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Thread: Chinese cnc router controller recommendations

  1. #1

    Chinese cnc router controller recommendations

    HI, I'm interested in a chinese controller for our router when the current 20-year old Tekcel controller finally gives up the ghost and dies.
    The needs I have are
    1. onboard LCD display and joystick or similar, at the router (like the Ruida controller for lasers)
    2. connection to PC preferably via ethernet - other ideas will be considered.
    3. ability to read encoder data and drive the existing 36vDC servos
    4. 3D file capability

    I use Enroute 4, and export or save files 2D and 3D, as HPGL *plt files, and I'd want to continue using Enroute for creating the toolpaths.

    I'd be interested in any recommendations, thanks, as well as what software they use to drive the controller.

    Reliability and ease of use are more important than bottom-of-the-range price.
    Best wishes,
    Ian



    ULS M-300, 55w made 2002 with rotary. Goldenlaser 130 watt, 1300x700 made 2011.
    Flat bed 2500x1300 150/90watt 2 tube laser, 2018 model.
    Esab router, 1989, 4.5 x 2.0 m, conv. to Tekcel, and modded a 2nd time.
    HP L260-60". Roland PNC-1410. Mimaki GC-130 SU.
    Screenprinting carousel 6x4 and 7x4 ft 1-arm bandit vac table.
    Corel Draw X3, Illy, Indesign & Photoshop CS2 & CS5, Enroute 4
    Pencil, paper, paintbrush, airbrush & dagger-liners & assorted other stuff.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    65
    Have a look at Centroid Acorn. It's a really good controller at a great price. It can drive steppers and servos, uses ethernet for COM between the PC and on-board Beaglebone CPU. It is a fully featured controller with support for just about anything you'd want to do, plus support for touch screen and MPG remote wireless pendant. IMO, there isn't a better bang for the buck on the planet. Unlike Mach3 et al, it is currently supported by ongoing development and rather than have evolved from the bottom up, it's a result of top-down development from their high tech 5-axis milling machines that port cylinder heads etc.

    If you are not comfortable putting together a retrofit for yourself, I highly recommend Gary Campbell for a turn-key solution for your specific machine. Others will recommend the same.
    IBILD High Resolution 3D Scanning Services

  3. #3
    I switched my Chinese machine from Mach3 to Centroid Acorn. I'm not very technical and had no idea what I was doing but they have a good forum with tons of technical help. Was pretty painless conversion and I have been happy with it. Gary Campbell would be the man to speak to. I know he will put together a box to basically just plug and play for it if you want. He comes on here and several other forums but go to the Centroid forum in the Acorn section and ask your questions.

  4. #4
    Thanks, I'll look into the Centroid
    Best wishes,
    Ian



    ULS M-300, 55w made 2002 with rotary. Goldenlaser 130 watt, 1300x700 made 2011.
    Flat bed 2500x1300 150/90watt 2 tube laser, 2018 model.
    Esab router, 1989, 4.5 x 2.0 m, conv. to Tekcel, and modded a 2nd time.
    HP L260-60". Roland PNC-1410. Mimaki GC-130 SU.
    Screenprinting carousel 6x4 and 7x4 ft 1-arm bandit vac table.
    Corel Draw X3, Illy, Indesign & Photoshop CS2 & CS5, Enroute 4
    Pencil, paper, paintbrush, airbrush & dagger-liners & assorted other stuff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Marquette, MI USA
    Posts
    450
    I would look at the Centroid Oak or most likely the AllIn1DC to be the most compatible with your existing system.
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  6. #6
    Thanks, Gary - is there much difference between Oak & Acorn, in the Centroid?
    I see the controllers- Acorn- for around $600, give or take a little, and Oak for three times that price?

    (PS I don't need cnc spindle control- I do that manually.)
    Last edited by Ian Stewart-Koster; 09-18-2019 at 6:46 AM.
    Best wishes,
    Ian



    ULS M-300, 55w made 2002 with rotary. Goldenlaser 130 watt, 1300x700 made 2011.
    Flat bed 2500x1300 150/90watt 2 tube laser, 2018 model.
    Esab router, 1989, 4.5 x 2.0 m, conv. to Tekcel, and modded a 2nd time.
    HP L260-60". Roland PNC-1410. Mimaki GC-130 SU.
    Screenprinting carousel 6x4 and 7x4 ft 1-arm bandit vac table.
    Corel Draw X3, Illy, Indesign & Photoshop CS2 & CS5, Enroute 4
    Pencil, paper, paintbrush, airbrush & dagger-liners & assorted other stuff.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Marquette, MI USA
    Posts
    450
    Ian...
    You would get the best answer by posting on the Centroid forum, but for the most part the difference between them lies in the control features. Acorn is step and direction only with no encoder feedback to the controller. Both Oak and Allin1 have full encoder feedback and do not use step and direction. Allin1 has DC servo drives onboard.

    By the end of the year "Hickory" could be available which will feature modules to accommodate most any system. Cant wait to build my first EtherCat system to try out the new features that stepper, servo and vfd mfgrs are coming out with.
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  8. #8
    Wow, the All-in-1 is pricey... and I'm not in favour of all-in-one things as a rule, I suppose I'm to used to needing to diagnose issues by swapping parts out...

    I wonder if there's not a cheaper servo driver/encoder & control system ex China, that is still of some quality, not bottom-of-the-range ?

    Thanks, Gary, I appreciate the information.
    Best wishes,
    Ian



    ULS M-300, 55w made 2002 with rotary. Goldenlaser 130 watt, 1300x700 made 2011.
    Flat bed 2500x1300 150/90watt 2 tube laser, 2018 model.
    Esab router, 1989, 4.5 x 2.0 m, conv. to Tekcel, and modded a 2nd time.
    HP L260-60". Roland PNC-1410. Mimaki GC-130 SU.
    Screenprinting carousel 6x4 and 7x4 ft 1-arm bandit vac table.
    Corel Draw X3, Illy, Indesign & Photoshop CS2 & CS5, Enroute 4
    Pencil, paper, paintbrush, airbrush & dagger-liners & assorted other stuff.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Marquette, MI USA
    Posts
    450
    Ian...
    Yes, it is more money. That said, it does include (and replace) 4 servo drive (amps) making it less expensive if the legacy drives are shot or unrepairable. The real answer for you is to determine the control signal mode of your products and then select the best controller that is compatible with that mode. The best answer is often to replace it all due to age.

    I have no idea on Chinese controls, I am usually replacing them
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

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