Liquid Electrical Tape

December 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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liquid electrical tape applicationLate-breaking hot product news flash! I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but a new product came across my desk just a little while ago, and seeing as how its coolness is undeniable, I thought I’d put it right out there. Ever heard of Liquid Electrical Tape?

Gardner Bender’s liquid electrical tape is exactly what it sounds like: a liquid compound that’s applied to wires, and then dries/cures into a flexible, insulative seal that looks and feels remarkably like, well… electrical tape. If you’re wondering what the whole application process involves, there’s not much to tell (but that’s a good thing). Liquid electrical tape comes in the kind of jar that reminds you of the rubber cement you used in elementary school art class. You know, the kind with a screw-on lid that has a built-in brush. Just untwist the cap, and brush that stuff right onto the wire or component in need of insulation. Happily, one rubber cement characteristic that liquid tape does not share is that classic (ahem) ummmm…. snotty (?) consistency (please pardon the indelicacy). Just trying to paint a complete picture.

But I digress. The important thing here is that liquid electrical tape goes on easily and then proceeds to dry really quickly, so you won’t have to do much waiting around before you can finish your project. And if you’re wondering why on earth someone would want to buy a jar of electrical tape when they already have a couple of perfectly good rolls of it in their miscellaneous fix-it drawer, here’s your answer: it’s great for coating awkward shapes that wouldn’t readily take to being wrapped in tape. It’s even good for outdoor use.

Smart Strip Surge Protectors

December 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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smart-strip-sEvery once in a while, I’ll have one of those “wait – I haven’t blogged about that yet?” moments, and it just so happens that one of these epiphanies hit me only a couple of minutes ago. In all my research and writing about energy-conserving products, one topic that keeps popping up is Vampire Electronics. Ever heard of them? They’re the electronic devices (usually peripherals) that keep right on consuming power even when they’re technically “off.” Case in point: cofee makers with digital displays, computer printers, DVD players, you name it. Any machine or gadget that has an always-running digital display or LED indicator light qualifies as a vampire electronic, and these deceptively benign-looking rascals really know how to run up a utility bill.

With vampire electronics, up to 40% of the total power drawn can be consumed while they’re inactive, so it goes to reason that if you cut the flow of electricity during their respective downtimes, they won’t be such a drain on your wallet. Yet somehow, the thought of making daily unplug rounds seems a tad unreasonable. Here’s how to take care of the power-cutting dirty work in your home or office without ever giving it a second thought: get a Smart Strip Power-Saving Surge Protector.

They don’t call it “smart” for nothing. The Smart Strip takes care of all of the standard surge protector responsibilities (like diverting excess current from power surges away from your sensitive electronics), but also has a “brain” of sorts that knows when to shut things down. It works like this: on each Smart Strip, there are two types of outlets: primary (blue) and secondary (red). Remember how I mentioned before that many vampire electronics are peripherals, which act as accessories to bigger devices? You just plug the main event (like a computer of television) into the primary outlet, then use the secondary outlets to power peripherals like scanners, printers, DVD players, and gaming systems. The magic happens when you turn your computer or TV off; as soon as that happens, the Smart Strip senses that the peripherals attached to it no longer need to be running, and automatically cuts power to them. When you decide to fire things up again later, the Smart Strip will instantly restore power where it’s needed. That’s what I’m talking about.

But what do you if you want to leave certain devices on all the time, without worrying about them being shut off? No problem. The Smart Strip also has a few standard, non-switched outlets for 24/7 electrical needs.

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