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Old 04-17-2008, 06:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Syncrowave 200/250/300

I'm looking to get a decent TIG setup here soon and could use a little help deciding which would be appropriate. I've never picked up a torch before but it's one of those things that I'm determined to learn so I'm wanting to get an OK setup to start.

I was pretty set on just getting a Syncrowave 200 but I came across a Miller dealer that had such good pricing on other models I'm thinking about going with a 250 or 300. I noticed that Miller doesn't even list a 300 on their site and it appears to be an older model.

The price difference between a complete 200 setup (pedal, torch, regulator) and a complete 250 with the water cooled torch and circulator is $175.

What would be the limits of the 200 with only 200 amps? I think it would be much nicer to have 310 amps from the 250 but going from the 200 to the 250 I lose the pulsed TIG feature.

What should I go with?
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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our 250 has a pulser...?!? its only maybe 2 years old, the newest style of them.

I never use the pulser tho..... Only 1 time have I used it up near max amperage, welding a front cover on a big cummins. rest of the time it stays around 200 amps, work the rest from the pedal.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It mentions that the 250 has pulsed tig as an option, but doesn't really say anything about how to get it. If I got a machine without it, is there any way to add it later?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you handle the power draw from the bigger machines?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What are you going to be doing with it?

From the sounds of it, you wont need the pulser. I doubt you would need the water cooler, and im sure you wont need 310 amps (the torchs on those wp-20's are only to handle 250.)

I use a 250 DX every day with water cooler and pulser. Its very nice for production work but for home use I would get a 180 which is the other tig machine we have. Its small and can do just about any job that comes it way, but not alot of aluminum. The only reason you should get the water cooler s if you are doing alot of AL work.

I have never gone above 240 amps that I know of, and that was with 1/2 thick aluminum. I see no reason any home user would need more than 200.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Something seems wrong about the $175 price difference. A new Syncro250 should be about $4200 ballpark complete w water cooled torch. The syncro200 between $1850-2100 depending on if it comes with the wheels. Maybe its a used machine? I saw machines in the 250 class used for what a new 200 would have run me. If it's new be sure that it really has everything included. I have seen them on the net where the pict shows all the stuff, but if you read the fine print it says machine only!

Those machines will draw a lot of juice even if you set them to weld light steel. Make sure that you have enough to power it. I think a 250 will want about a 100amp breaker to run full power and want a min of 50amps to run.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Something seems wrong about the $175 price difference. A new Syncro250 should be about $4200 ballpark complete w water cooled torch. The syncro200 between $1850-2100 depending on if it comes with the wheels. Maybe its a used machine? I saw machines in the 250 class used for what a new 200 would have run me. If it's new be sure that it really has everything included. I have seen them on the net where the pict shows all the stuff, but if you read the fine print it says machine only!

Those machines will draw a lot of juice even if you set them to weld light steel. Make sure that you have enough to power it. I think a 250 will want about a 100amp breaker to run full power and want a min of 50amps to run.

i was wondering about the price also. it must be a used machine. there is about a $2200 difference between the 200 and 250 runners.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ive got a 1997 syncrowave 250 and it works just fine on a 50 amp breaker
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Something seems wrong about the $175 price difference. .................Maybe its a used machine? .........
You are correct....the prices I'm going off of are used/demo machines. The shop I got prices through seems unbelievably cheap even compared to online stores, but from what I've seen it's a legitimate business. They sell new machines too, but I have no issues buying a used Miller if it's in good shape and works as new. It will probably live longer than I will anyway.

The main reason for questioning as to whether 200 amps is going to limit me was because of the calculator on Miller's site. I know there's a lot of variables, but it says 275-350 amps for a 1/4" mild steel fillet weld.

http://www.millerwelds.com/education...calculator.php

The circuit shouldn't be a problem since I have to have a 220V circuit installed for the welder anyway. I'll make sure it can handle 100 amps.

Back to prices....I was quoted $1525 for a "demo" Syncrowave 200 WITH foot control, torch, ground, regulator, gas hose, and primary. The Syncrowave 250 with all the above parts but a water cooled torch and circulator for $1700. It seems amazingly cheap but the shop has a good reputation from other buyers and is an authorized Miller dealer and repair shop.

By the way, when did these welders start including the LCD screens with amperage readout? These prices should be for the new models with the LCD screens but I want to make sure I know what I'm getting.
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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....I've never picked up a torch before....
I think spending $2K on any machine you don't know how to operate at a basic level is asking for trouble. At least get a few weeks of practical experience before you buy your own. If you don't know what you're doing, any advanced controls/options on the machine will only add to the confusion instead of helping you make better welds. Troubleshooting any problems is going to be a major PITA instead of just turning the right dial. Properly setting up a TIG welder entirely from scratch is not a simple task without experience. The book isn't going to tell you everything.

For 1/4" fillets, it's usually easier to just get out the 7018 and stick weld it anyway. You don't need over 200 amps for that. Thin materials & high tolerance stuff is where TIG really shines, so that's where I use it most.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I picked up my SW250DX used for $2100 a few years ago with water cooled torch and cooler and a box of other assorted accessories.

As stated, the 180 machine wasn't quite up to the task if you were looking at doing aluminum. But my understanding is that the updates to the 200 made it at least passable for aluminum.

Here is the manual for the 250 if you haven't found it yet: http://millerwelds.com/om/o353u_mil.pdf

I'd have to do a bit more than skim it to see the differences to the 250DX, but as you noted it does not have the LED readouts of the DX.

As for buying it before you've learned - nothing wrong with buying it and taking a class at the same time... I took the classes first, but would have loved to have been able to come home and practice between the classes... It took me awhile to find a used one worth buying at the right price for me.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would have paid $1700 for an almost new 250 with a water cooled torch rather than $1850 for a new 200. That said I would look at how "used" the machine was. The used machines I looked at were all at least 4-6 years old and very well used. The place I went to repairs welders and they were either trade ins or machines that the owners didn't feel were worth the money to repair. They would warranty the machine for 6 mo. but if I needed any of the advanced options I probably wouldn't have tried them for at least a year as I learned on the machine.

Like others have said tig can be some what more difficult to teach yourself. Even with help I'm still trying to get all the variables adjusted to get alum to run the way I want. I can get the 3/16" steel so hot I can feel it thru the gloves at 150 amp. I'd hate to try and weld thicker steel with the tig if I didn't have to. My 200amp mig or stick would be a better choice for something like that.

Edit: I agree you PAToyota, thats the real reason why I bought mine. My new 200 has had enough power at 125-150 to do 1/8" alum 90's. I'm trying it on 1/4" T's right now. So far at the same settings it is taking a while to heat the material. I have to play some more this weekend and crank the heat up higher. These are straight joints no bevel, welding 3" chanel to 1/4" plate or channel.

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Old 04-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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pulser part number is (#195344) and the sequencer is (#195345) for the 250dx
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thats nuts, I did a single pass weld on 1/4 flat to 1/4 wall square tube at 225 amps or so for my spring hangers and its held up so f

You dont need it, but if the 250 is only 175 more than go for it. But what is your welding background? If you can only have one machine I would get a mig first, tig is more of a luxury.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The Sync 250DX is tits! I liked it so much during my SMAW class, that I've pretty much settled on it as my next shop purchase (after I get the engine back in my Bronco).

Although, the XMT-304 is even better. Never Stick welded with it, but for TIG and MIG, its the nicest machine I've been around!
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You dont need it, but if the 250 is only 175 more than go for it. But what is your welding background? If you can only have one machine I would get a mig first, tig is more of a luxury.
This is a good point and I've been second guessing myself a little bit lately. Never taken any classes, just welded something and waited to see if it held up.

The biggest MIG I've ever used is a Hobart 140. I was planning on keeping it around for light stuff, but a deal came around and I just sold it. I'm trying to decide if I'm really going to regret not having a MIG and only a TIG.

I don't mind the fact that it takes longer. I don't make money welding and I'm willing to spend however much time it takes. I'm kind of regretting selling the little MIG since it would have been very useful for tacking parts even if I finished them on a bigger machine.

I could get a 210/212/252 MIG instead, but I really want to learn TIG. After hearing that the formula SAE cars have now stepped up their regulations to where the chassis and suspension must be TIG welded I've wanted to start sooner than later.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is a good point and I've been second guessing myself a little bit lately. Never taken any classes, just welded something and waited to see if it held up.

The biggest MIG I've ever used is a Hobart 140. I was planning on keeping it around for light stuff, but a deal came around and I just sold it. I'm trying to decide if I'm really going to regret not having a MIG and only a TIG.

I don't mind the fact that it takes longer. I don't make money welding and I'm willing to spend however much time it takes. I'm kind of regretting selling the little MIG since it would have been very useful for tacking parts even if I finished them on a bigger machine.

I could get a 210/212/252 MIG instead, but I really want to learn TIG. After hearing that the formula SAE cars have now stepped up their regulations to where the chassis and suspension must be TIG welded I've wanted to start sooner than later.
Don't get discouraged, and don't take what I said earlier the wrong way.

The reason I mentioned it was because TIG welders sold without any accessories don't command nearly as high a price on the market because most people wanting to learn TIG want a "package deal". That's why I recommended learning first. If you know how to put together your own setup, it's going to cost you a lot less. Plus, that way you also get the equipment combo that suits your exact needs. If you know what you need and what you can live without, it makes picking the machine best for your needs a no-brainer. None of what a salesman tells you will mean anything unless you know the basics -> water cooled vs. air cooled torches, different arc start methods, AC waveshape, DC pulse, finger vs. foot amptrols, pre/post flow timers, Argon vs. helium, flowmeters, etc.. (Stay away from the "tigrunner" combos, They're overpriced).

Can you live without AC TIG? It makes a huge difference on equipment costs.
A Maxstar is 1/2 the price of a Dynasty and they're both very handy, very portable, and have low input power requirements. I run my Dynasty 200DX off a 30 amp breaker all the time. If there's a dryer oulet somewhere, I'm good to go. I've actually welded on my kitchen table. If you wanted to "trade up" to a bigger machine at a later date, all your accessories would be a direct-fit on any other Miller. For example: all my 200DX torches will plug into a Synchrowave just the same. My footpedal plugs right into any Miller machine that uses a 14 pin connector.

To give you an example of how model numbers can be extremely misleading, ask an equipment distributor or Miller rep how a MM210 MIG compares to an old MM200 MIG. There's a night and day difference between those two machines and what they can do, but the model #'s are very similar. My point: Quit looking at numbers and specs for now. The only way you'll be able to interpret the numbers is after you've got a little bit of experience.

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Old 05-11-2008, 02:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Cool Used or New

It is really hard to buy a welder if your not sure just what you need to do. Sort of like buying a new vehicle if you can`t drive your sort of at the salesmens mercy. Does the steering wheel always shake this hard, Sales person yes thats the massage option only X$$

I would get the basics of GTAW first then shop around as with any used welders. Test weld with them first in the process you need first, Or else have an Iron clad return policy if it doesn`t work.

You all want to stay away from the Syncrowaves with the built in coolers, a big mistake on Millers part nothing but failures. The ones with coolers on the bottom underneath the powersource are working just fine in fact that is the warranty fix for the cooler failures on the internal coolers.
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I realize that it would be better if I could try a welder out first and know what I'm getting myself into. I bought my first car when I was 16 before I ever drove it. I didn't know how to drive a manual, but I can drive it like a pro 3 years later.

I finally went and looked at some of the Syncrowaves at General Air. They had a 200 and a 250dx tigrunner. I couldn't believe how enormous the were. Just looking at pictures online didn't convey the dimensions.

I think the best option for me at this point is a Dynasty 200dx. It's a huge chunk of change for me, but being a college student the portability is GREAT and I'm not always going to have 220 power when I'm renting.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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How much is that Dynasty 200dx gonna run you with everything? And it weighs like 45 pounds? thats amazing, my syncrowave 250 weighs almost 400 about as non portable as it gets.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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A lot. For a college student, anyway.

I've been pricing out my options on this machine and really can't decide whether I'm better off buying a used machine or a new one. I was a little surprised to find that the warranty is only 3 years on these machines. There isn't a ton of information out there on the overall reliability since they are still fairly new. I did read about one case where a guy had a circuit board go bad on a machine out of warranty and the part itself was more than $1000. The way my computers fail in the past it seems like a warranty is a good idea while it lasts.

All the used machines that I've watched on eBay go for within a few hundred dollars of the price of a new one. I checked out prices at local General air and they wanted $3,050 for the machine compared to $27XX online. I really expected more of a difference and may purchase it locally for the end support anyway.

There is one local 200dx setup that I've been eyeing that includes a Coolmate 4, foot pedal, torch, and 300cf tank for $3600. Almost worth just buying new since the parts added up were around $3900.

Maybe I just need to be a typical Craigslist negotiator and see if he's willing to budge on the price.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:48 AM   #22 (permalink)
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On an older machine you are more likely to run across a deal on craigslist or something. I got a miller200 mig for 250 bucks cause the guy said it didnt work and it took me 5 min to fix the shorted trigger leads. But an older TIG means it weighs a million pounds. Prob not gonna find one of those new little miller tig units on CL.
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