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  1. #1
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    New to me NM135

    I'm sure some of you have seen this one on ebay. I picked it up for $2,584 shipped from AZ to AL. Since it was sold as not working I assume it will need stepper drivers and or a Mach 3 breakout board and power supply. Fingers crossed its BLDC drive and motor are functional enough to buy me a few months.

    I'm hoping some people can answer a few questions. First, I don't recognize the "tool holder" which looks like it's aluminum with a flat(s) and what looks to be an endmill maybe sticking out. This doesn't look like other NM135/KX3 or Syil spindles I have seen before either. Could this be some sort of high speed spindle or the 3500 rpm? Not sure if there are differences. I am hoping it's atleast a R8 spindle capable of 5000-6000 RPM. For all I know the controller/motor may be the only change for 3.5K vs 6K. Hopefully it's not one of those Sieg OZ25 or whatever collet setups. My ideal pick would be iso 30.

    I believe it has a A2Z bed plate probably to gain some Y axis as the chip tray beds are 1/16 smaller? Is that 1/16 x 2 smaller? I am hoping I have a revision capable of 7.5" on the Y axis. I purchased it planning to mod the Y even if that means casting the base in granite with 25mm linear rail mounts and a shimmed head.

    It looks to have some sort of coolant system missing the adjustable loc line? I didn't bother asking a bunch of questions from the seller as he clearly was a reseller and would have added the information had he known. I know this unit was on ebay a few times first starting around 4000 if I recall correctly. I hadn't planned on buying a full cnc at the time but a PM25 to convert but the current wait times with price increase made this a no brainer.

    Thanks and I greatly appreciate any information you may have. No wrong answers on this one...

    Sent from my SM-T860 using Tapatalk

  2. #2

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    Re: New to me NM135

    Should be a steel spindle with flats for a wrench, R8 collets.


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  3. #3
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by Davez64 View Post
    Should be a steel spindle with flats for a wrench, R8 collets.


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    Ok I can kinda see that. Looks like rust maybe on it too. Still seems to extend out of the bearing quite a ways vs the others I have seen.

    I get the machine Thursday according to the shipper so I'll know for sure what the deal is there, was hoping someone might recognize this spindle design or even machine and fill me in. I have seen mention of version. 3, 3.1 etc but no clue if those changes are logged anywhere.

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  4. #4
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    Re: New to me NM135

    If it does not have a controller I highly recommend that you avoid mach 3. If you do decide to use mach 3 I do have a break out board and spindle controller for a cheap price. I have the bigger version of this mill a Torus pro. I put a Centroid acorn on mine and it was a great improvement.

    That spindle looks like mine. you change the tools with 2 wrenches. You can use R8 collets or the Tormach style tool holders. If you go with the Tormach style holders you wont have to remeasure after every tool change.

  5. #5
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    If it does not have a controller I highly recommend that you avoid mach 3. If you do decide to use mach 3 I do have a break out board and spindle controller for a cheap price. I have the bigger version of this mill a Torus pro. I put a Centroid acorn on mine and it was a great improvement.

    That spindle looks like mine. you change the tools with 2 wrenches. You can use R8 collets or the Tormach style tool holders. If you go with the Tormach style holders you wont have to remeasure after every tool change.
    Thanks! The part sticking down does look like a Torus Pro but the black part where the bearing rests I assume looks to be thicker than blue hands videos show and a different color. I'm wondering if the previous owner(s) didn't replace/upgrade the spindle at some point and Novakon sold them a Torus spindle.

    I definitely have plans on using centroid once I have an extra $300 for it. I recommended it to a friend who is starting fresh as I haven't enjoyed mach 3 in the past cnc conversions I have done. That said, a Mach 3 USB breakout can be had for $30 and I have the license already so I may end up with it again for awhile. I'd love to just run the machine as is and upgrade straight to an acorn.

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  6. #6
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    If it does not have a controller I highly recommend that you avoid mach 3. If you do decide to use mach 3 I do have a break out board and spindle controller for a cheap price. I have the bigger version of this mill a Torus pro. I put a Centroid acorn on mine and it was a great improvement.

    That spindle looks like mine. you change the tools with 2 wrenches. You can use R8 collets or the Tormach style tool holders. If you go with the Tormach style holders you wont have to remeasure after every tool change.
    Forgot, hoping I won't need them but I may be in touch for some or all of your components. I'll know by this weekend for sure what's what.

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  7. #7
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by hax0red View Post
    Forgot, hoping I won't need them but I may be in touch for some or all of your components. I'll know by this weekend for sure what's what.

    Sent from my SM-T860 using Tapatalk
    Although I would like to make the sale I highly recommend you don't buy the stuff from me. Get an acorn it works far better. The stuff I have is far more expensive than the mach 3 board you mentioned for $30. I'm grateful to Mach 3 for getting me started. I had it on 3 different machines. It's really not worth the headaches especially when you are eventually going to upgrade it to something else anyway. The stuff I have is better suited to someone who is staying with Mach 3 permanently.

  8. #8
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    Although I would like to make the sale I highly recommend you don't buy the stuff from me. Get an acorn it works far better. The stuff I have is far more expensive than the mach 3 board you mentioned for $30. I'm grateful to Mach 3 for getting me started. I had it on 3 different machines. It's really not worth the headaches especially when you are eventually going to upgrade it to something else anyway. The stuff I have is better suited to someone who is staying with Mach 3 permanently.
    Yeah I've wanted the acorn since day one. My next best bet would be PP with Mesa card.

    For the motor and controller I have read a lot of people having issues but I believe these are similar controllers on the Sieg C4 lathe and KX3? Is it just a heat problem beyond the random no start in Mach? I like to run 3/8 endmills a lot and 1/2 if I need a lot of stick out to rough then usually finish with a smaller endmill as they leave a smoother finish, though not as bright in 6061. I believe the stock motor should be fine as it's brushless and hopefully a 6k setup. Has anyone tried flipping the motor to sit on top using stand offs? Seems like it would get more air in a standard configuration and the controller I would try cooling with a 80mm fan.

    Still not sure how the 3.5k/6k setups differ. I have seen some controllers say 6000 rpm specifically and I believe some motors are 3500 rpm. I also saw Syil mention his doubts about them doing 6k and maybe thats why he rated his x4's at 5k? Sure wish there were some more facts on these. I'll be sure and share my findings for anyone in the future looking.

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  9. #9
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    Re: New to me NM135

    If you go the PP route some of the guys here have already done that conversion. There are threads about how to do it here. My issue with path pilot was that they really don't want us to use it on our machines. That may cause issues with future updates.

    The issues I had with mach 3 were not heat related. It would do stuff like forget to apply tool offsets. Axis runaways while jogging. Worst one was on the start of a part in a multi part run it went to the start point. Paused then lifted and tried to cut a part at a totally new unprogrammed location. I was watching to see what was happening and it just tried to cut air. Mach did seem to work ok on my older computers but I did not trust it.

    I can't help with spindle details because I have a different machine.

    Good luck with your project.

  10. #10
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    Re: New to me NM135

    That may cause issues with future updates.
    I decided to just stay on PP1.9 as it works flawlessly for me

  11. #11
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Well it looks like XPO is now saying it's going to take 11 days to deliver from 4 states over. Seems to sit at each hub about 3 days. The shipping was $758 so it's not like it was cheap.

    Anyways I got a lathe here that needs DROs installed in the meantime. I wouldn't mind waiting but I'm dying to know if it's a whole mill or not....

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  12. #12
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by kvom View Post
    I decided to just stay on PP1.9 as it works flawlessly for me
    I just bought a new SSD to do an upgrade to PP 2.8.1. Not sure what I will gain, but its another project I wanted to do.

    Scott...
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  13. #13
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Got the machine and tore it down completely. Had no stepper drivers or breakout board so I'll probably pickup some cheap DM556 drivers for the X & Y with a DM860 for the Z. It does have a 3500 rpm controller(assume motor is 3500 too sadly) but there is a cap that's swollen corroded. It's a 50v 470uf cap so doesn't appear to be part of the 220v control system. Now I assume this is a 220v controller because of the four large 1000uf 250v caps on the back. Haven't found a wiring diagram but I'm hoping an old syil or kx3 machines wiring will be available.

    For all I know this still worked but looking at the motor and the oil residue the coolant system wasn't kind to the electronics. It seems crazy to me that the motor is inside the head with a huge hole in the bottom exposing it to the coolant and chips.


    I have found a controller I think might work https://m.aliexpress.com/item/4000822156342.html

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  14. #14
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    Re: New to me NM135

    I would not assume it's a 220 volt powered unit based on a capacitor rating. You will need to figure that out for sure. Someone on here must have a manual for your machine. It kind of looks like you are going to be starting from scratch. Might be worth sending an email to Novakon to see if they have a manual available.

    There are drives sold by reputable companies in the usa that only cost a few dollars more. They also have a warranty. The ones I used are made by a company called KB electronics. I tried 2 of them and they both worked well.

    I'm not a big fan of ordering electronics from Ali Express you are taking a bit of a chance.

  15. #15
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    I would not assume it's a 220 volt powered unit based on a capacitor rating. You will need to figure that out for sure. Someone on here must have a manual for your machine. It kind of looks like you are going to be starting from scratch. Might be worth sending an email to Novakon to see if they have a manual available.

    There are drives sold by reputable companies in the usa that only cost a few dollars more. They also have a warranty. The ones I used are made by a company called KB electronics. I tried 2 of them and they both worked well.

    I'm not a big fan of ordering electronics from Ali Express you are taking a bit of a chance.
    Hi, I think your motors were quite different to mine. The one on mine is essentially a brushless servo motor. The KB electronics controllers I have seen people use on G0704s were quite a bit different. Maybe they make a BLDC controller I haven't seen before?

    As for the voltage, I found a manual for similar BLDC servo controller just higher output and it has a jumper for 110/220v. Mine also has what looks like a jumper and if the same mine is set for 110v plus my machine had a regular US 110 plug on it.

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  16. #16
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    Re: New to me NM135

    I completely disassembled the mill and it's clearly superior to a G0704 or PM25. I replaced the swollen capacitor with a new 470uf 50v and wired it to a mach3 breakout and 110v. There is a jumper that I believe sets it to 110/220. I assume with jumper is 110 doubling the 110v to 220 for driving the spindle motor. The controller has 12v, 5v, nc, F/R, stop, PWM and Ground written in silkscreen on the pcb. I wired 12v and 5v DC supplies and used default mach3 PWM settings. The controller runs the motor when setting the rpm at 30 to 300 but when I tried 1000 it did nothing. There is clearly an issue with the hall effect sensors or wiring, I'm using dupont bread board wires daisy chained from breakout pwm to controller so it's probably not a clear signal. Rest of the wiring is stock novakon. The spindle motor bearings sound rough so they may be generating some EMI and would need to be replaced if I decide to keep the stock controller and motor. If I knew for sure it was interference, wrong mach3 setting or just a bad hall effect sensor I would invest in high quality motor bearings but I'd hate to spend the money and find out it's a controller issue or melted winding.

    I have a new 10x16 shed coming Monday and I'm trying to get everything running by the end of July. If I can avoid buying a new servo and motor I plan to pickup an acorn. Surprisingly the acorn requires a pretty high performance single core pc cpu score of 1500. My current Gen i9 scores 3000 and my cnc pc is only 1000 so I'll need a cpu and motherboard upgrade as well for the cnc pc.

  17. #17
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Forgot to mention the motor runs extremely inconsistent. It ramps up just fine but fails to maintain an rpm for long and seems to "hunt" though it will briefly stay at an rpm and seem to normalize though it's short lived. It will randomly slow then stop intermittently then resume out of nowhere. I believe it's EMI or bad sensor but worry it's the controller as I'm no EE.

  18. #18
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Sounds like you are going to have a few issues. That's normal with cnc. Electrical interference can be an issue. I had some problems with that. I like to run shielded twisted pair wire that solves a lot of issues. I just had a problem where I removed the metal shield from a DB-9 connector. I had problems with false signals indicating a load on the servos which I don't have. I was surprised such a small break in the shield can cause problems. For the spindle hunting if the wires are not securely fastened try moving them and see if the problem goes away. I would also check the speed signal with a voltmeter.

    A minimum spec PC for the acorn is pretty cheap. I got one that exceeds it for $150. Used of course. It did have a solid state drive so that was nice.

    Have you asked Novakon for a pdf of the manual?

  19. #19
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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    Sounds like you are going to have a few issues. That's normal with cnc. Electrical interference can be an issue. I had some problems with that. I like to run shielded twisted pair wire that solves a lot of issues. I just had a problem where I removed the metal shield from a DB-9 connector. I had problems with false signals indicating a load on the servos which I don't have. I was surprised such a small break in the shield can cause problems. For the spindle hunting if the wires are not securely fastened try moving them and see if the problem goes away. I would also check the speed signal with a voltmeter.

    A minimum spec PC for the acorn is pretty cheap. I got one that exceeds it for $150. Used of course. It did have a solid state drive so that was nice.

    Have you asked Novakon for a pdf of the manual?
    Haven't asked for a manual. I have an old one from an earlier revision I believe and it's fairly short but has no pictures or information on the controller which is really the only wiring help I'll likely need.

    I appreciate the input on your experience with interference. I had wondered if it was really that sensitive and seems to almost be affected when I touch the hall effect wires so it makes sense now after hearing your experience. Sounds like my controller is fine but the motor needs some work and I need to pay close attention to the wires. I did make sure they weren't overlapping and no power wires were touching but when I spread out the 5 hall effect wires it seemed to get better but still hunting and randomly stopping and restarting. I also tested the range again and the minimum in mach3 is 5 and it works there all the way to 400-450 but it fails to start at those settings and only works at them if I set it to say 100 then change it to 400-450 and it will seemingly remain at the same speed but not change. I may need to send it a 0-10v signal for all I know(my breakout is capable of this as well).

    I might try some aluminum foil shielding around the motor wires as I did have to strip back the hall effects shielded sleeving to repair a broken ground wire.

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    Re: New to me NM135

    Quote Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
    Sounds like you are going to have a few issues. That's normal with cnc. Electrical interference can be an issue. I had some problems with that. I like to run shielded twisted pair wire that solves a lot of issues. I just had a problem where I removed the metal shield from a DB-9 connector. I had problems with false signals indicating a load on the servos which I don't have. I was surprised such a small break in the shield can cause problems. For the spindle hunting if the wires are not securely fastened try moving them and see if the problem goes away. I would also check the speed signal with a voltmeter.

    A minimum spec PC for the acorn is pretty cheap. I got one that exceeds it for $150. Used of course. It did have a solid state drive so that was nice.

    Have you asked Novakon for a pdf of the manual?
    Forgot to mention I plan to pickup a i3 10300f cpu for $106 and $60 410 board. I have a spare 16gb DDR4 and I'll swap over the GPU, supply and case from my other pc. I looked at buying an older Dell or something like that but honestly the newer processors are so much faster then even a 3 or 4 year old high CPU thanks to AMDs Ryzen joining the race again.

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