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  1. #1
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    Boxford 160 TCL - running as is?

    Hi
    I have recently bought one of these, which of course is missing the PC, manuals and all software.

    It is approx 2000 vintage and has almost had no use.

    Given that it works perfectly in manual mode and is a fairly new machine with 8 position tool turret and Mitsubishi inverter, I can see no compelling argument to throw away half the machine and replace the steppers, motors etc.

    Does anyone have experience of getting one running as is??

    Does anyone have manuals for the 160?

    Does anyone have a wiring diagram for the 160?

    Previous posts suggest the paperwork is out there, but I can see nothing about conversion using original equipment, except that it appears possible.

    All help gratefully received

    Melee

  2. #2
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    Boxford 160 TCL Manuals

    Have now received copies of the User and Programming manuals in .pdf format from Simon at the Mach 3 forum.

    If anyone else wants a copy I can forward same.

    Melee

  3. #3
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    I have just got one of these running using mach 3 and the original hardware, i still need to get the spindle encoder sorted, but can't see a problem with it (famous last words).

    I will also try turbocnc, but again i can't see a problem.


    Where abouts in the UK are you?

  4. #4
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    Hi

    Sounds like we might have some info to share over the next few months.

    Ultimately I want to get mine running via EMC2 (Linux) as I work and program solely with Linux.

    I will be using a DIYCNC opto board, which arrived on Friday.

    Initially I can see that all the main pins required for axis movement and rotation are on one board connector on the stepper board.

    When I have satisfied myself that I can control all this in isolation, I have in mind a solution involving patching in, thus enabling most of the facia controls to work as jog controls if nothing else.
    This may require complete isolation by means of a 'manual / computer' switch and the actual patch points will require diodes to prevent reverse current feed, but in theory at present it seems feasible.

    Your current stage, working out how to get speed control sorted seems a common sticking point. Lot of mention of having to widen the single slot in the disc to enable Mach3 to use it.
    By the time I get there, hopefully you will have cracked it!

    I got your message, easiest way to contact is via email junk398ATtiscaliDOTcoDOTuk.

    I am in, not so sunny at the moment, Dorset

    regards

    Melee

  5. #5
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    Update

    Hi

    I have had partial sucess, but not in a way that will please Mach 3 fans

    Had a complete blank under Mach 3

    I cut the 12 pin plug on the stepper board, which includes the X Y and Z step and dir connections, in half so that the other feeds remained between stepper and processor board.
    I then replaced the top half of the plug with another linked into relevant connections on my opto board (DIYCNC optoport).

    All I got was a slight clunk when changing direction but no stepping. Swap the plug back over and the lathe moves fine in manual mode so nothing wrong with steppers etc.

    I increased the step pulse time to max, swapped drives from active low to active high, re-checked wiring until blue in the face - nothing, just a slight clunk when changing direction from + to -

    Then I did what I should have done in the first place, I went to Linux and started EMC2

    The configuration is pretty detailed, but even with default settings I had something trying to happen on both axis.

    I took off the stepper motors, counted teeth, measured how far the carriage moved in one revolution of the screw etc to get the motor tuning figures I needed.

    Motors are 400 step, step drivers are GS-D200S which data sheet says can drive are step or half step, so max micro steps are 2
    X axis motor has 16 tooth sprocket - screw has 20 tooth sprocket

    Z axis motor has 12 tooth sprocket - screw has 20 tooth sprocket

    Both screws appear to have a 2mm pitch, so 200 steps per mm

    The max speed of travel from data sheet is 1200mm/min which = 20mm/sec
    Acceleration is mm/sec squared so calculated at 400 mm/sec

    Having entered these figures into the configuration screen of EMC2, I went to the AXIS_turn screen, brought the lathe on line and had control of both axis straight away!

    I only started with Mach3 because I thought it might be easier until I found my way around things!
    As I program in Linux and use it for everything else, I should have stuck with it.

    I tried entering the same settings in Mach 3 (albeit Mach3 wants them in a slightly different format) and still nothing whatsoever happened!

    By assigning the tool changer turret to the Y axis, I was able to jog it under EMC2.
    I will have to figure out how to link it to 'M6Tn' G codes and get the stepper to move in 50 step increment (8 tools / 400 steps per rev).
    That is of course assuming there is no reduction gear in the tool changer, more stripping down possibly required.

    How have other people got their turrets working properly?

    cheers

    Melee

  6. #6
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    boxford original steppers

    i wired one of these last night on mach 3 (a 125 model)

    the output from the original pcb to the stepper board is floating around 10v so to get it to work i connected directly to the inputs of the output transistor array 2803a. worked perfectly and can still be controlled manually with pc inputs off! this way the driver board is receiving the same input voltage as it had originally.
    the only wire i disconnected was the 10v signal at the gemini motor driver to feed it its 10v from the d to a converter run from mach 3.

    if you connect direct to the stepper input board the motors will only move with the direction input removed, obviously no good!

  7. #7
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    Stepper problem solved

    The problem turned out to be the parallel port cable.
    It was an unused moulded plug one, but some of the pins were reversed.
    It may have come with an old scanner I had or possibly was actually a 25 pin serial lead.

    The only reason why EMC2 worked was that I set that up several days later, off the top of my head and inadvertently swapped the DIR and CLK feeds around thus undoing the internal pin swaps!

    At present I have only replaced the Dir and Step pulse leads and left the existing power feeds etc.
    I will bear your solution in mind when I come to wire up a final solution leaving manual control.

    regards

    Melee

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by melee View Post
    Have now received copies of the User and Programming manuals in .pdf format from Simon at the Mach 3 forum.

    If anyone else wants a copy I can forward same.

    Melee
    If you will be so kind can I have this copy I am new and I dont know what to do

  9. #9
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    Can I have this manual for tcl 160?

  10. #10
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    Boxford 160 TCL manuals

    Didn't you already ask that yesterday?

    I have put the manuals on my webspace for download by whoever wants them.
    Only condition is don't download them and try to sell them on Ebay!
    Keep information and code free.

    User manual Here

    Programming Manual Here

    They are of limited usefulness but do have a wiring schematic for more recent 160's.

    The programming exercises look useful until you begin to realise that Boxford obviously use a lot of proprietary G code etc. because the numbers for basic routines like G71 canned rough turning are different and have different parameters.

    Melee

  11. #11
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    Thank You !!!!

  12. #12
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    I got a 160 a while back, been busy finshing a mill. Rereading the threads, can somebody explain further:-

    "the output from the original pcb to the stepper board is floating around 10v so to get it to work i connected directly to the inputs of the output transistor array 2803a."
    assume this array is on the lower board? By connecting this way will manual still work?


    "the only wire i disconnected was the 10v signal at the gemini motor driver to feed it its 10v from the d to a converter run from mach 3." What is the gemini? I have an invertor to drive the motor

    "if you connect direct to the stepper input board the motors will only move with the direction input removed, obviously no good!" assume cutting wire will kill manual use, but does the connection to the TR array fix this? Was the TR array disconnected from the Z80 board?

    Regards

  13. #13
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    Converting 160TCL

    Hi

    All the quotes you highlight are from someone who said he converted a 125TCL of unknown vintage.

    I completely converted my 160 a long time back.

    Whilst initially leaning towards maintaining manual control from the front panel, I decided that it would involve a lot more wiring complexity and everything I might want to do manually could be easily achieved by using the keyboard to jog axis or using the MDI line.

    My experience using the lathe afterwards confirmed this, the only time I would have used manual would be to say face up a billet prior to setting up for a job run, MDI line or jogging is fine for this.

    I should have updated when I finished my conversion, but like everyone else I got busy using it.

    So here go the basics. (It covers conversion to run under Mach3, it will run under EMC2 but the setting described are Mach specific)

    Assuming that you have full manual control from the front panel, the first 2 things you need to order are a Opto isolated breakout board and an opto isolated Spindle board.

    I got mine from www.diycnc.co.uk. They work, are made in UK and are cheaper than US boards, especially with exchange rate dropping
    They take about a week to arrive, the guy Roy makes them up to order.
    What you need is
    http://www.diycnc.co.uk/html/opto_board.html
    and
    http://www.diycnc.co.uk/html/spindle_2.html

    I have attached a picture of the finished conversion showing these boards mounted under the cabinet fan

    Once you have the boards it is easy to get the axis running quickly.
    I just cut the 12 pin plug, which incorporates X Z and A (ATC) in the top 6 pins, in half and replaced the top half with a 6 pin plug from an old computer PSU and ran the cables straight to the stepper outputs on the opto port board.

    I set up the ATC as the B axis under Mach and set the shortcut keys to jog it on Page Up and Page Down on the keyboard.
    I have written a macro for M6 which automatically indexes the ATC to the correct tool position.
    If all your screw pitches etc are the same as mine it should work straight off, if not you may have to tweak the settings.

    The limit switches are all connected in series and attached to one input on the board.
    It doesn't matter which one tripped, that will be obvious from where the carriage and slide are.

    The interlocks ( cover and pulley cowl )are similarly connected in serial to the Estop circuit in Mach.
    I did not connect the Estop button on the front panel, because it gave weird side effects with the 24v system being permanently latched.
    Since hitting it will knock out the 24v which in turn will stop the charge pump on the opto board and prevent any movement, that was good enough

    The index disc will need the slot opening out to 6mm.
    If you have a milling machine, just a question of centering it on the hole above the slot and milling out a grove of 6mm through the existing slot and that hole.
    If you want to do a lot of screwcutting you may need to cut 3 further slots and use the timing pulse input, but mine runs fine at present with just one slot and the pulse from the lower optical switch fed to Mach.
    I have heavily shielded the pulse wire with screened cable which may well have helped greatly.

    I found that the timing pulses only worked properly if I spliced into the cable to the serial board as opposed to cutting and replacing it.
    Don't know why and don't much care so long as it works.
    I have disconnected a little as possible from the original wiring.

    If you download the wiring diagram you will see the connector block for the timing pulse.
    I have attached a pic of the connection I made. The wires you need to splice into are GND and P.

    The wiring of the speed board to the inverter is simple, look on the net for a manual for your particular inverter, there are just 2 wires to connect to govern spindle speed and 2 for spindle rotation plus a common GND
    There is already a screened lead connecting the inverter to the Boxford boards.
    I removed this and connected direct to the Spindle 2 board.
    Red is V out, Yellow is 0V, Black is common on the relay with Blue being NC and Green being NO on the relay for spindle rotation.
    The White lead is not used and is taped up.
    A picture is attached.

    That is pretty much it

    Hope this is useful

    regards

    Melee
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscn2171.jpg   dscn2194.jpg   dscn2196.jpg  

  14. #14
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    Question Boxford 160 tcl

    Is this a realistic project from a newcomer to CNC? (I have electronics experience, somewhat dated and a manual lathe and mill.)
    Thanks, Rod

  15. #15
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    Realistic Project

    Yes, if the machine is fully working and all you are doing is putting it under remote computer control, it should be.

    My experience of electronics was not extensive, but this was basically a wiring job which just required a sound knowledge of basics.

    Or if you just want to use the lathe, my machine fully converted and running under Mach3, will be on the market soon to finance my current projects, which are from scratch retro-fits of bigger machines.

    regards

    Melee

  16. #16
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    hi from kitchener

  17. #17
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    Smile it was me!

    i converted my as factory 125 to mach in an evening but the resolution was c**p. its now been converted to mitsubishi servos so fast threading is now childs play with 6000mm/min speed available on both axis with no lost steps.

    anyone else done this to a boxford?
    so much to learn, so much to pass on.

  18. #18
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    Hi,
    I've just picked up a Boxford 160, and it didn't come with a serial cable.
    On the back of the unit the only port is a 37 pin connector. Does anyone have the pin out of this? Or could advise on how best to connect to a computer?

    I have all the Boxford software working, just no means of plugging it in!

    Cheers,
    Dan

  19. #19
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    serial on TCL160

    Dan,
    Is the 37 way connected to the Microprocessor Board SK1 ?

    136-00-03 just has a std sub min D serial connector, RS232
    is this an old old one that connected to a BBC micro?, but you say you have the software? running on what?

  20. #20
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    All sorted... Well; ish...
    It turns out it was a BBC Z80 board inside. So all that will be pulled, and rebuilt appropriately on Mach3.
    Before the lathe arrived I spent hours getting the software working and setup. I managed to get v4, v5 & v6 of the Boxford software working! But it seems that it was a waste of time, as I'll never get to use it now...
    Ah well... I guess Mach 3 is much superior, and was what I was aiming for long term.

    Cheers for your help.
    I'll be sure to make a post when the conversion is done.

    Ta,
    Dan

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