Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    886

    Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    Hi all,

    To make it brief. I picked up an old airco heli-welder off of craigslist. The guy selling it offered me a 3 day warranty on it. today is the third day.

    The machine will not give full power regardless of setting its on. I by passed the remote pedal by setting it to local to see if it was the pedal, but even at full power (400 amps) it just barely gives enough juice to run a poor bead on some 1/8" plate.

    Anyone have an idea what could be causing this? I'd rather keep the machine rather than return it if it seems a relatively simple fix. I attached some pictures of it. I was just about to weld on this boat.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tony
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Posts
    980

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    Is the incoming voltage correct for the machine?
    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lockhart,Tx (BBQ capitol of the world)
    Posts
    622

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    It looks like(I'm no expert) it only has start current.
    Shouldn't that switch be on weld current instead of start current?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    'ta town, KS
    Posts
    5

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    I am no rocket surgon.... but we have an old machine like that at work... it is 3 phase. Leightrepairs may be on the money asking about incoming voltage. Again no rocket surgon here.

    A phase inverter may be the ticket if it is 3 phase.
    I haven't built anything I can't throw away. Perfection is the journey.

    Mac

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    886

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    I had to change the jumper settings for 230 since it was setup for 440 volt operation. I checked the incoming voltage with a meter, it read 240. As I mentioned below, I also noticed that a breaker on the panel CB1, kickes off when the machine is just turned on. Indicates there is a short going on.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Posts
    980

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    I believe these are single phase machines but there are jumpers that need to be set for the incoming voltage, whether it be 208 240 or 480 volt.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    650

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    A, 90% chance it's a Miller machine - they won't be any help though thanks to ITW ownership killing support
    B, You failed to include necessary pics of nameplate & jumpers
    C, If it was built like many machines that were shipped in Linde colors the power transformer was 480 volt ONLY but the control jumper capable of 480/240 operation.

    Can't help you without nameplate and jumper information.

    D look on the inside of the side panels, there might be a diagram of the machine there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis Indiana
    Posts
    1,055

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    If it won't produce output and kicks the breaker....

    You have a diode on the rectifier blown and shorted to ground.

    Find the blown diode, and try again.
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 250D
    Miller Millermatic 200
    Bunch of old blue dinosaurs....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    886

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    Thanks for the pointer. It just so happens that a friend came over that is a good troubleshooter. He isolated a bad rectifier that powers the power control board. Once he replaced it, the welder stopped tripping the breaker. Now the issue is that there is no amperage control in either remote or local mode. He tested the amperage rheostat and determined it was bad. I just ordered one off of ebay and should have it in a few days (hopefully). I'll put it in and see if that solved the problem. Is there anything else that can cause this besides this rheostat?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    886

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    Hi. We changed out a bad rectifier that powers the power control board and that stopped tripping the breaker CB1. The problem that remained is that the welder only produces maximum welding current in any range selected and the foot pedal only acts like an on and off switch. Any idea of where to look for that problem? I should add that I replaced the amperage rheostat as it tested erratic. It did not change the situation. The machine still welds only at maximum selected for a range.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by therrera; 09-12-2018 at 10:55 PM. Reason: to add more detail

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    23

    Re: Airco heli-welder iv produces almost no welding power

    Heres a Pdf. of some responses to repairing the Heliwelder Board in Detail.Airco Heliwelder High current problem and solution - Miller Welding Discussion Forums.pdf

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