I have a 'old' (if 1 year old is old) Dynasty 350. I'm intrigued by the addition of the "blue lightning" option on the newest 350s.

My issue is that sometimes I don't get the arc to start (welding steel - even super clean 304 stainless). I have learned that a quick tap on the tungsten seems to clean off whatever was preventing the start and it then fires up just fine. Freshly ground electrodes never seem to have the problem. I'm making an assumption that it is a surface contamination or oxidation on the electrode.

Most of my welding is relatively short duration. Weld a couple of inches, then stop etc. I have not correlated anything I'm doing with the arc not starting on the next try.

I've had the same results with 2% thoriated, ceriated, and 'rare earth' electrods. Some days it feels like 50% of the starts are failures. Particularly last night when welding on a small thin piece of 304. I was trying not to overheat it.

Anyway - would "blue lightning" of the latest 350 address this? Is there a possibility of upgrading an older 350? Is it worth it or should I be doing something else?