is pretty hardy and built to last. Unfortunately, the card replacement from Intelitek is $695.

    With that kind of budget, I've been looking at retrofitting with this:

    Deepgroove1 Gecko control box

    Sounds like the Gecko 540 is the way to go and upgrading the steppers would add to the life and performance of the machine not to mention cut out the work of finding/fabricating the housing, power supply, and pre wired motors.

    After all of my reading and searching this forum and others, I am still apprehensive about wiring and getting this thing to work. I've gotten the green light to either purchase the replacement card or upgrade to the above mentioned unit. I understand I will need to use Mach 3 or something other than the Intelitek software to run the mill, but beyond that I haven't been able to find any clear instructions, write-ups, or walk throughs (which I surely thought there would be out there).

    If anyone has done this retrofit before and would be willing to lend some advice or provide a link to any resources that I haven't already been able to find I would greatly appreciate it. I would also welcome anyone weighing the benefits of just going back with Intelitek and paying the high cost of the card.




    Nick

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    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    I have no knowledge of Intelitek, but Personally if this is a servo based machine and has a quality motion card, I would tend to stay with this, if they still support their product.
    Mach and steppers would be a solution, but in the end you would be close to the same budget and a lower quality system and a longer time line to get back in operation.
    Motion cards in general are closer to commercial CNC systems, and in some cases are on par.
    Al.

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.


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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    It is a "Light Machines" proLight 1000, which is sold and serviced by Intelitek just to clarify. It's an education based mill but apparently has a lot of potential.



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    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    I have to retract a little, I Googled the Intelitek and found it is not much more than a Mach system, not close to the features of a commercial motion card equivalent.
    In that case, you may be better off going with Mach as it appears it has steppers also.
    Al.

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.


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    Registered mhackney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    I know the founder of Light Machines but he sold the company a few years ago.

    There is actually a lot of info, google it. I found this here: http://www.cnczone.com/forums/bencht...trol-card.html

    cheers,
    Michael

    Reelsmith, Angling Historian, and Author of "The Reelsmith's Primer"
    www.EclecticAngler.com | www.ReelLinesPress.com


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    Smile Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    Thanks for the info, I've read through that thread and a bunch of others. I guess what I was looking for is more specific to the Gecko 540 in relation to the prolight and settings within mach 3. I see that people reference in those threads like you linked to that they are running the exact set up so I've PM'd them and am awaiting a response. Just thought a new thread might throw out a wider net or a casual user may have seen something linked before that i've missed.

    I'm a high school industrial tech teacher so i'm trying to minimize the time investment here as the mill is just one of many tools/equipment to stay up on and jumping into all of these different user groups is exhausting. If I didn't care i'd just spend the $700 and buy the intelitek card and have a plug and play, but I wan to do the job right



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    Registered mhackney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    Ok, that makes sense. Given that the machine is simply stepper controlled, you should have no problem interfacing a G540. The one place that might be problematic is the spindle speed control, the G540 uses a VFD output scaled from 0 to 10V for spindle speed. I am not sure how this machine controls speed but looking at the description on that page the VFD should work. What software came with the machine, is it Mach or something proprietary? If Mach, you should be able to configure it for the G540 easily. If not, you will likely need a different controller. If you go with Mach, factor that cost in. Or you could go with the open source EMC on Linux.

    The other consideration is, what voltage are the steppers running at currently? The Deepgroove1 box is setup with a 40V supply. You could simply reuse the power supply in the control box and buy a 'naked' G540. There is no real magic in the deepgroove1 box - it is basically a power supply (which may not be appropriate for your setup), the G540, an on off switch, an estop and a power cord plug. You probably have everything you need in your existing box.

    Reelsmith, Angling Historian, and Author of "The Reelsmith's Primer"
    www.EclecticAngler.com | www.ReelLinesPress.com


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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    I was thinking about that as well. Since my box was diagnosed as having no problems, I could probably save a little bit of money and re use some of the things that I have.

    Currently, the proprietary software is installed, but I was planning on switching over to Mach. (Assuming the Y and Z are the same?) they have 3.36v listed on them along with 2.9A



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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    Not sure what you mean by the Y and Z being the same?

    Reelsmith, Angling Historian, and Author of "The Reelsmith's Primer"
    www.EclecticAngler.com | www.ReelLinesPress.com


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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    I just realized that it looked like I was referring to the software side of things when mentioning how I assumed the Y and Z were the same. What I meant was, I removed the panel that covers the stepper motor that moves the bed in the X direction, so I could only see that motor. I'm assuming that the Y movement and Z movement motor are the same....



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    Registered mhackney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    The Y stepper is most likely the same. It is not uncommon to use a larger stepper on the Z since it has to lift the heavy head.

    Reelsmith, Angling Historian, and Author of "The Reelsmith's Primer"
    www.EclecticAngler.com | www.ReelLinesPress.com


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    Default Re: Prolight 1000 Retrofit Newbie

    And sometimes the Z runs a different pitch screw also. Those are all minor concerns and are adjustable in the Mach software. The steppers will be an easy interface to the G540. Skip Deepgrooves box as Michael mentions. The G540 will fit in the space of all of the old electronics. I believe you can look under Spectralight and find the same hardware.

    Btw you might want to show what town you are from. One of your neighbors might be a member and can lend a hand.

    A lazy man does it twice.


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