Cnc lathe donated

Hi alla big thanks to Hawker college for the donation of the cnc lathe.
Big thanks to Ben for getting it.
It need some work but we Have the technology to get it working

Wow. Can’t wait to see “Uploading…” and see it in person & get my grubby hands on it…

… and cries again never had anything like that at my schools :frowning:

Hi Spencer,
Found a treasure trove at

The space has a “compact 5 cnc” model.

I’m heading over today to start the cleanup process. Will attempt to take the steppers off to see if they are actually stepping.

@Rurik, Ben, if you happen to make second contact with the folks at Hawker college could you enquire about:

  1. an old computer monitor that would have been attached
  2. the live centre missing from the tailstock?

Gift horse and all that…


Hey, I am going to go and see them this week as they found some other bits. I don’t think there was a computer monitor as there was some talk about that sort of thing and it wasn’t mentioned.

Am working on it now. Have spindle motor turning and X (cross slide) axis moving.

Looks like the Z stepper motor driver has blown one of the four poles. Will look for the schematic tonight. Don’t imagine this will be too hard to fix.

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The monitor would be a b&w tv or green screen. Input is an RCA socket, not DB-15 vga.

Ill ask but I really doubt it is there, The teacher gave me everything he had related to it and it was set up on its own work station so I don’t think the monitor would of been anywhere else.

Hi all,
been a few weeks since the last status update.

The lathe is currently out of action. Spencer and I spent some time fault finding on Wednesday. The stepper motor driver board (Schrittmotorplatine according to the manufacturer :wink: ) has a couple of blown transistors in the output stage. I’ve replaced one and it is no longer tripping the current limiter on my bench power supply. The other is on order and should arrive next week.

Expect I’ll know more come Wednesday.


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I have been looking at possible monitors I have on hand to connect to the RF output.

  1. An old paper white monitor - unfortunately it is 9 pin TTL, not RF input. Maybe could find TTL signals in the lathe and connect direct?

  2. Modern 16" digital TV, which has RF input - but says it only decodes digital (so no PAL or NTSC analog). It does have an AV input, so that could be a possible way.

So no quick connect options from me.

@sjdavies - do we know what format the RF output is - or what digital signals feed that RF converter?

I believe it has modulated (TV) and unmodulated (composite) outputs. TV Output has one of the sealed modulators, popular in the ‘80s. Probably on vhf channel 3.

Good news, the stepper driver has been repaired. Both Z-axis drive channels are operational.

Bads news, the reason it blew is because the Z-axis stepper motor has shorted turns in one of its four poles.

We could:

  1. Attempt to locate a replacement motor
  2. Attempt to upgrade the controller and stepper motors to something more modern
  3. Replace steppers with manual controls, i.e. convert lathe to manual operation

To be honest, option 3 looks pretty good to me right now. I don’t require a lathe much and when I do I am only making parts on a one of basis. CNC makes sense when making multiple, identical parts.

Anybody else care to share their thoughts?

Also, lathe serial number is A6A 8405029. This means it was manufactured in May 1984 and was the 29th in the monthly batch.

Is there an option for us to use the mechanics as the basis of building our own CNC controller? Ie replace the control motors and build a controller system.

Yes, that was option 2.

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Cool; I mean I make that statement not quite sure of how big a job that would be so feel free to ignore me.

Option 2 is non-trivial.

web searching suggest MAYBE can get another (prob 2nd hand) stepper. Maybe as getting some odd search results and as Stephen has noted stepper has unusual specs and as controller/firmware is locked down hard to replace with dif spec stepper (unless we do something challenging like scale one axis of EVERY design to match new stepper :slight_smile:

Had heard maybe one more part of lathe is still at the donating organisation - is it possible they (or a kindred body) have a spare stepper as well? Can we ask their parent body ( or Australian org?).

Hi all,
Steve K asked me to do a bit of a write up on what I did to fix the lathes stepper motor control board.

I don’t intend posting it here. The best home for it is on the Emco Users group where there is a bunch of other very useful, related info.

Look for the files posted by aushacker.

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As things stand the lathe is non operational due to a blown stepper motor.

I am currently negotiating with a gent in the US who has one or two spares. He hasn’t named a price for the motor(s), I get the impression of free to a good home, but we’re trying to work out a way to get them to Australia on the cheap.

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