PostHeaderIcon Lumsing Bluetooth Waterproof Indoor & Outdoor Wireless Speaker Review

Lumsing was again kind enough to send me one of their awesome products to test out. I have been very impressed with the quality of Lumsing products so far. Their products are top notch, made of solid materials and perform as expected or better. I do not say this lightly either.

Lumsing sent me their HiFi model MM526 waterproof portable bluetooth speaker to test out. When I first opened the box I noticed a couple things. This speaker is heavy. I used to install high end car stereos in high school. I learned that a heavy speaker is generally the sign of a good speaker. The cheaper ones are very light in comparison. This is not a full test of a speaker but a good first impression.

Another thing I noticed is the feel of the device. This portable bluetooth speaker feels solid. It has a silicone outer shell for a good, firm grip. It has an aluminum protective screen over the waterproof speaker. The entire case is covered in a silicone shell and is fully waterproof for normal outdoor use.

This is designed for indoor or outdoor use such as hiking, picnicking or general daily use.

This bluetooth speaker has a stereo amplifier and dual voice coil speakers believe it or not. Dual voice coil speakers in such a small package is quite amazing.

The speaker is rated between 2-3 Ohms and 4 Watts true RMS. This is a very loud speaker for its size. RMS is the standard to compare to and many companies do not even list a power rating at all these days let alone show the true RMS power output. The speaker frequency response is rated from 100 Hz to 20 KHz. Not bad at all for such a portable speaker. Again this is something that has been lacking often on speakers these days and I will not purchase any speaker or stereo without these numbers on the package.

Lumsing Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

There is a 3.7 Volt 1,000 mAh Lithium Ion battery inside the speaker to provide up to 8 hours of use. I have often accidentally left this speaker on overnight and found it still working in the morning after using it for hours the evening before.

You can charge the internal battery using any standard USB port or one of Lumsing’s portable power packs if you are on the go. The charging port is rated at 5 volts at 500 mA.

The bluetooth speaker works fine up to 10 meters which is about roughly 10 yards or 30 feet. This is a good, decent range for a bluetooth speaker.

I have tested this bluetooth speaker extensively using my phone and computer. Connected to a phone it operates way beyond what I had expected. You can follow the video review link below to hear the quality and hear how I tested it. I had my Mother on the phone from Michigan while I sat in my tiny house on New York. We talked at first on the normal phone hands free setting. Then I turned on the bluetooth speaker and it paired nicely and quickly with my cell phone.

Immediately you could hear the difference. The portable Lumsing bluetooth speaker is loud and clear. It acts as a microphone and a speaker for hands free cell phone operation. I put the phone all the way over in the kitchen of my tiny house and left the speaker in the living room on the table. When I stood in the kitchen my Mom could hear me quite well with just a tiny bit diminished clarity. When I walked over to the portable bluetooth speaker we could both hear one another loud and clear.

As an audio speaker I am again truly amazed. I tried the bluetooth speaker on my laptop using the audio in jack. This Lumsing MM526 bluetooth speaker conveniently has an audio input jack which I plug my laptop into. This speaker is way louder and better than the speakers on my laptop. It far surpasses the quality and volume of the laptop speakers. I use the Lumsing bluetooth speaker every day now on my laptop as the main speaker as well as for taking calls on my cell phone.

This speaker is very intelligent and has voice prompts telling you what its status is. When you crank up the volume to its maximum level a female voice clearly tells you so. It tells you when it is paired with bluetooth or when an audio line in jack is plugged into the speaker.

I have yet to try this outside for its portability and water proof capabilities but I will soon do that as the weather outside improves and I start hiking again. This speaker has a built in carabiner which makes it convenient to simply clamp onto your backpack, purse or jeans belt loop.

I will do some more video and blog reviews on this amazing speaker with time.

Lumsing was also kind enough to offer discount coupons to my viewers here:

United States and United Kingdom use Voucher/Coupon Code
LUMSING3 saving $2/£2 when purchasing.
Lumsing Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker links:
US Customers Use This Link
UK Customers Use This Link

See the full video review here and hear the quality for yourself:
Lumsing Portable Bluetooth Speaker Video Review

PostHeaderIcon Desulfating Lead Acid Batteries Homestead Chickens And More

On a dark and gray day, the forklift batteries were pulling in 450 to 480 watts. I had left the inverter and modem on for a little bit which brought them down to 163 watts and a decent 13.7 volts at 63 degrees, but the production was good for a day that was lacking sunshine.

The new chickens have acclimated well to their surroundings at the Off Grid homestead. There are three areas for them to sleep and lay–the coop, the chicken tractor, and the old rabbit hutch. In the coop, the original chickens line up on two perches inside when they are holing up from the weather or sleeping at night. The tractor seems to be where the new birds have decided to stay. It has two seperate areas…one is an enclosed coop above and the other a somewhat more open area beneath. The old rabbit hutch has become the laying facility. They go in, lay their eggs and leave, making it convenient for gathering. Right now, there is one nesting space, but dividers are cut and will be added to create three additional nesting boxes. This day brought five eggs in varying sizes and colors…white, off-white, and light brown…due to the different varieties of hens.

A couple of days before, I hooked the badly sulfated golf cart batteries to my homemade Bedini motor, and I soon discovered the CLEN desulfator was interfering with the Bedini. The CLEN uses electronics to put a high voltage pulse into the batteries which brakes up the sulfation on the plates, whereas the Bedini uses radiant energy. Each time the desulfator pulsed, there was a distinct dimming of the light on the Bedini motor. I disconnected when I realized there was an issue, but I am now going to leave them both running to see what happens, just out of curiosity.

Doing a quick check, the sulfated golf cart batteries showed a surprising 12.63 volts after just a couple days on the Bedini motor. When the voltage stops going up, it will be time to shut off the Bedini, put a load on them, then recharge them again.

To round out my day, I was excited to receive what appears to be a pretty amazing book “Collapse : Suburban Survival Solutions.” Glancing through, I saw it has some extremely interesting information. I’m looking forward to some late nights reading and researching.

See the full video here: YouTube Video

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PostHeaderIcon Beautiful New Addition To The Off Grid Homestead

The day after the latest batch of snow, the chickens needed to be dug out once again, and the solar panels required cleaning. Thankfully, the sun decided to put in a nice, long appearance, bringing the temperatures in the meadow up to a high of 44-46. Not only did this make it nicer to work, it also aided in the snow removal process by melting off some of it.

Once the new snow had been cleared out of the way, it was time to unveil my latest Craig’s List haul . . . chickens! A nearby family had been downsizing and had to get rid of a batch. It was first-come, first-served, and I was able to bring 11 new hens and 4 roosters to the Off Grid homestead. They are a variety of types, but all a year or a little under, so the egg layers will be producing right away. Since they were new, I needed to clip their wings to prevent them from trying to fly off before they became used to their environment. As I did so, the “king” rooster verbalized his feelings about these invaders to his territory.

Before the temperatures dropped for the night, I made sure everyone was settled in with fresh bedding. The original chickens use only one of the three coops, so the new residents just need to choose where they will be sleeping and establish their positions while they all get to know one another.

As a great ending to what was already a very positive day, an update on the solar output showed the batteries were at 71 degrees. That’s exciting progress!

To catch up on my path to self-sufficiency at the Off-Grid Project and the Tiny House on Wheels, and to see the accompanying video to this post, go to:
YouTube Video

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PostHeaderIcon How A Blocking Diode Works & Testing A Diode With A Multimeter

A blocking diode is used to allow electricity to flow in one direction but block the flow in another direction. This can be compared to a one way valve. In this article I will show you how to test a diode to see if it is good or not, how a diode works, and how to use it.

I had a blocking diode fail in my wind turbine setup about a week ago. This diode was between my DC wind turbine and the battery bank. The diode allowed power to flow from the wind turbine into the batteries but blocked the flow of energy back from the batteries into the wind turbine. Without a blocking diode on a wind turbine the battery bank would just power the wind turbine like a big fan motor until the batteries were fully depleted.

How to test a blocking diode

There is a silver band on most diodes. The diode body is black. The silver bandk shows the negative side of the diode and the unmarked side is the positive side.

How to identify a diode markings

Pointing to the negative silver band on the diode

To test a diode with a multimeter, simply set the meter on the Ohms setting. Chose a mid range on the meter.

Take one of your test leads from the meter and hold it onto one of the diode wires. Do the same with the other meter lead on the other wire. If the diode is forward conducting then you will see a resistance reading. Mine was just under 20,000 Ohms. When you reverse the meter leads you should see an infinite reading, or no reading depending on your specific Ohm meter. If you get these results then your diode is good and working fine.

Testing a diode with a multi-meter

Testing a diode with a multimeter

But if your diode has failed like mine and conducting in both directions then you will see a resistance reading in both directions. This means that the diode is defective and should be disposed of. My diode actually shorted out just like a wire. It had almost no resistance at all and was conducting in both directions.

You can see the full video here: YouTube Video

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PostHeaderIcon Heavy Snow Storm & Preparing For Maple Syrup Season

With a storm on the way bringing up to 9 inches of new snow, it was necessary to chop and split wood to get a nice pile ready for about three days of heat.

I also ran into town for some provisions and to get parts for the generator since the gray skies and snow made for poor solar production.

A quick check around 10:00 am, however, prior to the beginnings of the storm, showed the solar pulling in 500 watts of power with the batteries at 14.9 volts, 28.3 amps and maintaining a nice 42 degrees. Not necessarily ideal, but still a good 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperatures.

While in town, I stopped at the post office and picked up packages containing items I had ordered for future projects and improvements. I purchased 10 amp bypass diodes with a 1000 volt rating for the solar panels and two 25 amp blocking diodes, also with a 1000 volt rating, for the wind turbines.

More exciting, for those who share my love for pure maple syrup, was the bigger package that had arrived. In preparation for the upcoming season, I added ten taps, or spiles, with backflow preventers to the ten plastic and five metal ones I had used the previous year. I also purchased fifty feet of tubing and five T-adaptors which allow two spiles to empty into one bucket.

I am looking forward to maple syrup season and don’t have too much longer to wait. In about two weeks, the cold weather should be coming to somewhat of an end. Once the days get warmer and the nights are freezing, it’s time, and I’ll be ready.

For the full video: YouTube Video

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