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Your source for home automation, home theaters, product reviews, mods, hacks, DIY projects, electronics or anything else I'm into at the moment.

Last Build Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:05:38 +0000


Top 10 USB-C Accessories For The 2016 MacBook Pro

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 01:13:24 +0000


I’ve have my 2016 MacBook Pro w/Touch Bar, the fully loaded 2TB one, for about a month now.  I’m loving it!  My old MacBook was an early 2011 so everything has been a big leap forward for me including the battery life and overall performance. Love that size, weight and the space grey color. That said, I’ve had to purchase a bunch of USB-C accessories so I can interface with my electronics development kits and other accessories.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been purchasing and testing which USB-C dongles/accessories I can recommend to you. Here is my list (so far), hope you enjoy:

1) Kingston Digital 128GB Data Traveler Micro Duo USB 3C Flash Drive (DTDUO3C/128GB) – Starting at $14
This is the perfect little flash drive because it has a standard USB 3.0 interface on one side and USB-C on the other all packed tightly in it’s tiny package.  Comes in 16gb, 32gb, 64gb and 128gb drive sizes.

2) nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 Mini Adapter  – $10.99
I keep one of these adapters attached to my extra Apple Watch charging cable that I keep in my bag.  What’s great about this adapter is it’s very well built and rigid.  What’s not so great is that on one can be plugged into each side of the MacBook Pro because it’s fairly wide and two side-by-side won’t fit.

3) Apple USB-C to USB Adapter – $9
Everyone needs to at least own one of these adapters.  While not as rigid as the nonda version above, this one made by Apple is narrow enough that you can plug in two side-by-side.   I use the nonda and this one plugged in side-by-side with no issues.

4) Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable (1M) – $19
To cover all my basis, I also bought the Apple USB-C to Lightning cable to keep in my bag, mostly because I don’t want to futz with adapters plus this version of the cable feels thicker than your standard Apple USB Lightning Cable.  I’m thinking there is less cable loss and it may wear better over time (TBD).

5) Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter – $26
I typically prefer to be hardwired to a network if I need to transfer lots of files/data.  The Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter looks and feels like an Apple built adapter.  It also doesn’t require any drivers to be …

Mavromatic’s Technology Gift Guide – 2016

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 16:31:21 +0000


Keeping with tradition, I compiled the greatest technology gift ideas so you don’t have too.  It’s not Oprah’s “My favorite things” but definitely in the top 10 😉.  Available now at the following ABC Local Stations Websites: KABC (Los Angeles), KGO (San Francisco), KTRK (Houston), KFSN (Fresno), WABC (New York), WLS (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia) and WTVD (Raleigh Durham) — Enjoy!…

How To Make An Industrial Light Sculpture

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 03:27:40 +0000

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I was walking around downtown Seattle during my lunch and walked by a furniture store when these light bulb sculptures caught my eye. After researching them online. I found out they are used/old “industrial factory bulbs”. When mounted on a piece of wood, they look really cool.

Please support the artists that originally thought of and made them, but if you want to do a variation of your own — this is an easy project to learn woodworking and creating a piece of art.

Products used:
Sylvania 64468 – 1000 Watt
Daly’s Profin Satin
Black Gloves

Best Prime Day Deal: Segway miniPRO Smart Self Balancing Personal Transporter

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 16:58:05 +0000


Happy Amazon Prime Day!  If you have been looking for a “safer” version of the oh so popular “hover boards” then you’ll love the Segway miniPRO at this steep discounted price of $699 from $999.  Basically, it’s a few hundred more than the ones that catch on fire.

This little personal transporter connects to a mobile app via Bluetooth and allows remote control operation, anti-theft alarm, speed control, customizable lights, vehicle diagnostics, and firmware updates!  It’s also UL Certified so it meets the fire and electrical safety set by world-renown global safety science company Underwriters Laboratories.  It can also carry up to 220 lbs and it’s dual motor engine delivers 1600 watts of power to safely reach top speeds of 10 MPH and distances of 14 miles on a full charge.

The best part, as announced at CES by Intel — it can be turned into an autonomous Robot!

– Segway miniPRO

If you are looking for more of a motorized skateboard — be sure to check out the $100 discount of a Boosted Board!…

The Right Way To Clean Brake Dust Off Rims Using Sonax Full Effect

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 19:02:02 +0000

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My least favorite part about washing/detailing my car is cleaning the brake dust off the wheels. Mostly because the cleaners I’ve used in the past either seemed to emit extremely toxic fumes or left behind fine dust that required additional scrubbing. That’s why I like the Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner. First, this stuff is “Made in Germany” so it must be great, right? Second, it turns red when it’s working — visual indication! Third, it just works — no fuss, no muss! Spray onto dry, cool wheels, wait a minute or two, then rinse off.

I take my car to our local self-service Brown Bear Car Wash and use the pressure washer setting to rinse the spray off. Using this process I don’t have to do any additional scrubbing — it works like magic! I then use a microfiber cloth to dry/clean the rim to a factory new finish.

If you guys adopt my method of wheel cleaning, you’ll be able to spend more time cleaning the rest of your car than spending wasted time on your rims.

Products used:
Sonax Full Effect Wheel Cleaner
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (24-Pack)

How To Remove Denim Jean Rub Stains Off Light Car Leather Interior

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:21:37 +0000

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I like lighter colored interiors in cars and I cannot lie — but the issue is they’re always not that practical, especially if you wear denim jeans daily. Here’s a quick tip I learned for dealing with light colored interior so if you start noticing your leather car seats have a blue tinge to them (or they’re just dirty) you’ll know what to do. Now, if you are here because you searched on “how to get denim jean rub stains off of light car leather interior”, you’re also in luck! I have the solution and it works like magic.

You need the two items listed below and some elbow grease. It’s literally a wipe on, wipe off solution. I do it at the first sign the seats are getting dirty and also when I wash the car. The Chamberlain’s leather care liniment not only cleans the leather but treats it so it stays supple and less likely to crack over time.

Products used:
Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment No. 1
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (24-Pack)

Boosted Board $100 Off Code (V2) — Pre-order Now!

Sat, 18 Jun 2016 21:19:44 +0000


Boosted Board has their 2nd Generation powered boards available for pre-order and if you order one now I can extend you $100 off your order.  The board should arrive for some summer enjoyment in late July…

This next generation version offers many upgrades from the previous version including smoother braking, more powerful electric motors, and updated wireless control. The 2nd generation also offers upgrades like an extended range battery pack, water-resistant electronics, and advanced connectivity. The new battery options now include a standard battery with range of up to 6­-7 miles of range and an extended battery option that offer up to 12­-14 miles of range.  The batteries are now also user replaceable so you can swap packs in minutes.

Starting at $999… for $100 off, use referral/coupon code: ARBOQp5K

Boosted Board — Get $100 off

How To Fix Minor Curb Rash Scratches On Alloy Wheel (Diamond Turned)

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 15:34:31 +0000

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I’ve never curbed a wheel before! Well, until this time — my first time. I was actually letting my wheels get dirty because I’m going to do a review of a wheel cleaner for a next video (so that’s why my wheels are so dirty!). Here’s what happened — I was parking at an end spot (to avoid any door dings) and as I was pulling into the space, I maneuvered a bit to close to the curb and nicked my rim. It was one of those really short curbs that was the perfect height as where my rim meets tire. Just felt like a slight bump… bummer!

Result, I got a minor curb rash. Because the wheel is “diamond turned” I knew I could never make it 100%. I just wanted it to be smooth so the brake dust doesn’t fill in the dings and make it less noticeable. In this video, I attempted to fix it the best I could. This one will be swapped with the spare tire rim but let me know what you think!

Products used:
1000 grit sand paper, wet sanded
Automotive Touchup Clear Coat
Meguiar’s M105 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound
Meguiar’s M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish

!!Spoiler Alert!! — while the repair made it less noticeable — I am going to replace the wheel……

Use A Single Cat5 Cable For Both Phone and Ethernet

Sat, 11 Jun 2016 23:39:29 +0000

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As I’m trying to building up my YouTube Channel (please subscribe!) — I’ve decided to revisit my most popular posts here at Mavromatic. The plan is to create videos of these posts so people can watch instead of just read. I find that video often times makes the process of understanding complex things a little easier.

The post I’ve chosen to revisit and turn into a video this week is actually two separate posts which I’ve combined — HOW TO: Wire An Ethernet And Phone Jack Using A Single Cat5e Cable and HOW TO: Using a Cat5e Jack (RJ-45) for use with a Telephone Connector (RJ-11).  They are still relevant as standalone posts, but I hope this video helps and allows you to “Do-It-Yourself”.

Feel free to comment below or on my YouTube channel and I will answer your questions.

Tools used in this video:
– Wiha 32092 Slotted And Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set, 1000 Volt, 6 Piece
– Ideal Punchmaster II Tool 110 Blade

Visual Aids:

(image) …

Father’s Day Technology Gift Guide – 2016

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:00:06 +0000

Father’s Day is right around the corner but don’t worry, you still have time to get your dad a gift in time! Check out my gift guide for ideas at any one of these ABC stations website: Los Angeles/KABC, San Francisco/KGO, Houston/KTRK, Fresno/KFSN, New York/WABC, Chicago/WLS, Philadelphia/WPVI and Raleigh-Durham/WTVD. This is also my first video rendition of a gift guide as well: src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home Remote with Hub – ($245) Someday we won’t need remotes but until then we need a really good one to manage all our devices. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is that solution and works with over 270,000 devices ranging from TV’s, Set-top boxes like Apple TV, Roku, Sonos and Gaming Consoles. It can even control home automation devices like Philips hue lights and even the Nest Learning Thermostat. But make sure you get your dad the one bundled with the Harmony Home Hub because it will allow control of devices that are tucked away in cabinets. And by downloading the Harmony mobile app, he will have control of those devices from an iOS, Android tablet or smartphone. This is my favorite feature — If your dad already has an Amazon Echo ($180), he’ll be able to connect it together using IFTTT and control his devices by voice. Finally, we’re living in the future! Lexar JumpDrive for iOS – (Starting at $29.99) Transferring and backing up files seems to always be an issue in today’s world, especially if your dad loves to take photos and videos on his iPhone or iPad. The Lexar JumpDrive makes it much easier to move files around and free up space without needing to connect to a computer. It’s great when traveling! Don’t let its weird looks fool you, the lightening connector on the one end simply plugs into the lightening port on the iOS device. Then, using the free Lexar Mobile Manager, simply select the files you want to move or copy onto the built in Flash Drive. It’s really that simple! I use it as a way to move files from my iPhone to my computer. I simply copy the files I want to the JumpDrive, then plug it into my computer via USB and access the files like I would using a flash drive. Tile Tracker – (Starting at $24.99) Does your dad have a knack for “misplacing” things? If so, …[...]