plasma cutter powered by phase converter?

Just picked up a used Hypertherm Powermax 1000 plasma cutter. Seems OK, price was right, but the second the arc hits the steel - phhht! - off it shuts. LEDs
indicate a problem with incoming power. I'm running it from my phase converter, since this model plasma cutter can run on multiple phases/voltages, and since it draws a lot less current from 220 3 phase than from 220 single phase.
I'm going to wire the cord for a single phase plug and try it in my regular welder outlet and see, but I'm wondering - do any of you guys run a 60A plasma cutter off of a phase converter?
Grant
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On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 13:42:14 -0700, Grant Erwin

I run my 1250 off real 3 phase without a hitch. However I can see where it would be sensitive to the incoming power (think VFD and how sensitive they are to input) and not work off a rotary phase converter. It's probably sensing the dropping voltage of the generated phase and kicking off.
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Some of the 3 phase equipment is fussy about the power on just a couple of legs. You maight want to try doing some swapping of wires in the plug.
Wayne Cook wrote:

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RoyJ wrote:

I tried swapping the leads around a little, only tried 2 of the 6 possibilities but some of those are redundant.
GWE
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There shouldn't be a problem with drooping voltage if the rotary phase converter has appropriate capacitors; and if it is large enough for the load like at least 1 1/2 times the HP drawn by the plasma cutter.
Bob Swinney
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Wayne Cook wrote:

You might try rotating the phase wires around one position. If it uses a single- phase transformer, this might bring the bulk of the load over to the line phase.
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Jim Stewart wrote:

The input power goes from the cord to the power switch to the input of a three phase bridge on those units. Straight to DC. It's a big switching supply basically.
At 230-240V 1ph it draws 44A per leg, at 230-240V 3ph it draws 26A per leg. I don't see a good reason to try to run it on "fake" 3ph if you don't have "real" 3ph. It's not like a big welder pulling 100A per leg, it's a kitchen range.
Pete C.
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Hum - How about getting a 3 phase transformer and use the core to provide the surge currents. I have a 220 rotary and boost it upward with three transformers and 3 more bucking transformers to get the level I wanted.
One large core or three transformers.
Now for a buddy that has one to loan out - or a junk yard...
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member http://lufkinced.com /
Wayne Cook wrote:

-
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Is this the one that was posted on Craigslist in the Seattle area? I almost jumped on that myself...let us know how you did when you get it working well.
On a similar note....I need a little info from the real world rather than literature on the higher amperage models of these hypertherms.
Eventually, I need to be able to CNC cut up to 3/4" (usually only 5/8") T304 stainless including some piercing operations. I hated to underbuy so passed on the one mentioned above due to hypertherm saying that it needed an edge start for those thicknesses.
Any recommendations on models/amperage that'll do the thick stainless, leave a cut that can be profile milled later without much trouble, and won't have me buying more machine than I need?
For a while, I'd only be using it for hand cutting thinner gauges so it'd be waaaaay overkill..however, would rather buy the right one to start than buy twice.
Thanks,
Koz
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Koz wrote:

Suggest calling Hypertherm and talking to an app engineer to select the best unit. Hypertherm is pretty much the best so you'll want one of their units anyway.
Pete C.
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Yup, it's that one. I made him an offer and he bit. I was a little surprised. It came with 34 extra electrodes and 29 extra nozzles and one extra guard and an entire extra gun minus lead, torn down for parts, plus original manual and even the receipt from when he bought it @ Praxair about 2 years ago.

Eric Snow wrote me today:
".. a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 101. It claims to be able to cut 3/4" steel at 10 Inches per minute. This claim is true. After testing both the Hypertherm and the Thermal Dynamics the deciding factor was the start method and CNC interface option. The TD uses some kind of capacitive start instead of high frequency like the Hyper. This is helpful when connecting the machine to a computer for CNC use. TD also sells a circuit board that plugs into the machine which allows the computer to directly control the amperage, start, and etc. And the torch cable is a quick- disconnect so that the machine can be connected to a machine torch for CNC use or the hand torch can be connected for manual use. My plan is to eventually have a CNC plasma cutter set up."
If Hypertherm says the 1000 won't pierce 3/4" stainless, it probably won't. Conversely, if they said it would, it *might* .. but it's unreal to think of reverse specsmanship and them admitting it won't do something it will.
GWE
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I have a CNC plasma machine - and we connect to all Hypertherm without issue. A great number of machines function - a special cable is within.
Just having an interface board - sounds great - if you are doing your own - even better. Check with the CNC table people on the requirements - save your money.
Some machines require the interface - depends on the vendor.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member http://lufkinced.com /
Grant Erwin wrote:

-
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Most of that info is incorrect. The Hypertherm Powermax 1000 does not use HF to start the arc / plasma stream, it uses a blowback system. It also comes standard with a CNC interface port (CPC type connector on the back).
As for piercing 3/4" stainless, read the manual. I believe the issue with piercing such thick material is not the piercing capability, but rather nozzle and shield life. A CNC that provides "wiggle pierce" or better still a tilt axis to pierce at an angle as you would by hand will greatly reduce the problem.
Pete C.
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wrote:

I'd say that the Powermax 1250 would be the right machine for you. It's what I have and I'm extremely happy with it. The new torch they have on the 1000 and above is the best torch I've ever used. It will cut thin stock clean and quick and without changing anything go right over and cut 1" stock just as clean (though not as quick). For CNC use I wouldn't go any smaller especially if you're going to want to do 3/4". It's rated for 7/8" and though I've never tried on that thickness I do know that it handles 1" pretty well if slowly.

I know it uses blowback on the normal start but it seems like it has HF on when in gouge mode. I've not verified this but that's just the way it acts to me.

Agreed. Piercing 3/4" thick is tough to do without messing something up. My experience is that if you'll do a traveling pierce it works better. When I was doing a lot of stainless work on a pattern torch setup I just turned it on and then hit the trigger so that it pierced while cutting. That worked much better than trying to stay in on place. Staying in one place does several things including making a mound of material on top which can get stuck to the nozzle shorting it to the work.
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wrote:

Pete-I can only go by the machines that Central Welding gave me to test. The Hypertherm one used high frequency, at least it acted like the high frequency on my TIG welder, and I was told that it did. The TD machine did not. Of course things change in a year. ERS
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Eric R Snow wrote:

Plasma cutting has indeed changed rapidly. I know the Hypertherm Powermax 1000 I just got this year does not use HF and it has a CNC interface port as standard. It also has the G3 torch which kicks butt. The G3 is supposed to trickle down to the smaller units eventually.
Pete C.
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Pete, what would you think is the fair price for a '2003 Powermax 1000 G3?
thanks
i
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Ignoramus8392 wrote:

Unless it's seen heavy use and abuse I'd think $1k is not unreasonable. They are right around $2k new with tax or shipping.
Pete C.
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Thanks. The seller does not want to sell for that amount, I think that I will just wait. There is another one selling the 600 model, though, would you say that $700 is a sensible price?
thanks
i
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Ignoramus8392 wrote:

The 600 is around $1.5k new so $700 doesn't sound unreasonable if in good condition. It won't have the new G3 torch though since that hasn't made it below the 1000 model last I checked. I believe you can retrofit the G3 torch later for around $400.
Of course the 600 also has less capacity than the 1000. Suggest reviewing the specs on the Hypertherm site.
Pete C.
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