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Miller Synchrowave 300 - No Arc!

Gazz

Stainless
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Location
NH
I recently acquired the above machine but can't get it to strike an arc. It has a 50A three prong connector on it and is plugged into 50A 250V circuit but oddly the internal buss was jumpered to 408V. Is there such a thing as 408V single phase? In any case it is now jumpered correctly and the power light comes on and it sounds like an arc welder running. To begin with, I am mostly interested in putting it to work as a stick welder and have the machine set as follows;

contactor - standard
current - panel
high freq - off
crater fill - out
start current - off
ac balance - 5
post flow time - 0
background current - 30
pulses - 6
pulser - off
DC
Straight polarity
high range
current - has been tried in various positions

I do understand that a few of those settings are for high frequency TIG welding and should not effect stick welding The machine did come with a foot pedal but I can't plug it in as the connectors are different but I'm guessing since I wouldn't be using it for stick it's not an issue.

So with the ground clamp attached to a workpiece I can tap a 6011 rod against it all and there is no spark and no arc! I thought about putting my dvm across the lead terminals but wonder if it would let the smoke out of the meter due to the amperage. The machine came from a large metal fab shop where it had been in storage and had a tag on it that said clean and calibrate before use. I did blow it out but it really wasn't that dirty inside but have no idea what or how it would get calibrated. I do understand it is a bit of a dinosaur but the price was right and it really would be handy to have a working welder in my other building. Anybody have any ideas of what might be wrong? Thanks for any useful suggestions!.
 
Clean a stick bare on the tip. Do not strike arc, see if bare wire sticks to material.
Does the welder sound different in short circuit state?
Most millers have three outs, swap the stinger to middle out.
 
408V? I haven't seen anything but 2022(208), 230, 460V Syncrowaves. I'd be interested to look at the manual for that machine...what's the serial number? Check that circuit breaker CB1 hasn't tripped...should be near the output terminal posts. Do you know if it has Power Factor Correction? I don't expect it's the problem, but 50A is about half of what you really need to power that machine on 230V. Without PFC is draws 120A on 230V at rated output for stick welding. I still think it would strike an arc, but the PFC models are unusual in that they draw a ton of amps while not welding to be able to save amps while welding and that could factor into it.
 
Post a pic of your panel, might just be setup. If it's been in storage awhile, the contactor could be stuck, dirty, or both if it's a mechanical type. Giv'er the ol' "Black n White TV" adjustment...:D
 
I had a similar problem with a 300 I picked up from HGR. It was an older one and it turned out an obsolete optocoupler was bad on the main board. I had to engineer a replacement using modern components, but that fixed it up. It's an awesome machine.

You might try checking the output with a multimeter. It might be a contactor issue or something simple.
 
Thanks for the comments! The rod has been cleaned at the end so good bare metal there. Here are pictures of the machine which show only two places to connect the leads.
 

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I have the same machine as well as a miller econotig which is super basic but works well. with both machines i have had occasional problems with striking an arc while tig welding. The problem has always been in the foot pedal. A quick cleaning and a realignment of the reostat brushes has always fixed the problem for me. your milage may vary

good luck

on second read i see that you are trying to stick weld so above comments don't apply.
 
That machine is older than mine. i'd like to see a photo of the whole bottom of the machine, the one provided is cropped on the right hand side.
 
I had a similar problem with a 300 I picked up from HGR. It was an older one and it turned out an obsolete optocoupler was bad on the main board. I had to engineer a replacement using modern components, but that fixed it up. It's an awesome machine.

You might try checking the output with a multimeter. It might be a contactor issue or something simple.
Hi amaranth, I also have Syncrowave 300, it's a 1984 vintage SN JF845181. I have no OCV and believe it's the optocoupler. The PC1 board looks pristine. Can you provide the replacement optocoupler info that worked for you.
 
Here is the optocoupler
 

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sounds like you figured out your issue but here is one I had, I purchased a big blue d600 welder at auction that had sat for a lot of years, screwed around with that thing for a year or so trying to figure out what was wrong with it. had power on the auxiliary 110 but no arc. finally pulled ALL the panels off of it. a rodent had got in to were the wires go into the big round part of it (technical term there lol), and chewed 1 20 gauge wire through and chewed another until it only had a strand or 2 of wire still connecting. fixed those and that was all it was.
 
Sorry for slow response but I don't get any emails indicating somebody has replied.
I haven't messed with it since my last response as there are many other things that are broken as well!. I don't believe it is a rodent problem as the inside of the machine looks good. I'll get a picture of the complete lower section today
 








 
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