Tag Archives: electronics az

TP-LINK Archer C7 Wireless Router – Item of the Day

routerEvery 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 TP-LINK Archer C7 Wireless Router.  I did a TON of work when I last upgraded our router, this is the one I settled on, I have never regretted it.  It has now been running for three years and I have no desire to replace it.

We have a large house, not a mansion or something like that just a long house because the garage was converted to indoor space and lot of brick walls.  We always had trouble with the signal in certain areas, and especially out in the detached metal garage.

This thing bangs signal out hard and with one extender (which you can find here) I can hit almost any part of my 3 acre property.  It also has two bands one at 2.4 and one at 5 ghz.  We have found some of our devices like say our printer, just does better on the 2.4 ghz band.  Since they merge to a common network you just sign the equipment in on what works best and all is well.

It also comes with a guest network, so your visitors can be on the web but not on your network, which is very nice.  You can configure everything in your browser, the set up is step by step and anyone with a very basic computer knowledge can do it.

Best part?  Well it also has a smart phone app, this lets you pull up your network, see everything on it, change passwords, get your password if you forgot it, etc.  But the very best part of this is you can, reboot from you phone.  Yes you can reboot your router from your phone.

Imagine this, you and your spouse decide to hit the bed early and watch some Netflix, network issues ensue, you need a reboot.  Don’t get up like a fool and walk to the other side of the house, grab your phone and give the reboot command and all is well.

I dealt with a lot of buggy crap with three previous routers, unfairly yelled at Comcast customer service about their wonky internet due to one of those, found this and finally I am happy.  I can use my laptop or phone on network from my pool or in my garage, my guests have their own network, everything works and I have good signal in the entire house.

I am not a network administrator, or a MCSE or anything like that.  I just know this works, it always works, it is easy to set up and manage and does what I need.  If anyone wants a free router by the way I have three in my closet you are welcome to the next time you stop by.

So if you need a new router or are just ready to upgrade give the TP-LINK Archer C7 Wireless Router a shot.  I finally agree with the NY Times for a change, it is in their words “the best router for most people”.  It is far from an enterprise product but for home networks it is the best thing I have found.

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

 

Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light – 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 Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light.  I have to say this is one of  the most unique ways I have ever come to learn about a product.

I received an email from a guy that said he found one of these up in a drop ceiling doing some work at a customers building.  Given it was long abandoned with dead batteries he took it home.  Found that it took 3 AAA batteries and popped a set in, his first thought were “man this thing is bright”, his second thought was I wonder how much they cost.  A simple web search led him to find this amazing little light is only about 8 bucks.  He then emailed me about it.

I ordered two, and now I will be ordering more.  This little thing is just slick, super light weight and fits in a shirt pocket easily enough.  The base is flat so it will stand up on any flat surface and the clip has a magnet so it will both stick to metal or you can hang it on anything convenient in the area.

Many years ago (like in the mid 90s) I did a lot of cabling work in buildings for computer systems, I can tell you exactly why this thing was up in a ceiling, it would be GOLDEN for work like that!

How bright is this thing, try 170 lumens with only three measly AAA batteries.  To really get how bright that is see the video below.

One note, for some reason the description of this light says it is made with aluminum and that the base is magnetic.  There are definitely errors there.  The body is a good quality plastic and the magnet is in the clip not the base.  I checked and there are other colors of this light on Amazon, there are also like 4 packs of various colors.  None of those listings have these errors.

So why am I linking to the one with errors?  First because I do believe it is an error not a deception.  I have learned that this light is very well known in the electronics and computer world so I doubt they are trying to trick anyone.

The bigger reason is because this one is the BEST PRICE I can find, that is why.  The price on this is 8.53 with free shipping.  All the other single listings are over 9 bucks.  So this is simply the best deal.

Well unless you want 4?  Pretty close to the same price but you can get a 4 pack in 4 different colors 32.99 with free shipping, which is 8.24  piece.  So the 4 pack would save you $1.13 on four.  Not huge but a buck is a buck and likely you are going to want 4 of these things, I think they should be in every tool box, tackle box, range box and glove box personally.

So whether you just want to pick up 1 or 2 for 8.53 a piece, or you want to get a 4 Pack for 32.99 check out the Nebo 6350 Larry Work Light, it deserves a place in your kit and on your homestead.

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

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Cobra CPI890 800W Compact 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 Amazon Item of the day is the Cobra CPI890 800W Compact Power Inverter.  I really have always liked the 800 watt inverter as a prep item.  It is that perfect balance of being able to run most things you can run from you car and an equal bang for the buck balance.  For many years I recommended the Whistler XP800i 800 Watt Power Inverter.  That item is now discontinued so I have changed my recommendation.

I conferred a great deal with a few contacts on this including new expert council member Shawn Mills and in the end I am not leading with the recommendation for the Cobra CPI890.   It is a solid piece of gear, comes with a 2 year warranty and of course if you have any out of the box problems Amazon will exchange it.

As to reviews I have basically given up on inverters for reviews on Amazon.  In the end people are idiots, no you can’t run a 1200 watt microwave with a single marine battery and a 800 watt inverter.  If you plug a 400 watt inverter into a cigarette lighter in your car and actually attempt to pull 400 watts something is going to give.  Why?  The cigarette lighter connection can only deliver about 150 watts maximum.  And on it goes.  Yes the inverter is going to whine and stop working when your batteries are drained.

In the end the Cobra inverters are solid for what an inverter of this class is designed to do.  Yes they are modified sine wave inverters, that is why they cost so much less than a pure sine wave inverter, but unless you are runnign something that requires it, that doesn’t matter.

Inverters like this are good for what they have 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 54.99 a piece I don’t know of any other single preparedness item that can do as much for under 60 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. In spite of me picking on some of the negative reviews, some are reasonable.  Again any brand of inverter will have some failures, I have yet to find one that doesn’t.  Again these come with a two year warranty.  I recommend having a back up and simply using a warranty as designed if needed.

So check out the Cobra CPI890 800W Compact Power Inverter today and consider adding it to your black out kit.

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

P.S. – This inverter line is available in power from 130 watts all the way up to 2500.  I really love the 200 Watt Model and just ordered one.  I will likely bring it around as a stand alone item at some point.  It is designed to go into a cup holder and has one AC plug and two USB ports.  It is really perfect for charging small devices and say a laptop or running a small fan when camping.

Remember in all this, your car or truck is not a light saber, if you take more power from it than your alternator can make you will drain your battery.  Also any inverter above 200 watts needs to be clamped onto a battery not pluged into a 12vdc port if you want to pull anything above 150 watts.

Also larger inverters like say 1500 watts and above need to be bolted to a battery not clamped on.  And we are talking about real power in all these, just like the power from a wall plug, electricity can kill you.  If you don’t know what you are doing with a project get professional help.

Lastly I know I should not have to say this but if you hook up say a 2500 watt inverter to say a single battery, it may give you 2500 watts, for a few moments but it will quickly drain if you run anything with that much power.   So size your inverters to your systems accordingly.  Over sizing your inverter by more than say one level up is generally a waste of money.

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

 

Oucomi iChocolate Mini Bluetooth Speaker – 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 Oucomi iChocolate Mini Bluetooth Speaker.  I was very conflicted as to whether or not to do this item as an item of the day.  Here is why, I found this by visiting a friend that had one, it was great and I thought for 45 bucks it was a hell of a deal.  I came home, I bought one, it has worked great in every way.

I always syncs easily with honestly less issues in syncing than my 300 dollar Bose Speaker.  It is water proof, like really water proof, like sit out in the rain water proof, just not throw in the pool water proof.  And I know it works that way because I took it in the shower one night with a beer and enjoyed tunes while I cleaned up and it never missed a beat!

So what is the problem, the problem is Oucomi is a bunch of cheaters, paying people with sock puppet accounts to leave positive reviews on Amazon to get more notice and of course sales.

So I was sitting here with this 45 dollar speaker that is as good as anything I have laid hands on under 100 bucks and thinking, what do I do, in the end I decided to do this.  I am telling you this speaker is a good value, it works great and I have had it for 3 months now and I love it.  I don’t get paranoid with it by the pool or when working out on property like I do with my expensive Bose speaker.

I am also telling you these people are system cheaters, they are building good solid products but they are manipulating the Amazon review system.  I would say the solution to such things is really in Amazon’s hands to provide a bit better oversight of their review, just like it was google’s responsibility to make their search algorithms better when people like me were owning the search engine results like a well beaten mule back in the early 2000s.

So the choice is yours, if you are looking for a low cost, reliable Bluetooth speaker with IPX5 level water proofing this thing pasts muster.  But if you don’t want to buy something from a company gaming the Amazon system, you should know that these people are.  Problem is at this price point I have yet to find a better water proof speaker than this one.  So I do recommend it for that reason, in short gaming the review system or not, the damn thing works and works great!

Personally I think the Oucomi iChocolate Mini Bluetooth Speaker is a solid piece of gear for the price, for more info and a demo of it, see the video below.

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

P.S. – Since first reviewing this I have now had the speaker for over a year and it still works flawlessly.  The price has also now dropped to 39.99.  They still have an F from fakespot, but in the end this is only because Amazon’s review process is so easily manipulated.  I am 100% solid on this product’s quality.  I guess they listened to my friend David when he said, “if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying”.

WINOMO AA to Size D Battery Adapters – 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 are the WINOMO AA to Size D Battery Adapters they also make WINOMO AA to Size C Battery Adapters if you need those.

I did quite a bit of research to find a set of these I could recommend.  There are lots of options but most got very low grades at FakeSpot.com for fake reviews.  These got an A.

The reason to recommend this type of adapter is simple.  Thanks to Steven Harris I think the most common back up power solution among this audience are AA Enloop Batteries and the Powerex Smart Charger to go with them.

With those and a simple 800 Watt Inverter and a few cans or reserve gasoline for your vehicle you have an almost unlimited supply of AA or AAA battery power.  You can also charge all your smart devices over and over and even run your fridge for a few hours a day to keep your food fresh.  Not to mention run a fan to keep cool.

Now I keep a good supply of D and C batteries on hand especially since I am a big fan of both C Cell and D Cell Maglites.  However if the power is going to be off for a while it makes sense to conserve those as much as possible.

That is where the WINOMO AA to Size D Battery Adapters come in.  Just pop two double As in each one and you have D cell power in a rechargeable format.  The reason Steven and I both recommend standardizing on AA and AAAs is two fold.  First they are the most common batteries in devices for your home, so you can use them day to day in everything from head lamps to remote controls.

The second is rechargeable Cs and Ds generally don’t perform well and don’t make a great deal of financial sense.  This is where the WINOMO AA to Size D Battery Adapters come in.  While they do not have the capacity of a full D cell it just doesn’t matter because if you are set up correctly you can recharge AAs until the power comes back on or the apocalypse comes, which ever comes first.

The big thing is adding this functionality to your back up power kit is stupid cheap.  How about 8.49 with free shipping for 8 of them?  Depending on how many D Cell Devices you have you may want to pick up two sets.  This is cheap insurance given they are about a dollar a piece, the first time you use them they will pay for themselves.

While you are at it why not pick up some additional AA Enloop Batteries as well.  Along with the Powerex Smart Charger and a 800 Watt Inverter they are an incredible bang for your buck in back up power assurance.  So check out the WINOMO AA to Size D Battery Adapters today and add major flexibility to your black out kit.

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

 

Etekcity Lasergrip Digital Laser Temperature Gun – Item of the Day

tempgun

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 Lasergrip Digital Laser Temperature Gun.  This thing is cool it is basically a very accurate digital thermometer you use by just pointing it at a surface and pulling the trigger.  It emits a small red lazer dot, you put that dot where you want to know the temperature and just like that you know the temp.

So what can you do with that, oh so much.  Here are just a few things you can do with a temp gun.

The other day my buddy and I were working on my new aquaponics system and were wondering how much water the rain tanks were holding off of my barn.  Point this thing at it and look for where the temp falls off, there is your water line.

Cooking something that says to saute at say 220 degrees for your pan temp, how exactly do you get that info, well point, pull the trigger and done.  Same thing with your grill, find those cool and hotter spots on that grill for cooking and moving food to cooler safe spaces.

Want to know how much cooler that area under shade or shade cloth really is, not just the air temperature but the surface temps where say your live stock is living, point and pull and you know.

How about finding either warm or cool micro climates for planting trees, shrubs, etc on your property.  Or how about finding out how successful your micro climates you create on purpose are?  For instance the berms we put in our west pasture are on average 20 degrees cooler than the ground surface of the surrounding area, how do we know, with one of these.

What about finding hot or cold loss areas around your house so you can shore up energy losses.  As we all know the best ROI on energy isn’t solar panels, it is increasing efficiency of what ever system you have for energy.

Do you know how well your AC is working.  Try this take this and point it at your air intake and get a reading.  Let your AC run for a few minutes than take a look at the temps on your ACs output vents.  The difference in temps is the amount of cooling your AC is currently giving you.

Is your wood burning stove hitting a solid 400-600 degrees for a good efficient burn, are you sure, you could be sure you know.

So how many things in the world do this much for under 20 bucks?  Seriously?  One word of advice is measure temps at about 1 foot from the surface for best accuracy.  That is how the unit is calibrated to work best.

So check out the Etekcity Lasergrip Digital Laser Temperature Gun today and let me know your thoughts on other things that it can do in the comments below.

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.
    `
  • 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 all of our reviews at  TspAz.com

 

Globe Electric 48W 360° Work Light – 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 is the Globe Electric 48W 360° Work Light.  I LOVE THESE LIGHTS.  Really I do.  For a long time like many I used typical stand based directional work lights like these for this need.  They do work, they are bight but in many ways they suck.

I mean these lights are fine if you are in a shop and point them under the hood of a car, at a work bench or something like that.  But for ambient light in a work area they are kind of useless.  They only really light up the area you point them at and worse when you turn around, they blind you.

I found the Globe Electric Work Light when my buddy David brought two of them over for one of our workshops.  We try to provide lighting between the outbuildings so people don’t break their necks, so they can wash their evening dishes, etc.  Until I found these we would attempt to elevate the directional lights, etc.  It worked but it was not very good.

We got these and two of them basically turn the area into a well lit work area, and that is outside with no reflection.  In a shop building they provide awesome light.

But think about the prepper applications, one of these fully lights 2-3 rooms if you are talking open concept, say kitchen, dining and living area, certainly well enough to get around, not stub your toe etc in a black out, and it does it all on 48 watts.  So it will run a LONG time on a few deep cycle batteries in a back up system.

And when I had a farm hand working for me in the short hours of winter I called it his “slave light” much to his bemusement.  Because we would just run an extension cord to the area he was working in and it was plenty of light to unload trucks, mulch garden beds, etc.

Oh and one more thing for this little multi-tasker, they are great for when you need to get more light into shooting a video.

For 99 bucks these are simply the best damn work light I have ever found.  If you go night fishing and have battery back up or an inverter man these things are amazing for that as well as lighting up a camping area.  And yea they attract bugs at night, so all the bugs go to the light and you are 25 feet away from them!

Personally I don’t know why more companies don’t embrace this format.  These are not 100% perfect but they are damn good and I still have one I stole from David over three years ago and it still works as good as the day I um, “acquired it”.

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

P.S. – Don’t feel sorry for David, he has emptied my good liquor cabinet of more than enough to cover the 99 bucks.  As evidence of that I present this!  That was a 30 year old tawny port, looted while I was on vacation.  Yea and he also ran off with about 8 pounds of my dry sausage and jerky and fed it to himself and his dog in Alaska!  True story.  We all need more friends like this.

 

 

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!