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DRO for Vertical Mill or Lathe - Info & experiences

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middle.road

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#1
OK gang, The accounting department headed by SWKB, notified me this morning over coffee and I have been given the go ahead to procure one for the Bridgeport.
Leave it to Mi'Lady to squeeze the budget turnip. (Bless her)
It's been almost three years since I setup my hunk o' iron and found out the'X'-axis scale was busted all to h*ll. I've had a 'notifier' setup on ebay for over two years now for the Mitutoyo parts but nothing came up.
I won't be able to go top shelf so I'm looking at AliExpress. (as I have been for a couple years now...)

I'd like to start this thread to gather input and info from those that have bought an import set in last couple of years.
I've been searching through the site but the threads regarding DRO's are scattered all over.

Magnetic would definitely be the way to go, but since the budget is limited - I'm thinking of a 1μm 3-axis Glass Scale setup for ~$300.00
DroProshas (IMO), one of the best sites on the web for information and a very good warranty, but I can't afford the ~$700.00+ for a set.
(Would love to have their LCD panel offering.)

Kurt (@19E60) mentioned in another threadthat he bought this one -=- LINK -=-
EDIT: Eddy's (@Eddyde) Easson DRO Install <-- saw this just after I posted...
And I know there's a few more but can't find them. So I'm taking the easy way out and asking for assistance and input/info.
I'd like to procure one and get it installed and get it up and running ASAP. I've been limping along for too long.
I'm not any good at using the vernier dials with backlash, (don't have the touch) and have been scrapping too many pieces.

Thanks!
 
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rock_breaker

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#2
I searched "Machinist Digital Readout scales"on Ebay and came up with more choices than I really needed in the $300 +/- range, made a decision and am waiting for delivery. Perhaps you might be interested in the variety shown as well the dealer has a 99.4% reliability rating at Ebay so am hoping for the best.
 

middle.road

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I didn't see this Thread until this evening... Kinda of a duplicate of effort. :oops2:
What I'd really like to find out is experiences with specific sets. I remember a while back (1+ years ago) someone had bought a set and the reader heads were on rub blocks and not bearings.
 

middle.road

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Spent that last couple of days going at it and comparing every possible DRO I could find.
Going to need go cheap-cheap, and get the Siton 3-Axis Kit. Wish I could go top-shelf but that isn't the case. :(
Late last night when I finally packed it in it was at $294 ...
Get up this morning, grab coffee, sit down and refreshed the page and it was $425.00. The dogs cowered when I let out a cry of angst.
Took all day but finally in the last half an hour the price has dropped back down. Pheeeew.

I hope these scales are decent.... :grin:
 

atunguyd

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Look at the touch dro option (google it). Start off with the igaging readers if you are in a budget and add proper readers as you want to upgrade.

The touch dro software out performs even the top off the counter DROs on features, plus since it is using a tablet you have a wealth of other things you can do with it. How many other DROs can you browse these forums on

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
 

Eddyde

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Spent that last couple of days going at it and comparing every possible DRO I could find.
Going to need go cheap-cheap, and get the Siton 3-Axis Kit.
That's the vendor I bought from, it was a good experience and the DRO works great.
 

Z2V

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The description is for .001mm scales but the photos show .005mm scales. I’m curious which one they are shipping.
It’s a great price either way
 

middle.road

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Look at the touch dro option (google it). Start off with the igaging readers if you are in a budget and add proper readers as you want to upgrade.
The touch dro software out performs even the top off the counter DROs on features, plus since it is using a tablet you have a wealth of other things you can do with it. How many other DROs can you browse these forums on
Most definitely. I've been lusting to install TouchDRO for a couple of years now. I have a great 10" tablet sitting here ready to be put to use. I had a line on some used scales a couple of years ago and Yuriy helped a great deal trying to figure out if they would work. I couldn't determine the mfg of the scales - found them at a 'used equipment dealer' and he'd received them in a big lot of items.
I was looking at Ditron scales also back in late '16, and they came out to (funny enough) $293.00. The iG Absolutes came out to ~$285.
I want to get Yuriy's fully assembled board @~$80, so I'll be putting that off onto the next wish list. I stressed the budget with the ALoris BXA purchase and need to get some holders.
I figure that with this set I can get it up and running and use the head for the time being and then purchase Yuriy's Pre-fabbed board.
I've been making do with a short iGaging scale on the 'X' currently and using the 'Y' on the old Mitutoyo.

That's the vendor I bought from, it was a good experience and the DRO works great.
The description is for .001mm scales but the photos show .005mm scales. I’m curious which one they are shipping.
It’s a great price either way
I recently bought the same read head with .005 mm scales from the same seller.
-=- LINK -=-
You might want to consider the coarse scales. 0.0002 inch resolution is more than you can expect from a manual mill.
Greg
- @Eddyde , & @Greg, How was the mounting hardware guys? I'm mostly interested in the 'guards' so that I can avoid having to fabricate any. I figure I'll be able to utilize parts of the mounts holding the Mitutoyo and then fab the 'Z' from scratch.

- @Jeff, Yeah, their pictures and documentation leave a lot to be desired at times. they better be 1μm...

- @Greg, I figure to go with the 1μm's mostly due to paranoia. I read something, somewhere else, one or two years ago about the scales being out of calibration at the outer ends and there was a reply with someone hypothesizing, that the manufacturer was having difficulties with the 5μm's. I'm going to assume that their mfg processes have improved the last couple of years.
5μm's are more than adequate given my skill level, but having 36" of travel and only @~$20 per scale I'm might contradict my whining about the budget, and go for the 1μm's, maybe, perhaps. Heck, I may change my mind when I finally order it this afternoon or tomorrow.

Thank you gang for responding - I appreciate it. Hearing that y'all bought from Siton relieves my mind a great deal.
 

Eddyde

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Dan,
The mounting kit contained cast aluminum brackets. Though they looked sturdy enough, I opted to not use them and make my own mounting system. Mainly because I want to eventually use the scales for CNC retrofit and felt I should make installation as robust as possible. I also got the 1μm scales and for the same reason, eventual CNC... If I was only going to use the mill manually, I would have used the included brackets and ordered the 5μm scales.
Although I bought the Eason unit from Siton, the scales and hardware look to be the exactly same as the ones in your link and the uncharge for the 1μm's was the same, $20 apiece.
 

middle.road

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The Panel on the Easson is nicely laid out. Better than the others.
Personally I'd prefer the old 'click' style buttons of the Mito like the old computer keyboards, but they are all membrane style now.
Will have to get TouchDRO then I'll just have to deal with my fat/flat fingers.

I've got a bunch of Aluminum angle & plate to put to use, sheet metal for guards, not so much...
 

middle.road

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EDIT: Pulled the trigger at midnight EST. Now to start marking down the days. And perhaps clean out around the mill so I can mount it.
Boy dealing with Aliexpress checkout was a Joy - not...
Took (6) attempts and two cards after Paypal failed.
Wilson @ Siton responded quickly to PM's sent through Aliexpress.


Would anyone want to double check my numbers before I order? I truly really don't want to mess this up cause of a bad math day.
I'm assuming they want the 'L' dimension when ordering. So:
950mm for 'X'
350mm for 'Y'
450mm for 'Z'
........................................ Thanks, _Dan
 

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middle.road

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Well, so much for a decent delivery time... Ordered on the 7th, and they weren't able to fulfill it before the 'Spring Festival' started... *SIGH*
I thought that a week would have been plenty of time for them to ship it out. Appears that the Holiday started on the 15th.
Note to self: Must take into consideration Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday when ordering around February. . .
Code:
Wilson Huang: Dear, Dan
Thanks for the order.
Now our Chinese is having China Spring Festival holiday, the shipping company, customs office and our company all stopped working.
Sorry we have to ship after holiday, we have the product in stock, once holiday finish which will takes 10-12 days, we will send out as soon as possible.
Thanks for the support.
Best regards,
Wilson
 

ttabbal

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#14
That explains why I haven't heard back after asking a question. No big deal.
 
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#15
LOL mine was held up over Christmas and New years. Any excuse for a holiday.

Greg
 

Bob Korves

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#16
Mine came in about 2 1/2 weeks, which was fine with me because I am not in any hurry to install it. The mill is completely usable as is, and warmer weather is coming...
 

rock_breaker

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#17
Placed an order for a DRO on 2/2/18, received an email stating it would be delivered during the period 2/5/18 and 2/8/18. Received another email saying it would arrive on 2/12/18. It did around 5:00 pm which is typical for UPS in this area. Packages were in good condition.
Started thinking like a machinist: precision accurate equipment should be installed with the fewest components and be the most rigid; so the X axis power feed is going to be moved since it is an adjustable anyway. The X axis read out scale will go on the front of the table..
Have a good day
Ray
 

Bob Korves

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I am also ruminating on just how to install the scales. I will not be letting any of the current features of the mill become disabled or made inconvenient, like table hard stops, power feed soft stops, axis locks, etc. I will not allow any travel to be lost in any axis. At the same time that I am adding the DRO, I will also be adding Y axis chip guard way covers and planning how to install a Servo Y axis power feed, which I have, but need to clean up first and design the mounting to a machine it was not meant to fit on (Millrite.) Nothing will be allowed to interfere with anything else. I about have it in my mind now how to achieve it all. Flimsy mounting and poor protection of the scales will not be allowed. The proof will be in the final results. At some point I need to stop thinking, talking and listening and get to work. Pretty soon, but not without a complete plan...
 
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#19
Well, so much for a decent delivery time... Ordered on the 7th, and they weren't able to fulfill it before the 'Spring Festival' started... *SIGH*
I thought that a week would have been plenty of time for them to ship it out. Appears that the Holiday started on the 15th.
Note to self: Must take into consideration Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday when ordering around February. . .
Code:
Wilson Huang: Dear, Dan
Thanks for the order.
Now our Chinese is having China Spring Festival holiday, the shipping company, customs office and our company all stopped working.
Sorry we have to ship after holiday, we have the product in stock, once holiday finish which will takes 10-12 days, we will send out as soon as possible.
Thanks for the support.
Best regards,
Wilson
I got lucky on buying mine the other day. They got it out the week before and took it across the boarder to Hong Kong to ship! As far as I know, they don't celebrate Chinese Holiday in Hong Kong.
 

middle.road

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#20
I got lucky on buying mine the other day. They got it out the week before and took it across the boarder to Hong Kong to ship! As far as I know, they don't celebrate Chinese Holiday in Hong Kong.
1519343883215.png .........................:grin:
 

rock_breaker

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Bob

reduces travel and has the chance of being crushed if not Carefull
Flimsy mounting and poor protection of the scales will not be allowed. The proof will be in the final results. At some point I need to stop thinking, talking and listening and get to work. Pretty soon, but not without a complete plan...
Protection of the front mounted scales is my concern as well especially since I have a small hoist in front of the mill. Moper361 has good idea about this and I am trying to decide on steel or aluminum angles; max length about 26.5 inches. On all but the quill the reading sensor will be on the bottom, which I think will avoid some problems. Hope the weather warms a little so I can get brave enough to go out tol the shop.
Have a good day
Ray
 
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#22
I've always mounted the scales on the back side of the mill table. Protecting the scale, I've used 1/8" thick x 3" wide flat bar to 1-1/4" angle. I really don't care for those flimsy guards they send with the DRO you buy today to use on the mill. Make it beefy so it can take a blunt hit from what ever that may fall in the direction of the scale.
 

Bob Korves

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Protection of the front mounted scales is my concern as well especially since I have a small hoist in front of the mill. Moper361 has good idea about this and I am trying to decide on steel or aluminum angles; max length about 26.5 inches.
Right now I am considering using 1/8" wall x 1" on three sides aluminum channel to cover the X axis scale, with caps on the ends for more rigidity. My "slim" X scale will fit inside of it with room to spare.
 

middle.road

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Right now I am considering using 1/8" wall x 1" on three sides aluminum channel to cover the X axis scale, with caps on the ends for more rigidity. My "slim" X scale will fit inside of it with room to spare.
That's sounds like a plan. May need to hit the MetalsSupermart up in Knoxville next week.
 

middle.road

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#25
Oh so close. How the devil can they afford to send 'em via Air?
I figured it would be sailing over.

1520178168330.png
 

middle.road

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#26
DRO Delivery Day, or 3D for short.
Made good time. Shipped on 03-01 and it's going to get delivered today 03-08....
/me anxious? heck no... not at all - much.

-EDIT-
Arrived. Very well packaged. The boxes are double-thick corrugated, and they wrapped them entirely in tape.
No dings, dents, or damage. Everything is functioning.
Meanwhile the weather, it's 38° and has been snow flurry-ing all morning. Might be freezing my digits off if I get around to installing today.

Siton_DRO01_r.jpg Siton_DRO04_r.jpg
 

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middle.road

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Installation *DELAYED*. The Bijur One-Shot Meter Valves were all clogged except for two. Did manage to get them back in service.
I noticed that the table wasn't getting any lube when I was checking it out for travel.
Will have to make a new thread on that when time permits. Want to go put it back together and start on the DRO install.
 

tjb

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#28
DRO Delivery Day, or 3D for short.
Made good time. Shipped on 03-01 and it's going to get delivered today 03-08....
/me anxious? heck no... not at all - much.

-EDIT-
Arrived. Very well packaged. The boxes are double-thick corrugated, and they wrapped them entirely in tape.
No dings, dents, or damage. Everything is functioning.
Meanwhile the weather, it's 38° and has been snow flurry-ing all morning. Might be freezing my digits off if I get around to installing today.

View attachment 261151 View attachment 261154
GREAT!! Mine is supposed to arrive Tuesday. As of late yesterday, it was in St. Louis.

Regards,
Terry
 

middle.road

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GREAT!! Mine is supposed to arrive Tuesday. As of late yesterday, it was in St. Louis.

Regards,
Terry
What the devil is it doing is St. Louis?!!!! Who is the Carrier?
 
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tjb

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#30
Oops. Not St. Louis. Louisville. No idea why it's there, either. It's shipping UPS.

Hope mine arrives in same condition as yours. You satisfied so far?

Regards,
Terry
 
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