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Thread: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

  1. #1
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    Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    Hi
    I have some questions about the autoset capability on Miller 211 and 215 which I can't seem to find detail on the Miller site.

    I currently have an old Miller 135 I bought at a garage sale. I've been learning to weld as a hobby and can now sometimes make a weld which doesn't look like crap. I have trouble with 16 gage sheet metal and thinner trying to dial in settings to either not burn through or be so cold when I grind away the weld nothing's left holding the metal together. I'm sure an experienced welder can fine tune my 135. I'm wondering if the autoset features on the 211 or 215 might make my learning curve easier.

    First question: is the autoset simply a look up table in the machine which just sets voltage and wire feed it to what is on the inside cover or is there some electronic feedback from the arc which the welder is using to adjust parameters for the particular metal/condition?

    Second: are there differences in function between the Miller 211 "Advanced Autoset" vs the 215 "Autoset Elite"? or do they function identically but the 215 has the screen to see more/tweak the settings?

    Thanks - appreciate the advice!

  2. #2
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    I don't know about how smart mig works on all machines but I'll assume they are all similar. With the ESAB Rebel you tell the machine two parameters and it does all the rest. You tell it wire thickness and material thickness and the machine sets the wire feed speed and voltage. The machine is also suppose to be able to adjust these parameters on the fly while the arc is initiated and welding is underway by adjusting the parameters to compensate for operator fluctuations like contact to work distance, travel speed etc. I think a lot of this synergy technology is good but not all they claim to be.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 08-16-2021 at 03:40 PM.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    Long time inverter Millermatic 211 owner here. I love the autoset feature.

    In Autoset basically the wire feed speed (amps) are locked together with the voltage setting, adjusted along the range so the parameters fall on "sweet spot" of the two settings across the entire spectrum. You can control both through one knob, and they are always set "correctly" to one another. In other words one knob turns everything up or down - very simple.

    The thickness of metal listed in both auto set and on the door chart is just a recommendation for flat position butt welding, it will vary greatly depending on a large number of factors, the main 3 being weld joint type, position, and material.

    I find the autoset settings to be pretty spot on, and have come to trust them in everyday use. Autoset definitely makes things much faster when welding different materials and positions (most real world welding applications are like this).

    Mig welding 16 gauge and under can be challenging with any welder, and I don't think autoset would help much, though having infinitely adjustable settings can be very helpful to fine tune everything as low as you can.

    A few tips for 16 gauge and under is to use thinner wire, .030 or under. If the wire is thicker than the parent material you will almost certainly need to "spot weld".

    Spot welding is not ideal but it is used often for very thin material and is a sound practice that makes a perfectly solid weld if the material is thin enough. Pay attention to corners where everything is thicker, you want penetration there.

    Always practice on scrap of similar gauge and orientation to not only find the sweet spot settings wise but also to familiarize yourself with how long you can weld before you will burn through (inevitable on some material), and what pattern/gun manipulation works best for that joint.

    If you are burning through you are getting penetration. If you cannot adjust the welder to reliably weld any lower in power then you need to move faster, skip weld, or spot weld (last resort, must be done with gap filling and vertical joints MANY times).

    Other tricks include longer wire stickout/tip to work distance (which lowers the amps at the arc), and more exaggerated gun angles (same idea with the amps, in addition to pushing the molten metal puddle into thicker and/or solidified material so it won't drop out).

    Another helpful trick is to use a backer strip of scrap steel under the joint when you can. If square tube angle can often be used, even for small tube. Even a thin backer can really help.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 08-16-2021 at 09:34 PM.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    I have a Miller 140 and 211 transformer Autoset
    Machines. I love the auto set feature. Set wire size and dial for material thickness as mentioned by others. Adjust the knob for thickness up or down depending on what your needs are.
    Thin gauge can be challenging in position. Downhill can be easy depending material thickness.
    As for a backing with thin gauge, flat copper works great. They do sell a copper spoon to hold on the joint backside which works well.
    There are a variety of copper pieces for backing. Harbor Freight use to carry them.

    https://www.eastwood.com/4-in-magnet...=google&wv=3.1

    https://www.amazon.com/Copper-Weldin...a-870327451339


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  8. #5
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    Thanks all, I appreciate the advice and suggestions. I think Iíll get the 211 and work on developing my skills with it.

  9. #6
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    Check wire speed.

  10. #7
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    Re: Miller 211 Advanced Autoset vs 215 Autoset Elite

    I had a 211 and sold it to buy a 215, as I wanted the tig capabilities, both functions are the same, at least to me being a novice, easy peasy to use. Just a idea if you ever want to try your hand at tig.

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