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  • Airforce 500i

    What would be the minimum portable generator wattage for use with my Airforce 500i plasma cutter. I recently purchase an Brand name generator, 6000 running watts, but its not quite enough.

  • #2
    I will be interested in answer too, becasue 6000 watts should be enough, unit should only be drawing round 3500 watts maximum (from calculations in users manual) and a 6000 watt generator should be able to hold initial startup load (generator bog) with ease...

    28.8 amps times 120 Volts equal 3456 watts.
    13.8 amps times 240 volts equals 3312 watts.

    Guess I may be missing something here....

    Dale

    Last edited by Dale M.; 01-05-2018, 02:19 PM.
    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

    Comment


    • #3
      I probably should have mentioned this. I Tried the cutter on 120 and it would make a cut of about 24-30 inches and then breaker would trip. The 240 cycle would last only a few seconds before tripping. I would like to be able to use the cutter for onsite jobs in a small light duty way. This would eliminate the loading and transporting of my bottles. They are small but if I have another option [my cutter] I would rather use it.

      Comment


      • #4


        What are values on breakers?.... Note, it says 6kw should be sufficient...


        Click image for larger version  Name:	Generator.jpg Views:	2 Size:	37.1 KB ID:	699116

        Are you trying to run air source off same generator?

        Dale
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Dale M.; 01-05-2018, 02:33 PM.
        Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

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        • #5
          There is no reason to withhold the make and model of the generator when asking technical advice.

          As mentioned, we need to know what receptacles on the generator are being used, as some have a circuit breaker less than generator total capacity. You tell us a breaker is tripping without telling us its value.

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          • #6
            The unit is a Briggs and Stratton 6500 starting and 5000 running, model 030677. I misquoted in my original post. Attached pic is of the receptacles. I did not have a compressor plugged into the unit Only the cutter.

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            • #7
              I've been going thru manuals for both units and I believe I figured out what I was doing wrong and what I need to do to correct the issue. My Cutter is on a 35amp breaker in the shop as is all my tools except for the Ironman 230, its on a 50 amp. I've never trip a breaker in the shop. After studying the manual for the Generator I believe I will have to use the twist lock respectable for the cutter since its 30 amp. However the cutter does not have a traditional 3 prong plug, only adapters. So I'm thinking now that I will need a power cord with a NEMA L14-30 on one end and a NEMA Type 6-50R on the other end.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hunter55 View Post
                I've been going thru manuals for both units and I believe I figured out what I was doing wrong and what I need to do to correct the issue. My Cutter is on a 35amp breaker in the shop as is all my tools except for the Ironman 230, its on a 50 amp. I've never trip a breaker in the shop. After studying the manual for the Generator I believe I will have to use the twist lock respectable for the cutter since its 30 amp. However the cutter does not have a traditional 3 prong plug, only adapters. So I'm thinking now that I will need a power cord with a NEMA L14-30 on one end and a NEMA Type 6-50R on the other end.
                Probably correct... Get a correct plug and receptical and short (or long) length of cord and make adapter cable.... Might even find ready made cable in welding supply or RV supply area of local hardware or RV store... My ACE hardware has maybe 4-6 different ready made adapter cords hanging in RV/camping supply area...

                Also one of probably many online sources...

                https://store.cyberweld.com/miller-t...kaAr2iEALw_wcB

                Dale

                Last edited by Dale M.; 01-05-2018, 10:24 PM.
                Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info Dale. I spent considerable time last evening searching for a similar adapter but nothing turned up. The picture is of the end of the cutter power cord without the adapter. The other pic is of the screw in adapters. As you can see all 4 inserts are rectangle in shape yet all I could find in my search was 3 rectangle and 1 semi circular. Perhaps Hobart will chime in with a recommendation. I'll confess that I am not an electrician and don't know as much as I would like to. I've done a lot of basic electrical work, but this project is a first. What confuses me the most about this project is going from 4 pole on the 240 to a 3 pole.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The L14-30 is commonly called a "generator plug". The Big box stores around me like Lowes and Home Depot stock them. They have 4 prongs because two of them are the "hots"; between them is 240 VAC. There is a neutral; between one hot and the neutral is 120 VAC. And there is a safety ground that is not intended for current flow except during a fault condition to protect the operator.

                    CanoeCruiser
                    Harris dual-stage O/A
                    Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
                    Hobart IronMan 210
                    Lincoln PowerMig 135
                    Miller 3035 spoolgun
                    Thermal Arc 185
                    Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
                    Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
                    Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the speedy reply. So how would I wire up the 4 wire configuration from the L-14 into a 3 prong?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hunter55 View Post
                        Thanks for the speedy reply. So how would I wire up the 4 wire configuration from the L-14 into a 3 prong?
                        Since you only want the 240V, and don't need the 120V, you only need the two hots, plus you still maintain the grounding conductor.

                        You will not use the silver W screw. It does not matter the order that you use the two gold X and Y screws.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You will need a NEMA L14-30P (the generator plug), a NEMA 6-50R (a 240 VAC receptacle) and whatever length of 10-2 wire you need between the generator and where the welder is. The 10-2 can be Romex-type house wiring or better would be SO or SJO rubber-insulated wire. The folks at the stores can show you what they have and you can select whatever you like. The 10-2 means it has two insulated #10 current-carrying wires and a ground wire. Romex (Type NM cable) has a bare ground while the SO or SJO has a green insulated ground.

                          I use a 6-50R that looks like the image below....it has a cable clamp to secure itself to the wire, is reasonably durable and is inexpensive. The image is from Home Depot.

                          Connect one of the 240 VAC blades on the L14 to one of the straight receptacles on the 6-50R, and the other 240 on the L14 goes to the other straight receptacle. It does not matter if you wire left-left and right-right or cross them over as left to right. The L14 marked as ground (not neutral) goes to the center curved 6-50 receptacle. This will give you 240 VAC at the 6-50; it does not provide 120 VAC. That's all there is to it.

                          CanoeCruiser
                          Harris dual-stage O/A
                          Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
                          Hobart IronMan 210
                          Lincoln PowerMig 135
                          Miller 3035 spoolgun
                          Thermal Arc 185
                          Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
                          Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
                          Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is wiring diagram... Stolen off somebodies photopoop page...

                            Click image for larger version  Name:	L14-20to6-50.jpg Views:	2 Size:	18.9 KB ID:	699188

                            Its a 3 wire configuration (not 4 wire) ...

                            Plugs and receptacles should be available at most any hardware of big box store....

                            Dale
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Dale M.; 01-07-2018, 11:24 AM.
                            Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hunter55 View Post
                              Thanks for the info Dale. I spent considerable time last evening searching for a similar adapter but nothing turned up. The picture is of the end of the cutter power cord without the adapter. The other pic is of the screw in adapters. As you can see all 4 inserts are rectangle in shape yet all I could find in my search was 3 rectangle and 1 semi circular. Perhaps Hobart will chime in with a recommendation. I'll confess that I am not an electrician and don't know as much as I would like to. I've done a lot of basic electrical work, but this project is a first. What confuses me the most about this project is going from 4 pole on the 240 to a 3 pole.
                              You have to use the 240 Volt (6-50P) plug on end of welder cord that came with welder.... And it plugs into (purchases or home made) adapter cord....

                              Dale



                              Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

                              Comment

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