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Offline traTopic starter

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Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« on: May 24, 2017, 10:38:26 pm »
I operate a PCB prototyping lab that has grown over the years from a single Protomat S62 to the setup we have now:

-Protomat S62
-Protomat S63
-Protolaser U4
-Multipress S
-MiniContac RS x2
-Contac S4

I've been hoping to find (or create) a group for LPKF users to help each other out and share what is going on in their world of prototyping. I fabricate a lot of boards, and I've run into and solved a lot of issues, modified my equipment, and created processes that technically aren't within the scope of what this equipment should be doing. It'd be awesome to bounce ideas off of one another instead of having to lean on technical support any time an issue pops up. Does this interest anyone else?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:45:01 pm by tra »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 10:40:22 pm »
As per email, I don't there is enough interest in this to warrant a new forum section.
I can make it a sticky thread in this section though?
 
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Offline traTopic starter

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 10:43:50 pm »
That would be awesome! Yes, please make a sticky.  :-+
 

Offline lectrohamlincoln

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 10:22:25 pm »
I just joined the LPKF club!

This weekend I brought an old Protomat 93s back to life. It took quite a bit of fiddling, but I can control it from a Windows 10 laptop over a usb-to-parallel port adapter. Work flow is Kicad -> LPKF CircuitPro PM 2.3 -> BoardMaster 5.1.214 -> Protomat 93s. Big thanks to LPKF for having old software and manuals available for download.

Does anyone have any advice for two layer board registration and via plating?
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 01:05:35 pm »
I run a PCB prtotyping service in Brisbane.

Initially i looked at LPKF and Japanese MITS products and in the end decided to roll my own.
On the question of hole wall activation i used to use Atotech palladium based hole wall activation process however local supplier of chemistry no longer stocks it but will bring it in as a special order...with a special price tag.

Have started to experiment with a pyrolytic copper nano particle  activation process...so far it is performing extremely well both in terms of lower maintenance ( in fact zero maintenance cost) than palladium and good hole wall coverage.
Have tested it in both double sided and multilayer work. ( tested on Probot flying probe tester).
Early in the piece i settled on tooling pin registration at known location on machine bed so that data flipping in combination with tooling post guarantees good registration outv
comes.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 05:12:46 pm »
I have an LPKF C60 machine but have not used it for a while. I can get quality boards so cheap that sometimes it is easier to schedule the work and order boards. I would like to use the machine again but found it was a bit time consuming for double sided boards without having a proper plating system in place. I would be very interesting to hear more about the pyrolytic copper nano particle  activation process.

Registration for double sided boards would always need a slight adjustment - maybe an issue with this particular unit but once running the results were very good. Always very accurate milling. I am surprised people have made money out of prototyping services. How do people price that up? Do you have full solder resist processes setup as well?

Trev

 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 09:30:46 pm »
Trev,

The basic process consists of desmearing drilled holes in either alkaline pickle ( in our case ) or an acidic solution to remove epoxy from the holes melted and deposited by the drilling process. Particularly important in case of multilayer work.
Subsequent steps are quite straight foirward.

Immerse the de smeared laminate in magic potion.
Dry in a hot oven at some low temperature way below Tg of the laminate
Take the temperature up to 140C for a short stint during which the chemistry goes through pyrolysis ( you can see puffs of smoke rising from laminate)
remove from oven the surface is now covered in brown metallic copper particles.
Either wash the surface clean making sure the barrel is not affected by washing process or use electro polishing to remove surface deposits.
Rinse post wash / electro polish dunk in sulphuric acid as a pre conditioner to electroplating...

Electroplate for a few minutes..inspect.. and possibly repeat activation in case a hole is not plating up.

With experience the second bite of the cherry fades into folklore ( you become good at it).
As to the maintenance of magic solution; one of components is ammonia
it will evaporate over time
the solution is sensitive to UV, in fact it will go through pyrolysis  under normal exposure to suns UV irradiation over a period of time.
Keep it in a brown wine bottle ( in a pinch a beer bottle will do)
Keep it refrigerated and stoppered to minimise evaporation losses.

Some of the dry ingredients may be proscribed in your country as the chemistry relies on hypo phosphate and other not so common chemistry often associated with illegal activities.

We were looking for an alternative to colloidal palladium  and came across this concoction. Incomparably simpler to use and maintain than palladium tank.
 
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Offline trevwhite

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 06:25:40 am »
Hi and thanks for the intro to the process. Years ago I set up a colloidal palladium based system. It cost me quite a bit of money and time to set up and it was a pain. I found that sometimes the plate would not attach to the copper. It would lift off in a thin sliver which was really depressing after the amount of work it took to plate the board.

Sounds like it might be quite tricky to get hold of the chemistry for this alternative process..



 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 11:42:56 am »
Problem with colloidal palladium is ensuring the suspension does not drop out..this means constant monitoring of electropotential and dosing with reagent,a pain in the neck
Should the palladium drop out of suspension...you are looking down the throat of a very expensive ( 500 dollars ) mud pile.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 08:56:57 am »
My problem was not with the hole plating. I could get fantastic hole plating. The problem I found was the copper plate was not bonding to the copper laminate half the time. It would just peel off. Maybe I did not clean the boards well enough before final plating and was leaving some barrier on them?

You do have to be careful with the colloidal palladium though. Can not heat it up too quickly. Can not let its temperature drop too low in storage. I did not use it long enough to get to monitoring and dosing it. Maybe I would have experienced even more hassle there.

Is there more information on this new magic potion?




 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 11:55:26 am »
See https://www.eevblog.com/forum/manufacture/plated-through-hole-activator-solution/ for more info on the magic solution...problem is getting hold of the phosphite salts.
I understand it is an ingredient used in cooking nasty stuff.
 
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Offline Jøhnny5

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 04:54:08 pm »
Hello fellow LPKF'rs(?)

For 2 years I used an S62. Last year (early 2017) we upgraded to an H100. Both have been finicky and temperamental. As such I've been wondering what else is out there? What other products are direct competitors with LPKF for PCB prototyping. I haven't used anything but LPKF and do not know the "space" very well.
 

Offline LAPSKRFC

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 11:45:40 pm »
Dear LPKF users,

I'm in the process of setting up an rf lab. I'm planning to purchase both LPKF Protolaser U4 and LPKF Protomat S104 for prototyping. In addition, I am considering the following machines MultiPress S for Multilayer PCBs and LPKF Contac S4 for through-hole plating. Can anybody comment on these machines? Are they reliable or should I think of other options.

Furthermore, in order to do pick and placing I also think of buying the other three machines that they have: LPKF ProtoPrint S for Solder Paste Printers, LPKF ProtoPlace S, and LPKF ProtoFlow S. I would sincerely appreciate if you share your experience with these machines. Instead of these machines I can buy similar machines from DDM Novastar. What do you suggest? If the budget is fine, which one should I go with?
I very much appreciate your help with this.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2019, 12:03:42 am »
Dear LPKF users,

I'm in the process of setting up an rf lab. I'm planning to purchase both LPKF Protolaser U4 and LPKF Protomat S104 for prototyping. In addition, I am considering the following machines MultiPress S for Multilayer PCBs and LPKF Contac S4 for through-hole plating. Can anybody comment on these machines? Are they reliable or should I think of other options.

Furthermore, in order to do pick and placing I also think of buying the other three machines that they have: LPKF ProtoPrint S for Solder Paste Printers, LPKF ProtoPlace S, and LPKF ProtoFlow S. I would sincerely appreciate if you share your experience with these machines. Instead of these machines I can buy similar machines from DDM Novastar. What do you suggest? If the budget is fine, which one should I go with?
I very much appreciate your help with this.

I can comment that as an EX LPKF owner, i'd never give them any more of my money as their service was terrible. 
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline rshroat

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2019, 05:16:51 pm »
Hello thanks for starting this forum, I have been looking for a forum other LPKF users.

I have used a S100 machine at a previous employer and it was crude but worked for the simple boards we needed. I am now with a new employer that has just bought a new S64 machine.

We seem to be breaking a lot of drill bits with this S64 machine. I know that bits are going to break occasionally, but we will only get two or three holes drilled before the small (0.4- 0.7mm) bits break, anyone one else breaking bits this often?

We are using 1.5mm thick boards, I am wondering if thinner boards would be easier on the drill bits.

Thanks in advance for any input.
RS
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2019, 09:05:51 pm »
Reasons for drill breaking are

spindle runout ( slop in spindle bearing or dynamic imbalance in rotor )

axis instability ( positional software steper motor driver step control mechanical slack in an axis )

I started to experience some tool breakages recently. The solution was to re tune an axis servo loop.  I had changed the grease  to a heavy slide-way oil so the servo loop whihc was set up in 2007 when the sideways were new started to misbehave sufficiently to cause the tools to break.

It was the tip of the engraving tool that would shear , no problems with drill bits.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2019, 05:48:33 pm »
Hi All
I have been using my C60 machine a bit lately for some fast prototyping. I did 2 prototypes in a week for a rush design project and then ordered green boards for final delivery to the client. The machine worked a treat. I also invested in the Bungard Favorit press and made all my vias 0.7mm drill size. This used the smallest rivet available to create a good enough method for me for prototyping double sided boards. I usually solder the rivets afterwards just to ensure no intermittent connections.

Scared to say it but I have never broken a drill bit. What I do is make sure the board is completely clean from grease before I mill. I scratch it with a scotch pad or fine sandpaper and then wipe it with IPA. Before drilling I do the layer with the 0.2mm V bit to indent the center point of all the holes. This I believe stops drills from slipping and locates them better.

The only weird thing I have with the machine is registration between sides. I always have to recalibrate the home position when flipping the board over. I make it work and once done, the machine makes a perfect job but I never have been able to just do one side, flip it over and the registration already be perfect. Probably something I have messed up but I tried re-homing and all that. I just never got to the bottom of what caused it.

Does anyone have a reliable method for top quality solder resist creation. I saw the following video but this does not lend itself to the lpkf machines. But I like the idea of being able to mill the resist instead of a chemical process.

https://youtu.be/7EctuSTL7-w
Trev
 

Offline Ramazan

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2019, 12:24:28 pm »
Hi all,

Since you are more familiar with lpkf s63 than me, i need your help about an error that i'm getting past days. when i tried to connect my PC to machine, 'Remove dispenser' error pops out on my screen even though i do not use dispenser at that moment. I don't know how to fix it?
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2019, 10:47:14 pm »
Have a look at MITS out of Japan.
 

Offline dpersuhn

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2019, 10:04:12 pm »
Does anyone on this thread have a Protoflow S/N2?  I'd be interested to get some photos of the ceiling and back wall of the oven cavity.

We just retired an original Protoflow that had the nitrogen option because the controller died and picked up a used Protoflow S to replace it.  Unfortunately the new unit isn't nitrogen equipped and we use it on occasion.  A little "exploration" demonstrated that the new protoflow can interface with the N2 option board from the old unit the provided flow rate data.  All I need now to get nitrogen back is to get an idea how the gas should be plumbed into the newer oven, as I'm trying to keep the setup as close to the original design as possible.
 

Offline abdulkhaleg

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2020, 08:08:05 am »
I haope that i have many machin lpkf but i can not uses because i have laptop windows 10 and the machin no cotrol by this pc
 

Offline mk_

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2020, 08:40:40 am »
I haope that i have many machin lpkf but i can not uses because i have laptop windows 10 and the machin no cotrol by this pc

Well... add a W7 with dual boot and be happy with your lpkf!
 

Offline balage

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2020, 09:20:03 am »
Hi Guys,

At the company we have an S103. We are totally screwed every time we have to use it. A nightmare, really. We have never ever made a PCB without a problem.

The machine started breaking the tools into the clamp a while ago, and it is a returning problem occasionally. Sometimes it totally lost the reference and the machine drops crazy errors.
The PC software is also a crap, always freezing and loosing contact with the machine.
We have replaced the depth limiter but we don't find where to calibrate it again.
There is no manual about maintenance. Do you have any manual-kind thing for S103?

For the price of the S103 we could order prototype PCBs from china for years...
 

Offline mk_

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2020, 09:46:13 am »
Hi Guys,

The machine started breaking the tools into the clamp a while ago, and it is a returning problem occasionally. Sometimes it totally lost the reference and the machine drops crazy errors.
The PC software is also a crap, always freezing and loosing contact with the machine.
We have replaced the depth limiter but we don't find where to calibrate it again.
There is no manual about maintenance. Do you have any manual-kind thing for S103?

For the price of the S103 we could order prototype PCBs from china for years...

looks like you have some ESD-Problems when the suction(?) is running. I solved this with a blank wire in the hose, one end connected with the LPKF. So the FR4-cuttings can not build up a lot of charge anymore.

btw: LPKF was always very helpful with support, so why don`t you ask them?

 
 

Offline balage

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2020, 10:23:56 am »
looks like you have some ESD-Problems when the suction(?) is running. I solved this with a blank wire in the hose, one end connected with the LPKF. So the FR4-cuttings can not build up a lot of charge anymore.

This sounds interesting. It worth a try, thanks! And it has solved mysterious things?

The local representative is not helpful. I mean WAS not helpful as they have quit from the LPKF-trap. So now the closest technical service is in Germany. I have not asked them yet.
 

Offline mk_

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2020, 11:31:45 am »
looks like you have some ESD-Problems when the suction(?) is running. I solved this with a blank wire in the hose, one end connected with the LPKF. So the FR4-cuttings can not build up a lot of charge anymore.

This sounds interesting. It worth a try, thanks! And it has solved mysterious things?
 
yes. Since then I had never machine based problems again.
 
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Offline djsb

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2020, 03:38:27 pm »
Has anyone used the solder paste dispenser on the S103? If so, how do you prepare the data in Kicad? Thanks.
David
Hertfordshire,UK
University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Credited Kicad French to English translator.
 

Offline purfield

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2020, 05:02:19 am »
I've added a few LPKF items to my home lab: ProtoPrint S RP, ProtoFlow S, and UV Lamp Table.  I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone might have about them.
 

Offline hofer

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2021, 06:04:55 am »
Hi all friend
I have an LPKF S62. I can't contact the dealer. Please send me a new version of boardmaster, 5.1 or other software

My email hofer1970@163.com

thank you

hofer
 

Offline akee

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2021, 08:28:58 pm »
Hello,

looks I learned hard way there might be different hw before & after 0Z1847N323 serial. Would anyone happen to have old firmware (ideally v1.1) hex files for original uncoated silver middle with blue sides LPKF protoflow oven, please?

thanks,
a.
 

Offline PCBprototyping

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2021, 10:19:46 pm »
Hi, send me a PM with your email and I'll send you the firmware.
 

Offline PCBprototyping

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2021, 10:35:37 pm »
Has anyone used the solder paste dispenser on the S103? If so, how do you prepare the data in Kicad? Thanks.

You need to export the stencil file(gerber) in Kicad, import it in CircuitPro for your current project and go through dispensing wizzard. It will use the stencil aperture data to know, where to place the dots.
Setting the right height is extremely important, use the sheet of paper trick to be 100um above the board, otherwise you might hit the PCB with plastic tip and clog it. Metal conical precision tip(micron s) is best and most precise.
 

Offline PCBprototyping

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2021, 10:42:16 pm »
Hi all,

Since you are more familiar with lpkf s63 than me, i need your help about an error that i'm getting past days. when i tried to connect my PC to machine, 'Remove dispenser' error pops out on my screen even though i do not use dispenser at that moment. I don't know how to fix it?

Some conductive milling dust landed on illumination PCB, where connector for dispenser is, so machine thinks the dispenser is mounted during milling. Clean the illumination PCB and protect it somehow, so you don't get the dispenser problem anymore.
 

Offline Jelbert

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2021, 09:29:45 pm »
Hi,

I have a S103 with vacuum table.
The backing plate for the vacuum table is quite expensive. Did anyone find a less expensive solution to these backing plates? a pack of 4 costs here €208...
 
Thanks,
Jelbert
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2021, 04:31:08 am »
How does the vacuum table on LPKF work?

Is it a porous surface which allows the PCB to be held in place?
If this is all it is then talk to your industrial plastics supplier, they can supply you with gas expanded poluethylene or some such similar plstic sgeet.
his material is porous and quite inexpensive.
You may have to look into masking un used areas to prevent vacuum loss but it should o the trick.
I use 1/8" tooling pins to hold the pcb in place and to flip it over and NOT loose back to front registration.
 

Offline Jelbert

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2021, 12:05:15 pm »
Yes the vacuum table works with a porous plastic plate. It sucks anything on the surface tight.
The camera detects the fiducals to keep front and back registration.
I worked with a 93S for over 20 years with those pins. Now with the vacuum table it is such a relief. It will also allow me to do depaneling of small irregular shaped pcb's.
The material they use is something like CE100White from Portec.
The lpkf backing plates are out of stock at the local supplier and will arrive in 2/2022.

Yes I will use something else porous like foamed pvc and maybe drill holes in it or return to using the pins.     
 

Offline wincyj

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2021, 10:25:03 am »
It seems to me that this type of mat can be used in vacuum tables, it is quite cheap:

https://cnc-plus.de/en/Workholding/Vacuum-Accessories/600x1000mm---3mm-Mill-Through-Mat--Sintered-Rubber-Mat-.html
 

Offline Kevin Liu

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2022, 09:10:47 am »
Hi all,

I created a Facebook group for LPKF ProtoMat unofficial 3rd party application.
Anyone interested in just join https://www.facebook.com/groups/lpkfuserclub

Thanks.
 
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Offline MechaBL

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2022, 08:46:18 pm »
Fairly new to the LPKF and I have two issues:

1) I am getting a Zero Air Generator Saturated warning message and cannot find literature anywhere to figure out how to service/replace this filter.

2) Using 1.5mm single sided 35um copper material, the LASER is failing to properly perform operations - the LASER seems under powered and not intense enough to fully remove the copper.

Any help for the above is MUCH appreciated - Thanks in advance!
 

Offline rodsolder

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2023, 04:37:29 am »
Hi, I have acquired a LPKF Protomat S62 and need a supplier for the cutting bits. Do you have any recommendations.
 
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2023, 08:18:46 am »
Hi, I have acquired a LPKF Protomat S62 and need a supplier for the cutting bits. Do you have any recommendations.

In Australia, try Embedded Logic Solutions in Sydney.  I have bought LPKF supplies from them in the past (mostly their rivets as I run a Chinese router).
https://emlogic.com.au/

I don't know if it is up to date, or if you have part numbers on hand, but you can try search their price list at https://emlogic.com.au/resources/price-lists/
 

Offline Jelbert

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2023, 09:11:49 pm »
Hi,

I have a S103 with a vacuum bed. The problem with the vacuum bed is the price and quality of the sinter plate. The sinter plates after 2020 all have the tendency to bend.
To solve this I have made a new sinter plate from pla on my Bambu X1C 3d printer. The make files can be found here:https://www.printables.com/model/668832-lpkf-vacuum-table-sinterplate-replacement/files
The plate is made of small tiles so you only need to replace the ones that are perforated or cut. I also made solid tiles to decrease the size of the work area if you use a small pcb or reuse an pcb with holes in it because of previous projects.
I also made a cross laser pointer in the syringe holder so I can see the center of where the camera is looking. If there is interest in those files I will put them online too.

Cheers,

Jelbert
 
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Offline Grubi

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2024, 05:47:02 pm »
Hello fellow LPKF owners,
I need a bit of help - has operated C60 before some time and finally bought one...but I
lost HDD with CAD/CAM software on it. I knew there was an older version that was paid (and with single PC license),
and there was 2 separate CAM and machine applications and then new and integrated come which was free.
However, I cannot find old manuals and software on the LPKF page, as was mentioned here.
Prefer to operate under older Windows as 7 or even XP, but Win10 hopefully will also work.

Thanks in advance and have a great week!
 

Offline mk_

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2024, 09:23:03 pm »
Hello fellow LPKF owners,
I need a bit of help - has operated C60 before some time and finally bought one...but I
lost HDD with CAD/CAM software on it. I knew there was an older version that was paid (and with single PC license),
and there was 2 separate CAM and machine applications and then new and integrated come which was free.
However, I cannot find old manuals and software on the LPKF page, as was mentioned here.
Prefer to operate under older Windows as 7 or even XP, but Win10 hopefully will also work.

Maybe I don`t get ist, but what`s your question?

If your license was paid... ask LPKF, they have been always frendly and helpful even for my now 30year old system... Serial number from your C60 could help...

and - also get used to backup such existential software... there is no excuse to loose something like that since the aviability of NAS, USBdrives, dropbox and similar services...
 

Offline Grubi

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2024, 05:41:40 am »
Good to know and thanks for advice. I bought machine on an auction and some long time passed (1.5 years) until I have space and time to start with machine.
Plus it was COVID times and there was delivery problems...So I think I have had archived software on the right place, but may be not.
My question was - if someone can share free version (and it was free, not single licensed as the old ones) of LPKF CAD/CAM software that can work with ProtoMat C60, since I can't see download section on LPKF website. I will write local distributor office today, and will see how it is going to work with them.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2024, 05:58:02 am by Grubi »
 

Offline istvan58

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2024, 11:09:14 pm »
Have a look at MITS out of Japan.

Offline Grubi

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2024, 01:27:41 pm »
Yep, I run the machine with Board Master and it seems operating fine.

LPKF is saying no longer CircutCAM is offered, but I wonder if there is something to replace it...
I do have now CircuitCAM several software versions (from LPKF website), but they of course need activation code, which I don't have since original activation label
was not included in the sale, and it was my fault, too  |O

Any ideas how to solve this? I guess question is how to convert Gerber files into LMD/LPR/HPGL format, even with CircuitCAM and Board Master process was automated between.
And CircuitCAM has interesting history
https://www.circuitcam.com/history#:~:text=Originally%20CircuitCAM%20has%20been%20developed,in%20the%20pre%2Dwindows%20area.https://www.circuitcam.com/history#:~:text=Originally%20CircuitCAM%20has%20been%20developed,in%20the%20pre%2Dwindows%20area

@istvan58 - those MITS machines seems good
« Last Edit: January 23, 2024, 02:19:42 pm by Grubi »
 

Offline Kevin Liu

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2024, 08:16:57 am »
Hi,

I have a S103 with a vacuum bed. The problem with the vacuum bed is the price and quality of the sinter plate. The sinter plates after 2020 all have the tendency to bend.
To solve this I have made a new sinter plate from pla on my Bambu X1C 3d printer. The make files can be found here:https://www.printables.com/model/668832-lpkf-vacuum-table-sinterplate-replacement/files
The plate is made of small tiles so you only need to replace the ones that are perforated or cut. I also made solid tiles to decrease the size of the work area if you use a small pcb or reuse an pcb with holes in it because of previous projects.
I also made a cross laser pointer in the syringe holder so I can see the center of where the camera is looking. If there is interest in those files I will put them online too.

Cheers,

Jelbert

Hi, Would you mind sharing it with my Facebook group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/lpkfuserclub

Thanks for your contributions.
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2024, 12:05:22 am »
Re MITS machines

I had visited MITS in 2007 while attending an exhibition at Big Sight in Tokyo.
LPKF were present at the exhibition and I was in the early stages of planing to set up the business.

At the time MITS gear looked more mature than LPKF although I was more interested in the larger LPKF machine.
In any case LPKF was too expensive and MITS I felt was a bit limited in table size.

SO i decided to roll my own. A local engineering firm machined parts of the frame. The design included precision dowels to locate frame components, linear bearings mounted and edge clamped, A Renishaw linear scale implemented along with preloaded ground screws and servo motor with velocity feedback loop and lastly all that crowned with an Alfred Yaeger 100KRPM spindle .
LinuxCNC control software and the machine sprang into life with 20 micron quadrature resolution ( or more accurately if you pardon the pun 5 micron effective resolution ).

After a bit of tuning no scalloping in the copper edges was observed and the limiting factor became the robustness of the cutting tool in its response to feed rate and acceleration of axes.
This was augmented by a hot and cold press with a vacuum cassette featuring four flatted pin registration system and a palladium hole wall activation process and a unique eductor based  plating process tank.
A cartesian movement laser was built to scribe the soldermask image on liquid photo imageable soldermask layer.
Finally a Probot flying probe tester was deployed to test the finished product.

EPILOGUE:

This prototyping service is no longer offered. The chemical process is disestablished and bits and bobs are now available for sale.

Among other things we have residual single and double sided FR4 materials and a collection of drill bits from 0.35mm to 1.6mmas well as 1/8" bits as well as some router bits and V shaped engraving bits ( 3 flute design ).

A sad time ...
       
 

Offline dk1za

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2024, 07:05:07 am »
Thanks for the information. The vacuum table does work!
It would be nice if you could share the laser pointer files you mentioned.
thanks, walter
 

Offline mk_

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2024, 07:37:21 am »

Any ideas how to solve this? I guess question is how to convert Gerber files into LMD/LPR/HPGL format, even with CircuitCAM and Board Master process was automated between.


Sorry for the delay - did you solve your problem?

 

Offline rsaxvc

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2024, 04:25:52 am »
Hi! I'm a Protomat S42 owner, hopefully soon to be operator.

@rodsolder, my machine came second-hand with a few boxes from Think & Tinker's bits, available from Colorado, USA, at https://www.precisebits.com/ . I haven't gotten my machine up so can't vouch for them, but they are cheaper than LPKF bits.
 

Offline rsaxvc

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2024, 01:16:16 am »
I've noticed the local harbor freight tools carries 20-pack of what appear to be compatible 38mm carbide drill bits, up to 1.1mm diameter, $7. No testing yet.
 

Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2024, 01:59:12 am »
Hi! I'm a Protomat S42 owner, hopefully soon to be operator.

@rodsolder, my machine came second-hand with a few boxes from Think & Tinker's bits, available from Colorado, USA, at https://www.precisebits.com/ . I haven't gotten my machine up so can't vouch for them, but they are cheaper than LPKF bits.

I have been using these bits for the last 10 years in my protomat c60. They are great. Highly recommended.

The c60 doesn't use the depth collars so the bits have to be the correct length. Some of the low cost bits I have bought from eBay have been the wrong length.


Regards,

Jay_Diddy_B
 

Offline rsaxvc

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #54 on: May 10, 2024, 02:28:04 am »
Thanks Jay - that has been my(much shorter) experience as well. The LPKF and T&T bits work well so far. I did get bits from a couple more suppliers too. I should put some holes in an aluminum block to build a little plastic locator ring adjuster.

The Harbor Freight Warrior Carbide Rotary Micro Bit Assorted Set(Store SKU 62379, 44924) were uniformly rung differently from LPFK ringing. At full Z depth, they would barely drill the bed. About half had nice ring labels.

I ordered a few different mill and drill kits from AliExpress. These were all labeled "XCAN Qualified 107" through Hangzhou Xuchuan Trading Co Ltd. Unlabeled rings. No three were rung to the same depth.

In other news, I believe I found my 2.95mm x 43mm reference drill bit, and measured it against my LPKF starter pack 2.95mm x 38mm drill bit(apologies for the freehanded couch-drawn diagram).
« Last Edit: May 10, 2024, 02:30:13 am by rsaxvc »
 

Offline DiodeDipShit

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #55 on: May 10, 2024, 03:38:21 am »
3.17mm equals  1/8"  These collars should give You adjustment. You have a choice for style and material:

https://www.mcmaster.com/products/collars/system-of-measurement~metric/system-of-measurement~inch/shaft-diameter~1-8/
Any five fifty five will do ......
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #56 on: May 10, 2024, 12:23:53 pm »
Think n Tinker will set the depth rings to Your specifications, all You need do is tell them which machine You are operating.
 

Offline dpersuhn

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #57 on: May 14, 2024, 03:41:45 pm »
Anyone here using an older Protolaser S, either first generation or the Protolaser S1.3?  I picked up Protolaser S1.3 a while back and have been working on getting in back into service as time has allowed over the last few months.  I'm at a point where I'm about 90% there, but would like to bounce questions off someone that has used one, especially if you've had maintenance and/or recalibration done by LPKF.  I'd like to know what Ophir power meter they are using for output power calibration and what normal laser warmup output power values look like.
 

Offline Awilliams684

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Re: Fellow LPKF equipment users?
« Reply #58 on: June 07, 2024, 09:35:19 pm »
We have a 2012 ProtoLaser S, opted not to have LPKF calibrate it although they tried to sell me on why it was required. I did the focus and scan field calibration when we first got our unit. From what service told me when the laser warms up I belive it ramps to full power after several minutes then ramps back down to what ever the last setpoint that was used is. I think our unit ramps to like 18.3 watts or something like that (service indicated this was normal).

I guess the newer S units have a power meter built into them from what I was told.
 


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