Miller CP-250TS converted to single-phase - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Thumbs up More progress...

    Hi Dan!

    Yes, they're in there... look above the connections going to the center coil- they're right above the connection points. You may be confusing 'em for switch contacts.

    Worked on the TS for a little bit more tonight, and determined that the shunt is still reasonably good... lifted each of the output legs (66, 67, and 68) and found that with leg 66 lifted, I get 44v... while 38 or 39 v with 67 or 68 lifted, respectively. I'm doing more sleuthing- it could be something as simple as a bad brush, but I suspect that I've got a problem with one of the secondaries. Note that when I obtained this machine, it hadn't been run in a dozen years-or-more, and the owner never had it operating- he bought it at an auction... so it may have some problems. I AM getting substantial power out, even with one bad phase. I'll solve this brain-teaser yet!

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    Default One contact brush...

    So I found one contact brush strap (on wire 21) that didn't LOOK broken, but it krinkled, crumbled, and fell apart when I wiggled it. I made a temporary substitution, and it DID have a positive effect... I'm gonna change all three. I took some more measurements across the capacitor bank, and tweaked it a little, and it appears to want more capacity, so ordering some more.

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    Thanks I see them now I also made a deal today on a CP300 power source I plan to convert both but I plan to keep the CP300 because it has a "Z" inductor on the output which should make it a more stable welder. I have seen other sights that rewire the slope coils of the CP250ts to act as a "Z" inductor I might try mine both ways and see if it has a positive effect. I also have a Miller 3 phase plasma that I might try to change it over to single Phase also they are popping up for good prices now I will post the progress. Thanks for the help and hope you find the problem with yours.

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    Default Inductive saturation/slope control technology...

    Hi Dan!

    Off the top of my head, I believe The CP-300 conversion uses same wiring alterations as a CP200... meaning it's a Y input transformer... but I could be wrong. In any event, it'll be either same as the CP200, otherwise (Delta) the CP-250TS.

    The output inductor and the slope coils perform the same function, the only difference being on the CP-200 and CP-300, they used just ONE coil, downstream of the rectifier pack, rather than making a three-branch unit UPSTREAM. The BIG difference was in manufacturing cost... that three-branch 'slope coil' setup probably cost 6x the cost of the single. The only other difference, is that the slope coils have many more adjustable taps.

    The reason for SLOPE coil taps... when these things were first being built, engineers knew that the wire stickout and arc gap all depended upon the amount of current flowing and voltage applied. IF the arc got narrower, current would go up, and voltage would go down... and of course, if the gap got wider, voltage would go up, and current would go down. They realized that a perfectly stable welding supply would yield perfect results if wire speed and the weld path were all perfect. That's where the "Perfect" part became somewhat of a challenge. Design engineers deal with Perfect-Sensitive issues, particularly those including unknown or variable issues, by including Adjustability in a design.

    The KEY to making a strong, stable wire-feed welder, was to have a transformer who's properties would naturally react to too LITTLE wire gap, by slamming more current into the wire... and burning the arc back to correct gap. They also wanted a transformer that when the gap was too BIG, it would ease up on voltage and allow the wire to get a little closer to recover the gap.

    Initial design was to make a robust power supply transformer, then add some adjustable inductance, with the intention of setting it up to 'saturate' at the point where it'd give the action described above. And it worked... but they didn't really have a grasp for how much it would take to satisfy the needs of an unknown wire type, so they gave us adjusting room.

    As time went by, they found that the common wire types all fell within a certain range, and that most of the time, guys could run the slope on just one setting... and of course, wire manufacturers really worked out the details of wire alloys, and since that all resulted in needing a narrower range of adjustability, having 'em as separate coils was unnecessary, so they went to a single inductor, rather than three.

    Fast-forward to today: My little plastic-shell'd Hobart Handler doesn't even HAVE a slope or Z inductor. Why? 'cause they incorporated the necessary inductance, resistance, and saturation characteristics INTO the transformer.

    Cool, huh?

    Of course, if you go buy a brand new machine, they saved even more money in the design... they eliminated the transformer's fanciness, and substituted the output section with thyristors and a circuit board that monitors the output voltage and current, and varies the firing characteristics of the thyristors to create the voltage, current, and slope characteristics to give you controlled wire-depletion rate.

    And I think that's fine...

    But my preference is the older iron, partly because of the cost, predominantly because of the simplicity, and partly 'cause a lightning strike to my grain-bin clearly isn't gonna kill my welder... but mostly, because they work so danged well...

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    Hi Dave,

    I have both the cp250ts and a cp300 and understand how you are shifting the phase with the Caps on the AC mains. Would you say that the cp250ts slope coils might have odd inductance because the voltages would not be exactly the same across each coil coming from the secondary coils which might shorten the life of the transformer more, while the cp300 shares the single Z inductor coil and should be more even. I probably wont use the welder enough to see an issue with either one but I am just debating which one i would rather keep.
    Also I have some 15000uf Caps I plan to put in just after the 3 phase rectifer that should keep down the idle current and should operate with less buzz. I want to monitor inrush current to make sure I don't put in to many Caps and trip a breaker when I turn it on.
    Thanks

  6. #46
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    >...Would you say that the cp250ts slope coils might have odd inductance because the voltages would not be exactly the same across each coil coming from the secondary coils which might shorten the life of the transformer more, while the cp300 shares the single Z inductor coil and should be more even.

    I would not. There's no reason to expect that the transformer's life would be shortened under ANY circumstance... and even if it DID have an effect, ANY result would wind up having the same effect on both.

    >Also I have some 15000uf Caps I plan to put in just after the 3 phase rectifer that should keep down the idle current and should operate with less buzz. I want to monitor inrush current to make sure I don't put in to many Caps and trip a breaker when I turn it on.

    Well, I DEFINATELY wouldn't do that - with that kind of capacity across the output of the rectifier deck, you'll not only have a massive inrush every time you pull the trigger, you'll also have a really lousy arc-start/stop attitude out of the welder. If ANYTHING is going to damage the transformer or rectifier stack, having a large capacitance stuck in there WILL do it, because 30,000uf will look like a dead short for at least several cycles, and after you release the trigger, it'll maintain enough charge to burn your wire back to the tip. It'll eat the control contactor alive, too... so I highly advise against it.

    Keep in mind, Dan, that the whole concept of Constant Voltage is ALMOST, but not quite true. The transformer and output inductors' properties... resistance, inductance, and saturation points, are designed such that, when properly set up with wire, that the RATE at which the wire burns off, equates to the speed at which the wire feeder is feeding.

    Early wire-feed systems actually used a technique of sensing voltage at the supply output, to slightly modulate the wire speed. When wire voltage was low (meaning the arc gap was too small), the feed motor would slow down slightly, opening up the arc gap... and if the gap was too wide, output voltage would be high, causing the feed motor to speed up. Some portable welders still do this.

    Modern systems, rather than varying wire speed, allowed the supply output to hit a 'brick wall' as a result of primary winding resistance, inductance, and saturation... once the arc gap gets so small, the amount of current rises, increasing burn-off rate of the wire. As the arc gets wider, saturation occurs, causing voltage to sag and current to fall...

    And it all comes back to maintaining that tiny 'balance'.

    I'd say just go ahead and convert one or more, and give 'em a try... I doubt that you'll find ANY of them to be disappointing, hence, your criteria for keeping, or selling 'em off, will move to other circumstances.

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    Default Buzz...

    By the way... on mine... ANY of mine... I didn't hear any buzz... all I heard was the cooling fans roaring. In the 250TS, I'm considering putting some ballast resistance, or perhaps a triac-based dimmer in series, to try and slow the fan down a bit... it's a beast, and I"m sure I'll never work this thing hard enough to need that much airflow... dialing it back just 10% SHOULD cut the noise in half, or more.

  8. #48
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    Post For any of you dying to know...

    For any of you dying to know what's going on here, the answer is... well... nothing...

    Or not totally nothing, but not alot. Very busy with work travel, and warm, dry daylight hours will rapidly be coming to an end, so I'm scrambling to get other things done before Mother Nature banishes me to the workshop.

    Amidst driving, I came upon a possibility that I hadn't considered previously. My earlier observation was that current flow in the phase-shifted leg seemed hindered, even at the properly calculated capacity. My initial conclusion was that I had miscalculated capacitance, but after reconsidering my numbers, I don't think that's the reason.

    The reason the Haas-Kamp conversion works, is because the magnetic circulation within the power transformer maintains a figure-8 pattern. This means all three coils are doing work, and as load increases, current in each coil increases. The center coil, being phase-shifted by virtue of capacitors on each leg, changes phase based on current load (Xc and Xl, where frequency is constant), and will reach approximately maximum current, under maximum load, as long as there's sufficient capacitance to carry said current (that's what the calculation was all about, anyway).

    The one thing that COULD make a machine not perform as planned, with the capacity as calculated, is if, for some reason, the transformer windings as laid out on the terminal strip, are wound 'backwards' in one phase.

    In different terms... when line voltage is pushing the far LEFT coil DOWN, the far RIGHT coil needs to be pulling UP. If not, you don't get the figure-8 flow... no 'quadrature'.

    I've been back inside the 250 for several re-looks, and double checked my wiring, and everything appears correct... but there MAY be some way that the coil phasing isn't consistent.

    I've been considering different ways to determine proper phasing, and I believe the problem will be best solved through use of 4th-grade technology- a DC supply (a car battery charger) and a magnetic compass.

    When I get my next workshop opportunity, this will be the very first thing I do, and if I find that my phases are improper, it will take a little disassembly (back panel) and some cussing to swap two wires, but should yield pretty immediate results to both my current performance issue, and to the scenario noted above.

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    Dave, any more updates, or have you been so busy you haven't had a chance to work on the 'puzzle' recently? Also, one more question about which machine to look for, per your suggestion, it will be a Miller, would you have a preference between a 200, 250 and 300, and why? Any thoughts about the CP302, have you had a chance to look at those, or might they be too new to consider as a good candidate for a conversion? Also, is there a model year that would be good to look at, or possibly one that you don't want to go later than due to design changes which would complicate the conversion, or end up with less than ideal results when completed?

    I've heard that when looking for a Lincoln SA-200, you want the older style with the copper as opposed to aluminum windings, which worked 'better' but cost more, hence the change. Anything similar going on with any of these models, other than the before mentioned 3 phase power input type? 3 slope coils vs. one, etc?

    I'm sure any of them will have enough power for my welding, but, as is my personality type, all things being equal, bigger of course is better! I'm just looking for the best conversion candidate, power output is secondary, unless all the candidates are essentially equal.

    Thanks again, appreciate your hard work!

  10. #50
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    really nice projectl I am enjoying watching it thru. I am wondering reason for a few things you do....

    You reverse polarity on phase c from a. I assume this is to get more power thru the transformer into the output (weld) without overloading just phase a thru the xfmr.... neat idea I guess.... so both a & c phases supply same amount of power to the load.... then adding caps make phase b 90 electrical degrees out of phase with a so you get that set of rectified humps into the load (weld), also allowing use of the b phase of xfmr to supply load....interesting...

    so reason for all the xfmr changes is to allow it to continue to transform all its rated 11kw into the load as opposed to just sticking 1ph into a phase only and getting 11/3 or 4kw into load huh? neat.

    guess weld bead doesn't care about humpy dc not being symetrical huh? (Im not a welder)

    keep the posts coming!

  11. #51
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    Thumbs up Hi Mike, Hi Al!

    Sorry, yeah, I've been busy- my company workload and travel schedule has been very high since the first week of July, so I've been concentrating my home-time on keeping the house and property in check... I've been given a couple of 'heavy' outdoor-type projects here at the farm, so my shop time has been nil... but once it gets too cold to do much out there (and I have it all done), I'll be back on the CP250TS project.

    Mike- to answer your question... your interpretation sounds pretty close... I'll try to re-explain what the Haas-Kamp conversion is 'really' doing here.

    You have a three-phase transformer... and the transformer cores are all one piece of iron, shaped like a digital number 8, turned on it's side. That gives you three rungs of iron, arranged vertically, with primary and secondaries wrapped on each rung.

    In native mode, each rung carries current in 120-degree phase intervals. When operating this way, magnetic current makes a figure-8 pattern through the core.

    In a transformer, intensity magnetic current (flux) is the key to transmitting and converting power. If you saw through a transformer core, you'll interrupt the 'flux', and the transformer's ability to transmit and convert will be seriously crippled. There are actually variable transformers that HAVE an air-gap, that is MODULATED by a big insulated clamping bar... when the bar is clamped down, the transformer carries LOTS of power, and when open, it's barely there. In radio-frequency transformers (tuning your AM radio), they actually have a coil, where an iron slug is passed down INTO the transformer windings, to increase inductance, and therefore, alter the transformer's ability.

    As an aside note, if you look at some other welders... like the SRH-series, you'll see that the variable-gap has been replaced by a funky transformer, rectifier, and odd windings... and this circuit is controlled by a variable resistance... well, that's doing essentially the same thing as sawing the core... but rather, they're putting enough DC power INTO a 'snubber winding' to cause the transformer core to 'saturate'... load it with enough magnetism that the AC activity is quenched... and that's how they get variable output without multiple high-power 'taps' and stuff.


    Okay, so back to the figure-8 stuff. The Haas-Kamp conversion works because we're RESTORING the figure-8 flow of flux in the core. If you draw it out on paper, you'll see that running A and C inverted, causes a reciprocating circular flow in the core. When A pushes up, C pulls down, and vise-versa. Of course, B is doing absolutely nothing.

    So I take capacitors, calculate out a reasonable value for phase-shifting that center coil by 90ish degrees, and now, you have current flow that occurs in somewhat of a figure-8 pattern.

    But wait- that's not all!

    When running A and C only, the amount of magnetic flux flowing, is NOT the equivalent of A and C's full capacity... remember, the core was designed for three phases at 120-degree intervals, and magnetism flowing in these cores doesn't flow without building and collapsing a field... that means, you won't get full output efficiency out of A and C if B is just sitting there... it is, in effect, 'parasitic'... it's dragging 'ya down! Of course, it isn't visible with no load, but when you try to draw an arc, the transformer's 'confused' flux flow 'bucks' it's ability to make output, so the output sags mercilessly. This is why, when guys did the A-C (and leave B unhooked) experiment never got good performance.

    So, by applying an alternating current across B, that is 90 degrees out-of-phase, you have the effect of 'kicking' flux north-and-south through B, while A and C are IN TRANSITION.

    And in doing so, you boost A and C's current by a substantial chunk... because the center core is now no longer 'parasitic', it's active, and working WITH the A/C alteration, to get back to the figure-8 for which it was originally designed.

    So, A and C go back to full efficiency and B is now carrying current too.

    Now the really interesting thing, and something I haven't dug into really deeply yet...

    Is that, we calculate the capacity values in a very sophomoric way... you simply plug it in to determine full 90 degrees at full 90-degree load... but the reality here, is that you'll only get full phase shift AT full load.

    Well, it doesn't matter! When running at half load, you get somewhere between little and lots of phase shift, but as you INCREASE the load, phase current rises, and phase SHIFT increases to 90 degrees... rediculously slick.

    As for 'bumps' in the output... it simply isn't there... you're converting AC into DC, and after the smoothing coils are done with it, you've got hot blue light at the end of the wire.

    If you were running TIG, you'd have a high-frequency arc starter/stabilizer in there... by nature, that MAKES it 'bumpy'.

    If you're running a single-phase machine, you'd be rectifying a 180-degree interval, rather than 120... wouldn't you feel 'bumpyness' there? (I don't...)

    When you're running the venerable Lincoln Tombstone, do you feel the 'bumpiness' of the AC? Well, I do, but that's why I run an AC-class electrode...

    So it simply ain't a problem.

    As for Al's question re. the CP302... I haven't done one of those, so I won't make a solid statement on it one way or another, but I WILL tell you, that last I looked, the CP302
    's diagram appears to be the same as the early '70's CP-series... no electronics except for the diode stack... if that's the case, there shouldn't be a problem making that beastie buzz on single-phase.

    And finally... which would I prefer? Well, I haven't gotten the CP250TS done yet, so I can't rightfully say, but I can tell you THIS much: We've got a modern Millermatic 250 single-phase machine at the company fab shop, and I use it at least 2 days a week.

    The converted CP-200 will weld CIRCLES around it, and IMO, it did a much nicer job. I can't define any one attribution which justifies that statement, with exception that the CP-200's DUTY CYCLE is substantially higher than the MM250. At our shop, I typically do welds that make the cooling fan kick on after about 5 minutes... and when I've been welding for an hour, I notice that the machine starts getting 'weak'. Even after putting a 400A gun on it, it still needs a rest. With the CP200, I ran a Twecko #2, and was welding together a project that demanded pretty high duty-cycle, and I found the limits of that gun in no time, and the supply was having NO problems driving it to that capacity, and the only limit was my ability to be 'in the kitchen'. I think the best way to describe it, is that the modern machines are intended for 'shop' use, while these older supplies were built with the intention of being industrial supplies, like on a robot that ran 24/7. I loved that CP-200 (the first conversion guinea pig), and wouldn't hesitate to do another... but I had to jump onto the CP-250TS for sake of seeing if the conversion would work there, too!

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul39 View Post
    Dave,

    A 3 phase DC welder would give a more stable, smoother arc than a 1 phase welder?

    What you are doing is to lag the one leg of the input with the capacitors to stick a bump in the middle of the other two bumps?

    Assuming we are looking at the DC output wave form on an oscilloscope.

    Paul
    your right except for saying "stick a bump in the middle of the other two bumps?" It is really "stick a bump in the middle of the other bumps?" by inverting phase C 180 degrees, it is out of phase with A but when you full wave rectify A & C come out identical and on top of each other: ie., 2 humps not 4 for A&C. So B adds another 2 humps so he gets 4 total per 60hz not 6 total. That was why I asked my dumb question earlier.... seems inverting phase C does nothing additional that just putting same phase into it as A - in both cases it would still help convert the KW of high voltage into pri into low voltage at secondary and is good plan but inverting C doesnt help - am I wrong?

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    Hi Dave, didnt see ur reply when I replied a minute ago.... I see it now. Do you agree you get 4 current humps instead of 6 total out now? I'm going to send you a pm in a minute too....

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    Default Yes... and sorta

    Yes, if you look at a standard graph of all three phases, in one full cycle series, you'll get 6 'humps'. In a single-phase, you get two. With the welding transformer wired per my diagram, you'll get 4.

    And inverting C isn't a matter of 'helping'... it's mandatory. Flux from A going in the same direction as C, causes both to 'limit' eachother... it's CEMF. Invert them, and you have circular alteration through the frame.

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    Bump. C'mon Dave, you got me waiting on the edge of my chair. I'm about to go buy a junk welder just to repeat your experiment, and I'm wondering if you got the kinks worked out.

    Kudos BTW, for the effort!

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    Thumbs up 1500 miles away...

    Sorry, John- I'm 1500 miles from it... just the way the job is right now.

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    Default CP 200 question?

    THANK YOU for this great series of very good info!

    I just picked up a pair of Miller CP 200 machines (With only one partial Millermatic 10A wirefeed unit- Missing some parts)

    I bought two Surplus center 22-1295 round 60 [email protected] 480VAC, And two #22-1296 oval 60 [email protected] 480VAC motor run caps. (I bought two of each not really knowing what would work best in my conversions)

    I assume the bleeder resistors are for safety only to bleed down the caps when power is removed? 15K at 5 watts seems to be a kind of a strange value resistor...... What kind did you use, And where did you get them?
    (Are they plain carbon resistors, Sand type or ??)

    When I get mine all taken apart I hope I can check with you for help if I get stuck!

    Will the converted CP 200 work as a plain "stick" welder until I get the Millermatic 10 A wirefeed working? Any tips on using or testing it as a plain stick welder?

    (Almost all of my welding now is done on an old Lincoln "Buzz box" 180 amp AC only, And an older Miller "Sidekick" 120volt input machine for sheetmetal.)

    Thanks! Ken

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    Thumbs up No particular precision.

    Hi Ken!

    No particular precision or necessity for the bleeders, as long as you have a fair amount of bleeder resistance, and plenty of power handling capacity... you just want to discharge those caps so they don't hurt you, or burn up the contactor tips... and you want the dissipation high enough so that they won't overheat while you're running the welder.

    It'll stick-weld, but not very well... it's a constant-potential transformer system... for stick welding, you really need a constant-current system.

    I really liked the results I got from my CP-200... Keep us posted on your results!

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    Default Latest progress

    Okay, so I'm back home, and gave it some more tests.

    I checked polarity of the windings, thinking mebbie I had a coil that was wired backwards from the factory. I checked coil phasing by applying 12vdc to the terminal-strip set... that caused the far left coil to make the compass spin N to UP, and the far right to spin it S.

    Then I checked the center, and it spun N to LEFT... which means... all phasing is correct.

    There's only a few other possibilities... one would be a bad diode, so I did a diode test of every one, and they all pass current one way, block it in the other...

    There is a possiblity that I simply need more capacitance... so I'm gonna add some more...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sany8181.jpg   sany8180.jpg   sany8182.jpg  

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    what about the inductance device (just looks a transformer in the book)
    if that component is smoked maybe that would give you trouble?


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