When you are doing welding activities, you need to ensure your safety as you do the job – and a helmet is very important for that purpose. Note that we are not talking about ordinary helmets – you must be dealing with an auto darkening one, as this will give your eyes sufficient protection without you continually raiding the helmet to inspect how your welding process is going.
If one day you are doing your work and you begin to notice that the helmet is having issues regarding the intensity of the flash appearing before your eyes, it could be time to replace the battery. If you need to be sure that the battery is wearing out, you just need to go out into the sum and view it through the lens of the helmet – if the lens is not protecting your eyes for more than a few seconds, then that is all the confirmation you need.
The good news is that getting replacement parts for a helmet is easy, so here are some steps you can take to fix the battery.
Do all auto-darkening helmets contain batteries?
If you are a beginner in the world of welding, it is important to know that you can get a wide range of helmets that use fixed internal batteries that you cannot replace, and these types usually have an extra solar panel for you to charge them in the sunlight before use.
However, there are newer helmets that use photovoltaic cells, and these are increasing in popularity. A common misconception is that solar powered helmets do not use batteries, which is not true. They do have batteries to act as a supplemental source of energy for the lens, but the main problem is when the batteries of these helmets die out, the lens will not work.
What tools do you need to do the repair?
You will need a hot glue gun, a dremel tool that has some abrasive cutting disks, some batteries (especially AAA or AA types), solder and soldering iron, and the helmet itself.
- The first step: finding the battery and exposing it
The top of the lens casing contains a solar cell, which you might think helps the helmet to recharge when left out in the sun – this is not usually the case. This section also contains some photosensors, whose job is to sense any ultraviolet light and darken the lens as when they do.
Place the helmet on the table for some support, and use the dremel tool to cut out a small square shape, about the size of a postage stamp. The square should be a shallow one. After cutting out the square, do not throw it always – it will come in handy later on. The battery should be left exposed after you are done so that you are able to see the polarity and lead locations of the battery itself.
Use precision nippers or a very thin blade screwdriver to pry the tabs of the battery upwards and break them loose. You need to be careful not to put too much pressure on them though; the point where they connect to the PCB should not break.
- Step 2: adding the new batteries
The battery holder leads should be close to you, and you must install them as the old ones were – red lead to the positive, and black lead to the negative polarity. It is important to cut out a small slot in the case of the LCD so that you can easily route out the holder leads.
After this, use the hot glue to install the slot and wire leads in their place. It is important for you to note two things: when you are installing two batteries, the first is for powering the analog circuits that control the processing of the light levels, and the second takes care of contrasting the voltage of the lens and determining how dark it will be.
After dremeling the casing to remove the old batteries, install the new set into the holder and mount them in the helmet using quality adhesive.
- Step 3: testing the batteries
Once you are done, you can then go out into the sun and see if they work properly.
Repairing a helmet should not be a very major issue, but make sure you are comfortable enough to use the tools in question. If you feel you cannot deal with them, then you can purchase a new helmet or take it for repair.