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Thread: High Frequency Arc Starting Box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default High Frequency Arc Starting Box

    My name is Joe, thanks for having me.

    I own a Milller Thunderbolt XL which is a an Ac/Dc 300/200 CC power source. I want to add High Frequency to this unit and am considering one of these High Freq. starter boxes. I am wondering if anyone has any experience good or bad with these boxes. Miller makes one called the HF251D and my other option would be an older used one. I don't think there are too many companies still making these. Any comments are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Georgia


    Hey Joe, I don't have experience with the Hi-Freq box you mentioned but about 15yrs ago I use a lincoln Hi-Freq box for a bullet whole patch in a local Fire Truck. I was louder than what I was used to in a typical machine but it did the trick for the bullet whold, however I have my doubts about quality consistant welds, weld after weld.

    If you find a Hi-Freq box that your're impressed with please let me know, Iwould like to have one for my Lincoln Ranger 250 GXT portable machine.

    Lincoln 250 GXT
    Lincoln 225 Buzz Box
    Miller CP-300
    Miller 250 Syncrowave
    WeldCraft Flex V-17 for Linc. 250
    WeldCraft water cooled for Syncro.
    Victor (Baby) cuttin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Decades ago I used (and still have somewhere) one of those outboard HF boxes (either Sears or Wards) with an ancient Sears buzz box to weld up some 3" cubes out of aluminum plate for burial of vibration transducers. It worked.

    Fortunately the products did not have to be pretty for this project, and they weren't. Whether that was the fault of the HF box, the buzz box, or the fact that it was my first TIG effort I do not know.

    Years later I took an intensive weekend course in TIG at tThe Crucible, a local "fire arts" studio, and the difference in welder performance was dramatic and the stainless steel cubes I produced there were actually pretty (by my standards).

    My personal conclusion, based upon no more information than these two experiences, is that an outboard HF box is an interesting toy that can be marginally useful in an emergency or as TIG training wheels for someone lacking a real TIG machine, but that it is not going to satisfy for long or provide the control and finesse necessary for professional or artistic results. Bear in mind that this impression was based upon experience with a tapped power source lacking either fine power setting or a foot pedal, so it may not be an accurate representation of the potential of an HF box in professional hands. I also do not know if there are more finely engineered outboard HF boxes out there that will provide better performance. The one I used looks like most of those that I have seen and consists of a louvered steel box perhaps 5" x 6" x 14 " (guess) with input leads, receptacles for output leads, and containing a power transformer to produce high voltage, a spark gap, and an air-core HF coupling transformer. Pretty basic.

    My advice would be to get one to play with if you can get it cheaply, but do not expect it to be an adequate substitute for a properly engineered TIG machine.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Hi, I'm also new to the forum and just want to wish all Best wishes for the Holidays.
    I have a MillerDynasty200 Tig - Hobart 175 Mig and a Thermal Dynamics 51 Plasma.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default start box

    I had one on my thunderbolt for years, works great. I now removing it to sell, up dating some of my welding equipment. Its a Lincoln

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