Category Archives: Product Information

Nothing to Sneeze At

Parts of a so called non-refillable pepper mill
A so called, non-reusable pepper mill. Using some heat as described in the accompanying article I was able to easily disassemble the parts and refill. There are three parts to this one: the vessel or body (glass), the grinder core (black), and the grinder housing (white).

While pepper may make you sneeze, choosing whole peppercorns over pre-ground, paired with a good quality pepper mill is really nothing to sneeze at. Freshly ground pepper is preferable to pre-ground pepper bought in a tin because peppercorns contain volatile compounds that begin evaporating the moment peppercorns are ground and exposed to air. There are green peppercorns, black peppercorns, white peppercorns and more. How do you know which to choose? There are different pepper mills. Which are the best? Can you refill those “non-reusable” pepper mills from the spice isle in the markets? All this and more in today’s episode of Old Man in the Kitchen. […READ MORE]

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The Eye of the Eagle

Immature black-crowned heron preening.
Immature black-crowned night heron preening.

One of my greatest joys while living full-time on the road in my RV was visiting America’s most beautiful natural places–Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks, Zion and Canyonlands, Yosemite and Yellowstone, to name just a few. I can’t tell you how many times while doing so I wished I could have had a closer look at things in the distance–animals and scenic vistas, even the heavens. Some of the places I visited were recognized as International Dark Sky sites–places renowned for stargazing–and here too a close-up view would have come in real handy and enhanced the experience. If I could only see like an eagle! Read more…

Wilson Mobile 4G RV Cell Signal Booster

Wilson Mobile 4G RV Cell Signal Booster
Wilson Mobile 4G RV Cell Signal Booster

The idea behind this product is to boost cell signals thereby improving your ability to both make cell calls and transfer data (Internet) in locations where it can otherwise be difficult or impossible to do so. I’ve used one of these for almost a year (as of April 2015) as I’ve traveled about the country in a motorhome. So, it’s from that vantage point my comments are issued.

At times my Mobile 4G has made all the difference: the difference between being able to make a cell call or not; the difference between being able to load a web page, send an email or not. By bolstering signal strength it can also reduce dropped calls, prevent dropped Internet connections as well speed up Internet downloads. Surprisingly, there have been occasions where it has been advantageous to avoid using the booster–more on that later–but in those situations you wouldn’t need it anyway, in my experience. READ MORE…

It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your solar charge controller is?

The solar panel portion of the GoPower GP-PSK-120 solar panel kit
The solar panel portion of the GoPower GP-PSK-120 solar panel kit

When I first set off on my See-the-USA-in-an-RV trip back in May of ’14 I brought with me a little, 120 watt portable solar panel kit with the idea it would generate a little electricity and cut down a little on how long each day I’d need to run my generator, and it has. As time has passed and my explorations into the scintillating world or sunshine and solar have progressed I’ve learned more and more about the whole solar thing. Learning about this sort of stuff is fun and has practical benefits, one of which led me to replace the controller on my solar panel kit and this has allowed me to go generator free for the most part since then. READ MORE…

PASSPORT AMERICA: 50% OFF CAMPGROUND FEES WORKS FOR ME

There probably aren’t too many RVers that haven’t heard of the 50% off campground discount program known as Passport America (PA). If you haven’t, this post will serve as your introduction to this program which I believe is very worthwhile. If you’re already familiar with PA there may be a tidbit or two in this post that all save you money on other things you weren’t aware are part of the program. READ MORE…

User Report: GoPower GP-PSK-120 Portable Solar Panel

The solar panel portion of the GoPower GP-PSK-120 solar panel kit
The solar panel portion of the GoPower GP-PSK-120 solar panel kit

Unlike so many so-called product reviews which merely repeat manufacturer’s claims about the features, benefits and claimed performance of their products in an effort to get you to buy the product so that a commission may be earned, this is an actual User Report based on my personal experience with the product and the manufacturer.

In this report I will be writing about the GoPower 120 Watt portable solar panel kit, model GP-PSK-120. Originally I rated this product “Don’t Buy” but since then the product has changed and so has my approach to reviewing products. Realizing that a product may well suit the needs of one person but not those of another I think it makes more sense to simply describe my experience with it and let readers decide for themselves whether or not they would want to purchase.

As far as the GoPower GP-PSK-120 goes, my original rating was based in large measure to that which I regarded as failed tech support. The vagaries of human interactions makes this element of evaluating a product something of an inconsistent variable. Regardless of the product or company you might get great support during one phone call and terrible support during another call two minutes later. Product quality is less likely to vary as much, so it seems to me.

As to the quality of the GP-PSK-120, GoPower has changed the charge controller since I bought my kit. I have not tested the newer product but the manufacturer’s claim is that the new controller performs better than the old one. This could make a significant difference in performance of the product, upping it from what I originally believed to be fair or even poor to good or even better. READ MORE…