Pro4848 with CNCDepot S30c Tool changer setup

This is how I have setup my ATC with Jason Parkers excellent M6 macro, hopefully it helps someone get going.

Setting up the CNC Depot ATC on the Avid CNC - Part 1


Part 2 of the setup series - Setting up the CNC Depot ATC on the Avid CNC - Part 2 - YouTube

I’ve been following these videos. They’re great. Thanks so much Bill!

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I’ve watched these a couple times now and they’re great, thank you!

I just ordered (literally today) my S30C and while I wait for it to ship I’m pulling together all the other bits of kit that you need to run these spindles.

I’m curious what air compressor and water mitigation you decided to go with. The options are nearly overwhelming, and I’m trying to decide what I really want to get; something between the cost effectiveness of a pancake compressor and the silent glory of a rotary screw most likely.

I think Husky and maybe even Harbor Freight have models with quiet compressors now. Maybe one of the store staff can plug one in and demo it.

Then rib them for 10% off a ‘demo unit’ :wink:

HAH! Would have never thought of that.

I’ve been considering these air compressors (after an entire day of looking at compressors). They are ordered least to most expensive.

I’m not really all that knowledgeable about compressors and air pressures and volumes of air, hence my day of research. :slight_smile:

I know the marketing over at is “just use a pancake compressor” but I have a dedicated 60 gallon Quincy @ 15 SCFM 175 PSI 100% duty cycle and it runs a lot. While just sitting there doing nothing it is running a continuous pressurization of the case and cooling. The compressor will kick off about every 10 minutes and go from about 135 PSI back up to around 175 PSI.

I live down here in the South-East, Georgia specifically and so I use a Quincy “Non-Cycling Refrigerated Air Dryer” for a dryer.

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@subnoize do you have that QT-54 that I just posted that I’ve been looking at today (we’re are like ships in the night or something)?

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That’s my baby :heart_eyes:

How “quiet” is it, all things considered? My PRO6060 and Oneida VSystem is oddly not too bad once you get out of the basement into the rest of the house; you can hear it, but it’s not terrible (my cuts don’t generally scream too hard). But, I worry about that “air compressor” sound just being raw annoying and harsh. Happy wife and all…

I’d love something that only cycles every half hour or twenty minutes or something… I’d also love a few extra throw away $$$$$$$ and get a rotary screw compressor…

Oh, the joke in the house is it ain’t over until the blue fat lady sings…

She will rumble you out of bed if you have a slow leak like I did back a few years ago.

I would highly recommend getting a 80 gallon version and do get the refrigerated dryer if you are in a humid environment. That passive drying stuff is for the birds. The dryer is about as loud as a dehumidifier.

The extra 20 gallons of air will definitely push out the cycling.

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Remember, kids, you’re buying the motor - the capacity is easy to increase. California Air Tools also sells Ultra Quiet motors - you supply the regulator and tank(s). Locate the motor in a tiny soundbox and store the holding tank anywhere.

Correct, and Quincy uses Baldor. If you buy their oil and filter kits they will give your motor and compressor 50,000 hours warranty. I keep a jingle timer of it and keep the scheduled maintenance app from Quincy.

Never found a good enough receiver tank though…

I was looking at those, but they seem to have a lower CFM and thus I’m assuming they will cycle more frequently. The California Air Tools are really interesting to me, if only because they won’t rattle my teeth out of my head.

5.50 CFM @ 40 PSI      
3.50 CFM @ 90 PSI
3.40 CFM @ 100PSI

That is their biggest model they import and its not 100% duty cycle. My problem is I also run a vortex cooler and a Fog Buster when cutting aluminum.

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California Air Tools - 4HP Ultra Quiet

What about something like that?

oh wow, looks like I’m not going to buy anything from California Air Tools.

Piston design (IMO) is fundamentally flawed and almost guaranteed to die an early death.

California Air Tools 12 Month Review

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Here are the points I would consider;

California Air Power Tools

12.80 CFM @ 40 PSI
10.60 CFM @ 90 PSI
Duty Cycle - 70% / 30% 
125 PSI  Maximum Pressure 
No mention of pump life


CFM at Max. PSI	15.2
145–175 working PSI
100% duty cycle @ 15.2 cfm
50,000+ hour pump life

Just remember the working pressure for the S30C is 100 PSI.

No matter what size compressor you get, do set up analog pressure sensors for working pressure and draw bar pressure. Nothing quite like ripping the core of your ATC spindle out because you forgot to turn that fancy quiet compressor on :rofl:

Why two? One is the system pressure, do you have the working pressure? The second is, has the draw bar been actuated?

Somebody got mad and said I was mansplaining which isn’t my intent. I am merely passing along info (which was derived from some bad experiences). If I am stating something you already know, sorry :frowning:

When you release the draw bar you have to lift the spindle 1/8". The reason is the release of the draw bar springs will force the tool down by 1/8". If you don’t lift up then the force will push down on the tool clamp and eventually wear them out as well as strain your bearings in the X axis.

Same goes for engaging the draw bar. You have to seat the spindle 1/8" of an inch. So you come in high, engage and move down as the draw bar pulls the tool upwards. Again, the tool clamp takes the brunt of that motion and the X axis has a pulling motion down in this instance.

What folks also don’t realize is when you do this lifting and seating, you should check that the pressure is actually changing and reverse the operation should the pressure fail to either rise enough to release the draw bar or falls enough to engage the draw bar.

The smoother you make this part of the tool change the longer your S30C will last and your tool posts will remain straight.

Somewhere else I was I was commenting on having a bad Z axis brake and the steps I was losing. That wrecked everything in relation to this very delicate process described above so be careful to watch for signs something isn’t lining up. ATC spindle are that much more expensive to repair so making sure they are stressed as little as possible is your primary objective. That lifting and seating is actually important.

So is knowing the pressure is there to work with.

Here are the pressure sensors I use;

No worries on “mansplaining” with me, I don’t know much and I always appreciate the wisdom of those who went first.

I know this is probably dumb, but for now I’m not actually going to worry about fully automating tool changes, mostly because I don’t have the time to come up with the system and implement it and program it and all the debugging (hardware and software) that goes with that kind of thing. Unfortunately I fall into that “maximize your time not your money” category, and at least for me tinkering is a fantastic way to obliterate days and weeks without realizing it.

I really, really respect all you guys who put so much time into figuring this stuff out; I wish I had the time or could even make the time. I’m envious.

For now, I’m just looking to get faster manual tool changes with a known set of tools (and offsets in Mach) in tool holders. Today I spend more time with manual tool changes than I do actually doing work! I’m looking to do what James from Clough42 does on his mill and a bunch of my machinist friends do. Basically just have a large collection of pre-measured, quickly changable tools that I can swap in and out, manually. When I have some time or someone makes a kit for this machine, eh, then I’ll put some effort into full-automation.

Now, with that said, I really like the pressure sensor concept you mention here. I may not use it for automating tool changes (today) and triggering things in Mach, BUT, I could easily see firing up a quick custom circuit and triggering either an audible alarm or flashing light or something along those lines. Regardless, it’s a smart idea and I’m already thinking of other ways that could be beneficial.

For the air compressor, I’ll probably net out on the Quincy unit in 60 gallon. The 80 gallon is MUCH more expensive and I’m already trying to figure out how to even get it into the basement (down the stairs in the house) without anyone getting hurt. Is it realistic to partly disassemble that unit for easier (lighter, less top heavy) moving up and down residential stairs?

I’m fighting my tinkering side so hard right now!