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HF stays on + yellow/brown soot around welds with older 180 SD

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  • HF stays on + yellow/brown soot around welds with older 180 SD

    Hi all,

    I don't know much about what causing these issues, but I do know that I am a novice. Here is the skinny:

    Unit:
    Syncrowave 180 SD (no display)
    Stock # 903600

    Issue:
    When DCEN TIG welding, the HF appears to stay on when whenever the pedal is depressed. The arc wanders and the welds are flanked by yellow soot. The arc amperage varies correctly with the pedal and the gas flow works as expected.
    The stick welding function appears operational.

    History / Background:
    I purchased the unit new about 7 or 8 years ago.
    PC board was replaced under warranty early in its life for an HF issue. I think this was during the 1st year.
    I have only used the unit a few times totaling up to around 20 hours.
    I am a novice with welding and this machine.

    Steps taken:
    I have read the manual and followed the troubleshooting tips
    -- Set the Argon flow between 15 - 20 CFH ( although I do not know how to verify the flow from the torch)
    -- Set the Spark Gaps
    -- The torch is kept within 1/8" of the work
    -- Blew out the welder with compressed air
    -- Replace unreadable labels
    I have re-seateed all of the connections on the PC1 board and the HD1 as recommended in some of the other posts
    -- I did not see any corrosion on or in the connectors

    Thank you for looking at this post. I appreciate you time and any suggestions that you may offer.

    Thanks again
    Greg

  • #2
    I have the same problem with my 180 sd

    Let's try to solve this problem together. I have some information I can send you tomorrow regarding what might be the problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: I have the same problem with my 180 sd

      That will be great. Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Diagnostics from other posts:

        Here's something interesting from an earlier post regarding HF stuck on for syncrowave 180 sd:

        User 1 states:

        The HF start is on the minute I power the machine up, never turns off, and doesn't respond to the peddle. The peddle controls the amperage fine, and is the same peddle that I use with my 200 DX, which works fine. With the peddle unplugged, the HF is still on.

        HF Transformer T3 is getting constant voltage from the main PC1 circuit board. I haven'd taken measurements at the circuit board yet, but just looking at the circuit, it looks like it could be a shorted optoisolator (OC1) or shorted MOSFET (Q5).

        User 2 states:

        Looks more to me that Q3 (opto triac) has shorted causing RC1-8 (115Vac) to go direct to RC1-7 which is the control for the HF transformer.

        Could be wrong, but thats where I'd start looking. Just take a resistance off
        RC1-7 to RC1-8, you'd know for sure. (power off of course).

        Okay, I'm assuming RC1-7 and RC1-8 are on the the circuit board, but the schematic shows wiring for these circuits, too.

        I don't know much about electronic circuit boards, but I'd like to:

        1) eliminate as many variables as I can, and:

        2) guide someone who knows about electronic repairs as close to the problem as possible so I don't have to pay more than necessary for a repair.

        Other posts have suggested the following (which I have already tried):

        1) test pedal
        2) test connector on machine that pedal plugs into
        3) check for loose connectors on the circuit board
        4) use dielectric grease at the plug
        5) reset point gap .012 and rotated the points

        Finally, I have access to another 180 circuit board that I can try, and if it works, I'll probably send my board to Innovat ($237) for repair.

        Got any ideas? Better still, can you decode what users 1 and 2 say into plain language?
        Last edited by tigtac; 03-08-2010, 07:21 PM. Reason: typo

        Comment


        • #5
          We need Cruizer's help!!!

          I sure wish Cruizer would jump in here and decode this problem into simple language for us.

          Comment


          • #6
            Greg,

            I see you pulled some troubleshooting from another post.

            Basically they concluded that the pcb had a shorted component that allowed the HF transformer to stay powered up.

            Have you tried to unplug the foot control and turn the machine on while unplugged?
            What material are you welding?
            The yellow soot is usually a gas contamination or contaminated gas hose, consumables or torch lines. It can also be from welding with excessive torch angles or by pulling the torch instead of pushing the torch or by welding dirty, oily or galvanized material.
            The welder's electronics can not produce a yellow soot. It only provides the power to melt the metal. Sooting is an external issue unless the gas solenoid is defective.
            Make SURE you have the proper input power going to the machine. I have seen a number of these units do strange things when low power is applied. You may have it plugged into what you think is a 230Volt outlet but for some reason the machine is only getting 115V. If you have a meter, check it across the white and black wires inside the machine at the power switch from the power cord.

            Andy
            Last edited by ASKANDY; 03-09-2010, 01:33 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Questions, Answers and Next Steps

              Thank you all for your input.
              Thank you tigtac for posting the troubleshooting steps for those similar issues.

              I have a few new questions:

              Would the HF stay on if there was poor gas flow or is that only controlled by the amperage draw?

              Does the foot pedal control the HF separate from the amperage?
              --I think my pedal is OK but the pedal keeps coming up in trouble shooting steps.

              Is there a recommended procedure to test for leaks?

              Is it OK to cork the torch cup or should there be enough back pressure in the system to notice a leak?

              What happens if soapy water gets into the lines?

              Based on your suggestions, I am going to try these steps next:
              Check for lost phase / voltage at the breaker and the unit for 220v
              Check for air leaks in gas system
              Clean part with acetone after wire brushing

              Answers to Andy’s questions:
              Q--Have you tried to unplug the foot control and turn the machine on while unplugged?
              A--No; the pedal appears to work correctly (starts/stops gas flow, controls amperage, starts the HF** although the HF is always on while the pedal is applied). What would the effect be if I did try this?

              Q--What material are you welding?
              A--For trouble shooting I have been running beads on mild steel cleaned with a wire wheel. No filler rod. ( I will try a pass with acetone tonight)

              Thanks again
              Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                G-
                If your foot control Does control the contactor, gas and HF then the foot control is good.
                If I understand you correctly, the HF does turn on and off with the foot control, it just stays ON all the time in DC?

                If that is the case, we need to make sure the PCB is getting the correct signals to turn the hf from off, continuous and start.

                On the PCB-
                RC4 pins 1-2-3
                With the machine power off and unplugged, take continuity test across the following pins.

                RC4 pin 1 and pin 3 has continuity with selector switch in DC+
                RC4 pin 1 and 2 and pin 2 and 3 have continuity with switch in AC
                RC4 pin 2 and 3 have continuity with switch in DC-

                Andy

                Comment


                • #9
                  RC4 Pins 1-2-3

                  Originally posted by ASKANDY View Post
                  G-
                  If I understand you correctly, the HF does turn on and off with the foot control, it just stays ON all the time in DC?

                  On the PCB-
                  RC4 pins 1-2-3
                  With the machine power off and unplugged, take continuity test across the following pins.

                  RC4 pin 1 and pin 3 has continuity with selector switch in DC+
                  RC4 pin 1 and 2 and pin 2 and 3 have continuity with switch in AC
                  RC4 pin 2 and 3 have continuity with switch in DC-
                  Correct.

                  I unplugged the connector from RC4 and tested the continuity of pins 1, 2, and 3 on the PCB. Regardless of the polarity selector switch, all three read shorted (0 ohm resistance) to each other.

                  Note: I could not see any printed numbering for the pins on the low side. I am assuming that it is:
                  [10][9][8][7][6]
                  [5][4][3][2][1]

                  Thanks again
                  Greg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Do that test on the plug you took out of the pcb.

                    a-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      HF is always on even with pedal disconnected

                      My issue is a little different: the HF is always on even with pedal disconnected.

                      When you turn the machine on, the pilot light AND the contactor light (the indicator light that goes on when you are actually welding) both illuminate.

                      If you bring the torch tip close to a grounded work surface, the HF arc strikes off. If you remove the pedal and try it, it does the same. The machine stick welds just fine.

                      You can see and hear the HF points arc (with the side panel removed) as soon as the the machine is switched on.

                      Innovat (circuit board repair) called me back today and said they've seen 40 of these SW 180 circuit boards over the last 10 years with HF problems.

                      I'm still assuming it's the board.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RC4 Plug Pins 1-2-3

                        On the plug side, all three show open in all positions of the selector switch.

                        Greg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That doesn't sound right.

                          make sure you are on the right pins.

                          RC4 pin 1 is a black wire
                          RC4 pin 2 is a red/white wire
                          RC4 pin 3 is a wire stamped #38

                          andy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Houston, we have a problem.

                            The wires on this plug are white except for pins 4 + 5 which go to capacitors (c14 & c13 respectively)

                            The only stamps I could find showed a 4 with an arrow.

                            here are a few pics to illustrate
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                            Last edited by Inverted; 03-10-2010, 03:43 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dude,
                              My bad....
                              I pulled the wrong diagram

                              It's RC1 pin 6 to pin 9
                              Wire 37 and 39

                              It will read continuity when in AC but open in DC

                              sorry about that
                              andy

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