Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

TIG welding machine with OK repairability rating?

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What is a tig welding machine that has a OK repairability rating, i.e. parts that are not glued down, no insane high voltage PCB card arrays, etc?

I know that Miller is horrid and should be avoided based on reviews unless you have bloated department money that you need to spend and get your company sucked into service contracts because of internal arcing, non cleanable design, over heating parts that burn the PCB and parts choice that becomes obsolete in 2 years, but is anything OK, or is the entire industry like this?

And with some design features like maybe a normal transformer for the control circuit rather then cascade failure set to blow switchmode flyback power supply chains.

Search for PDF service manuals/schematics for all the ones currently being sold and see what you can find.
That is my number 1 requirement to find something worth getting.  Then I look for reviews to check that modal is not shit.
Then I check and see if replacement PCB boards are available.

The really high end brands will be more reliable but also double the price of the cheaper china ones. So if you had to buy a 2nd one to fix a broken one you are still better off and have lots of spare parts.

The TIG welder I got was a jasic wse200p, but that is old now, lots more new stuff that is better.
Make sure you get one that can do adjustable frequency AC for doing aluminum.  Some are fixed to 50hz and you really want adj up to at least 100hz, ideally 300Hz

One failure mode of TIG welders that people don't consider is that
 - The device sits in a workshop
 - The device has large open grills down all sides for good airflow
 - Bits of metal and metal dust are flying around inside a workshop all the time
All you need is one piece of metal to fly into the air grill and should a mosfet out and BANG
Make sure you treat a TIG welder as the piece of gear it is, not something you can throw around and abuse like other tools in a workshop. Keeping a cover over it when not in use is a really good idea.

does any manufacturer provide component level diagrams?

For instance, miller provides fake service manuals (if you read the testimonials, about 0% of users manage to fix their machines or even diagnose an issue by following this).

Is anyone not balls deep in subassembly replacement scams, in case a $1 power resistor goes bad? Please replace 8 power transistors, 4 control ICs and 15 diodes because 1 resistor over heated due to a design oversight.

I am almost wondering if the knock offs are better then the 'brand name' units because the copy cats unfucked the deeply hidden MTBF parts 'time on target' attack by putting shitty parts in obvious places, and that the shitty parts are actually more available then some custom made slightly retuned rebadged transistors that the brand name ones likely have, and the design might be more flexible with replacement parts.

Because I am thinking that its a fucking inverter, its not metrological grade cutting edge shit, it chops the fucking power grid to melt metal within the bounds of a god damn human hand, its just not that tuned. If it was for a robot, then I agree the copy cats would have a hard time, but its for a human operator, I am thinking there is only so much you can do with the electronics, there are too many unstable factors that the design should require ultra expensive electronics.

I write this when I am contemplating taking a die grinder to capacitors on the miller PCB board. Lovely glue job between two heat sinks on 5 pin capacitors.  |O

Maybe I should just keep it all natural with the acetylene flame, no melanoma from UV from that shit, people have been living around high thermal radiation sources for a long time before the arc was invented.

If you do get a cheaper china one
- Don't get the cheapest china one, get a more expensive china one.
- Don't run it at 100% load, consider 80% your max.

Sometimes if you can figure out who is actually making all the rebranded versions you can then buy that company's own brand. Which usually gets you a better quality unit.

Usually the OEM will build it to the spec requested and this is often a lower price point so the quality suffers vs the OEM's own brand.
The OEMs own brand is also usually been tested a lot more and the design has had time to mature.


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