In the last post I started covering the installation of the glass scales on my Grizzly G0463 (AKA Sieg X3) mill. You might recall that I got the scales loosely mounted on the mill but didn’t have a controller to use them with. I didn’t want to tie-up the unit I’ve been using for testing, so before going any further I had to build a new one. This weekend I got some free time to finally build the controller and [mostly] button thing up.
Several people asked me to post pictures of my DRO setup. Today I started installing a new DRO unit on my Grizzly G0463 (A.K.A. Grizzly Small Mill/Drill or Sieg X3) mill and decided to take advantage of this opportunity to take some pictures and post the progress.
I’ve been itching to get a set of glass DRO scales for a while but the cost has kept me off. Last July I randomly emailed a seller on eBay and asked if they would happen to have a returned or blemished unit they’d sell to me for experimenting. Surprisingly the guy replied that he is discontinuing the Easson scales and has two units [8” and 16”] that he’d sell at a steep discount. Additionally, he had one with a broken reading head that he’d throw in if I wanted it for parts. He wanted $200 for all three of the scales, including shipping. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. When the scales came, I took the broken unit apart to see what’s inside and right off the bat found the problem. The Vcc line was broken and the exposed wire was shorting to the case. Five minutes later I had three working scales: one 8” long, and two 16”.
When building a DRO the selection of scales is the most critical decision. Touch DRO Android application can work with a number of different scale types, ranging from inexpensive calipers to 1 micron glass scales. In addition to the cost considerations there are technical parameters that you should take into account. In the previous post I explained which parameters really matter in a DRO setup. Now let’s take a look at some of the commonly available scales and see how they stack up.
Things were easy when iGaging "Remote DRO" were the only scales Android DRO supported. Now that it can work with most of the common scales things are becoming a bit more confusing, judging from the number of emails I've been getting lately. With other things being equal, the choice of scales will have the biggest impact on you DRO's performance. There is a number of options, ranging from cheap Chinese calipers to glass scales and other quadrature encoders. Although I can't definitively answer the question "which scales should I use for my DRO setup", in this post I'll try to explain which parameters matter most in a DRO application.