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The owners manuel of my older Lincoln Pro-Cut 25 plasma cutter reads specifically that using an engine driven power source like a Bobcat can damage the Plasma cutter. I planned on using my new Bobcat 250 for field power. Anybody have any input on this or is Big Red trying to sell me something else? Thanks!
I would contact Lincoln service and find out from them why there may be damage. As far as I would think, as long as it has the proper voltage and is breaker protected, there shouldn't be a problem. I would find out from them for sure though. Sounds fishy to me...
The reason they tell you this is because your plasma cutter has to have a steady current to run properly and not burn up. Generator's sometimes can't perform this task efficiently. It's clean and steady enough to run drills and saws and you don't notice voltage and amp drops using them.
It's the same with battery chargers for cordless tools. Now, I have run many battery chargers on generators and have yet to have on burn up. I'm not so sure I would take the chance with a plasma cutter though.
The Bobcat holds voltage to + 10% of 120/240 vac (108/216vac) which is a NEMA spec for tool deisgn, while under full load and at 104 F. That "stiff" power combined with high temperature ratings and the skewed rotor that smooths the power out should make any Plasma cutter run just fine.
We do hear customers tell us that some other brands of Plasma do not work on thier engine drives, but those are not Miller engine drives. For example, and these are just the facts - I'm not trying to pick on Lincoln: the Ranger 250 while under full load will have the voltage drop to around 190-200 volts. As the voltage drops, current increases to your tool, plasma cutter, etc. That is probably why they say that the Linc. plasma cutter can't run off of engine dirves. Plus, the generator power on Lincoln's machines is rated at 86 F and has to be de-rated at higher temps.
To summarize, the Bobcat's power should be clean and stiff enough to run your plasma cutter.
I've read in the specs on the Miller website that a Bobcat 225 can run a Spectrum 2050 plasma machine. I'm contemplating doing this, but I'm afraid the initial arc of the cutter may overload the Bobcat and throw the breaker. What do you think?