I have found that the HF from the tig welder will cause the usb ports to be disconnected randomly.
I have been watching this the last couple of weeks and everything is fine until the welder is used, then I lose a usb port, it can be any one of them, unplug and reconnect and its fine again, this time it contaminated Mach as well, rebooting the computer fixed this problem.
Just a heads up If you should have a similar problem....
You might try finding USB extensions that have ferrite beads on the ends. They cost a little more, but that might help. 6 Foot USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Dual Ferrites Extension Cable Gold is one example.
If it continues being a problem, you can run your USB cables inside a flexible metal conduit and expose as little cable as possible (it acts like an antenna). Be sure that the conduit is mechanically connected to the base of the machine, which should also be grounded to the power. This will cut down the effects of EMF.
You can also find a wire mesh to wrap around your cabling and ground the wire mesh to the machine. You need to form a complete circle around it. Hardware cloth will work, but you want a small mesh. This forms a crude faraday cage.
The cheapest and easy method may be to take all of your USB cables and wrap them in aluminum foil with a ground wire. Do a few wraps, put in a bare copper ground wire as a drain, and put a couple wraps on top of that. I have had mixed luck with foil, but a buddy of mine usually wraps all of his electronic parts in a foil lined box. Works good for him.
I ran my cabling thru the arm on the machine to keep it neat and provide some shielding, I think the ferite beaded cables may be the way to go, and the ground at the machine, I need to work on that.
I destroyed all the usb ports on an HP laptop I had in the shop a few years back, never knew what did that for sure, but it would lose one then another till none of them would work, I kind of blamed it on a faulty computer. At the time I was running a miller trailblazer welding aluminum at high amperage with a separate freq box, generating plenty of RF. This machine is very low amps and the HF is contained in the machine (Dynasty 200 dx) and I noticed the interference is a lot less on this setup but evidently not low enough ha!
I think my short term answer to the problem is to make sure the computer is shut down when the welder is being used, as its usually a one man shop.
I run a Tormach for the company I work for, and was having frequent USB dropouts on the mouse, keyboard, and jog shuttle. I talked to the guys at tormach and found out that inductive items on the same circuit as the mill can cause spikes/drops in the voltage to the computer (other large motors, etc), and these changes in voltage cause the usb ports to drop out. I decided to put a uninterrupted power supply in the stand for the computer to plug into. I haven't had the usb ports drop out since.
It's a little surprising to me that EMI from a welder would be causing the problems you guys are talking about, but I'm sure it's possible. Just doesn't seem like the distance of the welding cables to the usb cables would be small enough, unless you're running the welding cables/welding right next to the usb (unlikely). We now have a TIG in the shop with the Tormach and I'll be interested to see if it causes any issues.
I am also running an uninterrupted power supply ahead of my Tormach computer.
I am using an extension cable now, so no more spark, I will have to see how that pans out, its OK so far.
It's a fragile thing.
USB has a low tolerance to noise. The first thing it does when it thinks one of the ports has gone nuts is to shut it off and hope that leaves the rest alone. I've seen flipping on the lights in a room hang up a USB connection...
Question for you, Mike sr. What kind of power do you have? 220 straight, Delta Delta 3phase or Delta Y? (no clue, my friend from the power company told me I have the Delta Delta) I have a 20hp turret lathe 10' from the Tormach, my mig is an old 10hp DC generated, a 185 amp Tig, even carbon arc torch, and a induction machine. None have affected the Tormach or my PC. You do have me worried bout the Tig though, thanks for the heads up. The Tig I havent run yet, when the Tormach was on.
I just shut down the tormach when I am welding now, I have a one man shop so its not an inconvenience for me, and my Tormach is just a learning tool at the present time.
I want to put in a ground rod thru the garage floor right at the machine and earth ground both the machine and computer, just have to get one of those round tuits ha!
Large induction motors could do the same thing.
I was tigging again and lost the mouse usb port, I forgot to shut the computer down.
In my mind this is what is causing the problem...............
The welding table is about 10 feet from the computer in the machine.
Now that I reflect back, I destroyed every usb port on an hp laptop with the hf, they just quit working completely one by one, I had an engine dyno plugged into it with a long usb cable, i guess it was acting as an antenna and it finally killed them all over a period of a few months time.
That old freq box was powerful and much closer to that laptop than i am at the present time.