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Thread: Centroid Acorn

  1. #16
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    Sep 2009
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    Medina Ohio
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    Well after I had been away from my CNC for a while I went out to run a file but needed to surface my table. The problem I had before reared it's ugly head again. It would start to run then one of the steppers would start to stutter some times it was the X1 then the X2. I ended up sending the controller back to Gary to have a breakout board put in and some adjusting. I have been trying to get it to run but it just won't. I have been working on this problem now for over a week and still have yet to run a file. Gary offered to take it back and I think I will take him up on that but. I am going to be out over $100 just in shipping fee not to mention 3 bits. Gary told me that my steppers are to old to run but they do run fine with my old Shopbot controller with Gecko drives I just have to have one of my boards gone over as the Y is acting up but I ended up moving that to the A drive for now.

  2. #17
    That sucks. I swapped to Centroid on Gary's recommendation and it has worked out well for me. Sorry to hear that it wasn't able to get your machine up and going reliably. Good to hear that Gary is standing behind it and taking it back. I hope you get a solution for your problem figured out.

  3. #18
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    I see that I have to jump a trace on my old controller lucky I have 2 boards to test on

  4. #19
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    Oct 2009
    Location
    Marquette, MI USA
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    454
    Jerry is correct. Since 2016 I have been attempting to produce a price friendly controller for aging ShopBots. During 2016 and 2017 this was done in cooperation with ShopBot and used the SB controller and IO boards. Tech support assisting users to get new controller cards connected to old computers was a nightmare, so end of 2017 I stopped selling REZurrection controls with SB controllers and sent a letter to SB stating the same.

    Since that time I have been producing controllers using WinCNC and Centroid controllers. One of the best selling versions is the SB alpha replacement closed loop controller that has been extremely well received and has great reviews. But I still get a lot of requests for "standard grade" (read as economy) replacement controllers. I have found a number of drives that will run the old SB motors, they simply cost more than most SB guys are willing to pay. These setups dont cost as much as buying one from the factory, but do cost more than the least costly alternative.

    Like many others, Jerry mentions the machine running fine on G203 Gecko drives. True. The G203v was introduced in 2006 and was designed to be back compatible with the thousands ofPK296*8 and PK299 Oriental motors that were very popular in the US as it would handle motors up to 50 mh inductance. The PK296 motor which many of the SB gearmotors are based on is a very low amp draw and has very high inductance. (~30 mh) High inductance motors are designed to run on higher voltage. The formula from Gecko is 32* (sqrt inductance) or 32* 5.65 =180. Which is a common voltage available from a line voltage (AC) Drive.

    ShopBot offers a control board with Geckos, the "4G". Its around $1500 and is a bare board that fits in a PC case. PC Case and power supplies are not included. Use of a PC case is questionable due to inability to provide proper cooling and adherence to current safety standards. They also offer an "RBK Upgrade" control box, which may or may not be compatible with all older motors and if I am correct is currently priced around $4000. (no motors)

    I no longer will even attempt to make a budget controller that uses motors that were introduced 15 years ago. The process to try and save a number of SB users money came at a cost of hundreds of emails and a few disappointed old friends. I now only offer them with motors and planetary gearboxes. This product (with motors and gearboxes) includes a Lenovo CNC-PC (Win10Pro, 8GB & WIFI) costs around $500 less than the SB RBK (without motors or PC).

    Here is a short promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmOXoVowNgk

    So as you can see this is about new products, old products and money. Not that price is not important, but I feel my pricing is very fair, and is more than half of the factory products when using an "apples to apples" comparison. I have higher priced control boxes that will run those old motors that are still a grand less than the factory RBK that will run the high inductance motors. I find it hard to advise a friend to spend a grand more to support 20 year old motors that most likely have excessive backlash and could be nearing end of life.

    In violation of common sense and industry standard to not offer refunds on custom built electronics products, Jerry was offered new motors at a reduced price or a refund. He even asked about his motor model on the Centroid forum. He received an answer from a long time SB guy with an EE degree explaining the deficiencies of those old motors and recommending he seek out newer ones. Since I made the offer via email, I mis-assumed I would receive an answer via email, not by reading his sob story on 2 forums. Sad, so sad. I suggest sir, that if this is how you conduct business, you would be a perfect customer for a SB control box.
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  5. #20
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    Medina Ohio
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    Sorry Gary but I found the Email in my draft box I guess it did not send

  6. #21
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    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    Well after I had been away from my CNC for a while I went out to run a file but needed to surface my table. The problem I had before reared it's ugly head again. It would start to run then one of the steppers would start to stutter some times it was the X1 then the X2. I ended up sending the controller back to Gary to have a breakout board put in and some adjusting. I have been trying to get it to run but it just won't. I have been working on this problem now for over a week and still have yet to run a file. Gary offered to take it back and I think I will take him up on that but. I am going to be out over $100 just in shipping fee not to mention 3 bits. Gary told me that my steppers are to old to run but they do run fine with my old Shopbot controller with Gecko drives I just have to have one of my boards gone over as the Y is acting up but I ended up moving that to the A drive for now.
    Can you upgrade the steppers at a reasonable price? This might be a better choice for reliability in the long run.
    David

  7. #22
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    As Gary said it is about old products and not money. I was sold on the Acorn from Gary as he claims would be a plug and play but after many hours and back and forth with Gary the only option was spending more money that when he claimed that this would bring my machine up a step. I still can't fathom why the Acorn will run the steppers fine using the arrow keys and the g command but can not handle a simple file that tells the machine to make a full circuit around the table. At least I don't claim something that I can't deliver. Yes Gary did refund money. All I ever wanted was a reliable controller that was supposed to be plug and play.
    Last edited by Jerome Stanek; 06-07-2020 at 5:40 PM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
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    3,539
    On my machine I just sold I ran Mach3 with Ethernet and Warp9 and had a couple of minor issues, but there are thousands of CNC machines running it commercially everyday without issues. I did upgrade to Mach4 and it was light years ahead. I think the bigger issues was the dependence on the parallel port interface and its problems. On my new small hobby sized machine its Mach4 and PMDX USB on Windows 10, seems to be fine.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    As Gary said it is about old products and not money. I was sold on the Acorn from Gary as he claims would be a plug and play but after many hours and back and forth with Gary the only option was spending more money that when he claimed that this would bring my machine up a step. I still can't fathom why the Acorn will run the steppers fine using the arrow keys and the g command but can not handle a simple file that tells the machine to make a full circuit around the table. At least I don't claim something that I can't deliver. Yes Gary did refund money. All I ever wanted was a reliable controller that was supposed to be plug and play.

    I can attest after MANY Centroid Acorn builds that the control itself is solid. You spent the money on the control, but then it sounds like you tried to save a few dollars by keeping the old, open loop steppers. I would have replaced those old motors and spent a few hundred more on closed loop motors and drives. You would have had a much more reliable, robust system. At the very least you should have upgraded the old stepper motors to motors Gary would have or probably recommended. Gary is a stand up guy with many satisfied customers. His background with ShopBot and knowledge of CNC router controls is one of the best I have come across.

    I wasn't clear, did you send the control back to Gary? If so, are you going back to your old control?

    Best of luck.
    Marty

  10. #25
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    Yes I did send it back and will be going back to a controller that works. What bothered me was I was mislead to believe that it was plug and play with my steppers. As for getting the steppers from Gary that would be like you buy a car and after you pay for it they ask you if you want an engine for it. The steppers Gary sells never came up until the controller would only run mine with G moves or arrows makes no sense as the file tells it to move using G code

  11. #26
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
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    As I recall the steppers were new in 2008, as was the machine.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    Yes I did send it back and will be going back to a controller that works. What bothered me was I was mislead to believe that it was plug and play with my steppers. As for getting the steppers from Gary that would be like you buy a car and after you pay for it they ask you if you want an engine for it. The steppers Gary sells never came up until the controller would only run mine with G moves or arrows makes no sense as the file tells it to move using G code
    It wasn't the controller. It is possible the original steppers were not configured correctly in the Centroid CNC12 software.
    Why didn't you upgrade the old steppers?
    Its like buying a high performance engine for your car and then keeping the original stock tires on it.

    Centroid control works. You need to understand the control in order to configure it properly. What are you going to change to? There are certainly many options out there. Its all about matching components, configuration and the user interface and understanding all of them.

    Have you done a CNC conversion from scratch?
    Hopefully you will find something that works best for you, and learn along the way.
    Marty

  13. #28
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
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    3,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Escarcega View Post
    It wasn't the controller. It is possible the original steppers were not configured correctly in the Centroid CNC12 software.
    Why didn't you upgrade the old steppers?
    Its like buying a high performance engine for your car and then keeping the original stock tires on it.

    Centroid control works. You need to understand the control in order to configure it properly. What are you going to change to? There are certainly many options out there. Its all about matching components, configuration and the user interface and understanding all of them.

    Have you done a CNC conversion from scratch?
    Hopefully you will find something that works best for you, and learn along the way.
    Marty
    Gary did the setup and panel.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  14. #29
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    Sep 2009
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    Medina Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Escarcega View Post
    It wasn't the controller. It is possible the original steppers were not configured correctly in the Centroid CNC12 software.
    Why didn't you upgrade the old steppers?
    Its like buying a high performance engine for your car and then keeping the original stock tires on it.

    Centroid control works. You need to understand the control in order to configure it properly. What are you going to change to? There are certainly many options out there. Its all about matching components, configuration and the user interface and understanding all of them.

    Have you done a CNC conversion from scratch?
    Hopefully you will find something that works best for you, and learn along the way.
    Marty
    I'm going back to my old controller. If stock wheels will run on the high performance car and you are satisfied with them then why should you be forced to get new tires. Centroid may work but it is not working for me. Can you tell me why I can run the G commands and use the arrows but the minute I create a simple file in Aspire the steppers freeze and go crazy no one has tried to answer that. If they run fine doing that you would think that they would run a file maybe it was a bad control board on the Acorn or under powered power supply.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    I'm going back to my old controller. If stock wheels will run on the high performance car and you are satisfied with them then why should you be forced to get new tires. Centroid may work but it is not working for me. Can you tell me why I can run the G commands and use the arrows but the minute I create a simple file in Aspire the steppers freeze and go crazy no one has tried to answer that. If they run fine doing that you would think that they would run a file maybe it was a bad control board on the Acorn or under powered power supply.
    I guess its water under the bridge, and it sounds like you were working with Gary. Control is already returned?
    If you go to the Centroid CNC User forum: https://centroidcncforum.com/viewforum.php?f=60
    Follow this post: https://centroidcncforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1043

    Post the Gcode file you were having trouble with along with a Fresh report, we could have tried to help.

    I understand once a person is soured on something, not much we can do to convince you otherwise.
    Good luck in whatever you choose Jerry.

    Kindest regards
    Marty

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