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Thread: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

  1. #1
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    Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Looking at setting up a CNC cutting table,, and wondering if anyone has tried to use the almost free Panasonic P-80 (100A) -clone torches with a CD start Thermal Dynamics power supply?
    The P80 torches don't look to have a blowback setup, so it's CD or HF pilot arc start.(I figure TD style CD will work, right?)

    I have 2 PAK-Master 100XLs at the moment, the one "for parts" just needed consumables/had loose electrode, was shorted electrode>nozzle(self protected)
    The "working" one had popped a control fuse, but seems no worse for wear.

    (the PCM/H 100XL torch manual shows how the 100XL CNC setup is wired, nothing to it)
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-22-2014 at 10:41 PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Keeping an eye on this thread....
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  3. #3
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    How about contacting the torch manufacturers tech service or customer service department.....I'm sure they could tell you about compatibility.

    Jim Colt

    Quote Originally Posted by waferhead View Post
    Looking at setting up a CNC cutting table,, and wondering if anyone has tried to use the almost free Panasonic P-80 (100A) -clone torches with a CD start Thermal Dynamics power supply?
    The P80 torches don't look to have a blowback setup, so it's CD or HF pilot arc start.(I figure TD style CD will work, right?)

    I have 2 PAK-Master 100XLs at the moment, the one "for parts" just needed consumables/had loose electrode, was shorted electrode>nozzle(self protected)
    The "working" one had popped a control fuse, but seems no worse for wear.

    (the PCM/H 100XL torch manual shows how the 100XL CNC setup is wired, nothing to it)

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Thank you, Jim, but we are talking about a ~$60 complete w/hoses/cable/cover etc Chinese clone machine torch---they cost almost as much to ship.
    This is just a low cost half baked idea at the moment.

    I suspect Panasonic doesn't support them as retrofits for other manufacturers machines, and I severely doubt the Chinese clone parts resellers would have any clue, it is generally understood tech support is not a Thing for Chinese suppliers...
    ...but the cost savings may prove worth it for a DIY project. $500-$700 for the "proper" torch isn't happening, at least not up front.

    I will ask though, but I suppose the only way to be sure is to try it.

    I figure if TD (or Tweco now) can sell the SL100 (One torch) as a retrofit for many machines it isn't entirely out of the question.
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-23-2014 at 04:17 PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    I bought 2 of those torches Not at the same time. The first one worked fine on a longevity 80I which I believe had HF start I used on a CNC table with the 60 amp tip. The other one would not pass air through it at all even though they were to be the same (p-80) one had a threaded handle tube the other had 2 "O" rings to hold the handle on (push on)
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    The water table is a neat idea, hadn't thought of that.

    Just an inch or so deep, right?

    Do you recall the seller?
    I have been getting most of my TIG/MIG and now plasma consumables from "3shop-river" on Ebay, no complaints.
    I have recieved packages from China faster than some from within Texas, ordered the same day.
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-23-2014 at 07:33 PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    I was just suggesting asking the manufacturer as it is likely they may have tested the torch on certain models. If it is a Chinese copy of a Panasonic torch....then likely no testing was done at all! For the price I would be inclined to just try it...and if it doesn't work (I give it a 50/50 chance) then it doesn't work. The start circuitry in the old 100XL was marginal....and T-D did some modifications to their electrode design (splines) that promoted better starting....so it may be hit or miss with torches not designed to work with that system.

    Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by waferhead View Post
    Thank you, Jim, but we are talking about a ~$60 complete w/hoses/cable/cover etc Chinese clone machine torch---they cost almost as much to ship.
    This is just a low cost half baked idea at the moment.

    I suspect Panasonic doesn't support them as retrofits for other manufacturers machines, and I severely doubt the Chinese clone parts resellers would have any clue, it is generally understood tech support is not a Thing for Chinese suppliers...
    ...but the cost savings may prove worth it for a DIY project. $500-$700 for the "proper" torch isn't happening, at least not up front.

    I will ask though, but I suppose the only way to be sure is to try it.

    I figure if TD (or Tweco now) can sell the SL100 (One torch) as a retrofit for many machines it isn't entirely out of the question.

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    I know "3shop-river" was one of the seller but am not sure it theirs was the bad one, I have bought many things from them that worked just fine.
    Trying to return things to China is no good, I sent a set of plans to Hong Kong and a returned part to main land China both return after about 3 months. Both looked like the were rolled around in the back woods half that time. The returned part was using their posted return address from Ebay.
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    acourtjester, you have a PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    got it replied thanks
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
    Hypertherm 65
    Everlast PowerTig 255 EXT
    Miler 180 Mig
    13" metal lathe
    Mill/ Drill
    ECT, ECT,

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Looking at what I can find for documentation, it appears the easy+cheap way will to adapt this is going to be at the torch end:
    Saves getting and adapting a (OK, relatively) expensive cable for a setup that may or may not work.
    Will spin or weld up whatevers needed to connect the P80 to the TD power/air cable.

    AFAICT the P80 takes an 8mmx1.0 male threaded pwr/air connection, will have to take my torch off to see what the 100XL cable end is, as it isn't really described to that level in the otherwise decent TD manuals.

    Will document how it goes here.
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-25-2014 at 10:44 PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

  12. #12
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Here is an adapter I machined for the Panasonic torch hose/cable when I hooked it to a Everlast Multi unit PM256 to start one my first CNC plasma table.
    No longer use that I bought a Hypertherm PM 65 for table #2 and never looked back
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
    Hypertherm 65
    Everlast PowerTig 255 EXT
    Miler 180 Mig
    13" metal lathe
    Mill/ Drill
    ECT, ECT,

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Decided to take a peek, glad I did.

    Apparently whomever worked on this torch head last had kinda hit the "easy" button when connecting the pilot wire under the screw (screw was tight) but the wire/connector had apparently simply been hooked over the protruding inside end of the screw... and solidly secured with heat shrink.

    ... and fortunately had eventually welded itself to the screw, I can deal with the thread damage on the screw with a dremel tomorrow, and no other damage was done, yet, although there was some krispy heat shrink residue.

    Removing the large/thick heat shrink w/glue over the main connection & fitting was the only even slightly difficult part.

    Maybe thats part of why the 100XL CD starts were kinda flake?

    I used it for awhile tonight before taking it apart, never missed a beat.

    Apparently TD was eminently practical, the fitting going into the hose is a barb on the hose side (crimped on) to 1/4" compression female, 1/4" copper tube with a teflon sleeve above the compression nut & ferrule on the torch head side.
    Very smal nut/fitting, reasonably sturdy, off the shelf and dirt cheap.

    Making an adapter will be trivial.
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-26-2014 at 02:35 AM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    I retro fitted two of those. One on my Zip-cut and one on my Pak Master 50. They work great on the High end. I did get one dud though, the torch wouldn't pass air. I can post some pics later. Have to get along to work now.

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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    CD start and High Frequency start (from the torch design point of view) are similar.....a high voltage (around 15,000 volts) discharge is wired through the torch leads to the anode (nozzle or tip) and cathode (electrode) in the torch. Over time, as dust accumulates inside the torch handle (where the anode/cathode connections are) the high voltage occasionally finds a better path (on the sevice connections) which will cause a misfire at the torch. The more often this occurs....the lower the resistance (carbon track) of the arcing path becomes....sometimes the torch simply will not fire any more....and it some cases the resistance becomes low enough so the pilot arc current actually flows across the carbon track....causing major arcing damage in the torch handle.

    When you repair one of these torches....be very careful to ensure the insulation over the anode (nozzle) connection can handle high voltage. Most designs need more than heat shrink tubing or electrical tape....rather, they will need Teflon tubing or other forms of high voltage insulation. Think of high voltage ignition systems in an automobile.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm


    Quote Originally Posted by waferhead View Post
    Decided to take a peek, glad I did.

    Apparently whomever worked on this torch head last had kinda hit the "easy" button when connecting the pilot wire under the screw (screw was tight) but the wire/connector had apparently simply been hooked over the protruding inside end of the screw... and solidly secured with heat shrink.

    ... and fortunately had eventually welded itself to the screw, I can deal with the thread damage on the screw with a dremel tomorrow, and no other damage was done, yet, although there was some krispy heat shrink residue.

    Removing the large/thick heat shrink w/glue over the main connection & fitting was the only even slightly difficult part.

    Maybe thats part of why the 100XL CD starts were kinda flake?

    I used it for awhile tonight before taking it apart, never missed a beat.

    Apparently TD was eminently practical, the fitting going into the hose is a barb on the hose side (crimped on) to 1/4" compression female, 1/4" copper tube with a teflon sleeve above the compression nut & ferrule on the torch head side.
    Very smal nut/fitting, reasonably sturdy, off the shelf and dirt cheap.

    Making an adapter will be trivial.

  16. #16
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Great news that the 50XL works with the P80, should just be a matter of figuring which hole in the torch needs drilled or has a bettle larvae stuck in it.
    Worst case I buy another head, those ship free, the cables are brutal to ship, that appears not needed.
    Great info.

    Is the torch side 8mmx1? oring on te OD in the middle? Pictures?

    I was surprised the wire for the pilot in the 100xl torch cable was not more like test lead wire with a HV silicone jacket, perhaps it has been replaced.
    Know offhand the pilot current? I think I have a couple spools of test lead wire somewhere.

    A good (and standard) practice for HV/RF and microwave connections in close quarters would be electronic RTV, possibly covered with some teflon tubing or heat shrink for a tough surface.
    Heat shrink is actually an excellent insulator but requires a complete air tight seal--- HV/RF can propogate over/through gaps in insulation at a relatively low voltage, there are even spark plugs that use the surface gap effect by design. RTV under heatshrink works well, really just required at the ends for a seal.

    The HV insulation should have zero gaps and should cover the metal all the way to the insulation of the torch head.
    Covering the HV line would be most critical, but of course you certainly wouldn't want the main power to get out.

    Rounded edges are also a must if there is any unavoidable exposed metal, arcs love sharp points to jump off of, ask any TIG welder.


    I repair semiconductor equipment for my real job, RF/microwave/HV plasma dep, sputter, ion beam milling, dep and etch.
    I am an old EW shop troop from back in the day when the USAF still actually repaired things in the field.

    The thing I love most about the old school 100XL is that it appears to be simple enough to repair, easily if needed, even though the board schematics don't appear to be available.
    All through hole, the board encapsulation is easy to deal with, and its a low density board design, relatively easy to reverse engineer if it ever comes to that.
    Last edited by waferhead; 11-26-2014 at 05:47 PM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

  17. #17
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    Here is an adapter I machined for the Panasonic torch hose/cable when I hooked it to a Everlast Multi unit PM256 to start one my first CNC plasma table.
    No longer use that I bought a Hypertherm PM 65 for table #2 and never looked back

    I can't quite make out the thread pitch in that photo. (even blown up and with image processing)
    I must remember to take the no-flow torch to work to use the thread gauge.

    Supressing the urge to try and turn it into a plasma weld or spray head as I need to add purge gas passages anyway.
    looks like i could mod a worn electrode into a tungsten holder ~easily.
    (would be for use with one of the TIG rigs most likely)
    Last edited by waferhead; 12-04-2014 at 06:08 AM.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

  18. #18
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    Re: Panasonic P-80 clone plasma torch on TD 100XL?

    Appears to be female M8x.75.

    The easiest/best and cheapest option though if adapting to at least this TA power/air line is to lop off the M8 connector and just put a 1/4" compression nut and ferrule on it, if the 6mm copper tube is long enough. Trimming back the Teflon may be needed.

    6mm is just about 20 thou shy of 1/4", but I suspect well within the squish range of a brass compression fitting.
    The M8 threaded bit appears soldered on.
    1999 Synchrowave 250, Bernard cooler.
    TA 181i, US version, with TA 181i Euro connector, Euro on torch.
    Firepower spool gun w/Euro connector, modded to suit 181i
    Pressure controlled TIG amptrols.
    TD PacMaster 100XL plasma cutter

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