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Touchdro features that Chinese 3 Axis does not have?
#1
I have been educating myself on adding DRO to my hobby machinist Mill/Drill and keep coming back to the question of why TouchDRO over just buying one of the Chinese 3 axis drill kits.  It seems that going the TouchDRO way with using even the cheapest scales comes out to a higher price then the Chinese approach ...and the scales would still be Chinese glass as I understand it.  So are there actual features in the Touch DRO other then the Bluetooth ability that need to be considered?  I would have to buy everything to put together a TouchDRO...including an Android tablet because all of my regular computing is Mac OSX based.  Thanks, Richard
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#2
(01-17-2019, 04:18 PM)headrc Wrote: I have been educating myself on adding DRO to my hobby machinist Mill/Drill and keep coming back to the question of why TouchDRO over just buying one of the Chinese 3 axis drill kits.  It seems that going the TouchDRO way with using even the cheapest scales comes out to a higher price then the Chinese approach ...and the scales would still be Chinese glass as I understand it.  So are there actual features in the Touch DRO other then the Bluetooth ability that need to be considered?  I would have to buy everything to put together a TouchDRO...including an Android tablet because all of my regular computing is Mac OSX based.  Thanks, Richard


This is actually a pretty common question, and my short answer is that if you need to ask, get a Chinese DRO. If done right, a TouchDRO setup will not be less expensive than a simple Chinese head and will require more work (being a DIY project).

The long answer is that this is not apples-to-apples comparison. The difference is not in the scales - you can hook up whatever quadrature scales you want to TouchDRO, from Harbor Freight calipers to top-ot-the-line German micron scales. The difference is that with TouchDRO you get a modern graphical user interface with multi-touch capabilities, factors of magnitude more processing power and storage, high-resolution color display, and on-the-fly updates. With a Chinese DRO you get a reading head designed (and not updated) since mid-80's running an 8-bit microcontroller with enough storage to save a few dozen points and built to the bargain-basement price point. Heck, the new "top of the line" DROs are finally getting the message and are moving to touch-based user interface, or at least a graphical LCD.
On top of that you get VERY different quality (and quality control) - TouchDRO boards are built using name-brand parts and inspected to "military standard" (that is actually a BS term, since MIL standard for electronic assembly is long gone. In practice TouchDRO is inspected to IPC-A-610 Class III, which superseded MIL spec). Even the low-end namebrand tablet is miles ahead of the cheap DRO head when it comes to durability and reliability). 


Hope this makes sense.
Yuriy
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