ZENA welders <- anyone have experience with this equipment ?

Dissatisfied ? Why ?
Thank you,
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney Thomas
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Courtney, I have a Zena backpack welder, and a Premier Power Welder (PPW) on my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.9liter 360cubic inch (gasoline) pick up. I absolutely LOVE both of them. If you've never welded with DC high freq...it is totaly a different experience. The 1st time you use it, you will think you are running too cold. There is very little spatter. The arc seems really soft...and there is actually a whistling sound that emits from the puddle. The sound is due to the fact that DC High freq agitates the puddle thousands of time per second (giving a GREAT cleaning action!). I can assure you either machine burns a 1/8" 6010 or 7018 (my test for the usefulness of a welding machine) with absolutely no problem...& I'm betting either would burn a 5/32" rod as well. Both the Zena and the PPW are great products. I haven't used the vehicle mounted Zena, but I can assure you the backpack version is great & I'm betting the vehicle mount is also great. Hope this helped. -Wayne- P.S. Before I retired I recommended to the army that they have a look at both products. If you have any further questions feel free to email me at snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com
Reply to
clutchglass
Ive got an older but still marvelous Hobart Cybertig 2 that Im trying to find someone to take. Big assed machine at a high end of 675 amps..but when running stick, with HF turned on..its just as you say. Marvelous bead, interesting sound, great penetration.
Gunner, California "Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
John, Last Friday I retired from 25 years of military service. As a U.S. Army Allied Trades Technician, Chief Warrant Officer Three, my specialties are welding, machine shop, textile repair and vehicle recovery (wrecker operations). As a veteran of both the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and more recently, Operation Iraqi Freedom (April - November of 2003) I have a really good grasp of welding on the battlefield. Below are a couple of points I'd like you to consider:
1.) Alternator welders are not a new concept- The Premier Power Welder has been around the off road racing community for 26 years. I was also skepticle at 1st. I have a 195 amp version of the premier on my pick up truck.....& these things are every bit as good as they claim to be.
2.) The Zena stinger set up- This was the 1st thing that attracted me to the Zena. Being military I often had to get in close quarters to do welding repairs (inside armored personel carriers to weld foot pedal brackets for example) & hoped to buy the Zena stinger to install on my shop's Miller Trailblazer. Unfortunately the stinger is proprietary to the Zena welder. Still, after using my backpack Zena with the integrated heat control I gotta tell you...the heat control...the boost feature...BOTH work great!
3.) DC High Frequency- Again this feature is standard on the Zena, Premier Power Welder, and the Mobi Arc units. As I'd said earlier, if you haven't tried DC High Frequency stick welding, it really is different than standard DC. You can even use AC rods...or even TIG aluminum with DC High Freq! I don't blame you for your scepticism (Hell I was at 1st too)...but there is a reason Ron Popiel got filthy rich...by finding cutting edge approaches that worked. I'm so convinced the Zena & PPW work, I bought them for myself...and I recommended them both to the army before I retired. -Wayne-
Reply to
clutchglass
Well, we're going to have to disagree about Ron Popiel.. I think his only cutting edge was taking the hard sell from the street corner and putting it on television.. we'll also have to disagree for the most part about the zena equipment.
I know alternator welders are no new concept, I think the backpack welder is likely to be a useful unit in some cases but other than that I see no use for these other units with massively expensive extension cables and proprietary rod holders. I rarely need a remote fine control, and when I do my Lincoln remote with an extension cord on my old SA-200 does the job very well. I've also been welding for 25 years and I've been in my share of close quarters, never needed any other rod holder than my shortstub- which, just by looking at the picture, I can assure you is a far better piece of equipment than what those zena people offer.. when I'm sitting and burning rod after rod I can throw the shortstub in a bucket of water while I stretch for a minute, pick it out and go back to work. When it wears out after maybe a thousand lbs. of rod, I can replace it for a very reasonable price.
If one were to go four-wheeling and wanted to weld onsite, I'm sure one of the alternator units might be a good thing.. but at the price of them, I think I'd just go for a heavy-duty alternator tricked into putting out 24v (it's easy to do), a couple of batteries, a cheap spoolgun and some fluxcore. Far cheaper and at least as effective, the lifetime of the hundred-dollar heavy-duty alternator will equal the lifetime of the massive-dollar alternator welder.. I see little use for the alternator welders.
The thought that they can burn AC rod is a non-issue; any DC welder can burn AC rod, or bare rod if you like. The expense of these units, the flaky approach to cable and rod holders, the inherent non-durability, the hard-sell all combine to say to me, at least, that they're a case of shuck and jive.
John
Reply to
JohnM
Well John, That's what makes America great...you're entitled to your oppinion...I'm entitled to believe you arrived at it without ever holding, or using what you put down (and if you know anything about the inner workings of an alternator, a closer look at the construction, diode types and brush make up would change your mind). Also, I was distinguishing the difference between DC and DC high frequency (not AC). In the end, we can agree to disagree. From the cold of Graphenwor Germany...to the heat of the Iarqi desert, I've used the stuff I recomend & to me there is no better way to form an oppinion than to evaluate by using the product. Speaking of Ron Popiel...did you ever try the pocket fisherman? Like many other things he has sold & continues to sell, it's a great product too. The reliability of some old welding technology is fantastic...but just as inverter technology has gotten rid of big, heavy & bulky transformers in welding equipment, the likes of the 100% duty cycle 200 amp alternator welders are begining to make our field equipment more transportable, affordable and effective. You do have a point about the cost of the proprietary Zena controller being much more expensive. That issue comes down to a matter of preference really. I can however promise you that if you stick welded with either the Zena, or the Premier Power Welder (I don't much like the mobi-arc...it does try & do what you recomend....use a stock alternator) you'd be convinced they perform as well as much more costly welding equipment John. I only wish I had the chance to pull my truck up....slap my PPW stinger (not proprietary) in your hand and let you burn a 5/32 7018 or 6010 with it. Regards -Wayne-
Reply to
clutchglass
Message from my pop, who don't do no stinkin internet! ---------------------- Having spent a few days in uniform, fought or almost fought in several wars (before the Cuban Missile crisis though Vietnam all to way to the end of DS) followed by almost 15 years running a maintenance shop in "oil patch" giving me 44+ years of experience. I fail to see the need for this or any other backpack welder. Jobs that require welding don't just pop into existence in the middle of nowhere.
If it was carried in, then carry it out. If it was drove in, then drive your repair/recovery vehicle to it. Repair/recovery ain't rocket science and it ain't Hollywood either, it's just everyday operations. Follow the SOP! -------------------
Reply to
Diamond Jim
Oky Doak pop...thanks, I felt like thing had changed a bunch when I retired...& I guess you've seen some too. I'll agree with you to a point...some of the old ways were right...hell, even better. But change (and yes even improvement) is a fact of the world. Wouldn't you agree the rifled was an improvement over the musket? Well, our field desreves improvement too. I served in desert storm also...& I gotta tell you it was a LOT different than what we are doing over there now (I did this gig too). It ain't holywood either...it's modern warfare baby! As far as SOP goes...if you really were a maintainer AND a leader...you know it's the maintainer/leader's responsibility to write & enforce the SOP. Mine include new equipment & procedures that make the soldier's mission more effectively accomplished.Remember...the dinosuars died because they couldn't handle change...don't be a "poposaurus". Just because you and I (in my early days) had stoenage tools & still accomplished a mission with them...doesn't mean these kids today are any less than us...or that they don't deserve the latest & greatest. I survived with the old airco miget...I got by stick welding bumperetts on aluminum M113s...that doesn't mean these kids today should have crap for tools...or have to go through a massive dispatch procedure (and it entails a LOT more than it used to) to get a 2 1/2 ton, & hook it up to a bulky welding trailer to go do a 10 minute welding job (which might be in a building, a bunker, or someplace else the truck & trailer won't fit). I respect & thank you for your service...but it doesn't give you the right to throw rocks at these kids today, or deny them anything...and if you do...then you've forgotten what it was like! CW3 (Ret) Wayne Glass
Reply to
clutchglass
Pop said arguing with someone on the internet is like trying to screw with all your clothes on. I doesn't accomplish much other than get peoples emotions high, and usually leave one or more people feeling unsatisfied.
From Me: Since 1993 Pop has worked 3 months on and 1 month off, in "oil patch" Mostly the mid-east, but he has spent some time in east Africa, and a couple of the former USSR republics. He has been in and out of Iraq, since about 90 days after the invasion, so he has a pretty good idea of what its like there.
As for your remark "...but it doesn't give you the right to throw rocks at these kids today,"
WTF is your problem? Where do you come off pulling this cheap crap? You're trying to cloud the issue and change the subject, with some made up BS.
Now I am going to add my 2 cents worth. I spent 22½ years in the service. I am also an engineer. I have seen people like you all over the place in and out of the service. Your idea is, "It's only government/company money lets spend it"!
If there is a valid need then yes spend the money and get the item. In this case I agree with pop, I can't see the need for it. The military has back pack O/A welders, they have two man portable 3KW welder/generators, etc. As for the problem of getting a vehicle to go to repair something, well that it the way it is, I never found it to be that much of a problem. You damn sure aren't going to put a back pack welder on a troop and have him hike 10 miles to do a welding job.
You can generate all kinds of needs to justify something new without really trying hard. But just because you can come up with a need doesn't mean you have to have it right now. Likewise throwing dollars at something isn't a solution either. (A great example is the Space Shuttle, all that money and it still isn't completely fixed right. Yeah that's a pet peeve of mine, I am an aerospace engineer, and I get pissed every time I think about the shuttle.)
If you want to sell these backpack welders, more power to you, but cut out the BS. If the item is good it will sell itself, if it isn't then it won't.
And as Forest Gump said in all his wisdom "And that is all I have to say about that"!
Reply to
Diamond Jim
I'd sure like to try one of those units out, there's not many people who like machinery as much as I do, but until them Zena folks get rid of the bogus stinger and cable I'm against it for that reason, even if it's a miracle machine.
On the subject of the Pocket Fisherman, someone in the family gave my grandfather one. He, being a good grandfather, tried it.. I can personally assure you that a Pocket Fisherman can't do what my old 6'6" Shakespeare rod did- it couldn't even compare to the cheap old Zebco rods my grandfather preferred. He thought it was a funny thing (as did I after playing with it), hung it on a nail after that one time and it did exactly what it was meant to do; it gave someone a nice feeling thinking they had given a worthwhile gift. To me, that's it's precise value, as an illusion and nothing more.
But, yeah, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Zena equipment. I can think of worse things..
John
Reply to
JohnM
I was thinking it might have some use, but on further reflection I'm not so sure. It weighs 65 lbs. and it's certainly not all one needs to do a good repair or fab job.. even if you're not toting any more leather than your gloves you still need rod, hammer, mask and brush at a minimum. A belt to hang all that on brings a few more lbs into the load. If you need to gouge the weld I suppose it can be done with a chisel or two, and another hammer to run them. Gonna need a bearer to pack that stuff in and out, if you need a tiny cutting torch then you're up to two well loaded men.. and the number of jobs that a good truck and a few hundred feet of cable/hose can't get to are few.
It might be good for the rare job, but you'd have to use it a lot (pain in the ass for ordinary work) or charge mightily to pay for the thing anytime soon..
John
Reply to
JohnM
I spent much of my time either trying to fix what so called "engineers" tried to pass off as quality design work, or fighting to ensure soldiers working maintenance got a piece of the pie when it comes to dollars spent on new equipment. On the subject of $$$ nobody is more frugal with tax dollars than I. I live right outside Edwards air Force Base as a retired soldier now & feel the same way you do about the space shuttle (maybe the only thing we have in common). Ya know how that crap happens?....people who call themselves engineers waste our tax dollars. In my book that word (engineer) is often times made as dirty as the word politician. Niether has to be a dirty word...but they often are. As far as what my "problem is"...I don't have one pal. I simply disagreed with "popasaurus". That's my right in a free country. I didn't get rude with him (in fact thanked him for his service). You know nothing about me when you make accusations about me wasting money. I have documented proof of cost savings to the government that far exceed anything you could probably imagine. You don't have a clue how much battlefield maintenance experience I have (earned a bronze star on my last trip to Iraq). The backpack welder, by my own admission, isn't truely a "backpack solution". However if you have any idea what an MTOE is & you were to take a look at what a direct support maintenance company Allied Trades section (have I lost you yet?) has for equipment authorizations...and then further combined that with the battlefield need to conduct simultainious missions on MSTs, you'd see there is a need RIGHT NOW for equipment that gives maintenance planners (and soldiers conducting maintenance) the greatest amount of flexibility possible. In the 1991 Gulf war that "poposaurus" and I both participated in the army had 18 divisions...during the 1990s the amry was cut almost in HALF while Bosnia (which is STILL going on), Kosovo and Somolia happened. Now, with the war on terror (which I very much believe in) going on...to say we are thin is an understatement. Maintainers keep all the zillion dollar weapons systems working...often times with crap for tools that some "engineer" in a cubical somewhere (who never got his boots muddy & asked "joe" for his oppinion about!) says we need. I was in Iraq from April - November of 2003. I started out at Habaniya (between Rhamadi & Falooja), went to Balad, Tahji, Baghdad, Mosul & Duhook. I know battlefield welding needs pal. I've been a private (MOS 44B, welder), a staff sergeant (MOS 44E, machinist) and a warrant officer (MOS 914A, Allied Trades Technician...which is welding, recovery and machine shop). I'm betting my job in the military...combined with the fact that I retired on 01 September 2005 amkes me more qualified than you AND "poposuarus" for determining what maintenance soldiers need right now! So you set there in your chair and arm chair quarterback how to fix the space shuttle....but you haven't a CLUE about battlefield maintenance operations.
Reply to
clutchglass

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