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  • My smoke alarms are beeping even after replacing the batteries. Why?

    I have 5 first alert smoke detectors in my home. They were installed when the house was built about 6 years ago. They are all hardwired into the AC power and have 9v backup batteries. Additionally, there is an interconnect wire at each alarm which I assume connects them all together.

    A few days ago we started hearing the low battery beep (i.e. 1 beep every minute or so) so today I replaced the batteries in all 5 alarms with new batteries that I just purchased. After doing that the beeping stopped for about 2 hours, then one of the alarms started beeping again and about 30 seconds later a second one started beeping. This time it was a different beep, it was 4 beeps in quick succession, then a pause then the cycle would repeat. From what I saw online, 4 beeps indicates possible carbon monoxide, but I don't have any gas appliances and the two detectors that were beeping weren't near each other. I took them down from the ceiling and disconnected their batteries to get them to stop beeping.

    I am doubtful that there is any actual CO in my home since I don't have gas appliances. Also since this happened very shortly after replacing the batteries I believe the two events are probably somehow related.

    I don't want to leave the smoke alarms disconnected since that presents a safety issue, but I also don't want to put them back up only to be awoken in the middle of the night to stumble around a dark house. The alarms also scare my young son.

    How can I isolate the problem?

    1 AnswerOther - Home & Garden6 years ago
  • How deep is the water at cruise ship ports?

    Like the ports in the Bahamas, etc where the ships dock at their ports of call. I'm interested in how deep the water is in those ports. I know the draft of cruise ships is roughly 25-30' but I couldn't find any info on how deep the water in the typical cruise ship port is. I'd assume they want a safety margin, but I don't know what they consider a safe margin.

    3 AnswersCruise Travel6 years ago
  • What's the difference between wire speed and circuit speed?

    I understand what wire speed is from reading the wikipedia article on it, but I don't understand what circuit speed means.

    Cisco use the following two sentences describing different routers on the same page on their website, which leads me to believe that there is a difference between them:

    Circuit-speed performance up to 25 Mbps with concurrent services

    Wire-speed performance with secure data services

    1 AnswerComputer Networking7 years ago
  • Google services are slow. How can I fix this?

    For the past few weeks I've noticed that Google services (Gmail, Google+, YouTube, etc) are slow. Primarily where I see the slowness is when I try to view a photo gallery on G+ (it takes 10-20 seconds to load the thumbnails of the photos), or download an attachment from Gmail where I see an average download speed of approx 30 KBps. YouTube is less problematic, but I frequently notice that I get less buffering if I use LTE on my phone vs my WiFi when watching YouTube videos.

    I just recently started using G+ (the first place I noticed the slowness), so chances are pretty good that Google has been slow for a while before I noticed it.

    The Google web search seems fast, but Gmail and G+ are services where I can definitely a speed difference. They only seem slow at home for me, if I use them at work they're not slow.

    Other websites, however, are not slow at home. I get normal download speeds for seemingly everything except Gmail and G+. Speedtest shows the results I would expect based on the speed tier I am subscribed to.

    I asked a friend if he's had any similar problems and he has not. He lives about 6 miles away and uses the same ISP (Road Runner via Bright House Networks). My office is also using Bright House Networks and is about half a mile from my house, so I don't think this is an ISP issue.

    Since only Google services seem to be affected that seems to point to a Google problem, however since the services work fine at other locations that would seem to indicate that my home network is the problem. I'm stumped as to what could be causing the problem or how to troubleshoot it. Any suggestions?

    2 AnswersGoogle7 years ago
  • Dental crown question?

    My regular dentist told me I needed a root canal on one of my molars and told me I would need to go to an endodontist. I was not too keen on getting a root canal since it didn't sound too pleasant so I put it off (dumb, I know). Fast forward a year and my tooth starts to hurt so I made an appointment with another dentist who has an endodontist on their staff. I told them the tooth was bothering me and that the previous dentist said I needed a root canal. The tooth in question had a filling from a long time ago and this dentist said that there was decay underneath the filling so he drilled out the filling and decay and then built up the tooth and put a temporary crown on and took impressions for a permanent crown. I asked him about the previous dentist saying I needed a root canal and asked him at what point we would know if I needed to have one. He said he didn't know yet and it would be dependant on if I still have pain after getting the crown. So my question is...since they've already gone through the process of putting the temp crown on and sending off for the permanent one, if I still have pain after they put that on and I end up needing a root canal, am I going to have to go through this whole process again or will they be able to take the crown off, do the root canal and put it back on? I am concerned because I don't want to have to pay for a crown twice and would rather just have had them do the root canal and be done with it but I didn't really understand what he was telling me at the time and just recently started thinking about it.

    With the temp crown on the tooth, it still aches and is still sensitive to cold although not as much as it was. Is that a sign that the permanent crown isn't going to fix my problem?

    3 AnswersDental7 years ago
  • Best home security system company?

    I'm interested in getting a security system for my home. The home is about 2000 square feet and I have 4 doors and 15 windows I want to have sensors on. Nothing is prewired and I am OK with a wireless solution. I do not have a landline so I would need cellular monitoring.

    I got quotes from ADT, Safetouch and Guardian. ADT is the national brand, Safetouch is a company that covers Florida and Georgia and Guardian is a local company that covers the county I live in plus a few others.

    After getting quotes, I get the impression that none of these companies are very consumer friendly and all they care about is making a sale. The prices for install and 3 years of monitoring have ranged from $2000-4000.

    All of the agreements have various junk in them from not actually owning the equipment you purchase to automatically renewing to them having the right to jack up your monitoring prices.

    I am interested in seeing if anyone can recommend a company that doesn't have these shady practices.

    I know there are places online where you can buy alarm system components and create a DIY alarm system but I am not really interested in that, I want something where I can call a company and have them come fix it if something isn't working.

    10 AnswersOther - Home & Garden7 years ago
  • Best home media streaming device?

    I currently have a Boxee Box, Apple TV and Roku 1 player between my bedroom and living room. They are all useful for different things, but I'd like to consolidate to a single device.

    Here are the primary features I need:

    AirPlay (to play content from iPhones and iPads wirelessly)

    Netflix and Amazon Instant streaming services

    Ability to play a wide variety of content types from a PC over the network (ideally without needing any kind of transcoding software such as Twonky or TVersity running on the PC)

    Small form factor, low power and low noise (I.E. not a PC)

    Easy to use remote control

    Here are features that are nice to have:

    Hulu Plus streaming

    Local USB port for playing content from a flash drive or USB HDD


    Ability to stream from a Slingbox

    Full keyboard on the remote control

    Ability to control via app on an iPhone

    On paper the Boxee Box supports everything I want (which is why I bought it), but in reality their software is so buggy and slow that it's just frustrating to use. I have to reboot it constantly to get it to work, and the AirPlay support is sketchy at best.

    I also purchased a WD TV box but took it back because I didn't like it. Any other suggestions?

    2 AnswersHome Theater8 years ago
  • Can a 2 gang surface mount box be mounted over a 1 gang recessed box?

    I have a recessed single gang electrical box in a drywall wall in my garage. This box currently has a 20A 110V receptacle in it. I want to add additional receptacles so my thought was to mount a 2 gang metal surface mount box "over" the single gang box in the wall and then bring steel conduit off the side of the 2 gang box and run it to two additional 2 gang surface mount boxes down the length of the wall.

    The issue I want to solve is having to continually plug and unplug things when I need to use them. There is plenty of current in the existing 20A circuit for the concurrent load so the additional receptacles overloading the circuit is not a concern. I.E. although I am going from 2 to 12 outlets, the concurrent load will not be increasing.

    I don't have a 2 gang metal box handy, so not sure if there is a way to mount one of them over an existing 1 gang box.

    7 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)8 years ago
  • Physical and virtual keyboards simultanesouly on Android 3.2.2?

    We have a Motorola Xyborg tablet running Android 3.2.2 and we have attached a USB credit card reader which emulates a keyboard so we can swipe card info into a custom web app that we have written. We also need to be able to enter an e-mail address (for e-mailed receipt) and amount to charge into the web form.

    The problem we're running into is that the Android soft keyboard is automatically disabled as soon as we connect the CC reader because it uses keyboard emulation, so Android thinks we have a physical keyboard connected.

    We've tried to work around this by adding our own on-screen keyboard to our web app that displays when the e-mail address or amount to charge fields have focus, and while this technically works, the javascript performance on the tablet makes this input method very slow (1 second per character, typing an e-mail address takes 20-30 seconds).

    Option 1 would be to attach a USB hub and simply attach both the CC reader AND a physical keyboard, but we're trying to keep everything self contained to limit the bulk.

    Option 2 would be to find a way to prevent the android keyboard from disabling itself when a physical keyboard is present, and this would be the preferred method. Is there some sort of hook we can use to tell Android to display the soft keyboard when a given field has focus? Maybe some type of special javascript or html formatting that can do this?

    2 AnswersPDAs & Handhelds8 years ago
  • What kind of beer is this and where can I buy it?

    A friend sent me a picture of a beer he found in Europe. I'm trying to find out what the name on the bottle is and where I might be able to buy some online.

    2 AnswersBeer, Wine & Spirits8 years ago
  • Running cooling fans off a rheostat - safe?

    My entertainment center has an enclosed area underneath the TV that holds my A/V receiver, bluray player, Xbox 360, etc. This area gets extremely hot when even one of these devices is turned on for any length of time.

    I have two 110V fans that were originally used for cooling an industrial computer system. They are Muffin model # MX2B3, which lead me to this spec sheet:

    I wired the two fans up in series with a standard household rheostat like you'd find at home depot for dimming lights. I used a standard lamp cord with the male plug still on it to plug in to a household receptacle. This works as far as the fans turn on and the speed varies based on how I set the rheostat.

    Before I install this permanently in my entertainment center to help vent the hot air, I want to make sure the way I have them wired is safe and is not a fire risk. The fans are each rated at approx 1A and both the wire and the rheostat should be able to handle that load with no issues, my primary concern is if using a rheostat with something not designed to work with one is unsafe in any way.

    Any advice is appreciated, and any links to reference material with useful information is also appreciated.

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)9 years ago
  • Computer upgrade for Battlefield 3?

    I really enjoyed BF2 and haven't upgraded my computer since it came out, so I think I need to upgrade for BF3. I currently have a Q6600 2.4 GHz quad core CPU, 4 GB RAM and a HD4850 GPU. My motherboard is an Asus P5Q-E.

    I would like to keep cost as low as possible since Xmas is right around the corner and I'll need to buy gifts and pay for travel, etc.

    The P5Q-E supports crossfire and up to 16GB of RAM, so I was thinking about upgrading to 8 or 16 GB of RAM and adding a second HD4850 GPU and leaving everything else the same. Do you think that would be good enough to play BF3 on medium settings without lag / choppiness? I don't really care about maxing the resolution out, I just want to be able to play without having lag.

    4 AnswersDesktops9 years ago
  • Source for extra large dish drying mat?

    I have a dish drying mat from Bed Bath and Beyond that I really like, but the one problem is that it's a bit smaller than I would like. I would estimate the one I have is about 16" x 20". Ideally I would like one that would cover the entire counter area next to my sink which is about 24" x 24". When I do the dishes, I prefer to handwash everything instead of running the dishwasher, and I always run out of room on the drying mat before I'm done with all the dishes.

    1 AnswerCleaning & Laundry9 years ago
  • DIY home alarm system?

    The wife wants an alarm system, but I'm not too keen on shelling out 30+ bucks/month or locking myself into a 36 month contract, which it seems is the standard package from all of the companies. Most of the systems also only come with two door sensors and a single motion detector. To get what I want, I'd have to shell out another $300-500 up front on top of the recurring monthly monitoring fee putting the 36 month total cost of ownership in the $1500+ range. The primary purpose is to help protect us when we're home by letting us know if someone enters our home.

    The system does not need to be monitored, and I don't plan to pay for monitoring if the system has that capability since it doesn't really add any value for me. It would be nice if it had some sort of configurable notification options, i.e. e-mail, SMS, etc so I could at least know if something happens when I'm away from home. But that is definitely not a requirement.

    So, what I would like is a hardwired system with two keypads, a siren, 3 door sensors, two motion detectors and potentially a glass break sensor. I am mechanically and technically inclined, and think I could install a system myself given adequate instructions. Seems like I ought to be able to find something like this for maybe $500 or so. I'd like to find a source where I can buy the same equipment a company like Brinks or ADT would install vs going the cheap route with X10 or other inferior equipment.

    8 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)9 years ago
  • Data only plan with android smart phone?

    I have a phone through my company that I don't pay for. It used to be an iPhone 4 on AT&T but they switched to Verizon and I got a blackberry. I really don't like the phone and the service at my house and pretty much everywhere I go is horrible to the point that I have to try a few times to get texts to send and half the time when someone calls me the phone doesn't even ring. I know it's not a problem with the phone because other people at work with the same phone have the exact same issue with getting no signal.

    So I want to get a personal phone but don't want to pay $100/mo for it. I was looking at either an HTC EVO 4G on Spring or a Samsung Captivate on AT&T. These are both last years model of the top of the line Android phones. I used to have a Captivate and had a bunch of problems with it but I think they've been fixed now.

    Anyway, since I already have a voice plan on my blackberry and I don't really talk on the phone that much anyway, I was wondering if it's possible to get a data only plan with either of these two phones.

    The people at the stores don't want to sell them without voice plans but does that mean you HAVE to have a voice plan, or do they just not want to sell without one because they don't get commission, or...?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    3 AnswersCell Phones & Plans9 years ago
  • Getting used to new glasses...?

    I'm 30 years old and just got my first pair of glasses. I've never really had a problem seeing things up close like the computer screen, but when driving, it was difficult for me to read street signs. I noticed that I was getting headaches during the day (I work in IT so I am always looking at a computer), so I decided I should get my eyes checked out. The optician said my vision was about 60/20 and that I have moderate astigmatism in both eyes. I read some info online and found out that it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to get used to glasses, especially if it's the first time you've used glasses.

    So here are some of the issues I've experienced since getting my glasses yesterday and wearing them since then.

    1) I noticed while walking my dogs that the ground seems closer than it should be. In other words, it felt like the ground was about 2 feet higher than it actually was, so I felt like I should be stepping up, and I'm sure my neighbors got a good laugh if they happened to look out their windows.

    2) Before, I never had much trouble reading the computer screen, but as I'm writing this if I take my glasses off, the text appears very blurry and on the cusp of being unreadable- much worse than it was before I started wearing the glasses. Is this normal?

    3) If I didn't need glasses to see the computer, should I wear them when using it or only in situations where I felt like I was having issues seeing things properly before getting glasses?

    4) Not really directly related, but I got the transitions lenses. The lady that helped me pick out my frame and options said that she was ordering the "super dark" transitions that get dark when you're driving (she said normal transitions don't get dark while you're in the car because the windshield blocks UV which is what causes them to darken). The problem is that although they do get darker, they don't really feel as dark as sunglasses, and it's kind of annoying because I'm used to having darker glasses while outside.

    3 AnswersOptical10 years ago
  • How to test speaker wire connection?

    I have a pair of speakers on my back porch which are connected to my home theater receiver in my living room. The speaker wire runs through the attic and comes out of the wall behind my entertainment center. Normally, I turn on the "B" set of speakers on the receiver when I want music on the porch.

    This has stopped working. I've verified the connection is good at both the receiver and the outside speakers, but I still get no sound. I don't think both speakers would go bad at the same time, but I don't have any other speakers available to test with. I'm thinking the easiest way to test the wire is to use a multimeter to measure the resistance between the two ends, but if that checks out OK, what should my next steps be?

    6 AnswersHome Theater10 years ago
  • What type of palms will survive cold weather?

    I live in central florida where it doesn't usually get much below about 30 degrees. I have had robellini palms in my front yard and have already replaced them once due to a freeze, now they've died again. I covered them this winter but they still died. I would like to replace them with something that will do better in the cold so i don't have to replace them every year. They have to be palms because that is a requirement of my HOA. What options do I have that are more resistant to cold?

    2 AnswersGarden & Landscape10 years ago
  • Choke tube for turkey hunting?

    I am going Turkey hunting this weekend. I have a Mossberg 835 shotgun and I am trying to figure out what I need to do to get it set up properly. It has a choke tube in it but I don't know what kind of choke it is. How can I figure that out, and what kind of choke should I be using with bird shot?

    3 AnswersHunting10 years ago