Buyng and fitting a dro to sieg sx2 mill

Home Model Engine Machinist Forum

Help Support Home Model Engine Machinist Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Dec 12, 2012
Reaction score
I am happy using the lathe with dials.Its what I like and am used to
I fitted a digital vernier to the z axis of the sieg mill and I love it
I have been toying with fitting DRO readout and being a tight Yorkshire man
thought about just 2 axis but the vernier is getting damaged with chips
so why not go the whole hog and 3 axis. Having just returned from the dentist
with numb lips and minus $800 I thought sod it lets do it.
Having no experience whatsoever please offer advise to a newbe
I don't run coolant, only work to 1 thou etc.X is 300mm,Y is 130mm and
Z is 250mm travel. Not familiar myself but I assume glass scales are best
with full mounting package.Dont need all the bells and whistles,just fed up
counting handwheel turns 5 micron will more than adequate.Some people
mention slimline scales etc etc.Ebay from China are about $400 all in
Any advice on sourcing,prices and fitting etc most welcome.I note the scales are nom. 140mm longer than the travel.Anyone fitted them to sieg Sc2lf
advice would be most welcome before my next pension chq comes in the next
2 weeks. Thanks Barry

First of all, a disclaimer. I have no relationship with any of the businesses mentioned in this email - I am simply a happy customer. The DRO on my SX-2.7 Mill was imported from in the USA, and the DRO on my SC4 lathe is a recently purchased Sieg Bluetooth unit.

As you're in Australia, one local option for you could be the two different types of DRO sold by AUSEE in Melbourne.

The Digital Readout Bars are certainly low cost, and you can get a separate DRO head unit display for them, so you don't need to try to read the displays on each Readout Bar. But the accuracy of the Readout Bars may not be good enough for you. Digital Readout Bars typically have a resolution of 0.01mm (roughly 0.0005") But the accuracy of the Digital Readout Bars decreases as the length of the Digital Readout Bar increases. A 100mm Digital Readout Bar typically has an accuracy of +-0.02mm, whilst on a 400mm digital readout bar, the accuracy typically decreases to +-0.04mm. The Digital Readout Bars may be adequate for your needs.

I tried Ebay sourced Digital Readout Bars on my old lathe last year, and was very disappointed. The scale running along the 18 inch bed of the lathe turned out to be fairly inaccurate (around +- 0.004") and repeatability was a huge problem. When using a Dial Indicator to check the position of the carriage, repeatedly returning the carriage to the same position as displayed on the Digital Readout Bar display, resulted in the +- 0.04" errors measured on the Dial Indicator reading against the carriage.

The Sieg DROs utilise Magnetic Scales. The big advantage of this type of magnetic scale is that you can easily cut the scales down to whatever length you require (there's lots of How To videos available from for the same type of magnetic scales). The "Sieg Magnetic Scale Type B" is the preferred type. The Sieg Type A scales could be much more of a challenge to mount permanently as the Type A scales have an adhesive backing (.... I have no personal experience with the Sieg Type A scales).

There are two DRO head unit options for the Sieg DROs. One DRO head unit is a typical display unit. The other option utilises Bluetooth and an Android Phone or Tablet as the DROs display unit. You run the Sieg DRO App on your Android device, and connect by bluetooth to the Sieg Magnetic Scale Bluetooth Device. Works a treat !

With these Sieg products, you'll need to make your own Aluminium mounting brackets -- but then you are a machinist and you own a mill, so that shouldn't be too hard. A few lengths of Aluminium angle, and away you go. Again, have heaps of videos showing how to install their DRO kits, and many of the ideas that you see in the DroPro videos (such as the design of the mounting brackets and alignment of the scales and read heads) can be utilised (plagerised ?) on other brand DRO kits.

The biggest problem with the Asian DRO kits for sale Ebay, Banggood, etc (and that includes the Ausee units) is that the instructions that come with them are written in hard to understand "Chinglish". Both the installation instructions and the instructions for using the DRO head unit display are typically not too good.

I found that the instructions that came with the DroPros kit were excellent, and made even easier with the videos that DroPros provide. If I had not already installed the DroPros kit, I think that I would have found the Sieg kit to be pretty hard to install well. That said, if you buy the Sieg DRO (or a DRO from Ebay, Banggood, Albaba, etc) make full use of DroPros web resources to help you along in the installation.

And, if you can afford it, go for the DroPros kit - I think it's worth the extra bucks.



There are many sets available from the normal Chinese suppliers, and if you send a message to any of them, they should be able to supply you with the slimline heads, which IMHO are the ones you will require. They might be a few bucks more expensive but you will have less trouble fitting them into confined spaces.

No need to go any more accurate than the normally supplied 5um units, as they read to 2 tenths anyway.

If you wonder how to use all the functions on a DRO, then this site has a few very good videos that explain things very well. Mine are Sino and Sinpo, but they all seem to use the same controls, the more expensive ones have more usable features, but even the cheaper display heads have everything that you will most probably ever need.

Hope it helps a little

Please use glass scales. Run to each endstop and put a mark on the machine with a felt pen against a reference point on the part that moves. Measure how far apart these marks are. That is the minimum length of travel you should buy for each axis to retain full scale movement. Anything less, the scale will limit the travel (which you might have to do).

I purchased Ditron scales becasue they have a compact scale that suited my lathe cross slide out of Aliexpress. I think these are good quality and a few have followed my lead since. The ones on eBay from Singapore are a bit overpriced.

Don't waste your money on a kit. If its like the one I bought for my SX3, it will be poorly documented, have a mediocre quality plastic display unit, be missing parts or you will replace parts they provide with ones you make.

Many machines have tapered cast parts you will need to affix your scales to. But the scales have to be level in all directions. A useful tip is to make levelling blocks that have a clearance hole for a screw and another tapped hole for a grub screw. You put these between the scale and the machine and you can adjust for level using the grub screw. There are some examples buried in my Rod's Aussie Shed thread of fitting DRO's to my SX3 mill and my lathe.

It is not hard, but you might need to be inventive about where you fit the scales.

Remember once fitted to check for level on both axes of the scale along the full length with a dial indicator.
As Rod has mentioned, most castings on your mill won't have a level surface to bolt the read heads to.

I solved the problem by making an ali back plate with small adjusting grub screws at each corner. The backing plate was perfectly aligned by use of the grub screws and then bolted to the casting, then the read head was screwed to that.

Some people try to use washers behind the head fixing bolts, but that as far as I am concerned is just a lash up job that if you ever need to take the head off, could cause alignment problems.

Like this. Scrape away the paint where the grub screws are going to be resting on.

You can see where the four adjusting grub screws fit. Once that plate is levelled and tightened down, the read head can be screwed to it in the knowledge that it is perfectly true to everything else.

This is the opposite way to what people normally require, I had to have the head fixed solid and the glass scale moving, but it is still the same principle just that the glass scale on yours would need the backing plate with adjuster screws.

I had to do the same sort of thing on the Z axis of my mill, the scale had to move and the head was stationary. But again everything was set up to thou accuracy.


The read head was again set up onto the main casting with small grub screws for levelling off.


You run the Sieg DRO App on your Android device, and connect by bluetooth to the Sieg Magnetic Scale Bluetooth Device. Works a treat !


I have tried to download the SIEG DRO app to my Android tablet 3 times, but the install fails. Any ideas? Also tried downloading to my pc and transferring to the tablet via usb jump drive, no good either.

I would like to see the app's capability and compare it to TouchDRO, which I cannot get to work reliably.

I have the sieg magnetic scales fitted to a sieg x2.7 mill and they work very well.
I didn't use there app as it was from what I could tell an early version of TouchDro .Maybe different now. I have a Samsung 10.1" Galaxy Tab A and had no troubles with the installation of TouchDro but from what I read not all tablets are created equal ( diferent versions of Bluetooth ).Once installed to connect to the dro, the pairing code was 1234 which wasn't documented at the time and was the second attempt to pair. Seems very stable and more than accurate enough for my size mill.
Really I think for the amount the Sieg unit costs all up tablet ect, your better of going for a DroPro or Ditron , much more support.
My initial thoughts were for glass scales because a lot of people recommended them.Rodw why glass please give me pros and cons.
Thanks John I have started to watch Utube the DROPRO with magnetic scales very clear and concise set of videos
these seem more versatile again what are the pros and cons bearing in
mind my usage and situation.From what I see the glass scales are fully assembled but the length needs to be right.The read head runs on the bottom
so would be better for the X axis as the magnetic read head is from the rear
and is more likely to foul the column.
If I specify say a travel of 300mm then the overall length would be 440mm nom .Does this allow for the additional length required to avoid the read head
running into to the end stop.For 300mm travel should I specify say 320mm/
Will have to spend more time looking at travel length,mounting positions
and clearances etc.My initial thoughts are with the magnetic scales.Anyone
have any info on the slimline glass scales.Its making my head spin next I will have to consider prices.Please keep up your comments and photos please if anyone has fitted dros to the sieg Sx2.They say the human brain has a limited capacity and as you get older and it gets full,old info gets pushed out
to make room.At this rate I will know a lot about DROs but will forget where I live. Regards barry
View attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135132.250774.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135151.105620.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135166.044526.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135182.916779.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135204.357991.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByModel Engines1487135221.452536.jpg
Here are some pics of my X2 with slimline scales from the DRO store .
Z axis is easy , just got to sort out the correct packers / shims .
Y axis needed some tapered blocks to allow for the draft of the base casting and i just used one of those little digital angle block / gauge , set it to zero on the table surface then measure the angle on the side of the base and machine some blocks to suit .
X axis is fairly simple but i had to modify the backing plate to allow for the gib adjustments which are now a bit harder to access so adjust them before final fitting , the X axis lock had to be extended and i might have moved it outward by one hole as it shares the same size thread as the gib adjustment screws .
I have one of those table feed units fitted ( regrettably) and i needed to space it out so it didn't hit the Y axis scale .
X axis : scale moves , reader head stays still - scale length (overall not travel) = 365mm approx .
Y axis reader head moves , scale stays still - " " = 265mm approx
Z axis reader head moves , scale stays still - " " = 410 mm approx
I had to make a few custom items but they do fit .
Never had any luck with the cheapie magnetic scales , they seemed to have a mind of their own and i have nothing but praise for the unit from the dro store .

I have tried to download the SIEG DRO app to my Android tablet 3 times, but the install fails. Any ideas? Also tried downloading to my pc and transferring to the tablet via usb jump drive, no good either.

I would like to see the app's capability and compare it to TouchDRO, which I cannot get to work reliably.

Are you downloading from the link provided on the Ausee web site, or from another site ? As far as I know the Sieg DRO App is not yet on the Android App Store.

I downloaded from the Ausee link (!AvC4hH_Wz1i3bnnIldLI3SecFn0) and it installed without problems on my Samsun 10 inch Tablet.


I don't think you will manage to get magnetic strip heads from any of the Chinese sources, I think they can only be obtained from greedy non Chinese sellers.

As Ian above has shown, the smaller glass heads fit rather nicely on the X2.

There was also talk going about that the magnetic heads were not as accurate as the glass scales. You would need to read up on the um range for them.

Last edited:
My initial thoughts were for glass scales because a lot of people recommended them.Rodw why glass please give me pros and cons.

You fit them and forget them forever.

With regards the magnetic ones, there might be a case on a small mill like yours but first ask yourself how many digital calipers have you worn out? I've worn out a few but more recently a good dosing of isopropyl alcohol resurrected a couple. I have never needed to maintain the glass scales.

Re slim line scales, review this Ditron manual and check the drawing dimensions of DC series Linear Scale.pdf

Standard scale is DC10, slimiline is DC10F.

And yes, you need to make sure that the scale areas does not limit travel (or hitting the end of a glass scale damages it...) But I've got some limits on travel and never caused any damage.

I just found my old invoice from 2014. I paid USD $100 for the read head and about USD $67 for each scale (slimlines were $2 dearer). Plus about $135 freight. I bought the 1 micron scales which only cost about $10 each more. (All up USD $370). Or you could buy DC10F scales from Hare and Forbes for $332
Are you downloading from the link provided on the Ausee web site, or from another site ? As far as I know the Sieg DRO App is not yet on the Android App Store.

I downloaded from the Ausee link (!AvC4hH_Wz1i3bnnIldLI3SecFn0) and it installed without problems on my Samsun 10 inch Tablet.


I figured it out. I had Youri's TouchDRO installed on the tablet. SIEG replied to my e-mail with the app attached. I uninstalled TouchDRO and then was able to install SIEG DRO. It does look exactly like TouchDRO. Haven't done anything else with it yet. That's why the install failed. They are the same program. Not sure if the same revision. Funny, all the research I've done trying to get this to work, never saw anything about SIEG version.
I'll try to dig out the Arduino and the rest of that setup and see if the Sieg branded version works any better, somehow I doubt it will...

Saw on Ebay a dro kit from an ozzie supplier advertised at $340
Delving deeper shows the 3 axis kit at $440 with free postage
So a couple of emails and then phone calls from a very helpful Marco
gave me an all in price of $400 for std scales with slimline scales at +$50 each
From the dim details I thought that the slimline would fit better but being tight
yorkshireman wasn't happy with an overall price of $550.Marco came back to
me with an alternative medium slimline scales at +$20 so placed the order at
a total of $460. Including the read head on the end elevation (section)
The std scales are 25w x 63mm deep
The slimline scales are 18w x 43mm deep
The medium slimline are 20w x 50mm deep
I placed the order for 300mm X axis,250mm Z axis and 150mm Y axis
One of my questions answered was on say the 300mm scale the actual travel
is 320mm so you can get the full 300mm without the readhead hitting the ends. and the overall length is 130mm longer than the travel.Waiting for them to arrive and then will hopefully use this thread to describe the fitting
My thoughts are to mount the x axis to the back of the table,the Y axis to the left hand side and the Z axis to the left hand side of the column after removing the digital vernier that I fitted. Regards barry
If you mount the X axis scale on the rear of the table you gain two benefits:
1 -Fitting is easier
2- adjusting the gibs is easier as the adjustment screws are on the front of the table .
You incur one disadvantage though and that is the loss of travel on the Y axis which is pretty limited to start with and it would be wise to fit some sort of stopper so you don't crush the scale between the table and column .
I ordered the X axis scale so it was as long as the table , its better to on the generous side with the amount of travel the scales have .
Thanks xd351.The y axis on mine is about 150mm and the rear of the table
goes to within 20mm of the column.The 20mm scale will just fit but I intend
to fit a stop to just clear the scale.Everything else will fit perfectly and I can
still retain about 140mm travel,where the spec sheet on this mill states
max 130mm Will all come out in the wash cant wait for it to arrive.Plenty of thought going in to this.Will start with the X as that's the easiest.I think
Thanks Rod,that is the way I have in mind.The X axis is easy with the scale
mounted to the rear edge of the table fixed with the readhead fixed direct ti the cross carriage.Scale moves with the table.The Y axis has the scale fixed
on blocks and the resdhead on a plt passing between the scale and the mill base.Similar also for the vertical Z axis.Dont know about the covers yet

Latest posts