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View Full Version : Pulsed aluminum mig off vantage 400?



feetfats
12-13-2010, 02:01 PM
I used a miller alumafeed syergic aluminum welding system
http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/alumafeed_weld_system/index.php
and I found it welded absolutely amazing on the pulsed setting. It made welding aluminum easy and beautiful.

I'm wondering if there is any equipment that I could buy to get similar results with a spool gun and running off a vantage 400 for portable jobs.

I suppose I could buy that whole $8000 system and run it off the vantage auxiliary power but that would be heavy and expensive.

Does anyone know if the welder that comes with the alumafeed system is just an xmt 350 or is it a whole different animal?

Matt_Maguire
12-13-2010, 02:37 PM
feet, as far as I know you're going to need a separate power supply no matter where you look for engine driven welding machines for portable pulse mig.

Matt

feetfats
12-13-2010, 09:13 PM
feet, as far as I know you're going to need a separate power supply no matter where you look for engine driven welding machines for portable pulse mig.

Matt

can I use a spool gun (a spoolmatic 200 or something) for pulsed mig with one of those power sources and what power source would be recommended. I think the wire would be .030 or .035 I don't exactly remember

It's probably not worth spending all that money for pulsed and should just use a spool gun.

BCRD
12-13-2010, 10:30 PM
Not sure if you are asking if you can pulse weld with a spoolgun (answer - yes), or if you can pulse mig directly from an engine drive (not unless you have a Miller Pipe Pro 304). An XMT / optima combination running the 30A spoolgun works great for pulsed mig aluminum. And this can be run off any generator (provided it has the power you require).

Does that answer your question?

Jason

feetfats
12-14-2010, 12:53 AM
Not sure if you are asking if you can pulse weld with a spoolgun (answer - yes), or if you can pulse mig directly from an engine drive (not unless you have a Miller Pipe Pro 304). An XMT / optima combination running the 30A spoolgun works great for pulsed mig aluminum. And this can be run off any generator (provided it has the power you require).

Does that answer your question?

Jason

I think that you mean I cannot add pulsed mig to the vantage without having the whole pulsed mig system that just runs off the vantage's auxiliary power.

However I could get the pipe pro 304 and an optima pulse control and spool gun and be good to go?

I think that I am going to stay away from pulsed aluminum mig at this point because it's looking very expensive but I do want to know what my options will be later on down the road.

I'm thinking of getting a vantage 400 and a miller 8vs suitcase and a spoolgun for the odd aluminum job.

Should I get the 12vs instead? I don't plan to run wire larger than 1.6mm and weight is always an issue?

DesertRider33
12-14-2010, 10:45 AM
Yes, you can use an Optima pulser with a Pipe Pro 304. That is the only engine drive machine you will be able to pulse mig with directly off the engine drive. All others, you would only be using the engine drive as a generator to power an inverter pulse machine, such as an XMT 350MPa or an XMT 304 or 350 with an Optima pulser, or a Lincoln C300 inverter with pulse option, I think it's called PowerWave C300. They also have a model similar to the C300 that doesn't have the internal wire feeder, but the one with the internal wire feeder would be the most useful for mobile aluminum, paired with a push-pull Python torch.

On the suitcase feeders, get the 12 model, not the 8, unless you're doing work inside ships where you need to fit the feeder through the man holes. The 12" models allow you to use 12" spools of wire, which some structural wires only come in 12", not 8". You can still use lighter 10-lb 8" spools in the 12" feeder and have a similar overall weight as using an 8" feeder. I bought a Suitcase 8RC and ended up buying a Suitcase 12RC too, due to not being able to run some wires with the 8. The 12 feeder is more versatile and doesn't weigh much more than the 8 and cost about the same.

As far as RC or VS, that depends on how you intend to use it. If you need to weld more than 75' from the machine, you need the VS. I prefer the RC, as they weld exactly like a shop mig in every respect, but they are limited in length and the control cable is not cheap at all. I don't care all that much for welding with the VS, but they are more versatile to use and easier/cheaper to hook up. The only reason I can get away with running RC's is because I have the XMT to run them from. If I cant reach the weld within 50' from the truck (which is the length of my control cable), I just move the XMT closer and run a longer ext cord to the XMT from the Bobcat.

feetfats
12-14-2010, 04:21 PM
Yes, you can use an Optima pulser with a Pipe Pro 304. That is the only engine drive machine you will be able to pulse mig with directly off the engine drive. All others, you would only be using the engine drive as a generator to power an inverter pulse machine, such as an XMT 350MPa or an XMT 304 or 350 with an Optima pulser, or a Lincoln C300 inverter with pulse option, I think it's called PowerWave C300. They also have a model similar to the C300 that doesn't have the internal wire feeder, but the one with the internal wire feeder would be the most useful for mobile aluminum, paired with a push-pull Python torch.

On the suitcase feeders, get the 12 model, not the 8, unless you're doing work inside ships where you need to fit the feeder through the man holes. The 12" models allow you to use 12" spools of wire, which some structural wires only come in 12", not 8". You can still use lighter 10-lb 8" spools in the 12" feeder and have a similar overall weight as using an 8" feeder. I bought a Suitcase 8RC and ended up buying a Suitcase 12RC too, due to not being able to run some wires with the 8. The 12 feeder is more versatile and doesn't weigh much more than the 8 and cost about the same.

As far as RC or VS, that depends on how you intend to use it. If you need to weld more than 75' from the machine, you need the VS. I prefer the RC, as they weld exactly like a shop mig in every respect, but they are limited in length and the control cable is not cheap at all. I don't care all that much for welding with the VS, but they are more versatile to use and easier/cheaper to hook up. The only reason I can get away with running RC's is because I have the XMT to run them from. If I cant reach the weld within 50' from the truck (which is the length of my control cable), I just move the XMT closer and run a longer ext cord to the XMT from the Bobcat.


Hey thanks for the information that was really helpful.
I do most of my welding at 75' or less so the rc will work fine. If I need to go further I will just run stick. I mostly plan to use the suitcase for some of the larger jobs that I quote on and want to make some more money. I think I am going to be losing access to the shop I currently use that has lots of wire feeders and stuff and will be working out of a much smaller shop without a large power supply so I would use the suitcase for feeding wire in there as well.

BCRD
12-14-2010, 04:33 PM
Agreed on the 12 model. Also, what power source are you running the suitcase off of? Only Miller units (with the remote control output) are directly compatible with the RC models, other units require an additional module. Which adds to the cost. VS models will run off any power source without additional modules.

Jason

feetfats
12-14-2010, 11:22 PM
Agreed on the 12 model. Also, what power source are you running the suitcase off of? Only Miller units (with the remote control output) are directly compatible with the RC models, other units require an additional module. Which adds to the cost. VS models will run off any power source without additional modules.

Jason


Thats good to know

I'm quickly realizing how little I know about the equipment that is available today so it's lucky that I have time for research.

And it's most likely going to be a vantage 400 as stated above many times and mentioned in the title :)


There are some changes heading to my company soon so I'm very uncertain as it's possible I may need to focus the money on shop equipment instead. I have to wait and see how this plays out over the next few months. Whatever I do I want to make sure that what I buy is as versatile as possible. So I want the wire feeder to work in shop or portable so the 12vs should be great for that.

AMC724
12-14-2010, 11:35 PM
correct me if im wrong...
but doesnt MK products? sell an inline pulse attachment?
i though i remember reading about somewhere on here in the past

AMC724
12-19-2010, 05:06 PM
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/tls/2109782081.html

Here is one of those inline pulsers i mentioned above

feetfats
12-19-2010, 11:40 PM
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/tls/2109782081.html

Here is one of those inline pulsers i mentioned above

Well that looks too easy, and cheap.

I wonder how well it works?

BCRD
12-20-2010, 02:43 AM
I seem to recall desertrider and another chap were discussing these units...

yep, this thread -

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=27845&highlight=powcon+pulse

Start reading post 8 and on. They might chime in with some more detail.

DesertRider33
12-20-2010, 08:57 PM
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/tls/2109782081.html

Here is one of those inline pulsers i mentioned above
I have 3 of those MK Pulse + units sitting in my garage right now.

AMC724
12-24-2010, 01:51 PM
I have 3 of those MK Pulse + units sitting in my garage right now.

wanna sell one?

DesertRider33
12-25-2010, 02:14 PM
wanna sell one?Sure, why not. :) PM me an offer and your zip code if interested.