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    Default Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Help Please! I am planning on retrofittng my Journeyman 325 tree mill that I just purchased and I am looking for someone who has already retrofited a J325. Can anyone point me to someone who has been down this road? Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thanks

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    There are several people on this site that have retrofitted mills and Tree 325 specifically. I bught a 325 cheap and decided my best approach was to remove all existing electronics and replace them. With my machine 70% of the work involved cleaning and cleaning them some more cleaning. Mechanically the machine was in good shape and looked to have been well maintained. new belts, no binding on the axes etc.
    The basics of the retrofit came down to buying a computer, power supply, servo drives, spindle drive and controller software. I sold the existing electronics for about the same money as the replacement. You have to realize that patience is required. The spindle drive I got costs $1400 brand new but I was able to get mine for $325 on eBay. Although it was an "interesting" deal because I think the seller realized he sold it too cheap, but too late.
    I can be more specific in listing the components I used but you must first decide how much you want to spend and have cash ready to go - realize that you will need more than you thought. Then decide if you will fix existing components or replace. Check all motors for operation because if they need to be replaced they will be one of the biggest expenses.
    Because of my limited budget I stayed away from "pre-built" retrofits like MachMotion or Centroid kits because I could buy the components and go through the pain of integrating for much less. Ajax is a good source for these items but doing lots of research on the web will get you all kinds of info.

    HTH

    Bill

    Last edited by lavrgs; 07-08-2010 at 01:08 PM.


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    Default Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Thanks for the reply. My J325 was running when I bought it so I was thinking of using the Dynapath controller with the RS 232 port to import programs and to drip feed it long programs. It isnt under power at my place yet, I still need to purchase a 10 hp CNC rotary Phase Converter but I thought I would look into the retrofit before I go out and buy one. I would like to keep the cost of the retrofit down as much as possible by using my existing Baldor servor motors but I dont want to sacrifice any of the current performance. I have a call into Ajax but I havent talked to them yet. What would you recomend? Thanks



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    The Baldor motors seem to be very robust. The only problems I've heard about are related to coolant dripping on the y axis motor. I recommend using them.

    In my set up the one thing I may change is using Viper drives rather than Geckos to use the full power/speed of the motors. But with that said I couldn't recommend Geckos service highly enough - Mariss, Geckos owner, is truly outstanding in that he takes to time to walk you through your problems. Being the head honcho does not mean his suit never gets dirty.

    The need for a 10hp RPC would only be if you wanted to run several other pieces of equipment. 7.5hp is plenty for a couple pieces as long as they aren't started at the same time. But having the excess capacity never hurts.

    The only problem with the Dynapath is that it would be very expensive to fix. If it works use it, I've heard nothing but good things about them. In my case it didn't work and the thought of sending it our to get looked at for $500 did not seem like money well spent to me when I could buy 3 geckos, a power supply and breakout board for that.



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    Default Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    So did you use the Baldor servo motors on your retrofit? If so can you give me a detailed list of items you purchased for your retrofit. Did you go with the Mach 3 setup? If you wouldnt mine me giving you a call send me a private message with your number. Thanks again for your help.



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Hi i'am also in the same boat. I've recently purchased a Tree Journeyman 325 4 Axis-es, with a Delta 30 MU control. Everything works on the mill but now the screen is shot and the control is not working properly, don't really want to rely on Dynapath, because they are very expensive. Now i am currently looking around to find out what other people have done and how it worked for them. Lavrgs if you could send me all the items you bought to retrofit your J325 it would a great help. Thanks.



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Quote Originally Posted by Connorgus View Post
    Lavrgs if you could send me all the items you bought to retrofit your J325 it would a great help. Thanks.
    I;m considering upgrading my original retrofit. What I used worked but I'd like a system that is a bit more robust. I sold the original controls in unknown working condition that helped keep the cost down, in hindsight I could have gotten higher prices.
    I upgraded the Spindle control to a Control Techniques Unidrive SP . I used Gecko servo drives, a breakout board by Bob Campbell and Mach 3 for system control, running on a cheap PC



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    What all did you have to replace from start and how you got it all set up?



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Information on my J310 retrofit. Note that my J310 does not have the spindle under CNC control... My Baldor servos and the Servo-Dynamics amps were in good working order. The DP10 control however had issues, I think bad memory... Like others, I quickly dismissed the idea of repairing the DP10 since even if it was in perfect working order you will still have 1980's computer technology and you would need to drip feed to do any real work.


    In my opinion, if you choose Mach3 or Mach4 for running a servo based machine you need to use dedicated motion control hardware because you must maintain the feedback loop between the control, the amps and the servo motor encoders in order to get professional results and maintain safe control over your machine.


    For my retro-fit I choose a motion controller from CS-Labs. Here’s the link:
    http://www.cs-lab.eu/en/produkt-7,2-CSMIOIPA_Ethernet_Motion_Controller__10V_6_axis_with_connectors.html

    I also purchased an MPG and MPG hardware control from CS-Labs. Link here:
    http://www.cs-lab.eu/en/produkt-6,2-CSMIOMPG_Kit_module_and_handwheel_for_all_CSMIO_controllers_types_S_M_A.html

    All of the above hardware will set you back about $1,000.00. You will also need a windows PC and a license for Mach 3 or 4 which runs $150. In my case I used a dell all-in-one touch screen pc that set me back about $500.00

    Another option for you is the KFLOP motion controller from Dynomotion. You would need the KFLOP with Kanalog setup which will set you back about $500.00. Here’s the links:
    http://dynomotion.com/KFLOP.html
    http://dynomotion.com/Kanalog.html
    Dynomotion offers free software (windows application) for CNC control called KMotionCNC and it looks quite nice. They also offer a Mach 3 plugin. I kind of wish I had discovered Dynomotion before I did my retrofit because I like the way their software looks and I would like to have the option of creating custom software for my machine using C rather than the VB scripting supported by Mach. The negative for KFLOP is that the interface is USB rather than Ethernet which is not as robust… Also adding an MPG to KFLOP will not be as “plug and play” as the CS-Labs is…

    Other options are:
    Vital Systems:
    http://www.vitalsystem.com/portal/motion/motion_controllers.php
    Galil:
    http://www.galilmc.com/motion-controllers

    Others have had great results with Mesa and LinuxCNC as well so don't dismiss that idea. Hope this helps! Good luck!

    Mike





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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    I have a Tree J425 with Delta40 control and Baldor servo drives. At first I didn;t like the Dynapath as it was unfamiliar. But after a year of hobby work I love the conversational programming and the shortcuts it provides for different milling operations. I agree that DP is pricey - I want to add buffered input and it is $1000 from DP since they upgrade it to a Delta 50 and increase the memory to do this. Thankfully I added a floppy drive for about 15 bucks so I can load the new upgrades when I pull the trigger. I also intend to add a 4th axis - that is less that $500 from DP if I recall. I already have the 4th axis drive card and motor.

    By the way, I have a lot of spare parts including a Dynapath 20 control, CRT, servo drives, boards, etc. If you are interested let me know. Otherwise I've seen stuff on Ebay. Parts n Smarts is a good source but expensive.

    - Dave



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Just out of curiosity, what Dynapath control do you have?
    I had restored a Tree J320 that came with a delta 10, and SD servo amps. I found a deal on ebay for a delta 50 ( I think it came from a Lagun mill) for about $1200 (included main chassis, servo amps, control pendant, and even 3 Baldor motors) . The upgrade from the Delta 10 to 50 eliminated a LOT of control relays, and allowed the ability to run the spindle in jog mode, like manual with DRO.
    I have grown to really like the Delta 50 control, but they really nail you for the install, and operating manuals ($200 each). The SD servo amps still work perfect, although the 20-turn adjusting Pots are getting worn.
    I also have the install, and operating manuals for the Delta 10/20, so if you have to stick with the Dynapath stuff for a while I can help you there if you need it.



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    Default Re: Journeyman 325 tree mill retrofit

    Quote Originally Posted by dstjohn99 View Post
    I have a Tree J425 with Delta40 control and Baldor servo drives. At first I didn;t like the Dynapath as it was unfamiliar. But after a year of hobby work I love the conversational programming and the shortcuts it provides for different milling operations. I agree that DP is pricey - I want to add buffered input and it is $1000 from DP since they upgrade it to a Delta 50 and increase the memory to do this. Thankfully I added a floppy drive for about 15 bucks so I can load the new upgrades when I pull the trigger. I also intend to add a 4th axis - that is less that $500 from DP if I recall. I already have the 4th axis drive card and motor.

    By the way, I have a lot of spare parts including a Dynapath 20 control, CRT, servo drives, boards, etc. If you are interested let me know. Otherwise I've seen stuff on Ebay. Parts n Smarts is a good source but expensive.

    - Dave
    There is a seller on ebay that sells a floppy drive USB replacement unit for about $180. It fits in place of the floppy drive, and connects to the floppy control cable. Then you can use USB thumb drives that hold way more data than the floppy disks. It would be great to drip feed from that. I am planning on getting one in the near future.



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