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Thread: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

  1. #13
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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi Johan,
    Its seems like the "Best Before Date" had expired on our machines...!

    I don't know what the shelf-life is on these spiders, but I found a couple "new old stock" on eBay; I paid too much for them, but not that much. I guess you have about 100 years worth of spares...

    I find the machine to be fairly rigid for its size, I had more flex on my old manual round column mill than the Emco. However, It takes up a lot of floor space for such a small work volume... I'd like to do the retrofit to be able to get rid of the control cabinet (or be able to re-locate it underneath the machine base). I just wonder if there is any easier way to interface a modern computer to control the drives through the existing backpane in the cabinet; I noticed when I had the operators panel open to troubleshoot the spindle problem, there is what looks like a standard IDE ribbon cable connector on the backpane PCB... maybe it could be connected directly to the bus of a computer somehow? The electrical manual shows that the original Emco stepper drives use step/dir inputs, if you were to trace back the connections it may be possible to create a new connection to replace the current machine interface and use Mach3 or similar software.

    Last edited by cncdan; 04-22-2015 at 11:31 PM.


  2. #14
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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi Dan!

    Sorry for late reply, been busy working...

    I hope the spiders you've acquired is in good condition. Let me know otherwise, and I'll send you one or two.

    I'm not sure about interfacing a pc directly into the drivers, but I totally agree with you that most of the original electronics should be re-used again as long as they function properly. I've read on different forums all over the internet about people blowing their stepper drivers. But I've never experienced it myself(knock on wood). The only downsides with the vmc100 are, as you mention, the poor travel, especially the Y-axis. And the controller itself, which is fairly outdated. Personally I would choose an old Emco mill versus one of those China machines any day.

    I totally agree that it would be a nice thing to get rid of the control cabinet and do it as TanTan did it. That is a really nice installation. Same goes for the trusty old emcoturn 120. I even got a crazy idea when they're fully retrofitted to put them in the back of the cargo hold of a truck along with a conventional mill and a small lathe and make a mobile workshop. I travel a lot between Norway and Sweden and it would be nice to take a workshop with you.

    Anyways, I hope this spider thing is the culprit in my machine. Time will tell.

    //J


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



  3. #15
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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi Johan,

    I received my replacement spider the other day and installed it; the machine is functioning 100% correctly now. (The temporary fix came unglued after only a few minutes of test runs, but it was enough to confirm it was the culprit).

    I've given the retrofit idea some more thought and came to the realization the conversion could (possibly) be done even easier than most have done in the past. Considering a few factors such as the overall condition of my machine and controller are very good with very little use over its lifetime; the drives and motors on my machine are in 100% usable condition. I started to wonder how I could utilize the existing backplane of the control box, and discovered it appears the backplane itself may be an actual "standard bus" configuration, and not EMCO specific...? Well after a bit of googling, I found that it appears to be made to "VMEbus" 6u standards (also called Eurocard). To make things even more interesting, I found on eBay, there are used FANUC singleboard computers complete with hard drive and Windows XP Pro CofA available (cheapish from $100 to $250 usd) that will plug directly into the VMEbus slots of the control cabinet.... hmmmm (G.E. still makes new VMEbus singleboard computers even with i7 cpu's... but I'm sure the new ones would be ridiculously expensive)

    Now to figure out how to complete the interface..! I wonder if the Fanuc card might be able to communicate with the existing "Axiscontroller" module directly through the backplane...? (This is my hope). I would think it is possible as the Emco modules appear to communicate through the backplane.

    Even if you are not interested in trying to figure out a VMEbus computer for the controller, the backplane could still be used as a ready-made giant breakout-board to interface the original drives with an external computer. For example, see attached photo; I traced the pin-outs of the backplane from the "Axiscontroller" board which generates Step & Dir signals to the drives (only X-axis traces are highlighted, but Y & Z are similar). There is a spot in the backplane if you follow the PCB traces (position - X6a) where a connector could be soldered to existing solder pads for external supply of step/dir signals. (note: if you dont have a copy of the Electrical manual, there is one available on Yahoo Groups - you'll need it to find all the pin-outs)

    I have not found any examples where anyone has attempted the retrofit in this manner, I’m just trying to think outside the box…., I think it is well worth exploring, but we'd be in uncharted territory.

    Cheers,
    Dan

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.-vmc100-backplane_connections-jpg  
    Last edited by cncdan; 05-10-2015 at 01:05 AM. Reason: forgot to attach photo


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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi Dan!

    This is quite interesting news. I've thought about wiring up newer hardware to the existing controller before, but quickly dropped the thought due to it's complexity. But as you say it's well worth a shot. We'll have to look into this. For me it's natural to start with the emcoturn 120 since it's a more simple machine.

    //Johan


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  5. #17
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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi all, I realise this is a very old thread but just wanted to check if this went anywhere? i am the proud owner of a Emco VMC 200 and am looking into using a more modern way of controlling it than the Emcotronic TM 02 system. Thanks, Martin



  6. #18
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    Default Re: Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

    Hi Martin,
    For now the machine is still chugging along under the original TM02 control, I have not had any time to do any further investigating on an upgrade.
    Cheers,
    Dan



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Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.

Help! Problems with spindle/spindle driver on an old VMC100.