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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

Bought one off ebay and got delivery of it this afternoon. It was $49.00 and has a #3 shade, solar powered, variable 9-13 shade, 0001 reaction time.

Very lightweight helmet. Comfortable head band with reasonable adjustment mechanism.

The autodarken works perfectly. It works well for tig, welded various materials from 80-120 amps and it worked reliably. Sure makes getting everything lined up easy.

Very sensitive triggering. It will darken if you look at an incandescent or flurorescent light bulb. Even the light of the hf arc alone will trigger it.

For that price, if it works for a couple of years, its a bargain. Vendor was "Dawn's Early Light" of Saint Louis, Mo.

I feel totally pampered with such a cool toy. The old helmet was fine, but I could never work with such speed the old way, being able to reposition myself so quickly and resume welding on a T joint on some tubing. I love it! I need projects now!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 06:11 PM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

I haven't done any welding for a long time, and will soon be in the market for a welder. However, I have been suspicious of those auto darkening helmets. It doesn't compute to my simple brain that the lens can get dark enough to block the light. It is traveling at something like 300,000,000 meters per second. That lens isn't thick, so I have to believe there is some light hitting your eyes. That being said, I have talked to a lot of people that have the autodarkening helmets and are happy and have had no problems. Of course if it is battery powered, and the batts are dead you might be in trouble.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

Without a doubt the light hits your eye. It has a permanent #3 filter lense (so that must help some as its always present) and I guess for 1/10,000 of a second the arc light gets thru at that intensity. I'm sure not seeing any spots thru my eyes yet!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 07:09 PM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

I love mine, but it was just a litttttttttttttttle more than that one. [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I never wanted to take a chance in quality when it comes to the eyes. BUt like everything else the price always comes down on electronics.

I use it more than my other helmets anymore, but I never take it "out in the field" for the hardcore jobs. I just never wanted to take the chance in it getting banged around too much or getting wet, or the occasional 30' drop. [img]images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 01:05 AM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

Thanks for the info. Hmmmm how can I get the wife to buy this for me? Valentines Day? Hmmmmmmmmm [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 11:03 PM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

At the shop where we repair our machinery there was an auto helmet so I had to try it. I can't remember the brand but the company that owned it buy nothing that is cheap. I found that a little flash does get through b4 it adjusts but my main beef was that the instant the arc stops, the lens brightens. If the arc is irregular or the steel rusty, I was getting a lot of bright/dark+ flashes, a short delay would be good b4 brightening. Despite this, it was the helmet I choose for any welding I had to do. I just wish I could justify one for my needs. That was a smoking price for one, I felt sure opening the post that you had got one from Princess Auto but they still want $180+ for theirs.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 11:22 PM
 
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

I just picked up the one below from Harbor Freight. The website lists $59, but the store in town had it for $50. I was a little leary about going cheap for something that protects your eyes as well, but after using it and comparing it with my friend's helmet, I am pleased with mine. Both mine and my friends would dim in and out really quick. I agree that a delay would be nice. Anyone out there have one of the high dollar ones??? Do those have a delay before brightening??

Cheap helmet
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 07:02 AM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

My EQC Professional has an adjustable delay from about a half second to several seconds. I set the delay longer when doing heavy welds so that the puddle cools before the lens clears.

It also has a sensitivity adjustment which I seldom fool with, and an adjustable shade from <8 to >12.

I don't remember how much it cost. It was more that $200, but that must have been close to 10 years ago.

Besides having a delay, you should also make sure that the there are several sensing eyes around the lens. My first one had one sensors at the bottom of the window. Some times in out of position welding, the windows would be in the shadow of the workpiece, so the lens wouldn't darken.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 09:24 AM
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

MIne has all the knobs too Jim. You can set just about everything you can think of except the A/C temp. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bought a cheap autodarkening welding helmet

Here's a link to the Ebay listing with the specs.

Ebay listing

The only adjustment is for the darkness of the shade. The molten pool didn't seem overly bright thru the #3 shade after the lense lightens. There are two sensors, one on each side just above the solar panel.

If I have some problems with the helmet under some conditions, I'll let you guys know.

If you want more specs, do a search under the model number (B1190S ) and you will find the Chinese manufacturor.

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