Various innovations in consumer goods are presented. Products include headphones, video games, snow tires, sealer for paintbrushes, waterproof gloves for fishing, an e-mailing device, a computer pointing device, a stacking washer and dryer, a pellet stove, a hands-free telephone, a tool adapter, and a tennis racket. Addresses and telephone numbers needed to obtain the product are given.
Full Text :COPYRIGHT 1999 The Hearst Corporation
From home improvement to outdoors, automotive to electronics, here's the newest gear you'll want to own.
Late Night Listening
We know headphones aren't meant for everyone--but sometimes, it's the only way to go, especially if you're watching a movie with your Dolby Digital home theater system. Meant for enthusiasts who may run into problems with an apartment, sleeping children or other audio stumbling blocks, Sony's new MDR-DS5000 is the first Virtual Dolby Digital surround sound headphone. The unit is infrared and cordless, and includes a Dolby Digital decoder and Logic 3D digital processor. The transmitter can be used with almost every audio/video system and includes digital optical input for direct decoding of a 5.1 or 2-channel Dolby Digital source. Other features include controls for balance and volume, and front and rear infrared receiver diodes for optimum reception with a 90 [degrees] or 33-ft. range. Contact Sony Electronics, 1 Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ 07656; 201/930-7834.
Okay: What's better than a Saturday afternoon of college football? How about a Saturday night playing it? To quicken these proceedings 989 Sports has come up with a new videogame for Sony Playstation, which includes the voice of legendary announcer Keith Jackson calling the play-by-play. The new GameBreaker game includes every NCAA Division 1-A team and stadium, along with each team's fight song. Dare to dream? There are also more than 2200 plays designed by college coaches and based on real NCAA Division 1-A team playbooks. Another aspect is the Blue Chip Recruiting feature, allowing you to act like a real recruiter and build your own crushing team. Contact 989 Sports, 989 E. Hillside Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404; 650/655-8000.
Get A Grip
When roads are covered with ice and snow, you don't get to see much scenery if you're stuck in one spot spinning your wheels. Goodyear's new Ultra Grip Ice tire uses a special silica tread compound for 25% improved ice traction compared to a conventional winter tire. The tread stays pliant in freezing temperatures and evacuates the film of icy water just below the snow. The tire is available in 14- and 15-in. sizes and ranges in price from $125 to $144 wherever Goodyear tires are sold. Contact Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 1144 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44316; 800-GOODYEAR.
Don't Stick Around
Brush Stuff is a sealer that you apply to roller covers and, paint brushes to keep paint from adhering to them. Just rub the material into the painting tool, and all types of paint will clean more easily from the tools, says its manufacturer. You need to reapply the product before painting again, according to The Flood Co. A 6-ounce tube has enough material for 100 applications, and it costs about $6 at hardware stores, paint stores and home centers. Contact The Flood Co., P.O. Box 2535, Hudson, OH 44236; 800-321-3444.
The first form-fitting waterproof glove to give you full motion control lets you string a fishing line or tie a mountain-climbing rope. SealSkinz Gloves use Moisture Vapor Transpiration (MVT) technology and a 3-layer process to make them windproof and breathable. An inner layer of DuPont CoolMax wicks perspiration away from the skin. The outer layer is a combination of nylon, polyester and Lycra for durability and stretch. The MVT membrane is in between. The gloves cost $28.50 through catalogs and outdoor retailers. Contact SealSkinz, 1002 Industrial Rd., Old Hickory, TN 37138; 800-868-2629.
For that midlife crisis or any other crisis, kick back and let everything work itself out by tooling down the highway in a traditional '32 Ford Roadster hot rod. Cast cares, top and fenders to the wind with the So-Cal Special, a nifty turnkey rod that starts at a cool $75,000. Assemble it yourself and save a couple of bucks, for an even cooler $22,000 will bring everything right to your door. Contact So-Cal Speed Shop, 1357 E. Grand Ave., Pomona, CA 91766; 909/469-6171; www.socalspeedshop.com.
Message in Your Pocket
Whether you use e-mail for business or simply for staying in touch, no one can deny it's a part of everyday life. And although laptops give you some freedom to make your e-mailing portable, it's still a somewhat inconvenient way to go. Enter Pocket-Mail HC-E100 by JVC. This small device allows you to send and receive e-mail messages anytime, anywhere using the PocketMail service. The HC-E100 is wallet-size and priced at $129, with an additional service charge of $9.95. Contact JVC, 1700 Valley Rd., Wayne, NJ 07470; 973/315-5000.
You shouldn't have to accept a sloppy seal on a door just because it opens onto a patio or other outdoor area. Pease says its new patio door makes a refrigerator-tight seal to its frame because it has a magnetic weatherstrip on the lock and head jamb. A compression foam weatherstrip seals the door on the hinge side of the jamb. Its other substantial features include a galvanized channel frame for the screen. Also, the screen rides on ball bearings for less sliding noise and smoother operation. The door is made from 24-ga. steel. A triple door such as the one shown costs about $675. Contact Pease Industries Inc., 7100 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield, OH 45014; 800-883-6677.
Cool Cruise Cat
Making computing easier is what Cirque Corp. is about. And in order to demonstrate this capability, it announces its new Cruise Cat. This pointing device, which replaces the mouse on your computer, is an Internet-savvy touchpad with advanced Web capabilities. The touchpad is ultrathin at under .5 in. and includes one-touch Web surfing, scrolling and zooming. It also has four embossed virtual "hot buttons" on the pad's surface, each representing different computing functions. Default gestures such as cut, paste, minimize, maximize and close program are all preassigned, but Cirque's software allows you to customize many of your own gestures as well. The Cruise Cat retails for $99.99. Contact Cirque Corp., 433 W. Lawndale Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84115; 801/467-1100.
Stack 'Em Up
Maytag's Neptune high-efficiency washer and dryer are a hit with homeowners, so it makes sense the company would bring out a stacking version of the appliances. Except for the vertical configuration, the machines are identical to the side-by-side pair. The washer uses 22 gal. of water per load, compared to about 38 gal. for a typical washer. Its 2.9-cu.-ft. horizontal stainless steel tub tips back at a slight angle. It has sufficient capacity, says Maytag, to wash 10 king-size sheets in a single load. It spins the water out of a load at 800 rpm--reducing drying time in the process. Maytag claims the machines reduce water consumption by 40% and energy use by 65%, compared to typical laundry appliances. The pair costs about $2000 at Maytag dealers. Contact the company at 403 W. Fourth St. N., Newton, IA 50208.
Chop wood, not fingers. Hatchet Jack splits logs for firewood safely and easily. The splitter works by placing a log on a hydraulic jack that sits on the base of a steel frame. The splitting wedge is mounted to the top plate. The jack forces the log into the wedge, making it split. Hatchet Jack measures 12 x 12 x 42 in. and weighs 62 pounds. The splitter costs $199.98 from Extant Inc., 5843 Glen Eagles Ct., Avon, IN 46168; 317/745-5855.
The Gas-A-Fire is a pellet stove that can run on a 12-volt marine or auto battery backup to provide power to its fans and auger if the power goes out. Under normal operation, it runs off 120 volts. It takes its name from its ability to drive off volatile gases from the pellets at comparatively low temperatures. The gases are then burned. A side benefit of this process is that little of the heat is lost up the chimney. It has relatively low vent temperatures (about 230 [degrees] F to 260 [degrees] F), and it vents out the back through a 3-in.-dia. insulated metal pipe. It costs about $2000 at hearth-product dealers. Contact Deli-Point Technology, 3 Rue Montmartre, Blainville, Quebec, Canada J7C 2Z6.
If you're thinking of building a lighted display case or installing under-cabinet lighting, have a look at this UL-listed low-temperature, low-voltage light. It's supposed to produce half the heat of a halogen light, and its life is rated at 10,000 hours. It uses an 18-watt Xenon bulb. The light by itself costs about $18 and a 3-light transformer about $50. The brass step-baffle shown costs an additional $6. Shipping is extra. Contact Rockier Woodworking and Hardware, 4365 Willow Dr., Medina, MN 55340.
We've all experienced the "tired neck" syndrome of holding a phone while trying to get something else done. If you'd like to avoid this problem, try Cobra Electronics' new CO-9135R 900-MHz analog phone, which includes a headset for hands-free operation. The phone also includes Private Call voice-scrambling capability to prevent users of scanners and other cordless phones from eavesdropping on your conversations, a speakerphone with intercom, and dual keypads to let you initiate calls from the handset or phone base. List price is $179.95. Contact Cobra Electronics, 6500 W. Cortland St., Chicago, IL 60707; 773/889-8870.
Adapt To Survive
Stated flatly, the Leatherman Tool Adapter is a superb example of human ingenuity. It greatly extends the usefulness of the Leatherman, a formidably versatile tool in its own right. The adapter slides neatly over the knuckle of the tool's pliers, and is clamped in place when you close the handles. It takes only seconds to insert the implement or remove it, and it moves through three locking positions: 180 [degrees] to the handle, at 45 [degrees] to the handle or 90 [degrees] to the handle. The adapter's holder has room for eight bits, and it comes with six: two Phillips bits sized to complement the folding Phillips screwdriver already in the tool, two square drive bits, a straight bit and a Torx. All the bits are 1/4-in. drive types, allowing you to improvise a nutdriver by buying a 1/4-in.-square-drive bit with a ball detent. The adapter TITS me original Leatherman, the PST II and the Super Tool (about $50, $60 and $80, respectively). With a holder, the adapter costs about $27 and it's sold in tool catalogs, at home centers and at sporting goods dealers. Contact Leatherman, P.O. Box 20595,. Portland, OR 97294.
If your game stinks, the answer may not be more tennis lessons but a better racket. The longer, lighter Slazenger Pro Braided Xtreme gives you more power with its 28-in. length--an inch longer than traditional rackets--extra reach, higher head speeds and a large 100-sq.-in. head. Using 100% braided graphite construction, the 11.4-ounce racket delivers greater stiffness and control. You'll find the new Slazenger at on-court pro shops for $159. Contact Dunlop Sports, P.O. Box 3070, Greenville, SC 29602; 800-277-8000.
Here's an easy alternative to hefting heavy gas cans to fuel recreational vehicles, agricultural equipment and sport aircraft. This portable, hand-operated fueling station uses a top quality U.S.-made pump and components. The 20-pound unit transfers 5 gal./minute and features a collapsible tripod for easy transportation. The unit comes with a 7-ft. delivery hose and 33-in. suction hose. Custom-length hoses are available as is a $25 optional screw-on inline filter. The cost is $199 plus shipping and handling from J&R Creations, 8500 Faith Rd., Montague, CA 96064; 530/459-5700.
GROMER, CLIFF. "Great Stuff." Popular Mechanics Feb. 1999: 44. Academic OneFile. Web. 21 Nov. 2009.
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