real world experience with Centroid CNC?

looking to hear from people with hands-on experience with Centroid CNC systems. Considering it as a retrofit for a bandit controlled Shizuoka
ST-N. This is for garage prototyping and custom small-run stuff. I'm interested in learning curve, expandability, good options to get and what to avoid on it.
thanks, --Joel
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joel wrote:

You might also look into LinuxCNC with one of the sets of boards that support older analog servo amps. Mesa and Pico Systems (that's me) have products for that.
Jon
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On Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:49:06 -0500, Jon Elson

==============FWIW
you can download a good version of linux for free at http://tinyurl.com/crx7ukf this is a download for a "live" cd so you can boot into linux without making any changes on your computer after you burn the cd [actually dvd].
You can dual install linux with windows, if you have the hard drive space, so you can boot up either system on the same computer.
This is a good intro to linux and includes a live cd http://tinyurl.com/kme5ss5 recommended
linuxcnc is available as a free download at http://tinyurl.com/p8rz3
Good luck on the retrofit. Let the group know how it goes.
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Unka' George

"Gold is the money of kings,
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F. George McDuffee wrote:

This is a general user Ubuntu system, and will not run the LinuxCNC software, which requires a real time kernel. You can download the full system, with Ubuntu, real time kernel and LinuxCNC CNC program from http://linuxcnc.org/ on the download page.
Jon
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Unless they have made changes in recent years I'd avoid then. I had a knee mill with a Centroid controller and it was a pain. It was a wh ile back,10 yrs maybe and the controller was running DOS 5.? I have no prob lems with dos,it fact I miss some of the simplicity,anyway when it ran it w as fine,but it crashed alot,and Centroid had most of the functions locked,c utter comp was an extra $450, multiple offsets was extra, G54 was free,the rest $750,but 4th axis was included. And tech support,forget it.
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Addendum,I had an Anilam controlled knee mill a bit earlier, it was everything Centroid tried to be but failed. Reliable,easy to program nothing locked. I don't know if Anilam are still around but if they are look at them
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joel wrote:

Joel, You may want to have a look at the Shadow control. It's made by one of the guys who developed the Bandit control.
If you currently have Bandit programs they will be compatible with the Shadow.
http://www.shadowcnc.com/
Best, Steve
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thanks for all the replies. got a bit more research to do now... :-)
--Joel
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On Monday, September 22, 2014 at 1:00:17 PM UTC-6, joel wrote:

I did a conversion to a Hitachi Seiki HT25s lathe, and for the most part, i t has been a huge success. Half the fun was doing the conversion. It was ha rd work, and really pushed my knowledge of machines and electronics. All-in -all, it was four intense months of conversion + other machine rehab. The m achine has been running non-stop days for two years in high production.
I really like the control. I run Win7 right at the machine console with our solid modeling software, CAM and Centroid all together. It's a great workf low. Everyone at our shop likes the control.
As to who you buy the control from, we started with Ajax, and they are a bi t of a horse and pony show. We got bad advice (whenever we could actually g et advice) and fairly pathetic support, which we requested only sparingly. We then connected with www.cncsnw.com and Marc there was terrific. Very bri ght and he helped drive the project home for success. While I was able to f igure out the bulk of the conversion, programming the Centroid PLC for the tool changer was pretty advanced, along with a few other details.
Stability is pretty excellent. I've never felt like the control went down f or any fault of its own.
Would I do it again? Yes. Totally. It doesn't mean I think Centroid is a st ellar company based on my interactions with them, but it's a solid product and I wouldn't mind having a shop full of classic CNC machines converted to their control, but ultimately I wish that there would be more competition on the CNC retrofit market. It's unbelievable how many great machines get n eglected in the corner or scrapped out because people think nothing can be done with them. As to this lathe, it truly performs on par with new lathes, and at a fraction of their cost.
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