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How old of Brother is TOO old?

Fal Grunt

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Location
Medina OH
I’ve read comments by 2outof3 to stay away from anything older than the S2A, and avoid any of the 3 number machines. Some are conversational and do not accept G code.

Can you drip feed old Brothers?

Do they have a 25 pin connector?

Does anyone know of a resource that outlines the myriad of models? 227, 228, 229, 34?, S2A, S2C, etc?

I have a customer I am helping develop a product, and currently our methods are. . . Antiquated, it works, but is very labor intensive. Non metal products, various woods, laminate, and some other non metals. Milling relatively simple cuts, but maybe some basic profiles. We talked about several options including some hobbyist CNC router type machines. It occurred to me for near the same money, I could get an old Brother with a tool changer. Bonus would be it already has an enclosure.

For $2k - $5k it looks like there are a plethora of the 3 number machines available. Possibly those aren’t worth the time to even haul home? The idea was for $3k, we could setup and run a small batch of parts, see how they sell, if they sell well, continue making them till buying something better is justified.

The cnc routers just seem so. . . . Flimsy and cheap.
 
I had an S2B-O and added the Calmotion USB unit so I could drip feed surfacing programs. There are several posts here about people buying S2As and either switching a setting, or buying a new board ($2500?) to allow them to run CAM generated code rather than just conversational.
IME Yamazen support is stellar even when buying old used machines, and replacement parts are generally in stock and ready to ship.
$3k for anything in running order sounds like wishful thinking though...
 
There is a 227 about an hour north of me for $2k. Guy claims it is in good running order, everything works.

That is why I was curious!
 
Years ago (late 80s-early 90s) I did service work on some 223s. Conversational programming only. Milling was very limited. Really meant for facing before drill and tap ops. Linear point to point was it. No circular interpolation. No cutter radius comp. No offline programming at the time though I heard work was being done to make an emulator program to run on a PC.
 
Yea, I'm pretty sure anything prior to the A00 control (TC-S2A, and some others) is conversational only and I don't know anything about those capabilities.

You can find the A00 machines pretty cheap sometimes though and they're still pretty decent for 2-1/2 axis milling. Most will be worked hard and ignored all their lives.
 
Pre- S2A machines will be 229, 228, 227, 225... (1997 and earlier). you have to watch out because these are typically Conversation only or you may find one with G-code. Even if G-code it will be very limited memory and no drip feeding. A00 machines started coming with drip feed capability (Tape Run) after 2003. Earlier A00 machines could have been upgraded. Easy to tell, on the first page of user parameters, one of the first choices is Memory Type, Internal or Tape Run...
 
There are other machines out there.........
Keep in mind a "larger" machine will open up your work envelope......
A 227 has 16x12 travel, my smallest is 24x16 and sometimes the table gets full.....
Just something to think about. Bigger machine may allow you to load multiple parts, huge time saver.
Sort of like........... a pickup will haul the loads I'm doing now, but I'll need a tandem axle dump 6 months from now....... :D
 
Pre- S2A machines will be 229, 228, 227, 225... (1997 and earlier). you have to watch out because these are typically Conversation only or you may find one with G-code. Even if G-code it will be very limited memory and no drip feeding. A00 machines started coming with drip feed capability (Tape Run) after 2003. Earlier A00 machines could have been upgraded. Easy to tell, on the first page of user parameters, one of the first choices is Memory Type, Internal or Tape Run...
I have confirmed it is G-code and the current owner rs232's programs into it. What could I expect for memory? My 88' Fanuc had something like... 400 bytes. I'm hoping it is better than that!

There are other machines out there.........
Keep in mind a "larger" machine will open up your work envelope......
A 227 has 16x12 travel, my smallest is 24x16 and sometimes the table gets full.....
Just something to think about. Bigger machine may allow you to load multiple parts, huge time saver.
Sort of like........... a pickup will haul the loads I'm doing now, but I'll need a tandem axle dump 6 months from now....... :D
I've got a 40x20 Brother S1000 that I run customers and my own products on. 16" of travel is plenty for these parts, in fact, I would prefer if it was SMALLER given the option.
 
I have confirmed it is G-code and the current owner rs232's programs into it. What could I expect for memory? My 88' Fanuc had something like... 400 bytes. I'm hoping it is better than that!


I've got a 40x20 Brother S1000 that I run customers and my own products on. 16" of travel is plenty for these parts, in fact, I would prefer if it was SMALLER given the option.
RS232 can be used either for drip feeding or for file transfers. Some can file transfer but not drip feed. I've encountered a such a machine. Make sure it can drip feed if your programs can't fit in memory. Also make sure it can do circular and helical interpolation. I believe they were options on the earlier A-00's and the machine mentioned above did not have them.
 
I have confirmed it is G-code and the current owner rs232's programs into it. What could I expect for memory? My 88' Fanuc had something like... 400 bytes. I'm hoping it is better than that!


I've got a 40x20 Brother S1000 that I run customers and my own products on. 16" of travel is plenty for these parts, in fact, I would prefer if it was SMALLER given the option.
My 227 has about 110k memory.
I also have a 4 axis board in it so I can run a NSK indexer on it.
No X,Z or Y,Z moves aloud in G1.
I have a helical milling option in it for 1 360 move with the Z axis.
If you drill and tap lots of holes and have the room buy it.
I have made tens of thousands of dollars with my 227 in 5 years.
It has a limited amount of stuff you can do with it but if you hit it right stuff you will make lots of money with it.Be prepared to replace all grease lines as they are 30 year old plastic tubing.
Parts are findable but it may take time to find them or rebuild them.
And never count on it as a flagship CNC for your shop, just consider it as a very nice accessory.
Unbolt Y axis cover in back to clean out all the chips between the Y axis linear ways.
 
Pre- S2A machines will be 229, 228, 227, 225... (1997 and earlier). you have to watch out because these are typically Conversation only or you may find one with G-code. Even if G-code it will be very limited memory and no drip feeding. A00 machines started coming with drip feed capability (Tape Run) after 2003. Earlier A00 machines could have been upgraded. Easy to tell, on the first page of user parameters, one of the first choices is Memory Type, Internal or Tape Run...
How upgrade an A00 to get tape run ? thanks
 








 
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