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Hobart Trek 180

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  • Hobart Trek 180

    A couple of these Trek 180 welding machines were purchased new in 2012 for a welding project inside the primary containment of a nuclear-fueled boiler. It was determined via welding process control (qualified welding procedure) that a different welding machine was specified for the intended welding process, therefore, the Trek 180 couldn't be used. Since there was otherwise no need for it, the machines had to be removed from the site.

    One of the machines found its way into a co-worker's storage unit where it remained unused for several years (he has a Lincoln MIG/TIG/stick machine) so he gave it to me. It has a spool of wire installed marked "Training Only". The contact tip is dirty so it must have been tested in the welding shop.

    I plugged it in and its charge indicator LED displayed steady green (full-charge) in less than an hour. This will be a good welder to bring to our motorcycle club's Tech Day. The idea is for members to ride/tow their old BMW motorcycles to the host's garage and we help or teach the owner to do various repairs and maintenance.

    This battery-powered welder can be transported to the Tech Day in a sidecar. Having a portable welder gives us the capability to make a weld during Tech Day. I won't make any welds on broken frames or brake system items due to liability reasons but we can fix a broken seat hinge, shorten a kickstand, make a special tool, etc.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Those were quite expensive welders.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.


    • #3
      I was always wondering how the battery would last with intermittent use. Let us know how this one performs!


      • #4
        According to these posts, the Trek 180 batteries are made by Enersys. I had one of their Odyssey batteries in my motorcycle. Although it cost 60% more than a standard AGM battery, it didn't last any longer (~5 years).

        I'm sure it welds better than I do and will report next weekend.

        Originally posted by Hobart Expert Darrell View Post
        The unique feature of the Trek 180 is its battery power. The machine has internal premium high-performance sealed lead-acid batteries. These aren't the garden tractor style batteries that have very limited capacity and charge capability. Their custom construction deliver the high output currents required in a welding application as well as the capability to be charged very quickly.
        Originally posted by Hobart Expert Darrell View Post
        The companies name is Enersys. It's the Genesis pure lead battery. Enersys also makes the Odyssey battery.
        Last edited by Badbmwbrad; 02-25-2019, 07:41 PM.


        • #5
          It seems easier to make a smooth weld with the Trek 180. Using flux core wire, I practiced stitching closed a melt-through hole in a 1/8" thick channel. Before and after photographs follow. The machine is housed within a sturdy, thick plastic case with a carrying handle. Its cast aluminum wire feed drive mechanism is robust.
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          Last edited by Badbmwbrad; 03-02-2019, 06:46 AM.


          • #6
            The batteries in my Trek 180 are getting tired. The Low-Battery light comes on after a couple seconds when welding at a higher power (voltage and wire feed speed) setting. Removal of the battery cover is not covered in the owners manual. many thanks to Kevin Schuh at Hobart customer service who sent me a diagram from the Trek 180 service manual which shows how to disengage the battery cover's locking tabs.

            The original batteries (two) are EnerSys Genesis 12V-16EP (16 amp-hour) which date back to October 2010. I have a spare Odyssey PC-680 (16 amp-hour) which is also made by EnerSys and which fits perfectly in the battery compartment. I'm sure the other original battery is also spent, therefore, I purchased a new EnerSys Genesis 12V-16EP on eBay for $50.
            Last edited by Badbmwbrad; 12-02-2019, 10:43 AM.