How to Convert a BridgePort CNC Video Screen to a SVGA LCD
Sometimes for me carrying a "Controls Engineering" title also entitles me to working on our own equipment such as CNCs, LATHEs, and EDMs. A CNC machine is nothing more than a multi-axis servo controlled machine run by a standard PC with some fancy motion software, pretty simple for the most part when you look at it from an automation stand point. One thing that has always bugged me is why the CNC service technicians have to charge so much money for a standard PC part like a floppy drive etc? Recently the 13" CRT screen when out on one of the
After talking with the manager of our machine shop I suggested changing our broken CRT screen with an LCD. I brought a 15" LCD down from the office and connected it up. Whoa what a difference! The machining guys where drooling for sure. Check out these pictures:
So what did we have to do? Lucky we have some great machining guys so I asked them for some assistance in making up and revamping the monitor mounting. As seen from the "BEFORE" picture, we had already made a 45 degree keyboard tray and attached a standard size keyboard. Our CNC guys never used the small number pad only keyboard on the right of the CRT screen, because they like to shell to DOS and for some reason you just can't use DOS with numbers only.
After gutting the CRT screen and the OLD number pad keyboard, we had to make some plates up to mount the LCD screen. The LCD I ordered was a sliver color to match the CNC color and had a removable foot stand. We made up our own brackets that screwed to the OLD foot stand of the LCD and screwed the bracket to the new front plates we made.
On the back we needed to mount the keyboard connector coming from the CNC and the connector going to our standard keyboard.
The power from the OLD CRT monitor came through the back of the operator console using a standard computer AC plug. From the picture above you can see that we made the power plug go direct to the power pack of the LCD monitor. I think most all LCD screens have this power pack so you should be able to plug the AC plug direct from the CNC to the LCD power pack supplied. If not, I purchase CTX brand 15" LCDs.
For the most part it only took about six hours of labor to convert two CNC machines. That would be three hours for one machine. So if you want to justify the cost, the LCD screen cost $350.00 plus three hours of internal machining labor, say $40 an hour, that's roughly $470.00 for an LCD conversion verses $975.00 for an ugly, small, dim, black and white obsolete CRT. I think the machining guys are really happy.