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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > Need help with a Boxford Duet Lathe/Mill
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  1. #1
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    Need help with a Boxford Duet Lathe/Mill

    I recently acquired two Boxford Duet combination Lathe and Mill. They are missing the power supply and control software. I emailed Boxford asking for their assistance but never received a resopnse even though it appears to be a current machine. Does anyone have any ideas about hooking this thing up and what software I might obtain to make it go, or is the software proprietary? I wouldn't mind building the power supply if I could get a schematic but that still leaves the software problem. If worse comes to worse I can always gut the electronics and start over but I always like the easy way out.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Would you be interested in selling one of them?

  3. #3
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    Actually I bought them both so I could leave one set up in the mill position and the other as a lathe. While it doesn't take long to switch from one position to the other, they only cost $300 each (yes, auctions are sweet) so I figured why not get both and save the three minutes. Thanks for the offer though.

  4. #4
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    Do you know of anywhere else I can find one? Preferrably used instead of new.

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't know where to look. I had never heard of Boxford before this auction. Apparently they make small machines for teaching at technical colleges and the sort. You might try some of the schools in your area because it is not a production machine. Emco-Maier also makes small teaching machines and I got one of those off Ebay last year and I still see those from time to time there but they fetch prices upward to $1000. I think I got the Boxfords for so little because no one had ever heard of them. It looks like I am going to have to gut the machines electronics and put in a 4 axis controller from HobbyCNC because I can't get any help from Boxford or their distributors.

  6. #6
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    Do you know of any of their distributors in the US?

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    TXCOWDOG do you have a picture of the main control board or a model #of the step drivers. I am working on a boxford TCL160 and was wondering if the boards are similar. So far I have mapped out the functions and with a new interface board and speed control board from Bob Campbell designs, it looks to be an easy fix. Most of what was in the cabinet is now gone. I will run it on Mach3 Turn. Terry Parker

  9. #9
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    vmax

    Sorry for the delay. I am a manufacturer and the Christmas season keep me slammed to the wall with work. Give me a couple more days and I run that down for you. Thanks for your interest in my project.

  10. #10
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    Let me know when you are ready. Terry

  11. #11
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    duet + boxford = pain in the ass!

    i have two of these machines as well
    both have the controllers but the machines take a werd sereal cable that is custom. i havent been able to get the machine to comunicate with the computer yet but i hope to
    i have the version 4 software if anyone wants it
    it cost me 25 pownds sterling cince it is no longer supported
    im currious about retrofitting these machines cince they work as a mill and a lathe..... any info would be great as well as maby starting a support goup!
    there a cool little machine that have allot of potential if i could ever get them running
    word!

  12. #12
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    MK1 Duet Communication

    Hi I have just bought one of these and I will be modifying it with new cabling and I think it needs better software, does anyone have circuit diagrams, cabling information, command structure etc also why does it have a serial and parrallel connection to the duet controller? I suspect it uses the parrallel port for stepping the motors is this true? fairly badly informed at the momment but when I get more info will report back.

  13. #13
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    Boxford Duet

    Hi
    The cable on the Duet is a NULL modem cable the motor control is via parallel and boxford won't tell me the serial commands or the baud rate that the Duet uses, I can't think of how much more unhelpful they could be apart from telling me to p*** *ff, But help or no help I will be putting a RS232 break out box on and will trap all the commands to and from the DUET so there!, their documentation is quite comprehensive in that they do supply a circuit diagram so make sure you get the documentaion with the Lathe/Mill.

  14. #14
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    heres one for the kids at home.....?

    i am in the process of getting one of my duets to work. i have made a custom sereal cable ( null modem cable ) thanks controller! and the machine is comunicateing with the computer. due to the fact that i am running in a windows 98 platform boxford gave me a memory fix that will reduce the memory from 32 mb to 64k.
    the problem is i dont know where the CONFIG.SYS section of the shortcut \boxford\duetm\main.exe ?
    if anyone knows what im talking about please help me out
    or if anyone has a coppy of the software v5 or better i would be intersted in a coppy. if anyone needs a coppy of v4 i have it.
    thanks
    mb

  15. #15
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    finally got the thing working !!! :)

    ok so after some farting aroud on the internet i got a idea to run the computer in dos mode useing a dos 5.0 boot disk. allong with this i added a small program that allows me to use the mouse in dos mode. i booted up the machine ran the mouse program, accesed the c:\ duet and presto! the dam thing works!!!!!
    after almost 5 years i finally got both machines running.
    more to come if anyone is intersted. i have the v4 software and manuals if anyone is intersted. i would like a coppy of v5 or v6 if anyone knows where to get one other than boxford.:wee:

  16. #16
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    I've got two of those old monsters and am very interested in the software and any notes that might help me get mine going. Congrats on your success!

  17. #17
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    Lightbulb Software

    Hi
    There is a copy of version 6 on the http://www.boxford.co.uk/boxford/ website I think your key disk should work but its still pretty poor software. I did manage to get Mach 3 running the Duet but at first it wouldn't control the spindle however I did find the codes, I hacked the RS232 cable using a logger and found that if you send one of the files in the boxford library "Duet.dat" to the duet it will recognised it and think that subsequent commands are coming from the ligitimate software ( I just can't remember the parity and speed I think 19.2 even parity I will check). Mach 3 will allow you to send this code to the duet by RS232 under VB so it is possible to run the DUET. however I gave up because I managed to get the Boxford software working, not great but good enough for what I want.

  18. #18
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    TCL160 and 220

    I found a couple of these machines, cheap, keys on there way. Interested in Circuit diagrams or interface details

  19. #19
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    hay im haveing a very hard time getting the version 6 software to work
    i apperently have the original files but the machine will not jog when im at that point of homeing and the sort
    anyway just thaught you might know something i dont
    thanks again
    mb

  20. #20
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    Anothe one of these machines not going yet

    I have just bought on of theses machines and downloaded the V6.03 software. it is not communicating though. I am probably being a bit silly in that I am using an XP laptop with a USB to serial adaptor. I have also noticed that all the stepper drivers are dead since the little status lights come on in all the wrong order (diagonally opposite lights or all 4 are on at once) so i am running it with the steppers disconnected at the moment.
    Does the serial port need to me set up first or will the boxford software do that? Ideally I would like to write some new software to send a stream of nc codes to the machine. there is of course the option of pulling the ROM out of it and writing new firmware since it is only an 8032 in there (although the there is also a PLD in there too doing something i haven't figured out yet)

    I have been taking lots of pictures which i will put up on flickr in the next few days should anyone be interested.

    P

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