I have decided not to sell my Kasuga NC mill and up date it instead with the The Enhanced Machine Control open source project. This is similar to Megasquirt open source EFI except it runs on Linux. The advantage is it is state of the art NC machine tool user interface that is rapidly improving with hundreds of programmers and engineers working on it around the world. If you buy a ten year old Fadal or Hass for $20,000 you will soon run into its computer limitations. Computers have evolved in the mean time and so too the NC mill user interface.
Used Kasuga's and Shizoka's can be had for as little as $3,000 with crapped out or obsolete controllers and they are heavy duty mills weighing in the neighborhood of 10,000 pounds. These are rigid machines indeed and when it comes to rigidity and damping there is no replacement for tons of cast iron :) It is the best of both worlds. Low cost, very rigid precision milling machines combined with the best user interfaces and the latest in powerful computers.
I popped over to Albuquerque to see Tom Feldvebel's really nice implementation. Tom is an artist by college education but he gravitated into self taught engineering and did a really fine job on the Kasuga upgrade. He also flies a sail plane. He very graciously agreed to help me with mine and we are going to have a How To Kasuga Update section on the ACRE web site similar to the MegaSquirt web site.
Yes I converted my own Kasuga. Mine came with a Bandit III controller which eventually gave up a puff of smoke and started jerking spasmodically. It took me a good month full time to do the conversion, which included installing new Renco encoders, Advanced Motion servo amps, etc. etc. I am using a small pc (Shuttle XPC) with a 9 year old AMD processor + 1 gig of ram, and it has plenty of power to make things move fast and smooth. I use a Mesa Electronics 5i20 board & a 7i33 board to do the encoder counting and output the -10V to +10V analog servo velocity command. Here is a link to Mesa's web, check out the motion control cards: http://www.mesanet.com/
Here is a link to the EMC2 community where you can do a search on any topic you are interested in and ask questions and get answers. http://news.gmane.org/gmane.linux.distributions.emc.user
Here is a link to an open source forum that I contributed to in which we developed a design for a cheap servo amplifier to be used with EMC2 and the Pluto P parallel interface motion controller.
Here is a link to a youtube video in which I tested my servo amplifier / Pluto P card on my Kasuga.
Here is a link to an open source forum that I contributed to in which we developed a design for a cheap servo amplifier to be used with EMC2 and the Pluto P parallel interface motion controller. (this link dumps you in the middle of the thread where I was wrapping up my design and testing it - you might have to join in order to view the thread) : http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25929&page=21