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Seeking powcon 300se pcb schematics

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  • Seeking powcon 300se pcb schematics

    A friend 350 miles away called me about a Powcon 300SE from which the magic smoke has escaped and it is now a sturdy paperweight. Said he's been stick welding with it for 10-15 years, running on 240 V single phase, and one day it just smoked. I found the owner's manual the the Arcon site, but no schematics for the circuit boards (not surprisingly). Does anyone have any schematics beyond what is is the owner manual available? It will be some time before I will be able to travel to look at it, but diagrams would be a big help. Thanks!

  • #2
    Aero, one of the POWCONs I haven't seen/owned, and dubbed the kaPOWCON... It has a Power Factor Correction input circuit, similar to what was in the Miller Spectrum 2050, that tended to fail more often than the previous rectifier/inrush surge resistors. Schematics, particularly for that one, are not available. Depending on what went, I might be able to help get it running. Arconweld sold the manufacturing company to their chief tech, Mike, and there is a lot of parts commonality between the Arcon Workhorse and the POWCONs. The PFC input is built around a Semikron SKM100GAL, low side chopper IGBT module (integrated IGBT and forward diode for buck or boost converters).

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    • #3
      Good info. Thanks, Jon. He sent some pictures, but not being at all familiar with the machine, they don't mean a lot to me. Except for one, it's pretty hard (at least for my old eyes) to see the damage. I'll post them up tomorrow. As I said, it will most likely be a couple of months before I see this thing. I have a sense he thinks a hundred bucks or two is what he feels is reasonable to fix it--got it for free, and used it for a long time, so that's very understandable for a hobbiest. I've already told him that might be very optimistic. All he uses it for is occasional stick welding; does mostly MIG for his old cars and trucks hobby, so my suspicion is that this thing will turn out to be a lost cause for him for that little use, and he would be further ahead with an old Thunderbolt or Stickmate.

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      • #4
        If white smoke came out, I think it will likely be more than $100, but it.may just be something like old capacitors. If you find a Spectrum 2050 Technical Manual, it will probably help in troubleshooting if the PFC IGBT module went. It's in the top half of the chassis, white IGBT module, would show some burnt power resistors nearby and probably a blown out side if it failed. The Spectrum IGBT inverter driver circuit may be helpful as well. I'll ask Mike (Arconweld Tech for a while, now owns the welding machine sales and service for them) to see if he has any insights.
        Jon

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        • #5
          If you recall, I’ve been hunting a Powcon, John. I think I want an SMT model. Any particular models you recommend to look for or steer away from I’d appreciate the tip.

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          • #6
            Ryan, I think the 300SE is the only one to earn the kaPOWCON name, and it was their IGBT effort. Pretty much all of their other inverters used the same bulletproof design. I am rebuilding a 200SM and 400SMT right now, sourcing some of the chassis/case components and capacitors from Arconweld/Mirabel. The fact that components are interchangeable is a new discovery for me, and I will confirm it once the parts arrive. If you get one, factor in about $200 to replace all of the electrolytic capacitors, which is very well worth it in my opinion. I planned to document the rebuilds are the POWCON thread you started.

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            • #7
              Is he interested in a 400 SMT-John-con special if that’s your plan with the rebuild. I’d also like the Powcon feeder to go along with it. What’s your take on the feeders? Not to hijack the living daylights out of Wayne’s thread here.....

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              • #8
                Not to hijack the living daylights out of Wayne’s thread here...

                Not a problem!

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                • #9
                  I just received the parts from Mirabel Industrial Welding Equipment (the owner was the Arconweld resident tech and bought the welding equipment line from the company), which look to be a direct fit for the POWCON - I'll confirm this weekend. No more need to hack the machines (maybe the boards, but there are companies that already have test fixtures to get them right) with parts still available. Not sure why I looked in the Arcon Workhorse manuals for the parts section, but I quickly realized they are pretty close to the same. The Arcon Workhorse welders do have some updates on the capacitors (integrated PTC either to sense overheating or prevent overcurrent, not sure which) and other components to make them more reliable in their target environment (mines and powerplant) that tends to have dirty power. Not to sound like a salesman, I have just talked with Mike often over the last several years.

                  I tend to only wire feed with .035 solid, .045 FCAW-G, or 3/64 aluminum, so don't really have too many opinions on feeders. Biggest thing for me is component availability. The POWCON PD I/E feeders use what I want to say was the old L-TEC power pin and I have had to really look for the Tweco power pin adapter. The drive rolls are special order too, and I haven't even tried to source U-groove (Abicor Binzel Push-pull). It's nice to have the feeder connect right in to the top of the power supply though. I would rather go with a Miller feeder because it is much easier to find rolls, whips, parts, etc. The 200SM will get a Miller S-22P and the 400SMT is getting the POWCON feeder. I found a Pulser for it, and set one up for someone else, but haven't had the time to experiment. If you get a 400SMT, I would recommend a 115V or VS feeder. It has 30V and 115V AC power circuits at the remote socket. Hopefully someone else has an idea why it's 30 VAC and other feeder options.

                  Here are the parts I just received for the 200SM. I had to also fix the rectifier, but chose to buy the individual diodes on eBay for much less. The capacitors are about $40 each, which is a bit pricey for their size, but much less than I paid for XMT or Lincoln Powerwave capacitors. And Mike is the only source that I know of that doesn't have a 16-week wait. The chassis components are not to expensive, and I needed one after hacking the original to fit my own capacitor bank...

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    And to add to the POWCON-ness, I just had an alert pop up on my phone for a working POWCON 300SM with feeder for $300. It's washington, but it is unbelievable how cheap the thermal arcs and POWCONs go for up here, with Miller machines still selling quite fast at $1k and above, whether they're still supported or not...

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                    • #11
                      I’d be in for a deal like that if I could find it.

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                      • #12
                        Miller either copied or purchased the design from Powcon for their early XMT 300.s. They even had the same case design, 2 piece with nuts and bolts holding them together in the middle. I haven't seen or worked on either in about 20 years. I thought all of them had expired by now.

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                        • #13
                          >>I thought all of them had expired by now.

                          ...Like the one I'm working with..... :-)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjohn76 View Post
                            Aero, one of the POWCONs I haven't seen/owned, and dubbed the kaPOWCON... It has a Power Factor Correction input circuit, similar to what was in the Miller Spectrum 2050, that tended to fail more often than the previous rectifier/inrush surge resistors. Schematics, particularly for that one, are not available. Depending on what went, I might be able to help get it running. Arconweld sold the manufacturing company to their chief tech, Mike, and there is a lot of parts commonality between the Arcon Workhorse and the POWCONs. The PFC input is built around a Semikron SKM100GAL, low side chopper IGBT module (integrated IGBT and forward diode for buck or boost converters).
                            Finally stopped my outdoors work (putting a roof on the house, painting--have to take advantage of every minute of every nice day in upstate NY this time of year!) long enough to take a look at the Spectrum 2050 schematic--looks like they copied that front end from POWCON virtually part for part. Still haven't had time to download and post all the pics from the 300 SE that started this thread--some time soon, I hope.

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                            • #15
                              Sounds good Aero. I am guessing the inverter circuit is pretty close too.

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