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  1. #1
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    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Tx
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    177

    Default

    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.

  3. #3
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    Default

    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

  4. #4
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    Default

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    323

    Default

    Quote 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.

  6. #6
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    Default

    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

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    3,559

    Default

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

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  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    southern California
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    Default

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Tx
    Posts
    177

    Default

    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?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    southern California
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    Quote 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

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