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12/17/2011

New Toy; Harbor Frieght Heather/Fan for Dew Control

I mentioned in my last post on the failed Lakeside trip that I had a new toy and I thought I would share it with you. So far it has worked well and I'm anxious to try it in the field. I was in a local Harbor Freight shop and I picked up a window defroster for around $15.00. It has a light that is white and bright if I need it, a fan, and a heater. Here is what it looks like:






















I have it hooked up to my Black & Decker Powermate and the red light you can see in the image above is that of the heater. Unlike a couple of 12 volt hairdryers I've tried, with this one you can actually feel the heat coming out as it is working.
















The unit is designed to sit on dash of a car but pulls off the base and a handle pulls out that I am holding. Here you can see the button which sits in the middle until you push it down for the heat (as I have it here) or push up for the fan. On the opposite side is the button for the LED light if you want or need it.


















The light is actually very bright as you can see here. So if your in the field with that, just be careful not to turn that light on!


















Here is a closer look at the heater and the light it generates. The heater element is the batch of silver things below the red light. The light I would think can be disconnected but if you leave it you will be able to see how the unit is defrosting or defogging your eyepiece, finder, Telrad or secondary. Speaking of which, I personally like my anti-dew system better which I'll review on here one of these days, but if all you had was this unit, it would offer further viewing for some time.

In terms of craftsman ship it is made of plastic and rubber and is well constructed. It has worked well for me though a friend said that he left his fan on his observing table and turned it on and since then the heater only would stay on for short period of time before cycling off. The directions tells you not to do that and they tell you to only use this for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Overall I'm happy with this little unit. It cost $14.99 and if you want you can get a 5 year free replacement for an additional $3.00. That is something I usually pass on but for this little guy I did it. If any problems occur with it, I'll let you know.

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