View Full Version : Bridgeport V2XT CNC Mill

08-22-2011, 07:52 AM
I guess during the crash this thread got lost and for almost a year I more or less lost interest in this project do to other issues in my life and my total lack of knowledge about this Beast!!

Some how in pharmacy school I didn't manage to take any courses in machine tools but I'm wishing now that I had. :rolleyes:

Background: I came by this beast in an Ebay auction when I was trying to bid on a regular Bridgeport mill located here in Albuquerque of all places. Never seen a mill that was close enough to bid on that wouldn't have cost a fortune in shipping to get it here. Short story I lost the bid on the regular mill at the very last second, and kind of in frustration put a bid on a CNC Bridgeport that they had listed too. Bottom line I won the CNC Mill for $400 cost me $150 to have it brought to the house. :lol: Was told at the factory who was selling it that it had been running up until recently and that the servo's were replaced not all that long ago. Said the problem was erratic on one of the boards but the big issue was that they had 2 of these things and were in the process of moving into newer larger area that was being built and they just had no plans for this thing in their operations. The machine other than being a bit dirty has spent its life doing more or less one thing and that was milling aluminum housings that are used in cameras and transmitters for remote control of TV and movie equipment. Ways on the table show some ware in the Y axis, the table is clean and tight and has no tool strikes what so ever.

So in true BuglytoolS Intergalactic Division fashion and not having a clue about what I'm doing I'm going to try to get what is currently a 2,000 lb door stop up and working again in my garage:p First problem is to get power to this beast and convert the electrical input from the 440 back down to the 220 I have in the house. A year or so ago I got a new VFD drive and break resistor from a company recommended by lots of folks on here ( Motion Direct ) who helped me get what they said would work to change the old VFD drive.

So anyway I'm back to needing any and all help you folks can offer with this. Its either going to be a grand adventure or a major wreck! So pictures later and as a friend of mine once told me the most amazingly stupid things you ever get to see people do start out with :

"Hold my beer and WATCH this!! " ;-)

08-22-2011, 09:45 AM
Ray I have a Tree cnc mill just a little larger then a Bridgeport. I got rid of the old electronics & up dated to easy to run PC computer based system. My System was built by Dan Mach at Cam Tonics in Woodinville Wa. The boards in those old mills can get expensive & hard to figure out just what is wrong & old electronics are always on the fringe of failing. He has made hundred's & hundred's of systems for the small bench top mills & a few for the larger ones like yours & mine. Give me a call if I can help 425 433 0294 I do not know any thing about the electronics on you Bridgeport but I know after a week of messing with my old stuff it was quicker, cheaper in the long term & easer & no problems in 6 1/2 years of use to up grade to the new PC based system.

08-22-2011, 10:38 AM

The main problem you're going to have (if there is one) will be with the control. I’d check that out first. The “erratic” problem mentioned by the seller would be my worry. Most times those are not easy or inexpensive to fix.

The majority of these "small" CNC machines run the control and servos off 120V. Look inside the control cabinet, follow the three incoming power wires. Two of them should go to a transformer outputting the 120V. Usually you can splice these wires directly to a 120V wall outlet. If you get this far you should be able to turn the machine on. Then you can make sure things are working.

The three phase output of the VFD should only be needed for the spindle motor and possibly a coolant pump. Those are not big issues to deal with. But, I'm not sure buying the VFD was the best advice, you have to be careful hookng VFD's up to devices like this with power on/off controls downstream of the VFD.


08-22-2011, 10:55 AM
Danny and Doug thanks for a quick response and the help offers. Right now I am getting every thing cleaned up and more or less kind of my first real up close look at the workings of this thing from a mechanical stand point.

Trying to figure out what bolts do what to position and move the head around. The system I guess was put together by Bridgeport, and the program it is running is the BOSS 10 operating system so I'm told. Machine has been upgraded and has what looks like a pc board as part of it, plus a 1 Tera byte hard drive in the case.

I'll post some pics of kind of where I'm at I hope later today.

Thanks again guys.

08-22-2011, 11:08 AM
... you have to be careful hookng VFD's up to devices like this with power on/off controls downstream of the VFD.

Simply don't do it!
The VFD must be the last device to the motor. Check the instructions, but every VFD I've used there are clear instructions not to break the connectiln VFD->motor while the VFD is powered up. And don't fiddle with the leads after it have been powered up. There can be considerable voltage on the terminals for some time. Again, read the manual! In a quarrel with these high voltages and currents, you loose.

And yes, a picture can tell more than a thousand words.

08-22-2011, 08:31 PM
Ok gang. Thanks again Doug and Einar for trying to keep me from frying my self :rolleyes: I've had enough encounters with electrical devices so far this year and I'm not looking for any new adventures!

Here are some pictures I hope will help some.

The basic mill itself


Main Power cord coming into cabinet


440 VFD Drive in place


New 220 VFD Drive and breaking resistor


08-23-2011, 07:59 AM
You should contact Kirk Wallace and/or Matt Shaver.


They both converted Bridgeports to CNC. Matt Shaver used a V2E3 as basis. It seems he did not use much of the original stuff though. They probably have researched a bit and may be able to give you links to more information.

It may also be useful to try the forum at http://www.linuxcnc.org/
It seems there are some that used much of the existing hardware. And if your servo motors are fairly new, that may be a good option as they should have much life left in them. The servos and their drive electronics are expensive components too.

08-23-2011, 08:26 AM
Ray your Automation direct VFD is the same ones I use I have 3 now hooked up & getting 2 more in the future tired of running my rotary phase converter it is starting to give me trouble. The VFD should be hooked to the motor only not thru the electronics I believe. Call the tec guys at automation direct & talk to them. If you bought it from them they will give you tons of tec help I know they have with me in the past as i am electrical challenged.

08-23-2011, 08:29 AM
Thanks Einar.

Looking at both of those links I didn't see any contact info on either of them. This mill was supposedly assembled by Bridgeport with the VFD drive from the factory. So in my simple minded way of thinking changing out the VFD to one the could be powered by 220 v in the house seemed possible. Since the mill started out as a CNC machine I'm still hoping I can get it running again on the power I have here.

Machine has both the oiler and mist system in place and all the cables running to the X and Y servo's look to be rather new for what ever that is worth.

I have all the owners manuals, on the machine and the BOSS 10 operating discs that came with this thing but until I can at least figure out how to power up the cabinet I don't have a clue if any of the electronic work or not. I figured that only the motor is 3 phase so the rest of the workings must be like a big PC and run off of 110 v or less. Is my thinking wrong ? :confused:

Sure sorry my friend I didn't get to the Viking with your 3/4" square stock but I'm saving it for ya and hope to get it there for you next year. Thanks again!

08-23-2011, 08:35 AM
Thanks Danny

Well if you are electrically challenged then that has got to make me all that plus a mechanical moron! :D

Sure have hopes of making this thing work down the road but it may end up scrap yet. :(

08-23-2011, 08:43 AM
hey ray ,i think what i would do first is put an ad on "craigs list" for a electrician tech ? " that has worked on something like this ! the area you live in should produce someone that is qualified? some body that needs some extra bucks -might even be somebody semi retired in you area ? or maybe a machinery dealer might know someone ? al least figure out what is wrong first ? or resale this baby and buy you a non cnc unit ? there nice to have and fairly cheap in iowa-lots of closed up shops -even dealers selling some china or tiawon crap that if taken care of will last you forever! good luck -get her up and done ,you wont be sorry ! see ya mike "carryallman" wahl

08-23-2011, 01:52 PM
Ray it is to good of a machine to scrap. When I took the machine tec class in 2000 one of the other students had a Bridgeport with the boss 10 unit & had problems he retro fitted his with one of the other after market cnc boxes cost him 10K that was way out of my $$ range. So I got a hold of Dan at Cam Tonics he had built the cnc unit for my Shop task mill drill so we talked & he built the retro stuff for my Tree Mill It was his first unit for a larger mill he built it in 2004. Cost was about $2500 for a 4 axis set up. Once dialed in it has worked great. All you need is a 3 axis system. He still builds systems I talked to him about 2 months ago.

08-24-2011, 06:56 AM
I hate to be a killjoy here, but what are you going to use this machine for? You started out wanting a manual mill, then out of desperation you bid on this on. I've been a machinist since about 1971 and involved with CNC( used to be just NC) since about 1976. If you want a mill just to make quite little parts every now and then, then this one is not your cup of tea.
Do you know how to run a bridgeport now?, or do you have to hunt and peck your way thru it? The learning curve to running a CNC can be steep. You have to learn the machine and how to program it. Don't forget you have to learn how to mill also.
While we have never met from your posts you seem to be interested in metal shaping and getting your 32 done.
You may be better off converting this machine to a manual mill instead. Once that expense is over the machine will just about run forever without a problem.
Even tho you may get nthis thing running as it is, there is alot of electronics to go bad in the future.
Sorry for being so blunt.


08-24-2011, 06:05 PM
Hey Norm

No need to be sorry about your open and honest opinion with me! I most certainly appreciate your candor and of course your experience in the matter. Your absolutely right in that I don't have a clue about how to run a mill let alone a CNC mill and this thing kind of ended up in my garage by default or just pure simple mindedness on my part.

I became part of the metalmeet family several years ago knowing absolutely nothing about metal shaping very little about welding and have made friends around the world by becoming part of this forum. Learned more than I ever imagined in the process. Kind of hoping this is going to teach me a few thing too in the process.

I'd like to make it run again, even more I would like to attempt to learn to use the darn thing if possible. If nothing else I would like to see this piece of American history just not slip away to the scrap yard. I guess its the dreamer in me more than anything at this point.

Again thanks for you comments, and you honest point of view.

Joe Andrews
08-24-2011, 06:52 PM
Ray it looks to be in Pretty good Shape. I've never Programmed one of these but let me tell you that there are many Very Simple Cad Cam Programs that can take the trouble out of trying to learn all the codes to make a program.

Really it all depends on the difficulty of the part your trying to make. These style Mills are commonly called "Tree Mills". They have their place in a Machine Shop. These are not Production Machines by any means because they have No Tool Changer other than the operator. These Machines are Incredible when used to Rough out a piece from a Solid chunk of Material using a Single Tool though!

Is this a 3 Axis Programmable Machine? many of these were only 2 axis and the Z axis was the Operator.

Nice Find though Ray.;)

I got a Simple one about 4 months ago from a Big Mold Shop that was supposed to be Closing Soon, however they are still plugging away! I paid $300.00 for mine, Variable Speed head, 5c Collet Set up, 6 foot table, x axis Power Feed that works, overall a Very nice piece that I got for less than scrap.

Best of Luck Ray!

08-24-2011, 07:08 PM
Hey Joe and thanks I hope its a find and not a 2,000 lb door stop !;)

Yes dc servo motors on X,Y, and Z axis.

08-24-2011, 08:55 PM
Ray ck with your local Vo Tec school see if they have a machine shop part time class. That is where I started going 2 nights a week, learned some basic machine work then jumped in to the full time just cause I wanted to produce e wheel parts to make a living instead of having several parts made. Just a thought.

08-24-2011, 09:16 PM
Ray, come up for the week end some time. I can get you going with a manual mill. By the end of September I should have my CNC mill back together. I'll teach you what little I know about CNC work.

08-25-2011, 04:06 AM
Danny I have kind of checked into both the local votec programs, and the courses offered by the Univ of NM college of engineering. theThe problem is that this darn thing called work keeps cutting into my play time. For some strange reason the pharmacy department at the hospital stays open 24 x 7 and I get invited to take part in lots of different shifts and areas. Keep telling myself 3 more yrs of this and I can go outside and play!:D

Bob I would love to get up there again soon! I always worry about wearing out my welcome. You and Kelley have always been so kind to put up with me. "What little you know"????? My friend you are a master machinist and you know it! What a fantastic offer. Like I told Danny its this work foolishness that goofs up play time.

08-25-2011, 11:40 AM
Ray ,
Just to give you a little more incentive to get the mill going here are some examples of metalshaping you can do on it. Cutting metal isn't the only thing it'll do.

Joe Andrews
08-25-2011, 06:16 PM
That Last ones Cool Doug, I was wondering if you were still meesing around with that forming.

08-25-2011, 06:37 PM
WOW Doug that is neat! Thanks!!

Right now I would have to pick it up and drop on a form of some kind to do anything :lol:

09-14-2011, 08:10 AM
Well so far I haven't given up on this project yet!! I did like several suggested and joined up with several different on line groups that were recommended. I may be dull but I am dependable!!:D

I have to tell you folks that compared to the Metalmeet family these forums are not very friendly nor do they seem very receptive to "Outsiders" so I have gotten little or no help from most of them after a couple of weeks of trying. Did however get this response and I emailed him back asking what some of the "terms" he used were and haven't heard back:( Guess he must have figured he was dealing with an electrical idiot and gave up!:lol: His advice is as follows:

"1. Rewire the mill for 240v operation ( This of course was my question)

a. Re-tap T1 & T2 transformers for 240v

b. Install 2438 heaters (3pc. req.) in place of the 2427s

c. Replace the FRN10 fuses (3pc. req.) with FRN20s (2 for single phase)

d. Rewire spindle motor for 240v (low volts)

For what you are doing (hobby work?)

The mill will run on single phase, the drives are single phase, so you
can trace out and flip the incoming leads L1,L2,L3 to the transformers
to use

L1 & L2 only. The spindle motor is the only thing that needs 3
phase, just install a static converter for the spindle motor only. When
everything works you can play with the VFD with out adding difficulity to the immediate project."

I assume that retap means changing the wires around coming into the transformers? One of the transformers is clearly marked which goes where depending on voltage in. The other doesn't appear to have any markings on the transformer just on the wires.

Changing the fuses I can handle! Think I am good with which wires to switch to set the motor back down to 220/240 what ever:confused: What the heck are heaters? Is this a term used for thermal over load protectors ?? I'm still trying to figure out what they are, let alone where!

Meanwhile cleaning continues on both the mill and the garage!!!

FRANK and MARTINE there are actually small areas of visible concrete coming into view!!!

09-14-2011, 08:47 AM
I'm not a spark chaser my any means but I'll give it a shot.

#1, on the spindle motor there should be a plate that shows the wire connections for both high and low voltage. Re-wire the motor according to that diagram.

a, there are jumper clips on the transformers to suit high and low incoming voltage. Move the clips to suit the supply voltage. There should be markings on the transformer to explain this.

b, Replace the heaters. You're right, these are overload devices located in the motor control relays. I suppose there is a relay for forward and another identical one for reverse. Each one will have 3 heaters. You should be able to find these at a motor re-wind shop or maybe Grainger. I'll check.

c, Replace the fuses for ones rated at twice the amperage as the originals.

The single phase drives, I don't know if this means 220 or 110 volt single phase. If you use a static converter you just need to be careful to power the drives with the actual full voltage leads and not the third "artificial" line. I think that's what he meant.

I think he's suggesting to use a static converter so that you will be able to use the stock relays to drive the spindle motor and then power the xyz drives with low voltage. This would seem to be the simplest way to make things move and spin. If this was a manual machine a vfd would make sense. It makes it a bit more complicated being a cnc.

09-14-2011, 09:11 AM
1. Rewire the mill for 240v operation ( This of course was my question)

a. Re-tap T1 & T2 transformers for 240v

b. Install 2438 heaters (3pc. req.) in place of the 2427s

c. Replace the FRN10 fuses (3pc. req.) with FRN20s (2 for single phase)

d. Rewire spindle motor for 240v (low volts)

For what you are doing (hobby work?)

The mill will run on single phase, the drives are single phase, so you
can trace out and flip the incoming leads L1,L2,L3 to the transformers
to use

L1 & L2 only. The spindle motor is the only thing that needs 3
phase, just install a static converter for the spindle motor only. When
everything works you can play with the VFD with out adding difficulity to the immediate project."

A. a simple jumper change on the transformers.. changing coils into parallel instead of series.
B. Fuses I am unfamiliar with, wattage, is about same.. ie: 480 volts x 2 amps = 960 watts
240 volts x 4 amps = 960 watts..
C. Spindle motor inside MOTOR peckerhead, plate on side of motor.. change taps if 9 lead motor to 4,5,6 under same wire nut, 1+7= T1 off inverter, 2+8 = T2 off inverter, 3+9 = T3 off inverter..
It puts windings parallel just like transformer coils for lower voltages.. ok?

It all needs to be "traced and looked at" before you let the magic smoke out. Once that expensive smoke comes out.. she be fried.

For what you are doing Hobby work.. (*man have I heard that before)... yeah.. you can have a milling machine with the fanciest power bed drives there is.. with a joystick.. or on a good day type in 200 holes via a G81 command, one line per hole.. ON HSM, they told me to just go away, no home shop should have a cnc.. NOW.. they all have them.. buggers.. And the magazine publisher has Digital Machinist magazine out too.

MY cnc had a 3phase transformer I had to chunk.. it could not be hooked up single phase and get correct voltages from it. I sat it in the floor. a neighborhood alcoholic appreciated the copper.. he'd say, can I have that.. can I have that, Can I have that.. can I have that.. eventually I relented and said yeah.. get it out of here..

Your machine is new enough, you could bust all the factory controls off it for ebay, buy all new drives, a interface, hook it all up.. and come out with cash in your pocket. Mine was a "paper tape machine" that had punched paper on reel to reel.. I gutted it like a fish, sold all the parts I didn't need.

Machinists are not computer-robotics-cnc geeks.. Geeks are not machinists. I've been told it is easier to teach a computer geek to fly a new combat aircraft than a old WW2 pilot..

You still got my number.. (some of these other people think that too).

09-14-2011, 09:12 AM
Bob thank you my friend! Boy I sure wish you and Kelly lived closer! Still think you two should take a get away weekend down here during Ballon Fiesta!!:D

I will have some concrete you can actually stand on by then in the garage!:rolleyes:

09-14-2011, 09:21 AM
Spindle motor inside MOTOR peckerhead

Dang David that is exactly what it said when I took off the cover plate!!!:lol: Howd ya know :o

Thanks buddy for the help, as you can see I need all I can get!

You start talkin electrical stuff and it makes about as much sense to me if I would start in talkin about cyclopentanoperhydrophentherine derivatives, basic xanthene structure function relationships, or catachol ring structures;)

09-14-2011, 12:25 PM
Yup, Grainger lists heaters for motor starters. They use a formula that uses the rated full amperage + and - some other variables to size the heaters. Bottom line is that you should be able to use the present heaters at least long enough to get things running. They list for about $13.5 each, you'll need 6 of them, eventually.

09-14-2011, 01:14 PM
FRN fuses are Bussman slo-blows, FRN-10 should be 10amp @ (up to 600vac).
Ray sounds like you to invite a few people over and have a wiring party!:lol:

09-14-2011, 03:37 PM
Boy don't you know that is the truth Terry!!!!

You guys let me know when and at what time you want COFFEE!!! :D

09-14-2011, 03:43 PM
Ray, you will want to keep an eye "3Chiefs" ......:-o

09-14-2011, 07:47 PM
Think pictures were lost in the mist, but this is the beast I've been trying to bring back to life!:o



09-15-2011, 05:58 AM
Hi Ray,

Just seeing the door opened on that panel makes me break out in a cold sweat :lol:. What a beauty that's going to be when she's up and running though.

Rick (madera)
09-15-2011, 07:47 AM
I had an Aculoc m15 CNC machining center. When I moved to my home shop I shorted the Z servo pack $1526 later plus shipping it still did not work! I found a guy that told me," if it is electrical he could fix it " another $3000 and he tells me " I don't know what is wrong, call someone else" . I removed all the servos and motors and electrical and called the scrap man. I sold the parts to cover what I spent on repairs:mad:

09-15-2011, 04:09 PM
If I still had the flatbed truck, brother I'd love to come see you..

I can gut it like a fish and build what works. Not industrial production mind you, but something that will spit out parts. I have near used mine up here.. a 1976 boss 6 controlled bridgeport.. now pentium, Larken drives and Mach3.. Mine has made a ton of parts.

Ray, I'd download the mach3 manual and get a idea how to make it all work cheaply. As with everything else in this world, if you "don't have a clue" you are fixing to be skinned alive if you run into the greedy individual who is a specialist.. or tells you he is long enough to skin you. I can tell you it has happened to me.. and people here have tried.. like hooking up the empty freon can to my minivan AC. Was going to charge me $50 for that can.. Yeah.. ?? Surprise.. I started dialing the police.

Mach3.. has "wizards" there on the top of the screen, they perform most the operations you want to do.. multiple drilling of holes, fill in the blanks, pocket recess, fill in the blanks.. etc..

I'd love to have that "kit" cnc. I am afraid I don't have anything you need right now tho to swap to you.. perhaps that kit bike in the shed?? Not sure if my wife, the chickens, the shop, can do without me for a week.. I sure would love a nice vacation out that way tho.. AND.. You would have to have the basic knowledge of how to fix it yourself when I left.. As I did my buddy Pat and his PC oven controls..

Before I'd spend a lot of time and money if I was you?, all the drives run? the spindle turns without being "crashed"?? set up a dial indicator and roll it over by hand.. A new spindle with bearings is $1000 or more normally.. (mine is shot). It sure is a lot prettier than mine was..

It has been a long time, seems it was a resolver board in the system acting up?? the board that does the interpolation math?

Heck buddy.. I can machine some handles, drop them motors off.. or I can put joystick and robotic bridge drives to the motors.. I got some here.. a servo motor is a dc motor with 2 channel encoder on top. Take about two days to convert it to a manual mill with power feeds.. no computer needed.
You are so far ahead of what I bought here.. you could sell the cnc parts on ebay, come out so far ahead, and still have a manual mill there.

Need references? call my union Hall in Chattanooga Tn. Ask for the instrumentation Asst business manager.

09-15-2011, 08:58 PM
Jim the 1st time I looked into that cabinet I did break out in a cold sweat!!:o

The 100th time I've been in there I just feel nervous;) I've sat for hours starring in there looking at the schematics, and looking at all the wires and hook ups in side it. Jumping 110 volts from the wall into the PC power supply at least got some lights on inside, all the boards and servo units as well as the VFD at least show signs of life if that means anything at all.

Not willing to spend much more on the project till I at least know if the motor will spin, and if there is a way to test the X, Y, and Z servo's to see if they are good. In the cleaning process I have uncovered the mechanical parts of the unit, and I can move the X and the Y axis as far as they will go in both directions with little or no problem so I think that nothing is hung up on those.

David I have put a dial indicator on the table and rotated the quill by hand and it don't seem to have any major slop and the quill turns free and easy. High/Low and neutral setting on the head seem to work when I spin the quill and engage and disengage the transmission on the head.

I kind of play with it a bit each evening more or less winding down from my work day. I loose my tie, get into my Carhartt's, kick on some music and let the stress of the day run off me :) The phone don't ring, no decision I make about what I'm going to clean or mess with really makes any difference in the over all scheme of things. No calls or questions or phones ringing off the hook. No desperate questions, or arrogant attendings, residents, or medical students. Makes for a nice way to wind down;)

Going to bring in an electrician to put in a couple more 220 outlets. Only 220 service out the the extra panel I added some time back and that is used for the MIG and before I went Metalmeet crazy it was used for my dust collector system for my woodwork and solid surface play time.

09-16-2011, 01:50 AM
Back to the basics.
What you have, a good milling machine, with axis that move easily, ball screw tables, a spindle that is not crashed and destroyed. It has DC motors on the axis for table feeds, with encoders on the ends for position feedback or control. It is however a industrial machine there that the company that sold charges industrial prices for components and parts and service calls.

Question, do you know how to program a cnc, do you want to learn, what is the benefit for home shop work having a cnc? what is the goal end-purpose of having a tool like this? A cnc milling machine is not a "santa claus" machine that you can just walk up, talk to and it spit a part into your hand. (that was Star trek) There is a lot more to it.

CnC Advantages?
(1)DRO axis indicators on screen showing locations.
(2)ability to run "programs" that will carve anything you want, after either you a, learn how to write them, or b, buy software that you can 3d model in that will write the gcode for you.

(1) complexity, if you can't get your mind around "HOW it works" the simplest problem can result in a major charge by a technician that has "his own" best interest at heart, not yours. He may end up driving your 32 ford??

Simplest solution:
WIre the new 220 single phase in, 3 phase out inverter through a breaker, change the wiring taps inside the motor to 220, making sure the snubber Resistor-capacitor network is out of the motor circuitry.. (or it'll blow the transistors in the new inverter) Take off the cnc motors, drives, belts, all mechanical connections up to the table and down feeds, add handles.. INSTANT manual milling machine. Sell components on ebay, go to the Bahamas and be happy for a week with the money. Laugh at your good fortune, make chips, drill, mill.. smile each time you see it.

Industrial solution: Call the technician, mortgage home to pay for it.. find work to pay for cnc, become a programmer, designer, run cnc for cash. (hint, why is it all the companies that try to buy very expensive tools to get "work" end up selling them at auctions?)

Hobby home shop solution: convert machine to simpler operation with aftermarket robotic drives and Mach3 software. Using a Bob Campbell board a computer hooks to the parallel port and the pins that drive a printer can drive your cnc. Each encoder "pulse" responds to a computer pulse for position. Very simple. Two wires go to the servo motor from each drive, four wires go to the encoder from each drive. A power supply feeds the drives, probably easiest made from the transformers and unit there.. if it can be converted to single phase.
Is this as good as the industrial version, no.. as fast, no.. affordable, yes.
You still have to do some programming, but the wizards in the mach3 software does a whole lot more than most people even do on a cnc.. slot, pocket, face off, drill multiple holes, engrave.. etc..

NEXT STEP FOR LONG DISTANCE CONVERSION? take the cover off the "mill spindle motor" and take us a picture. Let me look for them RC networks that will blow that inverter.. on mine they were under the motor-contactor-starter with the overloads.. bent down so you could hardly see them.. Lets make the spindle RUN first.

09-16-2011, 08:46 AM
This is all very good advice. There might be another simple option. Separate the spindle motor electrics completely from the rest of the electronics. Use the vfd to control the spindle motor directly, not through the motor starters. Remove the drive belts from between the lead screws and the servo motors. Attach handles there. The manual quill lever and shaft will probably need to be sourced from ebay. Can't see it in the pictures. Replace the table and saddle clamp screws. They were probably removed for cnc use. These are just simple bolts with a little handle. If you do these things you will have a mill that you can use manually. Leave all the cnc stuff in place so that if and when you decide you actually need a cnc mill you can deal with it then either by fixing what you have or by replacing boards and drivers with retrofit kits that are available. If it turns out that a manual machine is enough for your needs there are DRO (digital read out) kits available for pretty cheap.

09-16-2011, 09:02 AM
Ray I had the same problem when I bought my Tree Mill 8 years ago after about a year of fruitless non positive result & frustration I called Dan at Camtronics bought his system. His small black box & a $300 PC computer & my machine will do every thing I need cnc wise or manually. My main motor is powered of off a rotary phase converter with a off & on toggle switch. That is the only thing I might change as my rotary is starting to have some start issues so I would run a VFD for that. It will in the long or short run be cheaper to switch to a retro fit. Those old electronics will always be tougher to fix & more expensive. Been there done that never again.

09-16-2011, 05:15 PM
Thanks again to all of you folks for the ideas and advice!! This is my first stop in the morning ( well after the coffee pot ) and where I run too when I finally get home from work!!

The thing if nothing else is getting clean so its fit to be around:) Thinkin worst case I can put it in my living room as a plant stand!:lol:

House keeper has been fussing for the last few weeks about "those little aluminum chips " she keeps finding :p

09-17-2011, 02:52 AM
Yesterday, I got into the shower with the laundry soap, got clean, then washed my hair w shampoo.. a chip washed into the floor of the shower and I got it into my bare foot.. This was after working all day in shorts and flip flops.. MY LUCK.. I hate them small needle like shavings that come off high tensile steel. Having bushy eyebrows means you got a place to store them. Like wearing bib overalls to the shop, the bib catches every sharpie that flings at you.. and guess where they end up??

Planter.. yeah.. welding table.. I always wanted a mill pedestal-table for that.

Tin Head
09-17-2011, 08:23 AM

If it's any comfort, I'm pretty electronically challenged myself. I bought a manual mill 5 or 6 years ago and converted it to full cnc control early last year. I did all the wiring of the many components. I also learned how to design simple circuits, etch circuit boards and solder those dinky components on the boards. I designed my own limit switches, etched the pcb's and assembled them. Cut the housings right after I got the mill running and got them installed shortly after.

Trouble shooting the new system was stressful at first, but I soon figured out what the symptoms were telling me. Like not getting a good signal from the encoder causing the motor to do some unexpected movements. Or noisy data streams from the limit switches or encoders. I enlisted the help of a local EE for solving the limit switch noise issue, followed his advice and solved the problem. And learned what a pull down resistor is. Turns out it wasn't noise after all, but not enough difference between the high voltage and low voltage (switch on and switch off). Also learned that there isn't really an off in electronics, just high and low (not like your light switch). A good multi meter is your friend and knowing how to read it is golden.

There's a lot of good knowledge on the internet about these things and it took me many months to get enough in my head to realize I could do it. Study every day and make good notes. Draw the circuits you have and compare them to what you're learning. They'll start to make sense at some point.

As far as programming, Mach3 has the wizards to help with a lot of things. You can cut pockets, slots, hole patterns, face off parts, take side cuts and a few other things. Those are all things that can be done manually for the most part except for angle slots, round pockets and the like. I spent 12 years doing machine programming, so it wasn't foreign to me when I got the mill running. That was one of the reasons I wanted to take the plunge into cnc. I wasn't ever a machinist and still aren't. But it's just like anything else, study up on it and it will start to make sense. Sure, you're going to make mistakes and break cutters. I still do at times and learn from them each and every time I do. Always studying new things and analyzing my results, that's what gets me out of bed in the mornings.

If you decide to go the cnc route, best advise is to buy the best cad/cam package you can afford. Buy a package you can find online support for. Users are the best after purchase support. You can learn from others mistakes and gain knowledge from their successes. Don't jump into the cad/cam right away though. Learn to make that machine cut accurately first and come to a full understanding of what you need to tell it in order to do that. Study the g and m codes and understand what they do. I don't always build a 3D model to machine something. I do use the wizards at times or just jog the machine through the MDI. But I got no problem making the model and programming to it for the complex stuff. I always considered myself average in my skills. I'm just not intimidated over learning something new. I've now cut hundreds of parts on it to this point and use it weekly. Been cutting parts for others for the past year, but I treat it like a hobby. The mill and lathe use is now eating up most of my time and I don't find any extra for metal shaping. But it's all good and the machining is as much fun to me as metal shaping, especially when you start with just an idea and finish with a cool product. Now when you put the two together it's just pure bliss.

09-17-2011, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Bob. The things that I hope are on my side are the facts that I am in no rush to make this thing work. Its not like I am in a race to make this thing work again because I have to do something with it!:) Couple that with my kind of stick to it approach to projects and life in general.

When I don't understand things I ask questions. When I don't know enough I read and study and try to understand. The hurdle now is trying to figure out just what I do have and how far I can go with it with out making that "magic blue smoke" fly!:cool:

09-17-2011, 09:37 PM
More cleaning on it again tonight. 2nd time around it I'm more comfortable about taking parts off of it to clean and reassemble it. Hope this ain't to boring for most of you, but if nothing else it will doccument what was done, and what needs to be done if you deal with a used Bridgeport mill, and especially a CNC type.

Attached are some overall pics of the beast, and the pictures of what is under the covers on the quill. You can see that that table has been moved to the far right, and that I have manually put the quill down as far as it will go. The pictures of the quill are to show the electrical stuff that is under the cover plates. All things that I guess may need to be addressed in the step down from 440 volts to the 220 volt set up and or things to worry about before I try to put power to the motor to see if it works or not.

Thanks all for your patients. Thanks Bob, David, Danny, and others for all the help and guidance.





09-18-2011, 01:21 AM
Ray, you probably don't have to worry about those parts when going to 220V. They are usually connected through the control board(s) and you will just have to address the voltage into those boards and the rest will be fine.

The pictures are too small to actually see what's in them. But it seems like they are 3 switches on the quill movement. That would be the end stop switches and the home switch. Those are parts that will work at all voltages up to the max insulation voltage that can probably be seen on a label. And if you take the route of changing to a PC controlled mill they can be used as is.
The lower switch tells the control that it should not move the quill further down (into the workpiece). The lower switch tells it it should not move further up or it would hit a physical stop. The home switch is uses to find the home position. When the machine "wakes up" it does not know where the quill was left when last used. So when given the home command it will move the quill until this switch is activated. Compare it to the zero switch on your electronic calipers where you close the calipers, then push the zero switch.

The one in the last picture looks like either an encoder or a pot. The same goes here, it is driven off the control board. I cannot see where it is situated, so it's hard to say. But if it coupled to the quill it is a feedback to the control that counts fractions of a millimeter and detects if these are going up or down. But it needs the home switch since it can only tell how many mm up/down, not the absolute position. Edit: Looking at a picture from Google it seems this part is facing part of the vario drive. Then it may be detecting the gearing ratio or the RPM.

Most of the work when I converted my mill to CNC was fitting the ballscrews with motors, switches and other hardware. You already have that and converting it will be mostly tracing the existing wiring. If nothing else it will be a good learning experience. Come to the next meeting and I can explain some basics of machine control as long as we don't run out of coffee.

Cleaning it is a good way to start. If you keep the current control or convert it.

09-18-2011, 04:48 AM
Quill, (downfeed) three limit switches there on front under the cover.

Bottom is Lower (negative travel limit) Upper is top limit (positive) and middle is HOME where the software sends to zero the axis.. that way it "knows" after a disruption where home- (0) location is.

If you "make a manual machine" I can talk you through setting those limits at end travels through a Master control relay to turn on a light.. and warn you. Looking over the blueprints you sent me, the motors "say" they have tach generators on them, not encoders.. that is just crazy.. I have not seen that since the 80s.. I suspect a error on the drawings.. we'll find more.

These other guys are saying the same thing I have. When you hear more than one comment the same thing, pay attention. Here on the net it is populated by armchair quarterbacks who are experts in everything. My opinion of several went way up.

Brother, by another mother.. Doc is getting married.. a old biker and a old hippy from the 70s.. I got to stand at the altar with them, I introduced them.

09-18-2011, 05:59 AM
They may have both tacho generators and encoders (or resolvers). The tacho is fed into a speed loop that "lives inside" the position loop. Nowadays it is easier (cheaper) to derive the velocity information from the position feedback whether it is by encoder or resolver.

If converting to Mach3 or EMC like mentioned before, the tacho is not used.

09-18-2011, 07:20 AM
Einar and David thanks guys! Didn't have a clue why those switched or what ever were under that front cover ( the long one ). When I ran the quill down all the way it was easy to see that they seemed to have not a lot to do with at least manual movement of the up down quill, but now from what you have told me it makes sense.

That little upper "what ever" seems to be connected to something like you suggest that has to do with measurement of rotation or rotation speed if you will. I'm never quite sure what pictures to take of send to get you the most info, and then I'm limited by size to make them more visible.

I know its really hard for you guys to help me "LONG" distance but I sure do appreciate your efforts!

09-18-2011, 07:34 AM
My first stupid question today is! Am I going to mess up anything inside the servo motors by manually turning the belts to move the X,Y, and Z axis on the machine??

Second stupid question:p The "extention cord" on the machine has 4 wires to the plug that will go into the wall. Will 220 have that also ? As you can tell I have next to no experience working with 220 v :confused: I guess that is the other half of the 110 which makes up the 220 total?

09-18-2011, 08:20 AM
1st before you hook 220 to it, make sure the "transformers" are terminated like in the drawing for 220 volts.

2nd.. make sure them rc networks are gone from the motor circuit. Bad karma for a inverter.. okay? They make a brand new inverter go poof.

I'd use 220 single phase, use all 4 wires into a drier plug if you must.. it has a neutral too.. maybe you'll need it, maybe not.. I ran 220 wground to mine. 220 is just 2-wires of 110.. opposite phase waveform, one is "up" and the other phase is "down" the difference between them is 220, see how that works?? you don't need a neutral for a "american" 220.. EURopeans have two wire 220 and one side is ground.. that's why when you plug your 120 razor in over there it makes magic smoke..

09-18-2011, 08:21 AM
No, manually turning over the motors will not hurt a thing, thou once the computer wakes up, it won't remember where it is.. and will have to go "home" to find (0) locations.. that's what them home switches are for.

09-18-2011, 08:47 AM
The last picture is of the spindle motor speed indicator. They have attached something to the shaft to read the approximate speed of the motor. It isn't a tach, not that accurate.

09-18-2011, 10:24 AM
Thats a positional pot.. a potentiometer, or a quadrature encoder.. a pot makes more sense as a engineer.

The rig there.. has a big flat belt inside the head, the air motor there on the right turns a gear shaft that alters the "width" of the pulley. DO NOT DO THIS WHILE NOT RUNNING.. the belt must shift as the pulley changes width, you could strip the unit out.
The air motor there on the right, has two solonoids normally on the back bone of the machine. One faster, one slower to modify the speed.

That is the position feedback of the "pointer" on the front of the machine.

That thing on the left top, with the cylinder, that is the brake.. mill will not spin when it applied. Normally you "leave it out of the cnc controls" it is a safe guard for when you "grab" the end mill.. having it start in your hand would be a end of career move.

Mach3.. as it boots.. the port "turns" on everything, till the Mach3 software "takes control". Having the "logic" off status of the brake in the wrong position and it can "turn on" while the computer is booting.. Hence the MCR relay I mentioned.. protection.

OFFLINE for a bit..

Hang in there Ray.. it is all good..

09-18-2011, 05:04 PM
Doug98105 The majority of these "small" CNC machines run the control and servos off 120V. Look inside the control cabinet, follow the three incoming power wires. Two of them should go to a transformer outputting the 120V. Usually you can splice these wires directly to a 120V wall outlet. If you get this far you should be able to turn the machine on. Then you can make sure things are working.

The three phase output of the VFD should only be needed for the spindle motor and possibly a coolant pump. Those are not big issues to deal with. But, I'm not sure buying the VFD was the best advice, you have to be careful hookng VFD's up to devices like this with power on/off controls downstream of the VFD.Doug there are 2 transformers up in the top of it I traced the incoming power to the main block on the 1st transformer one of the pictures shows that block. The transformer also has printed instructions on how to wire for various voltages coming into it.

My question is can you put the wire plus the jumper in the same connector? Am I thinking right that you can ?
Transformer is jumpered 3 to 5 now is that right? So new connects on the transformer will be.
1L1 to terminal 1
1L2 to terminal 3

Jumper terminal 1 to terminal 5 ( this is where my 2 wires in one hole question comes from )
Jumper terminal 3 to terminal 7

I traced he wires coming out of that upper electrical and they come down to the front control panel on the machine not to that upper "whatyamacallit" that is up there. Then those connections run back to some other "thingamajig" on the back of the mill.

So that upper electrical connection/sensor/sender seems to have to do with joging and emergency stops as well as feed rate jog's up or down.

09-18-2011, 05:40 PM
Thanks David

I'm quitting on it for the day, its a little cleaner yet and while I'm a LONG way from understanding all this, every hour I spend messing with it I get a better idea of where things come and go on it.

I'm in the OR tomorrow so that means up at 4:30 in by 6. Nothing like one day off!:(

At least I learned today that a "whatyamacallit" is really a quadrature encoder and that a "thingamajig" is a solonid!!! I may be brighter than I look after all! But then again :lol:

09-19-2011, 02:08 AM
So that upper electrical connection/sensor/sender seems to have to do with joging and emergency stops as well as feed rate jog's up or down.

The thing in "that picture" with the air lines going to it is a air-motor, tied in where a Crank handle goes on a manual mill head. That's the one I was warning you about operating without it running.

THE sensor there on the front under that cover just "tells the computer" where the lil Dial pointer that is normally on a manual mill where it is pointing.. you don't have a pointer, you have a sensor.. and it is probably a pot instead of a encoder.

Simple explanations for controls>
A quadrature encoder is a lil wheel with shutter like "holes" around the edges on a disc inside, two sensors are 90 degrees out of phase with each other in the holes sending 0/0 1/0 1/1 0/1 (then 0/0 repeat) signals.(switches coming on and off). this way by the transition from 0 to 1s it can tell not only Motion but the direction by the logic change of the signal. It accumulates a forward count, and subtracts when reversed giving a "status" update of location of the encoder. There is a device, a computer or logic gate that sums all the movements up and presents a total. A DRO on a lathe, or mill works like this too.. so you can tell "where you are". These are normally on the ends of servo motors also as you have on the mill axis feeds.. thou.. the drawing says otherwise..

Did that help?

A pot, it is a spiral wound coil with a wiper that sweeps the coils.. as you rotate the wiper by knob.. the wiper travels around the coils decreasing/increasing the resistance meaning "more voltage" or "less voltage" to the computer sensor, or the speed drive, etc.. I'd guess this one just tells where the pointer is pointing back to the computer..

You've seen these on everything from televisions of the 60s to radios in cars.. and speed controls on machines..

Brother.. keep on the path.. it is all good.. A tidbit of knowledge a day and soon your head will be too big to wear a normal hat.. (joke).

09-21-2011, 07:38 PM
Nice machine! I don't know about the circuits and servo motors on cnc machines but I have run my 3 phase 440v hardinge lathe on 3 phase 220v for years without any problems. I know the newer cnc machines need the correct voltage, not sure about an older machine like yours.

Have you considered step up tranformers. When I first picked up my lathe and didn't know it would run on 220 I was looking for transformers so that I could up the voltage from my rotary converter to 440.

09-21-2011, 08:02 PM
Eddie I've been looking at static and rotary phase converters and any other way to test this beast. I have a VFD for it what "will" take the single phase 220 in and put out 220 3 phase for the motor, or so I've been told!

I've got about $600 in this beast as it sits, I kind of hate to invest another 300 - 400 to find out its a block of iron. Been looking at options of ways to see if the motor is good as a first step. I may end up breaking down and getting a rotary phase convertor for the garage to power other stuff on my dream list.

WOW a fellow New Mexican!!!!!!!!!!!! Ain't very many of us:D

09-22-2011, 01:15 AM
Ray, from what I've seen on the drawings, the rest of the machine is single phase other than the mill head spindle motor. Not a real big ordeal, I wish I was closer.

You just need to go over it and change all the transformer jumpers to 220 volt. All that is in the drawings. Change the taps in the spindle motor to 220 hook up the inverter directly to it. Not a real big deal. I can highlight the changes and send the drawing back to you if you want.

THE dead board in the machine tho, That is a big expense.

And.. having a good machine with good ways, good tight spindle bearings is a valuable piece of machinery. Even if you put handles on it instead of cnc. Put that rascal to work. You'll be surprised at the handy uses for a 2 ton drill press. slotter,facer, boring machine,keyway cutter..
I suspect the servo motors would bring a grand on ebay. The remaining boards another five to six hundred. Scrap is $13 per hundred x 4400 lbs if the rest is in the way.. (my eyes are getting wet at the thought)

OR, get it to running (value jumps exponentially) , sell it, buy some chrome parts for the car. Machinery is like hunting dogs, if you never hunt, they are a liability instead of a asset.

09-22-2011, 06:50 AM
Your VFD should run that as well as a rotary, I have a lot of friends that run equipment with those. If the elecronics are single phase you should be good.

If the motor is 220/440 that is an easy rewire, my lathe was 440 only which is why I couldn't switch it over. You may not have to rewire the motor, I have a rotarty head drill press that is dual voltage and if I remember right the voltage is determined where the cord wires into the control box not at the motor.

There is also lots of info on building your own rotary phase converter out there, I could send you some links if you are interested.

09-24-2011, 12:05 PM

Gcode 25 sequential holes, 4 lines of gcode.. a vbscript subroutine.. while A<25. "each loop" incr A. added A to original Xlocation.. (across)..Y, Z other values stayed same..
Other side, just reset and indexed part the same, restarted for another 25 holes.. THE bolts slip through side to side.. I tig welded the two 1x2 channels together for a slider for the C-press for a Gocart roller cradle..

How long did it take? I don't have a clue.. I was bashing metal.
Your machine is a lot nicer than mine.

09-24-2011, 03:59 PM
Get it running and you can use it as a CNC lathe too. Just put your ewheel lower anvil on an arbor where the mill bit usually goes. And the lathe tool in your machine vice. Then some repeat G2, G1, G2 and reposition sequences and you get an anvil with a flat. About 20 lines of code. Your mill don't know you fooled it. ;)

It does not take a lot of code or learning to make simple parts.

What's with that busted card? Do you know there is one, and what function does it have?
You could try the shotgun repair. Change all the electrolytic capacitors. They are probably past the point of expiration about now. Sometimes this works, and it does not cost much.

09-26-2011, 08:17 PM
Ok gang finally a couple of days off. Been trying to get an electrician out here to add on a few 220 circuits in the garage before I get much further and you would think they would be looking for work but :mad:

I did a bit of 110 wiring today adding more shop lights and some outlets but the 220 just flat scares me:( I know my built in batter charger will take 110 but not willing to see what it will do with 220 :p

So you have seen some pic's of the Bridgeport V2XT ( which by the way is #103 ) and has been upgraded at some point by Bridgeport with a VFD drive to control the spindle. Newer Servo motors X 3 and all the bells and wissels on it or so it seems ( way covers and wipers, oiler, mister, power draw bar ). Sounds almost to good to be true I'm thinkin:twisted:

So here is where the fun begins at least for me, getting it switched over from the 440 3 phase it was running, to run on 220 v service that I have in the house. Will either end up with the 220 single phase in 3 phase out VFD I got, getting a static phase converter, or a rotary phase converter for the garage.

These mills seem to be out there and some are cheap as dirt, but part of the reason for this thread is to show ya the pit falls of getting one.

Inside the magic BOX!!
Main Transformer rewire
Basic Layout

09-26-2011, 08:42 PM
I took a shot at putting some of the pictures into an album. Least the pictures there are a little bigger so it will give you some idea of the computer/electrical issues you will face.:confused:

09-26-2011, 09:01 PM
Appears to be T2 you are looking at, Drawing page 194-1017 Page 4 of 4 Transformer connection block top right on the page, Shows wiring for 460 , 1L1 to term 1, 1L2 to term 7, center tap jumper term 3 to term 5

IF that is indeed T2 (part number 1541540 or 1542113) , the taps to convert "that transformer to 230 volts " is
1L1 to Term 1
1L2 to term 3

Interconnect jumpers (2 now required) Term 1 to Term 5, Term 3 to Term 7
(how it does it) This puts the two coils in parallel instead of series as for 460 volts., IN effect making same output voltage at less input voltage (230 input).

There are other changes needed.. do not power up till we go through them all.. by photo, this appears to be the drive voltages for the servos as shown on Page 194-1017 page 1 of 4 (legend lower right of page in block)

there is a transformer that "makes the Power for the 120 volt devices on the machine"... It needs taps changed also.. and Spindle Motor internal connections. And, we still need to search out them pesky RC networks so it will not blow VFD into Magic smoke.

More pictures Ray.. I am currently one-eyed.. Thou I pulled the eye patch to Load Pat G's new John deere tractor in the thunderstorm..

(ahh bought a New "fer us" 3 gig speed computer for our cnc.. $30 whoo wiiee New technology is "cheap next week")

09-26-2011, 09:16 PM
Just saw, probably "found" the pesky RC networks.. page 194-1017 page 4 of 4 labeled as "filters" in contactor that turns on spindle motor, There above the overloads that feed out to motor.. They are most probably there on the contactor (motor starter) wiring and folded over..
We will feed the VFD from the wiring there, out to fuses.. or a breaker.. and then power the vfd up and direct wire its output to the spindle motor.. after we change the voltage taps in the motor.

Same page, ALSO, the main feeds for the two transformers.. T1 (120 machine supply) and T2 (servo supply) must be rewired from Main switch fuses to be on same phases.. ie.. one transformer is fed from 1L1 & 1L3, other is fed from 1L1 and 1L2.(3 wires).. the machine is "splitting the three phase there and the wiring must be put on same two wires for single phase 220.. okay?? instead of 3 220 3 phase wires you will have now just 2 220 single phase wires that must feed the machine..

Will have to be some more close ups to find this wiring to change there.. coming off the main switch

Find the T1 transformer and make sure you got adequate pictures for a half blind man..

09-26-2011, 09:36 PM
ONE more thing, before I try to go back to sleep... Danged thyroid meds..

I purchased and mounted a small 14 circuit electrical panel, mig welded it to the side of the cnc case.. fed out the "main switch" wiring for the 220 single phase supply.. (2 wires, neutral, ground) and then fed the transformers with "house breakers", fed back to the "contactor there" to shut all power off to drives (servo and vfd) when "estop was depressed".. this made me feel safe. When I push the estop, I want things to HALT.. cease, not move.. Be safe.. I worry a lot huh?? but I ride a Harley through Atlanta in rush hour.. I like to make my own chances when I can..

Having a high speed carbide endmill Shatter is quite a experience.. I ran for the door the first time.. crap was hitting the walls like bullets.. "re: why cncs have plastic boxes around them"...

09-26-2011, 10:02 PM
What's with that busted card? Do you know there is one, and what function does it have?
You could try the shotgun repair. Change all the electrolytic capacitors. They are probably past the point of expiration about now. Sometimes this works, and it does not cost much.

Einar my friend I don't have a clue what it does:p I was told it was the FMDC board that had a problem. Which I gether from the price is a biggie:confused: I figure even if its fried, if the motor and the servo's are good you guys will help me find the best possible work around/replacement for it.

Right now its a struggle to try to figure out how to power it up with out sending something saveable up in smoke ;)

09-27-2011, 03:13 AM
Sometimes... you just have to start somewhere..

I'd guess.. take them end caps off the motors.. clean them out really good.. I am suspecting that the TG label in the schematics is actually a encoder.. hoping anyways.. if it is a "tach generator" then this design is "outdated" anyways.. and dependent upon something like a "white cane" to find it's precision tolerance.

It will take about two hours or less to get this machine converted to single phase. Power it up, then we'll see if we can figure out what is up with the controls.. Most machinists are not robotic geeks.. most geeks are not machinists. From what I read? we have another fella there.. who is further away than me tho..

HOOKING IT UP IN THE SHOP.. well now.. I'd run a power feed, set a box over the unit in the ceiling.. place a "4 conductor 30 amp twistlock" in the box. Take a male plug down with 4 conductor 10 gauge Rubber cord down to the machine where you can use a strain relief to feed it.. THIS way you can move the machine a tad.. or put it into the corner out of the way someday.. I have scooted my old cnc around the shop two dozen times over the past 12 years.

WITH the mods we will make. If you can't afford the industrial FMDC board. the inverter will run the spindle, you can put handles onto it.. and use it.. no time lost.. Later.. if you desire.. we can convert it from a Expensive Production industrial machine into a HOME Hobby machine at mucho reduced cost. Ain't none of it too complicated for Ray to figure out. AND sell them industrial CNC parts to someone "else" who is struggling to keep one running.

THE parts off my machine I sold.. nearly paid completely for the new computer and Drives..
I did end up "making a human interface" console thou. Mine has a joystick and a PS2 port to run the computer, not the machine. A Key emulator.. you take buttons to.. and it throws "keystrokes" out the cable to the software.. making it think that joystick is really just pushing the arrow keys. But the keyboard don't get so black you can't see the keys.. (as it is now)
Guess what? That Board, it came from a Arcade game.

09-27-2011, 08:22 AM

Looks right Ray..
That transformer on the left of it, probably is T1.. the taps are probably sideways.. and going to be hard to photograph.. I can make a list of what goes where.. There on the connections page there is two transformers listed, a 1541865 or 1541738 with the difference being connection H3 to I6.. basically you will do the same thing to it, put in extra jumper and split the coils..
If you can get us a picture.. we can go on..

AND a close up of the wires below the switch.

That 460 inverter.. useless to you.. It will need to be pulled out to make room for the 230 volt one.
We'll have to get there too.. THE people who mounted it "sideways" messed up.. the cooling is on the bottom and top.. air goes in the bottom and convection-fan pulls it out the top.. plus you are supposed to have clearance room for cooling so the airflow will not be disturbed. Shame on that tech who put that in there.. I don't see the contactors (fwd reverse relays) shown in the schematic.. they may have replaced it and the overloads with the inverter.. meaning it is not like the drawing.. and that will get more interesting.. We'll have to get the inverter pdf information, and backtrace some wires.. or abandon it in place after pulling the infeed voltage wires loose..

Good first step completed.

09-27-2011, 03:20 PM
I don't know if you already found the VFD, but here is some info on it:

And the user / configuration manual: http://www.geindustrial.com/publibrary/checkout/GEH-6640?TNR=Installation%20and%20Instruction|GEH-6640|PDF

09-27-2011, 05:41 PM
Thank you Einar my friend! No I hadn't found that info on line. Not sure what all that info means but I got friends around the world that will help school me!:D

I am guessing the one that is in there already is meant to have 440 volt input ( not sure if that is single phase or double phase ) but I can at least see if there is something on it that identifies it from that link.

The one I bought from Automation Direct is a GS2 230 V Input 0.5 - 7.5 hp.

I got tired of wire chasing and crud cleaning today and just played in my garage today.

Thanks my friend!

09-27-2011, 06:28 PM
I had just kind of burned out for the day on the Bridgeport so I piddled around on other things in the garage. Cleaned up the Norton side panel some. I think its to the point where some HIGH build primer will make it work:wink:

Did some more work on the pulley cover I'm making for my P 1/6th.

And yes I really do use old hospital crash carts, and a hospital bed with a bad wheel bearing for a welding/work bench :lol:

09-28-2011, 03:36 AM
Normally a inverter can not be switched voltages. I had a stack of them here.. 10hp and up.. I wish I had saved the capacitors out of them for a edm project. Junk-man got them.. about a ton.

BUT.. sometimes you can run single phase into them.. just put a jumper across to the un-used input from one of the other ones.. the "controls" inside are single phase and you must have the proper voltage across them to run the controls inside.. . IF you leave "one line off" you will not really hurt anything, just it will not "start multiple times" sometimes rapidly in a row.

(Can you tell I like VFD's?)

09-28-2011, 10:06 AM
I am guessing the one that is in there already is meant to have 440 volt input ( not sure if that is single phase or double phase ) but I can at least see if there is something on it that identifies it from that link.

Find the type number. Then look at p. 3.2 in the Buyers Guide. It should read 6KXC1xy.... where x tells you the voltage and y whether it's 1 or 3 phase.

If it is 3-ph it can be used like David wrote, but with the output derated. Which means you can do that for testing and light cuts. But you can't pull chips the size of army boots. Since you already bought a suitable one this info may be just for the next refurbish.

10-03-2011, 08:13 PM
I'm still plugin away at this project! Spent my day off running conduit for some new 220 outlets in the garage. Electrician is coming Thursday to put some sparks inside that conduit!:D

I consider myself a semi intelligent guy but let me tell you conduit bending is not in my skill set!!! :lol: Talk about making scrap !!!

10-04-2011, 04:23 AM
I can give you advice on that too if you need it brother.. read the side of the bender.. it has the "90 deductions" on the side (6", 7 3/8" ??).. measure from conduit to wall, then deduct the bender take up.. there you are.. Put the bender arrow on the measurement and pull.

Offsets.. from memory.. I was gonna tattoo it once on my body so I would never have to do math.. a 45 degree is ratio of 1.5 (rounded) side marks on bender tell you when you are there.. a 30 degree is 2 (rounded) and pull it to side marks.
TO figure the offset.. say you need to jump a 4" thick object.. well..30 degree bends 4x2 is 8 inches.. there is a arrow on the shoe, that is where you put the ends of the bends.. and it will be 4" offset..

NOW getting the bends 180 from each other so they don't have dogleg. (go off at a tangent). well you can buy a "no dog" level to clamp onto the conduit and spin it 180.. or eyeball it and "learn" from experience.

(and.. when you play cards at the motel during a construction event, keep only $35-40 on the table. Put any more that that in your pocket.. lose that $35-40 on the table only.. but walk away with some in pocket.. maybe..) I've had to loan my work buddies their perdium money back.. that gambling thrill.. I no longer play cards.. Very addictive Kinda like street racing.

05-03-2012, 12:30 PM
Get up on it. My cnc had ground squirrels living in it. I evicted them.

Two gcode explanations and a video of them being used to drill a set of G16 polar holes using the G83 "peck" method.

G16 where g16 is a special mach3 code.. converted to polar mode, x is now the radius and Y is the angle to move to from "referenced present location"..
Example G16 x2 y30.. moves to 2" radius from location at 30 degrees inclination from point in x-y plane. You must exit the polar routine with a G15 exit code.

G83 peck drilling method.. G83 x2 y2 z3 r2 q.1 f1
Z feeds at 1 inch per minute down at location x2y2 with a peck chip breaking cycle that each .10 of drilling lifts bit to R (top clearance) and breaks chips.. You must exit the G83, G81 (straight drilling) subroutine with a G80 exit code.

Video drilling a 1.25 radius of holes 30 degrees apart using peck drilling. Making a jig-bend table.


05-12-2012, 06:26 AM
Hi Buddy.. lemme tell you about eating "crow and humility pie" Once again when you "think" you know the only way (you've been using since 2001) Someone points the "electrician" to a better "cnc machinist" way. I'll share the knowledge.

MULTIPLE holes.. Using G73 command (peck drilling without full withdraw)
Withdraw setup in Mach3 in ports, pins config screen, mill spindle setup. g73 config box.

4 lines, as many "L" holes in a row as you want..
g80 g90 m03
explanation of line (g80 kill canned cycles,g90 set up true coods system m03 start spindle)
g73 x2 y2 z-1.5 r-.25 q.1
explanation of line (x=loc, y= loc, z=depth to drill r=clearance tos q= peck depth, g73 withdraw set in menu)
g91 x1.125 y0 L5
explanation of line (g91 set to incremental mode, each line adds incr. x1.125 adds each loop. L number of loops to increment and perform previous selected g73 canned operation 5 times)
m05 g91 g80
explanation of line (m05 stop spindle, g91=revert back to true inch coordinates, g80=cancel canned cycle)

The magic of the incremental gcode is in the "L" loops.. change it for how ever many holes you want. By figuring the tangential add moves to X&Y you can do a 45 degree holes in XY plane, or?? converting to polar I've not tried yet.. but you see.. it no longer requires one line of code per hole like I've been doing since 2001.. and yes I am still learning as I go. Nobody every said I was perfect and knew it all. (there's that crow part)

05-12-2012, 07:00 AM
Hey David thanks my friend. I know once I get the V2XT spinning again I have a steep learning curve about programing it. Was told that the BOSS 10 system has quite a few "canned" programs inside of it that can be used.

Looking forward to my visit to your place on the 16th. Should roll in there late afternoon.:D


03-03-2016, 08:30 AM
after years this machine has come to me.
The FDMC board was bad. I have ripped out everything in the box and have viper servos on order and am building a power supply for them now. I am tracing all the servo wires out as we speak and same with the encoder wires.

The spindle motor was still wired for 440 and I have rewired it for 220 3 phase. Hooked up that automation Direct 1/3 phase converter and she spins like a champ. I am in the process of redoing all the air lines for manual push button operation because not everything needs to be controlled by a computer.

Just thought it was funny .

03-03-2016, 09:00 AM
Sadly I know that Ray is no longer with us.
Anyone know what happened to David (Dawai) ?

03-03-2016, 12:02 PM
It's good to hear that Ray's old mill is coming back to life.

03-04-2016, 11:23 AM
I was reading all of the posts here and then i saw albuquerque and was like no way. I had to make an account here to see the pictures and then I saw the red motherboard and the 1 terabyte hard drive and was like wow. This is cool. I drove down to albuquerque 3 weeks ago and picked it up from some 4x4 place. They said it ran when they got it and they never touched it. They couldn't show me though. I took my chances and loaded it up and brought it back to colorado. It is really clean. If you dont mind me asking , what happen to Ray? The guys at the 4x4 place said the previous owner was sick.

03-04-2016, 12:04 PM
Hi Jon,

Welcome to metalmeet. We are pleased to have you as a member.

Ray passed away. I don't know any details of his passing, only that he has left us. We will all miss Ray as he was an important part of our little community for a long time.

03-04-2016, 12:47 PM
Thats sad to hear. Well , Guess I will get this thing going and start posting some pictures of parts. This seems like a pretty cool place. I am scrapping the old software , not just because it is old , but alot of the connectors inside were damaged from being pulled in and out mainly on the boards. I am going to turbo cnc , have viper 200f drives on the way , building a new power supply , etc. If anyone is interested in the old drives and boards let me know. For some reason alot of the wires were not hooked up and I spent a whole week just tracing wires. With that being said, Everything that runs with air is working and the spindle is working. Hoping to have it going in a couple weeks.

03-07-2016, 08:59 AM
I am going to turbo cnc ....

You should go for LinuxCNC!
TurboCNC is a dinosaur. You will have trouble even finding a PC able to run DOS these days.

Also LinuxCNC is adaptable to about any machine and feature.
And there are a lot of help to get from the mailing list, forum and IRC.

03-07-2016, 03:10 PM
Here is a question for you guys. I want something will allow me to set my tool offsets at the machine like the prototraks and other various mills. From what I see , in Mach3 you have to use a height guage and punch in your tool offsets manually. I dont know about Turbocnc or linuxcnc , but I would like to set tool 1 as zero and then change to tool 2 , type in the diameter and description and then set the offset . Any suggestions

03-07-2016, 09:10 PM
Here is a question for you guys. I want something will allow me to set my tool offsets at the machine like the prototraks and other various mills. From what I see , in Mach3 you have to use a height guage and punch in your tool offsets manually. I dont know about Turbocnc or linuxcnc , but I would like to set tool 1 as zero and then change to tool 2 , type in the diameter and description and then set the offset . Any suggestions

The method of tool setting probably is different with each control program.

My only knee mill has a Centroid control. With that your longest tool is #1 (or is it #0, I forget). All the other tools are set with respect to the first tool. When you re-position the knee the only tool that has to be reset is #1.

No typing, you touch off a part or a setter and hit "enter". Of course you still have to enter the tool's diameter.

BTW: Turbo CNC is a dinosaur and does not support cutter radius compensation, G40, G41, G42, which is one of the nicest features of CNC's.

03-08-2016, 08:18 AM
Thanks for the info on Turbocnc . Do you have to have the controller for centroid or can you just use the software?

03-08-2016, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the info on Turbocnc . Do you have to have the controller for centroid or can you just use the software?

Yes, you have to have the Centroid hardware. From memory, the least expensive Centroid option is to buy the hardware for around $3,000 and do the installation yourself. You can download the software, it's free.

03-08-2016, 10:42 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info. Since I am already invested with the drives and everything else I have I will probably try to get all of this going first. If all else fails than I will probably go with the centroid. But for now , things are looking good , just looking at software options. I have a copy of linuxcnc, so we will see how that goes. I am looking for some nmtb30 tool holders. There were a few tool holders with the machine , but the only one that was correct was a 1 inch tool holder.

03-08-2016, 10:59 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info. Since I am already invested with the drives and everything else I have I will probably try to get all of this going first. If all else fails than I will probably go with the centroid. But for now , things are looking good , just looking at software options. I have a copy of linuxcnc, so we will see how that goes. I am looking for some nmtb30 tool holders. There were a few tool holders with the machine , but the only one that was correct was a 1 inch tool holder.

It's not clear...are you using steppers or servos? I believe Centroid only works with closed loop servos.

The Centroid all-in-one module includes drives for three axes. Extra axis drives up to 7 (?) are $500 per.

03-08-2016, 11:07 AM
I am using the original servos with the Renco encoders. Building a power supply tonight. Drives should be here today or tomorrow. Running the viper200F drives. Planning on using the existing drive box with the slide sections. Keeping everything clean.

03-08-2016, 11:12 AM
The only thing I am concerned with at this point is noise issues. I plan on moving the vfd to the outside of the box and just mount it next to the quill. Everything else is going to be shielded as much as it can be. My goal is to be done up and running in the next week or 2.

04-27-2016, 07:22 AM
Just thought I would give an update , just in case anybody checks in here.

The mill is up and running and making parts. Have about .002 backlash in the x and y so Trying to figure out how to get that out. Decided to just go with Mach 3 because I am already use to it. It runs great. everything is hooked up . limit switches , home switches , oiler , mister , e-stop , etc.

04-27-2016, 08:20 AM
Doesn't Mach3 have a "backlash" adjustment in it? It used to have a screen and drop down type menu in the "setup" phase of the program. At least when using stepper motors, don't know about servos.


04-27-2016, 08:23 AM
The ball screws and nuts can be rebuilt. I had a company in Cadillac Mi. rebuild a ball nut for a Bridgeport a few years ago. The screw was still ok. A google search for ball screw rebuilding brings up lots of information. Good to hear that it's running.

05-05-2016, 08:22 AM
I was using the backlash adjustment in mach3 and it kept tripping out my Y axis drive. I turned it off and the problem went away. I have been messing with tightening and adjusting the last few nights and have it down to about .001. I will get the ballscrews rebuilt eventually , but for right now I am just happy to be cutting parts. I am finishing up my little x2 cnc now and so I will have a 2nd op machine right next to the bridgeport. Pretty fun.