Helmet does not Darken
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Helmet does not Darken

    I have a cheap (HF-not the cheapest!) auto helmet. It works well, except when I tig weld very small items. At low current settings, it simply does not darken. It initally darkens but then goes 'lite' on me. Has shade setting on outside, sensitivity & delay inside. 'ThermalArc 185 tig & CK 90 amp pencil torch' <-tho this should not matter. Amps set at 60 ± amps, but end up welding at 25-30 a. Examples like weld 1/16" ss welding rod together (one project made with 1/16" rod, I use smaller filler rod, & welding thin walled small dia tubing.

    Anyways, its allus been this way. Can someone recommend a decent hood under, say, $200 for this issue?

    I considered a liter shade for my old passive Jackson (?) hood but that thing is so massive & heavy, , , looks like 'Bender's' head from Futurama!!

    -corne-
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    216

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    I opened the case for my old HF helmet and found that one of the button cells was dead. They are not meant to be replaced, but I fixed mine using some AAA batteries and holders so that I could check and replace the batteries as neededName:  DSC01289a.jpg
Views: 193
Size:  104.2 KBName:  DSC01403a.jpg
Views: 178
Size:  313.9 KB
    Last edited by Denis G; 06-12-2018 at 09:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Southeast,Florida
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    68

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    This hood is supposedly as good as the Striker Supreme XL that some users on this forum prefer.Looks like the Striker Supreme too! Optical grade 1/1/1/1 . I don't own one,haven't tried one, just passing along a find.At $70 seems like a deal.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073PXKFZT...ustomerReviews

    I use a Lincoln Viking 4C series 1840,a cheaper smaller view version of the big screen 3350.Darkens for any low amperage arc unless the sensors are blocked.
    Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein

    I wanted a mission and for my sins, they gave me one. - Captain Benjamin L. Willard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    283

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Yeah, double check that the batteries are good, the lens is nice and clean(especially over the sensors), and that you have the sensitivity all the way down.

    Be aware of any shadows cast while welding that may be blocking the light from hitting the sensors, this includes your hands if you’re getting your head in real close to see the little baby arc plume.

    If that don’t cut it, then she may not be cut out for the job, what’s she advertised at the low end by the way?

    5 Amps is pretty darn low, get a little deviation in arc length and whatnot, and the light can easily be diminished to the point the sensors don’t pick it up. Be handy if the manufacturer would make a hood that could be manually set for very low amperage work, maybe put a little accelerometer in there so you can nod it on and off, and get a “semi-auto darkening”.
    -Mark Smith

    Vulcan ProTig200
    Century FC90

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Denis...may I ask where you found that type of battery holder....thats what I am looking for....Thank-you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis G View Post
    I opened the case for my old HF helmet and found that one of the button cells was dead. They are not meant to be replaced, but I fixed mine using some AAA batteries and holders so that I could check and replace the batteries as neededName:  DSC01289a.jpg
Views: 193
Size:  104.2 KBName:  DSC01403a.jpg
Views: 178
Size:  313.9 KB
    Denis...may I ask where you found that type of battery holder....thats what I am looking for....Thank-you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    216

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by Flexo6 View Post
    Denis...may I ask where you found that type of battery holder....thats what I am looking for....Thank-you!
    The ones that I found with snaps were at sale at a surplus electronic store near me (American Science Surplus), but they no longer carry them. This is something similar from Amazon (but without the snaps): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,233

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Some cheapie hoods have two sensors, some have four.

    The ones with four are more reliable - more flexibility on position

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Sechelt, BC
    Posts
    61

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    I bought an ESAB Rebel and it only worked down to 30 amps TIG. Took it back. The company technician who I spoke to on the phone at head office said that was the best they would do.
    Do not believe everything that you think.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    15

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by cornemuse View Post
    I have a cheap (HF-not the cheapest!) auto helmet. It works well, except when I tig weld very small items. At low current settings, it simply does not darken. It initally darkens but then goes 'lite' on me. Has shade setting on outside, sensitivity & delay inside. 'ThermalArc 185 tig & CK 90 amp pencil torch' <-tho this should not matter. Amps set at 60 ± amps, but end up welding at 25-30 a. Examples like weld 1/16" ss welding rod together (one project made with 1/16" rod, I use smaller filler rod, & welding thin walled small dia tubing.

    Anyways, its allus been this way. Can someone recommend a decent hood under, say, $200 for this issue?

    I considered a liter shade for my old passive Jackson (?) hood but that thing is so massive & heavy, , , looks like 'Bender's' head from Futurama!!

    -corne-
    I have the Vulcan hood and I love it. I have used multiple Viking 3350 hoods and prefer the Vulcan. my partner at work uses this hood ( https://weldingmart.com/arcone-carrera-black ) and I like it a lot, very clear if you get the HELMET WITH 1000FCF FILTER - 1000F-0100. I have a pipe liner with after market Miller gold lens in shade 8 that is a good hood. I used to like the Jackson Shadow hoods but I don't know if they are available anymore.

    if you want a really good hood for the money I don't think the arcone hood with the 1000-0100 filter can be beat. we bought another Carrera with a different filter we don't like it but it is leaps and bounds better than the HF hood.

    good luck.
    Last edited by weldnhack; 06-13-2018 at 01:18 PM. Reason: forgot to add link

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    socal
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    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Wow, lots of options here to check out, I'll start today!
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
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    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by weldnhack View Post
    I have the Vulcan hood and I love it. I have used multiple Viking 3350 hoods and prefer the Vulcan. my partner at work uses this hood ( https://weldingmart.com/arcone-carrera-black ) and I like it a lot, very clear if you get the HELMET WITH 1000FCF FILTER - 1000F-0100. I have a pipe liner with after market Miller gold lens in shade 8 that is a good hood. I used to like the Jackson Shadow hoods but I don't know if they are available anymore.

    if you want a really good hood for the money I don't think the arcone hood with the 1000-0100 filter can be beat. we bought another Carrera with a different filter we don't like it but it is leaps and bounds better than the HF hood.

    good luck.
    I too have the Vulcan Arcsafe hood, in my experience it stays reliably dark at around 10A, If I let off the pedal a little with the machine set to 10 she’ll flicker. This is on DC, my machine can’t get down that low on AC.
    -Mark Smith

    Vulcan ProTig200
    Century FC90

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Grove OR
    Posts
    208

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    I have a hood that doesn't work well below 20 amps, but I got it in 1998 when the tech was pretty new (it still works fine to this day, and gets lots of use BTW). 3 fixes for this that I have used:

    turn up sensitivity to max, accept it goes dark too easily when there is no arc. kind of a pain, but better then getting flash-blinded.

    bring in some extra light pointed ar the hood so the hood light sensor is already getting nearly tripped by ambient light, then a few more lumens from the arc will set it off easily. Same unwanted symptoms as above, but you learn to work with it.

    position the work so you have a better view of the arc, sometimes one of the sensors is in a shadow. I also find it helps to weld towards myself, I get more light exposure so I don't get an unwanted shut off while still welding. I do a lot of odd shapes in out-of-position, so it's easy to adapt my work like this. Other may find this less useful as it's not always best to look at the pool but not be able to see that is behind it.
    Everlast 350 EXT - Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 - Rogue Fabrication M600 xHD tube bender
    Milwaukee 4208 Mag Drill - Shopmaster Eldorado Combo mill/lathe machine with DRO.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis G View Post
    The ones that I found with snaps were at sale at a surplus electronic store near me (American Science Surplus), but they no longer carry them. This is something similar from Amazon (but without the snaps): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Thank-you Denis...I'll just get them!

  15. #15
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    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    I removed and tried to open the lens unit, its gonna break before it might snap open. The housing appears to be molded around the lens + electronics, or well glued together. How did you get yours apart?
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    216

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Quote Originally Posted by cornemuse View Post
    I removed and tried to open the lens unit, its gonna break before it might snap open. The housing appears to be molded around the lens + electronics, or well glued together. How did you get yours apart?
    I have small plastic tools that I kept for opening iPod cases (for battery replacement), but it mostly comes with experience. There are YouTube videos showing how to open and fix remote controls and other small electronic electronic devices like iPods. You can also use a butter knife, go around the periphery and gently pry until you get an edge or corner to pop and then follow along the seam to pop the inside clips. I don't think that mine was glued, just snapped together, but it's been a while since I did it. I took a picture when I opened mine because I just found it interesting and I thought to post it because I thought that it might help.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    socal
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    443

    Re: Helmet does not Darken

    Is a Lincoln 'Viking' 1740 hood any good for me??

    https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-u...olnElectric%29

    (cheaper than at above)

    -c-
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

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