Buying a wi-fi router these days is no easy task. Long gone arethe days where one model rose above the rest: now there are routers with different features, some that focus on range, others that focus on speed, and still others with advanced features like NAS support and traffic shaping options. This week we’re going to take a look at five of the bestHome wi-fi routers, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week, we asked you which wireless routers you thought were the bestfor customization, range, signalstrength, and features. You responded with more nominees than we could feature here, but a few models really rose out of the pack and were your clear favorites. Here they are:
The venerable Linksys WRT54G has long been one of the most hackable wireless routers on the market, and while they’re a little trickier to come by these days, they’re still widely available and if you can get your hands on one, you won’t find another router that supports both the DD-WRT and Tomatoalternate router firmwares better and more smoothly. Even though it’s an 802.11g model and lacks 802.11n, and the range and speed of some of its more modern rivals, it’s a rock solid router with a well earned fan base. It may be end-of-life from Linksys’ perspective, but they do keep a well-updated support pagededicated to it. There’s a reason this model has its own entry here.
A number of you nominated the Apple Airport Extreme and Airport Express for their simple configuration, minimal design, and remarkably low price point for what you get. It’s not terribly hackable, and you’re not going to buy an Airport model and go home planning to install custom firmware, but you will be able to slip an Airport Express in your pocket or suitcase and be able to set up or extend a wireless network anywhere you go (or plug it into any set of speakers to make them Airplay compatible), and you will be able to set up an Airport Extreme in a matter of minutes and have a cozy dual band 802.11n blanket over your whole house. The Express sports a pair of 10/100 Ethernet ports on the back, and the Extreme boasts four gigabit Ethernet ports for other devices. Both offer USB ports for connected devices like printers or (in the case of the Extreme) NAS devices. If you want a truly fire-and-forget router, the Airport Extreme is a good choice.
Netgear has come a long way, and its N-series (also known by their model numbers, WNDRXXXX) wireless routers are proof. PC Mag issued the N750/WNDR4000an Editor’s Choice award (and I’m a happy owner of one!) and the N900/WNDR4500 is one of the most powerful and speedy dual-band 802.11n home routers on the market today. Many of Netgear’s N-series routers are compatible with DD-WRT, but even if you’re not the type to flash your router’s firmware, Netgear’s own firmware offers quality-of-service controls, advanced access and parental controls, support for dynamic DNS, advanced wireless security options, and offer support for NAS devices and printers connected via USB. They range in price, and many of the better ones are definitely on the high-end, but in this case you get what you pay for.
You may not think of ASUS when you think of wireless routers, especially if you haven’t purchased a router in several years, but the ASUS RT series, specifically the ASUS RT-N56 and RT-N66 models, combine great features and sharp looks into a networking package that offers dual-band 802.11n, support for connected devices like printers and NAS devices via USB, and some of the strongest signal strength and range available. Plus, most of ASUS’s models support builds of DD-WRT or Tomato, so if you want even more control over the router’s features, it’s readily available to you. The RT-N66 even has detachable antennae that you can swap out for higher-powered versions that you can either buy (like the Mohu Bounce) or build yourself.
When Linksys started to phase out the WRT54G series, they started to direct customers to the E Series—their easy-to-configure (and sharp-looking) replacement models. Every member of the E Series is an 802.11n router, and many of you praised them—specifically the E4200—for their blend of features, simple setup, range and signal strength, and the fact that many of the E-series routers are compatible with DD-WRT, so you can flash the firmware and get even more features once the router is set up the way you like. Linksys’ price point is attractive as well, and even if you opt not to flash the firmware, you can very affordably buy a router that takes moments to set up and needs little maintenance after the fact. It doesn’t hurt that many of Cisco’s routers specifically support household features like VoIP and traffic shaping for things like torrents, putting some relatively advanced features in the hands of people who may have been intimidated by them before.
Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all out vote to decide the winner!
What’s The Best Home Wi-Fi Router? (Poll Closed)
Total Votes: 12,179
No honorable mentions this week, as the next one down the line had fewer than half the nominations of the least nominated member of the top five, but if you think your favorite model got shortchanged, let us knowwhy in the comments below! Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it’s not because we hate it—it’s because it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!
the ‘90s were undoubtedly the nadir of the NBA slam-dunk contest, but few can deny that the decade didn’t start with one of the competition’s most memorable moments. In 1991, 6’1” Celtics rookie Dee Brown knelt down to squeeze the tongues of his Reebok Pumps, then covered his face with his right arm to slam home a no-look dunk, sealing his victory over Shawn Kemp!
It’s easyto forget about your body’s needs when you’re deep into your work or the net—until your body offers a painful reminder. Save your physical shell some strain with these cheap, customizable ergonomic workspace upgrades.
Your neck can’t text you to explain how annoying it is to have to keep looking down at your laptop. Over time it will let you know, though, in a nagging, painful way. If your laptop is your day-to-day work machine, elevate it to eye level using any one of a number of clever solutions. Perhaps one among our Top 10 laptop stands will do the trick, or a built-to-fit DIY pipe stand. Any of them are better than imagining yourself as a hunched old man or woman, constantly warning the neighborhood kids to sit up straight and look ahead.
It’s hard to slouch when you’re not in a seat. To help your body benefit from your upright instinct, and give your lower body a break from sitting, work a standing desk into your workspace. You can go for it in a big way, like with this handcrafted setup, stick with something as simple as a $20 model or a surface on a storagerack. If you want to go really fancy, you could try a treadputer or something like this adjustable desk. It doesn’t have to be your only desk, either—just a break room for your butt.
How your back, neck, and joints fare over eight hours of work can be influenced by how they spent eight hours in bed. Give your body a better night’s sleep by catching up on Lifehack.org’s pain and posture basics. According to the post, the standard, no-pain position to shoot for is “on your side, knees bent, pillow between the knees, and your head resting on a single pillow,” or on your back with one pillow under your knees and one under your head. You might need to leave out an element or two from that ideal if you’ve got a hard-set sleeping habit, but it’s worth considering a switch-up. Photo by james.thompson. (Original post).
If you’ve stuck with your mouse and keyboard just because your desktop came with them, we feel for you. If you’ve been using a laptop at a desk without an external mouse or keyboard, we’re in tears. Invest in the tools your hands spend thousands of hours on every year by perusing the best mouse recommendations from Lifehacker readers and their ultimate keyboard picks. All of them are designed with a good hand feel and better functionality in mind. Consider your hand comfort worth five cents an hour? You’ll amortize these puppies in no time.
Adam’s had his problems with hand, wrist, and back pain from repetitive stress and other conditions at his workspace, and a few years ago, he decided to set up a healthy, usable workspace to get back in shape. His post is a front-to-back assessment of what healthy working spaces should include, but his basic sitting setup involves keeping your elbows bent near 90 degrees, keeping a mouse comfortably within reach of a keyboard, avoiding slouching, and keeping a monitor at eye level, between 18-28 inches from your face.
You don’t have to have Bob-Vila-level woodworking skills to craft your own workspace—after all, college students have been laying doors on cinder blocks for years. To make an actually ergonomic desk from medium-density fibreboard, you need two power tools (your neighbor has them if you don’t), time enough to sketch and plan your cuts, and measurements to know how high you should set up the legs, so your monitor is at eye level and you’ve got just enough room for everything you’re working with. When you’re done, you can paint or stain it whatever color you’d like, and when your friends ask where you got that desk, well, you know the answer. (Original post)
You can do a lot to prevent stress and pain in your hands working at a computer all day, but you’ll almost inevitably have bad days full of overly long hours, and, over the long haul, risk sidling yourself with repetitive strain injury (RSI). Percussionist David Kuckhermann knows a thing or two about repetitive wrist and forearm strain, as does RSI expert Sherry Smith, and they both recommend and demonstrate a few simple exercises that can ward off and heal the effects of working your hands into knots. (Original post)
3. Fine-tune your desk spacing
Are you the type that busts out the tape measure whenever you’re putting anything up on the wall? For setting up your workspace with proper distances and heights between yourself and your computer tools, ergonomic goods firm Ergotron offers an ergonomic workspace planner that, once you enter your height, gives up the details on suggested seat heights, monitor heights and distances, and keyboard shelves. If you’re thinking about working in a standing desk, they’ve got measurements for that, too. (Original post)
It’s great that you’re dedicated to pushing out this project on time, but unless your deadline’s right this hour and you need every second, you should be stepping back occasionally to give your wrists, eyes, and arms a rest—and maybe even read something off-screen, while you’re at it. If mental reminders aren’t enough, apps like AntiRSI and Timeout for Macs, and Workrave for Windows and Linux, force you, in differing levels of subtlety, to take a break and physically remove your hands from the keyboard every so often. (Original posts: AntiRSI, WorkRave, Time Out)
1. Go easy on your eyes
Eye strain is particularly bad news for those who write (code, copy, or anything else) or assemble things on a computer all day—it hits you right in what feels like your brain, and makes concentration terribly hard. Two simple solutions are to turn on ClearType and increase your monitor refresh rate in Windows systems, or install a serious protection scheme like EyeDefender. Reader’s Digest suggests other easy eye fixes, like keeping your monitor slightly below eye level to bring less glare into your retinas. And simply using a darker desktop theme is often a nice first step toward reducing the amount of time you feel like you’re staring into a flashlight with words written on it.
What improvements, big or small, have made the greatest difference in your workspace health? Pass on the knowledge in the comments.
As a traveler, I’ve learned to equate ice with travel delays and closed roads. When I worked at a party planning company, I associated ice sculptures with decoration for swanky weddings.
I didn’t think of ice as more than a hassle for traveling or kissing swans that are gone by the end of the wedding reception, but there are festivals, contests, and exhibitions for ice sculptures that showcase how frozen water can be made into art. Here are 24 exceptional ice sculptures from around the world.
1. They’re not messing around at the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China. The festival comes from the tradition of ice lanterns in the Qing Dynasty: the local peasants and fishermen made lanterns by pouring water into a bucket that was then put out in the open to freeze. It was then warmed before the water completely froze so the bucket-shaped ice could be pulled out. A hole was chiseled in the top and the water remaining inside poured out, creating a hollow vessel. A candle was then placed inside making a windproof lantern. (Travel China Guide)
2. Standing guard: a British soldier in front of Big Ben along the Champs Elysées in Paris in 2010.
Photo: Alexandre Marchand
3. A traditional temple at the 2008 Harbin festival.
Photo: Strudel Monkey
4. “The Capital of Japan: Tokyo” from the 2007 annual Winterlude festival in Ottawa, Canada.
The sculpture was carved by master Ice Carver: Junichi Nakamura. Junichi Nakamura was assisted by Ka Wai Wong, member of the Canadian Ice Carvers Society.
5. A sprawling and elaborately lit ice temple at night from the 2009 Harbin Festival.
6. Angel statue from the Ice & Snow Sculpture Exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany in 2005.
9. A Russian bear in Canada. “The Capital of Russia: Moscow” at the Winterlude festival: carved by Master Ice Carver: Vladimir Zhikhartsev and assisted by Kevin Ashe, member of the Canadian Ice Carver’s Society.
<strong>25. NFL beer Pong table Is Pure Hypocrisy — Prior to the start of the 2009 NFL season I spotted that the NFL and Other retailers were selling officially licenced beer pong tables complete with NFL team logos. This blatant hypocrisy by the NFL encouraging “responsible tailgating and respectful behavior from its fans” yet they are willing to sell something that encourages binge drinking needed to be called out. A number of follow up posts came out after this one but the original post took in the most visitors and was linked to by other websites the most.
24.The Bucket list For Tailgaters — An oldie but a goodie, this was posted back in 2008. It sparked huge controversy in regards to which locations were included and which ones were left off. Until we ran a comments contest to win a Home Depot Gift Card, this post was the reigning comment king with over 20 comments on this post.
23.The 14 Tailgaters Who Annoy the Crap Out of You — Last year’s undisputed champion of traffic generators, this year it slips all the way back to No. 13. That’s to be expected seeing how the post was published over 18 months ago. It still reeled in over 6,000 visitors over the course of 2009 and continues to get links in forums and message boards as new visitors discover this site. As far as one of our humor pieces goes, this has to be our best effort.
22.Super Bowl Watchparty Essential: The Stadium Pal — This was the first posting of 2009 to gain a link out from the coveted Sports Illustrated hot Clicks section. The post basically describes a contraption that allows men to strap it to themselves and relieve themselves into a collection bag without ever leaving the couch. perfect for a Super Bowl party when you don’t want to get up and miss the game by hitting the bathroom or worse, coming back to find someone has claimed your favorite comfy chair.
21.Play Beer Pong Anywhere with Port-O-Pong Inflatable Beer Pong Table — The oldest post that still makes the list year in and year out is the product review of the Port-o-Pong inflatable Beer Pong Table. This post was published back in October 2007 and still took in over 8,600 views two years later. I still contend that a hot girl with a big rack holding up a beer pong table will bring in the eyeballs any day.
19.Boycott Concessions at ACC Championship Game — One of the readers of this site had emailed us and it was the inspiration for this post. Apparently those in charge of running Raymond James Stadium in Tampa have a disregard for tailgaters. The ACC Championship Game was being played there and despite pleas from both Georgia Tech and Clemson fans, the stadium management refused to open the parking lots early to accommodate them. A group of fans called for a boycott of all stadium food and concessions sold inside in order get the attention of those in power. We just used the power of the internet to help spread the word in support of this action. Many read this post via incoming links from supporting fan forums and message boards.
18.video: Nike Commercial Parody – Beer Pong — This was a YouTube video that was a parody of those overly dramatic Nike commercials. Instead of being a finely tuned athlete running stadium stairs in the dead of winter, this parody showcased a beer pong player’s training regime and his determination to be the best. This particular post hit the front page of Digg and blew up from there. Here is the video if you missed the original posting.
17.buy Tailgating games — When we find new tailgating games that you just can’t find anywhere else, we test them out and if they meet our high standards, we offer them for sale directly from TailgatingIdeas.com. This page organizes those games you won’t find in stores in one easy to find location. I guess you people when browsing the web are looking for new and unique tailgating games which can all be found in here.
16.Bud light Rolls Out “Tailgate Approved” Marketing Campaign — By now I am sure you have seen all of the commercials Bud Light bombarded us with during the college and NFL football season. The premise of the ad campaign was the over-the-top character “Jimmy Football” doing these infomercials for tailgating products. Think more like Billy Mayes if he were trying to get you to buy a cooler that turns into a grill. When it was all said and done, this article ranked in the major search engines No. 2 for the term “Tailgate Approved”. So while Bud Light was paying millions of dollars to advertise on TV, we were raking in those people searching Google and Yahoo for “tailgate approved” items to buy.
15.Tailgaters, This Is Why The NFL Hates You — This post consisted of a YouTube video of some drunken Cleveland Browns fan tailgating in the Muni Lot. The thing that made this video extraordinary was the fact that he climbed on top of a port-a-potty, poured a full beer over his head and started stripping off his clothes and throwing them into the gathering crowd. At one point he dances a drunken jig that almost has him falling off the port-a-potty onto his head. It was like watching a train wreck but you couldn’ help yourself from looking. I originally posted it as graphic example as to why the NFL wants to limit tailgating times because people abuse alcohol and act stupidly. Instead it was picked up by Digg (submitted and made popular by Steven of the popular humor blog, stevenhumour.com) and in poured over 14,000 visitors in the course of three hours. It’s a good thing we switched host servers by that time because that kind of traffic in a short amount of time would have definitely killed our old servers. Here is the video for those to lazy to click on the link above.
14.Off Topic: Top 15 Most Quotable Movies — Inspired by Kareem Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s epic fail on Celebrity Jeopardy where he missed on a movie quote he himself uttered in the movie Airplane!, we compiled this list of the 15 most quotable movies. Obviously it created some controversy and discussion as to why a particular movie was left off the list but maybe in 2010 we’ll put together a second list. This post was also linked to by Sports Illustrated pumping its traffic numbers to over 15,000 page views.
12.Buy Tailgating gear — You people sure like your tailgating gadgets and supplies. This page was the most popular article visited in 2009 and wraps up all the tailgating gear and items you can buy directly from TailgatingIdeas.com. As we discover new and unique tailgating gear, we test them out personally and if they are quality and help tailgaters tailgate better, we offer them for sale. This particular article just groups all those items into one easy to browse page showcasing the items with a brief description and image. So chalk it up to the power of the internet search engines doing their jobs because this article reeled in the most eyeballs, 21,661 when it was all said and done, all year.
When it comes to new tailgating gear coming onto the market, the month of September is the time to do it. Common sense would draw the conclusion that companies use the start of football season and the enthusiasm that comes with it to carry over to the launch of their products. That said, we had quite a few tailgating products and games to check out in September and here they are:
11.The GrillGrate — The GrillGrate is a series of 13.75″ x 5.25″ interlocking anodized aluminum panels that create a new cooking surface for your grill. The interlocking Design allows you to connect as many of the panels as you would like. The panels are designed in such a way to allow perfect searing but avoid burning of many foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fish, and even pasta. This is accomplished by using a raised rail design that focuses most of the grill’s heat through those rails. In addition to this, the rails are spaced in such a way that by using The GrateTool, you can go underneath your food and pick straight up rather than try and jam a spatula underneath. The bottom of the GrillGrate has spaced elliptical holes for excess liquid to fall through, but also reduces flareups. The areas between those holes allows the fats and juices to sizzle and steam. The steam naturally moves upward and contacts the food, restoring some of the flavor that has leaked out.
should you decide they aren’t for you, they offer a 30 day, no questions asked warranty. You can’t argue with that. For all the advantages with no obvious disadvantages, the GrillGrate gets the TailgatingIdeas.com stamp of approval.
10.Clear view Propane Tanks — Since starting TailgatingIdeas.com over three years ago, I have come across a number of products that have made me say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?”. I’ve also discovered tailgating gear that has made me say, “Why didn’t they think of this sooner?”. Clear View Propane Tanks By Ragasco fall into both the “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” and the “Why didn’t they think of this sooner?” categories. Truly a remarkable product with 100% upside and zero downside for tailgaters who choose to grill with propane.
Simply stated, Clear View Propane Tanks by Ragasco are translucent composite fiberglass propane tanks with a protective outer plastic casing. Safer than steel propane tanks, the Clear View Propane Tank will not rust, has a wider base than steel cylinders and when empty, is 50% lighter than old fashioned propane cylinders. The best part is that the composite fiberglass allows you to see the fuel level inside, ensuring you will never run out of gas. By actually seeing how much propane is left in your cylinder you’ll never have to guess how much is left in the tank by picking it up and feeling how much is in there.
Clear View Propane Tanks are:
• Lightweight in design and is 50% lighter than steel
• Translucent cylinder provides visible fuel level so you won’t run out unexpectedly
• Easy to transport design has ergonomic handle and tip-proof, flat base
• Corrosion-free, non-marring material keeps your vehicle and tailgating space clean
• Proven safety — fire-tested cylinder will never burst
• UL approved OPD valve
• d.O.T. approved for safety
In all honesty, I am failing to see how a steel propane tank would ever be better than one of these. The price of a Clear View Propane Tank might scare you off at $99 plus shipping. Then again, consider these tanks will never rust or corrode over time. You could buy a Clear View Propane Tank today and still be using it tailgating 15 years from now. I doubt anyone would want to take a 15 year old steel propane tank tailgating with them no matter how well they took care of it.
Because this product is brand new to the American market, the 20 lb. standard sized cylinders are currently on sale. The smaller, 10 lb. tanks will be coming soon. To get your Clear View LPG Tank, visit shop.tailgatingideas.com. The price of each tank is $99 plus $10 shipping. Buy two or more and we’ll waive the shipping fee on all tanks. To get your own Clear View Propane Tank, click HERE.
7. Willy Washers — Tailgating games are as much of a part of tailgating as are grills and the food you serve. Washers is an extremely popular tailgating game but there are some hazards to playing washers while tailgating. Retrieving errantly thrown washers or just the constant bending over and picking up the washers that did land in game box can be back breaking. I know a lot of tailgaters that choose not to play washers strictly because they have back problems. I recently discovered a new product that will have those that have sworn off washers in the past, playing washers again. It’s called Willy Washers Pick-Em-Up stick and Caddy.
Willy Washers is a retractable, magnetic stick that retrieves washers without having to bend over or get on your knees. The stick extends to about 30″ and easily picks up washers with its magnetic tip. The caddy portion of the Willy Washers will hold your washers tightly when not in play. It also retracts up small enough to fit in your game box when not in use. Another cool feature is the hook on the back of Willy Washers allows you to hang it from your back pocket, off your belt loop, a nearby fence, car door handle, etc. and stays easily within arm’s reach. The magnet on the end of Willy Washers is plenty strong too. Take a look at their video of Willy Washers in action.
I would highly recommend Willy Washers to any tailgater that likes to play washers and wants an easier way to pick up thrown washers. Now you don’t have to dread if a washer rolls under a car. Get a Willy Washers and you can grab the washer without having to crawl on your hands and knees on a dirty parking lot.
Willy Washers is normally priced at $19.95 plus shipping. In honor of football season and of course tailgating season, Willy Washers is being offered at a special price of 20% off plus free shipping when you select the free shipping option in checkout. To buy one or two, make sure to visit their home page, playwasherswithwilly.com, and select which Willy Washers you prefer. From each individual Willy page, you can then add it to your cart. If you do end up buying a Willy Washers, make sure to let them know you heard about their product from TailgatingIdeas.com.
The Freedom Flask — First on the scene was the Floppy Flask then The Beer Belly and Booze Belly and even the Wine Rack. Other stealth and concealable drinking devices include Disposable Flask, the The Body Bottle and most recently we reviewed The Bootlegger. So when I was approached by the folks at Freedom Flask to review their product, I was a bit skeptical. After all, we’ve seen this type of thing before ad nauseum. The only way to be considered the best brand in the space is to either be the first on the market or to improve on previous versions so much that all the predecessors then become obsolete. Although the Freedom Flask may not be the first on the scene I believe they have built a better mousetrap than those who have tried previously.
In looking at the photo, you’ll probably say, “Big deal. It looks like a Floppy Flask or a Booze Belly”. That’s true but the design of the Freedom Flask has take that concept and improved upon their shortcomings. There are two major flaws with both the Floppy Flask and the Booze Belly.
1) The rectangular shape and wearing it around your stomach/mid-section area 2) The drain valve is located at the corner of the flask.
First, let’s hit on the drain valve flaw. Once you’ve had a few tall ones and start to run empty, you have to lean your whole body over to the side and jump up and down slightly in order to pour out the last drops into your cup. The Booze Belly added the hose extension, but it doesn’t solve the issue of having to lean over to get the last bit out.
The rectangular shape does not have a natural body shape to it. Most guys I know that have a little beer gut do not have a layer of fat in the shape of a rectangle. This shape and the location of wearing it around your stomach enables easier detection.
6. The Freedom Flask has taken the overall concept of these previous designs and made simple but far reaching improvements. Improvement No. 1: Offering a curved bottom edge to allow all of the liquid to drain directly into the drain valve until completely empty. Improvement No. 2: Placing the drain valve in the middle of the flask so it lines up perfectly with your zipper. Instead of wearing the Freedom Flask around your stomach, it tucks into the top of your pants or shorts. I have been through my share of security pat downs and never has anyone patted me there. Check out this two minute demo video of how to use the Freedom Flask properly.
The Freedom Flask is manufactured right here in the USA which is not the case with some of the other game day flasks on the market. I am sure they would probably be able to manufacture them more cheaply in China or Mexico but the makers of Freedom Flask feel very strongly about manufacturing them here in the USA.
A single Freedom Flask will run you $24.99 plus shipping. Orders of multiple units range from buy 2 for $23.75 each, buy 3 for $22.49 each, buy 6 for $21.25 each or buy 12 for $19.99 each and get free shipping.
In all honesty, with the prices of food and drinks in the stadium, buying one Freedom Flask could pay for itself on your first time using it. Wash and rinse it out after use and the next time the money you’ll have saved can go towards other tailgating gear.
To learn more about the Freedom Flask or to buy one, visit their website: FreedomFlask.com
Keg-A-Que Football Grill — The latest product that Chris had a chance to sample(and now review and introduce to you) was the Keg-a-Que Propane Football Grill. In the end the product performed very similar to the play of the Philadelphia Eagles QBs. The start wasn’t too great, but the end was certainly a lot better.
5. During football tailgates we usually pack up the “full-size” grill from the back yard. The larger grill allows for more food to be cooked in a shorter amount of time. But given the opportunity to sample and review the Keg-a-Que Propane Football Grill we decided to go portable for Sunday’s tailgate.
Prior to jumping ahead to the actual tailgate and use of the grill I wanted to first provide some feedback on the assembly of the Football Grill.
Yes, I realize that putting together a grill isn’t rocket science and should be pretty self explanatory and easy to assemble. Despite this fact I was disappointed with the lack of assembly instructions provided with the grill. The written instructions were sparse and the various parts and screws were not numbered or labeled (I was even missing two washers for connection of the handles). Even more frustrating was the fact that the “straight” grill handles were being screwed into the curved areas of the grill. The end result was handles that did not have fully inserted screws. Regardless, everything was securely put together within 30 minutes.
The next step in the process was attaching the portable propane tank. Not wanting to screw myself the day of the game (while in the parking lot) I did some testing from the house. What I found out was that despite securely attaching the propane tank to the grill it didn’t always ignite. To get the grill lite it required a “perfect” attachment of the propane tank to the grill. After two consecutive, successful starts of the grill I was confident that there would be no issues come Sunday (I had mastered the required “perfect attachment).
Well so much for being a master of the attaching!
When we went to go start the grill on Sunday, in the parking lot, we couldn’t get the grill to start. Thankfully Pops and I are persistent (plus we had shrimp and steak that needed to be cooked) and after about 5 minutes and several attempts at attaching the propane tank we were finally able to get the grill going and the food cooking.
On to the good news… once the grill was started, I was very impressed. In a few minutes the grill was hot and the food was cooking. Adjusting the level of the flames was easy and worked without issue. The grill grate was large enough to cook both the steak and shrimp together. The flame and heat were evenly distributed over the grate, resulting in perfectly cooked / grilled food.
After enjoying the grub, the grill continued with positive marks for clean-up. The various pieces of the grill were easy to remove, clean, and then reassemble for packing back into the car. If only the end result of that day’s Eagles’ game had a similar, positive ending!
4. As you can see the Keg-a-Que Propane Football Grill had some ups and some downs. But with the low cost of the product (regularly $69.99 but on sale right now for $59.49) that is to be expected. And maybe there was some human error in the attachment of the propane tank or maybe this particular grill was a one-off. Regardless, if you are looking for an inexpensive, portable grill for the occasional tailgate I would still recommend going with the Football Grill.
3. Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler — As even an amateur tailgater will tell you, keeping your food and beverages cold on your way to and during your tailgate party is of the utmost importance. The most common form of transporting and keeping tailgating food and drink cold has been the old fashioned ice chest. The trusty old cooler that you fill with ice and you’ll eventually end up tossing out at the end of the day because it is either melted or no longer needed. What if there was a tailgating cooler out there that kept your food and beverages refrigerator cold and dry and you no longer had to buy ice? There is and it called the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler
I was sent a sample of the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler and I was impressed right from the start. The instructions manual was a single sheet of paper. I like things that are simple to understand. And honestly, the only reason it was that big was because it had instructions in both English and French. The Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler is very simple. You plug the cooler connection into the connection that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Because it works just like a refrigerator blowing cold air, you’ll want to have it plugged in for a few minutes to get it cold first. Much like placing items in a brand new fridge that has not been running, for maximum benefit, you want the cooler to be cold first. Then all you do is transfer those items you want to keep cold into the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler and you are good to go tailgating. If the cooler is loaded with warm items, it will take quite a while for the cooler to do all the work to cool them down. So it is suggested that you placed already chilled items in the Koolatron cooler.
The Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler also has the capacity to get hot as well. Just reverse the polarity of the connection to the red dot, and you are keeping items hot on your way to the tailgate party. Again, all you need is to make sure you have it plugged into your car’s power outlet and you are good to go. The things I liked best about the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler is that it worked well, kept items cool on the way to and during the tailgate, there was no clean up or getting rid of unmelted ice and the best part, I saved money but not having to buy any ice. By using the power that my car battery was already producing, I not only saved money but this could be considered a “green” product. By using the power of my car battery I was saving water by not purchasing a 10 lb. bag of ice.
The price on the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler is normally $199 but right now they are running a sale. You can get the Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler for $169.15 plus free UPS or FedEx shipping. To get your own Koolatron 52 Quart 12V Cooler visit CompactAppliance.com or just simply click HERE.
2. Monster Pong — Although I, nor any of the writers and contributors to tailgatingideas.com have not personally tested this game out it does look to be challenging and quite fun. We can not personally vouch for the craftsmanship or durability or portability of the game. With that said, it does warrant a look as a possible new tailgating game.
The game is called Monster Pong. From what I can gather from the website, Moster Pong can be played with up to six players or just two. The individual Monster Pong board has an angled playing surface, guitar pick shape and a goal recessed cup. Rather than trying to win points, players face off directly and fight to retain their starting 12 point score. I came across a video on YouTube showing how the game is played.
The cost of a Monster Pong game set which includes two (2) boards, two (2) paddles and two (2) balls for $129.95. It doesn’t say if that price includes shipping or not.
1.Tailgater Strap — Many tailgaters choose propane to power their grills. For those that choose to use 20 or even 30 lb. propane tanks, transporting them can be a real hassle. Whether they are full or empty, propane tanks sliding around in the back of your truck or SUV can be really dangerous. Most people will use bungee cords, milk crates, ropes or wires to keep their tanks from moving around but none of those options are really effective.
I recently discovered a piece of tailgating gear that will secure your propane tank to the back of your truck’s tailgate and provides stability, security and will prevent the tank from flying through your back window, or worse, exploding. It’s a simple strap system built and designed to hold your propane tanks built with 1200 lb. breaking strain webbing. It’s called the Tailgater Strap. To see a demo video of exactly how to use the Tailgater Strap, you’ll need to visit their website: tailgaterstrap.com
In all honesty, I was very pleased with the Tailgater Strap. It was made with heavy duty materials and in testing I was confident that it would secure my propane tanks not only when I was to get them refilled but on the way to the tailgate party.
You can get your own Tailgate Strap for $14.95 plus $4.95 shipping. Not too bad for an item that can keep you and others safe from a sliding and even worse, exploding propane tank.
Telefunken Elektroakustik is hyping their newvacuum-tube, large diaphragm condenser mic with a cool contest. In development for 18 months, the German company has the mic, but now needs a name for its newest endeavor, which will be introduced at AES 2010 in San Francisco. The individual who comes up with the name that the company chooses will win a matched pair of the mics with vintage tubes.
The newest mic in the company’s acclaimed R-F-T line was designed by the company’s in-house engineering team, with outside consultation from amplifier designers. The microphone is based around a unique circuit that features a New Old Stock (NOS) TELEFUNKEN vacuum tube, custom audio transformer and a fixed cardioid large diaphragm capsule. Sonically, the microphone carries similar characteristics found in its R-F-T line counterparts, the AR-51 and the AK-47 MkII.
Traditionally, the microphones in TELEFUNKEN’s R-F-T line have been based on famous powerful munitions, such as the AK-47 and the M16. “But we’re not limited in that respect,” added CEO Toni Fishman. “I thought of the ‘Bolt,’ which refers to the company’s lightning bolt logo. Let’s see what the public comes up with.”
Featuring a custom antique copper finish, the new microphone claims to have a silky, open top end, smooth midrange, and a detailed low end. The amplifier design and frequency response are tailored for vocals, however the microphone works well on many signalsources including acoustic guitars, amps and percussion. Each microphone system comes complete with power supply, 20′ mic-to-power supply cable, shockmount and wooden box.
Starting today, participants will be able to submit suggested names for the new microphone via the Telefunken website. Then, on October 11th the top ten names will be chosen and posted on an online voting pole. The contest ends at 18:00 (EDT) October 21. The winning name will be announced at Noon (EDT) on October 22nd. The person who suggested the winning name will be rewarded with a pair of the R-F-T mics in a custom flight case. The 2nd and 3rd place names will win an M80 Dynamic microphone.
Kudos to Toni Fishman and Telefunken for coming up with this fun, innovative contest to promote their new R-F-T mic.
My colleagues and I can vaguely remember back in the day when we were DJ-ing at house parties, clubs, and bars; while a drunk person would wander upto the DJ booth and start insanely requesting songs or try to get some DJ love at the WRONG TIME! Luckily, for today’s performers there is a new communication toolthat allows DJ’s to interact with their party-goers by using text messaging on the new Text4DJs service! It’s simple really…All the DJ has to do is sign up for the service and that DJ will be able to get an alias to be used on a short code for all text communications. All of the patrons will be able to request songs or give shout-outs simply by text-ing the short code plus the DJ alias which will allow them to send their message.
Info from the Site:
DJs can take song requests and shout-outs via text message while DJing and interact with the crowd!
Build a mobile subscriber list for event attendees and send text message updates about events and promotions.
Simply choose the exclusive alias you would like to use (i.e. DJSPIN) and patrons in the crowd can text message DJSPIN to 30300 initiate a song request/shout-out and subscribe to your mobile list.
* You get your exclusive Alias (i.e. DJSPIN) on the 30300 short code – stop giving out your cellphone!
* Interact with the crowd – patrons can request a song/shout-out simply by texting your Alias to 30300
* Receive requests from the crowd via email and/or text message and reply instantly
* Send text mesage updates to mobile subscribers about your upcoming events
* Bar, club and venue owners love the technology for Contests, VIP entry text messages, etc.
Mobilize your DJ experience and interact with the crowd using Text4DJs!
No contract or committment. DJs across the country love this service!