Weld Helmet Question

I just bought an arc welder and solar=powered auto-darkening helmet
from Northern Tools.
Question: Wil the solar-powered auto-darkening helmet work at night
(when the sun is behind the earth)? Will the arc flash make it darken?
I really want to try the welder, but not if I'ma gonna get flash in my eyes
Thanks for any replies for a newbie. I cant wait to strike an arc!
Reply to
Jones
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Mine works fine in all sorts of conditions. My helmet is by Harbor freight.
Reply to
Ignoramus29659
The idea is to pre-charge (always if possible) the helmet with the sun. Then when using it in the dark it can start to work with the Sun energy and continue on with the UV from the welding. It is so strong that it works and charges.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Yes. It works on light, not necessarily the sun (how could it tell?). The arc is more than enough light.
If you've got a flint striker (like for lighting a propane torch or oxy rig), make a spark in front of your helmet. It should darken.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
I face a light and wave my glove over the lens to be sure it's on. The UV protection is separate from the LCD and always present. Mine (Jackman) is about like looking at the sun if I strike an arc when it's off.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Not *all* light. How could it tell? Visible light spans a wide range of wavelengths; surely the sensors respond only to some subset of that range. I'm not even sure the sensors are triggered by visible light anyway. It would make more sense to have them respond to UV, since that's the part of the spectrum emitted by a welding arc that the visor is intended to protect against.
In any event, if you want a demonstration of the fact that auto-darkening helmets don't respond in the same way to all light, put on your helmet and look at an incandescent light. It should darken. Now look at a fluorescent light -- I bet it won't.
No, it's not. Not with the cheaper models, anyway. I found that out the hard way once -- the helmet had been stored in a cabinet for a long time, where it received no light whatever (I don't weld often, obviously). When I struck the first arc, it didn't darken _at_all_. I saw spots before my eyes for the next two weeks.
Bottom line: look through the helmet at an incandescent light first. If it doesn't darken, then leave it sitting out in the sun for an hour or two before using it.
Reply to
Doug Miller
You'd be wrong. My Jackson EQC responds just fine to a nearby fluorescent light.
Reply to
Pete C.
There is confusion here about two different sight sources. The helmet charges from ambient light--sun, light bulbs, fluorescent, or even candle light (if you wait long enough.) When you first unpack the helmet, it may take some time before it starts to work (several minutes, 1/2 hour?) Once the helmet is charged, it responds to sudden increases in light. This can come from an arc, the spark from a striker, an accidental reflection from someone's windshield, etc. My helmet doesn't darken from just holding it up to some light. It won't darken even from direct sunlight, unless you flip it around quickly. IOW, it's not the intensity of the light as much as the sudden increase.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
The 'wave my glove' actually works with mine, too, but I'm not sure that's universal. The striker is bright enough to trigger them reliably.
Umm.... I was talking about the flint-and-steel strikers, not striking an arc. You're right, an arc is a lot like looking into the sun! My helmet is purely light-powered, and doesn't have an on-off switch.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
I've got no idea what wavelengths it actually responds to -- but back to the OP's question, it works just fine by the light of the spark itself; it doesn't have to be under the sun.
I suppose it would have been slightly more accurate to have said "why should it care?" rather than "how could it tell?", since, of course, you could check the spectrum or something.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
(going out to garage to check) -- you're right.
Does yours have a battery backup? Mine doesn't. I've never tried to weld in pitch darkness, so I guess saying the spark is enough light wasn't really accurate, but the halogen lights in my garage are plenty.
I still like the flint striker... but the incandescent would be a good test, too.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
Mine, too.
Reply to
SteveB
I meant looking at the sun briefly is unpleasant but doesn't give you flash burn, because the ozone filters out the UV.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
How does the auto-darkening helmet work on oxy-acet? Most of my joinery consists of brazing, also silver soldering, with oxy-acet. I have ordinary welder's goggles which seem to be too dark for the application. Is this just my imagination or are they too dark for oxy-acet use? Maybe I grabbed goggles that were intended for arc welding only -- huh?
Bob Swinney
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:
I've got no idea what wavelengths it actually responds to -- but back to the OP's question, it works just fine by the light of the spark itself; it doesn't have to be under the sun.
I suppose it would have been slightly more accurate to have said "why should it care?" rather than "how could it tell?", since, of course, you could check the spectrum or something.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
(going out to garage to check) -- you're right.
Does yours have a battery backup? Mine doesn't. I've never tried to weld in pitch darkness, so I guess saying the spark is enough light wasn't really accurate, but the halogen lights in my garage are plenty.
I still like the flint striker... but the incandescent would be a good test, too.
Reply to
Robert Swinney
"Robert Swinney" wrote: (clip) Maybe I
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Very unlikely. Goggles do not provide the necessary shielding of the forehead, neck and ears to prevent burn (similar to sunburn.) However, oxyacetylene welding calls for darker lenses than those needed for brazing and silversoldering. You probably should try out a lighter shade. I frequently do silver soldering without goggles, since the metal doesn't even come up to red heat.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
consists of brazing, also
seem to be too dark for
oxy-acet use? Maybe I
I'd guess that's likely. Oxy requires much less protection than arc -- my oxy faceshield is light enough that I can put it on, and see to set up, and work. When the auto-darkening on my helmet cuts in, the only thing I can see is the spark and a little bit of puddle illuminated by the spark.
There's a standard scale for measuring how much a shield or helmet darkens. Let's see... my shield is a 5, while my helmet is adjustable from 9 to 13 (and is currently set on 11 -- cue Spinal Tap joke).
When I've done silver soldering, I've just used a propane torch (and just clear safety glasses, since that isn't very bright).
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
D'oh! You are of course correct; somehow I completely spaced the key word "goggles" when I was responding to his post, and was just thinking of darkening.
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
"Robert Swinney" wrote: (clip) Maybe I
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Very unlikely. Goggles do not provide the necessary shielding of the forehead, neck and ears to prevent burn (similar to sunburn.) However, oxyacetylene welding calls for darker lenses than those needed for brazing and silversoldering. You probably should try out a lighter shade. I frequently do silver soldering without goggles, since the metal doesn't even come up to red heat.
Reply to
Robert Swinney
No. Wish it did, though. :-(
Reply to
Doug Miller
Thanks, Gentlemen. Since I've not done any arc welding, I thought the light of the oxy-acet flame was bright. Guess I was wrong, a frequent ocurrence.
Bob (It ain't bright father, it's my oxy rig) Swinney
"Leo Lichtman" writes:
D'oh! You are of course correct; somehow I completely spaced the key word "goggles" when I was responding to his post, and was just thinking of darkening.
Reply to
Robert Swinney
You evidently have a better quality one than I do. :-)
Reply to
Doug Miller

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