Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cen Tech (Harbor Freight Brand) Inspection Camera 2.4 inch Review.

Since inspection camera with the LCD screen came out, this writer has wanted one. When I worked for Aire Serv, I had The Inspector infrared camera on my truck that cost my former boss about $3000 and was exclusively for looking for cracks in heat exchangers. Even with this tool, customers can and did refute the evidence and I found myself wiping the tire tracks from the bus of my back. The other drawback was that the camera head was about one inch and the whole package tipped the scales at 30 to 40 pounds and was about a cubic foot for the unit not counting the three and a half foot tube for the business end of the camera. It was a PITA to carry down a customer's basement, much less out of my ten year old van.

As an appliance tech, I decided I needed eyes where I couldn't stick my head into take a look. The main use of this is going to be to find leaks and pinpoint them so I can order the parts I need without taking the appliance apart. I've had issues with seeing leaks in a clothes or a dishwasher, but no idea where they originate from unless I happen to stumble upon the leak in progress or take a guess. Cameras of this nature are still about $200, which isn't all bad, but for $89 at Harbor Freight I cut my teeth on the 2.4 inch inspection camera, which is about $150 full price. The screen resolution is decent, and the picture more than adequate to pinpoint problems. The nice thing is that the picture is in color and the whole package weighs less than a pound and fits under a seat or on a shelf.

I've used it to read model numbers where it was hard to get my camera phone in, verified a repair job on a washer, and inspected the pump housing at the back of a dishwasher thus far, and the camera has worked great. The only problem was an o ring that decided to let go from the camera head, but this hasn't affected the operation. The camera head has a light that you can dim, but there is no focusing available.

If you want to see if one of these cameras will help you be more productive on the job, with less guess work, this might be a good opportunity to try one out before committing more money on a more expensive model. Mirrors are great for close in jobs, but my eyesight isn't getting better as I get older, and this camera makes for a much better, high-tech alternative at minimal cost. Maranatha!


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