Miller Dynasty 200 DX failure?!?

Friday before the July 4th weekend, I was building a bracket to hold an
antenna for testing. Made two tack welds on extruded aluminum square
tubing. The third tack went sour. Lots of HF arc, it seemed, but no
horsepower. Could not melt aluminum.
Saw the tungsten get red hot, which leads me to believe that there was
"positive" but no "negative" in my AC. Was definitely on AC, confirmed
on the front panel.
Since I don't weld but every few weeks, I thought I had a setting wrong
and rechecked everything. Changed frequency, balance, and played with
the pulser. Nothing. Of course, I had just done two fine tacks and
did not change anything.
So, it seems my Dynasty blew something up inside. I think it is still
under warranty, so I have not taken a screwdriver to it. Of course, it
cannot be looked at until Tue. at the earliest. Bummer.
I will now complete my bracket with sheet metal gussets and blind
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When I was researching TIG welders for my shop one point I heard from almost everyone that had a Dynasty was that while they are excellent machines it's very expensive to get them fixed compared to something like a Syncrowave. I too would be very interested in hearing how this all turns out.
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It is my opinion that a hobbyist welder is far better off with an old transformer type welder than an inverter based machine.
Several people have told me that when an inverter machine fails the repair is always expensive and sometimes, prohibitively so.
It seems to me that the advantages of an inverter machine inure mostly to the benefit of a professional user and not a hobbyist.
For example, they use a lot less electricity. They're more portable. If I welded for a living I would buy an inverter machine. I would use it like gang busters for the duration of its warranty. I'd continue to use it until it breaks, if it ever does.
However, as a hobbyist, I might not use it but a few times during the warranty period. Therefore, I'd have a hard time getting my money's worth out of it during the relatively safe warranty period.
I have a couple of Syncrowave 500s that were made during the 80s. They both work reliably, some 20 years later. They're too heavy to steal, at least easily.
Notwithstanding the above, I have a little Miller Maxstar 140. It is my favorite machine. Until it breaks.
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Well, the doctor says "No Fault Found". In some ways, this is the worst possible result. The good guys at Airgas set up my machine with my accessories and did some welding in their shop. No problem.
This weekend I will set up and repeat what I was doing. I never did try the Microsoft fix... turn the unit off then on again.
Will report any news.
Spencer wrote:
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I thought I gave you a fair breakdown on what my downtime and repairs cost me. Did I miss something? I'd be glad to fill in any blanks.
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.
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A direct cut and paste from your posting:
Well, much to my dismay this is something I can chime in on with some variables to add. I have a heavy production machine I use for fabrication of mostly alum. and sheetmetal intake manifolds for race engines and that machine- a Miller Aerowave has been in the shop a few times for a few different and unrelated problems (I must have a odd one as I hear this is the most reliable box on the market). One, the sequencer board went out and no power to the meters. Repair bill- $1530.97 but- Miller repaired the original boards to me as "spares" upon my request at NO additional cost. Then one of the AC balance caps or something died a few months later- $431.88 The unit is out of warranty, I am the only user. I bought it "as new, never used" on the pallet at an auction and given as much work the unit has produced, the cost of repairs and my real happiness with the Miller line you sort of have to bite the bullet. Top end gear is like taking a Benz in for work Vs. a Yugo. I also want to mention that while the Aerowave was in for P/M and replacing the caps I had the chance to try a Dynasty 200DX and I bought it after finding it was really a "scaled down full featured box" Less duty cycle but It's great. I noticed in a post from Mr. Spencer his DX conked out. I'd be interested in that repair as my warranty has just over two years and I use the DX a lot- I mean a LOT I have not fired up my SD180 that has never given me a problem ever. It was the first machine I took to TIG with and it suffered through my mistakes that should have BBQ'd something but it keeps on chugging.(Just no real use now that the DX is so portable) Conversely, My Miller 210 and the 3035 spoolgun have never had a problem. I had a cheapo Harbor Freight "Chicago Electric" wire feed MIG I lent out to friends for odd jobs and it had very, very low use and I got stuck holding the bag after it failed. (We took it to the rifle range and got payback) What I'm getting at is buying a welder in my opinion is something you should factor in to how much TCO you want to have and what maint. budget you have to invest in. (I learned this equation the hard way of trial and error and I really think outside of a solid warranty it's a crap-shoot). Even if you pick up a Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, - anything top-end get it new or caveat-emptor applies in full. You get what you pay for. I had a old Lincoln tombstone arc welder I don't think I could break if I had even really tried. Best $200.00 I bet I ever spent.
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL
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Don't rule out a faulty hand controller or foot pedal.
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Ernie Leimkuhler

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