A Brief Introduction to Lannon Stone

Lannon is a type of stone that has a rich and interesting history. The stone was originally located in the area that is now referred to as a city located in Southern Wisconsin. This city derives its name from a man of the same name who came to this area of Wisconsin in the early 1800’s. There is a widespread legend that this couple saw the rocks laying around on the ground in an inviting manner. They felt as if the rocks were urging them to construct a home from them. The native rocks were then referred to as “Lannon Stones” based on the legend of Mr. William Lannon. Here, we will learn a few exciting features regarding this special stone, as well as the benefits of using this unique stone.

What is Lannon Stone Widely Used For?

Lannon stone has been used for many different things throughout history. However, typically, it has been used to construct beautiful homes and unique businesses. In addition to this, this type of stone has been used throughout history in order to create amazing church structures, garden tapestry, and landscape design structures. This type of stone is considered to be treasured by those who have a true appreciation for natural rock and stone structures.

The Benefits of Lannon Stone

There are many different benefits associated with this stone. First, it is a natural stone that does not have to be produced in a factory. This type of stone is natural to the environment and comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Furthermore, this type of stone is extremely durable. This means that it can hold up to a wealth of conditions – whether it is wear and tear or weather conditions. Many crafted homes and done so with the ever-popular Lannon stone. It adds exquisite beauty and style to any area where it is used.

Where to Find Lannon Stone

This is a very popular stone as far as demand, but in order to find this type of stone may prove to be a bit challenging if you are unsure of retailers who specialize in it.

Craftsman Drive Gear Replacement Instructions

So you have a worn out drive gear in your opener and are contemplating on doing it yourself? No sweat. Follow these simple instructions and it shouldn’t take no more than an afternoon for the average jo.

The tools required to complete this project are as follows:

Either a Cordless Impact or good old fashion ratchet wrench.

1/4 inch socket

5/16 inch socket

1-2 inch extension

5/32 inch punch

1/2 inch open end wrench

1 pair of vice grips or c-clamp or equivalent

Step Ladder and a Hammer

*NOTE* All of the above tools may or may not be necessary depending on whether you’re replacing just the drive gear or whole gear and sprocket assembly. It’s a good idea to have them all on hand to be safe. My instructions below vary slightly from the manufactures instructions. My instructions are for the do it yourselfers and are almost verbatim on how I change every gear or gear and sprocket assembly. I have included some extra steps to make it a bit easier for the average jo. I give a lifetime warranty on my labor, so I am confident that following these instructions properly will not fail you because performing this job as stated hasn’t failed me. However, if you have any doubts please refer to the manufactures guide lines or have a professional in your area perform the task.

*When I refer to the Right and Left Side it is always done as if I am standing in the garage facing the door.*

First lets figure out if you need to replace just the drive gear or entire gear and sprocket assembly. Unplug the opener or disconnect its power source at the fuse panel if it is hardwired. Ensure the power is disconnected by trying to operate it via your wireless remote and or wall button. Next we’ll remove the cover of the opener.

If you’re standing underneath the opener facing the garage door, on the left and right sides of the opener, use the 1/4 inch socket to remove 2 screws on each side. Next, using the 1/4 inch socket remove the screws on the front and the back of the opener securing the plastic covers at the bottom. Depending on what model you have you will have either one or two screws. If you have only 1 screw you may need to utilize a screw driver to remove the screw.

Once you have the cover off inspect the drive gear. A worn drive gear will have white shavings evident when you remove the cover. You will need to inspect to make sure the bushing aren’t worn as well. Normally on the top of the drive gear you will find ground up metal. You may also see ground up metal on top of the opener where the chain or belt is attached to the sprocket. In some instances the sprocket may have broke off and the chain or belt is completely off. Another sign you may need to replace the whole gear and sprocket assembly is excess slack in the chain or belt without explanation. (I.E. it was never that loose before).

Now we know whether we need a drive gear or whole gear and sprocket assembly. So now we need to order the part or verify we have the correct part. The following part number is for chain drive gear and sprocket assembly’s only and should be part# 41C4220A. Just the drive gear kit should be part# 41A2817 and will work with both chain and belt driven openers. There are two belt drive gear and sprocket assembly’s. Please contact your manufacture with your opener model number to obtain the correct one. Otherwise perform a simple Google search on the listed part numbers to find the best price.

A common question is…..Why not just buy the plastic gear without the kit? I recommend the kit because you will also receive the grease to lubricate the gear as well as a bushing that I always replace in the motor housing mount. You will also receive the manufactures replacement instructions should you want to follow them instead of the one’s outlined.

Ok, now the fun begins!

#1 Start by vice gripping or clamping the rail in the front or rear of the trolley making sure you’re touching the trolley. You can also use a colored crayon or any other means of making a mark. The trolley is the piece that slides back and forth on your opener rail. You will see that the chain or belt attaches to the trolley on the left side in two places. You may have a cable connected to the front side (door side) and a chain connected on the back side (opener side) depending on make and model. Doing this will give you a reference point to reset the trolley in case it moves. This will ensure you will not throw the limits (how far up and down the opener moves the door) way off when reconnecting it.

*NOTE* If you’re replacing the Gear and Sprocket assembly, remove the chain or belt at this point. you do so by losing up the nut(s) on the trolley until you can pull the chain or belt off the sprocket.

#2 Remove the triton shaped keeper on the bottom of the shaft, underneath the smallest gear on the shaft, then remove the small gear.

#3 Remove the limit assembly. You do so by gently squeezing the front of it together nearest the point where you just removed the small gear and gently pull down. (I.E. the side that has the gear that meshes with the small gear you just removed)

*NOTE* If your only replacing the gear follow this next step otherwise skip to step #5.

#4 Using the 5/32 punch, remove the lower roll pin from the shaft. You may need to grab hold of the gear and move it manually to get it into a good position to drive the roll pin out. Some roll pins are stubborn. Don’t be afraid to give it a good smack with a hammer. You might want to use a pair of vice grips to hold the punch as I do sometimes. Once the roll pin is removed, save it.

#5 Remove the 4 pin wire connector next to the big black circle on the back of the motor shaft (RPM Sensor). Using your 5/16 socket with your ratchet or impact remove the 4 bolts holding the motor up. This is wear the extension will come in handy. Once the motor is free, slide the housing off the shaft. You can let it hank in the air by the wires. It won’t hurt anything.

*NOTE* If your only replacing the gear continue on to step #6. If you’re replacing the whole gear and sprocket assembly go to step #6(a).

#6 Remove the plastic gear by sliding it down the shaft. Some might need a little smack with a hammer to remove.

#6(a) Remove the 3 bolts holding the gear in place with your 5/16 inch socket. Remove the gear and sprocket through the top of the opener. Place the new gear and sprocket in the opener. Line up the three holes at the top and insert bolts. You’ll notice the bolt holes are not threaded. When you install the bolts they will thread themselves.

#7 Use the lubrication provided and lube the new gear, making sure you get the grease in between all the teeth on the gear and slide back on. Don’t use the grease sparingly. Lather the gear up.

#8 Remove the bushing the motor housing. The bushing I am referring to is circular in shape and a darker gray. It is the bushing that the bottom of the gear shaft slides through. You remove it by holding the motor housing and hitting the back of it with a hammer driving it out. In the kit find the similar bushing and put it back in by pressing it in finger tight and use a hammer to tap it in the rest of the way.

#9 If the trolley has moved one way or the other, reposition it to its original position and slide the motor housing back over the shaft, then secure. Plug the 4 pin connector in all the way and give that big black circular cup a good push back on the shaft to make sure it’s on.

#10 Put the limit assembly back in.

#11 Replace the small gear and triton shaped keeper.

#12 Replace the cover and remove the vicegrips/c-clamps from the rail if need be. (If you replaced the whole gear and sprocket assembly, attach the chain or belt.)

#13 Plug in the opener and test. If the door is not travelling far enough up and down or too far up and down adjust the limits accordingly using a flat blade screw driver. The limits are located the on the left side of the opener. You will see two small circular holes. The hole closest to the door is the down limit. Turing this a half turn at a time towards the door will cause the door to close further. Turning it opposite will cause the door to do the opposite. The hole furthest away from the door is the up limit. Turning it away from the door will cause the door to travel further up and turning it towards the door will cause the opposite. You want the bottom of the door to be even to slightly above the header in the up position. You want a good tight seal at the bottom so want the door to hit the ground, then stop. Adjust the limits accordingly by a half turn each time. Continue until door stops in desired position.

Congratulations you did it!

You’ll notice left over pieces when your done. This is where my instructions differ from the manufacture’s. You are supplied with everything to replace the worm gear and all the bushings. I have never had a worm gear or its bushing go bad on me. Ninety Nine Percent of the technicians in my area perform the gear replacement as stated above. I have ran into one or two that perform the whole task. I have found that most the do it yourselfers end up doing more harm than good when trying to use everything supplied. The choice is up to you. My advice is save the extra parts in case you ever need them again. I highly doubt you ever will.

Child Care Center Success Factors

When making the decision to go into the child care business you first need to consider a variety of important factors that can help you to decide if child care is the right business for you.

Owning and running your own child care center can be an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience, but not everyone is cut out for working in this industry. Below are some of the factors that can determine whether an individual is suited to this business.

Before taking the plunge and getting set up with your own child care business ask yourself the following six questions.

Child Care Business Success Factors

1) Do you have leadership skills? As the manager of a child care center you will be taking on a leadership role with both your staff and the children.

2) Are you hardworking and organized? Setting up and managing a child care center requires a lot of effort. You must be able to manage your time and resources in a way that maximizes productivity and keeps things organized.

3) Are you in good health? It is a fact of life that children get sick more than adults and colds can spread around daycare centers like wildfire. Being fit and healthy will ensure that your immune system is strong and that you can avoid getting sick too often. Good health will also give you the energy to lead the business lifestyle of a child care center owner.

4) Can you keep cool in a crisis? To be successful in daycare or any business for that matter you should ideally be someone who will not panic in an emergency.

5) Do you have sufficient funding to start the business? You will need to ensure that you have enough cash to cover your living costs in the early stages as well before your business becomes profitable.

6) Do you enjoy working with children? Are you able to take responsibility for, and take care of other people’s children like they were your own? Depending on the age groups that you are working with you may have to take care of them physically, discipline them, educate them or play with them.

Once you have decided that you are suited to opening and running a child care center you can then consider the following four factors to come up with a basic business model before proceeding with the preparation of a business plan.

Other Basic Child Care Startup Considerations

1) Home-based or rented premises? Running a commercial daycare business requires a large investment and you may be best to start off with a home-based service and then work up to eventually opening in rented premises. Wherever you open your child care or daycare center make sure that you are in compliance with local zoning laws.

2) What kind of legal structure will be suitable for your center? This will depend on many factors and you should seek advice from an accountant or lawyer before deciding to go with a sole-proprietorship, a partnership or a ‘limited liability’ company. It is likely that you will also be required to have a business license to run a daycare in your state.

3) Location. Is it possible to run a small child care center from your home or will you have to rent commercial premises? Even though many organizations such as companies, universities and hospitals have set up daycares on-site many parents still prefer to use a service closer to their home. So the question here is, do you set up close to where families live or close to where parents work?

4) Operating hours. You really need to do some market research to find out some more about when your services will be needed by local people. Some parents may want to drop children off very early in the morning before they go to work and others will want to pick them up late so it is likely that you will have to be open for long hours. If you are not interested in such long hours you could target mothers who are working part time and only need your services for part of the day. Depending on the size of your market their may also be the opportunity to offer weekend care if parents require it.

Successful businessmen and women take time to carefully evaluate an opportunity and to make sure that it is compatible with them. Understanding the factors that will improve your chances of success is the key to making a great start. Ensure that opening a child care center is a positive and profitable experience for you by knowing exactly what you have to do to succeed.

How to Install You New Stampede String

The stampede string, what is it?

What I am referring to by a stampede string or cord is the braided horsehair that is attachment to a Cowboy hat, or other styles of hats as well, to secure the hat on your head. It usually hangs down nearly to the belt buckle and often ends with a horsehair tassel dangling on the end of the strings. At least that is how Knot-A-Tail’s strings are made.

These stampede strings, cords or drawstrings are now decorated with a variety of materials. The can be made from horse hair, Rawhide, braided leather. The name “stampede string” has come to describe these cords as an obvious result of application-because a properly attached stampede string will keep your hat on even in the middle of a cattle stampede!

More than once, while attending some community Horse shows, I have observed a stampede string being fashioned out of twine, straight off the hay bales they brought with them. If you have ever lost points at a horse show for losing you hat, which I do believe is a 5 second penalty, they you also might need a stampede string.

The looped style stampede string

This type forms a Hat Band

Knot-A-Tail has 15 different styles of stampede strings and each style has at least 2 to 3 color combinations ranging from horse hair, leather and rawhide so there is quite a lot of different stamped string styles available to choose from. However, there are mainly just two types of stampede strings: the looped style and the cotter pin. You will want to know which type will work for you and how it is installed before you look at purchasing a stampede string.

The first type is the looped stamped string. The looped style stampede string requires two holes be place in the brim of the hat. The holes should be as close to the lining of the hat as possible just behind the ears, or wherever you find the stampede string the most comfortable. I usually place the hat on the customers head and them I can see just where the stampede string should rest.

Making the holes in the hat

Two small holes are needed to install a looped stampede string.

Once you find exactly where you want the stampede string, you will have to place two small holes in the hat. I like using an awl, which is a tool that has a small sharp point and the shaft gradually gets thicker. The awl easily spreads the hat material apart and if you are carefully, the awl will not cut through the material but just separate the material.

Again, make sure you know the exact spot for the holes before you start. Next, start slowing pushing the awl upward. You want to make the hole from the bottom of the brim towards the top. After countless times of installing a looped stampede string, I have found that the awl goes easier through the material from the bottom to the top and the hat holds it’s shape better.

Do not force the awl though, just gently and with a standing push let it work its’ way through the material. Now test the size of the hole, by sliding one of the end loops of the stampede string though the hole. (the end loops are the loops that are on the opposite ends of the tassels) There is one loop for each side. The end loops just loop back through themselves, so don’t worry if the loops come un-looped. Just note how the loops are done, so you can redo them once you have slide the loops through the holes.

You want the fit to be tight. It is best if you actually make the hole too small and redo it a few time, rather than making one big hole the first time. Once you have threaded the end loops you are basically done.

If the end loops still have the loops in tack, just open the end loops bigger, because they form a Hat Band around the crown of the hat. If you un-did the loops, just make the loop again. The loop is like the loop on a Lariat. Don’t worry, you can basically, not harm the stampede string unless you cut it somehow. Anyway, the looped stampede string are so long because the loops are made to become a Hat Band. So just cross the loops over the crown of the hat. Push the strings down on the crown where a hat band would rest and you are all done.

That’s it for the looped stamped string. Just adjust the slider under your chin and you are ready to go.

The cotter pin stampede string.

It is easy to install a cotter pin Stampede string.

The cotter pin type is by far the easiest to install, perhaps that is why it is so popular today. Start by placing the hat on your head and hold the stampede string to the spot that fells the most comfortable. This will depend on the person, some like in front of the ear, alongside the ear, while others like it behind the ear. If you wear you cowboy hat slightly tilted back on your head, then you might want to put it behind the ear for better balance.

Just mark the spot with your finger. Place the hat on upside down on the crown. You will see that the lining has threads where the lining is sewn into the hat. Pick a gap between two of the threads that comes as close as possible to where you want the stampede string to be placed. Slip the cotter pin carefully between the treads.

On the better made hats the threads are close together, but just wiggle the cotter pin through carefully. You do not want to cut the thread on the lining. Push the cotter pins all the way trough just to the end of the cotter pin, but not any of the stamped string.

Next flip the lining, inside out. Now, you can easily see the cotter pins. Just spread them apart until they rest flat against the lining. Turn you lining back to the inside of the hat and you are all done: simple and easy.

Well now you can ride hard all day long and never get off your horse to chase you hat again. More importantly, you will not have to watch you hat fly under the feet of the horse behind you. Not only are stampede strings one of the most particle items you can add to your western outfit, but they are sexy and way too good looking, especially Knot-A-Tail’s Stampede strings.

Taking care of your Stampede string

Once you have installed that brand new Horse Hair stampeded string, or perhaps you prefer that Braided leather ones with horse hair tassels, you will want to learn how to take care of your new treasures. Knot-A-Tail offers a complete Free eBook on the Care of your Horse Hair Products.

The Blind Penis Lost in the Darkness of the Vagina – Horrors of Circumcision Part VII

The “Horrors of Circumcision” is a group of articles that are intended to help explain to men and women the unfortunate and damaging effects that circumcision poses for the human male penis. This particular article will discuss the negative impact of “Penis Blindness” in the male who is circumcised. Hopefully such articles will help illuminate and educate people as to the horrible and unnecessary effects that a man suffers when his foreskin is removed in the process of circumcision.

It is possible to “see” without vision. People who have lost their optical abilities to see, will tell you that they now “see” the world through hearing, touching, smelling,and other senses.

This is the same way that the uncircumcised penis is able to “see.” Especially so that it can “see” inside of the vagina. That may sound a bit far-fetched, but it’s the truth.

The foreskin has some very special nerve receptors that aren’t hardly prominent on any other portion of the penis or the body. These are fine touch sensory receptors. These are like the fine touch receptors in your fingertips that allow you to feel very fine differences on the surface of anything you touch. These aren’t deformative sensors, vibration sensors, or temperature receptors, but are very fine sensors that are used for very fine and minute tactile sensation.

The only other area of your body, apart from your fingertips, in which these very fine tactile sensors appear is in the human male foreskin. Well, actually, they are found in the pancreas, too, but no one seems to understand why they are present in the pancreatic organ.

Why on earth would the body have such fine tactile sensors in the foreskin? It seems crazy at first, but it makes more sense once we think about it for a moment. Such fine tactile sensors are utilized by the penis to pick up very fine changes and differences in the vaginal landscape. As we mentioned earlier, regarding people who have lost their optical abilities, that they can “see” with other parts, systems, organs, or senses of their bodies. This is how the foreskin is able to “see” inside of the vagina. There are other methods which allow the penis to “see” inside of the vaginal canal, including stretch and deformation receptors, that are triggered when the vagina helps compress or stretch out the penis. But, to determine the really “fine” aspects of what is going on in the vaginal landscape, the foreskin provides the sensory receptors to allow men to do this.

What happens in the man who is circumcised, is that he loses this ability of fine “touch” and perception that allows him to “see” inside of the vagina. So, during the sexual act, a circumcised penis gets, so to speak, “lost in the dark” and is unable to truly “feel” and “see” the vagina as his penis was originally intended to do. This leaves the circumcised man experiencing a less perceptive and less dynamic form of sexual activity. They say that “God is in the Detail,” or “The Devil is in the Details.” What these phrases mean is that even the smallest details are important to properly understand, solve, accomplish, or perceive something. Again, with great misfortune, the circumcised male is robbed of the detective aspect of “seeing” these vaginal details through the penile-vaginal sexual act. In other words, a man who is circumcised won’t likely every get to really “feel” or “see,” with his penis, what the sexual act has to “share” with him. Or, another way of looking at it, the circumcised male is not able to illuminate the vaginal darkness as he was originally equipped to be able to properly experience.

Georg von Neumann

The Secret to Hanging Outdoor Sconces (And Other Outdoor Lighting Tips)

Outdoor lighting is a key tool to enhancing the beauty of your home. Exterior lighting not only adds to safety and security on your property, but it also creates a visual expansion between the indoors and out. Well-placed lighting fixtures can emphasize architectural details and create a welcoming facade for your home.

Ambiance is an important factor in outdoor lighting. Exterior lighting has the power to change the overall appearance of your home and convey messages of welcome for family and friends. Use lighting to emphasize interesting features or a prize-winning flower garden. Fixtures should be selected to match the style of your home and complement other exterior features.

Exterior lighting is typically thought of as landscape lighting, highlighting steps and paths around a property. However, each piece of outdoor lighting contributes to the overall appearance of your home, perhaps most notably, the lights next to the front door.

Outdoor sconces, when placed by the front door, provide safety and security while providing a welcoming portal for accepting guests into your home. Determining where to place these fixtures is a combination of visual weight and math.

When selecting a size of and outdoor lantern, consider the height of the door. The lamp should not overpower the facade of your home, but should be substantial enough to not appear too small. It is a good rule of thumb to select a lantern that looks larger than you think you need, because once it is mounted on your house it will look smaller from the street than it will sitting in your hands.

Begin by measuring the height of your door. The center of the bulb should be placed 66 inches above the threshold of your door – about the same height at a 5’6″ person. If you only have one lantern next to the front door, the height of the lantern should be one-third of the height of your door. If you are hanging two lanterns, they should each be about one-fourth of the height of your door.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of outdoor lighting, here are a few hints:

  • Use lights with the dark sky label. These lights are designed to minimize or eliminate light glare upward into the night sky.
  • Improve safety after dark by using pathway lights to illuminate steps, pathways and slopes.
  • Conceal low-voltage lights under steps, railings or benches to turn decks, porches and patios into evening retreats.
  • Use low-level path lights to brighten your walkway and highlight nearby flower beds.

Pick Up Artist Tips – Obliterate Approach Anxiety

Any would be pick up artist should want to work hard on obliterating approach anxiety. It is probably the single greatest obstacle you will overcome on you route to becoming a genuinely successful P.U.A.

The thing is, most people don’t realise how easy it actually is to get past this initial problem in your quest for female company.

So how do you do it?

Firstly, realise that you have got to make approaches to get female company. The thing is, you have an 2 invisible barriers stopping you from making these approaches.

The first barrier is a mental one. This relates to how YOU think about this problem of approaching women. Then there is the physical or practical side of approach anxiety.

For now, I am only concerned with the mental side of the problem. And one thing is for sure – it is you that has got the problem and that problem my friend is mostly in your head.

To improve your effectiveness, you need to change your mindset. The way you think about the problem. What you don’t realise is that it is you that is putting up these barriers to your success. Once you recognise these barriers, you can address them and obliterate your approach anxiety.

One thing that most guys cannot understand is that the WORST thing that could happen is that you will be blown out. So what? One rejection more just means you are closer to an acceptance. You are developing yourself and that is a cause for celebration. Well done you! Give yourself a pat on the back.

You just have to learn to shrug rejection off. It is nothing personal.

And another thing – she rejects you because of her thoughts, not because of YOU. It is her, not YOU so get over it.

In the few seconds that you make your opening, she cannot possibly build a fair picture of you as a person. Could you? No. So realise that the only person who is going to feel bad about rejection is you, so just reject that bad feeling.

Secondly, embarrassment is a major reason for suffering approach anxiety but this again is all about perspective. Embarrassment is a personal and private thing. It is not something that most people dwell on when it is happening to others. If you feel embarrassed most people are not revelling in your woe, they are sympathising with your plight. So forget about embarrassment. It is irrelevant. Practice being indifferent to it and your skin will toughen.

It is only you that can make the feelings of rejection or embarrassment important so just don’t let them be important to you.

Thirdly, can the chat up lines. They only serve to put more pressure on you when you are already feeling anxious. If you are stressed by meeting someone why stress yourself more by trying to come over as Billy Connolly’s funner friend. It isn’t worth the extra stress!

If you screw up, you become more embarrassed and if you’re stressed you’ll look less confident.

Finally, put the outcome of your encounter out of your mind. With over 3 billion women in the world, I’m sure there is more than one or two who will do just fine for you. So many women, so many options – you are a kid in a candy store. You just don’t realise it!

Obliterating your approach anxiety is about mastering your emotions.

Once you realise that most of your mindset and your foolish wish to be the funniest man she’s ever met are making the problem worse, you realise how easy it is to overcome approach anxiety.

How long do you dwell on your encounters during the day? I guess you don’t. Just like everyone else doesn’t. So stop beating yourself up about whether you’ll be rejected, embarrassed, funny or lucky.

The Hidden Security Camera – Advantages And Disadvantages

Are you concerned with the behavior of caregivers when you are not there to see how they are tending to your loved ones? Perhaps you are being harassed in the workplace and need to have confirmation of somebody else’s bad behavior. Do you want to know what goes on at your office when you aren’t there? If you have answered yes to any of these concerns, you may be in the market for a hidden security camera.

Any type of security system has its own particular advantages and shortcomings. As a crime deterrent, homes and businesses would be better served with a camera that is placed in an obvious and highly visible location. The general consensus is that would-be burglars and/or criminals will hesitate to invade a space where overt surveillance is present.

On the other hand, covert surveillance serves many other useful purposes. Should a criminal decide to invade your home or business, they will probably tend to be a little less careful about disguising their appearance and, on the off chance they do discover a recording device, chances of them disabling it are pretty slim. Therefore, even if they do succeed in committing a crime their image will be captured and available to law enforcement officials – which may aid in a speedy capture.

Because concealed surveillance usually goes hand in hand with continuous monitoring, it is much simpler for surveillance teams to quickly become aware of a breach in security and, therefore, alert the authorities in a more timely fashion.

Of course, all this comes with a heft price tag, which makes advanced covert surveillance feasible only for larger businesses and/or the homes of the very wealthy. However, strides in technology have made it possible for almost everyone to have access to hidden cameras.

Tiny cameras, which can be implanted in everyday objects such as Teddy Bears or wall clocks (more familiarly referred to as “Nanny Cams”) are nearly imperceptible to detection are now available for recording other people’s activities without their knowing about it. Some do require more advanced equipment in order to operate effectively, but most can record video on built-in memory cards which are easily transferred to a computer for viewing.

Some devices have been designed to work in conjunction with a receiver such as a DVR or VCR via cable connections; however units are now available with on-board wireless transmitters that can record activities on an external unit up to 2000 ft away from its source. US federal laws prevent surreptitious audio recording by anyone other than law enforcement officials, so there is no need for the unit to work with a sound system.

Therefore, regardless of whether you want to provide round the clock surveillance in your home or place of business, or you just want to keep tabs on the babysitter while you are at work, a hidden security camera may be just the tool for you.

10 Reasons Why Android OS Is Better Than Symbian and IOS

The Android application development is the process of creating new applications for the Android OS. Applications are usually developed in the Java making use of Android Software Development Kit. From the past few years about 200,000 Android applications have been developed by the developers for the use of the customers to make the Android phones more smart with wider features. Android development has led to the booming of the new applications which the customers can use for their daily purposes helping them from house activities to handling of businesses. Google initially helped in the development of the Android and after which it revealed the Open Handset Alliance which was a consortium of about 86 hardware. Since 2010 the Android have become the leading smart-phone platform for the users in comparison to Symbian and IOS.

Android OS is in many ways better than the Symbian and iOS.

1. Better User Interface

Unlike the iPhone OS, Android user interface has been continuously developing and improving over the years. With Android 4.0, Google has made the user interface much more innovative and elegant. The prime feature of the OS is navigation buttons, which makes it easier for the user to navigate around the phone. Unlike the iPhone with only one navigation button (Home Button), Android phones have back, menu, and multitasking buttons, which provides a better user interface thus making Android more user-friendly.

2. Processor speed

The Android is faster and better than Symbian and iOS because of the processor speed. The Android work on dual core processors which adds a lot of applications with great speed.

3. Internet Speed

When we compare the default browser of the Android with Symbian and iOS here too Android wins as other browsers come with complicated algorithms which slows the Internet spreed. However, Android browser comes with visual bookmarks, which is handy and easy to use with smooth flow on information.

4. More applications

The Android is developed by Giant Google which support almost 500000 applications instead Symbian is developed by Nokia, which is embedded with limited applications as it makes them dependent on Nokia. Android gives the experience of Google calendar, Google earth, Google voice, Google translator, Blogger and Chrome. With the increase of the flow of applications in the market, the Android comes with perfect blend of these applications for the convenience of the users. The Symbian and iOS has limited applications confining their use.

5. Change firmware

In Symbian OS, you can never change the firmware, but in Android OS you can change it any time the way you want and easily install the updates which allows you to use more applications.

6. Multiple screen keyboards

In Android you can change the screen keyboards the way that is easy and apart from this you can install Gingerbread to Froyo and from Swype to Honeycomb. With one tab you can choose multiple spelling suggestions and deleting a word or adding. While in Symbians and iOS does not come with this customization features of new keyboard installation.

7. Multi tasking system

The Android applications come with such a framework which provide all key API’s including things like accessing the telephony system, sharing and receiving data as well as notifications. The Symbian and iOS does not provide you the multi-tasking system.

8. Greater fan-base

The Android has much more great fan-base, which is integrated with Google services while as Symbian and iOS have not such a larger fan-base.

9. Live applications and widgets

The Android OS works on Linux which provides large things like virtual memory and power management. The Androids are designed with rich and customizable content which allows the users to go through live application content through interactive widgets. This also helps store more data than Symbians and iOS.

10. New Platform Developer Kit

The “Platform Developer Kit” is a really smart move by Google considering its large manufacturer and partner base. You don’t often think of hardware as something that can be “opened,” but the ability to institute the very basic aspects of Android with one simple kit will make it much easier for hardware companies to start building on new versions of the platform.

Hence Android development has revolutionized the OS systems and applications by providing more wider features than others which have a limited user applications.

Floor Cleaning Made Easy With Floor Scrubbers

Today’s floor scrubbers are the most leading floor cleaning machines distributed all-over the market. These floor machines such as Duplex 340, Duplex 420 and Duplex 620 are the only floor scrubber and carpet cleaner that is able to operate on any flooring surface in just one single pass.

Floor scrubbers are highly portable and easy to use floor cleaning machines ideal for wall-to-wall cleaning and suitable for a wide range of hard and soft floor coverings.

How it works?

Floor scrubber is a powerful carpet cleaner especially for high traffic areas and restores carpets like new again. Fill the two solution tanks with plain water, plug it in and select floor setting. On starting the floor machine, the dual large capacity clean solution tanks will dispense liquid evenly along the full-length of both agitator brushes at the speed of 650RPM. This will remove the dirt in both directions of the fiber and collects it in the central waste tank that can be emptied easily.

Benefits and Advantages of Floor Scrubbers:

* Fast and effective; replaces mops, buckets, scrubbers, polishers and carpet extractors with a single compact unit.

* Has four brushes that can be changed to suit different floor cleaning task.

* Compact and highly maneuverable machine that will clean large carpeted or hard floor areas in no time.

* Under-mat surface is not wet during cleaning thus reduce the drying time.

* Easy to use, no heavy pushing, pulling or lifting.

* Saves time and money

Floor cleaning machines are also an outstanding floor scrubber. It is an ultimate solution that deeply cleans all the small pores of uneven ceramics and stones. It cleans tiles as well as the grout. Unlike traditional floor cleaners and mops, Duplex floor scrubber does not recycle dirty water.

Ideal for:

* Small & medium size supermarkets and department stores

* Healthcare cleaning, veterinary cleaning; community and fitness centres cleaning

* Maintaining high levels of hygiene for hotels, kitchens and restaurants

* Airport cleaning, school cleaning; homes, offices, and commercial complexes cleaning

* Industrial areas and anywhere that needs a clean & spotless surface

A multi-purpose floor cleaning machine is versatile enough that can be used efficiently on almost any floor surfaces including vinyl, timber,safety floors,profiled rubber and ceramic, natural stone, flotex and carpets. In this time, floor cleaning has never been so easy with floor scrubbers.

Diverse Uses of Vacuum in Daily Life

Vacuum pumps have diverse use in life today. People will relate the word vacuum spontaneously with cleaners they are most familiar with and use in homes. However, there are many ways in which such pumps are associated with our daily life. Examples are, use of such pumps for manufacturing or production, medical purposes and cleaning purposes. The parts of devices or machines are prone to wear and tear, nothing can last forever. A number of vacuum parts require to be replaced whenever these go faulty. All such parts are available in the market. Some companies maintain maintenance services as after sales service to replace the parts as necessary.

Such suction devices work on the mechanism of difference in pressure. There is flow of material from high pressure to low pressure. This phenomenon is practically used to serve many purposes. We see the uses as cleaning homes to suck dust and dirt through vacuum cleaners. Medically such pumps are used for sucking accumulated fluid in the body and also for curing certain dysfunctions. Industrially, this device is used for transferring materials. Basic parts of such devices are inlet or suction port, the motor, fan, exhaust, collection bag or discharge hose. In vacuum cleaning devices, there is additionally a filter used to filter out the sucked up materials before final collection in the bag. Depending upon type of device, these basic parts vary in complexity to perform desired function. The latest introduction of types of such cleaners comes in various forms of functioning. These are small hand-held cleaners, upright cleaners, drum type vacuum cleaners, back-pack units, pneumatic wet/dry cleaners, canister type cleaners and even robotic type cleaners. There also small cleaners to clean to watches. A specific type of suction pump based on this mechanism used for cleaning the septic tanks.

Industrially these devices are very much in use for transferring toxic materials. For industrial applications, these devices are more complex due to necessity of high degree of vacuum for easy and fast transfer of materials in large quantities. In many types of industrial applications, these devices are required to be arranged in series for completing process in stepwise manner. In a number of situations, the pumps are made to handle materials at high temperatures. A large number of such units are custom made with specified designing. This makes the machine able to withstand harsh conditions and perform effectively.

Therapeutically, such devices are much in use for suction. Usually after procedure of operations, there is undesirable accumulation of body fluid. When there is a necessity of removal of the fluid, the device is use to suck out the fluid. Suction of body fluid may have to be done continuously. Often suction of body fluid works as life saving essential in a course of medical treatment. The penis pumps have been in use for long time as a treatment against male impotency. Such kind of mechanical device to aid natural function has to work with extreme calibrations. If not, the force of suction may lead to rupture of blood vessels.

Of course, there are quite diverse applications of vacuum and it is growing with advancements. But, as of now, the role of such devices is substantial.

Scrap Accountability in Manufacturing

With the cost of raw materials apparently not going down any time soon, scrap reduction has never been more important for manufacturers. To ensure the maximum use of materials, precision laser-cutting and water-jet machines have been developed. Computerized metal stamping can bring out parts and pieces to the very edge of the stock. In manufacturing, materials management has been made better because both machining technology and management through cost accounting have been improved. In short, accountability is in place on the shop floor and in the front office, and this means that tracking scrap is part of the production process. Of course, the relationship between shop floor and front office has always been one made through data, and it is through data that the root causes of scrap and the methods for its reduction are found.

In short, scrap rate (or yield quality) is a function of production standards and the cost of quality itself: process settings, raw material lots, maintenance activity, operator focus, and so forth. Better working processes and more cost effectiveness in materials management, especially in the creation of scrap, can enhance a manufacturer’s competitive edge. And, competitiveness today is measured in terms of on-time delivery and yield qualities that meet or surpass customer requirements. In the not-too-distant past, just about any level of scrap was considered the necessary result of the manufacturing process; the quantity of scrap was not the issue it would become later when competition arose in the supply chain for diminishing raw material stocks. With the introduction of lean manufacturing and mandates for the reduction of scrap waste through continuous improvement, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) has been developed to strengthen the data-flow between the shop floor and the front office.

To get a good start on scrap accountability, three things must happen. First, you must identify when loss is happening. Only in marking the moments when material loss occurs can you ever see a trend in motion. The identification of loss is both a factor of good inventory management, and an awareness of historical production output. With a good-established-historical baseline in place, material loss trends can be much more easily measured and acted upon as quickly as possible.

Second, a proper method of recording production data is necessary for employees to reveal material use efficiencies. In other words, employees have to have a way, and a requirement, to input good output versus bad product production numbers. Defect issues and other material waste are production data that are not often or easily volunteered. However, when material use is accounted for through a series of reporting mandates, particularly in the easy to use formats of some ERP software systems, there is a greater likelihood of scrap/waste data being collected for later analysis. For example, barcoding and the use of graphical interface terminals around the shop floor provide convenience to workers in being able to input scrap data. In addition, the best reporting techniques will employ a variety of scrap codes and code grouping levels to facilitate analysis.

Finally, a robust, routine, and continuous analysis of scrap data is required in order to bring about both improvements in quality and a subsequent reduction in wasted material. This is truly where a quality ERP software system can be of great benefit. Assuming there is proper recording of scrap data at the shop floor level, management should be able to analyze the information in order to monitor material use and ascertain scrap trends. An ERP software system that collects real-time data from all areas of production facilitates scrap analysis in the most useful and rapid way possible.

To add that extra amount of profitability to a manufacturing operation, look at when, where, and how materials are being used. It is in the increasingly important area of scrap analysis where manufacturers are finding more profit located in the margins. That is to say, by reducing material costs a manufacturer becomes more aware of the use of material in production, and in turn more aware of any disruptions in the material flow patterns and the quality of output.

NLP Mirror and Matching – The Basis of Rapport and Communication Skills!

Can you remember a time when you met someone for the first time and it just seems to click? An instant bond between the two of you, an instant ‘like-ability’ or trust. You can literally FEEL, that connection!

That connection is called Rapport! It is the basis and foundation for every meaningful interaction between two or more people. Rapport is about establishing an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. This allows the person the freedom to fully express their ideas and feelings and know they’ll be respected and appreciated by you. Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened and responded to, even when you dis-agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world. When you are in rapport with another person, you have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship.

A 1970 study conducted by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that 93% of our communication transpires non-verbally and unconscious. 55% of our communication is our physiology or body language, 38% is tonality or HOW we say our words, and only 7% is the content or words we choose to speak.

Researchers at the Boston University Medical School studied films of people having conversations. The researchers noticed that the people talking began (unconsciously) to co-ordinate their movements (including finger movements, eye blinks and head nods.) When they were being monitored using electroencephalographs, they found some of their brain waves were spiking at the same moment also. As the conversations progressed, these people were getting into a deeper level rapport with each other, and didn’t even have a clue to what was going on, this is because we communicate our ideas and concepts at this 93% UN-conscious level, but believe the words we speak actually hold the meaning to our communication.

NLP rapport skills teach us how to communicate at that unconscious level. Mirroring, matching, pacing and leading skills will enable you to become “like” the other person. Anthony Robbins stated: “People like each other when they tend to be like each other.” NLP teaches how to mirror and match that 55% physiology, 38% tonality and 7% predicates or process words.

The key to establishing rapport is an ability to enter another person’s world by assuming a similar state of mind. The first thing to do is to become more like the other person by matching and mirroring the person’s behaviors — body language, voice, words etc. Matching and mirroring is a powerful way of getting an appreciation of how the other person is seeing/experiencing the world.

Some people find the idea of matching another person uncomfortable and they feel that they are trying to fool or take advantage of the other person. To overcome this uneasiness, realize that matching is a natural part of the rapport building process and that you are doing it unconsciously every day with your close family and friends. Each day gradually increase your conscious use of matching at a pace that is comfortable and ethical for you. Matching done with integrity and respect creates positive feelings and responses in you and others. Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel you understand him, and that there is a strong connection between the two of you.

The purpose of the following exercises is to provide some experience with the basic processes and procedures of modeling. They primarily focus on the information gathering phase of the modeling process, and cover a range of modeling skills, including “implicit” and “explicit” modeling formats, and the use of multiple perceptual positions to gather different types and levels of information about a particular performance.

Mirroring Exercise

Mirroring is a method of building a strong “second position” with someone else. It is a fundamental skill for modeling another person and for developing intuitions about the person’s internal experience. To get a sense of the influence and effects of mirroring, try out the following exercise.

1. Choose a partner, or person to converse with. Do not tell the person initially that you will be mirroring him or her during the conversation.

2. Enter into a conversation with the person, asking for his or her opinions about various subjects.

3. As you are conversing, begin to subtly mirror the other person’s physiology (including voice tone and tempo). [Hint: This can be most easily done in the context of ‘active listening’; that is, reflecting back statements the person has made, by commenting, “So what you are saying is….”, and then stating your understanding of the person’s opinion.]

4. When you are fully mirroring, you will be sitting in the same posture, using the same types of gestures, speaking at a similar speed and volume, and in a similar voice tone range, as the other person. If you are completely mirroring the other person, you may even be breathing at the same rate and pattern as the other. Notice how it feels when you have reached this level of deep rapport.

5. One way to test your degree of rapport is by “second guessing” the other person’s opinion on a couple of subjects that you have not yet discussed. Often mirroring will give you access to information that is being unconsciously communicated and received, and you will “pick up” information about the other person without being consciously aware of how you got it. This is why mirroring is such a powerful tool for modeling.

6. To get another sense of the influence mirroring and matching has on your interaction; try out abruptly mismatching the other person, in posture, gestures, voice tone and breathing. Both you and your partner should experience quite a jolt if you do this, and feel as if your quality of rapport has changed dramatically.

7. Before concluding your conversation and letting your partner in on what you were doing, make sure you have reestablished rapport by once again physically mirroring your partner.

One way to help rapport to develop is to mirror the micro-behaviors of those we wish to influence. Any observable behavior can be mirrored, for example:

Body posture

Spinal alignment

Hand gestures

Head tilt

Blink rate

Facial expression

Energy level

Breathing rate

Vocal qualities (volume, tonality, rhythm)

Key word phrases or predicates

Anything else that you can observe…

To mirror another person, merely select the behavior or quality you wish to mirror, and then do that behavior. If you choose to mirror head tilt, when the person moves their head, wait a few moments, then move yours to the same angle. The effect should be as though the other person is looking in a mirror.

To mirror a person who has raised his right hand, you would raise your left hand (i.e. mirror image). To match this same person, you would raise your right-hand (doing exactly the same as the other person). Some practitioners see a time difference between mirroring and matching. For example, if someone makes hand gestures while they are speaking, you would wait until it was your turn to speak before making similar (matching) hand gestures.

The fact that you’ve read this far means that you can see the benefits of increasing your rapport skills. Reading is sadly not enough – practice is the key to building skill, so do the exercises. When you first start the practice of mirroring, you may have to pay some conscious attention to what you’re doing. After a while, however, you will start to catch yourself doing it unconsciously. This is where you really begin to build rapport elegantly!

And at times when a gesture is idiosyncratic to that person or otherwise to obvious, you can do crossover matching. Meaning, if they adjust their glasses, and you don’t wear any, then just move your foot. When you crossover match/mirror, you match/mirror a portion of the other person’s body, with a different portion of your own body. This is best to do when you are matching someone’s rate of breathing. You can use your finger to pace the rhythm of their breath. When matching or mirroring someone’s voice, do that with their tonality, volume, and the rate at which they speak. And remember you don’t have to do all of these things, just one or two will be enough to create rapport in most cases.

Skilled communicators have a wide range of behaviors they can mirror to build rapport. You can find a way to mirror virtually anything you can observe. When this is done elegantly, it is out of consciousness for the other person.

o However, a few notes of caution are appropriate:

o Mirroring is not the same as mimicry.

o It should be subtle and respectful.

o Mirroring can lead to you sharing the other person’s experience.

o Avoid mirroring people who are in distress or who have severe mental issues.

o Mirroring builds a deep sense of trust quickly, so use it with responsibility.

Practice with friends and family members to start and begin to match different aspects of their posture, gestures, voice and words. Have fun with it and notice if they begin to respond to your matching. At work or social events, start by matching one specific behavior, and once they and you feel comfortable, begin to add on another. With people whom you already have a sense of rapport, notice how often you naturally match their posture, gestures, tone of voice or words, This is because matching and mirroring comes naturally. Your outcome then should be to create rapport with anyone at any given moment, having it become automatic whenever you wish to deepen that sense of rapport.

Exercise 1

Practice mirroring the micro-behaviors of people on television (chat shows & interviews are ideal.) You may be surprised at how quickly you can become comfortable as you subtly mirror the behaviors of others.

Exercise 2

Choose a safe situation to practice mirroring an element of someone else’s behavior. When you have mirrored them for a while, and think you are in rapport with the person, scratch your nose. If they lift their hand to their face within the next minute or so, congratulate yourself – you have led their behavior!

Exercise 3

Increase the range of behaviors that you can mirror, and introduce deliberate rapport-building into situations where it will benefit you and others. Use your common sense and choose low-risk situations to practice in.)

Exercise 4

During a conversation with another person; choose one of their behaviors (e.g. breathing rate) to cross-over match with one of your behaviors (e.g. speaking rate.) Notice how quickly the sense of connection develops!

Backtracking is another excellent skill to learn in order to maintain and deepen rapport. When you are in conversation with another person, whether it be business or personal, take the opportunity to recite back to the person the information you’re receiving. This lets the person know that you were listening and you understand without judgment. It also allows you a chance to ensure your understanding and/or ask for clarification.

Backtracking is the thread that tightens and deepens rapport. Backtracking is repeating back the essence, not verbatim, of what the person is attempting to communicate. There will be times when you’re backtracking, and the other person will add on or correct you. Being corrected will only strengthen rapport because you’ll then backtrack again and have the person really feel you understand. There is also the possibility being corrected will cause you to lose rapport. However, losing rapport is just like losing your balance. You falter, recover, and get back into it again. When you do lose rapport you’ll find a way to regain it. There may also be times you want to be “out” of rapport with someone.

For example if it isn’t healthy for you to be around certain people, you are held hostage at a cocktail party or you are doing it for effect. Typically people think the way to break rapport is to be demeaning or disagree. Although that may work I recommend mismatching. This means intentionally mismatch posture, breathing, key words/gestures, and voice quality. Rely on mismatching the nonverbal communication and you will be out of rapport. For those of you who like experiments try this: Disagree strongly and maintain rapport. Or agree completely while breaking rapport. And all experimenting should be done in a non-critical environment without judgment.

The key element in establishing, building, deepening and maintaining rapport is your ability to pay attention to the responses you receive. One presupposition of NLP, or assumed rules is; “Communication is the response we receive back, NOT our intention given.”

Lastly; behind any technique there must be an authenticity of caring and real concern for the other person. (See “Technicians Need Not Apply,”Anchor Point 1987.) If you practice these skills and have no real interest in the other person, rapport will not develop. If you don’t pay attention to the other person it doesn’t matter how proficient you become in your NLP techniques. It is the responses you get in return and your own flexibility that hold the ultimate power in establishing, maintaining and deepening rapport.

Bounce (Floor) Juggling for Beginners

The ideal surface for bouncing is smooth, level and very hard (e.g. a paving slab or wooden floor are ideal).

Two Methods of Bouncing

Non-Forcing (Lift): Throw the ball slightly in the air in a small arc (so that it is likely to land in front of your opposite foot). The ball should land in the upraised palm of your other hand. Lift bouncing is a lot slower and easier to learn than Forced bouncing.

Forcing: Force the ball towards the ground by keeping your palms facing downwards. With the forced bouncing, you throw (force) the ball downward and it goes at least as high as the release point. This method is more likely to be used when learning 4 & 5 ball bouncing and it looks more impressive and faster than the lift method!

First Trick – Reverse Cascade (lift bounce)

One Ball: Throw from one hand so that it rises a few inches and hits the ground in front of your opposite foot and bounces up into the upraised palm of your other hand. Try lift bouncing one ball in both directions for a while to get used to bounce juggling before moving on to trying two balls.

Two Balls: Start with a ball in each hand. Throw the first ball so that it lands in front of the opposite foot. When it hits the ground, throw the ball from the other hand in exactly the same fashion. Catch the first ball, catch the second ball (Throw, throw, catch, catch)!

Three Balls: Every ball is thrown over the previous ball and they all hit the ground in front of the opposite foot.To do this, take two balls in your favoured hand and one ball in the weaker hand. Start from the favoured hand and throw the first ball, letting it bounce in front of the opposite foot, when this bounce happens, throw the ball which is in the weaker hand, and when it bounces, throw the third ball (the remaining ball in your favoured hand), then just keep going.

Once you have mastered 3 Ball Floor Juggling,try force bouncing using the above method, then you are ready for the following tricks!

Kick Back: You can retrieve a dropped ball by stepping on it as it bounces away from you, pulling your foot in toward you at the same time.

Bounce Columns: Drop one ball in the centre of your pattern, then drop one from each hand on either side. Then catch and drop the one in the centre, then catch and drop the two on the outside! Simple, easy and this trick looks great!

Bounce Two in One Hand: One of my favourite tricks, is to walk around while bouncing two balls in one hand, and letting the balls bounce a little less each time until you are having to bounce very quickly and near to the ground! You can then work your way back up to a taller pattern again.

Under Leg: Put your leg through the bouncing pattern so that one ball goes under your leg. Throw down, raise your knee, the ball bounces under your knee, and you straighten your leg again. Learn this on both sides, then try to perform an under the leg throw with every ball you are bouncing!

High Drop to Cascade: While juggling a cascade, throw the bounce ball extra high, let it bounce and when it comes back up past your hands, treat it as the first throw in your cascade pattern.

Spin

For a special bouncing effort, you can put either forward or back spin on the ball to make it behave in a different way when it bounces off any surface.

  • Backspin -Toss the bounce ball with backspin to make the ball bounce back to you. To use backspin, you pull down with your thumb over the top of the ball as you release it.
  • Forward Spin -To add forward spin, pull your hand out from underneath the ball as you throw. Toss over your shoulder with forward spin and the ball might just bounce behind your back and return over your shoulder into your pattern!

Understanding Speakers and Speaker Guidelines

When most people shop for home audio speakers they often find a lot of information, but don’t know what much of it means. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic understanding of some of the key elements in speakers and to offer some guidelines for the average audio consumer.

Most home audio speakers bought today are 2-way speakers. This means the speaker has a woofer for low or bass sounds and a tweeter for high sounds. There are also 3-way speakers which add a mid-range and these can sound clearer, all things being equal. For most people, however, a good 2-way speaker is fine.

Home audio speakers typically come in either rectangular or round designs. Round ceiling speakers are ideal for background music and rectangular wall speakers are ideal for surround sound systems. With this said, in-wall speakers are often just not practical to install in a given room due to room lay-out and furniture. There are certain designs of round speakers which can help offset the inherent benefits of rectangular speakers for surround sound.

One of the problems with round ceiling speakers is that they basically send the sound straight down beneath them instead of out into the room or area most desired. However, some speakers offer angled woofers so that you can install them in the corners, for example, and still have the sound directed outward into the room.

Typical sizes for speakers are 5.5, 6.5 and 8 inch. The 8 inch will generally have stronger bass with the larger woofer. 8 inch speakers are recommended for surround sound systems and 6.5 inch for background music. I would not recommend 5.25 inch speakers except for very small rooms.

A dual voice coil home audio speaker helps handle small rooms where there isn’t really enough room to place two speakers. The dual voice coil speaker provides for both channels from the amplifier and these can be quite handy in bathrooms, for example.

Power ratings of speakers always get a lot of attention, but often too much attention because power is but one factor among several others. The fact is most people will rarely if ever use the full power of most speakers today because they would soon become deaf if they listened to music at peak power. Power is rated two ways; RMS and Peak. RMS essentially means the volume level the speaker can handle all day long without distorting. Peak is the top power level the speaker can handle before blowing. For most people in most homes, 40-50 watts RMS is plenty. Some speakers only specify their Peak power rating and as a rule-of-thumb, divide the Peak rating by 2 to estimate the RMS rating.

The sensitivity rating should be 89db or more is the usual recommendation. This specification has to do with how clear the speaker sounds, and below 89db the sound clarity may be poor.

Range, or frequency response, represents the low and high end range of the speaker. Here the low end range is the more important of the two, and typically, 45-50Hz is the low end of what most of us can hear. On the high end, most speakers today exceed what we can hear and usually they are 20KHz or more, which is well above what we can hear.

A speaker has to divide the signal coming into it between the tweeter and the woofer. The crossover is in effect a filter that performs this function, but whenever sound is divided there will be some signal loss. A crossover of 12db is the most common today, and again, is fine for most people. Most speakers use passive crossovers, but some high-end speakers use active crossovers which are more sophisticated and allow for adjustments. Few homeowners need speakers with active crossovers or want to make these kinds of adjustments.

The materials that woofers are made of are often cited in speaker specifications. Polypropylene is the most common material used and is okay, but bass sounds will not be as full as with other materials. Kevlar, fiberglass or aluminum woofers will cost more but do offer stronger bass end sounds. For true audiophiles with lots of money there are other highly specialized materials available, but again, just not needed for average listeners.

You will also find that some speakers today feature bridge mount tweeters and this can be a plus. Bridge mount tweeters do not penetrate the woofer cone and will not, therefore, interfere with the woofer low-end sound. This is not to say that there aren’t good speakers who do not bridge mount their tweeters because there are such speakers where very few people could tell the difference. However, the difference is there and if you want a superior speaker then a bridge mount tweeter is one consideration.

The range of speaker prices today is quite remarkable. The truth is you can buy a decent pair of ceiling speakers for as little as $40 and you can buy a great pair for $200. Some people want the best and you can find those for as much as $1,500 a pair. As always, to some degree, you get what you pay for. However, it is also the case that the vast majority of us would have trouble telling the difference in sound from a good quality $100 speaker from a better quality $200 speaker.