Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
Matt Wallin
member
*****

Reged: 01/29/12

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: ibase]
      #5916865 - 06/12/13 12:24 PM

Why are you guys cheaping out on cases? Just buy a Pelican case and be done with it for life. They make every size you could imagine and replacement foam and deviders are readily available. Spending many hundreds to thousands of dollars on eyepieces, filters etc. then quibling over an incremental $60 on the case is just foolish, go for some quality protection for your glass. Also get some reusable silca gel moisture absorber packs while you are at it, Pelicans seal air tight! (I am in no way associated with Pelican, just a very impressed and happy owner).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ibase
Vendor Affiliate
*****

Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Matt Wallin]
      #5916877 - 06/12/13 12:29 PM

Um.. because we're cheap? (at least I am LOL)

Seriously, the replacement Pelican is actually good for the money, as pointed out in a comparison in the blog review.

Best,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916891 - 06/12/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

These Pelican cases are so nice I might buy a separate smaller one for my small planet/lunar eyepieces.

Mike




I used to use a close cousin of the Harbor Freight case, aka the famous "Lowe's Case" for my eyepiece case. (I think) they used to come with decent pluck foam.

However, I concluded several years ago that once you accumulate a few relatively expensive eyepieces, say cumulatively over about a thousand dollars worth, these inexpensive cases become penny-wise and pound foolish, and the prudent choice is to purchase the right-size Pelican or Storm case for your eyepiece collection. Look at it this way: your eyepieces are collectively worth on the order of one to three thousand dollars, whereas the top-of-the-line Storm/Pelican type case costs only on the order of a hundred to hundred-fifty dollars, versus twenty-something for the Harbor Freight type case. That eighty to hundred twenty dollar difference in case price is cheap insurance over the medium to long-term; Storm/Pelican latches and hinges won't fail from an impact, Harbor Freight-grade cases are DEFINITELY vulnerable to failure and warping from the impact of a fall onto a hard surface. Been there, done that.

The default configuration for Storm/Pelican cases is that they come with high-grade pluck foam which I initially used with the Storm 2400 case I keep my Nagler collection, filters, Parcorr, and Powermates in, but some time ago I switched to the padded divider configuration because I double-nest my EPs in individual bolt cases inside the Storm case. Of course, my approach with the double-nesting is a bit of overkill, and the Storm/Pelican case with a foam bed will prudently suffice for many people's tastes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Matt Wallin]
      #5916903 - 06/12/13 12:44 PM

Quote:

Why are you guys cheaping out on cases? Just buy a Pelican case and be done with it for life. They make every size you could imagine and replacement foam and deviders are readily available. Spending many hundreds to thousands of dollars on eyepieces, filters etc. then quibling over an incremental $60 on the case is just foolish, go for some quality protection for your glass.




THIS!!! The classic way of phrasing this piece of valuable advice is that one should not be "penny wise and pound foolish".


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5917035 - 06/12/13 01:50 PM

I've never understood how people can say that they see the value in having a case for their very expensive EP collection, but can't see the value in getting a GOOD one. Its just a matter of time until one of those cheap plastic latches fails and thousands of dollars in EPs are falling to their doom.

I'm going with a Pelican. I buy them for my rifles too. I watched a guy at a match dump his $3,500 rifle with a $2,500 optic onto the asphalt because he cheaped out on a knock off case and the latches failed.

Harbor Freight is cheap Chinese garbage. Its the Dollar Store of hardware stores. I have a friend who is so cheap he won't even buy a decent tool at Sears, but he will buy the same cheap Chinese tool over and over again from HF because he thinks he's saving money. It breaks and he goes back and buys it again. He never realizes that between buying multiple times and the cost of traveling 30 minutes to that store repeatedly, he could've bought Snap-On!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: WesC]
      #5917056 - 06/12/13 02:05 PM

I have a bunch of the Harbor Freight cases. I've noticed a lot of telescope manufacturers shipping their equipment in the same exact cases. Harbor Freight imports them, but so do a lot of scope manufacturers. Considering what other vendors charge for foam, I suspect that is one of the most expensive parts.

As for their tools, you can do well at Harbor Freight. You just have to shop wisely. The Chicago Electric product is just as good as any "entry-level" power tool from a real manufacturer. It's likely half the price though. I have a Rotary hammer I'm very happy with. This may be because name brands are putting out cheaper product, but we've already fallen into the pit of who can make it cheaper.

What you do need to look out for is their "no-name" brands. Their circular saws aren't any good, but they are $29.99. They are at least as good as a cheap $50 name brand one though.

As for other items, I'll buy levels, hammers, etc.. from them. I test the levels before waling out the door.

I usually Harbor Freight stuff instead of renting it. It's cheaper then renting and no time limit. If it stops working, I return it. Fortunately, they put the warranty in writing.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917088 - 06/12/13 02:20 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Quote:

These Pelican cases are so nice I might buy a separate smaller one for my small planet/lunar eyepieces.

Mike




I use the 1470 laptop case for my binoviewing eyepieces...

KK VT's on left side of case, Brandon flat tops right, and in the middle Pan 24s, 13T6s, 16 and 10mm ZAO-IIs, Astro Hutech HC 18s, Kasai Astroplan 20s, and TV Plossl 20s.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: ibase]
      #5917101 - 06/12/13 02:27 PM

Quote:

+1 on the Pelican 1500; also found locally a $32 case similar to the Pelican:





Looks as good as the Pelican. You can't beat it for $32. I wish I could find one locally or at that price online.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Matt Wallin]
      #5917104 - 06/12/13 02:28 PM

Quote:

Why are you guys cheaping out on cases? Just buy a Pelican case and be done with it for life. They make every size you could imagine and replacement foam and deviders are readily available. Spending many hundreds to thousands of dollars on eyepieces, filters etc. then quibling over an incremental $60 on the case is just foolish, go for some quality protection for your glass. Also get some reusable silca gel moisture absorber packs while you are at it, Pelicans seal air tight! (I am in no way associated with Pelican, just a very impressed and happy owner).




I have a month until next New Moon trip to the dark site. No sense rushing into anything.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5917124 - 06/12/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

However, I concluded several years ago that once you accumulate a few relatively expensive eyepieces, say cumulatively over about a thousand dollars worth, these inexpensive cases become penny-wise and pound foolish, and the prudent choice is to purchase the right-size Pelican or Storm case for your eyepiece collection. Look at it this way: your eyepieces are collectively worth on the order of one to three thousand dollars, whereas the top-of-the-line Storm/Pelican type case costs only on the order of a hundred to hundred-fifty dollars, versus twenty-something for the Harbor Freight type case.




I think you're right. Since last October I've sold about $3300 (net) worth of eyepieces. I have 82 eyepieces now I want to keep, besides 20 others I definitely want to sell. So it might be a good idea to invest in a decent eyepiece case for my favorites I want to take to the dark site.


Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
audioaficionado
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917204 - 06/12/13 03:22 PM

If you have $$$$ or even $$$$$ worth of eye pieces, a $$$ case is a no brainer.

I have low $$$ invested so far so that HF case is a good fit.

Maybe I'll eventually get some premium glass. If that time comes, I'll upgrade for sure.


I'm not too happy with those metal tabs either. I'll Dremel them out before I use it. If that pluck foam sucks too much, I'll just get a $20 HF hot knife and make my own cutouts with new foam.

I can't believe how much the cost of upholstery foam has gone up.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Adam Taylor
insignificant bystander
*****

Reged: 11/11/10

Loc: Arizona
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917211 - 06/12/13 03:25 PM

Harbor Freight is hit-and-miss. I found this case to be a decent value:

Zeikos ZE-HC36 Medium Hard Case


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5917249 - 06/12/13 03:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

These Pelican cases are so nice I might buy a separate smaller one for my small planet/lunar eyepieces.

Mike




I used to use a close cousin of the Harbor Freight case, aka the famous "Lowe's Case" for my eyepiece case. (I think) they used to come with decent pluck foam.

However, I concluded several years ago that once you accumulate a few relatively expensive eyepieces, say cumulatively over about a thousand dollars worth, these inexpensive cases become penny-wise and pound foolish, and the prudent choice is to purchase the right-size Pelican or Storm case for your eyepiece collection. Look at it this way: your eyepieces are collectively worth on the order of one to three thousand dollars, whereas the top-of-the-line Storm/Pelican type case costs only on the order of a hundred to hundred-fifty dollars, versus twenty-something for the Harbor Freight type case. That eighty to hundred twenty dollar difference in case price is cheap insurance over the medium to long-term; Storm/Pelican latches and hinges won't fail from an impact, Harbor Freight-grade cases are DEFINITELY vulnerable to failure and warping from the impact of a fall onto a hard surface. Been there, done that.

The default configuration for Storm/Pelican cases is that they come with high-grade pluck foam which I initially used with the Storm 2400 case I keep my Nagler collection, filters, Parcorr, and Powermates in, but some time ago I switched to the padded divider configuration because I double-nest my EPs in individual bolt cases inside the Storm case. Of course, my approach with the double-nesting is a bit of overkill, and the Storm/Pelican case with a foam bed will prudently suffice for many people's tastes.




Though the difference is only $125 between a $25 HF case and the $150 Pelican Storm that I was eyeing, it is the multiplier effect (8X the cost) that makes me hesitate a little bit when my HF case is 'doing the job' for now. And of course, an 'accident' is a total game-changer.

Edit: I forgot to mention, the Storm case was something like 16 lbs empty, while my HF case is I think maybe 7 lbs. That is kind of a big difference, to lug out another ~10 lbs for some of my quicker sessions doesn't sound fun.

Edited by Starman81 (06/12/13 04:02 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Starman81]
      #5917287 - 06/12/13 04:20 PM

I just retired my last Lowes case when I re-foamed two 1550 Pelican cases I've had for a while. They are now reconfigured with all my glass, collimation tools, telrad, filters, and two hand controllers with their cables. The Lowes cases were fine when I first started out, but with the nicer eyepieces I now have the Pelican cases will protect them well as they are basically indestructible.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: JimMo]
      #5917313 - 06/12/13 04:34 PM

I have my Pentax's in a Pelican Storm 2200; but the Accessories, the TVs and Orthos are in Harbor Freight cases. The ESs are in bolt cases in a cloth case...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Adam Taylor]
      #5917773 - 06/12/13 09:31 PM

Quote:

Harbor Freight is hit-and-miss. I found this case to be a decent value:

Zeikos ZE-HC36 Medium Hard Case




That one's very interesting. Looks to have the same internal measurements as the 1550, except the Zeikos is a couple inches wider inside. $65 for the Zeikos compared to $125 for the 1550 at B&H. So the 1550 is nearly twice as much, at the lowest price I've seen.

The Zeikos has wheels and a handle, but I don't want that for a case that will contain expensive, fragile equipment. Am I going to roll it down my three flights of stairs to get it down to ground level, and then roll it over a grassy field at my dark site? I don't think so. I don't roll any of my fragile astronomy equipment. I carry it.

Overall, the 1550 is looking real good to me.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917812 - 06/12/13 09:51 PM

Well, I just bit the bullet - or is that pulled the trigger? - and ordered a yellow Pelican 1550 case from B&H. They had the next to lowest price I could find for a new 1550. Another company was about a buck lower. But I've dealt with B&H before, was pleased with their service, and wanted to give them more of my business.

Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917981 - 06/12/13 11:26 PM

You didn't consider the Pelican Storm cases with their easier to open latches? I'm perusing those models for the 10th time now.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Starman81]
      #5918017 - 06/12/13 11:52 PM

Quote:


Edit: I forgot to mention, the Storm case was something like 16 lbs empty, while my HF case is I think maybe 7 lbs. That is kind of a big difference, to lug out another ~10 lbs for some of my quicker sessions doesn't sound fun.




This statement of mine was misleading. For a Storm case that is a similar size to the Harbor Freight Case, we would be looking at the iM2400 model which weighs in at a nominally higher 7.8 lbs. The heavier case that supposedly weighs 16 lbs is the iM2700 and even then, that 16 lbs is only the shipping weight, the real weight is 14.4 lbs, and that is a good deal larger.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
taseng
member
*****

Reged: 04/27/13

Loc: South Dade
Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Starman81]
      #5918021 - 06/12/13 11:59 PM

I just ordered foam for my new HF case.
http://www.foambymail.com/charcoal-pick-and-pluck-foam.html
The foam that comes in the HF case is cheap and not thick enough. I'm replacing it with 2 layers of 1-1/2" P&P foam with a 1/2" solid bottom layer.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
10 registered and 11 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  ausastronomer, Scott in NC, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1689

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics