Things to look for in a portable TV 

by on June 23, 2010

Q: The portable hand-held TV’s that I am looking at all run on battery power. I am wondering if the battery is dead if I can plug them in and they will work while also recharging, much like a laptop?

The reason I ask is I want to get something in case we lose power due to a hurricane.

A: The first big thing everyone needs to remember is that we have switched from analog TV to digital TV so you need to make sure you get a digital TV. Technically stores are only allowed to sell digital TV’s so this is only an issue if you are buying a used TV from someone on a site like ebay or if you are planning on using an old portable TV that you have had for a few years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Backup text messages on an Android based phone 

by on May 10, 2010

Q: Can I backup my text messages from my Android based phone?

A: You can get a free app in the marketplace called SMS Backup by Christoph Studer that will allow you to backup your text messages to a gmail account. If you do not want to backup to a gmail account then you can find other apps that will let you backup your Android based phone to other media.

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Distance a WiFi signal can travel 

by on April 28, 2010

Q: I have a computer with built in wireless but the closest WiFi hot spot is about 3 miles away. Is anyway to get the WiFi signal to travel 3 miles?

A: Technically it is possible to transmit a WiFi signal 3 miles because the record for the longest transmitted WiFi signal is 238 miles. In the real world a few hundred feet is much closer to the maximum that you will ever see and even then it is limited by any obstacles that are in the way. Maybe some day our WiFi equipment will get better but until then it will just be geeks with too much time on their hands sending WiFi signals long distances.

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The Blackberry 8830 cannot act as a WiFi hot spot 

by on April 25, 2010

Q: Is there anyway to connect my Blackberry 8830 to my IPod Touch and access the Internet?

A: Some phones have the ability to act as a WiFi hot spot. One example would be the Palm Pre on the Verizon network (I don’t believe it can on the Sprint network though). Unfortunately the Blackberry 8830 is not one of those phones. Down the road I hope we see a lot more phones that have this ability because as we get more and more devices it doesn’t seem right to have to keep paying for an Internet connection with each device.

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Figure out what battery and inverter you need 

by on April 24, 2010

Q: Is there an equation to determine what size and voltage a battery needs to be to power a 240V appliance via an inverter and how long it will last? For example a 24V battery inverted to 240V will power a 1000W appliance for 1 hr but a 1500W appliance for 15min.

A: We suggest you check out inverter battery sizing pdf over at batteryweb.com. It covers all the math you are looking for to figure out what battery and inverter combo you need to run your different appliances.

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Correctly storing rechargable batteries for long periods of time 

by on April 21, 2010

Q: What is the best way to store a rechargeable battery for a long period of time?

A: This is a little tricky because all manufacturers have slightly different recommendations for what to do before you store a battery for a long period of time. Most NiMH and NiCD manufacturers suggest you fully charge your battery and then recharge every 3 to 9 months. I personally suggest you fully charge the battery and get on a 6 month schedule. L-ion batteries are a bit more complicated but it seems like most suggest you fully discharge the battery and store it in a cool place. I highly suggest you check with the manufacturer when it comes to L-ion batteries though. Read the rest of this entry »

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Protect your portable electronics 

by on April 20, 2010

Q: I have a suspicion that my laptop was stolen and switched with a broken model. Is there anyway for me to know if my laptop was switched?

A: The only true way to know if any electronic device is yours is by knowing the serial number. Every portable electronic has a unique serial number on it and you should make note of the serial number in case it is ever stolen. You can also put unique markings on the device as well, like your initials in a specific spot. I highly suggest you always take pictures of the initials and where you put them on the device in case it ever goes missing. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is the best way to maintain a charge in a rechargable NiMH battery? 

by on April 17, 2010

Q: I use NiMH rechargeable battery for i-robot Scooba once a week. How to maintain and keep NiMH battery between uses?

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How cell phones are tied to networks 

by on April 11, 2010

Q: Why is it that AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile phones can’t work on each others networks?

A: There are two reasons why most phones will not work on any other network other than the network you purchased the phone from. The first is the providers locking their phones to their network. The second is the technology not being compatible. You can get around the first by buying an unlocked phone but you cannot get around the technology being incompatible. Read the rest of this entry »

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What you need to know about LCD, LED, and Plasma TVs 

by on March 17, 2010

Q: What is the difference between an LED, LCD, and Plasma TV?

A: The first thing we need to discuss is the LED. LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode. They are very energy efficient and small so this is why you can have those ultra think LED TVs. The key here is that an LED TV is still an LCD TV though. The key here is that this particular type of LCD uses the LEDs as a light source. This will make sense once we get into what an LCD is. Read the rest of this entry »

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