HDHomeRun Issues on Roku

HDHomeRun Issues

I have an HDHomeRun HDHR5-4US which i reviewed, and I generally love it.  However, about a year ago I moved to a “new” house and the previous owner left all the TV’s that were wall mounted.  All were fairly old TV’s and none of them smart.  I hooked Roku’s to all of them.

That is when the trouble began.   I installed an attic antenna and got good signal strength, and symbol quality on the channels that were important to me.  I could watch those channels WITH NO ISSUES on my phone or on my laptop.  The old Roku connected TV’s were another issue altogether.   The channels would pixelate horribly and the stream would fail frequently.  I have super fast internet and the TV’s are all close to the wifi router as well with great signal.

I really believe it is a transcoding issue with Roku.  Or rather the fact that Roku does not transcode.   Again, it works on my computer, phone, and Firestick devices work fine.

LG TV

So, to mitigate the problem I bought a new TV for the Bedroom.  An LG 43UQ7590PUB from BestBuy.  Before I bought it I confirmed the LG WebOS had an HDHomeRun app.  However, when I got home there was no app in the LG store. Previous WebOS versions had it available.  I contacted LG Support and they told me to hook up a Roku!

Yougottabeshittingme!

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Dymo LabelManager 280 Review

Dymo LabelManager 280 Review

I’m a label maker nerd and always looking for a new one to shake down.  So stand by for this Dymo LabelManager 280 Review.

Dymo LabelManager 280 Review

Dymo 160 & Dymo 280

 

I recently picked up a Dymo LabelManager 160 at Walmart for less than $30.

The Dymo 280 costs nearly double however, I’m going to try to convince you that the 280 is the better deal.  Let’s get right to it.

Total Cost Of Dymo 160

If you walk in the store looking for a label maker you’ll likely be impressed at an under $30 one. Until you get it home and realize that it is only a machine and a single tape cartridge that is about half length.  There is no power adapter and no batteries included.  Also the tape cartridge that came with mine was Silver Glitter.  I don’t want Silver Glitter.  I want black on white.

So right off the bat you’ll probably want to buy:

  • Batteries – It takes 6 but batteries come in 8 packs usually.  Rough cost is $10
  • AC Adapter – Buy Dymo’s and it is about $20
  • Tape Cartridge – $23

If you buy all three you just spent $53 plus the $30 you paid for the LabelManager 160.  Now for the 280.

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Dymo Rhino 6000+ Review

Dymo Rhino 6000+ Review

Dymo Rhino 6000+ Review

Dymo Rhino 6000+

When I die, my wife will curse me for all the label makers I own.   Every house should have a label maker for simple organization.  Geeks should have an industrial label maker for networking, cable management, and for heat shrink labelling electrical connections.   While there are label makers aplenty out there, only a few do cable wraps, or heat shrink or 1″ wide tape.  I currently own a Dymo XTL 300 which is now discontinued.  The replacement seems to be the Rhino line of label makers. I just had to get one.   So here is my new Dymo Rhino 6000+ review.

I don’t need another label maker, but I do need the very best label maker.  And I need new gear to blog about.  There is a gigantic quality gap between a $20 label maker from Walmart and a $300 industrial label maker.

Where To Buy

In my opinion there is only one place to buy a label maker or supplies.  Image Supply.  While Amazon and Label City were offering this kit for $299 and Image Supply had the kit listed at $349, they do have a price matching policy.   When I inquired I got an email back from the company CEO telling me Amazon and Label City had Dymo rebates and while his best price was $19 higher that was with tax and free shipping.  Bottom line.  The price came in at $1 cheaper than those other places.

Dymo Rhino 6000+ Review

K-Sun 2001XLB

I bought my first label maker, a K-Sun 2001XLB, eons ago from Image Supply.  I still have it.  It still works great.  And they still sell supplies for it.

And they price matched it back then as well if memory serves me correctly.  You will not get treated better in the Label Maker world than at Image Supply.

 

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Dymo 160 LabelManager Review

Dymo 160 LabelManager Review

I am a label maker geek.  Everyone should own one.   The price point of these devices run the gamut from really inexpensive home machines, to very expensive industrial label makers.  I decided to grab one of the low tier, entry level,  Dymo LabelManagers.  So here is my Dymo 160 LabelManager review.

Dymo 160 LabelManager Review

Dymo 160

I bought it at Walmart for $29.83 sans tax. It came with one Dymo D1 cartridge which was “Silver Glitter”.

On the surface $30 for a solid performing label maker machine is a very good price.

Sadly, the surface has a basement, and a sub-basement, and a sewer.

Literally all you get in the package is the labelmaker and the single cartridge.

You cannot just open the package and begin making labels, which seems strange to me.

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Laser Related Content Moving

For some reason my laser related blog entries have gained some favorable traction.

In an attempt to appear a tad more professional to the laser community I have taken some of my better entries and created a new website.  I’ll leave my existing laser content here, but all future laser only content will only be posted to:

https://laserog.com

and it can be parsed by an RSS reader at:

https://laserog.com/feed

I did not in my wildest dreams think that anyone followed my blog in an RSS feed until a plugin I had installed broke my RSS feed and several people told me.

Anyway, thanks for reading and bookmark my new laser page if you come here for the laser content.

 

Best Label Maker 2023

BEST LABEL MAKER IN 2023

One of my obsessions regarding tech is having a darned fine label maker available at all times.  Nothing helps with organization better and the results can be impressive and professional.  I’m always on a quest for the best one that there is.  I’m probably not the average user though and as Mom said I am a special needs child.  Wasn’t she sweet?

There are lots of new Label Makers that have been introduced but it seems like the trend is towards bluetooth controlled devices operated from IOS and Android.  Meh.  I require a manly label maker for manly tasks.

MY REQUIREMENTS FOR BEST LABEL MAKER

Not the best label maker

Dymo 160 – $30

You can go to Walmart or any office store and buy a cheap label maker for $30.  That will actually suffice for most users.  But as we said, “I ain’t most users”.

Depicted is the Dymo 160 and to its credit is uses fairly inexpensive D1 tape cartridges that you can find anywhere.

From a functional standpoint something like this probably suits most users just fine. It would probably suit me as well for most tasks but I like to push the limits of all my devices.

Here’s what I need in a label printer:

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Ortur Laser Master 3 LE Review

Ortur Laser Master 3 LE Review

Ortur Laser Master 3 LE Review

Ortur LM3 LE

I’ve been doing desktop diode lasers since they became mainstream in about 2019.  Prior to that they were mostly DIY.  Ortur was pretty much first to the game with the Laser Master 1 and subsequently the Laser Master 2.  I owned 2 of those.   I’ve since picked up a Laser Master 3, an Aufero 2 and now it is time to do an Ortur Laser Master 3 LE Review.

I wasn’t really a fan of the Ortur Laser Master 3 and I wrote at length about that here.  My LM3 works fine but I generally think the design has some issues. It sits so low as to be almost unusable for anything over 400mm in width unless you raise the machine. Also  there are support issues regarding the lens protective glass that just aren’t right.
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xTool Infrared Laser Focus

xTool Infrared Laser Focusing

xTool Infrared Laser Module

xTool IR Module

I purchased one of the xTool Infrared Laser modules and while it is super cool there does seem to be some internet chatter that the manual focusing mechanism is not 100% accurate.

There is a flip down bar that positions the laser 20mm from the work surface however the optimum focal range is 1mm or less.  That means even a tiny positioning error can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the engraving operation.

There are a few strategies for manual focusing the module however the best of the bunch in my opinion is to use a USB microscope to visually dial the beam down to the finest possible size.

I purchased a USB microscope from Amazon a long time ago for my first laser I owned and had to knock the dust off of it.  Set up is easy however software doesn’t really exist but the microscope works fine on a Mac with QuickTime Player.   It used to work with Photo Booth but doesn’t really seem to anymore.  It takes one still shot and then disconnects on my M1 Macs.

Aim and Observe

I wish I could give some kind of detailed, highly technical steps but the reality is that you just aim it at the laser dot, hit fire, and move the xTool Infrared Laser Module until the beam is the smallest you can get it.  You have now achieved optimum focus.   Here is a video for clarity.

Th, Th, The…..That’s All Folks!

Best Budget Laser Engraver

Best Budget Laser Engraver

I own two of the very best laser engravers that money can buy.  The xTool D1 Pro (20 watt and 10 watt).  But they cost a buck or two. In fact, an entry level laser from just about anywhere is in the $500 and up range. What if you just want to get your feet wet in the laser world as cheaply as possible?  Or maybe you want an inexpensive back up machine.  Let’s find the best budget laser engraver to get you started.

And right away I need to make it clear that I’m not saying that this is the best laser engraver by a long shot.  It is my choice for the best BUDGET laser engraver.  

To get the optimum bang for your buck you need to leave the country and head to AliExpress to find the best budget laser engraver.  You simply are not going go get a similar deal from the US based sales or places such as Amazon.  Of course you can always check the classifieds for a used laser but you don’t really know what you are getting there.

If you search for “laser engraver”, you’ll find some good ones that hover around the $200 price point.  However, beware potential shipping costs and make sure you are getting a laser with about a 5 watt optical output.  Most anything else is a toy.  Also check for coupon availability.

There are several no name lasers on there that price out at some ridiculous prices around $120 but once you click on them you’ll find that price is actually an extension kit or just the laser head.  Clicking on the box for the full laser that is 5 watts or so pushes you up around $200 again.

Read on to see what I determined the best deal was.

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What Can You Do With A Computer With No Internet?

IS A COMPUTER WITH NO INTERNET VIABLE?

This is one of my favorite subjects.  And it kind of goes along with being prepared for the worst. Small devices such as computers can be easily recharged or used on even a small solar set up. So what can you do with a computer when there is no internet?  Quite a lot actually.

I’ve done this before in 2018 with a Linux computer but I’m going to do it this time with a Windows laptop.  But it is time to update that post a little bit, I suppose.

And as per my previous recommendation you want to probably use an old laptop and preferably something like a ToughBook.   If the internet is down, and life is getting harder you don’t need some baby computer that won’t hold up.

TV

Yep, your computer can be a TV with no internet connection.  You do need a USB TV Tuner though.  I use the Hauppauge 955Q which is probably obsolete since I couldn’t find it anymore on Amazon.  This seems to be the latest generation.  Despite which tuner you get make sure that it is ATSC and not PAL.  ATSC is US and PAL is European.   Your tuner combined with software called NextPVR or probably any number of software programs you can download will give you an Electronic Program Guide and allow you to watch Over The Air Live TV.  That program guide does come down from the internet though, and you won’t be able to access it if the grid goes down.  Still, you know what your local channels are though.

NOTE:  I probably should state that my grid down situation is most likely a hurricane and all the local stations are 40 or so (driving) miles away and inland so they will most likely still be operational.  Your situation may vary.

Being able to watch TV during a power outage or while you are Sheltering in Place could provide vital, life saving information.  Or it could just provide much needed entertainment in a bad situation.

NextPVR (click pics to enlarge)

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