If you are an occasional user, it will do just fine. As with any quality
piece of electronical equipment, I keep mine in a sealed cabinet, resting on
my gloves and hat when not in use. The headband cracks, otherwise, and the
heat and cold don't do it a lot of good if it's just hanging from a hook.
Plus there's always a danger of it getting whacked. Treat it softly, and it
should last a while. Go get some batteries in advance, as they always go
out right in the middle of an important project on a day and time when the
store is closed.
I am curious how much difference there is between the LCD panels of
the different auto-darkening helmets. I've got one substantially
cheaper than the HF model, and I find trying to see to weld almost
impossible. I've spent quite a while adjusting how dark it is, and
there doesn't seem to be a sweet spot between "the spark is bright
enough to leave spots on my eyes" and "all I can see is the spark".
So I'm wondering if it's my eyes or my helmet. Hopefully my
Like I said, just keep decent care of it, and if you're an occasional user,
it will do. I've heard a lot of satisfied HF autodark users. Joe made the
comment that his isn't working too well, or he isn't doing something right.
I have a NexGen EQC. My second. The first was stolen. I welded for about
two days with my old Jackson, and went and bought another NexGen. I love
it, and have only a couple of minor complaints.
With autodarks, you usually get what you pay for, and on the high end stuff,
the only things that make the difference are personal things like how it
fits, how easy the controls are to work with gloved hands, quirky things
like the lights or sun triggering them.
I have seen pipeline welders with the crappiest plastic helmets with tire
tube headbands that could pass x ray every time. Sure, good equipment
helps, but knowing the basics helps a lot, too. I suggest that if anyone is
considering doing much welding that they get a good hood, and that can be a
used one. If it is only for occasional use, any old thing WITH THE PROPER
SHADE and other safety precautions will do. When a person progresses to a
certain level, they will know if they want to continue with what they got,
or move up. Tools have a lot to do with making things, but a good craftsman
can make nice stuff with just the basic tools and enough talent.
The problem with the cheap HF type autodarkening is the speed of darkening.
All the helmets will stop the harmful rays without the helmet even being on.
But your eyes will get tired if you do a lot of welding. Some of the cheap
helmets are 0.25 Seconds to darken, while my Jackson is 1/25000 seconds.
Mine is a Nexgen and I love it.
"Calif Bill" (clip) The problem with the cheap HF type autodarkening is the
speed of darkening.
The HF helmet definitely darkens in less that 1/4 second, and I doubt that
ANY helmet is that slow. In 1/4 second looking at an arc, you would develop
a blind-spot-after-image that would make it impossible to see the puddle.
No one has reported that problem. I like my fifty buck HF helmet at lot.
With a $300 top-of-the-line helmet you probably get better head band and
nod-friction adjustment. Since you don't have to nod the auto adjust
helmets, that's not really very important.
Interesting that mix of units. :-)
0.25 for 1/4 while 1/25000 for 0.00004
How about using 250 m sec and 40 u sec (u for micro no Greek letters)
Sorry. These kind of things seem to jump out at me.
Let's see. .25/.00004 = 6250
So, the NexGen is 6250 quicker than the HF (or whatever it takes for 1/4
WHOA! That's worth a lot. A lot of time to figure, but more importantly, a
hell of a lot more time to darken and protect one's eyes.
Your values are skewed, Calif Bill.
I'd ask if this is correct, and my math is right, but your time is worth far
too much for the likes of me. Right?
Sorry. With the new figures, .25/.00005=5,000
So, the NexGen is 5,000 quicker than the HF or .25 second equivalent?
Help me out here, Iggy. My math is good, but I got a lot of dead cells in
all that grey matter.
The likely way to achieve long darkening times is by choice of the wrong
liquid-crystal material in the electrically controlled filter, but 250
mS is still pretty long.
A photodiode, 9-volt battery, resistor, and oscilloscope should be able
to tell if HF tells the truth or not.
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