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Please help me understand 115v/60hz vs. 115v/50hz vs. 100v/50hz

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  • Please help me understand 115v/60hz vs. 115v/50hz vs. 100v/50hz

    Newbie welder, deployed in Japan. On my half of the island the electricity is 100v/50hz (on the lower half it is 100v/60hz, don’t know why). I have a Hobart Handler 135 MIG welder and when welding with gas, I get no penetration whatsoever. I thought it must be the electricity so I ordered a 2000-watt 100->110v transformer. In the mean time I also got some flux core gasless wire to give it a try. Lo and behold I get plenty of penetration with the gasless wire (that’s what she… never mind.) Using the polarity for shielded wire applications worked but with a lot of splatter, switching polarity worked just as well but with a lot less splatter.

    The first question is; how come .035 flux core wire is doing so well where the shielded stuff failed miserably?

    Second question; I read that even with the transformer bumping voltage to 115v, the current is still 50hz. For welding purposes, what does that entails?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Try this thread for some explanation on penetration with flux core wire:

    As for the 50hz vs 60hz question, you are seeing the AC sine wave cycle at 50 cycles a second on one and 60 on the other. I doubt it make all that much difference in your welding as long as your welder will handle the 50hz input.

    EDIT: If you were burning the same diameter solid core wire as you were flux core, try going down a size or two and see if that gives you better penetration... .035 is getting close to the upper end of that welder's capabilities
    Last edited by Wyoming; 10-03-2011, 09:39 AM.
    Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.


    • #3
      News stories after tsunami power problems said reason for 50hz and 60htz in different parts of japan is because power equipment after WW2 was bought from USA for 60hz and from Germany for 50hz by 2 different power companies.

      Lower voltage input to your welder will reduce voltage output by about same percent as input voltage is off from rated input. I learned USA used 110V when I was 12 years old now they call it 120V but some places supply 140V all within acceptable limits.


      • #4
        Wyoming, thank you for the link, that cleared things up a lot for me.

        Got the transformer, and it made a HUGE difference. To summarize:
        • 100v + gas on standard polarity gave me horrible penetration.
        • 100v + flux core on standard polarity worked a heck of a lot better, but with a ton of splash.
        • 100v + flux core on gasless polarity reduced the splash without affecting penetration.
        • 115v from transformer + flux core on gasless polarity enhanced penetration by a significant amount. I didn't think it would work this well, I feel like a dumb *** from not trying it sooner.

        For the foreseable future I'll stick with flux core wire. I'm a newbie with horrible welds, I'm better at grinding than welding so wasting gas on ugly welds (specially at the gas prices here in Japan) makes no sense. In a year or so when I get better at this I'll revisit gas shielded welding.