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Mike Tarrani "Jazz Drummer" RSS Feed (Deltona, FL USA)
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G7 Power Laughlin Longneck LED 14 Watt (75W) 840 Lumen PAR30 Spot Light Bulb, Dimmable 3000K Soft White Light
G7 Power Laughlin Longneck LED 14 Watt (75W) 840 Lumen PAR30 Spot Light Bulb, Dimmable 3000K Soft White Light
Offered by G7 Power
Price: $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Significant operational cost savings; great illumination, July 30, 2014
I am using a review sample in one of my overhead tracks in my kitchen. This has a brighter light than the two adjacent lights in cans on the same track. I unscrewed one of the two older styles so I could compare and this one is slightly brighter to my eye. Of course, part of that may be the other bulb is over ten years old and has lost some of its luminance, so factor that in.

At 3000 Kelvins this bulb is slightly warm, which accounts for why it's very bright and throws a lot of light anyway. The slight warmth keeps it from being too glaring. The product description says that this is a softer light. Compared to the halogen bulbs in the adjacent cans that may be true, but it's still strong, which I like because it's in a high ceiling.

The heat sink is interesting on this model. It's definitely effective because it runs warm, but not hot, after an hour. The halogen bulbs run much hotter.

However, the main reason why I love this bulb is it consumes only twenty percent of an equivalent 75 Watt bulb. That is a dramatic cost savings. According to the cost estimate on the box this bulb will cost $1.68 annually to operate. That is assuming that you are paying $0.11 per kwh, and you are only running it three hours per day. My kitchen requires light even in the daytime, so when I am in it, typically about six hours per day (in and out, and leave the lights on often), so my operational cost per bulb is about double that. Still, that is one fifth of the cost of running each of the other two lights in the track, so this bulb will pay for itself and begin providing a return on the invested cost in less than six months. After I switch the other two bulbs over the savings will be even more significant.

One final note: I did not test this in a dimmer circuit so cannot say one way or the other anything about this bulb in that setting. I have tried other G7 dimmable bulbs in such circuits and they worked perfectly so I am assuming that this one will too.


6 in 1 Sport Watch with Heart Pulse Rate Monitor Calorie Counter
6 in 1 Sport Watch with Heart Pulse Rate Monitor Calorie Counter
Offered by Mudder
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wanted it for the pulse rate monitor, July 30, 2014
When I was offered a review sample of this watch I accepted because I was intrigued by the pulse rate monitor. Old age and previous health issues make that particular feature important to me, and it's reasonably accurate. I've compared it to a fairly high end pulse oximeter and while the readings between the two are not identical, this is only a few beats off. Good enough for my purposes.

To be honest I use a smart phone as my primary clock, but this watch has proven to be pretty handy. A glance at my wrist is better than fishing a gigantic Galaxy Note 3 out of a pocket, so I am actually using this as a watch too. Checking where we are for time while performing is a breeze with this (as long as there is sufficient light), and I actually do check my pulse rate frequently when I am on stage. Discreetly, of course. Before getting this I never bothered to do that.

The band is a bit tight and I have small wrists. If you are 'big-boned' you may want to take a pass on this. I've used the stop watch feature once to time a song I was listening to, but other than that I have not checked out the other functions more than a cursory run through. They all work per the product description.

This has three things going for it: (1) it has a pulse rate monitor, which is very important to me, (2) it's rugged, and (3) it's inexpensive. It will not garner fashion compliments, nor is it easy to read in the dark, but it's accurate (timewise). On the latter feature, it's actually impossible to read in the dark, so factor that in too. Bottom line: if you need a convenient stop watch or pulse rate meter this is a decent watch. It is what it is.


Velodyne vFree
Velodyne vFree
Offered by Draper's
Price: $79.00
16 used & new from $75.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous sound, but a few snags, July 30, 2014
This review is from: Velodyne vFree (Electronics)
When I received a review sample I immediately checked this out and was thoroughly impressed with the sound quality. As I tested it more thoroughly an issue surfaced that caused me to subtract a star. I'll get that out of the way first so I can focus on the positive aspects of these phones.

After testing the bluetooth connection I wanted to check out the direct connect with the included 3.5mm cable. The documentation claimed that it would bypass all of the other electronics and go straight to the drivers. That it did and the sound was sufficiently neutral that these make excellent studio monitors.

The problem cropped up when I tried to switch back to bluetooth mode. No sound. I tried everything, including a hardware reset by holding down the power and - key buttons while it was on charge. No luck. I finally rebooted my Galaxy Note 3 and all was well again. I debated subtracting two stars, but the sound quality is so good, and the ability to use these as a neutral monitor for we musicians are big pluses.

One more note: others have mentioned that these are somewhat small. I wear a size 6 7/8 hat, which is on the small side and these were a perfect fit. If you wear a hat size larger than 7 you may not like these. Also, the ear pads were perfect for me, but may not be comfortable if you have a larger head.

What I love is the sound, which is truly spectacular. It covers the full range of normal human hearing from 20Hz to 20KHz, so the frequency response is very good. The response does seem to be biased towards bass, but that may be due to a cross-over. Frankly I am not sure. As I said, if you plug straight in using the supplied 3.5mm cable the sound is vivid, but the response is flat and neutral as it should be for studio monitoring.

Controls are interesting and are almost intuitive after you become accustomed to them. I like the relatively fast charge time, which is about 90 minutes, but will give you about ten hours of play time (or up to one hundred hours of standby.)

Complaints about this being cheaply made are not valid in my opinion. One of the key features of these phones is their aesthetics, and to my taste it has that. Of course, that's subjective. One other point: at the time of this review these are going for about eighty bucks. That's a good price point. To be honest I would probably not go much over that, but value, like aesthetics, is in the eye of the beholder. I will say that these have excellent sound quality, but some operational features need to be rectified. Especially the strange mode this phone goes into when I insert a 3.5mm cable for direct connect.


G7 Power True Color LED 90 CRI 10 Watt (50W) 610 Lumen A19 Standard Light Bulb, Dimmable 3000K Soft White Light
G7 Power True Color LED 90 CRI 10 Watt (50W) 610 Lumen A19 Standard Light Bulb, Dimmable 3000K Soft White Light
Offered by G7 Power
Price: $21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Cost/benefit ratio says YES, July 29, 2014
Dimmable LED lights are hard to find, so when I was offered a review sample of this one I jumped at the opportunity. Aside from the obvious value proposition, which I'll get to below, the reason why I rated this so highly is it is rock steady on any setting. I am using it in a step type switch (hi and low), but tested it in a sliding potentiometer type switch to make sure that there are no issues.

This light smoothly transitions from low to high luminance, and is flicker free at all tested levels. The color is right at the transition point between cool and warm, so the hue is a little on the yellow side. It adds the warmth that a more orange hue would impart, but is still bright without glaring.

What I love is I get the equivalent of a 50 Watt incandescent bulb with the power consumption of a 10 Watt one. This, like most LEDs can hit the break even point and begin a return on your investment in a year. Usually, It depends on how you use them. Since I am very conscious of my electricity usage this will probably pay for itself in about eighteen months, but I am proactive in saving. I will say that the value proposition on the box is a little off in my opinion. The claim is a yearly operating cost (exclusive of replacement) of $1.21 based on $0.11 per kwh. That is assuming only three hours per day usage. I would frankly double that because most folks do have lights on at least six hours per day. But, of course, not every room is lit, so averaging usage may favor G7's calculation.

Regardless of the numbers this is a bulb that illuminates without blinding glare, and runs cool. Mine is currently in one of the sockets in a ceiling fan and I expect it to serve me well for at least 11 of the 22.8 years that G7 claims (I do run it six hours per day).


Abco Tech Noise Cancellation Bluetooth Headset / Headphone with Charging Dock and Microphone for iPhone 4 / 4S / 5 / 5S / 5C - Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 S5 Note 2 / 3 - Motorola moto x droid HTC One, Nexus 5 and all Android Bluetooth Devices
Abco Tech Noise Cancellation Bluetooth Headset / Headphone with Charging Dock and Microphone for iPhone 4 / 4S / 5 / 5S / 5C - Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 S5 Note 2 / 3 - Motorola moto x droid HTC One, Nexus 5 and all Android Bluetooth Devices
Offered by Abco Deals
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Entry level price but outstanding sound quality, July 29, 2014
I am impressed with this headset because the review sample that I received paired and connected with almost no effort, then sounded spectacular. I am not just talking about call quality, but music as well.

Call quality is superb making and receiving. I could hear clearly on my end and the called party was surprised that I was using a headset.

Pairing is as simple as turning it on, holding down the button on the top side of the unit for five seconds, and scanning for bluetooth devices from your phone. It shows up as a string of numbers until you touch it on the screen, then it pairs and connects.

Since the other reviewers have discussed what you get and how much they also love it in detail I'll spare you my chiming in with the same information. It's a complete package that is as good as any hundred buck headset that I've tried. Plus it charges fast (a little under two hours) and provides five or so hours of talk time. For me that really translates into about four hours of streaming music.

If you are looking for a headset and are on a budget this is the best deal that I've come across and one that merits serious consideration even if your budget is three times the going price of this one.


Kootek Bluetooth Wireless Remote Control Camera Shutter Release Self Timer for iPhone 5 5s 5c 4s 4, iPad 5 4 3 iPad Air Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 3 2, Android Phone (Black)
Kootek Bluetooth Wireless Remote Control Camera Shutter Release Self Timer for iPhone 5 5s 5c 4s 4, iPad 5 4 3 iPad Air Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 3 2, Android Phone (Black)
Offered by Kootek
Price: $8.88
9 used & new from $5.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Slick! No app needed for my Galaxy Note 3, July 29, 2014
This thing showed up in my phone's bluetooth scan as soon as I turned it on. Pairing and connecting my review sample took seconds. When I tested it I discovered two things:

(1) it did not kill my bluetooth connection to my speaker to which I was streaming music, so a big plus for that!

(2) it functions like a mouse of sorts until you invoke the camera app. On my main screen when I pressed the Android button it brought up the app on which its 'cursor' was resting on.

For devices not supported out of the box (see the product description) you need to download an app called camera 360. I cannot say how well (or compatible) that app is, so caveat emptor if your device is not listed.

This works for movies and stills, but you have to first place your 'cursor' on whichever mode you want manually, then use the button to control off and on.

I love this for a few reasons (aside from the fact that it works with my phone and does what the description claims). First, I can mount my phone and control video recording of my practice sessions with a click of a button. Second, it allows me to fix my phone in an absolute steady holder and take photos or shoot video without any blur from shaking or movement from activating the camera.

With a small tripod this brings your phone to almost the convenience of a dedicated digital camera or video recorder. And it fits on a key ring!


Keedox® 14W Dual-Port Portable Foldable Outdoor Solar Charger External Battey Pack Backup Power Bank Travel Charger with 5V USB Port Compatible with Iphone, Ipad, Samsung Galaxy Phones and Tablets, and other Android Phones, Tablets, GPS, and All Other 5V USB Charged Devices
Keedox® 14W Dual-Port Portable Foldable Outdoor Solar Charger External Battey Pack Backup Power Bank Travel Charger with 5V USB Port Compatible with Iphone, Ipad, Samsung Galaxy Phones and Tablets, and other Android Phones, Tablets, GPS, and All Other 5V USB Charged Devices
Offered by Hossen
Price: $55.00
2 used & new from $53.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So useful that I keep mine in my car, July 29, 2014
This is the perfect power source for your phone or tablet for a day at the beach, or for wandering off the grid. It folds up to resemble a folio, but unfolded it has an array of four 42 square inch photo voltaic cells that equal 168 square inches of surface to capture sunlight.

The review sample that I received definitely works as advertised. I tested it on a fairly overcast day and it kept up easily with the discharge rate on my Note 3 phone that was streaming music. That alone sold me. It also confirms S. Power's claims in their July 27, 2014 review.

I am not going to repeat the product description or the review that I've cited. That would be redundant and boring. I will say that I am a believer, and trust this solar cell array so much that it's in my vehicle's emergency kit (under the floor in the rear of the vehicle with the spare and tools.)

However, this is not for just languishing in a compartment waiting for an emergency. First, it would need to be charged about every three months to prevent rundown while it's in standby. Second, it's too useful for those of us who hike or spend time at the beach.

A feature that I truly love is the mesh pocket in which I carry not only charging cables, but an additional, smaller solar charger (eBoot 5000mAh Solar Panel Charger. That one is my back-up for this one. The advantage that this provides is the larger collecting surface that seems to work well on overcast days. The smaller models are more dependent upon strong, direct sunlight. Of course, with this no sun equals no power. S. Power's approach of pairing this with a battery backup is an excellent idea that you should heed if you want power after the sun sets.

One final note: mine did not come with instructions. That is usually not a big issue for products that are so simple that they're intuitive, but in this case I would have loved at least a spec sheet.


The Glorious Montana GM-716 original Handle-mounted BBQ Grill LED Light, with soft touch on/off button
The Glorious Montana GM-716 original Handle-mounted BBQ Grill LED Light, with soft touch on/off button
Offered by Glorious Montana
Price: $16.99
2 used & new from $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for grilling and a few other uses, July 29, 2014
When I accepted a review sample I became obliged to tell the whole story. My five stars are for overall functionality and use, but there are some things that you need to know up front.

First, as others have stated, this is not waterproof. I do not view that as a detriment because I would never leave it out overnight in the elements to begin with. But that brings me to my puzzlement about needing a screwdriver to open the battery compartment. Had this been waterproof I would have thought nothing of it because it would have been a part of the watertight integrity. As it is, it's an inconvenience that I hope is addressed if there is a version 2.0.

Second, while it's bright, the illumination will work up until sunset, then you need two of these (or, better, three) to discern the doneness of barbeque. On the other hand it may be that my sixty-five year old eyes are at fault, but I needed to mention it.

Despite the warts, I love this light (which accounts for my high rating). One of the main reasons is it attaches to my headboard to make a reading light. It won't for all headboards, but I am fortunate enough that it works for me. In that capacity it's super bright.

It also works as a that I can conveniently affix to a microphone stand. A few turns on the clamp screw releases it and I can use it as a conventional flashlight. It is actually strong enough to be a close-in work light for minor repairs in the dark. In fact, it has a lot of uses far beyond what it was designed to do.

One thing that may puzzle you when you receive this light is the on/off switch. It's actually the on/off marking on the top of the lamp. It looked as though it was painted on the casing and someone forgot the switch. After loading it with the included batteries a mere touch of the marking switches the light on and off.

Overall, this is not perfect, but it certainly works for not only its primary function, but for many more as well. If it looks like rain, bring this inside. If you barbeque at night on your patio, get two or three of these because you may need them (especially if you are my age.) Mine is serving me well in a number of other capacities and I love it.


Avantree Priva Wireless Bluetooth Audio Transmitter for TV with aptX Low Latency Codec, Connects Two Headphones, White
Avantree Priva Wireless Bluetooth Audio Transmitter for TV with aptX Low Latency Codec, Connects Two Headphones, White
Price: $69.69
2 used & new from $69.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A little tricky, but works like a charm, July 29, 2014
Note: this is a transmitter, not a receiver. If you want a device that will transmit OR receive you will want to check out the Avantree Saturn Pro Bluetooth Audio Adapter Transmitter and Receiver 2-In-1 with aptX Low Latency Codec instead.

I am not going to repeat the specs or the other excellent reviews. Instead I am going to confirm that this can, in fact, pair and connect with two receivers. I received this as a review sample and had an immediate use for it. I wanted to attach it to the record-out on my powered PA mixer via the RCA jacks on that device and the adapter that is bundled with this transmitter. One of the receivers to which I wanted to connect is the Saturn Pro model mentioned above, and the other a receiver from a different brand. I fiddled around a bit with both of them to get them paired and connected. It is not difficult, but considering that my only indicators were the way the LEDs flashed on all of the devices it had a learning curve.

Bottom line is I was able to use this transmitter to connect - wirelessly - to two receivers connected to powered speaker monitors across a room. That solved a long term problem that I had because the less cables on a stage, the less apt you are to trip over one. As for the low latency benefits, I frankly did not notice any, and would not have anyway because this was my first time to connect speaker monitors over the air.

Count me as happy. This transmitter is five star in my book for the way it solved a problem.


Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Rotatable Hub [90°/180° Degree Rotatable] (HB-UMN4)
Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Rotatable Hub [90°/180° Degree Rotatable] (HB-UMN4)
Offered by Store4PC
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy and perfect for OTG adapters, July 29, 2014
It's hard to not parrot the other reviewers who marveled at the size of this hub. Instead I'll quickly describe why I love it and how I use it.

Of course, the fact that this is super compact is a big plus. However, it allowed me to transform my Samsung Tab 3 10.1 into a desktop system by mounting the tablet on an aLLreli® Portable Power Bank with Stand, connecting a Micro USB OTG Host Cable to USB 2.0 Adapter, and then plugging this in. From there I was able to connect a keyboard and mouse and still have two USB ports left over.

This is also perfect for my ancient Acer Aspire One that I still use. But it's not limited to those. I did connect it to my ThinkPad, then synched my Note 3 through it. Of course I could not get USB 3.0 speeds, but even if this hub supported it my ThinkPad does not. A GB of MP3 files still zip right through. I wanted to make sure that there were no electrical issues because the contacts and conductor paths are pretty close to one another in this small device. No issues whatsoever.

Bottom line: this is a great mini hub that did not cause me any problems. Indeed, it allowed me to truly use the OTG feature on my tablet (and I could have also used it on my Note 3 had I needed to.)


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