The plasma is a Power Max 45.
I have a spare HH torch that I'm debating if I'm going to convert it to a machine style torch.
Is there any differences in the consumables from the HH and Machine torches that make getting a true Machine torch a better option?
I would disassemble the HH torch and machine a enclosure similar to the Machine torch housing to place it into.
I'm building a multi-process Z axis and not having the handle of the HH torch in the way would make things easier to build around.
Any thoughts in this conversion?
Has anyone attempted this?
The plasma is a Power Max 45.
I haven't converted anything, but I do have both torches for my PM45. Other than the physical geometry and the lack of a trigger, there isn't much difference. The machine torch uses a different shield, but it screws onto the same retaining cap and uses the same electrode and nozzle as the hand torch.
The one thing that might screw you up -- when the machine torch is plugged into the machine, the plug on the rear panel is "active", and it isn't with the hand torch. Something is making the change, but I have no idea what it is. I'm thinking you'll need that functionality though, to enable a remote trigger for the machine torch.
Do you see any difference in the shields? Will either screw onto the other?
As far the rear CPC port after some research it appears that you can bypass the trigger switch which enables this port. I do not know if this is true but will need to do some more research to verify it.
With a second HH torch that can be modified I just cant justify the expense of a machine torch. With you having both do you notice any difference in performance?
There is a definite difference in the shields...the hand-cutting shield has little "feet" on it meant to drag on the material, where the machine-cutting shield is smooth and basically even with the tip of the nozzle. A hand-cutting shield wouldn't allow you to get a proper torch height on a table. Either one uses the same retaining cap though, so either will thread on.
I haven't used my hand torch on my CNC table, I just leave the machine torch there and plug in the hand torch when I need to use it. I wouldn't think either one would produce any difference in cut quality though, since the consumables are identical. It's just a mounting and packaging difference.
The machine shield will fit the hand torch. It just screws on to the retaining ring, same as the drag shield.
It is very easy to convert the hand torch to work with the CPC port. However, the trigger is disabled and the torch can only be used as a "machine torch" . You can't have it work both ways.
The Powermax45 hand held and machine torch consumables are interchangeable. It is recommended that the machine torch shield be used in machine torch mounted configurations regardless of which torch is used.
The hand cutting shield is designed to maintain the proper arc length (voltage) when dragging directly on the plate. The machine torch shield is designed to maintain the correct arc length (voltage) when operating at a controlled standoff height.....which is usually maintained by an arc voltage based torch height control.
if you are modifying a torch....be aware that plasma can have voltages inside the torch that are in the 300 volt (DC) range. Proper precautions and safety must be paid attention to...or you could have a lethal voltage between exposed parts of the torch and the plate or cutting machine.
Most people simply use the hand torch as is in mechanized applications without making any modifications....with the exception of bypassing the torch trigger switch to make the electrical torch start connection to the cnc electronics.
Of course...the safest option is to use a machine torch for machine cutting and a hand torch for hand cutting. This allows an easy and safe electrical interface using the rear panel CPC interface connector (it is non-functional with hand torch installed for safety reasons). Hypertherm designed an easy to use quick change torch plug just for these reasons!
Jim Colt Hypertherm
Everyone thanks for the responses I definitely will take everything in consideration when I proceed forward with my conversion.
BBR this is what i did to my hand torch could not get behind the 650
price tag on the machine torch.
While I am not knocking Ivans ingenuity, just be careful. The parts in place safety switch is a safety device that minimizes the chance of coming in contact with up to 300 volts DC in the Hypertherm plasma torches. The safety interlock that allows only the machine torch to fire from the machine interface plug (on the rear panel) was put in place on all Hypertherm systems after a hand torch was fired from a remote switch (as compared to normally firing from the hand torch trigger switch) and the result was a burned down fabricating shop.
Modifying the torches and bypassing safety devices will void warranties on the torch body and can pose safety issues....just be very careful if you do this. To me....the time it would take to modify the torch could be better spent working in your shop on customer products.....that you could sell to buy the properly designed and engineered machine torch!
Jim Colt Hypertherm