A few posts ago I offered some general ideas on adding a tachometer to TouchDRO setup that covered some theory and a basic example circuit. Since then I've received a ton of emails asking for more details, so in the next few posts I will provide a detailed start-to-finish example of building a tachometer for my Jet 1024 Lathe. In the post "DIY Tachometer for Your Mill or Lathe" I covered the basic of tachometer operation and provided a basic tachometer circuit using a IR emitter/receiver couple. A number of people wanted to use a Hall effect sensor with a magnetic encoder disk, so I will go that route for this design. Along the way I will use this project as mini-tutorial for some of the basic TouchDRO functionality.
|ER-40 Collet Chuck mounted on the lathe|
Every time I get to use my JET 1024 Lathe I have a hard time wiping the grin off my face. The machine is very sturdy and accurate for its size, and has served me very well so far, but has a few minor annoyances. For example, the spindle has a straight 1.25" bore with no Morse taper. Recently I had to make a few dozen studs for a steam engine project using a 4-jaw chuck where using collets would've been much more efficient and convenient. Since using collets in the spindle is out of question, the only option left is to use a collet chuck, so last month I set out to either make or buy one. After going back and forth between C5 and ER-40 I ended up choosing ER-40 for various reasons.
It's been a year since I released the last version of TouchDRO, and it's definitely time for some updates. If you've been following this blog, you might recall that I made "Beta" version available at the end of last year, and was planning to push a new version out around February of this year. Well, it's the end of October, but finally I got it stable enough that I feel pretty good about letting it into the wild. There is a ton of changes, including many new features that people have requested. I will try to cover the important ones in this post, and over the next couple of weeks (as the time allows) will dig deeper into some of them.
One of the new features in the upcoming version of TouchDRO app is tachometer readout. The beta version of the application had full tachometer support for some time now. Over the last few weeks I added directional tachometer support to all four controllers. In this post I will try to give you some ideas on how to build a tachometer for your mill or lathe using commonly available parts. Your setup will vary, of course, but the main principle will be the same, so you shouldn't have too much trouble to adapt these designs to your particular needs.
Since I added a DRO to my mill I can't imagine how I lived without one for so long; it makes working on the mill so much easier and more efficie. Since you're reading this post, you are probably looking into building a DRO as well, and if you feel lost, you're not alone. Although I've been trying hard to keep the project as simple as possible, so it remain accessible to people with little or no experience with electronics or computers, it might seem a bit overwhelming.I this post I will provide a quick summary of the steps needed to get a DRO up and running with links to more information where appropriate.
TouchDRO is designed to work with a wide range of scales and machines, but it will not work right out of the box. After the application is installed, it needs to configured to match your particular setup. The process isn’t complicated and takes just a few minutes, though.
By default the application is configured for a three-axis vertical milling machine that uses imperial units. If that matches your setup, the only thing you’ll need to do is to configure your scales and the DRO will be good to go. Otherwise, there are a few additional settings that needs to be changed.