Wire feed tracking in mig's/Hobart & Miller

What's the deal with wire feed tracking in Hobart and Miller 110v welders? A few people seem to hate it and most are silent about it.
I am a newbie. Does it matter? I have narrowed down to a Hobart 140, HTP 120, or a Lincoln-135T. I like the Hobart, but if wire feed tracking is going to get in my way (like all the 'auto-help' features in microsoft software) I don't want it. Is it a big deal?
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Shouldn't make any difference. It is more marketing hype than a real "feature". Almost all of the 110 volt MIG machines do it.
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wrote:

I have a MillerMatic 135 and have never had a complaint about the feed...works great. BE WARE these 110volt welders are only 90 amp max, NOT 135 amp like the model number leads you to believe. If you need more than 90 amps, spend a little more the first time, so you won't have to spend a lot more the second time. Ronnie
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@yahoo.com says...

Well technically it's not even a 90 amp welder. Or technically it really IS a 135 amp welder.
At 90 amps it's 20% duty cycle. Some would say that's not even a "90 amp welder", as in "A welder's amp rating is at 100% duty dammit!" (In that case, it's a 40 amp welder). But the fact is that it WILL hit 135 amps output with everything dialed up with a duty cycle of about 10% and a 20 amp 110 line.
So is it a 135 amp welder? Is it even a 90 amp welder? The only REAL fact is "It is a welder with a 20% duty cycle at 90 amps and has a maximum output of 135 amps on a 20 amp 100 line".
Hmmm, actually according to this http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/spec_sheets/DC12-43.pdf it won't even reach 135 amps :( That IS a disturbing lie then. At least the Hobart 140 will actually reach 140 amps (9% duty cycle) so it's not technically a lie yet...
BTW, just to add something of substance to this post... I recently bought a Hobart 180 and I was having the same thoughts about "wire feed tracking" after reading the woes on the net, but so far I cannot figure out what the big deal is. I've found it to be reliable and responsive (but different from by 120). Once I get the new IPS/V setting dial memorized, it'll be a non-issue and I LOVE the welder. I would suggest that if total portability is not an issue, consider the slightly more expensive 180 (I got it for $519 at a local welding supply place), though it is a 220V only welder.
Larry
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    [ ... ]

    Just for comparison, the Miller Maxstar 140 has the following limitations (according to the PDF manual which I recently downloaded)
Power source    100% duty cycle        Current from line 115 VAC        80A @ 23.2 Volts    26 A 230 VAC        100 A @ 24V        20 A
Power Source    Max current    Duty cycle 115 VAC        110 A        35% or lower 230 VAC        140 A        25% or lower
So -- this tiny unit does make it all the way to its name rating of 140 A -- when run form 230 VAC, and at 25% duty cycle or below. Run it from 115 VAC, and the rating drops
    Of course, it is a stick and DC TIG machine, and you were talking about MIG machines.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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says...

Yeah, I was talking about MIGs, also was getting the data from the manuals... The MIG machines must have MUCH smaller transformers in them :)
Larry
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    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    Not sure about *smaller*, because the Maxstar 140 has what must be a very high frequency transformer (thus it can handle lots of current with very little iron). It is kind of like a switching regulated power supply. The whole thing is in a fairly small package, supplied with a shoulder strap for carrying -- possibly even while welding.
    It is a cute little device, and I've been trying to decide whether it would be enough for what I need -- bearing in mind that I have no experience with welding (other than bandsaw blade welding), so I don't know what I will eventually be doing with it. (But since I already have pretty much all of the floor space occupied in the shop, I think that what I get *has* to be this small -- or I need to build more shop. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On 19 Oct 2004 01:39:50 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com (DoN. Nichols) wrote:

Yeah, but notice that it requires 26A to make 80A welding current when run from 115VAC. Finding a 26A 115 volt circuit may present a problem since standard household 115 VAC circuits are 15A, and the highest rated outlets commonly available are 20A (which would require a breaker change in the panel to accomodate).
So, on a *standard* 15A 115 VAC circuit, if your welder's supply is linear, it will only make 46.15 A at 23.2 volts before being supply limited. 80 * 15/26 = 46.15
Switchers aren't linear, though, so lets go at it another way. The maximum power you can draw from a household 115 VAC circuit is 115 * 15 = 1725 watts. Now you can divide your welder's secondary voltage into that figure to give you the maximum welding current a *perfect* 100% efficient welder will be able to produce. Using your numbers again, 1725/23.2 = 74.35 amps. Since no real welder can be 100% efficient, your available amperage will be less.
This same calculation can be done for a MIG. At 18 volts output, maximum welding current will be 1725/18 = 95.83 amps. That's assuming the welder is 100% efficient, of course. It won't be, so the actual maximum welding current on a standard household outlet will be less, no matter *what* the nameplate on the welder says.
To get more than about 90 A welding current out of *any* 110 volt welder will require a *special high current supply circuit* not normally found in household wiring. That's why people say all of these 110 volt machines are actually *at best* 90A machines.
Gary
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wrote:

Yeah, you could get 30 A from the dryer outlet. But as you say, if you're going to restrict yourself to that outlet, you might as well run a 220 volt welder.
Gary
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    [ ... ]

    Granted -- but I know that they are available up to 30 amps, as I have such an outlet (and the corresponding breaker) on the power feed for my UPS.
    Of course, I *should* have taken the time to re-wire the input for 220V, but I was in too much of a hurry to get the systems back on line after the move. :-)

    When I get one of these, I do not plan to run it from 115 VAC, anyway, so it does not matter to me.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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