Welding helmet woes!

    --OK when I finally got sick of my old helmet I upgraded to an autodarkening one. I paid a small fortune and got an Optrel, which died
one month after the 2-yr warranty was up. Finding out that I had to send it to Switzerland for service was a bit of a shocker so I went searching for another one. Went down to Praxxair where I had an account and the guy talked me into getting a Speedglass. Very nice, if not balanced terribly well. It lasted less than a year and now it's in for warranty repairs. The catch: turn-around time is 6 *weeks*!! So Praxxair doesn't have anything in inventory and I called the only other shop in town. They can sell me a Miller helmet for $300 and they've got 'em in stock. Does anyone have opinions on these one way or the other? And when they break how long do I have to wait to get it back?     --TIA,
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : What if the whole world
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : farted at once?
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I think that you would be better off buying Harbor Freight helmets, I have, so far, heard mostly positive reports about them and that is what I own myself.
i
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Ignoramus18860 wrote:

Perhaps I'll pick one up for the occasional visitor and as a backup if/when my EQC dies. My EQC has lasted for quite a while, but it gets pretty light use so I don't know how it compares with others.
Pete C.
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Ignoramus18860 wrote:

Oh yea, the big advantage of the name brands over the HF is the much larger viewing window. The HF ones are the size of the early name brand ones. My EQC has a significantly larger viewing window than any of the HF units.
Pete C.
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    --Got a link for the EQC?
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : What if the whole world
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : farted at once?
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Here's the one I've been using. Not cheap but very big window and very high transmission in the passive state. Very easy to see what you are about to weld with average lighting.
I like it a lot better than the cheap one I bought first. I am no expert, though.
Seems like you have had very bad luck with the helmets. Do cars and other things break on a regular basis for you too?
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wrote:

Arrgh! Much better when I post the link: http://www.weldingmart.com/Qstore/p000131.htm

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xray wrote:

That's the exact same one I have. Very nice unit. Not cheap though.
Pete C.
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    --Funny you should mention this but yes, I've had a statistically improbable amount of failures of various things when I'm in the vicinity; i.e. I've been in 4 aircraft that have had trouble (engine fire, gear deployment trouble, engine failure, etc) I've been robbed 3 times, mugged twice, had intermittent failures of electronic equipment all the time, etc. I'm really sick of hearing techies say "I've never seen anything like this before!". I've seen maybe 4 street lights blow out as I walk or drive by, too. Sigh..
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : What if the whole world
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : farted at once?
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steamer wrote:

Please keep your distance from my shop.
Pete C.
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It doesn't make any sense but I asked because I think I have noticed that before. I, personally, think I have a general tendency to keep things running just by positive expectations.
On the other hand, it is also interesting how often when, say, you car breaks, the backup vehicle also starts having problems at the same time.
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xray wrote:

snip
It usually becomes an outright mechanical rebellion for me. When my main transportation dies, I have had my backup truck and two motorcycles go down too. Freaky.
Bob
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Oh shit....you are one of Them.
Hummm how would you like to visit some of my clients?
Gunner
"If I'm going to reach out to the the Democrats then I need a third hand.There's no way I'm letting go of my wallet or my gun while they're around."
"Democrat. In the dictionary it's right after demobilize and right before demode` (out of fashion). -Buddy Jordan 2001
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I tried the HF autodarkening helmet, but my eyes hurt after using it. So I returned it and ordered a Miller XLiX from an eBay vendor who had it drop shipped to me. I got it the next day. Cost me $175, and I really like it a lot. I like it even better now that I have added a bunch of stickers to it.
Note that the XLiX is the extra sensitive model for low level TIG welding.
Also note that all of my classmates got the HF helmets and kept them, so maybe my helmet was defective or my eyes are extra sensitive - ymmv...

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HF has about 5 different models. Some suck the big wiener badly. The Blue colored one seems to be the best of the bunch and is wildly popular. Even among the pros out here in the erl patch.
Gunner The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years . It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaints, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.
Theodore Dalrymple,
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Cheap ones work better and last longer. Batteries are good too. All the extra coupel of hundred ever gets you is a better hat adjuster.
Mine's some expensive thing (Niederman?) and I never use it -- I use my mate's cheapie instead, costing about a quarter of the price.
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Shrug..buy one of the Blue (only the blue ones) helmet from Harbor Freight for $49.95 (less on sale) and buy the $5 extended warranty. They dont blink an eye if you bring one in. They simply hand you a brand new one (ask to keep the harness and the cover glasses..they give em to you) and walk out with it.
Gunner
The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.
In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years . It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaints, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.
Theodore Dalrymple,
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I bought that helmet, following your advice actually, and am very happy.
i
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I know I am a small voice in the wilderness but I keep asking the question why people invest in such a expensive, fragile, and unreliable tool. I also am wondering why the price of these things has not fallen. In the 1970's they were selling for around 400 Canadian. At the time a VCR cost a grand. Autodarkening helmets should be a lot more reliable, durable and cost less than fifty dollars. I will keep nodding my head thank you, Randy
--OK when I finally got sick of my old helmet I upgraded to an autodarkening one. I paid a small fortune and got an Optrel, which died one month after the 2-yr warranty was up. Finding out that I had to send it to Switzerland for service was a bit of a shocker so I went searching for another one. Went down to Praxxair where I had an account and the guy talked me into getting a Speedglass. Very nice, if not balanced terribly well. It lasted less than a year and now it's in for warranty repairs. The catch: turn-around time is 6 *weeks*!! So Praxxair doesn't have anything in inventory and I called the only other shop in town. They can sell me a Miller helmet for $300 and they've got 'em in stock. Does anyone have opinions on these one way or the other? And when they break how long do I have to wait to get it back? --TIA,
-- "Steamboat Ed" Haas : What if the whole world Hacking the Trailing Edge! : farted at once? www.nmpproducts.com ---Decks a-wash in a sea of words---
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R. Zimmerman wrote:

Easy answer: you can clearly see where you're about to weld. When stick welding, my out-of-area strikes went nearly to zero when I got an autodark. Also, sometimes when I'm fitting a part, I just hold it in place with one hand and tack with the other. When I have to nod my head to lower the hood, often the part would slip and misalign, but with the autodark it's much less likely to.
How anyone can say they haven't come down in price is beyond me. I recently took a welding class and most of the kids in there had the $50 HF autodark units Gunner referenced. That's about 1/5th what I paid for my Speedglas in 1998.
GWE
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