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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Milltronics > New to me Milltronics Partner MB16
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  1. #1

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    New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I just picked up an MB16.
    There are few questions that I have.
    The bezel around the CRT monitor says Centurion I. Is that specific to the version of the software that might have come with the machine or just a general placard?
    As best as I can tell based on the boot (POST) display is that I have "3 Axis SLS CNC 6.107"
    There is also something about "NCBDC 1.02 5-29-97 Non-Yaskawa".

    1. I would like to know what capabilities I have with this machine as far as loading programs. I see a floppy drive on the right side. Is this the best and possibly only way to load the tool paths? What file format should I try to send from Fusion360?

    2. The number pad is weird. Looks like the bottom and 3rd row were swapped. The functions match the number pad, so not sure if someone swapped the actual keys because the software was upgraded and somehow screwed up or what happened there.

    3. Feedrate selector knob does't match display. The feedrate goes from 0 to 140, but when I actually mess with it, it'll jump from 80 to 20, then to 110, and so on. I can select 60 or 70 to get 100%. Also, when using the crank dial, moving from odd to even numbers (on feed rate) switches movement from fast to slow.


    A little background on me. I have zero experience with any machining, not even a high school shop class. I do have technical degrees so maybe I'm not a complete moron. I picked up this machine in hopes to learn something about machining and not be limited to my current skill set of basic welding, grinding, etc. I have been watching a ton of instructional videos in hopes to learn. I was planning on attending local machinist program at the technical school but with this Rona thing going around god only knows when regular classes will resume.
    I do not plan on making a living with this thing -- just a hobbyist. I'm located in Rio Rancho NM, which is to say that I live in BFE, with little around me in terms of shops, supplies, help. I'm sure I'll ask stupid questions along the way but I have a thick skin, so feel free to let me have it.

    Thank you for any and all help offered.

    Mario

  2. #2
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Could be a patched together machine but who knows without seeing the machine. Sounds like the perimeters are not loaded? Centurion 1 machines are not supported by Milltronics anymore but you can call them and find out the history of the machine if you give them the Serial #. The feedrate dial is the percentage of the programmed feed.. Search this forum for post from sportybob. He is the expert here and usually post is phone number to contact him. Good luck

  3. #3
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Can't answer most of your questions, my machine was completely different software version. But the keys... here is a picture of mine and every one I have ever seen is the same.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Brian L,
    That looks like my Centurion 6. His screen shot shows Centurion I and from what I remember they were a little different. There are few On youtube, but they don't look like his screen shots either.

  5. #5
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I agree, I know very little about Centurion 1, but I did find a crappy picture on a website that sells LCD retrofits (for a stupid, insane price I might add) and it looks pretty much the same.

    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-4rcg...=2&imbypass=on

  6. #6

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I'm trying to source PS2 keyboard to see what the number pad does.

  7. #7

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    What are my options for upgrading to newer software -- if it's even worth it?

    If that's not possible (physically or financially), what is the deal with the USB or flash card upgrade? Is it as simple as replacing the floppy disk drive?

  8. #8
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Keyboard is pretty easy to find. Software upgrade, I doubt it would be worth it, the old software isn't much different from the new from what I have seen. As for USB, not going to work, these things run on DOS, and that was before USB. You can replace the floppy drive with an emulator and then use a thumb drive. There are some limitations on the home brewed versions, although Sporty Bob has devised one that allows for much larger downloads, best to talk to him. I'd want the machine up and running in good shape before I thought about spending money on things that might not matter.

    I used RS232 on mine to connect to my shop computer and send programs back and forth. You can get free software for transferring files, I use NCLink also called ONE DNC by One CNC. Easy to make a cable and then use a cheap computer in the shop for storing and upload/download.

  9. #9

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian L View Post
    Keyboard is pretty easy to find. Software upgrade, I doubt it would be worth it, the old software isn't much different from the new from what I have seen. As for USB, not going to work, these things run on DOS, and that was before USB. You can replace the floppy drive with an emulator and then use a thumb drive. There are some limitations on the home brewed versions, although Sporty Bob has devised one that allows for much larger downloads, best to talk to him. I'd want the machine up and running in good shape before I thought about spending money on things that might not matter.

    I used RS232 on mine to connect to my shop computer and send programs back and forth. You can get free software for transferring files, I use NCLink also called ONE DNC by One CNC. Easy to make a cable and then use a cheap computer in the shop for storing and upload/download.
    Thanks for the replay.
    Keyboard -- yes on easy sourcing. I used to have a ton but haven't had to use one in several years, so it's just finding it.
    I agree on the software upgrade that if it's 2-3 grand it's not worth it.
    I IM'ed Sporty Bob yesterday. Hopefully he's still active on the board. If not, I'll call the number posted on one of the threads.
    What did you use for the RS232? Is it that 25 pin looking port around the floppy drive? Do you have the process you can share? It's been over 25 years since I had to play with RS232 in any meaningful way.

  10. #10
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    ...do you have a older PC with Windows XP with a Serial port? There was a program called Hyper-terminal you could use to transfer files via RS232 port on CNC. Thats one more possible option for ya.

    DJ

  11. #11
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    The RS232, I used a DB25 to RJ45 adapter (ethernet) and a DB9 to RJ45 adapter. Use the DB25 at thee machine, DB9 at the computer with pretty much any length Cat 6 ethernet cable you want.

    I will try to attach the PDF files I have on using RS232. When making the cables, leave the adapters open and play with the pins without fully inserting them and you can get your wires right before finally assembling the adapters. If I recall correctly, it's only three wires you actually use. Can't attach a PDF, so here is a link to it on my Dropbox:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/dig0bd9udg...bling.pdf?dl=0

    Attachment 444752

  12. #12

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I show COM1 & COM2. Do you guys know which one is the one on the outside, by the floppy drive?

    I sorta remember only using pins 2,3&5 and 2,3 were the ones you had to mess with. There should be a null modem setting somewhere that swaps the pins for you but from memory I remember we had issues.
    I looked at the machine just now and it looks like COM1 is standard 9600 baud rate, but weird E/7/2. If memory serves right 'normal' comms were no error correction, 8 bits and 1 stop. I'll play with the settings and see if I can get it changed on either end.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CaptureOverride.JPG  

  13. #13
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Read the file in my drop box, it explains all of this.

  14. #14

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    In case someone is looking at this later. I made a mistake. The connector for the keyboard is NOT PS/2. It is in fact AT.
    I went and bought an old AT style keyboard with keypad. Works great! 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 keys operate the X & Y drives, and +,* do the Z axis.

  15. #15

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I'm using Fusion360 as my learning platform.
    I created a simple facing operation that I'm now trying to save. The software is asking me to save file as (*.nc) format.
    1. Is that correct?
    and
    2. Are there any specific settings I need to aware of? Software is asking for Post properties. Post configuration is asking for Library, Capability, Vendor and others.

    Is the NC a global file format or do I need to save it/ change it to be something different?

  16. #16
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    I use .tap files, but .nc should work if I remember correctly. Now that you know your keyboard moves the machine, double check the keypad based on the pictures I sent of the "normal" layout of the keys and see if they works as they are supposed to and somebody just put the keys back on wrong.

    Can't help with Fusion as I don't care for it, makes way too much code for these old machines to handle. My son would probably know, he runs Fusion on his Milltronics.

  17. #17

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Help me understand the file transfer process.
    I got USB to RS232 cable that looks like it'll work. I set things up on the laptop and crated small facing file.
    On Milltronics, I go to RS232 and select Receive, and type the file name. I get the screen that says receiving.
    On the PC I send the contents of the file (not the filename).
    It seems like the machine never sees it. I eventually hit ESC to abort and the file, while showing in the list of files, appears empty.

    So the question that I have is: Should I be sending the file as in attachment or the contents of the file, which is what I think I'm doing?
    The other question, and perhaps it should the the first one: Is the port on the side of the machine Com1 or Com2?

  18. #18
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    You have to be using some form of communications software. Open the program in that software and send it from there. Did you check send and receive voltages on the cable like the document said? It's also easier and quicker to send from the machine to the computer for testing purposes.

  19. #19
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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    ...agree with Brian. Send from CNC to PC 1st to check connection and the Format of a program.... sometimes a blank line is needed...then a % sign on the next line and the last line of a program

    DJ

  20. #20

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    Re: New to me Milltronics Partner MB16

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian L View Post
    I use .tap files, but .nc should work if I remember correctly. Now that you know your keyboard moves the machine, double check the keypad based on the pictures I sent of the "normal" layout of the keys and see if they works as they are supposed to and somebody just put the keys back on wrong.

    Can't help with Fusion as I don't care for it, makes way too much code for these old machines to handle. My son would probably know, he runs Fusion on his Milltronics.
    I'm the son lol. I will try to take a look in the next day or two and get all my settings to try to help you get up and running.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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