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Thread: Project 2 from Hooda. Category: 4) Custom welded Shop tools and improvements:CNC PLAS

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by posixPilot View Post
    Yes, it is the RAGE3, the sliding mitre version. However, at the max miter and compound capacity, the side was fully collapsed when I made that cut ... in other words, the cut was really bad without the slide extended.

    Cheers
    Mike
    Wow, disappointing for sure. The video show magic. My son complained about 3" cut, but the compound miter and slide had me all excited. Turned out they had none in Florida like I figured. I did not go online and get one, sort of glad now. Maybe I will see if I can get a coupon for the Northern unit and just stay at 14" straight cuts.

    Sure you can return it if it does not straighten out. I heard there are some tweaks to them somewhere, don't recall where.
    Mike R.
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  2. #42

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    I noticed on all the you tube video's they were mitering thin metals. I bet it would take one heck of a saw to get a flawless miter on 1/4 thick metal. I'm sure it will cut good as a normal chop saw.
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  3. #43
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    Hooda - if you are reading the forum and see this, how's it going on these projects? Did you ever get a steel-cutting saw?

    FYI, I finally managed to get my Craftsman bandsaw (same unit as you have) cutting straight. It's pretty versatile saw now, able to cut hard stainless or soft aluminum.

    The main problem it had (and I'm guessing this is the same problem that your has) was the blade tension wasn't set high enough. I have mine set a bit higher than the point where the compression spring bottoms out (and that is the original, probably tired spring). I found that increasing the tension like this did throw the blade tracking and roller guide positions out of whack a bit, and those only have so much adjustability, so in my case I had to make other adjustments to make it all work (while keeping the blade from coming off the wheels.)

    In the end though, it's finally a useful and reliable cutting tool. I don't think it's made a crooked cut once since I increased the tension, it was a total solution to all of its problems.
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  4. #44
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    Default Almost there!!!

    So, I'm on a tite schedule today, but I wanted to get this thread back in the public eye as I near completion of the project. The whole purpose of this project is to heighten the buying public's awareness of the suitability of the PP60c for CNC plasma table use, which is what it was DESIGNED for. I have encountered SO MUCH resistance along the way, from others, including my hardware suppliers, and I want this table to prove the point that this is a good-no GREAT unit for this purpose. Such was this resistance that the guys I bought the controller and motor setup from said that they would NOT honor any warranty unless I installed a raw arc voltage card inside the machine. Apparently, they had a controller grenade from what I believe was another brand (starts with a L), so they decided unless it was a "biggie" they wouldn't support it unless they actually got a unit in-house to check it out and confirm that the signals are correct for theirselves. The next post will have the pics of how I installed the card. I was able to do so WITHOUT cutting into or soldering ANY of the internal components of the PP60c, so there shouldn't be any trouble there. I'll try to get some pics so you can see where I'm at. I have everything loaded, set, and ready to go, except the 2 wires for the floating torch head. The next step is to fill the table with water, and start making test cuts and get this thing RUNNING! You will notice that the chassis is currently in raw steel. I had the EVERLAST green paint color-matched, and have a gallon of it. As soon as I get EVERYTHING completely turnkey, I will disassemble the unit, sandblast it, and paint it to match! More later.
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    Last edited by hooda; 11-30-2012 at 03:05 PM.
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  5. #45
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    Looking good, Hooda, glad to have you back and glad to hear this is coming together. I'm looking forward to seeing more pics.

    BTW When I saw you'd posted I re-read this thread from the start, and noticed Jakeru had found a solution to your bandsaw problem- did his fix apply to your machine too?
    DaveO
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  6. #46
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    Default ATTENTION! IF YOU PLAN ON USING CandCNC.COM BLADERUNNER. READ ON!!!

    So,
    This is the "what you need to do to your EVERLAST plasma cutter BEFORE RUNNING BLADERUNNER", IF you want your warranty honored, technical service, or even acknowledgement that you're a human being from the folks down there. I am in NO way trying to discredit EITHER company. Just that Neither of you has yet taken the time to work TOGETHER to get a few technical questions answered and put to bed, and until that is done, unless you're careful, you'll void the warranty of at least one of the two. Being relatively new to this end of a CNC (but with 20+ years running and programming other CNC machines) I had some technical questions about the hookup between the control unit, and the CNC port on the back of the PP60c. That's when I made a call down to Texas, where the Cand CNC factory is, for technical support. What started out as a simple question regarding divided arc voltage turned into the purchase of a RAV-01 (raw arc voltage card) for $41.50, which he explained was due to the fact that "Them Chinese welders is different", and he just will NOT trust them after more than one incident involving such, although he wouldn't mention EVERLAST specifically as a culprit, he said that they were one of the brands not covered by his warranty, unless this card was installed, along with the DCP-01 (digital current probe) for $85.00 more. Which in itself isn't ALL bad, as the digital current probe is ultra-simple to install, gives the OK to move signal to the control instead of the plasma cutter, and adds functionality to the MACH software, as well as real-time actual cutting amperage on the screen while running. Nifty. Actually, he was a little short with me at first, but I think it was because it was Friday at ten to five, but he stayed on the line with me for about 1/2 hour longer, and became more helpful once I agreed to buy the cards. He actually turned out to be a pretty nice guy. His name is Tom, and I found out that he's VERY busy most of the time, so he prefers that you come to him with questions that are not in the extremely well-written documentation, without looking there first. I have found out that 99.9% of the info needed to successfully install and set up this system is in their manuals, WITH illustrations AND photos AND schematics. ALL written in plain AMERICAN ENGLISH and easy to understand. The cards came the following Tuesday, and the following posts will be a rundown of the install. If you don't have at least SOME electronics experience, I would NOT recommend that you attempt this install, but then again, I wouldn't advise that you build your own CNC table, Either
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  7. #47
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    Default INSTALLING A RAW ARC VOLTAGE CARD IN THE PP60c

    HI! Due to the time it takes to generate these posts (I'm a slow typer, but like to get the wording right so folks can understand) This will be broken down into multiple posts. Maybe I should get that Dragon voice recognition software-If anyone uses it, please speak up, I need to know if it's worth it. Anyway, The RAV card comes mounted to a plastic base, great idea as it protects it and makes for an easy install.



    The instructions for the card say to mount it at least 2 inches from any other electronic components insidse the machine. On the PP60c, all I had to do is make a little mounting bracket, and I was in business. Good luck on others, I have no idea what the inside of any other plasma cutter looks like. So, I made the bracket out of a piece of 1/8" aluminum (DARN, no welding needed!)



    Sawed it with my 12 volt Milwaukee Hackzall, Bent a 90 at one end, drilled clearance and mounting holes for the card, then mounted the assembly on the front panel of the machine, using that 3M mounting tape. I was going to epoxy the bracket in place, than I thought, Airplane companies are using this stuff to fasten skins to wings these days, so I'm confident it's up to the task.





    Below are some shots of the card in place from a top and bottom view.





    You will notice in the bottom view, the wires are already hooked up, next post will show the rest of the install. Please bear with me on these images, as I use photobucket, and they are messing around with it, so I have some tweaking to do to ensure I don't have postage stamp sized images followed by poster size.
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  8. #48
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    Default Raw arc voltage card install part 2

    Since I actually have a decent connection, I'll keep going til I run out of time. Below is a shot of the whole unit, right before I replaced the covers.



    Before I hooked up the wires, I drilled a hole in the back of the cabinet, and installed a rubber grommet, for a finished look.



    Before drilling this hole, I used tape and plastic to TOTALLY isolate the area and prevent ANY metal shavings form getting near the innards of the machine. Keep in mind that one tiny shaving getting on a board could cause a short and a blown machine, so extra extra care MUST be taken for this operation, I can't stress this enough!!!!



    Rather than risk tapping into any wires, what I did was used my ohmmeter to locate the proper wires from the CNC port for torch on/off and arc ok, and used the EVERLAST supplied plug to run those wires back into the machine and to the RAV card.



    The 2 black and 2 green wires in the pic of the card in the last post are those wires. By FAR, the SAFEST way to hook into the card. I made 20 gauge wires with proper connectors to tap directly into the ground and torch output where they attach to the front panel, and ran them to the RAV card, as instructed, then ran the 2 cables supplied with the card from the RAV card, through the new hole in the back, and to the THC module.



    One of the cables is a flat, 4 conductor cable, the other is a round, black cable like a stereo headphone style jack. The 4 conductor is for on/off, and arc OK. Next to it is the Digital Current Probe, which is also plugged into this box. Below is a poor (sorry) pic of the controller mounted directly to the plasma table. The yellow CAT5 cable is the only wiring that links the controller to the plasma cutter.



    From the controller, there are 2 cables that link up to the serial and parallel ports on the computer. And that's where I have to stop for now. I have a few hundred things on my to-do list. More later. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments, Feedback is good!

    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  9. #49

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    Is the Arc OK at teh connection a raw signal or is it already conditioned? Seems it may cause issues if it is already conditioned if you are running it to a card that is supposed to condition the signal.
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  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by sportbike View Post
    Is the Arc OK at teh connection a raw signal or is it already conditioned? Seems it may cause issues if it is already conditioned if you are running it to a card that is supposed to condition the signal.
    I'm guessing the arc voltage card reads the full voltage and then divides it for the THC to work properly.
    Could you tie into the CNC port on the back of the machine? One pin is full voltage and the other is a divided voltage (not sure the ratio).
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  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    I'm guessing the arc voltage card reads the full voltage and then divides it for the THC to work properly.
    Could you tie into the CNC port on the back of the machine? One pin is full voltage and the other is a divided voltage (not sure the ratio).
    What I was referring to is that CandCNC required the signal conditioning cards to be installed in order to support the equipment because of the unknown performance with the signals from the CNC port. If the signals at teh port are pre-conditioned, the addition of another signal conditioning card in series may not be effective.
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  12. #52

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    Right, I understand that part. CandCNC THC's are conditioned to run with hypertherm and thermal arc cnc, and the way they divide their arc voltage from their CNC port.

    What I am talking about is wiring the arc voltage divider card. CandCNC is wanting him to wire up their voltage divider card so it will be the voltage will be divided the same way hypertherm and thermal arc divides their voltage internally. Instead of opening up the machine and wiring the voltage divider card; could you tie into the pin (I believe 7) on the cnc port that gives the full 100% voltage signal. If their is already a pin that is giving a full voltage signal, then why not use it? The card will take the full voltage and divide it so that CandCNC's THC will read it properly.

    Tocama's burn table cnc, I believe he added a resistor on the full voltage pin (cnc port) to get the proper divided voltage for their THC.
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    Right, I understand that part. CandCNC THC's are conditioned to run with hypertherm and thermal arc cnc, and the way they divide their arc voltage from their CNC port.

    What I am talking about is wiring the arc voltage divider card. CandCNC is wanting him to wire up their voltage divider card so it will be the voltage will be divided the same way hypertherm and thermal arc divides their voltage internally. Instead of opening up the machine and wiring the voltage divider card; could you tie into the pin (I believe 7) on the cnc port that gives the full 100% voltage signal. If their is already a pin that is giving a full voltage signal, then why not use it? The card will take the full voltage and divide it so that CandCNC's THC will read it properly.

    Tocama's burn table cnc, I believe he added a resistor on the full voltage pin (cnc port) to get the proper divided voltage for their THC.
    The problem with that is the "full voltage" pins have current limiting resistors in line with them, so they really are not full arc voltage anymore.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    The problem with that is the "full voltage" pins have current limiting resistors in line with them, so they really are not full arc voltage anymore.
    I see, I've been wondering why there was a need to open the machine, and not using the cnc port. I've never checked the voltage on the full voltage pin.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    I see, I've been wondering why there was a need to open the machine, and not using the cnc port. I've never checked the voltage on the full voltage pin.
    It's really a safety issue. You don't want to pull full arc voltage and full arc current outside of the box, except via the torch connections. By limiting the current at the CNC port, you don't have to worry about a possible full current arc between the pins if there is something conductive around them like moisture or metal dust. This is the same reason they want you to put the board inside, too. You only want to bring out low voltage and current to connect to other things. It's sad that there is such poor communication between companies. I understand that CandCNC have been burned by the failure of a voltage divider in another import brand. I wonder if both parties can come to a better understanding. Everlast could ship them a machine to test and certify for use with their equipment, and sales would go up for both of them. As it is, this is an acceptable solution, for now. I really like the addition of the current probe, too. Having the current available to the control is a big plus. You can use that to have the travel speed adjust on the fly, so the cutting should be much more consistent, even on poor quality metals, or uneven thicknesses, and features that effect the current used. Perhaps that is a feature that will one day be included in plasma units made for CNC like the PP60C.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  16. #56
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    OK I'll try to give as much info as I KNOW, bein's how I ain't no electrical engineer. The RAV card specs that the jumpers on the controller be set at 1/7. That leads me to believe that it will give a more precise positioning of the torch as it has more voltage to work with. (just a theoretical guess). As far as the arc ok, The way it was explained is that when configuring MACH and the controller, the Digital Current Probe will now be used to establish arc ok, NOT the plasma cutter arc ok. I found this as hard to fathom, so i went ahead and wired up the arc ok wires per the instructions, as would be done if one did NOT have the DCP. Tom at CandCNC specified that the DCP would handle arc OK, Period. But answer me this, how does the DCP which internally is a ring around the ground cable, just like a hand-held amperage meter, tell when the torch switches from pilot mode to cut mode? This way I have a choice of either using the DCP signal, OR if it doesn't work, I have the PP60c wires there and ready and all it should take to utilize them is a few mouse clicks on one of the config. pages in MACH to switch over. If I call him Tuesday and he says to get those wires out of there (the arc OK wires), I can just clip them at the CNC port, without needing to pull any covers.
    Last edited by hooda; 12-02-2012 at 04:43 AM.
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooda View Post
    But answer me this, how does the DCP which internally is a ring around the ground cable, just like a hand-held amperage meter, tell when the torch switches from pilot mode to cut mode?
    The positioning accuracy is more a function of the A/D converter in the THC. What the voltage is has no real effect, as it will always be spread over the number of discrete steps of the A/D converter. For example let's say you have 100 cutting volts, and a 10-1 divider, so now you have 10 volts to measure. If your A/D has 100 steps, it would have 1 volt per step raw, and .1 volt per step divided. No difference. With an 8 bit A/D you have 255 steps period, no matter the voltage. The units just get smaller as the voltage goes down. What is important is that you voltage divider be completely linear, so that for 10-1, 100 volts in gets 10 volts out and 10 volts in gets 1 volt out. A curve would have to be compensated for, but if needed this could be done in software. Also the circuit design could be done so that your 255 steps fall only in the normal cutting range. This would give you more resolution at the expense of not being able to measure very low or high voltages. So instead of measuring 0-100 volts, you only measure let's say 50-100 volts but at twice the precision.

    Pilot arc is a lower current than cutting arc, so I see no reason why you could not determine that from the current probe. Sounds like a pretty fool proof method for signalling, to me.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 12-02-2012 at 04:47 AM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    The positioning accuracy is more a function of the A/D converter in the THC. What the voltage is has no real effect, as it will always be spread over the number of discrete steps of the A/D converter. For example let's say you have 100 cutting volts, and a 10-1 divider, so now you have 10 volts to measure. If your A/D has 100 steps, it would have 1 volt per step raw, and .1 volt per step divided. No difference. With an 8 bit A/D you have 255 steps period, no matter the voltage. The units just get smaller as the voltage goes down. What is important is that you voltage divider be completely linear, so that for 10-1, 100 volts in gets 10 volts out and 10 volts in gets 1 volt out. A curve would have to be compensated for, but if needed this could be done in software. Also the circuit design could be done so that your 255 steps fall only in the normal cutting range. This would give you more resolution at the expense of not being able to measure very low or high voltages. So instead of measuring 0-100 volts, you only measure let's say 50-100 volts but at twice the precision.

    Pilot arc is a lower current than cutting arc, so I see no reason why you could not determine that from the current probe. Sounds like a pretty fool proof method for signalling, to me.
    Thanks, so the current probe it shall be. I haven't had time to power it up since I got everything set up, so before I even proceed, I'll disconnect the arc ok wires at the connector. That will leave the controller 100% in control of everything, as the only signal coming to/from the plasma cutter will be to turn the torch on and off. They tout the combo of these 2 cards as making ANY plasma cutter able to be used for CNC cutting, including those not equipped with CNC ports. I like the fact that the RAV is too be used at 7:1 instead of 16, 20 or even 50. Because if you look at the typical cutting voltage range between 20-200, that means the signal will be from 2.85 to 28.57 volts, rather than the .40 to 4.00 volts that a 50:1 signal would give. It may make no difference, as I said, I'm by no means an electronics guy so I could be wrong, it happens occasionally. But just my basic theory would say that the stronger the signal, the more resolution/accuracy one would get, correct? To the best of my knowledge, I remember reading SOMEWHERE in the support manuals that everything begins working at 20 volts, and the range goes up past 200 volts. Having all this installed will allow changes in cutting voltage ON THE FLY, and will allow an experienced operator that advantage, changing the setup process dramatically, and allowing for adjustments due to consumable wear, air pressure, and other variables. It looks like I'll be occupied for the next few days with other things (cross your fingers and pray for me, I might have a new job). So I might be able to post, but I probably won't be able to work on the table and getting it going. By the way, I believe that the resolution of my current setup in the Z axis is 24,000 steps per inch. I hope that someone can give me an idea of how well I can expect this setup to perform. By most claims, it will blow the doors off a torchmate, or any of the factory-made models. I guess time will tell. The whole point of this build for me is now to prove that the EVERLAST PP60c IS INDEED a viable option for all those DIY guys who would otherwise not be able to afford to build a CNC plasma table.
    "It's not magic it's experimental, kind of like washing your hands after pooping used to be." -House

    Everlast PowerTig 250EX-arrived 1-26-2012
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    Everlast PowerTig 185 Micro-arrived 1-26-2012
    Everlast PowerPlasma 70-arrived 1-26-2012
    ESAB MigMaster 250-borrowed
    HyperTherm 151 AKA "The Light Sabre"
    Linde UCC-305-964 lb. of old time water cooled TIG love-SOLD-Bad MOJO
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  19. #59

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    How's it coming? I have not had time to finish my table.... it seems that having a son can take up your spare time!
    Lincoln Eagle Engine Drive
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    Miller Spectrum 375 Extreme Plasma cutter
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    HF 20 Ton Shop Press
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    www.murphywelding.com

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    How's it coming? I have not had time to finish my table.... it seems that having a son can take up your spare time!
    I have 3 sons. But I would not trade for 1 daughter after all the years of learning from friends Enjoy them while they are young.
    Mike R.
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