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Thread: Welding cables up to 50ft?

  1. #1
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    Welding cables up to 50ft?

    I am well aware that high current through long cables means voltage/power loss at the far end. What Id like to know is how to manage that.

    The machine is an Idealarc 250, up to 300a AC. Where I will probably run is under 200a, probably closer to 80-130a.

    That said, if I should be in that 80-130a zone at the arc and have line loss I have head room to crank the machine up to drive through the line loss. What I dont know is in that scenario how to equate the number on the indicator to the actual arc current (really the wattage - if the current is the same but voltage drops 15-20 volts the arc performance is going to suffer).

    So my question really comes down to the gauge cable I should be running. I dont anticipate needing 300 amps to run a rod, but I could see at some point getting in to the lower 200's to put some metal down with thicker rods. It just is going to be further from the norm.

    If the leads are 50ft each - 100ft total between the electrode holder and work clamp - can I get away with, say, a 1/0 or 2/0 cable? Or should I go bigger? Is 1/0 more than enough? Maybe go to 2 or 1 gauge?

    With a smaller cable should I be concerned with heat in the cable with a higher drive from the machine?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    50 feet ain't gonna make much difference. I run 1/0 stinger up to 200' all the time. Set the machine where you think it needs to be then adjust as needed to make the arc do what you need it to. When the cables start smoking - stop & take a break!

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  4. #3
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    You're over complicating it! Arc welding is not a new process where engineers are still trying to figure out basic things like cable size. #1 cable would be a good choice for an Idealarc 250 up to 200' combined. #2 would work but I'd go one size bigger and never have to worry about it getting hot.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Lincoln cable size table:

    Name:  awg-cables-sizes lincoln.jpg
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    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
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  8. #5
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    In past for long cables I would use 1/0 cable and last 10 foot use 1 cable for more flexibility.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    I am well aware that high current through long cables means voltage/power loss at the far end. What Id like to know is how to manage that.

    The machine is an Idealarc 250, up to 300a AC. Where I will probably run is under 200a, probably closer to 80-130a.

    That said, if I should be in that 80-130a zone at the arc and have line loss I have head room to crank the machine up to drive through the line loss. What I dont know is in that scenario how to equate the number on the indicator to the actual arc current (really the wattage - if the current is the same but voltage drops 15-20 volts the arc performance is going to suffer).

    So my question really comes down to the gauge cable I should be running. I dont anticipate needing 300 amps to run a rod, but I could see at some point getting in to the lower 200's to put some metal down with thicker rods. It just is going to be further from the norm.

    If the leads are 50ft each - 100ft total between the electrode holder and work clamp - can I get away with, say, a 1/0 or 2/0 cable? Or should I go bigger? Is 1/0 more than enough? Maybe go to 2 or 1 gauge?

    With a smaller cable should I be concerned with heat in the cable with a higher drive from the machine?

    Thanks

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  10. #6
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    1/0 would be overkill for 200 amps unless you got a real deal on the cable.

  11. #7
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    1/0 would be overkill for 200 amps unless you got a real deal on the cable.
    Agreed. You'd have to be welding at a high duty cycle on very hot days with the cables in the hot sun and low-temp rated insulation to even worry about it. If concerned, a #1 stinger cable and a #2 or 1/0 work cable might make you feel better.

    I have about 200 ft of 1/0 on my Idealarc 250, but that's just because I bought it used that way. $350 welder with $300 worth of cable, LOL.
    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
    Syncrowave 250 w/ Coolmate 3
    Dialarc 250, Idealarc 250
    SP-175 +
    Firepower TIG 160S (gave the TA 161 STL to the son)
    Lincwelder AC180C (1952)
    Victor & Smith O/A torches
    Miller spot welder

  12. #8
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldendum View Post
    Agreed. You'd have to be welding at a high duty cycle on very hot days with the cables in the hot sun and low-temp rated insulation to even worry about it. If concerned, a #1 stinger cable and a #2 or 1/0 work cable might make you feel better.

    I have about 200 ft of 1/0 on my Idealarc 250, but that's just because I bought it used that way. $350 welder with $300 worth of cable, LOL.
    I think you got your sizes mixed up. #2 stinger with #1 or 1/0 work cable. It's common to have a quick connect and use a smaller size cable for the stinger about 10' long but with #1 cable you wouldn't really need to. I using 2/0 cables with a #1 stinger on my SA200 but only because I got the 2/0 cable used for $2/ft. (with connectors) from Red-D-Arc which was less than buying new 1/0 or even 1 cable.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:54 PM.

  13. #9
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    I've seen sites that have 600 or more feet on a machine, the smelter where I worked had almost a 600 foot stack & the contractors would have leads all the way to the top at times during a turnaround.
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  14. #10
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    The only problem with very long cables is the cable walk away over night if do roll up that long cable.

    The longest one I have used was 125 feet and it was pain rolling up ever day.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I've seen sites that have 600 or more feet on a machine, the smelter where I worked had almost a 600 foot stack & the contractors would have leads all the way to the top at times during a turnaround.

  15. #11
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Drag lines have stinger cables running up the boom with quick couplers to hook your stinger up. A friend of mine was sent to coal mine by the union to do some pipe welding but there was a delay. They ask if he's afraid of heights and he says no. They sent him over to weld on the dragline boom. He gets all set up 3/4 of the way up the boom and starts welding when all of sudden the boom starts moving. He gets on the radio just a little (or a lot) panicked and says, hey, I'm welding up here. Oh, we don't shut the dragline down for minor repairs! He said in that case get someone else. He said it seemed like the boom was going 50 MPH. Apparently they do shut them down for welding now but that would be an eye opener if not a bowel opener for sure.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:47 AM.

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  17. #12
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I think you got your sizes mixed up. #2 stinger with #1 or 1/0 work cable. It's common to have a quick connect and use a smaller size cable for the stinger about 10' long but with #1 cable you wouldn't really need to. I using 2/0 cables with a #1 stinger on my SA200 but only because I got the 2/0 cable used for $2/ft. (with connectors) from Red-D-Arc which was less than buying new 1/0 or even 1 cable.
    Right you are.
    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
    Syncrowave 250 w/ Coolmate 3
    Dialarc 250, Idealarc 250
    SP-175 +
    Firepower TIG 160S (gave the TA 161 STL to the son)
    Lincwelder AC180C (1952)
    Victor & Smith O/A torches
    Miller spot welder

  18. #13
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    Re: Welding cables up to 50ft?

    Sounds like fun day at work.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Drag lines have stinger cables running up the boom with quick couplers to hook your stinger up. A friend of mine was sent to coal mine by the union to do some pipe welding but there was a delay. They ask if he's afraid of heights and he says no. They sent him over to weld on the dragline boom. He gets all set up 3/4 of the way up the boom and starts welding when all of sudden the boom starts moving. He gets on the radio just a little (or a lot) panicked and says, hey, I'm welding up here. Oh, we don't shut the dragline down for minor repairs! He said in that case get someone else. He said it seemed like the boom was going 50 MPH. Apparently they do shut them down for welding now but that would be an eye opener if not a bowel opener for sure.

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