I wil be testing the new shop TIG welder today. It's a 1995 Panasonic 300WX Tigstar. It has way more adjustments than the old Dialarc. The manual is writen in that inscrutable Japanese fashion of using a translation dictionary, and isn't much help for selecting modes. I will be welding by hand, mostly 4043 and 6061 I'm not sure why I would change the following adjustments, but i will be digging in the scrap barrels for a while I guess. Up and down slope adjustments? Crater time? Pulse frequency? "mix-tig" mode?
If it's anything made be MatsuSHITa i.e. Panasonic, run screaming! They make the most unreliable garbage I've ever seen. They give the Chinese stiff competition for the worst products.
MatsuSHITa, particularly the Panasonic brand, is real big on putting a lot of bells and whistles on a product and then shipping it and letting the customers be the beta testers. If one prototype worked in the lab the product is ok'd for production and shipping to customers.
Hi Stupendous Man (really, dont you feel a bit childish?), I cant comment on all of the settings, and some may indeed be useless, but here is the experience i have....
up and down slope corresponds to 'ramp up' and 'ramp down' settings for mig. These tell the welder how quickly to 'bring on the power' when you start, and how slowly to take it off once you release. This can be a subtle thing and hard to identify, but has a lot of benefits for aluminium which i find to be a very sensitive material to weld.
When i was doing aluminium boats, there were parts that i would know would require say, 150% hot start, 150 amps weld, 80A crater fill etc etc as opposed to a very similar part that may need the same rough specs but 3 more amps to get a good weld. Thats how fine it is with this material if you want to get perfect welds, you need 1amp steps, not just "a,b,c,d,e" for power. have a look at your bead.... is it cold at the start? Trun up your 'up slope' adjustment. If you are leaving a bit crater, turn down (or maybe up, depending on how your machine works) your down slope.
For crater time, Im guessing this is the time that your arc continues at the lesser current (down slope) after you release the trigger. Turn it up to get a bit more time at a lesser current to fill those craters in.
for pulse frequency, i cant comment. all the synergic pulse units Ive used have been set. Pulse is mainly of use for contorlling spatter and for positional welding in my experience, so i'm guessing set it for reduced spatter for downhand, maybe turn it up a bit for vertical up/overhead?
"Shaun wrote> Hi Stupendous Man (really, dont you feel a bit childish?),
I hope so, i refuse to be old.
Thanks for replying. The mode selection offers DC stick, DC TIG, AC TIG, and Mix TIG. The "Mix TIG" is referred to in the manual as "alooing better fillit welds in thin plate", and appears to be a modified AC wave alternating to DC. It definitely doesn't work well on steel. The pulse freq can be set to go from a high whine (sounds cool) to a slow buzz, but it didn't seem to affect my test welds much on .032 6061 plate I will try it on some heavier materials next week and see if it introduces a "freeze" effect.. No apparent effect on thin DC operation, I can hear it, but the weld looks the same. The "Crater" function is kinda weird, set "ON" it keeps the arc running until the pedal it hit and released a second time and then ramps down, and on "Repeat" I have to break the arc by pulling back the torch, even at minimum amps. I will have to play with it more next week
Again, my experiences are coming from MIG here, but the pulse should give a noticeable improvement for vertical up and overhead work. Up to a certain point, higher frequency pulse will allow you to run higher amps on vertical ups and still not drop out. It will also give you reduced spatter (less of a problem for TIG).
Any time. I am located east of Stockton, CA, in the mountains. I have been welding on a Lotus 7 frame for a few days, it does a better job than the Dialarc did, and the arc seems more smooth. It's kinda fun welding .032 4130 to 1/8 mild.
I wasn't referring to the consumer division. Much of the bad MatsuSHITa experience came from various OEM and industrial divisions such as their industrial video equipment. Perhaps their welders are an oddity, but most of their products are unreliable garbage and their support is pathetic.
As I said, their support is pathetic. I once had to harass them daily for two weeks to get support information on an industrial product that was a whopping 3 years old.