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Cell phone activated engine preheat
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crbnunit
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 1813
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on the Reiff unit. The Mfg and I are evidently done talking since they no longer answer my emails. They recanted the offer to send me a new unit and have now taken the stance the problem is caused by a sim card they do not recommend that is 3G instead of the older 2G... Since that is my only option up here and the cell phone portion of the unit works flawlessly, I can, with great confidence say they are full of shit.

Here are the symptoms. I call the unit and it turns on with an audible trip of the relay, the load, if it is light (say 100w) comes on and stays on indefinitely. The unit sends me a text saying it is on. I call it and turn it off, the light goes out and the unit sends me a text saying it off. I can do this over and over with no problems. Wonderful. As advertised. Keep in mind this thing worked perfectly… Once.

1500w load (Space heater. The unit is rated to 1800w); Call the unit, it turns on and sends me a text. Runs for about 30 seconds and shuts off. The lights are still on, telling me the unit is on but no power out at the outlet. I call the unit and it shuts off (all the lights go out, audible click of the relay). Does not reset if I call again. Still no power out unless I let it sit a few hours. The unit turns on but no power out.

Burnt smell of fried electronics bad enough I have to keep it in the garage or risk the wrath of the woman. Nothing obviously burnt is visible.

Yea, this is caused by a sim card...

Since Reiff does not warranty this product (deferrers to the mfg) it would appear I am at an impasse. All I can do is recommend you not buy this product. Tell all your friends!
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TomD
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 1357
Location: Seattle area ( S43 )

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject: phone card Reply with quote

Seems like I remember Island Flyer detailing his dial up heater rig on a thread last year or so.

TD
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Steelroamer
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Joined: 07 May 2014
Posts: 155
Location: Kenora, ontario canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was doing some research on the aerotherm heater you guys have been talking about and tripped over this

http://www.aircraft-spruce.ca/catalog/eppages/heater_remote.php

here is a video of it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8t6CsfYFRA

It does not say anywhere that I can find what power rating it is rated for

CRBNUNIT,
is this the one you have been having the trouble with?

the aerotherm heater looks like a nice unit
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TomD
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
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Location: Seattle area ( S43 )

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: found Rys's thread Reply with quote

Here is the thread with Rhy's dial up rig:

http://maulepilots.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2623&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=heater&start=15

The Dec. 21st post seems to give all the info w/ pics.

TD
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LT4247
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Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 225
Location: GEORGIA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about that.....
RED BOARD = AOPA FORUM. The forum borders are RED. Got to be a member to post: http://forums.aopa.org

There is also the purple board, blue board, etc...

mountainflyer wrote:
Thanks for your recommendation but what are the "red board classifieds". Searched it but no luck.

Pete

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RPR



Joined: 06 Feb 2015
Posts: 2
Location: WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crbnunit wrote:
Update on the Reiff unit. The Mfg and I are evidently done talking since they no longer answer my emails. They recanted the offer to send me a new unit and have now taken the stance the problem is caused by a sim card they do not recommend that is 3G instead of the older 2G... Since that is my only option up here and the cell phone portion of the unit works flawlessly, I can, with great confidence say they are full of shit.

Here are the symptoms. I call the unit and it turns on with an audible trip of the relay, the load, if it is light (say 100w) comes on and stays on indefinitely. The unit sends me a text saying it is on. I call it and turn it off, the light goes out and the unit sends me a text saying it off. I can do this over and over with no problems. Wonderful. As advertised. Keep in mind this thing worked perfectly… Once.

1500w load (Space heater. The unit is rated to 1800w); Call the unit, it turns on and sends me a text. Runs for about 30 seconds and shuts off. The lights are still on, telling me the unit is on but no power out at the outlet. I call the unit and it shuts off (all the lights go out, audible click of the relay). Does not reset if I call again. Still no power out unless I let it sit a few hours. The unit turns on but no power out.

Burnt smell of fried electronics bad enough I have to keep it in the garage or risk the wrath of the woman. Nothing obviously burnt is visible.

Yea, this is caused by a sim card...

Since Reiff does not warranty this product (deferrers to the mfg) it would appear I am at an impasse. All I can do is recommend you not buy this product. Tell all your friends!





In the interest of fairness let us add some missing facts to this story.

Actually this is not a “Reiff unit”. It is a Witura unit that we and others buy and resell. We are not involved in its design or manufacture, and our name is not on it.

The poster emailed us after his Dec 4 post to this forum, asking us for help. I obtained from him and read the entire email conversation between him and Witura. I saw two different offers to replace it, but did not see anywhere that they “ recanted the offer to send me a new unit“. I asked him “Where is that in the email conversation?” but didn’t get an answer to that.

He said in an email to me “I certainly don’t expect them to replace the unit”, and in another “I never expected them to warranty the unit, just tell me how to fix it or send me the parts. “

Also missing from the story is that he did not buy this item from us and he is not the original owner, he purchased it second hand. I asked him 5 times who the original owner is, so that I can look for an invoice to determine if this is a unit we sold (others sell them too) and if so when, what model it is, and is it still covered by Witura’s 1 year warranty. After 2 months I have received no reply.

I told him “I think their offer is very generous considering you got it second hand, and we don’t know if it’s even under warranty. The unit could very well be beyond the 1 yr warranty period.”

I asked the poster several times, the last being Feb 6, what the current status is and if he thinks he should post an update to this site including the above, in the interest of fairness. There has been no response, so we are doing so because it’s not fair to Witura to leave the story as it was written.

Bob Reiff
Reiff Preheat Systems
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Mountain Doctor
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Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 1646

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information.

I consider getting one of these units.

Fortunatly we have not had a winter to speak of this year (so far, thank goodness).
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crbnunit
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 1813
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, he is correct about me posting here before talking with them. I have appologized several times for doing so. Again Mr Reiff, I extend my appology. I have also said here and elsewhere this in no way reflects badly the products Reiff does mfg. I am very happy and satisfied with the preheater unit I installed on the plane.

I would like to point out that I posted after spending quite a lot of time talking with Witura. They actually mfg the unit as Mr Reiff points out. I might also point out the second hand unit was new in the box when I got it.

I was under the opinion the offer to replace was recanted after Witura started arguing with me about why it won't work. The switch will evidently only work on a 2G network and use a sim card from a company that does not offer service in Alaska. A point I have tried to make over and over to both Mr Reiff and Witura without success. I would try their recommended sim card if it were an option. It is not so I am stuck.

I still argue that the phone part functions fine. The switch turns on/off every time I call it. What it does not do is carry a load without failing. Small load, fine. Large load, it shuts off and will not reset untill it cools for several hours. No one wants to talk about that or the burnt smell coming from the case.

I have not replied to any further emils from Mr Reiff because I am done with it. I have spent time, money and brain cells trying to get it to work. It does not. I wasn't getting anywhere talking so I stopped. It is sitting on a shelf in the garage if any wants to play with it. I don't have the time.

Anyway, I'm done talking and am moving on to other projects.
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RPR



Joined: 06 Feb 2015
Posts: 2
Location: WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The switch turns on/off every time I call it. What it does not do is carry a load without failing."

If it smells burned and shuts off with a high load, then that does sound like a legitimate complaint about a real defect, in which case accepting their offer of a new one might have been a reasonable option for you. I don't quite understand why that would take more time than what you spent writing the post here telling how badly you think Witura treated you.

Per my Dec 8 email to you: "You say you are “soured on the deal” because it’s burned and doesn’t work, but you don’t expect them to replace it. If you don’t want them to replace it then what DO you want them to do? I think their offer is very generous considering you got it second hand, and we don’t know if it’s even under warranty (you have not answered my question twice now, regarding who the original buyer is). The unit could very well be beyond the 1 yr warranty period, and 3 models old."

Yes you did apologize to me for the post, privately. But I didn't think it was fair to Witura or us to leave your post stand as is, on this public forum. Since you would not respond to my request that you post an update, I was compelled to do so.
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skidooche



Joined: 16 Aug 2014
Posts: 8
Location: Anchorage, AK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use this one.. works every time I call it. It also can be activated with an app on your phone. I have not had good luck using the app.

http://switchboxcontrol.com/the-switch-box/
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aero101
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Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff-

Suggest you could use the unit you have to power an adequate relay to control switching on/off 110v? This would be a very small load on your unit, with the relay handling load of heaters, etc, etc... This would be easy to do, and I'm sure any electronics repair shop or even Radio Shack would have a suitable relay, and could give you some help on the wiring if needed...
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Last edited by aero101 on Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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crbnunit
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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 1813
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been told my writing style makes me come across as angry. I'm not. Not even slightly. I hold no ill will and hope both Reiff and Wuthra all the best.

I bought this as an item of convenience. It has proven otherwise. I could probably make it work but I find I have little time or desire to so. Truth be told, it isn't that long of a drive to get to the airport and I don't have to pay another cell service plan this way.

Skidouche, glad yours works as advertised. Mine did as well... Once. It is a pretty cool idea and it looks like a well made unit. Maybe the one I have was an exception.

Thank you Mr. Reiff. I guess someone acknowledging there is a legitimate problem is all I was really looking for. I really didn't appreciate being told I was an idiot, I don't know what I'm talking about and all of my problems could be fixed with a magic simm card. I would not hesitate to purchase your products in the future and would recommend them to friends. However, I stand behind my statement. Based on my experience, I cannot recommend this particular unit.

Safe flights and tail winds!
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Undaunted
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 106
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:44 am    Post subject: Bought this one... Reply with quote

Ok so after reading all here and monkeying around for a while with a milk house timer that failed we bought the SwitchBox.

So far a week into it, it is working great! We can either call or text it. It has two circuits so we can have the engine preheat and a cabin heater. We can text it to confirm it is on and get a reply. The duration that it is on can be set. Well it was a tad spendy ie about $300 we did the math and 10 trips to the airport and it is paid for, we will get that back easily yet this year.

Loving it so far...

http://switchboxcontrol.com/the-switch-box/
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gbarrier
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Joined: 14 Jul 2011
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the ideal thing.

Now, if I could just get my wife to go back to the hangar and start the generator then I could switch on my heater with my cell phone.
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captnkirk
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Joined: 25 Dec 2013
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Location: Cherryville NC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary with the weather we've been having you better buy her some snow shoes first. I've deiced more this week than all of last year got back home to more snow I'm headed for a nice nap - till spring.
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