Jan
0

2015 AHR EXPO CHICAGO – STOP BY THE VETO PRO PAC BOOTH

Veto Pro Pac is at the 2015 AHR EXPO in Chicago @ BOOTH #6339 January 26-28. They will be showing off all of their products including the new Tech Pac LT!

2015 AHR EXPO CHICAGO - VETO PRO PAC

Aug
0

Veto Pro Pac – New Tech Series!

I have been a big Veto Pro Pac fan for years. They have expanded their line to include Technician specific products. Same old indestructible Veto Pro Pac bones with a brand new design. The is the first time i wish the zipper on my XL would fail or maybe a hole worn in it somewhere just so i could justify getting a new Tech XL :) Maybe i can gift my 7 year old Veto Pro Pac XL to a noob installer and get myself a new one!

This video shows the new Tech XL at apx 3 minutes in.

They also have a brand new tech back pack. Its a beast. Check out this 360 view video…

Go get your Veto Pro Pac Today : http://www.vetopropac.com/

Jan
0

Outfitting New Tool Bag

My brand new Veto Pro Pac XL showed up today. This tool bag will have an identical set of tools/testers that my XL has. The only difference is that my tools are about 5 years old so the new bag has upgrades! Even the XL has improvements. An important one (to me) is the little velcro circles that hold the strap up and out of the way. My XL doesn’t have those. This sounds like a minor issue but the strap dangling can drive you crazy after a while.

I also upgraded to a Milwaukee M12 Hammer Drill. I carry a full size Milwaukee Hammer Drill and an M12 driver. I decided to combine them for this kit and get the “mini” Hammer Drill. It has the weight of a full size hammer drill but its dimensions are similar to the driver. This will make it much easier when traveling. 1 drill 1 charger.

Lots of other upgrades like a better toner/scissors/security bit set etc. Here are some pics of all the fun i had today.

Aug
2

Stripper Roundup

Sorry folks if the title of this post misled you :). I was talking about wire strippers! Over the years i have seen a lot of posts asking about wire strippers. My favorite has always been the miller 100s. Occasionally i have had to try other brands but none of them measure up. After a recent forum post i decided to dig thru my tool bag and i found 4 pairs from different companies so i decided to post about them.

Yellow = Miller 100
My favorite. Made in Taiwan. This is the first time i had all of them side by side and i realize how much bigger the millers are. Another thing i noticed is that every other pair looks exactly the same.

Red = GB Electric
Made in Usa. These are nice because of the thinner handles they can close up tighter. The major problem with these is that every edge is sharp all the way around the tool. A couple of hours of filing could probably turn these into perfect strippers. I got them on the way to a service call i went to without my tools (was supposed to be off that day). Its like they didnt finish them. Some edges are sharp enough to cut your hand.

Green = Commercial Electric
Chinese made. Green handles are too thich and they are painted with a thick coat of black paint making them super hard to open and close. I tried sanding them down and soaking them in oil for a week but even after they loosened a little the handles still sucked.

Black = Wirepro
Just says “wirepro usa” so not sure where they are made. I actually forgot i had these. I used them for a solid year so they are broken in perfectly. The only problem with these are that the handles are like foam instead of vinyl. The material began to break down and the handles have holes in them and they slide right off.

The reason i love these strippers is because they never get dull…or if they do you never notice it because they don’t have a predetermined cutting depth. You use your finger as a gauge. Once you use them a few times it becomes second nature. They work very well and you can go much faster than you can with other wire stripping tools.

Nov
0

Veto Pro Pac – Brand New Laptop Bags!

VetoProPac XL XLT Laptop Series

VetoProPac XL XLT Laptop Series

Last year i posted about the Veto Pro Pac LT-XL laptop bag. Veto Pro Pac has just released 2 brand new models. The LT and the XLT. Watch the video below. They have thought of everything! The stretchy pockets are great.

The major difference between the bags are that the LT has file folder slots on one side of the bag and the XLT has tool slots. The XLT would be perfect for a service tech or lead technician who does a little programming and needs a few hand tools for troubleshooting. The LT is a better fit for someone who specifically handles programming. I will get the LT so that i can replace my roller computer case and continue using my XL for tools. Another minor? feature i really love is that the outside of the LT and XLT are black. My XL is brown, which is fine but the black matches our company uniform (black pants and black shirt).

View the spec PDF by clicking here.

I could go on and on about these bad boys but i will leave it to the Pro… the Veto Pro :) Watch the video below!

Oct
2

Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits

I am out of town (as usual) and had to pick up a sharp 1″ spade bit. I probably have 100 1″ spade bits because i always need them and they are either dull or in my other bag. I went to one source tool supply (local hardware store) to pick one up. The guy grabs an odd looking bit. Looked fancy so i assumed it would be expensive and i didn’t like the idea of the threaded tip. I assumed that the threaded tip would either just strip out or pull my bit in to close and cause it to seize up. I asked if he had something else and the only other 1″ bit was an expensive auger hole saw bit. More than i wanted to spend and it wasn’t the right tool for the job. I wanted to use the spade bit to do some “chopping”. A multimaster is a much better tool for this but i don’t have one with me.

The clerk said “The bosch is $3 and the auger is $30 so…” So… i bought the bosch :). Clerk says “i thought everyone would like these but so far no one wants to try them”. I get out to the job expecting the worst and my fears were confirmed. Pulled right in nice and tight and seized up. I try again and the same thing. I cant even get the darn thing to strip out to free it up because it keeps pulling into new wood. Than i had an idea… What if i change from 2 to 1.. slow it down a little. I slow it down and try again and it works perfectly. The bit did all the work and all i had to do was hold the drill. This has to be the best paddle bit on the market. I only drilled about 30 holes so i cant comment on life expectancy just yet but it was sharp for each of the 30 holes i drilled and every single one of them was effortless.

Photos below.

Sep
1

Holy Hole Saw, Batman!

Had to cut in 7 pairs of Sonance Visual Performance VP65R XT in-ceiling speakers today. For an outdoor exposed porch over hang. Apx 1-1/4″ of wood. Plywood with bead board on top. it was already painted so i had to be super careful. I decided to use a router to cut the holes. The problem was creating a template for the router. I am out of town with a limited set of tools. I wasn’t getting any love from the other trades so i had to make my own jig. Found a real hardware store that had a giant Starrett 8-1/4″, $145 (ouch) hole saw in stock. Exactly the size i needed. They also had Veto Pro pac tool bags in stock. First time i have seen them for sale at any hardware store. When i saw them in the window i knew i found a serious hardware store.

Creating the template in 3/4″ plywood went well. Managing a hole saw that big is no joke if it gets away from you. At one point i had the idea to cut the speakers out with it but theres no way i could have done it. I attached my template to the ceiling and ran the router around cutting perfect circles for every speaker. The sonance speakers went in effortlessly. Sonance has always had their act together in terms of getting them installed but these Visual Performance speakers are crazy. The cover is magnetic and snaps right in place. One pain with previous models was that if you over tightened the screws your bezel would be distorted making it difficult to get the grill in. That problem has been officially resolved.

There is one last thing i would like them to address (and finally reach in-celing/in-wall speaker nirvana) and thats the spring loaded speaker cable terminals. I wish they would design them so you get a little pig tail that you connect to your speaker wire that then plugs firmly into the speaker as your putting it in the ceiling. The spring loaded terminals are fine but i hate trying to hold the speaker and push them in 1 by 1. It would be nice to have an easy “jack” to connect.

Back on topic :)… The crazy awesome giant hole saw…

Jun
0

CEPro / AVAD – Show us your toolbox

CEPro announced the “Show Us Your ToolBox” contest at http://www.cepro.com/article/show_us_your_toolbox_call_for_entries/ a recent post that i was mentioned in.

I had some free time today so i emptied out my VetoProPac XL and this is what i found.

39 Cent Stamp's VetoProPac XL

Feb
1

Stanley 516150M – FatMax Tool Bag

I spotted this $20 bag at walmart today. The reason i noticed it was because of the plastic water proof bottom. One of my pet peeves with CLC bags was the cloth bottoms. I would find myself working outside all day wiring up rock speakers or CCTV cameras and water would soak right into my bag usually destroying the carboard base making the bag flimsy. It was also cause surface rust to build up on my hand tools.

The bag is small but loaded with pockets. The plastic at the bottom isn’t as rugged as the VetoProPac bags but its a step in the right direction.

516150M – FatMax┬« Tool Bag

Height 5-1/2″,139.7mm
Length 18-1/8″,460.38mm
Width 10-1/2″,266.7mm

Jan
1

Laptop Bag – Another chapter of my ongoing obsession with tool organization

I found my first (of 3) Kenneth Cole Roller Laptop Bag at marshalls about 5 years ago. It was $99. It got damaged and i bought another one for $50 at tjmaxx but it was slightly smaller. When i finally found a larger one again at marshalls it was $50 and i gave the other one to my sister. It fits in the overhead bin on an airplane. The wheels make it super easy to manage when you have to walk far with it from a parking spot or thru an airport. It matches my luggage :).

Its big enough to organize and carry up to a 15″ laptop, programming cables & IR learners and basic testing gear. 17″ laptops wont fit inside of the smaller carrying bag and they kind of bang around in the compartment without it. I usually have 3 bags with me now. My vetopropac XL for tools, my okeechobee parts bag and my laptop roller bag. These 3 guys get me thru 99% of all service calls and upgrades.

Here are some iPhone pics.