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Author Topic: Harbor Freight Items  (Read 12946 times)
K6LCS
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« on: May 15, 2012, 12:53:58 PM »

Two items on the Harbor freight weekly newspaper ad jumped out at me today ...

The first is one of those "jump starter" batteries in a plastic case with handle, jumper cables, meter, et al. This one is probably a 10-12AH sealed lead acid one. Its case is not "sonic welded" - so we can get inside and "improve" the panel with whatever jacks we want (grin). Here's the instruction manual for more description - $33.99 this week ...

http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/38000-38999/38391.pdf

The second item is a "mechanic's roller seat." I can see my 12V marine batery on its bottom platform ... a mounted radio or two on the top (might replace that "padded seat" with a simple piece of shelving), and have a "rolling" cart for a portable setup. On tale for $17.99 this week.

http://www.harborfreight.com/mechanics-roller-seat-3338.html

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com
W9GB
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 01:17:25 PM »

Read the reviews of the "Mechanic's Roller Seat".  
Issues with the casters being of poor quality, from actual people who have purchased item.
http://www.harborfreight.com/mechanics-roller-seat-3338.html
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 01:23:00 PM »

I got some of their sectional fiberglass rods for pulling wires through conduit.  These
have metal ferrules on the ends, male on one end and female on the other (with
metric threads.)  I cut some of the elements in half and am using them to make a yagi
antenna with removable elements by soldering a wire to the ferrule and running it
along the rod, then covering the whole assembly with heat shrink tubing.  So far the
director and reflector are working, but I got stalled on the feedpoint details.
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WB3BEL
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 01:35:18 PM »

I got some of their sectional fiberglass rods for pulling wires through conduit.  These
have metal ferrules on the ends, male on one end and female on the other (with
metric threads.)  I cut some of the elements in half and am using them to make a yagi
antenna with removable elements by soldering a wire to the ferrule and running it
along the rod, then covering the whole assembly with heat shrink tubing.  So far the
director and reflector are working, but I got stalled on the feedpoint details.

I am guessing that you are trying to make some kind of VHF Yagi since these wire pulling kit fiberglass rods are pretty short. Maybe 2m??? How many elements?

What I would do is design the Yagi driven element  incorporating a hairpin match.  You can then make the driven element socket with the hairpin and coax cable attached with a suitable common choke or ferrite core and then the elements could still screw in similar fashion to the directors and reflectors.

If you need some help with the Yagi dimensions just give details about what you are trying to do and someone will likely jump in with some advice...
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WX7G
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 01:59:26 PM »

The jump starter looks good and from the manual page 5, TABLE 2 it has a 20 A-H battery.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 02:02:24 PM by WX7G » Logged
WD4MTW
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 05:13:41 PM »

You get what you pay for Clint. I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. We have two of these in the vehicles and one of the packs with a combined AC inverter sitting in the house for an emergency. They're essentially pitch and toss after the battery dies. We used to have 3 of the larger, 650A/1200 peak versions that were identical except for the big bump on the back to accommodate the larger gel cell that lasted about 2-3 years. Once the battery dies, it's not worth the cost to replace. The batteries cost more then we paid for the first power packs and shipping. There's really no charge circuit to speak of, just a trickle charge from a small transformer that can take days or a faster charge from your vehicle's cig. lighter.....er we don't say that anymore...aux power jack. The meter is a cheap iron vane type that shows the battery voltage when the button is pressed. The LED only shows that the unit is charging and is not a charge complete indicator. The case is a sort of flimsy blowmold with little room for anything else. That's all besides the flashlight which can be very handy fumbling under your hood during the dark or emergency light source. Good for what it is. Outside of making up a power pole pigtail or dedicated cable to a radio from the jack, it's not worth the effort. Even if you were to bolt on a small, cheap inverter, one of the packs that has one built in would still be far cheaper. Poke around to see if you can find a 20% off or other discount coupon code before you buy.
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AD4U
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 06:11:25 AM »

As others have posted, you kinda get what you pay for.  That being said I have purchased numerous items from Harbor Freight.  Most of the items are OK for ocassional use but are not what I would use in a professional shop.  But there are exceptions.

For example - I have found that their air tools work quite well.  I have several of their impact wrenches (1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch) that I use often for maintenance on my farm and in my business.  I also have a 1/2 inch air drill, and an air operated cut off tool that work well.

Probably the best deal I found was the little 800 watt 2 cycle generator that normally sells for around $149.  Every now and then they put it on sale for $89.  I had a 20% off coupon that they honored, and I got the generator for around $70. 

I don't know how many hours I should expect the generator to last before it wears out, but it seems to be well made.  Mine starts with a couple of pulls, runs well, is quiet, and it is light weight.  I haul it all over the farm in the back of a John Deere Gator.  I use it a lot to operate electric drills, lights, a small "Skill Saw", a small "Saws All", etc.

Your mileage and success may vary.

Dick  AD4U
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K7IOA
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 06:25:59 PM »

I have a 19" band saw from them that is going on 12 years and never been a problem.  The grinder stand I purchased is great, the belt sander does what it is suppose to.  Hand tools are mediocre, but it's what I carry in a bucket for emergency tasks at church or the range.  I wouldn't depend on them for a livelihood but not all is junk, just got to look at it with a discerning eye.  Lots of good reviews on many of their items.
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NO9E
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 07:10:37 AM »

I guess that one needs to evaluate every item at Harbor Freight separately. I bought a set of clamps, and they broke like they were made of plastic. I think in horror what could have happened if I had put them on my antenna.
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 07:16:52 AM »

Sometimes they temper metal too much to gain strength and it becomes brittle and is easily broken by uneven stress.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 09:28:57 AM »

On occasion someone will post here on eHam.com that a 900w generator is available from Harbor Freight for $89.95, which invariably starts a discussion on where, how and when because many can't find this generator at the posted price.

FYI, the July issue of American Rifleman (Published by the NRA) has two pages of coupons for Harbor Freight and one of them is for the noted generator at $89.95. 

So if you're interested in buying a cheap light duty generator, check your American Rifleman magazine or ask one of your hunting/shooting friends for his coupon.

K8AXW
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WD4MTW
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 09:42:58 PM »

Those of you that get the latest flyer and the store versions as well every other week will appreciate this. Some very good deals and great coupons, but I really like the multitester featured in the advertisement. Free aluminum flashlight coupon too.

http://www.brownebagracing.com/pictures/hf_tool_sale.pdf
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K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 04:34:40 AM »

OMG!!  Looked at that 'catalog' that 'MTW just referenced--and nearly split my sides laughing!  That is a great answer to the guy that continually says that Harbor Freight has good tools.

Thanks for the reference--and the laugh!
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KA5IPF
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 04:25:00 PM »

On occasion someone will post here on eHam.com that a 900w generator is available from Harbor Freight for $89.95, which invariably starts a discussion on where, how and when because many can't find this generator at the posted price.

FYI, the July issue of American Rifleman (Published by the NRA) has two pages of coupons for Harbor Freight and one of them is for the noted generator at $89.95. 

So if you're interested in buying a cheap light duty generator, check your American Rifleman magazine or ask one of your hunting/shooting friends for his coupon.

K8AXW

On sale at the local Harbor Freight (Texas) for $79.95.

Clif
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KA1BIN
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 01:25:24 AM »

This to add-

Harbor Freight runs at least a full page ad (sometimes two pages) every month in
Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines.

Also, they have different "types" of coupons. The Coupons that appear in magazines are the LOWEST prices, the same coupons offered in their monthly sales flyer that they mail out will be usually $1.00 or more higher in price for the exact same item, also any coupons offered by email will also be $1.00 or more for the same item.

Also, the 20% off coupons are NO LONGER accepted for generators, compressors, tool chests, automotive jacks, and a few other exclusions including all items that are already on sale and parking lot sales.

This change in the terms occurred about 2 or 3 years ago, back then the 20% coupon could be used on anything and everything.

Back in 2008 I bought a $699 7000 Watt Chinese generator for only $500, the generator was already on sale for $100 Off during their "Parking Lot" sale.
Those days are gone with them.

Steve

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