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  1. #1
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    Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    I am thinking about parting out all of the electronics from my Partner 1 to fund a complete retrofit. I want to buy a plug and play system. Although these are not cheap. They are supposed to be easy enough for a novice like myself to install. Supposedly all plug and play for the electronics. I would have to fabricate mounts for the new motors and such, but that’s all pretty basic stuff.


    Has anyone here done a complete retrofit? If you have, after you completed it, was it worth the cost and hassle?


    Main reason for wanting to do this. If something goes wrong on my almost 30-year-old machine, it’s dealing with the age of the components. Components that can be hard to find at times. The iron itself, will outlive me I’m sure. I also want to work directly from a desktop computer using CAM software like Feature CAM or similar. Newer software will make this seamless. I would also get to remove the box/controller hanging over the machine.

    If anyone can recommend a good all-inclusive kit, please do!

  2. #2
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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    I am about to embark on a Centroid retrofit on my Partner 4. I also feel that 27 year old electronics are asking for trouble, although I have gathered a lot of spares. I have a friend who is the local Centroid dealer/installer, so he's going to be helping. I'm in the process of making some motor mounts and a new control box as we speak. Should have some pictures in the next week or two.

  3. #3
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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian L View Post
    I am about to embark on a Centroid retrofit on my Partner 4. I also feel that 27 year old electronics are asking for trouble, although I have gathered a lot of spares. I have a friend who is the local Centroid dealer/installer, so he's going to be helping. I'm in the process of making some motor mounts and a new control box as we speak. Should have some pictures in the next week or two.
    Awesome. If you don't mind. what is the complete retrofit costing? (PM me if you don't want to broadcast here)

    Also, are you piecing it together, or purchasing a complete ready to go set up?

  4. #4
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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    Well, I was fortunate that my friend found a complete setup from Centroid as a package unit, All in One, Servo motors, box that it is all housed in on eBay. It was a Centroid Factory retrofit and they did it then scrapped the mill after all. The pricing on something like this from Centroid is going to be roughly $6k, then you need a computer also, maybe another $300-$500. I'm setting up an Elo touchscreen and a sealed silicone keyboard, and will use the new bluetooth MPG unit and possibly a tool touch off probe, may try one of the cheap ones on eBay. That's also without any labor cost from someone doing the install, so if you are capable, then you won't have that expense, if not, I can't answer to what the costs are. I can put you in touch with someone who could.

    I have tested out a whole bunch of converted Centroid controllers for my friend, most have been the Acorn controller on smaller desk top machines, Dyna 2400's and such. The ability to network the computer, have USB ports for upload/download, and run current software and such is a big step forward. I'm looking forward to get the production machine running with newer technology.

  5. #5
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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    Got a quote from MachMotion.

    A little over $11k. I can post the complete quote breakdown if anyone is interested.

    So unless I was able to recoup half of that in the sale of the removed parts from my Partner 1. It's not a viable option to me.

  6. #6

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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by sen2two View Post
    Got a quote from MachMotion.

    A little over $11k. I can post the complete quote breakdown if anyone is interested.

    So unless I was able to recoup half of that in the sale of the removed parts from my Partner 1. It's not a viable option to me.
    Those costs are ridiculous, do you have a tool change or just manual tool changing , Dmm Ac servos , Acorn plus a computer and you would be running, are they worth doing if the iron is good go for it, you won't buy anything close for this cost

    DMM | Technology Solutions | AC SERVO DRIVE | AC SERVO MOTOR | ROTARY ENCODER

    Acorn CNC controller, Step and Direction 4 axis CNC Control board with ethernet communication.DIY CNC kit
    Mactec54

  7. #7
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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    I have attached the official quote.

    No tool changer on this machine.

  8. #8

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    Re: Retro-Fit... Good idea or bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by sen2two View Post
    I have attached the official quote.

    No tool changer on this machine.
    By the quote they have 4 servo motors you only need 3 so not sure what the extra motor is for, this is what you can expect if you are not going to do it your self, you could do it your self with an even better servo system from DMM for a bit over $3000 total build
    Mactec54

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