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Thread: I can't see

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  1. #1

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Waupun, WI.


    Did you check the batteries?
    At home:
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Millermatic 211 Auto-set
    Spoolmate 100

    At work:
    2-Syncrowave 250
    2-maxstar 150
    millermatic 250X
    Dynasty 200 DX

  4. #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).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Western Pa.

    Default 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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    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.

    Grip it and Rip it

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Why don't you borrow someone's AD helmet and see if you have the same problems?

    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    greenfield new hampshire


    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

  10. #10

    Default 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!
    Miller 211 MVP
    Hobart StickMate LX 235
    Lincoln AC 225
    CutMaster 42

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