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Thread: Auto dimming mask question

  1. Default Auto dimming mask question

    Hello. First post here.

    I just got a 250ex tig and a fabricator mask. It's pretty sweet getting to learn on the 250ex, but I have a problem (I'm probably just doing something wrong). I think it's the mask (because without the mask, the arc doesn't seem to get drastically brighter or dimmer when watching the reflection on the wall)

    When welding some 24ga sheet metal @ 20-30 amps, the shade level on the mask instantly jumps from pretty shaded, to hardly shaded. When the shade level jumps down, it's not a blinding light, but the light is bright enough where it's hard to see my weld area anymore. I was welding yesterday night with my friend (who has some weld experience, but none with an auto dimming mask), and he had the same problem. I tried to make sure the sensors were right perpendicular to the arc, but I don't think that made a considerable difference.

    sensitivity was set to 3 bars
    shade level was 8
    delay was fast

    any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Jason

  2. #2

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    Make sure sensitivity is set as high as possible.

  3. Default

    Is 3 bars the most sensitive or least sensitive? I think there's also an option for 'grind'. I will try to get some time in today.

  4. #4
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    If all else fails with adjusting your helmet to work with your the arc, you can adjust your arc to work with your helmet by adding in a little pulsing into the DC arc. It's a bit of a kludgey workaround, but I find just a little bit of pulsing makes all the difference with getting my helmet (a harbor freight unit) to reliably trigger when TIG welding DC.

    My helmet's two sensitivity settings ("low" and "high") aren't sensitive enough to reliably trigger from a pulsation-free low amp DC arc. Eventually I'll buy a better one that is more sensitive, but for now that's my "workaround."
    Last edited by jakeru; 08-18-2012 at 06:18 PM.
    '13 Everlast 255EXT
    '07 Everlast Super200P

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jakeru View Post
    If all else fails with adjusting your helmet to work with your the arc, you can adjust your arc to work with your helmet by adding in a little pulsing into the DC arc. I find just a little bit of pulsing makes all the difference with getting my helmet (a harbor freight unit) to reliably trigger when TIG welding DC.

    My helmet's two sensitivity settings ("low" and "high") aren't sensitive enough to reliably trigger from a pulsation-free low amp DC arc. Eventually I'll buy a better one that is more sensitive, but for now that's my "workaround."
    maybe I'll try adding some flashlight reflectors in front of the sensors.. that might work. Is there anything else that people try to make these masks work in the 30 amp range?

  6. #6

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    It's probably got more to do with how much tungsten you have sticking out and the angle of your torch more than anything. Being perpendicular to the weld is NOT what you want. You actually should be leaning in at a 45 degree angle in between the torch and the front part of the weld...which is the correct way to use a helmet like this.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    It's probably got more to do with how much tungsten you have sticking out and the angle of your torch more than anything. Being perpendicular to the weld is NOT what you want. You actually should be leaning in at a 45 degree angle in between the torch and the front part of the weld...which is the correct way to use a helmet like this.
    I meant that my line of sight is perpendicular to the mask, like in the attached picture. I thought this was the best way to do it so that there wasn't any reflection due to the "critical angle" of the transparent shield in front of the sensors. I had about 1/4" of tungsten sticking out of my torch at all times, if not 3/8", and I was about 1/8 to 3/16" away from the workpiece. I'm obviously learning, so I don't know exactly what I need to do here, should I stick the tungsten out further? Do you think there's intermittent shade interruption because the light goes away? or it's just not enough light at 20-30 amps?

    I also tried to mount the sensors upside down so they would be lower, relative to my eyes, but that didnt seem to help either.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

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    Man that's a funny picture. Name:  rofl2[1].gif
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    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  9. #9

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    The stick out and standoff height is actually too long. You should have about a credit card thickness under the tungsten between it and the metal. The stickout should be 1/4" or less. One thing is possible: that you were varying your arc length (with such a long one), tricking the helmet into thinking the arc was going out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    Man that's a funny picture. Name:  rofl2[1].gif
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    Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    LMAO..... I am Cornholio! T P for my Bunghole! Wow, old school cartoons
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  12. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    The stick out and standoff height is actually too long. You should have about a credit card thickness under the tungsten between it and the metal. The stickout should be 1/4" or less. One thing is possible: that you were varying your arc length (with such a long one), tricking the helmet into thinking the arc was going out.
    I didn't try this yet, but I did try adding some pulse to the arc, and I think it helps the mask stay on. Still some funny stuff going on with some flicker, but I just don't think i have the pulse set properly or something. Need to get more experience with everything. I had no idea about the credit card thickness thing, I imagine that would really help me control the pool better but so far I've been paranoid about dipping my tungsten into the metal. I will have to give it a try tomorrow.

    Thanks

  13. #13

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    I thought the picture was an alien looking thru a window using it's mind powers to lift the corner of a bed.... Anal probe time. LOL

    Back on topic, jakeru what HF helmet do you have?
    Everlast PowerTig 200DX
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    I need a MIG.... which one to buy:
    I-Mig 160, I-Mig 200, or a MTS 160

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonz172 View Post
    I think it's the mask (because without the mask, the arc doesn't seem to get drastically brighter or dimmer when watching the reflection on the wall)
    Watch out for that. The reflection can get you. The worst flash burn I ever got was from helping do some aluminum fitting for another welder. I was just holding pieces so I would just look away or close my eyes, when he tacked things up. Not a good plan, several hours later I got hit with some of the worst pain I have ever felt and had to go to the hospital to get anesthetic for my eyes. Learned my lesson that night for sure.

    Even if your helmet doesn't stay dark, it will still filter you from UV and IR so you might get dazzled, but not burned. Try going through the settings for your helmet to make sure you are not missing something, and turn the delay up so that even if you block the sensor for a second, it will stay dark long enough to recover. For most things sensitivity up full and delay up full will be your best bet for low amp TIG.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  15. #15
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    ET melt steel.

    Welcome to the forum Jason!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonz172 View Post
    I didn't try this yet, but I did try adding some pulse to the arc, and I think it helps the mask stay on. Still some funny stuff going on with some flicker, but I just don't think i have the pulse set properly or something. Need to get more experience with everything. I had no idea about the credit card thickness thing, I imagine that would really help me control the pool better but so far I've been paranoid about dipping my tungsten into the metal. I will have to give it a try tomorrow.

    Thanks
    Don't worry about dipping the tungsten, it will happen a lot while you are learning. Just keep plenty of sharp ones at the ready so you don't have to stop and grind all the time. Sharpen both ends if you can live without the color coding. Just remember to get the tungsten out of the puddle BEFORE you back off of the pedal/switch. (As usual, don't ask me how I know)Name:  sembarrassed_100-105.gif
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  16. #16

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    I agree with Mark, check that the stick-out out less than 1/4", arc length short, helmet in tight (maybe turn your head to the side more to expose the sensors and see if there is a change). Also try different angles on the torch more towards vertical and see of that helps. You have nothing above that would be blocking the sensors on the lens right? Like working around a vertical piece.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneJackson View Post
    I thought the picture was an alien looking thru a window using it's mind powers to lift the corner of a bed.... Anal probe time. LOL

    Back on topic, jakeru what HF helmet do you have?
    It's a blue flame #678754 (with most of the blue flame stickers peeled off) I think I took the filter out of a newer red stripe helmet, and put them in the older blue flame shell. It's got the external shade control knob with the weld/grind settings.

    I've also got an old school passive shade jackson helmet that's in really, really rough shape - that's what students/customers/friends who want to watch get to use right now.
    '13 Everlast 255EXT
    '07 Everlast Super200P

  18. #18
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    I have both the red stripe and blue flame models and they work fine with low amp TIG. I would guess like most things HF there is a lot of unit to unit variation. I don't have much time on the blue one as it's here for non-blind people, because I have a major mag lens in the red one. I did find it typical HF that at least the blue one contradicts itself between the box that says OK for arc, MIG and TIG, and the instructions that say may not work for TIG. One thing I have noticed is that sunlight can mess things up, darkening when not desired and lightening at improper times, too. So That might be part of your issue.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  19. Default

    BTW, I did have problems getting flashed on low frequency with the blue flame helmet. I set the sensitivity high switch on the inside helmet and it worked for me.

  20. #20

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    I had the same problem with the first red flame one from HF, Returned it and tested the other one in the parking lot on some sunshine reflection on a car mirror. It works fine and i have had no issues. Used it welding pop cans at 20 amps on 185 did great. Better yet it was the $79.95 one with a coupon on sale for $49.95 and free 2 year replacement for $9.99.
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