Just came by a small Emco Compact 5PC lathe. The manual is all but
incomprehensible. I have the control talking to the PC but the v2.8
software is fighting me to load a file.
I would like a copy of a short toolpath program for the Emco and I
think I can figure it out from there.
If anyone has one of these little machines, could you paste a short
program to a reply so I can test the lathe. I especially need the
The manual says .GEO and .NCP are the two program file extensions, but
the software still does not see them. I also tried NC5 which was
suggested on another news group. That didn't work either.
Thanks for any help.
Thanks but Mach3 will not drive the controller, so I have to use the
I have been persevering with it and have managed to coax it into
generating a rudimentary program and I can now use that to see what it
requires to run.
Yes, an upgrade would be major surgery on your machine. Keep the steppers or
servos and inputs/outputs. You may or may not be able to keep the motor
drives. Everything else for the control goes. NOT a small job.
Well ... I don't have the PC version of the Compact-5, but I have
the one with a CPU built in (a 6502), and I can post here an example
program. I used the extension of ".gc", but that was only seen by the
program on my unix computer, never by the actual Compact-5/CNC which ran
the programs. :
# Program to cut the threads for later Wheatstone endbox screws from the
# of serial number 35163 (1938-1945)
# Note: Be careful to measure tool offsets with setting microscope, and
# Correct the tool offsets (M06 entries) if necessary. As written, the
# offsets were; RH diamond insert turning tool 0 0
# Insert threading tool: 207 -247
# Parting tool (not yet programmed) -232 -389
# Units are metric, even though the screw is 44 TPI.
N` G` X ` Z ` F` H #
00 90 # Absolute mode
01 92 00 100 # Starting point -- centered, 1.00 mm from end of
02M03 # Start motor (1200 RPM)
03 00 1100 100 # Rapid to starting diameter for turning
04 01 1100 00 50 # Slow move to corner of workpiece
05 84 214 - 600 25 25# Turn to thread's OD
06 00 1100 100 # Move clear of workpiece diameter and end
07 00 00 100 # move to center and clear of end
08 00 00 5000 # move to position for tool change
09M05 # Stop motor
10M06 207 - 247T 00 # Change to threading tool. (Check settings.)
11M03 # Start motor (1200 RPM)
12 00 00 1000 # Move part way back after change, to accumulate
13 00 230 00 # Move to position for start of threading
14 78 150 - 500K 60 02# Thread -- very carefully. (400 RPM)
15 00 1200 - 0500 # Move clear of workpiece diameter
16 00 00 5000 # Move to tool change location on center
17M05 # Stop motor
18M06 00 00T 00 # Return to RH turning tool (to be changed)
19M03 # Start motor (1200 RPM)
20 00 00 100 # Return to program's physical starting location
21 00 1100 100 # Rapid to starting diameter for turning
22 01 1100 00 50 # Slow move to corner of workpiece
23 84 214 - 1200 25 25# Turn to thread's OD
24 00 1100 100 # Move clear of workpiece diameter and end
25 00 00 100 # move to center and clear of end
26 00 00 5000 # move to position for tool change
27M05 # Stop motor
28M06 207 - 247T 00 # Change to threading tool. (Check settings.)
29M03 # Start motor (1200 RPM)
30 00 00 1000 # Move part way back after change, to accumulate
31 00 230 00 # Move to position for start of threading
32 78 150 - 1000K 60 02# Thread -- very carefully. (400 RPM)
33 00 1200 - 1000 # Move clear of workpiece diameter
34 00 00 5000 # Move to tool change location on center
35M05 # Stop motor
36M06 00 00T 00 # Return to RH turning tool (to be changed)
37 00 00 100 # Return to program's physical starting location
38M05 # Stop motor
39M30 # End program
M# Marker for metric mode
====================================================================Note -- the code for this machine is *very* fixed format -- how many
spaces are to the left and right matter. Also the machine itself does
not support comments. All lines which start with a '#' should be
discarded, as well as any portion of a line starting at a '#'. (This is
a common character to mark the start of comments in unix systems, and I
added them and the comments to the file with an editor after saving it
from the machine (input was from the front panel on those machines,
which the PC version lacks). I wrote a program to copy the files to the
machine's input port stripping off all of the comments, so it saved me a
lot of time re-loading a program which had enough comments in my
Note that the start and end lines are shorter than the rest, and
note that the symbol which says whether the program was written to be
run in inch or metric mode is on the last line. (It is a logical enough
'M' for metric mode, and a '"' for inch mode.
Decimal points are implied, never explicit. Inch mode has three
digits after the invisible decimal point, while metric mode has only
two. (This means that there is a bit more resolution in metric mode, at
0.01mm compared to 0.001" (which is closer to 0.02mm). Of course,
diameter steps are in minimum resolution in terms of radius, so the
actual diameters must be even (0.002" or 0.02mm).
I hope that this helps.
You will need a list of the G-codes and M-codes which your
machine uses. I have no idea what was added or deleted in the move from
the Mostek 6502 to the Intel 8086.
I would personally probably try stripping off things at the
interface, and try to modify the EMC source to talk to the interface
there, or if you can't get enough documentation, use parallel ports to
talk to the inputs, which I believe have step and direction inputs plus
an input to increase the voltage on an axis when stepping it rapidly. I
believe that the interface card talks to the same driver transistor
boards which the 6502 controller did -- just with more separation. The
real trick would be integrating the index encoder under the drive pulley
on the spindle which allows controlling threading accurately
Examine the shape of the filled nylon gibs and make some backing
plates to support them. That will reduce the rapid wear near the screws
which mount them, and keep the gibs tight for much longer. I did that
several years ago and have not had to re-tighten them since. I used
aluminum plate, with light counterboring to keep the screw heads from
sticking out too far.
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