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Brand New Millermatic 211 Fouling Up

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  • #31
    Like I have already said, welders and plasma cutters frequently do not run properly off generator power. Many generators do not produce clean, consistent power. To troubleshoot the machine I really recommend using grid 220.

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    • #32
      How many people have to tell you to diag the machine on grid power before you do? If you want help then you have to listen to suggestions and take them seriously. Otherwise don't bother asking for help.

      This is an incredibly helpful place for people who ask questions and take suggestions and criticism seriously. I hope you get it figured out but in the mean time try the little things we are saying.
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      • #33
        Originally posted by elvis View Post
        How many people have to tell you to diag the machine on grid power before you do? If you want help then you have to listen to suggestions and take them seriously. Otherwise don't bother asking for help.

        This is an incredibly helpful place for people who ask questions and take suggestions and criticism seriously. I hope you get it figured out but in the mean time try the little things we are saying.
        +1.... that sure would be the simplest way to eliminate variables to exclude the welding machine itself... or point to it...

        but this is just going around in circles... and it sounds like a bunch of people who are giving you good troubleshooting advice are starting to get plenty frustrated...

        is there some reason you are unable to test it on grid power??

        Some generators do not provide clean enough power to support a welder..
        What brand and model generator is it??

        are you living off grid and not have grid power available??
        Last edited by H80N; 02-16-2014, 08:32 AM.
        .

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        • #34
          Originally posted by elvis View Post
          How many people have to tell you to diag the machine on grid power before you do? If you want help then you have to listen to suggestions and take them seriously. Otherwise don't bother asking for help.

          This is an incredibly helpful place for people who ask questions and take suggestions and criticism seriously. I hope you get it figured out but in the mean time try the little things we are saying.
          What suggestions which I haven't already stated I've tried have I ignored? Does me saying "I have already tried XXXXX" count as not taking people's suggestions seriously? Getting short with me over having not tried the welder on a 240V wall socket seems a little crude, because as I've said I just have 120V mains and both Miller and True Arc said my generator should be able to power the unit just fine. So obviously I haven't been able to try it on 240V mains since it was suggested just *yesterday*. Also as I pointed out I'm not discounting insufficient input as the problem, but it's not a consistent theory with what I've been told by both Miller and their respective service shop. If it makes you feel any better I had already decided to try it on a hard wired 240V socket, plus pursue installing a 30A 220V outlet in the garage because of this problem I'm having since it was what members here started saying to try...

          I truly appreciate the help I've received so far here, and I don't want posts like yours to make people think I don't. I just don't have the capacity to try every suggestion right away. The gentleman from True Arc was generous enough to offer to let me bring the machine over and run it off his 240V mains. So tomorrow I'm going to haul it, plus my gas bottle and PPE to see if I can't get it to stall mid-weld again. If it doesn't, then that excludes pretty much everything except my grid at home. I'm not using a crappy generator, it's a Briggs and Stratton EXL8000, but of course any piece of equipment is capable of not working properly. But I did read a solid 240V coming from it, so who knows what the problem with it is. Is there any way to check the "cleanliness" of its power???

          As usual, thank you for the help guys. Don't think that it goes ignored or unappreciated
          Last edited by kestrel452; 02-16-2014, 12:27 PM.

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          • #35
            Looking forward to the results. I imagine you are pretty frustrated, OK REALLY PISSED ! That would make anyone upset. Hopefully we'll all know in the next couple of days. Sometimes alcohol helps.

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            • #36
              Before I sold my 211 and replaced it with a 252, I never ran it on a genny OR on 120 volts so can't help there -

              The ONLY way to verify that your genny isn't "dropping the ball" is to test it under load. Even a 1 kw genny will show you no voltage drop, even with a 1000' extension cord on it.

              If you have access to a dual channel oscilloscope with capability of line sync, you could have a friend try welding while you look at the 240 volts - when you first pull the trigger, you will see the trace (synced to grid power, NOT genny power, IOW the scope should be powered by grid) the trace should move left to right, indicating it is lower freq. than grid - then, IF the genny can keep up, it should stabilize the trace on the scope so it stays nearly still on screen. If not, then your genny isn't putting out 60 hZ power -

              "clean" power should look like a smooth, un-distorted sine wave (google images with that phrase if you're not sure) - if you see anything else, especially "spikes", it's not "clean".

              Not sure how much further you wanna take this til I know if you can do any of it... Steve

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              • #37
                Originally posted by BukitCase View Post
                Before I sold my 211 and replaced it with a 252, I never ran it on a genny OR on 120 volts so can't help there -

                The ONLY way to verify that your genny isn't "dropping the ball" is to test it under load. Even a 1 kw genny will show you no voltage drop, even with a 1000' extension cord on it.

                If you have access to a dual channel oscilloscope with capability of line sync, you could have a friend try welding while you look at the 240 volts - when you first pull the trigger, you will see the trace (synced to grid power, NOT genny power, IOW the scope should be powered by grid) the trace should move left to right, indicating it is lower freq. than grid - then, IF the genny can keep up, it should stabilize the trace on the scope so it stays nearly still on screen. If not, then your genny isn't putting out 60 hZ power -

                "clean" power should look like a smooth, un-distorted sine wave (google images with that phrase if you're not sure) - if you see anything else, especially "spikes", it's not "clean".

                Not sure how much further you wanna take this til I know if you can do any of it... Steve
                I don't have any fancy equipment like an oscilloscope. Can I use a multimeter to do it?

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                • #38
                  You wouldn't be able to tell about "clean" power, for that you need to see the actual waveform or have a REALLY fancy device called a waveform analyzer or similar - but if your multimeter is upscale enough to have a FREQUENCY reading, you could at least tell how much (if any) your genny is being loaded down when you first strike an arc - you'd still need a helper, either to weld while YOU look at the frequency, or vice versa.

                  I agree with the other posts though, I would first verify it isn't the welder itself - and that would be best done by having the seller VERIFY it's working on grid power, both 120 and 240 volt, with you WATCHING it happen.

                  Again, remember that measuring voltage at the other end of a NON-loaded extension cord you'll get the same reading using a 100 foot #22 gauge wire as you would with a 100 foot #2 gauge. Only real measurement of drop on a wire is under LOAD, measured AT THE WELDER - for that, you'd need a multi-plug adapter at the end of the cord closest to the welder, and plug your multimeter into the adapter. That way, you will see the voltage the welder is REALLY getting during welding.

                  Any other way and you're only fooling yourself... Steve
                  Last edited by BukitCase; 02-16-2014, 02:48 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Oh, in answer to one of your previous questions - since a MIG is almost always a Constant Voltage source, if it's very advanced and it doesn't see enough voltage (too small a cord, etc) it will probably INCREASE its current draw in order to maintain the voltage it wants to see - so it's possible that ANY cause of undervoltage in its supply could cause the unit to draw more CURRENT, thereby popping the breaker... Steve

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                    • #40
                      What rest steps do you take?

                      When it shuts off do you have to flip the switch on the back "off and back on" or just on? (I don't even know if this even matters.)
                      I know on my cart the sheet metal is really close enough to bump the on/off switch so I put in a spacer...could this be causing an on/off flicker of the machine as you move around?
                      (Just brainstorming here.)
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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BukitCase View Post
                        Oh, in answer to one of your previous questions - since a MIG is almost always a Constant Voltage source, if it's very advanced and it doesn't see enough voltage (too small a cord, etc) it will probably INCREASE its current draw in order to maintain the voltage it wants to see - so it's possible that ANY cause of undervoltage in its supply could cause the unit to draw more CURRENT, thereby popping the breaker... Steve
                        Well, there wasn't any difference in how long the welder took to crap out between using my 50' 10 gauge cord and just plugging it right into the genny, so the problem is not in between the welder and the generator.

                        If the machine proves to work flawlessly tomorrow, I think we'll know which end the problem is truly on. My question is, if it is indeed the generator's fault, then what in the world can I do to fix that? Take it in for service, or just accept the fact that Briggs/Generac makes crap and I'll be tied down to using a socket...?

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                        • #42
                          It's close enough to tomorrow by now, I'd just cross that bridge first - if you like, post the EXACT make/model # of your genny (a link to an actual manual if you have it) and I'll see what I can find out about it - I've been doing this stuff for so long, I'm getting pretty good at "reading between the lines" on specs and things, might be able to see a potential problem with that unit if there is one... Steve

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by BukitCase View Post
                            It's close enough to tomorrow by now, I'd just cross that bridge first - if you like, post the EXACT make/model # of your genny (a link to an actual manual if you have it) and I'll see what I can find out about it - I've been doing this stuff for so long, I'm getting pretty good at "reading between the lines" on specs and things, might be able to see a potential problem with that unit if there is one... Steve
                            Thank you Steve I appreciate it

                            The make/model doesn't get any more specific than it being a Briggs & Stratton EXL8000. Bought it around 6 years ago and only has 13 hours on it. Here's a manual: http://dl.owneriq.net/b/bcf86906-c1a...dc2c07d516.pdf
                            Last edited by kestrel452; 02-16-2014, 08:42 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Use the generator for light outage only

                              I'd be afraid to use a gen for under a $1000 bucks on an expensive welder. (dirty output)

                              Might be a good backup generator for executions at your local Pen, but I wouldn't use it on any expensive electronics.
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                              • #45
                                Wow, that was incredibly useless (the "manual", that is)

                                The good news is, they got the math (apparently) right - 8kw @ 240 volts works out to 33 amps (33.33333 actually) - other than that, not much info. NO mention of running electronics to speak of, but so far I'm thinking it's either the welder or you, probably NOT the genny.

                                I'd still wait til you get the verdict from the seller - if THEY can make it work, be sure that YOU can make it work at their facility. If THEY can, but YOU can't, I would ask about local classes and consider it a "new life challenge" :=) - then, once you get the hang of it, you may find that your genny "magically healed itself" - but all of this is a moot point til you know the welder is/is not OK.

                                Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment, it's too crappy a weather out for me to wanna bail just yet :=) Steve
                                Last edited by BukitCase; 02-16-2014, 11:13 PM.

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