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Deckel FP3-NC Dialog 3, possibly parting out, retrofit ideas, etc.

1000EE-Monarch

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Location
CA Bay Area
Started thinking about this FP3-NC Dialog 3 here for the first time in about 8 months, when I first bought it. I got it from a government lab locally, partially on impulse, partially because I have a 1960's FP3 and thought the two would make a nice pair, partially because I like the type 2038 rotary table, and a lot on the dreams of retrofitting it with a different control. Did I also mention impulsive buy?

The good things about it are the rotary table and the fact it's not been heavily used.

The bad. Well, the CRT had obviously been dead for a while, an external one was wired it, which I did not receive. There is likely 2 bad Bosch servo drives in it. At first I could get two axes to move without a drive faulting, however a second axis quit working later. Oh, and I happen to not be a huge fan of older Dialog controls. Somehow, a newer Makino KE-55 with a Fanuc or a newer ProtoTrak seem much more appealing to me.

First question.... Anyone interested in control parts off this? Or the whole machine? The Bosch servo drive rack has one known good amp and probably two bad ones. I suppose our favorite auction site will be the ultimate destination for the control boards eventually, but thought I'd offer them here first.

Second question... What control to retrofit it with? For a while I was thinking Fagor 8055i, because:
It's supposedly a good g-code and a decent conversational control.
I've always thought of Fagor as being a bit Heidenhein-inspired historically (they have made very similar scales and encoders to Heidenhein) and have a board to directly receive the signals from Heidenhein analog scales.
Newer controls pop up on ebay fairly often and could be pieced together fairly cheaply (1/3 of new cost if one spent enough time looking)
It has a very capable PLC programming language that is supposed to be pretty nice to use. And this would need a lot of PLC programming, considering the gear shifting, all the other goofy stuff, etc.

I have limited experience with Fagor 8055i controls as far as operating them, and honestly, was always frustrated by them. Too many different screens that are not intuitive to juggle though. Always had a hard time getting to where I wanted to go. I keep telling myself if I spend enough time with one, I'd get good at it. On one occasion I did a bit of PLC troubleshooting , had a Fagor guy on the phone guiding me though it, and after an hour or two it started to make sense and I was almost starting to feel comfortable with it. Buy yeah, not 100% sold on the Fagor. Over the years a number of people I know using Fagor controls complained to me about them, and said they didn't like it. I've spoke to a few Fagor employees and they said they love them and mentioned all the positives.

Another idea is a newer Prototrak control. That is a likable control for a toolroom type of CNC. No worries there, simple, intuitive and capable enough with g-code. However, I never though of those controls are being very friendly towards serious retrofit projects... Getting a Heidenhein EXE interpolation box to convert to quadrature signals would be a start, but will the ProtoTrak like the resolution? I'm assuming it has parameters for that. And the PLC part of it, I don't know. Pretty sure they have an I/O module. And I could go VFD and manually shift between two gear ranges or something like that. Availability of controls on the used market is not nearly as good from what I'm seeing. Paying for a retrofit kit new would be kinda pricey for this project.

Any other ideas? Of course there's a slew of PC based low budget controls out there, and that maybe the best way to go just because of cost and easy availability.

Yes, I know, the overall concept of retrofitting this machine has sub-optimal effort and cost vs what it will be when it's done metrics.

Long rant lol... just bouncing ideas around.... what should I do with this thing? And anyone want to sell me a newer Makino KE-55 by chance?

Anyone have electrical schematics for this? That would be very helpful for this project.

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Thanks,
Alex.
 
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AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
Rich has a good point. Early (3150rpm) machines have a knack for having way issues on the inside vertical surface of the "Z" ways....Gotta mover the vertical slide full up to get a good idea if
any damage is lurking there. Can be repaired of course, but it can be a bit of work even if you are skilled at scraping and machine alignments.(been there)
That Livermore Lab machine likely has been used little...Have owned several from there and they both were pretty lightly used, so perhaps yours is a cream puff....bears investigation.

KE-55: i wish you luck on that one....and won't find one for bargain money i would wager.....

Your FP3NC is a better machine.(gonna get some grief for that statement i will wager)...has features that the Makino can't match like that table and sensitive quills and a horizontal spindle....
The Deckel however will be louder to run (gears that deliver full horsepower ) and is limited on its top end spindle speed (biggest minus for these machines IMHO)

For my take, i would get it working on the D-3 control. Give you a chance to sort out any nagging mechanical ills before sinking time and money into a retrofit.
Get a chance to check the way things work and how to duplicate its start up and operation .
The display is not a huge deal. Can change to LCD display at a relatively low cost, which will enable the control.

As to the servo drive....might not be anything wrong there...need to so some research and maintenance.....
Might just be a case of needing to clean the tachometers and tune the following error in the drives..all pretty straight forward stuff.(we can help here)
Look to see if the green LED's come on on the servo drive cards when the control is fully powered.

Current setup (motors and drives) have been engineered for accurate operation, proper accell and decell for the machine structure. The motors are well integrated and are pretty "bullet proof"
Its a real congruent setup. I would move to retain the motors and just replace the servo drives with something modern or repair the existing Bosch drive. Replacement of the motors has some unique physical
problems especially on the "Z" axis. Side note here, is that FPS in Germany will retrofit your machine using a modern Heidenhain (320) control and they retain the original Bosch servo drive and Siemens motor setup.

Not as powerful as the D4, the D3 control however is easy to use and the entire setup (Dialog) is very user friendly at doing simple one off tasks....No paging here to find the process you need...all on one screen,
with no soft keys. Most functions can be called directly off hard push buttons or rotary switches on the operators panel.. Nobody builds a control like this today because its just too expensive.

At any rate i am pro Heidenhain for a retro....but its not a task for a beginner i fear.
Think that Siemens is pointing some of their products at the retrofitting realm....but think there you likely would be going new from a supplier (not cheapo used from the mystery market)....
 

AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
On a different note:
If going retro, think the PC in the large cabinet will become redundant. Can you tell me which version your machine has? (PC1 or PC2)
I would have interest in purchasing that if you decide to part out things, or if you go the retro route.
Cheers Ross
 

Mud

Diamond
Joined
May 20, 2002
Location
South Central PA
Another idea is a newer Prototrak control.

I'm not one to encourage a retrofit, but I will venture to discourage using a Prototrak. I have a D4 machine and an AGE3 Prototrak. I prefer the D4 myself, that could be because I've used it more, but the Prototrak seems crippled that it won't tap, I can't even use a tapping head in automatic (3D) mode. To use one by hand requires restarting the control in 2D and running the quill by hand, which isn't allowed in 3D. Perhaps a newer control will do better, because they even have VMCs now, but that brings up the service life. Prototraks seem to have a relatively short lifespan and limited term support from Southwestern. The only fix for some issues on older controls is a complete replacement, no repairs available. Mine had the complete operator console replaced before I bought it, I've heard of many having that done.
I really think I'd rather keep a Dialog running with the cottage industry of support for them that is available than to keep a Prototrak running for the same length of time.
 

mTeryk

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Location
corvallis,or
I imagine you would be keeping the cabinet even if you were going to retrofit but if not, I'd be interested in it. Not the PC just the cabinet as I'd like to downsize mine.

Teryk

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
 

toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Ross,

what is the voltage that the servo drives have to drive the servos with,
and what current is used by the servos?

Paul
 
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AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
Nominal voltage on the servo motors is 165 VDC.
Current varies depending on the size for the machine and the axis....

"Z" servo being the largest (X & Y are the same size on the FP-NC's)
Think the current draw on the "Z" servo on an FP4NC is around 18 amps....(11 amps on the "X" and "Y" for the same machine)

Cheers Ross
 

toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Hi Ross,

Do you know what the current would be for the FP3NC, talked about in this post?

I have 4 or 5 servo drives that might work for this machine.

This machine might just have a dead crt, but most likely the controller
will be dead soon if it's not already dead.

I just got rid of an old cnc (lagunamatic 310) mill - the crt went first,
then the power supply, and then it just quit. I didn't feel that I wanted
to spend any more money on it so I sold it. These old controls are mostly
destine to die - their electrolytic capacitor dry out and die. Not much to be
done about it unless you want to redo all of the circuit boards, and even then
it would be an uphill maintenance battle.

My machine was a 1982 model, and I think this FP3NC maybe slightly older.

Can the schematics be easily had for this model?

Is there a separate circuit board that does the speed changes, and is it well
documented?

Thanks for the info and all your help, Ross,

Best Regards
 

AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
Can't tell you the current for the "Z" axis servo on an FP3NC today, but will look at my home machine and report back unless someone here chimes in first...
Think your machine would be somewhere circa 1983 or so...just a guess.
But would also say that the control is newer. Dialog4 was not a thing till later ..The software update manual i have for Dialog4 was published in '87.
Schematics for most of the boards are readily available, and the boards are repairable with some exceptions...

The shifting is handled in the "PC" there is a logic chart that describes the switch conditions for each gear . Past that i don't know.
Shifting works like this:
Spindle stops. The brake is released, and the spindle is jogged using dropping resistors to slow the speed of the motor.
The jog is stopped and the brake applied (this happens fairly quickly, about3 seconds or so)
The cycle is repeated three times..brake,jog,brake all the while power is applied to the shifting motors while the switches are sampled..
(there are 3 shift shafts and three motors, each shaft has 3 micro switches with matching cams)

If the selected gear is not found (switches via the shaft cams) the direction of rotation of the main spindle motor is reversed and another 3 cycles of brake/jog is run.
Finally a third set of cycles is run with main motor reversing again and three brake /jog cycles run...If the gear is still not selected at this point the machine will fault.

Dirty relay contacts can create shifting issues (low voltage via the resistors)

Cheers Ross
 

toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Hi Ross,

Thank you for the shifting information.

It sounds like it might be doable from a PLC or from a PC, given
that there is a shifting logic diagram.

Paul
 

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
Spindle stops. The brake is released, and the spindle is jogged using dropping resistors to slow the speed of the motor.
The jog is stopped and the brake applied (this happens fairly quickly, about3 seconds or so)

When my D4 shifts, I am pretty sure the brake is released and stays released. I think I have had the machine fault out due to inability to shift only twice in a dozen years. Sometimes it does take quite a few jogs to get the gears to engage.
 

Colt45

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
SLC, UT
This machine might just have a dead crt, but most likely the controller
will be dead soon if it's not already dead.

I just got rid of an old cnc (lagunamatic 310) mill - the crt went first,
then the power supply, and then it just quit. I didn't feel that I wanted
to spend any more money on it so I sold it. These old controls are mostly
destine to die - their electrolytic capacitor dry out and die. Not much to be
done about it unless you want to redo all of the circuit boards, and even then
it would be an uphill maintenance battle./QUOTE]

Think you are constantly overstating this.
The Dialog controls are indeed old, but the build quality was very high and the machines run and perform well with a minimal amount of maintenance.

Been watching discussion of Deckel Retrofits on this forum for almost 20 years. To the best of my knowledge, 1 guy (a professional Heidenhain retrofitter and very talented/experienced Deckel technician) has done successful retrofits to the FPXNC series machines in the US. Lots of discussion and lots of great ideas bandied about on the forum, but no one else has shown a completed, finished, functional retro. Not sure even a Heidenhain retrofit will mimic the user friendliness of the Dialog4 control- it is exceptionally good.

The Dialog control has some real limitations for modern style CNC work- mainly slow processor speed and limited memory. If you want to use the machine as a "super manual" and/or for the kind of CNC work it is capable of, the best option on a Dialog equipped Deckel is to replace the monitor with an LCD (inexpensive and easy) and maintain the existing Dialog 3 or 4 control. The servo motors, drives, and scales are very reliable and durable, with excellent performance and long life. Boards can be rebuilt and/or exchanged both in the US and in Germany. There is very strong aftermarket support for these machines in Germany.

If you want a machine that gets work done, it's more cost and time effective to maintain the current control than to retrofit any aftermarket control. If you have plenty of time to work on machines and/or need a hobby, a retrofit would be an interesting and challenging project.

The Dialog machines in my experience are more reliable and have less problems if they are left powered and run on a regular basis, vs if they sit unused for long periods of time.
 
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toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Colt,

You maybe correct about keeping the machines working or
powered on. My old Lagun sat unused for 10 years before
I started trying to resurrect it.

I wonder what the oldest working cnc controller is, without
having been refurbished?

Maybe capacitors don't dry out if they're powered on.

Paul
 

Mud

Diamond
Joined
May 20, 2002
Location
South Central PA
I wonder what the oldest working cnc controller is, without
having been refurbished?

There's a thread about that here, some pretty old ones listed. I sold a pair of 1981 cincinnati VMCs, they are still chugging away in south Jersey making railroad switch and bridge parts.
 

toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Colt,

I just searched out the answer to your prior statement, and
you appear to be correct - electrolytic capacitors do tend
to fail when they are left un-powered for long periods.

Next time I go to the shop I'm going to power up all
my cnc's, and hope they're still intact. They talked
about re-forming the caps but that's not a process that
would work with an old cnc control I think.

Keep those machines working!

Paul
 

toolnuts

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Location
washington
Alex,

If there is no CRT how do you know you received a drive fault?
Is there an LED that lights up to indicate a failure?
How do you initiate the drive to move an axis?

I don't know how the Deckel FP3nc works or is wired, but if I can
help you I will.

Have you spent much time trying to troubleshoot your machine, if so
what have you learned so far? Do you know if your control works,
and if so how? Have you looked at the servo power supply, and
taken some voltage readings? Do you have an LCD display for your control
yet?

If you are going to try to resurrect your machine you will most likely
need a complete set of schematics and wiring diagrams.

How much electronic test equipment do you have - a multi-meter is required.


Paul
 








 
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