Category Archives: TTR Website

Acoustic guitar with USB port, and software for recording

Paring electronics with musical instruments has been going on for a long time.  But this was the first of its kind I’ve seen…

The Jammin Pro USB Acoustic 505 has built-in “toys” and features:  a chromatic tuner with LCD display, a pre-amplifier with a four-band equalizer, XLR out port, and a 1/4-inch jack out.

A 5-foot long USB cord is included.  A 9-volt battery must be inserted into the guitar for it to work with a computer…Windows recognized the guitar in the Recording section of the sound properties as a “Microphone – USB PnP Audio Device”.  I was able to record using Sound Recorder (in Windows)…

Initially, using the tuner, I was unable to correctly tune some of strings:  it indicated that the strings were tuned…but I wanted to check with another source (because it’s been months since I’ve tuned a guitar).  I used http://www.howtotuneaguitar.org to get into the general neighborhood of the tones/octaves.  When doing so, I feared I was tuning the strings much too tight…but after ignoring that feeling I found that once I was in the general area of proper tone, the tuner on the guitar helped to get the strings pitch-perfect.  (I’m just long out of practice…)

A copy of MAGIX Music Maker SE (http://www.magix.com/us/music-maker/) is also included for recording from the guitar.

I think this makes a great gift for someone who is interested in learning how to play the guitar, and those who are interested in creating music.

Jammin Pro has suggested that purchases be made from participating retailers (such as http://www.bhphotovideo.com, http://www.teptronics.com, and http://www.midtownsounds.com).

 

TRENDnet USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures

Want to use an old hard drive…or have more storage available…and take advantage of the new, faster USB speeds?

The TRENDnet TU3-S35 3.5” USB 3.0 External Enclosure supports all current USB speeds: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB 1.1, and USB 1.0.  Many factors must be taken into consideration for the possibility of data to be transferred at up to 5 Gbps.  As is posted on their website:

“Data is transferred over USB 3.0 connections at up to 5Gbps. However actual data throughput may be significantly affected by choice of hard drive, computer system architecture, CPU loading, and other factors.

“USB 3.0 super speeds are based on compatible operating systems.”

(So far, I have not had an opportunity to configure the proper combination of hardware and software to get anywhere near 5 Gbps throughput.)

The enclosure is 5.25 x 1.5 x 7.75 inches (133.35 x 38.1 x 196.85mm).  SATA I and II drives of up to 2 TB are compatible.

To my surprise, I found that…to open the enclosure…a small Philips screwdriver is needed.  There is no notice on the packaging of this, but it does state that “hard drive mounting screws” are included (which need a larger Philips screwdriver).

The housing is made of aluminum, and there are large vents are on the front and rear.

Included is a 110 volt AC to 12 volt DC (2 amperes) power adapter, a 6 foot (1.8 meter) long USB 3.0 Type A to Type B cable, and a stand that will allow for the drive to sit vertical.

It’ll work with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.

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TRENDnet also has a USB 3.0 enclosure for 2.5-inch drives:  the TU3-S25 2.5” USB 3.0 External Enclosure.

A 2.5-inch SATA I or II hard drive, or a Solid State Drive (SSD), can be used.  Drives up to 2 TB are supported.

The enclosure can be used with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.

(Again:  “Data is transferred over USB3.0 connections at up to 5Gbps. However actual data throughput may be significantly affected by choice of hard drive, computer system architecture, CPU loading, and other factors.”)

It uses a USB 3.0 Type Micro-B port.  A 1.5 foot (0.5 meter) USB 3.0 Type Micro-B cable to Type A cable is supplied.

Note that a power supply is not included…it is expected that the drive will be powered by the USB port.  In the past, I have had problems with external hard drives, and enclosures, that…because the USB port did not supply enough power…an external power supply was needed.  A power port is available on the device, and I checked the support section of the TRENDnet website for more information, but did not find any about using external power supplies with this enclosure.  I searched the internet, and also did not find any information.  If a situation arises where one is needed, I assume their support division and/or Helpdesk might be able to assist with locating a compatible power supply.

A Philips screwdriver (smaller than those needed for the TU3-S35) will be necessary to complete assembly.

 

Mother’s Day is May 8th! A couple of ideas…

 

May 8th is Mother’s Day!  (You’re welcome…)

Is your mother into tech?  Well, we have a couple of ideas for you.  OK…chicBuds does…

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The chicBuds RockBuds DJ Sport Headphones are black, fold for carrying and storage, and have an adjustable headband.  They use a 44 mm driver.  The length of the cord is 1.5 meters.  A 3.5 milimeter stereo plug is at the end of it, and a 1/4-inch adapter is included.

 

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The chicKiss Bluetooth Wireless Headsets are decorated with Swarovski Crystals for that classy, sassy look.

It comes in two colors:  white, and pink.  An over the ear hook is included, as is three silicon gel tips (XS, S, and M).

A wall adpater charger is supplied for the rechargeable headset.  The standby time can be as long as 200 hours, and talk time up to 6 hours.  The cord for the charger had a plug on it so it can be charged via a USB port, also.

Though intended for use with a wireless telephone, I was able to use it with my computer.

 

 

Chargers to provide power for your devices

Innergie sent a couple of products for us to take a look at…

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The mCube Slim is a power adapter for laptop computers.  Using AC Input from 100 to 240 volts of alternating current (AC), it can deliver direct current (DC) at:  between 15 to 17 volts (at 4.06 amps), 18 to 21 (at 3.3 amps), and 5 volts at 1 amp for USB devices.

It’s 100x57x18 mm (3.9″x2.2″x0.7″), and only weighs 150 grams (5.2 ounces).  Though it will fit in a pocket, a travel pouch is provided for:  the unit, the AC Input Cable, and the DC Output Cable with it’s assortment of adapter tips for connection to devices.  If one of the tips included with the unit doesn’t work for a device, “…we will arrange for a free compatible tip to be sent to you…”  You can check to see if a particular unit is compatible with the mCube Slim by going to their website and clicking on the “Check compatibility” link.

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The mMini DC 10 is a power adapter for use in vehicles with 12 volt outputs…

It has two USB ports that deliver 10 watts of power at 2 amps.  (At 69mm x 23mm x 25mm, and weighing only 22 grams) It’s another item that can be put in your pocket to keep your power hungry mobile devices fully charged and ready to use!

 

Jigsaw Puzzle Game, The M, Coming to iPhone (April 14th)

I recieved a press release about a new game for iPhones…

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Jigsaw Puzzle Game, The M, Coming to iPhone April 14th

…you get to choose from a 16-piece or 25 piece puzzle…you can choose a jigsaw mode or a slider puzzle mode…you can choose the difficulty level of the game. With the difficulty level increasing, other challenges are added to make the puzzling more fun. The rotation option was added to the jigsaw mode which allows you to change the direction of the puzzle pieces making the puzzle a little more complicated to solve.  You may have to try a few spots, rotating the pieces a couple of times, until you find where the puzzle piece fits.

 

…You just slide the puzzle pieces around the board.  When the puzzle is finished, you’ll be able to see how long it took to solve it…

 

 

The M will be available in the App Store for 99 cents.  Though there is also a FREE version, this version does have ads that pop up each time you play a puzzle.  When this happens, you have to touch the ad, then touch skip…

The game comes complete with OpenFeint and the ability to log into Facebook and brag about your scores…a series of major updates are in the queue to keep your gaming fresh and fun in the future.