300 syncrowave questions
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  1. #1
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    300 syncrowave questions

    I am going to look at a pretty old 300 soon. It has the cooler on the bottom, water cooled torch, and all cables. Asking $1000. Anything I should be wary of with this older machine? I will have the chance to fire it up beefore buying, but what else to check out? I believe it to be one of the early syncs due to lack of features on the newer ones, and it does not have the needle gauges on the front like some of the other older models I have seen. Thanks for any suggestions and help.

  2. #2
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Serial # ?

    Those needle gauges are called analog readouts or meters more loosely.

    They were usually optional on machines of that age & general manufacture. The 300's were produced from the early '70's to late '80's.

    As far as operation, they are a fully solid state TIG machine meaning SCR's are used to control & produce the welding output. Can't say offhand what features your unit in particular has, but they were good solid machines. Weigh around 800 or so #'s, maybe a little more off the top of my head. With the TIG runner cooler, etc more for sure.

    Word of caution: You will need upwards of around 200+ amps @ 230 volts input power to run it at full potential. If you have 460 VAC available, a much better route to go.

    ALL Syncrowave machines are single phase. Some people mistakenly say otherwise, just clarifying.

    At the very least, a 100 amp circuit on that machine to see better than poor low end performance. Even at that, it will be very inefficient & lack top end power. Expect to be resetting your breaker often if you push it too much. Especially on AC TIG. The additional 115 VAC drawn from the HF transformer/components will quickly max an insufficient amp value breaker out.

    Even analog machines such as the Miller A/BP 330 will run on 60 amps OK, but any AC current using continuous HF applications will quickly trip anything under the 80-100 amp input power range. I had one in my garage for years. Did OK on DC but any real draw on AC TIG would quickly result in a trip to the box to reset the breaker.

    End of story: If you have a way to move it & the power to run it, not too bad a deal. Seen them go for much less tho. I would offer $700-800 & see what happens.

    IMHO of course.

    Let us know how you make out.
    Last edited by 7A749; 02-25-2011 at 09:26 PM.
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

  3. #3
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Thanks for the reply. I knew I was going to need a 100 amp breaker, saw it is listed for 96 amps on plate. 100 amp may not be enough to do 1/4" aluminum? This is the primary reason for even looking at it. I don't know if I would ever really need to do 1/4, but definately 1/8 to 3/16 aluminum. We don't have 460 at the farm, and the main breaker at the pole is 200, so I would really need to step down a little bit in the shop, currently a 100 amp breaker there. Maybe this welder is just too big for my area? Thanks again for the input.

  4. #4
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbs68 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I knew I was going to need a 100 amp breaker, saw it is listed for 96 amps on plate. 100 amp may not be enough to do 1/4" aluminum? This is the primary reason for even looking at it. I don't know if I would ever really need to do 1/4, but definately 1/8 to 3/16 aluminum. We don't have 460 at the farm, and the main breaker at the pole is 200, so I would really need to step down a little bit in the shop, currently a 100 amp breaker there. Maybe this welder is just too big for my area? Thanks again for the input.
    I don't know where you got 96 amps from, unless you were referencing an entirely different machine. That sounds more like what an S'wave 250 requires @ 230 VAC. A picture or SN would clarify.

    The Syncrowave 300 requires 225 amps @ 230 VAC, 100 amps @ 460 VAC per operation specs in the tech manual.

    1/4" AL is no fooling around. You'll need a lot more than half the required input power to even think about doing it with this machine. At full required input, it will handle that no problem providing you are using the correct torch size & a cooler.

    Again a serial number or picture would help a lot. I think you may be looking at a different machine all together.
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

  5. #5
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    From the pictures he sent me, which I can't post here without being blurry, it is a 300. The back panel states 96 amps @230v. Not trying to discredit what you have said, just going by the camera phone pictures he sent me. I had a feeling it was going to be too big for my shop's electrical system. As I said, I wouldn't be doing much 1/4, and if I did, many times I could get at both sides for better penetration. It is an hour and 1/2 drive, so maybe I will con the wife and boy into going and make a nice day trip out of it. If I can get it for a decent price, maybe I will drag it home anyhow and see what I can do. With all the extras, I should be able to sell it later on for what I have in it (I hope). Thanks again for the help.

  6. #6
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Funny thing about the electric- Suprising we don't have more than 200 amp service. I do remember when the electric was off, and we had to put the pto generator to use. If we had too many things running at one time, we could sure make that 4020 growl. We could be milking and have what was needed on in the house, turn on a silo unloader, and watch the smoke blow from that 4020.

  7. #7
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Did a little looking on the Miller website. The 300 does need 225 amps at full power (ouch). Miller also states that the Syncro 200 will do 1/4" aluminum, true? I have heard that numbers get stretched once in a while? Should I wait until I can afford a 200 or 250, or should I pursue this 300 on the cheap, and do the best I can with my power supply? I guess I don't understand how the 200 or 250 can do the same job with less power than the 300. I know that an inverter machine is a whole different story. Thanks again for the help.

  8. #8
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbs68 View Post
    Did a little looking on the Miller website. The 300 does need 225 amps at full power (ouch). Miller also states that the Syncro 200 will do 1/4" aluminum, true? I have heard that numbers get stretched once in a while? Should I wait until I can afford a 200 or 250, or should I pursue this 300 on the cheap, and do the best I can with my power supply? I guess I don't understand how the 200 or 250 can do the same job with less power than the 300. I know that an inverter machine is a whole different story. Thanks again for the help.
    If you can, email me a pic of that plate. I want to see it. It's been some time since I have been up close to a 300 & the manuals have been incorrect before. I was also going off what the tech manual said. Very well could be incorrect, unless the pic of the plate was from a different machine. If it truly is a 96 amp input, see if you can get it for less & buy it.

    As far as the S'wave 200 doing 1/4" don't count on it lasting very long if you push it that hard. You'll smoke an air cooled torch at those demands pretty fast too.

    See what the seller will do on the 300 & post it up.
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

  9. #9
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbs68 View Post
    I am going to look at a pretty old 300 soon. It has the cooler on the bottom, water cooled torch, and all cables. Asking $1000. Anything I should be wary of with this older machine? I will have the chance to fire it up beefore buying, but what else to check out? I believe it to be one of the early syncs due to lack of features on the newer ones, and it does not have the needle gauges on the front like some of the other older models I have seen. Thanks for any suggestions and help.
    If the cooler is built in to the bottom of the welder (called TIG runner kit) it is the latest newer model.
    It is well worth the $1000. No question about it.
    Many Syncrowaves did not have the (optional) DC guages. Not a big deal, and you can buy them seperately and plug them in if you want.

    The new ones with digital buttons instead of analog DIALS are not as good as far as I am concerned. And those digital push button machines had failures.
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  10. #10
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A749 View Post
    If you can, email me a pic of that plate. I want to see it. It's been some time since I have been up close to a 300 & the manuals have been incorrect before. I was also going off what the tech manual said. Very well could be incorrect, unless the pic of the plate was from a different machine. If it truly is a 96 amp input, see if you can get it for less & buy it.

    As far as the S'wave 200 doing 1/4" don't count on it lasting very long if you push it that hard. You'll smoke an air cooled torch at those demands pretty fast too.

    See what the seller will do on the 300 & post it up.
    You can weld 1/4 inch with a Syncrowave 250.
    The question is How large is the weldment and how is it prepared?
    I would get the water cooled torch. If it has the water cooler built into the bottom of it .
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  11. #11
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A749 View Post
    I don't know where you got 96 amps from, unless you were referencing an entirely different machine. That sounds more like what an S'wave 250 requires @ 230 VAC. A picture or SN would clarify.

    The Syncrowave 300 requires 225 amps @ 230 VAC, 100 amps @ 460 VAC per operation specs in the tech manual.

    1/4" AL is no fooling around. You'll need a lot more than half the required input power to even think about doing it with this machine. At full required input, it will handle that no problem providing you are using the correct torch size & a cooler.

    Again a serial number or picture would help a lot. I think you may be looking at a different machine all together.
    The Syncrowave 250 requires a 60-70 amp breaker but they will work fine on a 50 amp breaker if you do not exceed 150 amps output.
    I used one for 11 years on a 50 amp breaker. But I did not exceed 150 amps output.
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  12. #12
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Branscom View Post
    The Syncrowave 250 requires a 60-70 amp breaker but they will work fine on a 50 amp breaker if you do not exceed 150 amps output.
    I used one for 11 years on a 50 amp breaker. But I did not exceed 150 amps output.
    96 amps @ 230 VAC. Nameplate input power for a 250 (std model 60 HZ). Yes, indeed, it can be run on less. As I already stated, try pushing it for anything AC & you'll find yourself resetting a 50 amp breaker quite often. It's just not enough to run it properly. When I had the shop, I ran my '97 250 off an 80 amp circuit. It did well, never overloaded the breaker & I pushed it pretty good on AL.

    There's a world of difference between the S'wave 200 & 250 tho. The 200 was the model in question as to being able to weld 1/4" AL.

    I have only 50 amps available to me in the garage, I have been there, done that. Had an '82 A/BP 330 & two S'wave machines (a '97 & '07 DX) in the last 12 years & even the brand new DX won't do too hot on AL if you push it. I did a run of box truss modifications (used in stage lighting & AV setups) several years ago using the '97 machine & the majority of it was around 3/16" thick. I blew the 50 amp breaker about three times during the work.
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

  13. #13
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Branscom View Post
    If the cooler is built in to the bottom of the welder (called TIG runner kit) it is the latest newer model.
    It is well worth the $1000. No question about it.
    Many Syncrowaves did not have the (optional) DC guages. Not a big deal, and you can buy them seperately and plug them in if you want.

    The new ones with digital buttons instead of analog DIALS are not as good as far as I am concerned. And those digital push button machines had failures.
    Optional readouts/meters require much more than simply "plugging them in" to an existing base model machine. Especially Miller machines such as the S' wave 300. The Shopmaster was just another. The little diagram showing where the meters went is there, not the precision cut hole for them tho.

    Generally, an additional face plate was included with optional field install readout or meter kits. There were no provisions for adding optional meters or other options such as pulse, balance control, etc on the solid base model face plate the machine left the factory with. Later on, Miller added holes to base model machines & plugged them with plastic pop in plugs. Genius. Much easier & cheaper than having to manufacture additional faceplates for option field install kits.

    I have seen older model machines (mostly wire feeders) where options were added & the original faceplate was "modified" (usually with a pair of tin snips or a punch) & the end result looks like heII. A water jet can be used to accurately modify an existing plate, but most guys don't have one just kicking around to do the work. When it comes to doing the job right, paying a reputable shop to mod a factory face plate W/a water jet is the best way to go.

    I have done my share of 100% OEM Miller machine refurbs & repops on OEM faceplates. Just stating fact VS internet myth.

    Try finding a factory original optional install plate with the windows for meters, etc for that machine. Finding the meters or DRO's for it is easy. The faceplate is the though part.

    Better luck getting Lady Gaga to sing at your kid's birthday party.

    As far as the integrated cooler being offered with the S'wave 300, model year had nothing to do with it. It was, as comparable machines are offered today, as both a stand alone power source, or sold as a complete package with running gear & integrated cooler.

    BTW, digital readouts are generally just as, if not more accurate & reliable than analog meters. Unlike analog meters (that can be effected by physical shock, etc), most DRO's can be precisely calibrated for preset adjustment & give accurate readings within a tenth of a volt in many cases. Sure, digital circuitry can have issues at times, but it's standard on most all advanced welding equipment & stands up to the toughest demands & environments. I will not argue that most analog equipment is very robust & usually lasts indefinitely. In most cases however, standards today require recordable, traceable data that only digital machines can provide. Bought plenty of perfectly good "outdated" equipment that had to be replaced with digital machines because of ISO or other "New World Manufacturing" BS.

    Not trying to argue, just stating what I know from years of experience both selling & refurbishing Miller machines. I have seen you post some pretty incorrect information regarding machine specs & values both here & on Miller. I don't know a lot, but what I know, I know & know well.

    I'm not going to participate in a flame war, but I will call it when I know it isn't correct.

    IMHO of course.
    Last edited by 7A749; 02-27-2011 at 01:29 AM.
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

  14. #14
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    I do not care about Lady Gaga whoever she is.

    As far as installing optional meters I have done it and I had no problems.
    But I am very skilled metal worker.

    The kits I received were just fine and the wires were long enough etc.,.
    I had to mount the guage too but it was not a problem.

    I guess I won't use that term Plug and Play on this forum anymore.

    I still like the Syncrowave 250 with DIALS. I do not like pecking at buttons like a crow. Especially with welding gloves on.

    I bought a Miller syncrowave 250 that had the first built in bottom mount "TIG RUNNER" water cooling unit brand new.
    It cleaned up all the hoses and eliminated that noisy Bernard water cooling unit.

    My first BRAND NEW Miller XMT 304 had a digital read out partially dissappear only a couple months after I bought it.
    I have had several digital read outs fail. My new microwave at my home had a digital read out fail just after purchasing it.
    They are NOT RELIABLE YET.

    Even two of three gold plated computers in the space shuttle have failed on one of the missions.

    That is just my opinion. I post what I know also from my personal experience.
    I have never had a failure of any of the Syncrowave 250 machines that I have used. All analog.
    I used one Syncrowave 250 for 11 years six hours (actual welding) per day in production welding.

    I just bought a brand new Miller Syncrowave 200 "modern" welding machine
    and I have heard of two problems so far from forum members with that machine
    I am keeping my fingers crossed. If there is a failure and even if Miller covers the repair, I have to load the machine in my truck and drive many miles and spend lots of money on gas and bridge fees to get to the repair facility. Then I have to go back a second time to
    pick up the machine. I do not like failures. So far that has only happened with my first inverter "digital" machine.

    Some people that grew up with computers think it is acceptable to have an electronic failure.
    I do not accept it. I think a machine should be tested a lot BEFORE it is sold to the public.
    And the worst of all is when a company sells a product with "known issues"!!!!

    There are many shops that are not ISO compliant in the USA.
    If it is a large manufacturer exporting products overseas they may need to be ISO compliant.
    And NO.....I do not know all the rules and laws about that.
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 02-27-2011 at 11:11 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    "Optional readouts/meters require much more than simply "plugging them in" to an existing base model machine. Especially Miller machines such as the S' wave 300. The Shopmaster was just another. The little diagram showing where the meters went is there, not the precision cut hole for them tho."

    Yes...I had to remove the top sheet metal cover first.
    The guages I received attached right to the face plate and the location was even clearly marked. I did have to drill two holes.
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  16. #16
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    My Miller Syncrowave 200 manual says that the machine will draw 54 amps input on 150 amps output AC tig.
    Last edited by Donald Branscom; 02-27-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: 300 syncrowave questions

    Done yet?
    All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom......

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