View Full Version : TIG and computers

12-24-2004, 09:15 PM
I heard a rumor that HF arc start will fry a computer if placed nearby the welder.

Is this true?

If so how about if said computer is turned off?

I have a VMC and two PCs sitting near where I will be welding, don't want to hurt anything.

12-24-2004, 10:22 PM
Yes And No, You Might Not Fry The Computer, But You May End Up With A Lot Of Screw Up Files On Your System If Its On When Welding. The Emf From The Hf Unit May Put Out Enough Of Rf To Disturb The Pc Operations And Could Cause Some File Damage. Best To Keep The Pc Off And As Far Away As Possiable.

Make Sure That Every Pieace Of Metal That You Can Ground Is Grounded As It Will Act Like A Passive Antenna And Propagate The Hf(rf) Emmissions. Also Any Cable From Pc To Any Other Equipment Must Be Fully Sheilded Cable Including Any Lan Connections. Also Don't Even Think Of Anyhting Wireless In The Area. Keep All Welding Cable As Short As Possiable Will Help.

I Have Had A Pc About 30 To 40 Ft From A Hf Welding Setup With No Problem, But Also I Never Had It On When I Did Any Welding. It Did Play Hell With The Phone System Until I Ran All New Fully Shieled Phone Cable To Keep The Rf Noise Out, You Could Not Hear Or Talk On The Phone When Someone Was Welding Due To The Rf Noise Getting Through.

If Your Carefull And Have everything Well Grounded You Should Be Ok, But Try To Safe Gaurd Everything That You Can. You Should Also Check In With The Guys Doing Plasma Cutting As They Have To Deal With It On There Setups

Also Check Out Some Books On Welding That Covers Hf Welding As It Will Give Some More Info On The Do's And Don't Of Shop Setup When Using Hf In Welding.

Again I Can Not Stress Enough About Grounding Anything Metal Near By Your Setup(fyi: I Mean Electrical Or Water Pipe Ground And Not The Welding Ground Of The Welder Output)

Hope This Info Helps

12-25-2004, 12:27 AM
I've got a Lincoln Tig. Its about 25 feet from the nearest computer, a few walls between but its only drywall, so no particular shielding benefit from that. I can hear kind of a "frying sound" emanating from the speakers when the TIG is running, but that's about it. Never had data trouble yet.

Plasma cutters also generate more RF trouble than a TIG, I believe. Stronger field emitted. I've had a bit of trouble, not with a computer but with other sensitive stuff in the shop picking up induced currents in supply lines.

I do use surge protectors on both ends of my comm lines, strung from the office to the various machines in the shop. You can buy serial port surge protectors from Tripplite.

I believe the metal housing on you computer provides a fair bit of external RF protection, so make sure you have all the sides on it.

12-25-2004, 03:33 PM
Shhh!! Don't tell my PC!

I don't want to start turning it off and removing all plugs now, as for years it didn't know that welding (TIG) was of any danger to it. ;)

Seriously it may damage it, but as long as you don't weld anything that is connected to it, a modern PC can take a lot. One of the worst things you can do to it is to put a GSM or other handy-phone on top of it. My monitor really don't like that. I can see the screen twitch just before the phone rings! So far my files have not been electrocuted though.

But there is no reason to place the PC closer to the welding than necessary. One reason is that welding creates ozone, and ozone attacks rubber and some plastics. (Did you notice the insulation of the cable to your welder starts falling apart sooner than with other tools?)

04-28-2005, 11:12 PM
I was also wondering about this the other day when my home alarm started making all kinds of noise (I didn't ground my welders case like I normaly do) what about digital calipers and such are they effected as well? For grounding the welder's case I just made a 14 ga cable with only the ground on a normal plug and put in a unused outlet seems to work when I remember to use it!

05-12-2005, 07:43 PM
Well, where do I start. I worked at a shop where 3 tig welders were about 20 feet from a Mazak lathe. They were constantly replacing boards in the lathe. They moved the weld shop and put a printer next to it. Constantly repairing the printer. Moved us again next to shipping and recieving. Whenever we were welding aluminum the people in shipping could just wave their hands a half inch above the keyboards and it would type in characters for them. I have my tig welder about 10 feet from a VMC and if I weld while the machine is running, I sometimes get a reaction in the machine. Once it kept shifting my G54. If the machine is off the welder doesn't seem to affect the computers in my shop. The tig welder used to send my old VCR in my home into fast forward speed while playing a movie. Grounding is the best solution. Ground the VMC and the Tig welder. Ground your welding table. Direct earth ground seems to work the best for me.

Kool Parts
05-12-2005, 08:08 PM
I have seen 2 wall clocks permenatly run backwards, and one wristwatch and Fluke meter caputt.

05-13-2005, 01:22 AM
I have my server computer in my tig room less than 10' from a tig welder. I also use that computer to play my music from the hard drive and from internet streams while welding. Have had the same computer in the same place with 2 different tig welders running 8 hours a day for the last 3 years with no ill effects to the computer. I do run a good belkin ups on the computer. I also fix computers as a side job and have had over 30 computers over the last 3 years being built and upgraded in the same room while the welders have been running with no ill effects to them. Monitor is fine no jumpyness. The stereo I pipe the music to the shop from the computer has been working fine with no adverse noise for the last 3 years.
However I did try and run my cnc router with unshielded cables once while welding. Drove the spindle into the table and burnt up the collet. Have not tried it since I installed shielded cables. NO welding and router at the same time. The router has a belkin ups on its computer and is 2 rooms and over 25' away from the welders. At the time i was running Flashcut and gecko stepper drives. Now I have Mach2 and Gecko Stepper drives. Might work better might not.
But all in all my tigs don't effect much. I also have a apartment in the same buliding 12' from the tig welders and watch Sat tv. Use 5 other computers all with no problems while the welders are going.
Groung everything.



Kool Parts
05-13-2005, 08:46 AM
So you are saying that the continual HF from welding Alum does not affect electrical appliances? Or maybe scrach start steel And all you have to do is have a good ground.

06-27-2005, 02:25 PM
I use a miller synchrowave 250 less then 10' away from an older HP and a laptop on the other side of a drywall and not much else wall.
When using HF start only to kick start the arc for steel sometimes it shuts the HP off or sends it into sleepmode, sometimes opening different applications and files and altering text files open in notepad. The notebook however is unaffected probably in part to better sheilding in the construction.

We have two HAAS cnc machines(lathe and mill) within 30' and seem to have no troubles from the welders proximity but we do have a lot of floppy related problems. These problems exist whether the welder is off or on so it seems doubtful if its to do with the welder.

Grounding the welders frame to a ground weld within 5' seemed to help some but did not cure the problem.

When the first oppurtunity arises to move the computers further away I am sure the occurances will be eliminated if not reduced. Nothing has been fried but its probable that something could happen over time. Its been a year with the current setup and no hardware damage as yet.