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Old 11-24-2012, 04:06 AM   #1
MJLavelle
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 2,753
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
Digital Color Inspection Camera for a REALLY low price!

I am just passing this on, in case you missed it. Harbor Freight Tools is having a Black Friday sale that lasts all weekend. Lots of good items to pick up, but one caught my eye:
http://www.harborfreight.com/digital...tm_source=1022

This is by no means a professional grade unit, but most of us will never need a Professional Grade Inspection Camera either. But it will be good for poking around in all of those places you just can't get eyes on, and this is finally at a price that I feel comfortable paying for something that can prove helpful or at least satisfy some curiosity.
It has 2 LED's at the camera head, for lighting things up. It will fit into a lot of places that you simply can not see. One note - the diameter is a bit large, so it will not fit down into spark plug holes. This almost killed the deal for me, but you have to spend at least twice this amount or probably much more to get a scope that will fit into spark plug holes. But for this price, I thought it was worth having around just to be able to see some hard to reach places.
I know there are better units around, and as I said, this is not for someone who will be using it every day. But I think it is a nice little addition to the toolbox.
I also used a One Time Use, 20% off coupon. You can find them online, or in the back of Car and Driver magazines each month, if you are not on Harbor Freight's mailing list. If you want to order it online, you can use code "22478559" to get the discount. So, my final cost was $48.00.
If it proves to be terrible, then Harbor Freight is great about returns. This sale runs through Sunday night online.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
love2drive330CI
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Good Posting MJLavelle!!!

I recently bought the Whistler inspection camera from HomeDepot for $99.00 which was pretty much the same except it comes with 9mm camera.

I was reading the reviews on the item you listed and there is a place to get the smaller camera:
(one of the reviews)
About 3 months ago I discovered that these units are actually made by a company called Autel. If you break your imager or need a different size/better clarity you can find them for sale online. I personally replaced my original 17mm imager head with the 8.5mm version (AULMVIHC85). Be aware there are different connector versions with this unit (depending on age), mine uses a single wire in the connector.
----------------

I wasn't thrilled with the Whistler since you have to get an adaptor to convert the video output to laptop to record(have not done this yet). I was able to go from DISA down to cylinder head. Just takes some getting used to with twisting/turning the flex tube. The picture is OK. I feel it would be worth $50.00ish. I am considering returning mine to home depot and purchasing the item you listed.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
Solidjake
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Damn, that's a pretty bad ass tool!
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 PM   #4
MJLavelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love2drive330CI View Post
Good Posting MJLavelle!!!

I recently bought the Whistler inspection camera from HomeDepot for $99.00 which was pretty much the same except it comes with 9mm camera.

I was reading the reviews on the item you listed and there is a place to get the smaller camera:
(one of the reviews)
About 3 months ago I discovered that these units are actually made by a company called Autel. If you break your imager or need a different size/better clarity you can find them for sale online. I personally replaced my original 17mm imager head with the 8.5mm version (AULMVIHC85). Be aware there are different connector versions with this unit (depending on age), mine uses a single wire in the connector.
----------------

I wasn't thrilled with the Whistler since you have to get an adaptor to convert the video output to laptop to record(have not done this yet). I was able to go from DISA down to cylinder head. Just takes some getting used to with twisting/turning the flex tube. The picture is OK. I feel it would be worth $50.00ish. I am considering returning mine to home depot and purchasing the item you listed.
For some reason, I completely missed this post at the time you made it. I actually got better news from Harbor Freight several days later, when I started to track my order, only to learn that it had been back ordered. Since it clearly showed as being in stock, and I had a receipt from them showing that it would be shipping the next business day, they agreed that they were in the wrong, and refunded me the entire price, and shipped my item to me for free when it came off of back order. They also gave me a $25 store credit for my troubles. Now, THAT is customer service!
Thanks for the info about the smaller camera head. I would like to have a look down my spark plug holes.
Do you have a link to the website, or even the actual page with the smaller camera?
I have started to update the functionality of mine, as cheaply as possible, of course:
I was able to find a cheap DVR to hook the outputs from my camera to, along with a 19in LCD monitor I had laying around. The picture on a larger screen is actually quite good, and having a DVR to freeze frame, and move forward or backward in slow motion really expands the usefulness of the tool. It sounds like I spent a lot more, but I am still way below the price for the next model up, and I can always upgrade to a better camera, and keep the DVR setup, although I don't see the need to do so at any point in the near future. I am still playing around with the setup, but I will post a final design, with links and real materials costs as soon as I am happy with what I have done. I can say that surveillance DVR's are dirt cheap now, and are every bit as functional as your cable company DVR.
Again, it is still less than the more professional cameras, and they require extra devices for recording and viewing on a large screen. I think this will be a nice little set-up for a bargain basement price. I predict a lot of jealousy among our peers. Just kidding, of course.
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