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Thread: Amp Meter for A/C welder

  1. #11
    Supporting Member Big Sexy's Avatar
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    Oh Iím not judging. I have a cheap harbor freight flux core wire welder. I have 2 settings. I start on high. If it burns through I switch to low. Lol. Then if it burns through I go to jb weld
    Last edited by Big Sexy; 03-03-2019 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Misspelling

  2. #12
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    Why would anyone want to know the precise amps being put out?

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    Well unless someone is doing coded AWS-D1-1 in one of the grades there really is no need to know the exact welding current / voltage. However most machines with manual indicators can be a bit dodgy when it comes to indicating the current range the machine is set at.
    Those of us who have been welding for 40 ,50 or 60 years learned to weld long before there was any sort of current & voltage meters to tell us our settings. We had to do a scratch arc test on a sample test plate to get our machines adjusted where we were comfortable Then changing from flat to vertical to overhead welding we learned from experience that the machine we were using had to be adjusted up or down accordingly and to alternate our arc length to produce the best penetration while having the least amount of arc blow (splatter) Sometimes this could become quite tedious.
    There is nothing wrong with desiring to have a way to know in advance where to preset a machine close to where we want the welding range for a given electrode size to make our welds, which is also different for the thickness and type of metal we are welding.
    Meters can be installed to give both voltage and current readings. However there will be no amp or current reading unless the welder is actually welding at the time. the same goes for voltage this is going to only show the open circuit voltage until an arc is struck.but knowing the OCV can be helpful for pre-selecting a rough setting.
    A lot of machines only have a range selector and no fine adjustment, then there are some that have a much wider range of adjustments even to the point of being able to control the wave form and hz also there are constant current and constant voltage machines.
    I once owned a diesel drive that I could lower the voltage down to an obscene level and maintain 400 amps and vice versa
    it could also briefly hold the voltage as low as 3 VDC with 800 amp output for a few seconds allowing me to use it for heavy duty spot welding or switch to AC with a high frequency for Tig welding, but even as lavishly equipped as it was the meters still only gave a rough idea unless I was striking an arc.
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  4. #14
    Supporting Member drivermark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooler2 View Post
    Why would anyone want to know the precise amps being put out?
    Don't really need to be precise but would like "close".... When the manual dial reads 160 and I can't even get 1/8th in. 6011 to hold an arc I was guessing that the dial is off. Would be nice to set the amps and start welding on a part as opposed to fiddling around trying to find out how far up I have to crank the dial to make it work.
    The label says it's 225 amp so I do eventually find a sweet spot on the dial but if I change to 7018 I gotta "hunt and peck" it again to find the sweet spot for that.
    I guess in a nut shell, it's because I'm lazy.


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