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Dynasty 200 DX: The New Features (Long)

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  • Dynasty 200 DX: The New Features (Long)

    Towards the end of last year, I purchased a new Dynasty 200 DX that included the new arc start board and the 4 AC waveforms (like the 350 DX has). This was my second 200 as I had one a few years back when I was doing a good bit of mobile work. That unit was great and the only problems I had with it were getting the tig start parameters figured out so I could get good consistent arc starts. As most of you know, there have been a few threads on this subject and at one point there seemed to be a batch of arc start/HF boards that had gone bad. I don't think it was a huge problem but it was there nonetheless. Anywho, my first unit was fine and after getting a handle on how to set the tig parameters, I had no issues. I ended up selling that one after the mobile stuff I was doing dried up.

    Fast forward to late September 08' and I was in the market for another 200. I even waited a bit to make sure I was getting the new and updated version. I have had it for about 3 months now so I thought I would give my initial impressions regarding the new features.

    First, the AC waveforms are a nice addtion to the machine. The older units had the "advanced" squarewave (ASW) only. In addition to the ASW setting,the one I have really started liking is the "soft" squarewave (SSW) for most of the stuff I do. The arc is noticeably softer and it creates a nice fluid puddle. The ASW always worked fine but I really notice a difference in how the filler seems wets into the base better when I have it on SSW. I especially notice this when using 5356 filler. The other thing I have noticed about welding in the SSW mode is that no matter what, the beads usually don't have the "graininess" to them that so many people have complained about. In fact, the only time I ever see it is when I have to stop and restart. It really wasn't a huge issue for me on my old unit but I thought it was worth mentioning since it seemed to be a factor for a lot of guys.

    The other two waveforms, sinewave and triangular, are not really something I use at all. I have done lots of experimenting with them on my 350DX but I don't really like either one and honestly, have not found a use or a need for them. YMMV.

    Now for the REALLY big deal. The new arc start board (Blue Lightning) is a HUGE improvement over what was in the old unit. IIRC, on the old 200's the factory default for tig start parameters were set for a 3/32" ceriated tungsten. It seems like this created a lot of start issues because people were using all different kinds of tungsten and not properly setting the tig start parameters which have to be accessed via a hidden menu. Well, now there are preset start parameters for all tunsten sizes from .040" to 1/8". You still have to access them via a hidden menu but now you just switch to the specific tungsten size and all values are optimized for that particular size. You can also switch to a "general " mode where you can have access to all 5 of the start parameters and set them to whatever you want. I would actually recommend that anyone thinking about buying a new 200DX download and read the manual where it talks about the advanced funtions. The whole section on tig start parameters is explained pretty well and there are graphs showing you what each parameter affects.

    In speaking with one of the techs in tig applications, they have discovered that using a higher start amperage coupled with a lower start time and start slope times, you get much better and much more consistent arc starts (keep in mind that all these settings are in milliseconds). On the older units, you didn't have the ability to change the start slope values as they were fixed. Now, as I said before, you can basically set those values to anything you want. However, I have run tests on all the tungsten sizes with their preset values and can tell you that they all work very, very well. Hopefully this is of some help and interest. If you have any questions on anything else, feel free to ask.

    Oh and btw, here is a job I just finished for one of my clients. Some of you old timers have seen these before but they are some aluminum handtrucks that I modify and they ultimately become compressor wash systems for helo engines. In the first pic you can see the two side by side. I have to cut out the two stock straps and weld in some formed ones to hold the tanks. The other stuff I just have to sand down the paint in the area and weld the parts on. I used the new 200 on this job and can tell you I really put it to the test. There are thicknesses from 1/8" to 1/4" on these things and there is 30 minutes of arc time into each one. Three hours total work into each one and there were 15 this time. Oh, all with an air-cooled torch.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by KB Fabrications; 01-18-2009, 12:26 AM.

  • #2
    KB,

    Thanks. Very informative as well as subjective.

    I'd been waiting for your evaluation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep, thanks KB, nice report.
      I went into "GEN" with mine a couple of days ago. I had a guy give me a AC condensor from a Subaru OutBack to weld on 2 of the tubes.
      I just went to gen and dropped the start to 5 amps and set my max at like 20 and played a bit on a root bear can then just welded it up perfect. The bead was about 1/16th" wide and about a 1/4th" long and held perfect a 175 psi.
      And the crazy and cool part was I used the 3/32 lanth that was already in it!!
      Used 1/16th 4043 filler. Also SSW.
      Miller done some good work here IMO.
      It took me longer to dig thru the manual and reset the machine than all the welding stuff.

      Comment


      • #4
        Fusion King,

        You mean you really looked something up in the owners manual. Does that thing really have good information available.

        I thought you were just supposed to ask a question on the board?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey KB great job on the write up as usual, but if your going t post pics of your work don't forget the BEADS man!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
            Fusion King,

            You mean you really looked something up in the owners manual. Does that thing really have good information available.

            I thought you were just supposed to ask a question on the board?

            Actually I normally at least scan the entire manual before I do much. Like most folks there are so many functions it is somewhat overwhelming at first.
            Sorta knocks the edge off that way for me.
            I read maps before I go on trips also and even stop and get directions at times as well.
            I did whine some about my early model Dynasty if you read back a ways on one of those Dynasty 200 bashing threads and KB came on and told me how to set the start parameters better. It helped as well. In fact it basically ended the thread IIRC.
            I wish he would do a write-up on his 350P as well for that matter.
            And KB don't worry about long....long is good. We like DETAILS like settings and prep and all that juicy stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              Kevin,
              in the soft sq arc setting, does the machine tail out different? Seems like that area would change some with the new SSA waveform? (ac aluminum welding)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Scott V View Post
                Kevin,
                in the soft sq arc setting, does the machine tail out different? Seems like that area would change some with the new SSA waveform? (ac aluminum welding)
                Scott,
                I guess I musta missed your post, sorry about that. Anywho, the newer 200 does tail out much better than the old version, especially on SSW. Even on the advanced square wave setting it is noticibly better.

                This new version acts different in a lot of ways compared to the old. In addition to what I have already described, the "fan on demand" feature now works differently. Instead of the machine gettting hot and then the fan turning on due to thermal activity, the fan now kicks on shortly after arc start and runs until post flow is complete.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've had arc start problems a few times(not a "new" machine, bought it in late '07), but never even realized there were adjustments for it. I'm one of those "turn it on and go" guys I'll have to dig into my hidden menu and mess around with it, the problems are mainly when I use 1/16" tungsten.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Kevin,
                    I figured it would be better, just by rounding out the very sharp arc. Good to hear they improved it all around.

                    The way the fan runs makes the most sense to me. Esab and Lincoln have a good system but the new Miller way, seems like they finished where those left off. (meaning not on a fixed timer)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Resurrecting this old thread for a little update. A few months ago I sold the 200DX I reviewed above as I was not using it and it had been sitting idle for almost 8 months. Last week had to order a new 200DX and I ended up getting the Tigrunner which I set up on Friday. I had enough time to get it all in order and run a few test beads but I wanted to pass along something that Miller has finally done that is really the icing on the cake for this unit.

                      On all previous versions of the 200's, changing the tig start parameters used to be a real PIA. First the machine had to be off so if you were welding and wanted/needed to change settings, you had to turn it off. Then, you had to turn it on while depressing a couple of the buttons on front of the unit and then the software would drop you into the hidden menus. Then, you make whatever changes you needed and once again, turn the unit off in order to save the settings. Now, turn the machine back on and you're good to go.

                      I talked with Miller engineers on several occasions about this and always got the same old line of "the software isn't capable of that". Funny how you don't have to go through all that crap on my 350. Although, IIRC, I used to have to do it on my 300. At any rate, it was a real pain and completely unnecessary IMHO.

                      So, when I went to check the defaults for the new 200, I read in the manual where you are now able to access the hidden parameter menus WITHOUT going through all those gymnastics. It didn't really offer the info up per-say, rather it just instructs you on how to do the procedure. Suffice to say that it is now MUCH easier to change settings on the new 200's. There will be more to follow in a review I do on the TigRunner package next week.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well that is refreshing....how about switching modes like from advanced to soft square?
                        I feel the on-off routine is a bit annoying myself. It wouldn't be quite so bad if the switch wasn't in back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                          Well that is refreshing....how about switching modes like from advanced to soft square?
                          I feel the on-off routine is a bit annoying myself. It wouldn't be quite so bad if the switch wasn't in back.
                          So far as I could tell, you can change ALL of the start parameters now just by pushing the Amp/Adjust buttons WHILE the machine is ON. I scrolled through everything and the waveforms were right there for the changing. Just reverse the button procedure (hold Amp down first then push Adjust) to go back to welding. Annoying is an understatement, they shoulda done this long ago.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Man, that is a nice update! I have a little note on my cart to help me remember what to hold down to access the hidden menu's if I don't use the machine for more than a week.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wonder if there is anyway to get a software update on an older 200DX so you can change these perameters without having to shut the unit off.

                              Comment

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