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09 Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 14th, 2017 Comments off

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


While I was intrigued by the Amazon Echo, I couldn’t really make a case for buying one. That said, when a friend offered me their Echo Dot, which they didn’t want, I quickly jumped for it. I had been wanting to play around with the technology and see what it could do.

So far, for me, the Echo Dot has been used for listening to music from Pandora.com, providing weather and commute traffic info for my wife and sun each morning, game playing with Jeopardy, Lie Swatter, Sing Quiz and Screen Test Movie Quote Quiz and it also interferes with the Etekcity switches and Hook I mentioned earlier in the Gift Guide. I have been very happy with my Dot and, knowing what I know now, I probably would spend my own money to get one — perhaps to expand Alexa into other parts of the home.

The new Echo Plus looks neat due to its added capabilities as a smart home hub for many available systems.

09 Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot

Echo plusEchoEcho dot

You can save a few dollars if you want to buy a couple of Echo units or by buying factory refurbished units.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

07 Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch and Hook Automation Hub | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 12th, 2017 Comments off

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See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


07 Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch and Hook Automation Hubhook-hub

I added these RF remote-control switches to our house a few months ago and been very happy with my choice. They install easily, work well even between rooms with many walls separating them and helped me clean up a lot of clutter that had sort of grown organically in the family room. We had several light switches that were connected, replaced, moved, and hard to access, but these outlets provide a handy remote interface to everything now. You can even connect these outlets to your network and use your phone or Amazon Echo to control them, if you add a wifi-to-rf bridge to the network. That might just be the next step for me.

In fact, using the Hook device below, I can now control any of these outlets via my voice through my Echo Dot, via my iPhone using the Hook app, programmatically via IFTTT or programs I have written myself. Very cool and very useful — Douglas

Etekcity switchesHook hub

 

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

03 Anker PowerCore 10000 | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 8th, 2017 Comments off

Since so many people order their gifts online and ahead of time, I’ve decided to start my annual Gift Guide fairly early this year. This should allow you to find your favorite gifts — and perhaps recommend a few of your own wish list items to your friends and family — with enough lead time to assure they arrive in time for your holiday celebration, whichever holiday it might be!

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries

Anker PowerCore 10000

This is the external battery I have carried in my bag for almost 2 years now. I don’t think I have ever completely ran out of power unless sharing between my son and I when we are traveling together. This battery is a great peace of mind when you aren’t sure when you might see a power outlet again and can make some quick friends when their phone has gone dead at a critical moment. A tool I would not be without! — Douglas

03 Anker PowerCore 10000 - - Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017 

  • The Anker Advantage: Join the 10 million+ powered by our leading technology.
  • Remarkably Compact: One of the smallest and lightest 10000mAh portable charger. Provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone 6s charges or two-and-a-half Galaxy S6 charges.
  • High-speed-Charging Technology: Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost combine to deliver the fastest possible charge for any device. Qualcomm Quick Charge not supported.
  • Certified Safe: Anker’s MultiProtect safety system ensures complete protection for you and your devices.
  • What You Get: Anker PowerCore 10000 portable charger, Micro USB cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service. Lightning cable for iPhone / iPad sold separately — Amazon


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Trip Planning and Prep Begins In Earnest

July 14th, 2017 Comments off

Trip Planning and Prep Begins In Earnest

Prepping for our first trip to New Zealand in about a month. This is just one piece in the travel puzzle. Many more to come!

Instagram

 

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

25% Off Today – Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets

April 20th, 2017 Comments off

25% Off Today - Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets 

Beautifully Protect Your iPhone or Samsung Phone With These Cases and Wallets

Dress up your smartphone and get 25% Off Today

Available exclusively from
DouglasEWelch.com/shop/iphone

iPhone Wallet Features

  • Open book style with built in stand and elastic strap closure
  • 3M adhesive strip designed to stick to your device
  • Anti reflector camera hole
  • Full access to camera, buttons and ports
  • iPhone 6 & 6s wallet holds two credit cards; 6 Plus & 6s Plus holds three
  • Easy to clean a with damp cloth

View my entire portfolio

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Watch YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Another Arduino sandwich – this time the INA219 current sensor module, an Arduino Pro Mini and a 128×32 OLED. Part of my 18650 current monitoring project.


Learn more about Arduino with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 – Tevo Tarantula Full Review

March 31st, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 - Tevo Tarantula Full Review

It arrived very well packaged with thick protective foam, even the box was unscratched! The building process was enjoyable and is something I highly recommend to anyone as it is a great way to learn more about electronics!

It’s not perfect, it does need a couple of minor modifications. All of which is described in the video. You need a cooling nozzle, spool holder and a reinforced Z-motor mount. Obviously the settings inside your slicer impacts the result as well.

I was happy when I realised the bed could reach high enough temperature in order to print ABS filament. This was great news, as my Anet A8 is not capable of reaching higher than 70°C and ABS requires at least 95°C.

In conclusion the printer is amazing! Not only is the bed remarkable, but it’s way more quiet than my other 3D printers. The quality of the prints was absolutely stunning as well. Because of the bowden extruder it might have a hard time printing with flexible filament, but you will be able to print at very high speeds without compromising quality.

Watch YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 – Tevo Tarantula Full Review

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: No-etch circuit boards with your laser printer

March 28th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review)

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off

The cheapest price is now around $320 on Amazon, but there might be sales that lower it closer to the $200 mentioned in this video. — Douglas

On YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review)

Watch YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review) 

I’m a little late to the 3D printing game, but I finally get it. For $200 , the Monoprice Mini Select is a no brainier for anyone who’s curious about 3D printing. It’s an extremely capable machine with a small footprint. Best of all it comes pre-assembled ready to print, right out of the box.  No this video was not sponsored in any way. I just really like this printer 🙂

Monoprice 3d

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

March 13th, 2017 Comments off

Get started with Arduino programming in this quick and clear video on how programs work — Douglas

On YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

Watch YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!


Learn more about Arduino Programming with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!