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Thread: Help welding thin Aluminum PowerTig 250EX

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshtodd1984 View Post
    Yeah, no breeze. I went ahead and got a new cylinder so i don't think it's related to gas. It does seem to do ok with higher amperages. I stacked dimes on 1/8" plate without any issues. I just get the sputtering when dropping down to do thin stuff.

    I'm currently working so i am unable to try anything at the moment. I could possibly try a few things when i make it home this evening. I was thinking it might be the material i was trying to weld. I found some similar material i can try when i get home.

    Is there anything i can check on the machine itself? Anything adjustable on the internals of the unit or maybe some diagnostic stuff i can try on the boards?
    From the second video, it's pretty clear that you have the right arc length and the torch is steady. Things start off ok, then without anything changing, the arc becomes unstable, and the sputtering starts.
    The one thing you can check is the HF point gap, if your model has the open point system. Not likely to have any bearing on your problem, but it's something to eliminate from the troubleshooting. Another thing that is always good to check are the board to board interconnects. Re-seat the connections to make sure nothing was shaken loose during shipping.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    From the second video, it's pretty clear that you have the right arc length and the torch is steady. Things start off ok, then without anything changing, the arc becomes unstable, and the sputtering starts.
    The one thing you can check is the HF point gap, if your model has the open point system. Not likely to have any bearing on your problem, but it's something to eliminate from the troubleshooting. Another thing that is always good to check are the board to board interconnects. Re-seat the connections to make sure nothing was shaken loose during shipping.

    Yep, that is exactly what happens. One of the videos i did start out with a longer arc length but brought it in closer after. The second video is a little easier to see that nothing changes. Sorry for the poor quality. Kinda tough to get a decent video.
    Didn't think of reseating the connections. Maybe I'll try it when i get home....Assuming it wouldn't void any kind of warranty. I'll try to update this thread if i have time to do anything after work.

  3. #23

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    check all the connections and the gap on the points.
    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.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by everlastsupport View Post
    check all the connections and the gap on the points.
    Any suggestions how to go about discharging the capacitors before checking the gap? ...short of unplughing it and leaving it off for a few days.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshtodd1984 View Post
    Any suggestions how to go about discharging the capacitors before checking the gap? ...short of unplughing it and leaving it off for a few days.
    They discharge quickly when unplugged. Give it about 20min and you're good.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  6. #26

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    If you unplug it from the wall and then turn the power switch on, should be discharged in seconds. Give it a minute to be safe.
    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.

  7. Default

    Thanks guys! I unplugged it from the wall yesterday and will take the cover off to inspect the HF gap and electrical connections.

    Just to be sure, this wont void the warranty will it? I'd prefer if someone from Everlast address the question.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joshtodd1984 View Post
    Just to be sure, this wont void the warranty will it? I'd prefer if someone from Everlast address the question.
    You can wait for an official reply, but they'll say it doesn't void the warranty.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshtodd1984 View Post
    Thanks guys! I unplugged it from the wall yesterday and will take the cover off to inspect the HF gap and electrical connections.

    Just to be sure, this wont void the warranty will it? I'd prefer if someone from Everlast address the question.
    Removing the cover does not void the warranty. It's part of normal maintenance. I'm not an Everlast employee but I'm sure they will tell you the same.
    Last edited by zoama; 04-10-2016 at 05:39 PM.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  10. #30

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    It will not void the warranty.
    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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    Last edited by joshtodd1984; 04-12-2016 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Pictures

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    I took the cover off the machine last night to check the hf gap and ensure all the electrical connections were firmly seated. The HF gap was set at .028". I did not attempt to adjust or change anything in regards to the gap. All the electrical connections looked fine.

    Today i proceeded with testing the welder using a fixture to hold the torch at a set distance and to ensure the stickout length was correct.

    Problem still exists.

    Settings:
    Amperage: 5amps
    Frequency: 120Hz
    Balance: 20-25%
    Argon flow: 8cfh
    3/32" 2% Lanthinated Tungsten
    Gas lens with a #4 cup
    CK 9 series rigid torch
    Material Dimensions: 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/16"
    Stickout Length: 3/16" (2x diameter of tungsten)
    Tip of Tungsten to Workpiece Distance: 3/32" (2.4mm)

    I'll try to post a link to the video later this evening. It's doing the same exact thing as in the original videos.

    Machine Settings

    Tungsten Sharpened

    Last edited by joshtodd1984; 04-12-2016 at 03:12 AM.

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    Most recent video.



    The torch is mounted in a fixture i threw together. Suggestions? Comments? Where should i go from here? Really need to get this issue cleared up so i can proceed with my projects. I'm available to talk over the phone tomorrow morning (eatern time) with tech support.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by joshtodd1984; 04-12-2016 at 04:54 AM.

  14. #34

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    I would call tech support. We have exhausted all the forum has to offer. You say then you turn the amps down in AC it will not go to 5 +/- amps?
    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.

  15. #35

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    Lots of issues here with setup. You are at 5 amps. This is the absolute lowest you can start an arc when all conditions are perfect with a small tungsten such as .040 or possibly a 1/16, not a 3/32". I'd try thoriated in this situation. We always say to allow for up to 3 amps variation. But additionally, the arc gap is too large, as I was saying to sustain an arc at that amperage. You have to be right on it. You need to be at half that distance or less for low amp starts and definitely more taper. And the metal should be clean. I am not seeing clean either.

  16. Default

    The arc gap is not the problem. I can redo the setup at whatever settings you tell me. The machine does not run right at 5 amps or at 50 amps. It sputters regardless. I can set it up with a .1mm arc and gap and 50 amps if you'd like. It will still sputter and pop and not weld right.

    The aluminium was cleaned with a stainless brush and acetone. How do you suggest i clean it further? I am setting things up just as i would at work with a Miller. No problems there whatsoever. I tried a smaller tungsten in previous attemps, as suggested by tech support and was told i was using too small of tungsten. Now it's too large? I have tried everything from .040" all the way up to 1/8" as previously stated.

    I have tried thicker material (1/8" plate) at higher amperage and many, many different settings (frequency, balance, etc). It does the same exact thing on thicker material at higher amperages once you let off the pedal to lower the heat.

    I had it at 70 amps and controlling it with the foot pedal. Anytime you slightly let off the foot pedal to lower the amperage, the machine will begin to sputter. After about 10 seconds or so it will start to sputter even with the torch switch. It has this issue after about 10 seconds whether ilet off the pedal or not.

    If it is an arc gap issue, why does it hold an arc just fine up until about 10-15 seconds? Wouldn't the arc have problems initiating if the gap was too large?

    Please respond so i can set up the fixture and make an additional video before i go in to work. As stated earlier, i will set it up at whatever sittings you tell me.

    And no, it isn't the foot pedal. I tested it last night with a multi-meter. It operated fine. It does the same thing with the torch switch. DC on mild steel does just fine at 5 amps with the same exact setup (5 amps, arc gap, etc) and the foot pedal.

    Can i be directed to someone in tech support who is on a landline? The last time i tried to talk to someone it was super difficult to hear/understand the guy due to the frequency his voice would cut in and out. Terrible reception.
    Last edited by joshtodd1984; 04-12-2016 at 02:42 PM.

  17. #37

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    Look, what else can I say? I'm a bit frustrated. I am trying to help, not punish you. I am doing SOP here.
    I've given you what I saw. You wanted help and tech support, but you keep showing me things( and the others as well) that support unstable operation. Then you say when I respond," well it does it at any setting". I'm telling you what I see. You cannot use any condition you want and expect it to weld right at low amperage. I am not saying the unit does not have an issue, but in the cases I've seen you post, you don't have things right. We know things about the unit that you may not understand. When we tell you it may be this or that, you just categorically state it isn't. You stated you tested the foot pedal last night...but don't even say how or under what circumstances you did it. You show in the picture 5 amps...not 70.

    This type of thing should be tested with the torch switch first, under controlled conditions to rule out error.
    Set the machine up with some thoriated .040" tungsten if you want to weld at 5 amps. Use the torch switch to start the arc (4T if you don't want to keep your finger on it). Keep the gap to a minimum.
    You can't use the foot pedal adequately and set the unit to 5 amps and expect it to weld. You have a huge throw and it has to be maxed out before the arc will start and stabilize if you do. The greater the amperage, the better the unit will start with the foot pedal.

    Any discrepancy in the foot pedal is then magnified...and what you are telling me leads us back to the foot pedal as a real possibility. Again, it may not be, but what I've seen has not ruled it out.

    Clean your weld as well before you start.

    As far as tech support line, try again. May have been a bad connection. I don't usually have an issue when I call in. The company, I believe, has gone to VOIP for phone service and it isn't perfect. I've lobbied for another source, but Oleg has his reasons. What can I say about that? It's San Francisco. They think they are cutting edge out there. lol. But aren't aware of the rest of the worlds "norms".

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    I would say the reason you are not seeing "clean metal" is because i didn't clean the entire 18" section of aluminium. Just the 4"-6" section that was being welded on.

    The area just under the tunsten is cleaned thoroughly and can make a video of that if need be.

  19. Default

    Fair enough, I'll send the machine in and Everlast can figure it out. Quite frankly, I'm tired of fooling with it.

    There are issues welding in A/C. My setup is near perfect. all i need to do is weld some 1/16" aluminium angle without blowing a hole and you're telling me i basically need to have robotic precision to complete the task. I have zero issues on other machines.

    I'll make an additonal video keeping everything you have suggested in mind. I'll call tech support shortly as well.

    Knowbody is suggesting you're trying to "punish" me. I'm not 5....come on. It seems like all the issues are being blamed on setup error and problems with the welder are not being taken into consideration as a factor.

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