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Cheapo Chinese Welder Tweak


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#1 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 09:59 AM

I have a Princess Auto 120V Stick welder.

I've been using it pretty hard for 8 years or so.

I could make decent welds with 5/64 rod if I cranked it up. But no way could I burn 1/8 or even 3/32 rods

 

The other day, I went to turn it on and nothing happened.

 

A little investigation revealed that the connections from the switch to the primary windings were really poorly crimped and badly corroded. The resulting heat had heated one of the terminals in the switch. causing it to lose its connection.

 

I messed with the switch until I got it working again. Then I replaced and crimp/soldered all of the connections in the welder.

 

Now I find that I can turn it down considerably and still burn a 5/64 rod, and with the amps cranked, even managed to strike an arc and lay a short bead with a 1/8 6011 rod I had here.

 

I'm quite happy with it now, and I was pretty happy with it before.

 

After some discussion with the engineers at work, It was determined that the current loss caused by the loose/corroded connections on the primary windings was causing a loss of current at the output. The heat from the bad connections caused the switch to melt. I'm betting that the connections were bad from the beginning, and I never got full amps from it.

 

Added bonus, I don't pop the breaker as much now, which means my power requirements have gone down to do the same work. Also , less heat = less resistance increase,

 

Win Win


Edited by Chopperhed, May 10, 2014 - 10:00 AM.

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#2 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the tip.  I usually try to crimp/solder my connections, in my experience just crimping usually as some point will come back and bite you in the ,,,,


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#3 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 12:18 PM

Thanks for the tip.  I usually try to crimp/solder my connections, in my experience just crimping usually as some point will come back and bite you in the ,,,,

 

That's what they did on a little of old, good quality connections. 

 

Ben W.


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#4 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 02:19 PM

That's what they did on a little of old, good quality connections. 

 

Ben W.

They also used good quality components and tools.

 

I had a journeyman tell me that soldering in this situation may have not been the best idea, since the heat would probably melt the solder.

 

I'll take the chance. I build high voltage high horsepower variable frequency speed controls and drive controllers for oilfield pumps and motors. We rarely solder anything, but we use top quality hydraulic crimp tools and compression lugs for the big stuff, and standard crimp on connectors for the control wiring. The only time we solder a connection is if its on a circuit board, or there is a noise issue.

 

The problem with the cheapo Chinese welder, was the fact that they used  parallel primary windings made from heavy gauge aluminum wire, with cheap crimp on connectors. They weren't tight and they corroded and made a lot of heat. They used two #10 solid aluminum wires stuffed into a single spade connector and crimped.

 

My thoughts are that the solder will help prevent further corrosion. and ensure less heat.



#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 04:58 PM

That's the key, to use a good quality terminal and the right tool for crimping it. I've seen 30+ yr old lab equipment with crimped connections that was corroded and rusted on the outside from acid fumes and still those crimped connections were fine. They were done right to start with which yields a gas tight connection and they are just as good as solder for many applications. 

   The connection won't heat up if it's properly sized for the load and made correctly, solder or crimp. 


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#6 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 05:04 PM

If you have connections getting hot enough to melt the solder, you have bigger issues the that. IMO

 

 

Glad to hear the welder is performing better for you now.






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