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8 Standalone Smartwatches for Teens Without Phones

Smartwatches have been around for a while now. Most of them still need to connect to a smartphone — and then stay within a certain proximity of that phone — in order to access the internet, receive calls and notifications, or otherwise function properly. Unfortunately for some teens, a number of parents don't want their children to have a phone yet, making the possibility of owning a smartwatch seem near impossible. But parents still want to be able to communicate with their teens while they're out and about. So what's the solution?Luckily, there have been a number of standalone smartwatches released recently that don't need to connect to a phone to function. They have the ability to communicate via WiFi, or even over cellular data networks, making them a perfect choice for parents against smartphones.Standalone smartwatches — no phone neededHow do these standalone smartwatches work, you ask? There are a couple of ways. One way is to sign up ...

How to Properly Install a Condensate Line Trap

Most homeowners and many home builders give little thought to the air conditioning condensate line or trap. The primary purpose of a condensate trap is to prevent air from moving in or out of the air handler during operation. Traps must be installed in a manner that will stop the air from passing through, but still allow the condensate to drain from the condensate pan. When the trap is omitted, efficiency is lowered as air is lost through the condensate drain in blow-through systems. Failure to install a trap on a blow-through system is the same as drilling a hole in the ducts for each drain connection. The pressure around the pan on a blow-through system guarantees the pan will drain whether it is trapped or not. Trapping is a major issue on draw-through systems. Untreated air can be drawn into the airstream while the system is running. If the coil is located in an attic or other warm space, there is even greater reason for concern. As on a blow-through system, a drain on a draw-thr...

What Direction Should the Air Flow in an AC Unit?

You’ve been outside when your air conditioner is running, right? You’ve heard that refrigerator-on-steroids buzzing sound, and felt the hot air rushing out the top of it. Wait. What? It’s not rushing out from the top? What if the fan is sucking air down from the top, through the unit and out the sides? Turn it off immediately and call an electrician. The air flow, and fan direction, in an exterior AC unit should be such that it is pulling cool air in through the louvers on the side of the case and ejecting hot air up through the top of the unit. This is because hot air rises, and it's simple physics—we wouldn’t want to engage in a brawl against the way nature has been organized. If your AC unit is attempting to suck air in through the top and eject it down and out through the louvers, you've got problems. Additionally, the force of the gust of air coming out from the top ought to be strong enough to, say, move a beach ball or flap your gums (decidedly N...

How to Fix Frozen Air Conditioning Coils

Air conditioning (AC) equipment is a complex mix of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing components that must work together to provide sufficient cooling and air flow in an HVAC system. Small problems can result in higher energy costs, lower comfort levels, and damage to the equipment which can cost thousands of dollars to replace. A common problem seen with air conditioning and refrigeration equipment are frozen evaporator coils. Refrigerators and freezers typically have a built in thaw cycle to limit ice build up, but standard AC equipment usually is not equipped with this feature, but there are a few simple causes that you should be aware of that will help prevent freezing coils. The two causes for frozen coils is either a lack of airflow across the evaporator coil or a problem within the refrigeration system. Troubleshooting Most homeowners don’t realize there is a problem until they see that the unit runs continuously, the temperature is too warm, or there is reduced airf...

The Advantages of the Use of Computers in Education

Computers are useful tools in different field of applications. Computers are very much useful in the field of engineering and architecture and especially in the aspects of design and calculations. These machines are also beneficial in their application in the field of business and economics as it allows users to store and retrieve large amount of data in a less amount of time. Computers are now use in different fields of education. In the field of teaching in particular, the wide use of computers are evident in different school in elementary, high-schools, colleges and universities. The use of computers in learning provides both advantages and disadvantages in the learning processes. Computers are advantageous in the sense that these machines teach more effectively in technical sense, they can reach and teach more students and kept students more focus with the subject. The use of computer technology in learning allows the teacher to individualize the learning instructions as well as...

How to Test an Electric Heat Strip in an Air Handler

Most air conditioning systems use an electric heat strip as a heating source. Heat pumps, a type of air conditioner that uses refrigerant as a primary heat source, use them as an emergency-heat source. A heat strip uses a cadium/nickle alloy element that turns hot as electricity flows through it. The air handler's blower motor pushes air across the wire coil and into the duct system. If the fan does not turn on quick enough the heat-strip's element will turn red hot. If the element stays red hot long enough, or enough times, the element will burn into two pieces. Sometimes the ceramic insulators that hold the element in place will crack and fall apart. An air conditioner's electric heat strip's size, measured in kilowatts (KW), depends on the air handlers BTU rating. To test and replace an electric heat strip, or its element, in an HVAC air handler a technician must have a basic knowledge of electrical principles and saf...

The Best Smart Ovens

When it comes to kitchen appliances, a smart oven could be one of your biggest workhorses — and a time saver. What makes a smart oven different from a regular one? First, most smart ovens can pair up with your smartphone via a companion app, typically over Wifi or Bluetooth. You can control your oven using their app or its manual display. Secondly, smart ovens are often designed to work in more ways than a conventional oven. For example, in addition to regular baking and broiling, a smart oven could have functions to steam, fry, toast, warm, or sear. This, plus their typically compact size, makes them excellent space savers.Additionally, smart ovens are designed to come with pre-sets, meaning pre-programmed recipes for simple foods, like baked chicken thighs or roasted Brussel sprouts. Instead of searching for the proper temperature and time to bake a lasagna, you can simply hit a few buttons and voila!What should you care about when shopping for smart ovens? There are sever...

What is a Machine ID (Computer Name) and How Can It Be Changed?

What on Earth is She Writing About? I have been writing for about 40 years and although my content has varied, it usually is based upon something having to do with a medieval theme. Alternative Healing, Gemstones, Relationships, Architecture, Literature and Poetry, are the categories that I am known for writing about.  What the majority of my readers don't know about me is that I have been working mainly in the computer industry for the past 20 years and have a greater amount of expertise in this field than any other.  Although it was never my intent to write technology articles and I haven't written one since the days of the KB at many previous job sites. I have recently seen a good number of basic tech questions here on Factoidsz that I can answer with my eyes closed or with very little research, so, I thought I would put my two cents in here. What is a Machine ID or Computer Name? A Machine ID or Computer Name in a nutshell, is the name that a...

How to Add Water to a Residential Boiler

Adding water to a residential boiler is an easy task. The pressure gauge at the boiler is how you can tell how much water is in the system. For every 1 psi the water level goes up about 2.31 feet. So if you read 5 psi on your gauge, your water level is 11.55 feet above your gauge. You want your water level to exceed the height of your highest radiator. 15 psi is a good pressure for many residential systems. How to Add Water Anytime you will be adding water to a boiler system there are a few things you need to check before you start. Never add water to a hot system. Adding water to a hot dry boiler is like making a bomb. Always wait for boiler to cool down before adding water. Also check for any water leaks that may be coming from the boiler, radiators, or piping. Adding water to a system with a leak will only make things worse. Find the feed water shutoff valves. Usually they are located near the boiler. The most common setup is to have two shut off valves around a backflow prevente...

How to Replace a Drive Belt on Your Air Handler Blower

In other articles I have gone over some fairly technical repairs on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, this article will discuss how to replace the drive belt on the blower of your furnace or air handling unit. Replacing the belt on the blower is easy and can prevent other issues from cropping up such as frozen coils or reduced airflow. Drive belts can last for years, but the more you use you air handler, the faster the belt will deteriorate and need replacement. Replacement belts can be purchased at automotive parts stores, home centers, hardware stores, or online.    V-belts Related Article: Fixing Frozen Air Conditioning Coils While the belt replacement is simple, there are a few items to make note of as you can damage your blower motor or bearing if you are not careful. When to Replace your Drive Belt Most people wait until the drive belt breaks before they run out and buy a new belt and replace it. If you haven’t replaced your bel...

Upgrading the Memory

Upgrading the Memory The memory of the system must be upgraded to increase the speed of the system. The memory is upgraded either by changing the previous RAM or by adding one more RAM with the previous RAM. The installation of a new RAM depends on the number of the free available memory slots on the motherboard. If the user wants to add a memory, then it is recommended to use the memory of the same FSB as of the existing one. Before installing a new RAM, check the type of RAM for mounting on the motherboard. The new RAM should match with the configuration of the previous RAM and should be supported by motherboard and processor. To upgrade the memory of the system: 1. Shutdown the computer and disconnect the power cable from SMPS and all the peripheral devices attached to it. 2. Get rid of the system case. 3. Wear an anti-static wristband or any other static control device before touching any of the computer components. 4. ...

How to Install Balancing Dampers

If you have ever had the experience where one room in your house is either too hot or too cold, you may need to adjust your balancing dampers in the branch ductwork in your home’s HVAC system. You may find that you don’t have any balancing dampers installed, which is all too common. Many contractors will simply use the floor or wall registers to adjust the amount of supply air entering a room. This is not a good practice for several reasons; 1) the dampers on floor and wall registers can completely seal off any airflow which can lead to the branch duct being pressurized and splitting that will lead to energy being wasted, 2) the dampers on floor and wall registers can be very noisy which can be annoying since they are in the room they serve, 3) the dampers can be easily moved by children or when cleaning and change the airflow rate. Balancing dampers are designed to have a gap around the edges to prevent pressure building up in the ductwork. Airflow In forced air sys...

Adding Air Conditioning To Your Existing Furnace

For various reasons your home may not have central air conditioning. Your home may have been built prior to air conditioning being considered standard, you may have a hot water heating system (hydronic), you may have used window air conditioners to cool only the rooms you use most often, or it may just not be economically feasible for you at this time. Whatever the reason there are several things you need to investigate before you are able to have air conditioning installed in your home and while some of them are fairly obvious, there are other significant details that you may not be aware of that will add considerably to the costs. Installing a central air conditioning system is not something a do-it-yourselfer can do, but you should be aware of what is needed so you can compare bids from prospective contractors. You will also need to apply for a permit and have the unit inspected. This not only protects you and your home, it also keeps the contractor honest. Stay away from anyone wh...

Definition of Computer Networks and Its Advantages

Definition of Computer Networks and its Advantages Network is an anthology of computers associated to each other. It allows the computers to communicate with each other and share resources which include information, software and peripheral devices such as printers, scanners Now days, computers are used in a wider range. All the organizations are using multiple computers within their departments to perform their day to day work. It is necessary to connect them which form a network. The networks are classified into different types according to the network size. When computers communicate with each other, they follow certain specific formats and rules. This formats and rules are explained by the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. This OSI model is conceptual and has seven layers and each layer is having its own functions. As network selection criterion forms the basis of a network, since it helps to select a secured and efficient network. The criterion explains network performan...

Functions of a Personal Computer(PC)

Computer is an integral part of everyday life. We use Personal Computer (PC) to perform Various tasks include data storage and processing are the important tasks performed by the PC. Takes data from user, processes it, and gives the output in a prescribed format. The use of a Personal Computer (PC) makes mathematical calculations easier. Scientists use the Personal Computer (PC) for scientific applications such, as weather forecasts, research, and chemical analysis. Personal Computer (PC) provides faster means of communication through the Internet by sending and receiving e-mails. We can use the Internet to gain information on any topic. We can use the PC for entertainment, such as for watching movies using DVDs, listening to music using CDs and MP3s. We can also download software, graphics, music, and movies from the Internet using the Personal Computer (PC). It would be hard to imagine today's world without the PC. A machine that performs such a varied range of functions is hard t...

20 Food Photography Hacks, Plus the 6 Best iPhone Lenses for Food Photographers

Thinking of starting a food blog but don't know where to begin with lenses, lights, apps, or other photography supplies? You may be surprised at the number of food bloggers who solely use their iPhones (or other smartphones) for food photography. Don't worry if you don't have the best camera on the market made specifically for food photography. If you keep a few things in mind such as lighting and time of day, background color and shadows, and editing and apps, anyone can create gorgeous pics of their prettiest plates with nothing fancier than an iPhone. We've gone in for the best blogs to discover the most pertinent of food photography tips on how to create the best mobile photography for foodies. Which kind of lighting do you need? What are the best lenses for iPhone food photography? What's the best mobile photography kit?Ready to find out what the top food photographers use to get their drool-worthy pics in focus? Come check out our finds on the best food p...

Troubleshooting Short Cycling Air Conditioning Compressors

Most people assume that if their home is cool during the summer, everything is working properly and no action is needed. On the contrary, you air conditioning system may be working overtime to compensate for system deficiencies that will cause the compressor to fail prematurely. By being aware of your air conditioning run times you may be able to prevent a catastrophic failure of your compressor that may cost up to $1000 to fix. Run Times A residential thermostat controls the operation of the air handler and condenser unit by sensing the indoor air temperature. This corresponds to about 3 cycles per hour at 50% system load. For example, during a moderate summer day in which heat load is 50% of the design heat load, a residential air conditioning system is on about 50% of time, and off about 50% of time. If cycle duration is 20 minutes, then it is turned off after about 10 min, stays off 10 minutes and is turned on again. For a different summer day, the average capacity and run times ...

The Best Android Tablets

iPads and Windows tablets tend to get all the attention, but you can’t beat the affordability of an Android tablet. Having said that, it’s not always about price. Many people want their Android tablet to deliver on performance, too. So, what makes a great Android tablet? What to Look for in an Android TabletFirst, a disclaimer: For most people, an iPad satisfies everything they want. It delivers on performance, accessories, software, and more. The iPad is undeniably the most powerful tablet out there, but not everyone wants to be part of the Apple ecosystem. Moreover, not everyone wants to pay to be part of the Apple ecosystem. Like most Apple products, iPads are not cheap. The cost of the newest iPad models ranges from $329 on the lower end to nearly $2,000. On the other hand, you can get a decent Android tablet, like the Amazon Fire HD 8, for about $60. Even if you get the newest Amazon tablet—the HD 10 (our budget pick, below)—it’s still ...

How to Install an Air Duct Booster Fan

Most homes with central air conditioning and forced air heating systems have a single fan in the unit to distribute air throughout the home. In some instances, you may need to add a booster fan, also known as an inductor fan, in a branch duct to increase the airflow to a particular room. Long duct runs increase friction and reduce airflow as well as old leaky ductwork. A typical 6 inch booster fan uses less than 50 watts of power when running and can be connected to a switch or wired directly into the controls of your air handler so that it comes on when the unit is on. Increasing the airflow in a room will help mix the air and even out the temperature improving comfort and indoor air quality. See my article on Duct Booster Fan Reviews. Prior to installing a fan, you should inspect your system for any leaks in the ductwork and ensure that the fan and belt are functioning properly. See the end of the article to review proper belt tension and fan motor maintenance. You may also want to...

Inspecting Insulation on Air Conditioner Refrigerant Lines

A common defect found during home inspections is either missing or deteriorated insulation on the air conditioner refrigerant lines, in particular the suction line.  On a split system air conditioner or heat pump the refrigerant line-set runs between the evaporator coil inside the air handler or furnace inside the home and the condensing unit that contains the compressor and condenser coil on the exterior of the house. The refrigerant moves between these two units by way of two lengths of copper tubing; the liquid and vapor lines. Liquid Line – The smaller diameter copper tube that carries liquid refrigerant between the two units. This line gets very hot when operating as the refrigerant is pressurized.  In most cases this line should not be insulated. There are circumstances where the line should be insulated when the surrounding temperatures are high to reduce heat gain, as in the case of attic installations. Another situation where the liquid line can be insulate...

The Best Ultrawide Monitors for Gaming

There’s nothing worse than being close to victory in a first-person shooter game when the monitor flickers out. Or playing an otherworldly RPG and being fully aware that you’re not really in that other world. That’s why you need an ultrawide monitor that delivers on both responsiveness as well as color and contrast. What to Look for in an Ultrawide Monitor for GamingWhat defines an “ultrawide monitor”? These displays have a 21:9 aspect ratio, as opposed to the 16:9 of traditional monitors. That gives you a ton of horizontal space, immersing you completely in the landscape of your game.Immersion is the key word there. In addition to size, the best monitors for gaming have excellent color quality and sufficient brightness to bring your gaming landscape to life. Beyond that, they also need to be responsive enough to guarantee a smooth gaming experience without any ill-timed lags or cutting out. We’ll get into the essentials of what makes a goo...

Logical Memory and Virtual Memory

Logical Memory Logical memory enables the user to use large amount of memory to store data. It defines way to organize the physical memory such as RAM and cache. This enables the Operating System to arrange memory into a logical manner such as assigning a logical address. Logical address is a memory location and it is accessed by an application program. The system maps the logical address to real physical storage address. During the execution of the program, same logical address can be mapped to many different physical addresses. Logical Memory Organization The computer's main memory is divided into different categories such as conventional, upper and extended memory based on the motherboard, CPU and the Operating System. It is essential to understand how the computers use these memories efficiently. Conventional Memory Size of the conventional memory is 640 KB and it is used by the Disk Operating System (DOS) and other programs such as WordStar, Lotus etc. This memory is also ca...

Tree Topology Vs Hybrid Topology

Tree Topology Vs Hybrid Topology Tree Topology A tree topology combines the characteristics of linear bus and star topology. In Tree topology, group of star networks are connected to the linear bus backbone. Tree topology enables the user to expand and configure the existing network depending on the requirements. Twisted pair cable is commonly used by tree topology. Tree topology is also called as hierarchical structure. Basic Structure of Tree Topology A tree topology connects multiple star networks. According to the structure of star topology, all devices are connected to a central hub. There are multiple such hub devices which are connected directly to a tree bus. Thus, the hub is used as the root of the tree of number of devices. Tree networks thus may have branches that contain multiple devices connected point-to-point. Signal from transmitting device first reaches the hub to which it is connected. Hub then directs this signal to tree bus which then travels along the entire n...

File Access Methods

Information is kept in files. Files reside on secondary storage. When this information is to be used, it has to be accessed and brought into primary main memory. Information in files could be accessed in many ways. It is usually dependent on an application. Sequential Access:  A simple access method, information in a file is accessed sequentially one record after another. To process the with record all the 1-1 records previous to 1 must be accessed. Sequential access is based on the tape model that is inherently a sequential access device. Sequential access is best suited where most of the records in a file are to be processed. For example, transaction files. Direct Access: Sometimes it is not necessary to process every record in a file. It may not be necessary to process records in the order in which they are present. Information present in a record of a file is to be accessed only if some key value in that record is known. In all such cases, direct access is used. Direct access...

The Best Projectors for a Home Theater

The joy of a projector is that you can instantly turn any room into a home theater. Whether you’re a hardcore movie buff, want to take your video games from the computer to the big screen, or simply want to show off your home videos, a home theater projector makes it all possible. Finding the Best Projector for Your Home TheaterDepending on your plans for your home theater, different features in a projector will be more or less important to you. Most home video watchers will be fine with a 1080p projector, but anything less than 4K resolution simply won’t work for the cinephiles out there. Whether the latest features, image quality, or your budget is most important to you, we’ll help you make the best choice.First of all, what room will you be using? It’s ideal to use the darkest room possible, preferably one without any windows. If you can’t block out the light, you’ll lose the darker shades and the contrast will be significantly less spectacul...

The Best Smart Meat Thermometers

So what actually is a smart meat thermometer and why should you use one instead of your trusty digital one? Smart meat thermometers, as the name might give away, are digital thermometers that you insert into meat when it's cooking. They are offered with a connected app to track temperature and cooking time estimates.These thermometers will pair with your smartphone or tablet so you know exactly when your rib-eye is a perfect medium rare or your pork shoulder fall apart tender. Like smart ovens, many offer cooking pre-sets, meaning you're able to select the type of meat and degree of doneness you want on the app, and then receive an alert when the right temperature is achieved. Smart meat thermometers are still relatively new, so the technology is not without flaws, but there are several solid options on the market.Best smart meat thermometers: our top 5 picksBest all-around: MeaterBest for high heat: GrillEye GE0001Best multi-purpose thermometer: SuperMechanical's RangeBest...

The Top 20 Waiting Room Chairs for Offices & Reception Areas

So you've got the office space ready and it's time to choose the lobby seating. How do you decide what's best for your waiting room? Since this is the first opportunity your guests will have to develop a first impression of your business, we think some decent chairs are in order. But what kind, and where can you get them? No worries. We've got you covered, as usual. Read on for the top 20 waiting room chairs for your office waiting room.IKEA Stoljan Conference chairWhen you need affordable, stackable waiting room chairs that look nice and feel good to sit on, it's time for some IKEA:The chic and minimalist Stoljan chair comes in black or white with a cushy polyurethane seat and supportive backing. Stackable in groups of 7 when it's time to move them around or vacuum the floor. These are perfect for lining up along a wall, in front of the reception desk, or around a table full of reading materials. Easy to clean with a non-removable cover.Price: $4...

How to Size and Install Flexible Duct

Flexible duct has many advantages in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) arena. It is easy for the novice to use and it also reduces installation time compared to sheet metal duct. But you need to be careful when using when attempting to use it as a direct replacement for smooth, galvanized duct as they have very different performance characteristics. Flexible duct has a unique design that increases airflow friction loss compared to the same size smooth-walled galvanized duct. To maintain an equivalent performance to hard duct requires a larger diameter flex duct. Proper sizing of branch lines will increase the efficiency of your air handling unit and improve comfort and indoor air quality. Friction loss in straight duct is dependent on the relationships of duct diameter, air velocity in the duct, and duct roughness as major components. Flex duct with its helical corrugated construction is going to be much rougher than sheet metal duct. The roughening eff...

Top Laptops Comparison: Lenovo Vs. HP Vs. Dell.com

With three companies enjoying longstanding reputations for success, warranties which are largely equal to each other save for occasional deals, and an almost equally spotty record for service and complaints from customers across the board, these are three companies whose laptops just about beg you to get out there and kick some tires to find out which products are best for you. In this case we thought it best to do a more in-depth look at the laptops each company offered at each level, low-end, mid-level and high-end. Read on for an in-depth comparison at all places along that spectrum. Low End Laptops HP Pavilion Features Cost: $467 Display: 15.6 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels Processor: 1.9 Gigahertz Advanced Micro Devices A4-3305M, 4 Gigabytes Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory Graphics: Advanced Micro Devices Radeon HD 6480G Pros fair display quality processing speed adequate for low-level software processing speed mostly adequate for mid-level software smooth browsi...

How to Repair Damaged Flex Duct

Ripped or damaged air conditioning flex ducts reduce the HVAC systems energy efficiency. This can add several dollars to each month's electricity bill. Calling an air conditioning duct mechanic to fix rips can be expensive. This type of service call is almost all labor and profit. Even in the worst cases damaged air conditioning flex duct can be repaired by a homeowner for far less money. The materials you need include HVAC duct mastic, paint brush, duct tape, duct mesh, knife, wire cutters, and panduit straps. Panduit straps are the large zip ties that hold the flex in place. Slice connections will also require a metal splice collar. Sections of flex duct that has been completely crushed will need that section replaced with the same size flex and two collars. Flex has its size printed on the outside covering. Flex Connections Inspect the area where each flex run connects to a mixing box or a vent boot. If the flex connection has completely fallen ...

The Best Wireless Gaming Mouse

Many of today’s wireless gaming mice are just as responsive as their wired counterparts. Of course, you have to pay more for that wire-free functionality—up to $50 to $100 more—but many gamers agree the price is worth it. With a wireless gaming mouse, a cord never gets in your way, and you can take it wherever you want to play—from your desk to the couch, or even your friend’s house. If you ever miss the old-school way, many of these come with a cord you can plug in. What to Look for in a Wireless Gaming MousePerhaps more than any other gaming accessory, good design is critical for a wireless gaming mouse. We’re not talking about good looks (although those are nice). We’re talking about ergonomics.The design of your mouse determines how good your hand and arm will feel throughout gameplay. This is important even if you play for just a few hours, but it’s absolutely critical for marathon gamers. You need a lightweight mouse with ...

How to Install a Bypass Humidifier

A bypass humidifier, also called a whole-house humidifier, is an excellent way to improve the comfort and indoor air quality of your home as well as lessen the chance for asthma, allergies, and other sinus conditions. While smaller humidifiers are often used in a room, a bypass humidifier effectively supplies moisture to all rooms of the home and does not require any additional floor space. Humidifiers are mainly used during winter months when the outside humidity levels are below 25%, but in some areas of the country they may be used during other times of the year. Bypass humidifiers also require less maintenance and use less power than portable humidifiers as the unit only operates while your central air handling unit is running. There are no buckets to fill or frequent cleaning of filters. A bypass flow humidifier typically requires air filters to be changed every 6 months to 2 years depending on the usage. Wall-mounted Digital Humidistat (Aprilaire) Recommended humidity levels...

How to Replace an Air Conditioning Condenser Fan Motor and Blade

Most air conditioning unit or heat pumps operate with a condenser on the outside of the home to reject heat. While the units are designed to operate for 10 to 15 years, occasional repairs are required to keep the unit in good working order. One repair that a homeowner may be able to complete is replacing the condenser fan motor or blade if it gets damaged or wears out. The condenser fan is normally located at the top of the condenser covered be a circular metal wire cage. The fan has 4 props and is attached to the shaft of the motor with one or two set screws. Some older condensers have a fan mounted internally and blow air through the coil on one side. This type is typically smaller, rectangular, and shorter. Newer condensers for mini-split systems are also rectangular, but are thin and may have one or two condenser fans mounted on the side. Mitsubishi Condenser Removing the Fan Blade and Hub Before you can replace the motor, the fan blade will have to be removed or a new fan bla...

SkullCandy vs Sony vs Panasonic: Who Has The Best Headphones?

Skull Candy About Skull Candy has been in the audio accessory business since 2003. This Park City, Utah company focuses pretty much exclusively on headphones, ear buds and MP3 players. Skull Candy's appeal has everything to do quality audio coupled with an array of hip designs and promotional affiliations with extreme sports athletes. Headphones Skull Candy makes four different types of headphones: Over the Ear On the Ear Gaming Ear Buds Over the Ear Over ear headphones, as the name implies, are headphones placed over the ears completely covering them. This type of headphone blocks out most of the outside world so it's not recommended for sports. The advantage they have, in addition to a snug fit, is the excellent sound quality. Skull Candy offers five main models in over the ear headphone products: Crusher Hesh 2 Aviator Custom Aviator Mix Master Crusher The Crusher features two drivers: The Sensation55™  bass extension driver and the REX40&tr...

An In-Depth Mellow Smart Sous Vide Review: An Appliance So Good Even I Couldn't Ruin a Steak

When it comes to the home, it seems like every accessory and device now has a smart counterpart. Smart home features aren't exotic anymore, but everyday. The kitchen is no exception. Smart kitchen appliances and accessories mean your meat thermometer, your scale, your oven, and your trashcan can all have some pretty advanced capabilities.I recently read about the emergence of smart sous vide cookers, which was doubly interesting because I didn't actually know what a sous vide was. Sure, I vaguely knew it was some fancy cooking technique, but that's about it. It turns out, it's pretty straight forward. As Bon Appetit explains, “At its most fundamental level, sous vide cooking is the process of sealing food in an airtight container—usually a vacuum sealed bag—and then cooking that food in temperature-controlled water.”Professional chefs and restaurants have used this method for years to consistently cook foods to perfect doneness, and it has recent...

5 Best Smart Speakers for Serious Audiophiles

Ever since voice assistants invaded (ahem, were invited into) our lives, many of us have enjoyed the ease and convenience of living with them.But smart speakers shouldn’t just make life easier; they should make it better. For music fans, that means high-quality audio, simplified integration with the top streaming providers, and the ability to play whatever you want, whenever you want it.Which smart speakers are right for you? When it comes to sound quality, not all smart speakers are created equal. It’s fun to be able to command your speaker to play a song just by using your voice, but if the audio isn’t there, it’s a really disappointing experience.Well, good news: smart speaker brands have responded to your distress call. Many have released smart speakers that were made with sound quality top of mind. These are professional-level speakers, with the added advantage of having a voice assistant built in.Below we’ve listed our favorite smart speake...

History of Computer Motherboards

History of Computer Motherboards Motherboard is a multifaceted PCB (printed circuit board) that is the fundamental element of a lot of electronic devices, predominantly Personal computers. Motherboards are also acknowledged as system board, main board or logic board (in case of Apple PCs). A motherboard is a podium that presents electrical bonds from end to end which additional elements of a system commune, and it also has the CPU (central processing unit), normally termed to as the computer brains. Motherboards are in addition there in cellular devices, stop watches, clocks, etc. Motherboards consist of a lot of important elements of a personal computer like main memory, microprocessor, microprocessor's sustaining chipset that offers connection between central processing unit and additional peripheral elements. The devices transformed the way PC systems were planned. The previous editions were perplexing as well as time-intense. Few things that a motherboard these days consists of ...

15 Unexpected KitchenAid Stand Mixer Hacks (& the Attachments You'll Need to Do Them)

If you've ever taken a look at any couple's wedding registry, it's likely there's been one item on everyone's list — the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. From mixing batter to whipping up egg whites or creaming butter, these handy mixers from KitchenAid have saved cooks from aching arms since their inception in 1919. Today, while still used in traditional ways, more and more KitchenAid Mixer hacks are popping up on Pinterest and the rest of the internet. We've rounded up our favorite unexpected KitchenAid Stand Mixer uses — and the attachments you'll need to do them yourself!15 Unexpected Uses for Your KitchenAid Stand MixerKneading Pizza DoughGive your arms a rest and use your KitchenAid Stand Mixer to prep that Friday night homemade pizza crust — or work your homemade bread or biscuit dough instead! All you need is the KitchenAid Dough Hook, shown above.Just attach the dough hook as shown and get to kneading! Check out this video for fur...

Components of the CD Drive

Components of the CD Drive The CD drive consists of different parts that enable it to read data from the disc. The Computer CD drive is a precision device because the timing of sending the laser beam and collecting the laser beam reflected from the CD must be precise. A misalignment in the structure or working of any part of the CD drive will result in an error in reading the data from the CD. Optical Head The optical head of the CD-ROM drive consists of a read laser and an optical sensor. The read laser targets a laser beam on the disc. The optical sensor collects the reflected laser beam from the disc. The optical head is a very delicate and expensive part of the CD-ROM drive. It is also a high precision part of the Computer CD drive because any deviations in the alignment of the optical head, will not allow the CD drive to read data from the disc properly. The CD Writer has two lasers, one for reading data from the CD disc and one laser for writing data on the CD disc. The str...

The Best Mesh Wi-Fi Systems

In our increasingly online world, it’s pretty impossible to enjoy a sweet life without a reliable home Wi-Fi network. We’re always checking email and Facebook, watching Netflix, or listening to Spotify. Your home Wi-Fi needs to stay strong and fast, whether multiple people are using your network and no matter where you all are in the house. That last point is where a mesh Wi-Fi system comes in handy.What to Look for in a Mesh Wi-Fi SystemMost modern wireless routers are designed to provide good coverage to various rooms throughout a medium-size house, but when you start factoring larger homes, multiple floors, or dense structural elements, that coverage goes from great… to barely decent at best.For years people have made do with range extenders and extra access points, two solutions which require more tech savvy than most of us are comfortable with, such as setting up new network SSIDs. Worse, once set up, you often have to switch over to a new access point as you mo...

Computer Capabilities

Most people are aware that a computer is a machine that can perform arithmetic operations, but it is much more than just an arithmetic number crunching device. It is also a machine that can choose copy, move compare and perform various non-arithmetic operations on many alphabetic, numeric and other symbols that humans use to represent things. The computer manipulates these symbols in the desired way through a sequence of instructions, called a program. A program is a detailed set of human instructions that directs the computer to function in a specific way to produce a desired result. The programs form the software part of the computer. Electrical or electromechanical components are known as hardware. Speed and accuracy capabilities: A computer works one step at a time. It can add, subtract, compare digits and letters, move and copy numbers and letters. There’s nothing profound in these operations. What is significant is the computer speed. This speed is measured in milliseconds...

Types of Floppy Disk Drives

Types of Floppy Disk Drives Floppy disk drives are available in different sizes. The floppy disk drive shares the name with the size of the floppy disk that it uses. For example, the floppy disk drive that uses the 3.5 inch floppy disk is called the 3.5 inch floppy disk drive. 5.25 Inch Floppy Disk Drive Older systems used the 5.25 inch floppy disk drive to read and write data to the 5.25 inch floppy disk. This drive has a lever on the front of the drive that must be turned clockwise, to lock the floppy disk in after inserting the disk in the drive. You must turn the lever anti-clockwise to remove the floppy disk from the drive. 3.5 Inch Floppy Disk Drive The 3.5 inch floppy disk drive can read and write data to the 3.5 inch floppy disk. The 3.5 inch floppy drive spins the floppy disk at a speed of 300 rotations per minute. This enables the floppy to be formatted with 80 tracks on each side of the disk. Each track is alienated into 18 sectors. The sector can hold 512 bytes. The 3....

Why Charles Babbage Is Called The Father Of Computers

Features of Babbage’s Analytical engine The analytical engine was designed to compute any mathematical function in any form. It could add, subtract, multiply, or divide according to instructions that were coded on cards. The design incorporated many of the characteristics of the modern electronic computer. As Babbage envisioned it, the analytical engine would have a store for the numbers used in the calculations and a mill which would be a central mechanism where arithmetic operations were to be performed. Programs for the mill would be written on punched cards.  The codes on the cards would instruct the mill in the operations to be performed. These would determine what processes were used in manipulating the data.  The data would be transferred back and forth between the store and the mill by a system of gears and levers.  The engine would ring a bell if a value went below zero or above the capacity of the machine, since either of these events would resu...

4 Effective Ways to Prevent Laptop Battery Failure

The battery is one of the most important parts of a laptop computer that should not be failed. There are many uses of laptop computers such working with important documents and surfing the Internet while on travel. However, the battery is the soul of the laptop computer to make it work properly while traveling. This is also a very sensitive part of the laptop especially to heat. As a computer user, we have to take good care of our laptop by knowing how to prevent laptop battery failure. Although batteries of laptops are replaceable, these are not just like triple type batteries which only cost less. Laptop batteries cost 50 to 100 dollars depending on the brand and model of the laptop. Taking care of the laptop battery is like saving 50 to 100 dollars from our budget. The common causes of laptop battery failure are mostly associated with the malpractice of using the computer. In fact, the following information is just simple but the most effective ways to prevent laptop battery failur...

How to Tune Up Your Window Air Conditioner

Every homeowner or renter should be able to perform some routine preventive maintenance on their window or thru-wall air conditioner to ensure that it works properly and efficiently when you need it most. When air conditioners are under stress, which happens hen outside air temperatures are 90 degree F or above, they tend to fail. This article will describe some simple ways to make sure this does not happen to you. Window Air Conditioner Components Cleaning the Outside of the Unit Unplug the air conditioning (AC) unit and take it outside and set it on a flat surface. With a wet cloth and household cleaner, wipe the front and sides. Next, remove the front cover and clean it thoroughly. Depending on the model, the cover is held in place with screws or tabs along the sides that can be pressed in to free the cover. Clean the louvers or flaps on the front cover that direct airflow into the room. If necessary you can look up the AC model on the manufacturer’s website to order rep...

Campus Area Network (CAN) Vs. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Vs. Wide Area Network (WAN)

Campus Area Network (CAN) Vs. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Vs. Wide Area Network (WAN) Local Area Network is basically used for computer networking of small span of areas but Campus Area Network (CAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) covers a bigger area and in general connects two or more Local Area Network. In this Article we will try and understand the Difference between Campus Area Network (CAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN). Campus Area Network (CAN) Campus Area Network (CAN) is a computer network. It is made up of two or more Local Area Networks (LANs) within a limited area. It ran cover many buildings in an area. The main feature of Campus Area Network (CAN) is that all of the computers which are connected together have some relationship to each other. For example, different building in a campus can be connected using Campus Area Network (CAN). It will help to interconnect academic departments, library and computer...

Cloud Video Monitoring Services Comparison: Camcloud vs. Ivideon vs. Eyecast

Camcloud Camcloud is a cloud video monitoring service that supports any webcam, AXIS IP cameras or a combination of both. You do not need any software to install or hardware other than the cameras. You can enable and control the motion detection and remote monitoring with the click of a mouse from your browser. Using your Camcloud account, you have the ability to control the motion detection sensitivity, enable or disable your cameras and get email alerts. Camcloud works using the AXIS M-10 series camera, which after setup, will automatically communicate with your Camcloud account. You will have the ability to control your cameras, watch live video feeds and also watch archive recorded video using Camcloud. Camcloud Mobile In addition to being able to use Camcloud on a PC or a Mac, you can also use an iPhone and an Android mobile device. You can do everything with Camcloud on your mobile devices that you can from a desktop computer. Camcloud Price Plans Camcloud has three diffe...

How to Clean Your HVAC System with Coil Combs, Chemicals, or Ultraviolet Light

There are several ways to save energy and maintain the Indoor Air Quality, IAQ, of your home. The best way to accomplish both is by keeping the evaporator coil in your air handling unit clean. Higher operating pressures and temperatures caused by a dirty coil can cause a serious problem: reduced life expectancy of the equipment. At the elevated system temperature and pressure, the compressor's lubricating oil can break down. In addition, acid formation can occur, leading to an acid burnout. With the lack of lubrication and acid burn, the compressor is seriously compromised and will fail prematurely. It is the main component of an air conditioning system, and its loss means no cooling. Its replacement is the most expensive repair on an HVAC system. Evaporator Coil As evaporator coils cool indoor air, it also dehumidifies the air. Any dirt, dust, nicotine, pollen, etc. that is also in the air will combine with the moisture and eventually foul the coil. Once this occurs, two problems a...

Duct Booster Fan Reviews

Many homes with old or inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems employ duct booster fans to increase airflow to particular rooms to improve the comfort for the occupants. Duct booster fans can come in several different configurations such as in-line, centrifugal, and even a register mounted style. Each configuration has its advantages and disadvantages as well as limits on the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow each can deliver. There are also universal duct booster fans which are installed in a cutout in the ductwork instead of in line with the duct. Centrifugal Duct Booster Fan Installation Duct booster fans obviously are installed in the duct and boost the airflow to a room or in a branch of ductwork. The amount of airflow varies depending on the construction of the duct after the fan, expressed in static pressure, and the amount of air entering the booster fan. A duct booster fan can supply anywhere from 20 CFM to over 2,000 CFM depending on ...

Bose vs Klipsch vs Harman Kardon: Speakers Compared

Speakers now have all sorts of capabilities people from decades ago would only be able to dream about in terms of sound quality and innovative tech. Here are a few companies that take advantage of this tech to produce modern speakers so you can compare them to find the best device for your own use. Bose Bose actually won the “circle of Excellence” from Bizrate in 2013. They’re a popular brand with a considerable amount of variety when it comes to speakers. Many speakers such as the SoundTouch line can be used with applications such as Deezer, Spotify, Pandora or iHeart. Features Tough Outdoor and Marine Speakers-You can buy speakers from Bose that are specifically for playing music in your, on a boat, or in some other harsh condition. Free Ground Shipping-Many of the speakers will ship to you for free through standard groundshipping. Frequent Short Term Deals-There are often deals right on the main Bose speakers sight that you can jump on.  An example i...