Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Allen & Heath Xone:4D vs Denon DJ MCX8000

In an era where DJs want to be able to use different software, and not have to settle for just Serato, or just Traktor, the Allen & Heath Xone:4D provides all that you are looking for, and more.
With an exceptional built-in soundcard, 105 assignable MIDI controls, and the features that any professional DJ would need, this controller is hands down one of the best DJ controllers.
This controller can also be used with recording software such as Pro Tools or Ableton Live. This is a great choice for DJs who make their own mixes.  
Also see: NUMARK N4 Review
Much like Numark, Denon is a great brand to consider for any DJ who wants top features at a lower price. The Denon DJ MCX8000 offers everything the above controllers do, and more.
Most noteworthy about this model is the fact that it is constructed with metal, which makes it one of the most durable controllers available. Add in a top-quality soundcard, and we are left with one of the best DJ controllers available.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

11 Important Home Security Tips

The results of our home security survey showed a third of homes burgled in Ireland have a security alarm and yet are still targeted. Stop the Burglar say many burglars try to enter via a door on an alarmed house. That way they have 40 seconds before the alarm goes off. As the average burglary only last 2min, this is a lot of time!

Although alarm systems can act as a deterrent, particularly if they are monitored, other actions should be taken to manage your home security.

It is important to be vigilant if going on holidays, especially if your home is unoccupied. Get a neighbour or friend to regularly check on your property, switching lights on and off. Other than that, here are our top tips for nailing your home security:
1. Ensure that all doors and windows have strong locks. This is especially important for patio doors, which are easy for burglars to access. The more time it takes to access your home, the less attractive it is to a burglar.
2. Test your home security: lock yourself out of the house and try to get back in (without a key). If you can do it, then there is no doubt a burglar will be able to as well.
3. If you are away overnight don’t forget to cancel deliveries like milk or newspapers.
4. Keep your house as lit up as possible at night. Install lights near all outside entrances.
5. If possible leave a car parked in the driveway, maybe ask a neighbour to park there while you are away.
6. If you are out and about in the evening, leave a light or two on to make it look like someone is home. It’s also a good idea to leave a radio on.
7 When you buy new appliances such as a flat screen TV, dispose of the packaging carefully. Don’t leave the box outside your house. You may as well put up a "rob me" sign.
8. Don’t leave any valuables such as cash or jewellery lying around or hidden in obvious places. Make sure they are securely stored. Always take photos of valuable jewellery for insurance purposes. Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for valuables.
9. Use of gravel on your driveway or pathways to your property can act as a deterrent to burglars.
10. Keep hedges and shrubbery well clipped as they can act as a hiding place for thieves.
11. Use gate opener system like MIGHTY MULE 502

Monday, September 25, 2017

Moultrie M-550 Gen2 Red Flash Camera/June 11, 2015

I pulled out two more cameras this morning from the queue of cameras waiting for review. These are the M-550 and M-880. This year the Moultrie cameras have a new look and are referred to as “Gen2” for generation 2. This helps to avoid confusion with models of the same name from previous years. If you purchase a Lockbox in our store make sure that you select the one with “Gen2” in the description.

The Moultrie M-550 Gen2 camera has a similar design to the A-5 and A-7 we are reviewing although it is a bit smaller and has the same whispy black on green camo style of the A-7. The camera has menus for its settings rather than the simple switches. The two line display is back lit which is a plus.

This camera (like MOULTRIE M-888 )is one solid piece with a small door or flap that opens to reveal the buttons, switches, and SD card slot. The battery is an ejectable slide in tray that holds 8 AA batteries. This puts the entire camera in the back making it easier to aim than those heavy in front camera in the door style that is most typical. We will keep an eye out for leaks around this seal. I have not heard anything but this is something to look for.

The latch feels sturdy with substantial thickness and compresses the door securely when latched. This is good as I feel the rubber moisture seal will hold in a downpour.

The camera design splits the IR array into a right and left side with the PIR on top and lens below. There are 12 LEDS per side for a total of 24.

The camera supports 8 AA batteries making it economical to run. The bottom of the camera has a tripod insert with the 12v power IN and USB OUT ports.

For mounting there are wide strap slots on either side and supplied is a nice wide strap. There are holes for a python in the rear and I believe that you can loop the python around the camera face and around the tree for a better than average security. There is no substitute for a lock box though.

You can also use the python holes for bungee straps which I will likely do.

The camera is documented as a 7MP camera with a Photo setting and a single VGA setting for video (640×480). There is also a hybrid mode for photo and video. There are several delay settings ranging from 5 seconds to 30 minutes. Set up was very easy and familiar. Without reading the book programming was done in 1 minute.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Solar Battery Charger Circuit

Solar concept is not new for us. As non-renewable energy sources are decreasing, usage of solar energy is increased. This solar energy is not only used on the Earth but also used in space stations where no electrical power is available. Here is the simple circuit to charge 12V, 1.3Ah rechargeable Lead-acid battery from the solar panel. This solar charger has current and voltage regulation and also has over voltage cut off facilities. This circuit may also be used to charge any battery at constant voltage because output voltage is adjustable.

Specifications of the Charging Circuit
Solar panel rating – 5W /17V
Output Voltage –Variable (5V – 14V).
Maximum output current – 0.29 Amps.
Drop out voltage- 2- 2.75V.
Voltage regulation: +/- 100mV

Solar Battery Charger Circuit Principle:

Solar battery charger (for example: SUNJACK USB BATTERY CHARGER ) operated on the principle that the charge control circuit will produce the constant voltage. The charging current passes to LM317 voltage regulator through the diode D1. The output voltage and current are regulated by adjusting the adjust pin of LM317 voltage regulator. Battery is charged using the same current.

Circuit Components
Solar panel – 17V
LM317 voltage regulator
DC battery
Diode – 1n4007
Capacitor – 0.1uF
Schottky diode – 3A, 50V
Resistors – 220, 680 ohms
Pot – 2K
Connecting wires

Solar Battery Charger Circuit Design

Circuit must have adjustable voltage regulator , so Variable voltage regulator LM317 is selected. Here LM317 can produce a voltage from 1.25 to 37 volts maximum and maximum current of 1.5 Amps.

Adjustable Voltage regulator has typical voltage drop of 2 V-2.5V .So Solar panel is selected such that it has more voltage than the load. Here I am selecting 17v/5w solar panel.

Lead acid battery which is used here has specification of 12v/1.3Ah. In order to charge this battery following are required.

Schottky diode is used to protect the LM317 and panel from reverse voltage generated by the battery when it is not charging. Any 3 A diode can be used here.

For Charging 12V Battery

Output voltage
Set the output voltage to 14.5 volts(This voltage is specified on the battery as cycle use.)
Charging current
Charging current = Solar panel wattage/Solar Panel Voltage = 5 / 17 = 0.29A.
Here LM317 can provide current upto 1.5A .So it is recommended to use high wattage panels if more current is required for your application.(But here my battery requires initial current less than 0.39Amps. This initial current is also mentioned on the battery).
If the battery requires initial current more than 1.5A,it is not recommended to use LM317.
Time taken for charging
Time taken for charging = 1.3Ah/0.29A = 4.44hours.
Power dissipation
Here solar panel has 5Watts
Power going into battery = 14.5*0.29 =4 watts
Thus 1 watt of power going into regulator.

Power Dissipation

In this project, power is limited because of the thermal resistance of LM317 voltage regulator and the heat sink. To keep the temperature below 125 degree Celsius, the power must be limited to 10W. LM317 voltage regulator internally has temperature limiting circuit so that if it gets too hot, it shuts down automatically.

When battery is charging, heat sink becomes warm. When completing the charging at maximum voltage, heat sink runs hot. This heat is because of excess power that not needed in the process of charging a battery.

Current Limiting:

As the solar panel provides constant current, it acts as a current limiter. Therefore the circuit does not need any current limiting.

Solar Charger Protection:

In this circuit, capacitor C1 protects from the static discharge. Diode D1 protects from the reverse polarity. And voltage regulator IC provides voltage and current regulation.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Best Visitation Center Guide in the USA

Regular, parents go to work and leave their child using a child care facility. There are a lot of applications and with so many of them out there, how do you decide? How do you sort the great ones from the bad ones? It is not difficult in case you follow some easy measures.

To begin with, go online and do a Google search for "child care resource". Google will return to you several websites that do referrals for child care facilities locally. Phone these referral services and describe to them that you're trying to find an excellent supervised visitation centers near me for your son or daughter. They'll refer you to several companies locally. Make note of these - get their addresses and phone numbers.

All these are referrals and not recommendations. You will have to telephone and visit them to see whether the child care they are supplying is the kind of service which you're seeking.

Now, the following measure. You need to go to at least three of these companies. All these are active areas so do not just drop in. Call and schedule an appointment.

Before you see, make a checklist of questions. Take these with you on your own visit together with a pen or pencil so you could take notes.

On the tour, there are three essential things which you must do - look, listen, and count.

First, look around. Is it a cozy, homelike setting? Might it be clean and safe? Is the space comfortable and organized? Are dangerous things kept out of range of kids?

Study the room. Are there plenty of books and playthings about so kids can select their very own actions? Look around to see whether there's outdoor room for kids to run around and play. Examine the gear (for example slides and swings) - Are they in good shape?

Then stop and listen. Merely looking around the room will inform you a whole lot. Based on what you hear, does it seem like a joyful place? Do the children seem happy and involved? Do the teachers seem cheerful and patient? Does it look overly quiet? Or, is it too noisy? This might mean too little control.

Eventually, count. Count how many kids in the group. Afterward, count a number of health professionals with them. The fewer the children for every single adult means your kid will get more focus.

That is a lot to take in. Take notes. You will wish to compare these notes later on.

Once the tour is done, you still have an additional thing to do and that is the interview. Think of this as a job interview for the child care facility. Nothing is off limits, so inquire exactly what you enjoy.

Three crucial questions are: Just what is an average day like for your son or daughter? What's their education degree? What exactly are their parent policies? Additionally, ask them for referrals. Make sure to are filled with their responses.

When you are done, go home and read through your notes. Select the child care provider that you just believe will best fit you as well as your kid's needs.

One final step will be to telephone the Department of Early Learning (866 482 4325). They're going to have the capacity to let you know if there have been any recorded grievances against the child care facility that you simply have decided.

Everything comes down to shopping around. The further you look around, the much more likely you're to locate an excellent child care facility which will be a great fit for you as well as your own family. Do not be one of those people that spend more time looking for a cell phone than a great spot to leave their kid. After all, there's nothing more important than your kid.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

4 Solid Tips to Recover from Small Business Debt

Debt is something that nobody quite likes to think about. Contemplating how much you owe to other individuals or institutions can make most small business owners break out into a sweat. Unfortunately, avoiding the subject is exactly what causes most owners to accumulate even more debt. If you want to get out of the financial situation that you are currently in, you are going to have to face it first.

There are different strategies that you can use to get yourself out of debt. If you are not entirely certain about your current condition, it is best to seek the advice of experts such as Corporate Business Solutions. Here are 4 tips to improve your financial prospects:

1. Know the Facts

If you are continuing to accrue debt, you need to consider why this is happening. Clearly, your business is spending an amount that is greater than the earned revenue. You need to consider the culprits – where is the majority of your money going? You need to identify the different areas of your small business that are causing the greatest amount of expenses. This will get you one step closer to getting rid of your debt.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tips For Buying a Vintage Watch Through Cyber Dealerships and On-Line Auctions

The Internet appears to have had three major effects on the vintage watch market: firstly, in terms of supply; secondly, in relation to price, and thirdly, it has given parasites and con artists a global platform in which to practise their deceit.


In pre-internet days, the collector's lot was that of a somewhat nomadic search for elusive timepieces, of countless visits to auction houses and dealerships, of infrequent but heartening 'finds' and of time lines extending to many years, or even lifetimes, to build up substantial collections.

These days the legwork has to a large degree been replaced with an ever-changing marketplace of thousands of used luxury watches on eBay alone. The collector's experience and understanding of supply has been turned upside-down and  used luxury watches hitherto thought of as rare or hard to find turn up regularly on various Internet auction sites.

It is now possible to assemble large collections in shorter periods of time if your passion is aflame and your coffers are deep. While this may satisfy in the short term the irrepressible obsessions and impulses of avid collectors, I wonder whether it will also gratify prematurely the collector's appetite for a lifetime of interest and acquisition.


The Internet has also had a significant impact on price. No longer can a few bricks and mortar vintage watches dealers monopolise price structures and quarantine specialist knowledge. The downside of this is that fewer people strike up a relationship with their dealer or watchmaker and instead fly solo on the Internet. However, if newbies land in one of the more respected brand or vintage forums, they will encounter many generous people willing to share their knowledge.

While the on-line auction scene and specialist trading pages of watch forums started off as a platform for connecting wholesalers to retailers, it has 'matured' into marketplace where collectors source vintage watches from a pool of suppliers, becoming almost, but not completely, a retail market. Prices are, to a larger extent, determined globally these days.


The growth of the Internet vintage watch marketplace through on-line auctions and cyber-dealerships has also created a new group of consumers for vintage timepieces. And wherever there are neophytes with money, the slimy underbelly of commerce soon reveals itself.

In on-line watch forums the dissent over shady and dishonest seller practices has risen in concert with a creeping fatalism expressed by seasoned contributors who lament that the villains and shonks of the horological universe will ultimately push the good guys out.

Another common theme to run through many threads in on-line forums is 'Caveat Emptor'. This is often accompanied with somewhat merciless sentiments like it's "tough titties" and maybe a useful and salutary experience for newbies to buy a lemon or get ripped off. At least they walk away with a bit more experience - so goes the logic.

Too much emphasis, however, on Caveat Emptor and too little emphasis on blaming, naming and shaming the bloodsuckers who feed off the naiveté of new and often enthusiastic bidders sends the wrong message. When we place a disproportionate onus on buyers, the message we send to the parasites and rip-off merchants is that buyer naivety is a type of crime in itself. In the crooked mind of your average Internet parasite, that may mitigate his or her deceitful and underhanded practices.

Blaming the innocent makes it morally easier for the shonks to go into denial and avoid facing the full import of their deeds. It allows them to escape introspection and get out of facing the fact that they're navel lint, that they hurt people, and that they're a blight on the horological landscape.

If you're new to the game and want to avoid becoming a victim of the swarm of internet parasites that are buzzing around looking for fresh blood, observe the following cautions:


Hazy unfocussed pictures can hide a multitude of sins - only bid or buy from sellers who agree to provide you with quality close-ups. Match those close-ups with what you know are pictures of the genuine article.

Never buy a watch from someone who can't or wont provide you with close-ups of the movement, caseback and dial.

Before you bid, check serial, caliber and caseback numbers to ensure they match to satisfy yourself that you are bidding on an authentic watch.

Never buy a watch from someone who can't or won't provide relevant serial numbers and caseback numbers. If you haven't got numbers how can you do an authenticity check?
Ask for the service history of the watch. Unless the seller or dealer expressly says the watch has been serviced, assume that you will have to service the watch as soon as you receive it. Factor that into your bid.

If you want a vintage watch to look and perform as new, you're in the wrong market.
If a vintage watch does look brand shiny new, chances are it's been seriously re-furbished. Ask the seller to detail exactly what was done. If it's not to specifications its value will be seriously compromised.

Never buy a watch that has been offered under a twenty-four hour listing. This is a favourite ploy of scam artists who purloin genuine pics and set up bogus listings.

Never buy a vintage watch from a Chinese seller who has minimal or no feedback. More fraudulent listings come out of China, than Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries combined.
Unless you really know what you're doing, avoid sellers who have little experience in vintage watches. Bid from sellers who have excellent feedback and a strong history of selling watches.
With vintage watches, be very wary of descriptions like: mint, minty, new-old-stock, brand new-in-box, keeps perfect time, like new, never worn, etc. Instead, go with sellers who detail in their listings specific condition reports and who use clear language to describe the watch.
Look for ambiguity in listings. If the description can be taken more than one way, assume that the most negative connotation is correct.

Ask plenty of questions of the seller. Clarify any issues before you bid. Good sellers welcome questions and respond fully to queries. Shonks avoid being tied down and will often be cagey in their replies.

Avoid sellers who have 'private' feedback or who have opted for private bidding. While some sellers do this to avoid fraudulent second chance offers being sent to unsuccessful bidders, it is also conducive to sellers organising what is termed shill bidding: registering another name on on-line auctions and bidding against genuine bidders to inflate the price of the watch.

Allen & Heath Xone:4D vs Denon DJ MCX8000

In an era where DJs want to be able to use different software, and not have to settle for just Serato, or just Traktor, the  Allen &...