Tag Archives: cell phone az

Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount – 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 Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus.  Recently we launched our new instagram (ItsAJackLife) and Dorothy has been managing it for me.  We started to do some short videos there and decided being able to use our tripod would be a good idea.  Issue was my old adapter made by DaVoice didn’t work for vertical, only horizontal.

Up till now that was not a problem because I hate VVS (vertical video syndrome) on sites like YouTube but for Instagram you have to do vertical and I get why.  So I figured why not get a mount that does both.  I almost passed on the Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus simply because it was so cheap.  I mean how good could it be for 6.88?

But it just looked like  what I needed and with Amazon you can always return something if it is crap so I gave it a shot. 72 reviews and 4.5 stars.  Gets an A on Fakespot and the Company itself Carlus gets and A as well.

When I got this thing I was impressed.  It is plastic but well built, thick plastic and that is the right material for this little product.  The thumbscrew holds firmly and has a rubber gasket to keep it clamped down.  It mounts to a standard tripod or monopod shoe and it like everything I recommend just works and always works.

Some reviewers did note that on some larger phones the phone won’t fit with a case on it.  I measured the max spread of the clamp at 3.75 inches so measure any larger device you might want to use it for.

You can also get the mount along with a small tripod and a bluetooth remote for your camera.  I can’t speak for the tripod because I have enough tripods and didn’t need another one.  The bluetooth remote is the same one DaVoice uses and many other vendors do as well.  They work just fine, just if you use it make sure the phone is screen side to you so you can be sure it started when you pushed the button.  If not you could finish a 10 minute video but have never started the camera, ask me how I know.

In any event the Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus is a great little tool for the money. So if you need something like this for your phone give it a try, at less then 7 bucks it can’t be beat.  In fact I now recommend it over my prior recommendation from DaVoice.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

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 65.99 with free shipping on prime.  It currently has over 2,100 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

  • iPhone7 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 all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

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

Special Notice – I am bringing this item around today because Amazon has it on a “Lightning Deal”.  Right now you can get these for only 8.32 a piece.   There is only about 2 hours left on this deal as of 9:50 AM on 7-27-18.  This is the best selling car charger we have ever recommended, hundreds sold and zero complaints.

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.
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  • 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 all of our reviews at  TspAz.com

 

Otium Bluetooth FM Transmitter – Item of the Day

bluetoothEvery 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 Otium Bluetooth FM Transmitter.  I was turned onto this product by a listener and knew at once I needed one for my old F350.  About 2.5 years ago we got our Toyota 4Runner.  It was the first tech heavy vehicle I have ever owned.

I really love being able to play my iphone music and podcasts in it, to make phone calls hands free and hear them over the speakers, etc.  I have been trying to talk myself into getting a new stereo for my truck with features like that.

I just can’t justify it!  My old beast is a long ago paid for 2005 F350.  Not only is it an 05 but it was even when new a bare bones work truck.  I paid cash for it in 2011 and it has been a good partner.  I just don’t drive it that much any more, so I wanted the cool features and access to my music but couldn’t justify the expense.

I did have a FM Modulator in it for a while that allowed me to play music but it wasn’t really that good of a sound quality.  What I had been doing is taking my Bose Speaker with me, but I don’t really like having a 300 dollar speaker sitting in my truck when I am in the store or what have you.

Coming in at only 20 bucks, when I first reviewed it, I almost wrote this thing off but the guy that wrote in about it was raving about it so I gave it a shot.  Man this thing is slick.  First you pick an open unused frequency on the FM dial and set it to that.  You pair your phone to it and that is that.  And today it is an even better deal as the price has dropped to only 16 bucks!

You can now make calls, listen to music or podcasts, etc.  One really great thing is it also has a USB port so you can charge your phone and you don’t loose the outlet for that purpose.  It also takes an SD card if you want to put music or audio files on it that way.

Another great feature is that it has an aux port, so you can directly connect a non bluetooth device or not use bluetooth on your phone to conserve battery life, or simply because you don’t want to use it for any reason.

Most newer vehicles now come with these features built in but if you have an older vehicle this little gadget will give it a hell of an upgrade for only 18 bucks.  So check out the Otium Bluetooth FM Transmitter if you have an outdated sound system.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – My only word of caution is make sure you have some “empty space” on your FM dial based on where you live.  Here in Dallas I have 107.7 and one other frequency that are actually empty with minimal bleed over.  I have put presets for these two stations on my radio so I can swap if one starts picking up too much static or bleed.  I live in a huge market and the dial is really crowded, in many areas the dial is full of empty channels.  If anyone knows of a comparable product that uses AM bands, please let me know, TONS of empty space there!

DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter & Bluetooth Remote – Item of the Day

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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 a very simple and affordable DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter with Bluetooth Remote Control.  I love this little gadget.  It works with most iPhone and Samsung Galexy phones.  See the description on the Amazon Page for this Item for full compatibility.

The control is pretty much a on and off camera button, but it also does take stills.  I use this a lot in my videos in the kitchen when I am cooking, making mead etc.  I also use this on my desk top to do Youtube segments of just me talking.

So many people want to get into doing youtube videos, well your smart phone, something like this and a tripod you can buy for less than 20 bucks, is a simple way to get started.  For great audio just get an inexpensive lav mic and run it across the floor using an extension cord and clip it to something on your table or work surface.

With that simple set up, using the phone you likely already have for under 50 bucks you can start making great quality youtube videos.  Here are some additional pro tips.

  • Pro Tip One – If you want to make a videos over 10 minutes long.  Just shoot segments about 7 minutes each, upload them all as “private” videos.  Then go to Youtube.com/editor an splice them together.  This way you can make videos and never even use software, just directly upload and piece them together.  The youtube editor isn’t great but for splicing segments together and adding transitions it works fine and is VERY intuitive.
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  • Pro Tip Two – You likely already have a good behind the camera mic.  What I mean if if you are doing show and tell videos from behind the camera, like I do with The Duck Chronicles, just plug in your ear piece you use on phone calls as your mic.
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  • Pro Tip Three – If you are shooting behind the camera, MOVE SLOWLY, avoid panning side to side and up and down, move to an object of attention slowly then talk and keep the camera relatively still.  Modern Smart Phones have cameras that rival 1000 dollar video cameras if you do this, but they don’t have the frame rate to handle a lot of motion without making your viewers kind of well, sea sick.

I still struggle with number three myself.  Anyway if you are looking for a low cost way to shoot great quality videos that are mostly Vlog, or show and tell type things, like say Meads of the Week, this is the easiest and most affordable way I know to go about it.  It also prevents the dreaded illness called VVS!

So check out this affordable Cell Phone Tripod Adapter with Bluetooth Remote Control, I can’t think of anything that can do as much for the content producer out there for under 12 bucks.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Warning Cat Attractant Remote Control Unit – Just a funny thing, likely will not effect you.  I have repeatedly had to go without my little remote due to our cat Alice.  For some reason she is very obsessed with the remote and will attack it if she sees it unguarded.  I made a habit of leaving it on our bar in the kitchen and she will eventually knock it to the ground, bat it around until it inevitably ends up under the refrigerator.  Requiring me to drag it out to retrieve it.

Alice is a cat that you would nicely call “special” so your cat likely won’t have this issue, that said you have been warned.  Keeping everything in the little bag and attaching your bag to your tripod both solves this issue and makes sure you can always find your gear.

P.S.S. – Sadly our special little cat Alice has passed on since this was first posted.  She was a good little girl who we cared for over about 14 years.

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 all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

 

ISelector Nylon Braided Lightning Charging Cables – Item of the Day

iphonecableEvery 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 ISelector Nylon Braided Lightning Charging Cable.  As a long time iPhone user I have always been frustrated by how quickly the expensive cables that come with them end up damaged.  Worse yet when you buy aftermarket cables they tend to not always work.

So I went on a quest to find a durable iPhone cable that just fricken worked and worked all the time.  What I settled on was this, ISelector Nylon Braided Lightning Charging Cable.  These things are tough!  How tough?  While I don’t recommend this, I took one and folded it half and whipped my desk with it 5 times, no damage, plugged it in and it worked.

They are quite affordable too at 25 bucks for a three pack.  About 8.30 a piece and given an Apple Lightening Cable no where near as durable sells for 19 dollars for one, they are now the only thing I use.

You can find them on Amazon at this link ISelector Nylon Braided Lightning Charging Cable

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androidcableBut what about you folks with Androids and other phones that use micro usb.  While they are not as costly as lightening cables given they are so universal, they do still tend to get damaged.  I also keep two of these in my charging station for friends and visitors, so I went out to find the best value to quality ratio I could find.

The key was I wanted a braided cable and aluminum connectors just like the iPhone cable I found.  And what I came up with is the iSeeker Nylon Braided Tangle-Free Micro USB Cable.

I will be totally honest I have not used these anywhere near as much as the ones for the iPhone because I don’t have a phone or primary device that uses them.  But based on their reviews and my inspection they are the best you can get for the price.  I mean seriously these are three bucks a piece in a bundle of three!

During disasters especially weather related ones communications and info gathering is often vital and smart phones are a key link for that.  For this reason I keep chargers and cables in all my vehicles, with my battery back up systems, in all my bags including my BOB and EDC bag.  I also keep the micro USB ones and a few other form factors like standard USB, because you never know what you may need, especially to help others.

When I stick cable into a bag and know I may not see it again for 6 months, I want to damn well know it is going to work when I need it.  If anyone knows of better cables, tell me and I will try them out.  For now these are my highest recommendations.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit – Item of the Day

lens

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 Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit.  For only 16 bucks this little gadget provides both a .45 wide angle lens and a 10X macro lens for your camera on your phone.  This kit works with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy and most cell phones where the lens is within 0.51in (13mm) in diameter. That is the distance between the lens and one of the edges of the phone is within 2.5cm (0.98in).  Pretty much most any smart phone.

Again this is a 2 in 1 product.  The .45 wide angle lens provides a much wider field of view when shooting still or video on your phone.  This really excels for close up table top review style content production and larger landscapes as well.

The second feature is a 10x macro lens.  This is for taking very close up detailed still photos, see the photos below for examples of how well it works.  For this feature you want to get the lens 4-5 centimeters from the subject.  This is great for detailed photos of say insects, plants, sea shells or any small object you want to photograph in great detail.

Props on finding this product goes out to Steven Harris who recommened it to me when he saw this video where I show my sprouting system.  It would have come out much better with this lens for sure.

To use this all you do is clip it on your phone and start shooting.  It has no electronic parts and is pretty much fool proof.  Just like any lens, you need to keep it clean.

I have to tell you that it does a better job with photography then many of the early DSLR cameras and man that says something.  So how much will it set you back, well a whopping 16 bucks.  So check out the Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit and upgrade the hell out of your photo and video ability on your phone for under 20 bucks.

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 – Here is a live video showing the lens in action.  Please understand this is not really the way the lens is meant to be used, it is much easier to center properly if you put it on before shooting rather than take it on and off during shooting.

 

PPS – Next up here are some photos I took with and without the macro lens of a knife handle to give you an idea of the added detail you can capture with the macro 10X lens.  The reason the non macro pic is so out of focus is the camera is way to close in an attempt to capture small details.  Again distance from the macro lens is best at 4-5 cm, or about 1.9 inches.

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