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Thread: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

  1. #1
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    Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    Hi All,
    I just completed the capacitor mod to my Harbor Freight 170 MIG-capable welder.

    All went well, in that nothing blew up or started smoking , but now I have no idea as to what settings to use. I am welding/repairing 1/8 mild steel (70s Airstream frame members just the cross members, I would not trust my inexperience on the main rails). The setting I was using before the addition of the capacitor was Max 1, .030 solid wire, wire speed of 5 and gold gas.Either because of the increased amperage, my inexperience or both, I was melting both the original frame and brand new 1/8 material.

    I then went down to Min 2 and still had some issues, so I dropped the amperage to Min 1. While the welds are not beautiful, they seem to be holding.

    My question for those that have made this mod is what combo is likely to be correct for this material? I realize that my technique leaves a lot to be desired, but at least I can narrow down the field of possibilities.

    Thanks!
    David

  2. #2
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    Re: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    The capacitors and settings will vary. More capacitors will give a different.
    Odds are the settings will not move .

    Note adding capacitors will help Aluminum welding giving soother welding.

    The down side to much capacity can unset the wire feeder.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Re: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2002sheds View Post
    Hi All,
    I just completed the capacitor mod to my Harbor Freight 170 MIG-capable welder.

    All went well, in that nothing blew up or started smoking , but now I have no idea as to what settings to use. I am welding/repairing 1/8 mild steel (70s Airstream frame members ...
    Any update after you've tried more settings?
    HF MIG-180 with all the mods.
    Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig Pulse 130/160.
    Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

  4. #4
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    Re: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    Odds are the capacitors did move the voltage must.
    It take lot of capacitors to move voltage for welding.
    You may see different on low voltage settings.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Any update after you've tried more settings?

  5. #5
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    Re: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    Hi Dave, California,
    Dave, thanks very much for this post and for your answers via PM. I appreciate it, and it is cool to know that I may be able to configure the unit to weld aluminum at some point! FYI, the capacitor is 100,000 uF. Wire speed does not seem to be affected, but I may be too much of a novice to really know.
    California, I am still working through it. The best I have figured is that the difference is around one setting more powerful (so I have set the welder at one voltage lower than before)… but my technique leaves so much to be desired and my lack of understanding around wire speed is also no doubt a factor. Still, I briefly heard a buzzing/sizzling sound as I was welding last week, so the possibility of replicating that is there…

    David

  6. Likes California liked this post
  7. #6
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    Re: Chicago Electric 170 Capacitor mod now what settings to use?

    The capacitors are good but it needs a resistor. The capacitors like to give all power out same time. So simple resistor can add.
    On some projects I used a stainless steel wire. It give just little resistor.

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by 2002sheds View Post
    Hi Dave, California,
    Dave, thanks very much for this post and for your answers via PM. I appreciate it, and it is cool to know that I may be able to configure the unit to weld aluminum at some point! FYI, the capacitor is 100,000 uF. Wire speed does not seem to be affected, but I may be too much of a novice to really know.
    California, I am still working through it. The best I have figured is that the difference is around one setting more powerful (so I have set the welder at one voltage lower than before)… but my technique leaves so much to be desired and my lack of understanding around wire speed is also no doubt a factor. Still, I briefly heard a buzzing/sizzling sound as I was welding last week, so the possibility of replicating that is there…

    David

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