Lincoln AC 225 Buzz Box
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  1. #1
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    Cool Lincoln AC 225 Buzz Box

    Hello everyone: I bought a diode set for my buzz box and haven't installed it yet.. Anyone have any experience with this? I don't even know why I am doing this as I have three other welders.. Just want to experiment I guess.. Cheers Ramsay 1

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    I added a diode block and an inductor, the viltage drop through the diodes seems to reduce the heat enough that 75 amps ac on 1/8 6011, you need to set it to 90 for dc to have similar penetration.

    I use 4 circuit breakers wired together as a double throw switch to alternate between ac and dc

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    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    I added a diode block and an inductor, the viltage drop through the diodes seems to reduce the heat enough that 75 amps ac on 1/8 6011, you need to set it to 90 for dc to have similar penetration.

    I use 4 circuit breakers wired together as a double throw switch to alternate between ac and dc
    I figured there would be a drop once the welding current went through the diodes...In some ways ac is better for welding to prevent arc blow but I guess after 40 years of welding with dc, I am hooked... Gonna give it a try with the little buzz box and see how it works out.. Thanks for the reply.. Ramsay 1

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    Years ago I bought a Lincoln AC 225 from a Tractor Supply, I welded things around my shop and house with it for some 25 years. When i got a Miller MIG, I sold it to a neighbor.

    A few years ago, I saw an ad in Craigslist for a Lincoln AC-DC Model. It has the standard 225 AC with only 125 DC. I've welded in both modes, but I like the AC most. I like 7018 AC rod.

    If you are handy and really want DC, adding a diode set is a nice idea. The Lincolns are smooth on DC.I've seen modifications like that on the Welding Web site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    Years ago I bought a Lincoln AC 225 from a Tractor Supply, I welded things around my shop and house with it for some 25 years. When i got a Miller MIG, I sold it to a neighbor.

    A few years ago, I saw an ad in Craigslist for a Lincoln AC-DC Model. It has the standard 225 AC with only 125 DC. I've welded in both modes, but I like the AC most. I like 7018 AC rod.

    If you are handy and really want DC, adding a diode set is a nice idea. The Lincolns are smooth on DC.I've seen modifications like that on the Welding Web site.
    Hello: I started welding with ac when I was 16 years old with a Sears welding machine..Later I got a Hobart portable welder that is dc and loved it....I tried welding with 7018 on ac and even bought 7018 ac electrodes but I prefer dc reverse for most everything including 7018... I have seen the Lincoln buzz box welders with dc but they only go to about 120 amps on the dc side...As mentioned before, I have more than one machine including a Lincoln idealarc 300 made in 1958 so I am just experimenting I guess.. Will try the diodes out just to see what happens.. Ramsay 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by ramsay1 View Post
    Hello: I started welding with ac when I was 16 years old with a Sears welding machine..Later I got a Hobart portable welder that is dc and loved it....I tried welding with 7018 on ac and even bought 7018 ac electrodes but I prefer dc reverse for most everything including 7018... I have seen the Lincoln buzz box welders with dc but they only go to about 120 amps on the dc side...As mentioned before, I have more than one machine including a Lincoln idealarc 300 made in 1958 so I am just experimenting I guess.. Will try the diodes out just to see what happens.. Ramsay 1

    It's true that the Lincoln only goes up to 125 amps on the DC side, but in practice, that's more than enough for the things that I've done on DC. When on DC I generally set it to 105 with 1/8" rod and weld away. It's enough for me.

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    I did this in high school using parts I stole out of the scrap bin. (For schools it is easier to scrap used equipment for paperwork reasons. Nearly impossible for them to sell it. So I "stole" a lot of stuff from the shop as it got replaced with newer tools and made a bunch of "donations" at just over scrap value). In this case the diodes were from a MIG welder and I was worried that the diodes wouldn't handle the higher voltage but I tested them to 170V and there was no issue. I did not use the capacitor bank I had because it was only rated to 50V and I was worried it could make striking an arc more sticky.



    The inductors seemed to help a lot with arc stability and made it a lot easier to strike an arc. IIRC I could also draw the arc out much longer than normal. It was definitely worth doing.

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    I've often thought about just what you did but never got around to it. The voltage drop across a silicon diode junction is approx .7 V but the drop across a diode in a circuit tends to be more like 1.4 V at full current. It gets better as the diode warms up. The inductor smooths the curve a bit; closer to DC, ie. less ripple. Adding caps to the filter ( L or pi network) with the proper voltage rating would also help. If you could scrounge a 3 ph welding transformer and had local 3 ph service then your ripple would be much less.
    Many years ago I used 8018-C3 for most of my projects. Good cold impact resistance.

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    It's worth noting that I don't think diodes on their own will make any improvement, and may just worsen arc blow with no other changes. I think the inductors are the most important part (though inductance won't help unrectified AC)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strostkovy View Post
    It's worth noting that I don't think diodes on their own will make any improvement, and may just worsen arc blow with no other changes. I think the inductors are the most important part (though inductance won't help unrectified AC)
    That’s ridiculous. Of corse the diodes will “improve things”. Without an inductor it won’t be as smooth as it should be on single phase, but you are making a major change to the process by going to DC. Of corse it must be a full wave rectifier setup.

    My first welder was a Miller Thunderbolt AC unit I found in the trash on 47 st and 9th Av with 50’ of cables. I took that trash and re worked it, putting in a full wave bridge, a hefty inductor, and I motorized the current saturation core with a foot pedal control.

    Not really worth it, but when the starting materials are free, you can get sucked in easily..!

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    Dc is fundamentally different at that arc for various reasons, whether or not you have enough inductance to keep the current flowing contiuously is a different matter.

    Just for fun, try a 500 foot spool of 10awg wire as an inductor and let me now how that works out for you. Due to the resistance set the amps a bit higher than normal for the rod and or process you are using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyanidekid View Post
    That’s ridiculous. Of corse the diodes will “improve things”. Without an inductor it won’t be as smooth as it should be on single phase, but you are making a major change to the process by going to DC. Of corse it must be a full wave rectifier setup.

    My first welder was a Miller Thunderbolt AC unit I found in the trash on 47 st and 9th Av with 50’ of cables. I took that trash and re worked it, putting in a full wave bridge, a hefty inductor, and I motorized the current saturation core with a foot pedal control.

    Not really worth it, but when the starting materials are free, you can get sucked in easily..!
    I haven't tested it with welders, but drawing an arc from transformers I found little benefit by rectifying the output, at any of the voltages I tested.

    I have found that I can draw much longer and easier arcs from a DC power supply such as a battery if I have significant inductance in series.

    With just a full bridge rectifier your current still falls to zero twice per cycle, allowing the ionized air to cool which then must be partially restruck on every half cycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strostkovy View Post

    With just a full bridge rectifier your current still falls to zero twice per cycle, allowing the ionized air to cool which then must be partially restruck on every half cycle.
    Which welding rods or process were you using

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    Maybe that is why we old welders say there is nothing as smooth as d.c. coming off of a commutator in a generator... I have welded with many machines in my 40+ years of welding.. Transformer machines can be smooth on d.c. but nothing beats a d.c. generator for smoothness.

    I bought the little Lincoln 225 buzz box for 40 dollars from a friend who was getting a divorce and the rectifier from ebay for 28 dollars.. Just an experiment as I have two large transformer machines ac dc one with hi freq unit for tig and a Hobart gasoline driven machine... When the weather cools off some I think I will experiment with the little buzz box and rectifier just for the hell of it .. lol Cheers; Ramsay 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    Which welding rods or process were you using
    6010 and 7018 primarily, in flat and vertical up.

    Most of my messing with inductors for arc stability was several years ago making a low powered arc engraver for labeling my tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strostkovy View Post
    6010 and 7018 primarily, in flat and vertical up.

    Most of my messing with inductors for arc stability was several years ago making a low powered arc engraver for labeling my tools.
    Yep, you need a really smooth d.c. electrode positive arc for 6010 high cellulose sodium...I understand that some of the inverter machines today won't keep a 6010 (5p) lit...I personally don't like to burn low hydrogen on ac even though they are made for it supposedly.....I am looking fwd to trying the "made in China" rectifier on my late model Lincoln 225 buzz box.. Ramsay 1


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