Battery power in home tools is critical. Remember those first power drills screwdrivers. They could barely turn themselves much less a screw. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a home project and have your cordless drill crap out. The worst offender for premature wimping out are cordless vacs, namely the Black & Decker DustBuster. I have two 7.2 volt DustBusters and they a both don't suck, BUT THEY"RE SUPPOSED TO!!! I get two minutes max of sufficient power to make using them worthwhile. In other words, I get about a third of my car done of my car before the &^%#%@) unit dies. The earlier 4.8 volt DustBuster was useless junk and the 7.2 volt units didn't improve on it much. Somehow the 7.2 volt unit earned three and half stars in Amazon reviews…maybe I got two lemons. Black & Decker has a huge line of corded and cordless portable vacs. In cordless, they come in many voltages now: 9.6, 14.4, 15.6 and 18 volts. The 18 volt PHV1800 gets four and a half stars on Amazon's user reviews, but costs $55 while less energized units are consider less.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.