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  1. #1
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    Default Magnum Welders Arc 200 MMA/DCTig Review

    Hi all,

    I recently recieved my new 200 Amp DC MMA/DC Tig welder by Magnum welders. It promptly arrived 2 days after purchasing online. This is despite me choosing the cheaper "standard" postage over the "express" which was a few dollars more.

    All arrived well packed and in good order.

    The unit itself looks quite well made and put together. The welding leads connect very positively with a type of bayonnet fitting which I assume is a type of industry standard now. My older AC welders just use a brass nut and bolt.

    I have since tested this welder with some scrap steel and found that it produces a lovely bead and a stable arc with both GP and low hydrogen electrodes. However, I won't bore you with endless pictures of welding beads because I get the impression that even the cheapest welders can do this when knew.

    I also tested the welder using my 3.5KVA generator. It was all a bit too much for it at the higher current settings but under about 120A it was actually not bad, even with low hydrogen. Indeed the instructions suggest a minimum of 7.5KVA generator. Previously if I tried to weld from the generator using my AC trnasformer welder, the poor governor on the generator would be all over the place and as a result I could never achieve a stable arc.

    Next I did what I like to do with just about everything..... I took it apart.

    While I have never owned an inverter DC welder and so have nothing to compare it to, I was pretty happy with the way it was put together.

    All the parts came apart nicely. Nothing had to be forced or flexed to be removed. All the screw holes lined up nicely. Even the metal cover looked well made.

    After I took the case off, a nice big heat sink running the full length of the unit and fed by a decent sized fan was the first thing I noticed.

    I removed a couple of the clamps that hold the IGBT's onto the heatsink and noticed neatly applied heat sink compound under all the components. While Im not familiar with reputable brand names for these IGBT's these ones had no name on them so I assume they are just cheapies. Certainly no Toshiba to be found!

    Being a budget model MMA/DC Tig, the front panel is a simple affair with a POT, an ammeter, toggle switch and overtemp/Duty cycle indicator. The front panel is neatly made and accurately punched out of steel. A nice touch is the threaded brass inserts molded into the plastic cover that it screws into rather than just self tappers into plastic.

    Inside the cover you will find six capacitors in the rectifier section. While their value of 470 uF didn't hit me as being over the top, what I did notice is that they had printed on them "for welder". I didn't realise that there were specific caps used for welders but I guess it's nice that the desiners have gone to the trouble of using such.

    All in all the unit itself looks to be reasonably well made. Certainly a reflection of it's 2 year warranty. At $350 plus delivery I think it represents good value for money for anyone wanting a DC arc welder and don't want a bargain basement model that may only last a couple of years.

    Probably my biggest dissapointment with this welder are the leads. At 5M I am pretty happy with the length, I fail to get excited by the earth or electrode clamps. While both have copper on their connectors, the electrode holder just feels terrible. It's not a piece of equipment that feels nice to use. While It does do the job and I can't fault how it clamps the electrode, it just feels yuck!

    As for the earth clamp, the spring is nice and tight but the flimsy piece of braided copper wire that connects the top and bottom parts of the clamp is see-through and does not look like it will last very long.

    All in all I think I made the right choice. I really don't think I could get a much better welder for my $350. The electrode holder may well be a personal preference thing. I may end up replacing the clamps. Or, I may just use them until they fall apart!

    Hope some people may find this helpful.

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Dee Why NSW
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by simonl View Post
    While Im not familiar with reputable brand names for these IGBT's these ones had no name on them so I assume they are just cheapies. Certainly no Toshiba to be found! .....

    While their value of 470 uF didn't hit me as being over the top, what I did notice is that they had printed on them "for welder". I didn't realise that there were specific caps used for welders but I guess it's nice that the desiners have gone to the trouble of using such.......
    The IGBTs are from ON Semiconductors. An American company so probably not cheapies.
    The caps are chinese but from a specialist capacitor manufacturer so also probably not the cheapest available.
    Looks like a really good value unit. Let us know how it holds up.
    Built: a Bench,a Desk,an Archery Display,

    Those were the droids I was looking for.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2009
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    Sydney, NSW, Australia
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    I donno much about welding or even running off a generator but are u fully powering up the generator before welding? i have only owned one generator and it was a 1000w silent model it had the economy mode where it would idle up its self if a big load was applied or it had the option to run flat out from the get go to deal instantly with a big load so there were no initial lag

    that rod holder really is a outdated cheap design but maybe it has enthusiast from old school stick welding days wanting that design? a lot of old timers probably grew up using this design and like it still today even tho we have advanced in technology, I love my Unimig stick holder the twist and pinch design is far better for a learner like my self

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    I donno much about welding or even running off a generator but are u fully powering up the generator before welding?
    It would not make any difference, it is a switch mode power supply with no for want of a better term "power factor correction" circuit. So it only draws current for a tiny fraction of time per cycle, as such you need a larger generator to run them then if it had an additional circuit that meant it could draw current across the entire cycle.

    The transformer machines are just inefficient and have bad power factor and they need a bigger generator because of the general inefficiency.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  5. #5
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    Thanks RC not to familiar with generators in general just what the little inverter one i had ran like it had 2 modes and i thought maybe Simon may be in economy mode causing that initial surge problem

  6. #6
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    Hi Gazza,

    The generator I have is an older style Mitsubishi model. It was quite expensive in it's day but not an inverter generator. The voltage is governed by engine speed which is governed by the old style centrifugal weights style speed governor.

    Simon

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    Thanks RC not to familiar with generators in general just what the little inverter one i had ran like it had 2 modes and i thought maybe Simon may be in economy mode causing that initial surge problem
    It is not the generator, it is the welder that is the switch mode power supply.

    Inverter generator only means it can create 50Hz at a whole range of speeds as the generator generates DC power that gets changed to AC.

    The inverter welders take AC and change it to low voltage high amperage DC.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCArcher View Post
    The IGBTs are from ON Semiconductors. An American company so probably not cheapies.
    The caps are chinese but from a specialist capacitor manufacturer so also probably not the cheapest available.
    Looks like a really good value unit. Let us know how it holds up.
    Thanks for your input. I would not have known that.

    Cheers.

    Simon

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  9. #9
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    Well this morning I had an oppotunity to actually use this welder and I guess this post is more about DC welders in general rather than about the actual welder so that said;


    WOW how good are DC welders!!!? Never used one before and I have been using an old transformer welder for over 20 years. The arc is so much smoother and more predictable. You can go much lower on the amps without the rod sticking. At first I thought The POT amps adjustment and digital readout were really just a gimick but to be able to dial up the amperage you want is neat. So much more repeatable. Oh boy what a treat!

    I really can't imagine me using my old 80Kg Goodwell welder again. I think the poor thing will just sit in the corner and watch from now on.

    See ya, I'm going back out to weld "stuff"

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  10. #10
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    I ripped out my arc welder the other week about 2 weeks ago i had a oxygen sensor that had literally fell out of the exhaust manifold i could not find anyone local who sold the 18mm helicoil in Sydney and another manifold from the wreckers is i think like $400 because it has the catylitic converter built onto it too so i just sat it in the hole and stick welded a bead around 2cm on a section i could lather die grind off if need to replace the sensor , leaning against the radiator support i had a steady hand it welded but i can't see how bad it pulled oil and impurities thru the hole or out of the exhaust came out black and shiny but none the less it worked great lol grabbing the stick welder was very easy and light and convenient 2 second grab took about 10mins and it was all done

    i really need to learn to run a stick bead stick welding is my second most choice of welding, Love DC tig welding its so bloody easy

  11. #11
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    Nice work. I have never welded cast iron. I'm interested to give it a go but yet to find a job needing it.

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

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