upgrade control board info please

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audio.fi
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upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Wed 07 Sep , 2011 2:46 am

Hi all,

I have a novamill and novaturn which I have had for some time now and have never made anything of note on them.

I wanted to upgrade the software I have for them (millcam and lathecam), to quickturn2d for the lathe in particular. but at the time I asked about buying it, I was told that my older machine with older control board would not work with quickturn2d, especially for screw-cutting.

I was thinking that since many people upgrade their machines to mach3 and do not use the control board, then I might be able to buy one by asking around someone who is converting one.

Am I correct that the only real item that needs changing to make quickturn2d work would be the control board ?

That being the case, how would I identify it and what should I ask anyone selling one, i.e. what the chip would say on it, or anything special about how it looks compared to the original older board that I have in mine.

Also, are the boards in the mill and lathe the same, i.e. does it have to be a control board from a novaturn or is the novamill the same ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as these machines are set up, but not being used and I would like to very much.

Thanks.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Denford Admin » Wed 07 Sep , 2011 9:05 am

Sorry but there is no EPROM upgrade for the RED led boards to allow these newer features.
I'm guessing you have RED led DENSTEP control boards ? ... viewtopic.php?t=116

If both have RED 7 segment led displays, then these must be upgraded to the later top board to become a USB NextMoveST (now with Orange or Green displays)
The lathe would then be running the latest firmware and mint program which is compatible with the QuickCAM Turning software (esp. threading)
The mill would benefit from being able to run smoother and quicker 3D prototyping due to it being USB and improved contouring ability - again it will be compatible with our current CAM programs like QuickCAM Pro.

I can't comment on the performance of Mach3, but I know the Denstep bottom board and motors can be retained and used by Mach which should mean a fairly simple retrofit: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2263&p=8043
(Anyone who has already done this probably won't have a useful top card spare as they would have been in the same situation)

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Wed 07 Sep , 2011 14:09 pm

Thank you for the reply.


I though some people buy separate control boards (I think they buy something called a breakout board), if they buy one of those kits with the motors .etc so don't use the internal control board. This is why I thought that I might buy one from someone who is doing that kind of upgrade.

If this sounds right, then have I got it right then that the only item that ultimately needs replacing in order to use quickturn2d would be the control board ?


If yes, then is it identified by the fact that it has usb on the board, and must it be from a novaturn , or is one from a novamill the same ?

I do not have any wish to use Mach3 (although many like it a lot), as I have the demo version of Quickturn2d and it meets all my needs if I could get my novaturn to work with it properly, it would be worth buying a licence for it.

Thank you.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Denford Admin » Wed 07 Sep , 2011 16:24 pm

Ok, I'd say the Baldor top board needs upgrading on the Lathe (with a USB board) in order to use QuickTurn fully.
The mill may perform adequately with our CAM software as it is, depending on what you want to make
- you may just have to lower the feedrates and possibly alter the post processor so that it dosn't output things like 3 axis arcs or arcs in the XZ or YZ planes
- I'd be tempted to try it with the current control card first.
Post a 2D or 3D design you'd like to try and I'll create a toolpath program you can test (using QuickCAM 2D Design or QuickCAM Pro)

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Wed 07 Sep , 2011 20:27 pm

Thank you for being so helpful.

So to recap :-

To use quickturn2d all I need to obtain is a control board that has usb on it which would prove it is new enough.

I must use a board from a novaturn to use on a novaturn.

and no other modifications should be needed other than fitting it.


Am I correct ?

Thanks.

P.S. Thank you very much for the offer of making a tool path the mill, but I do not at this point have any design for it. The lathe is my main interest at the moment, and when I get that running and learn how to use it proficiently, I will turn my attention to the lathe, although I seem to remember someone at Denford saying I might get a good price for buying turn and cam together, so might do that anyway, even if I haven't upgraded the mill by then.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 8:52 am

To use quickturn2d all I need to obtain is a control board that has usb on it which would prove it is new enough.
Yes, the USB hardware has the latest firmware which is required for threading from QuickTurn and VRTurning
I must use a board from a novaturn to use on a novaturn.
All USB boards are the same, the difference is in the Mint file which is the logic interface between PC and hardware
and no other modifications should be needed other than fitting it.
Apart from fitting a USB bulkhead connector to the cabinet

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 14:38 pm

Thank you very much for the excellent help you have given me regarding this; It will help me with my desire to make the machines usable instead of just sitting there in my workshop.

Also, being able to get one from a nova mill instead of a novaturn will be much easier, as I see lots of them on ebay; Hopefully one will sell me a board.

Thanks very much for all your help.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Steve » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 14:47 pm

You could get a board from almost any denford machine specially the routers as most of them would have a USB port.

The card is the same in all the machines. :D

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 14:50 pm

Although I can't imagine why anyone would go to the trouble of "upgrading" a USB board to Mach ??

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 15:42 pm

Steve wrote:You could get a board from almost any denford machine specially the routers as most of them would have a USB port.

The card is the same in all the machines. :D

Thanks a lot for that information. It's really appreciated. I'll keep looking for a router as well then. Thanks.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 15:47 pm

Denford Admin wrote:Although I can't imagine why anyone would go to the trouble of "upgrading" a USB board to Mach ??

Not sure what you mean; I thought if they use mach3 then they get a breakout board that the computer plugs into, and then the stepper motors and spindle control is connected to that, so that the Denford control board is not used anymore, so the board would be redundant.

This is why I thought I might get one from someone who is using mach3

Have I got this all correct ?

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 16:05 pm

In my experience, people only need to update to Mach if they have bought an old machine which has an old controller, eg North East, GSM or older Baldor system which were controlled by such things as BBC micros or DOS PC's - one of which is usually causing problems or simply does not perform well enough.
If they have a machine with a modern USB control card then there would be no need to upgrade as you could use all our latest CNC and CAM software. They would also work from other CAM packages like MasterCAM, edgeCAM etc. etc.

The only time I can see someone turning a Baldor USB system into Mach is if they don't have the VR Turning or VR Milling5 license disk in which case it would be a toss up between buying the replacement software license from us, or buying Mach plus a breakout board and spending a few hours/days tweaking to get it working again.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 16:11 pm

Denford Admin wrote:In my experience, people only need to update to Mach if they have bought an old machine which has an old controller, eg North East, GSM or older Baldor system which were controlled by such things as BBC micros or DOS PC's - one of which is usually causing problems or simply does not perform well enough.
If they have a machine with a modern USB control card then there would be no need to upgrade as you could use all our latest CNC and CAM software. They would also work from other CAM packages like MasterCAM, edgeCAM etc. etc.

The only time I can see someone turning a Baldor USB system into Mach is if they don't have the VR Turning or VR Milling5 license disk in which case it would be a toss up between buying the replacement software license from us, or buying Mach plus a breakout board and spending a few hours/days tweaking to get it working again.
Now I understand, thanks; I'll keep looking though, you never know what might turn up.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 16:19 pm

Can I still buy the board from denford, as I read somewhere on this site a long time ago, that the machine must be sent to denford to have it fitted, but that you used to sell it for retrofitting.

I am a qualified electronics service engineer (although my field of expertise was analogue not digital), so will be able to fit it (with some help from this forum perhaps), so could it be bought if I cannot source one privately ?


Thanks.

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Steve » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 16:32 pm

That would be possible.

Denford offer a return to works upgrade as a UGR0006 £1228. This replaces the card, connects up the USB cables, supplies a seat of VR Milling 5 and will replace anything else that may need doing such as the PSU.

The card alone can also be purchased though this would normally be a service spare part. The part number is: BI00434YY and it sells for £606.

The USB card uses slightly more power then the serial one and on some machines the power supply components had to be upgraded.

Can you post a picture of the electrical panel so we can tell if you would need to do anything to the PSU?

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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by audio.fi » Thu 08 Sep , 2011 17:13 pm

Steve wrote:That would be possible.

Denford offer a return to works upgrade as a UGR0006 £1228. This replaces the card, connects up the USB cables, supplies a seat of VR Milling 5 and will replace anything else that may need doing such as the PSU.

The card alone can also be purchased though this would normally be a service spare part. The part number is: BI00434YY and it sells for £606.

The USB card uses slightly more power then the serial one and on some machines the power supply components had to be upgraded.

Can you post a picture of the electrical panel so we can tell if you would need to do anything to the PSU?
I Hope I have uploaded them right !!

I thought I might as well send pictures of all the boards so you can see what the control board looks like. Thanks.
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Re: upgrade control board info please

Post by Steve » Mon 12 Sep , 2011 9:01 am

Hi,

The photos are:
Isolated spindle analog drive card.
Smartstep Base Board
Logic transformer and spindle Choke
Turret Drive Card
Spindle Drive Card.

The control card is an early version and the upgrade you would require is UGR0009. This would replace the whole control card, power supply, E-Stop relay and Transformer.

You cannot just replace the top card on the control card.

UGR00009 Smartstep to USB and VR CNC Milling5 Upgrade- Return to works £1908

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