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Adding HF

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  • Adding HF

    I have a Maxstar 150 set up for TIG, but it doesn't have the HF start or pulse. Whoops. Is there any way to cheaply add both, or at least the HF? What is the cheapest sensible way of going to a water cooled torch (way lower priority). I mostly weld, .035 tubes. I mention cheapest because I will move to a DX when I am finished wringing the best I can out of this machine. So if my solution ends up being too expensive, I will just switch to the DX right away.

  • #2
    Save your money, sell the Maxstar 150 and put the money towards the DX.


    • #3
      Funny you should say that, because I posted on craigs the moment I left here. But if I get stuck with it because all I get offered is few hundred, just for instance, then I will still need to know what option are open. I hear people are putting HF on those chinese machines...


      • #4
        In reading these welding forums I've only read about people wanting to add a foot pedal but no HF. Your 150 should have lift-arc and the ability to add a foot pedal which would make the effort of adding HF unnecessary. What exact model of maxstar do you have/


        • #5
          If you want HF start and pulse, you would need the Maxstar 150STH model.

          The 150STL is the basic tig model and has lift-start, an internal gas valve and connector for the pedal or hand control.

          The 150S model is a stick welder only, no tig provisions, but you could still tig with it using scratch start, torch with a manual gas valve and no pedal or hand control. The torch would be 'hot' all the time.

          You could add high frequency to the other 2 models by connecting an HF251D1 freq box, but the box and all the stuff to go with it cost almost as much as a 150STH with basic tig kit and you lose the light weight, easy portability and simplicity of the little welder if you have to hook up the box to it.
          Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
          HTP MIG200
          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
          -Smith oxy/propane
          -Jackson EQC


          • #6
            Sold the unit, all I need now is to get a new DX. Any recommendations on torches or pedals. I don't think the unit I am getting even has a stinger, anything there?

            I was thinking of a CK with the light cord, one doesn't need much for 30 thou.

            Anything to say about the lenses, champagne cups, or gassavers.


            • #7
              Originally posted by JayO View Post
              In reading these welding forums I've only read about people wanting to add a foot pedal but no HF. Your 150 should have lift-arc and the ability to add a foot pedal which would make the effort of adding HF unnecessary. What exact model of maxstar do you have/
              The current set up has a pedal and works. Lift arc was sold to me as being better than HF, and there being no reason for me to spend the minor dough to get the top Maxstar 150, but it hasn't worked for me. I find when you are learning, it is just one more contamination problem. There are also situations where the materials do not meet and it can be clumsy getting the arc where you need it, while with HF you could fire into the space and the arc would attach itself to both sides. Also, there are situations where the touching of the parts, even lightly is not desirable. Sometimes there is pull as you lift off which disrupts pieces. You can make it work, but an expert suggested getting an HF unit. And now I am back to zero, so I can go to a Dynasty. I think lift arc is an asset for a machine, but only in a support role.


              • #8
                Sounds like you're trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

                Always easier to "blame the machine" than admit that one doesn't know what they're doing.

                Tons of material have been tig welded with machines that lacked HF.

                If you are convinced that you need all the "bells and whistles", quit screwing around and just buy a Dynasty 200 DX.
                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                Hobart HH187
                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                More grinders than hands


                • #9
                  That's why I took the second posters advice and sold it already, and am in the market for a DX. I don't think you need DX bells and whistles to weld bikes, but there are advantages to inverters aside from the features. Bike welding is I think different, because when you get passed raw structural results you are still judged by how good the welds look. It is as if people are buying your welds to hand on the wall. In some cases that may actually be the case. Perhaps you could share your expertise on how I can get welds like those attached with a Maxstar 150. The guy who did those says he can do better still with a Dynasty.

                  My last post is just my description of how lift arc falls short, I didn't say I couldn't use it. Bikes aren't usually as fast as cars, but I ride mine anyway.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Buy my Maxstar 200SD

                    I bought it new in april or may 2009. It was just used for light backyard projects. This is the full-featured maxstar, except without the different waveshapes. I have never used the TIG. It has been kept covered up in the family garage. I even have the miller cover for it.
                    New price with tax$2250. Will sell for $1400. I want to buy a passport plus for fence and handrail installation in the future. If you are close I will consider bargaining involving a Bobcat 250 or Ranger.
                    Last edited by deafman; 12-05-2010, 08:22 AM.