Troubleshooting SA

Alice, Texas


Established 1979

Manufacturer of Electronic Welding Machinery Controls                                    

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Troubleshooting the Pipeliner Remote Amperage Controller

SA-200 and SA-250 (DC aux power) and Classic I.

Warning!  Do not use these procedures for any other type of machine or serious damage will be caused! 

The procedures herein will guide you in the troubleshooting of the Weldtron Pipeliner remote amperage controllers.  This is a “hypertext” document and you will automatically progress from one routine to the next by clicking on the BLUE words.  When using this procedure as a printed document simply go to the number next to the question.  For example the question is “Yes-4” then you would go to response number 4 and so on. 

It is important that you follow the troubleshooting procedures exactly as presented or you will end up lost and accomplish nothing. 

WARNING!  Use common sense and electrical safety practices when working on your machine.  Do not touch electrical wiring that is bare and exposed while the machine is running. 

Prior to starting this troubleshooting routine insure that the machine is operating correctly.  If there is no power at the machine’s auxiliary outlet then that must be repaired prior to advancing any further.  If the welding output is a very weak SPARK then that problem must be corrected before troubleshooting the remote controller. 

To isolate the remote controller for general machine repair and troubleshooting simply disconnect the wire that is attached to terminal #6 of the Pipeliner machine circuit board.  After the machine problems have been corrected reconnect terminal #6 and begin the troubleshooting tests of the Pipeliner. 


Use a meter to measure the machine’s Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) at the welding leads or if a meter is not available use an electrode to weld with so that you can see variations in the amperage output of the machine. 


  • Remove the remote hand control from the machine.
  • Remove the extension cord from the machine. 
  • Turn the machine’s main rheostat (fine current control) to minimum.

Before going deep into the troubleshooting charts perform these voltage checks if you have a meter to do so.  These readings may identify the problem immediately.  MEASURE ALL VOLTAGES AT THE CIRCUIT BOARD.



Red lead

Black Lead


Terminal #1

Terminal #3

+120 Volts DC

Terminal #3

Terminal #5

+ 120 Volts DC

Terminal #1

Terminal #5

0 volts with engine running.  Resistance is 0 ohms as read with engine off.

Terminal #1

Terminal #4

0 to 5 volts static voltage

Terminal #3

Terminal #4

0 to 5 volts static voltage

Terminal #6

Terminal #3

Around 60 volts DC with the machine rheostat at minimum.  With the machine rheostat at maximum the voltage should be less than 2 volts DC

Terminal #4

Case Ground of machine with engine stopped.

No less than 2 megohms of resistance.  Resistance means a grounding condition that will cause the remote to malfunction

If these voltages and measurements do not correspond to this chart then there is a wiring problem in the machine.

(Note:  All voltage measurements are with the machine running at welding speed.)

After making the readings above and correcting any problems found, start the machine and measure the OCV or strike an arc.  Move the machine’s fine current control from minimum to maximum and see if the OCV or welding current follows the movement up and down. 

Did the OCV (current or arc) vary with the turning of the fine current control on the machine front panel?


No-2, the machine output was maximum no matter where the fine control was set.

No-5, the machine output was minimum for a part of the turn but then suddenly started to operate through part of the turn from minimum to maximum.

 1 OCV operates correctly.

Original wiring to the machine’s fine amperage control is correct and the machine’s fine control rheostat operates correctly. Plug the remote hand control into the remote control receptacle and vary it from minimum to maximum.  Does the machine OCV or arc vary as the remote control hand control rheostat is moved from minimum to maximum?  Yes-8  No-10

 2  Maximum output.

It is possible that the Pipeliner Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is defective.  Locate terminal #6 on the Pipeliner circuit board and disconnect it.  Run the same test with the fine current control by moving it up and down while monitoring the OCV or welding arc.  Does the machine respond correctly now?  Yes-3  No-6

Reconnect the wire back to terminal #6 after the test.

 3 Terminal #4 test.

After reconnecting the wire to terminal #6 remove the wire that attaches to terminal #4 on the Pipeliner PCB.  Turn the machine fine control rheostat up and down and monitor the OCV or the welding arc.  Does it vary with movement of the fine control rheostat?  Yes-7  No-4

Reconnect the wire back to terminal #4 after the test.

4 Bad PCB

The Pipeliner machine circuit board is defective.  Send it in for repair and/or replacement.  Mark all wiring clearly for installation of the repaired or replaced board.  Insulate the terminals that connect to the board so that they will not short out.  You may weld but will not have remote control.


5 Bad rheostat

The machine fine current control rheostat is defective.  It has an open place on it’s windings.  Replace it before troubleshooting the remote control system again.  This should solve the problem with current control.


6 Machine wiring

There is a MAJOR problem with either the general machine wiring or in installation of the Pipeliner remote amp control system.  Recheck all wiring connections against the installation diagram and if necessary, take the machine to a qualified welding machinery repair shop.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPERATE THE MACHINE UNTIL THIS PROBLEM IS RESOLVED!


7 Grounded receptacle

After replacing terminal #4 back to the board the machine output goes high and can’t be controlled it means that the 120 volt receptacle used for the remote control connection is GROUNDED TO THE MACHINE FRAME!  This causes the remote control board in the machine to turn fully on and produce maximum output at the welding leads no matter what.  Remove the grounded receptacle and either replace it with a “pig tail” made from an extension cord or install an ISOLATED GROUND receptacle for the remote control.


8 Ext Cord

The Pipeliner hand control is operating properly.   The problem may be in the extension cord.  Remove the hand control from the remote connection on the machine and plug in the extension cord to the remote receptacle on the machine.  Plug the hand control into the extension cord.  If the remote does not operate properly,  then the extension cord is defective and must be repaired or replaced.  Note:  Moisture or water within an extension cord or it’s connectors will cause problems.



Remove the Pipeliner hand control from the machine’s remote control receptacle or pig-tail. 

Prior to performing the following test check the remote control receptacle (or pig-tail) for proper wiring.  Measure 120 volts at the remote control machine receptacle or plug in a grinder into the remote receptacle and see if it operates correctly.  If it does not then wiring to the remote receptacle is in error and must be corrected.  

WARNING!  Only perform the following steps on SA series machines with DC auxiliary power or Classic I machines.  DO NOT DO THIS NEXT STEP TO MACHINES WITH AC AUXILIARY POWER OR CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE WILL OCCUR! 

Turn the machine’s fine control rheostat to minimum.  Stop the engine.   

Place a jumper wire between terminals #3 and #6.  Start the machine and vary the machine’s main fine control rheostat.  The OCV or arc should be at MAXIMUM and varying the rheostat will not affect the arc.  Turn the machine off and remove the jumper.   If this procedure did not work as described and you could vary the OCV or arc then wiring between the rheostat and terminals #3 and #6 is defective (or in error) and must be corrected.  

If this test passed as described then move to the next procedure. 

Turn the machine engine off.  Place a temporary jumper from terminal #3 to Terminal #4.  Start the machine.  The OCV should be maximum and the welding arc should be at maximum.  If the machine output did not go to maximum then the machine circuit board is defective and needs to be replaced or repaired.  Turn the machine off. 

After the test remove the jumper wire.

Check remote control receptacle

Test the remote control receptacle (or pig-tail) for proper wiring.  Measure 120 volts DC at the remote control machine receptacle (or plug in a grinder and see if it operates correctly).  Is 120 volts present at the remote control receptacle?  Yes-11   No-6  


11 Check hand control

Plug the hand control unit directly into the machine’s remote control receptacle.  Use a voltmeter and place it on the DC scale.  Place the red meter lead on terminal #1 and the black one on terminal #4 of the machine circuit board.  Run the engine.  Monitor the voltage and as the hand control unit is varied from minimum to maximum the voltage should range from approximately 0 to 40 volts DC.  Does the voltage vary as described?  Yes-4   No—the hand control is defective.  Return it to us along with the machine board so that both can be calibrated and to insure that no problems exist on the machine board.


Drawing for installation to DC excited machines.

SA-200/250 & Classic I machines.

Note:  This diagram for both RC-102 and PIPELINER units.