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IndustryArena Forum > Machine Controllers Software and Solutions > Centroid CNC Control Products > AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Hello everyone, about 3 years ago I bought a small router table (AXYZ Millennium)
    from an industrial auction. You can follow a thread I started for
    more infos and details on this other thread here at CNC Zone:
    https://www.cnczone.com/forums/comme...are-forum.html

    FYI, I created the same thread at Centroid forum as well:
    https://centroidcncforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=5638

    TLDR: go to questions below: ***



    General specs of the machine:
    - 220V, 1 phase, 15A
    - About 41" x 41" x 6" work area, safer size is more likely 39" x 39"
    - Slotted aluminium table
    - Italian ELTE model TMPE3 12/2 air cooled spindle: 2.2 kW (about 3hp)
    AC 3phase spindle motor, 18 000 rpm max., ER25 collet
    - Air input needed for dust boot cylinder retraction/release
    - All axis are based on rack & pinion (screw type on Z), linear bearing
    - Controller is called AMC, newer model from AXYZ recent machines is called A2MC

    Since then, I worked a bit with the machine, it's working good but it's a
    small pain to send program, adjust Z height and follow/config the machine while
    live or not because mostly of the older AMC controller and communication way of
    doing it, RS-485 serial connection.

    Recently, I just got a hold on another machine that seems to be the same one I have
    but according to the auction it isn't working. I didn't have the machine yet in hand,
    I am supposed to receive it soon. However, since I already have this machine here,
    I am supposing the stepper motors and electronics should be the same, more-or-less.

    I never retrofit any machine before and was unsure which controller to select. Some
    people were promoting the hardware ESS SmoothStepper,UC300ETH and Acorn. On the software
    side Mach3/4, LinuxCNC, UCCNC and the Acorn CNC12 software. I've done some research and decided
    to go with Centroid because of this forum and support availability plus the way the company
    didn't started in DIY but much more in the industrial market and goes towards DIY afterwards.
    A nice plus is the way they are based in USA and not in some far away places, even if I am not
    an American (I am canadian), I prefer and try buying product from North America.

    So, since it's not working and have no communication converter box with it according to auction
    I finally decided to order an Acorn system and do the conversion soon. The idea is to see
    how it is and use it as a small laser engraver system (will add low power laser diode system, right
    now it might be the hardware from OptLasers) since I already have another machine for non-ferrous material.

    If I succeed and like the system I might order another Acorn to convert my actual machine to it
    or use another controller if not satisfied. Furthermore, I recently got a knee mill machine too
    and the Centroid CNC retrofit kit are interesting me alot as well but out of my budget at this
    moment, maybe cheaper system with Acorn and servo/drivers system from DMM Technology Corp. could
    be alot cheaper but not sure if strong enough (right now they offer a max 1.8kW servo)

    ***
    Some questions I have at the moment:
    - The stepper drivers of the machine seems different from what standards one offered on the
    market, if possible I wish being able to use the one with the machine instead of buying new
    ones. It seems the drivers are based/made by AXYZ and can't find so much documents/datasheet
    of them (AXI 2200). Someone here looks like he found a way to make it work but there's not so
    much details of it: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/stepp...ntrollers.html

    If I cannot find drivers, do you recommmend specific drivers that are better than some
    other ones ? To me, it looks like there's alot of chinese crap stuff in those electronic components
    and some people rebrand fake-bad stuff to higher price to look better as well... Good thing I got ahold
    on the wiring manual which specified alot. You can see it here:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...K6?usp=sharing

    - Can I used any automatic tool height Z sensor ? Yes I know Centroid offer a sensor but it's really expensive,
    especially for me since I have to pay in $USD and $CAD/$USD is not the best right now. I saw quite few
    cheaper alternatives online ranging from 75 to 200$USD. If you have any recommendations let me know.

    - Having a touchscreen with the Acorn, is it worth it ? I am trying to find an All-in-One touchscreen PC
    or just the touchscreen and add a PC I was able to buy cheap used.

    Best Regards from Eastern Canada,
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

  2. #2
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Looks like an interesting project and I imagine a number of people will be watching progress.My exposure to AXYZ has left me thinking they are a bit quirky,but basic and reliable.Might I suggest that when your other machine arrives,you borrow the RS485 you already have and see if you can communicate with the machine?If it works you then have the choice of proceeding with the conversion or selling off the parts that will no longer be needed as working spares to those who might need them.It isn't a trivial task to set up a control system and after you have done it I don't doubt that you will value the new skills very highly,

  3. #3
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    Looks like an interesting project and I imagine a number of people will be watching progress.My exposure to AXYZ has left me thinking they are a bit quirky,but basic and reliable.Might I suggest that when your other machine arrives,you borrow the RS485 you already have and see if you can communicate with the machine?If it works you then have the choice of proceeding with the conversion or selling off the parts that will no longer be needed as working spares to those who might need them.It isn't a trivial task to set up a control system and after you have done it I don't doubt that you will value the new skills very highly,
    I heard good things about reliability from AXYZ but take a look at my other thread to see another side of the medal
    (their "support" regarding legacy products and mean responses)

    Yes I had that same idea too, to test the RS485 communication box to see if it works with it before dismantling.

    If everything works, I would be able to maybe sell the parts online to others and get some money out of it or
    keep it for spare of my actual machine. The spindle and drive won't be needed anymore since I want to add
    low power diode laser engraver instead. I have no idea if there's a market for old parts like this from AXYZ.

    I will keep this thread updated when doing the retrofit conversion.

    Let me know if anyone have good advices, recommendations or tips.
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

  4. #4
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    The only weird thing I am seeing regarding the AXI drivers
    and standard driver are the number of pins which doesn't fit.

    Standard drivers often seen:
    Enable -
    Enable +
    Direction -
    Direction +
    Pull -
    Pull +

    the AXI 2200 driver:
    1 pin named Step
    1 pin named Direction
    1 pin +5VDC

    So it's only 2 pins instead of 6... Is it something we see somewhere else ?
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

  5. #5
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Good news on my side, finally got the machine!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More pictures here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...vo?usp=sharing

    The machine seems to be in a better condition than what I was expecting!
    (Especially because the auction pictures weren't that good and infos on
    it not so well detailed.) I was happy that my contact was able to wrap
    and secure the pallet correctly and sent it by freight to get it in good shape here.
    The machine was used in a school and it seems it sits there unused (needing repair)
    for a long time. There was even a small manual and some class course papers.

    I was surprised to see that they already done some kind of controller conversion to it:

    - The AXYZ Inverter Control board were removed which control the spindle in some ways according to my understanding
    - it looks like I would have to find a Spindle Drive if I am not using a diode laser because the first idea was that.
    However, with the condition of the machine it tempted me to convert my older one to laser and keep this one for
    router job... will see how it goes.
    - The Stepper Drivers are the Pacific Scientific 6410
    - There's a Warp9 USB Smooth Stepper ver 1.2. However, the USB connection on the Warp9 board
    seems crocked, I will check it out if the board is still good but I continue
    the retrofit with Acorn https://warp9td.com/index.php/products
    - There's a PMDX-122 Breakout board, https://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-122
    - There's a PMDX-105 Quad isolator board, https://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-105
    - Some wiring are let loose and not connected, I will need to check why and what they are used
    for.

    Furthermore, I was able to find an used cheap Lenovo All-in-One PC that fits the
    minimum hardware and software requirements of Acorn (ie. benchmarking around 1700 and Windows 10).
    Too bad the display isn't touchscreen but for the price I got it, it was pretty decent.

    It seems the 6410 drivers are those ones:
    https://www.electromate.com/pub/medi...ve_Catalog.pdf

    Found a small install documentation of those drivers from AXYZ itself, so maybe the 6410 were upgrade, option or replacement parts ?
    https://www.axyz.com/us/wp-content/u...ive-manual.pdf

    Next steps on my side:
    - Start by removing the spindle and test it on my other AXYZ to see if it runs since they seems
    to be exactly the same model, I should be able to unplug/plug in directly for checking it out.
    - Make a table for it since I have none at the moment, maybe I will use saw horse until then...
    In the end I already have some angle iron that I will need to cut 45º and weld together
    - Installing Acorn CNC12 software on the PC and test it ensuring it works all o.k.
    - Cleaning and passing air all around
    - Greasing the linear bearing on all axis
    - Checking to see if the stepper motors are the same as the one on the machine I already have
    - Once Acorn working condition is confirm, I will start doing the wiring retrofit

    I will keep you updated.
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

  6. #6
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Some updates guys:

    Few pics here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...M4?usp=sharing

    I prepared the configuration of Windows 10 according to video and installed the CNC12 Router software on the PC.
    It went flawlessly. When I powerup the Acorn and check connectivity on the PC everything was
    all good, got a small problem because I forgot to turn (all) OFF the Windows Defender/firewall but besides that it was good.
    I just follow the video guides provided by Centroid on the forum which guides you steps by steps easily:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMk...8laswJw/videos

    - I 3D printed a support for it. Found on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4778889
    - The working condition of Acorn was confirm using bench test method shown, everything went good.
    - I made a steel table for the machine.
    - Since I don't have any spindle drive at the moment, I concentrated my efforts on the other wiring to see the gantry moving.
    - E-Stop is working
    - I configure the Acorn to the best I could, had to modify the dip switch to fit.
    - I kept the Connection board from AXYZ to power the stepper drivers and use the power from 220VAC
    - I adjust the X and Y to 0in negative and 39in positive, the Z not sure about height to 4in positive, 0in negative

    It seems the stepper drivers are dead or I am missing something:
    - I connected the STEP+, DIR+ and ENABLE+ of the drivers to the Acorn
    - I measured about 40VDC on their input (they need between 24VDC and 75VDC
    - I measured some voltage on the motor phases but I am not sure what I should look at

    In the Acorn Wizard:
    - I adjusted the steps/rev to 6400 and fits the dipswitch on the drivers for it
    - The thing I am unsure is the Overall Turn Ratio, I used the 0.88422 rev/in found in the AXYZ manual.
    However it stated normally it's around 5 or so, I tested this and the other
    - Not sure about the accel/decel and the drive enable delay as well
    - I made some trials changing the overall turn ratio

    Nothing is moving when I use the jog on any axis.

    Questions:
    - Do you have any good reference website or video explanation for stepper driver to help me understand how they work and how they are wired ?
    - How I can test stepper drivers to see if they are in working condition or dead ?
    - What is the COMMON connection for them ? It doesn't seems to be widespread this connection on drivers...
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

  7. #7
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    Re: AXYZ Millennium Router Acorn Controller Retrofit Build

    Got some help on the Centroid forum by Martyscncgarage, thanks alot to him.

    Yesterday I put +5VDC to positive STEP/DIR/ENA of the drives and the minus one to the Acorn.

    Everything now moves and works well.

    I need to find the good transmission ratio because right now
    it doesn't make sense (when moving 1in on coordinate, in real it's not the case)

    I tried the ratio specified in the AXYZ manual but it doesn't make any sense
    because the speed is way too slow.

    I will take a look tonight on that.
    AXYZ Millennium router CNC: https://goo.gl/gxvdcA
    Glass cutting CNC table: https://goo.gl/VrDqGD

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