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Welding cables

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  • barebackjake
    replied
    i got a 250' roll of 2/0 that i cut 100' for ground and 150' for electrode with a 20' #1 tail that i ran on a tb pro

    im a powerlineman were seein copper theft everywhere makes it real even more dangerous being in substations when *******s have cut grounds off equipment and gaurds. we found a guy with an arm and leg blown off after cutting some copper grounds off a voltage regulator. worst part he tried stealin about a grand in copper and did 2.3mil in damages doing it the regulator was trying to find a ground refrence after that ground was gone and burned up all the rebar in the slabs burned off all the feet and hardware at the bottom of the other 8 regs in the sub.

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  • admweld
    replied
    Originally posted by weldthis
    scumbags up in the city are gutting everything in sight for the copper...ripping off plumbing/ wiring from houses ect ect
    Ironworking co. on my job last week lost 200' to theft.It is bad out my way also.

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  • shorerider16
    replied
    Originally posted by superredd View Post
    That being said i recomend getting more than you need now so that you won't be in a pinch in the future if you have to run more amps or need longer leads. just as diamond back, jhall and buddy have pretty much said already.
    try to think of it as an investment for the future
    Pay me now, or pay me later.

    It is easier to have the right tool for the right job ahead of time though, and not have to go out and buy it 2 o'clock sunday morning when all the stores are closed.

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  • superredd
    replied
    That being said i recomend getting more than you need now so that you won't be in a pinch in the future if you have to run more amps or need longer leads. just as diamond back, jhall and buddy have pretty much said already.
    try to think of it as an investment for the future

    Leave a comment:


  • superredd
    replied
    i recently bought a whole spool (250') of 2/0 for my future service truck or trailer project. Now as luck would have it i found it on sale for 3 buck a foot so knowing copper prices have been on the rise for the last 10 years i thought i'd just buy the whole roll as prices will only go up. i plan to run a TB 302G doing everything from light gouging, heavy & light repair and fabrication as well. it looks asthough it's goina have to sit nicely secured in th garage for a while yet.. maybe i'll get to break it out in a year

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  • shorerider16
    replied
    Originally posted by weldthis
    scumbags up in the city are gutting everything in sight for the copper...ripping off plumbing/ wiring from houses ect ect
    Definately something to think about, it is a huge problem in my area. Few months ago a bunch of guys unbolted the bases of a bunch of lamp standards in the park, knocked them over and ripped out the wiring.. No matter what and how much cable you get, make sure it is secured, even in you own home. Our world is falling into a sad state...

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  • weldthis
    replied
    scumbags up in the city are gutting everything in sight for the copper...ripping off plumbing/ wiring from houses ect ect

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  • BUDDY
    replied
    It all depends on your budget of course, but I would recomend that you go with 2/0 with the machine you have and get 100' of lead and 100' of ground. You may not need that much cable for what you are doing now but you never know what type of work you will be doing in the future. It always is better to have more than what you need in case something changes. Copper is so expensive and if you buy small (#1) cable, and wind up running more amps with your macine in the future, it will be more costly to buy heavy cable down the road. You can always stick a 15' #2 or #1 whip at the end of the lead.

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  • hankj
    replied
    Mike,

    You've got a lot of welder there. I can't think of a reason to need the full output for any farm chore, including heavy equipment. I'll bet 95% of your work is done with 1/8" electrodes, and I can't think of a reason for needing more than 175-amps for one of those.

    You can run 100% duty cycle at 200 amps and 100' on #2's, and 250 amps at 100% duty cycle at 100' on #1's.

    For your application, I'd do just like JT McC said. If the cost is just too high, get a shorter length of 1/0 and use connectors to add on lengths of #2 to get where you want to go.

    Hank

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  • calweld
    replied
    Since I do a lot of heavy air-arc work, I use 4/0 cable, approx 75' ground and 125' electrode. If I have to go further, I have several hundred feet of 2/0 cable I can splice on, but not at 500+ amps for any length of time. If you are only doing work for yourself, on your own farm, and have the welder on a trailer you can drag around with a tractor, shorter and lighter cables will work fine, I worked for a time for a farmer, had everything on a 4x4 truck, with 50' cables, fine for implements, only times I had to grab more and heavier was when welding across creeks, bridges or pumps in the middle ...

    And like Jeff said, normally the ground clamp is the point of most resistance .... and any other connections or splices need to be clean also ...

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  • J hall
    replied
    Considering the price of copper, I would not skimp on leads. Buy them once and be done.
    When I ran my SAM, I had 150feet of 2/0 cut in half with a 20foot whip.
    If you tring those leads out and take off the whip, it is possible to run some pretty high amerages without any trouble. I did a lot of gouging and ran a fair amount of wire with those leads.
    My experiance has been that if you want to run high amps that the ground clamp is the bad spot in the circuit. I will take it off and bolt the work lead to the weldment.

    But that is just me....

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  • diamondback
    replied
    Welding Cables

    I prefer to have a little more cable than less. I like having some flexibility in site location for my welder.

    It is important when setting up to payout all of the cable so it doesn't interfere with your voltages, there is enough drop there already from the cable. Keeping the cable coiled or even worse spooled on a steel drum will change your output dramatically.

    There is a use for coiled cable though, if you need a magnetic tipped screwdriver just drop it in the middle of the coil and weld awhile. I found this phenomenon by the "steel toe" method long before I understood it.

    Below is some voltage drop information, some of the numbers don't line up perfect out in the third and fourth place, possible rounding errors but you'll get the idea.

    Just don't cheat yourself out of some good cable for a couple bucks, you'll regret it.


    An example of the voltage drop on a weld cable (50 ft of 4/0):
    4/0 cable has a resistance of 49.1 micro Ohms per foot.
    Ohms law: Volts = Amps x Resistance
    Resistance of 50 ft 4/0 cable = .0000491 x 50 = .002455 ohms
    Vdrop = 400A x .002455 = .982 volts
    Plus there is the voltage drop of weld cable connections.

    If one is using 2/0 cable = 77.93 micro Ohms / foot = nearly double the voltage drop.
    (These resistance levels are for cable at 68 degrees F.)


    This link will help with the comparison

    http://www.tfcbooks.com/referenc/wiresize.htm

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  • Black Wolf
    replied
    Farmboy,

    As one individual that has already done the "50' of welding lead", I echo JT's sentiments that it is not long enough. Seriously consider 100 to 125' a side + whips.....You'll enjoy the convenience. When budget allows, you may wish to aquire an additional 50' a side that you can put in the circuit when you need it. And as you progress over time with your welder, you WILL need it.

    I would keep distance in mind when gauging your cables, and maybe go a little heavier than you'd like for short distance. You'll only be lifting the whip to weld anyway, so you won't feel the extra weight.

    Opinions vary....From experience, this is mine.

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  • Black Wolf
    replied
    Shorerider,

    If you look up welding cables, it is usually in a chart form. One side of chart is Amperage, adjacent side is Distance. It is pretty easy to figure out what size cable is required for a particular application.

    Using the chart, you can also see how it is possible to run a smaller gauge cable, at elevated amperage over a very short (10 - 15') distance and have little or no choking effect on the complete circuit.

    Keep in mind when selecting cables, your distance is the complete circuit = electrode & work cables + "whips" so in this instance we would be looking up 250 amp @ 100 feet complete circuit.

    If you size your cables or whip too small, you will generate heat,(because of the resistance) and not have full amperage at the electrode.

    Hope that explains things for you.

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  • shorerider16
    replied
    I've always been under the impression that an electrical conductor only has as much capacity as its smallest restriction. If you look at it this way would a smaller whip at the end of your main lead not cause a restriction in the whole circut, or is it a case of the whip being short enough that there is not enough resistance in that distance to cause a problem? Just something I've been thinking about lately.

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