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  • copper vs aluminum windings

    Just wondering....have the manufacturers gone to aluminum windings because it's actually a performance improvement over copper, or is this just a cost saving measure? My guess is that copper works better and because of this I'm tempted to buy a used Miller 130XP or Hobart Handler 120 rather than a new Millermatic 135 or Lincoln SP-135 Plus, or am I wrong here?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  • #2
    Re: copper vs aluminum windings

    Originally posted by Bill
    Just wondering....have the manufacturers gone to aluminum windings because it's actually a performance improvement over copper, or is this just a cost saving measure? My guess is that copper works better and because of this I'm tempted to buy a used Miller 130XP or Hobart Handler 120 rather than a new Millermatic 135 or Lincoln SP-135 Plus, or am I wrong here?

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Transformers that use aluminum windings are lighter (about 10%)and cheaper. If well designed, they should be equal. However, aluminum has it's drawbacks.

    Here is a link to a tech paper by Square-D:
    http://www.vt-inc.com/seminars/alumcopper.php

    I kinda prefer copper myself (having to rewire a house that had aluminum wiring kinda turned me off the stuff...)

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    • #3
      I would not be afraid to buy either the MM135 or the SP135+. They are both excellent performers.
      Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
      The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

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      • #4
        Bill,I would say it depends.The lincolns in the sp135 are great welding machines.My friend had a hobart,and loved it.He also had a mm250x and liked it.So that kind of muddies the water.I have had two mm130,one was the xp model.That welder has a very nice arc to it.I just traded it in on a lincoln sp175 plus.Only because I want more power in a portable light package.I just went out and spent big money for a long 230 volt power cord.Most people here like their 135 millers,But my friend at the welding store could not stand the one the miller rep bought in to try.He did say the mm 175 was not bad,not great.He also said maybe he should hook up another mm135 just to give it a fair shot.I followed his advice on almost every machine I have bought,except two the first was mm 130,and the second was the mm130xp.He was right about not buying the first one.The second 130xp I was right,not that he was wrong.He told me to buy the lincoln.To me the only aluminum welder to buy is the sp135 plus,if for no other reason than lincoln has been messing with the aluminum winding in their small machines longer.I bet miller makes some changes to their 135 before it all said and done.They had to do it to the mm130 to get that one right.As soon as I can get my friend to hook one up again I going to find out for myself.Then I will know if it can compete with their older model.In fact I think I will go,and see if I can get him to give me a demo.I do know what I like in a miller arc so we will see.My .02 cents as usual.By the way my friend at the welding store always liked the hobart 120.I almost bought one,but didn't like the plastic in the feed.Boy have I found out that is a not a reason to pick one over another.

        Scott

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        • #5
          I just don't like the idea of aluminum windings in a transformer...based on mainly wha I know about aluminum, and the fact that my house would have burnt down had I not changed the power panel to one that had copper contacts. The old Zinsco had aluminum buss bars and the main breaker was sparking! Turned the back of the panel black! I changed to all copper from the weather head down to the panel. Safe, now.

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          • #6
            Maybe just buy-

            a welding generator.Atleast Miller,and Lincoln ones are still copper.I really think in my own mind at this point in time,Buy Miller in copper,and Lincoln in aluminum.Until they all go inverters we are kind of stuck with aluminum.

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            • #7
              Hi Scott,earlier you were talking about different welders and what kind of windings they have. Did you say that the mm250x your buddy has are alum. Also are all the engine drives miller and lincoln makes copper? Also please explain your last post about inverters. Thanks Chub380

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              • #8
                Try to clear up my post.

                The MM 250x is aluminum.Which is no longer made,because Miller is working on getting their aluminum welders right.I just meant he liked both for whatever his opinion is worth.He is a good welder though.The Miller,and Lincoln engine drives are still copper.The Thermalarc is aluminum so I didn't even look at it.Even though it has a nice honda engine.I think the engines in the Millers,and Lincolns are fine also.I kind of got off track again.Anyway my own feelings are they are going to start bringing out little inverter migs as soon as they can figure out how to get the price down some.In the same kind of format as the esab 160 mutimaster.Seems like it would be a smash hit if they could make it 120/240 volts like their dynasty 200.That way we wouldn't be arguing about aluminum vs copper or which one has the better arc.They all would have a better arc.Plus they could throw in inductance,and slope if they wanted to get carried away.Things are changing for the better in alot of the welding areas.I got an idea just stash a inverter power supply into their new 3045 wirefeeder.You have to plug it in anyway.Hope I answered some of your questions.


                I did go to the welding store for argon,and I did ask for a demo of the 135.As soon as he gets one set up.I will let you no what I think.While I was there I seen the most beat up welder I have ever seen.It was a hobart handler 120.It was from a fence company,and was being fixed again.They must just roll the thing out the truck before they even stop.I felt kind of sorry for it.I did have a nice long talk to my friend about the 120 handler.He used to sell alot of those also.
                Scott

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                • #9
                  Scott V do you now if the Lincon Precision TIG 275 is copper or aluminum just wondering thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lincoln 275 tig

                    Rod,I don't know enough about that machine to give you a answer.I do know when I asked a welding salesman about their earlier model he said it was copper.I was wondering why it was so lite.He gave me some mumbo jumbo about using ceramic parts inside somewhere.So I don't Know.Over at the machinist board I hang out at their is a tech type guy that rings in sometimes.You can tell he is up on all machines.His name is ken mui,he has posted info about that very lincoln machine.He really liked it.I can't find where the post is at this time.I will post a link to the site,and you could post it in the welding section.If you don't want to post there I will do it for you.Here is the link,It's a new board,Lots of very smart people.They like to help like this site.



                    http://www.chaski.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php

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                    • #11
                      Scott I will post there I check it daily any ways thanks Rod

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Chaski Boards

                        Scott V,

                        I'm never going to get away from the PC now! I was not aware of the Chaski Boards until you posted the above link today.

                        Foundry, IC Engines, Gunsmithing, Weldiing.........and several others.

                        I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not?

                        Guys, Check out the site that Scott V listed just above.

                        Dave
                        "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"

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                        • #13
                          Scott

                          Are any of the small Lincolns still copper transformer?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The other board first.

                            First to Dave,check out the archives at that site.It links to the old board that one was great.The jury is still out on this one.Lots of people from the old board have not posted yet.When they start coming back it's going to get better.

                            Now to copes question.all the Lincolns migs are aluminum windings from 300 amps down. Atleast the all in one models.The last Millers to have copper is three of them.I'm just kind of guessing,maybe somebody from miller could set me staight.Here goes,Regency 250,Miller 210,Miller pulser(could be wrong on that one)These are all their single phase machines.Most of their three phase stuff is still copper.I kind of wonder why they don't put aluminum windings in them?The Esab migmaster 250 is copper,They have a smaller 210 that I don't know a thing about,but if I had to guess I would say copper.Only because they brought out a Esab 251 mig (alum)for one year before it was sent out to pasture.That one machine has got to rate with the all time worst.Their new migmaster 260 is a very nice machine thats aluminum.Thats if you add the inductane,and pulse.So aluminum can work fine.I just think if you want a new machine at this time,you better just learn to love aluminum.Thats another reason I like inverters.That is not a issue with them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rod,not what you asked,but-

                              here is a little on the lincoln tig that ken posted on the old board.

                              http://www.chaski.com/cgi-bin/webbbs...pl?read=102880

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