Off topic: Droid software makes me want DRO for bridgeport

ok. . . so i am still working out all my own bugs and quirks of using the ARC DROID. . . . but I am also getting pretty spoiled on how the Simple Trace software and control box actually show me where on the material I am at. . . and now we have the shapes and bolt hole features i am just loving the system.

So my ancient Mitutoyo DRO on my J Head Bridgeport just died and I was about to pull the trigger on a less known but MUCH more affordable unit on amazon. . . but I got to thinking, “dang it sure would be REALLY nice to know where on my table I am at like on the ARC DROID” and “I bet bolt hole circles could be calculated and indicated for a manual mill too if they copied the ARC DROID software”

A bit of googling the best I have managed to find (only commercial one I found)
Acu-Rite DRO203 3 Axis Display -
it also is not very affordable when you need new glass scales and cabling.

i found a DIY kit of sorts that runs with an android tablet. . .but want to stay away from hobby shop type of stuff that needs a lot of tinkering to make run. TouchDRO - Buy BlueTooth Controller and well. . . I really would prefer ONE piece of indicating software for my machine tools.

Does anyone have alternate suggestions?

or- Andrew would you consider an alternate product line for manual mills and manual lathes that Simple Trace could work with? I would sure be willing to be a paying test case!

@launch_pad_mcduck200 I can recommend these guys for some nice DRO’s that don’t break the bank to hard. I’ve had a 3 axis setup for 6 years on a Bridgeport and it has been flawless.

You can always use the Droids Trace to get all the X,Y coordinates for a mill project….

hi Bob,

Thank you for the input. I checked out their site. They mostly offer what I think of as “dumb” DRO (just reads out position) and their prices are very (VERY high) close to the Acu-rite display I linked above which is far from being dumb. i do see one model that is pretty much what I am thinking of for a SMART DRO in the $1825 price range for the J head. Right now, even for a smart DRO that seems incredibly steep to me. . . but that very well may be the market for this type of widget.

My Dumb Mitutoyo DRO lasted 20 years under my ownership and had to be another decade before that with the previous owner of the mill. It had to be near the best that could be bought back then. Not much to go bad on old school “dumb” scales and with advancements in technology in today’s age, I feel, they should be VERY cheap. in the 70s a simple calculator could be VERY expensive and by the 80s they were in watches. Now we can get em for free just visiting a trade show. I am strongly of the opinion it should be pretty similar on the dumb DROs. Were I to decide on another round of “dumb DRO” I think $300 is MY MAX going rate for 5 microns and all parts should be included these days.

DROs when introduced to manual milling machines made for a HUGE leap and I think a smart DRO will be that much more of a huge leap but it should not be breaking the bank.

If you want to order from Alibaba , Ditron do a great DRO with lots of functionality , and would be around 700 usd with scales ( can get a 4-5 axis counters and fit an encoder to you dividing head also )
also rpm

I have a Chinese DRO ON MY MILL, LATHE AND SURFACE GRINDER they are the cats meow. Do a lot of the calculations for you including bolt hole patterns. Retired Tool and Die Maker. With a extra crowded garage. But i need all my tools.
God bless have a awesome day.
ANTHONY in Alabama