HF auto darkening helmet

This was kicked around a year or so, but I don't remember the consensus. What does everyone think of them. My main concern is eye safety. I am
only an occasional user?
Thanks
Chuck P.
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I am delighted with mine.
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Ignoramus20387 wrote:

Ditto.
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wrote:

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.
Steve
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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 helmet....
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Joe Pfeiffer wrote:

My HF unit works fine. Even the bench grinder will make it darken. The darkness adjustment does not seem to change when it darkens - just how dark.
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Steve, as much as I agree that Harbor Freight stuff is usually of shoddy quality, there are some exceptions, and this helmet is one. I have dropped it several times already.
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wrote:

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.
Steve
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wrote:

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.
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"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.
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It does it in 1/20,000th of a second.
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Calif Bill wrote:

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. ...lew...
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Because most people understand 1/4 and few relate 0.00004 as 1/25000.
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How about the NexGen is X times as fast as the HF? I can wrap my brain around that in an instant.
Steve
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That means I would have to more work into the post than it is worth to me.
:>}
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Let's see. .25/.00004 = 6250
So, the NexGen is 6250 quicker than the HF (or whatever it takes for 1/4 second)
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?
Steve
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This is untrue. The darkening time of HF helmet is 1/20,000th of a second.
i

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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.
Steve
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Whoever said that HF helmet darkens in 0.25 seconds was wrong. It is just untrue. It darkens in 1/20,000th of a second.
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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.
Joe Gwinn
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