Author: Arthur Froost

Choosing Marine Electronics

Choosing the most suitable marine electronics can not only make your boating experiences more fun and your fishing more productive, but it can be important to your well being as well in case of an emergency. Choosing the right equipment is the first step, but learning to use it properly is equally as important. And that means you’ll have to take the time to learn how to use the equipment whether it’s from instructional videos, manuals, or having someone show you how to use it.

Besides, you should know how to navigate by other means in the event of your electronics failing. Learning how to read charts and plot your course is still a required skill. That being said, here are some tips to help you choose your electronics.

  • The boat electronics you should choose should be an automatic identification system, or AIS. It is used by boats and by the Vessel Traffic Services to find and identify boats. Your automatic identification system gear is the most important electronic device you’ll own. It allows boats to exchange electronic information including position, identification, and course. The AIS transponder will cause your vessel to show up on computer screens at Vessel Traffic Services stations. If you have an emergency or should become lost this is critical.
  • Your boat electronics package should also include a GPS plotter as one the important components. One popular option is a multifunction GPS/plotter, which puts multiple functions into one device. Mutifunction displays can even allow you to run radar, GPS and fish finder data on one screen at the same time. They are also relatively easy to expand for other functions and displays.
  • When choosing a display remember that the larger it is the better you will be able to see it. And keep in mind that on a boat, viewing conditions can be far from optimal due to sun glare, storms, and swells. If you can afford a 10 to 12 inch display, that’s best, but you should definitely choose at least a 7 inch display for your boating electronics.
  • When there is an interest in onboard entertainment you may want to coordinate your mutifunction display for several peripheral electronic devises. Other devises like satellite receivers, computers, DVD players and music systems can be connected. These are great extras to have, but don’t get them at the expense of choosing inferior safety equipment. And make sure that all your navigation equipment is mounted where it access is easy.
  • Another good investment in the safety of your boat is a depth sounder or fishfinder. When the weather turns bad a depth sounder combined with your GPS can help find the way back safely to shore.
  • There is an ever changing selection of marine electronics products made available for the boating industry. Now there are laptop computers designed for marine use. These computers perform like standard laptops do, but they can also be equipped with special software like RayTech RNS 6.1, which allows multi-format charting, hsb2 electronics integration, and worldwide tides and currents among its many functions.

External Laptop Batteries

External laptop batteries are very cheap and can be charged by an external battery charger. A laptop user can make a decision about the chemical that is used for manufacturing these batteries such as Nickel Cadmium or NiCd, Nickel metal hydride or NiMH, Lithium ion or Li-ion batteries.

The price of an external battery may vary from $120 to $200 and these batteries are available on the Internet as well as in the regular market. As computers and other related appliances are becoming cheaper, the prices of laptops are also dropping. This means that more and more people are using laptop and for longer periods. These batteries are ideal for those who want an extended power source for their laptops when they are traveling. An external laptop battery connects to a laptop through an AC adapter plug and usually have two output levels. It consists of an adapter, a chord and thirteen other connectors. Another advantage that these batteries provide is that they are universal in nature. This means that an external power battery that is manufactured by a particular company can be used with a laptop of another make and model.

External laptop batteries are revolutionizing the IT world by providing more mobility and extended power for those who want to use the laptop for more than two hours without worrying about power interruptions.

Countries May Dive Into Data-Sharing Pacts

“The current legal assistance process can take up to two years, but the agreement will reduce this time period considerably while protecting privacy and enhancing civil liberties,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Countries And Legal Systems

The CLOUD Act comes more than a year after the U.S. Congress authorized entering into agreements with rights-respecting foreign companies that allow access to electronic data for certain criminal investigations. The accord will enter into force after a six-month congressional review and after British Parliament review.

Observers say the agreement updates the two countries’ law enforcement capabilities in a world of fast-changing technology and exploding amounts of data.

“In the broader sense, this agreement represents progress towards putting in place the new types of agreements that are needed to manage legitimate issues, like cross-border data flows,” says Nigel Cory, associate director for trade policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C. “It’s a positive approach that countries can take to address what is a legitimate concern without resorting to harmful other approaches such as local data storage and stuff.”

But the CLOUD Act has also been met with skepticism, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, warning that user data privacy is still at risk. Under the CLOUD Act, they say, police will have the right to request data from foreign companies, provided the data belongs to one of their citizens. Yet in some situations, adjacent user data can also be exposed, says EFF.

For example, if British police were to request a U.S. technology company for access to digital correspondence between a British citizen in the U.S. accused of fraud and another U.S. citizen, the messages could be used to criminally charge the American with unrelated crimes.

“Why should a U.S. person worry about their privacy when foreign governments can’t specifically request their data?” asked David Ruiz, former activist at the EFF, in a blog post. “Because even though foreign governments can’t request U.S. person data, that doesn’t mean they won’t get it.”

Who’ll Follow and Why?

The U.S.-U.K. agreement is the first of the executive agreements envisioned under the CLOUD Act, Cory says. Before the CLOUD Act, gathering foreign digital data for ongoing criminal investigations was a laborious process. For instance, if the U.S. requested digital evidence from countries such as Ireland, it could take up to 18 months to receive the information needed, dragging all criminal investigations. A similar request for data from the U.S. to Mexico in 2010 delayed a civil asset forfeiture case for more than three years because the U.S. government faced “significant challenges” obtaining formal evidence from Mexico even after appealing to the Mexican government multiple times.

This can now change, as the CLOUD Act’s mission is to make data requests more efficient with several countries willing to sign such agreements. The U.S. government has announced it is already looking into similar discussions with the European Union, while negotiations with Australia were announced in early October. In addition, there are talks about a potential agreement with India, who is grappling with a divide about updating its framework for law enforcement access to data for their investigation, Cory says. New Zealand and Canada also may follow, as well as Singapore or Japan.

“The United States is pursuing these agreements initially with those countries where it will probably happen the quickest because they’re already at a high level of engagement and of a relationship to work on,” he adds. “And once the template becomes more set in stone, it’ll make it easier for subsequent negotiations with other countries.”

Electronic Test Equipment

Electronic test equipment is usually simple and cheap though there are compound electrical gears that are more difficult to test. Electronic test equipment is often referred to as test gear. These devices generate stimulus signals in order to receive responses from electronic gadgets referred to as Devices under Test (DUTs). By using these devices, the functioning of the DUTs can be proven and faults can be tracked and repaired.

Electronic test equipment can range from a simple light bulb to complex computerized and automated testing systems. There are different types of test equipment available for testing different devices. Basic electronic test equipments are used for simple measurement of the capacity of voltage and current in common circuits. Such test gear includes devices such as voltmeters, ammeters, galvanometers, ohmmeters, multimeters, power supplies, signal and pulse generators and oscilloscopes. These devices are usually digital and check simple prototypes. Certain advanced and less commonly used equipment such as clamp meters, electrometers, EMF meters, RF probes and logic analyzers are used to test the operation of higher and advanced components. Most test equipment used generate signals and hence are called signal-generating devices. Signal generating devices such as frequency synthesizer, function generator, pulse generator and signal injectors are used to generate signals for testing the working of electrical circuits.

Electrical test equipments have extensive use in fields such as aerospace, defense, automobiles and telecommunication. The use of these equipments helps in reducing the need for future quality assurance tests.

Sheet Fed Scanner

Small Sheet-fed scanners are available for as little as $200. Sheet-fed scanners are ideal for the business cards, handwritten notes, letters, and Photographs. Sheet-fed scanner allows scanning, faxing, and copying. There are many ways in which the documents can be feed into the scanner, By resting the sheet-fed scanner on its sides of the main body you can feed the document from different positions: when resting on the base plate it allows a horizontal feed-in and feed-out of the document; when on the first inclined side the inclined is in such a way that it allows a top feed-in and bottom feed-out; and when resting on the second inclined side, that allows an inclined bottom feed-in and top feed-out. Most inexpensive sheet-fed scanners are designed for black-and-white work, although newer models can handle color. You can find sheet-fed scanners that plug into your computer’s port. Disadvantages of sheet-fed scanners are that they generally can’t produce the image quality that flatbeds. Mainly because they’re trying to hit a moving target: a sheet of paper traveling over rollers. Unfortunately, not every document will feed through a sheet-fed scanner, and each sheet has to be fed one at a time. Feeding page after page into sheet-fed scanners can become quite tedious.

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Find and Buy Electronic Parts

Features of Good Electronic Parts: They suit the original parts in description, size, and electron capacity and in most cases color. They come equipped with screws, nuts, bolts or any other relevant accessories required to affix them to the appliance. They are often recommended by the appliance manufacturing company. They are accompanied with instructions on their use and how to affix them. They have a pictorial representation on how they fit and work in the appliance in question. Most of them are manufactured by the same company that manufactures the appliance in question.

How to Identify Genuine Electronic Parts

  • Genuine electronic parts come with a guarantee or money back warrantee. This implies that the manufacturers of the said parts are assuring you that the parts have been tried, tested and proven to be efficient and are therefore ready to take back and replace any that malfunctions, replace it with a new one or refund you. As a consumer you must bear in mind the refund and return policy, the term of the warranty period, who to contact to claim you warranty, parts and repair problems covered by the warranty and whether it covers consequential damages.
  • Genuine electronic parts dealers offer after sale services. The dealers of the electronic parts should be able to offer services such as transportation and installing as an assurance that their parts are genuine. You should also be able to contact them later for any clarifications as well as complaint.
  • Genuine electronic parts do not alter the normal functioning of the appliance, rather they should give the same impression as originally was. For instance, a TV electronic replacement should be tested on the picture, sound and color quality in comparison to the original part. Any electronic part that alters the functioning of the appliance for the worse is not good.
  • Watch out for heating effects. Most electronic appliances get damaged due to over heating. You should in turn be watchful of the heating tendencies of your appliance before and after replacing any of its parts. Any electronic part that tends to increase the heating effect on your appliance is most probably not genuine and should be removed before it damages your appliance.

Consumer Protection Guides

As a buyer it is necessary that you are well aware of your consumer protection rights. These are designed to protect you from any unscrupulous manufacturer or dealer. Some of the basic of the consumer protection rights include; Right to enjoy warranty services. Right to have a dated and stamped receipt for any payments. Right to be accorded the manufacturer’s instructions.

Gaming Computers

Customize your computer

A gaming computer ideal for customizing consists of basic components like the power supply, case, and the motherboard. They are ideal for the gamer who likes to add more components based on their gaming preference since they are easy to upgrade and troubleshoot to match the gameplay requirements for different kinds of games.

Buy prebuilt

A prebuilt gaming computer is already assembled. It includes the CPU, monitor, input devices, and the sound, network, and graphics cards. Most have unique CPU designs like colored cases and lighted towers so you can match them with your ideal gaming environment.

Check for ports

When shopping for gaming computers, check on their available ports for plug-and-play purposes. Look for one that has a lot of USB 2.0 ports to ensure compatibility with other different devices and gaming peripherals. You should also check for the connectors on your game controller to see if they are compatible with your computer and its available ports.

Check for cooling

Your gaming computer should have enough ventilation to endure long hours of gaming. Remember that gaming can easily heat up the insides of the computer, which can damage circuitry. Make sure it has vents and powerful fans at the sides and back.

Hand Held Metal Detector

This is such a bad news not only for the general public but also for the officials whose task is to make sure the peace and order reign in the area of responsibilities. The growing menace of the society poses a big problem that is not at all becoming easy to solve. With this in mind, there has to be creative and smarter solutions in approaching the situations.

One of the things that can be done is to thoroughly implement standard security measures. These measures are usually sufficient if only security guards or anyone tasked to go about these measures would only be patient enough to go through each step.

Sometimes because nothing bad is happening, everyone becomes lax including the people who should be always keen on watching suspicious things and behaviors. Only when the news reports of failed bombings or successful terrorist operations do everyone go back to being always on their toes. It is about time that people take seriously the call to be vigilant.

Second is to have hand held metal detectors in all establishments. Metals are usually the main driving force behind devices so detecting a metal device early on can save everyone of a brewing future trouble. Personnel at the doors should not be scared to use the hand held metal detector to anyone who enters even if there are VIP’s.

It can be a hassle but it is okay to have a bit hassle than to have none and ending up blaming the fact that the person who was able to infiltrate a said building or establishment just got in without any trouble. Though there are many possible hiding places of metal pieces, a person who knows how to use a hand held metal director would have an idea where to more or less look for metal stuff.

These two things can certainly have an impact in security and to think these are but basic measures that can be applied by anyone or anywhere. Make sure then to do the two things above to make yourself secure during perilous times like what we are experiencing now.

Speedometer Calibration

The driver may not notice how fast the vehicle is going when sitting behind the wheel and the only indicator will be the speedometer located a few inches below the windshield. There are two types of speedometers. The mechanical and the electronic version.

The mechanical speedometer works using a cable, a rotating flexible shaft and a magnet. After calibrating and combining these three components, the speed of the car will continue to increase as one continues to step on the gas.

The electronic version also uses a magnet. The only difference is that in order for this to work, the entire system needs a computer. Once this is calibrated, it will be able to tell how fast the vehicle is moving.

Most of the cars use the electronic version but those who like to drive something like a 1956 Mustang will surely be able to reminisce the good old days when the mechanical speedometer made man and machine work together.

Unfortunately, driving more than a hundred miles per hour in the city or even on the freeway with the calibrated speedometer will only get the driver in trouble. For safety reasons, the police will most likely pull over the driver and issue a ticket.

This should serve as a lesson to the one behind the wheel because most car accidents are caused by over speeding or drinking under the influence that causes damage to property and may take someone’s life.

One ticket is OK but repeated offenses will make it more expensive to get insurance for the vehicle. At worse, no one will want to insure the individual given the reckless history that is a liability to the insurance company.

The best thing to do then with the calibrated speedometer will still be to follow the traffic rules especially the speed limits. This varies on city and highway driving but regardless where one is, the right thing to do will be to abide by it.

Agilent Technologies

There are a lot of spectrum analyzers in the market. If the person is having a hard time thinking of what brand to try, then perhaps using something from Agilent technologies can help make that happen.

The company has large units such as the E4447A that measures complex RF and millimeter waves up from 42.98 Ghz to 325 Ghz. The price for one of these things is expensive and fetches for more than $60,000 a piece.

If the individual doesn’t have the budget, then perhaps something cheaper will suffice such as the 8560EC portable spectrum analyzer that can only measure until 2.9 Ghz, which is half the price of the bigger unit.

The E4411B-BAS ESA-L Basic is another interesting model. It can measure from 9 to 1.5Ghz and is very lightweight. This will only cost $8,000 and will work well for those who are just starting out.

Some stores sell these products but if the person wants other options, then it will be a good idea to visit the company website and select from the models available until the right one is found.

The company accepts orders online and after paying for this using one’s credit card, this will be delivered within 6 to 8 weeks that comes with a manual and a warranty.

If the customer has any problems with the product, there is a customer service hotline that the person can call so that a representative could offer assistance.

There are those who are still hesitant about the price of a brand new spectrum analyzer. If that is the case, then the company can give a better deal by offering second hand units that have been returned or this can be traded for something the owner might have that is no longer useful.

There are other places where the individual can also get a second hand unit from Agilent. There is eBay and other auctions sites as well as junkyards that may have one lying around that will need some repair.

Spectrum analyzers can be used in checking the sound system in the entertainment room or in the car. The samples mentioned can be used either for work or for other functions.