S-54 D feeder woes
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    66

    S-54 D feeder woes

    I have a Miller S-54 D feeder that has an intermittent issue with holding the preset wire feed setting. If I simply hold the trigger on the gun, and shoot the wire into the air, the feed rate stays consistent with the preset value on the display. The instant I begin welding it ramps up the wire speed to maximum output. Or, to say the same thing another way, as soon as the wire contacts the grounded steel, such as when beginning to weld, the feed ramps up to maximum output. As long as I just dry feed the wire, it stays on the preset value, 350 ipm for example. Sometimes the welder will go for days and never miss a lick, and then, like now, I can't use it. I start a weld, and bam, 600 or more ipm, whatever is maximum output. I had asked about this problem before the Great Crash of '18, but I thought I had it fixed. I can't seem to locate that thread now. I did replace the optical, but the problem persists. Any suggestions? Any questions? Thank-you kindly for your consideration.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Orange, TX
    Posts
    17,174

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    Have you checked the Troubleshooting Chart in the manual? Try cleaning the speed sensing encoder disc.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    66

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    Thanks for the response, and the reminder. When I replaced the optical pickup I did clean the encoder disk. I will try that again and see if that helps. Maybe that's why it worked for awhile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Atlanta GA USA
    Posts
    18

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    You have the Swing Arc switch on standard not remote correct? This feeder is a "dumb feeder" it does not know when you are welding.
    It does not have a different "run-in speed" and "weld speed". Do you hear the motor going faster? Do you have a tach to see the IPM when welding.
    Do you have a scope to read the waveform out of the tach on lead 42(Green) to 43(White) at the tach? There should be a 15vdc square wave or a frequency setting on a volt meter and it will change with speed.
    I am not saying you don't know already, but do you have drive rolls to tight and it is "popping" or the machine you are hooking it to has a bad diode and it is "popping" when you start to weld?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    66

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    Thanks for the questions Diode. They do help in analyzing the problem. Here are some "answers". I have the 54d feeder sitting beside a 52d feeder on my welding cart. Underneath is a Maxtron 450. The 52d feeder works fine, eliminating, at least in my mind, the possibility of a problem with the power source. To further explain how I know the wire feed is ramping up to max when I start a weld, but runs consistent when dry feeding.In the first place, I don't have any special test equipment, just a voltmeter. However, I do have a pretty good "feel" for what 350 ipm should look like when dry feeding. One can even verify that through simple measuring and math. I also have other machines to compare to. I know how the feeder welds when it is working. As one way of verifying that the feeder is maxing out in wire speed, I had my son watch the display while I weld. I also set my phone in front of the display to video the settings while welding. Now for the mechanical data I have accumulated, because it is possible that the display could malfunction. I set up some 1/8 aluminum flat bar to dial in the setting. I have 3/64 5356 wire in the feeder. It may start out welding great, and after a couple of seconds, or even right at the start, when the feed rate ramps up to max, it will shoot the wire straight through the aluminum. It does seem like with the feed set between 300 and 400 ipm it is more likely to start doing this. Sometimes it will go for a long time and weld right, every time. I also run .045 dual-shield in this feeder. With dual-shield, it seems like if I start out with a little too much stick-out it is more prone to max out wire speed. Could the pot, or whatever the knob thing that one turns to adjust wire speed is called, have a malfunction? Remember, I'm not a super-scientist, I am just the villageblacksmith!! Thanks again. And more questions are welcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Atlanta GA USA
    Posts
    18

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    So it only does this when the Maxtron 450 is under a load? Is there a another machine that you could put this feeder on?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    66

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    There is. I have a Thermal arc 300 GMS. I will try it on that machine again. The last time I tried it, it worked for awhile, and I started thinking it was the Maxtron, and about that time it started doing it with the Thermal Arc.also.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Atlanta GA USA
    Posts
    18

    Re: S-54 D feeder woes

    OK, in normal operation this feeder cant do what you are saying it does, BUT I have seen crazy things.

    1. Have you tried a different gun? Gun weld cable could be shorting to trigger lead? (If not Check Gun Below)
    a. Unplug Gun (Weld and trigger)
    b. Take your meter and put it on Ohms (Ω)
    c. Check from ("butt end" to Trigger Pin 1) Should ready "OL"
    d. Check from ("butt end" to Trigger Pin 2) Should ready "OL"
    2. You could put gun back in drive housing and don't plug in trigger and jump out pins 1 & 2 and weld with it. That would test to see if the trigger wires where the problem.
    3. Do you still have the red or black fiber piece behind the drive housing?
    4. Take your meter and put it on Ohms (Ω) read from the drive roll housing to the motor drive gear bolt it should say "OL"
    5. (unplug feeder) Take back cover off motor check Ohms from Red/White Wire to drive housing should say "OL" then check from Black to drive housing should say "OL"
    6. The 2 bottom 1/4-20 bolts that hold the drive housing have plastic bushings on them make sure they are not melted.
    7. Is your welding machine grounded to electrical ground? At the plug? What is input voltage of Maxtron?
    8. Check Ohms from drive roll housing to Feeder control box case ground?
    9. With control cable plugged in Maxtron check Ohms from case of feeder to the case of Maxtron. it should read (0) ohms.
    10. You do not have the control cable for the feeder twisted around weld cable?

    I am really just trying to see if you have weld voltage going into the motor windings or gun trigger. This feeder has a fiber base, so it is not grounded. I would not think that EMF would cause this problem. This feeder uses a simple drive circuit for the motor.

    I am just guess here. I need more data.

    I have seen crazy things when people are TIG welding on the same piece of metal that someone else is MIG welding on. LoL...
    Last edited by Diode; 12-05-2018 at 02:07 AM.

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