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FrankCrank
07-16-2013, 09:37 PM
When I got my new welder a few months back, I bought an auto-darkening helmet at the same shop. Sounded like a good idea, and a giant leap from the nodding type helmets back in my welding days. No problems with stick welding - works a treat. TIG.....well....not so good, in fact quite useless - getting flashed the whole time and very annoyed also.

Anyhow, a bit of research suggested, for low amp TIG, an auto dark with 4 sensors was needed. So, on a recent trip to UK I fetched one back. Four sensors and said it was ideal for TIG down to 5 amps - sounded perfect.

Finally got going again in past few days at some welding of kitchen shelving, and it's the same problem - flashing me all the time!
Have played with the settings, every which way, left it in the sun all day to fully charge, sat facing the ambient light and away from it - nothing works and just flashes off like .....I don't know what.

Thought I was going to end up with arc-eye after yesterday's session, but luckily was spared that pain. Back to using the old fashioned nodding helmet - cheap as chips but works!

Ever feel totally let down by technology and all that the sales people say it can offer you?

Not a total loss I suppose - good for stick welding as I say, and MIG also if I ever do any, but TIG is what I'm doing right now and it just doesn't cut the mustard........

Radical Brad
07-16-2013, 11:46 PM
Sounds like a good electronics hacking project. Actually, all you would need is a small battery and a switch. Rig a switch to the side of the helmet so you can just send a small voltage to the lens, simulating the energy of the light charging the solar cell. With the switch off, it works normally. With it on, you get to go dark before the arc.

Brad

Tradetek
07-17-2013, 12:28 AM
Frank, I had similar problems with my helmet until the guys over on the forum at WeldingWeb.com (http://weldingweb.com) helped me get the settings right.

I'd recommend post a message over there with your helmet model and current settings and flash issues, including you welder settings and tungsten size and they can most likely give you the right settings to stop the flash. A 4 sensor helmet definitely should not be flashing you... https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18993675/Emoticons/flasher.gif

FrankCrank
07-17-2013, 01:23 AM
...cheers for than Bill - might just do that when I've calmed down a little. Some recent trawling on the net has shown I'm not the only one having this problem related to low amp TIG, even with 4 sensors, and several have gone back to standard helmet for TIG work.

Out of interest - how was your problem actually resolved ?

Brad - sounds like you're saying use the foot pedal to activate the dark lens - don't have a foot pedal :(. One thing while I was trawling - someone commented that with all this technology why not have one for voice commands - ....'dark'.....'light'.... - seemed like a good idea to me........

SirJoey
07-17-2013, 06:55 AM
Ever feel totally let down by technology and all that the sales people say it can offer you?
So many times, in fact, that I should be the poster child!
I'm the patron saint of "money wasted on failed technology"! :(



**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

Ticktock
07-17-2013, 11:10 AM
So long as you don.t talk while you weld! To the wife --while welding--"turn the LIGHT on its too DARK in here!!!!
Steve G

FrankCrank
07-17-2013, 11:24 AM
...have you seen the chin-operated helmet - flap at the front moves up and down with some sort of lever inside the mask.
I kid you not - do a search for accu-strike.....

Tradetek
07-17-2013, 10:12 PM
You can find a review from Kevin Caron (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SSgBSx4GjGc) on youtube for that AccuStrike helmet... looks like a pain in the chin and jaw to me.

I just have a cheap Harbor Freight helmet and my issue was the "Sensitivity" setting. According to the manual, I thought that it should be set to "low" if I wanted it to switch with a low amount of light and "high" if I wanted it to take more light to switch. The guys over at weldingweb.com said that if you use that setting but are not actually using a low amp setting, then the lens will tend to flicker during arc strike because the arc sort of flutters a bit when it is starting and the response time gets off because it is switching to a light shade when the full arc strikes and takes a second to re-darken. I set it to high and haven't been flashed since.

How many amps are you using? My TIG work so far has been in the 50-100 range.

What helmet are you using anyway?

Bill

FrankCrank
07-18-2013, 01:55 AM
...thanks for your interest in this one Bill. Just a quick reply as pushed for time right now. Will be doing some welding tomorrow and have a couple of things to try out by way of experiment with the auto helmet, so speak some more later.....

SirJoey
07-18-2013, 03:52 AM
I guess I've been lucky with mine. (One of the FEW times)
It's just an El-Cheapo from Harbor Freight, but amazingly,
even after 6 years, it still works perfectly. Go figure. :rolleyes4:



**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

FrankCrank
07-21-2013, 08:15 AM
....well, tried my cunning & brilliant plan but failed dismally!
Was guessing that too much ambient light was hitting the sensors as I weld oudoors in a sort of car port - light coming in from 3 sides and white ceiling also to reflect back. Made a cardboard visor for the front of the helmet to block off the sides and top, thinking this would block ambient light that could be causing the sensors to be confused, but no luck, still flashes up just after I commence welding. Oh well - worth a try. Just carried on welding using my standard helmet - so much for newfangled stuff!

Bill - you were asking a few days ago for more info. The helmet is an R-tech Speedmaster XL, and in the spec it says:-

'5A minimum current sensitivity - for use in precision TIG applications'

It has four sensors, so should be up to the job.

Have another auto helmet, with 2 sensors, no brand name, and flashes same as the higher spec model. Can't believe both are faulty,
but my hunch is it's something to do with the location/conditions I'm welding under.
The material I'm welding is box section stainless steel, 1mm wall thickness, current about 30A.

Anyhow - it's definitely a three pipe problem, maybe if Sherlock was a welder he could solve this one :)

Ticktock
07-21-2013, 09:39 AM
Hi Frank,
Maybe you could learn the Chines method to overcome this problem!
No helmet or visor required!
Study weld area.
Remember where weld has to go.
Hold stick close to start of weld.'

Close eyes.
Strike arc.
Continue to weld.
Finish weld.
Open eyes,
Inspect mess (I mean weld)

This is not a joke --seen every day.
Steve G

darnthedog
07-21-2013, 09:58 AM
Ticktock
He is TIG welding not ARC welding. And that method is not safe as the face is fully exposed to the intense UV. 5 minutes of that is like standing on the beach with your face exposed for an hour. Not a good recommendation.

Ticktock
07-21-2013, 10:05 AM
What ever method , the Chinese version is not safe!
It was posted in humour, but the events are real life. It is not a recomendation in any way.
I shudder every time I see it done--which is just about every time I see a welder at work!
Steve G

darnthedog
07-21-2013, 10:15 AM
....well, tried my cunning & brilliant plan but failed dismally!
Was guessing that too much ambient light was hitting the sensors as I weld oudoors in a sort of car port - light coming in from 3 sides and white ceiling also to reflect back. Made a cardboard visor for the front of the helmet to block off the sides and top, thinking this would block ambient light that could be causing the sensors to be confused, but no luck, still flashes up just after I commence welding. Oh well - worth a try. Just carried on welding using my standard helmet - so much for newfangled stuff!

Bill - you were asking a few days ago for more info. The helmet is an R-tech Speedmaster XL, and in the spec it says:-

'5A minimum current sensitivity - for use in precision TIG applications'

It has four sensors, so should be up to the job.


Have another auto helmet, with 2 sensors, no brand name, and flashes same as the higher spec model. Can't believe both are faulty,
but my hunch is it's something to do with the location/conditions I'm welding under.
The material I'm welding is box section stainless steel, 1mm wall thickness, current about 30A.

Anyhow - it's definitely a three pipe problem, maybe if Sherlock was a welder he could solve this one :)

Frank- there are settings on the helmet you have not said how you set them
But here is a suggestion : sensitivity fully turned to right for max sensitivity - delay fully turned left for minimum delay-I'm not sure of the shade setting- however I'd start at 12 and go up or down depend if you can see arc flash on you retina or can't see the arc. I suspect your sensitivity is too low if already max right then try turning it back by 50% and see if that is better. My miller helmet which has similar adjustments required a 25% setting to work with my gas shielded mig. Hope the helps as the appears to be a letter nice helmet.

FrankCrank
07-21-2013, 11:19 AM
Steve - I knew you were kidding with your welding 'advice' - see that stuff here all the time, makes me shudder also. Every day I see people spraying crops with dodgy chemicals wearing only a small face mask for protection - asking around I get the answer that if they do it, then sure, they wont live long, if they don't do it, family also starve. Be grateful if you live in a so called first-world country!

DTD - Have tried various settings as you described, but no joy. Not tried every combination, so may just get lucky if I keep trying.
Thanks anyway for getting back.....

darnthedog
07-21-2013, 11:47 AM
Steve - I knew you were kidding with your welding 'advice' - see that stuff here all the time, makes me shudder also. Every day I see people spraying crops with dodgy chemicals wearing only a small face mask for protection - asking around I get the answer that if they do it, then sure, they wont live long, if they don't do it, family also starve. Be grateful if you live in a so called first-world country!

DTD - Have tried various settings as you described, but no joy. Not tried every combination, so may just get lucky if I keep trying.
Thanks anyway for getting back.....
Frank if you have tried the various setting then email the manufacture as they don't want a bad rap. They should be able to help better then us who don't have the helmet. My suggestion were based on my class where some of the guys didn't know to turn their helmet on. And mine was too sensitive so it went dark with any minor flash of light from the booths next to mine. It is a possibility you just got a bad one. R-tech should be able to help far better than us arm chair hobbiest.

Tradetek
07-22-2013, 02:01 AM
So I looked up the specs on your helmet and it would appear to be capable enough.

When I was having similar problems, there ended up being 2 resolutions:
1) Set Sensitivity to "High"
2) Make sure sensors are not blocked and are directly oriented towards weld area.

Also, before using my helmet(s) for the first time or if they have been sitting unused for a while, I let them sit out in the sun for a couple of hours to make sure that the solar battery is charged.

Note, the delay setting is not for how long it takes for the shade to turn on, it is for how long after the arc has terminated that the helmet turns light again. When welding at low amps, you want this set to a long delay or a weak arc can cause the helmet to turn the shade off. Personally I'm light sensitive and leave mine on long all the time.

After doing the above, I have not been flashed since.

Good luck,

Bill

FrankCrank
07-22-2013, 09:26 AM
...thanks for getting back Bill, been trying a few different button combinations again today - still no luck. I'm convinced now that the helmet it not faulty in any way, just that it cannot do low amp TIG work as promised in the spec. Seems this is an all too common problem with auto helmets. Anyhow, don't want to wast any more time on this, and certainly not other peoples time, so will draw a line under it and move on. Maybe others can be wary of falling into this trap?

Now then, had 2 glasses of wine, so this may not work, but I wanted to show a couple of pics of my kitchen shelving that I made, so here goes....

http://s15.postimg.org/5w1h7vns7/IMG_2358.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/5w1h7vns7/)

http://s23.postimg.org/7v6wxhu1j/IMG_2359.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/7v6wxhu1j/)

Ticktock
07-22-2013, 10:00 AM
I would stick with that brand of wine--it worked well!
Neat job on the shelves---same wine?
Whats the secret to restoring the finish after the welding ? I ask because I can get almost mirror finish light gauge stainless tube here, and its not that expensive, but it looks pretty crook after I finish wedling it!!!
Steve G

FrankCrank
07-22-2013, 10:48 AM
...bear with me Steve, will take a few more snaps tomorrow that may explain how I remove stains from stainless...

Tradetek
07-22-2013, 08:32 PM
Looks good. Been doing some practice projects myself as I get closer to starting my build.

Have the 4130, just trying to finish up another project before cutting it up

Ticktock
07-22-2013, 08:41 PM
That almost sounds like an oxy-something !
No hurry.
Thanks ,
Steve.

FrankCrank
07-22-2013, 11:20 PM
...maybe I should have started a new thread about this, but never mind.

The stainless steel over this way comes in 2 flavors - mirror finish and satin (brushed?). My preference is satin. Once chopped to length, I give the pieces their first buffering, as it's a lot easier when all in small bits.
Here's my latest new toy, a Wolfcraft angle grinder stand.

http://s21.postimg.org/4u64jrkcj/IMG_2361.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/4u64jrkcj/)

It's ideal for holding the buffing wheel in a fixed position and moving the stainless pieces over it for a nice satin finish. The stand is a great bit of kit - fiddly to set up initially, but after that it's a doddle. Using 1mm disks I get very accurate cuts - done 90 & 45 degrees so far. Been using it to sharpen up my electrodes as well (whoa....don't tell the tungsten police). Result is a real close fit up for welding, can do autogenous, or use very little filler. Also, with a close fit, easier to tack up, just double the normal welding amps, have the tungsten almost touching, quick blast and it's tacked!

Once the welding is done, it get's a bit discolored around all the welds. Next, I grind down any unsightly lumps, these are becoming less as my welding improves. Then, I use the same buffing wheel, but not in the stand this time, and go over all the weld areas to bring back the nice satin finish. The wheels are hard to describe, sort of a honeycomb material. Final step is with these scouring pads - heavy duty version of the scotchbrite ones for the kitchen pans.

http://s16.postimg.org/4kbo0z16p/IMG_2363.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/4kbo0z16p/)

In this part of the world they have a penchant for ultra blinged-up mirror finish. Have railings going up my stairs and on the balconies, and the welds have been ground back and polished to within an inch of their lives! For me, if the welds are half decent, just leave them be other than a quick clean up of the weld area.

Have tried the pickling acid, but not very effective. Could be used in a very tight corner if no other access. Also tried a tub of some white powdery stuff, bit like coffee granules in texture. You put in on the steel and then use the scouring pad to grind it in. Most ended up on the floor, so gave up on that one.

http://s16.postimg.org/acgdlv0e9/IMG_2364.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/acgdlv0e9/)

So, in summary, I think you can get a good satin finish with nothing more that a buffer wheel and scouring pad - nice and easy.....

Tradetek
07-23-2013, 01:00 AM
That's a pretty slick looking little stand.

Don't know if you can get them in your part of the world, but I have started using Dremel style diamond grinding wheels to sharpen my thoriated tungsten's. They are cheap, the arbor will fit in a drill if you don't have a dremel, and they grind the tungsten quick and clean with no cross contamination since it is easy to dedicate one for tungsten grinding.

Bill

FrankCrank
07-23-2013, 02:14 AM
...good tip about the Dremmel wheels Bill - seen them here but only as a kit with the tool and loads of bits - imported and expensive and a bit OTT for my needs. Will get a diamond cutting disk for the angle grinder, kind they use for cutting tiles/marble etc - see how that goes, and they're cheap.
Got three of those angle grinders now, one stays permanently in the stand. Real easy to change disks in the stand, as both hands are free and the spindle lock button is easy to get at. Think if I had a dozen angle grinders I'd have a use for them all :)....

Ticktock
07-23-2013, 09:52 AM
Like all tools, you always need more. doing a roofing job, I had a drill set up with a drill, another with a screwdriver, and still needed another drill for something else. Then I needed an angle grinder to cut, another to grind, another for a flap disc, and another just in case something else happened.
I think we have all become electron dependant!
Steve G