Retrofit process for Biesse 321R

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30 Dec 2020 01:16 #193473 by faeluke
My Biesse Rover 321R machine will be loaded on a truck on Monday and with any luck, I can shoehorn it into my garage on Tuesday. I have been reading posts about machines like mine and others. I am wading through the documentation for Linux CNC, I am hoping someone will offer some guidance on the following questions:
  • Several posts have discussed booting the old machine and pulling information from it. What are the pros and cons?
  • What information can I get from booting the old computer and running the old software?
  • How are pod and rail zones handled in LinuxCNC?
  • What is the best order to take in a retrofit?
My process is as follows:

1. RTFM
  • I think it is best to be reading for meaning, As this is my first retrofit, what am I looking for, besides how it all goes together?
2. Safety first
  • Connect the Estop loop up first.
3. Limit switches and motor movement
  • Tuning Servos
  • X
  • Y
  • Z
4. Vacuum system

5. Tool changes
  • Drill selection
  • ATC

I would be interested in any advice, questions, comments or concerns.

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31 Dec 2020 23:11 #193688 by tommylight

  • Several posts have discussed booting the old machine and pulling information from it. What are the pros and cons?
  • What information can I get from booting the old computer and running the old software?
  • How are pod and rail zones handled in LinuxCNC?
  • What is the best order to take in a retrofit?

Not sure what is the benefit of the first besides bellow mentioned, can get plenty of info but as far as i can tell not much use for the second, no idea for the third, and take it easy and read a lot for the fourth.
Powering on the machine and checking that the drives are fully functional is a good idea, can save a lot of headache, also checking the sensors and tool changer with detailed procedure for a tool change and homing the changer, valves, e-stops, etc. Then using a DVM to find and measure power supplies and what exactly they supply, how the security features are implemented, etc.
Then when the time to start retrofitting comes, have a look at this, it has plenty of info about the procedures required and wiring and testing:
forum.linuxcnc.org/10-advanced-configura...ning-detailed-how-to
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02 Jan 2021 00:12 #193775 by faeluke

Powering on the machine and checking that the drives are fully functional is a good idea, can save a lot of headache, also checking the sensors and tool changer with detailed procedure for a tool change and homing the changer, valves, e-stops, etc. Then using a DVM to find and measure power supplies and what exactly they supply, how the security features are implemented, etc.

Given that this is my first Rodeo...
What are your thoughts on using a pair of 7I70 cards to sniff a boatload of digital signals as I exercise various functions of the machine?

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02 Jan 2021 00:30 #193777 by tommylight

What are your thoughts on using a pair of 7I70 cards to sniff a boatload of digital signals as I exercise various functions of the machine?

Using them as logic analyser ? Nice idea ! :)
They are pretty slow compared to the real thing, but then the real thing that can handle 32V on the inputs is north of $$$$ <have no clue> and sure as hell having 48 inputs would send that price skyrocketing faster than SpaceX !
The important thing is for this purpose it will do just fine, and 1 should be more than enough, it does have 48 inputs and i doubt you can monitor more than one part of the machine at any given time.

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02 Jan 2021 01:24 #193780 by faeluke

The important thing is for this purpose it will do just fine, and 1 should be more than enough, it does have 48 inputs and i doubt you can monitor more than one part of the machine at any given time.


Just from a sanity point, I was thinking of only monitoring 1 section at a time. In the retrofit, I was potentially going to use two 7I70s in different parts of the machine in an attempt to reduce the amount of cabling from the control unit to the machine. This wires up the units and starts the process while I learn more about the machine.

When I started to consider your comments and my lack of knowledge of how a pod and rail machine works, the idea of using the 7i70 cards as a logic analyzer seemed like a means to an end. I have a couple of high-end oscilloscopes that I can use to get real-time measurements if the need arises.
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08 Jan 2021 15:35 #194503 by bevins
I usually power up machines first to try and see what is working and what solenoids relays use and follow schematics.
Good idea to see any error messages on drives, inverters etc......

I use 7i70 and 7i71 alot with 7i74 and 7i77. I have done a Biesse 321, 346, 20 and a few other Biesse's.
Good to have schematics. I am doing a remote retrofit on a Biesse rover 20 now. Biesse has great schematics and wire labels.
Real easy to follow, especially their pre green lite loop.
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08 Jan 2021 15:38 #194505 by bevins
POD and rail machines you have to create your own procedural logic on how you want to operate the machine.
point to point they call it, which is difficult to replicate but not really needed when using a good cam.

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08 Jan 2021 17:23 #194519 by faeluke
Thanks, Bob!

I had read most of your posts before I decided to buy the machine. In the back of my mind, I have been thinking that this road has been traveled before and that voices of reason will guide me back onto it when I take inevitable wrong turns.

The machine is now in my garage and I am in the process of setting it up for power on. I will post pictures in another thread. I agree that the Biesse schematics are very well labeled. I spent a couple of hours doing the overview of them this morning. I have the full stack of manuals along with Biesse software with the parallel port hardware key, and customer training manuals. I am in overwhelm mode now.

Tommy's post had convinced me to do the power-on last week, I appreciate the second opinion in that direction. There appears to be quite a safety loop on this thing and clearing all the hurdles makes sense. My Tool changer is different and I want to understand how that was implemented so that the process of making it work in LCNC goes smoothly.

It appears that the rails are tied into the serial outputs of the XNC compact, in your 321R retrofit, are the displays connected?

Do you think there is any benefit to documenting the XNC serial bus protocol?
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08 Jan 2021 20:11 - 08 Jan 2021 20:13 #194538 by bevins

Thanks, Bob!

I had read most of your posts before I decided to buy the machine. In the back of my mind, I have been thinking that this road has been traveled before and that voices of reason will guide me back onto it when I take inevitable wrong turns.

The machine is now in my garage and I am in the process of setting it up for power on. I will post pictures in another thread. I agree that the Biesse schematics are very well labeled. I spent a couple of hours doing the overview of them this morning. I have the full stack of manuals along with Biesse software with the parallel port hardware key, and customer training manuals. I am in overwhelm mode now.

Tommy's post had convinced me to do the power-on last week, I appreciate the second opinion in that direction. There appears to be quite a safety loop on this thing and clearing all the hurdles makes sense. My Tool changer is different and I want to understand how that was implemented so that the process of making it work in LCNC goes smoothly.

It appears that the rails are tied into the serial outputs of the XNC compact, in your 321R retrofit, are the displays connected?

Do you think there is any benefit to documenting the XNC serial bus protocol?


Many have been down that road of trying to reverse engineer. No one to my knowledge has achieved this and most fall back on scrapping the rs485 modules. proprietary protocol really fast and just not worth the time and effort. Especially if you don't do this daily would take forever to figure out.

The key to these machines is the front end logic with the green light and push button. Powerup and try to get a green light. You will see all the mag switches and such the estop loop and emerg ropes etc all chain on this loop that needs to be clear before you can do anything else on this machine.

I am doing a rover 20 now and just got the pre loop figured out. just some thoughts.

After that it is just getting the spindle/vfd worked out, usually pot emu interface works well and enabling the drives and getting the control to the drives. After that input/outputs and then remapping for tool change.

That's about it... lol
Last edit: 08 Jan 2021 20:13 by bevins.
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08 Jan 2021 20:51 - 08 Jan 2021 20:52 #194542 by bevins
Not sure what you are talking about with real time analyzers with the p[od machines.

I use 7i70 and 7i71 along with 7i74 and put the 7i70,7i71 in the machine and not in the control panel.
I have done Biesse 346 with over 120 inputs and 98 outputs. I had boards all over the machine. The 7I74 is nice so you can put up to 8 i/o cards so you would have plenty of I/O. The scanning of the inputs is not a problem for the CNC machines because it is not really time eccentric in a since. So no problem with those cards using for I/O for your Biesse machine.
Last edit: 08 Jan 2021 20:52 by bevins.

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