The Apartment Prepper’s Predator Generator Review

survivalist apt prep
When imagining the emergency prepper– or survivalist (is there a difference? Not sure.)– you might think of a thick-bearded misanthrope in a rural or semi-rural environment, with a steel-reinforced cabin, a bush-camouflaged bunker, gas masks hanging from coat racks and arsenals stashed in hollowed-out redwoods– kind of like John Malkovich in “Red,” but not as eloquent. He recites the Pledge of Allegiance with his family every day in their basement and teaches his kids CB slang in case the power grid goes down.

On the most part, this perception is way off. Closer to the norm are the legions of ordinary families in all types of settings– rural, suburban and, yes, even urban– preparing for what they feel will be an inevitable disruption in society, either by social upheaval or natural disaster. They store food, water, fuel, portable wealth, clothing and blankets, alternative power, communication and first aid supplies. History has shown what can happen when the system breaks down, and these Americans don’t want to fall victim to the consequences. It’s all good fun, watching them on cable reality shows, going through their drills and stockpiling their tarps… but then something else sinks in: a lot of what they’re saying makes uncomfortable sense.

apartment prepper mast

Which brings me to that survivalist of the urbane world, the Apartment Prepper . The city-dwelling survivor can prepare for emergencies, much like their more countrified brethren, save it be for some environmental modifications. One thing they do share is the need for sustainable power in the event of a crisis. If you’ve ever experienced a blackout or disaster, you know how quickly the wheels can fly off the wagon around the neighborhood.

8750 Watt Generator

Recently, Harbor Freight Tools delivered a Predator 420cc, 8750 Watts Max/7000 Watts Rated Portable Generator to the good people at The Apartment Prepper so they could put it to the test. They published their findings on their blog in “Setting Up a Generator”, an extremely helpful guide for a fledgling survivalist to choose and set up their generator for those SHTF moments.

First, deciding which one you need:

Every generator includes the wattage it is rated for, and the maximum watts you can use with it.  In this case, the Predator Generator is ‘7000 rated watts; 8750 maximum watts.’ What does this mean? This means there is a bit of calculation involved when deciding which devices you will be using with the generator.  This is to make sure that the items you want to plug in are below the rated and maximum wattage ratings of the generator The manual included a Wattage Calculation Table, along with Wattage Calculation Charts, which gave the “Running Watts” and the “Additional Startup Watts” for common household appliances.  For example, you want to use a combination of appliances:

  • computer with monitor, it will need 800 running watts, but 0 additional startup watts.
  • A refrigerator/freezer needs 700 running watts, and 1500 startup watts.
  • Window AC needs 1200 running watts and 600 additional startup watts

If you wanted to use these three things at the same time, you add 800+700+1200=2700, well under the 7000 rated watts of the Predator Generator.  For the Startup Watts, you only take the highest startup watts, in this case, it’s 1500.  2700+1500=4200, which is under the 8750 maximum wattage the generator can handle.”

Great information to have when you’re getting ready to shop. They then offered several pointers on setting up before you operate the generator. These included:

  1. Determine a well-ventilated spot to park the generator.
  2. Ground the unit before you start using it.
  3. Get the proper fuel and oil for the unit.
  4. Get a battery for electric starts.
  5. Drain the gas and oil from the generator when not in use.

There’s obviously a lot more to each step, but I didn’t want to hijack all the good stuff. Click through to the article and prepare to be educated.

After setting up, they proceeded to test the generator on a microwave oven, and then the hijink ensued! You can read all about it on The Apartment Prepper blog site.

To find the best deals on emergency generators, get to your local Harbor Freight Tools today– or they’re just a click away at www.harborfreight.com.

 

 

My Super Sweet 16 DIY Solar Panel Kit Videos

Thunderbolt Magnum 45-Watt Solar Panel Kit

If you’ve been batting around the idea of picking up a Thunderbolt Magnum45-Watt Solar Panel Kit #68751, now’s the time to strike, my friend. This Friday-Sunday, March 8-10, the legendary Harbor Freight Tools Sidewalk Sale is running, with the solar panel kit going for a cool $139.99! And if you miss the sale, no worries– between now and Monday, March 18, the kit remains on sale for just $149.99. Talk about Daylight Savings Time (that’s OK, you’ll get it later…)!

Perhaps you’ve thought that the idea of setting up a solar system would be cool, but also a little intimidating. What’s in the kit? How do you put it together? What else do you need? How much do you need to know? The truth is, you don’t have to be a whiz kid to put something functional and efficient together for your home, garage, barn, shed, RV, camp or bug-out shelter.

First, what’s included in the kit, and what can it do? Not long ago, Dan Rojas, owner of Green Power Science put out a series of YouTube videos, explaining it pretty well.

In his first video, he goes over what the kit includes and also points out that you’ll also need at least one 12-volt battery (2 or more would be better– he recommends deep cycle) and a power inverter to make the system fully useful. For his demonstration he uses the Cen-Tech 750 Watt Power Inverter, but in the spirit of “More Is Better”– that is, if you intend to use the solar system for larger machinery or appliances– I suggest getting the Chicago Electric 1500/3000 Power Inverter. Of course, it depends on what you need the solar energy for. If you’re in a cabin and intend to occasionally vacuum or use a microwave, the 750 watt inverter won’t cut it.

Chicago Electric 1500/3000 Watt Power Inverter

 

Here’s a general guide of determining how big of an inverter you might need:

 

Appliance   Est. Watts   Appliance   Est. Watts
Cell phone 24 CD player 400
iPod 120 Toaster 1200
TV 25″ 175 Jig saw 350
Laptop computer 65-90 Circular saw 1250
Computer & monitor 400 1/2″ drill 700
Printer 75 Refrigerator 500
VCR 50 Vacuum 750
CPAP 200 Sub pump 1000
Blender 400 40″ fan 1100
Space heater 1000 Iron 1000
Coffee maker 800 Satellite dish 75
Microwave 1250 PS2, Xbox 125

Dan posted other informative videos, including 3-Solar Panel DIY Wiring and Solar Panel Wiring Configurations. You can catch his whole YouTube series here.

If you are really considering putting together a solar kit, one of best DIY solar websites to get acquainted with is the Do It Yourself Solar Energy Forum. This terrific site is a wealth of information with tips,  tutorials, videos and plain old general knowledge. Chances are good if you have a question, it’s been asked and answered on this forum. There’s a lot of coverage on the Harbor Freight 45-watt solar panel kit, too. Videos include everything from assembly, set-up, add-ons and plenty of personal mods from folks looking to build the better mousetrap. There are even videos on solar panel kit performance during rain and snow. My favorite video on this site was made by Larry “The Solar Toolman” Taylor:

I don’t think there’s a more practical and informative DIY video on home solar power set-ups out there. Larry followed this first how-to video with a Workshop #2 and a three-part Workshop #3. If you want to get some insight of just what you can do with your newly-harnessed solar power, definitely check these out.

Preppers represent a good number of the solar kit shoppers, which only makes sense. Nobody anticipates contingencies like a prepper. Only two weeks ago I wrote about Chappy from NewSurvivalSkills.com and how he employed a Harbor Freight solar panel briefcase to get power in the wild.

Another prepper clip I came across was from a guy with the moniker, ncprepper1. He uses three solar panel kits to run a 36″ TV (even in the event of a zombie apocalypse, you gotta have your TV), laptop, lights, a camera system, and more. To make room for even more solar kits, he shows how to build a wooden rack that can add three, making a total of 18 solar panels . Not to be outdone, LDSPrepper installed 4 solar panel kits (180 watts) on the side of his house with a 1500 watt power inverter,  and poses a convincing argument for why he decided to go with Harbor Freight solar panels.

Incidentally, LDSPrepper– who actually has a whole series of solar panel videos worth plowing through– repeatedly credits another YouTuber, econewpower, for helping him get started. This guy supplies his own treasure trove of solar panel kit how-to videos: I recommend starting with his How To Install Harbor Freight Solar Panels Part 1 . I think there are five parts in this series, plus he has other DIY solar videos on hand.

With the advent of spring fast approaching, it’s a great time to get started on your solar system project. Whether it be for emergencies, saving electricity costs or going green, solar is a solid alternative energy that, in extreme cases, could potentially save you and your family from losing creature comforts, food supplies or even lives.

Check out these and other videos on DIY solar panel kits and projects online!

Get Charged– and Pumped!– for 2013

As we watch winter getting smaller in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to start thinking about prepping all the warm weather toys for the coming months. I’m talking about the ATVs, the boat and water toys, the motorcycles, RV, lawn tractor, etc. — the stuff that’s been just sitting for the past five or so months. Unless you’ve been keeping them on life support with a battery float charger (which, by the way, would have been the forward-thinking thing to do, but if you’re like me, thoughts like that usually come late), they be dead, Jim.

Cen-Tech Battery Float Charger #42292

But l’d rather light a candle than curse your darkness. As it just so happens, Harbor Freight’s 3-in-1 Jump Starter & Power Supply is the perfect tool for just such a challenge.  This popular unit is a lifesaver when you’re stuck. Fully charged, it will jump 12-volt batteries ordinary jumper cables will fail. It provides a whopping 400 amp boost rate and comes a 3.6 watt light so you can see what you’re doing under the hood.

Cen-Tech Jump Starter & Power Supply

 

And as proud owners can attest, the Cen-Tech jump starter is a veritable bacon saver:

“I bought this Jump Box on Friday, charged it over night and set out for parades on Saturday morning. During the course of the day, I used it to jump 2 SUV’s and a pickup (all big V-8’s) that had dead batteries. It handled them all off of a single charge and according to the meter, it still had plenty of juice left. Very impressed. Also includes a cigarette lighter adapter that would let you charge/ recharge it from your boat/ car in an emergency.”  Jake S. – Slidell, IA

“Just emergency boosting two stranded cars made the unit pay for itself. Loaded with features that are sorely missing from more expensive “brand name” units; such as the excellent analog volt meter. Brand name units usually have lights instead of an actual volt meter. And the built-in A/C adapter, brand names usually have a wall brick adapter that is easily damaged or lost. The battery is a standard size AGM battery that can be easily accessed and replaced if needed. The flat back panel is great for modifications, I bolted a small DC to AC inverter to use as a mobile power supply for very light duty AC devices, I use mine to run a cd boombox on picnics, better than investing on pricey D cell batteries . The mods make my booster pack a little bit of a mutant, but they have come very handy when the power goes out, at a fraction of what an all in one unit would have cost. The molded plastic really takes the bumps well, and the battery charge lasts a long time, great tool.”  Jose Jiminez

The Cen-Tech 3-in-1 Jump Starter & Power Supply sells for a low $49.99 just $39.99 with a 20% coupon!– and is available on Harbor Freight’s website or in the store.

As the resuscitative process often involves inflating tires as well, you might want to dole out just a few more bucks and get the Chicago Electric Jump Starter with Air Compressor.

Chicago Electric Jump Starter-Air Compressor

This model has the same awesome power and features as the Cen-Tech, but also comes with an invaluable 260 psi air compressor. Think that’s overkill? Think again!

“Pumped up 5 tires from a dead flat. Jump-started more than 20 cars ‘n trucks.  Still running strong. Even used in power outtage, hooked up a converter to the cig outlet and had light and TV to watch, lasted about 9 hours .”  hueyhotdogg2000 – Bula, OH

“This unit has been a great addition to my travel gear. It has been able to jump start a diesel pickup truck in the winter and the compressor has kept everything from my kids’ bicycle tires to a flat on a friend’s SUV inflated. I also found that by using the 12-V outlet with my inverter, I can use items like my TV while camping and not run down my vehicle’s battery nor keep the engine running.”  Jeff G.

For the garage, barn, car, boat and more– the Chicago Electric jump starter/air compressor can be had for a mere $60.99 ($48.79 with 20% coupon)! For that, you can buy two!

Just remember where you heard about this. You’re welcome.

 

New Survival Skills with Harbor Freight Solar Tools

In the late 60’s, high school teacher Eliot Wigginton and his students created Foxfire, a chronicle of traditional folk culture of the Southern Appalachians. The first Foxfire book introduced the colorful Aunt Arie and her fellow mountain folk, dispensing  their homespun knowledge of log cabin building, hog dressing, hill people crafts and food, and “other affairs of plain living.” It was soon followed by several other volumes, offering instructions on wagon making, midwifing, hide tanning, moonshining, knife making, rudimentary water systems, dressing wounds, and countless other tips on living off the land.


Now, call it a shift in political climate, call it social polarization, call it the writing on the wall: there is a renewed growing interest in personal emergency preparedness and self-reliance these days. This interest has manifest itself in everything from food storage to family disaster drills to bunkers in the woods, and there’s a new wave of voices disseminating information on how to be prepared. A lot of what’s being shared can be found in the Foxfire books, but a lot won’t. Much has been learned and developed over the past 50 years, and our ability to “fend for ourselves” has suddenly expanded and virtually become a mainstream industry.

Spotted him in my backyard this morning…

Enter the team of New Survival Skills, a hardcore, practical group of instructors that teaches greenhorns how to live in the wild. Visit their Facebook page and you’ll quickly see these guys are no boy scouts: “We are former or active U.S. Special Forces, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters who are now training people in survival skills.”

Team leader “Chappy” McKinney, made NSS’ mission clear:

“I want more people to see that life in the city may be hard, but life in the wilderness could kill you if you don’t know what you are doing. The skills you learn to stay alive in the wilderness relate so perfectly to everyday life. I am not saying that you will breakout with a bow drill and start a fire in your office, but you will be able to see things in such a different light that you may feel that you have been blind to the truths of everyday life.”

Recently, New Survival Skills accepted Harbor Freight’s challenge to test the Thunderbolt Magnum 13-Watt Briefcase Solar Charger (#68750), Portable Battery Solar Charger (#68690) and 1-Watt Solar Power Pack with multiple adapters for cell phones and mp3 players (#68691),  in the wild. After several days, they returned with this report:

It was awesome to learn some practical survival applications using Harbor Freight’s solar gear. I was particularly impressed how Chappy kept his cell phoned charging while hoofing it in the woods. I’m also glad he pointed out what a treasure trove of useful gear Harbor Freight Tools provides for survivalists. Even this morning, he reported from somewhere in the wilderness:

“Right now, here where I am it is 52°F with light showers, completely overcast….I have the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM SOLAR 13 Watt Briefcase Solar Charger, from Harbor Freight Tools- item#68750 siting outside with a thin sheet of plastic sheeting over it and it is still producing 18 volts at the 12 volt setting and 33 volts on the 24 volt setting….I highly recommend this product to everyone!”

It’s easy to think that survival skills in the wild is an outdated talent for people like us. Yet, just a glance at the footage of Sandy, Katrina, Haiti and so many of Nature’s other targets, we would be fools to assume that we were invulnerable. The New Survival Skills’ leader offers another very persuasive pitch for taking their course:

“My life was changed for the better when I went into the woods as a camper.  I was put into a group with six other boys who had never met each other before and we were assigned a counselor who had the pleasure of our company in the wild for two whole weeks. We learned things that city boys did not know, like how to fish with just a line, hook and a worm, which we had to find in the dirt. We learned how to start fires without matches, how to find water, use a compass, how to ride horses and most of all we learned that survival in the woods was no game, but a test of one’s skills.  The one skill that I know was most important one taught to us was the ability to work together as a team to overcome some of the harshest country in the U.S. Later in life I had more hands-on training in wilderness survival from some of the best in the business with the U.S. Military, and put my skills and training in the wild to work as a Wildland Firefighter for a few years on a hand crew in Northern California. Now, I feel today more than ever before, that the same skills I  learned in the woods gave me the leadership skills to be a success in my professional life as well as opening my eyes to the things that have become of interest to me. I love and respect the outdoors and anything wild. My heritage is also Native American (Oglala, Lakota Sioux) and I feel a deep draw to the wilderness and doing what I can to help others see what beauty there is in it and how to respect it.”   Chappy

 

 

4-Camera Surveillance DVR – Protection Against Intruders, Vandals, Ghosts & (sigh…) Zombies

Living on a cul-de-sac (which is French for “butt of the sack”– which, at least for me, is good to know in case a Frenchman ever asks where I live) in the ‘burbs does not preclude one from falling victim to B&E, home invasion, vandalism, property theft, puppy dumps, etc. Usually when it happens you wake up in the morning, or come home from work, and not have a clue as to who did it, let alone what all was done. It’s a cruddy, violated feeling, however minor it might be. Don’t be that guy.

The 8 Channel Surveillance DVR with 4 Cameras and Mobile Monitoring Capabilities from Bunker Hill Security is an effective, low-cost solution to keeping your castle safe and monitored. Able to be installed indoors or outdoors, it’s your silent guardian… your watchful protector. And with its state-of-the-art infrared technology– enabling to record clearly after bedtime– it’s also your dark knight. Protecting your property and possessions with security cameras is a tried-and-true method of deterring trespassers, burglars, and even those bonehead neighbor kids who think terrorizing you with pranks doesn’t exact a price. And on top of preventing break-ins and vandalism, surveillance cameras enable you to respond swiftly to nefarious activity before and after it’s in progress.

The Bunker Hill 8-camera DVR, sold exclusively at Harbor Freight Tools, gives you access to your entire camera system from a PC or smartphone, so you can view your live video feed while you’re away from home. Imagine going on vacation to Bali (or more likely your brother-in-law’s in South Dakota) and still being able to monitor your home and property. This home security surveillance system features a remote control for easy navigation and a huge 500 GB hard drive which allows you to record, play back or transmit video from wherever you are. Now that’s empowerment.

Security cameras should be installed in at least one of these four strategic areas:

Front Door:  Mounting a camera over or near your front door is key to identifying everyone who approaches there, including expected visitors, delivery drivers and other service professionals.  Think of it as Caller ID for your house. Plus, according to FBI statistics, roughly 34% of all break-ins occur at the front door.
Back Door: Back doors are every bit as important as front doors, and often more vulnerable because the perp is out of sight.  Cameras should be installed above the door, either inside or out, to monitor for any usual activity.  You can put surveillance cameras on the eaves of the roof, outdoor overhangs, soffits, etc.
Indoors:  Where do you keep most of your good stuff? For us it’s the family room: It’s where we keep our big screen TV, Blu-ray player, PC computer, XBox, Lladro (my wife made me add the last thing)… and if I came home and found the Barcalounger missing, I’d be a bona fide menace to be around. It’s a good idea to also place surveillance cameras indoors to watch over valuable items. Also, cameras in living rooms, kitchens and above the staircases monitor, not only intruders, but also house cleaners, contractors, caregivers and babysitters.  If anyone manages to get past the front or back door, an indoor security camera can serve as a reliable back-up in capturing the face of anyone who’s up to no good while in your home.
Garages and Sheds:  If you have a multi-car garage, carport, guest house, pool house, or shed on your property, put an additional camera in that area, too, as it’s an easy, natural place for someone to “hole up,’ as it were.

If you’re still wondering if this set-up’s right for you, here’s what a couple of homeowners had to say about it:

“GREAT!!! The house for sale across the street from mine (nice suburban neighborhood) was hit by vandals a week ago (graffiti mostly), most of the neighbors think it is some local kids (most are good kids, but are KIDS nonetheless, and can get into trouble) Fearing my own new paint job, I bought this system to install before I left town for a vacation. Sure enough, when I got home there was some new artwork on my garage door. Well, the cameras worked great, the night vision gave me a clear enough image to recognize the “artists” and call their less-than-thrilled parents. The kids are now repainting all the houses they hit and are in serious trouble with their parents. As a close-knit neighborhood we decided not to press charges, as long as they cleaned up their mess. Great cameras, love them, and plan on buying a second system for my business next week.”  Billy, Michigan

“Love how EXCELLENT the night time video is for seeing people in pitch darkness, best camera I have seen so far. With my cameras in total darkness I can see at night around 50 feet, no trouble, making out people and animales. I have told all my friends looking to get a security DVR system to purchase this setup.”  Danny O, Florissant, Missouri

“This system is great! After having professional security companies quote me 3k to 4k on a 4 camera system I wanted an alternative. I was concerned that 60-ft of cable per camera was not going to be enough but everything worked out. I can now watch my business(which is 200 miles away) over my computer or Iphone.”  mercerguy23, Georgia

On a side note, Harbor Freight’s surveillance DVR is used by various organizations in the investigation of paranormal activity. Because of its night vision, motion activation and mobile-monitoring capabilities, it’s apparently the ideal equipment for nailing poltergeists, specters and the odd cherubim. As a representative of the Southeastern Paranormal Society commented:

“I bought this package to do surveillance for our paranormal research group. The cameras perform great in near pitch black conditions. Considering buying another system for our group.”

If you enjoyed the Paranormal Activity movies as much as I did, you might think it sounds like a fun experiment to try, setting up the Bunker Hill Security DVR in your bedroom. But before you do, just think about it first.  Do you really WANT to know if there’s something swinging open doors and looking at you while you’re asleep?

 

Tailgate Warriors… Come Out and Play!

Football! The season couldn’t have come fast enough. I was getting sick hearing nothing but politics and hopscotching around TV reruns.  But– hallelujah!– it’s time once again for Pac-12 and pro ball (Go Big Blue!)– clear the boogie boards and swimming noodles out of the man cave, kick the PS3 crap off the floor and fill the chest freezer with wings, poppers, bacon and shredded cheese. And more importantly, get ready for the blacktop!

The tailgate party is a sacred ritual, much like a holy pilgrimage or pantsing the new kid. And like any ritual that requires serious reflection, one needs to decide how they will prepare for it. For example, go with the beer shorts, don’t go with the beer shorts? Obviously, if the beer helmet is out, it leaves you looking for a viable alternative. Also boning up on your cornholing and knowing the ACO regulation cornhole rules.

To throw a successful tailgate party for a bunch of your swellest buds, you’ll want to bring awesome gear. Of course a lot of what you bring depends on your power source, if any. A gas-powered generator can bust your options wide open– and there really are a ton to consider: a crock pot for the Lil’ Smokies or nacho cheese sauce, an electric grill for burgers and dogs, a portable oven for pizza, a mini-fridge, a heater or fan–depending on the weather, a string of lights or lanterns, a radio or other sound system, an LCD TV with portable satellite receiver, a PA (“attention, fans of other team…”}, a blender or margarita machine, coffee maker… hey, you could be there as long as 12 hours, man. Gear up for any possibility.

That said, my recommendation is getting the Chicago Electric 3050 Watt 7 HP Gas Generator. It runs quiet, it’s great on gas and it’s got all the juice you need to make it a helluva party! This is Harbor Freight’s most popular generator, and the proof is in the praise:

“I use this to power my refrigerators and freezer during outages, as well as charge and run needed electronics. It is very nice for this application since you can run for 24 hours on 10 gallons. She is very quiet… fires up easily and runs smoothly. Very nice product. “

Another customer had this to say:

” I use it mainly (for) hunting and camping, but have used it for power outage. It run a 5th wheel camper AC during day and furnance at nights with TV, frig, lights, PC, water pump, with no problems, and the 4-gallon tank runs it for approx 6 hrs. with over 50% pull on it. A sweet generator for the$$$ for sure. “

Besides football tailgate parties, this generator’s the perfect companion for rave parties, swap meets and fairs, rock concert tailgates, camping, and as I previously pointed out, areas of paranormal activity.

While you’re at it, I suggest you pick up an 8″ Never-Flat Generator Wheel Kit or a slightly-more-economical Mover’s Dolly along with a handy-dandy Swivel Handle. You’ll thank me, I promise. And finally, grab a 10′ x 10′ Popup Canopy while you’re there. Unless burn is your team color.

A Harbor Freight Ghost Story

As I’ve mentioned, the Mrs. and I are trying to fortify our emergency supplies. We recently brought home a generator inherited from my father-in-law, an old 1500-watt unit. And while we were happy with the new acquisition, we soon learned it was only good for minor applications– tailgating, camping, backyard parties– so we decided to shop for a new, bigger generator and use this one as a supplement.

Now, I’ll study the HECK out of a product before I buy– professional reviews, customer comments and forums are must reading. If you’re like me, you think customer reviews are the best, especially when there are several of them for a product, and most of them agree. The Predator gas generators at Harbor Freight all have high-star ratings, so I dove into their reviews. Most of them were what you’d expect: “very pleased…” “well constructed…” “powered everything with no problem…” “works great and costs a lot less…”

But then, I stumbled on a particular review, and a chill crept up my spine. I turned down the AC and read on.

It was from the West Houston Paranormal Society, a dedicated group of otherworldly investigators who hunt and engage the unknown:

“We are West Houston Paranormal Society and this is our official generator. Running power where we need it in powerless buildings and houses that we investigate. It runs our equipment (cameras, audio, trip sensors, monitors, DVRs, computers, recharging packs, etc) throughout the house, as well as our trailer base command/review center. Fist pull operation, no drain or surges and super quiet…. the last thing we need is a loud generator interfering with our EVPs and video evidence, that is why we chose this one because that was high on our list of NEEDED features.” Caps included.

Why the Predator generator? Could it be it resonates with beings from across the veil? Or, is it the high-quality performance and low prices? Perhaps it’s all of the above.

 

The Mrs. and I ended up going with the Predator 8750 Watts Max/7000 Watts Rated Portable Generator, certified for California (4.5 stars, 13 reviews). It has the necessary power to juice our gas furnace, refrigerator freezer, AC, microwave, TV & lights… a little more than the “bare minimum” we had originally planned to get, but I’m sure we’ll be glad when the emergency (and the other stuff) goes down.

The Predator generator isn’t the only Harbor Freight product of choice among paranormal investigators. The Southeastern Paranormal Society, located in Salisbury, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC, and the good folks at IHuntGhosts.com, favor the motion-activated Bunker Hill Security 4-Camera Surveillance DVR when looking into poltergeists and sundry presences. A representative at the SPS commented:

 “I bought this package to do surveillance for our paranormal research group. The cameras perform great in near pitch black conditions. Considering buying another system for our group.”

Everyone who’s seen those paranormal movies knows why this is an important contribution to the investigative process (on the other hand, I’m not sure I want to know what’s going on in my house when I’m asleep).

 

On My Para: The Paranormal Social Network, a forum member recently recommended the Cen-Tech Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer for measuring the ambient air around “cold” and “hot” spots. While so-called “professional” ambient air thermometers cost around $130, Harbor Freight’s is just $39.99. Boo-yah!

 

The owner of Paranormal Adventure Radio recommends the Bunker Hill Motion Detector as “good for basic investigations.”

 

Here’s a particularly unnerving thread about using a wireless inspection camera ” for “tight spaces” and “a very good idea for a room that has noises coming from it with the door closed.” The forum member who recommended the Cen-Tech Digital Inspection Camera was using his to check out a mausoleum he’d been curious about.

 

Finally, as Ghost Journeys advises in its Investigation Guidelines:

“Shop smart – save money. Check… Harbor Freight for mini LED flashlights, batteries and hard cases to tote your equipment.”

So, when it comes to quality tools at incredibly low prices… who you gonna call?

 

The Solar Toolman

I found Larry “The Solar Toolman” Taylor’s video recently on the Do-It-Yourself Solar Energy Forum site. In a quiet, confident tone—no script, no teleprompter– Larry gives “workshops,” demonstrating how someone can run multiple power tools, juiced by a solar panel kit and a cleverly assembled solar system, using hardware from Harbor Freight.

Click on the video’s YouTube link on the lower right, and it will take you to three more Solar Toolman videos, explaining how, with some low-cost modifications, a modest home solar system can power a swamp cooler, a refrigerator-freezer, a 5000 BTU air conditioner, TV, DVD, VCR, and more. For those who are looking to live more “green,” prepare for emergencies or just want to “get off the grid,” there are a lot of valuable tips to be gleaned from these few instructional videos.

When I showed this first video to a friend who’s really into DIY projects, he said, “If I decided to use solar power on my pool filter, these are the videos I’d watch to help me figure out what I needed to do it.”

While you’re at it, browse the rest of the Do-It-Yourself Solar Energy Forum and check out other interesting solar panel project videos and articles– contributed by innovative alternative-energy users! You’ll find a lot of them using the Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit, 15 Watt Solar Panels, as well as the 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulator, the 30 Amp Charge Controller, power inverters and other Thunderbolt and Chicago Electric solar system hardware.

Great job, Larry! Keep those solar panel videos coming!

Here Comes the Sun – Do, Do, Do, Do-It-Yourself

If you’ve been thinking about adding solar energy to your place—be it for emergency preparedness, getting power to areas where electricity isn’t available, a zombie apocalypse, or just looking to save some dinero with clean energy—the Thunderbolt Magnum 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit, along with a good Power Inverter and 12V storage battery  is an excellent, affordable place to start.

But how to go about it? What exactly do you need for the project you have in mind? This is where an informed support group really comes in handy.

Who would have thought a whole community website could be built around one Harbor Freight product? But that’s exactly what Ray Dias and his fellow enthusiasts have done with their Do-It-Yourself Solar Energy Forum. Chock full of information, the site includes a chat forum where you can ask questions and field ideas, a Tips & Tricks page, project videos, a photo gallery, a DIY Projects blog , and multiple pages covering everything from wire gauges to renewable energy news. It’s also a great place to learn how to expand your solar power with multiple kits, adding  Solar Panels and Conversion Connectors, upgrading Charge Controllers, and more. This information not only helps you set up your solar power project, but totally supe it up!

Cool site, guys!

Harbor Freight Gets Prepper Props

In this country’s growing Survivalist Nation there’s a tribe known as the “Urbivalists”– or “urban survivalists”—preppers who live in towns and cities, and have adapted their survivalist skills to more metro environments. One such urbivalist is Dan, a “self-proclaimed tenderfoot and city kid” who runs a survival-themed blog called The Daily Prep. Recently, Dan posted a video of a shopping trip he made to Harbor Freight–

–which included a tour of some of his favorite products.  “It’s a man mall!” he proclaimed.

It’s no wonder HFT is popular with those who take survival preparation seriously. A renowned purveyor of hard-to-find and odd hardware– plus, a huge selection of essential tools and supplies at extremely low prices– it’s a no-brainer. (Brains? Zombies? Apocalypse? Harbor Freight!)

So, what were some of the products Dan thought fellow preppers should look into? The video does a good job showcasing generators, welders, tarps, car battery jump starters, jerry cans, rope, axes & hatchets, duct tape (“of every kind!”), magnesium fire starters, solar panel kits, knives, slingshots, safes, winches, flashlights and batteries– and Harbor Freight’s low prices make preparation a lot more doable.

FYI, for those looking to prep their home for the garden variety emergency, HFT also carries towing supplies, trailer hitches, alarms & security products, jack stands, engines, head lamps, cast iron frying pans, face masks, space saver vacuum bags, air compressors… you get the point. Harbor Freight is the “go-to store” for your doomsday prepper needs.

The Daily Prep isn’t alone when it comes to survivalist forums swapping favorite HFT products that they keep in their arsenals. Surf the ‘net and you’ll find tons of great ideas. And while you’re at it, why don’t you share yours with us?