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DRO purchase questions your opinions on different brands

MwTech Inc

Titanium
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Location
Fishersville VA
Dro Pros EL 700 with the new small scales
its the cats meow...........:D

Ive used they other units for 6 plus years, never a problem.

Somebody there on the phone if you do ever call, speak English too.......
 

Shaybuilder

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Location
Nevada
DRO Pros Electronica with the magnetic scale is the best. I have 2 old Sargons over 20 years on a mill and lathe with no problem but the DRO Pros units are great and easy to install. You can cut the magnetic scales to length and they are very small size wise. I have the DRO Pros Electronica on my Feeler lathe, my Deckel copy mill and my Webb mill, would buy again if I needed one.
 

Clive603

Titanium
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Location
Sussex, England
+1 for what Tyrone says.

Opticals can be a right pain to get fitted up right and removal is rarely easy. The professional, factory accessory, set-ups like the Heidenhain fit on Bridgeports can be pretty good but getting the head just so is still tedious.

Mostly you are stuck with general purpose "modify to fit and roll your own extra brackets" kits so design and installation time if optical scales are to be suitably protected and work well isn't trivial. Most of the ones I've seen either get in the way or are hopelessly vulnerable. Fitting a scale on the chuck side of the cross slide ready to get wiped out by the first job that makes a bit for freedom is such a good idea! Putting it tailstock side and sacrificing an inch of tailstock poppet travel over the cross slide isn't much better. Do that on my S&B 1024 and I'd have serious issues with between centre work due to restricted QC tool post clearance.

Newalls, especially the skinny microsyn ones, can be finagled in a bit easier but it I ever do another DRO fit it will be with magnetic tape scales under the slides out of the way and safe from harm. I'd like DRO's on mt P&W B and S&B 1024 but right nor its too much work to do it once and do it right.

Clive
 

Mr Bridgeport

Stainless
Joined
Nov 27, 2002
Location
Burlington, NJ
Newalls are great for dirty environments but as someone already mentioned the recent move to Mexico has been a disaster for them. My buddy installs and calibrates DRO systems for a living. The last three Newall installations had bad read heads right out of the box.
Until they get things sorted, I would buy Accurite or Heidenhan.
Stay away from the Chinese crap, good luck finding parts 5 years down the road.

BillWojo
 

doug8cat

Titanium
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
It sounds as though Newall is the way to go, or at least was.
Mr. Bridge port do ya think your buddy would be willing to speak with me about his opinions and possibly help me with my install, since am a DRO install virgin, and just over the river in Philly. I would have no problem compensating him for his services.
Thanks
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
I'd like to put in a vote for Mitutoyo.
Readouts never turned off (other than power failure) for well over 30 years and certainly not treated nicely.
Also Acu-rite scales although not so much boxes.
Personal opinion Heidenhian king of the hill but with prices tags to match.

Do you need a readout that will go into 2050 and still be working?
Bob
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
I'll add that on every DRO I have installed, I make a lot of effort to get the scales/slides encased as much as possible to keep junk / coolant off them. For example, I extend the aluminum cover beyond the ends by a few inches, and then run a bead of silicone to seal the crack between the machine and cover. If I can, I don't use the angle they send and instead buy some channel that gives three sided protection. I also route the cables and tie them down well to allow free movement without kinks or stress points. It doesn't do any good to install a high quality DRO in a sloppy manner.
 

gatz

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
Lincoln, NE
Many years ago, SWI (SouthWest Industries) had a Trav-A-Dial unit where the reader head was mounted on the desired axis, then the signal was fed through a cable to a DRO that looks very much like a newer Acurite. There wasn't a mechanical dial like a standard Trav-A-Dial.
I haven't seen any around, so they probably went the way of the dinosaurs.

We had a 50" TUDA lathe that I mounted a set on. A heavy piece of square tubing was whittled down to provide protection for the cross-slide or X-axis unit. For the Z-axis it was not as complicated of an installation.
One odd thing about the readout was that it only counted to 36" IIRC, so you'd have to reach up and reset the readout for the Z-axis if the anticipated travel was over that. Rarely needed,
and not a big deal.........unless you forgot.
That was back in the 80's. Kinda wonder if it's still doing the job or if it's been supplanted by newer technology.
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
We had those or a similar setup on the G&L HBMs at the shop I apprenticed in. They were basically a rotary encoder that ran on a gear rack. Didn't have to reset them every 36" though. I don't think they are made anymore these days, having been supplanted by better tech that is not prone to error due to wear or contaminants like a gear/rack setup.
 

doug8cat

Titanium
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
Bob,
2050, No. By that time I plan on having my toes in the sand some place warm, and contemplating what cocktail I want to have next.
 

jhruska

Titanium
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Location
Munster, In. USA
Installed lots of Newall DROs' on mills, lathes and table bars. Except for Bridgeports there was always some custom fitting but hey, we are in that kind of business. Making the install idiot-proof is always a challenge for any DRO. Had one display go bad and it was out of warranty and they sent a new replacement anyway.
Sony, keep anything magnetic away from the scale. Instant blank spots and it will not be under warranty.
John
 








 
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