Blu-DRO Now Uses the TouchDRO iGaging DRO Adapter

Monday, January 1, 2018

I get a fair number of emails asking if I sell fully assemble board, in a box, ready to go. Although I have seriously thought about offering a fully turn-key version of the iGaging DRO controller, I couldn't get the numbers to pensil out: the cost of making a custom injection molded enclosure is ridiculously high, and 3D printed enclosures take too much time and I couldn't find a way to make it scale. Meanwhile, I knew that Al at has been selling fully enclosed Arduino TouchDRO controllers. I've met Al "virtually" on TouchDRO Bata Testing Google+ community, where he had been a frequent poster, always willing to help or answer questions. Furthermore, the feedback I got from people who purchased blu-DRO units was very positive about his level of customer support, etc. After some "noodling around" I decided to email Al and see if we can find a way to work together. A few emails later we decided that I will sell the boards to Al in bulk at a bit of a discount so he can use them in his units. This seemed to be a win-win situation: Al would get more robust controllers for the blu-DRO and I can stop worrying about creating a turn-key version of TouchDRO.

Early in September I asked Al to send me a unit to play with, which has been sitting on my kitchen counter till now. One of my new year's resolutions is to prioritize tying the loose ends related to TouchDRO, so in this post I will do a short review of a blu-DRO unit. I am told that what I got is exactly what a customer would get, so this should give you some idea what to expect.

What's Included

The unit came to me in a small flat-rate USPS box, containing a padded plastic mailer and a thank you note with some useful information about the initial setup.

The unit ships in a standard flat-rate box

The plastic envelope, in turn, contains the blu-DRO unit itself and an AC-DC adapter.

The box includes the blu-DRO unit, power supply and a note from Al

Thank you note from Al includes useful setup info

blu-DRO Unit

Blu-DRO 3D Printed Enclosure

Al uses 3D printed enclosures that he paints himself. The unit I received is printed with pretty coarse resolution but I didn't notice any layer separation; openings for the USB connectors are pretty snug and show not sagging or warpage. The fit was surprisingly good, and even though there is no weather sealing, the USB connectors and the power jack fit pretty snugly in the opening, so the enclosure should hold up pretty good against dirt and coolant splashes. Al uses stainless steel screws to hold the lid in place, which a nice touch. Overall the box feels very solid and will likely hold up well to the garage environment.

TouchDRO Adapter for iGaging Board inside blu-DRO unit

Power Supply

The power adapter appears to be a generic Chinese-made regulated power supply rated at 12VDC, 1A. I checked the output voltage across a range of loads, ranging to no load at all to about 1000 mA. The oscilloscope trace showed 12V right on the money with negligible ripple up to about 800 mA. Notably, it started getting a bit warm at about 700 mA. I can't test the long-term reliability, but since it ran stone cold with the sub-100 mA current draw from TouchDRO I don't see any reason to be concerned. That said, 7.2V or 9V power supply would work just as well and would run the voltage regulator on the board cooler. With 12V it runs 10+ degrees over ambient temperature. On the plus side, the power supply is mains-isolating, so it will not create any ground loop issues.


The new blu-DRO gives the hobby machinist community a ready-to-go TouchDRO compatible adapter for the iGaging Digital Readout scales at very affordable price and with great piece of mind. Overall, blu-DRO is a nice little unit that and I'm really excited about Al using my TouchDRO iGaging adapters in it. Especially since I know that Al stands behind his product and goes above-and-beyond to do right by his customers.


  1. hi I am not a Beta user I wish I was ,but I would like to purchase a TouchDRO but with no joy to get a price on 1 unit so I can send the money to have it sent to south Africa any way regards ted smith and it is still nice and warm here in durban

    1. Ted,
      Right now Beta is the same as the released version. I haven't pushed new version to Beta yet.
      You can buy a board from the store (link above). There is nothing special about shipping to South Africa: PayPal will show shipping depending on which service you pick.
      Thank you

    2. thank you for your reply please give me 1 week to order as it is still crazy hear with the postal service with a lot sorting of a lot of parcels. will it come by UPS if so please mark it as a gift to help me with the high in come tax on inports thanks for your help good bye for now ted smith

    3. Ted,
      No rush, I have the boards in stock. The board will come via USPS, but I do not mark packages as gifts. This is pretty illegal in my part of the world.
      Thank you

  2. So as not to need another tablet, it would be nice if the settings and readings are not lost and are optionally saved when you switch Bluetooth module address and optionally reloaded when you switch back to the other machine. Is it possible Yuriy, to add this functionality? I think it would be really useful as most home machinists have at least a mill AND a lathe but they don't operate both at the same time! Just swich back and forth. If the functionality is there I cannot see how to do it. There have been times in which I have a setup on the mill that I don't want to take down (maybe waiting on the postal arrival of a special tool I didn't realize I would need beforehand, for one good example) but must continue with other aspects of the project in the mean time on the lathe, then switch back to the mill.