Upgrading the DVR XP to wireless

I had an opportunity today to actually take the simple steps to upgrade my DVR to wireless.  Given my DVR came out before the wireless upgrade was available, it also needs the additional retro kit, which involves replacing the front panel (and one of the circuit boards within).

Nova DVR XP original head

The DVR is quite an amazing lathe – with the motor contained directly in the head of the lathe and with direct drive and computer speed control, it is an impressive arrangement.  Expect to see DVR motor technology utilised in other machines in the not-to-distant future.

Control panel

On new DVRs, the control panel is already wireless-ready, but it still needs an additional circuit board added.  These instructions are relevant for both the wireless-ready, and the retro kit required lathes.  Some steps are not relevant for both obviously – will point them out as we progress.

Step one is turning off, and unplugging the lathe.  You need to leave it at least 2 minutes for the circuits to fully de-energise. (The video by Teknatool suggests 5 minutes)

Loosen screws to release the control panel

Loosen the four screws on the sides of the panel.  They can be loosened, or fully removed (doesn’t matter which).  The panel is then gently rocked free of the lathe.  It still has a cable connecting it to the lathe, so be careful!

The motor control cable

This cable can now be disconnected.  Note which way around it goes (the red wire is always the #1 wire fwiw).  In this case, the #1 wire is towards the top of the control box.  The connector also has a tab to ensure it is returned the correct way up, but it is always good to keep track of the ribbon orientation as well.  It may be held in place with a dab of hot glue – easy enough to pick off with your fingernail.

Panel removed

Lathe looks a little strange with the panel removed – this is an aluminium plate affixed to the front which is used to secure the panel.

Wireless control with associated circuit, and retro kit

On the left is the remote control.  In the packaging, there is also a small circuit board that is paired to the control.  This is the wireless receiver.  (I’ll cover what to do if it is not paired further down)

On the right is the retro kit.  This is only needed for older DVRs as mentioned (pre August 2011).  At this point, those with a wireless ready DVR can skip ahead – we will get back to steps that are relevant to you in a sec!

Glue blob

Near the #1 wire here, you can see the hot glue blob that is used to ensure the cable doesn’t detach over time.  When unplugging the ribbons, you need to first pick off the glue blob.

Removed circuit board

The main circuit board is fully unplugged, then unscrewed.

Original circuit board attached to retro kit

This circuit board is then screwed to the same location on the retro kit panel (using the same screws).

So about now, DVR wireless ready owners can rejoin the party 🙂

Adding the wireless receiver

Next, the wireless receiver is pushed onto the pins that the circuit ribbon was removed from (the one I am holding).  Clever concept of how to add it into the circuit to be honest.  Very cool.

Connecting the circuit ribbon

The circuit-board ribbon plugs into the top of the wireless receiver.  You can see how the design is working at this point – the top PCB (printed circuit board) is the one with the display, the on/off and speed controls.  It passes directly through the new wireless receiver so the original controls work exactly as they used to.  However, the wireless receiver can receive instructions from the remote, and input them as if the relevant buttons on the front panel were pushed.

Attaching the ribbon, part A

Attaching the ribbon, part B

The ribbon is connected – the new version of the controller has a ribbon with an additional plug partway along.  This connects to the wireless receiver, and then the lower PCB.  Take careful note of the #1 wire (the red one).  It can be attached to the wireless receiver either way, but only one way will work.  The #1 wire needs to be towards the long side of the wireless receiver PCB.

Connect the motor control ribbon

Connect the motor control ribbon, then screw the whole control panel back to the front of the lathe.  You may discover that the remote is not paired to the wireless receiver (as was the case with my kit).  It is a very simple step to rectify.  Turn on the lathe (before the panel is screwed back onto the lathe).  Once it has gone through its bootup, try the remote.  To turn the lathe on, hold the start/stop button for 2 seconds.  If this does not start the lathe, it is likely that it is not yet paired.

To pair the transmitter and receiver, with the lathe switched on (but not running), push the pairing button on the wireless receiver PCB.

Pairing button

The pairing button is the little white one just above my finger in the photo.  Then within 60 seconds, push the power button on the remote.  You will hear some beeps, and then the two will be paired together.  Try to run the lathe again with the remote, and it should now work.

Screw the control panel onto the lathe, and enjoy giving the lathe a run remotely!

Ready to run…. remotely!

All attached, and first tests went well- namely using the lathe as it was originally, starting, stopping and speed control from the control panel.  One (minor) advantage of transferring the common circuit board from the original panel to the retro upgrade panel is all my preset speed settings were remembered.

Now with the remote control (either wrist-worn, or magnetically attached somewhere convenient), the lathe can be started and stopped from up to 7m away, and can be increased or decreased in speed in 10 RPM increments (initially).  The manual suggests the increments are 10-15 RPMs at a time, and it seems it depends on from what speed setting you are altering from.  Low RPMs, the increment is 10 RPM, high RPMs, seems to be increments of 15.  If you hold one of the speed-change buttons down, it behaves the same as if you held down the speed change button on the front of the lathe – the changes are slow at first, then increase in the amount of change (ie you can initially see the changes are 10 RPMs, but it soon becomes 100 RPMs at a time, so you can quickly accelerate up to the lathe’s highest speeds (or decelerate from there) by holding the speed change button on.

It is important to note what manual number you get with the kits.  If they are the 119-0811-001 manuals (as mine were), these are incomplete and have errors.  Teknatool R&D have produced a much better version of each manual, with a much clearer documentation of each step, using actual photos.  I have included the latest versions (as of when this article was written) here as PDFs.

DVR Wireless Remote Manual 17.08

DVR Wireless Remote Retro Fit Kit Manual 17.08

Now I don’t know if I will always use the remote – possibly not to be honest.  If I am working near the lathe head, and have easy access to the control panel I will still use that.  However when working away from the control panel (or when I would have to reach over a spinning workpiece to reach the controls, such as outboard turning), then the remote will be a god-send.  Kinda fitting, considering Teknatool and Nova come from Godzone!

I would think this remote would be useful for instructors as well – with a younger, or less confident operator, the instructor will have the ability to remote-stop a lathe without having to hover near the control panel.

Also too for experienced operators wanting to spin up something out of balance, or possibly compromised with hidden flaws and defects.  Instead of turning on the lathe and hopefully standing out of the line of fire if something lets go, you can stand well out of the line of fire, and even at a safe distance to test the integrity of a new piece of timber.

So a cool upgrade, and easily fitted to an existing DVR XP, whether or not it is already wireless-ready.

Teknatool produced a YouTube video of the upgrade, which can also be watched below:

Teknatool living up to its name

I don’t know the history of the name of the New Zealand company Teknatool, but if it has anything to do with technology (and innovation) and tools, then it seems pretty fitting.



The Nova DVR XP lathe I have is pretty complex – computer managed speed control, constant speed maintenance even under variable load conditions, chisel dig-in detection, and so on. The head of the lathe turns outboard allowing a decent size bowl or plate to be turned, and in a tightly packed shed like mine, this can lead to having to reach around or near the turning object to change speeds, or start/stop the lathe.

What I have now (yet to be fitted to the lathe), is a remote control, which can either be worn like a watch, or attached to the lathe or convenient nearby surface magnetically.



Wrist or magnetic mount

Wrist or magnetic mount

This remote control will allow me to start, stop and vary the lathe speed from up to about 7m away. No more reaching over the workpiece to access the controls if turning outboard, or finding myself down one end of the lathe and the controls up at the other.

The latest versions of the Nova DVR XP are wireless-ready (and have a sticker proclaiming the fact)

Remote Enabled

Remote Enabled

The Nova 2024 comes with the remote as part of the package (as far as I know).

Owners of XPs can purchase it as an optional extra. Now if you have an older Nova DVR XP which is not wireless enabled (which is my situation as well), then all is not lost. There is a retro-upgrade kit available which replaces the original control panel on the front of the lathe, which then means that wireless control can also be yours!

At this stage, it is unclear if the remote and/or upgrade kit will be available for Australian owners. When it was first announced I immediately asked CarbaTec in Melbourne if I could order one, and was told they were not going to be supplying them (and being the sole importer, that was pretty much that), but I am not sure if the position has changed. I would certainly hope so for the sake of other DVR XP owners out there (and future owners of the wireless enabled version of the DVR XP).



Retro upgrade

Retro upgrade

I haven’t had a chance to replace my existing controller as yet – been a bit busy unfortunately, but I will document the (simple) process when I do.

And then…..wireless lathe control will be mine, all mine (cue manic laugh).

cue manic laugh

cue manic laugh

Lighting Control

On the Australian Woodwork Forums, one of the members mentioned how they had sourced some remote controlled 240V switches, and it dawned on me that this might be a perfect solution for the shed lighting.

Headed down the the store in question – Jaycar, and got to see the units. Was thinking through how they might help, and decided it was the way to go. Saw some hardwired versions as well, but the standard ones were definitely the solution I needed.

Had the boxes in hand at the checkout, but there was a long queue, and the counter staff were being very slow, and I had time to start second guessing myself. Decided I didn’t need them there and then. Wasn’t sure if they were the ones being talked about here anyway (seemed..I dunno….plastic-ee) The base unit in the store I went to was something like $40 for the remote plus one unit, and each additional switch was $25.

So I put them all down, and decided to see what Dick Smith’s equivalent was.

Turns out their base (1 remote + 1 switch) was $20, and each additional switch was $10. The remote controls 5 units rather than 4, but cannot be set for the 16 or so that the Jaycar one can. I only needed 5 circuits, so I was wrapped!!!!

So thanks to the forum member, this wouldn’t have even occurred to me if they hadn’t mentioned it – it has saved a lot of hassles, and wires (and switches etc)

So what I am going to do is –

switch 1 – left set of 4 banks of tubes
switch 2 – middle set of 2 banks of tubes
switch 3 – right set of 4 banks of tubes
switch 4 – outside light
switch 5 – undecided

Means I can switch the dusty (***update – no – can’t handle the starting current required for motors***) on and off remotely as required, and the banks of lights as needed as well. Way cool!!!!

Remote Control 240V Switches

I really like my new lights – they were being discarded from a building that was being upgraded to a more energy optimised type of fitting – light sensing type. So these were getting tossed – 3 years old, immaculate condition, prewired (3 pin plug), with tubes and everything.

I love the green movement – they throw these things away – how much power is needed to be saved by the new set before they even recoup the energy and resources that went into making this set? It looks good on the company’s green balance sheet, and cost the country (or the planet depending on where they were made) a stack of extra resources overall. The planet’s loss, my shed’s gain!!!

***Update, as we have discovered, these specific units are rated for 1000W max, which should be ok, but the comparable units from Jaycar also list that they can handle the current for lighting circuits, but only start a 1/10HP motor.  The Jacksons’ don’t list this restriction, but in practice, it is there nevertheless (so I discovered when I blew one!)  So, these are perfect for my lights as I wanted, just don’t plan on starting any equipment with one!! ***

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