Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Worx TriVac leaf Vacuum Blower and Mulcher

This is just a little rant on the latest infomercial product from the people at Worx, the TriVac leaf vacuum blower mulcher. The TriVac actually has two basic modes, leaf blower and leaf Vacuum mulcher. The TriVac is a corded 110V AC unit(standard American electric socket) and as such limits usability to the range of your extension cord. Consumers should be careful not to overextend electric by adding one extension cord to another.
Worx TriVac mulcher feature distinguishes this product from other leaf blower and lawn vacuum products. TriVac’s mulcher feature actually answers a few problems that plagues homeowners when it comes to fall leaf pick up. Leaves can become quite bulky and require a number of bags, which must sit curbside until pickup. Some rural communities don’t even offer pickup, which means consumers must burn the leaves or create large compost bins. TriVacs mulch features Worx claims reduces the leaf debris to 10 percent, making composting a snap or just distribute the leaves in your garden for next year.
Worx’ informercial demonstrates the TriVac being used on sidewalks, driveways, workshops and around barbecues. The TriVac is seen picking up not only leaves, but cups and chips of wood. The infomercial shows the TriVac in use around the yard, but it becomes clear that the yard perhaps is not its strongest point. The TriVac has a narrow snout compared to some other lawn vacuums and would require a significant amount of handling to cover a large yard. Of course most homeowners are accustomed to utilizing their mower to create piles of leaves, which could then be picked up easily by the TriVac. The TriVac is also, shown vacuuming leaves from a gutter, but it is interesting that in order to do this with the TriVac one must walk the roof. This seems a bit impractical for most homeowners.
Worx offers a number of other products which can be viewed at their website. Among Worx products are cordless leaf blowers, but no cordless version of the TriVac. A cordless version of the Worx TriVac seems likely in the future and would offer homeowners even more versatility and convenience.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Amplified Digital TV Rotor Antenna - Product Review

This product review is for a uhf vhf digital TV antenna with 30 db gain pre-amplifier and remote controlled rotor. The Nitro NRA 3000 was purchased on EBay from the seller finditforless:

I am not affiliated with the seller or the product manufacturer in any way.

The digital TV antenna arrived UPS box inside a box with all the necessary components and an instruction manual. Some assembley is required. The instructions manual was in english, though clearly not written by someone fluent in the language. It was clear enough to understand, and a website was provided for further assembly instructions. All of the electronic components come pre-assembled, assembly basically involves assembling the plastic skeleton and placement of aluminum tubing for the antenna.

The digital TV antenna has a plastic skeletal construction and is not recommended for heavy wind exposure. We live about 60 miles from major TV markets in 3 different directions. With the digital TV antenna setup on a oscillating fan stand indoors, I was able to pick up channels I was not receiving with an outdoor antenna. I attribute this to the power amplifier, which by the way is indoor AC converted to DC for traveling up the coax. Some amplifiers involve outdoor AC, which I don't feel comfortable with, so this was a big selling point for me. The rotor does not have a directional indicator, so if you change directions frequently this could be a disadvantage for outdoor installation, especially at night. Overally, I am happy with the antenna, however I am looking for a 70 db gain pre-amplifier with indoor AC setup, that I could hook up to a traditional antenna. The Nitro has a 30 db gain, which explains the improved digital TV Antenna Reception.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Reel Mower Challenge

Before you buy your first reel mower, I thought that I might share some of my experiences with you. First however, I should relate my rationale for purchasing my reel mower in the first place. I was in the market for a lawnmower, as my power mower was shot. After, surveying the market for power equipment, I came to the realization that I did not have the money to purchase a power mower. This is the first thing you should know about reel mowers, they are cheaper than almost all power mowers. My American brand cost me exactly $100 at ACE hardware.

Next on the consideration list was another financial consideration, gasoline. If you haven't figured out by now, I am lacking in funds. Other important considerations were environmental and national security(terrorism). This last consideration I have intentionally not spoke of with my friends and neighbors as I fear much heated debate over the impact of fuel consumption on national security.

Now let me get on with the pros and cons of reel mowers. First of all you are crazy if you do this, so be willing to wear the badge of honor. Your neighbors friends and anyone you discuss this with, will swear you are, with the exception of fellow would be loonies. If you can't take it stop here there's more. The term "reel mower" is often confused with "real mower", which can often spur debates over the best mower on the market, and don't expect to win any of these contests either.

Now on with the reel mowing. Be prepare to walk further, you will need to cover up to 2 or 3 times the distance. You will find however, that on a well kept lawn the mowing is easier due to less weight. My mower did not do well with weeds, the exception being short clover. This could likely be overcome by applying a weed and feed treatment to insure you have grass to cut and not weeds. Also, you will want to either overlap each pass or make additional passes in the perpendicular direction. Keep a screwdriver on hand to clean next to the wheels. This problem is exacerbated by tall grass so keep up on your mowing. My problems seemed to get out of hand, as I was trying to keep up on 4 lots.

In summation reel mowers are best for people who don't mind being labeled crazy, have a small lawn, are environmentally conscience, would like to do some small thing to conserve energy, fight terrorism in some small way, want to save money on fuel and could use the exercise. Do they make reel snow blowers?