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Thread: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

  1. #1
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    PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    I've got a PowCon 300st running on 220V single phase for about 2 years. The high frequency start (arc start) died the other day, the welder has always whistled which I was told was normal by the previous owner. It was able to scratch start for about a day after the arc start died, but now it revs loudly whenever the pedal is pressed.

    Anybody have any ideas about where to start troubleshooting internals and/or experience with this machine?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Arc-products.com in San-Diego, CA is your best bet to get help with Diagnosis. ask for Eddie. the whistle or whatever you call it is normal for Powcon machines. there is a couple threads related to that around here somewhere. Great machines, I have had 1/2 a dozen of them. most I fixed up and sold. Problem is that the parts are so expensive and usually only sold by the entire board that its usually cheaper to pick up a replacement of Ebay or Craigslist etc. Arc-Products is not doing as many repairs as they used to but if they can point you in the right direction you may be able to find a local repair shop that can take a look at fixing it
    Last edited by soutthpaw; 06-07-2012 at 09:52 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    bad news, arc products is now only selling part until their gone. The switch board will not put you through to Eddie any more. When I last talked to him he was trying to find a company to take over tech support and pcb repair. Arc products was bought out. The new owners only wanted their automation division and wanted the pow con division to die.

  4. #4
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Dang, that sucks. Looks like the beginning of the end for a great brand of welding equipment. Looks like lots of parts machines will start showing up now...
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; Thermal Dynamics 60i plasma.
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  5. #5
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    We pulled apart the cases on the welder and found the lower section (you have to lift at the white midsection to remove *both* red shells) very very dirty. We vacuumed and blew out the case, cleaning around all of the power electronics in the lower section as well as the control boards and the machine is now working great again. I'm guessing we were getting flashover on the high voltage through the dirt and were losing the output high voltage. I'm now fairly familiar with the welder if anyone else needs assistance in the future feel free to contact me - http://sector67.org

    Thanks for the help Soutthpaw!

  6. #6
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    The only folks who might still be able to help with this machines is Arcon if you can get to talk to the right person. Company was started by one of the Powcon inventors/ owners after the the company was sold to ITC/ Miller

    lots of similarities in the machine design. both internal and external
    http://www.arconweld.com/ if you read their promo info, they are still using the SCR inverter technology rather than the IBGT/MOSFET stuff
    Its a lot of Hype and not sure how much can be believed but the Powcon inverter design is definitely a proven reliable workhorse system..
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; Thermal Dynamics 60i plasma.
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  7. #7
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    I had a clean Pow Con 200 amp machine, but I knew the end of the road wasn't far off, and sold it 8 years ago and bought a MM210. I still miss the little machine, but I got $1500 for it and I can't look back.

  8. #8
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    Yep, hated to do it, but I have my 400smt up on ebay now along with the 300avs ESAB feeder. Better to sell it now while its working purrfect than have it die some point in the future and be out money and own a red boat anchor. Plus don't really "need" the portability of it.... though the weld quality with the is just awesome.
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; Thermal Dynamics 60i plasma.
    For Sale: Cobra Mig 250 w/ Push-pull gun. Lincoln Wirematic 250

  9. #9
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    I just joined the forum. I have three powcons (one is a 480vac unit that I mistakenly bought off ebay) and I too was thinking about selling them off due to a perception that I couldn't get parts any longer. I am also strongly considering getting a new Arcon workhorse 300 MS....and while looking into it I noted Arcon has a big list with a lot of parts for the powcons....so I am keeping all my powcons. Hope this helps

  10. #10
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Thanks for that info oceanobob... and Welcome to the Forum!
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  11. #11
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Any recommendations on a replacement for a Powcon 300ST. I just use it for stick welding at home, but I love the way it welds. I'm not a welder, but the Powcon makes me think I am.
    I went to use mine a few days ago and it tripped the 40 amp breaker when I turned it on. After resetting the breaker, the fan ran and the power light came on but no tick, tick, tick, and no arc. I changed ranges and settings, and restarted several times, but nothing helped. I found a Miller Econotig on Craigslist and bought it, but it doesn't weld like the Powcon.
    Today I decided to try to troubleshoot the Powcon, and when I turned it on and guess what! Tick, tick, tick. I ran a few beads with it and it's fine for now. I don't weld a lot, but when I need it, I need it.
    I feel like I need to find a replacement, but it's not the Econotig. I also want to tig but I never got around to setting up the Powcon.

  12. #12
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Arcon Welders is manufacturing a machine with the same SCR fired technology as the powcons had, and is co owned by one of the co inventors of the technology that became PowCon. They make a very good product, but it's quite expensive, the stick and MIG version selling for over $4K MSRP.

    Miller XMT 304 machines are very reliable and relatively affordable on the used market. You can find them for under a grand if you look around. You can also get manuals and some troubleshooting assistance from Arcon for your PowCon machine. They are extremely helpful and friendly.

    www.arconweld.com

  13. #13
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    Re: PowCon 300st Arc Start Dead

    Thanks for the info. It's good to know there's still some support out there for the Powcons. I'll be keeping an eye out for a 304.

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