Miller Maxstar 280 Troubleshooting

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Feb 26, 2019
The range of talents and expertise on this forum are exceptional. With that in mind, the Maxstar 280 I picked up a couple weeks ago gave up the ghost. I put about 20 minutes of arc time on it over the course of 2 days. Went to power it up from standby mode in the middle of a practice session yesterday; pushed the power button, and instead of the fan coming on and the display activating, I just heard "snap". Sounded just like when a breaker pops in the house.

I got the machine used with 111 arc hours on it, looks to have only been used in stick mode its whole life.

Anyway, the unit new is $5700 machine only. I paid $1300 machine only, prev. owner said it was a 2015, so no warranty.

I'd like to fix it without getting fleeced by some "repair shop."

Occam's razor and the general opinion on IGBT machines says it's the mainboard or PCB as it is called.

I opened it up; no obvious signs of a southern bbq occurring.

I can stomach $1300 for a new board, just would rather not pay some else to install it.

I called Miller, the tech referred me to the local service center, spoke to the service center owner, seemed like a shady fellow who could use some cash when I told him it was out of warranty.

Anyone here have experience with these IGBT machines, and willing to give advice?

Tempted to just buy the mainboard so I can get back to welding, but seems my lucks run out for now so any advice is appreciated.


Uno mas Cervesa!
May 14, 2004
I had a maxstar 150 for about 2 months. Main board cracked in half. Miller told me to pound sand. A buddies company bought a bunch of these, he swapped it out for a good one and got mine warrantied. Sold that POS as soon as I got it back.
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Feb 26, 2019
Miller rips (rapes?) folks off on these inverter machines, but because they do it with a smile and they offer tech (emotional) support afterward, apparently that makes it OK.

It's fitting they're blue, sold their souls to the Peoples Republic of China just like the Dems.

Looking into HTP Invertig 221

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