Low budget plasma setup, what do I need?

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20 Apr 2019 10:15 #131287 by tecno
I am planning to do a small low budget plasma setup and need some pointers.

Just got me a new TIG/Plasma (50A plasma) with no internals for CNC plasma.
Will get me stepper motors and drivers so it is the control bit I need advise for what to buy.
I will have a PC with 1x PCI slot + Pport + ETH

1. What do I need in form of Mesa boards to get me up and running to lowest possible price?

2. alternative boards not Mesa, what parts are OK?

Cheers
Bengt

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20 Apr 2019 10:46 #131292 by rodw
Lowest cost would be parallel port
Next probably Ethernet 7i92
But with your experience, the 7i76e with a THCAD-300 with the emerging plasmac config would be hard to beat!

I know I went a bit overboard but by the time you build a gantry and add a float switch, torch breakaway, a couple of ohmic sensing I/O ports (if your torch will support it) and up to 12 home and limit switches and maybe even a current sensor attached to an analog input so you can synthesise an ArcOK signal, In my view the 7i76e is by far the best option as the cheaper ones will be limited in relation to I/O

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20 Apr 2019 11:47 - 20 Apr 2019 11:55 #131294 by tecno
I have to consider this project as a very low budget = pport
So what parts do I need to get it running, what does the TCHAD need to be connected to?

Been looking at this, so then I have something to compare to.
sklep.proma-elektronika.com/produkt/myplasmcnc/
Last edit: 20 Apr 2019 11:55 by tecno. Reason: added text

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20 Apr 2019 12:03 #131296 by rodw
Well to use a THCAD you need an encoder input which is included on the 7i92 and 7i76. I think you can connect an encoder to a Pport but at a cost of inputs so then you might need a second parport. So before you know it, you will be heading towards the 7i92 and maybe even a 7i76e. But you could consider a parport and a Proma 150 and Tommy's config but again costs are going north again. Proma might be worth considering as you live in Europe. BUt $69 more gets you 7i76e and THCAD. The controller you linked to will cost more than a good LinuxCNC system (PC = $0, Thcad $69, 7i76e $199)

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20 Apr 2019 12:24 #131298 by tecno
So adding all is soon very close to myplasmcnc that has all needed including software and can be run standalone.

Tempting it is ;)

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21 Apr 2019 13:47 #131396 by tecno
What if....

I have a 7i90HD, if I reflash this with 7i90_epp_st8_plasma.bit and buy one THCAD300 what else do I need?

I have also 7i42, 7i42TA and 7i37

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22 Apr 2019 07:12 #131467 by pl7i92
the 7i96 woudt have been the better choice as it carries all inside and a simple small PCB
also there is a full config Experimantal configure to make things easyer to configure

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22 Apr 2019 07:23 #131469 by tecno
So one 7i96 + THCAD300 is all I need?

What about the 7i90HD I already have, what do I need?

It is a low budget project with little use.

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22 Apr 2019 16:19 #131520 by PCW
A 7I90HD will work, but you will have to make sure you have no ground loops and the the parallel port cable to the 7I90HD is short because of the very nasty EMI environment
of plasma cutters.

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23 Apr 2019 09:20 - 23 Apr 2019 09:20 #131613 by tecno
Peter, do you have any schematics how to connect 7i90HD to THCAD300.
What other boards do I need?

/Bengt
Last edit: 23 Apr 2019 09:20 by tecno.

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