Tag Archives: switch

Remote your life

16 Mar

If your iPhone is never far away from you hand and you have at least one finger available to push a virtual Photo 9-03-13 5 09 05 PMbutton, then you qualify to use the Wemo switch by Belkin!

The Wemo switch is a device that you simply plug into your home outlet.
Whatever home electronic you have, you will plug on top of it and it will be toggled off and on through your iPhone, iPad or iPodTouch (iOS 4.3). Pretty handy!

Now, think hard about what you would like to use you switch for. Turning on/off, a curtain, a lamp, a heater, a fan, … ?
Photo 9-03-13 5 47 13 PM

I decided to give a try and bought a first switch, I want to use it for our entry lamp up the stairs.

There’s no much in the box but the switch and a nice “welcome to Wemo” note.

Photo 9-03-13 5 56 17 PM
Let’s look at the switch, it’s quite big and thick. There are 2 buttons, one facing you (the manual on and off) and one facing up (if you need to reset the switch).

A little light on the face will tell you what’s going on in your switch.Photo 9-03-13 5 57 41 PM (HDR)
. Blinking orange-blue, awaiting instructions
. Flashing blue, starting up. Let it work
. Blinking orange, no connection
. Solid orange, poor connection bring it closer to your wifi network
. Solid blue, all fine, let’s play

Making it work is super easy
. Plug the switch in the outlet
. Download the free Wemo app on the iTunes Store

Open the app on your iPhone and follow the instructions
. Go to your phone “Settings” and “Wifi” and choose the “Wemo-xxx” network
. Go back to the Wemo app
. The Wemo App, will ask you to select your wifi network and enter the password
. The Wemo switch will then connect itself to your wifi network
. You’ll have the possibility to customize your switch icone, I took the picture of my lamp

Photo 8-03-13 7 17 56 PM Photo 8-03-13 7 20 05 PM Photo 8-03-13 7 19 57 PM
Photo 8-03-13 7 20 44 PM Photo 8-03-13 7 20 53 PM Photo 9-03-13 6 53 32 PM

So now that all is set, time to play! From your couch you have the control! I love it.

Basically your switch works with your wifi network and your phone is the remote that uses whatever network available (3G or wifi) to interact with the switch.

Photo 11-03-13 12 47 01 PMThe great thing is that you can add as many switches as you want! You can personalize each switch with a little picture or regular/standard icone.

ChaseIt or BChased ?
ChaseIt because
. it’s a great product that will easy your daily life
. it’s not an expensive device and it comes with a 2-years garantee
. you can link as many switch as you want
. you can push it further with the IFTTT (IF This Then That)

If you are concerned about the electricity consumption, the Wemo plug uses less than 1,5 watts (less than a clock radio).

More infos on
. The Belkin Wemo official website
. Follow @Belkinwemo
. The IFTTT website with its 59 channels so far

Going solar part2

24 Feb


So you may think about going solar. Good for you!

20130221-084255.jpgIt’s true that the past few weeks came with few power outages around the world, just check the news!
The cruise ship stuck at sea without power for days (finally arrived to shore in Albama after a 7 days of distress), the floods in Australia early January which cut the power for many families, and don’t forget Long Island and New York area were slammed down by Sandy and people are still battling there for electricity and warmth.

goingsolar0Cruise ship Carnival Triumph GoingSolar2Floods in Australia GoingSolar3Sandy in Long Island

I’m more an urban-type of girl but I also like to be prepared, so I’m browsing Goal Zero catalogue and will enlighten you to pick the right product for your use.
There are lots of choices and you might be confused!

So let’s follow together the path to electricity-independance and solar power for everyone.

Here’s the mystery of the power cycle unveiled to you in 3 steps
1. You collect the sun energy thanks to the solar panels.
2. You store the power in your rechargeable battery.
3. You use the stored power in your rechargeable battery to power whatever device you wish.

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Now, let’s start by asking yourself…
. What do you want to power ? A cell phone or small electronics, a computer or maybe bigger appliances (a fridge when you experience a blackout).
. Also were would you use the panels ? Home? At work? You will transport them everyday ?
. Where will you hang my solar panels ? Where and when does the sun rises and set ?

Basicaly, Goal Zero split its products in 3 classes depending on what you expect to power.
. Ultra-light class: for the urban pioneers we are (light to carry and for our daily uses and commutes)
It’s perfect for charging iPods/GPS, USB light, Smartphone.
. Endurance class: you are more settled and don’t carry stuff all day long, then this is for you (and me too, I will leave it at the office)
For smartphone, iPad/tablet, camera/12volts lights, Laptops, TV.
. Utility class: you are a heavy consumer or are concerned about power failures, this is great for home and work and will cover your needs when emergency calls! Good for 12volts heater, fridge and desktop computer.
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For your info, 7 models of solar panels are available for as many rechargers:
. Ultra-light class: Nomad 3.5 (for the Switch8 recharger) , Nomad 7 (for the Guide 10 Plus recharger)
. Endurance class: Nomad 13 (for the Sherpa 50)
. Utility class: Nomad 27, Boulder 15 (for the Escape 150 and Guardian 12V rechargers), Boulder 30 (Extreme 350, Yeti 1250 rechargers), and Escape 30

Knowing all that and
. Owning an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad and a McBook Pro
. Walking and taking the metro each day to reach the office
. Travelling a lot and working outside where I can’t find plugs
I will go for the Sherpa 50 kit i addition to my Switch 8 recharger kit!
And if you want to charge your rechargers in the middle of the night or during a sun eclipse you still can do thanks to USB power charge.

Photo 21-02-13 9 59 33 AM

More about Goal Zero
Goal Zero, a three year old US-based company in Utah, developed for the pioneers that we all are and developing smart solar-power products.

. Official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook

Time to switch !

17 Feb

Time to switch
… to solar energy! Even for you urban readers!
Photo 14-02-13 5 34 22 PM

Why ?
Because solar energy is good for the planet,
because it’s free to use
and because it works damn well !

If you are not climbing mountains everyday and you are more a subway surfer (like me), then you will be interested by the Switch 8.

The Switch 8 charging kit includes
. A nomad solar panel
. A switch 8 charger
. A USB cord

The charging time for the Switch 8 is
. 4 hours through the general USB
. 3-6 hours through the nomad solar panel 7 USB
. 6-12 hours through the nomad solar panel 3,5 USB

The specs of the Switch 8
. The battery is Lithium-ion (f.y.i. lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect and present a slow loss of charge when not in use)
. It weights 0,2lbs (or 90gr)
. The Switch 8 is as long as an iPhone 5 (you can hold both in your hand while charging)

I just unpacked my Switch 8 and started charging through the USB (it was raining outside, no sign of the sun!)

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. 4 blue lights started blinking to indicate that the Switch was charging
. When the 4blue lights are on, you are set to go!
. Note that you can check the charge of your Switch 8 by pushing the black button on the side

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of the kit … the solar panels.

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. They are small and light, they fold nicely in two to protect the inside panels
. The cover is a rugged kind of cordura and will survive many urban and rural expeditions
. The back of the folded panels shows a netted pouch with a USB plug to connect your Switch 8 and to charge it from the sun (thanks to Goal Zero to provide the USB cord).
. The kit is really handy and easy to move quickly (all is tied together, you won’t lose anything).

Now that we have discovered all the components of the kits, we are ready for the sun to shine but where do I hang the solar panels ?
. On a backpack while walking
. On a shutter
. Or flat on the ground …
Basically, wherever you want but, of course, facing the sun!

I suggest you use a carabineer (easy to clip and unclip) to hang to the many hanging spots created around the panels.

Be aware not to link your phone to the Switch 8 recharger while charging from the sun. First you charge it, then you plug it into your phone to power it.

ChaseIt Or BChased ?
ChaseIt, because
. It’s cool to charge your many electronic devices for free thanks to the sun ! Also through USB when it’s raining. You’ve got two charging devices in one.
. The kit is light and super easy to use.
. The kit is rugged and is shock resistant!

Now the big question, am I ready to ditch my Mophie and Just mobile for Goal Zero ?

. Yes, the products are full of details and are smart. The built-in USB is easy to use and I can leave 2 cables home!
. But I suggest to buy an extra Switch 8 charger so you can charge one while using the other one (told you I’m an heavy user!)

Prices
. Goal Zero 41001 Switch 8 Silver/Black Solar Recharging Kit, 81,54$
. Extra Goal Zero 21004 Switch 8 Silver Solar Recharger, 39,95$
(less than the Mophie and Just Mobile)

More about Goal Zero
Goal Zero, a three year old US-based company in Utah, developed for the pioneers that we all are and developing smart solar-power products.

. Official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook

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