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Arizona Lou

Technology

Being a retired science teacher, we like to have the latest technology such as… 

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The GeoOrbital Wheel. will not only knock your sox off, but will allow you to convert your regular bicycle to an electric one in 60 seconds by replacing the front wheel... and the center of the new wheel does not even turn!

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Padlock
The Dymo 280 has almost everything we wanted in a label maker. You can use it portable or do all your work on your PC or Mac and simply use the 280 as a label printer.

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After watching this 15-minute video you'll probably know more than you wanted about padlocks. A line-up padlocks from least to most secure is from 2:37 to 2:58. More secure locks come later in the video. For a really good one, plan on spending about $100.

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Padlock

The Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial is the coolest combination padlock we've ever seen. With its shift knob instead of numbers, you can program a code of an unlimited number of strokes. We open ours easily without our glasses on, without looking at the lock, with the lock in awkward positions and even in the dark! We got ours at Home Depot for a reasonable price. Look at this review.
      How does it work? Moving the button different directions rotates certain three of the four internal wheels different amounts and different directions. When all four wheels are in position the lock can be opened. See it in action with this visualizer.

What is your chance of guessing the code? Here is what we figured for different code lengths:
Strokes Chance
1 4
2 16
3 64
4 256
5 1,024
6 4,096
7 16,384
8 65,536
9 262,144
10 1,048,576

Technology Page Index:       (back to TOP of this page)

3-D Printer Makerbot & our padlock
acelleraometer Shadow Box
Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle
auto-off light switch GE Model # 15088
bathroom scale, tiny ee1c & Taylor 7086
battery charge state LA Lead Acid Battery Voltage
battery charger, AA/AAA La Cross high-tech
battery charger, auto Granite smart charger
battery charger, auto Ctek smart charger
battery charger, RC iCharger
battery types small batteries
battery, van Van Auxiliary Power
bicycle, convert electric GeoOrbital Wheel
bluetooth headset Plantronics Voyager
booties for toes Five Fingers booties
C. Crane Witness mp3 Player C Crane Witness
calculator 1-Calc for cell phone
calculator, programable Corner Office
camcorder, waterproof Sanyo vpc-E2BL
camera, our new Panasonic DMC-FZ150
camera, our old Canon SX20IS
camera remote Vello Wireless
camera sensors Sensor types & sizes
camera, thermographic FLIR i7
Case for RC helicopter HeliCase for RC helicopter
cell smart phone Galaxy S II
computer-buying listsSony Vaio Duo
computer, modular Bug Labs
combination lock Master 1500iD
Controller, RC Spektrum DX7s
date stamp Dymo DateMark electronic
Dymo Labeler Dymo LabelManager 280
electric bicycle, convert GeoOrbital Wheel
eReader Amazon Kindle
fitness tracker Garmin Vivoactive
Five Fingers Five Fingers booties
Galaxy S II Smart Phone
Giant Planes Comparison Chart
glass, non-fogging with nanotecture
GPS Street Garmin Nuvi 200
GPS watch Garmin Vivoactive
GPS wrist Garmin Foretrex 201
GPS wrist Garmin Foretrex 401
headset, bluetooth Plantronics Voyager
heli battery charger iCharger
HeliCase Case for RC Helicopter
heli RC Controller Spektrum DX7s
helicopter, RC Blade mSRx
helicopter, RC Blade Nano CPx
helicopter, RC Heli-Max AXE 100 FP
helicopter, toy IR Missile Strike Helicopter
helicopter, RC TREX 100X
iCharger (RC) the best battery charger
JetBoil JetBoil
Kill-a-Watt Watt meter
Kindle Amazon Kindle
labeler Dymo LabelManager 280
Lead Acid Charge Volts Lead Acid Battery Voltage
LiFeMnPO battery Van Auxiliary Power
light, solar, walk Solar powered walk light
light wavelengths Light wavelengths
lithium van battery Van Auxiliary Power
lock, combo padlock Master 1500iD
lock, secure padlocks Secure Padlocks video
luggage scale Travelon micro
Makerbot 3-D Printer Makerbot & our padlock
microphone, stereo Sony ECM-DS70P
microphone, wind cage Lou's Mic Wind Cage
mouse, minni SMK-LINK Ultra Mini
mp3 Player C Crane C. Crane Witness
mp3 Player Sony Sony ICD-UX560
Nano RC helicopter Blade Nano CPx
nano-structured glass from MIT
Orbital Wheel Bicycle Convert to electric bicycle
oscilloscope Virtual Oscilloscope
padlock, 3-D Printed Makerbot & our padlock
padlock, combo Master 1500iD
padlocks, secure levels Secure Padlocks video
Panasonic camera DMC-FZ150
Planes, Giant Comparison Chart
power meter Kill-a-Watt
quadracopter quadracopters!
RC Controller Spektrum DX7s
RC (radio control) RC pro, Hemple
RC weather hourly forecast graph
Resolutions of TVsf TV Video Resolutions
remote for camera Vello Wireless
scale, bathroom, tiny ee1c & Taylor 7086
scale, luggage Travelon micro
scanner, document, small IRIScan compact scanner
sensors, camera Sensor types & sizes
SD card w WiFi Eye-Fi
secure padlock levels Secure Padlocks video
smart phone Galaxy S II
stereo microphone Sony ECM-DS70P
switch, auto off GE Model # 15088
thermographic camera FLIR i7
thermometer, probe digital thermometer probe
timer, digital auto. GE Model # 15088
toilet technology diagram at PHX HRO
TV Video Resolutions TV Video Resolutions
vibration timer/watch Garmin Vivoactive
Voice Recorder C. Crane mp3 Player C Crane Witness
Voice Recorder Sony Sony ICD-UX560
Voltag/condition LA Lead Acid Battery Voltage
watch/GPS/vibration Garmin Vivoactive
Watt meter Kill-a-Watt
wavelength, light sources Light wavelengths
weather forecast, RC hourly forecast graph
wind cage, microphone Lou's Mic Wind Cage
Wind meter, hand Windtronic 2
Wind meter, phone Vaavud, graphing
workout shoes Five Fingers booties

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self-cleaning glass
A group of MIT researchers have found a new way to create arrays of conical micron-scale surface nanotextures to produce glass that is self-cleaning, non-glare, dust repelling and non-fogging (video).

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We saw this solar eclipse, which was visible into sunset from the western half of the US.

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We installed this GE Model # 15088 automatic digital shutoff timer for our garage light, which we have a tendency to leave on. Pressing one of the five buttons turns the light on/off or sets the light to automatically turn off after 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes.

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The Plantronics Voyager Pro is the best bluetooth headset I have ever owned. The audio is excellent and the noise canceling is phenomenal. When I am driving 70 mph and call my brother he says it sounds as good as when I am sitting in my office at home. It gives six hours of talk time on a charge, gives conditions and driving directions reports in a female voice and has a host of other features that I do not even use. Google "Plantronics Pro" and save some money.
- Here it is compared to the Voyager Legend to which I upgraded in 2014.
- Unfortunately the audio out eventually deterearities with these Plantronics units.

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When we bought it in early 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S II was billed as the top smart phone. It was unlocked (without a contract) and probably the most expensive. Some of its features are quad band world phone, GPS, spoken turn-by-turn directions, Voice Command, Voice Search, Voice Talk, dual core high-speed processor, up to 32g micro SD card, WiFi hotspot creation, android Gingerbread OS, automatic wireless synchronizing of our calendar and contacts with Google, our laptop and our netbook etc. etc. If we say, "Navigate to Circuit Specialists in Gilbert," it will find it, plot a course and tell us how to get there from our present location. The screen is the brightest of all. Our HTC Touch diamond smart phone quit working properly, so we went for the gusto.

How big is your new phone going to be? Compare sizes of phones

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Amazon Kindle
Back in February, 2011 this Kindle was our reward for getting to bed by 9:30 every night for a month: big challenge (for us) and big reward. We no longer have to worry about a "book" flopping closed on us, reading in the crease of the page, stressing our arms holding a heavy book, having a dictionary handy for looking up words, worrying about a highlighter, going to the store to buy books or finding the instruction manual for one of our gadgets. The Kindle has it all. (Added to web page Feb, 2011)

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Amazon Kindle Touch
This Kindle Touch 3G was our upgrade, 15 months later, and it is super! We particularly like touching a word and having the definition instantly pop up. Like the Kindle above, this unit also reads to you with a male or female Text-to-Speech voice. (Added to web page Feb, 2015)

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    LiFeMnPO
    Lithium/Iron/Manganese/Phosphate/Oxygen battery
    AFTER we configured it on end for use as the house battery in our van,with:
  • Andersen connector
  • LVD (low-voltage disconnect)
  • voltmeter
  • 4 cigarette lighter sockets
  • refrigerator cord
  • USB power outlet
  • cell voltage balancers.
Configured Battery
Van Auxiliary Power Project: Here you can follow our development (latest is last) on the Auxiliary Power Project for our van. It has made for an easier life on our trips. Installation photos (small-screen version)
- For 13 years we have used the van's engine battery for all our power needs, which is sometimes a challenge - especially in hot weather when the little refrigerator runs more. That meant an occasional jumper pack start and replacing the battery every year or two.
- This 60 AH 4-cell LiFeMnPO battery accepts a high-current charge and is a light-weight, compact deep-cycle auxiliary battery. When the ignition is on it is combined with the van battery and is charged by the van's 120A alternator. (Added to web page Feb, 2011)

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Smart phone calculator

    1-Calc is the best calculator we could find for our Windows Mobile phone. We bought it for $30 after the 30-day free trial. There are multiple language selections and the calculator is available for your PC and other phone formats. You can customize your own functions and button arrangements. It comes with these calculators:
  1. Basic, with 1/x, Memory Substitute and other useful features
  2. Currency converter
  3. Unit converter
    • Distance (mi km ft in nm yd m cm mm)
    • Temperature (F C K)
    • Speed (m/h K f/s m/s light sound f/m m/m)
    • Volume (convert between over 20 units)
    • Weight (convert between 10 units)
    • Cooking (convert between 12 units)
    • Computers (bytes etc.)
    • Area (convert between 10 units)
    • Energy (cal KWH BTU Therm FtLb + others)
    • Power (KW Cal/h FtLb/h BTU/h + others)
    • Force (Nwt Lb Ton Kg + others)
    • Pressure (Kg/m2 Ton/Ft2 Nwt/m2 millib Torrs inHg Pascals +)
    • Clothing (shoes, shirts, dresses + for US Eur UK Japan
  4. Financial
  5. Statistics
  6. Graphing in color
  7. Scientific functions
  8. Tips
  9. Base conversions
  10. Days between dates
  11. Five-memory calculator (a little awkward)
  12. Constants
  13. Statistics
  14. Conversions
    (Added to web page Jan, 2011)

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    Granite Battery Charger
    The Granite all-in-one battery charger/maintainer/tester/alarm does not have quite the output of the Cteck (below), but costs less and includes several additional features like the digital display. The Granite also includes an ammeter, deep cycle and battery rejuvenator among its additional features. (Added to web page Nov, 2010)

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    12 volt battery charger chart of 8 phases
    voltage ripple
    current ripple
    size chart

    The CTEK MULTI US 7002 is an eight-phase electronic charger for 12v batteries used in autos, motorhomes, and boats. It does special cold-weather charging, is suited for both starter and deep-cycle batteries, charges AGM batteries (like the Optima), is supposed to recover deeply discharged flooded-cell batteries, corrects stratified acid conditions, revives lightly sulfated batteries (breaks down lead sulfate crystals), serves as a 13.6v power supply and goes into pulse mode for indefinate battery maintenance without damage.
          CETEK has good information here about various chargers from their lineop.
          We got our 7002 from SJ Discount Tools.com. CTEK also makes excellent less pricy and less capable chargers such as their MULTI US 3300 12-Volt Universal Battery Charger w/ Pulse Maintenance.      (Added to web page Oct, 2010)

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    Battery Charger

                                        (Added to web page Oct, 2010)

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    batteries
    Battery Types, sizes, voltages, capacities & uses, with good chart
    Disposable Batteries explained and compared: Excellent information about Alkaline, Lithium, Heavy Duty, General Purpose and Oxyride cells.
    Rechargeable Batteries explained and compared: Excellent information about NiMH, NiZn, Li-ion, NiCd and Rechargeable Alkaline cells.

    Lead Acid Battery Voltages and approximate condition. Have battery with
    open circuit for 1-2 hours before measuring (24 hours for more accuracy)
    Chart
                (Added to web page Feb 2016)

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    Watch Sonny Thaper tipping his iPhone to maneuver EdAz's AR Drone quadracopter around the big room at Gangplank and see if he hits the rafters. The quadracopter is stabilized by accelerometers, gyrometers, an ultrasonic altimeter and a ground-facing video camera. It also has a forward-facing video camera. Both cameras are viewable on the controlling iPhone or iPad. (Added to web page Oct, 2010)


    Take a look at this unbelievable video of aggressive maneuvers for autonomous quadrocopters. (Uploaded to YouTube May, 2010)

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    Second Helicase
    HeliCase #2, put into service January, 2015, is smaller than #1 (below) but boasts built-in power for the iCharger, a control panel, a light etc. Details HERE. (Added to web page Jan 2015)

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    Luxurious leather HeliCase (#1) - and it only cost $6 at Goodwill. It wasn't exactly the ideal size, but we made do with the following additions: (Added to web page Feb, 2013)

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    Logo   Flying weather:
    Hour-by-hour forecast
    Coyote Basin Park, Phoenix
    anywhere in the US. Will there be too much wind for your RC? (Added to web page Apr, 2013)
    15-Day forecast with graphs (Added to web page Dec, 2014)

    swashplate   8 Swashplate types and other excellent information (Added to web page Nov, 2013)

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    When we bought this Spektrum DX7s RC controller, they said it was the last controller we'd ever need for whatever we would be flying (Instruction Manual). We particularly like it's programmability, control curves, automatic timer, SD card and buddy port. Here is some good information from RC Groups about charging the controller's NiMH battery packs. (Added to web page Jan, 2013)

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    iCharger 206b
    The iCharger 206b is the most versatile RC charger we found - and very powerful for its size. Some of the features we like best are its ability to charge almost any battery chemistry, measurement of individual cell resistances and its selectable Regenerative Discharging, which charges your source battery with a buck/boost system while discharging your flight batteries. You can even use it to charge your car battery! We got our 206b and good service from Progressive RC in Seattle. The Manual is quite complete.
    - Our feature comparison file compares the iCharger to the runner-ups: the Tenergy B6s and kMax B6, and others. With our ChargerFeatures spreadsheet you can analyze the features you want for your own charger purchase. This page on the RC Helicopter Fun website will give you a real education about computerized battery chargers, why you would want one and what features to look for. (Added to web page Sep, 2013)

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    RC Helicopter
    The Blade Nano CPx was our fourth RC helicopter. This little guy has true collective pitch. That means the main rotor maintains a constant RPM and lift (altitude) is controlled by the pitch of the rotor blades, as with full-sized helicopters. The Nano (Instruction Manual) is capable of aerobatics and even inverted flight. With many controllers (like our Sektrum DX7s, above) the heli can be set up for a beginner with fixed pitch and docile controls. Had I to do it again, and knowing what I know now, the Nano (with a DX7s controller) may have been my first and only RC helicopter. (Added to web page Jan, 2013)

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    RC Helicopter
    Our next one was thisHeli-Max AXE 100 FP that is slightly larger than the Trex 100x, but with more sophisticated gyros instead of a flybar. We found it quite crashable and breakable, at least until we got used to it, just like we did the Trex 100x. We went to the next level after about a month waiting for parts (rotor linkage) from the manufacturer (Added to web page Dec, 2012)

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    RC Helicopter
    Our next one was not thisBlade mSRx that is about the same size as the Trex 100x, but supposedly easier to fly, more stable, more sophisticated and no fly bar. Look at this impressive REVIEW. (Added to web page May, 2012)

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    Trex
    Our next helicopter, the radio controlled Align TRex 100X, uses RPMs in place of collective, but otherwise flies like a real helicopter, and, with its cyclic control can fly sideways. It is about 8.5 inches long and is easy to crash until one becomes a more proficient pilot. Get spare parts from Heli Pal or RC Car Max for better shipping options. The remote controls operate as is standard for the larger RC helicopters. (Added to web page June, 2012)

    My nephew has a slightly larger heli: the Blade mCP x/2 helicopter without a flybar and with micro collective pitch which allows aerobatics and inverted flight.

    Learn to fly with Wacky Hobby's 14 lessons. We found this series of 19 YouTube videos very helpful.

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    I R Helicopter
    Our first RC helicopter - an infrared-controlled toy that is a lot of fun, very stable, has a vertical tail fan, is cheap and shoots missiles. (Added to web page Dec 2011)

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    Bill Hemple showing off - a professional RC pilot and one of the world's best!

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    I R Helicopter
    Giant Planes: Sizes of some of the largest airplanes in the sky. (Added to web page Jun 2017)

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    compact scale
    This $30 ee1c ultra-compact scale is so small you wait for the beep and then step off to see your weight. It takes some getting used to but is just right in our small bathroom - or for a purse, they say - or maybe even in the van on our trips. (Added to web page Dec 2012)
    Taylor compact scale
    We found this Taylor 7086 at Goodwill. Although it is a little larger than the ee1c, it is faster. (Added to web page Mar 2015)

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    Luggage Scale
    This Travelon Micro luggage scale ($25) weighs less than three ounces, has a 110-pound capacity and helps keep us from paying big bucks for going over airline weight limits. It also is useful for a bunch of other things, such as weighing your kites to determine if they are completely dried out or your board to see if it is taking on water. (Added to web page Jun 2010)

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    CC Witness

    (CCW: Added to web page May 2010; CCW+: Added to web page Feb 2014)

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    voice recorder

    (Added to web page Oct 2016)

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    ShadowBox
    This Shadowbox ($500 ) is a GPS unit that attaches to your kiteboard and records everything from your speed and acceleration to jump height and degree of rotation then plays in back in stunning 3-D detail, using gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers and GPS to determine position. (Added to web page May 2010)

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    Solar Light
    This solar-powerd walk light was a rare, pure impulse purchase, but for only $3.88. All the electronics are contained in the hocky puck cap, and the single white LED actually makes enough light to see the walkway. (Added to web page Jun 2010)

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    Light Wavelengths Light Wavelengths Light Wavelengths
    Different light sources put out light of different wavelengths, some of which we can not see. Above are a couple of interesting charts. (Added to web page Dec, 2014)

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    Wind meter
    This Windtronic is our mainstay for handheld wind measurements. It is sort of expensive but records current, average and peak gust in any of four units, is omnidirectional and comes with a 2-year warranty. (Added to web page Oct 2012)

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    Smart Phone Wind meter
    The Vaavud wind meter for smartphones not only tells you the wind in various units, but also graphs it. This robust anemometer operates magnetically with no electrical connection or even physical contact. It is not good in low wind, as it does not begin registering until 3mph. You do not even need the Vaavud if your friend has one. Just download the free software for your Android or Apple smart phone and hold your phone near your friend's spinning anemometer. (Added to web page Sep 2013)

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    Foretrex 401
    The Garmin Foretrex 201 is our preferred kiteboarding GPS receiver as of April 25, 2011, when we deposited our Foretrex 401 at the bottom of Laguna Madre. The 201 lacks a few features compared to the 401 (below), but has a major advantage: It is really sealed and waterproof with its built-in Li battery. Also it is a little thinner. Although the 401 has the same waterproof rating (IEC Standard 60529 IPX7) its battery door tends to leak, saltwater gets in and the connections rust. The 201 recharges and transfers data with with pogo pins so needs no battery door. Recharging it is not much of a problem since it charges from a 5 Volt source, which matches a computer's USB output. Also the 201 costs less. Unfortunately, as of 7/2014, the 201 is no longer available. (Added to web page May 2011)

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    Foretrex 401
    For
    almost two years
    from July 17, 2009 to April 25, 2011
    , we used this new Garmin Foretrex 401.

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