Powerpro Competitor

Create a review for a woodworking tool that you are familiar with (Shopsmith brand or Non-Shopsmith) or just post your opinion on a specific tool. Head to head comparisons welcome too.

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BuckeyeDennis
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by BuckeyeDennis »

jsburger wrote:Can someone in the know speak to membrane touch switches. I don't think internally they are any different than things that have "discrete" buttons like some remote controls. The internal contact is pretty much the same. It is a conductive "rubber" membrane. I am with Ed. I have a stove and fridge with membrane buttons that are 17+ years old with never a problem. The microwave is around 10 years and no problem. My Power Pro is 6 years old with no problems.

The thing about the membrane is that it is sealed on the outside. A good thing for something like a SS and pretty much everywhere else they are used.

Discrete mechanical buttons MAY last longer but they would not physically fit in the SS application.
I’ve designed quite a few industrial-control products in my career, and it’s been maybe 20 years since I designed any with membrane switches. Industrial stuff has gone primarily touchscreen since then.

The last time I specified membrane switches, switch life was rated at 5 million cycles for a no-frills keypad. But those had almost zero tactile feel, so we would typically specify the optional “click domes” that are placed beneath the membrane, one over each switch. The tradeoff was that the click domes reduced the rated life to only one million cycles per switch. But that’s still plenty of cycle-life for most applications.

One controller that I designed back in the 90’s had a membrane keypad that was used heavily in high-production machine shops. After 10 or 15 years of daily use, the most common membrane switch failure was the outer plastic membrane layer itself wearing out and developing holes over the click-domes.

Good-quality discrete industrial switches are typically rated for ten million mechanical cycles, IIRC. But the electrical life of the contacts can be far less, depending on the current, voltage, and the nature of the load.

Early on, touchscreen reliability was far worse than membrane switches. That that has improved greatly, and there are a variety of touchscreen technologies from which to choose. But I still had the touchscreen on a $1500 PLC fritz out on a prototype system just last year. And of course, lacking a tactile vibrator such as on a smartphone, tactile feedback is pretty much nonexistent on a touchscreen.

But touchscreens do have two huge advantages. First, the screen layout and graphics are configured entirely in software. So you can easily add features and improve the user interface with just a software update. Second, the hardware is basically generic — just pick the screen size and resolution that you need. This greatly reduces upfront development costs, which in low-volume products may actually be more important than the unit-manufacturing cost.
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ChrisNeilan
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by ChrisNeilan »

At first I did not like my touch pad, but once I had used the machine several times, I don’t even notice. Going on 5 years now, no issues
Chris Neilan

Shopsmith Mark 7, Shopsmith Mark V 1982, shortened, Shopsmith 10 ER; Craftsman table saw (1964); Powermatic 3520B lathe
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jsburger
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by jsburger »

BuckeyeDennis wrote:
jsburger wrote:Can someone in the know speak to membrane touch switches. I don't think internally they are any different than things that have "discrete" buttons like some remote controls. The internal contact is pretty much the same. It is a conductive "rubber" membrane. I am with Ed. I have a stove and fridge with membrane buttons that are 17+ years old with never a problem. The microwave is around 10 years and no problem. My Power Pro is 6 years old with no problems.

The thing about the membrane is that it is sealed on the outside. A good thing for something like a SS and pretty much everywhere else they are used.

Discrete mechanical buttons MAY last longer but they would not physically fit in the SS application.
I’ve designed quite a few industrial-control products in my career, and it’s been maybe 20 years since I designed any with membrane switches. Industrial stuff has gone primarily touchscreen since then.

The last time I specified membrane switches, switch life was rated at 5 million cycles for a no-frills keypad. But those had almost zero tactile feel, so we would typically specify the optional “click domes” that are placed beneath the membrane, one over each switch. The tradeoff was that the click domes reduced the rated life to only one million cycles per switch. But that’s still plenty of cycle-life for most applications.

One controller that I designed back in the 90’s had a membrane keypad that was used heavily in high-production machine shops. After 10 or 15 years of daily use, the most common membrane switch failure was the outer plastic membrane layer itself wearing out and developing holes over the click-domes.

Good-quality discrete industrial switches are typically rated for ten million mechanical cycles, IIRC. But the electrical life of the contacts can be far less, depending on the current, voltage, and the nature of the load.

Early on, touchscreen reliability was far worse than membrane switches. That that has improved greatly, and there are a variety of touchscreen technologies from which to choose. But I still had the touchscreen on a $1500 PLC fritz out on a prototype system just last year. And of course, lacking a tactile vibrator such as on a smartphone, tactile feedback is pretty much nonexistent on a touchscreen.

But touchscreens do have two huge advantages. First, the screen layout and graphics are configured entirely in software. So you can easily add features and improve the user interface with just a software update. Second, the hardware is basically generic — just pick the screen size and resolution that you need. This greatly reduces upfront development costs, which in low-volume products may actually be more important than the unit-manufacturing cost.
Thank you Dennis. A question. Are not modern devices like a TV remote with "discrete" buttons basically the same internally as the membrane touch pad?.
John & Mary Burger
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jsburger
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by jsburger »

ChrisNeilan wrote:At first I did not like my touch pad, but once I had used the machine several times, I don’t even notice. Going on 5 years now, no issues
It is just a matter of getting used to something different.
John & Mary Burger
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BuckeyeDennis
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by BuckeyeDennis »

jsburger wrote: Thank you Dennis. A question. Are not modern devices like a TV remote with "discrete" buttons basically the same internally as the membrane touch pad?.
I can't say for sure, John. I've never designed consumer electronics, nor even torn apart a TV remote.
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JPG
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by JPG »

Regardless if rubber dome, click button, tactile feedback is IMHO necessary for reliable user/electronics communication.

One of my gripes is when that tactile feedback occurs BEFORE the contact is accomplished(i.e. independant from whether switch has made or not). :(

Tactile feedback should occur near simultaneously with and after switch contact has occurred.

End Rant!

Audio feedback is adequate/necessary with membrane(minimal travel) switches.
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tucsonguy
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by tucsonguy »

I believe he is using the identical motor. Advantages to his system include a quick kill button and a restart neither of which need rebooting. Also, heat is less of a problem.
Downside; his top speed is 4500 rpm, he has chosen to keep the motor running slower and avoid heat issues. Flip side - his machine will do 50 rpm...
DVRplus
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by DVRplus »

Hello,

I just heard about this thread and wanted to make a few comments.The
DVRplus+ runs from 50 rpm to 5,500. I currently have proto types out in the field and I'm pleased the results are so far very positive and I'm humbled by the enthusiastic discussions on this and Facebook forums.
The primary reason I decided to create a DVR upgrade/repair service is cost and safety. This is a repair swap service and has different features from the PowerPro. The pros and cons are debatable as evidenced on this forum.

Personally, I've always worried about the safety of the PowerPro. It has no emergency cutoff switch and lets face it, getting to a small touch button can be difficult in a high stress situation. That is why I added the e-stop that activates an electronic braking system.

Also, when using some the SPT's such as the bandsaw, you don't always have the ability to let go of a work piece and walk over to the headstock to stop the motor. The remote seems like a convenience, but being able to move it around solves this safety issue.

My intention, is to give people a low cost option who have been priced out due to the high cost of the PowerPro, even with discounts, as well as improved safety features. If you have purchased the PowerPro I'm not suggesting it wasn't a good purchase and you should use it and enjoy your passion for woodworking.

This is SS's forum so if you want more info please go to my web site at: https://sites.google.com/view/dvrplus. YouTube and Facebook page under the name For The Love Of Wood. Of note, I'm taking suggestions for a new name. Please let me know if you have any good ideas.

Thank you, and happy woodworking!
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reible
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by reible »

I'm starting to come around to this idea. Certain changes at shopsmith have left me less then trilled and I'm pretty sure I have made my last large purchase from them. Certainly I have got a lot of $$ invested so in cases where they may still have repair parts I would more then likely purchase them but that is about it.

The DIY unit depending on the price point is more in line with how I like to do things anyway. So we will see once that price and availability arrive, of course so far all this is speculation.

Oh and it will not happen during February as that is Festool month. My Kapex arrived already (today so it has not even been unboxed yet) and I may find a few more things to buy before the price their increases that normally come about this time of year happen.

Ed
{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]
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reible
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Re: Powerpro Competitor

Post by reible »

Interesting that the link he provided doesn't seem to work anymore??

"404. That’s an error.

The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know."

I'll check back later but it could be it was taken down?

Ed
{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]
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