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Whats with power switches on the rear?

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  • #31
    While I work for Hypertherm (36 years) I have a well equipped home shop (yes, Millermatic250) with 2 cnc plasma machines and 2 hand held plasma's as well. All of the plasma's have the switch on the rear panel.....and when they were new I always thought it would be better if the switch was on the front panel. Now it is second nature to reach around the rear to fire them up.

    Miller and Hyperthem both work hard to be able to build machines that conform perfectly to the various worldwide safety specs. Some of the specs are 180 degrees different models often have to be built for different regional specs. While costs savings are always is of the highest importance.

    There were a few comments questions:

    -Using a pushrod or linkage of some sort to move the switch to the front panel certainly would be possible....although would add cost and complexity.

    -The length of the inside exposed power cable, which can have up to 600 volts, 3 phase power present, is of concern to the CE and CSA inspectors. Yes....even inside the power supply cabinet. I suspect (but don't know for sure) that their reasoning is the on/off switch needs to disconnect all power in the cabinet....a cable running from its strain relief on the rear to a front mounted switch would still be powered (maybe 18" to 24" long in some machines)...and could pose a safety issue. We can all argue that point....however the argument seems useless unless it changes the specs imposed on us by the CSA and CE regulators! If we ran the inlet power cord in the front of the machines...then the switch could also be in the my mind that would be a pretty strange design!

    Jim Colt


    • #32
      Originally posted by Steve83 View Post
      Here's another cheap effective solution: the electrical switch can be at the back safely certified INSIDE the case, and a safe certifiable inexpensive pushrod mechanism can link it to a front-panel button/knob. Home stereo amps have been built that way for decades.
      Yes, like I would want a machine with a loose piece of metal working around in it. What happens when the pin or linkage wears out????? The pushrod drops onto live electrical components????
      Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


      • #33
        This whole thread is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. I've been in business for over 25 years, I can assure you the least important thing in making decisions on what to buy (and I've bought many), is where the power switch is located.

        For those of you who complain not enough room, read your owner's manual, most state leave enough clearance for air-flow, generally more than enough room to reach a power switch.

        For those of you who absolutely need to place machines in restricted locations, well just pony up the money, install a dedicated line, put the fuse-box or circuit breaker on the wall, in a convenient location, use that as a shut-off. If you have a special situation, you should deal with it yourself, rather than demand a manufacturer cater to your every whim, so we ALL have to pay for your desires.

        I, for one, am happy with everything Miller, Hobart, Thermal, Lincoln, etc. has ever produced, where-ever each has decided to put the power switch.
        Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


        • #34
          I also think thread has taken its toll. For the ones that want the power switch in front ...........what if the mfg had the power cord next to it coming out the front. You would still complain. LET IT GO
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          • #35
            Yep, thought this would have died right after miller Kevin chimed in since he thoroughly answered the op's question. Nothing wrong with hashing out some things though, maybe miller will have a slight push now to put switches up front. Completely agree with you though Jsfab, I love my millers based on their value to me. I don't need it custom built for my every wish.
            Last edited by Cgotto6; 03-12-2013, 05:02 PM.


            • #36
              Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
              Yes, like I would want a machine with a loose piece of metal working around in it.
              You mean like a spool of bare highly-conductive wire? Or like a removeable drive roll? Or any of the OTHER metal parts inside your machines? They're NOT "loose", and neither would the pushrod be. Nor does it have to be made of bare metal; or even ANY metal. The switch itself is plastic - why do you assume a pushrod can't be made from the same material as the switch? Or are you just being obtuse?
              Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
              What happens when the pin or linkage wears out?????
              What happens when Martians invade? What happens when gravity reverses? What happens when penguins rule the world? It's a POWER SWITCH. How much wear do you think it's gonna get? Do you think it's significantly more than the power switch on your machine gets? What will you do when that one wears out & explodes its spring-loaded bare metal components across the inside of the machine?
              Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
              The pushrod drops onto live electrical components????
              Yeah - that makes perfect sense. You think Miller engineers are THAT dumb, right? Just because YOU can't imagine a pushrod that's safe, durable, effective, & inexpensive doesn't mean THEY can't.

              I guess I just have a lot more faith in Miller's engineers' capabilities than you do. But I also think there ARE things that could be improved for nearly no extra cost.
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