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Amps Reading Accuracy

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  • Amps Reading Accuracy

    I just saw mentioned in a post the possible innaccurcay of dials on stick welders. Has anyone tried a clamp-on amp meter to get a better idea of the accuracy? Just a thought, if it would work?

  • #2
    I calibrated my Thunderbolt with a true RMS AC/DC clamp-on ammeter.

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    • #3
      Unless you're developing a WPS or something similar it's just mental masturbation. You set it where it works for the rod and the material, and how many actual amps it's making is moot.

      Other processes where you're trying to transition into different transfer modes, etc. it may be useful to know.
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      • #4
        I'm glad to hear that the clamp on meters work. I'm a hobby welder and don't use stick often enough to remember the sweet spot settings. Maybe I'll check just for dial accuracy. I thought it might be useful as everyone on here refers to amperage settings when talking stick diameters? Oh well. Uncrichie.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zrexxer View Post
          You set it where it works for the rod and the material, and how many actual amps it's making is moot.
          I'd say that having a true scale not only makes setting a machine for different rods easier, but helps when you communicate with other people or get another (new to you) machine to work with.

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          • #6
            Unless you're developing a WPS or something similar it's just mental masturbation. You set it where it works for the rod and the material, and how many actual amps it's making is moot.
            I think this is correct, and I think that is why there is a range with each rod. I like to think of the dial on the welder like the dial on the kitchen range - at one end is hot and the other end is warm.

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            • #7
              The only time I worry about it at all is when it is a requirement to meet a WPS. The only machine I routinely use for stick that has any indicator at all is my Max150, and the mrkings are at best approximate. Every other machine in the shops I work in has a 1-10 dial or no marks at all (the lincoln SA USED to have marks, but the original adjuster became unreadable years ago).

              If it really matters to you, keep in mind that the same knob position won't always give the same current, unless the machine has the electronics to insure that it does. For example: a synchrowave will be real close, a tombstone will be at best in the ballpark.

              If you need to measure the current, a DC-capable (hall effect type... measures the magnetic field directly) clamp on meter is the tool. Many clamp on meters are AC only (inductive pickup... th measurement is made using a wound transformer coil).
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              • #8
                I am with most other guys, dont really care what the numbers on the dial say.
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                • #9
                  Concidering the wave form when welding even a true rms meter will only approximate the actual current. just dial up the current that gives the proper weld results for your personal welding method.

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