OK, call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but this is something I’ve wanted to try for years, and I bet I’m not the only one. Each time a new power supply comes across the lab bench with ever increasing output capacities, I find myself thinking, “I could weld with this beast.” Well the AX1600i pushed me over the edge and I decided to give it a go; what could possibly go wrong?
133.3 Amps on the +12V outputs!
The Corsair AX1600i Digital power supply can deliver up to 133 Amps on the combined +12V rails, more than enough amperage for welding. There are dozens of PC power supplies on the market today that can deliver 100 Amps or more on the +12V output, but the AX1600i has another feature that might help make this project a success, the ability to manually set current limits on the +12V outputs. Thanks to the fact that the AX1600i is a digital power supply that allows manually setting the current limits on the +12V outputs via the Corsair Link data acquisition and control software, I might be able to add the ability to select a desired amperage to weld with. Yes!
Just because the AX1600i “can” deliver 133A doesn’t mean I want that much current available for welding. I typically only use that much power when I’m welding heavy steel pieces using ¼” rod. For this experiment I would like to be able to start out at a lot lower amperage, and I’m hoping the Corsair Link software will provide that ability.
Stick Welding with a PC Power Supply!
My first thought was to try to adapt a TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder for use with the AX1600i. I figured using a TIG torch (Tungsten electrode shrouded with Argon gas instead of a flux coated rod) might give better control especially at the lower voltage and currents where I plan to start testing. TIG welders are commonly used to weld small stainless steel parts and sheet metal. But then I remembered the TIG welder power supply has a high voltage pulse built-in to initiate the plasma arc. Without that extra kick-start, it might be difficult to strike an arc without damaging the fine pointed tip of the Tungsten electrode. So I decided to just go with a conventional stick welding setup. The fact that PC power supplies put out DC voltage will be an advantage over the more common AC buzz-box arc welders for better stability and producing higher quality welds.
Obviously, trying to convert a PC power supply into an arc welding power supply will require a few modifications. Here is a quick list of the main challenges I think we will have to overcome.
• Higher capacity fan for better cooling
• Terminate all the PSU’s +12V cables into welding leads
• Disable the Short Circuit protection feature
• Implement selecting the desired current output
• Strike and maintain a stable arc with only 12 volts
Introduction and Features
Corsair continues to bring a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to market for the PC enthusiast and professional alike. Corsair's updated Professional Series HX power supplies include four models; the HX650, HX750, HX850 and HX1050. All of the power supplies in the Professional Series feature modular cables, premium quality components, an energy-efficient design (now 80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation; and they are backed by a 7-year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's comprehensive technical support and customer service. The most obvious differences between the new models and the old Professional Series HX PSUs are the new 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification (upgraded from 80 Plus Silver) and the ability to operate in fanless-mode.
Here is what Corsair has to say about their new Professional Series HX PSUs:
"Legendary Performance and Reliability
Corsair Professional Series HX power supplies are designed for PC builders and upgraders who need a highly efficient, quiet, and supremely-reliable power supply, with a modular cable-set that makes installation a breeze.
Quiet Operation at Low Loads
Thanks to their highly-efficient design, Corsair Professional Series power supplies generate minimal heat, and are able to operate in a silent, fully-fanless mode at up to 20% of the PSU’s maximum load (170W for the HX850). This means that Professional Series HX PSUs will be completely silent when you’re performing less intensive tasks, such as web browsing or chatting in forums. And the thermally-controlled fan spins up gradually above 20% load, so that it still operates quietly during normal use and when gaming. Basic PC power supplies have fans that spin all the time your PC is on – whether you’re pushing your graphics card to the limit or just surfing the web – making them noisier and more intrusive.
Modular Cables for Easy Installation
Professional Series power supplies have a comprehensive modular cable set that allows you to use only the cables you need for your particular set of components. The benefits of this include a cleaner, neater installation, and that ‘professionally-built’ look, plus increased airflow through the case due to reduced cable clutter. The cables are also long enough to support full-tower cases.
80 PLUS Gold: High Efficiency – Low Heat
Efficiency is the measurement of how effectively a power supply converts AC power from your wall outlet to the DC power used by your PC’s components. If your power supply isn’t efficient, it will generate more heat, which requires more cooling and more fan noise. And, it might even affect your power bill.
Professional Series HX PSUs are among the most efficient on the market. Each model has 80 Plus Gold certification, which ensures up to 90% energy-efficiency. This helps to keep your PC cool and quiet, and it may even save you money too.
Professional Series HX PSUs are built with premium components, such as 105°C capacitors, and are capable of continuous power delivery at a temperature rating of 50°C, ensuring maximum performance and reliability even in the most demanding and hot-running performance PCs.
The Corsair Advantage
Corsair Professional Series PSUs are backed by a reassuring 7-year warranty and comprehensive customer support via telephone, email, forum and the Tech Support Express helpdesk."
Introduction and Features
It's always an exciting day when a new Corsair power supply shows up at the PCPerspective test lab and today we have a brand new HX1050 PSU to test out. Corsair continues to bring a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to market for the PC enthusiast and professional alike. Corsair's Professional Series power supplies now include four models; the HX650, HX750, HX850 and HX1050. All of the power supplies in the Professional Series feature premium quality components, an energy-efficient design (80 Plus Silver certified) and quiet operation; and they are backed by a 7-year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's comprehensive technical support and customer service.
Here is what Corsair has to say about their Professional Series PSUs:
"Corsair Professional Series power supplies are designed for enthusiasts and gamers who demand high performance, high efficiency, the flexibility of modular cables, and unflinching reliability. Designed and engineered using cutting-edge technology, each Corsair Professional Series power supply is built to the highest quality standards and delivers the features and performance that technology enthusiasts demand.
Corsair Professional Series power supplies are built using Industrial Grade electrical components, ensuring the stable, clean and reliable voltages that are essential for high-end gaming PCs and workstations. Professional Series PSUs are rigorously tested at 100% load and an ambient temperature of 50°C, guaranteeing stability and reliability even in the most demanding multi-core, multi-graphics card systems.
The Corsair Professional Series HX1050 PSU utilizes advanced DC-to-DC circuitry, and exceeds the requirements for 80 Plus Silver certification standards, for up to 88% energy-efficiency. This reduces wasted energy, reducing energy bills, and lowers the amount of excess heat generated, allowing the cooling fan to spin more slowly and quietly.
Corsair Professional Series power supplies boast an innovative semi-modular cabling configuration that uses low-profile, flat modular cables, which reduce air friction to help maximize airflow through the computer chassis. The modular design also simplifies installation as it allows unprecedented flexibility in utilizing only those cables which are needed. Corsair Professional Series is backed by and industry-leading 7-year warranty and comprehensive customer support. "