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  1. #21
    Kiwi2wheels is offline Aluminum
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    I would suggest getting back to Miller Service HQ and quoting them the serial # of your machine and getting them to see if there was a recall(s) to replace the original circuit board(s). You will have to be a bit hard assed with them as , unless they have improved their service, they were a bunch of incompetent fcukwits. If you have the machine apart, see if you can find the part # of the board(s) installed in your machine It sounds very much as if this would be the case and they should still supply you a new board FOC , even though your machine is out of warranty. You will have to install it yourself, but that is no problem. Miller were not into on advising dealers on recall problems, you only found out about them when the machine went tits up..................

    I had a similar board problem with a 350 Syncrowave years ago, even though the machine was just out of warranty, we would have had to pay a service installation charge. The first replacement board they sent me was a part# that had faulty components and should have been withdrawn from stock !!. # 2 , we got lucky......................

  2. #22
    webphut is offline Plastic
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    Miller syncrowave 250 tig welder is the best tig welder made! that is coming from a repair guy for Miller. They are basic, practicle and they pack a punch. In the long run, most bang for buck and least amount of repair time. All the other tig welders that miller makes, have no where near the repair cost to valu margin as the 250. With this in mind, it is worth repairing if it is broken.

  3. #23
    macona's Avatar
    macona is offline Diamond
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    Came in late. Definitely sounds like a bad main board. There is not much else to go wrong.

    Innovat Corp might be able to repair the board. Probably around $250.

    I wouldn't worry about repairing the board vs buying the new one for better protection. I had rarely replaced any of the old boards. Maybe one or two at the most.

    Oh, the bad cap thing is pretty much over with. This is too new for that.

  4. #24
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    The Synchrowave is back up as of late this afternoon.

    $905 for a replacement thermistor (for the rectifier overtemp error) and a new main-board that also included a replacement (different specification) for a big (8" or so) resistor and an additional bridge rectifier, along with adding some additional wire and deleting some other OEM wires, $77 sales tax on that, and 3.5 hours of time (all of which was at my house) for a total of $1455. The work performed was pretty steady and I was charged for time at location and not any travel time (they were from about half-way down the penninsula).

    The tech (not the one in San Jose who never replied to my inquiry) trouble-shot the rest of the welder outside the mainboard and found no problems there. A few work-arounds were tried but they didn't help. There were several conversations with the Miller hotline techs during the troubleshoot/replacement process. The new board is a nice blue color instead of green and the software codes on start up are V231 A303 -4.

    As soon as the new board was installed all the problems went away.

    I've got a 90 day warranty on the new parts so starting tomorrow the welder gets powered up in the morning and stays on all day, whether it is used or not. The board will be hot and monitoring to see if it needs to control anything. I'll do some welding and periodically go down and change polarity/amps/push random buttons just to exercise it.

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice on things to check, but it seems pretty clear that this was not something I was going to fix here at home.

    cheers,
    Michael

  5. #25
    Mark Leigh is offline Hot Rolled
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    Did they offer any suggestions for the failures ?

  6. #26
    Kiwi2wheels is offline Aluminum
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    Purely out of curiosity, was this a Miller service tech or an independent company ?

  7. #27
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    Mark, this seems to be one of those random "sudden crib death" electronics failures. The first two hours were spent testing everything else and then talking to the Miller support techs after the rest of the welder checked out OK.

    If anyone is interested I put a reasonably high resolution photo of the original board and large resistor as well as a scan of the installation instructions in this folder on my website :

    Index of /graphics/metalwork/Miller250DX

    The new Ohmite resistor is smaller in diameter and smooth, and while the original was 35 ohm and 10%, I think the new one said 20 ohms and 20% (but I won't swear to that).

    The service was done by

    EMCO Welding Equipment Repair Company, Inc

    who are independent but do authorized warranty work (too bad mine was out of the warranty period). David worked steadily but this was the first time he'd done this upgrade board swap so he was having to follow the instructions and double/triple check that he got the correct wires removed from some of the plugs etc.

    I forgot to ask him about his impression of the 250DX reliability or if there were any typical problems.

    FWIW, with the welder turned on and just sitting there humming to itself (no fans active) the house electric service "smart meter" shows approximately 250W extra draw.

    cheers,
    Michael

  8. #28
    Kiwi2wheels is offline Aluminum
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    Glad it's worked out OK............except for the cost !

    " was the first time he'd done this upgrade board swap "

    Maybe worth beating up on Miller to see if they will cough up on the parts cost, at least, as it sounds as if it's something that they should have notified you on as a recall upgrade.

  9. #29
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    I registered and posted about this over at the Miller forum (milerwelds.com) and tried to keep it a calm "is this common?" question with just a little whining about the low hours at the time of failure.

    I'd think that there would be Miller employees that pay attention to their forum so I'll give it a week or so and see if there's any action.

    I can't say I'm very optimistic about getting cut any slack. I'm guessing that this board qualifies as a "process controller" as I can't find anything else that sounds remotely like "main circuit board". If that is the case, it would be a one-year warranty item and failure was at 4.5 years.

    If I was Miller, I'd consider incorporating an hour-meter into all their control boards. It doesn't need to even have a display, just a counter that could be toggled up on one of the displays. They could use that for collecting data on MTBF, and it would also be handy for determining if a warranty period might be extended. I'm sure they've heard a lot of "it was barely used" stories in which "barely" is a very long time. In my case it is actually true, but I've got no way to prove that.

    I'm not going to start a big Internet brouhaha about it since all they have to do is say "sorry, the warranty expired over 3 years ago, that's just too long ago". It isn't like I've got any significant leverage on them.

    I'm going to keep the welder powered up all day each day for a couple more weeks, and try and get at least a little welding done during the 90 day warranty on the new board. As long as it is working right I like the 250. Hopefully it will continue to work properly in the future.

    cheers,
    Michael

  10. #30
    USMCPOP is offline Titanium
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    Michael, that's a whole dose of bad luck. I have what I think is a 1997 Syncro that is holding up fine - gave $850 for it. Also a circa 1974 Dialarc ($300.). I believe it is the second one ever sold based on serial number. Their stuff is good but things occasionally happen.

    Once had a car with a timing chain that skipped and screwed the engine. Years out of warranty (low miles), but it made sense since we had taken it in a number of times for an odd noise. Come to find out, that model had some defective hydraulic tensioners. A bit different than a welder but I can sympathize.

  11. #31
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    I did some 16g steel this afternoon and things seem to be going as normal. The welder is still nice to use and I'll get over the sticker shock on the repair. If I should hear anything from Miller at their forum I'll mention it here.

    Yeah, Mr. Murphy is really watching out for me. Right after the welder died the air compressor stopped making over 80psi. I took that apart and cleaned the reeds and stoned the sealing surfaces but that didn't make any difference. So not only was the compressor malfunctioning but the mill was down because it needs 90psi for the tool clamp to work reliably.

    I've got a new compressor on order, a 5hp Champion Advantage from TP Tools. While that's another batch of money I hadn't planned on spending right now, it will be a vast improvement over my 20 y.o. I-R "Charge Force" with a claimed 5hp but only 3hp worth of amps on the motor plate. I bought it new and it has given OK service, but it was just so horribly noisy that I hated to use it. I helped a friend install a 5hp Champion Centurion II last Wednesday and that seemed very nice so I'm looking forward to finally getting a decent compressor that makes more CFM than decibels.

    Can't take the money with you. I guess the checking account was getting too full and needed to go on a diet.

    cheers,
    Michael

  12. #32
    USMCPOP is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
    ... Can't take the money with you. I guess the checking account was getting too full and needed to go on a diet.

    cheers,
    Michael
    I was visiting a relative awhile back. He went out to get the mail and came back in all happy. He said he was afraid of running out of bills to pay and he was tickled that someone just sent him some more, LOL. (This is the same guy who introduced me to some folks at a social gathering and said we'd shared a prison cell for several years.)

  13. #33
    davohouston's Avatar
    davohouston is offline Hot Rolled
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    You say it pulls an extra 250W at idle?? So whats the total idle draw? And does that vary with the current knob position.

    I have a 1997 Synch 250 I bought new, no problems except for a couple times the brushes in the foot control got dirty and stuck. Use a finger control now.

  14. #34
    davohouston's Avatar
    davohouston is offline Hot Rolled
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    Also another option on parts that will save the next guy a little :

    Miller Welders and Genuine Miller Parts at Miller4less.com

    They are at $716 for that board

  15. #35
    macona's Avatar
    macona is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi2wheels View Post
    Glad it's worked out OK............except for the cost !

    " was the first time he'd done this upgrade board swap "

    Maybe worth beating up on Miller to see if they will cough up on the parts cost, at least, as it sounds as if it's something that they should have notified you on as a recall upgrade.
    There are no recall upgrades.

    Edit, now that I think about it I think there was something on the old master 150s that has a recall done. Very rare.

  16. #36
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    The 250 watt bump on the house electric meter is presumably keeping the computer energized and maybe there's some small current in the coils, beats me. I didn't try different amp settings to see if that had any effect because I figured the amp setting wasn't doing anything in re current draw unless the start signal had been received from the pedal. If I remember I'll try to take a look and see if there is any change with just the amp setting adjustment.

    I've only done one small bit of DCN welding but I have been getting the thing on and the control settings occasionally changed most days for 5-8 hours. So far, everything seems to be going OK.

    cheers,
    Michael

  17. #37
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    FWIW changing the amp setting while the welder is idling doesn't seem to make a significant or consistent change in the house electric meter reading.

    cheers,
    Michael

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