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  • First Helmet?

    Ok, I am going to be starting welding school (1yr program) and would like to know what kind of helmet you would suggest. Should I go for the cheap one, or spring for the Big Window Elite?

    I'm leaning towards the Big Window simply because I consider it a good investment in my career, and I only have one set of eyes.
    It's not the voltage that gets you, it's the amps.

  • #2
    http://www.millermotorsports.com/mbo...=&threadid=941
    -Tanner

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    • #3
      Invest your money wisely! Buy The BIG WINDOW ELITE!!!
      5 Passport Pluses
      2 MM 212's
      MM 210
      MM 251 MIA
      MM 350 P w/Python
      Syncrowave 250
      w/ tig runner
      Trailblazer 302
      12RC w/meters
      Spectrum 1000
      Spectrum 2050
      2 Black BWEs
      Joker BWE
      Star & stripe BWE Digital
      2 star & stripe xlix's

      REAL TRUCKS RATTLE
      CUMMINS BABY

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      • #4
        the elite is real nice, and worth the money. though the headgear is a little lacking, at least for me, but i'm getting used to it.

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        • #5
          iso50,

          Since this is the way you are leaning, I think it is a wise choice, here is a review I did on this helmet a while back:

          HAWK
          Senior Member

          Registered: Jul 2003
          Location: East Tennessee
          Posts: 1299
          Miller Helmet: Big Window Elite
          To all interested in an excellent electronic welding hood:

          I received the Big Window Elite on Friday 13, 2004 and have had a lot of fun using it this week. It is by far the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. It is noticeably lighter than my other welding hoods. Adjustments are snap with this hood. It has the standard movements like head band, forward tilt, and amount of pressure required to lift and lower it. It also allows the operator to adjust the distance form your face to the inside front of the hood.

          The fit and finish are excellent. All the controls are inside leaving nothing to hit or break when welding in tight places. It has control knobs for on, shade 9-13, sensitivity, and delay. The knobs are large enough to be adjusted with a gloved hand (TIG style gloves only). The delay is adjustable from .1 seconds to more than 1 second. The sensitivity is very responsive. The shade adjustments accomodated everything I tried form 5 amps of DC tig to 325 amps with a 1/4" carbon rod. I spent some time with stick, mig, and carbon arc ; but I put more in on tig just to test response to the inverter arc, pulsing, and could I get it to flash me.

          I tried welding with overhead halogen lights, overhead flourescent lights, outdoors with overcast skies, inside a nearly dark warehouse backlit with garage door window lighting, etc. I ran a variety of amperage welds from 5 amps to 200 amps on my Dynasty with slow and fast pulse rates as well as no pulse. I never got flashed. When I dropped down to 70 amps on 1.5 PPS I could see the arc pulsating narrow to wide in sync with the machine noise, but the Big Window Elite was not at all bothered by the pulsing inverter arc. On fast pulsing the helmet responded equally well. Under no condition did I have a problem with this helmet.

          Is there anything I don't like about the Big Window Elite? Yes. I am used to a solar helmet like the Optrel Satellite and will have to get used to pushing the on button. If you don't strike an arc for about 15 minutes it will turn off.

          I must say that the Miller Big Window Elite has found a warm spot next to my welding jacket and gloves. It has fast become one of my favorite pieces of welding equipment. I am thoroughly impressed with this new electronic welding hood.

          Will I shelve my Optrel Satellite? No. It too is a fine helmet. I think it boils down to personal preference. If pressed to choose one over the other I would have to pick both!


          __________________
          Good Luck

          HAWK



          Last edited by HAWK on 02-20-2004 at 11:09 PM

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          • #6
            Auto Darkening Helmets

            Hi,

            I have been welding a couple of years now and I started out with an auto darkening helmet, a Speedglass 9000v. This much I can tell you from experience, you probably don't need one for Mig welding. However it makes learning stick and tig alot easier. For stick welding it lets you watch the arc start and not try to start the arc blind. It is also a big help with scratch start Tig. There is also less chance of you flashing yourself. Buy the best you can afford you won't regret it. The cheap auto darkening helmets aren't the bargin they seem and you will probably wind up buying a good one later anyway. Most of the welders I know that don't have one want one.

            W. Hatter

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            • #7
              An autodark helmet will make life easier while learning to strike an arc using SMAW. But I would advise you to learn how to do it with a $20 helmet. You may not always have the luxury of an autodark helment. And you won't want to look like a noob when you don't.

              One downside to autodark helmets not often mentioned is more internal light reflections. The lenses are made of several layers of glass, plastic, and liquid crystals. The more surfaces, each layer has two, the more reflections. All things being the same, an old fashioned helmet will give better vision than any autodark.

              Also, an expensive autodark helmet may not be an economical choice some times. For instance, if you are doing overhead flux-core welding with a T8 wire, and molten slag or metal falls on your cheap helmet, replacing the lens is pretty cheap. Not so for an expensive autodark.

              That said, my first helmet was a cheapo Huntsman with a 4 x 5 lens. That was followed by a used Jackson autodark picked up from a friend at a reasonable price. It has since been retired. I currently have a Jackson Nextgen which I paid $0 for. I use it and the Hunstman about equally depending on what I am doing.

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              • #8
                Hawk,

                Which do you like better the Miller or the Optrel Satellite?

                The are about the same price online.
                It's not the voltage that gets you, it's the amps.

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                • #9
                  iso50,

                  I will probably get kicked for this, but.... Quick history lesson. When I learned to weld the Hunstman Fiber Board helmets were popular especially among pipe and bellows welders/installers. E hoods were not around so I learned with a green glass lens and swapped them out for a while and then bought a second helmet. Man that was great!

                  With the advent of electronic auto darkening hoods I thought they all would be good. Long story short: Wrong!

                  I PREFER THE MILLER BIG WINDOW ELITE. IT IS LIGHTER AND FITS ME BETTER. ALL IN ALL A VERY COMFORTABLE WELDING HOOD. THE CONTROLS ARE INSIDE. IT ALSO USES A SOLAR ASSIST BATTERY POWER SYSTEM THAT REALLY PROLONGS BATTERY LIFE. THIS MEANS THE HOOD SHOULD LAST A LONG TIME(3000-4000 HOURS PER SET OF BATTERIES). IT HAS NEVER FLASHED ME IN ANY POSITION OR PROCESS! FOR GRINDING I DECREASE THE SENSITIVITY KNOB TO KEEP THE HOOD FROM DARKENING.

                  The Optrel Satellite is totally solar powered which is very convenient not to have an on switch, but will probably burn out in 5 years. Mine has not burned out yet, but I really don't use it any more except for some plasma work and to have as an awesome back up hood. Its controls are all outside and it has a grind mode switch.

                  These are some basic differences and both are fine units. When I say I prefer the Miller I mean it. It has nothing to do with the site I am posting to or my friendships with a number of great Miller employees. I SAY IT BECAUSE I MEAN IT!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Hawk! I was wondering considering the instructor said his was the none Miller one, but I have to wonder how long he got it, maybe the Big Window wasn't available at that time.

                    I'm getting my Miller helmet next week, or at least ordering it.
                    It's not the voltage that gets you, it's the amps.

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                    • #11
                      Buy the best that you can afford. An auto dark makes the learning curve a little shorter because you know where you are starting without being in the dark. I know that sounds lame to some but I have all types of hood and when my son learned to TIG it was much better to see what is there in terms of set up rather than just hitting the pedal to see where you are. I bought a satelite right before the Miller came out so I can not give a good comparison but I do like like the features of the satelite as covered here some time ago. I am sure the Miller is as good or better than has been reported here and will be my next hood if only because it is made here! Good Luck, JEFF
                      200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the input.


                        I just ordered my Miller Big Window Elite today!
                        It's not the voltage that gets you, it's the amps.

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                        • #13
                          CONGRATS! I don't think that you'll be disappointed!
                          Bulldog
                          5 Passport Pluses
                          2 MM 212's
                          MM 210
                          MM 251 MIA
                          MM 350 P w/Python
                          Syncrowave 250
                          w/ tig runner
                          Trailblazer 302
                          12RC w/meters
                          Spectrum 1000
                          Spectrum 2050
                          2 Black BWEs
                          Joker BWE
                          Star & stripe BWE Digital
                          2 star & stripe xlix's

                          REAL TRUCKS RATTLE
                          CUMMINS BABY

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Probably going to be a few weeks before I can use it
                            It's not the voltage that gets you, it's the amps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              after thought

                              aparently you have already made your order but thought i would mention it anyway.
                              posted here just recently (another helmit question) a person got a satilite on the web and its soler cell apers to be dead .and now has to find out if it can be replaced by the mfg. if it were a big window he would just change the battery and be off welding.how long dose the cell last ????????
                              big window is the way to go and you are there you should have no regrets.
                              good luck with class
                              thanks for the help
                              ......or..........
                              hope i helped
                              sigpic
                              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                              JAMES

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