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Comparison Question

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  • Comparison Question

    What is the difference between continuous voltage control and tapped voltage control? How does it effect welding performance?
    Sun Viking
    Hobart Handler 140
    8" Ryobi Bench Grinder
    Craftsman Laser Trac Drill Press
    Skill Saw 3305 Table Saw

  • #2
    Tapped voltage control has preset voltages normally labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. The continuous, or variable control, allows you to sweep the voltage, from minimum to maximum. Now there are guys here who will tell you exactly what happens inside the machine, with tech talk...I try to keep it simple.


    • #3
      Sun Viking,

      Welcome aboard.

      I'll assume yor are talking wire feeders, since there are SMAW units that also have both style of adjustments.

      Continuously variable voltage control:

      This feature can be coupled with another feature called "Wire Speed Tracking". If this is the case, adjusting the voltage also causes the wire speed to change. The electronics automatically adjust wire feed speed to available voltage.

      Without the tracking adjunct, variable votage, coupled with wire speed adjustments, allow an operator to "fine tune" the arc. Unless you are a highly experienced GMAW artist, you will most likely not be able to differentiate the subtle changes that occur.

      Tapped voltage:

      Tapped supplies leave it up to the operator to find the "sweet" spot for a specific operation by adjusting the wire feed speed until the "bacon fries". A tapped transformer will provide a specific voltage, which will not vary. Within the limits of the current available at that votage, an ideal "burn-off" rate for the wire can be established be adjusting the wire speed.

      I've run both. Once you are used to variable voltage units with tracking, it's not so bad, but I prefer the tapped power supply, since it gives me optioons I would not have with a built-in wire feed spees to voltage ratio.

      ...from the Gadget Garage
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