PDA

View Full Version : Auto Darkening Welding Helmets?



Pat Miles
12-03-2005, 11:25 AM
I am thinking of buying an auto darkening welding helmet. I have the usual concerns regarding safety (eye protection),tints , cost,etc.. I will be using it with my Lincoln Squarewave TIG and Stick welder with hopes of adding a MIG welder to the mix later. I would appreciate any info and opinions.
Thanks

machinewsi
12-03-2005, 11:51 AM
I've got one, and I love it. As a begining welder it helps out a bunch not having to try and position my welder at the joint and then flip a helmet down. Just point and shoot!!!
I guess there is that slight moment between the flash of light and tinting of the lens. But I just use that as an opertunity for a well timed blink.

Timleech
12-03-2005, 11:59 AM
Speedglas 9000 series.

I've used quite a few others, these are the only ones which don't leave me with sore eyes at the end of the day.

Tim

sdeering
12-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Hey Pat I have the same welder. I use a auto helmet. The only problem I have is when tig welding the tint shuts off lots.
It is a pain. Im not shure if it is the helmet or just that tig gives off little sparks. I cant remember the brand off hand but I will look for ya.
Stephen

Your Old Dog
12-03-2005, 01:35 PM
Make sure and search the archives. There is some good info that may not be repeated this go around.

My contribution was that I was told the differance between a reall expensive one and a home user variety is that the expensive have a sensitivity setting so the guy welding across the room from you won't be tripping your glass. I have a 150 dollar hobart I belive and it's solar powered. Some guys say the battery jobs don't fare well in really cold climates. Mine has give me no trouble and I get no flashes. This technology I'm told is used by jet fighter pilots.

sdeering
12-03-2005, 01:40 PM
Pat the lid I have is a Speedglas I think its the base modle no adjustments. Just on off. I looked at their sight it looks like it is not designed for tig. Oh well it was a gift. Make sure you get one that is designed for all welding.
Stephen

rollin45
12-03-2005, 04:39 PM
I have a Prostar model I bought at Praxair. It works real well for all types of welding. When tig welding, its easy to get the torch between the arc and the sensor on the hood, which will cause it to blink.

I have welded for 30 years, and up until three years ago, used the old type hood. Once I tried the "auto darkening" I'll never go back.
rollin'

charlie coghill
12-03-2005, 06:37 PM
I also have the speedgls, which I like very well. It has the all the adjustments for different types of welding and sincetivity.

BobWarfield
12-03-2005, 06:54 PM
I have a $25 eBay model with painted on flames. It's adjustable in sensitivity and works great. Have seen no flashes, and I work with it about 4 hours a day with no troubles.

Best,

BW

#66B
12-03-2005, 07:25 PM
I use a small battery operated len from Jackson, this lense will fit in many hoods, I have it in a Pipeliner hood with a rubberband headgear, the lense has an adjustable shade, thats all. It works excellant, no flash at all, the only problem I've run in to is when really cold (like 5-10 degrees) it doesn't work well at all, by throwing it in the welding truck bbetween joints, its just enough heat to keep it working all day every day, will have to look at the model# & put it up. I just bought the lense, but you can purchase it w/ a helmet.

timz1999
12-03-2005, 08:14 PM
I was at HF they have one on sale for $49.00 Lot # 46092 . Any bodey use there brand yet? I didn't buy it. On the box it states that it is good for Arc, Mig, and Tig darkens from shade #4 to #9-#13 in 1/20,000 of a second! I have a buz box Arc welder (110 20 amp) that i use for light repairs and thought it might be easer with this helmet.

andy_b
12-03-2005, 10:19 PM
i have the HF one. i bought it in the summer and so far it hasn't given me any trouble. for $49 you can't go wrong.

andy b.

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-03-2005, 10:27 PM
I use the HF Auto darkening helmets. My only complaint with them is comfort. I have two styles from HF. One with the blue flames (uncomfortable) and without flames (semi comfortable).

I found this one to be semi comfortable:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/46000-46099/46092.gif

And this one is not very comfortable. The head band is very rigid and it loosens up and drops down when I don't want it to alot:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/91200-91299/91214.gif

Comfort aside, they are fine welding helmets.

-Adrian

Ian B
12-03-2005, 10:49 PM
I bought a cheap one, and I got my money's worth. The darkening mechanism (which in mune is an easily removable unit) works fine, although it's sometimes a bit darker than I'd like when I'm not welding (ie. on its 'clear' setting).

The rest of the helmet is pretty cheap & nasty, as Adrian said, poor headbands.

The front of the viewing panel is plastic, so I'm making up a plexiglass plate to go in front of it. Seeing the state of my old welding helmet's glass, I can't see this one lasting long. The idea is then to replace the cheap protector.

Otherwise, they make welding easier.

Ian

speedy
12-03-2005, 11:11 PM
I don`t do a lot of welding. love mine and wouldn`t be without it. I will never go back to my old one... unless this one craps out.
Mine is a Lincoln Ultrashade Silver Elite Helmet; lightweight, good adjustment for my custom skull and only 2 settings (9&10)which suit me.

ken

Pat Miles
12-03-2005, 11:44 PM
My thanks to all who have replied. A body could spend a small fortune on helmets to learn what you have told me regarding your experiences. My first and formost concern is my vision. I had not even considered comfort so thanks for bringing that to my attention. Keep those cards and letters coming as I pay attention to all consiering the subject.

Evan
12-04-2005, 01:55 AM
YOD said:
"This technology I'm told is used by jet fighter pilots. "

Yep. Two reasons, protection against laser targeting flashes and protection against nuclear burst flash. In the "old days" B52 pilots wore an eyepatch on one eye so if they were blinded by a nuke burst they still had one good eye.

One of the biggest problems the military is having with the deployment of directed energy weapons like theater antimissile lasers is avoiding "friendly fire" problems with the lasers. With multi megawatt lasers even a momentary specular reflection is enough to blind an entire company if they are looking in the wrong direction, say, watching an enemy missile launch.

Also, think of the implications of sweeping a slightly defocused megawatt infrared laser over an enemy position...

mattc
12-04-2005, 03:52 AM
I have one that I got from NAPA, I love the autodarkening the only problem I have with mine is all the controls are inside above the view window and I often dont turn it on untill I am ready to weld which means taking my welding glove off and reaching up in front of my face inside the helmet to turn it on,
I would look for one that has the controls on the outside

Warren
12-04-2005, 04:07 AM
On auto darkening helmets the glass that is used has some kind of UV filter on it. Even if the lens does not go dark, harmful UV rays do not get thru. You may be light blind for a few moments. But the bad stuff stays outsdide. They could not sell them otherwise

As far as Tig welding goes. Stay away from the cheepies. They flash on & off constantly at low amprerages and it is annoying and hard to do nice work.
Miller, Esab, Lincoln, Optrel, Speedglass and others all sell models that have TIG settings on them. I have a a Miller, a Speedglass and a Esab unit. ( just a note here. Lincoln & Esab helmets are made by Optrel)

I like the Esab unit best because it does not use batteries and has a grinding mode that allows me to grind without flashing on & off. It also has two ranges: 5-9 shade good for low amp tig work, And a 9-13 good for the heavy stuff I do. Wire welding & air carbon arc gouging. It also has a robust suspension system to hold it on my head. It was pricey. $320 usd. And like all preium helmets the plastic cover plates are big $$$$$ about $3.00 a piece

Look them all over at a welding supply place. Take them out of the box & try them on for fit. Go to a welding show/open house, try some out & see how you like them. Once you use one you will cuss a standard helmet. For tig work they rule.

[This message has been edited by Warren (edited 12-04-2005).]

motorcyclemac
12-04-2005, 07:10 AM
I use a Miller Elite Big Window. I love it..and wouldn't do with out the adjustments it has. A tad pricey but well worth the extra. It is really quite light (18oz)and the head band is second to none. Very comfortable and stays put for hours.

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/weldinghelmets/elite.html

Cheers
Bill

Warren
12-04-2005, 08:01 AM
That is the very same Miller helmet I have. I keep it in the shop. It works very well for tig welding. I do not like it in the field because when I am fabricating and or repairing something I set the helmet down & it switches off automatically. I forget to turn it on due to the fact I am used to the solar powered rigs. So twenty minuites later when I go to fit up the part I just made. It does not darken. I have to set everything back down & start over. I am not smart enough to remember to trun it back on!!! Short term memeory deficiency I guess......Maybe I am a canadate for that Focus Factor stuff you hear about on the radio :-)

------------------
Warren

Tinkerer
12-04-2005, 08:36 AM
I can't speak for all of them... but I purchase one from this ebay seller id oregontools in 03 use it almost every day... I very happy with it 9-13 shading. I used a $300.00 Jackson AD with a fixed setting... I could not tell the difference. One thing I did do was to make a inside cover for the screen out of some thin plastic.

Tim

#66B
12-05-2005, 05:47 AM
Any of you fellows ever try the rubberband type head gear, real comfortable, you can evan hang upsidedown w/it, standard item with the Jackson Pipeliner hood, can be purchased seperatly, as a head gear. Comfort & easy on & off!!!

ahidley
12-05-2005, 07:42 AM
Can anybody speak of cold weather operation of a HF helment? I would store mine in the garage and it gets -10F out there. Would it work in thoes temps? Does it have some sort of battery that goes bad if the helment sits for awhile, say 6 months between uses?

Thats Ferinheight... (sp)

[This message has been edited by ahidley (edited 12-05-2005).]

KDRedd
12-05-2005, 08:28 AM
I get on/off flashes with my auto-darkening helmet sometime while using my mig welder. It alway happens when the nozzle is between the arc and the senser. If the senser can not see the arc it will shift to the lighter setting.

Kent

JPR
12-05-2005, 10:24 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pat Miles:
I will be using it with my Lincoln Squarewave TIG and Stick welder with hopes of adding a MIG welder to the mix later.
Thanks</font>

Get one that has an adjustable shade. I just purchased a Speedglas 9002 and love it.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ahidley:
Can anybody speak of cold weather operation of a HF helment? I would store mine in the garage and it gets -10 out there. Would it work in thoes temps? Does it have some sort of battery that goes bad if the helment sits for awhile, say 6 months between uses?</font>

The one helment sat for more than 6 months. No problem, just place it outside in the sun for 30 minutes to charge up the battery.

If the helmet has sat for more than a week, I check it with a O/A torch striker to see if the helmet darkens immediately. If not, it goes out in the sun.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by KDRedd:
I get on/off flashes with my auto-darkening helmet sometime while using my mig welder. It alway happens when the nozzle is between the arc and the senser. If the senser can not see the arc it will shift to the lighter setting.

Kent</font>
My 9 year old Huntsman helmet with a single sensor does that occasionally. The 2 year old Huntsman with two sensors does not. If you have a sensitivity adjustment, turn it up. How old and what brand?

[This message has been edited by JPR (edited 12-05-2005).]

JPR
12-05-2005, 10:29 AM
oops

[This message has been edited by JPR (edited 12-05-2005).]

Tinkerer
12-05-2005, 10:42 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ahidley:
Can anybody speak of cold weather operation of a HF helment? I would store mine in the garage and it gets -10 out there. Would it work in thoes temps? Does it have some sort of battery that goes bad if the helment sits for awhile, say 6 months between uses?</font>

I can't say about the HF AD helmet. But the one I purchased of ebay ( see earlier post ) works with on trouble at all in the cold. The other day temps in the low 30 when welding in side building temp maybe 39 or so after some work. Mine it a solar shade with three sensors and never had it flicker when welding indoors or out. It's getting colder 27 so I'll fire up the torpedo heater when out welding.

Pat Miles
12-05-2005, 11:27 AM
Tinkerer,
What brand and model is your helmet9solar powered with three sensors)?