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Garmin ecoRoute HD bluetooth wireless dongle

Automobiles, Cool Tools, DIY, Electronics
February 15, 2010 2 Comments

The Garmin ecoRoute HD is a bluetooth wireless dongle which plugs into your vehicles ODB port allowing you to monitor sensors such as intake air temperature, coolant temperature, throttle position and engine load, intake manifold pressure, battery and charging system information, mass airflow rate, timing advance and emissions — you can even check and clear engine trouble codes without visiting the car dealership.

The ecoRoute works with newer Garmin Nuvi GPS units that feature ecoRoute firmware, but since this is bluetooth… A) is it hackable? B) will an iPhone App be released from Garmin to pair with the device?

At $149 (retail) the Garmin ecoRoute HD is a great feature to add to your Garmin Nuvi GPS.  It’s available for pre-order now from

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Wicked Lasers – The Torch is “World’s Most Powerful Flashlight”

Cool Tools, Electronics
February 7, 2010 No Comments

If you are looking for the “World’s Most Powerful Flashlight” then look no further.  This is no joke, the Torch is  currently being reviewed by The Guinness Book of World Records.  With a retina damaging 4100 lumens of light, the Torch can also melt plastic, light paper on fire within seconds, and even fry an egg (as shown in the video above).

The Torch accomplishes this by using an halogen light bulb running at 100 Watts using a custom build high voltage circuit.  To keep the front lens from shattering due to the immense heat generated, The Torch flashlight is equipped with a specialized heat resistant glass lens and is encased in a durable, military grade aluminum case.

The Torch will set you back $299 and is available now from Wicked Lasers.

DISCLAIMER: You probably won’t want to use this as a flashlight or around kids… plus it only runs for about 10 minutes and is recommended to be used for around 3 minutes with about 2 minutes of “rest” time to let it cool down.

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Barnes & Noble Nook – The Unboxing!

Cool Tools, Electronics, Videos
January 4, 2010 No Comments

I finally got the Barnes & Noble Nook in my hands and here is the live unboxing.  It was a challenge but was well worth it!  The fit and finish on the Nook is exactly what I expected.  Like others have mentioned, the UI needs some refinement and optimization but for a v1 product, I’m extremely happy with it.  I will load up my PDF’s (SDK and technical docs) and report back my experiences…

P.S. Sorry about the poor production on the video… I got lazy and tried out the Flipcam I bought my wife for Christmas.   If you like the “rawness” of the Flip videos, I can do more of these types of posts as they are a lot easier to create than the edited ones. Enjoy!

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Panasonic 360 Quick Iron: Double Sided Iron

Cool Tools, Electronics, Grooming & Fashion, Home Appliances
December 6, 2009 No Comments


Panasonic’s 360 Quick Iron claims up to 25% faster ironing due to its double sided pointy edges.  After looking at this iron for a bit, this should have been the original design when the first iron was invented.  The traditional flat back side really doesn’t serve a purpose other than needing it to sit the iron upright.    The Panasonic 360 model allows you to get into the tight areas like collars and cuffs without the need to turn the iron or yourself around.  This goes to show you that you can reinvent things that have been around for a long time.  Kudo’s to Panasonic!

The Panasonic 360 Quick Iron line ranges from $80 – $40 and are available at


REVIEW: Microwave Leakage/EMF Detector (CEM DT-2G)

Cool Tools, DIY, Home Appliances
August 11, 2009 4 Comments


The responsible folks over at LESS EMF INC. sent me the new version of the Microwave Leakage/EMF Detector that I blogged about last year.   The CEM DT-2G offers a backlit LCD display and an even higher sensitivity meter that never needs calibration.    The meter also provides an audible “beeping” alarm and red flashing light when it senses microwaves above the 5 mW/cm².  It’s sensitive down to 0.01 mW/cm² at 2450 MHz and will read all the way up to a roasting 9.99 mW/cm² in hundredths of mW/cm².  The battery operates for more than 12 months under normal use and comes complete with carry case to keep your unit in perfect condition.  The CEM DT-2G can also be used to measure radiated power from wireless keyboards, modems, cell phones and all other wireless devices using the 2450 MHz analog frequency.   The meter is available now and retails for $34.95.

I measured my home and I’m in safe ranges… phew!


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DYMO RHINO 3000 Label Printer – My Favorite Tools – July 2009

Cool Tools, Favorite Tools
July 20, 2009 14 Comments


One of my pet peeves is having unlabeled wires and cables.  It drives me bonkers!  That’s why the Dymo Rhino 3000 is My Favorite Tool for July 2009.  This little tools lets you label all your wires and cables very simply.  If you are asking yourself what makes the Rhino better than say a Brother P-Touch? Well, it’s all in the adhesive and printing layout.

First, the adhesive on these labels is meant to be wrapped around cables and wires so you can be sure they won’t pop off.  The label actually feels like it “shrinks” onto the cable (they do have true heat-shrink versions too).

Second, this rugged labeler was designed to print labels for A/V and Networking cables and wires so the way it prints the text is meant for easy reading when wrapped around the cable. Here are even more reasons.

If you have an A/V rack or network closet you owe it to yourself and anyone that works on your stuff properly labeled and organized wires.   The Dymo Rhino 3000 is the tool that can make it happen… it will be the best $80 you’ve ever spent!

DYMO RHINO 3000 Label Printer 15605

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