FireControl 20.5 Now Available for Download!

I have to add .4 sec to every Hypertherm posted pierce delay time to get it to work with my 45XP


So you’ve had good results with Firecontrol when adding that .4 to Hypertherms pierce delays? I’m baffled that this issue never occurred for me until increasing to 275ipm.

I’m gonna run some test files to see if I can pinpoint the hiccup.

Thank you for that suggestion.

I created a simple 6 loop cut file and duplicated it 4 times.
18g 275ipm .1 Pierce = Complete first loop, incomplete remaining 5 loops
18g 275ipm .5 pierce = Completed all loops but the first loop was noticeably longer pierce delay(thereby a “dirtier cut” than the last 5)

I duplicated these programs changing only to 16g and 249ipm with the exact same results.

Some things to note:
This is running the Windows Firecontrol 20.5 in Parallels on my MacBook Pro. I had to stop using the Mac version off Firecontrol when I upgraded top Mac OS 11 because Firecontrol does not communicate with the table electronics currently when launched on Mac OS 11.

Prior to upgrading to Mac OS 11, this “pierce/incomplete loop” issue never existed for me in FireControl 20.5 Mac version. It also had never existed for me running Firecontrol 20.4 in Parallels on the MacBook Pro.

This leads me to believe there is indeed a hiccup somewhere in the 20.5 version of Firecontrol for Windows with regard to First loop pierce delay and every subsequent loop in that program.

The adding .4 to the Hypertherm pierce delays does work but with the extended pierce delay on the first loop, it’s obviously not ideal.

Hopefully this helps Langmuir focus in a bit on how to reproduce the issue. Looking forward to a Mac OS 11 stable version of FireControl as well as a rectified pierce delay for the Windows version.

It’s interesting you didn’t need to do that before. The extra time is due to how the Crossfire measures the time & how the Hypertherm tables do.

HT measures from when the torch relays trigger & current starts to flow. That’s a bit if a delay from when the controller tells it to fire but it doesn’t matter because they get a signal from the relay that it has closed.

The Crossfire starts the clock when the fire command is processed. Because they don’t get a relay triggering signal back it can’t tell when the torch actually starts to fire. So we add .4 to the HT published delay times in order to make sure it’s been triggered.

Things like this feedback circuit are why HTs are the top of the heap. But they come with an extra 0 on the price tag :slightly_smiling_face:

Not sure why you didn’t need it before unless there was some lag in the computer side processing that has now been eliminated and you lost the benefit of a computer induced delay.


Found this at Plasma Spider. I think this should answer all the questions on hows and whys of the first delay is different than subsequent… and why it would be good for FireControl to use one of the available aux inputs to monitor the arc transfer signal.

There is not 2 second delay built into the Powermax65 or 85. There is a very slight (maybe 200 milisecond) delay when the torch is in postflow…as the air flow has to stop and the torch must refire…but it is nowhere near 2 seconds.

Try firing the torch with a switch (pushbutton) directly on the plasma…fire it once and then release the button…you will hear postflow…push the button again during the postflow and the torch will fire almost immediately.

If it does not fire for 2 seconds…contact me directly and I can help you troubleshoot.

Update: I was curious about the actual time difference between the original firing of a Powermax65/85 torch and when you fire it during the post cooling flow. For the original start there is a slight delay of about 100 to 200 milliseconds (varies with torch lead length) as it takes a while for pressure to build at the torch. When the start signal for the plasma is activated during post flow (cooling flow that occurs after each cut cycle for about 10 seconds), the air flow is shut off at the power supply solenoid, it takes a few milliseconds for the air pressure in the torch to drop close to zero, which allows the spring loaded electrode to contact the nozzle…then the solenoid is reactivated to start the process. Our engineers tell me that during post flow a system with 25’ torch leads takes 400 miliseconds to fire (after the start signal is active), and with a 75’ torch lead can take 900 miliseconds.

Most cnc plasma machines use the arc transferred output from the plasma (contact closure between pins 12 and 14 on the interface plug) to indicate the arc has transferred before the part program progresses beyond the plasma start command. If you are just relying on a timer between the issuing of the start signal and the start of machine motion…then there will be differences that can cause cut quality issues with most plasma systems.

Jim Colt

original post

Not sure they can. Hypertherm is on the top of the heap because of their continuous R&D. They have patents on this stuff going back decades. That sux circuitry likely is covered by a patent which may be why you don’t see it on every plasma cutter on the market. If it is Langmuir would have to license it to provide an interface. Since HT sells tables they might not be inclined to do that :smile:

@jamesdhatch The “arc OK” signal is provided on the Hypertherm CPC port and wired with the Hypertherm supplied interface cables. It’s the correct way to handle pierce delays. I don’t believe there is anything legally stopping Langmuir from using the signal, in fact they are encouraged to use it. Other systems such as CANDCNC provide support for it. And finally here is a post from Langmuir way back in May where they say support is planned:

Note the post 2 above that one where @jimcolt recommends using the 12/14 contacts for arc ok.

I sure hope it’s not. It’s just a voltage signal - my Miller has it (perhaps they licensed it though) - the software just needs to check it’s on/off state and move it it’s active. Or wait for signal event and then move. I wonder if more complex due to different plasmas implementing the signal differently? I think one problem may be there’s no place on the board for it? I wouldn’t have any issues being a test user if LS wanted to provide some experimental software / wiring instructions. I really want to get that working…

Good point.

That means they must still be struggling with this part: “the biggest challenge is being able to support functionality with and without THC (where you dont have a voltage signal to start the delay timer from).”

I cut about 15hrs a week consistently for 2 years. I have 2 xfires and 1 pro. For the price hard to complain and I do feel like some of us are beta testers at times. My 20.5 has been randomly freezing atleast once a day and during cutting, that is straight up annoying. I have had Z axis issues alot. Im not a fan of the new upgrade simply bc its not reliable. I can get by and get done what I gotta get done but most days are a battle. I have about 800 pierces and 4500 inches of cut a day. I from experience like this company and machine at times but the PRO in the name I agree is not ideal, not dissing them by any means. I just finished cutting my taller stansion plates and will install them tomo. That should help eliminate some issues Iv had. I will also be making a taller water table. I use the xp65 and use to use the xp 45. As for the pierce delay, I add them to all my cut files and YES they def need longer pierces per the HYP manual. The cut speeds are pretty on point. Im a biz owner and I know what it takes to create and operate/scale a biz. I commend this company and am grateful for them, unfortunately FC as much as I do like it, has been freezing alot more on me lately.


I also have a thread started called any Pros using the Pro with success. So i’ll post this on there.
I finally got the 3" stansion plates on. I’ll make my new water table about 1.5" taller so that will still help with splash up. I will be getting a silicone cup to try out also. By raising the rails it allowed me to push my torch down more so its better balanced.

FC completely FROZE again on me yesterday (happens at least once a day) when it does this, the zero coordinates are completely gone. This SUX a big one bc in order to save material it takes 10-15 minutes of getting it back to where you hope it will be good. With accurate parts its difficult, with parts that aren’t based off much accuracy not a big deal. But this is now my number one issue aside from misfires or mechanical issues. FC is just not reliable with the 20.5 patch for me.

I also took and squared off an edge on all the lead screws. Except one the X lead screw. that thing slipped on my yesteday ruining a sheet. I need a new screw in it also bc the one is stripped. The Z axis got hung up also, but I think that is cause I sprayed it with lube. I blow it out an it eventually runs good for a while. Also having the Z axis farther up really helps keep debris and water off of it.


If you aren’t putting stop limit switches on the table or mount a set of laser crosshairs, the set-pierce technique may help. When you first zero, hit the manual fire to mark or divot the material. Then if you end up with a freeze scenario that loses the zero point, move to where you can eyeball it as close. Fire manually and see what you need to do to nudge it closer to your starting zero. It only takes a couple or 3 nudges to nail your initial starting point.

You’re doing this for a living so I figure you’re probably doing something like this but for others who aren’t pros, it’s a tip that might help.

The other option is to get a set of laser crosshairs. There’s a post here for it (that’s how I found it) including what to look for on ebay. I think it works better with a machine torch because you generally don’t have to pull the torch out of its holder to change consumables and won’t disturb the setup.


Thanks James, yes I thought about manually firing a hole into each start corner. Maybe I’ll start doing that. I load over 10 diff files a day so you can see why I may decide to skip it. I like the laser idea too. I just rarely have any time to make my setup how I want it. I have to build a new water table, hook up a new air compressor and lines and build a new press brake stat. All while working atleast 6 days a week on orders!!!

Yeah. That was me too. But I figured dedicating the time for the setting it up was probably less than the sum of all the times I would diddle around with the zero burn hole method. I had a laser that had both options so I got used to having them for setting the home position.

sounds good I guess I’ll have to do a search on here and snag some ideas for the laser. I’d like to add a camera to the setup so I don’t have to keep walking over to the table to see how close I am to the edge. I saw a company or guy had one on his table. not sure if it was an add on or not. But yes the initial time added up will be worth it in the long run. That is why Im building a new press brake. It should cut my bending times down over half.

:slight_smile: I have a SWAG Offroad finger press brake on a Harbor Freight 20 ton hydraulic press with their 20T compressed air hydraulic jack. Also got a set of their gooseneck fingers (you have to cut those away from each other and weld them up on the groups you’d like). Super for anything up to 20" wide. Added a magnetic angle finder to the setup so I can bend to the angle I want and repeat it for multiple parts.

Here’s the thread on laser alignment that started it all for me here. I transferred my lil abner’s mount to my Pro.

Yah I have a swag setup. Its not very ideal for thin stuff. So I built and bought a new setup. I now need to make a wider press and Im going with two hydraulic cylinders and adding electric pump over air. I have the 20 ton air hobo freight setup and its all messed up now. barely works. I filled it with fluid and bled it, worked for a day and now its back to such a slow pace. I have to hand crank most parts. When that setup was working well it def made bending parts faster. I need something faster and more accurate. also need more power so I can bend more parts at once with accuracy. I’ll def be posting my setup here. I just got a 4 way die with punch off ebay thats 24" but I’ll eventually need some wider stuff.

If you’re not already, a subscription to might be helpful in jumpstarting some of those projects :slight_smile:

It’s cheap and there’s someone who has thought about nearly everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Sometimes it’s just what I want and others there’s a project that helps with some parts of what I’m building. Worth the 40 bucks.

MAC Firmware - LHS/THC driver available, but won’t install.

Folks, forgive me because I’ve been away awhile and haven’t updated since last Summer. I’m on a Mac (Catalina 10.15.7) I’ve updated Firecontrol to 20.6. I’m trying to update the firmware using the Mac file LHS-THC_Driver_V1.5.pkg, which is a Mac file. In Firecontrol I hit the “update machine” button and it says "firmware flashing is only supported for windows at this time. What is the Mac installer file for?

Do I really have to borrow a windows machine again? What is the absolute cheapest windows machine I can get to upload drivers to the Crossfire? I will never use windows for anything else. Thanks!