Ancord Works Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW

This is the new model to one that I’ve reviewed previously. The differences with this newer model are found in the styling (it’s a bit slimmer) – but otherwise, still has great sound, is waterproof (tested in the shower), has aux input, usb-c charging, and a tested bluetooth distance of about 50 feet outside, but it would certainly be less in a house with walls between. This speaker still has a mic built in so you can actually take calls through it. One of my favorite features though is the tripod mount on the bottom so you can set this up on a tripod outside at a party or event… or even while just working out in the yard or in the shop!

Compared to the other brand name speakers out there, this is less expensive, but sounds as good. Compared to others in the price range, the question is always: “is this a piece of junk? or is it actually worth its weight?” Well, this one is worth its weight.

Although you can really use this thing just about anywhere, I am mostly excited for this speaker to be in my off-grid shop. No power – minus the small 100W solar panel I’ll be hooking up. Just enough power to keep some LED lights active, a fan for circulation, and maybe a weather station. With 8 hours of play time, I won’t really need to worry about this needing to be plugged in while I’m out there, but even if it did, the solar panel/battery setup can easily charge this through usb.

My other plan for this speaker is actually sitting on the back of my bicycle while I do big rides – because earphones on a bike ride is dangerous!

$26 on Amazon when I got this: https://www.amazon.com/AncordWorks-Waterproof-Bluetooth-Resistance-Portable/dp/B07CH9FRYS



Berzo 3 LED Headlamp Review


Unboxed Headlamp with Accessories
I wish I had six arms so I could do more of what I needed to (can’t have enough arms to do everything). When I’m trying to get something done in the dark, I either have to hookup a work light, or hold a flashlight… and running power out for a worklight is inconvenient. Portable worklights can be pretty expensive. A headlamp would be a good solution, but there are so many that don’t fit, are too heavy, uncomfortable, or break within the first week unless you spend enough to buy a worklight.

Thankfully, there are many decent headlamps coming out now that we can actually afford! I’ve looked around for a good choice – and there really are quite a few good choices. I finally settled on this one and am impressed for a few reasons. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DA35EHEGYHENR3B&field-keywords=led+headlamp

This headlamp is comfortable, doesn’t feel heavy, and is definitely bright enough. I was impressed with the build quality: smooth finish and no rattles.
Clicking the button on top of the center LED housing cycles through the modes: Center, Outer Two, All Three, Strobe. The center LED is plenty bright, the outer two are a little brighter than the single center, and all three are obviously the brightest. The outer LEDs are very well aimed to converge with the center, seemingly at any distance. The fitment adjusts to fit kids as well as adults.

Fits all sizes - really!
Mode Low - Center Light
Mode Medium - Outer Lights
Mode High - All Lights

The only thing I think could have been better is if the battery pack used the smaller 14500 (AA sized) lithium ion batteries. The 18650s are pretty big, which provides two benefits that I can see: balances out the weight of the LED housings and gives a long life between charges. I really love that this comes with a charger accessory for just about everything, 12V DC (Car Adapter), USB, AC.

Overall, I think this light is a pretty sweet find and will serve its purpose very well. For camping, caving, bike riding at night, taking the dog out for the nightly potty break, etc… I give this a 5 out of 5.

Worn on head - Mode High - All Lights

Bicycle wheel lights by POLIYU

Last year was my first bicycle ride event that included more than 12 people – the ride: Antelope by Moonlight is a night time ride along the shore of Antelope Island, Utah. Every cycle is required to have some fashion of headlight – other lighting is optional. Being the LED fiend that I am, of course I fitted the bikes with LED strips along the frames, wheel spoke lights, tail lights… but why stop there? I wanted to test these lights out that are advertised to make cool patterns as your wheel spins in a cool blue light. These lights from POLIYU – available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077Z3S1BQ – screw onto the valve stem of each tire (don’t worry, they come with a Presta and Schraeder adapter). These lights are powered by 3 button cells that are fairly cheap so you can buy lots more without breaking the bank. Motion and lack of light is what activates these lights and they will automatically shut off if either light is present, or there is no activity for about a minute.

For these lights to really light up your wheel, you have to be moving at a decent pace, which they do point out on the product description. Installation was literally as easy as putting the batteries in, and then taking the valve stem cap off and screwing this back on. They’ve held up well for a the few rides I’ve been on already and they’re tough enough that I expect a long life out of them.




Unicorn Stamps Party Favors Review


Unicorn stamp party favors – I know what you’re asking: “where can I get them and for how much?!”

Despite our every effort, my little girl is princess through and through, loves pink, unicorns, Barbies, princess anything, jewelry, etc. I really don’t mind too much since she is just so cute, but she also has a good time with Hot Wheels, making destruction sound effects, playing Minecraft with the boys, playing in the mud, etc. She’s so well balanced collectively that she is just such a beautiful person.

These princesses of ours deserve the very best, and when their birthday is coming and you’re not sure what to use for party favors, I suggest throwing in some unicorn stamps. Not only was my little girl ecstatic to see these stamps, even my boys were excited to stamp stuff up! I had a feeling my kids would enjoy these and boy was I right. I really wish I had some of these at my high school yearbook signing day.

In this set of stamps, there are 24 stamps: 4 sets of 6 different stamps. They include stars (dark blue ink), rainbow (light blue ink), unicorn head (pink ink), full unicorn (orange ink), “Magical” with stars (green ink), “I believe in you!” with diamond stars (purple ink).

These stamps aren’t of the highest quality, nor should you expect them to be at $0.50 per piece, but they will give the kids something fun to do until the ink is gone. Having grown up with stuff like this, I know that once the stamp is dried out, if it’s really that important, you can easily get a bottle of ink (color of your choice) and add a couple drops to it. The ink soaks in over a few minutes and you’re loaded up for another thousand stamps!

I got 24 stamps for about $12 on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B9VZFXH



Adam Elements – Go Healthy Bluetooth Smart Scale REVIEW


We lost our scale a few years back when we lent it to a neighbor… and it just never made its way back. We haven’t been super sore about not having a scale, but there have been so many occasions that it would have been nice to have one. I’ve really always wanted to get another one, but priorities were elsewhere.

So I’ve finally got a scale. I really didn’t need the extra features, but for the price, I really did like that it comes with all the health measurements built in. My primary objective in buying a new scale was to have something that looked nice and cool. Something that I would look forward to getting on. Well, this scale does not disappoint. It has a beautiful design, it’s thin, has a backlit lcd, a dark greyish blue glass top. It’s really nice to look at.

This scale uses bluetooth to send the measured data to the free GoHealthy App. For the most part, the app works well. You can record a history of your measurements and set a weight goal. Editing your profile once it’s setup isn’t really possible due to the app crashing anytime you try. A strange quirk I’ve noticed is that the first measurement will sometimes be off a few point on every measurement… but then measuring again puts you back to where you’d expect. Really kind of annoying if you’re really watching your numbers, but otherwise not a big deal.

The measurements include weight, body fat %, water %, bone mass, muscle mass, and BMR. You can set reminders, goals, view your trends, history, and of course, current check. Another quirk is that you have to switch the app to the history, then back to check for a subsequent measurement – and you have to use the app to see anything other than the weight, which can be switch between pounds or kg on the scale itself.

All in all, I like this scale, but you’re hardcore, a more expensive one might suit you better.

I got this scale on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DA3MHPFDGCAZAER&field-keywords=smart+scale





EL-AURORA USB Charging Cable Review

Although the cable looks cool – I received a micro type C (instead of the advertised micro type B), so I really can’t say much as far as its charging performance. The material feels good and solid. The EL wire embedded within the cable lights up and then slowly blinks in a Christmas Light ‘chase’ sort of fashion. The blue EL isn’t quite as bright as I’d hoped it would be, but the real clincher is just that they sent me the wrong usb type.

https://www.amazon.com/EL-AURORA-Visible-Flowing-Charging-Motorola/dp/B071KX736M

PetExpert Dog Shock Collar Review

I was excited to see how well this would work on my energetic Brittany puppy. This ECollar comes with the collar, 3 different pair of electrodes, a test light, the collar, and the unit itself. There are 3 modes with varying levels of power for beeping, vibration, and electrical shock. The power levels are controlled easily on the remote by pressing up or down to set the percentage of output. While the shock mode didn’t seem to be effective, the vibration mode had a big difference in the power levels. I imagine tuning the power to just the right frequency may be very effective for some animals (even cats if you can get the collar small enough – or put it on a large cat!).

My Brittany noticed the beep, but didn’t deter her from her warpath at any level. The electrical shock seemed to be completely unnoticeable on any level (even though it was tested on the test light to make sure the unit isn’t broken). The vibration mode did get her to look up at me about 75% of the time when I hit the button on the remote… but it was really more my looking at her that made her stop what she was doing.

Maybe e-collars aren’t what’s right for this dog, or maybe it’s just this one that doesn’t work for my dog – but that’s my experience with it.

The collar’s beep function was very useful when my pup ran out into the hay fields. Because she’s so small, finding her was difficult – but setting off a beep helped locating her a breeze. There is also an LED light that you can set off to make locating your dog in the dark easier too.

Although my puppy didn’t respond much to this collar, it may be what your puppy needs. I’ve left a link below so you can check it on Amazon for yourself and see other reviews.

Thank you for reading!

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dpets&field-keywords=dog+training+collar&field-brandtextbin=PetExpert

Custom LED Modules: Motorcycle LED Auxiliary Lights

Custom LED Modules: Motorcycle LED Auxiliary Lights by Reuben Perry

I will begin by making clear that these modules can be used for so many different applications – although the principles are the same for just about every application, I will be running through my particular purpose of adding lights to my motorcycle.


Row 1: All off, Aux lights off, amber lights on, white lights on.
Row 2: The custom set up, the rest are same as above, but from the front.

As a motorcyclist, I greatly value the possibilities of making others more aware that I am on the road amidst them. While I make myself more visible, it doesn’t change the fact that I drive as if no one can see me. Safety – is my first priority.

To be more visible, I add lights! I am an LED fiend. I LOVE LEDs. I found some motorcycle LED running lights on one of those ‘affordable’ Chinese ‘we have everything’ websites. I had purchased items from them before that were decent, so I thought I would give those lights a shot. I purchased 4 LED lights for a total of $50. Not bad, right?? They worked great for a while and I was quite pleased with them. Only a handful of months and a few thousand miles down the road, one of them burned out. A couple months later, one of them lost the focusing lens on the freeway, and a couple months later, one of them kept loosening and twisting to point backwards!

My solution was to build my own. This article is to show you how I did it, and how easy it really was – and all for under $200. If you have absolutely NOTHING in your garage, then you will spend a small amount more on some basic parts like wires, cable ties, etc…



To make sure I got high quality parts, I contacted my favorite LED supplier, LED Supply (http://www.ledsupply.com) and priced out the parts I would need. There were still just a couple things they didn’t supply, but I will give you links or ideas for those. LED Supply has a handful of options for the LED housings, and many options for the LEDs and Optics! I chose their ‘Dynamic LED Housing’ because it allows many different applications, but the biggest reason is because if the lens or LEDs get damaged, or if I want to change the optic pattern, or colors of LEDs, I can do it simply by unscrewing the housing and swapping parts out!

I wanted to add some bright white auxiliary lights, but also wanted to be able to have some fog lights. Why would I want fog lights on my motorcycle – I drive across a swamp on my way to work that gets extremely foggy on cold mornings – fog lights would be useful for the mile or two of fog. So I asked LED Supply if they could build me a custom 3-up star for my project. 2 white Cree XPLs in series, and one amber Cree XPE2, on one star. They happily obliged and I set off building my own high quality aux lights!

I’ll give you my parts list, and then give you my step by step process WITH PICTURES! How lucky are you?

My parts list:

I didn’t get this, but it’s a good idea to get the electronic waterproof spray from them as well so you don’t have to worry about riding in the rain. @ $15.99: http://www.ledsupply.com/accessories/led-seal-silicone-spray-sealant

Other items I had to find elsewhere:

With that finally out of the way, we begin!

Step 1: READ EVERYTHING FIRST! You never know if you want to do something a little bit differently!

Step2: Get your parts!
All boxed up!
Out of the box.
Out of the packaging.

Step 3: Dry run mate the parts together.

Step 4: Polish everything you want to shine! I used Mother’s Aluminum Polish and a shop rag.

Step 5: Next, only if needed, drill the center hole of the led star and heatsink for the 4 conductor cable to fit through. A crescent wrench or a vise would be best to hold the star in place.

Step 6: Solder the wires onto the star terminals. Make note of which wires you have going to each positive and negative pad.

Step 7: Use a hacksaw to cut the threaded rod into sections just long enough to thread into the heatsink block, and go all the way through the p-clamp with enough room for a locking nut.

Step 8: Mix a small amount of thermal epoxy and apply it to one end of the threaded rod. Thread this into the heatsink block without coming out the other side. Wipe any beading or excess away from where the rod enters the block.

Step 9: For the best possible mate, grind off one point of the copper female threaded fitting. Grind this point down until you have the best fit into the heatsink block.
Marked points to grind.
Dry run to check fit.

Step 10: Mix a small amount of arctic silver epoxy 1:1 and epoxy the copper fittings onto the heatsink blocks. I positioned mine with the hexagon points toward the rear of the heatsink to protect the LED housing itself, but positioning is completely up to you. MAKE SURE that when you epoxy this, that you don’t have any excess coming forward from the copper fitting. The LED housing needs to be able to thread down against the fitting for best thermal conduction.

Step 11: Drill a hole in the copper caps just large enough for the cable to fit through (sorry no picture). Cut 2 pieces of ¾ copper pipe just enough to fit the street elbow into the cap. Assemble the copper assembly as you see in the previous picture. You can epoxy these, solder, or duct tape if you want… I want to chrome plate them in the future…

Step 12: Solder the cable ends to the 4 pin connectors in a similar method of my wiring diagram… and remember to use heatshrink tubing to protect those connections! Yes, I’m using computer molex connectors… but you should use marine grade waterproof connectors.

Step 13: If you haven’t done so, remove the gas tank from your bike. Prepare the power cables with inline fuses (or use your own fuse block) and use the terminal connectors on the end in case you need to pull the circuit apart ever in the future. Use the diagram included in my parts list.

 Positive connections with in-line fuse blocks.
Connectors for the switches and to ground.

Step 14: Mount your custom LED Lights! Use cable ties to secure the cable along your crash guard bars, or wherever you’ve decided to mount them. I used chromed stainless steel cable ties.

You can barely see the cable ties!

Step 15: Fit the drivers between the top two frame bars and use electrical tape (or whatever you have around) to mount them securely. Connect the (+) and (-) cables to the switches, and the drivers to the switches (not the battery yet!!)

Step 16: In my case, the switches are mounted in the left neck cover, but you can have them anywhere… Finish mounting the switches.

Step 17: Connect the power cables to the battery – I connected the positive to the battery, and the negative to a nearby grounding bolt.
At this point, your lights are mounted! If you haven’t done so, properly align them so you’re not blinding oncoming traffic and so you get maximum visibility.
There is no need to remove the front forks as is shown in the pictures – I just happened to be rebuilding the forks, brake calipers, and adding an LED headlight at the same time!
The finished project with amber lights and white lights with separate switches. If I have them both on at the same time, I get a slightly warmer color white.




Please let me know what you think! I appreciate the questions and comments!

EChoice Compression Socks Review


If you’ve been reading, you’ll know that I recently started having pains in my feet and legs while sitting at my desk at work. I decided to get some compression socks to see if they helped.

In short, yes, they did help – but different brands have slightly different qualities. These compression socks from EChoice, available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DALLFV17AZIVHM&field-keywords=compression+socks+women are easier to get on than others I’ve tried – I think due to the fabric feeling a little smoother. The fit and compression was adequate, but I noticed after the first day of wearing these, that the fabric was starting to pill (get little tiny balls of fabric) forming along the sides of my feet. I can only assume this is from the rubbing against my shoes all day. I have other socks that haven’t had any pilling..

If you don’t wear shoes while you want your compression socks on, then these are fine, but if you plan on having shoes on your feet for extended amounts of time, grab a different pair.




Athledict Compression Socks Review


I’ve never had a problem, sitting at my desk all day long, but I recently started getting pains in my foot and my toes would go numb. My brain went straight to worst possible scenarios – blood clot, pinched nerves, etc. After calming down a little, I started trying things I had control over: checked my posture, made sure I was sitting correctly, monitors, keyboard, and mouse all at proper positions. After a couple weeks of that, nothing changed. I saw these compression socks and figured I’d give them a try. They actually have so many purposes that fit my bill, so even if they didn’t help my antsy feet, I could use them for other things.

The product came in a simple bag – probably saves a lot of money not having them in a box. Pulling them, I immediately felt some high quality fabrics. The socks actually feel like a second skin – and tough enough that I don’t fear wearing through the heels anytime soon.

Getting the socks on took a lot more effort than I thought they would, but once on, I felt like I was wearing some high tech Star Wars socks or something. The socks are very comfortable and feel like nothing short of high performance clothing.

In the first day, I felt a difference. I felt like my legs were willing and able to run me across campus if needs be. Had no soreness or numbing, which was nice – it was the first time in about a week that my legs felt that good.

After wearing and washing these for a couple days, the fabric continued to hold up well. There was no peeling (when the fabric gets little tiny balls of fabric forming) visible, which means more praise from me.

Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071ZDT4WJ