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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Sarkikos
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They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case
      #5916416 - 06/12/13 06:54 AM

Yesterday I bought a new Harbor Freight Tools large case (17" x 12" inside dimensions). It only cost about $19 with coupon. I did this as a cheap quick way to get fresh foam for a new arrangement of eyepieces.

This will be the last time I ever buy an HFT large case. I must have bought at least a half-dozen of these cases over the years. But the foam they use now is flimsy and too easy to tear. The old foam was stiff, stayed in place, and did not tear at the seams just because you take an eyepiece in and out of the case. The new foam sucks eggs.

Also, the two tabs inside the top cover near the hinge are metal now, not hard plastic. I suppose the manufacturer looks on this as an improvement, but it doesn't help me. These tabs often get in the way of eyepieces stored near the hinge. Usually I hacksawed those tabs off in my old HFT cases. That would take a lot more effort now that they are metal.

So I advise everyone to stay away from the large Harbor Freight Tools case for storing eyepieces. They have ruined a good thing.

Mike


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MRNUTTY
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916443 - 06/12/13 07:28 AM

bummer Mike. Thx for the heads up!

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csrlice12
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5916499 - 06/12/13 08:29 AM

A quick Dremmel tool would make short work of the tabs, I just don't put anything in the case where the tabs would hit truthfully. I will be replacing the foam though. Theres a few mattress/Upholstry companies here in town so raw materials shouldn't be a problem. The case itself is actually pretty sturdy and is still a good buy for the price.

On my "accessory case" I used the dividers and used the pluck foam and placed it it the lid because it placed just enough pressure to keep everything within the borders created by the dividers.


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MRNUTTY
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916505 - 06/12/13 08:36 AM

Mike, when did you last buy one? I think mine were like that. I bought them about a year ago.

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5916508 - 06/12/13 08:40 AM

I don't have a Dremmel tool. Not everyone has. When the tabs where hard-plastic, all you needed was a little hacksaw. But I only took them off if I was using the case for eyepieces. I pack my cases, so some eyepieces are pretty close to the hinge line.

I don't see buying the case and then having to replace the foam. I already have several of these cases that I can reutilize if I can find good replacement foam for them. I want some pick-n-pluck foam, not something I have to freeze and then cut with a knife. I'm not doing that.

But I won't be buying any more of the cases, period. HFT is done. Stick a fork in it.

I had a big bag of the wooden dividers. I threw most of them away. I experimented with putting them in a case, but didn't think much of it. Especially for eyepieces, I don't want those hard wood dividers in the case.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5916511 - 06/12/13 08:42 AM

Quote:

Mike, when did you last buy one? I think mine were like that. I bought them about a year ago.




I bought the last case yesterday. Before that, I think I bought one last Fall. At that time, they had already made the change to metal tabs, but the case still had the good firm pick-n-pluck foam. The foam they have in it now is not good enough for gerbils to tear apart for nesting.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916538 - 06/12/13 09:00 AM

Anyone know a good source for decent pick-n-pluck foam to fit a case that has 17" by 12" inside dimensions?

Mike


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Jaimo!
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916547 - 06/12/13 09:08 AM

Mike, you need to get yourself a "Dremmel Tool"... I hear HFT has them for cheap.



Sorry, couldn't help myself,
Jaimo!


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916550 - 06/12/13 09:12 AM

This looks like a possibility for replacement foam for the HFT case.

1501 3 pc Replacement Foam Ser for Pelican 1500 Case

The Pelican 1500 Case might be the closest equivalent to the HFT Case in inside dimensions. The pick-n-pluck layer for the 1500 is 11-1/2 x 17-1/4. I measured the HFT Case as approx. 12 x 17. I'll have to remeasure more accurately to see if the 1500 stuff will work.

I might end up buying a 1500 Case. I know for sure I can get replacement foam to fit it whenever I want.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Jaimo!]
      #5916553 - 06/12/13 09:14 AM

Quote:

Mike, you need to get yourself a "Dremmel Tool"... I hear HFT has them for cheap.



Sorry, couldn't help myself,
Jaimo!




Buy tools at Harbor Freight Tools? You're kidding, right?

Seriously, I've bought hex keys and such at HFT, but never anything more sophisticated than that. It would be like buying a household appliance at an Ollie's Bargain Store. Can you say "refurbished?"

But the point is moot, because I won't need a Dremmel to cut the tabs since I'm never buying another HFT case.

Mike


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Starman81
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916623 - 06/12/13 09:58 AM

Yep, they sure have. I still bought one though for random accessories and I am using a mix of some of the terrible foam and the dividers. It will suffice for that, but I would never store eyepieces in a case with foam like this.

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Starman81]
      #5916659 - 06/12/13 10:27 AM

It was a good deal before. I put as many as 30 eyepieces in one case and never had a problem. Now it has shoddy foam.

Mike


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Starman81
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916668 - 06/12/13 10:36 AM

I hear ya, I am still using mine from last year for my EPs. I get the whole argument that you spend $$$ on EPs to have a $25 case is somewhat foolish, I get that and was about to order a Pelican Storm case but then I looked at the HF case and the foam and it's doing a good job, one year later. Yeah it won't last forever and isn't waterproof or breakproof but as long as I am careful, I think I can get another couple years (if I really wanted to) before feeling like I need to replace the foam and if you need to replace the foam, might as well replace the case, since the case was so cheap to begin with.

[/ramble]


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Starman81]
      #5916716 - 06/12/13 11:01 AM

My HFT cases have lasted at least six years now. None of them have fallen apart at the hinges, none of the handles have broken. But now the shoddy foam ruins the whole deal. So you pay $20 for the case, then $40 for good foam? That's $60 already. Maybe it's time to start shopping for another case.

I think the Pelican 1500 case comes nearest in size to the HFT large case. But the 1500 is at least $100. Might be a good deal, though, if you intend to keep using the same case for years and years, and you have some expensive eyepieces you don't want to worry about. I'm finally getting to that position.

A plus for the 1500 - and other Pelican cases - is that the foam can be easily replaced from many sources. Also, the 1500 appears to be deeper than the HFT case. That would make it easier and safer to store long eyepieces vertically, which is the way I like to do it to save space - and store more eyepieces.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916731 - 06/12/13 11:06 AM

Yellow might be nice. Easier to see at the dark site.

Pelican 1500 Case with Foam (Yellow)

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916734 - 06/12/13 11:09 AM

In the reviews, I noticed some guy used his 1500 case to transport a Wii unit. Talk about a pig in a poke. He should have just thrown that mess in an HFT case.


Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916739 - 06/12/13 11:12 AM

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

Mike


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Geo31
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916748 - 06/12/13 11:18 AM

I wsa just planning on bending the metal tabs flat against the side of the top. I figured that would also help hold in the upper foam.

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Geo31]
      #5916755 - 06/12/13 11:27 AM

That would work, too. Be careful, though, because IIRC those tabs are involved with the hinges, and you might weaken the case by bending the tabs.

Since the HFT cases now have the metal tabs and the shoddy foam, they are a lost cause for me. I'll keep the HFT cases I already have and work around the problems, but I'm not buying anymore of them.

Mike


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ibase
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5916824 - 06/12/13 12:05 PM

Quote:


I think the Pelican 1500 case comes nearest in size to the HFT large case. But the 1500 is at least $100. Might be a good deal, though, if you intend to keep using the same case for years and years, and you have some expensive eyepieces you don't want to worry about. I'm finally getting to that position.

A plus for the 1500 - and other Pelican cases - is that the foam can be easily replaced from many sources. Also, the 1500 appears to be deeper than the HFT case. That would make it easier and safer to store long eyepieces vertically, which is the way I like to do it to save space - and store more eyepieces.





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



$32 "CDR-King" watertight case

Sample EP layout (vertical EP layout is also possible):



Below is side-by-side with the Pelican 1500:


Pelican 1500 top, CDR-King bottom

Not sure if this is available in the US, but maybe someone will import these there. Case review here.

Best,


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Matt Wallin
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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).

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ibase
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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,


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FirstSight
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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.


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FirstSight
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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".


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WesC
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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!


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Footbag
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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.


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johnnyha
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5917088 - 06/12/13 02:20 PM Attachment (18 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.


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Sarkikos
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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


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Sarkikos
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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


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Sarkikos
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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


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audioaficionado
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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.


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Adam Taylor
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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


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Starman81
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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)


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JimMo
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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.

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csrlice12
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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...

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Sarkikos
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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


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Sarkikos
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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


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Starman81
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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.

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Starman81
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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.


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taseng
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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.


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: taseng]
      #5918257 - 06/13/13 06:46 AM

Taseng,

I might get some of that for my HFT case, too. Maybe I'll set it up for planet/lunar eyepieces.

Mike


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gnowellsct
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5919457 - 06/13/13 07:59 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

Quote:


Seriously, I've bought hex keys and such at HFT, but never anything more sophisticated than that. It would be like buying a household appliance at an Ollie's Bargain Store. Can you say "refurbished?"


Mike




You don't want even to buy hex keys there. Crummy hex keys are a real problem. I got Bondhus. Or is it bondus.

I have an eyepice box where a problem developed with the handle and to my dismay it was no longer sold at Lowes. I was wondering what to do. Then the exact same design, differnt color, showed up at Sears about six months later. So I'm using that. I like this particular box becacause there are four interior corner supports which hold up a board that holds the eyepieces.


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csrlice12
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5920368 - 06/14/13 11:00 AM

Nice set of Pentax's you got going there....

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5920387 - 06/14/13 11:15 AM

My Pelican 1550 case (yellow) should be arriving today from B&H. I'll have all weekend to organize and set up the case for my deep sky eyepieces. Well, actually I have until next New Moon - about three weeks - but I want to get a jump start on it. I should be able to fit all the intended eyepieces and even the Paracorr II vertically, which will allow more space for eyepieces or accessories.

Mike


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csrlice12
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5920435 - 06/14/13 11:51 AM

I have the Pelican Storm 2200, and the Pentax 5 and 3.5 were just too tall for the case. It would close, but that put too much downward pressure on them, so I got some new foam ($25 for 2 pieces Pelican branded pluckfoam) and the 3.5, 5, and 7mm are all now nicely laying down for a nap. The others were fine standing up. Just enough room in the case for the 30 - 3.5 XWs with enough room left over for the antique Kellner.

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Stargaz18
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: ibase]
      #5920463 - 06/14/13 12:04 PM

In my humble opinion HF tools are for emergency ONE time use only. If it doesn't break and you get more uses out of it count yourself as lucky

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csrlice12
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Stargaz18]
      #5920465 - 06/14/13 12:06 PM

I've actually used the HF reciprocating saw quite a bit. Works great trimming tree limbs. Yea, it was cheap, but it works.....

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5920480 - 06/14/13 12:14 PM

Quote:

I have the Pelican Storm 2200, and the Pentax 5 and 3.5 were just too tall for the case. It would close, but that put too much downward pressure on them, so I got some new foam ($25 for 2 pieces Pelican branded pluckfoam) and the 3.5, 5, and 7mm are all now nicely laying down for a nap. The others were fine standing up. Just enough room in the case for the 30 - 3.5 XWs with enough room left over for the antique Kellner.




From what I've seen online, the Storm 2200 is 6" deep inside, while the 1550 is 7.6". Hope that is deep enough so all my XW's and Delos can stand up in the case. It should be. But I should find out later today.

Mike


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csrlice12
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5920493 - 06/14/13 12:23 PM

That should be tall enough, it was only about 1/2 - 3/4 inch too short for them to all be standing upright without the lid being hard to close.

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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5920499 - 06/14/13 12:26 PM

Quote:

I've actually used the HF reciprocating saw quite a bit. Works great trimming tree limbs. Yea, it was cheap, but it works.....




Ditto. Just realized I could cut limbs with it the other day. My wife looked over and realized she could use it for some of her garden work. The reciprocating saw is one of the good ones, for $29.99.

I also like the Rotary Hammer, which for $62.99 was cheaper then most of the Hammer Drills I was looking at. Heck, it was cheaper then renting. I drilled 15 8" holes in granite, expecting it to die. It's still going and I'm considering other projects just because I have the tool.

I've joked with my brother that somebody must be losing money on HF tools. My guess is the Chinese factories are just dumping the stuff, but every so often, they put out a good product. You may have to look for a while before finding it, but there are a few of them.

Edited by Footbag (06/14/13 12:29 PM)


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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Footbag]
      #5920573 - 06/14/13 01:03 PM

I'd love to find a drill attachment to cut out pieces of granite much like doorknob hole drilling attachments. I have a 1.5" thick slab of Granite left over from countertop installation (sink cutout) that I would love to use to make matching "handles" for my kitchen cabinets...

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taseng
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: taseng]
      #5920945 - 06/14/13 05:09 PM

Quote:

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.




The foam arrived today and it is not the same quality as Pelican p&p foam. It is about the same as the HF foam it's replacing. Next time I will look for something better.


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Achernar
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5921359 - 06/14/13 10:12 PM

There's a reason why Harbor Freight has also been known as "Horrible Freight," and you just found it.

Taras


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: taseng]
      #5921871 - 06/15/13 09:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




The foam arrived today and it is not the same quality as Pelican p&p foam. It is about the same as the HF foam it's replacing. Next time I will look for something better.




Thanks for trying that foam and letting us know how it is. Sorry it wasn't up to snuff.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5922165 - 06/15/13 12:08 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Here is my new Pelican 1550 case fitted out for deep sky:

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Sarkikos
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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5922166 - 06/15/13 12:09 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Another view of my deep sky collection:

Top row: ES 100 9mm, ES 100 14mm, ES 82 30mm, 1.5x Barlow assembly, 2.28x Baader Barlow, Paracorr II

2nd row from top: Alternate visual back, Radian 3, XW 3.5, Radian 4, Delos 4.5, XW 5

3rd row from top: Delos 6, XW 7, LVW 8, XW 10, Sterling 12.5, Sterling 17, Sterling 20

Bottom row: XW 20, Meade 5000 UWA 24, Sterling 25, Titan-II 40, Baader Hyperion Zoom 8-24


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Re: They've Ruined the Harbor Freight Tools Large Case new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5948350 - 06/30/13 05:00 PM

Reviving this thread...

I removed the metal tabs in the top today. Took about twenty minutes tops.

I pulled up the foam lining the edge of the top and it revealed the metal tab was installed with the hinge rivet. A little bending and twisting and I was able to pull the tab off easy peasy.

Now I was faced with a rivet that was no longer mushroomed over the surface is was inserted through. I took a large Phillips head screw driver and put it on top of the rivet and a couple of whacks with a hammer and the Phillips head split the rivet and then a few whacks with the hammer on the rivet and it was now good as new. Note, you need to support the back of the rivet when hitting it with the hammer. I just placed that portion of the top on my workbench with the bottom hanging off in space. Easy peasy.

Just press or glue the side foam back in place.

Turns out if you put the top egg crate foam under the P&P foam, the P&P foam is flush with the edge of the bottom of the case. Now I'm just going to get some 1.5" egg crate foam and it will be done. All that is left is to cut the P&P foam.


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