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  #11  
Old 05-13-2017, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW Hiway View Post
Post up pictures of the different hoods.. This way we can see if there are any differences from looks.. I know from the 4 hoods I own each is a little different.. I still prefer the Optrel over the MIllers..
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2017, 07:34 PM
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Jen, it's not about the design of the hoods of those I've hacked and added new battery packs into.

It's the electronics board itself being the same on 3 different manf's I've found so far.

There is not one brand of Auto-Dark helmet with the quarter sized batteries hidden inside the plastic cases that cannot be opened by careful judicious use of a sharp edged knife or as I used a dremel with a cutting blade setup as a mill on a small drill post jig I bought some years ago. With this rig I could both control the height of the cut and the depth of the cut.

Once the pack is opened you break off/apart the spot welded connection blades on the top and bottom of each battery, taking care to remember what relationship each batter held with the original leads.

I soldered extra wire to each, ran this outside the plastic case, resealed the case with a few dabs of RTV, let it cure and then installed coin battery holders inside a tin of Altoids.

Taking care in opening the electronics case of the viewer assy is the hardest part. But I've done so on 4 different hoods thus far.

There are a dozen or so 'hack' videos for these hoods.

If time allows I'm doing another pair this weekend. One a Lincoln like mine and the other is a HF that looks just like the one I use as well.

I'm leaving Lake Chuck late today and will have a bit of time at the farm and shop to do more than I have time to do/get done.

Had to work late last night/this morning and did not make it to my class reunion. No big whoop.

One thing for sure is that complaints of not being able to change out batteries has been heard by the manf's of these dam hoods.

As most of the middle and higher end helmets have little slide out trays to change out batteries simply.
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Last edited by LW Hiway; 05-13-2017 at 07:43 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2017, 10:25 PM
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It's funny but not surprising what you found. I own both ends of the spectrum a speedglas and a couple HF beaters. The Speedglas is still my favorite more for it's design which does not fog up 90% of the time. Mine is older but still has battery holders which slide out and have been replaced once. The HF helmet I actually like better for fit up work cause I tend to get flashed less when in awkward positions. More sensors maybe not sure just know I get flashed less.
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2017, 10:46 PM
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Jef,

Was your Speedglas pre or post 3M?
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2017, 12:06 AM
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I plan on digging into mine when I get some free time. Maybe we should all take pics to post so we can get a consensus.
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  #16  
Old 05-14-2017, 07:27 PM
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I hang my helmets in the east facing kitchen window. I have a 15 year old HF that is still going fine. I think the problem is most people stuff their helmets in some place that gets no light, and then wonder why the batteries go dead. When the HF helmet finally quits, I'll take it apart and replace the batteries. I have more problems with the head gear then the lens.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm W View Post
I have a 15 year old HF that is still going fine. I think the problem is most people stuff their helmets in some place that gets no light, and then wonder why the batteries go dead.
I plead guilty, your honor. Usually I can leave my old beater "guest helmets" out in the sun for a day & they come back to life but I finally neglected one of them to terminal. I'll try the hack on it someday.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2017, 10:22 PM
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I prefer the Miller elite, I also am not all that surprised that the electronics are of a common source. As with all electronic components some meet the design spec and some do not

Think millspec,

What drives the cost, is the operating system or adjustments. Here are a few quick examples of what I mean.


Comparing the Speedglas and Miller, because I have owned both

Speedglas

Manual on and off, always forgot to do one, becomes a real PIA welding. Think about how many times we remove the hood and put it on as we weld...

The head gear, this helmet was no better than a HF, a let down is as polite as I can say that

Miller:

Auto on/off .... has X mode, probably the biggest advantage over all.

The lens will react to the arc, and go dark. Sunlight or bright light has no affect. Worth every penny paid for the helmet, head gear not to bad either.

I guess what I'm saying is to not kid yourselves there are real differences.

Greg
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2017, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Was your Speedglas pre or post 3M?
Not sure, but I can tell you that I have not seen any 3M markings on any of it.

I'd like to buy one more AutoDark helmet with the battery trays, something a bit more conducive for TIG, but that may not happen for awhile.
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:54 PM
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I have an older Speedglas I got with a used welder and while I wouldn't buy one new but it's a decent helmet.

My favorite helmet by far is the Fibre-Metal Pipeliner with either fixed or ArcOne autodark filter. I like that setup because it works well and I can use standard clear cover lenses. I used 3M 5200 to glue a leather flap on the top edge, and trimmed the lower edge so I can tuck my chin comfortably in tight quarters. Both mod ideas were from experienced pipe welders. We kept a section of old portaband blade for a wraparound straight edge to mark trim lines on student helmets with a Sharpie and made the cuts with a cutting disk.

https://www.amazon.com/Fibre-Metal-H...TBG9DDYFZYSKYH

The rubber headband can be replaced by surgical tubing from a Walmart slingshot when it wears.

My neck is trashed and the Pipeliner is very comfortable. I liked this Huntsman

https://www.amazon.com/Huntsman%C2%A.../dp/B009SB5RHS

but my glasses make it unusable and the Pipeliner is IMO as good and costs less. They are the two classic lightweight welding helmets.
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