I recently got a 12VS to do outdoor flux core on my Bobcat 225G (1994 vintage), and I'm trying to figure out if my machine has problems or not. On CV, the minimum voltage I can get (indicated on the 12VS) is 24V, and the max is 28V. That's not much of a range, and it runs insanely hot, almost too much for .035 FC. I can only barely weld 14ga with it if I let it cool down often, and it eats a good-sized crater into 3/8 (though it does fill it in nicely). I have to be very careful with my stickout (fighting my MIG conditioning to allow MORE stickout for flux core), or I'll melt my contact tip (already burned up that fiberglass shield on the Bernard gun).

Weirdly, I can actually reduce the heat to a manageable level by lowering the wire speed. I would have thought that would be a recipe for burn back. It's a lovely, stable arc, and there's certainly no shortage of penetration, but I would like to use it for welding 16ga purlins, and in my testing it looks like I'd have an easier time using 7018 for that!

The main question I have is whether 24-28 is the normal CV range, or is there maybe something wrong with the rheostat (I've played with the tap on R2, and it makes very little difference). I've read that some of the forum have given up trying to use CV on the early Bobcats and just stick to CC on the 12VS. Opinions?