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  • New (to me) Airco 3A

    I've been having tremendous trouble with the forum here getting this topic posted, for some reason the site has just fought me every step of the way. I've been trying to post pictures, but the site keeps telling me they're too big. They were fine on the last site and I don't know how to make them smaller...anyway...driving on...

    So I got my hands on a brand spanking new, 1974 Airco Model 3A/DDR-224HPA/B-D, s/n HF831197. I've named her "the heavy"...

    I've been looking for a larger welding machine and I got a good deal on it. Came out of a sheet metal fab shop. The owner said they don't have much use for a TIG machine anymore since the advanced MIG process has gotten so good. They pretty much wrapped it in plastic and parked it in a corner for the last three years. Supposedly it worked when they took it out of service. I hope so, its been hard to move around!

    Anyone out there that has experience with these machines, I'd love to hear what sort of things you think I need to get eyes on before I fire it up, which won't be for a few weeks because I have a structural repair I have go get done in the shop first. Things like tightening this or that, checking the connection on such and such, etc....that stuff would be tremendously helpful.

    This is a one owner machine too, and the guy had the user's manual with it. It looks like I'll need to replace the foot pedal, which I may just be able to rewire it. We'll see. Sure would help to be able top post some pictures here!

    When I lifted the front cover, it looks like some black lacquer running down the front of the machine inside. Its not sticky and has probably been there some time, but I don't know what it is. Again, posting some pictures would be nice. I'm gonna try again later, but I don't have much faith that I will be successful.

    Anyway, suggestions, tips, advice and criticism welcome....

    Gracias.

    Ryan

  • #2
    Miller 330A/BP... in a different color dress.... She is a Big Girl at 870lbs.... Built for comfort not for speed... but... she will get the job done

    If you recall the old Howlin Wolf tune...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgTjuDh7dVA

    The pedal should be one of the RFC-23 family... and very simple ... the heart if it is a great big wirewound rheostat and a microwitch...
    (parts still avialable from Miller4less)

    Pedal manual

    https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow.../O826B_MIL.pdf

    Here i link to the Welder manual that matches your serial...

    https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow.../O340C_MIL.pdf

    IGNORE the WATER Solenoid connections if you have a torch water cooler... it is for running tapwater... that confuses lots of folks... (they used to call that the "City Water" option)

    BTW... you could always email those pics to me.... and I will post them for you..

    "black lacquer"..?? they used to dip the transformers in dialectric lacquer...maybe that is it..??..
    Last edited by H80N; 01-02-2016, 08:18 AM.
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

    Comment


    • #3
      The machine came with two foot pedals. One is the original one, but it's in rough shape. The other is the same model, labeled Miller, but is clearly not for this machine. My guess is they were going to use it as a replacement and just swap out the plugs.

      I'm glad you told me about that water solinoid. I was wondering how it would work with a cooler. So I'm guessing water came in, through the torch and down a drain?

      I'll try one more thing to see if I can get pictures up. If I can't, I'll email them to you tomorrow when I'm at work. Thanks man!

      Comment


      • #4
        Holy crap that song is awesome! "The heavy" has a theme song!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post

          I'm glad you told me about that water solinoid. I was wondering how it would work with a cooler. So I'm guessing water came in, through the torch and down a drain?
          Yup... simple and effective... BUT... if you had hard water... the deposits would end up clogging the coolant passages ruining the torch....

          BTW... those pedals are becoming scarcer and scarcer..... so keep the spare in the VALUABLE pile

          ALSO... there were a few different resistor values in that family... so your spare may NOT be a direct swap... ohm them out..
          Last edited by H80N; 01-02-2016, 08:59 AM.
          .

          *******************************************
          The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

          “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

          Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

          My Blue Stuff:
          Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
          Dynasty 200DX
          Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
          Millermatic 200

          TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

          Comment


          • #6
            The spare doesn't even have the right plug on it. It has one instead of two and maybe a 6 pin connector, something like that. Hopefully I can make one out of two work. The original one will absolutely need new wires from the pedal to the machine.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
              The spare doesn't even have the right plug on it. It has one instead of two and maybe a 6 pin connector, something like that. Hopefully I can make one out of two work. The original one will absolutely need new wires from the pedal to the machine.
              6pin might be the NEW style for semiconductor controlled machines... may not be compatible with your Mag-Amplifier machine...

              pics of the pedal insides will tell.....

              Might this old girl be "Helga Heliwelder"................
              .

              *******************************************
              The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

              “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

              Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

              My Blue Stuff:
              Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
              Dynasty 200DX
              Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
              Millermatic 200

              TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

              Comment


              • #8
                You think she's German? I'm not sure, she doesn't speak much...yet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  You think she's German? I'm not sure, she doesn't speak much...yet.
                  Nordic heritage at any rate.....

                  She came from Appleton... Lots of Germans... and Scandinavians up there.......

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Besides... why else would she be wearing a viking helmet with horns....
                  Last edited by H80N; 01-02-2016, 08:54 PM.
                  .

                  *******************************************
                  The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                  “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                  Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                  My Blue Stuff:
                  Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                  Dynasty 200DX
                  Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                  Millermatic 200

                  TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ryan's PICs

                    Click image for larger version

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                    There Ya Go....
                    .

                    *******************************************
                    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                    My Blue Stuff:
                    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                    Dynasty 200DX
                    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                    Millermatic 200

                    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And the last ones
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                      Click image for larger version

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                      .... She'z a little rough.... Maybe been Rode Hard & Put Away Wet......
                      Last edited by H80N; 01-04-2016, 02:16 PM.
                      .

                      *******************************************
                      The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                      “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                      Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                      My Blue Stuff:
                      Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                      Dynasty 200DX
                      Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                      Millermatic 200

                      TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        and for some reason, I couldn't post that stuff...guess you have to be 10% smarter than your equipment?

                        As you can see, she's been used. The shop I got her out of said they got the machine new, used it all the time for sheet metal aluminum fab work up until about three years ago when they moved into the advanced mig processes saving them time and money. Looks to me like they've had some work done on it in the past by the labeling of the HF doohickey 1,2,3 & 4. You can see in the last picture the black schmoo I mentioned. Its hard and smooth like dried lacquer would be. The inside of the machine looks as you'd expect it to look, a bit dusty, but I also haven't undressed her completely.

                        On the right side, under the front lid, is a place that looks like its for a 115v outlet, but there is nothing there. I think I'd like to complete that if at all possible. Maybe by the time I get my shop repaired and moving back into it I'll have figured out how to post some pics myself without being so needy to other members on this site.

                        My plan right now is to take the sides off, blow the dust out, look for anything obviously wrong, put a plug on it and see if she chooches.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ryan

                          could you take a PIC higher up of where that black goop may have oozed from..??

                          maybe the work that had been done to it was replacing the Oozer...??
                          .

                          *******************************************
                          The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                          “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                          Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                          My Blue Stuff:
                          Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                          Dynasty 200DX
                          Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                          Millermatic 200

                          TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            that doodad in the top corner of the picture, whatever it is, is the place where the schoo comes from. When I get off shift tomorrow, I'll see if I can get a better picture and upload it...we'll see if I can figure it out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                              that doodad in the top corner of the picture, whatever it is, is the place where the schoo comes from. When I get off shift tomorrow, I'll see if I can get a better picture and upload it...we'll see if I can figure it out.
                              From what I can see... the origin point is someplace above that oil filled cap

                              Maybe the HV transformer for the HF assy mounted to the backside of that red fiberglass plank..??
                              Last edited by H80N; 01-04-2016, 05:59 PM.
                              .

                              *******************************************
                              The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                              “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                              Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                              My Blue Stuff:
                              Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                              Dynasty 200DX
                              Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                              Millermatic 200

                              TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                              Comment

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