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Anilam Crusader II OK?

Discussion in 'QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Get Help Fast Here!)' started by BGHansen, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm looking at upgrading my current 1979 Jet JVM-830 mill with a Bridgeport. Lots of choices in my area including one about 15 miles from me with a 2-axis Anilam Crusader II CNC installed. I found this web site which does a decent job going through the G-codes:

    http://faculty.etsu.edu/hemphill/entc3710/ani-mill/

    I've never worked on a CNC machine before, but programmed a TRS-80 computer in Z-80 machine code back in the day (google Bruce Hansen TRS-80). Going through the web site above, doesn't look that overwhelming.

    Any good questions to ask the seller regarding the circa 1979 CNC controller? Here are a few questions I though of:

    1) Ball screws on the X, Y?
    2) Controller has the Z screen shown, difficult to add the third axis?
    3) Anyway to dump routines to/from the control box to/from a PC?
    4) I'm assuming in lieu of a Servo power feed on the table, the Crusader can do the same function?
    5) Any CAD packages available that translate a drawn part to the G-codes needed to produce the part?

    Any other tips/questions would be appreciated. Frankly I'm 50/50 between this mill and getting a non-CNC but with a modern DRO. I don't do production work in 1000's, maybe make 20 of something. Can see some real advantages with the CNC, but this is a 1979-era system; one step after vacuum tubes!

    Thanks for the tips!

    Bruce
     
  2. seasicksteve

    seasicksteve United States Active Member Active Member

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    I have a bridgeport with a crusader II control. I am by no means an expert in the use of this control or cnc machines but here are a few observations
    1 Mine has ballscrews some did and some did not
    2 Mine has a z axis I would guess that it could be added but it would require some hardware that may be difficult to source. Probably not practical
    3 Drip feed through rs232 see comment below
    4 Yes a simple program step can be used to power feed an axis
    5 IDK if there are any programs that interface directly. The big problem with this control as I understand it is trying to feed it from a pc through the rs232 port. While it can be fed data this way the process is very slow and not reliable requiring a slow and lengthy debug.

    I picked mine up a number of years ago and have only used it a few times I use the manual BP for most of my milling. The machine I have would be a great base to do a conversion on the ballscrews limit switches brackets and enclosures are all done. This is what I plan to do with mine when I can find the time to devote to the project.
    Here is a good site to visit for some info http://www.cnc-joe.com/projects_annie.html
    The issue you will find is that parts and support for the control are hard to find and can be pricey I needed a servo drive card and had to go to ebay to find it. All things considered if the price is ok should at the very least provide a great base to do a future cnc conversion. I have used mine to run some simple programs and I was actually surprised and please by the results.
     
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  3. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    My first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 model 4 running CP/M and had a smoking 300 baud modem and 5 1/4" floppy disc drive! I was pretty much lost then, and I still am!
     
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  4. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Bruce,

    That machine sounds a lot like mine. Mine started out as a 2 axis and is now a 4 axis with full manual/CNC capability with switch over in seconds. If it is anything like the picture on the link you provided, the machine is in good mechanical condition, and the price is right then I would go get it in a heartbeat. If it is really a manual/CNC machine then that is the best of both worlds. The wiring should already be in the cabinet for the Z axis, but will have no drive for the servo motor installed. Adding the Z axis drive hardware is a bit of work, but I have all of the drawings. I designed and built my own system. http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/z-axis-cnc-conversion.21060/ I'm going to guess that is has ballscrews installed.

    The Anilam controller can be easily and inexpensivly upgraded if needed, I can help you there, for FREE. I just completed one in Ohio, over the phone! :) The existing interface to the outside world is via RS232. You might have to write a quick serial transfer routine to communicate with the controller. The main problem is that modern CAM programs tend to create large files and you have to drip feed the data to the controller because of the limited memory on board. Does not work very well. You should be able to find a post processor for your chosen CAM program that is compatible with the Anilam controller, I know Fusion 360 has one. It is also possible to use the onboard conversational programming functionality to enter the program manually from the controller. A bit tedious at best.

    You can jog the table using the controller jog functions, but it is a bit clunky to use.

    It would be worth going to look at the machine and get some pictures for all of us to enjoy.

    I started out on a TRS-80 also. Those were the good old days :)
     
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  5. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! Here are a few pictures, and yes, it's a pretty good deal as long as head is solid and the table is not beat up ($4000 or BO). Comes with a phase converter (think it's a static one on top of the Anilam), Kurt vise, no other tooling. Looks like an ER collet in the spindle, but I'd guess standard R-8. Appears to be in an unheated pole barn so there's a little surface rust.

    I'll give him a call and see if it's still available. I'm guessing when looking at a used VS mill, the drill (no pun intended) is to run the head through the speed ranges and listen for noise. Run the spindle down all of the way and side load it looking for play. Check the auto-feed boring function and kick out. I think that works by setting the depth stop on the quill, engage the feed and see what happens when it hits the bottom of travel. Check for backlash in the table which wouldn't be an issue if it has ball screws. See how much play is in the table and the ends and middle of travel, etc.

    Another plus is looking at the little I can see of the shop in the background, it doesn't look like a pig sty. I looked at a $1500 1 1/2 HP Bridgeport a few years ago that was in the most cluttered home shop you can imagine. He was showing me some other his other equipment; asked him my standard "go to" feel out question: "How difficult is it to get to all of the lube points on that lathe?" Answer was "Easy, I don't worry about them . . . " Didn't buy the $1500 mill figuring it was not well maintained.

    Thanks again, Bruce

    p.s. Yeah, still have my old TRS-80 Model I and Model III. I'd guess they still work fine, just can't bring myself to throw them in the dumpster. They cost more to ship than they sell for on eBay, so there they set in my barn and attic. Spent way too much time playing games and writing software on them. I did really well selling a machine language monitor called TASMON (The Alternate Source MONitor). Debugger program from machine code/assembly language software. If you needed a hobby, you could single step the TRS-80's start up routine, or even single step running a BASIC program. Ended up being "the" debugger program for the TRS-80. Also did really well with something called "Adventure Editor". The Scott Adams text adventures were pretty big back then. A buddy and I figured out Scott Adams adventure language and wrote an editor that allowed you to debug/edit/write your own adventures. It had a game driver in it also so you could write code, then jump to the driver to play the game. Also wrote a few arcade style games including a 3-D perspective road race game that was pretty innovative at the time (titled Turbocharged). Of course, with the crude 128 x 48 B&W graphics it all looks like garbage now; never would of thought at the time that I'd be looking at a computer controlled milling machine! Good times!

    upload_2017-9-14_11-52-13.png

    upload_2017-9-14_11-52-58.png
    upload_2017-9-14_11-55-46.png
     
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  6. seasicksteve

    seasicksteve United States Active Member Active Member

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    If you wind up with the machine and need the manual Ill make a copy for you the one I have is different than the one you have linked in he OP and more detailed in terms of programming
     
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  7. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ball screws can and do have backlash when they are damaged or worn out. Make sure to check for backlash!
     
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  8. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks for the offer! I don't know if he has the manual(s) or not, but I did find one on-line and downloaded it. Quite quaint to see what looks like a typed manual instead of something like today's multi-media presentations!

    Bruce
     
  9. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Mill is still available. 42" table, ball screws with maybe a few thou backlash, head is tight, table has no dings, power boring and kick-out work correctly, etc. Making a trip tomorrow to look it over. Owner had a machine shop with 3 mills and lathes, did one-off type work. Is down sizing and planning to move someplace warm. I'll let you guys know if there's anything else he wants to sell, more photos tomorrow.

    Bruce
     
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  10. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Nice road trip to visit the Bridgeport 2HP mill. Cutting to the chase, I'm an owner! Head was very quiet, no backlash in the ball screws, quill power feed and kick out work, etc. Couple of minor down sides which will be quickly fixed.

    The ram slide handle is broken off. Simple job (hopefully) on the drill press and an EZ-out. The current power on/off switch is a wall switch mounted in the static phase converter box. Probably replace that with a push ON / OFF. Grizzly makes a number of DPDT switches with a recessed ON and a big paddle OFF or STOP. Another minor move will be the breaker switch for the Anilam Crusader. It's currently mounted in a box on the back of the mill. To turn on the CNC, you have to hit the breaker switch. I'll reroute it to a box under the control panel.

    Gonna be a BIG learning curve for doing the programming. The owner didn't do much programming on it. I have a TPAC tools DRO on my current mill and use the ABS/INC modes, 1/2 function, Inch/mm and PCD (holes on a circle) functions. Also use the heck out of my X-axis power feed.

    I don't see an ABS/INC type coordinate systems on the Anilam, so might have to write down some numbers occasionally. No 1/2 function, so out comes the calculator. Does do inch/mm, and has G-codes for putting holes on a circle. Gonna have to read up on that one. First thing I'll be figuring out is how to program the X or Y to simulate the table power feed. Would be nice to set a point, then move left (for example) so many inches, pause, then do a return. Lots to learn so I won't be making chips for a while.

    Oh, it does come with the original Bridgeport manual and the Anilam Crusader programming manuals, so I'm all set there. Thanks again for the offers for copies. Plan is to swing back to his shop tomorrow morning, load it on his trailer and make the 25 mile trip to my shop. Pretty excited to land a really nice Bridgeport! I only shot one picture while in his shop.

    The owner used to have 3 mills and 3 lathes, did small odd jobs. He and his wife downsized housing a few years ago and are preparing to move south. He sold off another Bridgeport, an Alliant, and a couple of lathes. He plans on keeping his SB 13". So, nothing else to take a look at.

    Bruce

    20170915_124902.jpg
     
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  11. brino

    brino Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Congratulations Bruce.
    It's always exciting to get a new tool in the shop.

    -brino
     
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  12. BGHansen

    BGHansen United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Brino, yes it is exciting to get something new even if it's used. Biggest problem will be finding a space for it, but I'll manage! I figure if the Anilam gives up the ghost, I'll either upgrade it or tear everything off and install a modern DRO and power feeds on the X and Z.

    Bruce
     

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