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What is a decent and reliable 3 axis DRO for a Bridgeport these days?

AndyF

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Location
Phelps, NY, USA
I have a 9x42 Bridgeport that I would like to fit a DRO to. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, but would like to easily do bolt circles with it and have a Z axis on the knee in addition to X & Y on the table.

Back in the olden times, Newall seemed to be the way to go and before that Acu-Rite. What is a good cost effective brand today? I'm looking for something that will be reliable, relatively easy to install, easy and intuitive to use, and hold up over time.
 

dgfoster

Diamond
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
Location
Bellingham, WA
I recently replaced my old Acu-Rite Millmate with an Acu-Rite 203. The scales were fine. The new unit is solid and well-made. It does bolts circles, arcs, etc. Just right for me. Surely not the cheapest. But good quality. One nice minor feature new to me was the little cursor that gives an analog indication when approaching a set point. Our eyes are better at judging distance movement as opposed to watching numbers count down.

Denis
 

HappyWyo

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
We have two different bridgeport mills that we installed DROs on. One is a american made expensive one and one is a cheap Chinese ebay one . They both work equally well. Both have same operations the instructions are a little harder to understand in Chinese. But if you go online you can find someone who has worked his way through. We didn't see any need in the z axis.
 

Shaybuilder

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Location
Nevada
I have 3 Electronica DRO's from DRO Pros. They work great and their customer service is excellent. I liked the fact that I could cut the magnetic scale to the length needed for my Feeler lathe.
 

HappyWyo

Aluminum
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
I liked the Chinese one so well I put the same one on the American brand lathe that I run. That way I didn't have to learn to program a different model. I never look at the dial mics anymore. No more making adjustment for backlash either.
 

Servicar rider

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Location
Coggon Iowa usa
I've got 4 mills, one has an accurite II, one a sony, one a mitutoyo, and one has the electronica from dro pros. They were on the machines when I bought them. They all work about the same, and the older ones are no longer supported so will be replaced by the electronica probably? I see no need to buy the name brand ones and pay a high price when the cheaper ones seem to do the same thing?
 

dian

Titanium
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Location
ch
depending on the accuracy your after you might want to look into the differences between magnetic and glass scales.
 

Toolmaker51

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
West MO
Our eyes are better at judging distance movement as opposed to watching numbers count down.
Denis
Such as masking tape on joint between slide and saddle or table, slit with a razor, marks inked to dial setting? Distances were so easy, assuming one can tic off rotations of axis handle, ie .200-.400-.800......9.200-9.400-9.536. Admittedly, cornucopia of DRO's makes purchase difficult. I object to ads failing to recognize the lathe and mill have individual requirements and capabilities. Buttons and bubble programs for each in one unit might be expedient in a manufacturing/ marketing perspective, but intuitive factor goes down the drain. Soft keys present an impasse too, prefer individual functions.
A mill wants X & Y, potentially Z on knee. Quill readouts in DRO box are iffy as beneficial, individual units much more sensible. Bolt circles only a convenience but handy for odd-numbered patterns. Angles, same thing. While compensation, imperial to metric swap, non volatile readings, decent resolution are higher on list, repeatability is paramount.
Few of those help a lathe where repeatability, diameter or radius settings, tool offsets and tool number are highest and still needing compensation, conversion, preservation of digits, and resolution functions.
I'd rather spend on a unit recognizing discreet functions than trying to interpret an advertisement presenting otherwise.
One thing never mentioned is the excess cable length. Real irritating when trying to hang a shaft in Vee block over back edge of a mill.
That said this thread has some age, so revisiting the importers might prove me wrong.
 

cyanidekid

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Location
Brooklyn NYC
from what I see, absolutely love the Acurite interface. price is really high.
I think there is a new gen of "pad" based DROs that some are reporting good results with.

the fact is, these things are really pretty simple, and some manufacturers are hawking "legacy"
tech for completely criminal amounts of money.

lookin at you Mitutoyo. paying even 10 cents for their 1982 tech is absurd.

SOMEONE should put a really good well programed and supported system in a plain box and bluetooth the interface, to save the highest cost item, the nice display and fancy buttons. it might not be optimum for a factory floor, but if they did, and made it clear it was a "intro" or demo unit, I bet lots of units would sell, and lots of customers would upgrade to the full boat when and if they can. how about it, Acurite?
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
I recently replaced my old Acu-Rite Millmate with an Acu-Rite 203. The scales were fine. The new unit is solid and well-made. It does bolts circles, arcs, etc. Just right for me. Surely not the cheapest. But good quality. One nice minor feature new to me was the little cursor that gives an analog indication when approaching a set point. Our eyes are better at judging distance movement as opposed to watching numbers count down.

Denis
Ehhh
While I never use my manual for real work anymore, back when I did, you get really good at watching the numbers count down and timing when to throw the lever on the power feed in so you never have to turn by hand more than maybe 50 thou.
Your point is correct about humans inability to see, or rather process in real time digital numbers, but a manual power feed is not fast enough to care. Combined with the ability to count by 2s I have found the simplest DRO is fine.
That said I did, once use my ancient Posi Touch DRO to program a rough arc, series of points, working to zero was pretty easy
 








 
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