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  • Miller Bluestar 180k

    older machine, from I believe the 90's. I see lots of info on other bluestar models but not the 180k. Anyways I'm not a new welder, this machine runs 7018 like a top but has an unstable arc with 6010. Whip and pause was the method used on 1/8" electrode. When I whip ahead of the puddle the arc goes out whip back in and established arc again. I mainly have experience with 6010 on 240 and 480 transformer machines and haven't experienced this type of action relating to 6010. Is this normal on a smaller welder generator? Also machine will not idle down. Runs on high constantly. Any info and experience with this welder would be greatly appreciated. Also wandering if my heavy leads are over kill and affecting 6010 performance with this machine, believe I have 2/0 cable. Would something like 2 gauge be better suited to this machine?

  • #2
    Side note. First time running this machine. Had a weak battery that I plan on replacing before running on it again. Not sure if that could affect weld output or arc stability. Pretty new to engine drive welding, have run on a Lincoln ranger 225 quiet a bit and that machine took some getting used to as well. Maybe I just need some stick time on this bluestar. Hope to fix the auto idle function though.

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    • #3
      Won't idle down...Check the toggle switch. if the switch is good, check to see if you have 12 VDC on the 2 wires at the solenoid when in idle mode.
      If both are good, forget about it. Board is bad and obsolete.

      Welding issues....Check for 75 OCV on the output studs. Check to make sure the brushes are good and the slip rings are clean and not grooved. Check the RPM's in high. You should have around 120-128 VAC on the 100 plugs or 60-63 HZ. Of course make sure your leads, stinger, ground and rods are good.

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      • #4
        Ten4 will do. Thanks for the help.

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        • #5
          Stuck out on this rig for a couple more days for work till I can get home to mess with it. So if it turns out to be the board that is messed up that won't let it auto idle is that the idle control module you are referring to? Saw one on ebay but not sure it's the correct part.

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          • #6
            My bad. You are correct. This machine has a separate Idle Module. It is still available. You'll need to check power at the solenoid. If 12VDC isn't present check power coming in to the Module. CR4, an ice cube relay is in the circuit also.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cas8101 View Post
              ...Also wandering if my heavy leads are over kill and affecting 6010 performance with this machine, believe I have 2/0 cable. Would something like 2 gauge be better suited to this machine?
              Heavy leads aren't overkill for the machine unless they are so heavy they are breaking off at the connectors. The other downside is having to haul them around and lay them out. You'll probably enjoy a lighter lead on the last 10+ feet near the stinger, too.

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              • #8
                Been slammed at work and haven't got to check into diagnosing why it won't auto idle yet. Had a totally different problem pop up that I fought for a few days until I figured out what the problem was. Motor wouldn't run, turned out to be a bent push rod on the intake side. Got that lined out and running again, now back to the auto idle. I suspect the idle control module but haven't confirmed it. But wanted to let y'all know what I have found out about the module, may help another who needed to hunt one down. The replacement part is 189742 and is really expensive around 450$. There is an aftermarket for 150$ that I'm looking into. But it got me thinking, the idle control modules on the new blue stars and bobcats is part number 201936 and is a 130$, talked to Miller today and they confirmed it could be modified to use on my welder by attaching a jump wire between post B and post H on the module. Obviously I can't confirm this yet but the miller support guy said it would work.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cas8101 View Post
                  . . . talked to Miller today and they confirmed it could be modified to use on my welder by attaching a jump wire between post B and post H on the module. Obviously I can't confirm this yet but the miller support guy said it would work.
                  Sounds right. I instructed another owner to do the same some time ago and it worked for him. Those $$$ figures sound familiar too.

                  That being said, I don't recall if his was the 180K or not and haven't looked up your information but I know other modules can be made to work. If the Miller Customer Service Tech confirmed what you posted then I'd say you're safe to go for it.
                  MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
                  Syncrowave 180 SD
                  Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
                  *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
                  *HF-251D-1
                  *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
                  PakMaster 100XL
                  Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

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                  • #10
                    Was checking OCV on the machine today, only got 70 volts. But I hadn't run any rods to warm the machine up not sure if that affects the reading or not. Info on the machine says OCV should be 76 volts. Getting 120volts and 60HZ on the plugs. I don't have a tach but I'm guessing if the governor is adjustable I could speed the engine up and produce some more OCV volts? Gonna run some rods tmrw on it and then check the OCV again and see if it reads closer to 76 or not. Need to go get some new 6010 rods to check if the reason it's a PITA to run 6010 on this machine is do to my old rods or not. It will run 6010 if the arc length is kept very close and rod angle is consistent, have to use a much more abbreviated version of whip and pause than my normal style with that rod on this machine to get it to run them without being to annoying. May just be this machine doesn't like 6010. No complaints with how it runs 7018 though. Appreciate yalls input.

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                    • #11
                      Keep in mind the spec OCV is +/- 10%.

                      However, with auxiliary power output right at 60Hz (3600rpm) your no-load speed is 150rpm too slow. High idle spec is 3750rpm to allow for governor droop (drop in speed under load) which would be 62.5Hz at no-load.

                      OCV will actually drop slightly as the alternator heats up as the heat causes an increase in electrical resistance.
                      MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
                      Syncrowave 180 SD
                      Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
                      *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
                      *HF-251D-1
                      *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
                      PakMaster 100XL
                      Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
                      http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

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                      • #12
                        Alright so today started crossing things off the won't idle down situation. Fuse under main panel or hood as I would call it is good, checked the auto idle toggle switch next and it's good. Did this at lunch when I get home this evening gonna check for 12v at the solenoid, if getting 12v at solenoid does this mean it has to be either the module or the CR4 relay? And by the way some new Lincoln 6010 and 6011 run acceptable on this machine. The other 6010 I was having problems with were either old or this machine just didn't like them.

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                        • #13
                          If I don't get 12v at solenoid besides checking ground and power connections to it does this mean the solenoid that is bad? Sorry electrical components and circuits are not my expertise.

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                          • #14
                            Found a short wire from CR4 today not plugged into anything that I believe plugs into the idle control module. Just need to find out what terminal it goes into. I have a 5 pin module with only three terminals with wires connected to them. Fingers crossed this is my problem

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                            • #15
                              Looks like it plugs into terminal C according to the online manual I looked at. When I get home from work gonna give it a go and see what happens.

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