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  1. #1
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    Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Hi all,

    I've just picked up a used Extron E320 with the Mirl Milling 2000 control on it. I'm trying to set up a way to transfer files to it. It has a network card plus RS232 port and I've fitted a floppy to USB emulator which is showing up the USB stick (formatted as a 1.44mb floppy) in DOS but won't do the same through the control program. I can't get it to communicate through RS232 with any DNC program, I've tried a regular and null modem cable with the same results. If anyone has RS232 settings they know work and would share I'd appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Greg

  2. #2
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    I am sure the machine itself is very nice, but any controller which wants either floppy disks or RS232 is so utterly obsolete that it is seriously not funny. You are going to have endless problems trying to talk to it.
    Have you considered a refit?

    Cheers
    Roger

  3. #3
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    I got it sorted. It did have an ethernet port which we couldn't get connected. A lot of reading and research and I ended up connecting the machine to a Windows XP computer using netbeui which I couldn't do with Windows 7. It picks up the folder on my PC as the G drive through the netdnc setup and works perfectly. The machine uses a PC based controller running DOS 6.62 so I was able to set it up to find the folder on my PC when the machine starts up. I just need to work out a post processor for mastercam now, it's close to the basic Fanuc one but uses ; instead of brackets for comments and a few other little issues. I ran a program on it tonight with a little bit of hand editing and the machine works perfectly so I'm not unhappy with it.

    It's this control on the machine:
    Welcome to our Tool and Cutter Grinder and CNC Machine Tools Website-MIRL Control for Milling

  4. #4
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Hi Greg

    Ah - an ethernet connection. Much better.
    PC-based - much better.
    DOS 6.62 - um ... interesting. This is antique, but on the other hand it may be better than a W8 or W10 system. Far fewer overheads and missing some of the 'windows' hassles. Even with WXP I sometimes have to drop back to the CLI in Safe Mode.

    If you managed to get the ethernet connection going to WXP, you should be able to get it connected to W7. But WXP-SP3 is just fine. I have used both with an ESS. With a USB port for transfer, I can't think of anything else which might be missing. An interesting array of info on that MIRL web site.

    I would love to hear how well your machine goes.

    Cheers
    Roger
    PS: which State?

  5. #5
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Yep Roger, it was a little concerning with the RS232 DNC setup but this is great now with the ethernet. I fitted a floppy to USB emulator which was cheap and simple but still limited the file size so the ethernet is very handy. I'm in NSW but about 100m from the ACT border. One bonus with the issues over the past few weeks is that I know the machine inside out now. I had issues with the control stopping and beeping which turned out to be a loose board, it had a fair trip on a truck to get here so it got shaken around a bit and a few things came loose over the entire machine. I've pulled everything out, cleaned the contacts and put it back together again and it's fine now. The guarding and bare metal bits were a little rusty looking but have cleaned up fine. A couple of runs through with machine cleaner has got the coolant system pretty good so I'll empty it out and give it one last clean before I get into some proper machining with it.

    I think I might have just found a post for it that is for a Fanuc 0M control. I've just changed from a Tormach 1100 to this and it makes me appreciate how easy Tormach make their machines to use but having the tool changer, 10 times the HP, spindle oil chiller and twice the work envelope is a bonus. The rapids are scary after the Tormach but I'm getting used to it pretty quickly This thing obviously will be a lot more useful and it's only been 3 weeks from it getting here to be up and running so it's not too bad. Thankfully this is only a hobby outside of my regular job so it's not having to put food on the table.

    The control has an output for a 4th axis so I'll have a play with that later, it's all Mitsubishi gear inside so it might be possible to add one at some stage. They sell the same machine in the US as an Atrump machine with a Centroid control which would be nicer but this machine was practically a straight swap money-wise for the Tormach plus a fair bit of time getting it cleaned up and going. It's got the upgraded coolant system and chip conveyors etc so it'll be really useful for what I make.

    I have a Cincinnati Sabre 750 that came out of the Uni here but is missing a few electronic components from somewhere between the Uni, the auction company and here but it's like new and all linear guides so it might get a proper retrofit over the next couple of years. It has an old Acramatic 850 control and is probably not worth the effort to get that control system up and running again. It was cheap to buy so will probably make a decent project.

  6. #6
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    > 100m from the ACT border.
    Queanbeyan? I'm in Sydney.

    > The rapids are scary after the Tormach
    Difference between hobby and industrial I imagine.

    > it's all Mitsubishi gear inside
    NOT Chinese? Oh very nice ! ! !

    > It's got the upgraded coolant system and chip conveyors etc
    Just a suggestion: read up on MQL before you commit to that horrible coolant stuff. I use an air blast and a pulsed mist system. Parts come out 'dry'.

    All sounds very nice.
    Cheers
    Roger

  7. #7
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Sorry for the slow reply, yep Queanbeyan. I got it running and made a couple of parts on Friday and it works really well. I've got the post processor almost sorted, a couple more little tweaks and I won't have to hand edit anything before using it. Working out the tool offset table took a little time but it's good now. There's very little info around about these controls but working it all out over the last month has been a pretty good way to learn it. I have a couple of weeks off work now to get stuck in and use it so it's looking good.

    Magnum Machinery in Brisbane have been really helpful, they sold the machine new in 2004 and spent a lot more time than they needed to giving me some tips and advice on some of the issues I had.

    It had a split air line on the tool changer so the caroussel was shooting back after the tool change reall quickly and slamming against the stop. I think that's what caused the issue with the boards in the computer, it was shaking the whole machine each time it slammed back. With $3 worth of new hose it's quiet and smooth and the tool changer ramps down the speed before stopping which makes the whole machine a lot quieter and smoother.

    I did some reading up on MQL and might have a look at it when I get a few dollars back in the bank. For now I need to start making some parts, I have a list of jobs a mile long I need to get through to catch up on what I haven't made over the past couple of months while changing over to this. The nice part with this machine is I can make some of my rifle stocks in one piece which will make them quicker to make and lighter when they're finished, all going well the machine should pay itself off by the end of the year.

  8. #8
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    There is a certain satisfaction sitting back watching a machine hum away smoothly and correctly. A comfortable chair helps.

    Worth knowing about the support from Magnum. There are good vendors, and 'less good' ones.

    I have automated my air and mist. M8 turns the air blast on - no worries. M7 turns the mist system on. Timer #1 sets the interval between pulses of mist; Timer #2 sets the length of each pulse. Both timers are controlled by front panel pots: tuning is easy. There is also an over-ride button to force a pulse of mist. It mainly gets used first thing in the morning to check that the mist line has fluid in it, but that is essential.
    So now I sit back and let the mist system look after things. Very satisfactory.

    Um - not sure you use any coolant on wood stocks though?

    Cheers
    Roger

  9. #9
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    The stocks are aluminium, I do have plans to make myself a couple of nice timber ones at some stage though. I make a few different styles but couldn't keep up with demand with the Tormach.

    Attachment 319458

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  10. #10
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Hi Proengines, i've just purchased an Extron myself and funny enough i've gone through pretty much the same issues you have with comms. I have it all sorted now but am looking for a post processor now for Fusion 360, I see you have modified a mastercam processor and I am wondering what changes you have made ( If you'd be so kind to tell me ) so that I may be able to modify mine. I'm in Brissy and have used Magnum's services throughout the whole moving and install side as they knew the machine from when the guy I bought it off had it.

    Cheers,
    Stephen

  11. #11
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    I have an Extron as well. Mine is a V5AC, but it has the Fanuc OI controller on it. Magnum's helped me a lot when I put the machine in.

    Rick

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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    I have just picked up an older Extron B5AC machine, this is running the Mirl 2000 software. If anyone is interested l have a pdf copy of operation manual around 2 meg and l have also scanned conversation manual, unfortantly around 27 meg, need to some how reduce size without loosing quality.

  13. #13
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Peter35 - I would certainly be interested in the manual. Do you mind emailing it to me abanco@bigpond.net.au

  14. #14
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Will email tomorrow when l get into work.
    Peter

  15. #15
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Appreciate it Peter, thank you
    Ariel

  16. #16
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    I am after a post processor for the Mirl, would anyone have one they could email me.
    I have a mastercam post however it is for version 9 not Mastercam X. I am also running hsmworks and fusion 360.
    I am also looking at the centroid retrofit, has anyone had experience with these.

  17. #17
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Quote Originally Posted by proengines View Post
    The stocks are aluminium, I do have plans to make myself a couple of nice timber ones at some stage though. I make a few different styles but couldn't keep up with demand with the Tormach.
    Hhmmm. I wonder are you a registered gunsmith with a valid licence? My understanding is making any "functional" part of any gun (including paintball) in this country is illegal?

  18. #18
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter35 View Post
    I am after a post processor for the Mirl, would anyone have one they could email me.
    I have a mastercam post however it is for version 9 not Mastercam X. I am also running hsmworks and fusion 360.
    I am also looking at the centroid retrofit, has anyone had experience with these.
    Hi Peter, I have a post that I am using for Fusion360, happy to email it through. In return can I get a copy of the Mastercam post? I have a friend with Mirl software and Is trying to run Matercam atm.
    Cheers Stephen,

  19. #19
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Quote Originally Posted by FastFarmer View Post
    Hhmmm. I wonder are you a registered gunsmith with a valid licence? My understanding is making any "functional" part of any gun (including paintball) in this country is illegal?
    I believe the Stock is fine.

  20. #20
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    Re: Extron E320 CNC mill communications.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aly-Tek View Post
    Hi Peter, I have a post that I am using for Fusion360, happy to email it through. In return can I get a copy of the Mastercam post? I have a friend with Mirl software and Is trying to run Matercam atm.
    Cheers Stephen,
    G'day Steve
    Can you give me an email address, am not able to upload pst files.
    my email is peterdamage@gmail.com

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