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  • Problem with Square Wave TIG 255

    I am having a problem with a used Square wave TIG 255 that I bought. I thought one you with more experience would have seen this before, or could point me in the right direction.
    I believe that the high frequency portion of the welder is working because I am able to hold the electrode at the correct distance from the material, and the arc will start. However, the arc does not have the ability to form a puddle. Welding 1/8 inch mild steel, I set the machine at 160 amps before I start to weld, and as soon as I depress the foot control to start welding the display shows the amps dropping to zero and the volts go between 27 and 30. The arc is so weak the auto lens on my helment turns on and off. This is the settings I used for the 1/8 inch steel:

    Welding in: DC-
    Weld Mode: TIG 2-step
    Current Control: Remote
    High Frequency: Start only
    Wave Balance: Off
    TIG Pulser: On
    Amps: 160
    Tungsten: 3/32, 2 % Thoriated
    Gas: Argon


    I also tried to weld some 1/16 aluminun sheet in AC with the following settings and had the same result.

    Welding in: AC
    Weld Mode: TIG 2-step
    Current Control: Remote
    High Frequency: Continuos
    Wave Balance: Auto
    TIG Pulser: On
    Amps: 70
    Tungsten: 1/16, pure
    Gas: Argon

    I don't think it is generating the amps to kick in after the high frequency starts, and melt the material.

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Old Rod

  • #2
    It sounds like the powercable in your torch is broken. HF can get through but not welding current. Try another torch or if you have a multimeter check the cable resistance it should be less than 1 ohm. Oh by the way the ground clamp is connected ?
    O.F.
    Last edited by old fart; 12-22-2008, 03:31 PM. Reason: comment line added.

    Comment


    • #3
      I will get the voltmeter out and take a look at the resistance in the torch. I did have the ground cable connected, but it never hurts to make sure when diagnosing what could be a simple problem. I will let you know how the ohms test goes.

      Thank you for the input Old Fart.

      Comment


      • #4
        I checked the torch with the multimeter, and there was no resitance in the torch. After zeroing out the multimeter, I got a reading of 0 to .1 Ohms on the torch. It does not appear to be broken or internally shorted.

        Any other ideas?

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Old Rod,

          Check to make sure your work (ground) clamp is secure and near where you're trying to weld.

          Attach a set of stick leads and try stick welding with the machine. If nothing, then I suspect it's time to contact your LWS for a recommendation for a service facility.
          SundownIII

          Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
          Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
          MM 251 w/30 A SG
          HH 187 Mig
          XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
          Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
          Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
          Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
          PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
          Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
          More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
          Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
          Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
          Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
          Miller BWE and BWE Dig

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Old Rod View Post
            I checked the torch with the multimeter, and there was no resitance in the torch. After zeroing out the multimeter, I got a reading of 0 to .1 Ohms on the torch. It does not appear to be broken or internally shorted.

            Thanks
            This only means no resistance to mili-amp loads. One of the leads could still have bad connection or partially broken conductor that would cause voltage drop under normal welding load. If problem was in ground lead could be caused by poor clamp to work connection or if partial broken lead could feel hot spot in problem area of lead. Voltage reading at welder lead connection and at end of leads both under load with big difference would indicate problem.

            Comment


            • #7
              SundownIII,

              I have worked with the ground cable and made sure it had good connection and was close to the welding area. This did not change the abitlity to start form a puddle, same as original post.

              I switched to stick mode, and was able to weld in DC+ and DC- with no issue. The amp reading on the display fluctuated around the 132 amp setting I was welding at. No issues in stick mode.

              Thanks for the tips , any ideas with it working in stick and not in TIG even though high frequency seem to be working?


              ROGER,

              I understand your comment about not handling full amps at welding load for the torch cable. I do not have another torch, but will try to borrow a known working one or go buy one. The ground cable and clamp are new, and should not be the problem, but I will verify.

              Thanks for you help.


              Old Rod

              Comment


              • #8
                Old Rod,

                Your results with stick welding would lead me to believe the problem is in the torch, not the machine itself.

                If you were near VA, I've got a couple spare torches you'd be welcome to try. TX is a ways to go though. Check with your LWS. They may let you borrow a used torch to try.

                Swap out that torch and I think things will be OK.
                Last edited by SundownIII; 12-23-2008, 01:10 PM. Reason: read original
                SundownIII

                Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
                MM 251 w/30 A SG
                HH 187 Mig
                XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
                Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
                Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
                Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
                PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
                Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
                More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
                Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
                Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
                Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
                Miller BWE and BWE Dig

                Comment


                • #9
                  Maybe try it with the TIG Pulser: Off.
                  9-11-2001......We Will Never Forget

                  Retired desk jockey.

                  Hobby weldor with a little training.

                  Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

                  Miller Syncrowave 250

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah good point...because we don't know where the PULSER is set .......Still think it's the torch though...
                    Some people require more attention than others.....Like a LOST DOG and strangers holding out biscuits....

                    Dynasty 350
                    Hobart Beta Mig 200
                    Twenty seven Hammers
                    Three Crow Bars
                    One English Springer Dog



                    A Big Rock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i have the same machine, if you can weld stick you should be able to weld tig. so you think your h/f is working, turn it off completely and try a scratch start. if you cant scratch start, i would guess you have cabling issues
                      also....i dont really understand the whole electronics thing BUT on the slim chance you have a bad foot pedal try this
                      switch over to TIG FOUR STEP
                      turn your machine to 150a
                      hit the pedal ONCE AND LET OFF COMPLETELY
                      this will start a ramp up to 150 amps , to discontinue arc, fully press down on pedal and ramp back.....
                      also another question????? what gas do you have? if you dont have the right gas you wont be able to establish an arc through! good luck todd
                      if your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tuff
                      lincoln 100 mig,squarewave 255, zena 200a mobile welder, hypertherm 1000,victor torches craftsman/atlas 12x36 lathe,duff milling machine, eight inch adjustable and a BIG hammer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the help guys.

                        I was able to scratch start in TIG mode so I am planning to get a new torch. I talked with the LWS guy and he suggested switching from my 25 foot torch cable to a 12 or 15 foot. I will be getting one a soon as they re-open on Monday.

                        I using Argon gas, and will try the 4 step mentod you suggested, Out in the Shop.

                        I will also turn the TIG Pulser off.

                        I will let you know how it goes with the new torch.

                        Have a Merry Christmas guys.

                        Old "torchless" Rod

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1st if you were able to scratch start , i dont think its cabling (sorry). also i think youll really regret going to a 12 ft torch. i had a 12, i now have a 25 and wish i had longer. dc doesnt really care about the lenth of the leads,(to an extent) but the longer the leads on hf the more there is a chance to bleed off the hf. but this is insignificant in 12 or 25 ft . i do hope it is the torch for your sake. keep us up to speed. if in fact you need to pay someone to open it up and repair it. it is well worth the money. you have a very respected welding machine. that has enuff bells and whistles, plenty of power, great welding charactoristics the only downside to it (AS WITH ANY TRANNY MACHINE) the power company is gonna love you.
                          good luck todd
                          if your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tuff
                          lincoln 100 mig,squarewave 255, zena 200a mobile welder, hypertherm 1000,victor torches craftsman/atlas 12x36 lathe,duff milling machine, eight inch adjustable and a BIG hammer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Have you purged all of the air out of the torch? Do you have Argon flowing before and during arc initiation?

                            If you haven't got all the air out of the lines and/or don't have Argon flowing out the torch, you will not be able to establish an arc. (a good one, anyway)

                            Jeff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That would SMOKE the TUNGSTEN instantly...so that can't be the problem.....
                              Some people require more attention than others.....Like a LOST DOG and strangers holding out biscuits....

                              Dynasty 350
                              Hobart Beta Mig 200
                              Twenty seven Hammers
                              Three Crow Bars
                              One English Springer Dog



                              A Big Rock

                              Comment

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