DRO on 7x10 Lathe (1st Step to CNC Conversion)


Oct 4, 2013
Hi Everyone,

I just mounted a Chinese iGaging (clone) DRO on my lathe. I picked up two of them for around $65 from ebay, but you can also get them from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/iGaging-Magnetic-Remote-Digital-Readout/dp/B003JUII2A/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1382818895&sr=1-2&keywords=igaging

I only got one axis done so far but it worked great! These things are awesome, I cut down my working time from 40 minutes per part to just 15 minutes with only one slide installed. It will be much better when I get the cross-slide gauge installed, and even better when I CNC convert my lathe.

I can verify that the repeatability of the gauges is quite good (some people on other forums elsewhere have complained about that but I saw pretty much perfect repeatability). Here is a picture of the mounted DRO:

View attachment DSC03709.JPGView attachment DSC03710.JPG

Here's a picture of the slide after use (I think I will put some tape to cover up the holes.)

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I screwed in one side of the mount as you can see, and I just crazy glued the other mount to the slide. At first I thought that might not hold, but the crazy glue seems to be holding fine.

Now, the problem I have is trying to figure out how to mount the cross slide gauge. Here's a picture of the slide, and any tips would be much appreciated.

View attachment DSC03711.JPG

I'm building an electronic interface to the iGaging slides so that I can ultimately use it to servo control the lathe for CNC using a Beaglebone Black. I'm going the closed loop servo as an experiment instead of using steppers. In the meantime, I'll probably build a DRO interface similar to what Yuriy did - http://www.yuriystoys.com/p/android-dro.html - but using the Beaglebone Black instead. Here are some pictures of that work so far:

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Connecting a signal tap to find out what the signals look like between the controller and the scale.

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Signals to and from the iGaging DRO.

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My setup to attempt to read those signals using a Beaglebone Black.

You can also see more detailed attempts on my blog at http://exadler.blogspot.com.

I'll probably get a few boards made of the final product that will at the very least give you a DRO reading. If anyone is interested, let me know, and I'll get a couple extra boards made at the same time (it's only low cost if I order a larger quantity at a single time. e.g. it will cost $79 for 5 boards, and $129 for 50 boards).

Paul Tan.


Active User
Jun 25, 2013
I am also doing the iGaging DRO upgrade to my lathe SB 10K.
I have the carriage scale mounted and found the 3 times a second refresh rate bothersome on faster cuts.
I'm hoping this is in the factory display and not set by the read head circuitry.
I am doing the Arduino/Bluetooth interface for my HP Touchpad that Yuriy came up with.
I will be posting my own thread after I'm a little further along.
I just need to solder the jacks to the board and flash it at this point.

Like you I am still working out the cross slide mounts but I'm adding a taper attachment so that has complicated my install.

Good luck and I will be following your thread.