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  • problems with Syncrowave 180SD

    I bought a Syncrowave 180SD about a year and a half ago, I am extremely unhappy with this machine. I don't know if there is something wrong with the welder or if this is as good as it gets. It seems to be very inconsistent, It never seems to weld the same twice. I am trying to weld 5052 aluminum sheet 0.070 thick, I have tried 4043 and 5356 filler rods. I have tried 3/32" 2%thorium and pure tungsten's. 2%thorium pointed works best. I clean with a scotch brite pad and follow with acetone. I don't like the wide arc that this machine produces. It makes dirty inconsistent welds. Its like I have to learn how to weld all over again each time I weld. There are no adjustments on this machine except for Balance/Dig, so it cant be a set up problem, and I have had an electrician check the incoming power with no problems there ether. This machine has been in for repair a couple of times, and the rep has even welded with it at my shop.(I don't think he knew how to weld) Every one gives me the impression that this is as good as it gets. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? I don't know what else to do.

    This machine had a massive surging problem, (you would hear a large power serge, and blow a 1/2" hole in what ever you were welding) this was previously repaired. Has any one else had any problems with the Syncrowave?

  • #2
    First I would run the correct tungsten type. Get yourself some 3/32 zirconiated
    Brown stripe ones. It will give you all that machine has on ac. You still will get a wider cleaning zone, compared to a inverter set up right.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ive only had my 180sd for about 2 weeks and so far It has not impressed me but I can't be sure yet as I am still learning to tig weld. I find this maching is very ineficicent as far a power needs. But the final verdict isn't in yet I will try again till I master this machine or get rid of it . Can this machine be good?
      30Aspool gun
      XMT350CC/CV
      74DxFEEDER
      SYNCROWAVE 180SD
      Optrel Sat blue
      Hypertherm 1250

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      • #4
        Bad argon may be the problem. I have a Sync 250 at work that has no problems. It did have a problem with no solder joints on the remote circuit board, but I fixed that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Darcyb
          I bought a Syncrowave 180SD about a year and a half ago, I am extremely unhappy with this machine. I don't know if there is something wrong with the welder or if this is as good as it gets. It seems to be very inconsistent, It never seems to weld the same twice. I am trying to weld 5052 aluminum sheet 0.070 thick, I have tried 4043 and 5356 filler rods. I have tried 3/32" 2%thorium and pure tungsten's. 2%thorium pointed works best. I clean with a scotch brite pad and follow with acetone. I don't like the wide arc that this machine produces. It makes dirty inconsistent welds. Its like I have to learn how to weld all over again each time I weld. There are no adjustments on this machine except for Balance/Dig, so it cant be a set up problem, and I have had an electrician check the incoming power with no problems there ether. This machine has been in for repair a couple of times, and the rep has even welded with it at my shop.(I don't think he knew how to weld) Every one gives me the impression that this is as good as it gets. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? I don't know what else to do.

          This machine had a massive surging problem, (you would hear a large power serge, and blow a 1/2" hole in what ever you were welding) this was previously repaired. Has any one else had any problems with the Syncrowave?
          I'm just curious about a few things....What is your current set at and how much argon is flowing? Did you clean the rod with acetone also? I use a 1/16" Zirconated tungsten and I use the balance control somewhat to make a narrower bead. I've been using my 180 for about 1 1/2 years with no problems. Maybe you have a bad one.......

          mow

          Comment


          • #6
            Darcyb
            Did you buy the Synch to learn tig or did you have previous experiance ?
            Aluminum is not easy to weld with any machine.I had simulare problem when I started but but I had a lot of OA experiance that I beleive helped to quickly get over it.I'm still not good at aluminum but can get by.
            The thorium should not be used on aluminum as Scott v mentioned and bad argon is not as uncommon as you may think,I had one myself recently.
            To all who contribute to this board.
            My sincere thanks , Pete.

            Pureox OA
            Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
            Miller Syncrowave 250
            Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

            Comment


            • #7
              180sd

              Darcyb,

              I've had my 180SD for 2-1/2 years now and have never had a problem with it.

              If you suspect there is something wrong with the machine then have it checked by your local service rep or at least have an experieced weldor come by and run some beads to see for sure if it's the machine or your procedures that's causing the problems. If you bought the machine new, then get those problems resolved while you still have warranty.

              I like the zirconiated tungsten best for aluminum. 3/32 whould work fine.

              I don't know what you meant by power surging though. You mean the sound and amperage changes even when you don't move the foot pedal ??

              If it does that then you do have a machine problem.

              Check your power source under load. Hook up a volt meter at the recepticle and crank the machine to say 150 amp or better and have someone monitor the voltage drop. Shouldn't be more than a few volts. I had the power company come out a few years back to check out a brown out condition when my home A/C unit kicked on. I was at work when he called to tell me everything looked good...he checked from the weatherhead to the service panel and voltages all looked good and connections tight. I told hm to monitor voltage and turn on the A/C unit. He called back to tell me a tap on the transformer at the street was arcing. Four houses on that transformer were getting low voltage when under load.

              Don't give up on the 180SD. It's a good machine. Like anything that has electronics, it could have some problems there. Miller is great on service. Call them up and they will help resolve your problem.

              Good luck and keep us posted.

              Wb5jhy

              Comment


              • #8
                I will get some zirconium tungstens (brown) and see if that helps. I have asked a couple of welding suppliers in my area about this and they all told me to use 2% thorium (red) even Miller told me to use the 2% thorium (red) for thin gauge aluminum. I even tried to get some zirconium tungstens once and the supplier refused to sell them to me, saying they would not work.
                I have changed argon cylinders, I even changed companies, This did help some, but not where I expect it to be.
                I had two years experience tig welding aluminum transformer cores in a production line before I bought my own tig welder.
                To weld 0.070 aluminum I have the welder set between 90-100A and the gas is at 20. And I do also clean the filler rod with acetone.
                I did buy this machine new. I have had no after sales service on this machine at all. I have finally called a different supplier and there rep came to look at the Syncrowave on Monday. He ran a puddle down the edge of a piece of square tubing, And then told me what ever I wanted to hear and left. Didn't answer any of my problems, gave me the impression that it seemed to weld good enough. He never did weld anything together. he promised to call me the next day with some answers to some of questions after he talked to his service personnel, but I haven't heard form him.
                I have called Miller in Appleton WI and they are very nice, and seem to be very eager to help, They even contacted the supplier I purchased the welder from. The supplier called me to tell me there was probably something wrong, but he was going away on holidays for a month, Haven't herd from any one since.
                This machine has been in for repair twice, but I am never able to talk to anyone that worked on it. and the people I do get to talk to don't know anything.
                There is no one in the area that I could have come down and try the welder. I don't even know of any another tig welders in the area.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It sounds like youre supplyer is giveing you tungsten advice for an inverter type welder like the Dynasty.What tungsten did you use welding transformer cores ?
                  To all who contribute to this board.
                  My sincere thanks , Pete.

                  Pureox OA
                  Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                  Miller Syncrowave 250
                  Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I take that back,they also said pure witch doesnt go with the inverter.I've used pure and a little bit with the zirconiated with my Synch and the zirconiated does just fine for the little bit that I've used it.
                    To all who contribute to this board.
                    My sincere thanks , Pete.

                    Pureox OA
                    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                    Miller Syncrowave 250
                    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Its not just my suppliers, Miller also recommends using 2%cerium or thorium for thin gauge aluminum with the syncrowave 180SD.
                      I have ordered some zirconium (brown stripe) tungstens but I wont have them until Wednesday. While I was there I asked about a DynastyDX and they told me that my Syncrowave (4hr on welder) was only worth $320 on trade! NO THAT'S NOT A TYPO THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS!! and they wouldn't even give me a price on the Dynasty they said they would work out a price next week! Its good to know what a MILLER is worth for the next time I buy a welder.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My guess is that is the dealer that sets the trade in value, and they want to make a bunch on the deal or he knows where he can sell it to a friend and wants you to dump it so he can grab it up. I've seen these machines thouroughly worn go for over a grand on ebay so don't give the sucker the chance. Before you let the dealer have it for that post it to the guys here and some one would come closer to the real value.

                        Good luck,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "To weld 0.070 aluminum I have the welder set between 90-100A and the gas is at 20. And I do also clean the filler rod with acetone."


                          Darcyb,

                          Looks like you may be a little hot for .070 aluminum. I would try 60 to 70 amps and AC balance at about 4. You might want to select position 1 in the arc start menu although defualt setting 2 shouldn't be too hot. Try brushing off the weld path with a clean SS scratch brush and then cleaning with acetone or other solvent that does not leave a residue. Some scotch brite pads have aluminum oxide grit for polishing. Don't want to imbed those particles in the surface.

                          You should see a puddle PDQ when you strike the arc (.070). Add filler promptly to cool the puddle before it falls through. Then modulate the pedal to continue.

                          I sure would like to see you resolve this problem. I know the 180SD, if not defective, would do a nice job for you. I have the external pulser unit and could actually lay a bead on a beer can rim without blowing through. I'm not as steady as I would like so my welds don't look that great but I know the machine is capable of fine work.

                          Give it another try and see if you can make some progress. Let us know.



                          tom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've read this post several times the one thing I question is what is your torch angle, it should be between 75 and 90 degrees to the work piece and if your right handed work right to left and filler in the left hand at about 15 degrees from the work surface. I haven't been tigging that long so I am going through the things that gave me trouble in the beginning. I also have gotten a cylinder of bad gas and it had moisture in it and it gave me major trouble, that I thought was me. Good argon and now I rock on aluminum.

                            Hope this helps, peace

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes I do have the torch at the correct angle, I don't think I have a problem there. When I use to weld aluminum cores (we always used 2% thorium) (red) you could direct the puddle where you wanted it to go, Just a slight angle on the torch and that's were the aluminum would flow. We hardly ever used filler rod. You could flow two pieces together without a problem. Not this welder, Its a constant fight to get the aluminum to flow together. The aluminum will pool and flow in opposite directions even on thicker material. its always a race to get as much filler material in as possible. often I get a big lump of filler material in the centre and it wont even join the material. so you have three puddles sitting there and none of them want to flow together, they just sit there.

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