Profile for Ryan A. Jairam > Reviews


Ryan A. Jairam's Profile

Customer Reviews: 19
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Helpful Votes: 168

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great whole house switch with some limitations, February 18, 2012
We purchased this after Irene killed power for 2 days along with an EU6500isA Honda generator. We didn't buy from NT or Amazon but it was offered through Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative (our power company).

Before you buy this device you should check with your utility to see if they support it because it installs in the meter pan. Technically it is service equipment (it is listed and rated as such). In 99% of installs you will have to coordinate with your power company because it involves cutting the meter seal and pulling the meter. However some jurisdictions allow properly licensed electricians to do this. It is still not a DIY task. I cannot over emphasize the importance of having someone with the right training and protective equipment to pull the meter and install this device. Under the right conditions, arc flash can and does produce enough heat to cause third degree burns which can injure and/or KILL you. The risk is just not worth it. Call your power company or a licensed professional.

The beauty of this device is that it is a simple, drop-in solution. The utility technician came and installed our device and it was literally a 5 minute install. He pulled the meter, put the device in and wired the ground wire in the meter pan. Closed everything up and he was done. There are four models available - MA23 (30A) and MA24 (40A) with and without whole house surge protection. We have the MA24S which is the 40A model with surge protection.

We used it for the October '11 snowstorm which cut our power for 2 days. I'm a ham radio operator and just our luck - power went right in the middle of the CQWW DX phone contest. No worries! I just flipped off the breakers, plugged in the generator, started it up and then proceeded to turn on the circuit breakers one by one. Well pump went on first, followed by freezer then fridge. After a few seconds to allow them to startup and stabilize, I proceeded to switch on everything else. Our house has gas and wood heating appliances (wood stove, gas boiler, hot water, clothes dryer, gas stove and oven) so we were able to run the entire house on a 6500 watt generator. YMMV of course and if you have larger loads such as an electric clothes dryer, electric baseboard heaters and central air you won't be able to run them.

My personal opinion is that flipping all of the breakers is entirely optional once you turn off all of your large loads. I did in fact take this "shortcut" when refueling the generator (I shut off the main breaker to allow the generator to warm up with no load). But I would recommend that you stagger your motor loads such as your well pump, sump pump, furnace, freezer, fridge, window a/c since they draw a lot of current on startup. This also depends on your generator's starting wattage capability.

You may have to cycle loads depending on your home's appliances. For example if you have an electric water heater, you may have to shut everything else off before you turn it on to heat up a tank of hot water. That's not the fault of Generlink, it's just the wattage limitation of portable generators in general.

The switch operation is pretty much foolproof, but you need to pay attention to a few things. The orientation of the "generlok" connector must be obeyed. Don't force it in. The utility tech marked the orientation on the cord with a marker so it was easy. Also, don't connect it while the generator is running. You can damage your appliances and/or generator that way. Pay attention to the LEDs. If you have green, you have utility power. Red means the unit is defective and amber means that you are exceeding 30A (or 40A on the MA24). It is OK to exceed 40A on utility power but not on generator power.

The utility companies seem to like Generlink because it won't allow backfeeding into utility lines like the unsafe and illegal method of a "suicide cord" plugged into the dryer outlet.

Now for the bad.

Generlink is expensive compared to other safe, legal generator interconnection solutions. An interlock kit, backfed breaker and power inlet is the cheapest, legal solution and it will let you power your whole house. You can also go up to 50A and more compared to Generlink's 40A capability (however, beyond 50A it gets expensive due to inlet receptacles above that costing a lot. The 40A limitation on Generlink is a limitation of the unit itself.). A transfer switch hardwired to a few circuits is another solution and can come out to be cheaper than Generlink.

Generlink contains electronics in it. If it malfunctions you are SOL in some cases. So it is important to periodically just look and see if the red light is illuminated. If it is, you need to have it serviced.

The power cords are a proprietary type. You can only buy the cord from Generlink (or your utility if they offer it). You can't just buy it from the local home center. The good news is that you get one included (20ft) but if you want longer you pay more.

There's no real way to know if power is back unless you look at the Generlink at the meter (outside) for the green light, or look to see if your neighbors have power. Selected circuit transfer switches allow you to leave some circuits on the utility (such as a light) so you can leave it on and you'll see when the power returns without having to go back outside. This is not really a big deal for me anyway.

40 amp maximum for MA24, 30 amp maximum for MA23. You can't run your central A/C or heat pump in many cases since the startup current draw will cause Generlink to disconnect (anything over 30A (MA23) or 40A (MA24) will cause it to disconnect). But I think that if you are above that amount of current draw you want something bigger than a portable generator. Also bear in mind that in an emergency you can get by with not replacing every last watt from the power company. It's perfectly OK to leave laundry for when power comes back, for example.

It is only compatible with 200 amp service and below. It's not compatible with all meter pans either. That's another reason why you need to check with your utility and/or an electrician before buying. If you have 400 amp service you can't use this device. But if you have 400 amp service then your backup power requirements are likely to warrant a larger capacity permanently installed standby generator anyway.

You can't use it with another meter collar device such as a whole house surge protector. It would be too long and the meter would weigh it down and cause an unsafe condition. The solution to that of course is to get the Generlink "S" model with whole house surge protection built in.

There's no way to tell how much power you're drawing from the generator (no meters like a conventional transfer switch) unless you exceed 30A or 40A. You also can't tell if you're balancing your generator properly. However, some generators (like mine) have a watt meter built in which helps.

I have not seen a way for this to work with solar or other residential grid tied renewable energy systems. A conventional transfer switch or a generator sub-panel may be the only solution in this case.

Despite these drawbacks I still think it is a good solution. It keeps everything outside and you can take it with you if you move. It has saved us for the October '11 snow storm and I'm sure it will help us out again. It's much better than using extension cords or illegal methods (suicide cord) to connect your generator.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2012 8:12 PM PST

Auto/Air Magsafe DC Adapter for Apple Macbook Pro 60w / 85w (Lifetime Warranty)
Auto/Air Magsafe DC Adapter for Apple Macbook Pro 60w / 85w (Lifetime Warranty)
Offered by Sinobag
Price: $23.85
2 used & new from $23.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helped me during Irene, September 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this because I always buy a car charger for any laptop I own. It's something I like to have because you never know where it may be needed. When I got my MacBook Pro I decided to get one of these.

During Hurricane Irene we lost power for 2 days. I was able to stay online and prevent myself dying of boredom with my macbook and wireless 3G internet. While my battery lasted a long while (7- 8 hours) it did need a recharge from time to time. I had a couple of lead acid batteries I charge and keep around just in case I need them for anything. During Irene I used them to power some small lights. Well, when my MacBook battery died I connected the 12v battery to this charger to power up.

It worked pretty good and charged up my MacBook to give me enough power to go another day.

Build quality is good. There was one review that complained about the 12v plug but to me it seems fine. I like that there are LEDs in 3 places letting you know exactly where power is flowing so you can diagnose problems if they happen - one on the 12v plug, one on the adapter and another on the magsafe connector. This way you know if the problem is with your 12v port, the adapter or the magsafe connector/macbook itself.

If I would make one improvement it would be to add some form of cable management. Even a simple velcro strap would be useful to keep the cord from tangling when I put the adapter in my bag.

Highly recommended. Good price too.

Corsair 8GB (2x 4GB) 1333mhz PC3-10666 204-pin DDR3 SODIMM Laptop Memory Kit CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9
Corsair 8GB (2x 4GB) 1333mhz PC3-10666 204-pin DDR3 SODIMM Laptop Memory Kit CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9
Price: $78.99
54 used & new from $60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good RAM, nice price, works in my Macbook Pro, September 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not much to say about this, but it installed in my 2011 13" MacBook Pro with ease and now shows 8GB under system information. Seems to help a bit with speed when multiple apps are open.

For the price you really can't go wrong. RAM is the cheapest and easiest way to increase performance of any computer. It certainly beats paying hundreds to Apple if you are comfortable with opening up your machine. Just make sure you have a good set of small philips screwdrivers and a small container to keep the small screws.

Powerbuilt 648691 Oxygen Sensor Offset Puller
Powerbuilt 648691 Oxygen Sensor Offset Puller
Price: $8.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, September 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I needed to replace the O2 sensor in my 2004 Honda Accord. Malfunction Indicator Lamp came on and the code reader indicated that the secondary sensor (on the cat) had gone bad. I ordered this tool.

I had to take off the heat shield first which badly rusted (replaced with a new one). Then came the fun part - removing the sensor, using this tool. At first it would not budge. This was the sensor that came with the car from the factory so it had probably welded/rusted in good. But after a few sprays of liquid wrench and a couple of heat cycles with a MAPP torch it came out using this tool rather easily.

I applied some anti-seize to the new sensor and tightened it up. Ran the wire, plugged it in, started up the car and erased the code (I had to turn the car off and then leave the ignition in ON for 30 sec without the engine started before the light would go off).

No fuss other than a little heat and penetrating oil.

The tool itself is not bad at all. Seems reasonably well built and for the price you can't go wrong. It is an offset which gives you greater leverage. Just use a standard 3/8" ratchet and you're good to go.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2012 10:18 PM PDT

LITE-ON 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA Internal Optical Drive iHOS104
LITE-ON 4x Blu-ray Disc SATA Internal Optical Drive iHOS104
Offered by RunTechMedia
Price: $54.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good drive, software leaves a lot to be desired, September 10, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I needed a basic BD-ROM for a new HTPC. This is mainly for viewing Blu-ray Disc movies and reading BD-R discs which contain photo and music backups. I also use it to read regular DVDs and CDs.

It installed easily, just plugged into power and SATA. Noise wise, it's not loud at all, in fact it is pretty quiet. I can't hear it from across the room. It has read everything I have thrown at it so far.

The only bad thing about this drive is that the included software (PowerDVD OEM) only supports two channel audio and is pretty limited with the use of a remote, meaning that it would not work properly with my media center remote. That's no big deal as I am going to upgrade to a full version of TMT3 anyway.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2011 12:28 PM PDT

Engenius EAP9550 Wireless N 300Mbps Access Point/Repeater
Engenius EAP9550 Wireless N 300Mbps Access Point/Repeater
Offered by pcrush-outlet
Price: Click here to see our price
106 used & new from $63.85

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few rough edges, check your firmware!, July 2, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this access point because I wanted a more or less permanent, whole house solution for wifi access, with RADIUS authentication for my own devices and an open network for guests.

The Engenius brand is made by Senao which (I believe) makes some equipment for netgear and others.

I like the smoke detector form factor. It installs pretty easily onto the ceiling. The holes are not lined up exactly with a ceiling box which I think it should have been. But no big deal, just use the supplied anchors and screws and attach it to your ceiling. You can turn off the LEDs if they get too annoying. Since they are blue they are bright at night.

The internal antenna performs well for its intended application which is access inside a building. At least in my case the signal did not propagate well outside which necessitates a separate AP for outdoor use. Not a deal breaker by any means. Power over ethernet is a must for this device, and it works well in that regard.

The LAN side is 10/100 which isn't really a big concern but it would have been nice to have gigabit. But it is rare to exceed 100Mbps throughput anyway on 2.4GHz 802.11n.

Lots of features including all of the encryption methods (WPA, WPA2, WEP), RADIUS connectivity, NTP, even a graph which tracks traffic. It has VLAN tagging which works fairly well, and a management VLAN which handles the web interface, ntp and RADIUS traffic. I currently have mine setup with three VLANs connected to a pfsense firewall. One VLAN is bridged to my LAN and associated to my primary SSID which uses WPA2-RADIUS. This authenticates against FreeRADIUS on the pfsense box. The second VLAN is associated to a different SSID, is open and is a separate subnet and firewalled off from my LAN. This is for guests. The third is a management VLAN which handles the web interface, RADIUS traffic, ntp etc and is not associated to any SSID.

Everything works really well. Throughput is excellent on b, g and n.

However, it wasn't always this way. The firmware it shipped with (v1.1.2) had a bug where the unit would not connect to RADIUS at all. v1.1.3 had the same problem. Downgrading to an earlier version (v1.1.0) fixed the RADIUS bug but made the unit so unstable it was unusable. Version 1.2.1 fixed everything and now the unit performs flawlessly. So as soon as you get this unit, UPGRADE YOUR FIRMWARE! (and use the WIRED connection when doing so otherwise you'll brick your unit).

Another minor quirk is the DST settings. You have to set exact dates for DST. This means that you'll be setting the dates every year, since the dates for DST changes every year. Just leave it at GMT and avoid the hassle. The web interface will also force you to close and reopen your browser and relogin if you time out. If you use tabbed browsing you have to close all your tabs and restart your entire browser. You can also access the web interface from only one IP at a time. I suppose it's a security feature but it gets annoying if you change IPs or are on a laptop and move from wireless to wired (which you might end up doing when configuring this unit.)

Tech support is a hit or miss. I sent an email and it bounced back with an error. Two days later I get a reply from some guy saying he will run some tests and get back to me. No communication from them for weeks and then they release the new firmware, problems fixed. I write them back to tell them that it works, and a new tech support person starts over with me as if the previous conversation never happened. Since it was working now I told them just close the ticket.

Overall this is a nice access point and really nice for a whole house, conference room, hotel/motel or office setting where you want something discreet with a decent set of enterprise features. But as I said there are a few quirks, while not a deal breaker are a bit annoying.

Haier HLT71 7-Inch Handheld LCD TV (2009 Model)
Haier HLT71 7-Inch Handheld LCD TV (2009 Model)
4 used & new from $144.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in the quality and performance, March 31, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The good:

- External antenna jack
- Built in QAM tuner for unencrypted digital cable in addition to an ATSC tuner for over the air broadcasts
- Digital tuner sensitivity is on par with other tuners I've tested including PCI TV cards, USB PC TV sticks (Hauppauge HVR-950Q, Pinnacle PCTV 800e), and my Sony LCD and Samsung DLP TVs.
- Comes with a car adapter
- Has an AV in for use with game consoles, DVD players or whatever else
- Supports DTV EPG (over the air only)
- Remote is actually pretty decent

The bad:

- LCD has poor contrast and color (to be fair, this is expected for an LCD TV in this price range)
- Included antenna is clumsy to rotate
- No signal meter
- No automatic detection of aspect ratio, which means that all 4:3 signals stretch to fill the screen and you have to manually set the aspect ratio to fix it.

That said, when I first turned it on, the LCD had a white line at the bottom left. I'm thinking maybe that the layers of the LCD and backlight weren't aligned at the factory properly. I decided to send it back to Amazon since it clearly is defective. As a result I can't comment about the battery life, since I didn't really use it for long.

TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point TEW-638APB (Black)
TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N Access Point TEW-638APB (Black)
Offered by AZPerfume
Price: Click here to see our price
78 used & new from $25.00

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good price, decent feature set. Beware of 2.4GHz channel bonding issues., February 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE 07/02/10: Firmware fixes! v1.2.7 greatly improves the stability of this unit and now it performs flawlessly.

Original review:
I have had this AP for a few months now. It was not difficult to set up at all. When it works properly, I get decent speeds. However since this is a 2.4GHz access point don't expect channel bonding to work as well as in a 5GHz or dual band unit because the 2.4GHz band is basically overloaded. Also, this access point only comes with a 100BaseTX wired ethernet interface, so even if you got more than 100Mbps on the wireless side you're limited by the wired interface.

I also have it set up with WPA2, initially with WPA2-PSK and now with WPA2 enterprise using FreeRADIUS on pfsense for better security.

It does have multiple SSIDs but what is the point of that? It's not like you can segment it into VLANs or anything so this is a pointless feature. This would have been useful because I could keep one SSID open and put it on a DMZ on my firewall so I can give guests wifi access without opening up my whole network.

That said, my access point refuses to connect every ever so often. Completely random, but usually after I've completed some large file transfers over N wireless. It almost seems as though some buffers in the device are being saturated and the device just locks up. My laptop or iPod will attempt to associate then fail with no explanation, then magically come back after I power cycle the device.

I have not seen any firmware updates for it that would fix the issue so I think I'll just attempt to get warranty service for it or just get another access point like a Cisco.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2012 10:52 PM PST

Memorex 8.5GB 8X Double Layer DVD+R 25pk Spindle
Memorex 8.5GB 8X Double Layer DVD+R 25pk Spindle
Price: $19.99
61 used & new from $13.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work with my laptop, September 29, 2009
I tried these, because they were cheap, but as the old saying goes - you get what you pay for. These simply refuse to burn in my laptop (Sony VAIO FW 490 with the BD-RE drive). They did burn in my desktop PC but I had trouble reading them afterwards. I don't think I'm going to buy another of these memorex DVD+R DLs until they get it right.

USB Based Expresscard Adapter
USB Based Expresscard Adapter
Offered by AZPerfume
Price: $15.31
19 used & new from $8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with Verizon V640, June 8, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to use with a Verizon V640 ExpressCard 34 EVDO wireless broadband card. I did a lot of research and knew that there was a small chance it wouldn't work, since some ExpressCards are PCI-X and not USB based.

The V640 is USB based so this card works well with it. Used it all day today no complaints at all. Feels solidly built.

My computer is a Thinkpad T40 which is holding me over until I get a new computer maybe next year (I'm eyeing a MacBook Pro).

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