Tag Archives: energy az

Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer.  Recently I purchased and installed a very high end aeration system for my small pond.  The compressor is in my duck house and 100′ of weighted air line is run down to the pond.   The compressor is a 1/4 horse power system and it really boils the water with wonderful oxygen.

Problem?  Well, you don’t want to run that thing 24/7 so a timer was a must.  Gets more complicated though.  See we run the electric fence off the power to the duck house, I have a mater switch on the pool deck right next to it.  This means when we are working with the ducks and letting them out during the day we just kill the power.

So now what we need to do is unplug the fence charger during the day and turn the power back on for the compressor, not to mention my new boats charger for the trolling motor!  So a normal timer is going to end up resetting every time you kill the power!  Enter the mechanical timer, set it to run 15 minutes every hour and you are good to go.  Frankly it does not matter what time it is set up that way, it just runs 15 minutes out of every 60.

This gives some good water agitation 6 hours a day but nicely spread out and reduces over heating risks to the compressor.

Okay so now the real problem, my buddy David pointed the above out to me this weekend, really obvious when you think about it but I HATE timers.  It amazes me how something that should be so simple is often so damn confusing and unreliable.  So I went on Amazon and found the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer. Wow, where has this thing been all my life?

Look when I say I hate timers let me be clear, my hatred of times is only over shadowed by my hatred of network printers.  (NOTE THAT LINK IS NOT WORKPLACE SAFE) Well, that has changed I love this timer, so simple there are two steps to using it and it is pretty fool proof and very easy to see how you have it set.

Step one each hour has 4 small pins you can push down, simply push down the pins for each 15 minutes you want the power to be on.  So say you wanted your time to run from 8AM to 10AM every morning and 7PM to 9PM every night.  Okay just push all the pins down for 8, 9 and 10AM and 7, 8 and 9PM.  Step two turn the dial so the arrow points to the current time.  That is it!

You then simply plug it in and plug the device you want to control with it, done.  In my case I pushed down one pin for every hour in a 24 hour period.  So my compressor runs 15 minutes per hour which again is 6 hours a day.  The pins are a bit small I used the tip of a pocket knife to depress them but it was very easy.

I love this timer and its simplicity so much I am trying to figure out what to automate with another one.  About the only complaint I read in reviews (from thinking humans anyway) was that it is a large device and it takes up so much space as to block the second outlet.

There is a simple solution to such things, I have covered it before and it applies to any large plugs, just get some of these one foot extension cords and it keeps all outlets open.  Or is my case I am using what Jon Dowie calls, “a fricken orange, three way, fricken Steven Harris fricken thing“.

Anyway I absolutely love the Century 24 Hour Mechanical Timer and think you will too. So check it out for any of your power automation needs.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Check out this quick video of how I am using this product.

Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove – Item of the Day

stove

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  I break down the value of this stove into four distinct areas.

First if you are on electric for your stove and the power goes out you do not want to try to run your range with your generator, unless you have a huge one.  Running a coffee maker puts a hit on a small gen set let alone a stove.  So it is back up cooking for those of you with electric.

Second is for the camper that “truck camps”.  I mean this is no back packing stove but mostly when I camp now I have my truck with me.  So between this stove and my Steven Harris battery system in my truck box, I feel like I am on grid.

Third is for you folks with electric stoves even when you do have power.  Look cooking on gas is just a hell of a lot more fun then electric.  This little thing has as much power as my gas range in my kitchen.  Many home cooks would love to have a gas range but just don’t have gas service and a big propane pig is not practical.  This is the next best thing.

Fourth is what I consider life style enhancement for all of us.  Let’s say it is a beautiful morning on a non work day.  You and your family want a nice breakfast.  Well go out on the porch or the deck and cook outside.  Just set this guy up on a table and get to work.  Get yourself a nice French Press and boil some water and make coffee or hot tea to go with it.

adapterA quick note, this stove comes with a hose and is designed to run on 20 gallon grill sized propane tanks.  If you want to run small one pound cans (which is really convenient for this stove) you need to add the small bottle adapter to your order.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the value of the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  It really blows me away that you can get a portable two burner stove that cooks as nice as my 1200 dollar range in my kitchen does for under 100 bucks.  And like everything I recommend it is very highly rated on Amazon with 4.5 star with over 130 reviews.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

The Thermocube – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Farm Innovators Thermocube.  This little gadget is one of the most useful and slick little things you can get your hands on.  It is simply a two plug adapter, meaning you plug it into one outlet and you get two.  But inside is a mercury switch.  This makes it provide power only in a specific temperature range.

There are a lot of options with this device, the most useful to many homesteaders will turn on at 35 and off at 45.  This will keep say a green house on a heater from going below freezing for just one example.

These things also have options at the other end of the spectrum.  For instance on at 78 off at 70.  This could be useful for running say a fan in a chicken coop.  They way they are designed I am not saying they can’t fail, I just have not ever seen one do so.  They are designed with such simplicity there just are not many moving parts.

The temperature either causes the switch to be on or to be off, that is all, nothing more.

One little extra you may want to consider when using these is a Water-Tight Cord Lock.  To be clear this will not go over the Thermocube, you would plug that in at the outlet.  What this does is go over where your extension cord plugs into your device or where two extension cords are joined.  These are a great tool in their own right and I will review them stand alone on another day.

Another great little tip is consider using one of these slick little 1-foot extension cords if outlet space is an issue.

In any event the Farm Innovators Thermocube varies in price based on option and please note that some options are like for a 6 pack when making your buying decisions.  The on at 35 off at 45 is under 12 bucks and that is a great price given what it does.

When I had a small greenhouse one of these and a simple small electric heater was sufficient to get through the coldest nights with no losses.    Sure beats complex wiring, expensive thermostats, etc.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Lanshion 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with 4 USB Ports Desktop USB Charging Station – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Lanshion 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with 4 USB Ports Desktop USB Charging Station.  What I love about this product is how much it does with such a small foot print.  It is designed for desk top use, IE not crawling under your desk every time you need to plug something in.

From an AC standpoint it gives you a total capacity of 1875 watts and of course provides surge protection for all devices plugged into it.  It also give you 4, 4.5Amp USB charging ports.  This means rapid charging of up to 4 USB devices at once.  Again clearly this object is designed for desk top use.  However I see some other great uses for it.

One would be a simple charging station for phones and what have you that also gives you plenty of power outlets.  Set up on a entry table this would be a great way to provide USB charging for guests and still have plenty of power outlets for any needs.

Another would be a kitchen counter top.  Talk about a place where power can be at a premium.  Since it is compact and frankly looks good it can go back in a corner and out of the way yet be there for anything you need to plug in.  Likely you would never use all 8 ports that way but what ever you needed you’d have.

Then there is the best use I can think of, and why I ordered one!  A central distribution point for a Steven Harris Battery Bank or a emergency Generator.  Set this baby on a kitchen table and power it up.  Now you can charge your mobile devices, your enLoop Batteries and run your AC powered items from a central and most importantly a compact point, all with surge protection.

The last one and this seems like a really great use as well is a work bench out in a shop building.  The ability to plug in power tools, chargers, etc to a single compact space seems awesome, and the USB ports make it easy to charge your mobile device while listening to tunes and you complete your projects.

I of course checked FakeSpot and this item gets a solid B grade with over 300 reviews and 4.5 total stars.  Frankly in looking for an item like this I had to wade though a ton of them with F’s, yes F’s on fake review grading.  Sometimes I wish Amazon would cut a deal with Fakespot and do an API based link to them.  It would end fake reviews and end them fast.

In any event the Lanshion 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with 4 USB Ports Desktop USB Charging Station is a solid performer with a great reputation and might be the perfect fit for your needs in one of many areas.  So check it out today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light – Item of the Day

These are by far my favorite Power Failure Lights.

These are by far my favorite Power Failure Lights.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light.

I have tried dozens of brands of these types of lights over the years, they are all useful while they last.  Generally at some point the over charge and stay on even when they should be off.

I have never been happy with any of them long term until I found these from Etekcity.

I have been running these now for over a year in a half with no issues, they work and just keep on working.  The only down side is they take up an entire outlet.  I have changed a few of my outlets to quads to deal with that, I like them that much.

They also have motion sensors so when you walk by them in the dark they turn on and go back off after no motion is detected for 30 seconds. This prevent stubbed toes in dark hallway, great for night bathroom trips too, with out lighting up the entire house.

They are plug and play, you don’t have to configure anything. You an pick them up and take them with you like a flashlight.  Oh and the most common complaint in the small minority of negative reviews?  Well, they are too bright, yea really.

If you have kiddos man you need these, when the lights go out kids get scared.  Now it isn’t a big deal when you are right next to them, but how about Billy is playing in his room, you are in the shower with soap in your eyes and bam, lights out.  Billy is crying, you are naked, you have soap in your eyes and you can’t see for more than one reason, fun stuff huh?

Now imagine you have one of these in the hall way, one in Billy’s room and one in the kitchen, lights go out, all of these come on.  Now you need to get to your black out kit, well you just pick it up and take it with you.

I love the one in my kitchen!  If I get up from the bed while I was reading for say a drink, I get to the kitchen it comes on, I can see to get a water or what have  you, and the 30 second stay on is plenty long enough to get back to our room with viability.  So check out the Etekcity LED Night Light / Flashlight: Rechargeable Emergency Light set today.

Your kids and your toes will thank you for it.  And at only 29 bucks for a twin pack they come out to under 15 bucks a piece.  As to quality well then have 4.5 out of 5 stars with close to 300 reviews you know they work well.  Oh and again keep in mind that most of the low star reviews are people bitching that they are too bright, you know Ron White would say about that right?

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

PS – The Ron White link above comes with an adult language warning.  I will also say for some it may need a Trigger Warning so make sure you locate the nearest “Safe Space” before clicking the link if this applies to you.

 

Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger.  I have tried a lot of back up power packs and this one is my current favorite.  This product has a great value to price ratio, coming in at 59.99 with free shipping on prime.  It currently has over 840 reviews on Amazon with 4.5 stars overall.

Frankly, Anker is just a stellar company, they build high quality products and back them with a great 18 month warranty, though I have never had the need to use said warranty.  Next is the power capacity of this particular power pack, 26800mAhs is enough power to charge a

  • iPhone6s 10 times
  • iPad Air 2.5 times
  • iPad Mini 3 times
  • Samsung S6 6.8 times

To put that in perspective I get an easy 24 hours of light use with my iPhone and it still has quite a bit of battery on it.  And if you are in a grid down you minimize use to critical needs, that means this should keep your coms up with your iPhone for a good two weeks.

To me your phone is your lifeline.  It brings you news, it lets you call for help, communicate with loved ones and more.  While I have a generator and several battery banks in my home I am not always in my home.  So I always keep one of these in my pack fully charged as a final back up on power needs.  I recommend you consider the Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger for your own needs.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – This is an encore item I featured very recently.  I am featuring it today because in the wake of Harvey the need for back up cell phone power is pretty obvious.  I highly recommend pairing this item up with the Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger.  By keeping these two items in your car and charging your phone with the second port you will always have plenty of power.

This solution is the one I personally rely on after evaluation of many different options.

 

Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger.  To me this dual charger is the best bang for the buck you can’t get on the market today.  First I love Anker, they are just a stand up company with a great warranty and very good support.  They stand behind everything they make, all the time.  And yea even with a 10 dollar product like this.

This little charger is 24 watts, most of this size and price range are 5-15 watts, simply put this thing charges fast, really fast.  Compared to some of the other stuff we have used almost twice as fast for my wife’s iPhone 6 and my iPhone 7.

What I really like is it is so compact, it takes almost no space up and yet provides two ports.  The top port gives you the fastest charging at 4.8 amps, the lower port charges at 2.4 amps and that still gives you a quicker charge that most 10 dollar 12vdc chargers.

Our view is we keep an Anker Astro E7 fully charged, if you use it plug it into the lower port to top it off.  Given that power bank will charge an iPhone 10 times you are pretty bullet proof at that point.

Steven Harris and I both have the same view on cell phones.

  • Rule One – You don’t let your cell phone go dead, in fact you keep it fully charged all the time.  When you are home you plug it in, when you are in the car you plug it in, etc.
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  • Rule Two – Have multiple ways to charge your phone, especially in your vehicle.
    `
  • Rule Three – You don’t let your cell phone go dead, in fact you keep it fully charged all the time.  When you are home you plug it in, when you are in the car you plug it in, etc.

Simple no?  I also believe in buying quality and Anker gives you that and at 10 bucks, you should have one of these in every vehicle and one in your BOB, get home bag, travel bag, what ever you call your kit/kits of choice.  So check out the Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger and remember if you want the best back up battery pack on the market for your mobile devices in my opinion you just can’t beat the Anker Astro E7.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Cable Matters 6-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Cable Matters 6-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector and it is one of my favorite little gadgets for making my life easier.  It is available in both black and white depending on your preferences.

There are so many reasons I love this thing.  First is my wife and her fricken air fresheners that plug in.  She has them all over, and okay they smell nice but plug in one and you loose two outlets.  This lets me take them back for more practical things like my favorite power failure lights.  But I will admit those too take way an outlet and most of the time it doesn’t matter.

But then you are cooking and want to plug in your spice grinder or some other gadget, fricken outlet is blocked.  By expanding dual boxes into quads or six ways you can still plug in another item or two.

Next there are the USB ports, these have two 2.4 amp charging ports for USB devices.  While not as fast as 3.1 USB ports they are not snails either.  I don’t really use them that much anyway because we have a charging station in the dining room.  But there are times when the phone is low and say I am cooking, I want to plug it in but am listening to music and don’t want to walk to the other room to skip songs, etc.

The next thing I love is something that could be a problem for some folks or in some rooms, suffice to say I won’t put one of these in my bedrooms.  Why?  Well they have a green power indicator light on them.  It is actually bright enough to be like a night light.  So when you get up in the night you have enough light not to stub your toe.  I am sure you could paint over part of this light to dim it down a bit if you wanted to.

Last but not least the entire unite is a surge protector that protects your electronic devices from surges.  And to top it all off, they give you two micro USB charging cables with it for free, total cost, 17 bucks with free shipping on Prime.

Frankly I have looked at dozens of similar products and for the money nothing beats this one.  So check out the Cable Matters 6-Outlet Wall Mount Surge Protector today and take back your outlets!

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

Fuel Gas Can Jug Vents – Item of the Day

ventcaps

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is are Fuel Gas Can Jug Vents.  Now look this is technically something you are not supposed to do, because the government ruined gas cans long ago and this fixes them.  I first caught onto this idea long ago when I saw the video called, “How to Fix a New Gas Can” by Double Survivalists a few years ago.

If you watch the video you will see the modifications he does to make a gas can actually WORK like it is supposed to.  However you will see him use bailing wire and a valve stem for a tire to make the vent.  It does work, I have done it but this solution is BETTER and works like the old cans.

You also have to be careful.  I did a lot of research there are other vent caps being sold that do not have a good design on the ferule that you push though the hole.  Do to that they pop out over and over.  These have a well designed ferule that is tapered to stay in place.

They only have 11 reviews on Amazon but 100% of them are 5 star.  As you may know I suggest people store gas, at minimum 30 gallons per vehicle and ideally at least 60 gallons in 5 gallon cans.  Simply write a number 1-12 on each can and every month dump the corresponding can into a vehicle and refill.  For instance in August dump can 8 into your vehicle and fill it back up.

With this method you never have gas more than a year old.  The issue is the new style cans which are government mandated suck.  They are supposed to be more environmentally friendly but honestly with as much gas as they cause to be spilled they are far from it.  I mean are you truly surprised that the government messed something up yet again.

Now with these caps, a drill and a razor knife your gas cans can actually function properly and be safer for you to use at the same time.  Please watch the video below and then all you do is substitute one of these for the tire valve stem you see in the video.

To install them pick a spot with some thickness on your can, drill a small pilot hole first, then drill it out to 31/64th but a half inch bit will work just fine if you don’t have a 31/64ths.  Pop this in and done.  It is a better solution then the tire valve stem and easier to install to boot.  And frankly they cost less.  So check out these Fuel Gas Can Jug Vents today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Video from Double Survivalists called “How to Fix a New Gas Can”.  Note he uses the same numbering system on his cans I recommend.  I was really surprised to see that as I have never heard anyone else recommend it.

Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day the Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter.  Long term listeners may be thinking oh this is an old one, and it is, sort of.  While doing research last week I found that Whistler no longer makes the 800 Watt inverter that Steven Harris and I have both recommended for years.

So does the new Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter stand up to the old Whistler PRO800W Inverter?  Yes!  Yes it most certainly does.  Despite the few idiots writing low reviews (more on that in a minute) this is pretty much the same old Whister in a new body with a few small upgrades.

Just like the old model there are two AC outlets, however now the inverter has 2 vs. 1 USB port, which is great for charging smart devices while using the inverter for other things.  It also still has the most important safety features including, Electronic Circuit Protection consisting of Smart Surge Control, Overload/Voltage Protection, Short Circuit Protection, and Thermal Cutoff.

What about the idiotic negative reviews?  First there are a few legitimate ones where they say it is DOA, with any electronic product this can and does happen.  This is why I love Amazon if anything is wrong you exchange or return it.  Just consider they sell thousands of these a week, if .2% have a problem, a few will show up.  The beauty is with Amazon you have no risk, print a return label and exchange it or get a refund.  One reason right there I LOVE Amazon.

Most of the negatives are idiotic though.  People trying to pull 500 watts but plugging it into a cigarette lighter plug which can only handle 150 watts tops.  People saying that the back terminals are not threaded like the picture, well dummy that is because you ordered the 1200 watt one with heavier terminals for higher wattage.  Or someone saying it won’t run a microwave, well no shit!  I mean who would have ever expected that a 800 watt inverter would not be able to run an 1100 watt microwave?  Keep in mind these people breed and they vote!

This inverter is what it always has been a good low cost option for back up power when you need it.  It allows you with simply some extension cords and some power splitters to make use of the one or two “generators” sitting in your driveway or garage.  If you are sane you can power most things in your house with one or two of these just not all at the same time, you can run a fridge for a few hours to keep it cool then run other things.

It will easily run some LED lights to keep you able to see where things are.  It will of course give you all the power you need to charge all your devices, run a laptop and even a cable modem, again you just have to pick what you want to do at any time, you can’t do everything at once, but you can do an awful lot.

At 48.55 a piece I don’t know of any other single preparedness item that can do as much for under 50 bucks.  I also want to say this is a big time case for two is one and one is none.  This is a good product but inverters do fail, all electronics do, so keep two at least on hand.  So check out the Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter today and consider adding it to your black out kit.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – For more on using this item check out the podcast I did with Steven Harris on powering your house with your car.  In fact two of them, Part One and Part Two.