View Full Version : Upgrade or New

bob pfohler
05-30-2009, 10:49 AM
I have a Shopbot PRS Standard and now that we have quite-a-bit of work we're thinking about upgrading.
I'd like to upgrade to Servo motors but I'm not really sure what that would involve or cost.
I'm also thinking about a spindle. There are the HSD that Shopbot sells or is a Colombo the way to go?
If we buy a spindle does it just plug-in like a router motor? I understand it would require 220v and that's no problem but what else would i need to do?
After all these upgrades am I really going to save money or should we start looking for a new machine?

Keith Outten
05-30-2009, 11:09 AM

If you decide to purchase a spindle it has a VFD box that has to be mounted that controls the rpm. The one I use at CNU requires me to adjust the rpm via a touchpad on the box. The LED readout is based on frequency so i have to multiply the frequency by 60 to get the actual rpm. ShopBot has a board that you can install in the control box that will allow you to adjust the rpm on the fly from the software, sadly we don't have any money in our budget these days.

I own a ShopBot PrtAlpha 96 at home that has a Porter Cable router, the truth is i like the router just as much as the spindle, it has some advantages such as not having to go through the warmup procedure and routers are cheap enough to throw away when they are worn out. Spindles are very expensive so they have to be rebuilt when the tolerances are gone and I expect it isn't cheap.

In my opinion minor upgrades are worthwhile on older machines, if you are considering spending a lot of money on an old machine upgrading several components you would be better off purchasing a new machine. There is always a market for used ShopBots, you shouldn't have any problem selling yours here in our Classified Forum if you decide to buy a new ShopBot.

bob pfohler
05-30-2009, 11:53 AM
What about the cost and advantages of upgrading my steppers to Servo motors?

james mcgrew
05-30-2009, 6:45 PM
i have an older router and a new one, so my vote is new!!

then you would have two!!


ps i have both columbo and hsd spindles, both excellent!!

Jim Dailey
05-30-2009, 7:10 PM
Hi Bob,

I have an older Shopbot PRS Standard that I am looking at getting running... I too have looked/wonder what it would take to upgrade the steppers... I found this post that I found informative, maybe it will help...



Steve knight
05-31-2009, 12:33 AM
you can upgrade the steppers but you can't get servo's if you did you would not have a shopbot anymore you would need a new controller and and the shopbot software could not run it.
the hsd spindle is fine I have the 4hp and it is great. with the speed control board warmup is automatic.