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Old Thu 07 June 2007, 18:23
Just call me: Gavin
Modesto, CA
United States of America
New Machine (well retrofit)

Hi everyone,

I have had a shopbot original PR (no cable) for about 8 years. After repeated visits to this site and lots of thinking I am planning to upgrade my machine. I have some questions, probably mostly for Gerald.

1) Can I use the V rollers and racks from my shopbot and if so could the racks be used without removing them from the unistrut?

2) I've looked into upgrading to the new shopbot control box PRT 4. Would I be better served building my own Gecko based controll?

3) Anything else that may make this easier that I may not have thought of?

Thanks in Advance.
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Old Fri 08 June 2007, 00:11
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Hi Gavin

1) Your racks are probably worn by now, and the unistrut will have to be removed because the MechMate has too little space to accommodate them.

2) IMHO, the SB 4G controller is something that was rushed to the market too quickly. It has been recalled once before and I won't be surprised if it is recalled again. Parallel port driven Gecko's have been proved to be quite simple to implement. A couple of people have given up with the 4g's and are just quietly stripping the Geckos out of those systems and re-building their own control boxes. You would have to switch away from SB code if you don't use SB products. If you are the type of person who has dabbled with volts, amps, multimeter and soldering iron before, it will be easy to build your own - you don't even need the soldering iron.

3) I don't really know what a PR looks like. I think you might be better off selling your SB in running order and then starting from scratch with a MechMate. But that depends on whether you are the type of person who likes to build instead of buy.
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Old Fri 08 June 2007, 11:37
Just call me: Gavin
Modesto, CA
United States of America
When I get a chance, and figure out how, I will post a couple of pics of my setup. The racks don't seem to show any real wear but I could be wrong.

I built my own controller from geckos for a used engraver I picked up cheap in non-working order. So building my own control won't be a problem. From my experience it's easier to get sb code out of my software then it is to get code that runs on Mach (which I use for my engraver). I always tend to go in and have to change some code before I can run the files in Mach. Which is why the 4g intrigued me. Your points about problems gives me reason for pause.

I had considered setting up the shopbot with a plasma and starting from scratch for the mechmate. Hmmmm more thinking needs to be done.

I love to build but time has become more of an issue for me as of late.

Last edited by podunk; Fri 08 June 2007 at 11:58..
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