Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

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Large519
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Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Wed 20 Mar , 2013 22:59 pm

Am currently looking at purchasing a triac pnc3 for home use, I am hopefully going to look at it this weekend. Not looking for anything fancy, just light hobby stuff with ali, mdf, ply that kind of thing. Firstly are these a good machine, is there anything I should be looking out for? From the pics I have seen it looks in good condition. I imagine the pnc3 version is an old machine? what kind of control does it use? fanuc? And as the machine has a r232 port I assume off line programming can be done, which cadcam software is best or does it not matter as long as you have the correct post processor's? In my job, I have used previously an old fanuc 6m control on a kiwa hmc, but the memory wasnt that big and large offline programmes would have to be drip feed, obviously Im not looking to create 50,000 line programmes at home but would be great to know what is the max that this machine would be able store in its memory per programme. Also can it be converted at a later date to mach3??

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. :?

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 21 Mar , 2013 10:43 am

It will be a good solid machine mechanically
The pnc3 control is pretty old now (from the era of BBC micros and Apple II's)
I'd say you're best taking into account the Mach upgrade cost when purchasing because it will quickly become a necessity. I think the drives will be Digiplan 2 or 3 amp ones and will work fine, if they're still working. The spindle drive might be a bit old now but again keep it if it's working. A mach upgrade would then cost very little, just a BOB and the full version of the software. Look out for the home/datum sensors though, they will need a bit of electronics to work with Mach
Lots of info on the forum:

Baldor Nextstep Step and Direction pins - 96way connector
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2264
Baldor eurocard schematic and 96 way pinout:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2119
Starmill (Novamill) Baldor Mach3 conversion:
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=3184
Parker Digiplan stepper drive manuals
viewtopic.php?t=561
Mach3 running unmodified Triac!!!
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1108
Help with Triac VMC converting to Mach
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1763
Novamill, first time in cnc (Mach conversion)
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2263
PKS Digiplan with Mach3
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=929&start=0
viewtopic.php?t=2263

Large519
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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Thu 21 Mar , 2013 14:14 pm

Thats great thankyou, how much do you reckon one of these is worth to purchase, it is currently at 1950 plus vat, seems to me quite alot for such an old machine but it does come with tooling holders (how many exactly I dont know). Also how much in a worse case scenrio would it be to convert the machine to mach3?

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Thu 21 Mar , 2013 14:36 pm

Around £300 will get the axes running with a 3 axis mach kit:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sis.html?_kw= ... tor+driver
You may need a better BOB as I think the drive will need isolated spindle analogue to control the speed.
Spindle drive I'm not sure about costs, probably £100 to £200

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Thu 21 Mar , 2013 20:49 pm

As a stand alone machine, do you reckon it is worth the asking price? Obviously being
so old it has its disadvantages, ie control. but fortunately it, as you say can be updated, the machinig area is relatively large compared to other machines ive seen for 3rd the price, but with the cost of the machine and upgrades would I be able to get something newer of the same spec or better for the same money?, this is my dilema?

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by angel-tech » Thu 21 Mar , 2013 22:31 pm

£1950+vat is way too expensive for such an old Triac. That's why he's had it so long. :)

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Fri 22 Mar , 2013 10:16 am

I've got to agree - it seems like the sort of money you'd expect to pay for one which has had a Mach upgrade, new stepper drives and spindle drive

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Fri 22 Mar , 2013 11:16 am

Thanx for the reassurance. The guy runs a company that sell's machinery, think they got it from a school, probably for next to nothing so is chancing it at getting max price for it. Think a little bartering is gonna be in order, if I can get the cost of upgradin the control off, I'd be more happy with that.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Sat 23 Mar , 2013 17:47 pm

Well, I managed to get him down in price, also inlcude more tooling and a big solid workbench too. V PLEASED :lolol:

Tested the machine out, all axis move fine, spindle sounds great, no adverse noises or anything. The monitor screen is the 12Inch version and in perfect condition, no digits burnt onto the screen, as you can get with old monitors.

Fisrtly, before I get onto upgrading to mach3, I'd like to see if I can import/export and run off line programmes, so where can I get a round 12pin r232 cable from?

Secondly, Thanx for the links but I really dont know where to start with the upgrade to mach3. An order of process and links to what I'm gonna need to buy would be great, if anyone can help.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by angel-tech » Sat 23 Mar , 2013 19:54 pm

what did you pay for it in the end.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Sat 23 Mar , 2013 22:17 pm

1500 I got him down to. Plus vat but unfortunately with buying through a company vat is is unavoidable, but for an old machine it is in immaculate condition, I was expecting dings n scrapes, cutter marks on the bed paint flaking, mechanics not working properly, monitor screen to be ruined. But none of that.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Sun 24 Mar , 2013 17:53 pm

I think the drives will be Digiplan 2 or 3 amp ones and will work fine, if they're still working. The spindle drive might be a bit old now but again keep it if it's working. A mach upgrade would then cost very little, just a BOB and the full version of the software. Look out for the home/datum sensors though, they will need a bit of electronics to work with Mach


Have been looking at BOB's but am abit lost in which is best to purchase??
Is this any good??
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Upgrade-Usb-5 ... 5aef1e59ea

Obv wont be needing the A/B axis/limit connections.

Is it just simple to un plug and install in the new one? would it be better to leave out the 5v dc power and use the usb power?

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by angel-tech » Sun 24 Mar , 2013 18:03 pm

i've sent you a pm.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Mon 25 Mar , 2013 10:09 am

You might be able to get round connectors from Maplin.
Please keep us informed of your progress on the conversion, what equipment you get and any major problems you had to get around...it really helps others looking to do the same thing.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Mon 25 Mar , 2013 14:11 pm

Will try maplin for the 232 cable.
Yeah course will do.
Do you know where I can get post processor for my machine.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Mon 25 Mar , 2013 14:19 pm

Do you know where I can get post processor for my machine.
For which CAM software ?

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Large519 » Mon 25 Mar , 2013 16:07 pm

Delcam's Featurecam.

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Re: Hi, new member with a few questions about a triac pnc3

Post by Denford Admin » Tue 26 Mar , 2013 10:02 am

There have been some questions, but no real answers. I'm sure I've heard about a Delcam PNC control post file in the past...the thing to look out for is splitting arcs into quadrants on the PNC3 control.
viewtopic.php?t=251
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1867

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