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Thread: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

  1. #1
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    Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    I've had a Diversion 165 TIG welder for maybe 7 years now. It was my first and only TIG welder, and I use it mostly for auto-related parts, mostly aluminum, but some mild steel on occasion. I've gotten to the point where I can make functional parts that don't look terrible to the casual observer (though welding experts may still cringe). I feel like I've stopped getting much better and wonder if I'd make more progress with a more advanced machine. See a few samples of my aluminum welding below. I have a 50amp 220v circuit, so presumably could run more amp with more traditional adjustments, etc. I rarely weld very thick material, so it's not so much the power I'm missing (but sometimes), rather I'm curious if I'm missing out by having no adjustability at all (other than an amp knob).

    I just don't want to be one of those terrible golfers with thousands of dollars in clothes and equipment rather than just getting better at golf...

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  2. #2
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Nothing wrong with your welds. Yes, they could be prettier, but looks are often over rated.
    Chris
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Seems hood time and practice will do more than a new machine. I need to take my own advice.
    Burt
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Your welds are more than acceptable. Nothing wrong with what your doing so far.
    For what your doing, your machine will do just fine. Too bad it didn't have a stick welding feature on it.
    Jason
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Diversion 165, I know little about. My first TIG was Diversion 180. The little bit I did welding steel, mine was just fine. Mine came with a foot pedal. I understand the 165 you bought the foot pedal separate.

    For aluminum, which was what I wanted to weld, I hated it. The settings for aluminum are optimized for average chores. Square wave is very effective in cathodic etching, 72% EN is just sweet for clean aluminum 120HZ is pretty much universally functional. I hated that the 180 had adequate power to start a weld, but ran low on power as it heated up. Diversion 180 doesn't shut down as duty cycle is approached, it reduces amperage. I found it very frustrating to push harder on the pedal, getting less power.

    After a couple steps of upgrading, I now have a Dynasty 280DX. It has a bit less power than I wish it had on the big mass aluminum welds. The 60% duty cycle makes it adequate for most of what I've wanted to do. I did introduce a bit of helium along with argon to give it a boost on big items.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  6. #6
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    After a couple steps of upgrading, I now have a Dynasty 280DX. It has a bit less power than I wish it had on the big mass aluminum welds. The 60% duty cycle makes it adequate for most of what I've wanted to do. I did introduce a bit of helium along with argon to give it a boost on big items.
    OP, as others have stated, your welds look good, don't need Instagram looking welds to be effective.

    Willie, did you buy premix helium or mix your own? If premix what was the % of helium?
    Richard
    West coast of Florida

  7. #7
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Quote Originally Posted by LtBadd View Post
    OP, as others have stated, your welds look good, don't need Instagram looking welds to be effective.

    Willie, did you buy premix helium or mix your own? If premix what was the % of helium?
    I used 15-18 CFH argon with a valved Y on the back of the welder, added 5 CFH of helium. The difference was amazing.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  9. #8
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    You usually don’t need to brush those. That’s clean looking aluminum Name:  5CBAA307-8BA8-4AE1-AD31-37EEBEFE26C7.jpg
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  10. #9
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Diversion 165, I know little about. My first TIG was Diversion 180. The little bit I did welding steel, mine was just fine. Mine came with a foot pedal. I understand the 165 you bought the foot pedal separate.

    For aluminum, which was what I wanted to weld, I hated it. The settings for aluminum are optimized for average chores. Square wave is very effective in cathodic etching, 72% EN is just sweet for clean aluminum 120HZ is pretty much universally functional. I hated that the 180 had adequate power to start a weld, but ran low on power as it heated up. Diversion 180 doesn't shut down as duty cycle is approached, it reduces amperage. I found it very frustrating to push harder on the pedal, getting less power.

    After a couple steps of upgrading, I now have a Dynasty 280DX. It has a bit less power than I wish it had on the big mass aluminum welds. The 60% duty cycle makes it adequate for most of what I've wanted to do. I did introduce a bit of helium along with argon to give it a boost on big items.
    I always find myself letting up on the pedal as I run an aluminum bead and the metal keeps getting hotter and hotter. Suddenly wondering if I'm missing something if you need more power as you go?? I would just end up with a big melted mess of metal if I added more juice as I went. What am I missing?

    Thanks for all the input so far. Wish I could rent or borrow a Dynasty to see if it seemed worth it... I agree with those who say the Diversion is probably good enough for what I need, but I'm still tempted about what I'm missing. No instagram account for me, so it's really just me wanting to be a "real" TIG guy...

  11. #10
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom86951 View Post
    I always find myself letting up on the pedal as I run an aluminum bead and the metal keeps getting hotter and hotter. Suddenly wondering if I'm missing something if you need more power as you go?? I would just end up with a big melted mess of metal if I added more juice as I went. What am I missing?

    Thanks for all the input so far. Wish I could rent or borrow a Dynasty to see if it seemed worth it... I agree with those who say the Diversion is probably good enough for what I need, but I'm still tempted about what I'm missing. No instagram account for me, so it's really just me wanting to be a "real" TIG guy...
    I believe Willie was referring to the welder lowering the power as it reached the limits of the duty cycle
    Richard
    West coast of Florida

  12. #11
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    Re: Upgrade from Diversion 165 or just practice more?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom86951 View Post
    I always find myself letting up on the pedal as I run an aluminum bead and the metal keeps getting hotter and hotter. Suddenly wondering if I'm missing something if you need more power as you go?? I would just end up with a big melted mess of metal if I added more juice as I went. What am I missing?

    Thanks for all the input so far. Wish I could rent or borrow a Dynasty to see if it seemed worth it... I agree with those who say the Diversion is probably good enough for what I need, but I'm still tempted about what I'm missing. No instagram account for me, so it's really just me wanting to be a "real" TIG guy...
    No, The Diversion I had claimed 20% duty cycle. That statement is defined as 2 minutes out of 10. Welder manufacturers will sometimes choose a lower than peak amperage they apply when they calculate duty cycle. Look at the chart for Miller Diversion 180 circa 2013, at 180 amps duty cycle is around 9%. The 180 doesn't shut off when it approaches duty limit, it rolls down the amperage. To me it was very frustrating to need power, and not having it.

    By all means, you need less power at the end of a weld in aluminum. The Diversion did not provide enough for a continuous bead, even on 16 gauge sheet metal.

    I'd have been reasonably happy with square wave, 72% EN balance, 120 HZ 180 amps. I find I run the Dynasty near those parameters much of the time. The feeble duty cycle, and the roll back of power was not acceptable.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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