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  • quick question

    i was wondering which i should get. the passport or a suitcase feeder. I have my TB 302 and was wondering which was the smarter decision. i can justify buying both,find pro's and cons of each, but dont have the funds to get both. mostly repair work on farm equipment, and custom fabrications.
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  • #2
    The suite case feeder will allow you to weld more variety of material thicknesses and Your 302 will allow you to run some serious amps. But you will have to drag out the feeder and plug in all the cables just as you would stick welding.
    The passport is more portable (in a sense) because you are not tied to a welder or limited by how much cable you have. But you don't have nearly the amps. So it comes down to what you need your wire feeder for???
    I got mine (12VS) because I hate stick welding and we have a trailblazer 250 that works just fine in Cv with my wire feeder. It beats stick any day of the week for me but It is a little cumbersome to drag around and it is not good for a quick job. May as well just stick it at that point.
    I would go with the feeder but I could sure use a passport as well.
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    • #3
      I have both a Passport and a Suitcase 8RC. There are definately advantages to having both.

      The Passport is great for light jobs like fence, railing, gates, general light fabrication and repair. The Passport is also great for working far distances from the truck, since it runs great on 110v and is very portable. I plug into customer electricity whenever needed or run off the Bobcat. I wouldn't want to be without the Passport. It's definately my go-to wire machine on the truck and what I use the most.

      The Suitcase running off the XMT powered by the Bobcat allows me to use thicker wire and weld heavier structures. I don't use it nearly as much as the Passport and i wouldn't say it's a must-have machine, but it does have advantages to only being able to stick weld the heavier stuff. Before I got the Suitcase, I used the Passport for the light stuff and stick for the heavier stuff. Now I have a choice between stick or wire with the Suitcase.

      If you do primarily light work, 1/4" and under, I definately recommend the Passport.

      If you do primarily heavy stuff and don't want to have to use stick all the time, then I suggest the Suitcase, but it would still be good to have a small 110v mig on the truck too, even if you primarily use the Suitcase.

      If I had to narrow it down to one choice, it would be the Passport and stick, rather than the Suitcase and stick.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
        If I had to narrow it down to one choice, it would be the Passport and stick, rather than the Suitcase and stick.
        agreed
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        • #5
          "Passport in a Suitcase"

          welderdude: As with anything, no matter which you decide upon, you'll always wish you bought the other.

          KC and Desert both make great points. It really depends on what your needs are.

          With the Suitcase, you always need CV-"across-the-arc" power, and possibly shielding gas. You have more voltage, the ability to run larger wire, BUT, if you need to mend some 16 ga. material, it may be cumbersome. If your running 1/16" flux core, it will wear you out before you wear it out.

          With the Passport, the self-contained CO2 bottle and a roll of .030-.035 wire one can take it and run off of any household current or a 4 to 5 KW genset, and you're good to go. (Your TB 302 is just fine).

          I've been pondering buying a Passport myself, as there's times I could have used one.

          I guess there's no "right" answer, just positive reinforcement.

          Keep us posted.

          Dave
          Last edited by davedarragh; 09-11-2009, 02:02 PM.
          "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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          • #6
            jus my opinion....

            passport vs 8rc,12rc etc etc.......

            get the cheaper of the two. where i'm from the 8rc can be had for a few hundred bucks cheaper than the passport. Although the passport is a slick machine ur limited to about 180amps. with ur TB and an 8rc, duty cycle probably wont be of concern. (and you'll also get a better gun with the 8rc).
            basically, if i were in ur "dilema", i would buy an 8rc first....then buy the passport.

            good luck w ur decision

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            • #7
              That's interesting...

              My 2007 Passport + 15' QGun & leather sleeve + 15' 4 ga work cable & clamp + 50' 220v ext cord + tax was about $2200.

              My 2007 Suitcase8RC w/ 15' QGun & leather sleeve + 50' control cable + 50' gas hose + 50' leather sleeve + 50' 2/0 hot lead + 50' 2/0 work lead + 15' 2/0 whip & work clamp + tax was about $2500.
              Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
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              PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
              ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
              DialarcHF, Radiator-1
              Hypertherm PowerMax 380
              Purox oxy/ace
              Jackson EQC
              -F350 CrewCab 4x4
              -LoadNGo utility bed
              -Bobcat 250NT
              -PassportPlus/Q300
              -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
              -Suitcase8RC/Q400
              -Suitcase12RC/Q300
              -Smith oxy/propane
              -Jackson EQC

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              • #8
                It seems to me that the material you weld on most often will make this decision a simple one to make.

                JTMcC
                Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

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                • #9
                  I have some input, but it will have to be tomorrow. I am off to bed.

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                  • #10
                    First you must ask yourself if you will ever need to use the passport with out the TB302. If so then get it and not the RC feeder. Do you have a mig welder for your shop? Which one. Can you not take that around with you instead of buying a passport? Instead of buying a passport, have you thought about buying a HH125ez. I use that off my Tb302 for thin stuff (18 ga) with .030 flux core wire. I bought a 12RC feeder a few weeks ago. I thought about getting the passport instead but with the suitcase feeder you utilizing the "welder" off your TB302 instead of the generator. You have a better duty cycle and you can weld thicker stuff. It maybe more hassle to drag out an extra cord but, you have a broader range and it will suit you better down the road.
                    Also will you be using just flux core wire, or solid wire?

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                    • #11
                      Hey John

                      Originally posted by JTMcC View Post
                      It seems to me that the material you weld on most often will make this decision a simple one to make.

                      JTMcC
                      How's things in the pipeline world? Glad to see you back.

                      Dave
                      "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                        How's things in the pipeline world? Glad to see you back.

                        Dave

                        Pretty busy.

                        On the original question, it really doesn't make sense to me as these are two different animals for doing different types of work.
                        If you understand your workload, the answer (it seems to me) should be clear.
                        If yu're betting on the come (ie buying a machine in hopes of putting it to work at some point) I don't have anything to add because I don't buy tools, equipment or machines until I have workload in hand that will pay for the tool and make a profit. After that I don't care if it sits for long periods (if I think It's likely I'll need it again in the future, if not I'll sell it) because it paid for itself and made me money. If the need is definitly short term and I won't use it again then the rental outfits are your friend.
                        But, if you know your workload then the answer should be plain to you.
                        That's my take on it.
                        Welding companies are going out of business left and right today, so you might find some real nice buys on used stuff if you look.

                        JTMcC
                        Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

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                        • #13
                          The passport can run from a wall outlet, dont need the engine drive for it. I wouldn't want to tote a feeder for portable work unless I had some serious work to do with it.

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                          • #14
                            Red-D-Arc

                            I'm guessing the closest Airgas is in Lincoln, but I kind of forgot were you lived. Anyways, you can rent VS wire feeders from Airgas. If a bigger job comes up, like grouser bars on a dozer, you could rent the feeder for a week, buy a roll of wire, do the job and then return the feeder. A lot less capital invested in that one job and the rental fee is still a tax deduction. I'm not sure about the rental rates, but one call to airgas and you would know.

                            Good luck
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                            • #15
                              Wire feeders are rental of 45.00 to 60.00 per day,if you rent it very long you can buy it out right.....
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