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DIY DTV Antenna

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Cameras, Design, HDTV, Videos

Still cursing over the DTV change because you finally got a converter but your antenna sucks? John Park has a solution using a few coat hangers, wire and wood. If that doesn’t solve the problem add some foil. Still have lousy reception? You are just going to have to cave and pay for a probably overpriced retailer’s antenna. As a bonus, at the end of the video John also makes a camcorder stabilizer.

Read More | Make

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USB Cell Phone Booster

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Cell Phones, Misc. Tech, USB

Cell Phone BoosterThe USB Cell Phone Booster plugs into your laptop’s USB port and improves voice and data within 5 ft. Set it up to 25 ft. away from the base unit and you can get a signal strength of up to 2 bars for any cellie or iPhone, if you have at least one bar. The booster, with microprocessor-controlled amplification, also has 100% faster download speeds for 3G data cards and should improve call clarity. It is compatible with almost every carrier in the U.S. and Canada. At a size of 5 x 1.5 x 0.9-inches, the booster will be out in a couple of weeks and can be yours for $99.99.

Read More | ThinkGeek

AT&T CruiseCast to Include Satellite Stations

CruiseCastNow you can watch 22 TV and 20 radio satellite channels in your car with AT&T CruiseCast. Watch or listen to kids, entertainment, documentary, music, comedy, news and sports channels. Working with RaySat, the system features a receiver and compact antenna for trucks, cars and SUVs that they claim overcomes out-of-sight obstacles like tunnels or trees. CruiseCast works with any existing rear seat entertainment system and will be available this spring for $1,299.00 plus ~$28.00 monthly subscription fee.

Read More | CruiseCast

Nomad Portable Speaker

Nomad SpeakerBased on a 1930 vintage design, the Nomad Portable Speaker is lightweight and very mod looking with its wood cabinet, leatherette handle, and tweed vinyl accents. The 11.25 x 7.5 x 5.25-inch device has a dedicated aux input for your MP3 player/iPod, a telescopic antenna, and on/off/volume and tuning knobs. With its electronic tuner, you can choose AM/FM/Aux input with a simple switch. An iPod/MP3 cord and AC adapter are included, but not the 4AA batteries it requires. The speaker can be pre-ordered for $72.00.

Read More | Urban Outfitters

Making your Cellular Service More Reliable

Cell Service


In today’s world, land line phones are becoming ancient technology.  More and more customers are leaving phone line systems for VoIP systems, while others, myself included, operate solely through their cellular service.  It never ceases to amaze me, however, that the quality of cellular service at home leaves something to be desired.  I have moved three times in the past two years, and haven’t been able to average more than a 2-bar signal in any of my homes. Excessive dropped calls, poor reception and sound quality, and the especially hated voice mail notice from calls that never rang. Sound familiar?  Well it may be time to invest in an amplification system to boost cellular signal while around the house.

The setup is simple, intuitive, and available for purchase from several manufacturers. It consists of a pair of antennas, one high gain and one low gain, and an amplification system.  The system works best if the large gain antenna is mounted outside of the house, but it is not necessary. The system improves your service by relaying the signals from the high gain antenna, through the amplifier, through a smaller antenna mounted somewhere inside the home and out to your cellphone . Transmitting works in the reverse fashion starting from the cell phone, to the small antenna, then through the amplifier and out the large antenna to the service tower.  The benefits to be gained here are two fold.  First, the antenna that communicates directly with the tower will have a much stronger response (higher gain) to the signals, both in and out, than the cell phone because of its sheer size.  Secondly, the signal is being amplified again through an in-line amplifier. The result is a serious increase in local signal to your cell phone resulting in better battery life, fewer dropped and missed calls, and just plain better quality service. This type of setup is not limited to the home either. There are also systems available for installation in your vehicle which operate on the same principle.

Popular Science has a full length article describing these setups and even points out some manufacturers and models of devices available today.

Images:
Home Configuration
Automotive Configuration

 

Read More | Popular Science

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