ORAC / 2024

Information and questions about Denford CNC Control electronics, general electrical issues, cables, diagrams, stepper motors, drives etc...

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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu 01 Feb , 2024 11:32 am
Hardware/Software: orac/mach3

ORAC / 2024

Post by ailie » Tue 13 Feb , 2024 0:04 am


I am new to the forum. I am here hoping to get some help with my new project: an ORAC lathe conversion.
Before diving into the questions, a big thanks for all members that are sharing and creating such a vast knowledge database.

I recently bought an ORAC lathe. It came with all original electronics that are working. The only missing part is the tailstock. It looks very little used. An ex school machine. I bought it with the intention to upgrade it to a modern CNC controlling system as a hobby machine.

At this stage, the lathe is on the table untouched, waiting for the operation. Before doing anything, I would like to get some advice on what will be a good conversion. What worked for you and what would you do differently second time?

I was reading some of the posts here. I have searched the big and bad net for discussions, opinions, parts and softwares, and so far it looks that:

*PlanetCNC it is one of the good controlling solution. I had already a good chat with their support team.
Mach3 very popular, many controllers boards available but less support from China. Acorn good but a bit on the expensive side.
Anything else out there that will make a good candidate? any comments?
*For the spindle: I would like to keep the encoder, the main motor and add a new VFD.
The spindle encoder is a difficult one for me. I didn't find yet a clear wiring diagram for the chinese boards /mach3. Probably they are sold
mainly for 3,4, 5 axis, and the lathe spindle encoding is not well explained. The only controller that is promising is the PlanetCNC.
I was thinking of a new motor for some more power. Is this something that worth pursuing?
*Stepper motors: It looks like the original stepper motors can be reused. But, I am thinking of nema 23 closed-loop 2Nm. Is anyone out there that
can advise if nema 23 will fit the original brackets, what shaft diameter are the original motors, is 2Nm enough torque for the job?
*In addition I am thinking of:
a MPG Handwheel next to a laptop. Apparently, the PlanetCNC software can be run from a raspberry pi but this is an option to consider at the end of the conversion.

thanks in advance for your comments and support.
Last edited by ailie on Tue 13 Feb , 2024 20:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu 01 Feb , 2024 11:32 am
Hardware/Software: orac/mach3

Re: ORAC / 2024

Post by ailie » Tue 13 Feb , 2024 20:07 pm

anyone knowing if the spindle encoder is a NPN or a PNP?

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