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  • rapril
    replied
    Capabilities and Compatibilities

    1. Concerning the (2004) Miller Big Blue Air Pac and Dynasty 300DX. The work involved is using a wide scale of thicknesses in the field. Here are some examples; less than .025 Aluminum (switch covers), and more then 2" (Bus Bars, etc). Can the two pieces of Miller equipment REALY work in well together connected in a remote mobile situation … and are there any "gotcha's Miller is aware of internally concerning this marriage.

    2. Concerning the (2004) Miller Big Blue Air Pac, WC24, and 30A SPOOL gun. Same scenario, in material and situation. Sometimes production is necessary.

    I have a 12RC (24V), but realize that will not Fly, or Weld as it were!

    Thanks in advance, Ron

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  • Grampa
    replied
    Engine

    I am going with the kohler..the supplier that I am working with has them for rent so I can see one work and hear it run..

    the kohler units seem to be fine as far as I know..as far as the durablity these things ride around in trucks..get placed on fish boats and all sorts of hard usage..I am not sure a fellow could kill one with and ax if he wanted to..not that it should be abused..

    Anyway it Is one of those things I am comfortable with..

    As far as rewiring the shop..been there done that..don't want to is the bottom line there..it does seem to be more expensive to do anything here than it is in other parts fo the country...

    I use a 40' high cube shipping container for a shop..paint it up, cut in a man door and some windows..works fine for me..Yeah it could be wider.but then maybe get another one and marry them up or something..Cargo containers are a good option for inexpensive storage or shop space..

    I will probably just get the blazer and spool gun to start..have the entire wish list..Thanks to HAWK...

    You say you are using SS wire in your spool gun? I was thinking of just gettin that at first but was not sure it would run the steel wire..I thought spool guns would only run Aluminum wire..???

    I am not choosing to push the shop as a commercial enterprise..it is more of a hobby for me tho if someone has something interesting to do they can bring it over..Just do the word of mouth deal..

    As far as plugging in tools all the time the blazer does have the generator seperate from the welder so tools like grinders and saws and such can be used at the same time as the welder..least that is the way I read it in the spec sheet..I think Miller came up with this for the commercial users running crew..In any case I have not yet qiute figured out a way for one guy to weld, grind, saw, and drill all at the same time..If you figure this out let me know and we will both know then..:>)

    I did make arrangements to attend nite school at the place I orginally trained..since I am a graduate they let us come back and take refresher courses of our choice..Course I have to pay a fee for that, but then I get a chance to shake off the rust and get back in the swing..

    I really think guys should go to school even a nite class as one can learn a lot and there are people that can look at your work and help with tips..Much easier to help a guy or get help when you are face to face..;>)

    Over to you

    Grampa

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  • chub380
    replied
    Thats great, You will be happy with that trailblazer, like I said I own one for some of the same reasons you listed Power outages ect. I as well live out in the country and it is super nice to have. My electrical equipt totaled $300 including all the iteams you listed and still pay the inspector to inspect the panel when it was all done. The difference is that you have to dig,see when I called the power company they came and even put two poles in and ran the cable the whole way to the weatherhead for nothing It is a seperate service which is fine by me, havent had a monthly bill over $30 bucks yet. If you must have it buried ask your power company about that mabie they could work with you, If not rent a ditch witch for a weekend and do it yourself. If you follow your codes that stuff is not all that hard to do. I am not trying to talk you out of the trailblazer it will be a smart move whatever you do with it. I just wouldnt want to keep pluging tools in and out all the time. As far as a welder its hard to beat especially for the money. It is a great tig welder in steel and stainless and add a high freq box and its ac tig arc is very compareable to a syncrowave. Also you can plug millers spoolguns right into it and be ready to mig alum right away. Also you could use that spoolgun for a s/s 2lb spool also. As far as stick welding it is almost as good as my Dynasty300. You will love that machine. I used mine as shop power for about a week during the building of my shop and I know how it was kind of a pain to fill it with gas all the time and plug things in and such. I also am kind of fussy with my machines so I didnt want it to sit outside so I had to either pull it in and out of the garage alot. Now I have it riged up with exhaust pipe to the outside that is nice. I put mine on a 5 by 10 trailer which is a must for getting it around unless it will be on a vehicle at all times. Well good luck in everything you will be happy with that machine over the bobcat, especially if you decide to mig with a feeder or a spoolgun or ever want to tig alum,and for the stronger smoother generator. Good choice Grampa ,which engine did you choose? Matt

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  • Grampa
    replied
    Panel

    You are correct in that I can buy a panel for about 300..then I need a meter base, some service pipe and service entrance..some wire and breakers..Rewire the shop...then since this has to be underground service there is the fee for the backhoe guy..or machine rental..plus of course I will have to take a permit for the work from Dept of labor and Industries..Around here with the rules and regs we have this all winds up to be quite a bit of cash to lay out..And still no shop equipment..

    My situation may not apply to everyone..Since I live in the country having a standby generator is a good idea..and having a portablity option is great if I should get a commision to do some work away from home..already have been offered one of those jobs..

    The trailblazer..I am going for the 301G model as it will do everything that I can ever imagine doing with the proper attachments so to speak.

    Given the facts of the situation this is the way to go..

    Now if I were to do a production shop in town, that is an entirely different deal..then having the fixed machines is a better deal and hopefully I could go into a building with good electrical to support the fixed machines..

    As far as gas consumption and noise goes..well that just have to live with..

    Makes sense to me in my shop to get the engine driven unit..might not make any sense at all to someone else

    Thanks for your interest
    Grampa

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  • chub380
    replied
    You will however have to buy gas, and listen to noise. But if those things dont bother you thats great. You will be much better with the trailblazer for your app. I own one and it is a great machine. the gen set is also much better than a bobcat ex.You can be welding at 150amps with your trailblazer and still have full use of your generator capcity. I would hate to hear it ramping up and down all day long at my home shop JMO On a different note Have you tried calling your electric company about having a seperate service into the building, thats what I did cost about$300 dollars for a square d 200 amp service. Power company ran cable to the building

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  • Grampa
    replied
    There is the nut of it!!

    Hawk,
    This gets to the nut of the deal

    I cannot imagine getting involved with anything that the Trailblazer would not or could not do..

    When I realized the expense of installing a new electrical service in my home to run my shop I realized I would be better off getting engine driven equipment..See the new thread on wiring safety..The plus side is that I have portablity the minus is that it makes noise..Oh well cannot have it all..

    I mean I can buy a Trailblazer for about 3200 or so..Sparky wants 4000-5000 not to mention the backhoe guy for the trench and wire from the street to my shop for a new service and then all I have is a hole in my checkbook and no welder..so get the engine driven machine..have the welder I need and forget Sparky..;>)


    Take the rest and get a suitcase..I will get the #8 suitcase as it has all the capacity I need..I run a lot of the small spools of wire in what I do..keep some 308 stainless wire on hand..some 20 gauge wire..and a spool of regular wire....anyway put in the correct wire for the task.. I will eventually get the tig kit..and plasma cutter.. I will be checking out options on the spool gun as my use is rather lite..maybe there is something besides the 30A..

    I did go see the guys at the welding school and they told me come on down and as they have about everything under the sun I get to practice and blow the rust off..I do need to make a gun selection for the suitcase and tha tis a pick em up smell em taste em deal to get the one that suits my hand...

    I do believe I am making the correct choices for me in my situation..If I am correct in this we will both have a sort of plug and play outfit that will do just about anything that comes our way and if we cannot do it with what we have just maybe we do not want that job anyway..;>)

    Have you tried the 20 gauge wire..?? Cool stuff on sheet metal..anyway I like it..will use it on auto body stuff and things like that..

    BTW..you are using your dynasty exactly like I used my little wire feeder.for those small repair jobs when one does not want to or need to drag leads and all that to do a small job..


    Thanks for your input Hawk..appreciate your time here

    Grampa

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  • HAWK
    replied
    Grampa,

    In response to really thick or thin:

    A coke can rim is roughly .025". The Trailblazer will easily tig aluminum twice as thick as a coke can rim. That is thin by field welding standards. I have run spary arc with my 12RC suitcase and welded 1.5" x 3" flat stock. I also run glob transfer with bare wire on this stock thickness. Sure I make several passes, but will do so with any machine. I run 1/4" carbon rods regularly gouging enough metal in a single pass for most jobs. Two passes will really cut a groove!

    My questions is this: What are you going to be field or shop welding that requires a machine to go above or below these parameters? I have invested considerable funds into my Trailblazer with all the accessories to "do it all" and so far have been able to. FYI: The machine is rated at 300 amps overall and 225 amps for AC. Don't take those numbers to the bank. Have your dealer load bank your machine. Mine runs well above the published numbers. I understand most all do.

    I think Dynasty is a great machine and would not part with it. It will do all kinds of tricks. However, these procedures are not usually required in the field. I cannot recall one time I had to go to the shop and get my Dynasty because the Trailblazer would not do it. Yes, there are times I take my Dynasty into a plant for convenience sake. I hate cranking the Trailblazer in the rain. I would rather carry my Dynasty inside and wire into a 3 phase box if possible.

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  • HAWK
    replied
    H80N and Grampa,

    I have a Trailblazer in my truck bed and use it for stick, mig, flux core, spoolgun with aluminum, AC/DC tig, carbon arc gouging, powering my plasma and work tools, etc. It does all of these processes equally well. I also have a Dynasty in my shop. Both have their place.

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  • Grampa
    replied
    Trailblazer

    Heiti,
    I know several prople who have the engine driven machines and most of them would let you have anything else in the shop..but not the engine driven one..why..engine driven welders are just so darn useful..allow you to do so much..

    As far as the amp deal is concerned I think we can look through the Miller catalogue and find us something that will work down on the low end so we can weld really thin stuff..

    One of those 80/20 deals..the Trailblazer does 80% of everything that gets walked through the shop door..If it is really thin or really really thick..then we need to look at something else..and how many times is that gonna happen..??

    I think you will really appreciate the engine driven machine when some guy calls to fix his boat and it turns ou tthe boat is 40' and needs a semi to move, so now you go to him..

    Now it is a matter of getting one here and accumulating the additional pieces that I will need..

    I did stop by the school today and since I am a graduate there I can go in and take all the nite classes I want..stick,mig,tig, sheet metal, all of it..soooo I am gonna go dust the rust off..griinnn..

    Thanks

    Grampa

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  • H80N
    replied
    Trailblazer TIG

    Grampa
    have used my Trailblazer for DC tig with the addition of a 200amp aircooled torch and RCCS-14 fingertip controller... and it is a pretty darned good machine for the stuff that I have done so far... as far as AC Tig on aluminum.. the only reason I have not tried that yet is that I need to buy the HF251 high freq box.. but will let you know when I do... that machine does pretty well... like I said take a look at the comparison chart in the Miller catalog.. they did not lie.... But the Trailblazer has a bottom end for AC tig of 35amps which could be problematic on some of the thinner stuff ... maybe sometime I will buy a Dynasty but it is a ways down the list
    .. for doing boats it is just as easy for the owner to pull the trailer into my yard as it is for me to go and see them.. and the shop machines have the foot control that is sometimes more convenient to use.
    As far as the Trailblazer goes am very happy with it.. It will do all processes x-ray quality while none of it's competition even comes close...
    Thanks
    Heiti

    PS am sure that there are others out there that have much more experience with tigwelding on the Trailblazer, HAWK among them.. their input would help (this ps was added in edit)

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  • H80N
    replied
    Grampa
    been there done that.. would not help anyone that took ill considered advice and got hurt... please see the new thread on Welder Wiring Safety....
    Thanks
    Heiti

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  • Grampa
    replied
    Ok ok

    Heiti,
    Ok..not a problem..From all that I read study and all the Trailblazer seems to be the best for my application..and since there are lots of accessories for it I believe it will suit my needs just fine..

    On the aluminum boat deal..boats around here tend to be made from 1/4" 6061 plate with big block chevs and fords..and big jet pumps..Bit different than the small aluminum lake boat deal..Quite a bit of Stainless as well..the stainless we use is the 316 variety..304 is nice for kitchen hoods..ok for freshwater boats..

    So I think it is best for me to go the Trailblazer route with a suitcase feeder..for the basics...

    Aluminum to be sorted out later..Every thing I see says a fellow needs 2..one for the lite thin stuff and one for the thicker stuff..Every welder has its size range..and material range..that is what makes this hard is picking the just right machine,,

    Originally I was thinking of all small work but it is not that much more to get the added capability..Portable is great..

    As far as the equipment choices all the shops that i have ever been in have not one but several welders to fill the specific needs of that shop...

    On the electrical..been there done that..and you are right these guys need to read the manual..and hire an electrician if they are not sure..

    Thanks

    Grampa

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  • H80N
    replied
    Grampa
    like I said.. take your time and STUDY before you jump.. and as far as a machine that does everything well.. the trailblazer comes as close as any engine drive on the market (head and shoulders above any i could find)......and.. as far as a spoolgun goes.. I run a 30A... But TIG aluminum boats in the shop... most of them are so thin that the spoolgun would blast right through and make a mess... like I said..SLOW DOWN!!!... take your time.. consider what you really want to do with a machine and accessories.. and match the right tool to the job at hand... like I said there is a lot of info in previous posts.. little bit of time spent reading and understanding may save a whole truckload of heartache later....
    heck... it is your dime.. and free advice is worth what you pay for it.....
    Heiti

    BTW wire size to breaker to amps as you said.. is TOO Simplistic.. as you are not taking into account the length of wire run..or the nature of the load... better to have people read Solid.. SAFE advice in the Manual.. for their machine... than to give generalities that may prove dangerous... would hate to hear of someone who had their house or shop burn down (or worse) because they took to heart some ill considered advice.....

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  • Grampa
    replied
    its a Trail Blazer

    Heiti,

    No machine does everything real well..However if I start with the right basic power source I think I can build around it and get to good enough.;>).My decision to go to engine drive is based on the facts of life at this place..Have to spend a wad of cash to get a new electrical service installed for a shop..so why not take the cash and get an engine drive..having the generator will be nice when the lites go out..Gramma will like that one..

    As they say ask the guy who uses one...and take time and get it right..grinn..

    Yup I am gonna change the order and get the trailblazer...Just a good example of how things work out..When I bought the Little Red Box I got it from the local welding store..not the big box store..when I wanted to upgrade it was no problem as all the pieces were there..

    I am still not sure on the TIG machine yet but is nice to know I can run one with the drive I am getting..probably invest in the Maxstar 150..for educational purposes..and it should have enough to weld up to 3/16 which is about all anyone runs into on automotive..

    My experience runs to Farm and Construction work..working in a nice clean well lighted and DRY!!! shop is a whole new deal for me..

    I am looking at wire feeder options..probably one of the suitcase models..the 8rc seems like a good choice..I do want to run the small spools of wire as I do change wire often and now none of the jobs are very big..any thoughts on a specific gun??

    What size wire are you running..?? or do you recommend for general welding in this size of machine..

    I did try the 20 gauge wire we discussed and liked it..it does come in the 2 lb spools so you are not out a whole lot to try it yourself..it does seem to make sheet metal go a lot easier..as compared to solid wire..

    Spool gun?? yup gonna need one of those..Lot of aluminum boats around here..

    When I actually get around to the TIG setup will let you know..From what I see there is one that runs on the trailblazer..have to do some more digging on that one..

    Thanks

    Grampa.

    BTW..on wiring..match the wire size to the breaker..20 amp/#12 wire..30 amp/#10 wire..40/50 amp/#8wire...60 amp/#6wire...Been there done that one..If some guy goes off to the big box store and says welder they get all flustrated down there..Say kitchen range outlet and they hand you the stuff..Hope these guys have room in their electric panels for addtional circuits..lots of residential panels I have found to be full..Sooo need to install sub panels to accommodate shop wiring..that is why we need electricians and another reason for me to buy an engine drive unit..;>)

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  • H80N
    replied
    Trailblazer vs Bobcat

    Grampa
    You would do well to take the time to read previous posts regarding the relative merits of each machine... IF you want a machine that will do EVERYTHING Well.. take the time and look at the comparison chart of engine drives in the miller catalog.. I spent months studying machines made by all of the makers.. and their capabilities... and even more time here on this forum asking questions..... for me it was a large investment and required careful thought... I have been welding for a long time but was brand new to mobile welding... I was lucky enough to be able to draw on the experience, knowledge and patience of people like HAWK and others..
    THE RESULT?..... well there is a TRAILBLAZER 301G with accessories parked on the back of my truck... and I could not be happier..
    your needs may be different.. but if you plan on putting all of the goodies on a Bobcat... I think that might be false economy.. as it will cost more in the long run with a less satisfactory result...
    Like I said.. take the time to read previous posts as all of this has been covered in depth before.. no need for me to say it again.. and take the time to look at that comparison chart.. it says a lot..
    It is your Dime.......
    Just one guy's opinion
    Thanks
    Heiti

    BTW... both machines look similar if laid side by side... and a Fiero looks a bit like a Ferrari... but........
    or maybe...... a chevy may share the same platform with a cadillac ... both are good cars... but there is a difference.....

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