By far the most common controls on the FP NC machines were the Dialog 1, Dialog 2, Dialog 3, Dialog 4 and Contour 1, Contour 2, and Contour 3 controls.
For reasons not yet understood Dialog and Contour controls are almost completely equivalent. More on that later.
The controls represent increasingly higher development levels, but because they were used on different machines with different mechanical possibilities, different controls were available concurrently, which means that for example a Contour 1 was still available long after a Contour 3 was introduced.
|Dialog 2||Contour 1|
|Dialog 3||Contour 2|
|Dialog 4||Contour 3|
Tool changer machines appear to never have come with a Dialog 4 control but had Contour 3 and later Dialog 11 controls instead. Previous to 1985 earlier controls were used.
Contour 3 had only 128 K memory, compared to the Dialog 4's 256 K (without add-on memory board).
Contour controls have square keys, Dialog controls have round keys.
- Circular interpolation
- drilling cycles
- linear pocket milling
- rounding of corners
- smooth approach
- internal cornering
- tool compensation
- 4th axis
99 allowable tool compensation numbers, 24KB storage, 20mA/V24 interface with 300 baud
Dialog 2/Contour 1 (in addition to above):
- polar coordinates
- rotary offsetting
- hole patterns
- circular pocket and pin milling
- feed optimization for contouring
- 3D contouring control with linear interpolation in 3 out of 4 axis
Dialog 3/Contour 2 (in addition to above):
- irregular contour pocketing
- simplified thread milling
- graphic display (can be activated by dip switch)
RS 232 introduced.
Dialog 4/Contour 3 (in addition to above):
- DNC capability as an option.
- basic memory 256 K (Contour 3 128K)
- Extended memory (512 K) as an option.
- 3D offset capability during circular interpolation
- completly new and more capable program and tool management
Dialog 4 last SW level 3.07
The scan below is from the 1985 Dialog 4 introduction brochure, but in the following years the Dialog 4 experienced some performance enhancements through SW and HW upgrades, so the below list is only the starting point for the Dialog 4 configuration evolvement.
Below brochure describes a Dialog 4, but shows an older Dialog (note keypads)