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Digital vs. LCD DRO

candera

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Hi: hobbyist and first time posting. I've recently acquired a 1978 Bridgeport Series I. Getting it moved Monday and pretty psyched. One of the upgrades I'd like to make shortly after getting it back up and running is to add a DRO. I'm still in the process of figuring out what to put on it. Something I can't seem to find any information on is whether there are any significant differences between the "standard" digital and LCD versions of the low-end import DRO modules. Like, say, this one https://a.co/d/irzWDeS vs. this one https://a.co/d/aPlFOAy. Not necessarily those exact models, but sort of generally whether there's any strong reason to prefer or avoid an LCD. I sort of suspect you might get more functionality out of an LCD, just since it's going to be more flexible and software driven. Not that my needs are particularly sophisticated - I'm a beginner and even stuff like bolt hole calculation I'm unlikely to use that often. Still, any perspective would be really appreciated.

Thanks!
 

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
The LED segment style is old. They can be replaced as individual elements. If you are fashion conscious then you can change the color from
green to red. A solder sucking machine would come in handy.

The LCD is not that new. The LCD can provide a text readout for information. And the interface to a LCD is just 8 bit data, 3 control lines, power.
The newer ones use LEDs for the back light operation so no inverter is needed.

Perspective: Don't buy that cheap import stuff.

 
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Vecair

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Prescott
I bought a 'cheap' LCD for my Excello and its fantastic, super easy to read and does everything I will ever need. Got it on eBay about three years ago and not one single problem. Came with everything to install including arm. Great big display and all the features.
 

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candera

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Thanks for the replies. I went with an LCD import (about $350, including scales) and hope I have good luck. There are many reports of good experiences, so while I'm sure the concerns about the import are based on valid points, given the prices it was between an import and not having one at all. The Newall looks great but would cost me more than what I paid for the mill.
 

TGTool

Titanium
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
Stillwater, Oklahoma
The Newall looks great but would cost me more than what I paid for the mill.

Which raises an interesting point, sort of the flip side of sunk costs. Thinking the DRO should be less than the cost of the mill doesn't really make economic sense. It should be a question of "Will the cost of the mill PLUS the DRO make money?" The secondary question would then be, "Will the mill plus the lower cost DRO make me more money?"

You could, in theory, take a mill with good ways but completely worn leadscrews that you purchased for a song, add a good quality DRO, and have it produce high class work.
 

candera

Plastic
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
An excellent point: "what is it worth?", not "what does it cost?" is generally the better question to ask. For me, "Will it make money" is not a factor, as I'm a hobbyist not trying to sell what I do. But obviously that calculus is different for different people.

I may come to regret the purchase. If so, I'll upgrade and at least the lesson wasn't insanely expensive. There's at least some reason to hope that it will work fine for my uses, though, so fingers crossed!
 

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
When these situations come up I get reminded of the blonde at work who drove a early style Corvette with a license plate frame saying:

Elegance is Everything
 








 
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