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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default Miller Performance Series Auto Darkening Helmet - Working Properly?

    Hi,

    I hope this isn't a stupid question; but, I don't know if my Performance Series AD helmet is working correctly.

    When MIG welding a couple of brackets this afternoon on a table outside, I was concerned that the helmet wasn't reacting correctly. When I would strike an arc, there appeared to be very little change in the lens.... the arc was extremely bright, and I couldn't watch the puddle directly. The background is more green than blue/white, if that makes any sense.

    I purchased a new battery thinking that would do the trick; but, the result was basically the same.

    I have had the helmet since March 2012 (purchased new from a dealer).

    I have tried adjusting the sensitivity and the darkness. The settings that I have been using on the helmet are consistent with what I have used in the past. I am seeing green spots after used today; but, I don't think it's as extreme as many arc burns described in the forum.

    I'm just trying to figure out if the electronics are working correctly. Is there some way to test this, or should I ask the dealer to help me.

    Thanks

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff2013 View Post
    I'm just trying to figure out if the electronics are working correctly. Is there some way to test this, or should I ask the dealer to help me.
    A remote from a TV, DVD player, etc will trigger the ADF on a Speedglas. This test may work on yours as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Hi,

    I couldn't find an online manual; but, I did find the manual that came with the helmet.

    The manual states that the lens should darken twice after pressing the reset button. There is a very quick blip on mine; but, the lens never darkens.

    I suppose I will need to talk to the Miller dealer tomorrow to see what can be done to correct the problem. (It sounds like there is a problem now.... hopefully it's not operator error.)

    Thanks

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Four Flags city
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Make sure the battery you installed was a Miller(Panasonic)brand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    362

    Default In my case...

    ...I find pushing the little "ON" button greatly improves the response of the lens...yes, I did forget to do that , ONCE.
    MillerMatic 211 Auto-set w/MVP
    Just For Home Projects.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies.

    Yesterday I thought I would make sure I wasn't losing my mind. I tried using the reset feature on the helmet again.

    Yesterday the reset button would indeed cause the screen to go black momentarily. I tried this several times, each time working as described in the manual.

    Intermittent problems like that bother me. Now I am concerned that the helmet is going to experience the same problem in the future.

    The Performance Series auto-darkening lens is an auto-on design. There is no "on" button.

    I did not use a Miller battery. I purchased and Energizer battery of the exact same type that was in the helmet. I can't see why that would make a difference; but, if it's critical I will buy a Miller/Panasonic. (I should not that the battery light was never on/blinking during the time I was experiencing these problems.)

    Thanks again for your input.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    392

    Default

    Search the threads here, there was a problem with other than the prescribed battery in some of the Miller shields as I recall. Something about anything other than the panasonic battery may not seat properly in the battery enclosure and may not contact as it should. Others more knowledgeable may chime in.---Meltedmetal
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...1&d=1312392692link from a post by Miller Kevin
    Last edited by Meltedmetal; 07-09-2013 at 05:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Hi Meltedmetal,

    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    Search the threads here, there was a problem with other than the prescribed battery in some of the Miller shields as I recall. Something about anything other than the panasonic battery may not seat properly in the battery enclosure and may not contact as it should. Others more knowledgeable may chime in.---Meltedmetal
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...1&d=1312392692link from a post by Miller Kevin
    Thanks for the link. I will take a closer look at the battery.

    I am having trouble understanding the design of the electronics. The literature isn't clear. Not all the posts make sense, either.

    Maybe someone with some knowledge of the electronics can confirm the basic operation of the helmet. There is both a solar cell above the viewing area, and the battery. From what I have read elsewhere, there may also be a capacitor included in the other electronics. I am wondering if the solar cell and the battery both provide power to the capacitor. That would make sense, although I don't want to read too much into it.

    If the solar cell is intended to charge the battery, then the battery will need to be a rechargeable type, whereas if the solar cell only provides power to the capacitor the battery would not need to be rechargeable. Does anyone know the design well enough to comment? (Does Miller monitor the forum, or should I contact them directly?)

    Thanks

    Jeff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    392

    Default

    Hi Jeff,
    I haven't looked into the circuitry of any welding helmet so I can't reliably comment on specifics. Some companies may consider their designs as proprietary and will not reveal their exact design or give/sell you a diagram. In general terms though there is likely more than 1 design. I would guess that the battery is only supplying current during the off arc time and the lens is powered by the light from your arc via the solar cells during welding thereby reducing the draw on the battery and greatly extending its service life. The battery may be used to ensure a fast, positive response at arc strike. Even standard alkaline batteries will take some small amount of charge but whether or not anyone would incorporate a charging circuit into a light circuit like this for limited return seems unlikely to me when they don't use an actual rechargeable cell. You could contact Miller technical and see what they say but that circuitry is probably costing them next to nothing so they may not spend much time on it but just swap it out if/when it fails under warranty. I expect they know their equipment better than anyone. Lets us know what you find out.---Meltedmetal

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