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  #1  
Old Fri 09 March 2007, 02:22
linus
Just call me:
 
Has been cutting, now for sale - Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi all ...

Quick intro : My name is Linus - location: JHB.SA.
I've started to order components after talking to Gerald the other day.

Again: Thanks Gerald - Your machine represents a rational solution to cost effective business.
To the other members of this forum - thank you too .

Now for my first problem... The motors (PK296A1A-SG7.2 x 4 ) - there is a local agent(Varispeed)who I have just spoken to on the phone.
Whilst they are helpful people I can't help but feel that I am going to end up waiting for them to import the units themselves and then charge me for their hand in the process. (they don't carry stock)

Perhaps it is just my professional cynicism after many years of butting heads with local suppliers but I'm wary to say the least, though hopeful.

What I'm really doing, I suppose, is finding out if there are any other people in my situation who could ease my burden, or similarly, is there someone who would like to piggy back on my efforts who needs goodies in JHB?

I have sourced a good supply for laser cut and bend - Approx R1400 for the set - all bent up - they're just waiting for my call to go ahead.

As far as gecko 203's - Greg at CNC direct has an order on the water, as well as being able to supply handsome power supply components, the Mach breakout board, rack and pinions and a few other odds and ends. Helpful,friendy guy.

I have played a little with the imservice components and have a servo driven sherline mill, which I used to learn the game a little. So building power supplies, playing with the software , getting stability from a laptop etc.. has all been done before - and it's sooo worth it.

I'm very excited to be getting on with the Mechmate project and will be uploading pics, resources etc. as I go along.

Regards to all.

Linus
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  #2  
Old Fri 09 March 2007, 03:32
Gerald_D
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Welcome Linus!

I found a friend in the USA who could build a crate, had a telephone and could type out an invoice. Then I did all the on-line shopping and gave his address as the delivery address. He assembled the stack of parcels, built a crate around them, got a DHL quote, added his crating and a small profit and then typed an invoice. I paid him via bank transfer then he phoned DHL to collect. All went very smoothly.
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  #3  
Old Fri 09 March 2007, 07:56
linus
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Hi Gerald ...

I like what you have done to import the components but I'm afraid I am not connected in the USA - never having visited the country myself.

I did get a price from Varispeed in Jhb after my post earlier ... and I'm afraid that I may abuse the spirit of this forum when I warn you that it just isn't a good idea when they want to charge R5700 (US$780) plus 14% VATax each - 5-6 weeks delivery.... (triple the US web retail price)

...not only will this use up the entire budget for the machine but it's also a plain insult to expect locals to swallow this profiteering.

Subsequently I am at a dead end regarding my resources... Oriental USA and europe refer me to the local agents, which seems to be a joke...

Moan moan moan ... I know ...I'm just frustrated.

Is there anyone out there, perhaps in the USA that could help me with a shipment, or just refer me to a retailer that will help out at reasonable rates?

Shipping seems cheap to me now...

Regards

Linus
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  #4  
Old Fri 09 March 2007, 08:31
Gerald_D
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I walked that same path. It is criminal what some agents do to their principal's products out here. You can bet that Oriental Motor sells nothing to the growing local OEM market, which is probably the reason they gave an agency in the first place.
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  #5  
Old Fri 09 March 2007, 21:06
Mike Richards
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Gerald,
I've never exported anything commercially from the U.S.A. before, but if you'll send me an email that tells me what to do and whom to contact, I'll see if I can help out.

The last time I checked, the quantity-one price from Oriental Motors for a PK296A1A-SG7.2 was $257 plus shipping. (They offer free shipping within the US for prepaid orders until March 31, 2007, but that won't help those of you living in other areas.)
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  #6  
Old Sat 10 March 2007, 00:12
Gerald_D
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Mike, that is kind of you. Being an unlicenced freight agent can be risky though.... You become the official exporter, and you are responsible for any "contraband" that the shipment may contain. In the bad old days, anything with which one could remotely build weapon systems was not allowed to flow from the USA to South Africa without special paperwork. (We may not export automatic pool cleaners, gold, diamonds etc., without special licences...)

The correct name for this type of service is "consolidation", as done by "freight consolidators", but they normally operate on a much bigger scale.
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  #7  
Old Sat 10 March 2007, 08:23
Gerald_D
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A starting point for potential exporters: What is an Export License and do all U.S. exports require one?
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  #8  
Old Sat 10 March 2007, 14:05
linus
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Hi Mike...

- been out and about for a while ... just noticed your post now...

Thanks for the offer to help - If you succeed in being able to send goodies our way you could make life a lot easier for us - I currently know of 2 other people not on the forum who would like to build, and are dubious about their ability to source the components for reasonable prices.

I have budget... you just say the word and I'll be eager to order from you.

My main concern is the motors, and oriental US seems the most obvious source. Much of the electricals are available here in some form.

Gerald... should I create a list of potential suppliers in the US or do you have a consolidated list of the best options for purchasing? Alternatively, should I create a list of worthwhile suppliers in SA (cost & time efficient) and then try and fill in the blanks with US suppliers?


Also... do you think it would be wise to get 5 instead of 4 motor units for service and repair or am I being too careful?

I have already placed an order for bearings from superior bearings, and I'm very happy with their service, price and general attitude ...

Regards

Linus
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  #9  
Old Sat 10 March 2007, 20:16
Gerald_D
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Linus, I have never heard of someone receiving a dead Oriental Motor, or of one dying at short notice. In fact, never heard of one dying at all...

If you have a supplier over there who is about to send you something, why not ask them if they can increase the weight and volume of the parcel. My online purchase experiences of Oriental Motor USA were the best ever. Direct against credit card and 2 days later they arrive at the designated address.

Don't let your shipper send with USPS. That is not another express company like UPS. USPS is the United States Postal Service, which is obliged to use the South African Post Office on this end. They have an excellent chance of losing the parcel!
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  #10  
Old Tue 13 March 2007, 01:58
linus
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Hi Gerald ...

Thanks for the advice but it was too late for me to change anything at the time of your posting.

I did consider the UPS route though, and the price of the entire purchase doubled, as compared to the USPS options - conclusion: I'm happy to take my chances with USPS for this relatively cheap purchase - I spoke to Greg from CNC direct, and he has managed to land a few items this way without trouble so far, although I believe your concerns are fully justified.

We all worry...

Regards

Linus
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  #11  
Old Tue 13 March 2007, 02:58
Gerald_D
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...we especially worry when the first (and last) shipment with USPS was valued at $820, and the shipper does nothing to see that the courier of their choice delivers the goods into my hands. The fact that their shipper handed the parcel the SA Post Office does not make it my problem.
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  #12  
Old Thu 15 March 2007, 23:57
linus
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Gerald, I have been purchasing some goodies for the machine ... mostly electricals , but I have also got my hands on a timing belt pulley set ... 1x t5 16 and 1x t5 60 ... I'm hoping to make a small reduction box for the steppers having failed to source any way to get the oriental motors. I'm now out of time for them anyway.

Perhaps I'm better off, as the pulley reduction should have no backlash and also help with vibration damping. It would probably be cheaper than purchasing the geared Orientals as well - slightly more pain though.

So, what I will most likely do is start with a direct drive onto the racks and then, once the machine is running, build new motor mounts with reduction pulley sets included.

regards

Linus
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  #13  
Old Fri 16 March 2007, 02:13
Gerald_D
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Good thinking.
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  #14  
Old Sun 18 March 2007, 06:14
linus
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Machine weight ...

Gerald ... I was wondering how much your total mechmate weighs?

I've been thinking about it a little and I'm guessing it's more than 600Kg (I haven't performed calcs so please don't judge me harshly) ... Unless I could make the base table bolt together and come apart I probably won't be able to move it at all.

This thought makes me want to introduce alu into the table, but that is probably just a gut reaction.

Therefore : where would it be wise to use bolts instead of welding - how would you recommend the table is split, so to speak... and would bolts just defeat the object of a stiff system?

Further ... do you have thoughts on being able to use lighter steel sections, perhaps for the cross table supports, legs?

Regards

Linus
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  #15  
Old Sun 18 March 2007, 07:05
Gerald_D
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The gantry and payload (router/spindle), ie. the moving parts are about 80kg.

I think the model that Alan did in SketchUp will reveal the table mass quite quickly - 400kg is my guess.

3 guys manage to drag it across a concrete floor.

Still weld up to 10 10 310 W stage, but bolt 10 10 300 together. When moving, leave the table top bolted to the cross-members - that holds the table square.

Had thoughts on going lighter when setting it to paper, but discarded that because of stiffness issues. Even this heavy table starts vibrating under certain conditions. Havn't yet looked at the finished table and thought it could be lighter, on the contrary . . . . . .
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  #16  
Old Wed 09 May 2007, 23:00
linus
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Hi again ..it's been a long time since I updated you on my progress :

As follows : I have a new baby daughter (Daniella) so not much has happened for the last 2 months.

V-rollers : My bearing set finally arrived last week from the US ... Thanks, superior bearings.

We'll be getting back to work again real soon.
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  #17  
Old Thu 10 May 2007, 04:10
Jay Waters
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Linus, congratulations on your daughter! Being a daddy is one of the greatest things in the world. I wouldn't trade it for anything, though they do tend to keep you VERY busy!!

Glad to see you're making progress on your machine.
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  #18  
Old Thu 10 May 2007, 16:46
Gerald_D
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Congrats to the new parents!
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  #19  
Old Tue 29 May 2007, 07:50
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
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Linus:
How are you making out on the importation of goods from the US, I'm running into the same problems with varispeed and some of the other local suppliers.

Mike:
Does your kind offer still stand? I would be looking at 4x Stepper motors, 4x Geckos and 2x PMDX break out boards. If you feel you would be willing to do this, please let me know.
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  #20  
Old Wed 01 August 2007, 03:17
Linus
Just call me: Linus
 
Jhb
South Africa
New progress report:

Been grinding rails and such .. have just got them down to 24mm and setting up the grinder jig for the 45 deg grinding....

All metal parts cut

Should have the mechanicals finished sometime this month...


I will post some pics a little later...
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  #21  
Old Mon 06 August 2007, 14:55
Linus
Just call me: Linus
 
Jhb
South Africa
Pics of elecs

Ok ... getting onto posting some pics...

Slowly slowly... getting there ...

I'm hoping to have this machine finished this month ...

The breakout board I got from cncdirect...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC01635.JPG (137.4 KB, 1090 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01633.JPG (154.3 KB, 1093 views)
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  #22  
Old Mon 06 August 2007, 23:21
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Interesting!

Remember that you need to "tune" each Gecko to its motor, and the trimpot is on the back of the G202's that you have there.

You might still need a "stirring" fan inside the box to stop a ball of hot air accumulating around the top Gecko.

Curious to hear if the un-shielded wires are going to work out. The twisted signal wires should help. Also, it's good that you are not strapping the signal wires parallel to the un-screened motor cables.

Is that a black wire connecting the negative inputs of the Gecko's together? They have always been fussy about wanting their negative/positive wires running direct to the power supply.
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  #23  
Old Wed 16 January 2008, 12:34
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Progress on MM in JHB ?

Hi Linus,

I am new to this fantactic forum and have been following progress on various building projects.

How are you getting along? As I am in the Gauteng area, I would like to come and have a look at your machine if possible. I tried to contact you via mail, but had no response.
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  #24  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 13:18
Linus
Just call me: Linus
 
Jhb
South Africa
Getting there...

Hello again ...

Ok ... Hello Kobus - Current status :

Machine is starting to cut! ... still not quite finished : I have to still attach sensors etc .. and my place is a mess without the dust extraction in place... so I'm not trying anything too ambitious... just checking for accuracy, cleanness of cut etc... and it's exciting to see the beast move.


I will compile some pics tomorrow but I thought I'd leave some observations and give some thanks:

Thanks to Gerald again ... what a winning concept ... your plans are very forgiving and looking at what I've managed to achieve with a humble setup makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Greg from CNC direct has also been a life saver ... he's given me a lot of time and general help ... and lots of coffee.
I can now also report on his controller board for mach .... so far working very well (even without shielded cable). more later ...

Cut smoothness : (without setting up/shimming the rails) I was quite impressed with the cut smoothness. I expected to have a rippled surface with just a direct drive setup but the finish is the same as work I have been contracting to a large supplier with very expensive machines (perhaps it may be my slower cutting speeds at this point but it beats waiting 2 - 6 weeks for cuts)

General ease of setup : piece of cake I think .. although I like machines in general -who here doesn't?
Basically I have plonked the gantry onto the rails (fastened with 4 bolts each currently), fastened the y axis rails without moving them around much and attached the steppers ... so far I have spent 1 hour in tweaking and aligning (maximum) and I would say I could start producing acceptable products...
The more time I spend now would just improve the situation (next week)..

Holding torque on the direct drive setup is not much ... but enough to make shallower cuts ... I wouldn't try a 16mm deep pass like this ... 6mm -8mm seems good though in mdf ( I have a 1400w bosch router spindle - gmf1400ce -great little unit & you can get them, from Hardware Centre in Randburg JHB, if you're local)

I used the prototype rail grinding cassette jig thing for the x rails - with a small modification for my grinder - 3 hours all done - very happy with the result. - I machined the rails after drilling and attaching them to the base.

I have sore fingers and thumbs from tapping threads by hand, but the experience is somewhat meditational.

I made the table cut area 1300x2500mm, which I think is good for a single garage space and I'm glad it's not bigger.


So far so good .. now I have to run off and be over committed ...

Oh... a question for the South Africans ... what is the best way to utilize the mechmate when there is no power at the wall socket?

Later

Linus
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  #25  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 14:06
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Congratulations Linus,
Please post some pictures of your creation and maybe some of your first cuts with it.

Do you guys have a lot of power problems in South Africa? I have seen Gerald mention it as well. We dont see a lot of power problems in Canada, mostly just during winter storms and mainly in the rural areas.
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  #26  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 14:16
Belli
Just call me: Greg
 
Johannesburg
South Africa
Linus's Z Axis

Hello,

I haven't seen any photos of the Z axis and so here are a few.

Cheers,
Greg

PS I've zipped them, resizing them just seemed like too much work.
Attached Files
File Type: zip MM.zip (431.3 KB, 145 views)
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  #27  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 22:17
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linus View Post
Cut smoothness : (without setting up/shimming the rails) I was quite impressed with the cut smoothness. I expected to have a rippled surface with just a direct drive setup but the finish is the same as work I have been contracting to a large supplier with very expensive machines (perhaps it may be my slower cutting speeds at this point but it beats waiting 2 - 6 weeks for cuts)
Glad to hear that. It is our experience as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linus View Post
Holding torque on the direct drive setup is not much ... but enough to make shallower cuts ... I wouldn't try a 16mm deep pass like this ... 6mm -8mm seems good though in mdf ( I have a 1400w bosch router spindle - gmf1400ce -great little unit
The direct drive, with the recommended motors and pinion gears, should be giving you plenty of cutting force. What motors and pinions are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linus View Post
Oh... a question for the South Africans ... what is the best way to utilize the mechmate when there is no power at the wall socket?
Coffee table

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino11 View Post
Do you guys have a lot of power problems in South Africa?
Heath, there is an economic boom in this region which has outstripped the rate of building new power stations. Or to look at it another way, our state run power supply utility couldn't convince our government to finance more stations. This problem was only driven home late last year when things started tripping out on a big scale. (Down here in the Cape we had a local problem about 2 years ago - somebody dropped a bolt into a big generator). The city of Johannesburg has huge maintenance problems of their network. Generally though, we had really good stable power supply until 2 years ago. Everybody (including the 2010 World Cup football organisers) was very relaxed about that we have good power. Now there is some panic amongst those who are having cuts for the first time. However, we are being given time periods during which we may be cut off. So far, the cuts have been predictable in our area.

Here is one of our alert indicators.
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  #28  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 22:43
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
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Hi Linus,

Thanks for the update. I thought that I could come around and buy a half completed MM. But glad to hear that it is alive. Are there any change of getting to see it. I am not afraid of dust and dirt.

To Gerald...I better not tell you where I work!
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  #29  
Old Mon 21 January 2008, 23:10
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Kobus, geen probleem - ek is seker dat jy nie in die parlement, of by Nersa, is nie.
Het jy laas week die masjien gesien?
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  #30  
Old Tue 22 January 2008, 04:39
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
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Gerald I didn't think we were suppose to use ugly words on this forum
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