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A Buyer’s Guide to Caravan Fridges: Everything You Need to Know
July 1, 2022

  The market for caravan fridges is vast, and everything can be overwhelming. This is where our buyer's guide comes in handy. There are a few things you need to consider before investing in one for your motorhome. First off, a variety of types are available, but the common ones are: Compressors Three-way absorption A lot goes into choosing the right refrigerator for on the road. But knowing what the standard styles are is a good starting point. To learn more about caravan fridges, use this post as your buying companion. Here, we will cover the different models on the market and tips to help you make a worthwhile investment. Caravan fridges are versatile cold storage made specifically for travel. They are the king of convenience on the road, creating an off-roader's life more flexible. They work the same way as a home-style fridge, storing food supplies and keeping them fresh. Going for long drives in your caravan is always much better when you have easy access to ice-cold drinks. Some even use a normal fridge, the one you use at home, in their RVs. While nothing is wrong with that, there is a big difference between a regular and a caravan model. This includes the following: The size. A normal refrigerator is way bigger than a portable one. It offers more room to store food, which translates to fewer grocery trips. But unlike a caravan fridge, you cannot be certain if it will fit inside. Portable models may be the perfect size for your motorhome - after all, that is what they are made for. Cooling process. Most caravan fridges use the absorption cooling process. This ensures no risk of damaging parts when they get jolted during travel. Thus making them more equipped to handle rugged roads. More power sources. Unless you opt for an inverter type, a home-style fridge can only run when plugged into a mains power source. A caravan fridge, in contrast, can operate in two or three ways: mains power, battery, or LPG. The latter makes a better choice for road trips and outdoor adventures. As mentioned, most caravan fridges can be categorised into two types: Compressor Three-way absorption The main difference between the two is the power source. Compressors run on two alternative power sources: a 12V battery and 240V mains power. They almost operate the same as a standard home refrigerator. Meanwhile, three-way fridges run on three, as the name suggests. This includes a 12V battery, 240V mains power, and liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. Compressor Caravan Fridges This type of on-the-road cool storage uses a compressor with moving mechanical parts. This promotes cooling, functioning much like home fridges. Compressor caravan fridges are an excellent choice if you are an off-the-grid camper. Or if you and your family usually camp out for extended periods and like being tucked away. In this case, they are more efficient than their three-way counterparts. They can provide more consistently cool temperatures even in hot Australian weather. Plus, they can run well on uneven terrain. Compressors are also known as two-way fridges. We will also differentiate which style suits your need best: upright or portable? automatic or manual? Three-way Absorption Caravan Fridges This type of caravan fridge is quite different. Three-way absorption can be run through various means; as mentioned, these are 12V/240V power and LPG. They provide cooling by using liquid ammonia gases mixed in piping at the fridge's rear. And have we mentioned that they are the most popular type of fridges in motorhomes, RVs and caravans? Their ability to run off LPG gas makes them very efficient. The gas option can also allow you to remove the fridge from the electrical system altogether. This helps you save battery life. Even better, modern models come with a built-in Automatic Energy Selection recourse. This feature automatically selects the best source of energy to be used. Suppose you have 240V power dismissed. It will naturally choose the preferred option available. Portable or upright? Are you looking for permanent solutions or something that you can move around? Upright fridges are a popular choice for RVs as they can fit into the kitchen in your caravan. If you are setting out on big road trips, we recommend opting for upright units. Now, if you use your motorhome for short breaks, a portable fridge is your best bet. It's also perfect for situations like outdoor cookouts like BBQs or camping without a motorhome. Automatic vs manual If you are thinking of investing in a three-way fridge, you have an extra choice to make. Automatic Energy Selection (AES) or manual? Caravan fridges with AES can automatically switch between power sources. But if you prefer to stay in control, choose a refrigerator with manual power selection. It is not all manual, though. Once you have selected the power supply, the fridge will still do everything else. Generally, an AES model is a more expensive choice than its manual counterpart. Choosing a caravan fridge is all about getting the right balance. You want to have enough space for your food and drink without going overboard. Also, you do not want to waste valuable power on cooling empty space. Caravan fridges on the market come in all sizes, from a tidy 40 litres right up to a cavernous 230 litres. Larger units are usually between 120 to 200 litres, ideal for long hauls. The designs are typically two-door fridge-freezers, complete with a crisper section. For a smaller option, look for a more compact, such as 40-60 litre, compression fridges. You can also find a compressor drawer fridge starting at 30 litres in size. Now, for upright fridges, you will need to look at the ‘cut-out’ required sizing. Otherwise, it won't fit within the cabinetry of your particular caravan. Below is our single-door upright caravan fridge with an internal ice compartment (65L).   65L Brass Monkey Caravan Fridge with Freezer Zone Product code: JGH1676 Built with metal doors to withstand any rugged camping and motorhome use. The fridge compressor can run on 12V or 24V and is powered by an efficient LG compressor. This provides excellent cooling conditions and a superior quiet operation. The unit also features an internal LED light to help you find what you're looking for in the dark. The Bluetooth app also allows you to monitor and control the temperature remotely. Scan the QR code using your smartphone, and you have the convenience of temperature control in your hands. Get this for $699.00 (comes with a 3-year warranty)! Tips: Make a list of the food and beverages (& snacks) you will need for your road trips. This will give you an idea of how big your caravan fridge should be. You can invest in a compact fridge freezer as a temporary solution or if you are still saving for an upright model. These compact fridge freezers are also great for BBQs, camping and even to take lunches to worksites! There is more to buying caravan fridges than you may have initially thought. The unit you choose depends on how you will use and power it, as well as your budget. Caravan fridges range from $175 to $2000 for larger and modern models. At Wiltronics, we have top-tier quality units below $1000 (upright and compact). Think how often you will use it and invest accordingly. Avoid opting for a cheap ‘no-name’ brand that does not offer warranty and spare parts support. Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature. We recommend consulting the product manual. And where relevant, a professional installer, especially for the installation.

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What is a Car Dash Camera and Why Do You Need One
June 29, 2022

  The use of event recorders like a a car dash camera is escalating — and for good reasons. If you are still undecided whether you should get one, hear us out. You need one or two. Road accidents can occur anytime; it is the most unwanted thing to happen to road users. The causes can vary, but the effect is often the same: vehicular damage to serious injuries. But let us suppose you are the driver. Having a dashcam onboard will record all actions around your vehicle while driving. This reliable device may be small, but it can back you up in any accidents you witness or are involved in. It can be your “silent witness” and supporting evidence at your fingertips. Learn the basics of event recorders, mainly behind a car dash camera, here to get you informed. A dashcam or a dashboard camera is a small camera device that is usually mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle. It is designed to carefully and accurately record every detail that takes place on the road. Its basic nature is to act as a silent witness for on-road and off-road incidents. It provides first-hand evidence about what happened and/or who was at fault for the crash. A car dash camera is meant to be discreet. It should be mounted to a precise location without obstructing your view. The ideal set-up is on the passenger side of the windshield, behind the rear-view mirror. One also can be coupled with different onboard technologies, such as GPS devices. These types of event recorders are widely used around the world. They are essential for regular drivers, driving instructors, officers and so on. Dashcams are more useful than you think. The upfront cost may seem expensive, but they have proven to help drivers save money in the long run. For instance, getting footage of hit-and-runs and vehicle accidents. Knowing that you and your means of transport are protected is priceless. Listed below are some of the notable reasons why you should invest in a car dash camera. 1. It provides you with first-hand evidence in case of a car accident This is one of the main reasons why most car drivers have dash cams mounted on their vehicles. A car dash camera will start recording as soon as you start the engine. It provides real-time and efficient proof in case of an accident. Suppose a car crash took place and your vehicle is involved. You can send the videotape from your dash cam as evidence and prove your innocence. This is especially helpful if there should be any court trial. The other party will be held responsible and be obliged to shoulder the cost and damage they have caused. Without video evidence, you might be found guilty and take the blame even when you are the victim. Overall, a dash camera can be the strongest proof you have for defending yourself in case of such events. 2. Protects your auto insurance premiums Dash cameras can also help reduce car insurance. For one, in the event of an accident, your dashcam can provide independent evidence. As mentioned in the first point. This proof can be presented to your insurer and the police to see who was really at fault and what happened. The good thing is even when you are not in your car, and your dashcam can still do its job. It can record any bumps or damage it might sustain from a third party. This also works even if your car is parked and you are nowhere near it. 3. A perfect solution for undisciplined drivers Have you ever encountered a bad driver? Not only are these irresponsible drivers annoying on the road. But they also might put the lives of other drivers and innocent passengers at risk. The best way to help improve this kind of behaviour is to report them. But the thing is, reporting can be daunting as it needs proof. If you do not have an eyewitness to testify on your behalf, things might go wrong. This is where a car dash camera can be of use and be beneficial. Your dash cam can step in and provide the ultimate proof against bad drivers. You can also use your event recorder for reporting road rage accidents. Note: Do not put yourself at risk when trying to gather evidence. 4. High-quality models come with GPS systems and other useful features Dashboard cameras have evolved over the years. Modern units are now being equipped with GPS systems. They also come with a plethora of advantageous features that can benefit you on many levels. A GPS serves as a sat-nav system and tracks vehicle speed. This feature can also help you record your destination onto a log file. That way, you can manage your journey in a fast, efficient, and hassle-free way. Further, most of these cameras come with audible notifications along with status updates. This can keep you up to date with the recording process while keeping you notified in real-time. The cameras come with low battery usage, as well. And with the high-tech LCD, you can fully control your trip and your recording experience. 5. You would be amazed at what a dashcam can capture Never underestimate the power of vehicle event recorders! Dashcams can literally record anything you pass through, including some unexpected phenomena. A lot of videos have gone viral online showing car accidents and unforgettable road events. Most of them have been ‘accidentally’ caught on dashcams. Simply put, a car dash camera can capture the things you least expect. From accidents involving cars to alleged paranormal activity and rare animals crossing the road! Hopefully, your experience will be more with the latter. Equip your car with that extra layer of security while driving with our range of dash cameras. We also offer kit units that come with LED monitors, so make sure to check them while you are here!   1080p 2 Inch Car Dash Camera Product code: AL9845 This 1080p two-inch car dash camera is simple to install and packed full of features for its size. The integrated 2” LCD provides you with playback and control functionality. Recording can be triggered manually or by loop recording. It is suitable for use on cars and trucks and plugs into the 12-24VDC cigarette lighter socket. You get a maximum view of 140°, and it supports microSD cards up to 32GB. Includes suction cup mount, car cigarette lighter charger and USB cable.   Dash Camera with GPS / WiFi 1080p 2.7 Inch Product code: AL3848 This car dash camera with GPS is compact in size but packed with a 1080p Full HD camera! For view/check-up functions, there is a wide 2.7” screen on the back. The G-sensor locks the recording automatically when a collision or accident is detected. The wide 140° lens provides a large view. Plus, the adjustable suction mounting bracket helps you to monitor fully. GPS geotagging tracks the speed and location of the vehicle. Wi-Fi access allows for the playback of images or video through the app. Works in systems of 12-24VDC, so it is also ideal for trucks. Audio microphone/speaker built-in and a rechargeable battery for monitoring while parked.   IR Mini Dome Camera - External for Vehicles, 1080P Product code: JQC3541 A mini HD dome camera with IR is ideal for the front or rear of a vehicle as a reverse camera. Features metal case with IP69 rating allowing for all-weather operation. Built-in IR LEDs allow a clear image during night operation. The images change to black and white at night automatically. A 120-degree viewing angle with a 4-way position ensures you get the ideal viewing angle.   Car Dash Camera (UHD) with GPS Rear Camera 12/24VDC Product code: JQV3849 Thanks to its ultra HD camera, this car dash camera captures finer details, such as plate numbers. The supplied rear-facing camera records vision from behind you as you drive. Plus, when you do reverse parking or back out of your driveway. This doubles the unit as a reverse camera. As for the viewing features, there is a wide 3-inch screen and built-in G-sensor. Geotagging with GPS tracks the speed and position of the car. It operates on 12-24VDC systems, so it is also suitable for trucks.   Dual Dash Cam (360°) 1080p 1.5 Inch LCD Screen Parking Sentry Product code: JQV3866 This dual dash cam features forward and rear-facing cameras with 190° wide-angle lenses. They can capture a 360° view of any accidents that might occur within or outside your car. Records video with audio on a microSD card (available separately) in 1080p. You can then play back recordings on the built-in 1.5″ colour monitor or on your screen to see what happened. The rechargeable Li-ion battery allows continuous recording even when the power is off.   Uniden iGO Cam 80 4K UHD Car Event Camera Product code: JQV600 This Uniden iGO car dash camera records a 4K video (2160p) as you drive. Along with audio and the speed and location from the built-in GPS. An ultra-wide 150° lens captures a wide field of view. The footage is clear and sharp, thanks to the Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Examine footage on the built-in 2.4-inch colour screen, on your Windows PC, a HDTV or monitor via HDMI. You can also directly transfer it to your smartphone via Wi-Fi using the free Uniden iGo app. For more, check out our range of Dash Cameras here. Dash cameras have been an everyday companion for many motorists. For every driver, event recorders add an extra layer of security and assurance. One car dash camera alone can help enhance their safety while driving or not. For one, it acts as a witness in case of any road accidents or car theft. The video footage can be used as proof to support eliminating hoon drivers in your community. Other than safety purposes, some models provide GPS location tracking and vehicle speed. This is how beneficial and vital car dash camera footage can be. And considering what it can do, it truly makes a great investment! This article was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated.

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What Are Oil Heaters and How Do They Work: A Guide
June 27, 2022

What are oil heaters? Let this handy post be your guide. As the temperature plummets, the need for electric heaters in homes rockets. With utility bills in mind, some have no choice but to go for a costly option, a.k.a. gas, to avoid the cold. Then there are others sleeping at peace, knowing they have oil heaters to rely on. So, which one are you? The latter sounds promising. Thanks to their effectiveness, energy efficiency, and safety, oil-filled radiators are in demand. If you are considering buying a new heater for your home but have no clear idea, this post is for you. Knowing what oil heaters are and how they work could help you with your buying decision. After autumn, comes winter. With colder temperatures, in most cases, the only way to stay warm is to heat up the house around the clock. In comes oil heaters. When it comes to indoor electric heaters, oil-filled units are well favoured. But what is it that makes these small radiators so desirable? An oil heater mimics the look of an old-fashioned radiator, except smaller in size. It is a common form of convection heater used in domestic heating. As for the appearance, oil heaters are made up of a series of columns or fins. Some have open spaces between these columns - attached to a base and fronted with a control panel. They are filled with oil but are electrically heated. Moreover, they do not involve burning oil, but the oil is used as a heat reservoir, not a fuel. Unlike traditional units, oil-filled radiators are portable. One can be connected to a wall socket, so it can be moved to any room where extra warmth is needed. Inside the body and column of the heater is diathermic oil. There is no need to refill the oil because it is not used as fuel, as mentioned. Instead, the oil serves more like a buffer, and thus it never gets used up. It continues circulating through your heater for as long as you use it. Once the energy from the electricity is turned into heat, the heat will be absorbed by the oil inside the heater. The oil will then start warming up and circulating through the columns or fins. Next, the heat will be transferred by the oil movement into the heater's metal fins. This will create even surface temperatures. When the metal fins begin to heat, the heater will begin radiating out heat around your room. Eventually, the heat will circulate throughout thanks to the air's natural convection. What is a diathermic oil? First, what are oil heaters, then now, what is a diathermic oil? Diathermic oil has two properties that make it ideal as a heat reservoir, and these are: High specific heat capacity. It is the amount of heat a material can hold before its temperature rises. High boiling point. The temperature at which a liquid turns into a vapour. The boiling point for diathermic oil is three times higher than water. Simply put, the oil inside your heater can store a lot of heat without getting hot enough to boil. When a liquid boils, it becomes a vapour. Then it requires high-pressure systems to contain the extra volume. Diathermic oil won’t reach boiling temperatures. Thus, an oil-filled heater does not have this extra engineering complication. And as the oil also has a high heat capacity, it will continue to radiate heat even when the electricity is off. To boot, your heater won’t need to run for so long, and you will still save on your energy bills. The body of an oil heater comes with a set of stacked columns or fins made from metal. The diathermic oil will circulate through the channels - inside those panels and fins. Then, it will heat up the metal during that process. The metal surface will radiate heat to the air which surrounds the heater. The bigger the surface area a heater has, the more it will have contact with the surrounding air. This, in turn, will allow the air to warm up more quickly. But you should not confuse a heater size or surface area with how much heat the heater can produce. The heat output will depend on how much electricity is consumed, which will be measured in Watts. The amount of surface area will only affect the speed at which the heat produced will be spread around the room. Generally, not so much, but this will depend on how you use the oil heater. You can influence electricity usage by tweaking the temperature settings. Oil heaters usually use about 1500 watts of power, which could be a lot or less, depending on how much heat you need. Some use about 700W of power, particularly mono oil heaters. They do the same job as the normal-size units but are designed to heat smaller rooms. Or keep your feet under your desk warm. Running your oil heater to 1500W is equal to powering three gaming PCs or two vacuum cleaners at the same time. Are they expensive to run? The majority of the models have a low energy setting of 700W or 800W. Some could have another set between the two. When the element is on, the heater will be consuming power at the selected rate. It costs the same as running a ceramic resistive heater with the same two power settings. Oil heaters operate silently, and most models have no built-in fan. Instead, they use natural air convection to circulate the produced heat around a room. When a gas or liquid achieves a higher temperature, it will be less dense and then will rise upward. The air will surface to the ceiling, pushing cooler air toward the floor. Once the oil heater has warmed up the cool air, a continuous current will be created through the room. With time, the current creates even temperatures throughout the space. With our basic explanatory post about "what are oil heaters?", you might want to know why you should choose one for your home. There are several reasons and advantages, including: No fan. Most oil heaters are virtually silent, and the air won’t dry out. The most noise it makes is some clicking, such as when the thermostat adjusts itself. Energy-efficient. All the energy used will be directly converted to heat. You’ll save money on your bills, especially since oil heaters do not need extra power to operate a fan. Thermostat controlled. Once the room reaches a satisfactory temperature, it will automatically turn on and off. This helps maintain that warmth instead of running continuously. Over time, saving you money while preventing overheated rooms. Oil does not need replenishing. The oil is not used as a fuel, so there is no need to replace it. Portable and compact. Thanks to their compact and lightweight design, they can be easily moved from room to room. Some are small enough to fit right under a desk. Safety. The metal surface will never be too hot when it warms up, so you won't get burned by accident. There are also no fumes or gas produced, making them perfectly safe for use indoors. Most models also have built-in safety features which switch off the heater in case of a fault. But of course, as with any product, there are a few disadvantages. Primarily, oil heaters take a little longer to heat up than fan-forced models. If you are okay with this, then there should not be a problem. Looking for a mini oil heater unit to fit in your room? You are going to like our offer below. It might be the perfect solution to your chilly rooms!   Mini 5 Fin Oil Heater 500W 240V Product code: JGH1580 This portable and compact mini 5-fin oil heater provides a sufficient amount of heat. Powered by an adjustable thermostat for temperature control. This radiator features five fins that can heat up a large surface area of a room or caravan quickly. The radiator simply draws in cold air using oil as a heat conductor to warm the room. It heats it and then releases it back to warm the room. Plus, it is easy to carry with a built-in handle and wide feet for stability. Other features include: Noiseless operation Easy to install – just plug in and enjoy Slim profile that fits easily into any room Hopefully, by now, our “what are oil heaters” guide has answered all your questions. And you will be able to decide whether to invest in an oil heater.

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How Water Purifiers Work: Your Guide to Outdoor Water Purifiers
June 23, 2022

When you know how water purifiers work, you have the upper hand. The tricky part of outdoor adventures is getting a reliable drinking water source. Crystal ‘clear’ water may look tempting, but it does not mean it is ‘clean’. You cannot even tell from tasting a little amount—let alone smelling—whether the water is safe to drink. Chances are, the water could be contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses. This is where water purifiers come in. A good water purifier can ensure that your drinking water is of good quality, without you needing to carry a lot of water with you. Here, we offer guidance on outdoor water purifiers and how they work. An overview of treatment methods is also provided. Not everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water. While it is a fundamental right, globally '771 million people still lacked even a basic level of [water] service' in 2020, as per Unicef. Thus, having a safe and readily available source is a privilege. With technological advancement, water filtration and purification can help support access to clean water. Unfortunately, not for free. Water purification products also make sense from a financial stance, meeting the need for potable sources. If you have the means, one makes a worthwhile investment, whether for home or outdoor use. Purification techniques are often applied during outdoor adventures through portable units. It is easy to assume water is clean when it is clear, but it may harbour harmful bacteria and viruses. Hence why water treatment is important to maintaining your health in the outdoors. Given this situation, a wide range of water treatment systems are on the market. Each has its own perks and quirks, but to maximise their use, it is important to know how water purifiers work—generally. But before that, let us define what water filtration and water purification are. You may see your hand clearly underneath the water, but it does not mean it is sterile. Fortunately, water filtration and purification techniques can provide a cleaner water source. When talking about water treatment, there are two main classifications. But are there any differences? Filters - Filter out most waterborne bacteria and parasites Purifiers - Removes most waterborne bacteria and parasites, as well as viruses Water filters work by blocking the passage of particles, anything larger than 2 microns. While purifiers also feature filtration, they often use techniques like UV light or ultra-filtration to offer a higher level of defence. Purifiers generally give better protection against viruses, which have smaller particles than bacteria and parasites. The process Water is a solvent, and it can dissolve other substances, such as detergent, when mixed with it. Amazing as it may sound, this trait can also affect its quality. Take your home's tap, for example. How long a trip do you think the water takes before it reaches it? Before it makes it to your glass, the tap water has been diverted from natural sources. It may have started in a reservoir, then gone to a treatment centre where it was processed. All before being distributed to your home. Throughout its journey, your water can absorb dirt, chemicals and other contaminants. This can lead to bad taste, unpleasant odour, or a cloudy appearance. Depending on your location, and the condition of the water supply infrastructure, your water quality can vary. Thankfully, water quality standards in Australia mean the water from your taps generally need little more than some basic filtration. But when collecting water from outdoor sources, like rivers and lakes, you must consider the potential of contamination. Such contamination can lead to unpleasant health consequences. But the process of water filtration and purification solves this problem. Water purifier units may cost you upfront, but see how beneficial they are in time? Every filter and most purifiers come with an internal element or cartridge. A cartridge features microscopic pores that catch debris, protozoa and bacteria. Over time, strained matter louses up an element's pores. This requires it to be cleaned and eventually replaced. Purifiers often use chemicals like iodine or chlorine to kill viruses. Another method is to use UV light to treat pathogens. Moreover, both can also include activated carbon in their construction. It is a component that is effective at removing unpleasant tastes. Activated carbon also helps reduce contaminants, such as pesticides and industrial chemicals. Prefilter Various factors can murk up your water in different ways. This includes silty water, leaf debris, mud rain, and glacial sediment. Natural particles, though not a health concern, also impact how easy water is to treat. Plus, how much field maintenance is required and the lifespan of filter elements. An effective way to deal with these is to use a prefilter. A prefilter removes large particles from the water to improve the treatment process. Many models, especially with pumps, come with a prefilter. Others are sold separately. Either way, having this accessory can offer great advantages, such as: Maintaining the flow rate of a pump filter, less maintenance and extend its lifespan. Helps improves the effectiveness of chemical treatments. It comes in handy (and absolutely is a must-have) before using a UV purifier on nonclear water. Now we are down to one question: which water treatment do you need for outdoor activities? In remote areas, the water high up in the mountains is less likely to be contaminated. So, should you worry about the viruses in the water or not? (Another great question!) Generally, protozoa and bacteria infect and affect humans and animals. They are transmitted through water sources by waste. When both drink from this source, they'll get infected with the contaminants. As a rule of thumb, if you are going to a remote area with a few people around, use filtration. There, the biggest problem is usually the water containing silt and debris and bacteria - not so much viruses. Travelling in less developed countries with poor sanitation is another thing. Chances are, the tap water is contaminated with viruses. Thus, water purification is recommended. Now, for areas where human waste is present, such as a camping spot near a stream or river, water needs both filtration and purification. There are different types of water purifiers available on the market. From pump, gravity and ultraviolet (UV) to bottle and straw styles, just to name a few! Each water treatment method serves different purposes. But if you are looking for a pump unit, check our offer below:   Renogy Outdoor Water Purifier Product code: JWP-005 This unit from Renogy allows you to filter water directly from any source for contaminant-free drinking water. It filters particles and microorganisms down to a nominal 0.1-micron level. Plus, it has a capacity of up to 792 gallons with a flow rate of 600 ml per minute. A great choice for backcountry trekking and emergency preparedness. This tactical water micro-filter is an essential item if you enjoy hiking or camping. Not all water sources are safe, particularly the ones from outdoors. Even the most pristine-looking source can make you sick. It could contain bacteria, parasites and protozoa. These can cause nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, fatigue and vomiting. Simply put, the consequences of drinking untreated water can be severe. Thus, it becomes even more important for us to be aware of purification techniques. When you know how water purifiers work, you can always have the safest way to treat water for drinking. Whether you are indoors or out for an adventure. Invest in one, especially if you have the means, so you won't have to put your health at risk anymore.

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Active vs Passive Components in Electronics: The Main Differences
June 21, 2022

If you are working with components, it is vital to understand them. Active vs passive components - let's learn the difference! One key factor that marks electronic parts is if they are active or passive. But many are still unsure exactly what the difference entails, particularly beginners. Active vs passive components - both play integral parts in electronics. You will likely find both kinds of components in every electronic device. If you want to learn the variation between the two types, this article is here to help. We will provide an introductory explanation post with examples. Electronic systems are built around analogue and digital elements. Each comprises resistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors, operational amplifiers and transistors. And these are what we know as the active and passive components. In analogue circuits, these two are responsible for power management. In electronics, active components make use of an external power source to add power to a system. Amplifiers, vacuum tubes, and transistors fall under this category. As for passive components, they influence the power flow. They do not require an external power source to function, though. Resistors, inductors and capacitors come under this type of component. For further explanation and definition of each type, as well as their differences, keep reading. Technically, active components control the charge flow in electronic circuits. They generate energy and are the core component of operating any device. In practice, they need energy sources to perform their specific function. Usually in the form of a direct current (DC). Active components also affect the voltage and current in a circuit. For one, they may be a booster or stepped down based on the electron flow injected by an active device. This shows how an active component amplifies the power of a signal, either voltage or current. Take a transistor, for example, acting as an amplifier in radio and RF circuits. Speaking of voltage and current, active elements are categorised into two sections: Voltage-controlled devices Current controlled devices Voltage-controlled devices produce their output current depending upon the input voltage. The BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor) is a good example of a voltage-controlled device. BJT supplies static voltage as a control signal. In contrast, current-controlled devices work on input current restraining another current. For instance, a FET (Field Effect Transistor) is a tension-controlled device. Its input impedance is high and needs little current to operate. The most common components and their functions: Diode. This allows electricity to flow in one direction. Display devices. These include LCD, LED and CRT displays. Integrated circuit (e.g. chips or microchips). Multiple complex circuits on a circuit board. Used to perform all kinds of tasks. Power sources. These include batteries and other sources of alternating current (AC) or DC. Transistors. Mostly used for amplifying electrical signals or as switching devices. Passive elements are quite the opposite of their active counterparts. They do not need any external voltage to perform their job. But the tricky part here is that they are incapable of providing energy on their own. In the end, they demand support from active devices. In practice, passive elements can influence the flow of electricity running through them. For one, they can resist its flow, store energy for later use, or produce inductance. But they cannot control nor amplify electricity themselves. An excellent example of a passive component is a resistor. Resistors are versatile components used as pull up or pull down in most hardware designs. Another application is the control signal from a microcontroller. You can use the pull-up and pull-down to interrupt and turn off external devices. Inductors and capacitors also can store energy for a longer time and discharge. The most common components and their functions: Capacitor. It stores electrical energy 'electrostatically' in an electric field known as charging. It can be released later when needed. Inductor. Stores electrical energy in a magnetic field. Inductors allow DC to flow through it. Resistor. Resists the flow of electrical current in a circuit and is used to lower voltage. Transducer. It converts an input signal from one type of energy into another. Sensors, for one, convert physical action/input into an electrical signal. Active and passive components are differentiated by various factors. When it comes to power, active components deliver it to the circuit. Meanwhile, passive components utilise it from the circuit. As for operational requirements, active elements require external sources to work. Passive, in contrast, do not. The function of the active produces energy in the form of voltage or current. The passive is the exact opposite; it stores energy in the form of voltage or current. Another contrast is that an active component is capable of providing power gain, while a passive component is not. Active components also can control the current flow. But passive cannot; it can, however, store energy (in the case of inductors and capacitors). And active cannot. The linearity of active components usually is non-linear. Conversely, passive components mostly fall under the linear category. Lastly, the nature of the energy of active is energy donor, versus energy receptor for passive. Check our selection of active components - suitable for use in electronic projects. Semiconductors Semiconductors are materials that have conductivity between conductors and nonconductors or insulators. These are the keys to almost all parts of modern electronics technology. Our semiconductors include transistors, diodes, transducers, integrated circuits, SCRs, and many others. All these devices use semiconductor technology. Shop Semiconductors here.   Integrated Circuits (ICs) Integrated circuits (ICs) are a single-unit assembly of electronic components. They consist of miniaturised active (e.g. transistors and diodes) and passive devices (e.g. capacitors and resistors). We have a large selection of ICs suitable for use in electronic projects. Shop Integrated Circuits here. We also provide a wide range of passive components, so check them out below! Capacitors We offer various capacitors, from disc ceramic, electric fence, radial, and axial to polyester, mains suppression and more. Shop Capacitors here.   Resistors These resistors regulate the flow of electrical current in a circuit. They are made of materials such as copper, carbon, and metal or can be wire-wound. Check out our list of resistors to find the right one for you. Shop Resistors here.   Crystals - Oscillators We have a wide range of Crystals Oscillators - useful components in clock circuits. They come in a variety of different frequencies, load capacitance, and applications. Suitable for wristwatches, clocks, radios, computers, test equipment, and other devices. Shop Crystals - Oscillators here.   Chokes - RF Radial Type We offer a variety of RF Radial Chokes designed to block AC from DC supply lines. They have a high impedance over a wide frequency range. Shop Chokes - RF Radial Type here. The key differences between active vs passive components focus around: Power consumption Operational requirements Power gain Current flow Linearity Energy behaviour Simply put, active components are capable of providing energy to the circuit. Passive components do not require any external source for operation. Plus, the passive component is capable of storing energy in the form of voltage or current in the circuit, while the active is not. In this way, active vs passive components are differentiated.

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Digital Timer Switches Explained: The Working Principle
June 17, 2022

Digital timer switches will lower your energy costs and help you save money over time. We use electronic devices—electricity, in general—for practically everything. With the increase in energy rates and shortages, energy conservation is crucial. Another concern is keeping track of whether all these devices are on or off. And if you always end the month with high utility bills, it is time to find a way to cut back on your electrical use. One way is to limit the wastage in your power supplies. This is where power automation & timers, such as time switches, come into play. You can find two types: analogue and digital. In this post, we will focus on the working principle of digital timer switches. A time switch has several applications in everyday life. It is a device that controls exactly when an appliance or a lighting system is to be switched on or off. Designed to cut off small but recurring energy wastage before it gets out of hand. Also called a timer control, it can also be used with various household applications. With ease of use and installation, the switch will control your appliances. Thus ensuring they are only turned on when you need them to be. Time switches can make your home smarter. You can also link the switch to your home security system. There are two ways to enhance how and when energy is used by the switch, and these are: Create a fixed schedule. Activate the time switch every day between certain set hours. Set a limited interval. Set for a specific number of minutes or hours after being switched on. Time switches can be programmed daily, weekly, and yearly. Moreover, they are suitable for installation in residential and commercial buildings. As mentioned, there are two types of time switches: analogue and digital. To start, an analogue or mechanical switch features a spring that tracks time. Its ease of use allows setting a specific time as easy as you would with a watch. Unlike its digital counterpart, it operates manually and is relatively inexpensive. It is a perfect investment if you are looking for a reasonably priced time switch. Now, for the digital version. Digital timer switches operate according to a program. In contrast to analogue, this type of switch provides a 24-hour control. Some models even allow you to set different settings for different week days. Since they are programmable, digital types are suitable for many occasions. Suppose you are not at home. You can set a seven-day timer if you are out of town for a week. Some modern units also let you protect your switch with a password so no one can control the settings other than you. As technology improves, digital timer switches can now also come with sensors. Or be compatible with smartphones and smart home systems like Google Home. Control your smart home using your smartphone as a remote. Or through voice control via Alexa. How do digital timer switches work? They are typically connected to electrical circuits powered via the main supply. Digital timer switches feature timing circuitry, switching devices, and no moving parts. Such switches can be used to turn lights on or off at times selected by the user. Some models allow for the pre-setting and cyclical arrangement of lighting levels. The advantages and disadvantages Advantages of installing a digital timer switch include: The digital timer switch provides a variety of options. Digital timer switches can come with sensors detecting the amount of light required. This feature also helps save power. The design is visually attractive and makes them look modern. Ideal for multifunctional use as it provides many services under a one-time switch. Disadvantages of installing a digital timer switch include: The wiring required to set the timer is different from standard wiring. It needs a neutral wire, which is different from a ground wire. Using a ground wire, meanwhile, may cause danger. Digital timer switches also need different switchboards. Before installing, you must plan in advance. Otherwise, they will may not be matched with ordinary switchboards at home. If you have neutral wires and the needed switchboards, then there is nothing to worry about. Considering all the pros, a digital timer switch is surely a worthwhile investment. Moreover, they can be automatically controlled and set by a specific date and time. Either put it seven days a week, 24 hours a day or even once a year. The ease of use and convenience is a big plus! Digital timer switches have both common consumer uses and large industrial uses. Timers are used in process control equipment to assist in process regulation. They are installed in industrial equipment to record their use and age. And they are used as consumer electronics for household and recreational use. They are ideal for tasks such as: Timing lights to turn on/off in aquariums Switching off Christmas lights To turn on/off heaters In general, switching on/off electronic devices at times when they are/aren't needed Use power automation and timers to schedule when to provide power with our digital timer switches. Also available are remote controlled mains switches. These are great solutions for hard to reach powerpoints.   1. Digital Mains Timer Switch 10A 240V with LCD Display Product code: JMS6114 This switch is more advanced than a mechanical timer, featuring 6 operating buttons. You can set it for the time of day and also the day of the week. The integrated LCD shows the current status and guides you through setup. It also comes with an override on/off/auto selection. Its high accuracy and strong anti-interference allow you to save electricity and money. Most importantly, to help to protect the life of your equipment. Suitable for household appliances, phone chargers, heaters and air conditioners, and more.   2. Digital Timer Switch Module 12V/16A@240VAC Product code: JAA0361 Ideal for automating switching applications that require multiple unattended switching cycles. A great example of this is your heating and lighting home systems. The switch features eight on/off settings configured to work on any day or a combination of days in the week. Each of the on/off settings can be set independently. Moreover, it can correlate with a number of days ranging from a single day to every day. This gives a total of 56 possible on/off cycles per week. The configuration procedure is simple and straightforward.   3. Remote Controlled Mains Switch - 3 Outlet Mains Controller Product code: JMS6147 Turn any standard mains outlet on and off with this remote-controlled mains switch. A 3 outlet mains controller is great for switching off hard-to-reach power points. The remote has a range of up to 30m. Individual control of three mains outlets. Additional power point modules are sold separately (JMS6149).   24 Hour Mechanical Timer Switch (A-N Switch) Product code: JMS6113 This high-quality mechanical switch is ideal for controlling the time appliances are powered. Effective for automatically switching your devices on and off at particular times. Setup takes mere seconds, then set and forget, and it works in 15 min increments. This unit also includes an override switch to engage power when required instantly. Owning a time switch means you can control your household electricity more efficiently. The programmed switching on/off of loads provides energy savings. This is more economical than loads that would be on all the time. Digital timer switches, overall, are a good choice and a great asset. With one, you can operate your appliances and security system with convenience. While at the same time, making your home safer and more secure.

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