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  1. #1
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    Apr 2018
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    Requirements for rebuild

    Hello, firstly apologies for my ignorance.

    I have an old Denford CNC mill that I'd like to strip out and replace the legacy control hardware with newer hardware, software and connectivity. I have read some projects where users have upgraded some parts of it, but I'd like to strip it out entirely and start again. The machine has seen little use, and only on soft materials, so is a good candidate for upgrading.

    If I strip out all of the electronics from the back of the cabinet, what will I need to replace it? I've pretty much decided on the Centroid Acorn controller, so along with that and a power supply, what else will I need to control the stepper motors and spindle – or can I simply plug everything in to the Acorn and it's complete?

    I may in time add further upgrades, like tool height measurement and probe (the machine already has limit switches) and I will almost certainly upgrade the spindle to a faster one fairly soon, but I'm most concerned with getting the mill connected to a computer and controlling the 3 axis and spindle accurately for now.

    Thanks, Steve

  2. #2
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    if this is what your looking at
    http://www.centroidcnc.com/centroid_...controller.pdf

    the step & direction signals from centroidcnc controller needs to be connected to 3 stepper drivers that need to match the requirements of the stepper motors
    are you going to re-use the existing stepper motors or replace them ??

    ( higher the inductance of the motors the higher the voltage needed to step the motor at a high speed )

    with no details of signals the Denford cnc spindle control needs you may need to replace the spindle speed control
    if it can not use the analogue 0 to 10V DC control voltage from the centroidcnc controller



    John

  3. #3
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Thanks John.

    As far as the mill is concerned, I'm going to use the motors connected to it for now, as well as the spindle, but I will need to upgrade the spindle to a faster one pretty quickly. If you can suggest a 10V DC spindle capable of 20-30k RPM I would be grateful. If not, what sort of additional hardware I would require please.

    Reading the literature on the Acorn, it looks like I'll need a stepper controller like the Gecko G540, or similar. Do I need a controller like this or can the main Acorn PCB control the steppers itself? It seems there is an opening in the marketplace for an all-in-one board requiring just one power supply. If the Acorn needs a stepper controller, I'll need two entirely different power supplies and an additional controller which may not be compatible or supported in the future. Surely, two dependent pieces of hardware can be joined into one contiguous board?

    Thanks, Steve

  4. #4
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyWork View Post
    Thanks John.

    As far as the mill is concerned, I'm going to use the motors connected to it for now, as well as the spindle, but I will need to upgrade the spindle to a faster one pretty quickly. If you can suggest a 10V DC spindle capable of 20-30k RPM I would be grateful. If not, what sort of additional hardware I would require please.

    Reading the literature on the Acorn, it looks like I'll need a stepper controller like the Gecko G540, or similar. Do I need a controller like this or can the main Acorn PCB control the steppers itself? It seems there is an opening in the marketplace for an all-in-one board requiring just one power supply. If the Acorn needs a stepper controller, I'll need two entirely different power supplies and an additional controller which may not be compatible or supported in the future. Surely, two dependent pieces of hardware can be joined into one contiguous board?

    Thanks, Steve
    The Acorn is not a drive board

    If the stepper drives you have us step / dir signals, then the Acorn can connect to the drives you have, what is the spindle that is already on the machine, you won't find anything in Dc spindles that would be much good, depending on what your machine can handle, 800W to 1.5Kw Chinese spindle would be your best choice, you would need a VFD Drive to drive these spindles
    Mactec54

  5. #5
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Thanks. Is there not a one board solution to this? It seems a bit nuts to me as a newcomer, that a drive board (which is VERY simple compared to a controller) is not included? I can't work out why that would be.

    If it proves to be too complicated and expensive I will probably end up following what everyone else has done and use a BOB for more modern comms.

    Cheers, Steve

  6. #6
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyWork View Post
    Thanks. Is there not a one board solution to this? It seems a bit nuts to me as a newcomer, that a drive board (which is VERY simple compared to a controller) is not included? I can't work out why that would be.

    If it proves to be too complicated and expensive I will probably end up following what everyone else has done and use a BOB for more modern comms.

    Cheers, Steve
    There are some that do this, but this is not ideal, it is very simple to do, some make it more complicated than it needs to be, if your drives on your machine are ok, then it should be quite simple to add a Breakout Board and Mach 3, do you have any wiring diagrams for your machine, if you can do this without drives, it would not be expensive, a $10 Breakout Board computer plus control Software
    Mactec54

  7. #7
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyWork View Post
    Thanks. Is there not a one board solution to this? It seems a bit nuts to me as a newcomer, that a drive board (which is VERY simple compared to a controller) is not included? I can't work out why that would be.

    If it proves to be too complicated and expensive I will probably end up following what everyone else has done and use a BOB for more modern comms.

    Cheers, Steve
    It looks like this could be a good place for you to find everything about your machine

    Denford Software & Machines • View forum - Compact 1000
    Mactec54

  8. #8
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Thanks Mactec

    This is only a temporary machine so I don't want to spend too much on it, but if I get it working to a reasonable accuracy I could keep it for smaller jobs.

  9. #9
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    I've drawn up a quick and basic schematic of everything I need to strip out the existing electronics and replace with new. Am I missing anything, or have I made a mistake somewhere? I would be very interested in a used but working Acorn if anyone has one laying around unloved?

  10. #10
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    I forgot to mention red lines are power and blue are control. Also, the grey box are parts I may replace in the near future. I need a higher rpm spindle to do what I need. If anyone has any suggestions on a 20-30k rpm spindle which can work with this mill I would be most grateful.

  11. #11
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyWork View Post
    I've drawn up a quick and basic schematic of everything I need to strip out the existing electronics and replace with new. Am I missing anything, or have I made a mistake somewhere? I would be very interested in a used but working Acorn if anyone has one laying around unloved?
    I think the Acorn is to new for any to be laying around unused, looks like you have it under control, I'm sure there are some parts you will be able to use that are already installed on your machine, Switches Etc
    Mactec54

  12. #12
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    Re: Requirements for rebuild

    I may need to use the relays relating to the speed controller and spindle, but apart from that I can strip everything else out entirely. If anyone is interested in the parts please let me know.

    The Acorn and Leadshine both require power supplies at different voltages. To save plugs and two large units inside the machine I have used the 48V supply to drive the Leadshine and then from that feed it into a 48-24V stepdown to supply the Acorn. What amperage do I need for the Acorn? I can't find it listed anywhere.

    Is this a good plan or would it be better to have two separate and independent supplies?

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