Dead Powermax 45

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TimKo307
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Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:51 pm

I was given a dead Powermax 45 (not XP), vintage ~2012. Previous owner had sent it to a Hypertherm repair center and they said it had a bad board. The owner chose not to have it fixed and bought a new one instead. I'd have to agree that $1000+ to repair an older machine, or $2000 for a new one makes sense in a production setting.
On power on, I get a steady yellow "Cap Sensor" LED on the front panel. The micro switch in the torch functions properly. I took the cover off and saw this. I couldn't get a good picture of the fried components on the other side without removing the entire board. Looks like maybe more than one component involved.
20200625_095733.jpg
I've looked around a little and determined that replacement power boards are available, but I'm unwilling to spend $600-$700 and find out there are other problems.
There is a place, EIC in Cartersville, GA that does repair to circuit boards, but that could end up costing as much as a new or refurb board.
Has anyone had any luck with component replacement on the board itself, providing I could isolate and identify the bad parts?
Or should I give up on this and save up for a new 45XP? Is it worth anything as a "parts only" machine?
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:25 pm

I've successfully replaced faulty components in circuit boards before. Although not on a plasma cutter.
If you're handy and can decifer what components to order go for it. The shipping will most likely cost more than the parts.
If the traces on the board are messed up, you can solder a small wire to the upstream component and bypass the trace.
I believe the J10 connector goes to the torch plug, so that's probably why you have a cap switch error.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by acourtjester » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:48 pm

That is one of those crap shoot things, things would be better if you had a schematic for the board and could see what circuit went bad. From your image it looks like it is associated with the J10 jack on the board and what that goes to. Now the bad part if that is a multi-layered board, connecting to the internal connection may be hard to do. Put it on eBay as a parts unit non-working and see what you can get for it. There are many other parts that can be salvaged from it. Maybe the guy in Ga will buy it, he could sell it as a refurb unit to cover his time and parts.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by adbuch » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:43 pm

Do you have a photo showing the other side? From your photo, it looks like the capacitor has already been removed. What type and size replacement capacitor to you need?
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by WyoGreen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:37 pm

I always figure if someone built something, then it's fixable. First order of business would be to determine what was there. Since the machine is dead anyway, there's not much to lose by pulling the board out and looking at the other side to see what the damage may be. Just label all the wires to be sure they can be put back where they belong. If it was something simple like a capacitor blowing, then it may be a easy fix. Just need a circuit diagram or someone willing to pull the board out of their machine to get the component data.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:27 pm

manual-pm45.pdf

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by ScottRa » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:55 pm

Looks like traces to pin 2 and 3 . 3 is the start switch and makes sense as it looks like it’s also jumpered to j12 which is labeled as the CPC connector start. 2 seems to be labeled 50’ and being I’m not familiar with the Powemax’s yet I don’t know what that is. Judging by the spacing the burnt spot doesn’t look like it would be a very large component. What is hard to know without a more complete schematic is what else might have gone with it. There’s a start pin on what looks to be a processor chip but not enough in the schematic to know whether that’s related and what’s between the two.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:54 am

The 50' torch requires more air pressure, so that pin must be used to identify the longer lead so the auto air pressure setting can adjust for the lead length.
If you can't find the old component, maybe someone can take a picture of their board for you. I doubt Hypertherm will provide the information.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by adbuch » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:04 am

djreiswig wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:54 am
The 50' torch requires more air pressure, so that pin must be used to identify the longer lead so the auto air pressure setting can adjust for the lead length.
If you can't find the old component, maybe someone can take a picture of their board for you. I doubt Hypertherm will provide the information.
I would give them a call. Perhaps they will. But if you have the circuit board, and you have the schematic, this should be an easy fix if you've got a soldering iron, dvm, and can identify and purchase the replacement parts.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:05 am

2 is jumpered to 5 for the longer lead and 1is jumpered to 4 for a machine torch which enables firing the torch from the CPC.
Screenshot_20200626-055952(1).png

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by robertspark » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:16 am

:roll: this is just a guess...

but I did wonder if someone did the hand torch >> CNC use jumper hack and jumpered the wrong pins.... in the torch connector

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:31 am

Many thanks to all who replied with comments and suggestions, it gave me incentive to dig deeper.
I removed the board and took pictures of the back side.
board 2.jpg
Hard to tell without removing some of the exploded and melted components if there any other parts damaged. Without a detailed schematic I'd be at a loss as to the next step, Also wondering if it's worth it to try repair with my limited experience working on printed circuit boards.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by robertspark » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:57 pm

clean it with either methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol or electrical contact cleaner, using an old toothbrush.

if you think you are up to the task I will take the cover off my 45 and the main board out and see if I can get you some close up photos tomorrow or Sunday..... but clean the board first and decide if you are up to the task as I don't want to waste time taking mine apart if you are not going to do it or use them

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:09 pm

That looks pretty rough, but it might not look so bad once you get the smoke residue cleaned up.
If the damage is isolated to a few components and robertspark can help you identify them, I'd give it a shot.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by ScottRa » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:18 pm

It’s hard to tell from the pic but I’m wondering if it was an electrolytic capacitor that had reverse polarity applied. They can be violent and messy when that happens.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:57 pm

I really appreciate all the help from you guys. I did clean up the board and after removing all the charred debris this is what it looks like. There was also some rubbery material going across from the 2 din connectors.
board zoom.jpg
I also found this in the crater, looks like a trace and pad? It was kinda loose so not sure where or what it was attached to.
trace pad.jpg
I was afraid there would be a surface mount component under there, but unless it was completely blown away it appears only one component was involved. I can now see the 2 holes where the leads went through the board.

I know what a hassle removing the board is, so I won't ask you to do that. But I do appreciate the offer robertspark.
There has to be some pictures of this board somewhere in the vastness of the interweb? And I know it's probably hopeless asking Hypertherm for any info.

Thanks again for all your help.
Tim

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:02 pm

And yeah, I don't think I would attempt a repair myself. But would gladly pay to have someone capable do it. It would be worth a few hundred if I could resurrect this old machine.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by SeanP » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:50 pm

TimKo307 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:57 pm

There has to be some pictures of this board somewhere in the vastness of the interweb? And I know it's probably hopeless asking Hypertherm for any info.
Mine is dead but didn't see anything obvious on the board, it wont take much to get at the board I'll have a look over the weekend if I get chance.

This is the only one I have from when I was investigating my problem
IMG_20191219_152739.jpg

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by ScottRa » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:36 pm

Hmmm...looks like 3 SMT components in the area of destruction. Previous pic kinda kills my cap theory. Looks like a lot of power got dumped into that area. Wow! Jim Colt posts on here but I don’t know if he shed any light on it.

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by djreiswig » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:02 pm

I think Jim Colt retired from Hypertherm. I haven't seen a post from him for a while.
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:12 am

Yeah after getting a closer look at Seans board, I think mine is beyond repair. His board is from the 45XP, but only difference I see with mine is the large wound coil (choke?) in the lower right corner. Mine doesn't have that.
IMG_1827.JPG
Only 2 options I see right now.
Spend $700+ for a new board.
List on ebay as parts only machine.

I'm retired and sort of on a fixed income, so new board isn't gonna happen.
Any offers?

Thanks again to the many folks who replied with great comments and suggestions.
Tim

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by SeanP » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:54 am

No that pic is from my old 45 not the XP, not sure why it's different though
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by robertspark » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 am

one will be a CE version and has a filter for the European market....

the other will be the CSA version for the north American market without the requirement for a filter

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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by SeanP » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:15 am

robertspark wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 am
one will be a CE version and has a filter for the European market....

the other will be the CSA version for the north American market without the requirement for a filter
Well spotted, you're on the ball :Like
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Re: Dead Powermax 45

Post by TimKo307 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:58 am

robertspark wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 am
one will be a CE version and has a filter for the European market....

the other will be the CSA version for the north American market without the requirement for a filter
This is exactly why I joined, to keep learning. I hope I can give back.
Thanks again.
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