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Pulsed Welding? Whuzzat?

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  • Pulsed Welding? Whuzzat?

    In researching new machines, because I thought my Miller Econotig had died, I kept seeing lots of controls for pulsing. Neither my Econotig nor my Millermatic 210 have pulse. Why pulse? What does it do? Can you retrofit old iron for pulse? Is it just for pros, or would DIYers find it useful?

  • #2
    Pulse is useful for welding thin materials by controlling the amount of heat input. They are even making dedicated pulse welders (cold welder?). I have pulse controls on my AHP AlphaTIG, but haven't played with them much.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7-mcjR59a4
    It's all mind over matter.
    If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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    • #3
      I have pulse on my TIG but really don’t use it much.

      Mentioned above it will help with heat input on thin materials.

      If doing an autogenous weld (no filler) using a very slow pulse rate can make a nice “stack of dimes” looking weld. It can also help with filler for “timing” when to add it and move. Note though, at least for me, a slow pulse rate is pretty annoying and could probably induce a seizure if prone to them.

      I think it will help with anodized aluminum as well, A high amp blast will get through the anodizing and the pulse keeps heat input down. Guys will do this manually with the pedal though.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oxford View Post
        I have pulse on my TIG but really don’t use it much.

        Mentioned above it will help with heat input on thin materials.

        If doing an autogenous weld (no filler) using a very slow pulse rate can make a nice “stack of dimes” looking weld. It can also help with filler for “timing” when to add it and move. Note though, at least for me, a slow pulse rate is pretty annoying and could probably induce a seizure if prone to them.

        I think it will help with anodized aluminum as well, A high amp blast will get through the anodizing and the pulse keeps heat input down. Guys will do this manually with the pedal though.
        (big grin) Betcha get a tired leg on a long bead.

        One would think some enterprising fellow at a welding company would kludge together something to wire in to an older MIG or TIG to retrofit for this. Chips, resistors, and phenolic board are cheap. I know a few things, but this would be WAY over my head. For $30 in parts, you could charge $350, AND GET IT!!! Imagine an OLD Syncrowave 300 with all the whistles and bells of an AHP 225xi, or a Multimatic 220. Since we're into chips and relays, add in a Keurig, and it'll make coffee!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
          One would think some enterprising fellow at a welding company would kludge together something to wire in to an older MIG or TIG to retrofit for this. Chips, resistors, and phenolic board are cheap. I know a few things, but this would be WAY over my head. For $30 in parts, you could charge $350, AND GET IT!!! Imagine an OLD Syncrowave 300 with all the whistles and bells of an AHP 225xi, or a Multimatic 220. Since we're into chips and relays, add in a Keurig, and it'll make coffee!
          This has already been done both commercially and DIY versions. A couple of quick examples:

          https://jattus.com/shop/tig-perfect

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk02102nefk

          There are no doubt a bunch of others out there.
          Last edited by alanganes; 11-22-2021, 05:15 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by alanganes View Post

            This has already been done both commercially and DIY versions. A couple of quick examples:

            https://jattus.com/shop/tig-perfect

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk02102nefk

            There are no doubt a bunch of others out there.
            Thanks for sticking a project on my list that I never knew I wanted.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post

              Thanks for sticking a project on my list that I never knew I wanted.
              I know, huh? Sorry about that but I had the same problem as soon as I saw that. I had to share under the "Misery loves company clause"

              My welder has pulse, though it is not a particularly sophisticated implementation of it. You can vary only the pulse rate, the background level is fixed at 50% of peak current. Honestly I have messed around with it but have hardly ever used it. That may be just the sort of stuff I weld, and is also likely because I'm not such an accomplished welder that it would make much difference for me. I don't do a lot of delicate stuff.

              That Arduino version is so quick and cheap to make I kinda want to try it, just because. I probably have everything I need to build one kicking around here already.

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              • #8
                Ya it seems so easy, which makes me think it's NOT so easy.... My tig is just a squarewave 175. Simple transformer machine with nothing special aside from high freq start. Pulse would be really nice when I'm doing fusion welds on something like thin stainless sap pans. Every other time I've had to work the pedal to get the desired effect, and to be honest I'd rather lean on the crutch of pulse to do that. I'm not that experienced at it, and my heat input can can away from me sometimes because I do that type of stuff so infrequently.

                I think I'll do some more research and order some parts. When they come in I'll add them to the someday pile, and eventually I'll get around to finding them again, and not remembering what they were for.

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                • #9
                  On the Youtube version, don't forget he had to PROGRAM it. That speaks to a computer interface, and software that will talk to it. A schematic would have been nice, or did I miss that?

                  As much as stuff from China is scary to add to an expensive welder, I wonder if banggood or aliexpress have one already made?

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                  • #10
                    I was right. Found one on Banggood.
                    https://www.banggood.com/220V-TIG-We...N&rmmds=search

                    Same box, different color, on Aliexpress.
                    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005...19181501%22%7D

                    Didn't find anything for Mig.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
                      On the Youtube version, don't forget he had to PROGRAM it. That speaks to a computer interface, and software that will talk to it. A schematic would have been nice, or did I miss that?

                      As much as stuff from China is scary to add to an expensive welder, I wonder if banggood or aliexpress have one already made?
                      It does show a schematic at around 11 minutes or so. I think it is linked in the video description. It's very simple. The programming of an Arduino is pretty simple and the hardware to do so costs about 6 bucks or so. Software is free and downloadable from the web. If you have not used Arduino before there certainly is a bit of a learning curve but it really is simple stuff. But if one is not familiar with doing such stuff, or not interested in taking on a bit of an electronics hobbyist type project, it may be a bit more hassle than you care to invest.

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                      • #12
                        Wow. I hadn't anticipated the current offerings being plugged in series with the foot pedal. I thought they'd be connected internally, somehow. I was looking for something I could plug in, not build from individual components, e.g. chips and capacitors. I was willing to go inside the welder to hook it in. No, this is over my head, and the job list is long enough already.

                        Tractor end loader.
                        Grader attachment for tractor. Early 20th Century style.
                        Lift to accommodate different sewing machines in my wife's sewing table.
                        Precision letter stamper.
                        Tripod mount for Type F Nikon 80-200mm lens (None exists for that lens. Yes, I have looked.)
                        Supplemental indexer plates for my spindexer.
                        Bring Miller 200AEAD back to life. Engine runs fine, but no current at terminals.

                        At this point, I gotta say, enuff.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                          . Pulse would be really nice when I'm doing fusion welds on something like thin stainless sap pans. Every other time I've had to work the pedal to get the desired effect, and to be honest I'd rather lean on the crutch of pulse to do that. I'm not that experienced at it, and my heat input can can away from me sometimes because I do that type of stuff so infrequently.
                          Fusion welds on stainless sheet can be fun. I did a bunch of it at one place I worked, they finally did buy a pedal for the machine I was using but for a long time it was lift start and fixed amperage. Never used pulse on any of it.

                          Biggest key is fit up with no gaps

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                          • #14
                            Well, for over 60 years, welders did TIG without pulse. Maybe, it's something I should leave alone, for right now. If my Econotig ever REALLY dies (doubtful), I'll get an AHP 225xi. More options than the stock exchange. My basic TIG skills are poor. Not enough practice.

                            Back to work. Painting the bucket parts, today. Wire brushing rust is grody. I'll use a Covid mask from now on. I was sneezing rust for hours.

                            Amazing how little of fabrication is welding. Planning. Drawing. Cardboard mockup. Cutting. Measuring and layout. Grinding, endless grinding. Welding. Cursing. More grinding and add some pounding. Welding. More grinding. Testing. (If fail, go back to cardboard mockup.) Cleaning. Cleaning. Painting. Admiring.

                            I was thinking pulse would decrease the need for grinding. No such luck.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oxford View Post

                              Fusion welds on stainless sheet can be fun. I did a bunch of it at one place I worked, they finally did buy a pedal for the machine I was using but for a long time it was lift start and fixed amperage. Never used pulse on any of it.

                              Biggest key is fit up with no gaps
                              That's impressive. I haven't done that much of it, only welding up a few cracked sap pans, and adding some bungs, but I certainly wasn't that good. I'd love do more of it to get some practice.

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