Has anyone added a volt and amp meter to a mig welder?
Problem is how would you monitor it ?
I dont know, that's why I asked.
Might be worth a look on eBay if one exists that will store the info at least you can look back at it
I looked, I found:
0-100v, 0-100A, and a 100A current shunt, all for 6 quid, but I don't think it stores the readings.
Welder goes up to 180 amp voltage up to 30v. but I think I may order one for another project.
Some of those current shunts can be wired in parallel to double the amperage.
I have also seen them fitted directly to the battery on boats when the starter motor must be pulling more than the rated capacity on cranking.
That might work on a welder as you might be less likely to need accurate measurements at higher amps anyway?
Another option might be to fit a shunt for current and some wires for voltage, feed to some 4mm panel mounted sockets then just plug in a multi meter with a min/max hold function if you dont need to monitor it all the time?
It needs a 4v to 30v DC supply to run the digital meter.
What are you looking to achieve by these readings ?
At the very least you could set your phone on record (or a cheep and cheerful camera) and point it at welder, then weld with meters fitted and review footage.
The readout on my welder holds the last reading, when you release the trigger so you get a good idea of what’s going on.
You could possibly look at getting a unit as a spare part from another machine and retrofitting it?
A better investment might just be to buy a multi-meter with amp clamp and record/hold function?
the voltage would be the ocv (open circuit voltage) not the whilst welding voltage
much simpler to get a clamp meter and put it around the return lead, a lot of these have max hold as well
edit: too slow
Current shunts up to 200A are also available:
An alternative that would allow recording is to use a Hall-effect current transducer:
and store the output on a PC for later review.
I put a voltmeter on my old Cemont. It's the easy one
Self powered, rigged between return socket and wire feeder lead. Worked well.
Remember that these only read a true voltage when welding, so someone has to look at it while someone else welds.
Ammeter is the harder one... I thought the best way would be a big current shunt like Eddie says. But if you have a wire size/speed/amps chart, you can work it out from wirespeed anyway.
The Kemppis at work have a nice setup. Kempomats which I got MSD-1 plug-in modules for, switch between volts and amps, very neat although basic still.
If you can find one with a hold feature it would be advantageous but the one on my Butters is next to useless as you can't see what it's reading when you're welding.
just get a clamp meter with peak hold and inrush current . handy for everything else as well
I have a Tecarc 181. It says on the blurb on the respective sellers websites that you can have a digital meter kit factory fitted or fitted retrospectively. There are cut outs on the front panel to take it (I think). I'm considering the latter option because I think it would be beneficial to know what exact settings you're using. However, if it's only live readings, it's not so useful unless you have someone else watching or record on ya phone.
This is what the Pros use........TVC were 2 young lads, Chris and Kim who made a box of tricks way back when (connected to TWI back then)....We (Welding Rods then) bought one of the first....so we were publishing actual data for welds long before anyone else could even measure it....we had heat input for every run in joints (unheard of at the time)
Just remembered....back then we called it a PAMS unit...Portable Arc Monitoring
I put a wire speed volt meter on a SIP, pretty useless as it only showed a read out when actually welding BUT it did show the power slowly creeping up if the trigger was held.
small voltage reader
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