Some Useful Products You May Need
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During the course of our projects we have reason to install / replace / upgrade components.
As we run into these situations we try to keep track of things you may find useful.
This page is expressly for that purpose.
The latest additions are at the top.
Do you have a pet?
Do they puke on your carpet?
Then you need this carpet cleaner.
We have a dog and cat. They are both little furry food tubes that frequently operate in reverse mode, requiring someone (we all know who) go clean up the results.
This Bissell carpet cleaner does a spectacular job of entire rooms — or spot cleaning up after your critters.
We LOVE it.
It gets a LOT of use. So much so, that I leave the hose attachment on it at all times, because that’s what I need at least once a week.
Indoor surveillance camera
This is a great little 1080 indoor surveillance camera that connects to power via a USB cable.
Their software is easy to use and it’s pretty easy to search the history. You can get notifications on your phone of activity in the camera’s zone. It’s a nice addition to any surveillance system. Reasonably priced and easy to set up.
We have a full 4k surveillance system, but added this just to monitor the front yard and let us know when there is any activity.
Since everyone is using Zoom (or something similar, you may need a good camera to accomplish this. This is the one I use and I think you’ll like it.
It will fit on your monitor, clip onto your laptop or can just sit on a desktop.
One of our installations uses the Sonos distributed sound components. These are easy to install and control from a single computer or phone.
This is a link for the amplifier module. They really sound pretty decent.
Mounting a Big Screen TV?
This will handle up to 70″
I’ve used several of these. They are HEAVY, well made and versatile. This mount makes it easy to get access to the back of the TV if you need to change connections or add something. One person can move it out and back or swivel it easily. We have two of these. One for a 52″ TV and the other for a 65″.
I highly recommend these.
Don’t need anything quite that heavy duty?
This is a great, affordable option. I’ve installed quite a few of these.
It’s good for up to 70″ TVs as well.
Mounting something REALLY Big?
This is good up to 90″ and has the articulating arm design.
It supports up to 176 lbs
We only use APC battery backups.
They are very simply the best product, especially in Texas.
In case no one has told you, Texas gets a LOT of lightning. Lightning is a completely different animal from electrical surges.
See the surge protector listings below.
If you only need to keep your network up
(router, switch, broadband modem, etc.
This is the perfect choice. Affordable and compact.
On the other hand…
If you have a large server to protect, you need something on a different scale.
This is the monster you want for a server.
The more joules the better.
here are only 3 brands we consider remotely acceptable in Texas.
APC, Panamax and Tripp Lite
Regardless of the brand, joules matter. Lightning is a fact of life here in the Lone Star State. I could tell you horror stories about data loss and lightning damage and I have the photos to prove it.
But I digress…
Surge protectors should be considered mandatory. It’s CHEAP insurance.
The job of a surge protector is to “throw itself on the grenade” during a surge and protect your valuable electronics.
EVERYTHING you have that is worth more than $50 should be connected to a surge protector.
Network protection by APC.
You NEED one of these at the point where your broadband puts a signal out on an ethernet cable. This keeps a lightning spike from going right down your network cables and laying waste to every computer, switch and printer you own.
And here is why you NEED This.
This is from a lighting strike to an apartment building. The Cat5 cable was literally welded into the computer.
The highest Joules rating
At over 4,000 joules this is the one you want.
This is the high end of the range for protection. It is available in different configurations (number of connections) and will offer the best protection.
Save a few $$ by going to the next model down.
At 3020 joules, this still offers very good protection at a decent price.
If you want the Cadillac of surge protection
You buy Panamax
They include 5 million dollars of protection for your equipment.
To protect your home theater system…
This is the best you can buy.
3 models to choose from
For your computer equipment
6 outlets plus charging station
No charging stations
Surge Protection by Tripp Lite
Rack full of equipment?
This is great protection
Heavy duty surge protection in a variety of configurations.
3330 joules rating
2, 4. 6, 8 outlets
Ready to cut the cord?
Tired of paying for cable TV you don’t watch?
Put in your own antenna and get HD TV for free
You’ll need this amplifier too if you have more than one TV:
For as long as there has been broadband, we have always recommended using your own router for purposes of controlling your home or business network.
Not the one the broadband company supplies.
This gives you total control of your IP addressing scheme and security. It’s not terribly expensive and when you change broadband providers or need to replace the broadband modem, it’s not a major interruption to your connectivity. Usually simple swapping out the modem and rebooting everything bring you back up.
For years we recommended, used and sold Netgear.
In the immortal words of Jacques Clouseau: NOT ANY MORE.
After two router failures in less than a year and lackluster support for something UNDER WARRANTY we have removed all Netgear products from our own network and replaced them.
And on the topic of WiFi.
All of these have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz modes. You can broadcast both through your home or office?
What’s the difference?
2.4GHz if slower but covers more area.
5.0GHz produces a faster network connection (by a lot) but loses capacity as you get your computer farther away from the router.
So you decide on distance or speed. You can’t have both at the same time but you CAN have either one.
Looking for a great (and LOTS less expensive) router?
Try the ASUS line.
This is a decent router with plenty of speed for most applications
If you want the big GAMING router:
More horsepower that the entry level but less $$ than the gamer:
Mesh compatible too.
More speed and AiMesh Compatible
If you live in anything bigger than about 800 square feet, you may well need a range extender.
This is the best I have found and what I personally use.
Just like in Real Estate… The 3 most important aspects of any listing:
Location, location, location.
You have to put the range extender NOT where you want more signal, but as close to that location as you can get where you STILL HAVE good signal. If you have problems with this, CALL ME and I will make sure you get the results you want.
All-in-one printer, scanner, copier and fax.
This all-in one prints in black and white but scans in color. It will also connect to your online storage accounts, like Google Drive and send your scans there. Once stored online, you can just share the files or folder directly from the storage site. So whoever needs it just gets an email link to the documents you want to share.
You will need toner cartridges for this printer soon. The starter toner in any laser only lasts a short time. Buying brand name toner is not necessary though and these are the best deal:
How about a plain old monochrome laser printer (only)…
Here’s a great color inkjet all-in-one printer, copier, fax, scanner by Canon
The Canon MB5120
Industrial Strength Label Printer:
This is great for labeling wire, tools, equipment, etc. Heavy duty label material that holds up to a lot of abuse.
Did you get a shiny new computer and it doesn’t have HDMI?
Most newer computers use Displayport (or DP) connectors that support 4k resolution.
A simple adapter is all you need to solve this problem. If you have an HDMI cable now, just plug it into one of these and plug the other end into your DP connector.
Don’t let the price scare you. That’s for 10 of the adapters. You can also order just one for a lot less.