Is Your Burny in need of an Upgrade?

Here is a quick description of the Burny architecture.

Most of the Pre Burny10 LCD Plus CNC’s are obsolete. This includes the Burny 2.5, Burny 2.8 DNC, Burny 3, Burny 4 (For all you Dinosaurs out there!), Burny 5 and the Early CRT based Burny 10’s. The 10’s are the only PC Based Burnys. The rest are based on the Pre-DOS era TI 9900 microprocessor. That is a problem. It has no operating system and most run on a 4 MHZ CPU Clock (Yes Megahertz)! There is not much processing horsepower compared to one of today’s fast machines. That is the main reason it runs so slow and takes a long time to download Part Programs or calculate the Kerf Offsets. While Burnys are a Closed Loop Servo (it has position feedback to the CNC.) It cannot count encoder pulses to calculate position AND time the pulses to measure the speed. It relies on a lookup table based on the Speed Cal Function to populate the Lookup Table Data.

The TI 9900 and its support chips have been out of production for almost 20 years! This was a good design in the late 80’s, but there is no way to upgrade.  The early Burny 10 Units, while a PC/Windows based platform, also cannot be upgraded as they ran Windows 95 and NT OS. It is like trying to upgrade a 25 year old PC to Windows 10.

Spare parts are sparse for these units. There are also 3-4 different main, memory, and I/O board sets for the different ages of the same series. One needs to be cautious purchasing spares on E-Bay or other parts of the jungle.

The only option for a dead or unreliable Burny 2, 3, 4 or 5 is to replace them. Many of the new wave CNC’s are all digital. Along with being higher cost, they are not compatible with the older analog drives.

The cheaper hobby grade systems are also not compatible as they are mostly Open Loop Systems (No Position Feedback.) It is kind of like trying to register a kids Power Wheels car for the highway. They also lack a support network for integrating into an existing system. Electrical noise (think plasma) is also a major problem.

So, for now, the replacement option is costly. Burny’s replacement is the Burny 10 LCD Plus CNC and the Burny Phantom II. Both are PC based CNC’s, and The Phantom has an integrated drive system, or external drive option, and an operators station . The LCD Plus and external drive Phantom is similar to the old Burny but they are not 100% plug and play. Some rewiring may be required. The price is also north of $14,000 for the LCD Plus and $20,000 for the Phantom. (20 Years ago a Burny 3 was $4,000, that would cost almost $8,000 in today’s adjusted dollars.)

But stand by. We are working on a Burny 3/5/10 plug compatible unit. Look for it early next year!