wasp2003
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Thread: wasp2003

  1. #1
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    Jan 2017
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    15

    wasp2003

    Hi guys, first time posting. I recently acquired an old airco 330 amp welder from my dad. He got it to try tig but never got around to it so he gave it to me. Long story short, I went to weld some angle and couldn't strike an arc. Remote set to standard, contactor set to standard, HF off, straight polarity, 125 amps 6011 rod. I let the machine run for about 10 minutes while I was checking all cables to make sure I wasn't missing something. Well lo and behold, a contactor? under the fan started to smoke. I Shut the machine down and flipped the breaker off to be safe. I called my dad and he said something about a knife switch but I don't see it anywhere. He said he flipped it for tig so I'm assuming it's still in that position.

    Here's a picture of the part that started to smoke, can anyone identify it for me and explain how to check if I fried it?
    Name:  20170102_174232.jpg
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
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    13,054

    Re: wasp2003

    The knife switch isn't really a switch, it's a big lever in the upper left corner under the flip up cover.

    Open is for tig, closed is for stick.

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    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2017
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    15

    Re: wasp2003

    Hey Dave, thanks for the quick response! I have two lugs with nuts on them right there. If I put a picture up of it, think you could help?

  4. #4
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    Bemidji MN
    Posts
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    Re: wasp2003

    Post them up, I'm sure someone will know
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    15
    The metal bar was attached to the one it is currently on and the one above that is attached to nothing. I disconnected it and tried it like it shows in the picture, no smoke, but still no arc.

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  6. #6
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    Re: wasp2003

    Now that I look at the picture of the contactor. It looks more like something melted and dripped onto it from above but I couldn't see anything else up there that could have melted. My old man had no problems running stick on this machine. Just my luck I guess.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    15

    Re: wasp2003

    Well I went to the Welding store for some tungsten and a gas cup. Apparently not many people know anything about these welders. On the bright side I tore the side and back panels off. The 60 amp contactor in the rear had cracks in it and wasn't closing when the power was on. Had a buddy who's an electrician wire it straight. It would arc but felt like it was at maybe 15 or 20 amps. Switch contactor to remote and it welds like it should. Going to try and find a replacement.

  8. #8
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    Bemidji MN
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    Re: wasp2003

    Any contactor that carries the specs of the old one will do.

    Trying to find an original may be too difficult.

    It may help your search, and your dealing with the welding store, to reference the machine as a miller 330 abp instead of an airco.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    15

    Re: wasp2003

    I have a question for you Dave, my welder only works when I flip the contactor switch to remote. If I put the pedal to the floor its a soft arc and as I let off the pedal it gets stronger. Is that correct?

  10. #10
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    Re: wasp2003

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe757 View Post
    I have a question for you Dave, my welder only works when I flip the contactor switch to remote. If I put the pedal to the floor its a soft arc and as I let off the pedal it gets stronger. Is that correct?
    That is backwards actually.
    Floor it like a car and it gives you more amps.
    Let off the "throttle" and it gives you less.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    3,273

    Re: wasp2003

    metallic is stick and inert gas is tig weld settings. You want to stick weld in reverse polarity, this puts positive voltage on the electrode holder and work is negative. Standard polarity is used for TIG, Negative on the torch. Some of the AIRCO units are a little different than the Miller units.
    Sometimes Miller tried new ideas in the AIRCO units before putting them in theirs.

  12. #12
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    Re: wasp2003

    That makes a lot sense as to why i was having trouble starting a couple rods that i tried. That's a very helpful hint! So far I am in love with this machine, it melts rods like butter (even in wrong polarity) Hopefully when I install a new contactor I can straighten out the backwards foot pedal and how it only gives me amperage in remote problems

    Here are a few pictures of the actual machine if anyone is interested.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Bemidji MN
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    Re: wasp2003

    They work great - used mine for several years tig and stick. The 7018 arc characteristics are really really nice
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    6,432

    Re: wasp2003

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe757 View Post
    Hi guys, first time posting. I recently acquired an old airco 330 amp welder from my dad. He got it to try tig but never got around to it so he gave it to me. Long story short, I went to weld some angle and couldn't strike an arc. Remote set to standard, contactor set to standard, HF off, straight polarity, 125 amps 6011 rod. I let the machine run for about 10 minutes while I was checking all cables to make sure I wasn't missing something. Well lo and behold, a contactor? under the fan started to smoke. I Shut the machine down and flipped the breaker off to be safe. I called my dad and he said something about a knife switch but I don't see it anywhere. He said he flipped it for tig so I'm assuming it's still in that position.

    Here's a picture of the part that started to smoke, can anyone identify it for me and explain how to check if I fried it?
    Name:  20170102_174232.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  57.2 KB
    That's the machines Contactor, which sends current to the torch to make the arc. The coil is toast.

    You can use any 115 volt coil two or three pole 30-40 amp contactor to replace it. eBay has a lot of them. You might have to make some small modifications to the copper wires connected to it, but anything in the range I described will work. This Contactor doesn't carry the full weld current like some other machines, so you can get away with a much smaller rated one for this application. Machines like the Lincoln TIG 300/300 uses a very expensive in house manufactured Contactor rated for several hundred amps, even the old Miller Dialarc HFs used a 60-70 amp Contactor since it was carrying actual weld current.

    You can verify coil voltage by putting a meter set to AC volts on the two screws the orange and black wires connect to, briefly hit the pedal and look at the voltage. You can remove the leads to prevent the Contactor from operating, just make sure they're not touching anything or you'll blow the fuse protecting the 115 circuit.

    As ccawgc said, some Airco machine are different than their Miller counterparts.. Manuals are often condensed and vague on specific details between revisions. I have a very old manual for these machines dating back to the very early 70s. It has quite a few useful things in it even more than the condensed technical manual on the extranet (miller dealers/service center website). I will get it scanned at some point and put it into a PDF so I can post it to the site. I can email you a tech manual for your machine, but most stuff in there will likely be different from your machine. PM me your email address if you want a copy.

    Replace the Contactor and your problems will likely go away.
    Last edited by 7A749; 01-04-2017 at 11:48 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    15

    Re: wasp2003

    Replaced the contactor. It seems my adjustment knob doesn't do anything in A B or C. Tried using a 6/32 rod @ 35 amps on a dirt bike frame and it would bare your arc in A at 35a and in B at 35a it burned right through the frame. Sorry for bothering you guys with all the questions.

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