Author Topic: M-DRO  (Read 911 times)

jpigg55

M-DRO
« on: August 12, 2019, 09:52:19 PM »
The new DRO I ordered for my mill was delivered today.
Itís a 3 Axis M-DRO Mill Digital Readout Package from Machine-DRO.UK supplied by SRA Soldering Products via Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/M-DRO-Digital-including-Magnetic-Encoders/dp/B06XW92N9T/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=m-dro&qid=1565660561&s=gateway&sr=8-1

PS

A late added note, I'm going to come clean that I ordered the wrong kit.
They sell both a 3 axis Lathe kit and a 3 axis Mill kit. I ordered a Lathe kit by mistake since I didn't pay close attention when ordering.
The kits are identical except for the display units which have different built in functions for that specific machine.
The only reason I ordered a kit vs just the scales was it was cheaper to order the kit with the 3 scales vs buying just the scales alone (which is an option) since I planned from the start of using the scales with a Touch DRO controller.
So for anyone considering buying one of these kits, make sure it's for the machine you plan installing it on. The prices (at the time of this post) and pictures (unless you look really close at the display) are identical and it's easy to miss the word "Lathe" or "Mill" in the description.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 11:33:02 PM by jpigg55 »
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 10:02:11 PM »
I found it difficult to find any reviews or information on this system, so Iíve decided to start a thread about mine with unboxing, first impressions, install, and finally, operational opinion. The later probably of not much use as the only other thing Iíve had experience with was my iGaging Absolute scales.
The encoders I ordered are the EH-05 scales listed as magnetic outputting a 5 VDC TTL Quadrature signal and having a 5-micron resolution, although 1-micron scales (EH-01 model) are available. It came in two packages that were well put together to prevent shipping damage.
First impressions of the components are they are well made, have some weight to them. The readheads have flexible armored covering over the cables with 9-pin D-sub connectors.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 10:11:39 PM by jpigg55 »
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 10:04:30 PM »
More pics,
I'll have to downsize the pictures before posting from now on as I'm having to break this up into multiple posts due to image size.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 10:05:33 PM »
As for the shopping experience, I initially was looking at just the scales, but soon realized the 3-axis package kit was far cheaper than the combined individual scales plus the kit came with scale mounting rails, mounting hardware, readhead/scale covers, as well as the display unit.
My final shipped price for the kit was $646.63. Price for individual scales were as follows:
750mm - $248.98
450mm - $220.44
250mm - $200.76 (couldnít find a 350mm listed on Amazon)
for a total of $670.18 plus shipping. Each scale had a shipping price of $13.19 each on the listing which would add another $39.57 to the total unless a combined shipping price is available bringing the grand total to a whopping $709.75 for just the 3 scales.
Tomorrow, I hope to completely unpackage the unit and start on the install and will try to get plenty of pictures and possibly a video or two along the way.
One last thought here. I perused the manuals that came with it and while it appears that the display unit has many of the basic functions of a DRO, I think in the near future Iím going to start building a Touch DRO controller for it since I believe it has more functionality, options, as well as a programmable tooling library, to use for my display unit.
More to comeÖ.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

woodchucker

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 08:00:03 AM »
As for the shopping experience, I initially was looking at just the scales, but soon realized the 3-axis package kit was far cheaper than the combined individual scales plus the kit came with scale mounting rails, mounting hardware, readhead/scale covers, as well as the display unit.
My final shipped price for the kit was $646.63. Price for individual scales were as follows:
750mm - $248.98
450mm - $220.44
250mm - $200.76 (couldnít find a 350mm listed on Amazon)
for a total of $670.18 plus shipping. Each scale had a shipping price of $13.19 each on the listing which would add another $39.57 to the total unless a combined shipping price is available bringing the grand total to a whopping $709.75 for just the 3 scales.
Tomorrow, I hope to completely unpackage the unit and start on the install and will try to get plenty of pictures and possibly a video or two along the way.
One last thought here. I perused the manuals that came with it and while it appears that the display unit has many of the basic functions of a DRO, I think in the near future Iím going to start building a Touch DRO controller for it since I believe it has more functionality, options, as well as a programmable tooling library, to use for my display unit.
More to comeÖ.


I am curious how the manuals turn out. as far as touch dro, will you really use those features?  Take stock of how many times you have needed to use a feature that you long for...  If never cross it off the list... Most of the DRO's are capable of what we need. Having a feature is different than needing a feature.
if you need it... great... if you think it's cooooolllllll... I'm just saying.
Jeff
Clausing 8520   SB Model 9a - power hacksaw, Milwaukee band saw in a table.  Delta Rockwell Surface Grinder (not online yet .. being rebuilt where am I going to stick this)
For pics: https://imgur.com/user/woodchucker/posts

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 10:13:43 AM »
I am curious how the manuals turn out. as far as touch dro, will you really use those features?  Take stock of how many times you have needed to use a feature that you long for...  If never cross it off the list... Most of the DRO's are capable of what we need. Having a feature is different than needing a feature.
if you need it... great... if you think it's cooooolllllll... I'm just saying.
I'll try to make a mental note of my opinion on the manuals, although one is for lathe usage which I won't be using, and post my opinions of them as well.
On the quick glance, it did seem to me that some of the terminology used was a bit different. I'm thinking this is due to the country of origin being the UK or could be my lack of knowledge with DRO's.
I'm definitely planning on giving the OEM display a try, but Touch DRO has a couple features that I don't think this has that I believe will be useful.
Specifically, Touch DRO App has a built in tool library that you can input your specific tooling that (I think) auto accounts for tool offset.
Another feature is the Arbitrary Hole Pattern function Touch DRO has that will be useful for a couple future projects I have in mind.
I'll have to delve into the manuals more, but I don't think this model has any kind of step recording/memory function, useful for making multiples of the same item.
As far as the "COOL" factor, Touch DRO has:
Multiple workspaces
Graphical layout view with point auto-selection
Optional Tach input with chip loading feature (via manual RPM input or tach input)
Optional 4th axis

On a side note as a FYI, M-DRO does sell a combinator for these scales to combine the knee and quill encoders.
I forgot to mention it earlier as I didn't order one or a scale for my quill. I just put it on my "Wish List" for the future if I decide I want to install one, but thought I'd better mention it in case someone else is considering these scales for a knee mill and desired that feature.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:50:49 PM by jpigg55 »
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

woodchucker

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 10:23:36 AM »
I am curious how the manuals turn out. as far as touch dro, will you really use those features?  Take stock of how many times you have needed to use a feature that you long for...  If never cross it off the list... Most of the DRO's are capable of what we need. Having a feature is different than needing a feature.
if you need it... great... if you think it's cooooolllllll... I'm just saying.
I'll try to make a mental note of my opinion on the manuals, although one is for lathe usage which I won't be using, and post my opinions of them as well.
On the quick glance, it did seem to me that some of the terminology used was a bit different. I'm thinking this is due to the country of origin being the UK or could be my lack of knowledge with DRO's.
I'm definitely planning on giving the OEM display a try, but Touch DRO has a couple features that I don't think this has that I believe will be useful.
Specifically, Touch DRO App has a built in toll library that you can input your specific tooling that (I think) auto accounts for tool offset.
Another feature is the Arbitrary Hole Pattern function Touch DRO has that will be useful for a couple future projects I have in mind.
I'll have to delve into the manuals more, but I don't think this model has any kind of step recording/memory function, useful for making multiples of the same item.
As far as the "COOL" factor, Touch DRO:
Multiple workspaces
Graphical layout view with point auto-selection
Optional Tach input with chip loading feature (via manual RPM input or tach input)
Optional 4th axis

On a side note as a FYI, M-DRO does sell a combinator for these scales to combine the knee and quill encoders.
I forgot to mention it earlier as I didn't order one or a scale for my quill. I just put it on my "Wish List" for the future if I decide I want to install one, but thought I'd better mention it in case someone else is considering these scales for a knee mill and desired that feature.


The tool feature exists on mine in the lathe mode, not the mill mode. My dro has the ability to learn. you record the location in one of 100 points. then when you need to repeat them you step through them. I'll bet your dro has that.  Random hole geometry.. not sure what that is.
Jeff
Clausing 8520   SB Model 9a - power hacksaw, Milwaukee band saw in a table.  Delta Rockwell Surface Grinder (not online yet .. being rebuilt where am I going to stick this)
For pics: https://imgur.com/user/woodchucker/posts

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 12:48:04 PM »
Well, install is on hold.
Was going to work on it yesterday, but SWMBO had other plans for me.
Started in this morning only to find that a couple brackets were missing and all the bolts/screws were M5's, supposed to be M4's. I think some of the spacers may be missing as well.
I reached out to the retailer to resolve the issue and will have to wait for a reply on how it's going to proceed.

FYI, the Installation Manual included listings for the part kits included with the kit for each axis along with a breakdown of all the parts in the kits with individual part numbers and description so it will be easy to determine what's missing or incorrect.
The one thing, thus far, not in any of the manuals was instructions on connecting the display unit to the mounting arm.
Wasn't too difficult to figure out and there was enough bolts and screw to mount two of them included in the box.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2019, 04:43:33 PM »
The missing parts arrived via UPS this past Friday, but due to prior holiday weekend plans, I couldnít start with the install until today. A note here that SRA was very helpful with getting the missing parts and sent them out to me once they got them from M-DRO.
Today was mostly checking, measuring, and deciding where and how & where I plan on mounting the scales & readheads for each of the axes. I did get the display unit mounted while I was waiting for the parts to be delivered.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2019, 04:45:12 PM »
For my install, I decided to use the pre-existing drilled and tapped holes on the mill as much as possible. To that end, I cut a 4 ĹĒ length of 1Ē angle 6061 aluminum to mount the X-axis readhead to and attach it via the two ľ-20 holes on the cross-slide just below the gib screws. I drilled out the threads of a couple ľ-20 nuts to use as spacers which were slightly thicker than the gib screw lock-nuts which allowed for the angle aluminum to be mounted higher. I also drilled one of the mounting holes slightly larger than ľĒ to allow a little movement to facilitate leveling it.
The X-axis scale will be mounted to the face of the table via the T-slot. Iíll have to remove and cut down the stop-block to make room for the scale.
The last picture is a little fuzzy, but shows one of the nuts I used as spacers as well as the two ľ-20 holes I plan to use for mounting the Y-axis readhead.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

4GSR

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 07:26:36 AM »
Nice setup there.  I would love to replace my DRO with one that uses magnetic scales.  Maybe all I need to do is just replace the scales.  Regardless, it's way low on my to do list.
Ken

PJB

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 09:25:17 PM »
Nice upgrade.  I followed the link and thats a really good price for a mag scale dro.     I canít imagine running a mill without one.   
I want what yooz gots

pep

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 07:21:14 AM »
How does a magnetic scale keep the chips at bay?

Pep

jpigg55

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 07:52:43 AM »
Besides the M-DRO set, I have a set from Little Machine Shop destined for my lathe eventually.
Both magnetic strips have a thin stainless (I believe) strip that covers them. The M-DRO set has a cover shield as well to keep chips away and the one from LMS has a clip-on attachment for the readheads with rubber wipers on each end to push any chips away.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

pep

Re: M-DRO
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 12:21:11 PM »
Is there a more defined or hard set of the measured distance displayed with the mag type. Where as the glass ones tend to be a bit drifty, dicey to lock in a setting, and therefore more accurate and repeatable?

 
Pep