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Thread: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

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    Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    I noticed that Leslie's page on CYA recommends exactly what TFP recommends, but contrary to what many users report being told by their local pool store. Is Leslie's turning a corner?

    Now I'll just hold my breath while I wait for them to post instructions for ditching tabs and powdered shock.
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    I believe I'd cross my fingers, rather than hold my breath.

    It's much easier to live with cramped hands than without oxygen...
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    WOW... it *does* sound like TFPC except for the method of instilling it into the water and the backwashing directions. I wonder if the directions on those bags of CYA say the same thing?
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    They don't mention anything about having to much CYA or that Tabs add CYA.
    Dan D
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan View Post
    They don't mention anything about having to much CYA or that Tabs add CYA.
    I agree. While they acknowledge CYA protecting the FC, they do not indicate that the FC must be raised along with the CYA. Plus, 80-100 for a SWG pool???
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    I watched their "Pool School" to get a $5 coupon. They are not into TPF. They are very much into powders.

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    There is nothing new about those CYA recommendations.

    What they do not do, is recognize that FC must be raised with it.
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    There is nothing new about those CYA recommendations.

    What they do not do, is recognize that FC must be raised with it.
    If they recommend CYA levels at 30 - 50 ppm, it logically follows that they have to either recommend partially draining your pool every couple of months or that you stop using pucks and powders (if they want to be remotely credible). Of course, that's not what they're recommending as far as I know. I don't know if it's because they're unaware that pucks and powders are adding CYA or if they're willfully ignoring the issue.
    20k gal. IG plaster w/spa. 2 HP Aqua-Flo "A" pump, Hayward DE6020 filter. "The Pool Cleaner".

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    I may be wrong; I'm still fairly new, but someone on another thread stated that Leslie'a recently bought Pool Supply World. Until a week ago I hadn't heard of either company, but I did find some Youtube videos from the latter that looked like they could have been produced by TFP. They even show the FC/CYA chart and pool math giving credit to TFP. But on the other hand, they've also got videos promoting trichlor (w/o warnings that it will raise CYA), and other products that TFP folks would never recommend.

    I think it's possible to present and teach more than one method; even if only one of them truly works, and maybe that's the only way the industry can move away from this sham that has gone on for so long w/o getting blackballed be the chemical companies.

    That's what I'd like to see at the pool stores: option one--TFP; they'll have the test kits; liquid chlorine; the fc/cya charts, borax, baking soda, acid,recommended levels, SLAM procedures, information about how to achieve and hold a good CYA level,and troublefreepool.com given out for guidance. Option 2--FC 1 to 4 and all the junk that's supposed to keep these under sanitized pools clear.

    My local pool store has an aisle of stabilized chlorine and an aisle of cal-hypo products. They actually tell people to stop using the stabilized chlorine when the report prints out to drain the pool due to CYA too high and to remember to buy from the unstabilized aisle. I can't remember what point that is and if they make adjustments for SWGs, but I do remember, before I found TFP, that I had CYA 68; the report said do a partial drain, and the associate told me I didn't have to drain; just don't use stabilized chlorine. He recommended cal-hypo pucks sold only in a huge bucket for daily maintenance. I didn't buy it, because I've got only a 7500 gallon pool, but hat information is what got me interested. I didn't understand this CYA thing and why that made a difference.

    My point is that not all the stores are oblivious to CYA levels until the customer reaches 100, but I can't understand how the stores can acknowledge that CYA can be too high for chlorine to be effective, but can't acknowledge that a higher FC is needed @ 45 than is needed @ 30; and ditto for shock levels. And then there is the third major issue of testing; and the fourth major issue of Shock (which is blind hope) versus SLAM, which is guaranteed destruction of organic matter. It would be interesting to see how Leslie's would respond to these concepts.
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbcpool View Post
    if it's because they're unaware that pucks and powders are adding CYA
    They know, but it's to what degree. They have no problem loading a customer up with cal-hypo when the CYA gets too high. They will recommend drain and refill to get the number down. However, I think it's the labelling on the trichlor bucket. It's 99% trichlor with 90% available chlorine. For that reason, the clerks think that the unaccounted 1% is the CYA and can't raise the CYA to any significant degree. Even if it's the 10%, I still don't think they think that's enough.

    When I was there and brought up using liquid vs the powder, the clerks looked at me in horror, and said, "oh, no. That will drive your TDS through the roof." Maybe they were discouraging it because I was price matching, but they did relent and let me buy the liquid, and informed me, "the liquid is not an approved product for our Algae Free Guarantee."

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    I may be wrong; I'm still fairly new, but someone on another thread stated that Leslie'a recently bought Pool Supply World. Until a week ago I hadn't heard of either company, but I did find some Youtube videos from the latter that looked like they could have been produced by TFP. They even show the FC/CYA chart and pool math giving credit to TFP. But on the other hand, they've also got videos promoting trichlor (w/o warnings that it will raise CYA), and other products that TFP folks would never recommend.

    I think it's possible to present and teach more than one method; even if only one of them truly works, and maybe that's the only way the industry can move away from this sham that has gone on for so long w/o getting blackballed be the chemical companies.

    That's what I'd like to see at the pool stores: option one--TFP; they'll have the test kits; liquid chlorine; the fc/cya charts, borax, baking soda, acid,recommended levels, SLAM procedures, information about how to achieve and hold a good CYA level,and troublefreepool.com given out for guidance. Option 2--FC 1 to 4 and all the junk that's supposed to keep these under sanitized pools clear.

    My local pool store has an aisle of stabilized chlorine and an aisle of cal-hypo products. They actually tell people to stop using the stabilized chlorine when the report prints out to drain the pool due to CYA too high and to remember to buy from the unstabilized aisle. I can't remember what point that is and if they make adjustments for SWGs, but I do remember, before I found TFP, that I had CYA 68; the report said do a partial drain, and the associate told me I didn't have to drain; just don't use stabilized chlorine. He recommended cal-hypo pucks sold only in a huge bucket for daily maintenance. I didn't buy it, because I've got only a 7500 gallon pool, but hat information is what got me interested. I didn't understand this CYA thing and why that made a difference.

    My point is that not all the stores are oblivious to CYA levels until the customer reaches 100, but I can't understand how the stores can acknowledge that CYA can be too high for chlorine to be effective, but can't acknowledge that a higher FC is needed @ 45 than is needed @ 30; and ditto for shock levels. And then there is the third major issue of testing; and the fourth major issue of Shock (which is blind hope) versus SLAM, which is guaranteed destruction of organic matter. It would be interesting to see how Leslie's would respond to these concepts.
    Your friendly store clerk also probably did not know that using cal-hypo would eventually lead to a whole other set of problems; calcium scale, and clouding.
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Your friendly store clerk also probably did not know that using cal-hypo would eventually lead to a whole other set of problems; calcium scale, and clouding.
    Well cal-hypo is the only un stabilized chlorine they sell. Like I stated above, I'm still fairly new and have learned most of the basic principles so don't really understand the problems associated with cal-hypo except for the CH it adds. Personally, I don't like to use it, because it's so darn hard to dissolve, and it has clouded my pool in the past, though not every time, and when it did cloud my pool, it was at a time when my pool wasn't breaking down FC excessively or contained any cc's, so it had to be something else besides a pool needing a SLAM. Someone would have to give me a link or explain to me what causes the other problems with cal-hypo, cause I've not read about it. These issues were mostly before I found TFP, but I have once or twice bought cal-hypo to SLAM since my CH was so low, the price was competitive, and I was in the pool store anyway buying equipment. If I remember correctly, my pool didn't cloud initially, but during the successive adds for maintaining the shock level, it will cloud my pool.

    In the process of learning the basics taught here, I've become fascinated with the fact that the truth in pool care has never worked its way through in this industry. This is not how a free market in a capitalistic nation usually works, because educated consumers, and professionals in an industry normally prevail over a long-standing sham or a practice that does not work due to ignorance in an industry. Imagine if auto manufacturers and lubricant producers and car dealers were all in cahoots, and were leading drivers to believe we need five different chemicals added to our crank cases to maintain a clean engine instead of just a high-quality motor oil changed ever so often. These other four chemicals could be purchased only at the dealerships. Mechanics around the country, retired auto engineers, etc. would have soon dispelled all that bad information, and everyone would be ignoring the industry and doing it the right way; cheap way; and easy way.

    So I think, but don't know, because I've not followed it too long or know the history of this sham or ignorance or whatever has caused these inferior methods of pool care to exist for all this time; that it is the professionals of the industry (the ones who actually take care of homeowners and commercial pools) who have let consumers down. They should have all figured it out by now and communicated to each other and then to the consumer. And then the pool stores and the chemical companies would have had to change their teachings and inventories or risk being irrelevant.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Something else that strikes me about this website and the forum is all the negativity about pool stores and the recommendation to stay out of them. I mean I understand the part about pool care that people have to come here to do things right, and I understand that folks can go to Wal-mart for equipment, and I understand that people can buy pools online, have them shipped, put them up themselves or pay a contractor. But my pool store sold me a good pool at a very good price; set up was exemplary; they've got good selection and good quality equipment like brushes and filter sand at competitive prices that I can get immediately if I need it. So is everyone on here not buying pools through pool stores and not buying equipment from them, or are folks just saying to stay out of them for pool care advice. Because with respect to equipment advice and service, they've got me set up with a good system for my 7500 gallon pool, and that's why I go in there for all my stuff. I guess I would go there for CYA also, but they sell it only in a 5 lb quantity, which is over kill for my pool, and so after learning the basics of TFP and needing to raise my CYA by 10, I went to the pool store and bought plain ole dichlor from THEM at a good price and used it as my daily replenishment; used pool math to figure how much to use, before going back to bleach, and then retested, used some more, and got my CYA up to 45. My PH tends upward anyway, so the dichlor just sort of slowed that upward drift down while I used it. Is this a bad practice? If it's not, is there a reason not to buy it from a pool store? I've not had any issues with dichlor but didn't really ask on here if this was an approved way to raise CYA.
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Hi Greg, i'm no expert either, but from what i've learned here is that the problem with pool stores is the system of "free" testing, from which the dubious results are then used to sell expensive and often unnecessary chemicals. Add that to lack of proper understanding of pool chemistry and bad advice from the employees, no wonder so many people come here with the same "pool store" story. They should just stick to selling pools and equipment and parts, no one begrudges them that, and we all need equipment and parts at some point. But unless they are willing to provide a proper, scientific method of adjusting pool chemistry inexpensively, they will not fit in with the TFP philosophy.

    Unfortunately, when most people get a new pool, what do they do? What they think everyone is supposed to do: go to the pool store with your bottle of water for testing. Shock weekly? Ok that's what everyone else does, it must be right! Green pool? Algaecide, that's what everyone says to use! CYA? Never heard of it, but 150 is OK?

    Unless you get lucky and want to manage the pool on your own or get lucky and find TFP at the beginning, or end up here through pool store failure, that's how most people do it, and have been for decades.

    gregsfc, as per your question regarding using dichlor to raise CYA, it is completely approved in the TFP philosophy, because you added what the pool needed, in the correct dosage, tested it, and understood why you were doing it and what the results would be.

    Your auto industry analogy did get me thinking of an auto myth that kind of is like the pool store myths: that you have to get your oil changes every 3000 miles
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    Well cal-hypo is the only un stabilized chlorine they sell.
    If you're talking specifically about Leslie's, the stores by me have it in the back, and you have to ask for it. It's just not a product they appear to actively market.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    professionals in an industry normally prevail
    The problem here is the "professionals" are the pool guys that come once a week. TPF is a daily process, and there's no way the pool guys could stay in business because they'd have no profit or have to charge outrageous prices that no one would want to pay. Tabs are great for once a week dosing, but jugs of chlorine just don't lend themselves to once a week application.

    I love tabs. They were so convenient, but there was nothing on the label to indicate that the convenience came with a hidden price. My pool died, and I got a replaster and fresh water. I'm pretty sure at start up the pool guy dosed with dichlor. I had to let Leslie's test the water because of pool builder warranty requirements. From 3/7 to 5/15, I watched the CYA climb from 20-30 ppm to 50-60 ppm depending on how accurate Leslie's testing and employee variation played into the results. I was using 1 to 2 tabs per week and maintaining an FC of 4 to 5. The pool store swore up one side and down the other that OUR TABS HAVE NO CYA (or vary little depending on who was talking), and that's all I was using, and then I started googling and found this site. Living in AZ, 50-60 on the CYA won't kill me (because of my own testing, I'm confident I'm at 60), but now I'm in a position to not repeat the sins of the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    the recommendation to stay out of them
    They just don't know what they are selling.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    stay out of them for pool care advice.
    This is what I do. Leslie's is a 1/2 mile from my house. They price match and have the acid and liquid I need, and I still even let them test the water to be able to use the $5 off coupons. However, I get mad when they send someone home with bags of powders to treat a green pool. I'm pretty sure it looks like it worked, but I just know that it's going to come back, and then the endless cycle begins.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    needing to raise my CYA by 10, I went to the pool store and bought plain ole dichlor
    For that little increase in CYA, I'd have broke out the trichlor pucks and enjoyed a month of not having to lug home jugs of chlorine and acid.

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    Something else that strikes me about this website and the forum is all the negativity about pool stores and the recommendation to stay out of them. I mean I understand the part about pool care that people have to come here to do things right, and I understand that folks can go to Wal-mart for equipment, and I understand that people can buy pools online, have them shipped, put them up themselves or pay a contractor. But my pool store sold me a good pool at a very good price; set up was exemplary; they've got good selection and good quality equipment like brushes and filter sand at competitive prices that I can get immediately if I need it. So is everyone on here not buying pools through pool stores and not buying equipment from them, or are folks just saying to stay out of them for pool care advice. Because with respect to equipment advice and service, they've got me set up with a good system for my 7500 gallon pool, and that's why I go in there for all my stuff. I guess I would go there for CYA also, but they sell it only in a 5 lb quantity, which is over kill for my pool, and so after learning the basics of TFP and needing to raise my CYA by 10, I went to the pool store and bought plain ole dichlor from THEM at a good price and used it as my daily replenishment; used pool math to figure how much to use, before going back to bleach, and then retested, used some more, and got my CYA up to 45. My PH tends upward anyway, so the dichlor just sort of slowed that upward drift down while I used it. Is this a bad practice? If it's not, is there a reason not to buy it from a pool store? I've not had any issues with dichlor but didn't really ask on here if this was an approved way to raise CYA.
    Greg,

    A few comments in no particular order regarding your thoughts.

    You have found one of the few quality pool stores. They are out there but are hard to find. The negative feelings many here have for pool stores,is due to the hundreds of people who show up here every year having spent thousands of dollars at pool stores with no benefit - they still have a green pool. Pool stores are in a changing industry, but many owners refuse to acknowledge it or are ignorant of it. As you point out, equipment and chemicals are available through many channels now - between big box stores and the Internet pool stores have more competition than ever. But, instead of stepping up their game and providing a better product/experience many just continue as they always have. I have visited multiple stores in my area and they all provide abysmal testing and push products that are not needed.

    Pool stores need to concentrate on what the Internet and big box stores can't provide. Excellent customer service. Like yours they need to build a great pool with little hassle for the customer.

    As to your questions about dichlorvos, tricolor and most other pool chemicals. TFP is really not "against" any of them. We just want people to understand what each product adds to your pool and only use them when those products were needed. If you need both CYA and chlorine then tricolor and dichlor are both wonderful for this. But, I question CalHypo as the go to product when CYA is too high.

    Pool Supply World is the only company other than TFTestkits.net that stocks the TF-100 test kit. I'm sure that is the reason they have TFP information on their web site.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Tim beat me to it, but I want to clear up a misconception: there are no forbidden chemicals in TFPC. TFPC is about understanding what is being added and done to your pool. Now when someone is new and doesn't have a good understanding of the system then it is easier to just get them off of pucks and powders completely. As someone learns more they have more options since they will understand what they are putting in their pools.

    In that sense, trichlor, dichlor, cal-hypo are not forbidden. You could even manage a TFPC pool using trichlor with regular water replacement, though it is not as cost effective as using liquid chlorine and really no less work. There are discouraged products like clarifiers, flocs, and phosphate removers that in most cases are an unnecessary expense. Then there are ionizers, copper algaecides, and mineral systems. Ok, those are very highly discouraged but not specifically forbidden by TFPC. It's just most of us take a highly negative stance due to the side effects and fear-mongering sales tactics used to sell them.

    As for pool stores and weekly service, there are some good ones out there. I have spoken with former pool store employees who had been scolded for not having high enough sales. That doesn't sound like a place with the customers' best interest at heart, only the bottom line. They were instructed to upsell at every point and to push phosphate removers and algaecides. So I accept there are some good ones, but there are plenty of bad ones out there. As for weekly services, knowledge is power. Knowing the FC/CYA relationship and adjusting the service slightly could really improve customer satisfaction.
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Good points and good discussion everyone.

    I personally don't like trichlor, and maybe it's just that I don't know how one uses it the TFP way. I've got used to this every-evening-testing methodology (usually just an OTO test of TC; weekly FAS-DPD), and I know how much chlorine the sun took away that previous day by my quick test, and I add that much back in through bleach (or somewhere very close). Recently, I did the same thing with dichlor and overdid it just a little at first, because it takes so little to do the same thing as bleach I think I was just putting in a little extra for good measure, but I finally got it honed down. My goal is for that OTO color to be the same color each evening and it usually is, and I've got a good feeling as to how this relates to the more accurate FAS-DPD test. But if I were just to let pucks float in a floater, I wouldn't know how much it's releasing and how quickly it's releasing from day to day. I guess those who have used it successfully have figured this out, and it would be great if I left on a trip, but other than that, I think it would drive me crazy losing that feeling of knowing that I'm putting exactly so much chlorine in at a specific time every day, and the idea that it's slowly letting out chlorine when the sun is up overhead breaking it down as fast or faster than it's being released.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So lots of talk about Leslie's on these forums. Originally I thought everyone was talking about an online store. So are they like a national chain or something, since people everywhere are physically going there?
    7600 gallon; 18'X54" round; vinyl; sand filter and 110V pump, 2-speed.
    Near Cookeville, TN--1/2-way between Nashville--Knoxville along I-40; Highland Rim part of the Appalachian Plateau (we call the Cumberland Plateau for the southern half of this geological region).

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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
    Good points and good discussion everyone.

    I personally don't like trichlor, and maybe it's just that I don't know how one uses it the TFP way. I've got used to this every-evening-testing methodology (usually just an OTO test of TC; weekly FAS-DPD), and I know how much chlorine the sun took away that previous day by my quick test, and I add that much back in through bleach (or somewhere very close). Recently, I did the same thing with dichlor and overdid it just a little at first, because it takes so little to do the same thing as bleach I think I was just putting in a little extra for good measure, but I finally got it honed down. My goal is for that OTO color to be the same color each evening and it usually is, and I've got a good feeling as to how this relates to the more accurate FAS-DPD test. But if I were just to let pucks float in a floater, I wouldn't know how much it's releasing and how quickly it's releasing from day to day. I guess those who have used it successfully have figured this out, and it would be great if I left on a trip, but other than that, I think it would drive me crazy losing that feeling of knowing that I'm putting exactly so much chlorine in at a specific time every day.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So lots of talk about Leslie's on these forums. Originally I thought everyone was talking about an online store. So are they like a national chain or something, since people everywhere are physically going there?
    Yes, they're a big chain.

    Store Locations

    I've got 3 within 5 miles of me.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Leslie's Adopting TFP Principles?

    Yes, Leslie's is a national chain, They are everywhere except in the North Central and NorthWest regions. There is a map on their website.

    PSW (poolsupplyworld) is one of the few pool businesses that has been pretty active on the forum and are able to stick within the rules to not promote themselves and to just offer help to the members. As mentioned earlier, they are also the only place besides tftestkits.net (which Dave owns along with this forum) that sells the TF-100 due to the relationship that has developed here on the forum.
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