I know starting a new project should wait until I finish the current projects, so when I went out to look at a huge machine with tool changers and a table the size of a small country yesterday I decided, "NO!" Heck, its peak current consumption would cause me to have to shut down everything else in my shop and office. LOL. Its actually a good project for the price, but all the controls are gone. Given the time its taken me to get the Hurco going with everything to look at as I retrofit, I suspect the Bayer machine would take me several years to get going. I actually considered picking it up as a salvage project instead. There are a small fortune in tool holders that come with it. Strip the saleable parts, and then scrap it.
Now on to the topic.
So... the guy then proceeded to try and sell me a Birdgeport Interact1 with Heidenhain controls. At first I wasn't much impressed with it. Nothing wrong with it and its no bigger than the Hurco I am working on. Its actually a bit smaller. What got me is that it seems to be 100% functional. We powered it up and ran it through some basic manual operations. The guy who has it doesn't know how to run it really other than making it do a few things on the joystick and the keypad. In fact he had to call somebody to get it started up. My son was telling him basic commands to start and stop the spindle etc. (Yeah Rob! LOL.)
Anyway, its kind of nagging me if I want the machine or not. It appears that I could just run it with no work other than to properly clean and lube the machine, and the price tag does not seem particularly onerous. The joysticks work for manual control, as does the jog wheel. It takes basic commands, but we didn't actually run any code, and I am not sure how you would transfer code to it. Maybe with some form of "drip" feed. There is a DB25 connector on one side of the monitor head.
It also uses a less common tool holder. An Emerson 30? He has a few of these but has an idea that the tool holders have some individual piece value, so I'ld probably have to negotiate with him on a per holder price. I guess ultimately it will probably boil down to, "I don't really need another machine in this size range."