Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question
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  1. #1

    Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Hello, I have an old Stak Pak that fried a few resistors on the power supply circuit board, and need some help. My local Airgas dealer says that the part I need is obsolete according to TD, and that the machine is junk. I refuse to give up so quickly, and wonder if anyone could point me to a schematic, or a photo of the board so I can identify the burnt resistors to repair them. I have all of the user manuals, but they do not provide enough information, so I thought I would try here. If anyone can give me any help, or point me in the right direction I would be greatful, and you would be saving a good old plasma cutter that does not deserve to be scrapped over $5 of resistors. The board is in the PM6040 power module if that is any help?

    Thanks in advance for anyone who can help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    361

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    IMHO I would scrap it, they were nothing but trouble. You may get it going but it will fail again.

    Cheers

  3. #3

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    IMHO I would scrap it, they were nothing but trouble. You may get it going but it will fail again.

    Cheers
    I do honestly respect your opinion, and I realize this thing is a dinosaur with a bad reputation, but it is all I have. I am slowly saving for a new machine, but my short term goal is to identify a few resistors so I can replace them for a few dollars, and have a working machine for the next few months untill I can afford a new one.

    I guess while I have a post started, what is the general opinion of the new Hypertherm Powermax 45? I plan to use it mostly for CNC work on mild steel less than .25"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    mobridge, sd
    Posts
    51

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    How bad are the resistors burned? Can you see any of the color bands on them? could you take a picture of the board thats bad? Even if all of the color bands are gone you still may be able to measure th resistance of one of them after taking them out of the circuit. How many are burned up and is there a chance that they are all the same? Even if you do figure out what the value of these resistors are and replace them there is still a good chance that another component before or after them may be bad and take them out again... I would say that it would be worth the risk for a couple of dollars worth of parts as it may just fix your problem... If not your not out much

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Dansville NY
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    5,157

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Iweld's advise makes sense as does yours for saving up to buy a newer machine. Don't just give up something you might be able to fix.

    As far as the Hypertherm PowerMax 45 if you truly wanted to located info here in any of the forum just type Hypertherm PowerMax 45 in the search block of the upper right corner of the screen. You'll find plenty of folks that own one including me.
    Co-Own CNC shop:Miller :1251 plasma cutter, MaxStar 700 TIG/Stick, & XMT 456 Multiprocess Welder.& 2 Hypertherm HPR260's Plasma Cutter

    Sorry I had a bad stroke but now I am back.

  6. #6

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Two resistors, and one diode are faulty, but not burnt to the point that I cannot identify them. One the other hand three are complete toast, and there is no physical way to figure them out. The board went up in smoke due to a foreign piece of steel that wound up in the unit from a bonehead move I am too embarrased to admit. I have tested almost every component on the board while sitting on my rear watching TV so I am fairly certain if I replace these few components there will not be a repeat of the burnt outs. I do thank every one for their advice, and this post was just a desperate attempt at finding someone who knew where I could get some more detailed technical specs than in my manual since the dealer, and Google have not turned up anything useful.

    As for the PowerMax..... I have scoured the internet for information, and found lots of good things, but very little with the machine being used on a CNC table. According to the specs. posted by Hypertherm, it is just the machine I am looking for, but I have not found anything to back that up. Probably my biggest question is whether it will do more than the .375" mechanized pierce that Hypertherm claims. I am sure with the right delay it could do .5" but I was kinda looking to confirm this, and see what quality I could expect at this thickness. I do not plan to do much if any half inch material, but I would like to be capable. At any rate, I think I am going to roll the dice that it will work well for me, but the price is a lot to me, and any good reviews will make me feel better about all the toys, I am passing up to save for the system.

    Thanks again guys!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    mobridge, sd
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    51

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Well your mileage may vary but I was tought a trick by an old TV repairman a while back... When he finds a resistor thats toast and he cant identify it he will scrape a small spot off in the very center of the resistor to expose some (wire?) and place one test probe on that point in the center and touch the other test probe to one of the leads and record the measurement (if any). Then the other lead and record the measurement and whatever ohm value you measure over half of the resistor you double it and that gets you really close to the actual value. This doesnt work in all cases but I have had good luck with it

    Best of luck to you, Matt

  8. #8

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Iweld View Post
    Well your mileage may vary but I was tought a trick by an old TV repairman a while back... When he finds a resistor thats toast and he cant identify it he will scrape a small spot off in the very center of the resistor to expose some (wire?) and place one test probe on that point in the center and touch the other test probe to one of the leads and record the measurement (if any). Then the other lead and record the measurement and whatever ohm value you measure over half of the resistor you double it and that gets you really close to the actual value. This doesnt work in all cases but I have had good luck with it

    Best of luck to you, Matt

    That sounds perfectly logical to me... Thus far, this is my best hope... Thank you very much!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    361

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Quote Originally Posted by cas17013 View Post
    Hello, I have an old Stak Pak that fried a few resistors on the power supply circuit board, and need some help. My local Airgas dealer says that the part I need is obsolete according to TD, and that the machine is junk. I refuse to give up so quickly, and wonder if anyone could point me to a schematic, or a photo of the board so I can identify the burnt resistors to repair them. I have all of the user manuals, but they do not provide enough information, so I thought I would try here. If anyone can give me any help, or point me in the right direction I would be greatful, and you would be saving a good old plasma cutter that does not deserve to be scrapped over $5 of resistors. The board is in the PM6040 power module if that is any help?

    Thanks in advance for anyone who can help.
    I may have something on that machine at my shop, I will have a look for you
    Can you give me the part number and serial number?

    Cheers

    Billy
    Last edited by Billy; 03-19-2009 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Add

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,225

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Regarding the Hypertherm Powermax45....piercing 1/2" material can be done....you just need to pierce at double the recommended cut height, and allow enough pierce delay time for the arc to fully penetrate the material before indexing down to the recomended cut height...and starting the x and y motion. The unit cuts 1/2" like butter. You can get a hand torch and or a machine torch...they both simply plug into the unit without tools....and there is an interface recpetacle on the rear panel for start and ac transferred signals for cnc use.

    Jim Colt

  11. #11

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Billy, The power unit is a PM 6040, and I think the serial # is C12013A185101BM (the placard is a bit scraped up) According to my user manual the board is the "logic" & "analog" control board. If you could find anything more specific than a part # I would be very grateful.

    I have to say you guys have one fantastic group here. I spend some time on a few forums, and being the new guy asking off the wall questions about a dinosaur machine I expected to be laughed at instead of all the help I have recieved. Once again.... Thank you all! Even if it was just to take the time to read the post.

    Chris

  12. #12

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    Regarding the Hypertherm Powermax45....piercing 1/2" material can be done....you just need to pierce at double the recommended cut height, and allow enough pierce delay time for the arc to fully penetrate the material before indexing down to the recomended cut height...and starting the x and y motion. The unit cuts 1/2" like butter. You can get a hand torch and or a machine torch...they both simply plug into the unit without tools....and there is an interface recpetacle on the rear panel for start and ac transferred signals for cnc use.

    Jim Colt

    Jim, Thanks for the info.... This is about what I expected, but it is good to hear it from someone other than the little voice in my head trying to justify buying the machine. Perhaps you could help me with this... I am considering a digital torch height control system for my table, but I wonder if it is nessecary? I plan to do a mix of artistic cutting in light gauge mild steel, and also a small amount of custom cutting for my families business that builds utility truck bodies. The utility body stuff would be mostly .25" or less steel, and some aluminum. I have build several CNC router tables all of which have been precise to less than one thousandth over the entire table so I am not looing to compensate for an out of level table, but I worry about slight warpage cutting light gauge stuff affecting the torch height. The extra hardware to digitaly control the cut height is in the $700.00 range, and although I plan to have it eventualy, I wonder if it is absolutely needed for what I plan to do initialy. Any insight on this would be appreciated!

    Chris

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    2,225

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Chris,

    You can certainly cut without height control....but it will affect your consumable life and cut part accuracy.

    The important features required for height control are:

    1. IHS.....or initial height sensing. This is a method of locating the top surface of the plate before each pierce.....then retracting to the manufacturers (of the plasma) recommended pierce height. If one pierce is made to close to the plate on materials thicker than 1/8"....you can ruin the nozzle in the torch.

    2. The ability to quickly index from pierce height to cut height imediately after the pierce is complete....but before the end of the lead in kerf.....this ensures that the torch to work distance is correct before you are on the cut path. This height should remain frozen until the machine has reached at least 80% of its programmed speed.

    3. Arc voltage height control should be active above 80% of program speed and should be frozen when speed gets below 80%, such as in corners and fine features, etc. The arc voltage should be able to hold a plus or minus 2.5 arc volt setting.....which is about +- approx .010".

    I think THC is necessary on all mechanized plasma applications....it will pay for itself over time!

    Jim

  14. #14

    Question Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Did you ever get you circut board fixed? I have a 6040 6030 that i am missing the torch. I can send some pics of my circut board. Can you tell me what pins are used on your torch cable? I dont know if mine woks and i dont want tospend big$ to find out it if dosnt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    2,524

    Re: Thermal Dynamics Stack Pak Question

    Jeff where are you located? Thermal dynamics does not recommend the use of any plasma torch, but the model torch they built for it. The trigger wires are not shielded enough in the new style torches and they will blow one of the pc boards in the stack-pak. after a short time.
    You can go to thermaldyne.com Then to thermal dynamics- literature -obsolete manuals and get the service manual. It will have the pin call outs on it. send me a PM, I will answer faster.

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