At work we have a Hobart CW-300-S that was bought in 1987. It has the 130S programmer, meter kit and water cooler. Very nice machine, I didn't know they made them that nice 20 years ago.
Fairly recently the HF start has apparently stopped working. I haven't done much investigation yet as I just started working there today. The machine is used mostly for low amp Tig welding. Often only in the 10 to 30 amp range.
They had a service tech in a few weeks ago, who happens to be a salesman. He said that something on the board has fried and a replacement would be around $1500. He also said what new machines could replace this old one. So I personaly have a little trust issue right there.
We found the manual for the machine today. It says that Hobart had established an Exchange Service Plan. It says that defective parts could be sent back to hobart. Here's what it says, quoted from the manual : " Under the Control Module Exchange Plan, the owner of the equipment may exchange the entire module in with fault has developed for a replacement. A standard exchange price has been established for each module design which applies, without regard to the amount of repair required to the original turned in, which is applied against the cost of the replacement."
So is that plan still alive ?
I used the machine a bit today. I can get the arc started by just doing a scratch start. Although for the type of work done, HF is a must have. I want to check the Spark Gap before we got any further though incase that is the only problem. I have to take the whole cover off to get to them don't I ? I haven't found where they are supposed to be located from just looking at the manual.
Also, the amperage setting on this machine is quite strange to me. When I look at the dial. It would appear to me that the machine goes as low as .1 amp. but the manual says it only goes down to 5amp. The dial for setting the amperage has 100 divisions on it. One full turn of this dial turns another dial behind it to 10. another full turn turns it to 20, 30, 40, 50, 60,70 and so on for every full turn. Machine is suppused to only go to 400amp. so every turn is defenatly not 100 amp. But what is it ? it would seem to me that every division of the first dial is .1amp. One full turn only seemed to be about 10amp, and 2 turns looked close to 20 if I compare to other tig welders I've used. It just barely burnt thru a .025" steel sheet with the pedal to the floor. Maybe this machine has an extra fine adjustment, did they come with that?
So if it turns out that its more than just setting the arc gap. Is it still possible to get the replacement part for the board at a reasonable price ? We'd defenatly like to get the HF working on it again but if its $1500 for the part, we might as well get a new machine.
This machine was about $6000 new 20 years ago, that would compare to what, 25K in today's money?.
Thanx for any help regarding this machine.
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