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Thread: New PP256, high frequency start not working

  1. #1

    Question New PP256, high frequency start not working

    Well, I'm ashamed to say it, but I bought a new PP256 and matching torch cooler unit back in DEC and I just fired it up for the first time yesterday.

    I primarily do aluminum TIG work when I'm using it (I'm just a hobbyist, drag racer). I wanted to get used to using the PP256 compared to the old Miller 180 Syncrowave I've used for years.

    I dug up a 10"x10" square sheet of .121" and went to lay the first bead and no high frequency start. I ended to doing a couple of hours of practice on the sheet scratch starting, but obviously, I want to get the High Frequency start operational, as this is a brand new unit with zero time on it till yesterday.

    I found Everlast through watching Jody Collier's videos on Welding Tips and Tricks and I know he had trouble with the High Frequency start on the PP256 he tested and said there was a set of contacts that were improperly gaped that caused the problem with the unit he tested and there was an easy fix for this.

    Can anyone help me make sure that's all I need to straighten this out? The unit welds just fine, and I have yet to test the plasma or the stick functions, but at this point I'm assuming they are OK. I know I should probably be shot for spending a couple thousand dollars and not testing it straight away, but unlike most, my boxes arrived in great condition (no obvious shipping trauma), and I've been gone more than at home lately, so it just is what it is.

    Any diagnostic help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Scott Russell
    (731)695-0438 - cell/text
    Jackson, TN 38305-2004

  2. #2
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    Check the HF point gap. They can sometimes get bumped in shipping. I believe the correct gap is about .030" but you can call tech support to get the proper gap for your model and version.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Check the HF point gap. They can sometimes get bumped in shipping. I believe the correct gap is about .030" but you can call tech support to get the proper gap for your model and version.
    Jody Collier had said to be careful when setting the gap, as there is a capacitor involved that will knock your socks off if you don't discharge it first. I'm hoping to get some technical help from the guys at Everlast with this, as I'm not (as Jody said) fond of peeing my pants lol.

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Scott

  4. #4

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    Scott look up in the front of the machine, through the vents when you are firing your torch. You can see if your HF is firing or not. You may also here a light buzz. It's also possible a wire is loose from the HF board. We rarely have seen any HF board failures. If you see the arc, or hear a buzz, it's probably a point gap setting. Make sure your torch is in the negative btw...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Scott look up in the front of the machine, through the vents when you are firing your torch. You can see if your HF is firing or not. You may also here a light buzz. It's also possible a wire is loose from the HF board. We rarely have seen any HF board failures. If you see the arc, or hear a buzz, it's probably a point gap setting. Make sure your torch is in the negative btw...
    Torch is in the negative for sure. I spent a couple of hour welding with it yesterday. Just laying beads on a flat piece of .121" aluminum. Took me a bit to get the frequency and balance where I was getting the quality of weld I was happy with, but overall, after a dozen or so beads of experimenting, it welds pretty well. I even turned on the pulse and ran about 4 beads with it and I've never worked with pulse before. With literally no experience with pulse other than watching Welding Tips and Tricks videos, I was able to lay down some of the most beautiful, uniform beads I've ever done with nothing short of miraculous heat control.

    So far I'm very happy with the performance. Just need to get the HF start straightened out so I can stop scratch starting it.

    I'm at work all day today, but I'll be at the shop tonight and I will look and listen and see if I see and hear what you are describing. If it does turn out to be a point gap issue, I'll need some help finding where I'm going in the machine and how to discharge the capacitor without shocking myself.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  6. #6

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    Will give you a call in 30 minutes or so. Will you be available?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Will give you a call in 30 minutes or so. Will you be available?
    Yes, call the my cell number posted in my original post in this thread.

    Thanks!
    Scott

  8. #8

    Default points problem

    HI
    Here is what my points looked like when I got my 256.
    The points are on the left side down low on the front of the electronics inside(looking at the front) .
    Another Way to check is hook up the plasma torch and try to cut no hi freq no start.
    Many other posts about the same thing most likely its your problem too.

    have fun
    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by acourtjester; 03-11-2013 at 05:11 PM.

    Everlast PM256
    Millermatic 180
    Hypertherm PowerMax 65 with machine torch
    Longevity Force Cut 80I
    DIY CNC table for plasma/routing
    13" metal lathe
    Small Mill
    ect, ect.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    HI
    Here is what my points looked like when I got my 256.
    The points are on the left side down low on the front of the electronics inside(looking at the front) .
    Another Way to check is hook up the plasma torch and try to cut no hi freq no start.
    Many other posts about the same thing most likely its your problem too.

    have fun
    Tom
    Were you able to straighten those out and use them? or did they have to be replaced? They look kinda ... discombobulated in that picture.

  10. #10

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    Things have changed internally since then. And if you have the S-75, it's not even close.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Scott look up in the front of the machine, through the vents when you are firing your torch. You can see if your HF is firing or not. You may also here a light buzz. It's also possible a wire is loose from the HF board. We rarely have seen any HF board failures. If you see the arc, or hear a buzz, it's probably a point gap setting. Make sure your torch is in the negative btw...
    First, apologies to all at Everlast. Not a problem with machine, it was operator error (big surprise, right? lol).

    First, I turned on the unit, and check to see if I could see the contacts working or hear them buzzing through the vents in the front cover. I could not.

    Next I pulled the back cover, and the main cover, found the contacts at the lower front, checked them with a feeler gauge and they were set dead on .030".

    I traced the leads and they were firmly attached at the other end to the board.

    Checked all the other plugs, all where firmly connected.

    So I sat, staring ... puzzled. I powered it back on, and to my surprise, I clearly saw a blue arc between the contacts upon turning on the machine. I immediately pushed the pedal with my hand (I was kneeling) and ... nothing ... and then, after a few seconds, the arc returned and stayed as long as the pedal was down. ??? What the .. ??? So I stood up, grounded a scrap piece of aluminum, and held the torch close and pushed the pedal again ..... and again ... nothing, but this time I held the pedal down, waiting for the delay I had just seen earlier and it did not disappoint. After a few seconds, the HF start activated and I had an arc. ? ? ?

    Ok, so I'm sure most who are reading this are either laughing at me, or wondering where this is going.

    Apparently, I FALSELY believed that the up slope, down slope, pre-flow and post flow were ONLY operational in 4T (torch switch mode), and NOT in 2T (pedal mode). After I set those controls to ZERO, I now have instant HF start when I hit the pedal.

    All I've ever used in the past was an older transformer machine (Miller 180 Sycrowave), and it does have HF start, but NO other controls. No frequency control, no AC balance control, no pulse. Just amperage, and switching between DC EN and DC EP and AC.

    I had assumed (apparently incorrectly) that the knobs slope and flow knobs were inactive when in pedal mode, but obviously that is not the case.

    My apologies for the confusion on my part. All part of the learning curve of finally having a machine with "tunability" I guess.

    Based on the couple of hours of practice with aluminum, I can't wait to get to work on my first project with this thing. I was able to do some fairly nice looking work with the old Miller with nothing but pedal modulation to "tune" the puddle. This thing is making it easy. I should have bought one of these a LONG time ago

    Thanks for the call yesterday Mark. I appreciate it, and again, sorry for the false alarm.

    Scott

  12. #12
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    Don't forget that you do need post flow no matter what you're doing.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Don't forget that you do need post flow no matter what you're doing.
    Thanks! Fortunately I didn't go completely off the reservation Still have 8 seconds of post flow.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottRussell View Post
    Thanks! Fortunately I didn't go completely off the reservation Still have 8 seconds of post flow.



    8 seconds is fine on post flow. If you don't use pre-flow, which I don't quite often, make sure when you first fire up and open the bottle, you tap the trigger a couple times to fill the hose with argon.
    Mike R.
    Email: admineverlast@everlastwelders.com
    www.everlastgenerators.com
    www.everlastwelders.com
    877-755-9353 x203
    M-F 12 - 7PM PST
    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by everlastsupport View Post
    8 seconds is fine on post flow. If you don't use pre-flow, which I don't quite often, make sure when you first fire up and open the bottle, you tap the trigger a couple times to fill the hose with argon.
    I have a suggestion for a possible change in the control from 0-10 seconds down to like 0-2 seconds. It would still give plenty of preflow and make it easier to adjust numbers below 1 second.

    I'm curious, does anyone use more than 2 seconds of preflow?
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    I have a suggestion for a possible change in the control from 0-10 seconds down to like 0-2 seconds. It would still give plenty of preflow and make it easier to adjust numbers below 1 second.

    I'm curious, does anyone use more than 2 seconds of preflow?
    Bigger torches, longer leads, larger cups, and larger welds require more post flow. Why change it? It gives people what they want...more adjustability. Just off the stop will give sufficient preflow if you don't want much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    Bigger torches, longer leads, larger cups, and larger welds require more post flow. Why change it? It gives people what they want...more adjustability. Just off the stop will give sufficient preflow if you don't want much.
    I didn't say to change the post flow. I am aware of the need for long postflow and would even be happy with increasing that longer than the current 25 seconds. (my current machine goes to 50 seconds) It's the preflow that seems on the long side.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  18. #18

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    It's the same reason for preflow. The gas has to be present and sufficient to reduce porosity on starts. Certain metals need to be completely enveloped in a "cloud" of argon or porosity or weak welds will result. Titanium for one. Most people don't weld it correctly to begin with, but not having enough preflow can be devastating if it isn't welded in a 100% argon atmosphere to begin with.

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