Vlad's Gadgets

What will he buy next?

Uniden Laser Pico Projector ULP-1000

Imagine a portable projector, as small as an iPhone, that can project a sharp widescreen image onto any surface and does not need to be focused. On top of that,…

Uniden Laser Pico Projector ULP-1000 (Microvision SHOWWX)
Gadget Diary – Converting Philips SHB7100 Bluetooth Earphones to Recharge from a USB Port

I own a pair of Philips SHB7100 Bluetooth earphones. They consist of a set of earphones connected to a pendant that hangs around your neck. The pendant contains the audio…

Gadget Diary – Converting Philips SHB7100 Bluetooth Earphones to Recharge from a USB Port
Happy Australia Day

Vlad's Gadgets wishes all fellow Aussies a Happy Australia Day!

We hope you've spent the day drinking beer with friends and family around a barbeque, or any number of other fun…

Happy Australia Day
Gadget Diary – Shopping at Woolworths

It was really hot here in Sydney on Saturday night, so I went to Woolies, just before midnight, to get myself some cold bottles of soda water and Pepsi Max.…

Connect your PC to your TV with the VGA to Video Signal Converter Box

The VGA to TV converter lets you connect the VGA output of your PC/Laptop to any CRT TV, LCD TV, Plasma TV or VCR via the composite video input or…

Connect your PC to your TV with the VGA to Video Signal Converter Box
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Latest Posts

Bosch IXO 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver

Written by Vlad on July 9, 2011 – 11:49 am -

Clockwise from top - Bosch IXO III 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver, Cradle/Recharger with bit holder, Right-Angle Driver, Torque Adapter

The Bosch IXO Cordless Screwdriver is a portable motorised electric screwdriver. It is shaped like a cute little mini-raygun from a 1950’s sci-fi movie and is very comfortable to hold in the hand. It has a 3.6V electric motor and is powered by an inbuilt Lithium Ion battery. The screwdriver’s bit holder takes standard screwdriver bits with hex socket heads. To help you see where you are screwing, there is a yellow LED torch located below the hit bolder that illuminates the surface directly in front of the bit.

The Bosch IXO III boxed set comes in a metal tin that also contains:

  • 10 screwdriver bits including 4 Philips Head, 2 Flat Head, 2 Torx (star) and 2 Hex
  • The charger, which also serves as a cradle and bit holder
  • A torque-limiting adapter, with 9 different torque settings, to prevent you from accidentally screwing things in too far, damaging the screw head, thread or hole
  • A right-angle adapter, that allows you to drive screws at a 90 degree angle, for screws located in awkward locations

I purchased it from my local ThriftyLink hardware store for $120.

Why I Bought the Bosch IXO Cordless Screwdriver

(more…)


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Posted in Tools | No Comments »

Heller 5-Fin 1000W Electric Oil Heater

Written by Vlad on July 8, 2011 – 2:36 pm -

Heller 5-Fin 1000W Electric Oil Heater, also called an Electric Column Radiator

The Heller 5-fin 1000W Electric Oil Heater is an oil-filled radiative heater. It consist of parallel metal columns (fins) with hollow cavities and a sealed reservoir of oil. A heating element at the base of the heater heats up the oil, which then flows around the cavities of the heater by convection. The metal fins dissipate the heat into the surrounding air.

The heater is mounted on four caster wheels to allow easy movement around the home. It has three heat power settings – 400W, 600W and 1000W. The temperature is controlled by a thermostat which is adjusted via a rotary dial, located on the top of the front face. At the bottom, there is a spool for storing the power cable. A safety switch automatically cuts power to the heater if it is tipped over or toppled.

It weighs 6.6kg and measures 62cm height x 28cm length x 14.5cm width. The bracket for the caster wheels extends out from the bottom sides and is 24.5cm wide.

The 5-fin heater is the smallest oil heater that Heller make, but they also have larger models including a 7-fin 1500W, a 9-fin 2000W and an 11-fin 2400W.

I paid $29.95 from my local ThrifyLink hardware store, where it happened to be on special, marked down from $49.

Why I Bought a New Heater

(more…)


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Posted in Appliances | 1 Comment »

Bosch DLE 70 Laser Distance Measuring Tool – The Tape Measure of the Future

Written by Vlad on April 29, 2011 – 9:58 pm -

Bosch DLE70 Laser Rangefinder (distance measurement tool) with spirit level. Also shown mounted on tripod and being used to measure the distance to a wall

The Bosch DLE 70 is a portable laser rangefinder (distance measurement device). You use it like a laser pointer to mark any target object whose distance you want to measure, and then press a button. The rangefinder will then display the distance to the target on the LCD display. The DLE 70 can measure any distance between 5cm and 70m with an accuracy of plus/minus 1.5mm. This is a fantastic replacement for tape measures and ultrasonic distance measuring tool.

It weighs 185g (6.3oz) and is powered by 4 AA batteries. It dimensions are 9.8cm x 5.8cm x 2.7cm (3.86in x 2.28in x 1.08in) – about the size of two small tape measures next to each other – and it comes with a handy belt holster.

It retails in Australia for around $270. I purchased it on eBay for $170, inclusive of shipping.

Why I bought a Laser Distance Measuring Tool

(more…)


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Posted in Tools | 2 Comments »

Mrs Pegg’s Handy Line – A Portable Folding Clothes Hanger That Doesn’t Rust

Written by Vlad on April 29, 2011 – 1:35 pm -

Fully loaded Mrs Peggs Handy Line (small version) - a sturdy, rustproof washing line made of aircraft aluminium and polyester

Mrs Peggs Handy Line is a sturdy, yet light and portable clothes line. It is made from strong corrosion resistant materials, so it can be left outside permanently and not rust. It comes in small and large sizes.

The small version costs $174 and measures 153cm x 129cm x 65cm providing 8 lines and 10m of drying space. It weighs 2.6kg

The large version costs $189 and measures 171cm x 135cm x 75.5cm, providing 10 lines and 16m of drying space. It weighs 3.0kg

I purchased the small version for $174 from their Australian website. They also have websites in the USA, UK, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Why I Bought Mrs Peggs Handy Line

(more…)


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Posted in Health and Fitness | No Comments »

Ecoforce Recycled Clothes Pegs – Rustproof and UV stable

Written by Vlad on April 28, 2011 – 12:16 pm -

24 pack of Ecoforce Recycled Clothes Pegs - UV stable and waterproof

Ecoforce Recycled Clothes Pegs are waterproof and made out of UV stable plastic. They are immune to many of the problems that plague traditional clothes pegs like rusting, rotting and being damaged by exposure to sunlight. They come in a pack of 24 consisting of 12 green pegs and 12 yellow pegs. They are made by Ecoforce, who are based in the UK.

I bought these from my local Coles Supermarket for $3.99, and they are also sold at Woolworths.

(more…)


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Posted in Health and Fitness | 1 Comment »

12 Channel Smart AA, AAA and 9V Battery Charger with Discharge Function

Written by Vlad on March 19, 2011 – 10:12 pm -

Smart battery charger with discharge function, loaded with 8 AA NiMH batteries

This is a microprocessor-controlled battery charger that can charge up to 10 x AA/AAA batteries and 2 x 9V batteries. It supports both NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) simultaneously. Each battery is independently monitored and charged, and a multi-colour LED above each battery indicates the charging status.

There is a discharge function that drains all the batteries completely before commencing a charging cycle, which is useful for rectifying “memory effects” and other common battery problems. It employs several mechanisms to ensure that batteries are completely charged, but not overcharged.

It comes with both a 12V DC power adapter that operates worldwide on mains voltages between 100-240V as well as a lead that plugs into a car cigarette lighter socket so you can charge batteries when you’re on the road.

I purchased this from Jaycar electronics, who call it 12VDC & 240VAC Smart Battery Charger Ni-Cd & Ni-MH. I have seen similar smart chargers on eBay, but most are 10-channel chargers with support for only AA and AAA batteries.

Why I bought the Smart AA & AAA battery charger

(more…)


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Posted in Consumer Electronics | 2 Comments »

Happy Australia Day

Written by Vlad on January 26, 2011 – 5:00 pm -

Happy Australia Day 2011 from Vlad's Gadgets

Vlad’s Gadgets wishes all fellow Aussies a Happy Australia Day!

We hope you’ve spent the day drinking beer with friends and family around a barbeque, or any number of other fun and wholesome activities.

To our readers who live overseas, we invite you to come and visit Australia for your next vacation. Here, you will enjoy warm weather, air conditioned buildings, cold full-strength beer, beautiful native plants and animals, breathtaking scenery and generally easy going people.

This year we celebrate the resurgence of the Australian dollar, which is hovering around parity with the US dollar – the highest levels we have seen since it was floated in 1983. This is now allowing us to enjoy cheap online gadget purchases.

We also extend a helping hand to our fellow Aussies in Queensland, who are now facing a long and expensive process of rebuilding following the floods that have devastated their state.


Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

Portable Digital Luggage Scales Weigh Anything That Can Hang On A Hook

Written by Vlad on January 23, 2011 – 11:13 am -

Portable Digital Scales can weight anything that can be hung on a hook, like luggage (baggage), fish, laptop bags, shopping bags

When travelling by plane, have you ever checked in at the airport counter only to be told that your luggage is overweight? All those cool gifts, souvenirs and duty free items pushed you beyond your allowed limit (usually between 20-25kg per person).

Any number of things could have resulted:

  1. The attendant was nice and let your overweight baggage through
  2. You hastily opened your suitcase and unloaded gifts, alcohol or even clothes to reduce weight. Maybe you had friends or family nearby to take them off your hands. If you didn’t, you probably had no option but to throw them away
  3. You were forced to pay an extra fee. $100/kg per extra kilogram beyond your normal limit is not uncommon.

If you had this portable luggage scale, you could have avoided the problem. You would be able to determine exactly how much you’re carrying with you at any point in time.

The portable digital scale weighs only 75g and is powered by two 1.5V AAA batteries. Because it is a hanging scale, it needs no platform or pedestal, so it’s only 10cm x 5cm x 2cm (approx 4″ x 2″ x 0.8″) in size.

It can weigh anything that hang be hung on the hook. When the scale is not in use, the hook nests securely in a groove at the back of the scale, so it won’t dangle or snag other items when being transported.

This scale can weight any object from 20g up to 40kg, and it can display the weight in units of kilograms (kg), pounds (lbs) and ounces (oz).

It has a tare button to zero and reset the scale – useful if you want to weigh something in a container.

The scale also has an intelligent lock feature – the scale will wait until the object weight reading has stabilised, then it will hold the weight reading on the screen, so you can take the object off and record the reading.

To extend battery life, the scales will automatically turn off after 60 seconds of inactivity, and the scales will also warn when the battery is low.

Why I bought the Portable Digital Luggage Scales

(more…)


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Posted in Consumer Electronics, Tools | No Comments »

Uniden Laser Pico Projector ULP-1000 (Microvision SHOWWX)

Written by Vlad on January 22, 2011 – 7:36 pm -

Uniden ULP-1000 Laser Pico Projector (sold as Microvision SHOWWX in the USA)

Imagine a portable projector, as small as an iPhone, that can project a sharp widescreen image onto any surface and does not need to be focused. On top of that, it can run for 90 minutes from its internal battery.

I bring you the Uniden ULP-1000, which is sold in the USA as the Microvision SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector.

Although the official Australian retail price is $999, I got it on special from CatchOfTheDay.com.au for $300.

Why I Bought The Laser Pico Projector

(more…)


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Posted in Computer Hardware, Consumer Electronics | 2 Comments »

Tweaks to Site Appearance

Written by Vlad on January 21, 2011 – 3:05 pm -

I am currently tweaking the visual appearance of the site. You may see things change in size, colour or be moved around.

For a long time, I felt that the header was a bit empty, so I have added a new slider in the top centre of the page, which automatically displays a random selection of articles from Vlad’s Gadgets. At the moment, it’s on the default settings which don’t exactly fit right – the font of the text is too big, and parts of the thumbnail are cropped, but I am working a custom skin so it will soon look elegant.

Also, the “Article Categories” widget on the left-hand side now expands to show sub-categories and the number of articles in each category.

If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions for improvement, please leave a comment at the bottom. Thanks!


Posted in Announcements | No Comments »

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