Auto-darken speed demons

Hi Group,
New to this NG. I recently purchased a Lincoln Weld Pak 100 and had a question on auto-darken helmets.
I purchased an $85 helmet from Harbor Freight that has a reaction time of
.001 seconds.<http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberG996> The link even shows the time a .0001 seconds, but he box has one less decimal.
I passed up the the ones that advertised 1/25000th of a second. <http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber214> But if my math is correct that is .00004 seconds?!? Or does the manufacturer really mean .025 seconds. As in, 25 thousandths of a second.
The real question is how much reaction time would be needed to protect my already old eyes and my teenaged sons, for safetys sake.
Brian S. Madison,WI
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If it meets the ANSI standard which IIRC is Z87.1, it should protect against IR and UV at the equivalent of a #14 welding filter even when it's not dark so it shouldn't do any damage but you may get "dazzled" and sees spots if it doesn't darken quickly enough.
That particular helmet isn't the "preferred" one around here. In fact it looks like the same one that Homier sells on their site and at their truckload tool sales for $29.99.
http://www.homier.com/detail.asp?dpt=&cat=&sku 597
I personally have this one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberF092
I've been using it (as a hobbiest) for about 1 1/2 years without any complaints or problems. Others here recommend this one and I'd buy it over the one I have if I ever need a new one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber212
In fact, both of those are currently on sale for $50 as well as a couple of others that look similar to the 91212 but with flames, etc. so you might want to take yours back and exchange it. Print out the Web sale pages before you go to the store. The store in my area has always been willing to honor Web prices even if their computer doesn't show it on sale.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber214
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberT712
For just a little more than you paid for the one you bought you could buy two of these so you and your son can both see what's going on at the same time. :-)
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
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    Greetings and Salutations....
On Tue, 03 May 2005 03:23:15 GMT, "Bulletsnbrains"

    Well, I have had one of these HF helmets for some time now, and, I have to say that I really am happy with it. I think mine is one of the slower ones...however, I don't think I have been flashed more than once or twice, and, in those cases, it was because I was welding in an awkward position and apparently had blocked the sensor.     They appear to do a very good job of knocking back the UV and IR (which is the important part). I have not had any problems with "sandy eyes" or any other signs of excess UV exposure with the helmet.     About the only complaint I have about it is that the ratchets in it are pretty light-weight, so, it will tend to loosen up as I move around. But then...it is NOT a $200+ Jackson either.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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I have a $200+ Jackson. The ratchets on there are crap. I am going to get the Huntsman 951 on my next trip to the welding store.
Steve
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Bulletsnbrains wrote:

Easy test: Get out your digicam and take a flash picture of yourself by holding the camera at arms length. If you got a picture and didn't see the flash you *know* it's fast enough.
Ted
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Ted, and all else who've replied...
Thanks for the insight and wisdom everyone brings to this group. I as a tinkerer, hobbyist, home repair type of a guy will browse this NG often and absorb a little more knowledge each time.
Brian
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Another Ted here. I just tried the camera flash test with my latest helmet, and I did see the flash, but it was much attenuated from looking at the camera with no helmet on.
From this I would assume that the flash takes longer to happen than the response time of the auto-darkening. Playing with the sensitivity control confirmed that.
Ted
--
Ted Bennett
Portland, OR
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protect my

by
see
and
OK, OK! Ya caught me. I confess to trying the camera flash trick too. I also saw the flash, or at least part of it. The faceplate did darken and then lighten up after the flash was over.
Then I put a mirror inside the helmet and then took a picture. The picture showed the faceplate darkened, no reflection of the flash came from the mirror inside the helmet back to the camera. From this and from using the helmet, I know the auto-darkening is fast, fast, fast. When welding I just see a little flash before it turns dark. Never enough to get spot before my eyes. Another thing it lightens up fast too.
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"Diamond Jim" wrote: (clip) Then I put a mirror inside the helmet and then took a picture. The picture showed the faceplate darkened, no reflection of the flash came from the mirror inside the helmet (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Very clever test. This will hereafter be referred to as the "Diamond Jim Test," and should be referenced every time someone questions whether they can suffer eye damage due to delays in the autodarkening function.
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