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Old 04-11-2009, 10:47 PM
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auto darkening helmet

I am going to get a auto darkening helmet at Harbor Freight. They are 50.00 versus over 100.00 at welding supply stores. From what i can tell the mechanics of the helmets are the same, the high dollar helmets are constructed better.
My question is this. What is the better powered helmet? The solar powered or the battery helmet? The rechargable batgtery helmet has a slightly larger view. Thanks for the advice
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:09 PM
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I have this solar one from H.F and I really like it. Never used the battery one so I'm probably not the best one to dole out a recommendation (ask oldred-- he's the best one to ask...), but I'd recommend the same one I have. Used it tonight as a matter of fact.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:39 AM
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I have the same one Chet has and it serves me well.

Vince
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:21 AM
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Thats one of the helmets I was looking at. The other helmet has the blue flames on it and it is battery operated. Are these type helmets good for aiding in filling holes? I have been filling holes by shutting my eyes and sometimes my timimg gets off and zap. If I use my standard helmet i usually loose my welding spot when i lower the helmet.....Thanks for the info....Happy Easter
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:54 AM
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One of the issues I have is smoke. Seems like the hood doesn't stay dark when there is a lot of smoke. The battery one may work better.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop
Thats one of the helmets I was looking at. The other helmet has the blue flames on it and it is battery operated. Are these type helmets good for aiding in filling holes? I have been filling holes by shutting my eyes and sometimes my timimg gets off and zap. If I use my standard helmet i usually loose my welding spot when i lower the helmet.....Thanks for the info....Happy Easter
once you get an auto-darkening helmet, you'll wonder how you ever went without one. before i upgraded helmets, i used a northern tool chinese retrofit that's probably 10 years old now. it was solar powered and it never failed to turn on. it worked fine except it would occasionally undarken if the weld wasn't 100% visible to the top of the glass. really annoying when you're in tight places.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:19 AM
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I have had both the battery and solar powered helmets. A VERY weak point of the battery powered helmets is the on-off switch. Like many Chinese products, the switch has a very short life. The solar helmet does not have any on-off switch, and I like mine a lot.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:20 AM
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Are the lights in a normal garage enough to recharge the helmet?
How long would it work under the car where there isn't much light?
Does it require direct light on the solar collector?

Also, do you guys use a special light to light up the spot you will weld?

454 RATTLER
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:31 AM
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I seem to generate a lot of dust in my shop, so my helmet sits on top of the MIG box, under a large rag, and the welder is then covered with a plastic tarp when not in use. When I am welding, the helmet sits uncovered. My shop has fluorescent lighting, and the outside doors are rarely open, so the helmet never sees sunlight to recharge. I have never noticed a problem with the helmet not working due to need of a recharge.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:05 AM
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The Hobart solar helmet I bought a few years back hung on a peg in my garage for about 2 1/2 years with only florescent shop lights and indirect sunlight occasionally hitting it. When I gave the thing to a buddy of mine we took it down and dusted it off and it worked just fine, that was about 3 years ago and it is is still working just as it did.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:41 AM
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The arc from the weld should charge it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454 Rattler
Are the lights in a normal garage enough to recharge the helmet?
How long would it work under the car where there isn't much light?
Does it require direct light on the solar collector?

Also, do you guys use a special light to light up the spot you will weld?

454 RATTLER

Jerry, if you call my lighting "normal", I'd say yes. But mine is a possible exception....(see attached photo...)

Just a hunch, but I "think" that just the arc light from welding is enough to recharge the solar one (like Jake Dragon already alluded to...)

Special lights? Na, I just run the lights in my metal working area. Seems to work fine, even with the lights shining off my bald head. Maybe I'll bring it up tomorrow for you to try it for yourself-- if I remember it....


In a while, Chet.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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Whether the light generated by the arc is enough to do it depends of course on how much you use the thing. How much is enough? That could be anybody's guess but certainly if you are working a 40 hr a week welding job then the arc will provide all the charge you need but the occasional user that may weld for 30 minutes and then lay the thing back for a couple of weeks will need some other way to keep it charged, keeping it where sunlight hits it even indirectly through a window (or bright shop lights) should be enough.
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