My Autodark is Broken

My favorite autodark welding hood was my first one. An el cheapo Harbor Freight a buddy gave me as a gift for fixing his boat trailer for him many
years ago. I loved it. Seemed I could dial it in for anything. Even welding indoors under artifficial light. I also liked it for welding thin stuff like pickup beds. It went from dark to light fast enough I could see the glow diminish on the weld puddle and I could quickly stack welds without over heating the metal. To me it looked a lot like that stack of dimes I hear TIG guys talk about. When the HF hood died I was of course in the middle of a job. Imagine my consternation when I found out the batteries were not replaceable. I bought another HF hood. The more expensive of the two they sold at the time and I hated it. Oh, it worked ok if I was wallowing away at a couple pieces of metal, but for welding sheet it was carp. The weld would almost cold by the time it went clear making it a slow and tedious job to weld thin stuff. YUCK! When it died I didn't bother to replace the batteries in it. I threw it away, and bought a Lincoln. The Lincoln wasn't as bad as HF #2 or as good as HF #1, but it was ok until I dropped it. The shade adjustment knob broke off. It seems to be stuck on or near the darkest shade. Well, that sucks. I can see the arc, but not much of anything else when I'm welding. I can make do if I can drag the assembly out into the sun, but just barely. If I have to weld indoors all I can see is the arc. YUCK! I had to weld some casters and caster mounts onto a machine stand yesterday so I could easily move out of my machine room. You can't get much more indoors than that. It would have been a dead easy job with my autodark. Just hold the mount in place and tack it. Unfortunately I could not see shit with it. I wound up having to clamp up on all four mounts one a a time and use my regular shield since its not as dark as the auto dark. Yes I tried sticking a screw driver in the hole left by the missing knob. It feels like you can adjust it, but nothing changes.
So. I am in the search for a new auto dark. I don't weld all the time and I am absolutely not a fan boy of any brand so I am not going to just throw money at it. I want one with a knob that won't break if it gets bumped or dropped. That can go clear fast after the arc stops, and has a good adjustment range for indoor and outdoor welding. I asked about this once before and somebody suggested one of the guys like HTP or something like that , but I don't recall for sure.
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On 7/1/2018 8:31 AM, Bob La Londe wrote: > My favorite autodark welding hood was my first one. An el cheapo Harbor > Freight a buddy gave me as a gift for fixing his boat trailer for him > many years ago. I loved it. Seemed I could dial it in for anything. > Even welding indoors under artifficial light. I also liked it for > welding thin stuff like pickup beds. It went from dark to light fast > enough I could see the glow diminish on the weld puddle and I could > quickly stack welds without over heating the metal. To me it looked a > lot like that stack of dimes I hear TIG guys talk about. When the HF > hood died I was of course in the middle of a job. Imagine my > consternation when I found out the batteries were not replaceable. I > bought another HF hood. The more expensive of the two they sold at the > time and I hated it. Oh, it worked ok if I was wallowing away at a > couple pieces of metal, but for welding sheet it was carp. The weld > would almost cold by the time it went clear making it a slow and tedious > job to weld thin stuff. YUCK! When it died I didn't bother to replace > the batteries in it. I threw it away, and bought a Lincoln. The > Lincoln wasn't as bad as HF #2 or as good as HF #1, but it was ok until > I dropped it. The shade adjustment knob broke off. It seems to be > stuck on or near the darkest shade. Well, that sucks. I can see the > arc, but not much of anything else when I'm welding. I can make do if I > can drag the assembly out into the sun, but just barely. If I have to > weld indoors all I can see is the arc. YUCK! I had to weld some > casters and caster mounts onto a machine stand yesterday so I could > easily move out of my machine room. You can't get much more indoors > than that. It would have been a dead easy job with my autodark. Just > hold the mount in place and tack it. Unfortunately I could not see shit > with it. I wound up having to clamp up on all four mounts one a a time > and use my regular shield since its not as dark as the auto dark. Yes I > tried sticking a screw driver in the hole left by the missing knob. It > feels like you can adjust it, but nothing changes. > > So. I am in the search for a new auto dark. I don't weld all the time > and I am absolutely not a fan boy of any brand so I am not going to just > throw money at it. I want one with a knob that won't break if it gets > bumped or dropped. That can go clear fast after the arc stops, and has > a good adjustment range for indoor and outdoor welding. I asked about > this once before and somebody suggested one of the guys like HTP or > something like that , but I don't recall for sure.
I absolutely did not plan to buy the Harbor Freight Vulcan at $139 dollars when there were other helmets with similar features for less money. However I was working on my welding table yesterday, and I just got tired of fighting with my slightly too dark fixed lens helmet and my way to dark Lincoln Autodark. I texted my wife a link to the HF Vulcan and said if you have the cash buy one. She texted me back asking if I wanted one or two. LOL. Well, it worked pretty good. It had some inconsistency issues, but overall it worked pretty good. I figured I would take it back today and trade it for another one, but first I wanted to check the battery. Well, the battery was still in a plastic bag inside the box. After installing the battery all the little inconsistencies went away. Its not bad. It is a 4 sensor module with a huge field of view.
Then I decided to take a look at the module on my Lincoln. I was using it as an inspectors helmet while my son was placing some welds, and it just wasn't tripping. Huh? It worked ok when I got up close to the weld but standing back nothing. So I decided to check the battery on it. If it has one its not replaceable. Dang it. Just an overpriced low end Harbor Freight Helmet with a sealed unit and a fancy name. I would like to have a second autodark if only so the two of us can work together on more difficult to handle assemblies. The whole unit comes out easy enough, but the seams are all heat fusion joined.
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On 7/29/2018 10:43 AM, Bob La Londe wrote:

I absolutely did not plan to buy the Harbor Freight Vulcan at $139 dollars when there were other helmets with similar features for less money. However I was working on my welding table yesterday, and I just got tired of fighting with my slightly too dark fixed lens helmet and my way to dark Lincoln Autodark. I texted my wife a link to the HF Vulcan and said if you have the cash buy one. She texted me back asking if I wanted one or two. LOL. Well, it worked pretty good. It had some inconsistency issues, but overall it worked pretty good. I figured I would take it back today and trade it for another one, but first I wanted to check the battery. Well, the battery was still in a plastic bag inside the box. After installing the battery all the little inconsistencies went away. Its not bad. It is a 4 sensor module with a huge field of view.
Then I decided to take a look at the module on my Lincoln. I was using it as an inspectors helmet while my son was placing some welds, and it just wasn't tripping. Huh? It worked ok when I got up close to the weld but standing back nothing. So I decided to check the battery on it. If it has one its not replaceable. Dang it. Just an overpriced low end Harbor Freight Helmet with a sealed unit and a fancy name. I would like to have a second autodark if only so the two of us can work together on more difficult to handle assemblies. The whole unit comes out easy enough, but the seams are all heat fusion joined.
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On Sun, 29 Jul 2018 20:04:56 -0700

Try searching on 'Lincoln Autodark battery repair'. There are several articles, youtube videos. Not sure if they look like yours or not. I posted some links/info for the HF helmet repair previous in this thread. That may be similar enough to help. They are sealed too if I remember correctly...
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Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI
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"Leon Fisk" wrote in message wrote:

Try searching on 'Lincoln Autodark battery repair'. There are several articles, youtube videos. Not sure if they look like yours or not. I posted some links/info for the HF helmet repair previous in this thread. That may be similar enough to help. They are sealed too if I remember correctly...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 10:55:57 AM UTC-4, Bob La Londe wrote:

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The price of just the auto darking lens is amazingly low. I looked on Alie xpress ( my favorite place for low cost Chinese products ) and the lowest price I found was $3.88 including shipping. So look and see how the lens is removable from the helmet and then look for a replacement lens that wil l fit.
I used duct tape to hold a auto darking lens onto a old welding helmet for a while. It worked , but the duct tape is not a permanent solution. Since then my son gave me a auto darking helmet.
I actually figured out how to make a auto darking welding helmet and submit ted a request for a patent to my employer. They reviewed the idea and deci ded it was not worthwhile to pursue getting a patent. I was working on a N avy contract and there was some clause in that contract that made getting a patent less profitable. I did not see a auto darking helmet advertised un til about three years after my submission of the idea. So it was very like ly that someone else had already patented the idea.
Dan
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2018 07:55:53 -0700
<snip>

I'm a cheap skate, it would hang around as parts or I'd try fixing it :)
One of the HF repairs consists of removing the old batteries, after cutting it open. Then soldering in wires that go to a new battery pack mounted inside the helmet. Nothing all that difficult if you can solder little stuff.
It if is truly the same module as HF you might want to try leaving it where the sun can shine on it for a bit before you try using it. That sometimes gets them going again.
The cheap HF model has a terrible helmet design. Nothing above the top back of your head. I've had several hot dingle berries come bouncing in for a visit while welding with it. And I don't weld much anymore...
Did you use the HF discount coupon for $129.99 that expired yesterday for the new one? If not keep your receipt and I'll watch for another coupon to turn up. You should be able to use it to refund the difference, even after the sale.
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI
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"Leon Fisk" wrote in message wrote:
<snip>

I'm a cheap skate, it would hang around as parts or I'd try fixing it :)
One of the HF repairs consists of removing the old batteries, after cutting it open. Then soldering in wires that go to a new battery pack mounted inside the helmet. Nothing all that difficult if you can solder little stuff.
********* Actually I think I found a drop in lens cartridge for that helmet that has a replaceable battery. Cheap too. The same company had one a dollar less without a replaceable battery. Exact same size.
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"Gunner Asch" wrote in message wrote:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2054502.m570.l1311.R4.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xautodark.TRS0&_nkw=auto+darkening+welding+lens&_sacat=0
You will notice that there are hundreds of different moduals available on Ebay for as little as $4
*******************
Yep. Ordered one yesterday. Funny part was the same vendor listed 1 with a replaceable battery and several options without a replaceable battery. Just a couple dollars difference from highest to lowest.
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