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Airco 3A/ Miller 330 A/BP Will Not Turn On

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  • #16
    Breaker closed--power on. We're looking for voltage drops where there should not be any.

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    • #17
      I’m always amazed when I look under helga’s skirt. I know it’s old technology, but I’m just way more impressed with the bulkiness of all that stuff when compared to all those fancy circuit boards of modern equipment. It’s a little terrifying inside there too. PJD here has a great machine that’s absolutely worth fixing and I am confident you smart guys will get him lined out.

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      • #18
        I am amazed in the power of those things. I fixed an Aircrafter just a few weeks ago that had a bad start/panel amps relay. It's newer than the 330 A/BP, but the only difference is it uses some solid state switches instead of the big rheostat in the panel/pedal to control the amperage. After taking off the skin, replacing the relay, and firing up the machine, I was amazed how much it would torque the sheet metal chassis when I would sweep from min to max current through the mag amp. Awesome DC tig arc too.

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        • #19
          Just got in from testing the switch per your instructions. Checked out zero volts. So that is ruled out. What are your recommendations as far as testing the primary overload breaker? It has four terminals with four wires going into it. Line(wire 67) Load (wire 71) Relay (wire 84) Trip (wire 85)

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          • #20
            We knew it would be before the primary overload because my machine turns on with it open or closed. Before we chasing our tails, probably need to take a good look at the schematic and there’s plenty of guys that are better at that than me. But sounds like we need to start from where we know power is and work out. Maybe Wayne or John has had a chance to look over the print.

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            • #21
              Correct, Ryan. The primary overload breaker is downstream from where the problem has to be if the fan isn't running, and therefore it would not kill the fan. However, I just thought of something--what if the fan is bad and we're relying on it working or not to make decisions. So, measure the voltage at the fan between wires 38 and 40. Should be whatever your line voltage is--I'm assuming 220-230 volts? If the voltage is there and the fan isn't running, we have to take a different approach. Did you measure the voltage across the fuse (one lead on each end) to check for zero volts drop there? (Power on, of course).Also, (POWER OFF at the wall box, not just the welder's power switch) please go to the jumpers that select the line voltage and loosen/retighten the screws, just to be sure there isn't a corrosion problem there. I think there should be 6 screws (three jumpers). If the voltage is there and the fan isn't running, we have to take a different approach.

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              • #22
                Great place to start. When I got my machine, I had to repair the main power lugs on the back of the machine. Seems like I replaced two of them with brass bolts I had laying around. And the cord for that machine can be quite heavy, so if it’s not properly stress relieved you can do some damage. If I remember correctly, there is a wire clamp coming into the back of the machine that takes most of this load and mine was also broken. Like I said before, I hope you have that old girl on a running gear, she ain’t easy to drag around otherwise.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  Great place to start. When I got my machine, I had to repair the main power lugs on the back of the machine. Seems like I replaced two of them with brass bolts I had laying around. And the cord for that machine can be quite heavy, so if it’s not properly stress relieved you can do some damage. If I remember correctly, there is a wire clamp coming into the back of the machine that takes most of this load and mine was also broken. Like I said before, I hope you have that old girl on a running gear, she ain’t easy to drag around otherwise.
                  I'm kind of suspecting a similar problem here. Machines this old, whether welders or something else, often have bad connections somewhere. Hope that's all there is to it.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jjohn76 View Post
                    I am amazed in the power of those things. I fixed an Aircrafter just a few weeks ago that had a bad start/panel amps relay. It's newer than the 330 A/BP, but the only difference is it uses some solid state switches instead of the big rheostat in the panel/pedal to control the amperage. After taking off the skin, replacing the relay, and firing up the machine, I was amazed how much it would torque the sheet metal chassis when I would sweep from min to max current through the mag amp. Awesome DC tig arc too.
                    Agree--and virtually unstoppable. Most of these relics will still be running after we're all dead, with simple replacement of relays or switches or whatever--very cheap to repair by today's standards, and awesome when you turn them on. I can still remember the first one I ever saw--1970-something. What an amazing machine.

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                    • #25
                      Just wanted to update you on the status of the old girl.... With a big thank you to ryanjones2150 and Aeronca41! I had already checked the lugs from the power supply side, but when I checked the back side of the red fiberglass panel, one of the lugs was corroded in half and making a poor connection. You would never have seen it just by looking. TIght quarters to get in there, but I got that all squared away after work today and she fired right up. I really appreciate you guys holding my hand and walking me through the process!

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                      • #26
                        Excellent! And a really cheap fix! These machines excel with cheap fixes, and they will run virtually forever.

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                        • #27
                          Excellent!!

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