Belkin Conserve Energy Insight Cost Meter

by Marcel 24 July 2012

As part of my quest to use less electricity I needed a good power monitor. There are a lot to choose from from complicated devices that accept memory cards for full logging to simple devices that only show current usage.

I decided on the Belkin energy cost meter because it is somewhere in between. It does not have full logging capabilities, but it does have an 'averaging mode' which is what I needed to measure the electricity usage of switching devices. (like your fridge for instance)

This monitor is very easy to use, just plug it into the wall socket and then plug the device you want to measure into it. The energy meter will instantly tell you the wattage being used by your device. Press on the Euro button to see the costs (per year or per month). For something like your fridge, which only switches on when necessary you just leave the energy meter plugged in for at least 45 minutes, it then goes into averaging mode to give you an idea of the costs/usage of the device.

Testing devices around the house is actually a great learning experience, I found that my television only uses about 1 watt when in standby mode, but that my mediabox uses a whopping 42 watts when in sleep mode! That is a cost of 80 euros per year for a device that is sleeping!!!

If you need a better insight into your energy use, the Belking Conserve energy cost meter is very useful. It is easy to use, has a nice long cable so you can still see the display when measuring hard to get at wall sockets and it measures wattage all the way down to half a watt.

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Create a Wi-Fi connected camera with an Eye-Fi card

by Marcel 28 August 2011

Don't you hate having to connect your camera to your computer every time you want to retrieve photos from it? Wouldn't life be much, much easier if they were instantly transferred as soon as they are taken?

If you answered yes to this, then the Eye-Fi card is exactly what you need, it's a standard looking SD card, but the people at Eye-Fi have managed to actually build a fully capable Wi-Fi card into it!

I've been testing the most basic model for the last week and apart from a few niggles it's a very handy gadget to have, especially if your other half is less euhm... technically adept...

Setting it up is fairly easy, just install the software on your PC (or laptop) use the supplied USB adaptor to connect the card to your PC and follow the setup wizard, it only takes a few minutes for the standard setup. Now, whenever you take a photo, the Eye-fi card will automatically send it to your PC, isn't that great!

I ended up changing my settings though, my laptop isn't always on, and I don't really want to save my photos on it. But of course there are other options available. The Eye-fi card can also send your pictures to other destinations, such as Facebook, Flickr or what I use my NAS via FTP. This works great too, after taking a picture, within minutes it is available on our shared drive :)

Even on vacation it can send my photos home as long as it has a Wi-fi connection!

I highly recommend this card, if you've got a camera that accepts SD cards (full size) then you should get one of these.

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Cameras


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