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Author Topic: Arduino to control a plasma cutter???  (Read 1044 times)
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hello!

I have a plasma cutter that the main control board has crapped out on. There are no replacement parts for the board and I've had no luck finding someone to fix the board itself.

I was thinking that an Arduino system could be used to control the operation of the things that need to happen when you push the button.

Here is a link to the owner's manual. The sequence of operation is on page 23 and 24

http://www.esabna.com/literature/Plasma%20Equipment/Cutting%20Packages%20-%20Systems/Manual%20%28ONLY%29%20Cutting%20Packages/Domestic/PCM-750i_Series%20A_F-15-223-A.pdf

Any thoughts??
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Poole, Dorset, UK
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I'll read the spec in a while. But while the idea sounds good I think trying to control something just a bit safer, like pen would be a good idea, until the code is debugged.

Mark

 
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I think you would need to be intimately familiar with what that control board does in order to design a replacement. Do you know what electrical and electronic inputs and outputs the board has, and what it does with them?
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Topsham, Vermont USA
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Hi,

First, you are talking about Arduino replacing the sequencing and control or starting the torch and maintaining cutting plasma, right?

You are NOT talking about making some X-Y CNC cutter, right?

Do you understand the sequence diagrams in the manual?

WHICH model do you have??

This is complex circuitry and you have a ways to go to understand what to do.
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Ask for help on www.cnczone.com
Can you buy a new plasma cutting control system from a different company?
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Maine
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Ive done quite a bit of mods similar to which you speak.
1, it would be easier to design a replacement if you had a working model.
2, I would try to utilize the existing hardware as much as possible.

there are other issues that you may well encounter. Like current problems, if the control IC can source more than the arduino. 
The section 5.3 in the attached PDF looks helpful for a programing an alternate device, the figure is briefly describing operations.
That schematic is nice too! I would test that circuit some more though. What caused the previous device to fail?
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Hi,

First, you are talking about Arduino replacing the sequencing and control or starting the torch and maintaining cutting plasma, right?

You are NOT talking about making some X-Y CNC cutter, right?

Do you understand the sequence diagrams in the manual?

WHICH model do you have??

This is complex circuitry and you have a ways to go to understand what to do.

I have the PCM-750i

I am talking about the operation of the plasma cutter itself. It's a portable unit and has no CNC system.
The main board controls about everything through relays and SCRs. The symptiom I'm combatting and from what I can tell from forums is the condemning factor is the fault light being on all the time and only the pilot LED being lit. There are two other status LEDs that should be lit or flash to indicate status but, they're doing neither!
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