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Syncrowave 350LX AC Issue

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  • Syncrowave 350LX AC Issue

    I purchased a used 350LX from a manufacturing plant that upgraded (supposedly working good when removed from production). I've been getting it running in my shop, and ran into a problem. On DC, it welds very well on steel. I did a few tests, with different settings, etc., getting a feel for the machine, and it worked well.

    Then, I switched to AC to test on some aluminum, and that's where the issues arose. Test pieces are 3/16" 6061 plate. Tungsten is a red band 3/32" dia. The torch is a Weldcraft 17, and is known good as I've used it a lot on my Syncrowave 200. I started with a pointed tip on my tungsten, and it's balled nicely in playing with it.

    The first symptom is that I am having no arc stability at all. If I up the current to >150A, I can force enough heat into the part to start a puddle, but it's affecting a large area (probably nickel size or bigger). Changing the balance all the way toward penetration helps, but not enough to actually weld with it.

    The second symptom is that I'm getting a white oxidation around the weld area. Using pure argon, and the flow is set at about 25, and I trust the reg/flow meter as I moved them from my working Syncrowave 200.

    The third symptom is that I think it's putting too much heat back into the tungsten. If it do a fairly short test, the tungsten is red hot...

    The fourth symptom is that it occasionally shocks the heck out of me through the welding table while testing it.

    I'm assuming that I have some sort of issue with the high frequency system, but I need a little help / direction for where to head.

    Thanks,

    Danny

  • #2
    No one has any ideas?

    Danny

    Comment


    • #3
      Bad work connection, bad ground. You have to earth ground the machine. My 200 that I just sold would knock the tar out of me at unsuspecting times causing knee jerk reaction and a few choice words. Grounded the machine to the conduits, grounded the conduits, problem solved. This ground is completely separate from the green lead in your power cord to your breaker box. As far as the welding problem I couldn't help you unless I saw what exactly what's going on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Red band tungsten is Thoriated......not good for aluminium. (plus its slightly radioactive)
        You need pure tungsten and ball the tip, or 2% ceriated and use a long taper.

        Comment


        • #5
          He's using pure tungsten. I have gotten away from pure tungsten and have been using lanthanum (spelling) with good results on aluminum. Its a good all around tungsten. Only fault I have with it that it won't break clean. It seems like it bends.

          Comment


          • #6
            do yourself a favor- call Miller !

            Sorry, I have read so many posts where you can tell or at least it looks like people askin for help haven't even made the first step

            download owners manual
            get your serial # and stock # off the machine

            and call Miller Tech Support Line 920-734-9821
            (once again make sure you request someone specialized in your welding machine division example.. wire feed, tig, stick, engine driven)

            This is all gathered from personal experience and some is personal opinion as well as approx prices, and examples of what can go wrong and what it may cost to get it back up and running--( I haven't had any experience dealing with other machine brands Tech support ) just sayin--- do some homework and see what you find out, I'm sure you will get to the bottom of it and most likely a lot faster then you would have ever believed by a simple phone call. and spreading your info/test info and visual inspection findings amongst the forums...

            I would like to say that people on the Millerwelds forum as well as Weldingwebs forum have also been of great help. Even if you don't get the help you wanted on your post its likely if you search the forums you may find something that helps you that way as well.

            I'm not saying doing it yourself is for everyone or that it is safe for your typical user and or customer, though I would like to say some of these machines are not as complicated as a person might think expecially when you do some research via forums and internet in general. Then get a little Guidance from Tech support at Miller, I was very impressed with Miller's Tech Service Support Staff's helpful nature and knowledge of product, I know of no other company that will help a person this much even when their product is out of warranty.

            First of all it doesn't hurt to read the manual so please do so at the least, before opening up the machine. unplug the machine, etc if you need to ask I'm sure someone here will go into much more detail.... oh and a digital volt meter will be your friend through out diagnosis

            (Servicing a welding machine is Dangerous if you don't use a little common sense and get a little knowledge of how to go about it before opening it up, so you can do so in a safer manner)


            Hey,

            Don't make the mistake that many people do and, forget that Miller Customer service is only a phone call away, its not a 1-800 call but, who doesn't have a cell phone these days? to use for such a call.....(even if your machine is old)

            -have your Serial # ready and stock # , download your owners manual and print out any board diagrams, and main welding machine diagram, board parts listing
            (don't know if your year model provides this but mine sure did, and its A FREE download from millerwelds.com)

            -have those print outs ready so that you and the Tech can go over exactly what he or she thinks is causing your failure, this way you will both be lookin at close to the same information at the same time.

            -for example if its a board issue, they will likely identify which one and if you catch em on a good day may even walk you though circuit diagram and show you what component on the board is most likely to be causing this failure.

            -from there you can choose to gamble/go cheap and hope to repair it by fixing just that component in circuit, or send the board off for repair at a pcb repair shop(big difference here is they have the test equipment and knowledge of the board to properly test it after repairing it, so big plus there! (by reading the forums I've seen it said that they have approx 60% chance that they will be able to do the repair depending on what it is and damage that it has taken), last option would be buy the New board from Miller and either one- the repaired board or New one I would think should be installed by a Miller Service Center if you want any kinda warranty.

            The Difference :

            -option #1 probably under $100 but yer just gambling, depending on yer situation and what board yer dealing with/ what components you need and scope of work. by a local electronics and or TV Repair shop,or people that service large amps for Public Address systems and or Concert Equipment, they can get the electronic components or you can find them yourself Newark.com or Digikey.com

            -option #2 probably close to $200- $500 If they are able to repair it, you should probably add approx. $ 100 to the bill for a Service Center to install it so you get some warranty( I have not verified this but I'm sure you could before you spend the money)

            -option #3 probably close to $250- $1,000 + depending on what you need and age of the machine I'm sure... and then add what ever the Service Center Charges you to install it, also I'm sure you may have to go through the Service Center to get the part so the price is likely some additional $ added for you to buy it from them mark up/profit/etc..

            Don't get me wrong guys, I'm not trying to hurt millers profit's or all the Service shops around the world. though the fact that people are on the forum asking for help is indication enough that they would like to stay away from the service shop prices and attempt repair themselves if at all possible, before being faced with letting a shop do the service. there are people that can afford to throw money at machines in a service shop and there are others that its either not cost effective or they can't afford to go that route at this time. thankfully Miller Tech support is there for us at no charge with helpful info to at least assist with pin pointing whats going on and approx price of part to repair it minus shipping fees, installation fees or service center mark up of course. As well as, Millerwelds forum and weldingweb these too are great assests provided to use at no cost other than your time to do the research and properly show them pic's serial # etc of whats going on and. its very likely you'll come out with a favorable outcome. Basically I've been helped by all of these places listed and my purpose is to attempt to help others with the limited knowledge that I have with these machines compared to a person like cruiser and there are many others out there I'm sure, just listing the resident forum rock star here lol. It's wise to get as much information from as many sources that are able to help you as possible, and go from there.

            Yeah this has been rediculously long, I know. Yet if this helps one person perhaps it will help others too, at least understand what they are going to be dealing with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sledsports View Post
              He's using pure tungsten. I have gotten away from pure tungsten and have been using lanthanum (spelling) with good results on aluminum. Its a good all around tungsten. Only fault I have with it that it won't break clean. It seems like it bends.
              Red band tungsten isnt pure tungsten.......its 2% thoriated, which wont hold up very well in the high heat of ac welding.
              I believe that there is nothing wrong with the welder.....its improper tungsten and or technique.
              Make sure you are using large enough tungsten for your amperage range.
              AC welding puts alot more heat into your tungsten as opposed to dc tig, thats why you see the tungsten glowing red.
              White oxides around the weld is normal.......its a characteristic of the cleaning action of an ac arc.
              Make sure your machine is set for full time high frequency.........this will stabilize the wondering arc.
              Make sure you have a good ground.......keep playing with the balance control until you find the sweet spot.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DirtyDan View Post
                Red band tungsten isnt pure tungsten.......its 2% thoriated, which wont hold up very well in the high heat of ac welding.
                I believe that there is nothing wrong with the welder.....its improper tungsten and or technique.
                Make sure you are using large enough tungsten for your amperage range.
                AC welding puts alot more heat into your tungsten as opposed to dc tig, thats why you see the tungsten glowing red.
                White oxides around the weld is normal.......its a characteristic of the cleaning action of an ac arc.
                Make sure your machine is set for full time high frequency.........this will stabilize the wondering arc.
                Make sure you have a good ground.......keep playing with the balance control until you find the sweet spot.
                Sorry, I misunderstood. Thanks for straightening me out

                Comment


                • #9
                  Solved

                  To update, I've solved the problem. I talked to tech support (thanks Shadowiz for the number), and the problem ended up being my spark gap setting. I had checked it / adjusted, but apparently my machine has the wrong number on the door sticker... I had it at 0.012" and they now recommend 0.008". He said he's been successful as low as 0.004". I adjusted it to ~0.007", and it's working as it should now... Gotta love the easy fixes...

                  Oh, and on the comments about tungsten type for AC, red is fine too. I've used orange as well, just using up the last of my red (the radioactivity you mentioned)... While I had them on the phone, I asked tech support, and he confirmed that red is fine for AC.

                  Now that my 350LX is running as it should, anyone want to buy a Syncrowave 200?

                  Thanks,

                  Danny

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DirtyDan View Post
                    Red band tungsten isnt pure tungsten.......its 2% thoriated, which wont hold up very well in the high heat of ac welding.
                    I believe that there is nothing wrong with the welder.....its improper tungsten and or technique.
                    Make sure you are using large enough tungsten for your amperage range.
                    AC welding puts alot more heat into your tungsten as opposed to dc tig, thats why you see the tungsten glowing red.
                    White oxides around the weld is normal.......its a characteristic of the cleaning action of an ac arc.
                    Make sure your machine is set for full time high frequency.........this will stabilize the wondering arc.
                    Make sure you have a good ground.......keep playing with the balance control until you find the sweet spot.
                    Sorry Dan, I missed the Red band part. My eyes were crossed up or something. Its all good.

                    Comment

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