Tech News and Commentary
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Philip in Shreveport, Louisiana listens on 710 KEEL and is calling in using our free App and asked: “Wanted to know more about cell phone power boosters. I have one in my truck, but for some reason, I can’t really tell if it’s working. How do you check for that?”
Philip, the only real test is to see if your signal is better or not when you use it.
If this one is in your truck then odds are that sometimes its helping because theres a little bit of a signal but not enough for your phones antenna, and its boosting it enough to be usable, but trucks move so sometimes theres probably not enough of a signal to boost and other times theres probably no benefit in using it because the signal was good to begin with.
Signal boosters are powered devices, theres the antenna but theres also a repeater that needs to be plugged into power to be able to operate.
If you want to know if the booster is having an effect just unplug it when you think your signal may be low and look at your phones bars.
If they stay the same, then its probably not helping, but if they drop or you completely lose service then your device was having an effect.
Son in Houston, Texas listens to the Free Podcast, brought to you by Blubrry and asked: “I’m in the process of getting an air-conditioner for my living room. I’m kinda confused between the mini-split system and the window unit. I’d like to know which is better and what the plus and minus of both of them.”
Son, the better system depends on your needs and how much you want to commit. The window unit obviously wins easiest installation, you can secure it to the window frame yourself in a few minutes, after that plug it in and you’re ready to go.
The split unit will have an inside blower and an outside compressor, you will need to punch a hole through a wall to connect the two and depending on how your house is set up you may need to hang the outside unit on a wall.
The split unit is much better in terms of noise, the noisy part is outside your house rather than half in/half out, and it allows you to keep your windows closed. That last part is also why they tend to be more efficient than window units, and in the Houston summer you will probably notice that.
The window unit can easily be pulled and stored or moved to another location and does minimal damage to any structure, so if you’re renting and think you may be moving soon, it may be a safer way to go if you want your security deposit back.
Dennis in Slidell, Louisiana”I can use Google Maps, but I’m a truck driver and Google Maps sometimes sends me on roads I can’t be on. Is there a good Google Maps out there? And I would also like one that showed radar, so I know when it’s raining.”
Dennis, there are GPS-like apps made specifically for truckers. Look into something like Hammer, TruckMap, or Trucker Path.
They’re all designed for professional drivers with the kinds of needs and restrictions than everyday car drivers don’t need to deal with like finding weight stations, finding diesel and spotting the best prices, etc.
We haven’t seen any that incorporates a weather radar as a map overlay, so you may need to keep a weather app handy for that task, but you should at least be able to enjoy routing that applies to the size and weight of vehicle you’re driving and be able to find some extra information that applies to you and your needs without having to buy a physical truck GPS like a Garmin dezl
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