tecarc 166i MMA died - any pointers?

  1. johnser

    johnser Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Location:
    North Cornwall
    One of the team tries to use it Friday and informed me it wouldn't go but the light was on.

    Switched it on this evening and everything fired up as usual so left it on, got a rod and as I got to the bench 30s or thereabouts later, the fan stopped, leaving just the on/off switch illuminated. Just as was described. No other lights, not the overheat light, nor the light with the lightning ⚡ next to it.

    I used it last, around a moth ago, heavily, to put some welds on a bucket edge. Was fine at the time.

    Obviously, there's power getting inside so the box so the fuse is ok. Next step is to take the side off and look....for what?

    On thing that crossed my mind as I type this - it's very windy here, I'll check the line voltage tomorrow and make sure it's not being pushed up by all the wind turbines maxing out. The machine would have to be very sensitive for it to be that though, our generation inverters sniff the line voltage and will shut down if it's outside of normal parameters - I have in the past upset one of them when using the big welder flat out.
     
    Memmeddu likes this.
  2. eddie49 Member

    I would suggest that you start by disconnecting the machine from the mains and waiting an hour or two for any capacitors ( with up to 325v DC ) to safely discharge. Then remove the covers and check for:
    - loose push-on spade tags at the back of the mains power switch and on the bridge rectifier ( rectangular alloy block mounted on a heatsink, with 4 tags, - there may be two rectifiers in parallel )
    - loose bolted connections on heavy internal cables and copper or aluminium busbars, at heatsinks and on thick tracks on the PCBs, and at the back of the front panel Dinse sockets.
    - loose or poorly-seated plugs on the multi-wire harnesses between the PCBs
    - any sign of blackened or burnt components.
     
    johnser likes this.
  3. johnser

    johnser Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Location:
    North Cornwall
    Thanks for the suggestions - particularly the capacitor reminder.

    Pulled the covers this morning and although a little grubby, all looks visibly ok, reseated a slightly off connector and rewired the plug as was a little tired.

    Same symptoms. Seems like it hasn't catastrophically died but the computer must be able to sense something isn't quite right and shut down after a short while.

    Line voltage is fine.

    The sticker inside infoms me it's 10yrs old! Hard to believe - I thought it was almost new.
     
  4. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    10,397
    Location:
    Essex
    The problem is it’s a TecArc... :whistle:
     
  5. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    10,397
    Location:
    Essex
    If you want a cheap machine get a parweld. If you want something that will last get something German, Lorch MicorStick or MicorTig 200 would be my choice.

    I’ve also heard good things about the EWM and Fronius machines.
     
  6. p0689109 Member

    Messages:
    1,800
    Location:
    stoke on trent,england
    Did you use a air line to blow the dust out?
     
  7. johnser

    johnser Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Location:
    North Cornwall
    Dusted gently with an airline and soft brush. Also bypassed the power switch - same symptoms.

    I rang tecarc up, who'd be happy to look at it - suggested it might be a power supply issue. But by the time they'd diagnosed and repaired, would expect a bill for £150-200. Sadly, not worth it for me. I might check the outputs from the rectifiers.

    So yea, I'll consider other makes to replace it, sure.

    To be honest though, its only needed for portable farm repairs. I like how much nicer it welds and how much lighter it is than the old Clarke buzz box we have (which is carelessly treated yet always seems to work) but that theres so much less to go wrong in there, I'm tempted to just get another with some long leads.
     
  8. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    10,397
    Location:
    Essex
    Just get a parweld for £200 and throw it away after 5 years.

    If you want something to last ten years get something German
     
  9. HughF

    HughF Member

    Messages:
    5,955
    Location:
    Work: Dorchester, Workshop: Corfe Castle, Wife's place: Frome
    Ismail Inverter on youtube could fix that for you but it probably wouldn't be worth the trouble... In the bin it goes.
     
  10. johnser

    johnser Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Location:
    North Cornwall
    I don't have a lot of experience with such things but to be fair to this machine, it's done 10yrs and tecarc quoted £260 to replace.
     
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