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Running XMT 304 on 6500 watt generator or help me decide if temporary 12/2 wire works

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  • Running XMT 304 on 6500 watt generator or help me decide if temporary 12/2 wire works

    Hi folks,

    I have to weld a few pieces of 1/4" x 4" angle onto existing steel corners on my boat dock (out of water). Plan on stick welding, as outdoors and usually a bit windy there.

    First, will I do any damage to the XMT304 or a 6500 generator by using the two together? As I will likely use around 100 amps, I assume that the 304 will be drawing about 1/3 of it's rated full input of about 50amps (220V), so I think that I would only be drawing somewhere between 15 - 20amps from the generator.
    I would say the generator should put about nearly 30 amps, so hopefully this is OK. thought I read somewhere that the XMT 304 didn't like to be run off (cheap) generators???

    Or, it is about 200 ft to my house and electrical panel. I could run a temporary 2 conductor wire. Using a voltage drop calculator, it looks like i should use a 6 or 8 gauge wire if I were running the 304 on the full power - input of about 50amps. However, as I will likley only be running an input of about 15 - 20 amps, could i get by with a 12/2 wire (have it already) or would I risk damage to the welder? The voltage drop calculator says I would have a 6% voltage drop at 20 amps, 220V, 200ft of 12/2 wire. Is 6% acceptable for a dozen welds which take 20 seconds each, resting to cool down in betweeen?

    If I am way off in my numbers, or thought process please let me know.
    Any advice would appreciated so I can find a way to do this without buying 200 ft of No 6 wire, for 10 minutes of welding!
    Thanks!

  • #2
    go rent a gas operated welder, you can find them at most tool rental outfits.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, a rental is an option, but the closest place is an hour away, and I would likely end up pay $150 + for the day and extra travel. I may as well put that cash into a 150 or 200' piece of no 6 or no 8 wire, and then I would have it for next time.

      I would still like to hear if anyone thinks either the generator option or temporary 12/2 wire is is reasonable for the modest amount of fairly low amp welding i have to do.
      Is there any harm to the welder by trying either? How about the generator?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Northeaster View Post
        Yes, a rental is an option, but the closest place is an hour away, and I would likely end up pay $150 + for the day and extra travel. I may as well put that cash into a 150 or 200' piece of no 6 or no 8 wire, and then I would have it for next time.

        I would still like to hear if anyone thinks either the generator option or temporary 12/2 wire is is reasonable for the modest amount of fairly low amp welding i have to do.
        Is there any harm to the welder by trying either? How about the generator?
        As much as I would hate it myself, I think the wisest thing to do would be to get the proper wire. And of course at the same time make sure it is a safe set-up. There has been guys killed over the years using shop welders on docks.
        I have used 100+ft of 10ga SO cord on my 200 Dynasty at max amps for years. That is not an XMT304 tho so better safe. I wouldn't go that far on my dynasty with the dinky wire myself, let alone the unshielded ground.
        Like you said.....then you are prepared for the next time.
        As for the genny you are probably gonna need to get more specific about it before you will get much feedback on it.

        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
        Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
        Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

        Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
        Miller WC-115-A
        Miller Spectrum 300
        Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
        Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

        Comment


        • #5
          Guess it would depend on how many times you were going to make repairs. Say you were string out 200' of 8/3 Soow cable. That would likely cost you around the $600+ mark. plus the cord ends around $100. So we are up to $700 for a simple probably 15 minute repair.

          It's a tossup, I'd probably rent a small engine driven welder

          Comment


          • #6
            I would run it off the genset and see how the genset reacts, yer not gonna kill anything on a short test.
            Ed Conley
            http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
            MM252
            MM211
            Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
            TA185
            Miller 125c Plasma 120v
            O/A set
            SO 2020 Bender
            You can call me Bacchus

            Comment


            • #7
              I would find, buy or borrow an AC stick welder like the Thunderbolt XL 225 (list-458-new) or the Hobart Stickmate LX 225(list-320-new @ TSC) or a Lincoln 225AC rather than risk a $4K on a genset. Any of them should easily run off your generator, the set gives you portability and any of them will weld 1/4" angle just fine. You'll be risking a lot less and there are probably not many expensive circuit boards in any of them to go phttttt. They can likely be had used pretty cheap and some of the old ones are just about bulletproof if you don't run them too long at high amps. Just be safe about it.
              Meltedmetal
              ---Meltedmetal

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
                I would find, buy or borrow an AC stick welder like the Thunderbolt XL 225 (list-458-new) or the Hobart Stickmate LX 225(list-320-new @ TSC) or a Lincoln 225AC rather than risk a $4K on a genset. Any of them should easily run off your generator, the set gives you portability and any of them will weld 1/4" angle just fine. You'll be risking a lot less and there are probably not many expensive circuit boards in any of them to go phttttt. They can likely be had used pretty cheap and some of the old ones are just about bulletproof if you don't run them too long at high amps. Just be safe about it.
                Meltedmetal
                Actually all of the ones you listed will NOT run on a 6500watt Genset: those are power hungry Transformer machines that require at least a 12k Genset, even at Low power settings they'll have poor performance.
                Ed Conley
                http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                MM252
                MM211
                Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                TA185
                Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                O/A set
                SO 2020 Bender
                You can call me Bacchus

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for all of the help!

                  Yes, we have an older thunderbolt Ac/DC as well, but I had read that it could not be be run on anything less than 12K watts.

                  Would there be any chance of damaging XMT304 by using the genset, or is it mainly a risk of frying something in the genset, if the welder is run too hot / too long?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Once again ...... what is the genset? Honda? Coleman? Ching Shin?
                    That would help me make my decision on it as well.

                    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                    Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                    Miller WC-115-A
                    Miller Spectrum 300
                    Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                    Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry - read all of the posts, but missed that line looking for generator specifics.
                      Don't have the specifics right now. I am out of town and it's my father-in-laws generator. It is something like a coleman type. Not a really high end one.


                      *** One note, there will be no welding near or on the water. The dock is currently pulled 20 ft or more above the high tide mark, so no water danger.***

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You could be right Ed. Edited due to double post see below
                        Meltedmetal
                        Last edited by Meltedmetal; 03-25-2012, 04:53 PM.
                        ---Meltedmetal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You could be right Ed. I went out and checked my old Lincoln 180s input amps 37 and my old fourney is 32 amps in. I still would try the ac welder at low amps before I would put put a $4k inverter on a generator. In theory at least the breakers on the generator should protect it from the Thunderbolt and it would surprise me it it draws over 29.5 amps at 100 or 125 amps out which should be sufficient to make a few welds on 1/4" angle with 3/32 or 1/8- 6011. For sure the nice thing to do would be to get a welding generator for the job but my guess is if he takes his time he should be able to do it but I have been wrong before. Hope he lets us know what he does and how it works out. Could be a lesson here.
                          Or he could always use oxy-acetylene and steel rod.
                          Meltedmetal
                          ---Meltedmetal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The buzzbox machines perform poorly even when turned down even though they are pulling fewer amps
                            Lincoln had a bit about this in their FAQ section , cant find it on their site any more though
                            Ed Conley
                            http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                            MM252
                            MM211
                            Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                            TA185
                            Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                            O/A set
                            SO 2020 Bender
                            You can call me Bacchus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder if the "poor performance" of buzzboxes on gensets is mostly due to slow recovery of the generator when an arc is struck. Maybe hard to start an arc?
                              I see that the power requirement for the xmt 304 is in the 47-48 amp range at 225 amps out. Not really much different than the Thunderbolt. I will grant you that the semi-conductor control on the xmt will probably smooth out the arc and compensate better than the Thunderbolt to get it going and like the Thunderbolt will not draw full amps at lower settings. My concern is that semi-conductors are often not as resilient under squirrelly voltages from gensets. Maybe this machine is designed to deal with this but it could be an expensive way to make toast,if you get my drift. There must be someone out there who has used an inverter with a genset??What was your experience?
                              On another front I was a bit perturbed that none of the welding suppliers I checked list the input current in the easily accessible specs. It seems to be common to bury that info in the manual. I am on dialup out here in the sticks and it takes some patience and determination to dig this out. Wouldn't you think that would be one of the initial bits of info a prospective customer should know waaay up front? And that's the view from here.
                              Best wishes all,
                              Meltedmetal
                              ---Meltedmetal

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