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  • I can't see

    I can weld better with the lights off. :-) I'm serious.

    I'm wondering if this is a helmet problem. It's a Hobart XVP auto dark.

    I used it in welding class this summer and it seems the more I weld the less I'm able to see. I don't know if it's me or the helmet. I do have to wear glasses all the time but that's a focus problem, my welding problem is being able to see the work and the arc. I can seldom see the work at all so very long beads invaribly aren't straight.

    I have the shade set to 10 and the sensitivity at about 25% and the delay pretty low. I tried it at 9 today and I think it's better but I'm shy of doing that all the time as even on 10 at the end of a few hours welding my eyes are sore.

    Pretty bad when I can't see a small sun a foot in front of my face. :-)

    I've cleaned the lens and installed new inner and outer protective lenses. No difference.

    I'm definitely not seeing as much as what I see in welding videos on youtube. Should I expect to see the same thing as in those videos?

    Do auto dark helmets go bad in this way. This helmet is probably 5 or 6 years old but not used muych till this summer.

  • #2
    Have you ever used a normal (non-autodark) shield?

    I've never seen an autodark hood that let you see the puddle as clearly as a non-autodark.

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    • #3
      Did you check the batteries?

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      • #4
        Used a non-auto years ago but don't recall the quality. Good idea though, I'll borrow one and do a comparison.
        ==================

        Yes, brand new batteries. First thing I tried.
        ===================

        Forgot to add this - Sometimes the lens stays dark after I kill the arc. It acts strange. When it does that I can hold up my hand about 6 inches or less in front of it and it will un-darken and when I remove my hand it will go back dark (no arc)(not looking at the sun).

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        • #5
          I can't see

          Used both auto & non auto. Did have a cheaper Tractor Supply auto that after all day welding at higher voltage went bad. Some weeks I do allot of fab work i.e. allot of tacking & small welds also switch back & forth with plasma & Tig. Bought a Miller Elite and love it for that work as I can just hit a button & switch back & forth, also fine tune shade as need. I've welded with it straight all day long at higher voltage & it's worked flawless. Good helmet just not cheap. As recommended I'd try dedicated helmet may clear up your problem. Another thought;
          >> My close up vision started to leave years ago & I've found multi vision contacts that work fine for everything but welding I also just couldn't see the puddle. I put a magnify lens in helmet and that works great. Just a thought.

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          • #6
            Why don't you borrow someone's AD helmet and see if you have the same problems?
            Nick

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            • #7
              I some times have problems with my helmet if there is a bright light directly above or a beam of sun light across the job.

              Ji

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Thrutraffic View Post
                I can weld better with the lights off.
                Are there any bright lights directly above you or directly behind your head? Is there bright light shining inside your hood from behind? If so find something to block that light.

                Originally posted by Thrutraffic View Post
                I do have to wear glasses all the time but that's a focus problem,
                Are you near sighted? If so try taking off your corrective lenses and just wear a pair of safety glasses under the hood. Put them back on for walking around, of course.

                Originally posted by Thrutraffic View Post
                my welding problem is being able to see the work and the arc.
                You should not be watching the arc anyway. You should be watching the puddle, looking at both edges to see the profile of the weld and also to see if you are filling back in what you dig out. (undercut) Watching the arc is what causes some weldors to lose their sight too early in their career. If the arc is dead center of your vision all the time it will eventually burn out a spot on your retina and the exact center of your vision will eventually be lost. Don't watch the arc. Watch the puddle. Watch where you are welding. Watch everything except the arc.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Matrix View Post

                  You should not be watching the arc anyway. You should be watching the puddle, looking at both edges to see the profile of the weld and also to see if you are filling back in what you dig out. (undercut) Watching the arc is what causes some weldors to lose their sight too early in their career. If the arc is dead center of your vision all the time it will eventually burn out a spot on your retina and the exact center of your vision will eventually be lost. Don't watch the arc. Watch the puddle. Watch where you are welding. Watch everything except the arc.


                  Well, didn't really mean I was only watching the arc. I'm trying to see the puddle but it's saying a lot that I have trouble even seeing the arc. Ergo my comment about a small sun a foot in front of my face. If I can't see the arc very well I'm darn sure not going to be able to see the puddle.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kiwi View Post
                    Why don't you borrow someone's AD helmet and see if you have the same problems?
                    Nick

                    What?? You think I have friends? LOL I do have a couple but none of them weld.

                    I don't know anyone I could borrow a helmet from. Will ask my LWS next time I'm there. They might have one I could borrow for a test.

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                    • #11
                      what process are you using, short arc can be hard to follow some time, i have been doing this for many years and there is not a day that goes by that i did not have to struggle to see the weld, most of it is positioning your body in the best place to see what is going on

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                      • #12
                        Better now!!

                        Ok, I made some changes:
                        - Bought a new Miller Digital Elite (made a big difference).
                        - Keeping my head farther away from the arc.
                        - Trying to keep not so short an arc. I have a tendency to drag the leading edge of the rod with stick and with mig I keep the nozzle too close.

                        I'm going to add a chater lens to the mix and then I'll be set I think. The cheater will help me now that I'm keeping my head back farther.


                        thanks for all the input folks!

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                        • #13
                          I had trouble seeing awhile back. I had cataracts removed. Then I could see.

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