Securifi Almond Wifi Router, Extender, Access Point – Review

About two weeks ago Amazon had their annual Prime Day 24+ hour sale, and like many Prime members I was looking for some bargains. Recently my family had been complaining that the WiFi signal in the upstairs of my home was not strong enough. At times they would find a better data signal on the cellular network causing everyone to use a ton of extra data each month. I decided I was going to give the Securifi Almond+ a try if it was on sale during Prime Day.

If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed I wrote an article regarding Google’s mesh Wifi System. The Google system is excellent and I highly recommend it for most home users, and at $270 for 3 units the price is great too. However in my case Google Wifi was not going to cut it because I wanted to keep my primary router. (Google wants to take over the entire home network)

RELATED READING- GOOGLE WIFI ONLY FOR BASIC USERS

Introducing the Securifi Almond+

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Weekend Project – Wash & Wax Your Car!

If you frequently read this blog you know I enjoy computers and I am also fond of cars. For the last 20 years I especially enjoy wasting some time on a Saturday or Sunday detailing my ride.  I feel the art of detailing cars has been lost. Most drivers tend to visit the car wash and let the automatic machines pound the dirt off the finish. I’m not saying that the car wash is a horrible place to take your precious ride, however a hand wash and wax in the driveway is the kinder gentler approach to keeping your vehicle looking like new!

The Wash: – Supplies

All soaps are not created equal. When washing your car use a soap that is specifically designed for the task. Dish soap or Mr. Clean are NOT good choices since they tend to strip any wax or protectant that may already be present.

My favorite soap is ArmorAll Wash & Wax. They claim it adds a coating of Carnauba Wax while it washes. In all the years I have used this stuff I have never seen it add a “Wax” coating to the paint, however it at least doesn’t strip the wax off the paint.   It’s also relatively inexpensive at about $14.00 for a large bottle.

You are also going to need a good bucket, preferably one that has a segregated wash and rinse side. Or this cool bucket I found. It has a screen at the bottom for filtering out the dirt as well as casters to easily roll the bucket from one side of the car to the other.  Automobile paint is easily scratched and the grime coming off the car can easily scratch the paint if not rinsed completely. Its a bit pricey at $44.99, but your cars finish is worth it!

They make plenty of different car wash cloths, hand sponges and Microfiber towels to do the washing. I prefer to use an old T-shirt as my cloth of choice. However if you need a good wash cloth you can’t go wrong with Microfiber. Only $14 for two dozen!

The Wash: – Procedure

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Weekend Project – Broken Stick Hockey Trainer

Trainer

My children love Ice Hockey! Basically in my house its all hockey all the time. When they are not on the ice for games or practice,  street hockey in front of my house will do. On many occasions we have had sticks break under the stress of vigorous play and we tend to keep broken sticks around and re purpose them for other fun projects.

Today I will show you how to make this cool stick handling trainer out of a few scrap parts you may have laying around.

Materials:

StickBroken WOODEN street hockey stick

 

2x Hockey pucks Continue reading “Weekend Project – Broken Stick Hockey Trainer”

Poor WiFi Signal At Home? A WiFi Extender Can Help!

Most homes don’t have network cables running to each room, so many of us rely on WiFi to connect our devices while at home. The problems begin when the ISP installs our router / WiFi box in a less than optimal location, and usually it can not be easily moved. This is where a simple WiFi extender can augment your existing signal and extend the reach of your home network to every corner of your house even the back yard.

How WiFi Extenders Work?

Router
Blue = Main Router Yellow = Extender

In its simplest form a WiFi extender is just a repeater. The extender is listing for a signal from your home WiFi router and repeats that signal “LOUDER” in an area of your home that is not hearing your main WiFi signal. Basically just relaying the information between your device and the main router. Think of the extender as a “man in the middle”

Where Do I Place My Extender?

extend me
2nd Floor WiFi Extender

The first step to installing a WiFi Extender is obviously setup. Some models have a touch screen to allow for a quick and easy setup. Others can be connected to your PC via USB to input settings or can be connected over WiFi. Once the setup has been completed it is important to select the proper location. You need to find Continue reading “Poor WiFi Signal At Home? A WiFi Extender Can Help!”

Weekend Project – Replace Your Cars Air Filter – (2014 Dodge Charger & 2011 Lexus ES 350)

Last weekend I gave you some tips on replacing your automobiles cabin filter. The benefit was clean fresh air while driving down the highway. Today I am going to talk about replacing your engine air filter.  The air filter is essential to keeping your engine running well.

What are the benefits of a clean air filter:

  • Increase Fuel Economy:
    There have been many studies to determine what the cost of a dirty filter is on fuel economy, it would be said that a 6% loss per gallon on modern cars.
  • Reduced Emissions:
    A dirty air filter reduces the air flow into the engine and therefore reduces the amount of air available for combustion.  This could cause the fuel / air ratio to be rich (too much fuel) which will cause incomplete combustion creating increased emissions and pollution
  • Increase Engine Life:
    The filter is designed to catch debris, even the smallest particle entering the engine can cause increased wear and significantly reduce the life of the engine.
  • Easy and quick fix:
    As you will see from my experience below, the air filter is usually an easy DIY project that is inexpensive to complete in just a few minutes. Saving you quite a few dollars over having the dealer do the work.

Let’s get working

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Weekend Project – Cabin filter Replacement (2014 Dodge Charger & 2011 Lexus ES350)

The weather is starting to look good here in the north east, time to pack the family into the car for some day trips to the shore. Before you go let’s do some minor maintenance to replace the cabin filter on your vehicle to keep you breathing the freshest of air.

Replace the cabin filter

Back in the early 2000s car manufacturers thought it would be a good idea to filter the air we breath. They began installing filters inside the HVAC ducts of our cars to filter out pollen, dust and other contaminants. Are they effective? Yes, they do work but at the same time you open your door and windows to allow the same dust and pollen in the filter is trying to remove.

If you have one it should be replaced as the manufacture of your vehicle recommends. Automobile dealers can charge upwards of $100 to replace the filters. For many this may sound reasonable, but just know that you can change the filter yourself for under $20.00 and in about 5 minutes.

Where can I find the cabin filter?

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Quick Fix – My bottom freezer door is not sealing on one side.

I have a typical KitchenAid French door refrigerator with a bottom pull out freezer. Its about 10 years old and has been very good at keeping our food fresh. My wife would say that the freezer is on the small side, and I think it could have been a little bigger myself. Fast forward 10 years and it would appear that this exact model is still being made and sold under many different brand names. Unfortunately we are having a freezer door issue.

Freezer Door Issue

Last night I opened the freezer and there was frost building up on the left side. After a quick inspection I noticed the door was not fully closing on the left. There was about 1/8″ gap at the top of the door and the seal.

After an exhausting Google/Youtube  search I kept coming up empty. Search results had shown fixes for some bottom draw freezers, mostly GE models. These units had set screws and adjusters to help align the door, my unit has no such adjustment.

I then started trolling the appliance fix-it sites and message boards and read old posts stating that the freezer draw may need new rails, or the device at the back of the rail that pulls the door firmly closed cold be broken. On my unit when the draw has about 2″ to go mechanisms on the end of the rails pull the door tightly closed.

My Troubleshooting Steps

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Weekend Project – Keep your lawnmower humming with some basic maintenance.

Its that time of year again, the trees are budding, the flowers blooming and the grass is getting tall. If your like most you will probably roll the lawnmower out of the garage, top off the fuel and begin cutting.

Wait, not so fast. There are a few easy maintenance items you can  do yourself to keep your lawnmower humming like new all season long.

Change the oil

This is probably one of the most important maintenance items you can perform at each season. Lawnmowers run in a hostile dusty environment, and the oil can be easily contaminated.  Your lawnmower manufacture will recommend the frequency of oil changes you should preform. I like to do it every spring before the first cut.

My lawnmower is a  Honda walk behind. This unit uses a common fill / drain hole.  The first step is to wipe any dirt off the dipstick, then unscrew and place the dipstick cap on the side.

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Weekend Project – Clean You Central Air Conditioner Condenser Coils

My blog has mainly focused on computers, networking, electronics and an occasional “How To” small project. Today we are going to work on something a bit larger. Every Spring I dismantle my outside central air conditioner condenser units and give the condenser coils a good cleaning. This will help keep the unit running as efficient as possible keeping my house ice cold during the summer months. Also reducing wear and tear on the unit as well as lower my electrical cost too.

Tools you can use:

I completed the entire job with just a few basic tools.

A can of coil cleaner  Nu-Calgon 4171-75 $14.12 at Amazon

I used this specific coil cleaner on my units and it works as designed. The thick foam lifted the dirt and grime for easy removal. The label said its a “self-rinsing” formula using the coils own condensation to wash away the dirt. I still used my hose to wash away the grime. One can was NOT enough for my 2 units.


A good cordless drill similar to this one from DeWalt

Any cordless drill with a decent amount of torque will do just fine.

 


Magnetic socket nut driver, I used a 5/16″ driver like this

The screws on my unit had a 5/16″ head and using the cordless drill saved me a ton of time. You can use a hand driver or a flat edge regular screwdriver as well. The screws on your unit may vary so take a look before you buy any new tools.


Time to get started Continue reading “Weekend Project – Clean You Central Air Conditioner Condenser Coils”