Plasma machine setup with Proma SD

12 Jul 2016 03:55 #77330 by stan
Dear plasma users,

can one explain in detail how to connect a Proma SD torch height controller to a
> 4-Axis Motion Control Card USB2.0 Interface, CNC MACH3 USB Card XHC-MK4
> PC (Mach3)
> Chinese plasma cutting machine CUT-50L.

Thank you again plasma users!

12 Jul 2016 08:24 #77333 by andypugh
This is the LinuxCNC forum. You appear to be using Mach3 and Mach3-specific hardware.
We may be able to give vague advice, but you will get much better answers from the Mach3 forums.
13 Jul 2016 00:20 #77359 by tommylight
And as far as i know Cut 50 has scratch start, not HV or HF/HV, so it will not work with anything except hand.
The other part of setting it up is: you need to remove the step/dir wires that go from BOB to Z axis drive and route them to the PROMA SD INput step/dir, then you need 2 more wires from the PROMA OUT step/dir to go to Z axis drive.
You also need to have the ground from PROMA power supply connected to the Z axis drive or BOB ground, or it will not work.
That is it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: stan
24 Jul 2016 08:24 #77901 by stan
Thank you.

Would you be so kind to tell us how to use the macro or how Proma SD takes control? How you used M3 and M5 commands?

Would be useful for all users to actually see the macro or G-code commands that you use for a simple cut with plasma!

By the way, I got rid of interferences that were by using ferrite on all in and out cables from electrical panel and motors and by grounding the braided copper that envelops the torch head.

24 Jul 2016 10:35 #77902 by Rick G
Some samples of code to light torch can be found here...

Rick G
The following user(s) said Thank You: stan
24 Jul 2016 18:43 - 24 Jul 2016 18:44 #77921 by stan
Thank you Rick.

Also, Tommy,
would you be so kind to develop a little bit more and explain why CUT50L won't be suitable for plasma cnc!

The one that we have is Proweld CUT50L.

Thank you,
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2016 18:44 by stan.
24 Jul 2016 19:18 - 24 Jul 2016 19:20 #77926 by tommylight
There is an easy way to test if it has a HV start, just fire the torch in mid air, net close to anything, if it starts a bluish flame, you are good to go, it will work.
If it needs to be touching the metal for it to start, it will not do.
I did check for proweld cut50l, it does not say anything about HF/HV start, or any start method.
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2016 19:20 by tommylight.
The following user(s) said Thank You: stan
24 Jul 2016 21:03 #77937 by andypugh

tommylight wrote: If it needs to be touching the metal for it to start, it will not do..

(Caveat: I know nothing about Plasma)

I think I have seen plasma machines on YouTube using touch-start.
Would it be possible to use a G-code subroutine to start the arc?

This might not be the ideal project for a beginner, though.
The following user(s) said Thank You: stan
24 Jul 2016 22:16 #77943 by tommylight
I think yes, it is possible, but i never did try it, and i refrain from giving info about things i did not try or test or work with.
It would require a spring loaded torch holder, and a routine that would send the torch down to sense the work piece, go up just a bit as not to completely clear the work piece, start the torch (while the torch is touching the work piece), move in the direction the cut needs to be made (still touching the work piece for a certain period of time), then move up to cutting height.
All this is theoretical, i have not tested it and i am not certain it will work.
That would require quite a bit of trial and error for finding the timings and feed speeds and cutting direction, since the latter would most probably require gcode editing for each cut.
Things i know for sure:
Scratch start plasma will not start if the torch is held in contact with work piece, so just plunging the torch and giving the torch on command will not work.
It requires the torch to make and brake contact with work piece so it sets a spark that will in turn ignite the gas.
They are very unreliable at starting the arc, most of the time needing several tries to successfully start.
Moving on,
High voltage start plasma are best for using with cnc machines as they produce less interference at start and it is easier to shield from it since it does the high voltage at 50 or 60 Hz.
High Voltage/High Frequency start plasma are most reliable at starting the arc, and most difficult to shield from them since they also produce High frequency interference at a massive scale at start. Everything has to be shielded, moved away as far as possible from the transformer and torch cable, grounded properly, even keyboard and mouse cables have to be extra shielded if they are closer to afore mentioned equipment.
Most importantly:
If in use for more than 15 minutes a day, proper power installation is paramount and should be treated with utmost care, they do consume enormous amounts of power. I have several that use 28KW of power at full tilt!!!
The following user(s) said Thank You: stan
25 Jul 2016 04:50 #77963 by stan
Thank you for full information!

In the manual of cutter (Proweld CUT50L) it says that is a HF one (* HF pilot arc at start).

I hope it's suitable.

I will post soon the M3 macro that I used to find the material and start the torch.
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