Has anyone in this group ever constructed their own contactor/amp control
to mount on the TIG tourch handle? I know that Ernie did a switch for a
sequencer. $159-$179 seems a lot for a switch, pot, and connector. The CK
Rotory units look cool, but the Linear looks pretty simple. Are either of
these, or the Miller one, spring loaded so they pull themselves toward OFF
as finger pressure is released?
I haven't built mine, but that's only due to other things to do, and not
having managed to order connectors yet. All the information has been
posted here, and it is, in fact just an overpriced plug, wire,
potentiometer and switch. Depending on era and brand, 1K (old
something), 5K (most Miller) or 10K (most Lincoln) pot - again, all
posted here in the past.
After reading Ernie's posts about pulsers / sequencers I've been
thinking about building one to use with my pre-DX Syncrowave 250. It
sounds on the surface at least, like a fairly simple project with a
little microcontroller. Just controlling the contactor signal and a
Would be nice to not be tied to the foot pedal all the time.
Yup! That's what's being charged for the Miller torch mounted control. The
$179 was from Miller. The $159, and up, where for the Miller from other
vendors. I didn't see any price on the CK controls. I have a 180SD, and the
connector for that is pricey. I bought one while building a pulser. Still
working on that. Works perfectly off the machine, but the stray RF drives
it crazy. Time to get back to it for a lot of RF suppression rework.
I built a little rotary control that is held on to the torch with velcro
straps. It has a large wheel that can be operated with my index finger, and
the pushbutton is separate and on the side. where it is operated by my
thumb. I initially tried making a linear pot work, but the "throw" was too
great, and I couldn't get used to moving my finger all that far. The
advantage of having the switch function separate from the pot is that you
don't have to fiddle with it for most of the welding cycle, just for minor
adjustments. Plus, my Hobart Tigwave (and probably the Synchros) has a
trigger latch function and an end-of-weld crater-fill function. So, for most
welds, it's tap on, weld (with minor current adjustment as necessary), and
The entire body of the control, and the rotary wheel, were made of aluminum,
and required the use of a mill and lathe. The pot and switch were junk box
items here, and I think I paid 25-30 bux to Newark or Digikey for the
correct connector. Even buying everything new, it's probably a $50 out of
pocket project. Now, factor in design and fab time, I'm guessing you'd be up
around $5000 ;-)
If anyone wants a pix of the thing, I'll take a few, and either send them
directly or try to figure out how to get them in the dropbox. And that
fellow that has built the pulser - he needs to publish also!
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