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Syncrowave 180SD vs Thermal Arc 185TSW

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  • JET
    replied
    Conrad, the duty cycle you have listed for the TA185 is for stick, not TIG. I too went through this same decision just a bit ago. I was set on getting a used Syncro250 after being told the TA185 wouldn't be up to the task of doing 1/8". You are looking at about a 30% duty cycle on 1/8". That is pretty poor when you are talking production.

    I was going to pick up my syncro250 this week, but now I am starting to think again. Although I could always resell it, I am getting it with a bernard chiller for $1,200 and it is only 8 years old.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laiky
    replied
    I got my 200dx from cyberweld.com for 2317 delivered to my door. The contractor kit with a 150A aircooled torch and foot amptrol was 570. You will also need some lanthanated tungstens although the kit comes with ceriated the lanth works better. In my research i found cyberweld the cheapest. I would have liked to get it local but my supplier was almost 700 more plus tax.

    Leave a comment:


  • Conrad_Turbo
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnV
    As an option instead of Ebay you can buy from http://www.aaaweldingsupply.com/. He usually can do $1650 shipped with the accessory kit. That is where I bought mine. His service is really nice to!

    My other issue is people downing the repair service/tech support for Thermal Arc. Has anyone here actually confirmed that there is not much support? I really think this comes down to not many people actually needing support from TA so there is not much info floating around regarding the service. Even my local welding supply shop in NC services the TA-185.

    John
    Thanks John! I have heard things about warrenty and such...but haven't heard of specific cases, neither have you? Haha. I am not sure if a Canadian Thermal Arc dealer will service a non-CSA approved welder. I will definately look into that in the next while.

    Originally posted by rain252
    In this price range, I would buy the TA185 hands down.
    You just get so much more and it weighs about 40#, way less electricity out of the wall to run the thing. I wouldn't be taking it other places much, but it certainly would be a nice feature to have. 240v 1-phase power is in virtually everybody's house, at least in the form of a dryer outlet, so it could go just about anywhere easily. And advanced squarewave inverter technology. If I were buying one today, it would go to eBay for $1676 delivered. Yes, its a bit of a chance about service.....but for all these differences, I would take the chance and go inverter. That is, unless I find a way to step up and buy the Dynasty 200DX. I think the old transformer machines are great, but the time will come when I want to Tig something somewhere else, or move, and I don't want to deal with the power hungry, 200#+ monsters.
    Just my 2 cents.
    True, weird I thought there would be more backing support on a Miller product on a Miller forum. I came on here thinking I would find a lot of good facts about the 180SD...instead I got more on the 185TSW. Haha.

    As for inverter technology, I wonder how the Dynasty 200DX compares to the TA 185TSW? I did some comparisons between the TA to the 200DX to see how it stacks up to something that costs another $700 on top. Sure the TA will have some downfalls compared to something $700 more, but I wanted to see how many downfalls there really are (other than the larger amperage range, 1-200amps).

    This is something I threw together: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...n1982/tig2.jpg

    Not much for differences other than some ranges of adjustment, a lot of which aren't even on the 180SD at all. Not bad for being $700 cheaper.

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnV
    replied
    As an option instead of Ebay you can buy from http://www.aaaweldingsupply.com/. He usually can do $1650 shipped with the accessory kit. That is where I bought mine. His service is really nice to!

    My other issue is people downing the repair service/tech support for Thermal Arc. Has anyone here actually confirmed that there is not much support? I really think this comes down to not many people actually needing support from TA so there is not much info floating around regarding the service. Even my local welding supply shop in NC services the TA-185.

    John

    Leave a comment:


  • Conrad_Turbo
    replied
    Originally posted by PineKnot
    In fairness, you should be aware that TMT is the author of a recent very long and acrimonious (on his part) thread here generally having to do with Miller's discontinuing the PC-300 (pulser) accessory without telling him in advance. As you can see, he has little nice to say about Miller. He is, of course, entitled to his opinions but you are also entitled to know there is definitely an old axe being ground here.
    I have an older 180SD for which I bought a very nice used PC-300 recently, as I'm doing a lot of aluminum lately, all thin stuff. I'm sure I'd be better off with a Dynasty or other inverter, but honestly for the money I've got invested this is a very satisfactory combination. Personal experiences differ, but I've found support from my Miller distributor to be excellent when needed.
    Ya I did recall reading that thread, in all honesty, I'd be pretty frustrated/angry as well. Dropping thousands of dollars on something and finding out that you were misinformed...but then that's a whole other topic and we'll leave it at that.

    If I could find a used 180SD with PC-300 I might go that route but it seems difficult to source used TIG equipment that will go for a reasonable price. I know buying my first machine the capability of TIG welding will rest 99.999% on me, but I just want to ensure that in the $1800 price range I am getting a machine that won't limit me in the future once I become proficient at TIG.

    In all honesty I don't think it's fair to compare a Dynasty 200 with a Thermal Arc 185tsw, it's like comparing BMW to a Honda. They're in different price ranges and thus it's not a fair comparison. If I had the extra $1000 then I might go with the Dynasty, but I don't have an extra $1000 budgeted for a TIG. Let's keep this on topic of welders in the similar price range, or else we could very well drag in every commercial TIG machine in this topic. In the $1600-1700 price range there are 3 main candidates and the comparisons I found between them:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...an1982/tig.jpg

    Looking at this and reviewing the specs of all 3...it looks as if the Thermal Arc comes out on top. What do you guys think? Anything I am missing?

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    200DX VS ta185

    if this is youre choice options, then the dynasty if you can swing the extra $$$ is a better choice.
    the dynasty will give you 15exta amps on the top end and will draw 10amps less comming out of the wall, with the 110V option you can literaly plug it into anything, including a small genny for a quick fix in the middle of no where.it also burns stick great and you know that support from miller will be there if ever you should need it.
    i had the same choices that you now face a lil wile back and after checking and rechecking and fighting with the $$ isue i decided the dyn200DX is realy a better way to go.unforchanetly in my situation $$$ is a big problem, and as such a family emergency took my tig $$$ so i am saving again some day ill get there.

    Leave a comment:


  • PineKnot
    replied
    Originally posted by Conrad_Turbo
    PS. TMT you sound very bitter about Miller. LOL! I can see where you are coming from though, if you invest thousands of dollars into a piece of machinery you **** well expect a mfg. to support you and keep you in the loop of product development.
    In fairness, you should be aware that TMT is the author of a recent very long and acrimonious (on his part) thread here generally having to do with Miller's discontinuing the PC-300 (pulser) accessory without telling him in advance. As you can see, he has little nice to say about Miller. He is, of course, entitled to his opinions but you are also entitled to know there is definitely an old axe being ground here.
    I have an older 180SD for which I bought a very nice used PC-300 recently, as I'm doing a lot of aluminum lately, all thin stuff. I'm sure I'd be better off with a Dynasty or other inverter, but honestly for the money I've got invested this is a very satisfactory combination. Personal experiences differ, but I've found support from my Miller distributor to be excellent when needed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Conrad_Turbo
    replied
    I found out there are ThermalArc dealers in Western Canada...I called them and they let me know that the product isn't CSA approved and he wouldn't know when it would be approved.

    I am leaning more and more to the TA as it seems to offer so much with a very competitive price, the only drawbacks is the quality of the case (plasitc vs metal) and the warrenty support if I ever need it.

    Any of you have pics of some welds from a TA or 180SD? I definately want the pulsing feature as I will be doing thin sheet metal work along with wanting good cosmetic looking welds.

    PS. TMT you sound very bitter about Miller. LOL! I can see where you are coming from though, if you invest thousands of dollars into a piece of machinery you **** well expect a mfg. to support you and keep you in the loop of product development.

    Leave a comment:


  • Too_Many_Tools
    replied
    Originally posted by Conrad_Turbo
    TMT I read your first link...kind of scary and definately something that I will have to watch out for. So from what I gather the 180SD has no pusler, the Lincoln has a "joke" of a pulsing feature...and the TA185 gets rave reviews. This topic is making my decision easier, I am also going totally unbiased into this as I do have a few Lincolns and have never touched (let alone seen in person) a Thermal Arc unit.

    That is what I am afraid of considering if I want the TA I have no local support at all. I don't see anything wrong with inverters, they are new technology, more efficient but the fact that you hear of ANCIENT transformer units that have been working fine since day one. But then if the TA185 is getting great reliability reviews then maybe I don't have that much to worry about. I think my decision would be 100x easier if I could go to my local welding shop and pick up a TA and have local support, while as I could do that with Lincoln or Miller...but I don't want to have to buy an "inferior" machine just because I can get it locally.

    How common is it for a TIG machine to need serious repairs? I know it all depends on the environment and useage...but I have never really delt with TIG or know of the maintenance rate they go under.
    In regards to the SD180, if you KNOW that you will never want pulsing capability then I would consider it a good choice for a transformer based machine since the design has been around long enough to work the bugs out. I do know that one of the very capabilities that Miller proudly proclaims with its other welders is pulsing capability so they do consider it to be an important feature. The irony is that they don't apparently consider ongoing product support to paying customers as important. I also know that several prospective buyers for used welders that I have talked to are now using the fact that the PC-300 has been discontinued as negotiating leverage with sellers when shopping for an used SD180 to get lower prices.

    As for repair rates on inverter based machines, those figures are closely guarded by both Lincoln and Miller. I would suggest doing what I did. Talk to a number of dealers and their support depots to get a feel for what welders are being repaired. The ones that don't come in for repair are the ones you want to buy. I also checked what major subassemblies cost for both the various transformer and inverter based welders. Be sure to be sitting down when they give you the prices....you won't believe the numbers. One theme I saw was costs for inverter modules that exceeded the cost of the welder. In other words, once the warranty is expired if a major failure occurs the welder will be uneconomical to repair. I would consider the length of the warranty for an inverter based welder to be important and would weight that heavily in my purchasing decision. When I was shopping for a TIG, I checked and Miller did not offer an extended warranty so I did not buy a Miller inverter TIG.

    Good luck with your research and let us know what you end up getting.

    TMT

    Leave a comment:


  • ASKANDY
    replied
    Conrad_Turbo,

    Welcome,

    The TA185 and the Sync 180 are clearly different beasts. For Alum, the TA would have more arc features over the Sync. As for the rest, it should be comparable. It seems you did some research already about where these units are built and the service network in your area. If I new I could get service and aluminum was most of what I did, then maybe the TA 185 is a good choice for you.

    Good luck

    Andy

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnV
    replied
    I thought I heard somewhere that CSA approval for the TA-185 was going to happen. Did you try calling Thermal Arc and see if they have any idea if that is true? That may help your decision some

    Thermal Arc

    PS...Though I am still somewhat of a newbie weldor I have a TA-185 and love it. No problems with anything so far.

    John

    Leave a comment:


  • Conrad_Turbo
    replied
    Originally posted by orgalmeister
    How thick are the pieces you want to weld? Obviously the Miller and the TA are close in amps. Anything over 3/16" in aluminum is pushing it. Probably even 1/8" for any length of time will be hard on either of these machines in a production atmosprere.

    Steve
    For aluminum I'll be doing light gauge, up to as thick as 3/16". I know the limit I want to spend, I just want to get the "better" of the two machines considering they are basically the same cost.

    TMT I read your first link...kind of scary and definately something that I will have to watch out for. So from what I gather the 180SD has no pusler, the Lincoln has a "joke" of a pulsing feature...and the TA185 gets rave reviews. This topic is making my decision easier, I am also going totally unbiased into this as I do have a few Lincolns and have never touched (let alone seen in person) a Thermal Arc unit.

    costs of repairing an inverter based welder
    That is what I am afraid of considering if I want the TA I have no local support at all. I don't see anything wrong with inverters, they are new technology, more efficient but the fact that you hear of ANCIENT transformer units that have been working fine since day one. But then if the TA185 is getting great reliability reviews then maybe I don't have that much to worry about. I think my decision would be 100x easier if I could go to my local welding shop and pick up a TA and have local support, while as I could do that with Lincoln or Miller...but I don't want to have to buy an "inferior" machine just because I can get it locally.

    How common is it for a TIG machine to need serious repairs? I know it all depends on the environment and useage...but I have never really delt with TIG or know of the maintenance rate they go under.

    Leave a comment:


  • Too_Many_Tools
    replied
    Before you spend the money on a SD180, check out this thread....

    http://www.millermotorsports.com/mbo...ead.php?t=2719

    Because of the PC-300 discontinuation, the SD180 DOES NOT have pulse capability even though Miller advertises that it does. If the accessory is not available as a current offering from the company, the functionality doesn't exist either.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...ve_180_sd.html

    You may be able to find an used PC-300 but don't bet on it.

    Because of PLS, the PC-300 isn't the only thing being discontinued without telling the user community.

    Since I had recently purchased a SD180 after checking first that the PC-300 would specifically be supported, I am understandably really upset as are others. The lack of any company response from Miller in respect to our requests for further information speaks volumes as for what to really expect for service after the sale.

    One of the reasons why I bought a SD180 is that I found that the costs of repairing an inverter based welder (including those of Miller) are MUCH more expensive than a transformer based machine. Funny how that never comes up in the inverter discussions. What I also found was that most inverter based welders are soon sold after their warranty period expires.

    So, if I was going to buy a smaller TIG today I would look at the offerings from Lincoln (175 Pro - which has its own loyal following and comes with pulsing capability) or consider the TA185 (which has gotten very good reviews including reliability) before considering the SD180. If you feel that you must buy the SD180, I would wait since it is likely that Miller will be releasing a version with a self contained pulser due to the competition from Lincoln which Miller considers (rightly so) as their threat to market share.

    TMT

    Leave a comment:


  • orgalmeister
    replied
    How thick are the pieces you want to weld? Obviously the Miller and the TA are close in amps. Anything over 3/16" in aluminum is pushing it. Probably even 1/8" for any length of time will be hard on either of these machines in a production atmosprere.

    Steve

    Leave a comment:


  • Conrad_Turbo
    replied
    Originally posted by TOMWELDS
    Check out the lincoln 185. Comes standard with pulse. $1725. here
    I have checked out the Lincoln as well...apparantly the pulser feature is a joke (or so I hear) compared to the TA. I asked about the Miller since I figured there would be a lot of Miller folk here to back up their product. I will be asking similar questions on a Lincoln forum to hear how their product stacks up as well.

    Right now it seems the TA is on top (in terms of reviews), but I want to make sure I get the full story and get every angle. I'm just not very experienced with TIG yet so I just want to hear what the long time experts have to say.

    Leave a comment:

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