I'm a newbie in CNC controls- learned a little G-code in University on punched paper tape back in the late Jurassic period. Played with PLC and assembler languages. But I'm interested in learning to run CNC equipment on a hobby/farm basis. Probably not doing anything to make money, other than to keep farm machinery running.

I've tripped over a Johnford 3 axis mill with Fanuc 0M controls that looks like it has led a hard life. But the owner doesn't want a ton of money for the thing either. However, in reading over the long forum post about Fanuc controls and trouble with the OEM raining shzt and abuse onto anyone who might be "stealing" software, I am doing some head scratching.

The machine seems too cheap. The owner claims he bought it and the shop voltage at his place isn't right to be able to run it. Besides, it was too small for his work. Hmmm. And I'm guessing- it may have sat for some time without power, causing the backup battery to die.

So I'm assuming that the controls are pretty much a boat anchor unless he has backup (floppies?) of the software.
If those are not around, is there any chance of getting a replacement software image from Fanuc without spending an arm and a leg? Meh. Maybe, if the is an original bill of sale kicking around.

If the controls are trash, then I would have to move towards aftermarket or hobby CNC controls and something like MACH-CNC for software. I don't know if the servo drives on the mill would be amenable to hook into alien controls but who knows? I suspect they are obsolete, too, but may have a little life left in them.

I would appreciate comments and suggestions...both encouraging and those of the "run away screaming" type!!

In the sticks of the Central Kootenays, Canada.