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Digital Read Out Failure

Mikesal

Iron
Registered Member
#1
The DRO on my 1997 Enco 13x40 lathe is acting up. The X axis is not working. I have let the lathe get pretty dirty so I did try to clean & wipe off the area where the sensor runs with some solvent & a rag....but all I got was a reading that may jump from .008 to .009 regardless of how far I move the table (before the cleaning, it would only read .0000.

Is there any tricks to bring one back to life, or are the sensors one of those things that die after a while? How hard is it to find a replacement part?
thanks
Mike S
 

rgray

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#2
You might try WD-40 and see if that does any better.
Check the small wires to the read head. I had one break once.
 

4gsr

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#3
WD-40 could short out the reader head. I wouldn't use it. Get a good electrical cleaner for circuit board electronics and use. And for the glass scale wash with a mild solution of Dawn dishwashing soap to degrease and let fully dry before reinstalling the reader head. If this doesn't work, try swapping the X-Y cables with each other and see if the error follows the same cable. If it does, replace the scale. If it doesn't follow the cable, then it's in the readout.
 

Mikesal

Iron
Registered Member
#4
I'll try to dig into this week. I'll have to pull the back splash shield off so I can get to it. I don't think it's in the monitor as it did reflect differently after I wiped down the rail as much as I could from reaching around the rail shield.
 

Hukshawn

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#5
WD-40 could short out the reader head. I wouldn't use it. Get a good electrical cleaner for circuit board electronics and use. And for the glass scale wash with a mild solution of Dawn dishwashing soap to degrease and let fully dry before reinstalling the reader head. If this doesn't work, try swapping the X-Y cables with each other and see if the error follows the same cable. If it does, replace the scale. If it doesn't follow the cable, then it's in the readout.
Also commonly referred to as 'contact cleaner' and is often easily found in well stocked hardware stores. You'd probably find it where ever break cleaner is also found. Highly important to let completely dry first before powering up.
Once the debris has been removed you can spray a liberal amount on the device and area, actually, you can flood the area and attack it with an air gun. Try to get the solution into all the nooks and cranys inside the unit where grease or oil may have gotten and disrupted operation. It will dissolve the contaminates and dry clean. Again, let dry before powering up.
 

4gsr

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#6
Yeah, don't even think about using brake cleaner! Been tried.:( Be sure to grab the right one!
 

darkzero

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#7
Around here contact cleaner is only sold in electronic supply stores. There's 2 kinds, one has a silicone lubricant mixed it, you shouldn't use that type.

Around here auto parts stores sell electric motor cleaner, not sure if it's the same stuff as contact cleaner, I've never had any or smelled it before. I like how contact cleaner smells.

Although I have contact cleaner, I just use denatured alcohol. Much cheaper & I always have a lot of it around anyways. I'm assuming we're talking about glass optical scales here.
 

tq60

Active Member
Active Member
#8
Been in telecom for 35 years and used many assorted "snake oils" and for general cleaning of stuff the best general "go to" is denatured alcohol as it has a bite but does not attack things.

Anything labeled "flux off" can contain sometimes unknowns that will attack different plastics so avoid those for anything except cleaning flux from a circuit card but again denatured alcohol works well.

Our chemical supply guy did not like us...

Advantage of the alcohol is it absorbs water so flooding parts it will get moisture out but be sure to let it dry completely.

If you can still find them the refillable paint spray cans work miracles as they work like the 10 buck a can stuff but fill with 10 buck a gallon material.

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