Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no air
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    96

    Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no air

    I have one of the cheapy 50a (yeah right) chinese touch and lift plasma cutters. I also have a good hypertherm, but I had this one first and kept it for my students to practice on (cause I must not like them, haha).

    After sitting a while, the air solenoid isn't actuating when you press the trigger on the torch. Machine turns on with lights and fan as it should when you press the power switch. When you press the torch button, you can hear and see the spark being generated inside the machine, between the two metal points. However, there's no air.

    The solenoid says 24vdc on it, and when I unplug the part where it connects to the control board and put a multimeter on those pins of the control board, I'm getting 26vdc all the time the unit it on. So, it seems doubly strange to me. First of all, there shouldn't always be power on those pins, only when you press the trigger (plus the 5s post flow after you let it go), right? Second, if there is power on those pins, why isn't the solenoid open all the time? Is it likely I have both a bad solenoid (not opening when given power) and a bad control board (sending power to the solenoid when it shouldn't)? Doesn't seem too likely they'd both have gone bad while the machine sat. Anything's possible, I suppose.

    I don't have any love for this machine after getting my hypertherm and realizing what a real plasma cutter looks/works like - but if this is just a bad $20 solenoid, it's probably worth fixing.

    Anyone been down this road before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    464

    Re: Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no ai

    Does that power run to the switch, then back to contactor? If that is the case, check your switch.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    96

    Re: Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no ai

    Quote Originally Posted by Teggy1 View Post
    Does that power run to the switch, then back to contactor? If that is the case, check your switch.
    No, the solenoid is driven from a control board (which ultimately takes it's "fire" signal from the torch). The other things controlled by that same switch (the spark generator in the machine) are responding correctly, so the torch fire signal is getting back into the plasma cutter box.

    Not completely certain I understand your question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    2,405

    Re: Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no ai

    Did you put 24vdc to the solenoid to see if it works?
    HF 95136 Plasma Cutter
    2015 AHP 200X

    www.georgesplasmacuttershop.com

    Tec.Mo. Wholesale Distributor and Dealer
    Consumables for the PT and IPT torch's.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    798

    Re: Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no ai

    Any voltmeter has a high input impedance, meaning that it puts a very low loading on the circuit being measured. A solenoid requires a significant amount of current to actuate. An insignificant (to a solenoid) amount of leakage current could be present at the connector with no solenoid to load it and a meter will measure voltage at the connector that would not be there if a good solenoid were plugged in. Agree with mechanic416, provide 24 volts to the solenoid and see if it actuates. In addition, measure the resistance of the solenoid when it is not plugged in and see if it is an open circuit. The solenoid may have an open coil or could be stuck closed mechanically.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    24

    Re: Chinese IGBT plasma cutter (Pzap, same as Everlast and others?) - spark but no ai

    I had a similar problem with a import model. Turned out to be the wiring shorted in the touch Handel. One I took apart the Handel you could see a single burnt wire. Replaced the wire and everything worked again

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