Last Updated: 05-
Once we made all of the connections and it came time to power up our system we had to do a few things. At the very beginning we were able to install most of the software on the computer and do a basic configuration on the system before we hooked all the components together.
With our Dragon Cut system we are using Mach3 and Sheetcam. Mach3 has some very customized screens provided in the Dragon Cut Package. While it would take too long to go through the entire setup here are some things we found important.
The Dragon Cut system comes with a great manual, make sure you read it, front to back. Nearly every question can be answered by reading the manual. The manual includes several key tests to configure your system make sure you perform every one of the tests. Don’t Skip.
Here are some problems we ran into:
In our first cut tests we had massive torch dives.
We found our DTHC ONLINE light was blinking as well as our HT ONLINE Light.
We could not find if this was normal or not so we used the online forum to get some help. A very valuable resource. These lights are not supposed to blink. We found our problem was with the CAT 5 cables that hooked to these components. When we replaced the cables we had solid lights and also did not have the torch dive we were having.
We were no sure if the THC online light was supposed to blink so we asked (yes it is supposed to blink.) Would like to see this changed to a solid green or red light in later revisions.
Some often forgotten configurations are to if your using a floating head on your CNC system make sure you do the configuration on the slack in the switch. This is covered in the manual.
We also added a Mad Catz Xbox 360 wired remote to our system. This little tool is extremely valuable for moving the gantry and being able to set up for cuts.
This is a highly recommended accessory. The buttons can be custom configured to provide numerous functions.
When it came time to do our first test cut we ran into a problem with our plasma cutter. We made the connections and when we powered the unit up we go an error message 0-
We checked the incoming air and found it was at 120 psi. We went into the diagnostic screen and manually activated the air, when it activated it flowed air through the torch like it should and showed it was flowing at the regulated pressure of 70.
Despite this the machine said that there was no air and would not allow me to cut. I tested the unit with a hand torch as well and got the same result.
After initial trouble shooting I called Hypertherm tech support and worked with the techs to trouble shoot the problem. After some time it was believed that there was a bad board and it needed to be sent in.
Not what you want to hear but Hypertherm had an new unit to me in 3 days and I sent the other one back. Still waiting to hear the reason for the error.
This was the information released from Hypertherm on the cause of the error code:
We will update when the info is available.
With the new Hypertherm Powermax 65 hooked up we got back to our initial test cuts. We had a bunch of scrap 16g sheet metal and used that for the test. I would recommend using something thicker because thicker metals cut at slower speeds and allow you to see what is happening and stop things before problems take place easier.
We were cutting the 16G at speeds between 300 and 350 IPM which is fast and trying to watch all of the info on the screen while its cutting and watching the cut just does not work.
We used a video recorder to video the screen while we watched the cut and then played back the video so that we could review the info.
If you have not downloaded the service manual for your Plasma cutter make sure you do it. Hypertherm has a very detailed service manual with troubleshooting test and detailed instructions available for download.
Here is the powermax 65 with the cover removed during the diagnostic tests.
Here is the first piece that I decided to cut after the initial test cuts.
I picked this one since object since it had some simple curves and was small and fairly simple.
I found I have a few items to work out and trouble shoot.
The edges had a slight bevel and at 16g this should not be the case. Any bevel now will be much more pronounced in thicker material.
The edges had a wave effect to them not sure why it could be the drawing file or the speed and acceleration.
There was hardly any dross as you can see here. It was only in a couple of the tight curves.
These were cut with a 45amp nozzle at 45 amps with a cut speed of 325 and a cut height of .06.
More testing to come!