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Thread: Miller Syncrowave 250?

  1. #1
    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Miller Syncrowave 250?

    Years ago there was a thread about the different types of welding for building Cub fuselages (I searched and couldn't find it). Someone made the comment and others agreed the "The Holy Grail of tig welders was the Miller Syncrowave 250". Now that a few years (Actually several) have past, is that still true? Also, at some point, did the Syncrowave line convert to digital rather than - - - whatever they were before? Are they even the same welders as back in the day? Would you be afraid of buying one used?
    Thanks

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    jrussl's Avatar
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    A used Miller Synchrowave 250 will serve you well. That said, some of the new Chinese units are getting some very good reviews and are much smaller and lighter. Not sure what I would do. I have a Miller Dynasty and it’s a very capable machine.


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    When I was shopping I wanted a Miller. I was told, but have no way to confirm, that the 250 synchrowave liked a very stable power supply. My shop is a long way from the power line and power fluctuates as equipment turns on and off. I looked at the Dynasty but the price was hard to justify. I’ve tig welded with Miller and Lincoln, liked them both. But…I ended up buying an Everlast 255EXT and added a water cooled torch. I’ve been very happy with it. Lots of time on it as I’ve welded the entire fuselage plus about 300 hours of practice welds and other projects. I can’t tell the difference in the weld between it and the more expensive units. A better welder might be able to tell the difference. For me, the $2000 difference in price was the tipping point.
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    jimboflying's Avatar
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    When I started tig welding I visited with the fellow who started Rocky Mtn Airframes who built certified cub fuselages and parts. He asked what color of welding machine I had. I told him and he said I must be a really good welder then. I asked what did that have to do with anything. He said that those machines make it harder to get a good result. As a novice he said that a better machine would make it easier. He was right. I have owned an assortment of machines since including a Synchrowave 250. It was a great machine for its time and still does everything it originally did. However, the newer inverter style of machines can do things the 250 can’t. They are easier to use for really thin things and have more adjustments for aluminum.
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    My workhorse is an early 250 Sycrowave. Absolutely a superb tool. It took a lightning hit 20ish years back and smoked the mainboard. That slucked. I was in the middle of a customer project and bought a Lincoln tig. Damn, trying to weld aluminum with it was worse than a challenge. I literally could not get a quality weld done.
    Bring the weld shop needed over 1K for a mainboard I was not in a hurry. I tried a circuit board rebuilder.What a joke, replaced everything but what was smoked.
    Soon I realized an online source had decent pricing on factory parts and had a new board in and running again. Now with 35+ years this rig is flawless.

    My carry welder I have a Hypertherm inverter tig, very smooth and silent welding, but it is an aircooled rig only so your work dutycycle is low, very low if you need any amperage since the torch cable will let it's smoke out. It is also For DC only, so no aluminum work not that you can get very far before your glove shrinks over your fingers with the aircooled torch.

    So my workhorse remains the near 500# blue box with a 25' Weldcraft Triflex #20 watercooled torch.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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    As to your question about buying a used Syncrovave, if it is has not been smoked from some outside issue it will last, Yes there are many new machines that could well be better or easier. But I can weld thin or thick with mine all day long, well as I get closer to 70 all day is not as long as it used to be.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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    If you find a good deal in a used syncrowave, don't be afraid to pull the trigger in the deal. That being said, the newer inverter machines are better. I bit the bullet on a Dynasty 200 7 years ago, and haven't looked back. I haven't tried one of the chinese versions, but what i have heard about them, seems to be more good than bad.
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Bought my Synchrowave 180 used some 20 plus years ago and still going strong.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    I am with Steve on this, have owned a 180 Synchrowave for years and we had a 250 as well at the hanger. Both are great. I can't imagine what welds on a Cub the 180 Miller couldn't handle.......jmho.
    E
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    If you find a good deal in a used syncrowave, don't be afraid to pull the trigger in the deal. That being said, the newer inverter machines are better.
    I have a Hypetherm inverter welder, I love how smooth it is, BUT, it utilizes an air cooled torch only. Yes the control of the arc is nice but anything more than welding thin metal for short time the cable to the torch lets out it's smoke. To me it is kind of useless if I can only weld a few minutes at a time before needing a new torch.
    Most air cooled torch cables are considerably stiffer than the water cooled cables/hose setup. It took me along time to find a nice ultraflex power cable. And it was only a 12' cable, the longer ones let there smoke out way too early in a weld session. I ended up machining a custom connector to use a conventional stiff & heavy torch cable allowing me to move around and reach where I need to. That works but I need more than 10 minutes on the pedal to get work done without needing to spend another few hundred on a torch.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    My buddy who welded for Air Tractor the last 30 years and builds race cars told me the Dynasty has 3 boards and when one goes out it is about $3k and sometimes will take another one with it.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I have a Hypetherm inverter welder, I love how smooth it is, BUT, it utilizes an air cooled torch only. Yes the control of the arc is nice but anything more than welding thin metal for short time the cable to the torch lets out it's smoke. To me it is kind of useless if I can only weld a few minutes at a time before needing a new torch.
    Most air cooled torch cables are considerably stiffer than the water cooled cables/hose setup. It took me along time to find a nice ultraflex power cable. And it was only a 12' cable, the longer ones let there smoke out way too early in a weld session. I ended up machining a custom connector to use a conventional stiff & heavy torch cable allowing me to move around and reach where I need to. That works but I need more than 10 minutes on the pedal to get work done without needing to spend another few hundred on a torch.
    Charlie,

    It is not very tough to add a water cooled torch. There are several options out there.

    Tim

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    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Charlie,

    It is not very tough to add a water cooled torch. There are several options out there.

    Tim
    Just be careful with the inexpensive Chinese made coolers. I bought one on Amazon and it had some sort of pulsating pump in it. It pulsated so violently that it shook the torch. It also leaked. Good thing for amazons hassle free return policy.

    Getting ready to buy this one. From my research, it appears to be well liked.

    https://usaweld.com/products/arctic-chill-water-cooler

    Jeff


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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrussl View Post
    Just be careful with the inexpensive Chinese made coolers. I bought one on Amazon and it had some sort of pulsating pump in it. It pulsated so violently that it shook the torch. It also leaked. Good thing for amazons hassle free return policy.

    Getting ready to buy this one. From my research, it appears to be well liked.

    https://usaweld.com/products/arctic-chill-water-cooler

    Jeff


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app

    Good point.

    If you are on a budget, and have time, it is not very hard to craft a cooler. Don't forget to use antifreeze in it.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Charlie,

    It is not very tough to add a water cooled torch. There are several options out there.

    Tim
    The air cooled torch carries the gas through the power cable, a water cooled rig has the return water in the power cable. Maybe I have not seen a decent remote cooler that is convenient to live with.
    The cooler on my welder started life as an add on which is all I knew of in the early 80's when I bought my Syncrowave. First thing I built with this welder was to take apart the cooler, mount the motor/pump under the welder, use a large transmission cooler on the back over the fan and fabricated an aluminum water tank that mounts underneath.
    This has allowed me to put the welder in the back of a pickup and carry it to a site to work.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

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    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    My buddy who welded for Air Tractor the last 30 years…

    THAT’S the guy I want training me!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    …the Dynasty has 3 boards and when one goes out it is about $3k…

    After what JRUSSL and 1934A said I looked into the Dynasty and it sounds like a great machine - - - but $3K would ruin my whole day - LOL
    Last edited by D.A.; 04-04-2022 at 02:52 PM.

  17. #17
    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimboflying View Post
    ...However, the newer inverter style of machines can do things the 250 can’t...
    Can you recommend a specific make/model? Thanks

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    jrussl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.A. View Post
    Can you recommend a specific make/model? Thanks

    Here is a recent PIREP from a longtime member here.

    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...ghlight=welder
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