Misc Gear

Last Man Standing’s Tim Allen Earn’s His Ham Radio License

I love the show Last Man Standing. One reason why I love it is Tim Allen’s character, Mike Baxter, is also depicted as being an Ham Radio operator like me. Well, last week at the Hollywood Hamnado special event sponsored in part by the show, it was announced that Tim has truly earned his license and is now KK6OTD.


Kanex GoBuddy+: the Bottle Opener Keyring We’ll All Want

If you usually carry a bottle opener keyring, as so many of us do, then you could be getting so much more utility out of that doodad. A Kanex GoBuddy+ adds an emergency sync and charge cable with either a lightning port or microUSB connector, and yes — a bottle opener. Pretty nifty, right? It will charge your device, open your cold beverage,…


Velvetwire Powerslayer Blu: A Beautifully Intelligent Charger

Imagine charging your device and when done, automatically turning off power to prevent overcharging and protect battery life. What if the charger looked stylish and wasn’t an ugly block? How would you like an app that allowed you to see and monitor information about the level of charge your device was receiving?  With the Velvetwire Powerslayer Blu, it’s possible. At its heart, the Powerslayer is an…


HD Black Box Car DVR Review – A Nice Dashcam on a Budget

The HD Black Box Car DVR is a nifty little dashcam that’s a great budget pick for those looking for good quality video recording at a budget-friendly price.  It comes with a suction cup mount and cigarette lighter adapter for easy installation.  You can order your 1080P HD Black Box Car DVR today for around $79.95.


Pill Terminator Says “Hasta La Vista” to Old Medicines

I had knee surgery last week. I am fine, but part of the recovery included a prescription for Vicodin. My one year old thought the Vicodin bottle was an awesome rattle, so now that I am finished with the pain pills I have disposed of them safely using the Pill Terminator!


Out of Juice? Pocket Jump Charges Dead Car and Phone Batteries!

This is a first for me; we’ve covered plenty of external battery packs on Gear Diary, but never one that was able to serve as both “an emergency vehicle jump-starter and portable power bank”, which is exactly what the Viatek’s new Pocket Jump does. You can back on Kickstarter for as low as $40 or get two for $70.


AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition 512GB SSD Portable Drive Review

If you have a lot of data that needs regular backup, then once you’ve experienced Thunderbolt, nothing else will ever seem fast enough again, not even USB 3.0. I’ve been using the AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) Portable Drive for the past few weeks, and it’s a good thing it’s a keeper, because I’ve become spoiled. 


Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One Printer is Huge

I’m a big fan of Epson’s printers, so I was excited to check out the brand new Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One printer. It leverages Epson’s MicroPiezo printing technology, and it offers much, much more in a compact, affordable printer. We have a full review on the way, but I wanted to serve up a first look.


Quirky Pickup Power Provides Portable Power in a Strip of Brilliance*

Here’s a product that seems so brilliantly obvious that I wish I’d thought of it: the new Quirky Pickup Power is a three AC outlet power strip with a built-in external 4000mAh or 6000mAh battery charger that’s always ready to go. Starting at $99.99, you can keep your portable battery charged and ready, then pop it out when needed.


The Misfit Flash Is Half the Price of Other Fitness Trackers

If you’ve wanted a fitness tracker but balked at spending $99+ on something that counted your steps and tracked your sleep, the Misfit Flash may be just the device for you. Made of a “special soft-touch plastic”, this $49.99 activity and sleep tracker is waterproof to 30 meters, comes in seven colors, and it can be worn in multiple ways.


Lemur Monitors BlueDriver Brings On-Board Diagnostics to the Masses

So you’re driving down the road when suddenly your check engine light comes on. Not too long ago this meant heading back to the dealership or your local garage for them to roll out their expensive code-reading machine and in turn hand you a hefty bill. An alternative to this is using the Lemur Monitors BlueDriver OBD2 Bluetooth Scan Tool.



Samsung Gear S: Is a 2″ Curved Super AMOLED Screen Too Big?

I got the chance to try on the just announced Samsung Gear S today, and while I love its brilliant 2″ curved Super AMOLED screen, I can’t help but wonder if it’s just a bit too big for me. Bear in mind that I usually wear a men’s full size watch, and yet I think this one swallows my wrist.  


Kwikset Kevo Is the Door Lock for the 21st Century and Beyond

A few years ago I set out to turn my mid 1970s home into an “after-market smart home.” At that time, I turned to a specific company. Since then I’ve taken a more individual approach that focuses on specific “best-in-class” products that work well, but are not part of an overall integrated system; the Kwikset Kevo is one such product.


MOTA SmartRing May Be the Most Discreet Wearable Yet

We’ve seen all the different smartwatches that tell their wearers when calls and emails come though, but most of them are bulky and pretty obvious. If you want smart, discreet notifications without giving up your favorite vintage wristwatch, then the MOTA SmartRing may work for you. Once paired, it notifies wearers of incoming calls, texts, calendar notifications, and emails.


The Ascent Vaporizer by DaVinci Review: Intelligently Vape Herb Blends

WARNING: The products discussed may contain or use nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical; in many cities and a few states, you must be 21 to purchase vaping products and/or products containing nicotine. Please familiarize yourself with and obey the law in your location. About a month ago, I went over to a cousin’s house and noticed for the first…


Things We Used to Care About: the Graphing Calculators Edition

When I started college in 1989, I was going to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Graphing calculators were brand new; before that, we had Texas Instrument calculators as well as Casios, and my first weapon of choice for busting out math problems was an HP 28S. Do you remember?


“Theater To Go”, Thanks to the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 – Part One

I’ve heard of churches using projectors to beam words to songs, images, and page numbers onto a screen during services, and we’ve been considering it for our sanctuary; we wanted to test it out during the summer. Fortunately, I had a review sample of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 2D/3D 1080p 3LCD Projector in hand.   It turns out that the projector…


NEAT Glass: Ultimate Spirits Glass Opens Up a World of Aromas

Most Gear Diary readers probably don’t know, but my regular day gig is as a food and drink writer for online and print media outlets. Through that job, I am lucky enough to sample many different wines and spirits. But sometimes it’s difficult to detect the subtle nuances of spirits. Well, it was difficult until I discovered the NEAT glass.


Yes Man Sunnies – Handmade Bamboo Sunglasses on Kickstarter

Yes Man Watches, has been previously successful on Kickstarter by raising 217% of their goal on their first Kickstarter campaign.  Now, the Yes Man brand is back with some sick-looking handmade bamboo sunglasses.  These gorgeous polarized sunglasses made from bamboo and plastic can now be pre-ordered by pledging at least $30 at the Yes Man Sunnies Kickstarter campaign.


Dyson Cool AM07 Tower Fan: Is a $399 Fan Ever “Worth It”?

I’ve been intrigued by the Dyson series of bladeless fans since they were introduced, but like many people, there was one little thing that kept me from purchasing — the price! A desktop fan retails for $299, and the pedestal fans start at 399! Needless to say, when the opportunity arose to review the Dyson Cool AM07, I jumped.