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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2010, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
It DOES work! Brian


Indeed it does! I finally got the chance to try one of those things and I was surprised at how easy it works, I think the only reason they are not more popular is because they are not easy to find. If that outfit would try a bit more aggressively to get these things in some stores where people could actually see and handle them I think they would really sell good. At this point I probably won't buy one because I simply have little use for them these days but a few years ago I most certainly would have bought one to replace the auto-dark I was using, these things have the advantage of the much better visibility of the conventional lens without the "flipping" problems of the conventional helmet. You can see the work for positioning and chipping through a CLEAR lens unlike the shaded AD lens and the lens will go dark when you want it to but not before, none of the flashing on/off in some circumstances and failing to go dark because of a blocked sensor. By far the most important feature to me however is the much better, undistorted view of the weld puddle while welding which gives them a big advantage over the AD for low Amp MIG welding.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2010, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Indeed it does! I finally got the chance to try one of those things and I was surprised at how easy it works, I think the only reason they are not more popular is because they are not easy to find. If that outfit would try a bit more aggressively to get these things in some stores where people could actually see and handle them I think they would really sell good. At this point I probably won't buy one because I simply have little use for them these days but a few years ago I most certainly would have bought one to replace the auto-dark I was using, these things have the advantage of the much better visibility of the conventional lens without the "flipping" problems of the conventional helmet. You can see the work for positioning and chipping through a CLEAR lens unlike the shaded AD lens and the lens will go dark when you want it to but not before, none of the flashing on/off in some circumstances and failing to go dark because of a blocked sensor. By far the most important feature to me however is the much better, undistorted view of the weld puddle while welding which gives them a big advantage over the AD for low Amp MIG welding.
The first time I used an autodark I couldn't believe how dark it was BEFORE you even struck an arc. It is like at a #4 like a gas welding goggle. I'm sorry, but I couldn't see crap. And now with my aging eyes, with bifocals, forget it.

Brian
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2010, 11:32 AM
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HF has the "blue flame" welding helmets on sale here for $49.99 so I bought one. I noticed in the instructions that you must leave it in the sun for 4 hours to charge the battery prior to use. Well, it was raining when I opened the box so I couldn't charge it and use. I returned it for a refund. Are all the solar powered units like this or only the ones with battery back-up? I assume solar-powered helmets without batteries can just be used anytime? Is minimal incandescent garage lighting acceptable or do you need to be outdoors? Should I look for one without batteries?
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2010, 07:02 PM
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That thing should have worked right out of the box but if it did need to be left in light then bright room light should be sufficient, it may take a bit longer however.


BTW, the local HF here had those things for $39.99 if I am not mistaken?
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:22 PM
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I might add that the cheaper auto-dark hoods most all have a 1.5" - 2" high welding window. The Miller I have has a little wider welding window so I can put a cheater in the bottom and still am able to look over the top of the cheater if need be.

Also the sensitivity can be adjusted so it doesn't go off and on when TIG welding. It's a very nice hood.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdriv
I might add that the cheaper auto-dark hoods most all have a 1.5" - 2" high welding window. The Miller I have has a little wider welding window so I can put a cheater in the bottom and still am able to look over the top of the cheater if need be.

Also the sensitivity can be adjusted so it doesn't go off and on when TIG welding. It's a very nice hood.
That was my next question. I wear cheater reading glasses for reading (1.50) and I read in one of the posts that wearing these is not advisable for welding. From what I gather, cheater lenses for helmets are available? Everyone using the cheater helmet lenses or just cheater glasses? I used glasses last weekend for a small repair and did not experience any problems.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotzz
I wear cheater reading glasses for reading (1.50) and I read in one of the posts that wearing these is not advisable for welding.

Why are reading glasses not advisable? I have used them, and the "Cheater" lens, for many years and the reading glasses work just fine. A lot of guys wear reading glasses to weld with and they actually can be more useful than the cheater lens because they can serve as a pair of safety glasses to a limited degree (most are not rated for the purpose but beat nothing).
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2010, 10:01 PM
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I have also used reading glasses while welding. Works fine. I happen to like the cheaters lenses in the helmets better. Each to his own liking.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:58 AM
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I don't think that anyone has mentioned that some of the higher priced auto darkening hoods have 4 sensors rather than two. 4 come in handy if you are doing work in confined spaces where something may block the sensors.

I like the Speedglas brand myself. Maybe one of these days I buy a HF helmet and give it a try. But I try to stay away from HF tools at any cost unless its a one time throwaway.

As far as cheater glasses goes. i buy the full magnifier safety glasses from Ram Welding Supply. They take some getting used to the first few times but I need to wear glasses anyway and now its just leave the prescription glasses in the house and automatically put on the cheater safety glasses when in the shop. they are only about $12 a pair (last time I bought them)so I always have several pairs around and a spare new set or two in the drawer.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:36 PM
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I found out a long time ago that for maintenance welding the four sensor helmets are definitely worth the extra cost. The regular two sensor types are ok for most welding and doing bodywork but when using them in confined spaces they can get to be a PITA in a hurry! That HF helmet that has become so popular is a good outfit and for home/hobby work it would hard to beat, one of the few really good deals HF has, however because of the lower quality headgear and shell I would not recommend one for the professional to use at work. While that headgear and shell may not be top quality it is not at all bad either for general use and the lens is about as good as anything out there in that size range with two sensors.
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2010, 04:41 AM
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HF has two of their helmets going on sale in the next two weeks, the standard one will be discounted to $34.99 and the "Blue Flame" will be $39.99. The Blue Flame has a low/high light sensitivity switch which the standard version does not but it also has rechargeable backup batteries which need to be charged in sunlight (or just always leave the helmet out). The standard version has non-rechargeable backup batteries which are good out of the box and supposedly are good for about 6 years. I'm leaning toward the standard helmet because it'll be infrequently used and stored out of sunlight and therefore don't want to mess with rechargeable batteries. I know the batteries are just for backup (which I don't understand anyway) but am wondering what the low/high light sensistivity feature is in the Blue Flame and is it is worth getting.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2010, 01:46 PM
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I looked at a Kobalt auto dark helmet at Lowes and they had a flame design model that looks an awful lot like the HF helmet including the lens, IIRC it was $119.99. Has anyone compared this Lowes helmet to the one from HF? I intend to if I can get back over to the HF store anytime soon but just looking at the one at Lowes it sure looks like what I remembered that HF flame helmet to look like, except for that price!

Whether it is the same or not they both are in-store brands from China and although the shell may be some different (it might not too) I am thinking the lens is the same thing.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2010, 05:13 AM
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As far as the "cheater lens",i've been using them for 10 years now,my eyes started needing them when i turned 40.
The reason OSHA and manufacturers do not recommend using reading glasses behind a shield is the fact that most reading glasses are not impact resistant and are not Z87.1 standard,which means it has a polycarbonate impregnated in it to block 99.9 % of UV and IR rays.
Regular reading glasses magnifies everything with no protection.
As long as you an auto lens that is Z87.1 standard,plus the inside and outside clear lens of that standard,you will never get a flash even if it is in the clear state.
We are required to wear safety glasses 100% of the time we are on the jobsite that are Z87.1...i've wore just those clear safety glasses around others welding all day long while i was dragging deck on a building,bolting up,gunning up bolts,connecting..etc etc and never got a flash at all,but back when this wasn't required,we all would get flash here n there,so yes,these Z87.1 lens DOES work,i am a firm beleiver in it from personal expereince,not just here say.
Now a days about all auto lens hoods comes with a cheater lens adaptibility,if it doesnt have it,,duct tape works wonders..lol..you can get true Z87.1 cheater lens at any weld supply store or online for a few bucks a peice,well worth the small investment for you're eyes..

As far as hoods,,i have owned the HF type..it was "OK" but never could see clearly through it like the higher end hoods.
I gave mine to an Apprentice while working in WV building a power plant after i purchased my Jackson NexGen hood.
I know own that NexGen,the newer cheaper model of Speedglas,the 100v with the flame design,and a cheaper ArcOne Carrera for 73.00 shipped to my door which i am really impressed with for the price,it has all the settings as do the "big dog" lens,but a cheap price,and ArcOne is a very reputable company that has been around for many years as far as welding hood/lens.

Alot of the higher end companies have recently been coming out with a budget minded lens/hoods now for the fact of the flood of the Chinese hood market.

I only Paid 80.00 for my Speedglas 100v and it was still in the box brand new,but that was an Ebay deal someone had 3 of them and was selling,but they go for around 130.00 without the graphic designs,and around 150.00 with the fancy paint jobs,i am never concerned with thos fancy paints,being a career weldor i will tear that paint up in a matter of a few days anyhow.plus i just add ironworker stickers on mine to be "cool looking" anyhow,lol.

For the price for a budget minded person,you can't go wrong with the ArcOne Carerra hood,for about 75.00 shipped to you're door,it has grinding/torch settings,8-12 shade adjustment,low amp TIG setting,delay settings and the hood itself is VERY light but yet stout.
The only downfall i see in it is just the solar powered unit,no battery backup,in those types of lens,once that rechargable battery inside goes out,the lens is useless,i like the solar rechargables with a battery back up.
Been a while since i posted here,let me see if i can post the 3 autos i have right now...
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2010, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
I looked at a Kobalt auto dark helmet at Lowes and they had a flame design model that looks an awful lot like the HF helmet including the lens, IIRC it was $119.99. Has anyone compared this Lowes helmet to the one from HF? I intend to if I can get back over to the HF store anytime soon but just looking at the one at Lowes it sure looks like what I remembered that HF flame helmet to look like, except for that price!

Whether it is the same or not they both are in-store brands from China and although the shell may be some different (it might not too) I am thinking the lens is the same thing.
I don't think they are,i'm working a local nuclear power plant right now building two new units and the big hire in just starting,boilermakers,pipefitters,ironworkers..etc ,and i am seeing about ALL kinds of auto hoods on this job including the Kobalt series hoods,a few of us was comparing hoods on some downtime one day and the kobalt lens looked a little bit like the HF lens in person but could tell they were totaly different manufacturers
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:50 PM
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Miller helmet

I paid large money for a Miller helmet. It quit working way sooner than it should have. Especially considering what it cost. It worked fine until it quit. My HF works fine for the small amount of welding I do.
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