Misc Gear

Dayton Hamvention 2013 – The Hams Were There

One experience I have yet to share about ham radio is the experience of the Ham Fest.  A Ham Fest is not where you go and eat ham with your fellow radio operators.  It is a conference where you can go to learn about the rigs, get training, and buy things!  Think CES combined with a state fair, and you’d…


Koala Mount for Tablets Keeps Your Tablet Hanging Around

If you use a tablet and love having it handy and accessible the idea of being able to quickly and easily mount it on the wall may be attractive. The Koala Mount for tablets is designed to let you do just that in an easy, inexpensive way that won’t damage any surface. The Koala Mount is, as my contractor father-in-law…


The Gtech AirRAM Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review

In our home we have a Welsh Pembroke Corgi, three girls with shoulder-length or longer hair, and three mohair rugs; there are days when I am not sure who or what sheds worse.  We have a conventional upright vacuum cleaner, and although it works well enough, it is a pain to have to get it out. As you likely know,…


BROpener Lets You Turn Any Surface Into a Bottle Opener

Summer is here, and that means sun, fun and beer. It also means that GearFest 2013 is coming soon. THAT means we’ll be enjoying lots and lots of IPAs. After all they are Kevin’s favorite, and he has made an IPA-lover out of me too. Last GearFest our bottle opener saw a good bit of use. This year it will…


Baofeng UV-5RA Review – Can a $50 Ham Radio Be Any Good?

I hope you have been enjoying my series on Amateur Radio.  It’s been one of my favorite hobbies for about 20 years now, and I love sharing my knowledge with our readers. Today I am bringing you another radio review, only the second one ever for Gear Diary. Just like when I reviewed the Icom ID-31A last year, this review is…


Stor-More Key Safe Brings New Twist On Leaving Keys

It is common practice for people to leave a key or garage door opener hidden somewhere near their house. Maybe this just happens while on a trip so someone can feed the pets and water the plants, or maybe there is always one hidden. Either situation brings plenty of security issues. Whether the keys are under the door mat or…


Head Over Heels for the Just Mobile HeadStand

Don’t let this happen to you… “Elana do you know where the Harman Karden NC headphones I’m reviewing are?” “Where did you last use them?” “If I knew that I wouldn’t be searching for them… Oh, got ’em!” “Where were they? Buried under the pile on your desk?” Yes, there is an advantage to keeping your headphones hung up and…


New John Deere EZtrak Z235 Zero Turn Mower Takes the ‘Work’ out of Yardwork

In 1837 in a rural Illinois farming community, a humble displaced Vermont blacksmith fashions a new type of plow from discarded materials, and John Deere Plow Works is born. The rest, as they say, is history – bathed in colorful “John Deere Green.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the company’s residential product line and recently invited me to…


Travel HoodiePillow Hooded Travel Pillow Review

Welcome to part two of my two-part hooded pillow review humiliation. In Part One I came clean and related that, while still watching the good folks from HoodiePillow make their pitch on SharkTank, I ordered a hooded pillow case from them. The HoodiePillow is a quality pillowcase made from sweatshirt material. What makes this pillow case special is that, as…


Tagg the Pet Tracker Review

I rarely give a “don’t buy” rating to gear. I try really, really hard to find some good aspect to products, because so many times the issues are opinion and not fact. A particular phonecase may not be my taste, but it could be yours, or I might miss a certain feature that someone else never uses. But then there…


HoodiePillow, a SharkTank Product Pitch Product Review

I was watching SharkTank a few months ago when I saw the HoodiePillow pitch. I laughed … out loud. In part because the product sounds so silly, but also because we were pitched this product or something like it quite some time ago, and I thought it was a joke. What’s a HoodiePillow you ask? The Sharks asked the same…


Vejibags Keep Your Greens Greener

Now that April showers are giving way to May flowers, there are also plenty of wonderful greens coming up in farms and gardens. My family has been members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for years. If you’ve never participated in a CSA, basically the deal is that you pay a farmer in advance of the growing season in…


STM Cable Wrap Review – Cords Kept Organized and Ready to Go!

If there is one lament I have heard my wife utter again and again in our technology filled house throughout the years, it is not about how everyone is on their devices too much … it is ‘those cords’! And while things have improved with wireless mice, headsets, smaller chargers, micro-USB for many devices and so on, there are still…




iSafe Urban Crew Backpack Review – Wired with Protective Lights and a Loud Alarm

In the last few years we have seen reports of violence on college, high school and even grade school campuses. The Virginia Tech and Newtown shootings aren’t necessarily a confirmation of increasing crime on school campuses, but they certainly serve as reminders that we can’t always be with our kids to protect them. While the iSafe Urban Crew backpack will…


LapDawg’s o-Stand Review – Expensive, Impractical, and Awkward

  I have been looking for a convenient way to read from my iPad while freeing up the use of my hands.  I’ve tried makeshift holders made from pillows and magazines, and I’ve tried maneuvering my case to double as a mini stand, but nothing has really worked.  The o-Stand by LapDawg seemed like the perfect solution.  I could use…


Moxtra Parters with Salesforce.com, Evernote, and Kaffeine for Easy Group Collaborations

Have you heard of Moxtra yet? Don’t worry, it’s not a large insect about to attack  —  Mothra. Moxtra is a collaborative platform that lets you take all the different kinds of content around the web, from videos to notes to pictures, and stick them in a collaborative “binder”, making group work fast and efficient. They’ve been growing like crazy since…


Ronco Coffee Time Brew System Review

  As you know, we at Gear Diary love our coffee.  My Keurig is still a great system, but I love to make coffee pretty much any way I can; that also includes on ice.  Quite some time ago, I was exposed to cold brew coffee by one of my local coffee shops.  I only had a small sample, but…


Startech Flash Drive Duplicator and Eraser

As we move to a virtually paperless society, sharing digital files becomes an issue. While there are many avenues to exchange files in a large setting, many businesses do not prefer to email or share the files over servers for fear of being stolen or damaged. Giving the files on a flash drive insures control until it reaches the end-user….


Gtech AirRAM Vacuum Cleaner Is Light, Clean, Cordless, and Longer Lasting

Yesterday I wandered the aisles at the San Angelo Sam’s Club, and I couldn’t help but stop in front of the Dyson vacuum cleaner display. I really hate our current vacuum cleaner — a traditional heavy upright with hose that must weigh at least 25 pounds. The least expensive Dyson was around $359, but it was a low to the…