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Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:03 pm

exnailpounder wrote:Around here AirgASS will not exchange a competitor bottle no matter what. My NEW happy nice LWS will take anyone's bottle but you have to pay for a hydro even if it's still in hydro. There isn't really any advantage to owning a bottle other than you can always sell it and usually get all your money back as opposed to when your lease is up you have to re-lease and pay all over again but the lease is 7 years. My LWS did tell me that 300cf cylinders are not for sale and if you buy one, it is considered stolen property. Anything smaller can be owned. Whether that's true or not I am not sure but I was going to buy 4 300cfs full of helium from a farmer and I called my LWS to ask them if they would exchange them and they told me not to buy them. My owned bottles are documented through the LWS as they took my bottles as an exchange but have their stamp in the neck but I can keep them forever. The whole ground off neck stamp scam doesn't go over around here. There are very few plain necks out there and the welding stores know it.


Good info!

I decided to own the cylinders for a few reasons. Mainly it is a value system of owning everything that I plan to keep around for more than a week. My local also requires monthly lease payments(no yearly available) adding to my paperwork. Once I'm confident in my skills, the gas consumption should go waaay down. Nothing wrong with leasing for most. Expect them to do a credit check.

I started giving a little more thought to purchasing from individuals after your post. There is such a variety of rules from one shop to another like you mentioned. The only way to know you have a sure thing is to physically carry it to the LWS and get their blessing on it. A phone call first could save you some trouble too. I also checked my checked my cylinder over very well for damage. Layed it over and looked underneath too.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby exnailpounder » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:29 pm

Owning is ok because if you want to sell a bottle, you can get your asking price. My lease was great as I paid the 7 years ($270) in advance so no monthly headache AND if I return it before 7 years, they pro-rate the cost and give me back some cash. I couldn't pass it up. You will definitely go through some gas getting started but it gets waaay better as you improve. Glad to see you getting her running again. Those hours aren't bad at all. Those machines are meant to last and it sounds like you have some electronics knowledge so you should be golden.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:14 am

exnailpounder wrote:Glad to see you getting her running again. Those hours aren't bad at all. Those machines are meant to last and it sounds like you have some electronics knowledge so you should be golden.


Yes sir, It was a careful choice. One of my friends was repairing inconel turbine blades with this model. That was three years ago? Not sure what they have now. Good enough for me! I do have some electronics skills. It is now one of those things that seems like I've forgotten way more than I know.

Material choices for tig practice????:
I have a couple of kitchen bags full of aluminum cans that I scrounged from my buddies house. I'm building an order sheet for the local specialty metals place. I only have 1/16 filler on hand and plenty of it so that plays a part in what I picked so far. I could possibly double that up for thicker or use mig wire for thinner stuff.

STEEL-HOT ROLLED FLAT BAR A36 (HOT ROLLED A36 FLAT BAR 0.125 X 1.000)
ALUMINUM FLAT BAR 6061T6 (ALUMINUM 6061T6 FLAT BAR 0.125 X 1.000)
STAINLESS SHEET 304 (STAINLESS 304 2B SHEET 0.078 (14Ga))

What do you guys think about ordering this?

Cooler problems:
The repairs were fairly simple after the parts arrived. Re-pinning the connector for the new current sensing coil was a pain without a proper pin tool. I'm getting a hlp 17 code and this point and that points a coolant temperature problem. I checked the value on the coolant thermistor and it was reading way low(should be ~30k ohm at room temp). I disconnected the cooler connector at the board and wired the pump relay to run constantly so I could check that.

Now, remember me mentioning that the pump was priming before the cleanup? Now it doesn't :( . It just spins.

My theory is that I cleaned the gunk out of the pump and this gunk was giving the vanes tolerances necessary to function on some level. I triple checked that the parts were correctly aligned and noticed tiny marks of wear and some damage to the vanes.

The good news is that I was able to try out the machine as a stick welder. I've read posts that this machine burns sticks with excellence. They were right. I almost forgot how enjoyable it was to just to go through some rods without the pressure to fix something in a hurry. My Bud stopped by later and I taught him how to run some beads while we were chatting over some beers.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:26 pm

More cooler circuit problems and the fixes:

OEM pump repair parts and entire replacements are not available from Procon. You may be able to get a new assembly from Miller for $400 and it can't be rebuilt. I've purchased a rebuildable style Procon pump/motor for plan B. It is spec'd at 230v, 2.8A, 105 GPH, 55 psi.

The old CMP style pump motor cools itself with water. This seems to be the main reason for using a thermistor. A resistor was soldered on in place of the thermistor and it fixed the hlp 17 code. It is a 1W 30K ohm 1% metal film type. This will falsely report ambient temp regardless of conditions. The Hobbs switch detects flow and that will shut down the machine if there is a serious problem. I should also note that these Hobbs style switches are adjustable. I've read posts elsewhere that these are problematic with restrictive torches and people end up bypassing it. It makes sense to adjust the set screw counter clockwise a bit it first.

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Got everything hooked up with some hose, etc. from ACE hardware. Now the machine does not seem to recognize that it has a cooler installed. The priming procedure listed in the owners manual still does nothing up to this point :( I started probing the connector at the board with a multimeter and noticed that a light would come on between the stick/tig lights. The probe was on the current sensing coil leads when this happened. This is the water cooled torch detected light according to the technical manual.

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On a hunch I placed a cheap disk capacitor between the two sensing leads. It works! I've confirmed that it cycles on when striking an arc on AC & DC, then shuts after a period on arc idle. The CLr & FLo display during prime procedure tells us that there is a cooler present and correct return pressure is detected. A sweet system when/if it works and way less noise when not welding.

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The cost of repair parts so far is ~$200 and it could probably be done for half of that. I will clean all of this up and try to make it look factory. I'm thinking of fabing a "dog house" for the pump on the back of the machine.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:32 pm

I'm totally thrilled with how everything is going! This is by far more enjoyable than any welding process I've worked with.

I welded up the two bags of cans together that I mentioned in an earlier post. Something that helped was adjusting the arc starting current to "1 (light/soft start)". I found this in the manual under "Selecting TIG Starting Characteristics Using Syncro-Start Technology". Otherwise it would normally try to destroy the can right off.

I started out with getting up to grind the tungsten. After that, the cheap dremel & diamond wheel setup stayed within reach on the table next to the work. As you can imagine, the tungsten was coated with aluminum more often than not :evil:. It did help ease the pain a bit.

I had two types of cans and I did successfully weld up several of the thinner material up to 23 amps without blowing holes in them. This is a pic of the thicker bottle shaped type at up to 33 amps. The only thing I have to show for an empty cylinder of argon :|.

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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby LtBadd » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:41 pm

MFleet wrote:I had two types of cans and I did successfully weld up several of the thinner material up to 23 amps without blowing holes in them. This is a pic of the thicker bottle shaped type at up to 33 amps. The only thing I have to show for an empty cylinder of argon :|.


Nice weld, was this done in a rotator?
Richard

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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:53 pm

LtBadd wrote:
MFleet wrote:I had two types of cans and I did successfully weld up several of the thinner material up to 23 amps without blowing holes in them. This is a pic of the thicker bottle shaped type at up to 33 amps. The only thing I have to show for an empty cylinder of argon :|.


Nice weld, was this done in a rotator?


Thanks and no positioner yet. The ole gray matter is working on one already ;)

This was done by manually re-positioning in the vise in three beads. I think it looks more convincing than my skills actually are. I was using a heavy manual pulse with the pedal. This allowed me some time to get the filler rod just right. Believe me, I'm still fumbling with it.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:33 am

Just recently had more problems with the HF points after it was working just fine for months. Maybe humidity has something to do with it? I had a hunch that a bigger gap behind the insulator/phenolic material would be a potential solution. It was a dim, orange arc behind the red material to chassis ground when the arc was dropping out. I did a points cleaning on a stone in the mill as suggested. It didn't solve the problem but may have helped. It seemed to smooth it out a bit as the blue arc looks more defined. There is a fore/aft comparison pic of the points. I did a thorough cleaning of the insulator with brushes and acetone to rule out a any carbon tracks.

There is a pic of the factory scorched material and the potential fix that seems to have solved the problem. It is a butchered, folded up, poly water jug behind the red material. I took care to not place it behind the nylon screws where the arcing seemed to be concentrated. Maybe I will make some bushings for the mount screws. 6 hrs arc time and no glitches so far.

I'm hoping that this machine is close to a done project. The water pump housing parts are cut out. Just need to tack it together and button her up. Maybe a fire extinguisher mount to finalize this :)

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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby Arno » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:35 am

From the charred look on the edges of the holes it looks indeed like it was arcing on the studs/bolts to the back plate.

I suspect if you get a plain sheet of 3/32 or 1/8" thick PTFE and cut that to size to fit as a secondary/sandwich layer between the red one and the steel backing plate it will probably be fixed for good.

The exposed metal ends of the bolts/studs close to the ground plate and a short air-gap is probably not enough to insulate it completely for the HF signal. Your solution of spacing out the plate works for now but if/when dirt or moisture gets behind the plate then it may start to arc out on you randomly again.

A really well insulating layer would prevent this and PTFE is one of the most resistant ones out there to arcing and mostly inert to reacting with other materials and it does not absorb any moisture.

Bye, Arno.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:17 pm

Arno wrote:From the charred look on the edges of the holes it looks indeed like it was arcing on the studs/bolts to the back plate.

I suspect if you get a plain sheet of 3/32 or 1/8" thick PTFE and cut that to size to fit as a secondary/sandwich layer between the red one and the steel backing plate it will probably be fixed for good.

The exposed metal ends of the bolts/studs close to the ground plate and a short air-gap is probably not enough to insulate it completely for the HF signal. Your solution of spacing out the plate works for now but if/when dirt or moisture gets behind the plate then it may start to arc out on you randomly again.

A really well insulating layer would prevent this and PTFE is one of the most resistant ones out there to arcing and mostly inert to reacting with other materials and it does not absorb any moisture.

Bye, Arno.


The mounting screws for the aluminum blocks are all nylon like the two you can see on the plate. All good points on debris collecting and adding additional resistance material. I will put that on the to do list.

Thanks,
Jeff
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