Best Desktop PC Battery Backup

Depending on where you live in the world continuous power without disruption can be an issue. Here in the United States we are lucky to have a power grid that works great most of the time. However, on occasion equipment fails and your power can be disrupted. Do you need a Battery Backup to help keep things running in the event of a failure?

Battery backups have been around for many years and come in many different sizes and capacities. In this article I would like to focus on the backup you would use for your desktop PC.

TOP BATTERY BACKUP CHOICE:

Over the years I have found APC to be the superior choice in battery backup systems. They make very large units to cover the server room and small units to backup the desk top environment as well.

Think of a backup unit as an emergency spare tire that will allow you to safely pull over to the shoulder. When sizing a unit, it should give you sufficient time to save your work and shutdown gracefully.

APC Battery BackupI have found this particular unit – APC BE600M1 600VA to be perfect for desktop workstations. 5 outlets are battery backed, while 2 are surge protected only. This will give you plenty of room for your PC, multi monitors, router and wifi. In my testing 600VA can keep the average PC running for an additional 15min after the power has failed. Plus the unit is very affordable running for under $60 at Amazon. The best part is this unit features a USB port than can keep your phone or tablet topped off during the power failure!
Continue reading “Best Desktop PC Battery Backup”

Weekend Project – 2011-2014 Dodge Charger Backup Camera Replacement

Over the last few months the backup camera on my wife’s 2014 Dodge Charger has been intermittently failing to send picture to the console display. The radio / head unit is functioning normally for climate control functions and AM/FM/ and Satellite is working OK too, so I began to troubleshoot the wiring.

During the troubleshooting process, with the backup camera active I disconnected the unit from the cars wiring harness and then reconnected it. At that point the camera begins transmitting again. (think reboot) The next time the camera is activated it fails once again.

This leads me to believe the unit is bad and needs to be replaced. A call to the Dodge dealership quoted me a price of over $350 for parts and labor. I quickly sourced the part on Amazon for around $197

OEM – Mopar  2011-2014 Dodge Charger / Chrysler 300 Backup Camera – $197 at Amazon

 

Tools you can use:

Continue reading “Weekend Project – 2011-2014 Dodge Charger Backup Camera Replacement”

A Blast From The Past – Panasonic Panapet Radio

I love when I find vintage electronics in the basement or back of my closet. During some recent spring cleaning I came across this 1970’s something Panasonic Panapet radio. In itself its not very remarkable, but when you think about how much technology has changed in the last 45 years its quite amazing. Also kind of funny that they named it “PANA”sonic “PET”

History Of The Panapet

Continue reading “A Blast From The Past – Panasonic Panapet Radio”

Making a great home network!

Moving into a new home or simply switching Internet providers can be a daunting task. Cable companies offer so many TV, Internet and Phone packages and combination of packages it could be hard to decide. How much bandwidth do I really need? How do I protect my network from hackers? What is the best WiFi access point and how do I maximize my range?

These are a few questions I will try to answer in this blog posting and maybe save you some money in the process.

How much bandwidth do I really need?

There was a period of time during 2017 the cable companies were having their marketing departments spin how fast their internet connections could be and they would compete for your business. 50/50 MB not enough were offering 100mb.. no were offering 900mb etc and so forth. If you’re not sure how much speed you need READ THIS. Personally I have 75/75 at home and my family is your typical Netflix / Amazon / Fortnite ECT and we are doing just fine.


How do I protect my network from hackers?

Continue reading “Making a great home network!”

Help – My 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord Trunk Won’t Open

My 18 year old son is driving a 2007 hand-me-down Honda Accord coupe and last week he came home and said, DAD – HELP! My trunk wont open. I immediately said did you overload the trunk with your hockey equipment and one of the bag straps get caught in the striker? He said no way, it opened at the hockey rink when I put my bag in the back, but now its stuck.

HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE TRUNK

I initially tried pulling up on the trunk lid, even slid a crowbar in between the lid and the bumper (yes I know dumb move, but hey its a 12 year old car so its already scratched). I could here the electric solenoid trying to pull the lock open and we even pulled the manual release from up front. NO JOY. Its a good thing the back seats fold down in this car because we were able to gain access to the trunk and remove most of the contents. Finally my son was able to hit the emergency release on the latch and POP the trunk opened.


WHY DID IT FAIL?
Continue reading “Help – My 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord Trunk Won’t Open”

Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon

I feel as if I have been a technology geek for as long as I can remember. I often wonder why as a child of the 80’s I gravitated toward electronics and not sports. I guess I would lay some of the blame on my father who seemed to push me toward electronics and would bring me all sorts of fun gadgets from Radio Shack.

Early Kits – Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE

I have very fond memories of the Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the components, but simply followed the instruction “cook” book and wired the circuits with the included jumpers. I can remember making a crystal radio, touch sensors,  sound generators (or color organs as they were called) It wasn’t long before I started making my own creations.

As I got older, I noticed the kits had started to vanish from Radio Shack. In my late teens and early twenties I even worked at Radio Shack for a while and the kits were all but gone!

30 Years later and WOW – These kits are amazing!

Continue reading “Yesterday Radio Shack Electronics Project Kit – Today Elegoo on Amazon”

2013 – 2018 Lexus GS 350 Cabin Filter Replacement Procedure

Once a year I change my air filter and cabin filter to help keep my GS 350 performing at its best. The Lexus dealer can charge upwards of $150 for each of these services. You can save yourself hundreds of dollars if you take 5 to 10 minutes to do it yourself. In this post I will show how easy it is to swap out the GS cabin filter. Click this LINK to see how easy it is to change the Air filter.

Where to get the correct Cabin Filter?

I believe many Lexus models take the same cabin filter.  I searched on Amazon and many of the filters i came across said they were NOT a match for my car. Finally I found this EcoGard filter that said it was going to be a good fit, I took a chance and made the purchase.

 

EcoGard filter for GS350 $16.54 at Amazon.com

There are lots of other compatible filters. Picking a cabin filter is more a personal preference since they are a creature comfort and will not affect the performance of the car. Use this link to search all of Amazon for filters that should fit the GS 350 – CLICK ME

Changing the filter

Continue reading “2013 – 2018 Lexus GS 350 Cabin Filter Replacement Procedure”

2013-2018 Lexus GS 350 Air Filter Replacement Procedure

My 2017 Lexus GS 350 needs a new air filter. It’s been about 20,000 miles and is ready for a replacement. No matter what car I drive, weather it be a $500 Honda Accord or my GS I’m still a do-it-yourself kind of guy and refuse to hand over money for something I can easily do on my own. The Lexus dealer can and will charge upwards of $150 to replace the air filter. If you follow my instructions below I will save you over $100 and have your car done in 5 to 10 minutes!

Where to get the correct air filter?

I like to shop on Amazon, they usually have great prices and with my prime membership the orders arrive at my door super quick.

There are quite a few manufactures that make replacement filters for the GS, I tend to steer toward name brands I trust and have used in the past.

Fram is my first choice in filter, they tend to be slightly more expensive than other brands, but they perform well and last. This particular filter has an extra layer of filtration material on the bottom. I haven’t seen that previously on others. I’m curious if it adds that much more filtration without cutting down the airflow to the engine.  $33.99 at Amazon Continue reading “2013-2018 Lexus GS 350 Air Filter Replacement Procedure”

Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System

Camera systems are so inexpensive these days that it may make sense to purchase a Zmodo or Arlo system from Amazon and call it a day. What fun would that be? I love making little electronic projects and then improving on them as I go. Rather than install a pre-packaged surveillance system, motioneye here we come.

My system consists of four Raspberry Pi units running MotioneyeOS. Three of the four units are Pi Zeros that are my actual cameras, and the fourth is a Pi 3 that aggregates the feeds to one central monitoring station. The benefit of this is there is only one IP/domain that needs to be accessed in order to monitor all the cameras on my system. Continue reading “Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System”

Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.

I purchased my Echo GT-2000 trimmer almost 18 years ago and it has served me well. I’m usually if it ain’t broke don’t fix it kind of guy and haven’t done any maintenance on my GT-2000 ever. For the last 18 years its been pull the cord and start on the first try! That is until this season. I was able to get the trimmer running but it would stall the instant I would throttle it up.

Thinking to myself this is the end for the GT-2000, I actually started to look for a replacement. I looked  in Lowes and Home Depot but they weren’t selling the Echo brand. I decided to take a chance on fixing the unit and began looking for possible causes.

The Exhaust Was Oily and Black

Continue reading “Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.”