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"Your caring and compassion for the work that you are doing shines through when you are talking about it. We are fortunate to be working with you on this project."
--Beverly Moore, Member, Avondale, Arizona, Municipal Arts Committee

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How to Use the Controls on a Longevity TIG Welder

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you studying?

Kevin Caron: This is the new Longevity TIGweld 250 AC/DC machine that I've been playing with here in the studio. The first time I looked at this control panel, I thought, "How am I ever going to learn all that?"

Turns out it's really quite easy if you break it down into different sections. These dials or knobs work for this function, those knobs work for that function. Then it's pretty easy.

Let's talk about the controls. The on/off switch is located here on the back. This is your base current knob, just like on any other welding machine. This is what you turn to get all the volts, or all the amps that you need to weld.

Up slope: this machine does something really cool: you can set the base current to, let's say, a hundred amps, set the up slope to start at, let's say, 15 amps. Then when you pull the trigger and start an arc, it's going to start at 15 amps and ramp itself up to a hundred amps, then level off so you can sit there and weld.

The Voice: And why is that good, Kev?

Kevin Caron: When you're working with a thin metal like this aluminum that I'm using for a public art sculpture that I'm working on, you don't want to hit it with all your amps right away because you can blow a hole through it. You can overheat it, crystallize it; you can make it brittle. There are all kinds of different things that can happen if you hit thin metals too hard.

This feature allows you to hit it slow, warm it up, and then you can start to weld. This will also allow you to work at the edge of the metal a little. If you get a little too close, where it's getting a little thin; it'll overheat. You might try to pulse it, turn that down a little.

There are so many different adjustments here that allow you to do so many different things. It's a cool machine. But that's the up slope, so start low, go up to your working amps, weld.

Now for the down slope: as soon as you click the button again or let off the trigger, it'll go from your hundred amps and drop back down to whatever you have it set at, so you don't get that stupid little crater at the end of the weld. You don't blow a hole.

It takes a lot of thinking, but it's really easy once you get used to it.

Pre-flow: before you even get an arc, you can set this for how many seconds you want it to come on; so you push your trigger, the gas starts flowing to flood the area that you're welding in; then the arc will start. Wow - why didn't they think of that before?

These are your basic controls. They work for DC. You use these the most, I would say. These are your four controls for pulse that work both in AC and DC.

Pulse current: how much you're actually welding. Pulse frequency: how fast; how many pulses per second you’re getting. Pulse width: how long easy pulse lasts.
And then your pulse control: off, low, or high.

AC frequency and AC balance has a lot to do with penetration. It also has a lot do to with cleaning. I won't get into it today; I really don't understand it that well yet.

These are the controls for the stick welding portion of the machine. TIG weld, or stick weld. AC or DC. Lift. Or high frequency. Now, what the heck is that?
Lift is like a scratch start, like a stick welder where you would scratch it, touch it, get it started, move it away, it ends. High frequency allows you to use either the control on the torch or the foot pedal.

And then 2T and 4T. Now, what are those for? 4T: that allows you to push the trigger and let it go. You would push it, the arc would start, you can let it go and the arc would stay running. Push it again, the arc will stop. That's 4T.

2T: push it, the arc starts, you let it go, the arc stops. That's all that button does. That's it.

Those are the only controls (other than the flow meter). As you know, you've got to adjust your gas flow on it. But as long these are the ones you use the most - you use these for DC or AC.

If you're not using pulse, then none of those matter. If you're not using AC, then these don't matter. If you're not using stick, that doesn't matter. Now you only have four knobs when you're doing DC. That's easy. Anybody can learn that.

So, it takes a minute. It takes some minor changes to your frame of mind, but once you learn how the controls work, hey, it's a pretty cool machine.

You can do a lot more with this machine than I can do with my Miller; my 200 Syncrowave. I've got a lot more control here than that machine will allow me to do. I'm really liking this machine.

In the next how-to video on welding equipment, we'll actually play with it.

See you next time.

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