Airco 300 Square Wave info request

Wellllll....by a rather odd and weird roundabout way..I wound up with an Airco 300 Squarewave welding machine today. Came with the usual
Bernard coolant pump, Harris flowmeter, Weldcraft 20 torch etc. Cost was about $10 in gas to go pick it up. Right place at the right time, and doing some favors in the past for someone.
This sucker has more gizmos, knobs, switches, dofunnies, thingabobs and whizbangs than Ive seen afor. A pair of LED meters for volts and amps.
Ah..er..ahum...(small voice) anyone know how it is supposed to be set up and what all the gizmos, knobs, switches, dofunnies, thingabobs and whiszbangs are for? Anyone got a manual they could copy or scan?
Pulsar? Background or foreground? %? Blink blink......
This is Supposed to be fully operational...I sure hope it is......
Ill pull it off tommorow, and power it up, but was kinda hoping someone had some ideers on what knobs do what.......
I can post a pic of the controls and knobs and dofunnies etc. The gizmos and whizbangs will be harder....
Thanks
Gunner <G> "Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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with
right
set
and
I've got the same one in my garage-still looking for a manual. If I find one I'll drop you a line. Not a whole lot you shouldn't be able to figure out just by striking an arc in stick mode. The foreground/background control works in conjunction with the pulse. When you strike the arc you will see the current increase and decrease to the foreground/background settings at the frequency set by the pulse rate. Start current sets a higher current when the arc is first struck then goes to the current set by the large knob. All your current adjustments are set using the digital display with the little toggle switch in "preview" (or is it "preset") mode.
Wave balance, pre/post flows are for tig. Spot time is for doing tig spot welding as far as I know-I've not tried it much except to strike an arc with stick.
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Whats the toggle switch under the plumbing cover for? Its labled AC Only in one position and DC only in the other? The big AC/DCEP/DCEN lever on the front usually does that job on most welders.
Thanks for the info
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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usual
thingabobs
and
thingabobs
is......
The
able
by
your
little
tig
strike
Hmmm-mine doesn't have that, just HF intensity. Does yours have a "HF START/OFF/CONTINUOUS" switch on the front panel? If not, I'd suspect that's what it's for.
The wiring diagram might be glued to one of the sides (inside the machine)-mine was.
Mine came out of the Warren Tank Plant here in Michigan. The maintenance tag dates are in the mid to late eighties
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Ayup..it has that switch too. The HF intensity is the strength of the HF start arc?

It is. When I powered it up today..the fan didnt come on, so I pulled the cover where the power feed goes in..and looking into the machine..I found the diagram on the OTHER end of the machine so I had to pull both panels.

Mine was from Kaiser Aerospace according to the inventory tag, with a data plate code of 9330, which I assume means it was built in 1993, which has to be one of the last ones every made.
It works btw... once I changed the jumpers to 230vt. Though it uses more power than does my Lincoln Tig 250/250 as it kicked the 50 amp breaker they both are running from far more than does the Lincoln, running the same sort of weld. Ill put an amp meter on it tommorow and see what they both are drawing.
Im sorta kinda figuring out the gizmos..though the stuff for aluminum is gonna take me a while. I actually got aluminum melted...but wierd stuff is going on because of the control settings and Im a bit at a loss as to how to work with it. So I set everything to where I think regular tig on steel is supposed to be and it welds steel nicely. But I will have to install a bigger breaker or increase my service arraingements for the welding area.
Gunner

"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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<snip of envy-producing post about a free machine!!>

Gunner, this is probably a wild guess, but is there also an outlet or two under the cover for hooking up accessories? Could the switch be to set the outlets to DC instead of AC?? (I'm assuming from your post that there *is* an AC/DCEP/DCEN switch up on the main panel, right?)
By the way, if you want to drop it off at my house, I'll be glad to figure out all the switches and settings, and tell you all about how they work. Of course, it'll probably take me a few years to figure it all out, but you can wait, can't you? :)
Andy (green with envy)
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 11:23:59 -0400, "Andrew H. Wakefield"

<G> Im sorta kinda getting the hang of the machine operation. Some odd quirks that took some fumbling around to figure out. I hung a stinger on it this evening and tried it for stick welding. Damned thing wouldnt strike an arc, until I flipped two switches and turned off the gas flow timer..post flow IRRC. There is a toggle switch below the digital readouts for preset/actual, and what it does is allows you to set the output via the normal current start /percent of range knobs (yes..two of them..one of them allows you to start off with a certain percentage of your preset maximum and it ramps up.
The preset/actual switch MUST be in actual to stick weld, but works just dandy in either when tigging. Blink blink. And that switch below the HF intensity doesnt do anything when running stick. The big AC/DCRP/DCSP handle changes things. Wierd
Btw...it welds beautifuly with stick <G>
Ive got a 50lb box of Certainium rod 5/16" big stuff..laid down a beautiful weld. Didnt pop the breaker either at 150amps out, where the TIG at 125 will. Wierd. My Miller Idealarc 250 pops a breaker about the same place. Wierd indeed. Stuck a rod of 1/16" 7018 in it, cranked it down to 12 amps and welded up some .060 sheet metal..easy as pie. Im wondering if the pulsar stuff will work with stick..might be interesting to try with HF start <G>
This thing appears to draw more power though than the Lincoln Tig 250/250 when doing the same weld with the same TIG /material.
I didnt put an ammeter on the input yet and find out, but I will.
You are more than welcome to come on over and use it. <G> Gunner, Bakersfield, California
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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AC
AC/DCEP/DCEN
or two

set the

there *is*

figure
work. Of

but you can

of
running
the
welded
start
Yep, the pulser and start current will work with stick. Set the pulses per second near the minimum and the duty cycle near the middle. Make the foreground and background currents a lot different and you'll see what the pulser does after you strike the arc...
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AHHA! Somebody who knows Stuff! (doning brain picking garb)
Ok then...if you would be so kind as to sit over there and watch the watch...you are getting sleepy...sleepy.....
If you would be so kind as to perhaps anzer a few kavestions aboot zis mazhine....
Za controls on zis verdamnit mazhine are az follows.
Contactor Local/remote *obvious
Weld Current Local/remote *obvious
Crater Fill In/out *this keeps the HF going for some seconds after releasing the pedal ????
Spot Time On/Off *????? Spot Time Sec. .02-5
Start Current On/Off Start Current (percentage of max. current on range selected) 0-100 * I know what it does..starts the arc at a certain amperage..but why?
Preset/Actual *changes the LED displays
Weld Current Percentage of Range Selected *big master knob amp control- obvious
High 15-375 amps/ Low 5-125 Amps *obvious
AC Balance *scale goes 1 to 0 to -1 to -9 0-50/50 balance and DC Welding -9 Max straight Polarity and Minimum Tungstun Heating 1 Max Reverse polarity cleaning
Pre-flow time 0-15 *obvious Post flow time 10-60 *there is a click position at the bottom that says Stick Weld (gas/water off) Obvious
Frequency P.P.S .02-10 *??
Pulsar (3 position) *??? Peak *arrow points up to Freq PPS and arrow pointing to Pulse Width Percentage Pulse *arrow points to Background current Background
Background Current 0-100 *??
Pulse Width Percentage 10-90 *??
Can you give me a hint as to what they all mean...and some start settings for aluminum?
I start going glassy eyed at AC Balance and goes completly clueless on the pulsar stuff. I think I got Balance figured out..thats how long the AC arc is on the negative or positive side of the sine wave? 50% is even, 70% is 70% heat, 30% cleaning and so forth?
I posted photos if they will help
http://photos.yahoo.com/gunnerasch4570
Thanks.
Zu may vake up now....SNAP!
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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These are just my guesses here on some of it, but ...

I think to help keep from burning through thin material when you start the arc.

Pulses per second for the pulsed mode. How fast the pulses occur.

I don't really understand these switches. Maybe pulses only in center and Peak current only or Background current only in the other positions? But why?

In pulse mode the current toggles between two levels: peak and background, at the repetition rate set by PPS. The knob sets the lower background current as a percentage of the peak.

During one cycle of the pulse rate, this determines how long the peak current will be on. Say your pulses are set to 1 pulse each second. If you set this knob to 50, it will be peak for .5 sec and background for .5 sec. The 10 setting would be short peak and longer background.

I think AC and the balance control are the main things for aluminum, but someone with more experience than me is needed for guesses on good settings. I think you have the balance understood.
Pulse is optional. I got a Lincoln Precision TIG 185 recently but haven't had time to play with it much and haven't tried pulse at all yet. Here's part of what their sales blurb says about it:
"What Is It? Pulse welding systems vary weld current between peak (high heat) and background current (low heat) levels. Pulse welding reduces the heat input, or total thermal energy, applied to the weld without sacrificing the proper level of penetration. Adjusting the pulse frequency controls the level of heat input applied to the weld relative to the weld travel speed.
Results Better control of heat input in the weld, resulting in: Reduced warping and burnthrough on thin materials. Smaller heat-affected zone. Smaller bead profile without compromising proper penetration.
Great For Thin materials Faster pulse settings help to narrow the bead profile and minimize the heat-affected zone and resulting warping or burnthrough. Consistent appearance Slower pulse settings aid in timing the application of filler metal to produce the consistent stacked bead appearance associated with high quality TIG welding. Helps train novice welders to maintain a steady welding rhythm."
Hope my guesses aren't to far off. I have no real basis other than reading the manual of my machine.

I don't know it it was just me, but I can't get yahoo to show me the pics at full resolution. Couldn't read any of what was printed on the little knobs and switches.
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wrote:

pulses
Make
see
zis
after
why?
the
xray pretty much covered it.
"SPOT TIME" is for tig spot welding
"CRATER FILL" reduces the current gradually after your release the foot pedal
"START CURRENT" gives you a higher current for a few seconds after the arc is struck-better penetration . Works is stick mode too
Your machine is probably a newer version of mine. Same panel layout but mine is white with black lettering. If you go to the Miller website (www.millerwelds.com) you can download an owners manual for one of their tig units and it will explain the similar controls. There's also a TIG manual you might want to save.
Nice catch! I bought mine years ago at a DRMO auction for $190 and it didn't have any accessories, so you did REALLY well!
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How is tig spot welding done? Simply hold the electrode over the work piece and hit the pedal? The timer kicks the arc off at the proper time, or do you press the electrode to the work..assuming a larger electrode?

I added the hose and cable hangers yesterday, thinking it was appropriate to make my first project on the machine itself. I bent the 3/8" bar stock in my compact bender for the ground and stinger cables (I had to add a stinger and cable..but I have several extras) and turned the torch hose stand out of aluminum round stock on the lathe, bent the hose hanger on the compact bender then did all the various bits of welding on the machine, then spray painted them with black epoxy paint. My next project is to widen the wheel base of the front wheel trolley, cause my welding shop has a dirt floor and is a bit uneven as is the back 40, and while its likely to remain in one spot for most of its use..its top heavy enough that Im afraid the old bitch will fall over if I have to pull it out somewhere. (2 hour intermission) I just got back in from trying out some of the settings on some 1/8" alum plate. I managed to get a decent butt weld on two of them..which developed a hairline crack right down the middle of the weld line. No filler was used. I take it that I have to always use filler with aluminum, unlike steel? The next butt weld on the other side was with filler and it didnt crack, though it looks pretty hokey..which is strictly operator error. I get some black "soot" on the weld. Is this the result of me burning the alum due to too much heat or something on the filler rod? Pretty tough stuff to get off, had to use a SS wire brush. Wow..there is a narrow heat range between getting a puddle and melting a hole in the thin plate..much much more difficult to judge than steel. Im still not sure what is the best settings to use with the pulse stuff, though after you folks explainations..I can see Stuff happening now.
Many thanks!
Gunner
Thanks much for the assistance. Ill have to delve into the pulse stuff deeper as Im still a bit confused as to what and when and how.
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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Gunner wrote:

    Yep. Most aluminums are characterised as being 'hot short'. Which is an obtuse way of saying they really need to have filler added when being welded. What rod are you using?

    Most likely cause of the soot is a dirty surface or a contaminated tungsten. Surface and rod need to be cleancleanclean. Scratch clean with stainless wire brush or scotchbrite or file, follow by an acetone wipe. If the tungsten is contaminated, either from being dipped in the puddle, touched by the filler rod or, my favourite, sucking up the blob of rod you just deposited on the weld area, it'll need to be reground to fresh tungsten.

    Other things to keep in mind. Keep Tungsten and filler rod about the same thickness as the material you're welding (for thinner stuff). About 1 amp of current for thou of material thickness. (125 amps or so for 1/8") The closer you start with the max current setting the easier it is to control things with the pedal. Trying to weld at 60 amps with the max current at 250 amps is tougher than it needs to be.
--
__
Pete Snell
Royal Military College
  Click to see the full signature.
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Thanks Pete. Im going to try again in the morning, now that Im back off the road for the week. I realized Id been trying to weld with 2% thoriated electrode...blush...so I picked up 2 sticks of 1.5% Lanthanated per a remembered post of Ernies, one 3/32 and one 1/8"
Damn that stuff is expensive. (They were nice though and tossed in a dozen pieces of N55 nickle filler rod to try on cast iron)
Ill let you know how it goes, and Thanks
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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wrote:

I actually got a couple decent aluminum butt welds this morning. Looked right pretty and passed the vise and pipe wrench test. Now if I can only figure out how to do a right angle joint...sigh...this is hard to learn on my own. I can get a decent fillet going...and then pooff..I get a burn through (1/8") plate and a big hole...chuckle...this is gonna take some time.
But on the other hand...this is making my steel tig welds much much nicer and I actually managed to weld two pieces of .05 sheet metal butt welded together using the pulsar settings (which Im still trying to figure out).
Many thanks!
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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These guys have a lot of info on older units and they're pretty helpful.
http://www.arcowelder.com/
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Ive got Dennis on my list of folks to call this coming week. Its likely he can come up with at least the schematics (hope I dont need em).
Thats where I got my present Lincoln Tig 250/250, and have sent dozens of folks to him for service. He lets me rummage through the bone yard <G>
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
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Wish I was closer- he helped me out on schematics for the power supply at work.
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Gunner wrote:

Color me envious..

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