Hybrid Jackson/Huntsman Nexgen hood

Last night I created my hybrid of a Huntsman 951P headgear and a Jackson Halo welding hood. It was remarkably easy.
The Hunstman 951P has a positive detent lock in the up and down
positions. This makes it far superior to the Jackson Shadow hood when using a Nexgen LCD lens. The Shadow hood only has a friction stop, and the weight of the Nexgen lens will constantly drag the hood down.
I recently decided to try the new Jackson Halo hood for my Nexgen lens. It is obviously influenced by the ultra lightweight and flexible Speedglas hoods, and I do like it's lower weight to both the Shadow and the 951P, but despite the simple fact the Jackson and Huntsman are made in the same factory, they ruined the Halo hood by using the headgear from the Shadow hood and not the Huntsman 951P.
Fixing this only took about 15 minutes. The headgear for the Jackson hoods attaches to the shell via a simple 5/8" hole on each side of shell. Above this hole are some smaller holes in a small arc. These are used for fine positioning of the headgear tilt stops.
The Huntsman hoods use a different system with a plastic hub riveted to the shell on both sides. This hub has the receivers for the hoods positive detents. So to move the headgear over I had to sacrifice a Huntsman hood. Removing the hubs is really easy. They are held in place by 3 plastic rivets that look like they are hot swaged. Simply slip a heavy duty razor knife between the shell and the hub and cut the plastic rivets. Then drill out the centers of the rivets with a small 5/64"drill bit.
You will need to enlarge the 5/8" holes in the Halo shell to around 7/8". I used a chassis punch , but a unibit would work fine.
Position the hub from the Huntsman on the Halo hood, and drill through the holes in the hub and through the plastic of the halo hood. The front edge of the hub should be parallel to the face of the hood.
I used little 4-40 machine screws through the holes to hold the hubs to the Halo hood. A tiny drop of loctite on the nuts and it is done.
Just re-assemble the Huntsman headgear on the Halo hood.
I REALLLLLLLY like mine. Lightweight, flexible, and it STAYS up.
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............. slight pause out of respect for a Huntsman hood ...........
It always has amazed me that in their superior intellect and knowledge, that these overly trained engineers and manufacturers put out products that deliberately have to be modified to work correctly.
Then charge an arm and a leg for them. I guess they sell more if you have to take two hoods to make one good one.
Sounds like a good rig, Ernie. Keep us posted on how it ages.
Steve
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Ernie,
What's the advantage of a Nexgen lense over other "downmarket" lenses that are being offered like the Solera? It sounds like you also like the Nexgen over the other high end lenses as well. Why for?
Peter
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My perspective on LCD welding lenses is a bit different. As a welding instructor a very important aspect of a lens is versatility.
When I was teaching at South Seattle, in one 30 minute period, I would have to:
demonstrate oxy/acetylene welding of thin sheet steel (Shade #5)
dial in a 20 year old power supply with a Cobramatic Aluminum MIG push/pull machine (shade #11)
demonstrate TIG on 18 ga stainless steel (shade #9)
show carbon arc gouging of 1" plate steel (shade #12)
dial in and troubleshoot a Hobart Handler 120 (shade #10)
dial in a Millermatic 251 on 3/8" steel (shade #11)
plasma cut (shade #5)
1/16" dual shield on 1" plate (shade #11)
...you get the idea.
While my teaching has simplified at DIT I still need the versatility.
The Nexgen allows complete control of the lens parameters. For low amperage TIG on SS I want a short delay. For aluminum TIG I want a long delay. When welding outside I need a lower sensitivity so the lens does not react to reflected sunlight. When welding really low amps I need very high sensitivity.
The 3-in-1 mode is just a nice bonus thrown in.
The 4 sensors on the Nexgen reduces the chance you will block all your sensors and have the hood flip back to light.
The only useless feature I find on most of the high end lenses is the solar panel. From my experience of using Speedglas and Jackson LCD lenses for the last 15 years, the batteries last about 1 year. Doesn't matter if you have a solar panel to power the lens while welding or not. They last a year. In fact the spare batteries you have in your bag will likely last a year even though you aren't using them.
The low end lenses don't have replaceable batteries. They use a built in rechargeable battery.
Optrel does this on their Satellite lens/hood combo. When they first started shipping them they were sold with the internal battery uncharged. They kind of neglected to tell people that you had to leave your hood in the sun for a few hours before using it for the first time.
After many complaints about dead hoods, they started shipping them charged.
Now as to why I chose the Nexgen over a Speedglas is a simple story. My Speedglas XL hood died in an accident involving a sealed plastic tool chest and a leaking can of Lacquer Thinner.
Still a painful memory...
So anyway I needed a new hood and at the time Speedglas was selling the 9000 series hoods which used a tiny dial to set your shade. After 5 years with the pushbutton controls in my XL hood I just hated that tiny dial. So I bought the Nexgen. great lens.
Since then Speedglas has gone back to pushbutton controls with the 9002 series of hoods. If given a choice now between a Nexgen and a Speedglas 9002X, I would likely go for the Speedglas 9002X because Speeglas really understands how to make a hood and lens work together.
My only real nagging complaint about the Nexgen was the crappy headgear I now I have solved that.
See... a nice short answer.
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Thanks Ernie. That was a whole lot of useful information. It really helped me understand a lot more about auto-darkening lenses. I sincerely appreciate you sharing it with us.
Jim Cook ****************************

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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

Thanks.
Peter
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