Triac 1988 newbie user

All info relating to the Denford Triac series of CNC milling machines

Moderators: Martin, bradders, Steve, Mr Magoo

Post Reply
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri 23 May , 2008 21:50 pm
Location: CROYDON

Triac 1988 newbie user

Post by HONDAPETE » Fri 23 May , 2008 22:07 pm

Hi I have just taken delivery of my old triac and have a few questions which you may think are daft, can you key in the program directly on the keyboard and save it ? or do you have to download it to the machine.
Is there a user manual for this early version, I have found a parts/electronics manual and an examples of programs manual.
Has anyone a copy of the tutorial tape that would have been supplied with this style machine.
By the way it all seems to function properly.

User avatar
Denford Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3593
Joined: Fri 10 Feb , 2006 12:40 pm
Hardware/Software: Go to User Control Panel > Profile
Enter as much information about your CNC hardware and software as you can - it makes it easier for everyone to know what you're talking about then.
Location: Sunny Brighouse

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 29 May , 2008 8:42 am

If you can post a picture it'll help identify the control type etc... then hopefully someone can help (sorry but its before my time)

CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun 13 Aug , 2006 18:21 pm
Location: Kent UK

Post by Matt » Thu 29 May , 2008 10:57 am


I have, and use a Triac 1988. Here's a quick run down of what you need to know.

In its original form:

It won't do 3D, only 2.5D.

It cannot be up-graded though Denford.

You can programme at the machine and save it to tape,but if you can find a tape that fits, the player will probably be broken. Much better to connect an old PC.

The most reliable programme to get information to the Triac is the "Industrial Text Editor" with the correct settings.See viewtopic.php?t=352&highlight=

("Mr Magoo" is very helpful as he is retired but used to work at Denford's in the 80's and knows the machines well.)

This only transfers code to the Triac. You need to write the code in a Notepad file and change the file extension to ".pnc".

I draw in AutoCAD then import them into Denford QuickCAM to produce this code. Denford Admin very kindly wrote a postprocessor for us and in now included with the programme. Works very well but isn't very economical with the amount of code it produces so can give you problems with the small Triac memory. I think it limited to about 700 lines but you can load it up many different times to cut a part, but you can normally work around it with one. Or you can drip feed it, didn't work on my machine but looked like it would be slow.

You should be looking at converting it to work with Mach3 but it should work fine for simpler stuff as it is.

Hope this is of help.

Architectural Model Maker

CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1729
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Post by Martin » Thu 29 May , 2008 13:47 pm

Not quite sure if Mr Magoo is retired , but he has emigrated to Australia.

Posts: 30
Joined: Thu 31 May , 2007 8:54 am
Location: Halmstad - Sweden

Post by funkstar » Sat 31 May , 2008 11:41 am

Hi all
I use a 86-Triac. I suspect that the controlsystem is the same (PNC3, correct me anyone if I am wrong).
There is an alternative route if you dont want to go the dos way. I have succesfully used easyDNC which has complete coverage for the PNC3 protocol. This is probably the best way to go. Also there is a way of using the free version of precision DNC, but then you will only beeing able to send code, and you wont get any error messages eighter. But set up correclty it work ok.
As CAM I use CamBam that converts dxf files to G-code and I have written a small and simple postprocessor that will convert the code into PNC3-friendly G-code (it is a bit different to "normal" G-code).

But bottom line, as the PNC3 is good for smaller hobby stuff, you might consider converting the machine to mach3 as stated before.

Good luck


Posts: 3
Joined: Fri 23 May , 2008 21:50 pm
Location: CROYDON

triac 1988 newbie user

Post by HONDAPETE » Sat 31 May , 2008 12:16 pm

Many thanks for the help I may convert and run Mach3, I will have a play with it for now and see how it goes.
It amazes me that after all these years it all works fine, must be down to the build quality.
Regards Peter

Post Reply