Author Topic: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons  (Read 3877 times)

Offline sshire

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Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« on: June 03, 2015, 01:41:31 PM »
Out of Control

New controls for the Bridgeport

When I got my Bridgeport, one of the first things I did was to install a VFD. It's an Automation Direct GS-2 (2.0 hp 220v single phase in/ 220v three phase out) and has been working without any issues. I made a holder for the control panel (which can be removed from the case) with a magnetic base which sat on the BPs table. The display was set to display RPM.
This was a pretty good solution as it could be moved easily and remained where I put it.
The downside was the tiny size of the buttons. Fine for starting; not so good if I needed to hit the stop button quickly (not that I ever needed to do that!).



So, 18 months or so later, the stop button (which still works fine) disintegrated. The Run button is also on its way out.



A call to Automation Direct had a replacement panel on the way (no charge).

I think the mill was jealous of Oliver's big, Allen-Bradley push buttons. But, Oliver was built when the AB push buttons were probably $10.00 each.
A quick check showed that they're now around $100.00 per button. Don't think so. ($100 x 3 + $200 for a pot + a case + legend plates)
After a bit of research, I found a company that makes industrial push buttons in Georgia, WEG, USA. According to my local electrical supply, the WEG buttons are very high quality and priced reasonably.
Here's what I got.



After working my way through the VFD manual and figuring out which parameters to set, I had the buttons working on the bench.

So, just a matter of hooking things up permanently and mounting everything in the case.



After thinking about placement and mounting, I attached a pipe flange to some .75" plywood with threaded T-nuts and lag bolted this to the ceiling joists. Easy, as I had removed a large section of the ceiling to get the Bridgeport into the basement.



The push button case was mounted to a section of black iron pipe and threaded into the flange. I had drilled a 1" hole through the flange center in the plywood. This allowed the wire to be fed through the pipe and out the top.

The original control panel is now mounted over the DROs so I have a display of RPM.



All done. Much better. Now the Bridgeport isn't jealous of Oliver.






« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 02:00:12 PM by sshire »
Best,
Stan

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 02:09:37 PM »
That looks fantastic Stan and much more robust than the original control pad too!!  I like that a lot and if the push buttons are as good as claimed it should serve you well forever.

Bill

Offline sshire

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 02:30:59 PM »
The feature I liked about these buttons is that they can be N.O. or N.C. depending on which module is snapped in. They are the rectangles below the switches.
Best,
Stan

Offline cwelkie

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 02:38:08 PM »
Thanks for providing the incentive to get serious about finding a similar enclosure ...
I have the same VFD with the same control switch membrane wear - still have the original speed control knob though  :D
Over the past few months I've gathered up all the switches and speed potentiometer but haven't taken the next step.  (AB stuff from surplus/redundant control panels.)

Yours looks the business and I'm sure feels much more appropriate too.
Cheers
Charlie

Offline tvoght

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 02:39:21 PM »
This is great Stan. It's something that's been needing done here for a long time. I couldn't find those big healthy pushbuttons from my usual sources, so the heads up on the WEG buttons was very helpful. I found an online distributor of WEG products who appear willing to deal with a small-time yahoo like myself:

http://www.factorymation.com

I see they also have the big mushroom-style emergency stop buttons, which I had in mind.

Thanks again Stan.

--Tim

Offline sshire

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 02:56:30 PM »
Hey, Tim
My electrical guy pointed me to factorymation. They were very good. Originally shipped the wrong size legend plates. Quick email and 2 days later, I had them.
The snap in modules are interesting in that each switch can accept 2. One could have the same switch operating as both N.O. and N.C. 

Charlie
The AB stuff is beyond first-rate. Good job rescuing them.
Best,
Stan

Offline maury

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 06:16:32 PM »
Stan, looks great.

I have been getting my switches from a place called "Surplus Center". They are on the web.

MAURY
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Offline sshire

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 06:24:20 PM »
Now he tells me! Thanks, Maury. That's a great source.
Best,
Stan

Offline rklopp

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 05:37:11 AM »
I assembled a very similar FactoryMation operator station for my drill press VFD. I used the 22-mm WEG buttons, FWD/REV rotary operator, and 10k speed pot. It's way better than the OEM controls. FactoryMation has the kits pre-selected with the proper-size box. There's not much more to do than assemble the kit and wire it up.

I have to ask: what's with two DROs?

Offline sshire

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2015, 11:28:28 AM »
I had put a 2-axis DRO on my first mill, a Grizzly G0704.
A some point, I bought an identical head on Craigslist which was listed as "does not work. Good for parts."
One day, just being curious as to what was inside, I opened it up and found a soldered-in fuse which was blown. Quick trip to Radio Shack (RIP) and I had it working. When I got the Bridgeport, I ordered a scale and had a DRO on the Z. So, one DRO is XY and the other is Z. I suppose I could use the remaining display for a Quill DRO but the Mitutoyo scale works just fine.
End of DRO saga.
Best,
Stan

Offline Bobsmodels

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2015, 06:08:13 PM »
Stan

Nice looking setup.  My TECO 2 hp had a control setup that let me just wire up the original BP switch to do the controlling.  I just added a POT in the box
then everything was all together, just like your setup. 

I am a day late in seeing the switches, I just ordered a set for my new 10HP RPC for start/stop.  The ones I ordered are within a dollar of what I ordered so not too bad.

Bob


Offline kvom

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2015, 06:45:03 PM »
I have the same VFD on my mill and the same remote panel.  Like yours, I soon ran through the buttons and needed a new remote panel.  Didn't know they were warrantied as I paid for the 2nd one.  It's on its way out I think.  Automation Direct is a few miles from my house, so I may stop in to see if I can get a free replacement as you did.  Your button idea is a good one, but I'm happy with the little panel where it is.

Offline sshire

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Re: Out of Control - Pushing the Bridgeport's Buttons
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2015, 07:05:32 PM »
Not really a warrantee issue. I guess I annoyed them enough that it was easier to replace the panel than listen to more of my complaining.
I would mention that people on the forum have all had disintegrating buttons and we aren't running three shifts.
Best,
Stan