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325 trailblazer. sounds like a board!

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  • 325 trailblazer. sounds like a board!



    thursday afternoon i was welding on a trailer. i put down the stinger and shut off the machine to use the phone. when finished i started the machine (325 TB) but i could not strike an arc also the display was blank. i tried running a couple of power tools off the 110 outlets. nada.


    this is not good because i am jammed and need the machine. first i call appleton and talk to tech support; of course he went to the default answer;'sounds like a board'. next i call a miller certified repair person who has done work on a couple of machines i have owned over the years. he listens and replies 'sounds like a board'. i drive home and log on and start doing a historical search of threads dealing with this problem and there are quite a few, though more for the 302.

    always it's PC1, no PC2, no both PC1 and PC2.



    now it's friday morning, i am on site and i start the machine again hoping for a miracle. no go, still no display, no welding. I called two area repair shops and was told 2 weeks to a month before i'd get it back.


    i start shopping machines and buy one from IOC friday pm and have it shipped to site. in the mean time i take the 325 to the barn and start to dismantle it to have a look inside. i went to the front and for the heck of it i tried to crank it. dead. the battery is dead. after removing the back panel and then the battery i pop the cap to check the acid level and i'm looking at fins.


    it is now saturday and i have rented a bobcat from united for the weekend. that night i drive to walmart buy a battery, quickly on sunday morning i hooked it up, cranked it and what do you know. full display, everything is back to normal.


    moral here; if i had brought it in for repair sure as **** it would have been a board or maybe two.

    the ‘it must be a board’ catchall reminds me of the 'bad gas' excuse that so many new to welding welders seem to be victims of.

    Tuesday am, new 325 arrives, oh well, can’t hurt to have two; at least for now.

    hope this helps someone in the future.


    By the way if you are on the fence about EFI and excel power i would say skip it and save yourself about 1800 dollars. you won't miss either function.
    Last edited by lonewelder; 10-14-2019, 06:39 PM.

  • #2
    Well that's what I needed, a guy who didn't get screwed story to make my day. Good for you! And thanks for sharing the reminder to check the simple before assuming the worse.

    Comment


    • #3
      I second Noel's comment....Nice to hear of a positive outcome.

      Had a similar experience with my car. Started and ran ok, except for a very intermittent and very short-lived hesitation; sometimes some dashboard indicators would blink on dimly when they shouldn't, and the heater would occasionally switch itself to the instrument panel vents from defrost, and back again. "Must be a computer problem". Hmmm--I'm a little too old to just jump into that much money instantly. Thankfully, the battery was not sealed--cells were accessible. One cell had significantly lower specific gravity than the others, but still in spec. New battery--all is well, for two years now.

      Comment


      • #4
        100% guarantee if the machine had gone to a shop it would have needed a board and while they were in there they'd have found the battery was sorry so they changed it too, to save you another headache. The board it came back with would have been the board it went in with too, just cleaned and maybe siliconed.

        Good follow thru on your part, + a bit of luck and you converted a $100 repair to a $100 fix.
        I think you also just disclosed why those machines should never be jump started.
        With all the power available when the machine is running, Miller chose to connect the electronics to the starting battery. CUTE MOVE Miller department.

        Many of my machines & tractors are equipped with cigar lighters, all have battery switches. The lighters are convenient for the $4- plug in digital voltmeters I've probably donated 20 of and a good place to plug in trickle chargers.

        I'd love to spend an hour with one of them little powerboxes and see what's inside. I have a couple hunches, and if I'm right that box costs less than $100 to build.

        Well done. Good catches, and never trust a modern battery.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well somethings missing in your story. No tech at Appleton or a CST would immediately say it's a board if you haven't even taken the hood off? First thing a tech will tell you it all starts at the brushes. So after all the phone calls then you decided to look around? Hmmm

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          • #6
            Well, after all that, at least it wasn't an OOF* faliure.




            * Out Of Fuel

            Whatcha gonna do with the new machine from IOC?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 1997CST View Post
              Well somethings missing in your story. No tech at Appleton or a CST would immediately say it's a board if you haven't even taken the hood off? First thing a tech will tell you it all starts at the brushes. So after all the phone calls then you decided to look around? Hmmm
              I agree, as a tech for many years I would have never jump to a bad p c board with out first check a few other things out first, and Appleton is going to ask those same questions before going to a bad board.

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              • #8
                Appleton EEOC employees only there till they find a fool to pay their student loans only ask what the screen tells them to ask.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Franz© View Post
                  Appleton EEOC employees only there till they find a fool to pay their student loans only ask what the screen tells them to ask.
                  That isn't true at all. They are great guys.
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post

                    That isn't true at all. They are great guys.
                    They have no shortage of capacity to GRATE on my seating surface.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post

                      That isn't true at all. They are great guys.
                      I have to agree, albeit certain tech departments generally know more than others. They tend to help me out quite a lot. They can help me troubleshoot down to the board level issue, and help me identify component specs if I give them the board/assembly and suspect component numbers. Anything late 90's and before is understandably a crapshoot, but fortunately, most schematics are available for those machines with a little digging (eg troubleshooting a S-22P12, I had to go all the way back to version C of the owner's manual to find a schematic).
                      Last edited by jjohn76; 10-22-2019, 03:48 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Every Appleton tech specializes in their field of knowledge. They are by far smarter than any of us on their particular equipment. I've done this 22 years and not one time have I been disappointed in the quality of their advise. If you've had an experience that is less than perfect maybe you misunderstood their advise or fail to comprehend it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 1997CST View Post
                          Every Appleton tech specializes in their field of knowledge. They are by far smarter than any of us on their particular equipment. I've done this 22 years and not one time have I been disappointed in the quality of their advise. If you've had an experience that is less than perfect maybe you misunderstood their advise or fail to comprehend it.
                          NO!
                          I've been at it a lot more than 22 years, and I have direct knowledge of the PURGE of both Appleton and Ohio.
                          I'm also well aware of the harvest of Miller Electric documentation after Supergiantmegacorp bought Miller Electric, and shutting down direct phone lines to the men who knew the machines so MegaChina could fly their EEOC crap and 80/20 Policy.

                          All of this followed MegaSuperCorp killing the Dealer Network that had made Miller Electric Welders a market presence, and No Parts Available 7 years after the last unit of that model was shipped.

                          Your problem is all you know began the day you started.

                          Have you noticed what SuperGisantInterstellar is doing with Smith Torches?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hope my previous post didn't imply that I am not very grateful for their assistance. Part of it is expectations and I think the other part is access. I tend to try to troubleshoot board problems, with the advice received more directed to major component replacement. I always get help identifying board components that are beyond visual identification (burnt beyond recognition), but the techs either don't have access to or can't disclose the information on the board schematics. It takes much longer to retrace than interpret board schematics, for me at least. It just seems that this level of information was much more readily available before the late 90's. Do you think this has more to do with outsourcing or consolidating designs? I noticed it's very hard to find information about some of my other welders that seem to be either Sanrex or Panasonic designs.
                            Last edited by jjohn76; 10-24-2019, 12:51 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Real simple John; Miller Electric ceased to exist after about 95, and blue became another Department of Supergiantworldwidemegacorp.

                              Then came EEOC compliante
                              Then came the harvest of all Miller Electric documentation.
                              Then came the outplacement of men who knew the machines
                              Supergiantworldwidemegacorp builds and sells new welders and they are more profitable than keeping machines in the field running.
                              Supergiantworldwidemegacorp operates on the 80/20 concept, and profit is all that matters.

                              You can't get support or parts for a machine more than 7 years beyond final manufacture date, you will probably buy a new replacement.

                              You're right about no information on even Supergiantworldwidemegacorp machines made in the 90s or 00s being available on the system. It gets purged regularly.

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