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[4]

Giant CT-416 TIG/MMA/ Plasma Cutter

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Hawkeye

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#1
I picked up a 2004 CT-416 plasma cutter combo for $250 this evening. It has both the plasma and TIG torches but is missing the stinger and ground clamp. No problem. I have a couple of stingers and a ground cable that use the same connector.

I downloaded a manual, but the diagrams don't show up. Not much of a manual anyway. No mention of settings.

The odd thing is that it's a 220 volt unit, requiring up to 30 amps, but the cord on it is 110 volt, 15 amp. The back panel specifically says 220 V.

Anyone ever used one of these?
 

Tony Wells

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#2
That's pretty odd. I wonder if the PO didn't know enough about it and thought it was a 110 unit. I would hope they didn't try to run it much. Can't imagine that being good for it.

Wish I could find a TIG unit for that price. I found some plans to build one, but who has the time? It is a pretty involved project.
 

Rbeckett

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#3
Tony,
Avoid attempting to build one if you can. The price of quality parts and the electronic involved make it much cheaper to buy already purpose built. A bunch of fellows on the welding web site are modding the Asian units, but end up spending more than it is worth from my estimation. Tinkering is way cool, building a high power tool is not a real good way to go. I would even recomend an Asian machine before I would attempt to build one from scratch. Just sayin.....
Bob
 

Tony Wells

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#4
I hear ya, Bob. I'll never have the time anyway. I would really rather have a Miller Syncrowave 250 anyway. I don't believe I'll go Asian. If I get one, it will get a workout, so I don't mind spending the bucks. I used one of those Millers for a while and really grew to like it.
 

Rbeckett

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#5
Synchro and Dynasties are the best in my opinion, but I dont push them to the exclusion of Asian.
Bob
 

Hawkeye

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#6
It's not just a swapped-out plug. The cord has a molded plug on it. I'll open it up and see if it looks like it's been altered. The strain relief on the back panel looks too small for a #10/3 cord, but it's been there for quite a while.
 

Charley Davidson

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#7
Inverter technology ... it probably is missing an adapter for the cord that has a 220 plug on it.... just guessing :think1:
 

Hawkeye

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I was wondering if the inverter allowed it to take in a wide voltage range. All the manual says is to make sure it gets 220V. No guarantee that it's the right manual for this particular year of CT-416. Some of the pictures I've seen look different.
 

Hawkeye

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#9
Just taking a break from puttering on the welder. Charley gave me a hint when he wondered about an adapter for the power cord. One of the related manuals says that the cord comes with no end cap on it because they would be different in some countries.

Last night, I took the cover off and peered around inside. The cord looks original, but the black wire wasn't attached to anything. I finally found the spade terminal it was meant to plug onto - right in the middle of the lowest PC board. Had to undo the board and work it halfway out to use a pair of pliers to plug it on.

I made up an adapter to go between my dryer outlet and the cord that came on the welder. The fan comes on and the power LED lights up, but I didn't hear any air flowing from the nozzle. I took the solenoid valve out. There seems to be continuity through the coil - just under 1k resistance. Applying 25VDC to the coil makes the plunger just twitch a bit. I tried to measure the voltage going to the coil, but I can't get a reading on an analog meter in AC or DC and the display on the digital meter just jumps around.

Then I noticed that there was a thumping sound behind me every time I keyed the switch on the torch. I couldn't track it down, but it happened every time. I glanced out the window and saw a mist rising from the ground. (This isn't fiction, guys. This really happened.) When I turned off the welder and the fan stopped, I heard water running. A check of the sprinkler system showed correct time and no zones turned on. I shut off the power to the sprinkler control, but the water kept running.

Out in the valve pit, there was water up to the top of the valves. (More work to do.) Tapping on the top of the second valve shut the water off. Turns out the solenoid on that valve was loose - turning it out more started the water running. I guess it was close enough to going on by itself that the RFI from the welder HF section (cover was off for testing) must have caused the controller to send odd signals out to some of the valves and that one stuck.

Okay, break's over. Time to go back to the weird welder. Wish I could read Chinese. It would help to know what voltage the valve was supposed to get. Oh, well. I did get one solenoid valve to come on.
 

November X-ray

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#10
Some of the newer machines advertise auto sensing of the input voltage, I'm guessing this one does not have that function?

I hate to ask, but would you mind posting a picture or two???
 

Hawkeye

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Aw, c'mon, NX. You don't hate to ask. We are talking pictures, after all. :lmao:

I took the lower board out last night and traced out a few functions. Turns out the solenoid is 240 VAC, so I think it will work fine. I just have to figure out what's wrong in the control circuit for it ... if I ever get off this computer. As I said, I'm working on it, so you'll have to visualize the thing put back together.

The two torches literally look like they've never been used. If they have, they replaced the consumables already. I suspect it may have been used exclusively for stick welding so far. There are spare ceramic nozzles for both, as well as collets for the tungstens and brass nozzles for the plasma torch. The switch connector had been ripped off the TIG torch cable, but was in the pouch, so it was easy to fix.

Man, I miss being able to post pics in-line. No more big projects until that comes back, unless I do it through multiple posts.

P9090629a.jpg P9090630a.jpg P9090632a.jpg P9090633a.jpg
 

Hawkeye

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Okay. I'm officially hooked. I got the gas valve figured out - replaced one transistor and bored out the unknown, possibly organic material in the front panel fitting.

I used some guessed-at settings for power and post-flow and struck up an arc. My helmet rarely darkened and when it did, I couldn't see. I'll probably use the 'Grind' setting on the helmet for plasma after this. The captive loop on the right side of the hole in the photo is the first cut. I turned down the air pressure after that, but I think I had it right the first time. The steel plate is the piece of 3/32" I used for my first MIG attempts several years ago. There are some pretty ugly 'beads' on it. The open tail at the top of the hole was already there - the result of too much power on the MIG. Cutting it up seemed appropriate.

I'm pretty stoked. I thought plasma cutting would always be just out of budgetary reach. Always worth watching those ads.

P9090635a.jpg P9090636a.jpg
 

November X-ray

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#13
AH, Don't you just love it when a plan comes together!!! Thanks for the pictures!

Does that TIG Torch have a snap start on it or some sort of potentiometer???
 

Hawkeye

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Both TIG and plasma use HF to start. It shuts off after the arc is initiated. There is a pot on the front panel to adjust power level. It is a 1k pot, so I'm planning to add a jack to plug in the foot pedal I had previously made for my TIG experiments with a Century Inverter.

Before I try TIG, I'll probably modify my MIG cart to hold the combo unit and plumb in a manifold to select air or argon for the combo without a wrench. I already have a selector valve to send argon to either the MIG or the existing, smaller TIG unit.
 

Rbeckett

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Hawk,
Your cuts will look and be much better if you move the torche a bit faster and raise the tip just off the surface of what youre cutting. I try to move as fast as I can without the slag blowing back up from the cut, If the slag is straight down you moving too slowly and making the kerf rough and hard to work with later. I know it seems counter intuitive, but faster is better with a plasma wrench, trust me.
Bob
 

Hawkeye

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NX, Unfortunately, it's DC only. I'd love to be able to do aluminum with it, too, but with 160 amps available for steel, I'd better start using it more than the MIG so that I can get confident with it.

Bob, last night I milled a piece of angle iron to make a straightedge to guide the torch and hold it above the work. I tried it out on a scrap of 1/4" steel. The ripples through the plate came out reasonably vertical, but with a fair ridge of slag on the bottom. It came off very easily with a pair of pliers.
 
Q

Quadhopper

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#18
NX, Unfortunately, it's DC only. I'd love to be able to do aluminum with it, too, but with 160 amps available for steel, I'd better start using it more than the MIG so that I can get confident with it.

Bob, last night I milled a piece of angle iron to make a straightedge to guide the torch and hold it above the work. I tried it out on a scrap of 1/4" steel. The ripples through the plate came out reasonably vertical, but with a fair ridge of slag on the bottom. It came off very easily with a pair of pliers.

I recently got one of these units, I'm wondering if you could help me, the 2 little blue ceramic capicitors bolted to the "positive" connector in your side pic, bottom right hand corner, could you tell me the numbers on them, mine burnt up and I can't read them now...
 

Hawkeye

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Guys, we got this all straightened out through the chat facility. Parts are identified and available.
 
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Quadhopper

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Yup, parts are ordered.

Thanks to Hawkeye for his help!!
 

dlane

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Quad, with this thread being 3-1/2 years old I hope Hawkeye sees it and responds .
Oops
 

Riotwarrior

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I am curious if this machine is still functioning.

Friend sorta came into one and well...it wont truligger air valve for plasma cutting.

Just curious
 

Joust

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#23
Hi.
my Name is Barry. I have had a CT416 for a while now but never tried to use it.
I'm rebuilding a 1969 GTO so decided to fire this baby up today.
well...it doesn't work.
Mine looks slightly different on the outside but the inside looks the same. It even has a fuseholder in the upper left hand corner but it is not connected internally.
I wired it up to a welder socket and am feeding it 240V.
I get a power light on the power switch and the fan on then turns off after a few seconds.
I'm not sure if that is normal.
Hoping to get some help to get this thing going.
I'm can actually make an arc in the first few seconds but it Immediately shuts down.

is there any info on this thing so i can see whats going on? I'm an electronics engineer but all this is too much without schematics. It seems that the SMPS shuts down.
 

Hawkeye

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I really haven't used the CT since my house fire. I think it still works, but I don't remember what it took to set it up.

The manual I referred to at the beginning of this thread is pretty feeble and, as mentioned, the diagrams don't show up. But, if you can get anything out of it, here it is.
 

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Joust

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I really haven't used the CT since my house fire. I think it still works, but I don't remember what it took to set it up.

The manual I referred to at the beginning of this thread is pretty feeble and, as mentioned, the diagrams don't show up. But, if you can get anything out of it, here it is.
Hey thanks. Sorry about your house. :(
I had already found that manual. Indeed it is useless.
It seemed to me that you found more info to work on yours and or someone to talk to about it.
It would be nice to use this machine as more than a door stop. I paid almost $600 for mine and the guy i got it from disappeared. I should have tested it sooner. :(
 
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