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Proto Trak CNC Retrofit.
CENTROID T400 replaces the Southwestern Industries LX2 CNC control and adds new features and capabilities.
Prototrak CNC Retrofit, 1440 Lathe LX2 control replaced by a new CENTROID T400  
Prototrak 1440 CNC lathe before retrofit This 1998 Proto Trak 1440 flat bed lathe has a nice combination of manual and CNC control. However the ageing LX2 CNC control with its original limitations is starting to be more trouble than its worth so, it was time to install a new CNC control.

Retrofitting this nice machine with a new CENTROID T400 CNC control has added new CNC features and capabilities while eliminating problems and limitations with the original control while retaining the ease of use.
Before the retrofit, w/ original LX2 control.

While the prototrak was a good basic control it left some things to be desired.
Main reasons for the retrofit upgrade:

  • Prototrak does not except G code programming, and is not compatible with CAD/CAM systems
  • No USB memory stick for easy file transfer.
  • No constant surface speed machining
  • No programmable spindle speed
  • Hard to read mono chrome screen
  • No network capability
  • Antiquated computer that uses floppy disk as a hard drive.
CENTROID T400 CNC Lathe Prototrak retrofit The new operator friendly CENTROID T400 CNC is equipped with a 15" color LCD display which makes setup and part programming easy. The large easy to read menus guide you thru the setup process while the G code backplot graphics show the part program in color. See your programs no matter the source. Program with the on board INTERCON conversational programming software or easily import G code from any CAD/CAM system with the built in USB ports or Ethernet connection. Its also simple to graph and edit part program from a CAD/CAM system right on the control, no need to go back to your desktop for simple changes. Unlike the original control installation the CENTROID CNC is mounted on an adjustable arm so the operator can find a comfortable operating position.
T400 CNC retrofit installation.
click on any photo for a larger view.
prototrak electronic handwheels The useful original electronic manual control handwheels were retained. These handwheels are the key to the ease of use of this machine. The electronic handwheels are similar to what a manual machine operator is familiar with, so it is a natural progression from a manual lathe to a CNC equipped lathe with the electronic handwheels. The CENTROID CNC control not only directly connects to the stock setup it adds user selectable resolution to the handwheels and two speed ranges for the jog stick which are infinitely variable with the feed rate override knob; making a good idea even better.
X and Z electronic handwheels and jog stick.
Prototrak remote feedhold Another useful stock item that was retained was the remote feed hold switch. This handy device now plugs directly into the CENTROID CNC control. The operator uses the remote feed hold button to place a running program in a feed hold state quickly and without having to pull his eyes off the part being turned. Its comforting to have such a device.
A simple press of the cycle start button and the program continues on its way.
Another related feature added by the upgrade is the Tool Check button which allows the operator stop a job at any point, move the tool any where, make wear offset adjustments and restart right where you left off or at any other point in the program. The new control will allow you to restart the job right where you left off even if you cycle cancel or press E stop!
Useful remote feed hold switch.
Retrofit control installation

The CENTROID T400 retrofit is a clean installation. The CNC control ships from the factory assembled and ready to install on the machine. The CENTROID electrical cabinet (gray box in photo) replaces the Southwestern Industries box for a factory look and finish. With a CENTROID CNC retrofit, Installation time is kept to a minimum, all CNC control electronics and electricals are installed, wired and tested at the factory.

Overview of major features added with the new control:

-Constant surface speed machining
-Programmable spindle speed
-Improved threading cycles
-USB 2.0 ports and Ethernet ports
-Modern fast, software upgradeable CNC computer
-Solid state hard drive
-15" color LCD display
- Runs on industry standard G&M codes
-Color part program graphics with time estimation
-INTERCON conversational programming (creates G codes)
-Tool Check, stop and restart. Tweak in feature.
-Full size qwerty keyboard for easy programming/operating
-CAD/CAM system compatibility
-Warranty Service and Support

Link to detailed Photo Album.
Prototrak Lathe Retrofit Photo Album

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