Re-Retrofit Fadal VMC20 from Numatix to LinuxCNC 7i77D/5i25???

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12 Dec 2020 04:36 - 12 Dec 2020 06:09 #191707 by msrdiesel
Hello, I am new here but I have been reading and tinkering with LinuxCNC for a short while.

I have a very nice Fadal VMC20 that came from a school and barely has a scratch on the paint. It seems to be of very low use, perhaps because of the problematic retrofit that it already has on it. It has a Numatix control.

Needless to say it is time to look into a cost effective alternative to what is on the machine. The current motion control is a Delta Tau PMAC PC with Windoze 98 as the OS.

The mill did not have a spindle drive when I got it, so I had a Yaskawa V1000 20hp I installed and got to work sort of alright to do a tool change.

It has 3 axis amps that are analog Glentek AMP 0008 if memory serves me.

I am looking for a recommendation on the Mesa pieces I will need to do the conversion, the resolvers have already been changed to encoders on the original DC motors. (7i77d/5i25)?

I also want to retain use of the umbrella tool changer, do I need more than the Mesa for this?

I currently develop and manufacture common rail Diesel testing equipment, so I am acquainted with controls, programming and wiring.

Any help is greatly appreciated, Thanks!

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Last edit: 12 Dec 2020 06:09 by msrdiesel.

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12 Dec 2020 17:50 #191752 by tommylight

I have a very nice Fadal VMC20

I have to agree, very nice indeed.

The current motion control is a Delta Tau PMAC PC with Windoze 98 as the OS.

I would have yanked that out long ago, have to many "windoze" traumas for about 4 life times.

I am looking for a recommendation on the Mesa pieces I will need to do the conversion, the resolvers have already been changed to encoders on the original DC motors. (7i77d/5i25)?

I stick to 5i25 or 6i25 or 7i92 and a 7i77 then add 7i84 for more IO, or 7i74 and 7i70 and 7i71 for even more IO when required.

I also want to retain use of the umbrella tool changer, do I need more than the Mesa for this?

We would need more info on this and more pictures, but most similar machines have a separate board for controlling the tool changer, so it should not be hard to figure out.

I currently develop and manufacture common rail Diesel testing equipment, so I am acquainted with controls, programming and wiring.

Nice, thought of doing the same thing here, but the sales forecast would be about 1 to 10 of them sold per year, soooo ....
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12 Dec 2020 17:59 #191755 by msrdiesel
Thank you for the response, I am considering this: Product Code: 7I77D-5I25 PNG KIT, looking for a reality check before I pull the trigger since I know nothing...Really (yet)
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12 Dec 2020 18:03 #191758 by tommylight
You should check the signalling before ordering that, like sourcing or sinking inputs and outputs.

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12 Dec 2020 21:57 - 12 Dec 2020 22:38 #191784 by msrdiesel
So to show I am not wasting anyone's time, this is the state of the machine today. I am seriously going to follow through with this.

According to the Delta Tau jumpers, it was all setup to sink the IO's .

What should I keep? I would like to keep the panel but it uses a Vectra Systems converter to dual PS2, back to dual USB, for all the axis buttons (dual DB9 connectors at the panel). The keyboard and the mouse all tie into it. Its like a triple 'Y' arrangement. The other panel buttons are a ribbon cable, may be easy enough to just pull something low with a button press? Like the coolant, not sure how the spindle speed change output works, resistor?

I have 3 IO boards with ribbon cables, that I would think I can reuse.
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Last edit: 12 Dec 2020 22:38 by msrdiesel.

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15 Dec 2020 03:52 #192028 by Benb
*MESA has I/O cards that connect directedly to opto22 cards. Check with mesa for part number. It looks like you are going to put those opto22 cards back into the panel and rewire them as before (hopefully you have the wiring diagram).
*Linuxcnc does have USB driver for pendants and like.
*For the hard-wired panel, you might need a mesa 7i73 i/o module, it can connect to 4 MPG's and 8x8 keypad.

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15 Dec 2020 05:57 #192029 by msrdiesel
My order shipped today a 5i25/7i77D and the 7i73, hopefully I have enough pins. I may not need as much as I thought as I also bought a touch screen monitor as I plan to try probe basic for the UI.

I don't have the wiring diagram, but it looks like many of the opto 22's were for the panel buttons and controls. One is in the cabinet still already wired up to the tool changer and spindle gear change, lube pump and such (I hope).

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25 Dec 2020 04:31 - 25 Dec 2020 04:31 #193167 by JR1050
I have 4 machines running lcnc, it’s a great cost effective functional controller. I do hold it in high regard, the Numatix control is amazing. It’s insanely fast. Before you trash it, talk to the guys that the original engineer trained. The Numatix control was the brainchild of the same guy who did Sharona. His name was Gil and he passed, several l of his disciples continue with the control . Creative Evolution is one of them. The Delta tau guys can also help, that control is powered by a DT card. I owned a VMC20 for 25 years, it is severely under powered. Consider getting the Numatix up and running, that thing is more capable of anything Fanuc or Siemens offers.
Last edit: 25 Dec 2020 04:31 by JR1050.

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08 Jan 2021 20:01 - 08 Jan 2021 20:04 #194535 by bevins

Thank you for the response, I am considering this: Product Code: 7I77D-5I25 PNG KIT, looking for a reality check before I pull the trigger since I know nothing...Really (yet)


The 7i77 is for analog +-10 control of the drives. Are you sure it is using +-10v analog for the input into the drive?

Sorry, just noticed you ordered the boards already. Hope it works, keep us posted.
Last edit: 08 Jan 2021 20:04 by bevins.

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17 Jan 2021 15:43 #195677 by msrdiesel

I have 4 machines running lcnc, it’s a great cost effective functional controller. I do hold it in high regard, the Numatix control is amazing. It’s insanely fast. Before you trash it, talk to the guys that the original engineer trained. The Numatix control was the brainchild of the same guy who did Sharona. His name was Gil and he passed, several l of his disciples continue with the control . Creative Evolution is one of them. The Delta tau guys can also help, that control is powered by a DT card. I owned a VMC20 for 25 years, it is severely under powered. Consider getting the Numatix up and running, that thing is more capable of anything Fanuc or Siemens offers.


Thanks for the insight, but I will not be using this machine to generate a large portion of my income.

Looking at the Creative Evolution website, shows the last update to the site alone is over 7 years ago. This is the first mention of their name to me, I know nothing of this company.

I don't want to throw my money to the wind with something that has no support, and at every turn it is more money with poor service (been there already). They give you a price, then when the work is done, it no better than it was before and they want 50% more than they quoted you to begin with. They keep the door from your controller, and the USB drive they tell you they send with setup instructions is nowhere to be found. The product may have been good at one time, but without service you have nothing.

I am a business owner as well as a consumer, so I get to see both sides of it, service and what it means to be of service. Where I come from if you don't fix the problem then you don't charge for it. Especially when the one contracted to fix the issue is supposedly the daddy of said product.

Being a technical person, I will use Linux CNC and the Mesa cards. I like learning, and also like programming, so it will make a good learning project. Who knows, I may start retrofitting more machines for resale if the conversions perform well enough. We already build common rail Diesel testing equipment from the ground up, but it is a limited market. Having something to fill the gaps that is interesting would be nice.

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