Monday, August 14, 2006

LED Light: The Cell Phone-Charging Hand-Crank Radio

This is a really neat gadget as it provides several helpful tools which could be perfect for any kind of emergency such as black-outs or storms. The Cell Phone-Charging Hand-Crank Radio is a completely hand-crank powered device which works as a radio, flash light, and a cell phone charger!

The radio can pick up AM/FM and weather bands so you can get the latest updates in the news. It can pick up 7 NOAA weather channels and can even receive VHF TV audio so you can get news from many different sources. It also has an ALERT function to receive National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather warnings.

You also don’t need to look around for a flashlight while you have this gadget with you as it has one built right in. The beam is a two-LED light which should give you all the power you need. There is also an emergency siren and flashing red LED light in case you need to help someone find you.

The neatest thing about it, however, is the fact that it can charge cell phones so a dead battery in the middle of a crisis won’t stop you from making a call. There are five different cell phone adapters to fit your phone, and the product page even lists compatible cell phones!

The internal NiMH battery can be powered solely by the hand crank so you don’t have to worry about batteries, however if you want to go the easy way it can also be powered by 3 AA batteries.

If you want to start being better prepared for an emergency of any kind, the Cell Phone-Charging Hand-Crank Radio could be just the thing you need. You can get one for just $49.95

from Hammacher.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

LED Light: EV Group Develops First Mask Aligner with LED Light Source

EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer-bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, has announced the availability of the industry first LED (Light Emitting Diode) light source for mask aligner systems. This LED light source is now available for all EVG mask aligner systems and outperforms conventional UV light sources by offering reduced cost of ownership, reduced maintenance and superior exposure results.

Equipping mask aligners with a LED light source provides unique advantages in process safety and environmental issues. EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) risks involved with use of high pressure mercury arc lamps are eliminated with the new LED technology. “Applying LED technology in our mask aligners, we can offer an advanced exposure source and support our high volume manufactures with low cost of ownership and reduced maintenance. The operation cost savings compared to conventional Hg lamp operated mask aligners are typically greater than 50% - both for HVM and R&D users.”, says Erich Thallner CEO and founder of EV Group.

Regular maintenance tasks such as replacement of UV lamps will be a thing of the past. Especially in high-volume production, every single cost factor is critical. Compared to UV light sources, the LED light source enables low power operation and therefore eliminates costs for Nitrogen cooling. The LED light source represents a breakthrough in lowest cost of ownership by offering a maintenance-free lifetime of more than 10 years under common-practice operation and production conditions. It proves again EVG’s position in being ahead of setting new industry standards for wafer processing.

Posted 12th July 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

LED Light: Beware of LED Bulb Replacement Products

As part of LED research I bought over $1,000 worth of LED light bulbs to see if any would meet my own personal needs. Most were too expensive and too dim for general use, but some worked reasonably well for house exterior and hallway lighting. No light bulb replacement products worked well for reading lights or other areas in need of bright light.

The three light bulbs that worked the best were the 60 LED Floodlight, the 72 LED Spotlight, and the LED light bulb, which may be used it for exterior home lighting. The spotlights and floodlights themselves are about $44 each and the light bulbs are around $30.

To give you an idea of the savings possible with these products, the spotlights pull 8 watts of power and the light bulb pulls 3 watts. All of these products use LEDs that are relatively old when compared to the bulbs that Cree, the leading U.S. LED manufacturer, announced earlier this year, so even greater savings may be possible with Cree and other newer products.

I did find one LED desk lamp for about $100 called the Mini-Z that both puts out enough light for reading and keeps that light, if you use it by your bed, away from your spouse's eyes. This kind of light might make a nice back-to-school gift or a marriage-saving gift for that late night reader. Of all of the products I tested this one was the most impressive and showcased the real lesson that may be learned from today's LED technology.

That lesson is that, generally, LEDs are best when the fixture is designed around them; as bulb replacements, right now, frankly, they kind of suck. For those in the midst of designing a house or commercial building the best vendor I found that might be helpful in this area, and which has a wide assortment of LED fixtures, is Color Kinetics. The fixtures aren't inexpensive but they work and are in common use for general lighting today.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

LED Light: Fiber-optic backlighting fits under switches, buttons, indicators

Control Engineering -- August 3, 2006

Strongsville, OH—Thin, flexible fiber-optic backlighting technology from Lumitex is now available in unusual geometries that were previously the domain of electroluminescent backlighting. Circles, semi-circles, holes, and other irregular shapes are possible using UniGlo patented fiber optics. Traditional membrane switches have been rectangular in shape, but some OEMs have been designing membrane switches with other, more unusual shapes to help differentiate their products in the marketplace.

UniGlo backlighting is said to provide brightness, uniformity, durability, and low power consumption. OEMs would like to create membrane switches with alternative shapes, such as ovals, rectangular with curved die cuts, or other custom shapes, which would improve switch identifiability.

The fiber-optic panels are positioned between the overlay and the circuit board/metal dome assembly, while a fiber-optic tail is routed around any obstacles to the LED, which is soldered into an appropriate space on the circuit board. Panels can backlight a large area with one LED light source (up to 4 x 6-in.) Because they are thin (0.013-in.), they don’t interfere with the tactile feel of the switch when the dome is depressed.

Brightness is as high as 75 Ft-L, and power consumption is low (2-4 V dc, 5-30 mA for a single-LED backlight). Fiber-optic panels have been tested to over 5 million actuations and provide backlight lifetimes up to 100,000 hours (depending on the LED light source used).

Cost ranges from $0.70 for a panel with a 0.40 x 4-in. viewing area and no LED in quantities of 100,000, to $4 for a panel with a 1.35 x 3.50-in. viewing area and one white LED in quantities of 5,000.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief

© 2006, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

LED light: Jabra's JX10 Bluetooth Headset Is Solid On All Fronts

The Bluetooth headset market has been flooded as of late with the new technology really beginning to take shape. It has become increasingly difficult for one company to take control and be recognized as the de facto Bluetooth headset of choice. One of the entries from Jabra, the JX10, hopes to do just that. With its sleek design, solid build, and superb quality, the JX10 has impressed more than ever imagined.

The JX10 supports Bluetooth version 1.2 and comes packaged with everything you would need to get it going. This includes charging via the USB cable supplied, or the AC adapter. It also comes with a desktop charging cable in the box, as well as a convenient and nicely made carrying case which stays closed to protect from dust and such while not in use.

In terms of features, this little headset has just about everything you could want. This includes supporting voice dial, call hold, call waiting, re-dial of the last known number, as well as the function to reject a call. All of these work flawlessly.

An LED light is used on the headset to indicate connectivity as well as battery life and charging status. The light comes in handy as it alerts you as to when it is fully charged, connected, etc. It is very easy to read, and is multicolored making it easy to understand.

The size of this headset is one of its highlights easily, it weights less than one-third of an ounce, or just 10 grams. It also measures less than one and a half inches in length. This is about 4 centimeters. The size, when placed on your ear, makes it feel like you are wearing virtually nothing. It is a small, light, and comfortable headset that feels great around your ear.

Other components found in the box is a carrying pouch, quick start guide, instruction manual, AC adapter and USB cable to charge the unit from a PC. Before using the JX10 you must charge it. The charging stand compliments the JX10 handsomely and is weighted to prevent it from sliding off your desk. This design again furthers the concept that one has purchased a quality piece of equipment.

On top of the Jabra JX10 are the volume buttons, along with the charger dock and the light indicator. On the left side is the Answer/End button. These buttons are easy to press, even when worn on the ear. The pairing button, however, is a tiny buried control on the back of the headset that requires a bit of fingernail to push. That said, once you can find the button, pairing is relatively easy.

We tested the Jabra JX10 with the LG VX8000 and the Motorola Razr, and we were able to pair the devices with the headset without a problem. Other phones and devices we tested also worked flawlessly making the JX10 compatible with just about any Bluetooth device you could want. Syncing was as simple as could be.

Phone calls sounded loud and clear, even in a busy settings. Callers had no problem hearing us. The range of the JX10 was impressive as well. Accidentally leaving the phone in the car, the JX10 held its connection through a car and gas station door, and even though clarity dropped, the caller was able to understand the conversation.

Besides letting you answer, end, and reject calls, the Jabra JX10 supports voice dialing, last-number redialing, call waiting, and putting a call on hold. The Jabra JX10 has a rated talk time of 6 hours and a standby time of eight days. Not bad for such a little device that weighs virtually nothing.

The JX10 headset is a great Bluetooth headset. With a retail price of $179.99, it is a tad expensive, but the quality of the product far exceeds most currently on the market as the comfort and quality far surpass other headsets available. If you are looking for a great, comfortable, sleek, and great-sounding headset, and don’t mind spending a decent amount of money, definitely give the JX10 more than a glance. It is a quality Bluetooth headset.

Design: 9.0 – Solid and small design, great quality in a small package and you won’t even know you are wearing it

Value: 7.5 – The price is a bit steep, but the quality makes up for it as it is well built and comes with everything you need in the box.

Performance: 9.0 – Clear and crisp sound as the caller won’t even know your using a headset most of the time.

Ease of Use: 9.0 – Syncing is simple and the buttons make it easy to use and perform its functions.

Overall: 8.9

For more information as well as to buy it you can get it on

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