Cheap DRO I found!!

Topics include, Machine Tools & Tooling, Precision Measuring, Materials and their Properties, Electrical discussions related to machine tools, setups, fixtures and jigs and other general discussion related to amateur machining.

Moderators: Harold_V, websterz, GlennW

Post Reply
pmoose
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:42 am
Location: Conover, NC

Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by pmoose » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:41 pm

Heres a link to a cheap universal 2 axis DRO. I was surfing on Amazon and found it on one of their external links. Has anybody bought this before and have any comments? Do you think its a scam or legit?! If its good, im definately going to buy it.
http://www.tpactools.com/2-Axis-DRO-MIL ... _p_21.html

heisler0
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:06 pm
Location: Brunswick, MD

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by heisler0 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:34 pm

I haven't seen or used one but would like to here about as i am looking for one for my mill also.

Torch
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by Torch » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:33 pm

It took me a bit to confirm it, but I bought the 3-axis version about 2-1/2 years ago from that same fellow via eBay for $390 plus shipping. Very similar, excepting it has one more axis of course.

I have no complaints about the quality. Mine is well made -- cast aluminium housing, solid brackets, etc. The arm for the head allows it to swivel in both directions at the head, and swing side to side at the mounting point (wall, in my case). Display is large and bright with good contrast. Buttons are large, reasonably spaced and confirm a press with a beep. The glass scales come with ample length, metal-shielded cables and double-lip seals plus aluminium splash shields. Plus a reasonable supply of socket-cap mounting screws (metric though. 4 or 5mm, IIRC). Oh, and a clear vinyl splash cover for the display head itself that I figured would last about 10 days, but is still protecting the keyboard from oily fingers even after two winters (lows of -40 around here).

I opened it up and examined the guts. Well laid out circuits, properly shielded, MOV surge protection sufficient for ordinary voltage variations, isolated power supply of adequate capacity, etc. Still going strong, never a problem.

It has a lot of features -- bolt-hole circles, lines, inside and outside arc radii, slopes, configurable axis direction, direct reading of radius or diameter, tool wear compensation, scale compensation (two algorithms), automatic mold shrinkage calculations, etc. etc. and my very favourite: automatic centering.

It will remember it's settings if the power is lost -- provided the table is not moved in the meantime, of course. Even if the table is moved, it's possible to pick it up again by moving the table so the scales pass the center point. INC mode is relative to the ABS settings, and there are 200 memory points (also relative to the ABS setting). All that plus a cheesy calculator, but the scale readings can be directly inported into the calculator or vice-versa.

Cons: only 2 scale brackets, neither of which was completely suitable. Had to make my own (fortunately, I have a mill for just such an emergency!). Bolt hole circles can only be calculated in metric, not inches for some strange reason. Controls are one of those membrane sheets that just dimple slightly when you push them rather than nice solid buttons with a distinct stroke like a keyboard. The manual is in Chinglesh. Very poor Chinglesh at that. Thank God there's pictures! And no brand name -- anywhere. Nothing inside or outside, nothing in the manual, nothing on the box. This is a white-label DRO!

But despite the cons, overall I'm very pleased and would recommend it.


OK, just dug out the photos I took when I received it. Here's a few samples:
03_front_panel-800.jpg
04_rear-800.jpg
05_unzipped-800.jpg
06_back_of_the_back-800.jpg
07_Digestive_tract-800.jpg

RSG
Posts: 1099
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:59 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by RSG » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:10 pm

Sounds like Torch likes his!

The only thing I'd like is a phone number. I prefer to talk to someone should there be an issue. Not a spokesperson for DRO PROs but they are quick to help on the phone, call you back and back their product. I bought two of their magnetic scale versions and am very happy with their service. In the end that's what seems to count in the long run at least for me.
Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.

John Evans
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Phoenix ,AZ

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by John Evans » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:57 pm

Yep and DROPROs manual is in real American English. But the price IS tempting for one to put on the old Round Ram BP.
www.chaski.com

pmoose
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:42 am
Location: Conover, NC

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by pmoose » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:26 am

thanks for all the input, especially the pics. For the price, its extremely tempting!! I already have machine scales on my mill that im using for a DRO but id like to have a real DRO system. This might be my next purchase

stevec
Posts: 1949
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: N.S. Canada

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by stevec » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:57 pm

pmoose wrote:I already have machine scales on my mill that im using for a DRO but id like to have a real DRO system.
I'm kinda curious about that??

EdK
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:20 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by EdK » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:32 am

stevec wrote:
pmoose wrote:I already have machine scales on my mill that im using for a DRO but id like to have a real DRO system.
I'm kinda curious about that??
My guess is he's talking about something like this:

http://www.tpactools.com/Digital-DRO-Scales_c_8.html

Ed
Vectrax 14x40 lathe, Enco RF-45 clone mill, MillerMatic 180 MIG.

Torch
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Muskoka

Re: Cheap DRO I found!!

Post by Torch » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:54 am

Strange Coincidence???

I just received an email from an "efastools" (at aol dot com). If you note the pictures in the ads for this DRO, they are watermarked with that name, although that is not the e-mail address of the vendor.

No subject, just a spam link.

Really odd considering this recent thread.

Post Reply