Nope. 2 very different things. The ballance control adjusts how much of the AC wave-form is DCEP/DCEN, and the frequency is the rate at which is switches polrity. Both have effects worth playing with, but they are very different.
You will find that most welding manufacturers have very little faith in the public's ability to understand such things, so they don't bother explaining it. Kind of like pulsers and sequencers.
Thnx for tht Ernie................I wonder if you would good enough to outline what the two controls would generally be used for? The only info I can find is on the Miller site, which seems to suggest that higher frequency or more negative balance, equals greater penetration with a narrower, more concentrated arc, while providing less cleaning action.
Obviously there is more to it than this, but it is difficult to find out very much more infomation!
Variable AC output frequency only exists on inverter power sources, so it is still not that common. It has been around for about 10 years, but mostly on high end machines like the Miller Dynasty 300DX or Aerowave.
Now it is more common because o fthe 200 amp AC/DC inverter TIGs flooding the market.
When you increase the AC wave frequency you change the shape of the arc. It will narrow down to cone very similar to a DC arc. This is most useful in fillet welds since it prevents the arc from dancing between the 2 sides of the joint.
Exactly what frequency is perfect for what is something you will have to experiment with. I have only had acess to such a machine once in 5 years. I would be happy to run a series of experiments to establish parameters if somebody wishes to loan me a AC/DC inverter for a week.
AC Wave balance is a simpler concept. By increasing the DCEP side of the wave you will increase the cleaning action of teh arc while decreasing the penetration. This is useful for thin sheet metal or aluminum that has become heavily oxidized from exposure to the elements.
By increasine the DCEN side of the arc you will increase the penetration, but the arc will not have as much cleaning action, and can be unstable.
This is useful for heavy aluminum with a very clean surface.
I have a Maxstar 200DX (DC only), not a Dynasty 200DX (AC/DC). I thought aboput upgrading, but the Dynasty has half the duty cycle of the Maxstar, and I have never needed to do aluminum on location yet.
Stick welding 6010, 7018, and TIG stainless is 99% of what I need.