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90/10, 95/5, 98/2 gas mixes with a 350P & XMT/Optima

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  • 90/10, 95/5, 98/2 gas mixes with a 350P & XMT/Optima

    I have a 350P and the recommended gas for that machine is 90/10 Ar/CO2 and that is the gas mix the pulse programming is based on. I have not used that gas mix with the machine, as my local suppliers dont normally sell that mix. They do sell 98/2 Ar/Oxy, so I use that. It works fine with some adjustment to the settings but I have always wanted to use the correct gas mix to see the machine really shine the way it was designed to.

    Now enter another machine. I recently got an Optima pulser for my XMT. When I got the Optima, I was hoping one of the pulse programs would be for 90/10 gas so I would have a better excuse for buying the custom mixed gas to use on both machines and quit using the 98/2 oxygen mix. Well, I'm not so lucky. The Optima has programs set for 95/5 and 98/2 Ar/CO2 mixes (the 98/2 is not the same argon/oxygen mix I use, it is argon/co2), but nothing for 90/10.

    So I'm kind of faced with a dilemma, as I really need 2 custom mixed gasses now instead of one. Can anyone who has used these machines (Optima and 350P) with different gas mixes tell me what are the effects of using the wrong gas mix compared to using the correct gas mix and is there a compromise gas mix that I could use for both machines, like maybe 92/8 argon/co2, and would both machines really work as they are intended on that compromise ?

    Thanks.
    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
    Millermatic175
    MillermaticPassport/Q300
    HTP MIG200
    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
    DialarcHF, Radiator-1
    Hypertherm PowerMax 380
    Purox oxy/ace
    Jackson EQC
    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
    -LoadNGo utility bed
    -Bobcat 250NT
    -PassportPlus/Q300
    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
    -Suitcase8RC/Q400
    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
    -Smith oxy/propane
    -Jackson EQC

  • #2
    DR33,
    I have used the Optima pulser at welding school back in 2004. I cant really remember the setting, but it was with 90/10 gas. As you know, I have a 350P. I also have a smith mixer (3 actually) and I mix my own gas. I have a bottle of 98/2oxy. That bottle is 2 years old and it old has about 10 mins of use on it. That how much it sucks using 98/2 in pulse on the 350P. I like 92Ar/8CO2 for my 350P the best. I would suggest the 92/8, by 90/10 is also very good. You will love it compared to the 98/2. There will be a HUGE difference (for the better). I just dont see how you use that 98/2.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Ace! Good to hear from you! I am beginning to think the 92/8 might be a good compromise gas to use since it's in the middle of 90/10 for the 350P and 95/5 for the Optima.

      The 98/2 with oxygen mix works fine for me but I do have to do some fenagling with the settings to get it work good. I can't just set the machine to all the factory recommended settings for the material and wire and expect to have a nice weld. The one thing I've never been able to eliminate is the grey color of the welds and make them shiny. I think that is inherent to the oxygen in the mix I guess. Other than the grey, it makes nice welds. It would be alot nicer though to be able to just set it to recommended settings and come up with a near perfect hit and then fine tune from there. Would be better for those repairs where I only have one shot at comming up with the right combination of settings. Usually on repairs I just switch it out of pulse to eliminate some of the fooling around.

      Did you ever get your torch liner and feed issue settled with the small diameter wire?
      Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
      Millermatic175
      MillermaticPassport/Q300
      HTP MIG200
      PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
      ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
      DialarcHF, Radiator-1
      Hypertherm PowerMax 380
      Purox oxy/ace
      Jackson EQC
      -F350 CrewCab 4x4
      -LoadNGo utility bed
      -Bobcat 250NT
      -PassportPlus/Q300
      -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
      -Suitcase8RC/Q400
      -Suitcase12RC/Q300
      -Smith oxy/propane
      -Jackson EQC

      Comment


      • #4
        Update-

        I got off the phone with John at Miller and he recommended I use 95/5 for both machines instead of compromising with 92/8. I'm going to try the 95/5 mix next time one of my 2 bottles for those machines needs filled and see how it goes.
        Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
        Millermatic175
        MillermaticPassport/Q300
        HTP MIG200
        PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
        ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
        DialarcHF, Radiator-1
        Hypertherm PowerMax 380
        Purox oxy/ace
        Jackson EQC
        -F350 CrewCab 4x4
        -LoadNGo utility bed
        -Bobcat 250NT
        -PassportPlus/Q300
        -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
        -Suitcase8RC/Q400
        -Suitcase12RC/Q300
        -Smith oxy/propane
        -Jackson EQC

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
          Update-

          I got off the phone with John at Miller and he recommended I use 95/5 for both machines instead of compromising with 92/8. I'm going to try the 95/5 mix next time one of my 2 bottles for those machines needs filled and see how it goes.
          DR33,

          Very interesting. I wonder how 95/5 will work for MM350P and Optima Pulser?

          Please keep us posted.

          Charles
          Millermatic Passport Plus
          Millermatic 200

          Millermatic 350P with Python
          XMT 304 /w S-64 feeder and 12VS
          Dynasty 300 DX
          Thermal Arc 400 MST
          Victor O/A
          Premier Power Welder for my trail junk.

          Comment


          • #6
            95/5 is one of the gasses the Optima has programs for, so it should work great in the Optima. John said that when they were testing the 350P, 95/5 was their second gas choice behind 90/10. I asked him about 92/8 instead of 95/5 for the 350P since it would be closer to 90/10 and he said his choice would be 95/5. I suppose I'll have to turn the machine a bit hotter (longer arc length) with the 95/5 than with 90/10, but it should be alot closer than the 98/2 I have been using with the 350P since I bought it.
            Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
            Millermatic175
            MillermaticPassport/Q300
            HTP MIG200
            PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
            ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
            DialarcHF, Radiator-1
            Hypertherm PowerMax 380
            Purox oxy/ace
            Jackson EQC
            -F350 CrewCab 4x4
            -LoadNGo utility bed
            -Bobcat 250NT
            -PassportPlus/Q300
            -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
            -Suitcase8RC/Q400
            -Suitcase12RC/Q300
            -Smith oxy/propane
            -Jackson EQC

            Comment


            • #7
              Crazy...around here Air Gas stocks loads of 90/10 and they call it "steel mix"

              www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
              Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
              MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
              Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
              Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

              Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
              Miller 30-A Spoolgun
              Miller WC-115-A
              Miller Spectrum 300
              Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
              Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

              Comment


              • #8
                Around here the Airgas Steel Mix is 85/15 or 84/16, I forget which. Works good with short circuit.
                Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                Millermatic175
                MillermaticPassport/Q300
                HTP MIG200
                PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                Purox oxy/ace
                Jackson EQC
                -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                -LoadNGo utility bed
                -Bobcat 250NT
                -PassportPlus/Q300
                -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                -Smith oxy/propane
                -Jackson EQC

                Comment


                • #9
                  DR33,
                  At first I hated my MM350P. It would not weld correctly, lots of spatter, and all the other things I told you about. Since then I had all the small issues fixed. There was a problem with the liner (it was a new liner and was not kinked, but changing it out helped). I have gone back to the 15 ft Q 300 gun (I was using a 20 ft Q 400), and the wire I was using was bad. I noticed it would kinda catch ot hesitate for a split second when upwinding, but it would never tangle. It was name brand wire. I still use the Q 400 gun for .045 wire but there was too much play in the liner and the 20ft did not help out when running .035 wire.
                  Now I love my 350P. It is now my go to machine for everything. I am surprised that there is NO spatter with it on any of the setting.

                  As far as the gas, when I used 98/2 the bead was VERY tall or high. There was lots of undercut and it was pulsing WAY too hot. Let us know how you like your 95/5 gas.

                  Have you looked into getting a gas mixer?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ace4059 View Post
                    DR33,
                    At first I hated my MM350P. It would not weld correctly, lots of spatter, and all the other things I told you about. Since then I had all the small issues fixed. There was a problem with the liner (it was a new liner and was not kinked, but changing it out helped). I have gone back to the 15 ft Q 300 gun (I was using a 20 ft Q 400), and the wire I was using was bad. I noticed it would kinda catch ot hesitate for a split second when upwinding, but it would never tangle. It was name brand wire. I still use the Q 400 gun for .045 wire but there was too much play in the liner and the 20ft did not help out when running .035 wire.
                    Now I love my 350P. It is now my go to machine for everything. I am surprised that there is NO spatter with it on any of the setting.

                    As far as the gas, when I used 98/2 the bead was VERY tall or high. There was lots of undercut and it was pulsing WAY too hot. Let us know how you like your 95/5 gas.

                    Have you looked into getting a gas mixer?

                    Ace, I haven't looked into a gas mixer yet. I think eventually I will probly have one but not now.

                    Glad you got that feeding ironed out! I know that was a real bummer for you awhile back. I got mine figured out too and all 3 QGuns are feeding great for me. It's mainly a matter of matching the liner to the wire. When the guns get long, the liner size becomes more important.

                    Interesting, with mine on 98/2 ar/oxy I get very wide flat beads and yes it pulses HOT. It's a little dicey on out of position, I have to cool it down or it will try to droop out. Undercut hasn't been a problem though. Other than a little spatter sometimes when the wire first touches down, I don't get spatter unless I set the arc length very short. Below 25 it acts like it's trying to short circuit.

                    I think I will like it better with the 95/5. I'm looking forward to it.
                    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                    Millermatic175
                    MillermaticPassport/Q300
                    HTP MIG200
                    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                    DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                    Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                    Purox oxy/ace
                    Jackson EQC
                    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                    -LoadNGo utility bed
                    -Bobcat 250NT
                    -PassportPlus/Q300
                    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                    -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                    -Smith oxy/propane
                    -Jackson EQC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I sort of like this discussion...it makes me ponder my options.
                      So DR33 my question would be (and pardon me if I missed the answer) why confuse the gasses/bottles between the two machines? Do you have more machines than bottles and they must share?
                      I have some sorta weird things going on in the fact that I sold my cheap regulator with the Airco and now I only have 2 good flowmeters. So I have one in the van with the 200DX and the other with the 350P. From there I string out hose to the 700. I need 2 more regulators. Reading this makes me think I need a couple more regulators before the season ends and money gets too tight.
                      Back on topic if they use their own bottles then why not get each machine what it requires and then concentrate on settings from there rather than all the comparisons?
                      I think having many different gas mixes on hand is good.
                      I do think you, of all people need a mixer, with your combination of machines and abilities.
                      I know I used to need one but not anymore. The 700 ended my need for hotter welds, alltho I could use some slight helium in my argon with the 200DX when on 120v at times tho. But that is mobile so pre-mix is pretty much it.
                      Sorry for rambling but reading this got my thoughts stirring this morning

                      www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                      Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                      MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                      Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                      Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                      Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                      Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                      Miller WC-115-A
                      Miller Spectrum 300
                      Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                      Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I could use 2 different mixes, as I have seperate bottles and regs for the 350P and the truck but I would like to standardize on one mix if I'm having the gas supplier custom mix it for me. It takes a couple 3 days to get a custom mix, so I'd like to have both bottles with the same mix so I can swap bottles when one runs out, while waiting for the empty be filled.

                        The one on the truck won't get used much, as I got the pulser mainly to use with the spool gun and aluminum, so the argon bottle takes care of that. I figured since I have the pulse steel capability on the truck and the hose & reg available for the Suitcase feeder, I may as well have a bottle available with the correct mix to use the steel pulse and I can also use it as a spare for the 350P. Mostly I use fluxcore on the truck but once in a while I use solid wire and gas.
                        Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                        Millermatic175
                        MillermaticPassport/Q300
                        HTP MIG200
                        PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                        ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                        DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                        Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                        Purox oxy/ace
                        Jackson EQC
                        -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                        -LoadNGo utility bed
                        -Bobcat 250NT
                        -PassportPlus/Q300
                        -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                        -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                        -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                        -Smith oxy/propane
                        -Jackson EQC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Desert33, how did that 95/5 work out for you, I have a 2 year old bottle of 95/5 and my MM350p dosen't like it much. 90/10 seems to work good though.
                          Millermatic 350P
                          Miller 30A Spoolgun
                          Miller Spectrum 3080
                          Miller Pro 300
                          Miller 12RC Suitcase

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