Microwave Repair Tips

Because microwaves are quick, easy and convenient to use, they are often the most popular cooking appliance in many households. Because of this, they can be susceptible to breakdowns. Instead of taking your microwave to an expensive repair service when it is not working, you should follow these two tips first. Perhaps you’ll be able to save yourself time and money if you are successful in fixing your microwave yourself.

Simple Repair Tip #1: Test Your Fuse and Replace If Necessary

If your microwave is not functioning, the problem could be with your fuse. The fuse acts as a safety device which monitors and prohibits the flow of electricity to the microwave when the current is too strong. The fuse has to be in working order for it to pass the electrical current on to the microwave, so failure here is a common culprit for a non-working microwave.

Unscrew and remove the outer cabinet that houses the microwave, and locate the fuse by following the power cord inside the unit. If you see burn marks on the fuse or it is completely black, it is most likely blown and will have to be replaced. If you happen to have an ohm meter handy, you can test the fuse by seeing if current can pass through the fuse. If the meter reads zero ohms, then current is passing and your fuse is okay. If it the ohm reading is infinite, then no current is flowing through and your fuse failed the test.

To remove the fuse, just simply remove it from its holder. You can snap it in or out easily. You can call the manufacturer to get the right part number for the fuse, then order a new one online or call a local electronics or appliance store to make sure they have one available for you to pick up.

How much are fuses? Typically they range as cheap as $5-$20.

Someone who is halfway handy could have removed the fuse in 5 minutes and ordered a new fuse in another 5 minutes. If purchased locally, a half hour later they could have the new fuse installed and the microwave in working condition. If you took it to a repair shop, you would have waited at least a day or two for the repairman to get around to it and been charged as little as $50 if you’re lucky.

Simple Repair Tip #2: Test the Door Switch and Replace If Necessary

The door switch is another part that acts as a safety device, not allowing the microwave to function if the switch is triggered (i.e. the door is opened). A non-working switch will prevent your microwave from functioning.

First make sure the latch inside the door itself is not missing or damaged. The latch activates the switch when the door is in the closed position. The latch looks like a prong or hook, so make sure it is there and does not look damaged. Otherwise, it will most likely need to be replaced professionally since it can be difficult to remove the inner seal off the door, or the door itself may need to be replaced.

If your latch and fuse are fine, then most likely your door switch is the problem. This is the most difficult and last thing you should check. You’ll find your door switch mounted on a bracket where the latch would make contact. To test the door switch, you will need an ohm meter. First remove the wiring harness leads from the terminals, and then test the switch for continuity. To help you with this, let’s look at the anatomy of a door switch. It has three terminals and they are labeled as follows:

• N.C. Terminal – Normally Closed

• N.O. Terminal – Normally Open

• COM Terminal – Common Terminal

First test the resistance between the COM and N.O. terminals – you should have infinite resistance. You’ll see a little actuator button and if you press that down (which simulates the door closing), then the resistance should go down to zero, indicating current is flowing. Repeat this test between the COM terminal and the N.C. terminal, but the results should be the opposite. You should have zero resistance at first, then when you press the actuator (simulating opening the door) it should jump to infinity, indicating no current or power. If one or both of these scenarios doesn’t happen in your test, then the switch is broken.

When you replace the switch, be sure to use the same type of switch as the original – call your manufacturer to get the correct part number and purchase the same replacement part. Remove the bracket that houses the switch from the microwave, and remove the old switch from the bracket and replace with the new one. You should be able to find a new switch for less than $20. If you took it to a service shop you would probably pay at least $100 between diagnosis and repair.

So these two tips will hopefully save you from an expensive trip to the repair shop, so you should at least attempt to fix a non-functioning microwave yourself first. You won’t do any further damage to it, and remember, always make sure the microwave is unplugged before operating on it.

Xbox 360 Power Supply Red Light Repair Tips

Since its release over two years ago, a number of gamers have complained about a problem known most commonly as the “red ring of death”. Keep reading to learn what causes this problem as well as what the best Xbox 360 power supply red light repair tips are. You’ll be playing your favourite games again in virtually no time at all.

The most common cause of the power supply red lights on the Xbox 360 is overheating. Much as with most powerful electronic devices, the components produce a large amount of heat when being used. Because of the fact that the Xbox 360 does not contain a powerful cooling system, too much heat can build up far too quickly, resulting in the console shutting itself down. The light ring is then displayed to inform you that quite a major problem has occurred. One important thing to note is that if all four quadrants of the power supply ring are glowing red, your console hasn’t experienced the ring of doom. Instead, the AV cable plugged into the back of the console has simply come loose. Remove it, and insert it back in so that a clicking sound is heard. The real ring of death will have all but one of the quadrants glowing.

To fix the problem, you could send your console back to Microsoft for repair. However, you will have to wait many weeks until you receive it back, and it will cost you up to $140 if your warranty has expired. The best way to fix the power supply red lights is actually to fix it yourself. Using an Xbox 360 repair guide, which is a collection of videos, audio files and written documents, you will learn exactly how to determine the cause of the problem on your console, and then follow a precise, reliable and safe repair method that will fully fix your console. You don’t even need flashy tools, everything you need can be found around the home. A good repair guide will set you back around $30, which is very reasonable considering the cost of either buying a whole new console, or shipping your broken one off to Microsoft for repair.

Shopping Tips

It is possible that you may be frequenting one of the supercenters for your groceries. These stores occupy a much larger land area compared to the regular grocery store. The super stores tend to sell almost a general list of goods such as apparel, electronics, toys, food, produce and much more.

In some of these stores there are other independent businesses within the super center like a bank, photo studio, or even a beauty shop. In addition to the company’s main departments other branch department like automotive where car maintenance takes place as you shop. A classic one-stop shop indeed.

After several years of shopping at these stores from when they were supermarket to supercenters and now with gas stations. I have come to notice these things that may be considered secrets or tips for a better shopping experience.

To make sure that you do not over spend or lose you money in anyway, consider these experiences to help you make an informed choice:

Coupons/ Cost Cutters

1. Check out the advertisement flyers at the store front or read the ones you get in the mail.
2. Cut out coupons, coupons also are easily found in magazines, the store flyers, back of receipts, within the aisles, on other products and more.
3. The store coupon machines are within the aisles extends out from the shelves usually next to a particular product take some if you buy that product.
4. Buy generic, or store brands, the secret is that most of the generic or store brand are usually manufactured by the same brand name company. For example, some toothpaste, for instance, both the brand and generic (cheaper) brands are manufactured by the same maker.
5. Some sources suggest that signing up for company’s newsletters allow you the opportunity for more saving programs.
6. Joining a fan page on Face book and other social media may also be a good way to enjoy some savings, free stuff and more.

Apparel

1. Shopping for apparels consider the clearance rack, the items are mark down.
2. Clearance racks clothes are usually the season before items that are mark down very low to be sold out completely. You can buy for the next year’s season.
3. Keep receipts and tags for return at least thirty days – ninety days. Wal-Mart for instance gives three returns without a receipt per household per year note; a valid driver’s license is required.

Canned/Bottled Items

1. Check dates on items such as can foods, and bottle drinks before buying. The problem usually is severe in areas with fewer shoppers and if the item is hardly a hot seller.

Produce

1. Check your fruits and veggies for freshness before buying especially if you are not using them right away.
2. It is important to run produce under running water or rinse them before eating.

Deli/Prepared Foods

1. Foods at the deli are not always fresh. Some of them have been in the case for a few days. What they do is they change the bowls and put in the same stuff.
2. If all possible lightly rinse with water or cook your cold meats from the deli before you eat them. They are not always handled with care.
3. If you are hungry and you can, try to stick to hot items at the deli. The fried chicken is usually fresh, because in some states they are allowed to sell them after few hours of cooking. In Illinois, it has been that after about four hours of cooking fried chicken they should be thrown out.
4. Health inspections are not usually random; managers and owners of the deli departments and even your regular restaurants are usually notified. So they prepare for inspection in most cases.

General Grocery Store Secrets

1. Ask questions; ask for help.
2. Buy milk by the date, the furthest date is what you want.
3. Keep a list of items to shop for so you are not easily overwhelmed by useless and unnecessary stuff.
Check Out Stand
1. Get an idea of your bill before you go to the checkout counter.
2. Keep a small pocket size calculator along with your shopping list and budget.
3. This is most painful one, sometimes items are scanned twice by accident, in major stores in some cases, if the subtotal appears on your receipt more than twice be cautious of erroneous balance. Though it can be due to some valid reasons but once you get out of the store no one will buy your story.
4. Check your receipt before you live the store.
5. Be careful going to the express checkout lanes with double the quantity of items displayed for that lane.
6. If you have a lot of items say a cart full, do not check them all out on one receipt. Split them up, basically load about half the items on the conveyor belt and divide it with the divider (stick). And load the rest. The registers in the large stores can screw up or they can freeze, usually the manager will come and unlock the machine with a key.
7. Ask questions; ask for help with your grocery to your car.
8. Use your own bags if you like.
9. Refer store clerks by their names on their badges.
10. Initiate friendliness and respect toward store clerks that can go a long way for your everyday shopping experience and better care.

Though you may have encountered some of these tips for yourself before, it helps to know somebody out there also notice them as well. Some of the check out issues may be attributed to systems error others just human error but they can be costly. The best way to shop in these supercenters is to be prepared and be vigilant, knowing that you are on a mission.

Shopping Tips for the Latest Gadgets

It is that time of year again. Everybody is getting ready for the holidays and deciding what presents and gifts they want to get their family and friends. I know some of you out there might find it hard to know what to get everybody on your list. I have a few tips for you which will make shopping a little easier this year. If you are going to be being any electronics or other gadget type gift then you definitely do not what to miss this article. I have important tips you need to know about when buying the latest gadgets.

First off start your holiday shopping early. It does not matter how early in the year it is. You can start buying presents and gifts for loved one right after the holidays and Christmas when everything goes on sell. This is a great time to find awesome deals. One word of caution here though. This is not a good time to buy the latest electronic gadgets like digital camera or computers. Electronics like these are changing so fast with new models coming out and prices on old models dropping what seems like everyday. What seems like a great price on a digital camera now might not be such a great price 8 months later when you are ready to give the camera to that special person. Now for non-electronic gifts anytime is a great time to get them. Gifts like decorations, clothes, classic CDs and DVDs are great to buy way a head of time.

Step two is to write down any items you hear a family member or friend mention they would like to have. If it is early enough in the year then you can even ask them questions about that item without them thinking you might purchase it for them. Try that a month before Christmas and see if they are a little suspicious. Keep this list someplace secret and convenient and simply add to it over the year. This list will come in handy for birthdays as well.

Step three is designating an area someplace to keep all the gifts and presents you buy early. It can be a closet or box tucked away someplace where the people who the gifts are for never look or use. Also make sure and keep all receipts organized in case you need to return something.

Step four is finding gifts for those hard to buy for people. In this case get them something fun and unique. Buying gadgets and other off the wall items is great for these types of people. When I say gadgets I do not mean items like digital cameras and computers. I’m talking about RC floating snack trays, kitchen gadgets like a pop-up hotdog cooker or a self stirring mug. They are sure to love those unique gifts.

Digital Camera Shopping Tips

Are you considering buying a digital camera? If you are, then it is important for you to do your homework before making the actual purchase. Before buying, it is important that you take out some time and prepare yourself so you are able to purchase the right camera that is suitable for your needs. Here are some important digital camera shopping tips that you can follow before you enter the shop for a purchase.

Talk to People – digital cameras are popular tools and these are owned by a large number of people today. It is important to talk to people who own cameras so you can find out which ones are better and will give you the best value for your money. You may have many friends and colleagues who may own digital cameras and you can ask them for recommendations to be able to make the right choice. Moreover, by talking to people who own cameras, you will be able to find out more information about the different features that you may find useful.

Determine How You Are Planning To Use The Camera – are you buying the camera so you can take pictures of nature? If taking pictures is your pastime, consider buying a camera that has large zoom lens. The fast response time and a large zoom lens are important features for taking pictures of nature. You may also consider opting for a model that will perform well under low-light conditions. In case you have no idea how you are going to make use of the camera, consider buying a camera that is good all around.

Try To Determine The size Of The Camera That You Wish To Purchase – many people prefer cameras of large size while others prefer small and sleek cameras. If you are looking for ease of use, portability and the ability to carry your camera in your pocket wherever you go, opt for a camera that is small and thin. Try to make decisions on the style and size of the camera before visiting the store for a purchase.

Set A Budget – be sure to set a budget before you enter the shop because you never know when you may be forced into buying a camera that is too expensive for you by the sales representatives. You can look for information on the internet and compare digital camera prices to find out which one will be the ideal choice for you.

NXT 2.0 Mindstorms Is The Best Robot for Beginner

Right now, while using LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 placed, if you are using a little bit grownup energy to set up that common sense and also the design — be it a car, a good dog, any device, any humanoid any robotic, or maybe whatsoever your own thoughts may make — it will eventually complete what you would like.

Absolutely no gear tend to be essential, not really any screwdriver. All is actually designed employing lego prevents. Most are not necessarily that lego prevents may possibly end up being helpful to. It isn’t that studded versions which breeze along. Most are Technic blocks (“studless legos”), which often create a a lot more individual, a reduced amount of boxy glimpse.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 brings together that indefinite usefulness in the Lego making procedure by using a smart microcomputer can in addition to user-friendly drag-and-drop lisenced users software program. Through progamming sortware within your LAPTOP (Personal Computer); it is possible to set up a variety of moves on your versions or maybe set up differents sorts of versions whatsoever such as. It’s only, style your own private design in addition to offering it’s incredible moves.

The LEGO NXT 2.0 is actually a very good way with regard to youngsters to receive a good benefits to be able to robotics. From making that gadget by using Legos to be able to lisenced users then posting by using USB cable connection, individuals who wish to learn will get a good prospect of the way to complete these kinds of capabilities and then assimilate all of them most of the time to create any programmable robotic.

The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Robot Kit offers all you’ll want to construct automations in addition to system all of them to perform what you would like. Even though labeled because any gadget, that Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 system is actually, to put it simply, in the school connected with its: it really is fundamentally any robot-building set up a list connected with Lego items about steroid drugs. As soon as Lego Mindstorms NXT appeared to be produced, all people experienced its teeth shedding within wonder.

Yamaha Acoustic Guitars

Once you have decided you would like to learn to play the guitar frequently the next thought that springs to mind is how do you decide what sort of guitar you need? Which type would be easiest to learn on, is one more complicated or easier than another? The simplest way to answer some of your questions is to give you an overview of the two most popular types being classical and electric guitars so you can make an informed decision before buying.

Usually when people imagine a guitar the acoustic is the one they are picturing. This is a hollow guitar and can be easily identified by the “sound hole” which is the round hole in the front of the guitar. You will find, an acoustic guitar nearly always has six strings, and when you strike them quite a loud sound is produced. Traditionally acoustic guitars have been thought to be folk music orientated but in reality they are suited to all types of music from heavy metal to blues to country. You would probably be quite surprised at the range and tone of the instrument.

Classical guitars and acoustic guitars are very similar in appearance, but there are quite a few specific differences. Whilst a standard acoustic guitar has six steel strings, a classical guitar has three strings made of nylon and the other three of steel, which results in a totally different sound to an acoustic guitar. You will find that the neck of the classical guitar is wider than that of the acoustic guitar, and unless your choice of music is intended to be classical you will probably find you are more suited to the acoustic. If you’re not sure about brands and styles have a look at the Yamaha acoustic guitars which are very popular particularly for beginners.

Electric Guitar

If you like bells and whistles and shiny toys, then the electrical guitar will be your choice. These guitars are solid, so on striking the strings you don’t get the same loud sound as the acoustic guitar produces. To use the electric guitar for stage or concert performances you need an amplifier, and if you are an avid follower of live shows no doubt you will have noticed the copious amount of electrical support equipment that is required to get the large volumes of sound needed.

The novice player can find electric guitars a bit complicated as there is a bit more required in terms of buttons and gadgets to tweak, and by the same logic more chances of errors when playing.

However, it is generally felt that electric guitars are easier to play than acoustic guitars. Because the strings are not all steel they are easier to strum. Resulting in less sore fingers for the new beginner. Hopefully these few clarifications of the differences will assist you in choosing your perfect guitar.

Best Gifts For Men

To buy or not to buy, that is the question and it is a question that most cannot easily answer in the current economic downturn. Whether to buy new gifts is likely to be a dilemma in most households given that the average income has been affected by the recession. This decision cannot be taken lightly as one should not get into debt to ensure loved ones get the gifts of their dreams these holidays. Riding the ‘silly season’ on your credit card will only result in disaster with the ghost of Christmas lurking around long after the festivities have ended. If there was ever a time when you needed to slash spending, this is it!

The first step in the quest to have an enjoyable and stress free holiday is to take stock of your financial position: What money have you got coming in and going out? How much is left over? Do you have any debts that need to be sorted urgently? Most accrue interest daily and anything you put towards reducing interest will be good for you in the long run to reduce your debt. What will it be? Getting the best gift for men in your life or tackling your debt head on? The answers to these questions will help you determine your holiday budget and how much you are able to spend on presents and holiday cheer. Keeping tabs on your net worth is always an important step in getting financially sorted. Once you know where your money is needed, you can decide what you could set aside for Christmas shopping.

The next step is to make a list. I cannot emphasis this enough; it allows you a chance to get a general idea and divide whatever you can spend by the number of recipients on your list. Cheap is good this Christmas because when you start shopping early. You get plenty of time to look for inexpensive thoughtful gifts that match your recipients’ tastes, personality and most importantly, your budget. Remember to stick to your list and budget by limiting the number of gifts per person.

Use the Internet as a shopping tool. Once you know what you can afford to spend, who you are spending it on, you need to look at where you can get the best Christmas gifts for men and deals in order to stretch your dollar. Shopping online is a great way to compare prices in the comfort of your home away from the shopping frenzy in the malls leading up to Christmas. Traditional mundane gifts that we have all become accustomed to – the scented candles that are smelly, cheap cologne, tired old socks and chocolates when all year you have told everyone who cared to listen you are on a diet can and should be avoided. Below are some great gift ideas for men which can be found online.

Electronic and gadget gifts for men. It is common knowledge men cannot do without their gizmos. Whether it’s tools in his shed or the remote controlled cars, men’s fascination with gadgetry is a well-known fact. Again, take action based on his interests and hobbies you cannot go wrong. Experience gifts would be appreciated more than objects. Honing in on the recipients’ hobby or interests is the key. Gifts that thrill him will undeniably be appreciated as they indicate the giver’s thoughtfulness.

Ordering tickets to watch his favorite sports team, band or concert are other great gift ideas for men. Not only will they be excited to see their favorite team or performance, they will be impressed that you remembered their favorite band or team. To top it off, buying two tickets to the event means you get to accompany the recipient to share the experience.

Gift certificates. Now before you cringe because you feel that these are thoughtless gifts or a copout; consider giving a gift certificate for a restaurant or premium seating for his favorite team. If romantic getaways are out of your reach, this is a great way to show the man in your life that you care. Even taking time to prepare a special home cooked dinner is a simple but heartfelt gift that is more appreciated and will create memories that last a lifetime.

Other cheap and thoughtful ways to enjoy this Christmas without the madness are: Making your own gift baskets using home cooked biscuits instead of that fruitcake which seems to do the rounds every year. Fruits are another great, affordable and healthy option.

Make your own Christmas cards. This gives them a more personal touch. If it is really the thought that counts, then people should not care if you have outsourced the artistic services of your children, nieces and nephews to draw Christmas pictures on them.

While this may come across as tacky in some circles, ask your loved ones what they would like and indicate to them earlier on what you can and cannot afford to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, take note of their hints or things that you pickup throughout the year if asking is not your style.

Pool resources together as a family where possible and buy more lavish gifts that way. However, you have to be comfortable talking about your financial situation. Most family members and friends would appreciate that rather than maxing your credit cards on their behalf.

Re-gift by re-wrapping any items that are still new or unused and pass them on to someone who can use and appreciate them. Be thoughtful when doing this as it should not be done to tick a name off your list – the recipient’s interests, tastes, personality must still be included in your equation for the gift to be meaningful. Take stock of who you got it from first to avoid a potential gifting giving faux pas. If you are comfortable telling the recipient then go for it. Many of us will do this and hope that we never get caught out. What we are expected to spend and buy for Christmas is ludicrous if you ask me, so if there is anyway of ensuring the ghost of Christmas does not come a-haunting, I will go for it.

Deciding whether you can afford to buy new gifts this year will be difficult for most. Even if you conclude that it is not possible this year given the decline in finances worldwide, it is a good time to review our spending and come up with a plan for spreading Christmas cheer without breaking the bank.

 

Effective Self-Defense Gadgets

There are several self-defense gadgets easily and readily available in local shops and online stores. Most manufacturers create and produce gadgets with styles and specifications made particularly for women. Because of these gadgets, it has been very easy for women to feel safe and confident whenever in a risky area because they know that they carry something that can help in protecting themselves. These gadgets have clever designs to disguise and conceal their original purpose. If you do not have at least one self-defense weapon yet, you had better search for and buy one now. This world is not safe anymore and you would not really know when a stranger would harass and attack you.

Here are some of the best devices especially designed to protect every women out there:

1. Mace and pepper spray are two of the most helpful and effective gadget for women, mainly because it is very convenient to bring and very easy to use. Most of the sizes of pepper spray will allow you to put it easily inside your pocket so you can retrieve it as fast as you can. If you put it inside your purse or bag, make sure that it is in an area easily to reach and find so it would not be a hassle for you to look for it when you needed it the most. You also have to be accurate and be fairly close to your attacker so you can successfully aim and spray this gadget on his eyes. Pepper sprays can cause irritation and impermanent blindness to the eyes of your attacker.

2. Taser and stun guns can disable and immobilize your attacker once the electric shock from it hit the muscles of the attacker. There are several designs for tasers and stun guns. Some are very small so it can fit well within your hands and some have disguising look like a cell phone to make it unnoticeable.

3. Kubotan Key Chains are another personal defense gadget perfect for women. It can be very handy and you can always bring it anywhere by putting and using it as a keychain accessory on your bag. Kubotan key chains are rods made of plastic that have various uses and designs. Some have tapered and spiky ends. Some rods of Kubotan key chains even have tear gas, darts blades and electric shock to make sure that every woman can get utmost protection from it.

Several protection gadgets are very helpful and extremely effective for the self-defense needs of many women. Aside from having these gadgets, women should always be alert and smart when in a threatened areas and situations.

Less Time at Airport Security

If u travel a lot or are an air mile junkie, you should watch the new Clooney film ‘Up in The Air’. It has a funny but dark perspective of the lives of these globetrotters. A lot of tips have been revealed in the film, for example how to feed off the air miles and not paying a cent for your expenses like eating in a good restaurant or shopping from the duty free. The secret concierge key and hitting the 10 Million air mile mark is quite an ambition for the main character in the movie and also seems quite fabulous when you get to meet the chief pilot of the AA and also the fact that 10 million mark has only been hit, supposedly, by 6 people altogether.

The idea behind this article and the reason for mentioning this film is to focus on the methods through which one can be efficient when it comes to checking in for a flight. A lot of new gadgets are now in the market, if used correctly can seriously cut down the average time you take to get to the departure lounge.

The first gadget would be a laptop sleeve. When going through the security checkpoints, you are told to take the laptops out the bags. If carrying a sleeve it can be easily fit into your back pack or luggage and can easily be taken out. Also most of the time you don’t have to take the laptop out of the sleeve which saves a lot of time. Sleeves are sold by many big names. They have added padding for protection, stylish design and the more you spend the more perks you get like room for a charger etc.

Second, your boarding pass. Consider not printing it at all. If you a Smartphone or an iPhone, download it via internet and just hand it over at the desk to be screened. This service is not widely available but is expanding. If not this, either prints it from home or at a self service kiosk.

Get a carry on gels liquid kit. These usually come with a zip top and bottles carrying up to the amount you are allowed to carry. No more putting them in plastic bags or chucking them away.

Slip on shoes or flip flops if on vacation to an island. You have to remove your shoes at the checkpoints, buy these and no more wasting minutes at the checkpoints.

Observe and get in line. When queued at the checkpoint, observe. Avoid getting at the queue with heavy travelers or families. Always look out for people who carry less and move fast, like you.

Luggage. Go for something simple and with wheels in the middle and a lot of pockets. Don’t fall for the looks. Nobody really cares how your luggage looks really.

Pillows, sheets and other camping gear are only needed when you are going on camping. Flying is a pleasant experience. You get all of these in the plane anyway.

Dress light. If going to somewhere colder, pack your jackets, gloves and hats in your bag. The airports everywhere are quite warm.

Remember: If not moving, travel light. You can buy things you need when you land.