Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread
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  1. #1
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    Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    i am restarting a thread that seems to have gone away in the site crash. Hf Vulcan pro-tig 200 I would like to know + or- this machine. What kind of consumables? Hope it uses std torch parts. Initial setup and lets please keep our focus.. I will say it seems to be a solid machine for a guy working in a home shop and may even work for a shop where welding is not all we do..

  2. #2
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Cool,

    I think I saw a very brief video of someone using it effectively enough. And forum member Shovelon is an old pro that did the beta-testing on it and some other new Vulcan units, I believe, for Harbor Freight.

    But I did notice a video by ChuckE2009, where he demo-ed one, and had an obviously bad time with AC arc starts on aluminum, if I recall correctly.

    I'm guessing that he got a problematic unit, and that most will have better luck, so to speak.

    So, I'd like to see more video demonstrations of that new unit, especially with AC arc starts, as it seems pretty cool to me, in that it's digital, priced well, it's well equipped, full-featured, and has that interesting "1 YEAR RISK FREE TRIAL – MONEY BACK GUARANTEE".

    A lot of people seem to dig the two new Vulcan MIG units.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    But I did notice a video by ChuckE2009, where he demo-ed one, and had an obviously bad time with AC arc starts on aluminum, if I recall correctly.
    Chuckee is the same guy who dismantled his harbor freight portaband to change the blade....completely idiotic. I am sure his issue with arc starts could have been alleviated by checking the ground and/or using a non contaminated tungsten. I wouldn't put too much faith into anything Chuckee says about anything Harbor Freight. His paying sponsors wouldn't be happy if he said a Harbor Freight welder was just as good as anything in it's price class. I am sure he is biased since he doesn't want to bite the green/yellow hand that feeds him.

    That being said, Harbor Freight really will stand behind their try it for 1 year money back guarantee. I bought an Omnipro 220 that wouldn't stick weld at all...defective unit. I brought it back and they not only refunded the purchase price, but the extended warranty as well, no questions asked. I loved the way that unit MIG welded. So don't be afraid to buy one and try it. You really have no risk which is something hardly anyone else offers you.

    Terry (Shovelon) said he ran a beta model of the Pro-TIG in production until he smoked the torch, and said the unit did pretty well. Hopefully he will be along here shortly to give you his own words. The only real gripes people have had is the machine doesn't have an adjustable post flow timer, and they squawk about the cost of the wasted argon shielding gas. To me that dog doesn't hunt. If the machine has a post flow that is 15 seconds too long, then 15 seconds of argon at 20 CFH per hour is 0.08 cubic feet of argon, which cost between 2 and 4 cents depending on where you get your gas and the size of the bottle you buy. You lose more money in the cushion of your couch than you will lose in argon costs.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Wow! It's been a long time since I addressed the Protig200. Let me start from the beginning. A guy visits my shop, says his company is designing a dual voltage 200 amp Tig welder. Wants me to evaluate. OK but what do you want to know? He says would you compare against your current dual voltage, air cooled, 200 amp Tigs, pros and cons, for a month? OK I says.

    That black box welded nothing like my Dynasty200, but very much like my Lincoln SW200, right down to the buzz, and the pulse adjustment and synergies like post flow timing. First thing was duty cycle. Yes I tried to kill it. Only plugged into 120 volts could I get it to trip off. Back on 230 volts I was welding heavy alum bar to see how fast I could push the torch. The original flex torches got smoking and alarmingly floppy. Eventually the rubber cracked off and the dude brought me some more to kill. I mentioned that this black box started the arc like my Lincoln right down to the pop start. He says we will talk about that when he brings the pre release unit.

    Well he brings 2 orange Tigs named Vulcan and a bunch of NDA forms and introduces himself as a product design engineer with Harbor Freight. Says if I would be so generous to killify these for a year and talk to him about my observations. Turns out there were a few others in the region doing the same. First off the flimsy torches had to go. There were 3 styles of pedals and the rear hinge pedal were useless. I lobbied for the center hinge but they improved the rear hinge pedal instead. One Tig had a pulse go to 20, and the other to 200. I told now 2 engineers that the 20 pulse max Tig was almost useless. I showed them why and I got my way on that one.

    So after a year of building structures and debriefing my findings I heard nothing other than "We are working on the final configuration". Then I get requested to have a film crew come in my shop to do a video showing me weld 'alum and a professional perspective. Hold the phone I say. In the current states of these machines I would not recommend. This did not go own well and after telling them why they discovered that they never gave me the final version. So they pulled a carton out of the warehouse and drove it over. I says give me a week or so. WOW! All of the issues were addressed! As much as I did not like the pedal and it's cheesy plug, it is fine, with a much better plug, and half my crew actually prefers it. The torch is now solid body and stands up to heat well enough. The hoses and flow gauges actually work well and are accurate (none worked at all before).

    So, what I do like is that it is idiot simple like my 2 Lincoln SW200s. I like the capacitor discharge "pop" arc start. I love the low to high speed pulse mode giving up to 200 pps. I like the copper contacts ground clamp just like my Lincolns. I like the one year trial, no questions asked.

    What I don't like is rigid torch. That would eventually become a TecTorch FX17. I still don't prefer the pedal, but SSC controls makes an aftermarket center pivot pedal, and also their new 4 step finger amptrol that can be bought from member Gamble on this forum. I detest the cheap Chinese standard soft copper torch parts. Those were immediately replaced with TecTorch medium gas lens kits. I also don't like to have to purchase the 3 year warranty. I fought on that one but lost. $75 is not horrible.

    The machine itself is as solid as my Lincoln SW200s. They even have the little hidden compartment on the face. One could outfit the machine with upgrades of their choice. Every part is interchangeable with my Lincoln Tigs as well. The dinse connectors are exactly the same.

    As far as the synergic post flow, if it feels like it is too long, well there are other steps to reduced gas consumption. Anyway Harbor Freight left me with 3 ProTigs. One per release is being used at the local university, the final release Tig is being used by my new hire, and the second per release is on standby for field jobs. I would recommend anyone considering a purchase to opt for the 3 year upgrade.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Well,

    I don't think there's a conspiracy afoot with ChuckE2009 having a problem with the AC arc starts, or that he might have been trying to purposesly sabatoge the demonstration in that way to please existing or previous (Green/Yellow) sponsors of his.

    I mean, yeah, I think I recall that the demo of the HF unit was a personal purchase, which may have been a give-away unit, in a Paytreon scheme of some sort, and was not a machine sent from HF for promoting and demonstrating on web.

    But I've seen ChuckE videos that favorably compare and contrast Asian-produced units in their value points, warrantee, included items, and usability, against other of his sponsored and promoted units, i.e., Blue-sponsored (Miller) units. And that speaks well to me about his objectivity.

    So, I doubt that this is an example of ChuckE2009 being a corruptable demonstrator. But, if it is, it would be the the first example of as much, after many videos done over several years, i.e., not very likely. And, not that I'm subscribed to his YouTube Channel, but if he was really making a purposefully bad example of that HF unit, the contradictory evidence that will undoubtedly follow soon would impinge on his further credibility.

    I think ChuckE just got a bad one, or like you say, had a grounding oversight (less likely, but perfectly possible). I mean, I recall that when I watched it, I thought that he probably would have done better to have included some of the initial problem, and to then return the unit immediately, and show the contrast of a soundly performing ProTIG200, as the HF warantee is so easy that way. That's what I was hoping he might have done, and what I would have undoubtedly done. So, yeah, I was a little surprised that he had trouble and didn't bother to compare it with another, exact same unit.

    So, who knows, maybe ChuckE2009 will see this thread, and want to take another run at the ProTIG200, by getting a second unit (which he can return at no cost to him, if desired), and ammend his initial video, while also including some clips of the the first unit he had trouble with, and explaining the differences, if there is any. I mean, maybe ChuckE2009 is seeking new video ideas right now, and I just gave him one, at no charge. Ha, ha, ha...

    Otherwise, as you mention your rationale on the post-flow, Louie, I'm not hating the idea so much, anymore, about units with non-adjustable or auto-adjusting (amps set at panel?) post-flow of Argon. I mean, it does make for fewer settings to be bothered with, even though more advanced welders of stainless/titanium may rule that lack of adjustability out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Chuckee is the same guy who dismantled his harbor freight portaband to change the blade....completely idiotic. I am sure his issue with arc starts could have been alleviated by checking the ground and/or using a non contaminated tungsten. I wouldn't put too much faith into anything Chuckee says about anything Harbor Freight. His paying sponsors wouldn't be happy if he said a Harbor Freight welder was just as good as anything in it's price class. I am sure he is biased since he doesn't want to bite the green/yellow hand that feeds him...

    ...If the machine has a post flow that is 15 seconds too long, then 15 seconds of argon at 20 CFH per hour is 0.08 cubic feet of argon, which cost between 2 and 4 cents depending on where you get your gas and the size of the bottle you buy. You lose more money in the cushion of your couch than you will lose in argon costs.
    Last edited by C. Livingstone; 03-11-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    I don't think there's a conspiracy afoot with ChuckE2009 having a problem with the AC arc starts
    My issue with him is he makes no attempt to fix the problem and automatically blames the machine, which is at worst dishonest, and at best, lazy film making. If he tried to fix it, he sure didn't document it at all. You may give him a pass, but I actually see a trend in how he deals with harbor freight. Whether he spent his own money or not, he is not demonstrably unbiased. In fact I think he is demonstrably biased against them. I tend to believe Terry's review(s) of this unit much more than I do Chuckee's. And you raise a very good point. If he got a bad unit, return it, and let's see the follow up with a second unit. But no, because that would possibly demonstrate that Harbor Freight's return policy is clearly superior to the yellow or green box return policy. I am sorry, I can't take Lance's reviews seriously. But I keep giving him a chance for some reason, hoping he will turn it around.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Yeah,

    Maybe he will see this dialog and give another go at it. I mean, it'd be another upload for him at almost no out-of-pocket cost, and his upload obviously translate into proceeds, so we're give him some incentive. Ha, ha, ha...

    But, yeah, since I trust Terry/Shovelon's experience and the long beta testing evaluation period that he already relayed to us all here, in text and photos, I was surprised ChuckE stumbled so much with on the AC arc starts, like I've seen in any of his videos before.

    I mean, he did an earlier video on the new, smaller DC-only HF Vulcan TIG/Stick unit, and gave it a pretty favorable review, in a cursory way. So, I don't think he's necessarily against Harbor Freight stuff, especially when as this new line of HF/Vulcan welders has been hailed for a little while, for being an obvious departure from HF welding units before them, in a very good way.

    Hopefully ChuckE will revist the ProTIG 200, as his video is about the only real overview of the unit being used on the Web, that I've noticed. And it is a very BAD review. His buddy ZILA wasn't happy with new Vulcan MIG review, as I recall too, but there's many others out there who've reviewed the two, new Vulcan MIG units quite favorably, so the ZILA one becomes of less interest. But ZILA has got a few cool ones that I've seen, lately, like the HTP ProPulse200, that he hacked with a Push-Pull gun with a synergic, on-the-fly-while-welding volts/wire-speed adjustment.

    Because if his video is not really representative of how most of the ProTIG200 units funtion, then his naysayers will have something to seemingly point to, rightly or wrongly.

    So, I hope ChuckE denies them of that, since most of the criticism I see him getting on the Web seems unwarranted, to me.

  8. #8
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    I mean, he did an earlier video on the new, smaller DC-only HF Vulcan TIG/Stick unit, and gave it a pretty favorable review, in a cursory way.
    I agree with most everything you said except this. He bashed the lift arc function of that 165 unit and says he flashed himself, but there was no explanation, no attempt to remediate, and no video on what actually happened. He also repeatedly called it an $800 welder which was incorrect. at the time the Pro Tig 200 was $800, this machine was $600 I believe. again, just pointing to some repeating patterns.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Yeah,

    Maybe he is getting sloppy, so to speak.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Since this machine is purchased by us newbies I would like to see some info on basic setups and getting going with TIG. The manual is not always clear on what the experienced guys take for granted..

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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Since this machine is purchased by us newbies I would like to see some info on basic setups and getting going with TIG. The manual is not always clear on what the experienced guys take for granted..
    I would suggest you look up posts by late member Doug (DSW) he had a great method for getting people started. I would also watch the intro to TIG videos by Jody Collier (Weldingtipsandtricks on youtube) and by Lanse (aka Chucke2009 on youtube) both are good. Most of the info has been documented so it doesn't make sense to put it here in this thread.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/welding...welding+basics

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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Thank you.. that is the sort of thing we need..

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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread



    Well I will give the benefit of doubt to young Lance and his AC starting problems after welding with his balled tungsten for a while. He admits that he is not that great at alum welding and his inexperience shows. Initially he ground the ceriated tungsten to a tapered blunt end. I could see that his arc length did not allow complete fusion to the root of his fillets. He must have been welding for a while as the end of the ball was extremely balled, and from experience a balled and glazed ball does not light up easily. I really don't like ceriated as it does glaze up the end but the problem would be resolved by firstly ditch the ceriated for 2% thoriated, or 2% lanthanated, or TriMix, and it you want to use up that ceriated keep it sharp. And yeah he kept trying to scratch start further contaminating the balled glazed tip.

    So yeah he should have cleaned and sharpened his tungsten and eventually replace with a better grade. If he had done that and it still had starting problems take the machine back and replace. I think I would have had the issue dealt with hence forth. So with his inexperience I give him the benefit of doubt.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Wow what a great write up Terry. The more and more I read about these machines I want to get one.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Terry, how did it compare to the AHP? Seems pretty comparable...
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    Terry, how did it compare to the AHP? Seems pretty comparable...
    Yes. Very much so. Both have very strong top ends. The AHP comes with a better torch, the Vulcan a simpler user interface. Although I really don't like the pedals on either, SSC controls offers solutions for that.

    Any new features on the AHP units?
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    That's a shame to spend that much for a welder and then have to spend $175 or so more for a foot pedal. Just saying.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jerje View Post
    That's a shame to spend that much for a welder and then have to spend $175 or so more for a foot pedal. Just saying.
    Yea, 900 bucks is why to much for that welder. They should have added a SCC pedal, 25' CK flex lock torch with a leather cover, a Tweco brass ground clamp, USA wire and cable leads and sell them for 400 bucks.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    I imagine a chunk of that $900 covers the vastly superior warranty and the cost of people who buy it for one job then return it.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mechanic416 View Post
    Yea, 900 bucks is why to much for that welder. They should have added a SCC pedal, 25' CK flex lock torch with a leather cover, a Tweco brass ground clamp, USA wire and cable leads and sell them for 400 bucks.
    Ah a little sarcasm. FYI I think the Vulcan welders are a heck of a deal even though I decided last fall to buy two red machines to replace the Sears welders I had been using for decades, but it was a close call. My remark was in response to shovelon's (whose opinions I have come to respect) comments re the pedal. He as you probably know beta tested the Vulcan machines and they made worthwhile changes to the final product based upon his use and recommendations. They should have heeded his comments on the pedal too.
    Not that I owe you any explanation.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    You don't, but I think the pedal is fine for the price.

    And I don't care for the SSC pedals.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mechanic416 View Post
    You don't, but I think the pedal is fine for the price.

    And I don't care for the SSC pedals.
    Yeah the Vulcan pedal is fine for the price. Now if I unscrew and move the Vulcan heel clip rearward an inch or two I will be pleased as punch. Some people like the rear hinge action. Same with the SSC pedal. It has no heal clip at all and I have welded ones onto mine. On the other hand some people like it better without.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Yeah the Vulcan pedal is fine for the price. Now if I unscrew and move the Vulcan heel clip rearward an inch or two I will be pleased as punch. Some people like the rear hinge action. Same with the SSC pedal. It has no heal clip at all and I have welded ones onto mine. On the other hand some people like it better without.
    Shovelon, great write up on the Vulcan tig. Seems they did the right thing coming to a professional like you to make a better product. I saw one a few weeks back and seemed well constructed.
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawslandshark View Post
    Shovelon, great write up on the Vulcan tig. Seems they did the right thing coming to a professional like you to make a better product. I saw one a few weeks back and seemed well constructed.
    Thanks man!

    California State University Northridge(Earthquake '94) just thanked me for lending them a pre-production Vulcan that they used to weld thier AISC steel bridge entry. They paired it up with their Miller Maxstar to get the tig work done with time to spare. This unit has the center hinge pedal but is limited to 20pps pulse which I told them to leave it off. AND it allowed them to build and weld the alum tools they designed that the Maxstars can't do. Also this year they added some 4130 steel components as well.

    I told them if they had any problems they could run over and use a Dynasty but have not heard a peep other than them crying when they ran out of argon on a Saturday night. Met them Sunday morning for a transfil. It was a pleasure teaching these college kids how to weld their own entries and rub the rich colleges kids noses in it. They owe me a lunch!

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