No announcement yet.

Making My 240v Miller Gear Mobile - Help

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Making My 240v Miller Gear Mobile - Help

    I recently purchased a Millermatic 210 and a Miller Spectrum 625. I love both of them and they perfectly suite my needs but now I'm going mobile with my work and I'm in need of a solution. My budget is still a bit drained from the previous purchase so I'm looking to get creative for the short term. I've looked into 12v/24v to 240v AC power inverters and my guess is I'll need at least 6000 Watts to power one of the above. There are a few solutions available but I'd like to know that someone else has tried this first with some degree of success before I branch out there. I have the required infrastructure on my work truck to run the inverter (120amp alt, dual battery isolated) but not sure the inverter can keep up with the welder or cutter for any duration even though they rate at 80amps, 6000 watts at > 80% duty cycle. So thats my first question, anyone tried this? Second, I see I can get into a gas generator for about $1000 new, perhaps less used. Again, I'm looking for success stories on power consumption so as to fit my budget. Thanks for the help.

    - Mike

  • #2
    240 power

    Good questions. I have the same situation with my mobile equipment being 240-volt Miller welding machine and plasma torch as well. However, my wife also bought me a Miller Trailblazer 301G at the same time, so my answer was easy. However, in addition to whatever else you come up with, here is what I also do so that I don't have to use my generator unless necessary. Make several adapters and keep them with you. I am often at a location that has an electric clothes dryer or range and use my adapters to plug my gear in, using a long (and appropriately rated) power extension. Also have what we call a "panel tap." If you are familiar enough with electrical work to do this safely, it is basically an outlet on the end of a cord, with the wires kept stripped at the other end. When you remove the cover of a breaker box, there may be spare breakers, or ones not being used for other purposes and you can place the wires on opposite phases as well as the ground (first.) If you are not electrically qualified, have one anyway, you will likely find an electrician on most jobs who can do it for you while he's there.

    But back to the inverter versus generator, I would have to vote for the generator, if you have the room and ability to make noise and exhaust. For any practical period of working, you are likely to have to start your truck often enough to charge your batteries anyway. and the generator will likely pay for itself in vehicle mileage many times over.


    • #3
      Going Mobile

      Just a note from personal experience: Even though power consumption can be calculated and converted into watts required ( either by inverter or generator),numbers on paper don't always equate to actual working circumstances. Also your inverter or generator may not provide "clean" power causing quick degradation of your equipment. If you must take this route, get a rental company or retailer to let you try their product with your mig and plasma. If they want the sale, then that should be no problem.

      I have been in your shoes and ended up taking a different route. I sold my mig and purchased a Miller gas drive capable of running my plasma cutter. You can add a voltage sensing feeder ( fair short arc, good spray and flux core) or a constant voltage feeder (great for short arc, spray, and flux core of all types). The type feeder you can use will depend on the engine drive you pick.

      The cold hard truth is that from experience I found there is no substitute for a good engine drive (Miller being my only choice) with the appropriate accessories to do your job(wire feeder, spool gun, plasma, etc.). I even spoke with several Miller tech guys who will agree that paper solutions don't always work for real.

      Please email if you want further info on what equipment works well in my business(mobile pipe welder and MRO).


      • #4
        Great information. I did break down and build a 50 ft extension cord out of 8/4 with a dryer style fitting at the one end, thats what I'm using at my own house and its been invaluable. The spectrum 625 is easy enough to move around but the 210 with the oxy/argon tank is a beast, espcially getting it in the back of my lifted Blazer. I've noticed there are two types of inverters available, most are square wave and I'm getting the feeling this may not work well with the equipment and be the reason people have bad a experience with them. I haven't found a US made one yet but the Japanese have developed a nice shaped sine wave inverter which is supposed to work much better, especially on sensative equipment. I found one at 8000 watts / 80 amps and I'm compelled to give it a try. As for generators, I think I'm going to take your advise and go rent one and see what kind of results I get. Noise isn't that much of a concern, but longevity of my work trucks engine definately is.

        I'm going to have to look into the Miller Gas Drive. I had glanced at one before purchasing my equipment but didn't put enough weight into it in my decision to buy what I have. Thanks for the info, and keep it coming!


        • #5

          How's the project??

          I would stay away from the inverter idea. It may work but the guys are right, it will drain your batteries faster than fall of Iraq. You will have to run your truck most of the time unless you are just doing small weld jobs. Also as the battery power fluctuates under arc start loads, the power from the inverter will most likely falter some or spike causing problems with the welder.

          good luck