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Lincoln's new Tig Machine

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  • Lincoln's new Tig Machine


    I been attending a beginning Tig class at the local junior college and saving up for a dynasty 200 dx. One of the instructors bought a new Lincoln Precision Tig 185 and brought it to class. Seems to be a nice machine sort of a cross between an inverter machine and a transformer machine. For a 185 amp machine it is heavy, a couple of hundred pounds. It has something called Micro-start. Seems to be high frequency start only, no lift arc. This machine makes some really nice welds. I am a true blue fan and own a MM251. Does Miller have anything in this price range that matches lincoln? Most of the transformer machines I have looked at are real current hogs. Like most hobbyist, I am limited to a 50 amp breaker. Bottom line is that I am not only monetarily challenged but I also have limited current capabilities.

    any help or suggestions?
    W. Hatter

  • #2
    I did the reading that is available from the PR department at the lincoln website, and what I see is a machine very similar to the sync180. It doesn't call it an inverter so it may not be, my bet is its a transformer with serious computer guidance. I've been wrong before but that is the appearance. This is a new machine, I would prefer to see a few in the market first. A caution vibe hits me on this, and I originally owned red and liked it very well, but buyer beware.

    Good luck on decision making, this will be a tough one.


    • #3

      Here's the link. What do you think?:

      I think this machine is an attempt to gain some market share. I don't see anything in the specs that would make this machine over and above the Dynasty 200DX. With the Dynasty 200DX factory default settings, arc frequency adjustment, EP/EN balance adjustment, pulse options and sequencing abilities you can weld anything from .005" to 1/4" with ease on AC. I have welded thinner material on DC with the Dynasty 200DX. I am biased and one of this machines biggest fans! However, if it does not perform to my demading expectations, then I don't get paid and that would not be good!

      I watched the video on "Micro Start". It apparently reduces high frequency, hot starts, arc wander, and other problems that plague some TIG machines. The Dynasty is capable of being programmed for the start amperage and start polarity, just to name a couple of parameters, to suit the tungsten size and type you want to use. The factory default settings typically suit a wide range of user needs. However, these and numerous other parameters can be adjusted if the need arises. The Dynasty does not use continuous high frequency due to its advanced squarewave arc. The video also mentioned something about visual pulse feedback. You can't watch a machine and TIG at the same time. I know I can't and have been at this a long time.

      Keep saving for the Dynasty! The 200DX puts the Lincoln Invertech 205 to shame. An acquaintance put both machines side by side for a week long testing and comparison analysis. He found the Dynasty to be superior in every way! I believe the Lincoln Invertech 205 is full of foreign parts and would be a nightmare to repair. Maybe GTA/SPEC can fill us in here. He seems pretty knowledgeable on who makes and markets what where.

      I'm sure the Lincoln 185 is a decent machine, but I would rather pay for a Dynasty 200DX or 300DX than be given any Lincoln TIG machine. I onced owned a Lincoln Squarewave 175 and it did okay. It's a pretty good machine and never gave me any trouble. I learned to tig on an Ideal-Arc by Lincoln. It is a plain sine wave output. Now there's something to use if you can find one still around. You will really have to change your ways. I think Blondie_486 still uses one at his work.

      You mentioned power requirements. The Dynasty 200DX draws less than 21 amps at its rated output. Even when I have pushed the machine to the max at 200 amps with 75% helium/25% argon, and a water cooled torch to hang with it, it never faltered and my 30 amp breaker never blew! By the way I have been able to do 3/8" fillet welds with this technique. I would not recommend the Dynasty 200DX for anything over 1/4" on a regular basis, but it can be pushed if necessary!

      Above and beyond all I have said the Dynasty series is very user friendly. I only takes a short time to familiarize yourself with its basic functions and the rest follows quickly!


      • #4

        The Lincoln spec sheet indicates the machine draws 64 amps at its rated output on 60HZ 230VAC input power and 70 amps on 208 60HZ input power. Your residential power should be between 220VAC and 240VAC. I don't see anything about the machine being able to maintain a steady arc output if the input power varies nor do I see anything about 1 and 3 phase 100-500 volts AC input power. These features are standard on the Dynasty and the Miller's "Power Factor Correction" is standard on the Syncrowave series. It does have what they call thermal cycling of the fan which is Miller's Patented "Fan-On-Demand". From what I have read and re-read this machine is an attempt to deliver many of the features the Miller Syncrowaves, especially the 250, have been delivering in the field for over 25 years! Even with all this new Lincoln 185 TIG does have it does not come close to the Dynasty! The "AutoBalance" thing is just asking for trouble. Hopefully most alloys can be welded at 75% electrode negative or higher. Occasionally I have dropped to 65% EN balance for some really nasty material. It had been in a trash compacter for some time. I don't want a machine to set my weld parameters for me. I just want it to make the best welds available as long as I do my part! That is what the Dynasty does.

        Miller is on the leading edge of technology and am sure you will see new products in the future. I don't think you will see any changes to the Dynasty 200 or 300 for a while. However, there are good things in store...


        • #5

          You may find a good machine that you like and it might be red or even purple. What's going to happen when you need parts, technical, or even just help assistance? Did you read the post "Poor Decision" started by Patrick Carter? That right there should tell us all something.

          I have met quite a few Miller employees including Andy from this forum and Sue Feldkamp from the communications and marketing. Dave Fisher from TIG applications and I have spent many hours on the phone. I have met many others. All in all too many to mention, but thanks to all! These people are great! They care about us: the customer big and small! Some of these folks I have met a time or two and others are my friends.

          Here's the deal: Even if Miller had the second best product, we would still have the best customer service in the business! Guess what? Buy a Miller welding machine and you have the best machine available in its class and friendly helpful people to support it!


          • #6
            Precision Tig 185

            Hawk, thanks for the reply. I went to the website and sure enough it draws more current than my breaker will allow. I just rewired my garage less than a year ago and I refuse to do it again. However for the money it doesn't seem like a bad deal and I can personally say it does make pretty welds. Also it is very easy to set up. Drawing too much current is also the problem I have with the Econotig. I have also looked at the Thermal Arc 185, downloaded the manual and read it. That machine is a little tricky to set up. In addition I have looked at the ESAB Heliarc 161. Nice welder but no lift arc. I just keep comming back to Miller. I guess I just need to bend over and spend the $2800. It a hard decision though.

            Thanks again,
            W. Hatter


            • #7

              I'm sure the Lincoln Precision 185 makes pretty welds. I'll bet you I can make a very similar weld on an old Lincoln Ideal-Arc or even on an old Miller Syncrowave from 20 years ago. Sure I'll have to work a lot harder and longer to get down, but it can be done.

              Operator skill plays a tremendous role in TIG welding. The advanced square wave arc with all the frills of the Dynasty makes my job much easier. I am glad to have the machine! If you can spend the money for the Dynasty, then get it. You won't regret it in the long run. I know it's a tough decision. Take it from somebody who has welded with all kinds of TIG machines from Lincoln and Thermal Arc to San Rex, Fronius and Miller. I do prefer the Dynasty. That's an honest opinion and I would not stretch the truth about anything on this forum. I do not work for Miller and get nothing for recommending their machines. If I believed the Lincoln was a better machine, I promise I would tell you.

              If this post sounds a little rattled I just stopped for a break. I have already laid in 2 pounds of 1/8" 4043 in an old dock plate and have another pound or so to go. I am a bit tired.


              • #8
                The Micro-Start is a seperate rectifier/choke for use under 10 amps. The theory is that the larger rectifier/chole assemblies encourage too many electrons to saturate the larger system in a low current application and end up with a large current spike at the begining of the arc start. Lincoln feels that they can reduce the spike by reducing the saturable area of the rectifier/choke. I guess it works ok.

                The PT185 is a xformer/ scr machine similar to the 180SD. It shouldnt be compared to the inverters. The inverters, operate off of a different rectification/induction choke system that eliminates the need for a MircoStart type of band aid. If you have the money get the dynasty, otherwise, wait and save for it.

                A solid tig weld is composed of 95% skill, 5% technology/machine.


                • #9
                  I can't add a whole lot to what has already been said here. The Precision Tig 185 is a decent tig machine, by Lincoln standards, but it is not comparable to the Dynasty 200. If you wish to compare, compare it to a Syncrowave 180 SD, and you will find that the Lincoln, as usual, still draws more amperage.

                  I think that the 185 is an answer to the fact that the Lincoln 175 was getting it's butt kicked by the 180SD. So Lincoln came up with a much better machine than the 175, but guess what? Miller also upgraded the 180SD and took away any advantage that Lincoln hoped to gain in that segment of the market.

                  The extra money that you spend on a Dynasty 200 will be a savings in the long run, especially when you consider the cost of having to add a larger circut to your shop. Then there will be the ongoing savings in power costs every time you strike an arc. The Dynasty is a fantastic machine and you will never be sorry that you waited to save enough money for one.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GTA/SPEC
                    If you have the money get the dynasty, otherwise, wait and save for it.

                    A solid tig weld is composed of 95% skill, 5% technology/machine.

                    GTA/SPEC BIG 10-4! to both!