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  1. #1
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    Default Welder Recommendation needed

    We have a well used Hobart Cyber-Tig 300 with a series 120 control board that has been used nearly daily for the last 7 years or so. It came from a community college and had very little use when we bought it and it has been a reliable machine. I think we paid $500 for it and then bought a new torch cooler pump/tank and connected it up to 480V single phase. A great, reliable machine until this week.

    After searching the archives dating back over a decade, I see most folks have given up on repairing this model of welder with the most recent posts of anyone actually going to the effort of doing a repair being in 2008.

    If I were to get a new machine to replace this machine - what would give me the same level of reliability and performance that this machine has provided?

    We will likely try to repair this machine - but we need something reliable NOW . . .

    We weld aluminum, stainless and mild steel from fine fiddly work with 18GU sheet on up to mechanical features on structural machine elements made from 3" thick steel.

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    I'm not familiar with your tig but if you want reliability you cant beat a sychrowave, If you want hi tech the go with a Dynasty.

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    Blue welders rule.

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    Synchrowave is a transformer machine. Think of it as an anvil. Not a lot to go wrong or break. And fookin heavy. Dynasty, yeah bring it on. Inverter welder that has a ton of features, saves electricity too. I have a Dynasty 350 TIG runner and like it a lot, and it uses all 3 legs of 3 phase if you hook it up that way. Hard not to as it senses the incoming voltage on its own.
    I also have a Miller 350 MPA with dual gun feeder for MIG. Was taking a break a while ago with it powered up. Ka Bang like a freekin gunshot. Control panel door blew open and all panel lights went out. Lot of burned up parts inside from a cap that exploded. Machine repaired under warranty. Glad for the 3 year warranty.

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    Miller man myself.
    I am running 3 tig welders these days- a Maxstar 150 for site work, and a Syncrowave 250 and a 304XMT for shop work.
    I have found that older welders cost money to fix, whether they are inverter or transformer.
    I have put more money into the Syncrowave than the XMT.

    Anyway, I would go for a Miller inverter, if I was to buy one new tig welder right now.
    A friend of mine who does very high end tig for a living just bought one od those Dynasty 350's and it is a very sweet machine.
    Not cheap, but it will do anything, and do it well.
    they are voltage sensing- they will run on whatever power you give em.

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    +1 for a 350 dynasty. Its what I get to use at work and the only gripe I have is that its not a 700 dynasty due to the thick chunks (.75" to 3+") of aluminium that I get handed every now and then. I've watched a 350 dynasty outpace and out preform a 500 synchro on 5/8" Al for the last 3 days at work...
    Works great for everything else from 20ga to X" Stainless Al Ti Cu ect...
    Only issues to date have been with the water cooled torches, with the wrong coolant they can corrode and fail. No fault of the machine... just something annoying that popped up.

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    Motion,
    To replace your old CyberTig, you will need to get a pulse TIG machine. The Synchrowave 350LX would probably be a close fit. It lists for around $6000.00

    Lincoln also makes a decent competitor.

    I would caution you that not all of the new pulse machines have the adjustability of the arc that your CyberTig has. You might or might not need all of the flexibility that you have now. Only the people using your CyberTig will know.

    I have a couple Miller Invision 450 MPa Migs. It was very difficult to get the fab shop guys to start to understand what pulse welding allows you to do with the weld process.

    If your guys have been using the capabilities of the CyberTig, then they will definitely need the pulse features. The Miller PipeWorks is another machine to consider but it is about $10,000. This is a TIG and MIG supporting pulse modes in both.

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    My welding instructor swore by the Dynasty series as well.

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    Thank you gentlemen.

    Our guys do use the pulse feature and both have lesser feature inverter machines at home and are really hoping we get this machine fixed. Base on the looks of the technology and the lack of availability of parts, I can't risk not having a reliable machine.

    We only use this for TIG welding. We have two other wire feed welders, a 300A Miller and a 600A Lincoln . . . as such, the machine we buy will only be used for TIG welding as well.

    I'll look at the Synchrowave and Dynasty (these look tiny compared to our present machine that weighs close to 1000 lbs). I want to keep our guys in the fab shop happy and will round up a few options for them and let them choose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    ...these look tiny compared to our present machine that weighs close to 1000 lbs...
    Yup, basic Dynasty 350 is about 135 lbs. Before getting ours about a year and a half ago we had an L-Tec 350 which weighed about 700 lbs. When we started looking at the D350 and realized that's all it weighed we were really skeptical but I'll tell you, that sucker can weld. My brother does all the tig welding and he's tickled pink with it. I don't think your guys would be disappointed with one. I know the Cyber-tigs are pretty good machines too but we've never had one so I can't make a direct comparison. We did have a Syncro-Wave 350 once upon a time and my bro swears the Dynasty outperforms it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    Thank you gentlemen.

    Our guys do use the pulse feature and both have lesser feature inverter machines at home and are really hoping we get this machine fixed. Base on the looks of the technology and the lack of availability of parts, I can't risk not having a reliable machine.

    We only use this for TIG welding. We have two other wire feed welders, a 300A Miller and a 600A Lincoln . . . as such, the machine we buy will only be used for TIG welding as well.

    I'll look at the Synchrowave and Dynasty (these look tiny compared to our present machine that weighs close to 1000 lbs). I want to keep our guys in the fab shop happy and will round up a few options for them and let them choose.
    Let the guys decide, I like the way you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    I'll look at the Synchrowave and Dynasty (these look tiny compared to our present machine that weighs close to 1000 lbs). I want to keep our guys in the fab shop happy and will round up a few options for them and let them choose.
    The inverter machines are much smaller than the transformer machines. Your pocketbook will thank you when the power bill comes as well.

    Do welding dealers have demo machines? Otherwise you might check with your local community college and see if they have the machines you're interested in to try out.

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    I also recommend a Dynasty. I have the older 200 and it has been stellar. It is light, very power efficient, easily portable, and just kicks ass. I often weld thicker aluminum than one would think possible with only 200 amps, but a little helium, preheat, and picking the right frequency makes all the difference. Your guys will love it. Sounds like the 350 is what you want.
    Regards, Michael

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    I use Miller welders for mig welding, but I have a Lincoln Precision Tig 275 for tig welding. Me and the guy that does welding for me went to the PRI show and test welded all the tig welders and decided on the Lincoln. It has been trouble free for 10 years. After you make a choice, I would see if a dealer would let you try it out for a week in your shop before you purchase.

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    another thing to consider- in Washington State, I have had an account with locally owned Central Welding (there are branches near you) for over 20 years now, and they have been really great to buy new machines from.
    My store guys know me well, and will usually work to find me the best price.
    Miller does have factory reconditioned units sometimes, which are essentially new, with full warranty, at a discount- ask at Central.
    They do also sometimes sell rental machines, and/or demo models.

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    I called Central Welding Supply and talked to Dan Andrus. He stopped by our shop today with quotes for two different Dynasty 350XL packages plus a credit application.

    He talked to our welding staff and is going to drop a loaner Dynasty fully outfitted and ready to go tomorrow. He said we could use it for a month and make our decision after that.

    My guys will run it through it's paces and see if they can be convinced that an inverter based machine is better than a transformer based machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    My guys will run it through it's paces and see if they can be convinced that an inverter based machine is better than a transformer based machine.
    Give them a bit of aluminium to weld up and and you will Not be able to pry that machine away from them...
    Steel/stainless/Ti (anything on DC) is about the same as a transformer. Pulse modes are fun to play with, but AC is where inverters will always win the day...

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    I got a chance to demo the Dynasty 350 and the Synchrowave 350. Both are good. The Dynasty is light in weight, demands less current for full output, and can be easily carried away by a disgruntled employee or thief. It does penetrate a little deeper according to their claims. The Synchrowave is heavy, demands about 110A at full output and will need a runner package, not easy to steal unless the thief is using a crane.

    I liked the low end on the Synchrowave and simplicity of the main circuit board. The manager of the store, who used to be the head repair guy, warned me that I might have to deal with a heavy repair bill one day if I bought a Dynasty. Go over to the Miller forum website and you will find a few guys who are unhappy about the > $1000 repair bills for a circuit board.

    If I had the money I would have bought a new Aerowave. Anyway, I like my Synchrowave. Whenever I use it the lights go dim..

    The only problem that occurred was a couple of fittings that were attached to the coolant tank. The parts were made for Miller by a supplier and they were gold zinc plated, which failed. I fixed the problem myself. My beef was that Miller knew about the problem but they did not tell owners.

    The crud was scraped out easily with a chop stick.
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    dsc_0556.jpg

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    check with your power company, are they offering incentives to convert to inverter units? transformer constant current welders (SMAW-GTAW/stick-TIG)are some of the least efficient industrial machines in existence.

    even if there are no incentives, you almost certainly would have saved enough on demand charge alone if you had invested in a new inverter machine, that it would have paid for its self years ago had you not "saved" so much on the used transformer unit.

    everyone using a stick- TIG unit should be aware that running a non inverter machine only ONE time for 1/2 hour could cost you thousands of dollars. NOT exaggerating .

    look into the demand pricing by your local utility, if you are close to the next demand price increment, such a machine can easily put you in the next demand rating, which is based on your highest draw for any 1/2 hour, and that price penalty stays on your bill (for a full year in NY), even if you push the welder off a cliff into the ocean.

    maybe hydropower out there in the PNW is still super-cheap, but just about anywhere else inverters are the only way to go, unless actually trying to waste a bunch of money and electricity.

    if you delivered a brand new, free 250 A transformer unit to my door, all setup and ready to run, I would't even plug it in, just sell it.

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    ^ If you can find a rod that will burn for 30 minutes im all ears, as to half a hour arc on time with a TIG with no stops, your a better TIG man than any i have ever encountered.

    Transformer machines are also nothing like as inefficient as you think, yes they have high turn on surges, hence the large braker sizing, but stick a amp clamp on the incoming supply and your only going to see a 10% ish increase in power usage over a inverter.

    Its the pulse and improved controls that truly gain you speed on the inverter that makes it pay off though, all the more so too if you include not needing back surgery every time you take the plant to site!

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