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    DDA52
    Senior Member

  • DDA52
    replied
    12VS will be a good choice. It will go down lower and has the meters. I like the meters. They help in many ways. Best one is tracking down bad leads. I have to do that from time to time.

    Try the saddles with the feeder. You can run pretty fast on them. I do anyway. It can be much easier to fill large gaps, too. Even with .035 wire they can be very easy. On my shop, I was using 3/32 6010's on all the 14 ga purlins. I had intended to do it all with .035 fc, but for some reason I didn't. The 6010's were my old favorite when I was running all sheetmetal. Sure was nice and fast. I should still give the fc a whirl just to see how easy it can be.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    I am considering the Extreme 12VS. I've been told that it's allot better to go with the 12" just for that reason (the availability of the wires). There are a few things that it would be handy to have it for. I'm doing a fense with a sadle welded top rail that is connected to the three runners with a strap (1"x5/32" flat). No question that doing the sadle weld is a SMAW job, quick and easy. But doing those connections to the strap is allot easier with a feeder. My hired man was using a borrowed setup (a generator on wheels and a Miller 180 on a hand truck) and had to move the welder and generator to each station, and still was going faster than I was using SMAW. If I had a feeder I could really fly. On 3000 feet of fense, that would make quite a difference.

    I've looked at the Lincoln LN25 on the lincoln site and literature, but not real hard, as I'm not quite ready for the purchase. Here in a month I'll be ready to go though.

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  • DDA52
    Senior Member

  • DDA52
    replied
    Relatively speaking, no they are not a pain. It can be much worse. I prefer feeders for some types of work and go back to SMAW for others...just depends. 1/8" on fences, I'd probably stay with rods....would depend on a few things, though. No doubt, the feeder would really help with production, though.

    One thought. I am having tons of trouble off an on with the drive rolls and FC wire. I am getting lots of bird nesting and it is really a pain. I was told on another site to try U-groove rolls instead of V knurled rolls, the normal FC roll. I don't even have a .035 VK roll set, just a straight V roll. I have yet to have any issues with that set up at all. You may want to try regular V rolls first with the smaller wire. I really don't have any troubles with the 1/16 wire, just the .045. I have VK's for both of them. Just figured I'd pass it along.


    Which VS feeder will you be considering? Miller 8VS, Extreme 12VS or a red one? I like the portability of the 8VS, but don't like the limitations of wire availability in 8" rolls. The 12VS would be my first choice if you want the absolute best all around. It will already have meters and every wire is easily gotten in 12" spools. It is just heavier, that's all. When all I was running was the 8VS, I did have some trouble getting wire in the bigger sizes on 8" spools. Just another thought.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    That's what I needed to know. I think its going to be more important to get far out than to adjust settings at the feeder. I just needed to know that the VS would not be a true pain. Thanks for the info.

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  • DDA52
    Senior Member

  • DDA52
    replied
    Yeah, I believe we are on the same page. The VS will be a bit more cranky than the RC. It needs good ground and VS clip contact. That can be a pain some days. The RC will work regardless, which will help in some cases, but not enough to say..RC only. I run both and regularly use the VS. The main reason I use the RC is when I will be needing to adjust a lot, mainly when in the air.

    As to the arc, that is all on the TB. It is way better than say a Bobcat, which I have also run with a VS feeder. Much nicer to say the least. I have run solid wire on 1/8 with the VS and really couldn't tell much difference between the RC and VS feeder, except for the grounding issues. I got excellent results with both. You will have more control with teh RC, but once you figure out what you want, it only takes a second to dial in the VS.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    Ok, I see what you're saying. The only reason I ask is that I'm doing allot of fence building, and it's a pain to keep moving the truck every 50' (that's my cable lengths right now). I figure if I can get out past 100', then it'll save me allot of hastle, but his means going with a VS feeder, not the RC. I was warned about the low voltage limits with the VS and also that the RC gave allot better arc and fed allot better. Aparently this is not the case. I do need good low end for joining 1/8" seet metal, but it looks like this won't be a problem with the VS and .035 FC. Let me know if I'm interpreting your feedback incorrectly.

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  • DDA52
    Senior Member

  • DDA52
    replied
    Originally posted by Bareback Jack View Post
    DDA52, what do you mean "1/8"? I know that the RC isn't recomended for over 75' away from the machine, but how about that low end of the VS. You say that a VS won't work below 14-15 volts (partially because it derives the power to run from the arc current), so how does this affect the performance running .030 FC? I'm going to need to turn a unit down to do thin stuff as well as cranking it up a bit.

    1/8 as in 1/8" thick material. I haven't ever run any .030 fc.....I don't even think I have done any .035. Mainly .045 and 1/16" FC. The 14 -15 VDC is a hard limit. The motor will not function below that. The new Extreme 12VS is supposed to go down to 14 vdc, but the older ones have a limit of 15vdc. You can cheat and use CC to go a little lower in amperage, but it isn't that much lower. I suppose it is all in how low you want to go......how thin do you need to go? If I have some stock, I'll set one up and try it for you...if it isn't raining. Doesn't seem to do much else lately.


    FWIW, off the top of my head, it would seem that the .035 wire would be a better choice. The .030 would have to be at the upper range to work. IIRC, 14-16 vdc for its range while the .035 begins at 15 vdc. Unless you are doing less than 18 ga, you should be fine with .035.

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  • Finney
    Senior Member

  • Finney
    replied
    We have both the RC and VS feeders running off TrailBlazers. I cannot tell the differance in the arc between the two. So we run the VS, one less cable to fool with. 15.5 volts is a low as we can go. We run from .030 70S6 to 5/64 flux core with these feeders.

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  • MAC702
    Senior Member

  • MAC702
    replied
    Don't get me wrong. If you need a feeder, you need a feeder.

    FWIW, I own/use an ancient Millermatic 80A (dedicated old style 115V RC feeder) as well as a Lincoln LN-25 VS feeder from my TB301G.

    But I do an awful lot of the work you described, and my Passport gets the job first.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    DDA52, what do you mean "1/8"? I know that the RC isn't recomended for over 75' away from the machine, but how about that low end of the VS. You say that a VS won't work below 14-15 volts (partially because it derives the power to run from the arc current), so how does this affect the performance running .030 FC? I'm going to need to turn a unit down to do thin stuff as well as cranking it up a bit.

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  • MAC702
    Senior Member

  • MAC702
    replied
    Originally posted by Bareback Jack View Post
    ...I've been told that they really don't hold up to outside type work. It would get drug through allot of crap (literally in many cases!) and I don't think one would hold up very long,....
    You should see our ancient MM130. It's got more crap all over it from exclusive outside work than you could imagine. I've drug it or an HH135 more places than I care to describe.

    But the Passport is built into the same Pelican case that the feeders are built into. Granted, it has a fan and a power supply and things that feeders don't, but it'll be even better in extreme environments. And it will also give you the bigger wire capability without the range restrictions of the RC feeder. Just run the exact same extension cord from the 240V aux. power instead of the 120V.

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  • DDA52
    Senior Member

  • DDA52
    replied
    Lowest I have been with either is 1/8...no complaints. I see no reson why the RC would have any issues. The VS feeders won't go below 14-15 volts...below that and it won't operate at all. You are also limited to 75' with a RC. Miller doesn't recommend going over that.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    I've thought of that, but a 140 type machine really limits larger wire and work capabilities. Also, I've been told that they really don't hold up to outside type work. It would get drug through allot of crap (literally in many cases!) and I don't think one would hold up very long, making a 12RC or 12VS a more economical decision in the long run. A big plus for the 140 and an extension cord is the proven capabilities on small wire; however, I would be severely limited on the larger jobs.

    I know several people here have used both the RC and the VS and can tell me the low end capabilities of both.

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  • MAC702
    Senior Member

  • MAC702
    replied
    Another option, Bareback Jack, is to just get a MM140 or a HH140 and run it off a #12 extension cord from the aux. power. That would be better than a VS feeder for that work, IMO.

    A Millermatic Passport would be better yet, with an internal bottle for shielding gas.

    Yes, not as bulletproof a set-up as a dedicated feeder, but it'll also put all the controls right there with no remotes necessary.

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  • Bareback Jack
    Member

  • Bareback Jack
    replied
    I've heard that the RC gives a much better arc and is way better for running small diameter wires (.030FC or .023solid). Any truth to this? I've got a Trailblazer 302 and think a feeder would be a good investment for the amount of fences I'm building. The question is that I'd really like to get out 100-150' off the truck so I'm not having to move the truck all the time, but I also do work with light sheet metal often, so I need something that handles low voltage and small wire. How much better is that RC vs the VS? Any thoughts?

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