Now that urban living is on the rise for over a decade, you should consider yourself blessed if you live in a house with patio because there are those of us living in tiny apartments dreaming of this. No matter its size, you have just what you need to extend the comfort you have indoors and create a warm and cosy outdoor space.
Flashlights are enormously popular and much-needed pieces of gear for everyone – from military/enforcement personnel and hikers to campers, hunters, dog walkers, etc. Old flashlight models did not have the power to provide enough light for cases like a power outage or when out camping, but the great advances in technology have transformed the flashlight into a valuable multipurpose tool with many benefits for its user. Read More
Back in the days, we didn’t care too much about what was happening inside our PC case, even less so around it, as long as everything was working fine. However, times have changed, and we’ve gotten (slightly) smarter, and more interested in taking care of this valuable possession. Plus, today more and more people are looking to build their own computers, and have to choose one of the different ways to cool them down in order to get the best possible performance.
The most popular way to cool down a computer by far is with the help of heat fans and sinks, which leads to the main point of this article – managing the cables inside the case. Even in liquid-cooled computers, which are becoming increasingly more popular lately, cable management can be extremely important. That being said, ensuring your cables are tidily arranged and secured with cable wire ties can be the difference maker between a well-cooled and quiet PC, and a poorly-performing, loud PC whose parts will wear down faster than you’d like.
Besides cable wire ties, there are a couple of other simple and affordable tools you can get your hands on in order to ensure proper cable management. Some of these tools include a screwdriver, pliers, twist-ties, rubber bands or hairbands, wire cutters, ESD-compliant electrical tape, etc. However, there are also some commonly used tools that you should avoid at all cost, like zip-ties, for example, which need to be cut away in case you need to rewire your PC or remove a component, as you could easily cut a cable accidentally instead.
There is no definitive way to manage the cables on your PC, but here’s some advice that can help you assemble and lay out the cables and components of your rig.
- The power supply should go first, as it usually has the largest cables which can act as support for the smaller ones;
- Get the drives out of the way sooner rather than later;
- Ensure you put the CPU and RAM and their heat-sink before putting them into the PC case;
- Think ahead when shopping for case fans, consider beforehand where you should place them for ideal performance;
- If you have more than one PCI slot, consider which one would be best for your video card, as it’s the hottest component by far. Avoid placing too many hot components nearby to avoid them releasing warmth near each other;
- Get creative with your peripherals. Your main goal with them is to avoid blocking air flow;
- Look for possible ways to hide the other cables and use cable ties to hold them as close as possible, so that they’re not scattered all over the place.
If you’ve been interested in buying a 3D printer over the past couple of months, but never really managed to get one because you were unsure of what to look for and where to get it, worry not – we’ll be discussing precisely that. 3D printers have been around for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until recently that they became affordable enough for people to use them for residential purposes. 3D printing can be expensive, and getting the models right might be difficult the first couple of times, as learning how to 3D print can be a steep learning curve.
You can buy a 3D printer and 3D printer gear online relatively easy. With the many different brands available online, there’s a wide range of choices for every purpose. The right 3D printer model will depend on your needs, budget and ultimate goals. You’ll usually need to decide between several types of 3D printers, the most commonly used ones for residential purposes being: SLA (Stereolithography) and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling).
FDM is the most commonly used 3D printing method for desktop printing. The method includes thermoplastic filament being heated and extruded via an extrusion head which deposits the molten plastic in specific X & Y coordinates while the building plate lowers the object layer by layer in the Z direction. This technique is a cost-effective way for product development and rapid prototyping in education sectors and small businesses, since it’s capable of producing robust parts quickly and reliably.
SLA printers on the other hand, create objects by exposing a layer of photosensitive liquid resin to a UV beam, hardening the resin and making it solid. Once a layer of resin has been swept by the laser and hardened, the building plate in the tank of the printer lowers down the thickness of a single layer, and the laser starts working on the next layer. The layers are built on top of each other, and once the object is complete, it needs to be rinsed with a solvent.
In order to buy the right 3D printer gear, you need to know what your ultimate goals are so that you can plan ahead. There’s no point in buying a small, budget desktop printer if you have bigger ambitions. However, you don’t want a printer that’s too big and costly, if you’re not going to make the most out of it as well. So you basically have to consider whether you’ll be building larger and better things as soon as you gain some experience, as well as whether you plan on experimenting with colours and materials.
I feel like the question: “Can you imagine life without electricity” is too far-fetched, simply because I can’t even imagine a day without it. It’s one of the most crucial, necessary elements in our everyday lives. We have so many gadgets, electronics and appliances that we’re so accustomed to as they make life so much easier and convenient. And obviously, in order to power them we need electricity. But if you live in a remote area where power cuts or voltage problems are frequent, this can result in faulty appliances. So how do you go about using your favourite devices and gadgets without the constant fear of damaging them? Simple – you get a transformer.
Transformers are devices that are commonly used in both residential and industrial settings. They’re basically storage devices for electricity that transform the electric circuit from on place to another, all while effectively changing the voltage from one amount to another, more adequate one. That being said, you’ll come across a power step down transformer, and a step up transformer.
As its name suggests, a power step down transformer converts higher voltage into lower voltage. This is mainly used to decrease the voltage from the primary winding to the secondary winding. This process involves voltage distribution, control and electrical isolation. Conversely, a step up transformer converts low voltage into higher voltage. This is mainly applied to increase the voltage from the primary winding to the secondary winding.
There are various different transformers available nowadays, some of them include: isolation, audio output, audio line matching, toroidal, SMPS, E&I and UI and others. All of these types feature different properties and are designed with a specific purpose in mind. Furthermore, they all have different ways of handling the transfer voltage, depending on the equipment they’re plugged to. However, their main function is still to increase or decrease the alternating current.
- Some of the important factors you need to take into account when looking for a transformer are:
- finding a reputable and reliable manufacturer and supplier;
- ensuring it comes with a warranty or some sort of guarantee in order to secure your investment and get the most out of it;
- check whether the manufacturer offers a custom-made transformer for your specific needs.
All of this will help you make the right investment and buy a transformer that you will use for many years to come.
If you are someone who enjoys spending time outdoors whether it’s for hiking, camping, mountain biking or trail running, chances are you’ve had to use a headlamp. They are great for illuminating your path or to help you navigate around your camping area hands free. With the different brands constantly competing there are more and more models of headlamps coming out constantly. So here’s my opinion on which LED headlamps are the best on the market today and why.
One of the best headlamps available today is the Black Diamond Spot. It provides durability and brightness for a relatively low price and this particular model was recently upgraded to produce a strong 300 lumen beam. It also comes with a touch-sensitive housing that allows you to quickly cycle trough the brightness levels, by simply taping the side of the headlamp. You can go from full brightness to a dim light for whether you need to illuminate close or far objects. You can find more powerful headlamps on the market, but this lamp will do for casual outdoor activities.
One of my personal favourites is the Olight H1 Nova 500 lumen compact LED headlamp and torch. What makes this headlamp great is its multiple applicability – it has a removable pocket clip and magnetic tail for maximum versatility so it can be used as an angle torch. It is also a waterproof Led headlamp so you don’t have to worry about using it in the rain or dropping it in water. The H1 uses a CR123A or a 16340 battery, it comes with five different modes of brightness plus a SOS to use in time of emergency. The H1 hits the sweet spot considering its size, features and price.
Next on the list is the Petzl Actik Core. This lamp is great for activates like camping, biking and caving. The standard model can put out up to 300 lumens but I prefer the Actik Core which features a stronger 350 lumen LED light and a rechargeable battery. It is my favourite rechargeable headlamp it can be recharged by micro USB or in case you are away from a power source, it can also make use of 3 AAA batteries making the Actik Core a true hybrid.
And last on the list is the Petzl Tikka headlamp. It flies a little under the radar when compared with the Olight waterproof Led headlamp or the Black Diamond, but should not be underestimated. It is great for camping trips and for use around the house. It features a single light but was recently upgraded to 200 lumen maximum output from a single white LED. Just like the Actik Core, this model is also rechargeable but requires that you purchase the accessory separately. If you, however, decide to stick with the AAA batteries, the Tikka can provide you with everything you need for an acceptable price.
Although the flashlights on smartphones have reduced the use of traditional flashlights by a large margin, any serious camper and hiker knows that they aren’t a suitable replacement. That being said, a proper flashlight, or torchlight will provide you with a strong beam when precision and dexterity is crucial. Moreover, what once were large and heavy torches, today are portable, lightweight and extremely powerful tools that are a must have for every outdoor enthusiast.
If you don’t own a torchlight yet, but are looking to bring one on your next camping or hiking trip, then there are a few key factors to consider, such as light output, battery type, size and weight and run time. You can find a short, middle and long range torch online with relative ease, and their prices vary anywhere from about $20 to over $200 depending on the features, brightness it can produce, the type of battery it uses, ergonomics and the materials it’s made from.
The lighting output on torches that feature LED bulbs is measured in lumens. However, you can’t rely on lumens solely to get the whole story about the brightness of the torch. Beam distance, type and intensity all influence the effectiveness of the torch in different applications. For instance, 20 lumens is enough to read a book, 100 lumens can temporarily blind a person, and anything more than that can illuminate a football field.
The beam distance is measured in meters, and it shows how far the light will shine before it starts diminishing. Generally, a long range torch will have a focused-beam, and a broad beam torch will have a shorter illumination distance. However, some flashlights have a few “modes” which allow you to switch between long-range, short-range, broad-beam and focused-beam.
Typically, torches are made of either aluminium alloy or plastic. Some have stainless steel in the head for extra impact resistance. Speaking of impact resistance, torches are drop tested by dropping them 6 times on a hard surface, usually concrete, at the rated distance. However, even if a torchlight is made of aluminium, it should specify how thin or thick the aluminium alloy is, as the thinner ones are lighter and the thicker ones are tougher.
You’ll usually have to choose between disposable and rechargeable batteries. Newer torches use lithium-ion batteries, as they’re the more powerful ones and they don’t drain as quick as typical AAA or AA batteries. It’s always a good idea to keep an extra pack of batteries when you go on longer camping or hiking trips, and bring a battery charger if you have access to electricity.
In order to get the most out of your batteries, you have to properly maintain them. This is especially true if you have rechargeable batteries that cost a decent sum of money. One of the main battery maintenance operations is battery capacity testing. Battery capacity testing is performed using a special kind of tool, known as capacity tester. Read More