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Need input ready for new welder, Trailblazer 275 or 325???

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  • Country Metals
    replied
    I like my 302. It doesn't see much actual weld time anymore, but that is due to using the 220v more often. I use my maxstar and passport off of it mostly. It has no problem putting out the amperage I need for the passport doing 3/8". I still keep the leads on the truck for some heavy equipment repairs, but not much. I like the power port as a house generator as well. Just keeping the fridge, freezer, pump and other "required" items on.

    I like the maxstar a lot for field work so i can just open 1 cabinet, grab the machine, leads, and helmet. Drop at location, grab 110 cord (I modify the 220v cord to run off the 10g 110v cords, and I am fully set up in less then 3 minutes.

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  • Sberry
    replied
    A big regret I had was never pipelining. I had intended to right from the start, even have the machines. Every time I headed to get in that biz something came up.

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  • Sberry
    replied
    Our welding is so spotty the duty cycle is super low. I keep a 250 class feeder and only 035 solid in it but its 2x as fast and if I was doing real welding wouldnt hesitate in any way to buy equipment to make it cheaper faster. As a farmer today in my class or as a hobby type would have a hard time buying a portable, the alternative isn't big but a guy could save a lot and get what he wants or needs.
    I am going to build another welding/service truck but instead of bigger am going to jam it all in a pickup. Battery power has reduced the need for air. I am going to do a generator most likely or a Thermal Scout type thing. On my trucks I carry a torch and a welder, it isn't that I cant have it all but that I don't need it and that I am a career stick welder and the truck is parked most of the time anyway.
    I new lighter truck would help my incentive, not that I want to be on the road but I should drum up some business.

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  • Sberry
    replied
    I was wondering how many had used it as a power supply? On small work with lots of fabrication could really save a lot of money, as you said a couple Maxstars and small plasma and you could work a crew.
    This gets discussed some here but not always right on the button. I got all the machines but use a little DC buzz box and a 175 feeder for almost all of it and I actually bought 10# of 5/32 lo hi years ago and got some left on my service truck.
    I do a little service work but maintenance and light fab is all done with 1/8 and some 3/32 lo hi. I did a service on a ripped bracket on a forklift a while back. The guy has an AC buzzer but normally its close and would have taken my service truck.
    I reached around the cord reel and got 120V for a Max. There was a limited amount of weld and 1 where I needed 3/8 or so maybe 4 or 5 inches long. It didn't take 15 mins of weld, and welded 3 or 4 rods more in a second pass for the little bit which gave me a chance to really dress it up. On the truck would have used 1/8 7018, there due to power used 1/8 6011 for fit up and stripping in any gaps and poor fits then welded it out neat and flush.
    Point is, a bigger welder doesn't always save much time, the demand for large electrodes is rather rare in the world for most people. On my job it would have saved less than 5 minutes and taken a whole lot more effort on the other end.

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  • K.C. Brashear
    replied
    Just my .2 cents
    I would lean towards the trailblazer, more so the 325. Sure it is quite a bit bigger but... You never know when you might need it. I have the trailblazer 275 and love it. It seems like I weld on many different things but the generator has been the best feature. I was doing a job a few years ago welding miles of 1/8" dimand plate to 1/4" angle. I was running the trailblazer (using the welder) while my little brother was using our MM140 and a friend of mine was using my little maxstar all At the SAME TIME... there were also points in time at which we were using our 375x plasma cutter and had 2 other arcs burning. All power coming from the trailblazer. The machine is a Hoss, the best part, or what I really liked was when I was welding with the machine I never noticed any interference to my welding arc while the other 3 machines were running. I also had a compressor running for my plasma cutter.
    That being said I don't believe I would have been able to do all of that with a Bobcat, which ironically I was going to buy instead. The only thing I regret when I bought mine was not going ahead and buying the diesel and AC switch so maybe the 302 diesel instead

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  • Luke87
    replied
    We do use the maxstar 150 a lot, I've built whole building with it when the power was there. When the power isn't there though its nice to just unroll some lead and go to town on it. I think the Trailblazer has a lot of stuff I'll never ever hardly use but would like. I'm gonna decide this week, the price difference is 325 efi trailblazer with excel power to my door $5500, Bobcat EFI $4300 but has the $500 dollar rebate that I would use to buy me a Spectrum 675 plasma cutter since mine in the shop ain't too portable. More I read the more I'm leaning towards the Bobcat, I can sell it get my money back and buy a Trailblazer later if I think I screwed up on it. I'm running a Hobart Champion 10000 right now and it has always done all we needed. I've got a older Hobart Champion 16 thats AC/DC as well that my Grandpa gave to me that welds like a dream that'll I'll be holding onto. The only thing I really like about the Trailblazer is the dual generator and being able to burn rods at idle is really the only only reason I'd like it.

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  • Sberry
    replied
    I was at a carnival and the maintenance guy was there with nice service truck and new TB. He said,,,, the welder is beautiful but if I was to do it gain wouldn't bother with the feeder just to carry it around.
    It used to be you needed the power that just wasn't there but now can run 150A from 8 hp, can run all the 1/8 rods and some of them on 120V. I hardly ever use an engine drive anymore. A 400$ generator would run a week on 5 gallons of gas.

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  • Sberry
    replied
    I hate to say this but carport and light metal buildings could be done with a lot less power. I can so I would do most of it with sticks from a Maxstar type machine from some small genset and plug in to line when it was there. For 1500 in machines and another 100 in cord could weld away with half the fuel, maybe less. Put extra 30 ft or what you need stinger lead on it so a guy could jump around for construction work.

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  • Portable Welder
    replied
    You also need to keep this in mind, What is the hourly charge for a portable welder, about $ 60.00 - $80.00 hr.

    If we are talking 4-5 hundred dollars in price that works out to about 7 hrs. of work to pay the difference.

    However, if you go with the Trail Blazer and the better constant voltage feeder, you will also need a 14 pin control cable.
    They sell for approx. $ 300.00 plus dollars for a 75' section.

    If you have the Bobcat you will only need your positive/ Neg. lead plus the gas hose and not the 14 pin cable.

    So to out fit the Trail blazer with mig you will probably be in the $ 900.00 range higher.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.

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  • MMW
    replied
    It sounds to me like the Bobcat would be what you want, especially if you get a feeder for .045.

    I see many people always making the decision to buy "up" vs. what they actually need. If you know you will have a use for it then get it but if it's just a maybe someday down the road then get what you need now & upgrade if you need it down the road.

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  • Luke87
    replied
    Ideally yes I would love to just be able to buy the Trailblazer 325 with excel and efi. I don't plan on welding heavy equipment but never know what the future holds or what I may venture into. I think the bobcat will do all I need I just think the trailblazer has a lot of goodies I would like, mostly I could be welding stuff up and have my helper running the plasma cutter or maxstar of the ac side welding or cutting at the same time, whereas the Bobcat I wouldn't be able to do that. I'm kinda wanting to go with the bobcat just because of the 500 rebate I could get a feeder with, then I could always get my money back later and get a trailblazer. Most of the mig and flux core I do though I use my multimatic 200, although it would be nice to run .045 wire and the added voltage when needed.

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  • WillieB
    replied
    Could you write that out in crayon? The SA200 and a dozen similar machines make a pure DC with little or no humps on the ociliscope because more than one armature winding is contributing to the stinger at once. The high end Trailblazers use a distinctly different system, but is the power at the tip of the electrode not similar?

    Some Tesla wanna be at Lincoln used technology available to him to build a machine worthy of being revered for 70 years. Much later, an engineer at Miller used a thousand tiny electronic widgets to do about the same thing.

    I've used neither, want to, but the opportunity hasn't presented. I used, then years later owned a machine like the Lincoln but much bigger, maybe one day I will own a Trailblazer. Can the Trailblazer measure up?

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  • cruizer
    replied
    I won't pretend I understand what you're saying, but I want to. My remarks are based on something said on another forum by somebody I felt knew. What does set the Trailblazer apart from the Bobcat? Am I wrong that Bobcat is single phase AC using diodes to produce DC that pulsates? I believe it's from Miller I got that Trailblazer is three phase DC only for welding, with a separate single phase generator on the same shaft for power tools

    Pulsating DC, cool. Think my scope would pick up that. in other words, new one on me. The Bobcat has no boards and is basically a tapped reactor to a simple rectifier.

    The Trailblazer 302 uses a couple boards, no tapped reactor, so 3 phase ac comes into the rectifier which pumps it out as singe phase. The power board regulates the AC feed to the rectifier from your local control setting and compares it with the dc feed back from the hall.

    The Trailblazer 325 goes one step further, and throws the dc signal off the rectifier, and "Chops" that signal up , do DC reverts to AC, which reverts to DC 20K times a second. then an engineered wave form is added for pretty much pure DC, though the final wave form is not pure DC. Simular to eating Tofu chicken, not really the same, but tastes kinda the same....


    Just made the theory really basic

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  • Portable Welder
    replied
    If carports and metal buildings are your business the 275 would be fine with a suitcase feeder, If you use it for welding on heavy equipment then I would say go with the 325.
    If all you do is stick weld go with a Bobcat, you can also run a VS feeder off the bobcat which also does a good job.

    If you really want a good high quality arc with a mig welder then go with a Trail blazer and a constant voltage feeder.

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  • H80N
    replied
    Here are a bunch of videos on the new Trailblazer 325...

    Pretty impressive..

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...azer+325+pulse

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