Choosing the Right Audio Amplifiers

Finding the right amplifiers is crucial to getting the absolute most out of your sound system. Whether for the home or car, great movies, music and games simply aren’t the same if the sound doesn’t do them justice. While there are a great variety of amps on the market, there are a few things everyone should be considering first and foremost. Firstly, it’s a good idea to start off with deciding how many amps you need. If you have a range of different speakers in your setup, an amp for each one or a multi-channel amplifier would be a wise choice for maximum performance. Once you’ve settled on that, let’s move on to choosing individual amplifiers.

Power Output

The rule of thumb here is that more power means more volume. Take care, though, as using too much power on your speakers can do them damage. For this reason, we need to match the power output of your amplifier to your speakers. To do this, read the manufacturer information and find an amplifier with an RMS output that matches your speakers’ RMS input as closely as possible.

Total Harmonic Distortion

Put simply, Total Harmonic Distortion or THD, is what most would refer to as sound quality. It’s the amount of difference between what’s coming out of your playback device and what’s coming out of your speakers. Usually given in percentages, a lower percentage means better sound quality. While professional amplifiers can boast a THD of 0.05% or lower, for most consumers a THD level of up to 1% will do the job well.

Physical Design

Especially an issue if you’re buying an amplifier for the sound system in your car, an amp isn’t much use if it’s too big to fit anywhere! While there are lots of amazingly compact amplifiers on the market, you just may end up finding a model perfect for your setup only to find out you don’t have space for it. You should also make sure the amp has enough space for airflow around it, as they can quickly overheat in enclosed spaces. Apart from these few major factors, there are lots of smaller decisions you need to make in order to find the amplifier that’s best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask our friendly store staff if you can try out a range of amps on similar speakers to yours, and anything else you’re unsure of.

Dyson Delivers Revolutionary Convenience

If you want an example of space-age technology being used in even the most mundane applications, you couldn’t do better than Dyson. Company founder James Dyson realised the limitations of conventional vacuum cleaners in 1978. After just a few minutes, the vacuum would rapidly lose suction power. That marked the beginning of a five year journey that would lead to the development of the world’s first cyclonic vacuum cleaner. The centrifugal force inside a Dyson vacuum can reach 100,000 G, or 100,000 times the force of Earth’s gravity. A later innovative development was the Dyson Air Multiplier, which allows air to be circulated inside the vacuum without the need for blades. Each and every year, Dyson improves its designs and looks for new ways to raise the quality of its products to never before seen levels. Ultimately, Dyson doesn’t manufacture products. It creates breakthroughs.

Revolutionary Products

In the span of less than a decade, Dyson changed the way the world looks at vacuum cleaners, fans, and washing machines. Designs that had been in use for well over a century were suddenly seen as inadequate and out-of-date and new designs came into existence that were truly revolutionary. Dyson continues to make use of brilliant researchers throughout the world to create solutions to problems that many weren’t even aware existed. Dyson is a symbol of a new age of technological innovation, a true brand of the future.

Promoting Cleaner, Healthier Homes

Dyson products are all about improving your quality of life. When you use Dyson products, you can enjoy a cleaner home, cleaner clothes, and even cleaner air. Allergy sufferers can finally find relief thanks to the innovative technologies introduced by Dyson. Since the introduction of bagless vacuum technology, vacuum manufacturers around the world have improved their designs to be functional, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient. Today, nearly every modern vacuum on the market utilises some variant of cyclone or air multiplication technology.

Comfort and Style

Dyson fans offer an attractive addition to any contemporary room and can provide cool, clean air without the noise associated with blade fans. All Dyson products are made with your comfort in mind. When you choose Dyson, you are choosing a cleaner, quieter environment that the whole family can enjoy.

Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Even though the calendar says summer is over, we all know the warm days aren’t entirely behind us just yet. In Australia, we’re well aware of how hot things can get and how much home cooling can cost. There are some simple things you can do, however, that will make the summers to come that much more bearable.

Close your curtains and blinds

This is a classic that everyone should be doing. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the day can make a huge difference to the temperature inside your house. By reflecting the sun back out, your house will heat up much more slowly and make coming back home after a hard day’s work a much more pleasant experience. This works even better if you have awnings or trees to block the sun before it even reaches the window.

Watch the humidity

Humidity plays a big part in how we perceive the temperature, as it affects how effectively sweat cools us down. Limiting the activities that introduce moisture into the air is an essential part of maintaining a pleasant atmosphere in your home. Although things such as using a washing machine or dryer, cooking, or ironing won’t usually raise the temperature in your house by much, the steam they create will certainly make it feel several degrees warmer. If you do a lot of these activities, using a dehumidifier can help to keep the air moisture levels in check.

Only use what you need

Even appliances that don’t generate steam still generate heat. Everything from game consoles, televisions and computers to lights will make a difference to the temperature and this is a particular problem in many living rooms with a large number of entertainment devices. That’s why it’s a good idea to turn these all off when you’re not using them.

Check your thermostat

If you have a home cooling system that keeps the house at a constant temperature, try to remove any influences around your thermostat that may give it a false reading. If there are objects near it that generate an unusual amount of heat or cooling in comparison to the rest of the room, the temperature can read as hotter or colder than the room really is. The result is that the system works too hard or not hard enough to maintain ideal conditions.

How Do GPS Navigators Work?

For thousands of years, humans navigated their way around the earth by the sun and the stars. Today, with all the benefits of modern technology, we still look to the sky for direction. From its first iteration in the military to making driving easier for people all over the world, GPS navigation is a great feat of modern ingenuity. Far beyond the range of the naked eye, there are a couple dozen satellites zooming around above our heads. Whenever your GPS navigator is turned on, it’s constantly receiving radio signals from these satellites in order to figure out its current position on the earth’s surface. The way it does this is called ‘trilateration.’ A GPS navigator needs at least three signals from different satellites to calculate its location and at least four to calculate altitude. This is because each satellite is programmed to send out signals at regular intervals. Your GPS navigator already knows when these signals are supposed to be sent out and where in their orbit each satellite is supposed to be at any given time. Knowing how fast the signals travel, the GPS navigator can use the time difference between the signal being sent and when it was received to calculate how far away it is from that particular satellite. So, with your GPS navigator knowing how far it is from one satellite, there’s a whole circle along which it could possibly be. A second signal from a different satellite narrows it down to two points and a third signal eliminates one of them. At last, you get down to a single point on the earth where you can possibly be. As for the maps and street information you use to get around, all that data is already loaded onto the device and simply gets cross-referenced with your geographical position. This process is extremely precise, though. Since it all relies on radio signals which can be blocked, bounced or otherwise affected by the atmosphere, your GPS navigator can get confused depending on the weather or large structures getting in the way. Luckily, while even an error of the smallest fraction of a second in the timing calculation can cause a difference of many kilometres in the final readout, we are typically in view of more than three satellites at any one time, which your GPS navigator cleverly uses to gauge inaccuracies. All this great technology adds up to you getting where you need to go! We think that makes a GPS navigator a pretty good investment.

Should I Buy a Dehumidifier?

The purpose behind a dehumidifier is relatively simple to understand. It lowers the air humidity by condensing and removing moisture from the air. While this might seem to be a rather unusual function to some, the effect this can have on our homes is great, especially during the warmer months. It’s quite common for people to get a dehumidifier purely for comfort reasons because humidity plays an important part in how we perceive the temperature. Since we are cooled by sweat evaporation, if the amount of moisture in the air is high, then that process slows down considerably or could stop entirely. Removing that moisture, then, gets our natural cooling systems working more effectively, reduces that “muggy” feeling, and makes a sweltering day far more bearable. There are some cases, however, where your home might need a dehumidifier. Too much humidity can cause all kinds of effects on just about anything in your home. Wood products (including the house itself) can warp, paints can peel and some metals can accumulate rust. If you see any of these things happening in your home, a dehumidifier may be a good investment simply for the upkeep of your belongings. Regulating the humidity level can also be necessary for health and hygiene reasons. Moulds and fungi generally thrive in high moisture environments and may prove a serious health concern if you or someone in your household is prone to allergies. Many pests prefer an environment with higher humidity – in particular, cockroaches, mosquitoes and spiders are all turned off by low moisture environments. With a dehumidifier you can prevent mould and fungi growing and unwanted visitors showing up in the first place. It’s worth saying, however, that having too little moisture in the air can also be problematic. As well as causing some materials to become brittle, low humidity can irritate the throat or cause dry skin. You should check for humidity-related problems before deciding whether you should purchase a dehumidifier, but being in control of the environment in your home will always be a substantial advantage.

Benefits of Digital Photo Frames

With virtually all mobile phones nowadays featuring some sort of camera, it’s no secret that digital photography has become the new standard and has made it much more convenient for us all to capture those special moments. Of course, that means that the way we showcase our photos is also changing rapidly. If you’re looking to display your photos with a more modern touch, a digital photo frame is definitely the way to go, with a range of advantages over prints.

Always Crisp and Clear

Fading, damage and wear-and-tear are bound to happen to printed photos. Even simple exposure to the sun will make them lose their lustre over time. digital photo frame with backlit screens and full colour displays mean your memories will always light up a room.

Ease of Use

If you’ve ever uploaded your photos to a computer, uploading them onto the digital photo frame will be no problem at all. Without any need to get them developed, printed and framed for each one you like, thousands of your photos are ready to be displayed in a matter of minutes. Often, you won’t even need a computer. Simply remove the memory card from your camera, insert it into the digital photo frame and you’re ready to go.

Freedom to Do More

Speaking of which, forget having to pick and choose which photos deserve to be displayed. How many photos do you have sitting in albums that nobody ever sees for years at a time? The sheer number of photos you can store means your selection is no longer limited by the amount of space on your wall or shelf. You can even get creative with it. Jazz up your photos with an editing program, take many at a time to create a mini-home movie slideshow or have a visual presentation running 24/7 at the reception area of your business. A lifetime isn’t made of a handful of key moments. From yesterday’s barbeque to bringing home a new member of the family, a digital photo frame is an easy, versatile and just plain classy way to relive those special moments. Whether big or small, a whole lifetime of memories is at your fingertips.

Tips for Choosing the Right Air Conditioner

To relax in comfort during the intense Australian summer, an air conditioner is a must have appliance for every home. With so many brands and styles of air conditioners available, how can you be sure that the unit you are considering is the right one to suit your needs?  Whether you are thinking about upgrading your current appliance or choosing your first air conditioner, here are a few important points to factor into your decision. Area size Consider the size of the area you want to cool and match it to the most appropriate type of air conditioner.  The bigger the room, the more powerful an air conditioner will need to be in order to cool it. Failing to properly match the air conditioner’s capacity with the size of the area to be cooled will cost you money: if the unit is too small it will have to work harder and use more energy but if it is too big you will be wasting money on capacity you do not need. However, it’s often the case that you want to cool your entire home at some times and only sections of it at other times. This makes portable or split system air conditioners excellent options. Both offer the ability and versatility to control which areas of your home you want to cool, saving you on running costs. Energy Efficiency Inverter air conditioners use 30% less electricity than older conventional models, making the cost of upgrading your system well worth it.  Inverters operate by gently increasing or decreasing power as required to maintain a steady temperature without fluctuations, which means that they cool quickly and evenly, while being quiet and energy efficient. As wall-mounted units tend to be more powerful than portable units, they can cool larger areas more efficiently. Noise Wall mounted units are one part of a split-system air conditioner. As the name implies, this type of air conditioner is split into two separate parts.  The cooling part of the system is installed in the home’s interior, while the compressor unit and motor fan are kept on the building’s exterior.  The objective behind split systems is to remove the noise and heat generated by the unit from the users inside the house. Since a portable unit’s compressor and fan is located inside the room, these kinds of air conditioners are louder than split systems, which is definitely something to keep in mind if white noise gets on your nerves. By doing a bit of research beforehand, you’ll be much more likely to find the air conditioner to suit your particular needs.

SLR vs DSLR Cameras

If you are a serious shutterbug or looking to get serious about photography, selecting the right camera to execute your craft is one of the most important purchasing decisions you will make. Buying a quality single-lens reflex (SLR) camera is essential for anyone looking to delve into the more technical aspects of photography. So, what separates SLRs from their compact counterparts? In regular cameras, there are two optical light paths from the subject to the camera: one path leading to the lens and the other to the viewfinder. Since the lens and viewfinder aren’t on the same optical path, the photo you capture won’t be exactly what you are seeing through the viewfinder. SLR cameras contain a moving mirror system that allows you to capture exactly what you are seeing through the viewfinder. It is for this reason that professional photographers, who require greater precision and quality in their images, use SLR rather than regular cameras. SLRs are also the tool of choice by professionals because, unlike regular point and shoot models, they allow you to customise your camera to suit your individual requirements with a variety of accessories such as interchangeable filters and lenses. The next decision you will need to make is whether you stick with film or go digital. While the advent of digital technology has made taking great shots much easier for even the photography novice, most old-school photographers maintain their orthodox devotion to film. The major difference between a digital SLR and the traditional SLR is that the latter saves the images captured on film rather than a digital storage method such as an SD card. Because the storage medium if different, so too are the cameras’ image sensors. In SLR cameras, the light shining through the lens is projected directly onto 35mm film whereas DLSRs contain a CCD or CMOS imaging sensor that captures light and coverts it into digital data. One advantage of the digital type SLR over the film-based version is that images can be stored on reusable memory cards that have the capacity to store hundreds or even thousands of images. With digital storage, the cost of film and processing can be avoided. Instead, you just print the images you want. Another advantage of DLSR cameras over their traditional counterparts is that most now come with an LCD screen. This allows you review your pictures straight after taking them instead of waiting to get your film developed. So, if your photo doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, you can make the necessary setting modifications immediately and reshoot the scene. Film also determines the light sensitivity of the camera. So, if you are shooting with ISO 400 film, you are unable to change your light sensitivity until you have finished the whole roll. With a DSLR, you have the advantage of simply adjusting the ISO with the push of a button, helping to extend you creative control.

Must-Have Tools for Aspiring Photographers

Do you love photography? Would you like to get more serious about it but aren’t quite sure what you’ll need to do so? Decking yourself out with the right equipment is a good place to start. There are certain basic tools that every photographer should have. Here’s a brief guide to the bare essentials you will need to get started.
Camera
Invest in a basic digital single-lens reflect (DSLR) camera body. While these are bulkier than regular compact digital cameras, they provide better picture quality. Look for a camera that is well made and comfortable to hold. The camera should also have a manual override to enable you to adjust the focus, shutter speed and aperture to your own settings.
Try to find one with the largest image sensor and that provides the greatest picture resolution (measured in megapixels) for your budget but don’t go all out on a professional level camera just yet – you can always upgrade later. If you’re going to spend big on anything at this stage, you’d be better putting your money toward some quality lenses and accessories.
Lens
Different lenses are suitable for shooting different subjects. Macro lenses are used for taking close-up shots and wide aperture lenses are best for photographing panoramic scenes.
The first lens you purchase should be the one best suited to your current needs. So, if you are mostly taking close-up photos of flowers, you will just need a macro lens for now.
Lens Filters
Lens filters reduce the glare caused by reflective surfaces and the sun. They are also used to modify picture quality and increase colour saturation. With each lens you purchase, you will need to get an appropriate filter.
There are several varieties of filters and each has a different effect: • Neutral filters reduce the effect of bright lights • UV filters brighten an image • Warm or cool filters are used to alter a shot’s white balance.
Light Metre
An area’s luminosity is measured using a light metre. It helps the photographer to determine whether they need to modify the shutter speed, aperture or ISO setting. Using the reading provided by the light metre a photographer can make the necessary adjustments in order to capture a great shot even in darker lighting conditions.
Tripod
A tripod is a must-have for any budding photographer. Whether you’re trying to capture a stationary or moving subject, a tripod will help to prevent camera movement to ensure you take the sharpest photo possible. Alongside stability, tripods also provide elevation and support for heavy equipment such as telephoto lenses.
Since photography is an expensive hobby, it is better to slowly build-up your arsenal of equipment as your skills and knowledge improve.