Light Machines Prolight 2000 and SpectraLight mills - RC Groups
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Jan 26, 2011, 05:50 AM
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Light Machines Prolight 2000 and SpectraLight mills

This is my Spectralight mill. Took it appart for cleaning, so took some pictures. Light Machines started with Sherline mill parts added an enclosure, and moved the spindle motor control into the enclosure. It is run by a Deepgroove controller, based around its Gecko G540. I use Mach3 software to drive it. Has an Minaric Bm-3 motor controller for the original spindle. The spindle has an ER-16 collet adapter. Also have a Wolfgang spindle.

I added the A2Z CNC column riser blocks, z column steeper mount, super gibbs, spindle extended mount, and tooling plate. In the tooling plate I added mounting holes to move the plate to the edge of the table, so I don't loose travel.

For removing the steepers I show several pictures. On these mills the coupler setscrew can be hard to get out. So best to use a good allen wrench if it has not been removed in a long time. If you can't get the set screw out, the factory coupler can be pulled out until it Breaks in half. Easy to break it off, you'll have to buy a new coupler. Now you can get to the set screw to drill it off the steeper motor.

For the blue ways cover I used pump discharge hose from Home Depot.

The A2Z super gibbs are printed abs with turcite edges. They are tapered for adjustment. I push them in tighter than the stock gibbs, since they run smoother. I trimmed them off a little long incase further adjusment is needed.

And some of the parts made on this machine pictured at the end.

Link to video of the Mill with Wolfgang spindle, cutting carbon/balsa laminate.
Last edited by Roto Rob; Feb 01, 2014 at 08:30 PM.
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Feb 08, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Just replaced the bearings in my motor. This motor is mostly like a Sherline mills motor It uses two 608-2RS bearings. The Skateboard shops sell some like it ,but they usually have a larger inner hole diameter. These are pressed on, the skate bearings are a slightly loose slip fit.
I got partly done before I started taking pictures, so skipped a little.
-First remove the two through bolts.
-pull the front cover plate (shaft end of motor) out a little bit. If you pull it to far, you can damage the brushes. Just enough to get a large puller in. Use puller to pull off the front cover plate.
-The bearing in the front plate is secured by a washer in a groove. I used a punch and hammer to push the bearing and the washer out. It takes some force since the washer has to cone itself to get out of the groove.
-Install new front bearing. To get the washer retainer back in the groove, I bent it into more of a cone shape. Worked my way around it with crescent wrenches forming it into a cone. Then set one end into the groove. worked my way around tapping it into the groove. Once it was in I placed the old bearing on top of the washer, and gave it a solid wack with a hammer to flatten it.
-With the front cover plate off you can pull off the center motor housing. It has the magnets in it, so be carefull to hold the rotor back so as not to damage the brushes. They are very soft, and easy to break.
-Now your left with the rotor and back plate. Grab the brush wires and pull them outward until the spring is out to the side of the brush. This will hold the brushes out from the communtator.
-Now the Rotor is free to be pulled out from the back plate. the bearing should stay on the rotor shaft.
-To remove this bearing I didn't have a good puller thin enough to grab it. So I used a dremmel with a diamond wheel to cut off the bearings outer race. Then I slotted the inner race. I didn't cut all the way through, so I would not damage the rotor shaft. Used a flat bladed screwdriver to pry the slot enough to loosen the race from the shaft. It pulled easily off now.
-Pressed the new bearing onto the shaft. I used the old slotted inner race to press against the new bearings inner race, to install the new bearing.
-I cleaned the communtator with scotch bright. Then used a plastic toothpick to clean the grooves between the communtator contacts. Then a good spray of electronics cleaner.
-Now for assembly
-Press out the cap in the center of the back plate, Might need to drill a hole if yours does not have a cap.
-Push the rotor into the back plate. Push in the brushes.
-Install the center housing, The magnets will pull once again. So try not to let the rotor pull on the brushes.
-Now to press on the front plate. I used a scrap of aluminum to hole the back of the rotor shaft. For the front I used the old slotted bearing inner race, an old skate bearing, and a deep socket. Pressed the front plate in until it is against the circle clip. It is a little hard to see, so had to stop and check a few times.
-now install the two through bolts. And press in the cap on the back plate.
-Your done. I ran the motor slowly for awhile to seat the brushes. I sanded the brushes smooth instead of replacing them since they had lots of life left.
I think I got it all covered.
Last edited by Roto Rob; Feb 08, 2011 at 05:22 AM.
Mar 02, 2011, 03:42 AM
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Thats one clean looking Shirline Rob!!
Mar 03, 2011, 11:52 PM
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Thanks, It gets lots of use, so gets cleaned often. If I'm in the shop, its probably running.

I have a larger mill being shipped now. Will see if I can find room for both.
Mar 18, 2011, 04:55 AM
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This is the ER-16 collet holder I use.

Found room for the new mill. It will be a major project to update. Think I'll start a thread for it when I get its game plan decided on.
Mar 24, 2011, 05:24 AM
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Think I'll just continue on in here, since its the same manufacture, Light Machines/Intelitek. I'll change the title to include the Prolight 2000.

Has a nice lift ring on top. Was able to use an engine hoist to lift it out of the truck, and onto the table. Should be around 500 pounds. Table, computer, mill with a vice, pallet, and a little tooling came in at 750 pounds.
Took some of the back panel electronics out, to check condition. Traced out wires to understand it better. All looks fine, so put it back in.
Tested all the limit switches, servo's, and encoders. All checked out good.

Decided to plug it in an see what happens. My main computer was having connection problems. So went to the old included computer. Stripped it down to just Dos version 7, and the PLM2000 software. Works great except when I use the mouse, I get connection problems. So I need to play around with the serial port. Or just leave the mouse still, and use the keyboard.

So far I really like this mill. Smooth, quiet, and fast.
Last edited by Roto Rob; Mar 24, 2011 at 05:38 AM.
Mar 31, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Started on a tooling plate today. Turned out fairly good so far. I did mess up a hole. I installed bolts under the plate, as alignment stops. I did it before drilling the top holes. I decided to change the top hole positions, and forgot about one of the holes in the bottom. So that hole ended up a little oval when it went into the hole underneath. A bolt still holds ok in it, so I'll fix it later.
Apr 06, 2011, 02:32 AM
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Did a little work on the SpectraLight mill. Installed new Omron A22-01 dual pole E-stop switch. This way I can use it to signal the Deepgroove controller separate from the Spindle controller. The Minarik VFD spindle control didn't like being grounded to the Deepgroove controller e-stop circuit.

Installed new spindle speed control pot. I turned the old one too hard one day, and made it unreliable. The new one has these markings, Pec Canada 1001 Ks3u1031s28 10K. A little hard to find. Intelitek pn22-5300-0001 if you want it right away.

Added the connections to the Deepgroove for Spindle speed control, remote e-stop, 10volt input for spindle reference, and 4 inputs for things like limit\home switches, probes, etc. Used an adjustable wall wart for the Gecko G540 spindle reference signal. It only does standard 12v, 9v, etc. So I get a little faster spindle on 12 volts, I think it will be ok on 12v. 10 volts seams to be hard to obtain around these parts, might have to make one.
Last edited by Roto Rob; May 16, 2011 at 09:23 PM.
Apr 23, 2011, 11:17 PM
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saved for later
Last edited by Roto Rob; May 03, 2011 at 05:19 AM.
Apr 26, 2011, 05:39 AM
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Moving on from the smaller mill, I thought that I better get the Prolight 2000 up to speed fairly quickly.
Decided the X axis had to much backlash. The Y, and Z have zero as far as I can measure. Ok for most of what I do. I was doing some engraving, and the backlash really showed up on the lettering.

I removed the X axis ball screw. I'll have a description of how its done if it works out.

The ball screw, and nut look to be in good shape. I think it is mostly ball bearing wear. A few problems I have found is figuring the size of replacement ball I need. I haven't found the specs on the original ball size, they are curently 0.1205 inches. About 7 of the 47 in it, where 0.120 inches. The ball nut is an IBL, and has these markings 31-0800-0073, and R16-05-33-0421-080, ORIGIN EEC UK, and Ser. 70488/26. I did some looking but didn't find any info on the nut. Don't wan't to order a new one, since this looks to have lots of life left.
I need to make a spanner wrench to remove the ball nut from the table. When I do I'll put the balls back in, and try to measure the replacement ball size. I might have to just order a few sizes, since these small clearances are hard for me to measure.
Last edited by Roto Rob; Apr 27, 2011 at 03:52 AM.
Apr 27, 2011, 04:58 AM
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Made a spanner wrench out of 3/4" gas pipe. Lathed the inside diameter. Then milled the slots on the drill press, with an X-Y table. Could have made it a little longer to make it easier to install the nut with the ballscrew. Will just use a pipe wrench instead of the T-handle.

Steps to remove the X axis. Remove the travel stop bolt on the underside of the table, on opposite end from the servo. Remove the limit switch stop bracket on saddle. Remove the ballscrew nut from the pulley end. The opposite end of the ballscrew has flats for a wrench, to hold it when removing the nut. Next slide the table off the slide rails. Set it next to the mill if you did not remove the wires. This leaves the ballscrew and nut on the saddle. Do not turn the ballscrew out of the nut unless you want to repack the ball bearings (like I did). If you do, keep track of the bearings, since they are matched in size. New balls should be installed as a set, and lapped to fit.

To remove the ball nut, and ballscrew from the saddle. Remove the set screw on top of the saddle (it is over the threads to lock the ball nut in place). There is a small plastic nub in the hole under the set screw to protect the threads. Try not to misplace it, mine stayed in place. place the spanner wrench over the ball nut, and turn it out. Mine not stuck, and was easy to remove. Might need some heat if stuck.

For Y axis, remove the control box. Let it hang below, will need to unplug the servo wires. Remove the 2 bolts that hold the limit switch. Remove the two bolts that attach the way covers to the end clamp, and the back way cover unbolt from the saddle. Remove the two clamp bolts. Pull the clamp off the end of the rails. Now the whole Y axis / saddle assembly can slide off the rails. Now you can remove its ballscrew the same as the other axis.

Steps to reball the nut. The ball nut has three return circuts. Has a plastic return button for each circuit. The circuit covers two threads. Remove the plastic wiper on the end of the ballnut opposite the threads. It is held in by a set screw. This is to make it easier to see what your doing. I placed a small amount of grease in the nuts threads, and placed each ball in the circuit with a small screw driver tip. Had a little grease in the tip to hold the ball. Divided the balls into 3 sets. I think I'm missing some balls. 16 in each looked about right, will have to wait for the new balls to figure the number out. Started in the back. ----Be sure not to place a ball in any threads outside of the circuits.---- Reinstall the plastic wiper, but leave the set screw loose so the ball screw can be easily threaded back in. Hold the ball screw vertical. Now slowly thread the ball screw in from the side opposite the threads (the side you just installed the wiper in. I looked down the ball nut with a light as I threaded it in. Looking to make sure the balls stayed in place. If they fall out you will have to start over. Now rotate the nut to see that it turns smoothly. Don't forget to tighten up the wipers set screw. The set screw will tighten the wiper up against the ballscrew. So check backlash, etc. before you tighten it.
Apr 28, 2011, 04:32 AM
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I took the Y axis ball nut appart. The balls are .1240. So I put them in the X axis nut. They where close but still a little small. I think I will order .125 inch ball bearings for it. The Y axis nut had 15 ball in the first, and last circuits. It had only 13 in the center circuit. I'm thinking they have been lost in past cleanings. I'm not familar with this type of nut, on how many ball should be in it. On the ones with return tubes I used to pack it full and remove one. With the plastic return button, I'm not sure how tight they should be packed. These can hold several more balls around 16-18 per circuit.
I'll have to do some research.
Apr 28, 2011, 02:51 PM
Registered User
Hi Roto Rob
Great Pictures
I just got a old ProLight 2000 just starting out with it
If you use a ps2 keyboard and usb mouse with a ps2 adapter
It will work great no connection problems
(com 1 and usb do not work well with each other)

reply to this
Mar 24, 2011 05:24 AM
Works great except when I use the mouse, I get connection problems. So I need to play around with the serial port. Or just leave the mouse still, and use the keyboard.
Apr 28, 2011, 06:28 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the info, I will try a different mouse. Without the mouse mine works fine, so figured a conflict. Mine is a ps2 wheeled mouse. I'll try a basic mouse.
Feel free to post about your machine. There is not much info out there. I'll keep posting about mine as I go.
Apr 30, 2011, 04:47 AM
Registered User
Decided while I'm at it to do the Z-axis. Removed the motor, to make the spindle lighter, and easier to remove. Its ball nut had 15, 13, and 15 ball bearings, like the Y axis. Its bearings where an assortment of sizes. Came out in about 5 size groups from .121 to .124. It had very little backlash, but I will need to replace the balls. I ordered a few differnet sizes of balls. Will try them out, since it is almost impossible for me to measure accurate enough to calculate the best size.

Some info on the mill. The Spindle was sold as a 10,000 rpm spindle. I don't know if this is the original motor. The motor is a Baldor 1hp, 6700 rpm, 90vdc, spec#25a0042005. The gear on the motor is a 40 tooth, on the spindle it is 30 tooth. Has a Goodyear belt 140XL037. The way covers are Gortite Vulca seals by A&A MFG CO. Limit switches are marked V-10G-1C24-K, 10 amp 1/2 hp, 125 250 VAC, and 0.1 amp at 125 VDC. Looks like it is an Omron brand switch.
Last edited by Roto Rob; Apr 30, 2011 at 04:59 AM.

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