Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:39 pm

I'm looking to buy a small CNC with a 24" x 48" bed. Found this one and like the looks, specs, and price. Haven't found a review anywhere though. Anyone have one and have an opinion about it?

Link: http://www.probotix.com/FireBall_Meteor_cnc_router/

All replies greatly appreciated. I'm working on the assumption that VCarve will have at least one post processor that'll work with it's EMC2 controller.

Thanks
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby Ronwoodson2 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:26 pm

No experience with this, but I would be concerned that it uses the Bosch Colt instead of a more heavy-duty router.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:44 pm

Thanks, Ron. They also support several other routers, including the PC 892. You pick the router/spindle you want when ordering and they provide a clamp to fit. I use a Colt on my current CNC Shark and with the precision bits collet it has been a fine and precise router in that application. I have a Dewalt 611 I'd use on the Comet Fireball if I got it.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby martin54 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:35 pm

What is the set up on your shark machine? Sorry but if I had a machine & were looking to upgrade then one of the things I would be looking at would be ballscrews not the leadscrews these have. Doesn't really look that rigid to me either but that can be misleading.
EMC2 is something to do with linuxcnc from what I have read on other forums so I am surprised the builders don't also offer a mach3 version for an increased price obviously. You could always purchase mach3 yourself to run the machine so not a major problem.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:23 am

The CNC Shark uses it's own propriety controller software running under Windows. The latest version is pretty well done but only works on the Sharks. The Fireball Comet comes with it's own PC (Linux) already set up to run the machine.

The Shark body is primarily HDPE with a little aluminum thrown in. It tends to flex and vibrate if pushing the bit a little too aggressively. The Comet appears to be mainly aluminum parts, supported linear bearings on all axis, etc.. I'm familiar with Linux and not put off by using it and EMC2. Most of the 24x48 machines I've seen are more expensive by 1K to 6k and not necessarily built any better.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby woody53 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:40 am

I have a Meteor, that I got in Sept. It works perfect. I'm sure you looked into all the features of it, and can't be beat for the money. Probotix has been great to me, and will do anything to get you up and running, their support is phenomenal. Call and ask all the questions you can, and you will see what I mean. Good luck.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:25 am

Thanks, Dave.

What I like about the Meteor is that it comes nearly ready to run. I also am impressed by the features it comes with and the fact that it costs less than what I paid for for my CNC Shark for twice the cutting range. The only negative I see is the MDF bed, but I'm clever enough to deal with that having started with an MDF bed on my Shark.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:16 am

OK, so I bit the bullet and ordered one. I have some time off between semesters so should be able to get a table built to hold it and the related gear before it shows up. My smaller Shark is in my unheated garage, and with winter here not pleasant to use. This CNC will go in a spare room in my basement so I can use it comfortably all year long.

I'll post photos and a review when it gets here.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby woody53 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:18 pm

4D,
I got the PC 892 router for my Meteor. It will cut pretty much as much as you what it to. Its still a learning process with the EMC2, but I can do what I need to. I am very happy with the Meteor and sure you will be too. Like I said, if you have any questions, just call and talk to Jeremy or Len . They will get you on track. Best of luck, and ask me too if you want to, I will help if I can.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:59 pm

Thanks, Dave.

We have an 892 in the Shark CNC where I work. I agree it's a great router for that application although the collet lock broke early into its life. I have an unused Dewalt 611 on hand, and was playing with the idea of putting it on my Shark. The bug to get the larger CNC left that idea cold, so I'll start with using it on my Meteor. My Shark uses a Bosch Colt trim router, and it could cut anything I threw at it. Sometimes it just took a few more passes than the 892 would have. It looks like Probotix will sell me a mount for the 892 down the road if I want to upgrade. I can probably make my own as well.

I doubt EMC2 will give me much trouble. I've had my Shark for 3+ years now, and with my 30+ years of CAD experience to pull from getting up to speed on it was nearly instant. I will be calling Probotix if (when?) I get stymied though.

I teach college Interior Architecture students how to use the CNC Shark. They are clever kids and most have it running with their own projects in short time. People vary widely though, and I've met folks who are confused by what a vector is. The other end includes 20 year old novices that teach me new things the Shark can do each semester. :D
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:29 pm

Hey Dave, Do you know if it is possible to hook a touch plate up to use with the Meteor?

I didn't see a jack for one on images of the controller box. NextWave added one to the Shark product line after I'd bought my Shark, and all that required was drilling a hole in the case for the jack and plugging the provided jack into an existing terminal inside the controller.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:15 pm

Anyone know the footprint dimensions of 24x48 Probotix Fireball meteor? I'm in the process of making a table for mine, and their web site is missing that info. An email to their support with that question hasn't been answered yet.

Thanks,
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby woody53 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:49 pm

4d,
Not sure about the touch off plate, but I don't have any trouble touching off perfect. The table I made is 48 x 72 , that leaves about an 2 inches all around. It was funny when I picked mine up, Jeremy said you use a game controller to touch off the x,y,and z axis. Funny, but it woks very well. I still have a V-90 I bought from them 3 years ago, that still works perfectly. I somehow broke a bearing on the z axis on the V-90 and after 2 1/2 years they replaced and shipped it to me free. So, they are very good to work with.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:24 pm

I did get an email response. They are getting hammered by snow, which complicates business, but have put my Fireball into the assembly que.

Your fireball must be larger than normal. With 24 x 48 of cutting range and room for the router mount on either side I can't see the width being more than 30" plus the X motor length. Maybe 36 wide by 60 long. The real footprint measurements must be hard to take as I can't find them anywhere on the web and Probotix hasn't responded with them.

My Shark originally didn't come with a touch plate. They introduced them later (for $90) and made a retro-fit kit for older Sharks. I did fine setting Z before I had the plate, but once I had the plate the time spent setting Z was considerably less.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby woody53 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:10 am

4d,
The footprint is exactly 34 5/8 x 68. There is more room on the width then the length on my table. I have a few things I keep on the edge of my machine , so the extra 12 inches helps me.

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