Home Gadget Geeks

Video Review of the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm – HT149

Gordon Schmidt (@GWadeTech) and Kevin Schoonover(@schoondoggy1979) join Jim (@jcollison) for show #149 of Home Tech Podcast brought to you by the Average Guy Network. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm by Nest  Link: Listen Audio New Chat service with Chatwing – See the new equipment that Jim has – EVGA GeForce GTX 650 2048MB GDDR5 DVI mHDMI Graphics Card 02G-P4-2651-KR by EVGA Link: Gordon’s Review –   Amazon order swapped at Lowes () Needed to exchange the battery version out for the wired/battery version Service Desk at Lowes didn’t have a clue Second person at Lowes Service Desk new of the thermostats but not about the Nest Protect Manager thought there was a battery version only and only the stock that was on the end cap An employee passing by knew more about the Nest products and where they were kept in the store Took about 30 mins to exchange at Lowes all because they didn’t have a clue and poor stock placement Setup Remove blue tab to wake up and start the connect process Interesting how Nest uses your mobile device only to setup and activate the Nest Protect Light Ring Green – to let you know all is good when you shut the lights off White – notices movement to light your path at night w/o having to turn on lights at night Red – smoke detected Yellow – when the battery is low or sensors have expired Heads Up Hush – wave to hush Testing Click button to test Click again within 10 seconds to activate a test Emergency Contacts setup A smoke detector in a room tells me if there is smoke in that room. A network of detectors can give me an early warning of an issue in another part of the house. Do you have a family  fire escape plan? Fema fire safety Smoke alarm code for all states Closing bedroom doors can save lives I love the Nest Protect, but here are other choices #.UsG01vQV7E0 Only thing missing from the Protect, explosive gas detection. Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Tech

The Nest Protect – Smoke + CO Alarm: About, Unboxed and Installed

My Nest thermostat is not so lonely anymore!  Thanks to The Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund I have the pleasure of reviewing the latest from Nest. The Nest Protect is a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector and that doesn’t take much when compared to the average home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The biggest and most interesting part of the Nest Protect for me is the fact that it doesn’t over react. I think we all have cooked something a little to well done and opened the oven to take care of the issue only to have another issue. The smoke detector telling you that your food is burnt and sending out an annoying loud beeping alarm that requires you to press its button or waving a hand towel at it to clear the air before the annoying beeping will #160; Have you had your smoke alarm go off in the middle of the night?  Do you have kids that get woken up and scared by the loud beeping?  Have you thought about disconnecting them?  Do you really want to do away with your smoke detectors because they cause more of an annoyance then good?  Nest says this is a dangerous side effect of something that is trying to protect you and I agree. Just like with the Nest Thermostat there are some things you need to know about your existing system before you purchase your Nest Protect. Is your current system only battery powered or wired (120 volt) and battery? Next is a personal preference of color that matches your existing location. Black or white (note that the black version is only available at at this time)? In my home we have a wired linked existing system and am installing this Nest Protect on a white ceiling, so I choose the white one. Nest has kept the packaging scheme similar across all of its products. The design starts on the outside of the box and continues to flow to the contents within. After removing the information band from the box and removing the top cover I was greeted with an information packet. The contents of the packet include: a user’s guide, welcome guide and 2 year warranty information. Next, I was presented with the Nest Protect covered by a hard plastic dome of #160; Removing the Nest Protect reveals the included mounting #160; Below the mounting bracket is something different then #160; Rather then putting the three wire nuts, four mounting screws and 120 volt wire adapter in a plastic #160; Nest has chosen to carefully place these components in a very clean and organized cardboard insert at the bottom of the box. The installation process is very simple and did not take long at all (about 10 minutes to install).  It actually took me longer to figure out which breaker was controlling the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors then it did to install the Nest #160; There is also a very helpful installation video on the Nest site if needed. Here is the process I went through in my installation and yours will be close to the same if not easier if you have the battery only version in your #160; I first removed my old smoke detector after shutting down the power to #160; I then removed the wire nuts from the existing adapter and the mounting #160; I had a red, black and white wire to work #160; The instruction guide says you do not need the red wire so I put one of the three wire nuts on the red wire to cap #160; I then matched up the black to black wire and the white to the white wire and twisted them together with the provided wire nuts. I then grabbed the Nest mounting plate and two of the provided screws and mounted the plate in place of the old #160; Next, I prepared the Nest Protect for #160; There is a small blue tab with an arrow hanging out of one side of the #160; Pulling this tab wakes up the detector and then I was prompted to click the center button and open my Nest mobile application to get the detector added to my wireless network and to my account. Once this part of the setup process was complete I then finished up the installation process by connecting the adapter for the 120 volt wire to the back of the detector and mounted the detector to the mounting #160; Nest is nice to setup and walks your through a testing phase during the setup process after mounting to ensure all systems are working and detection is ready to #160; More on the setup process and functions to come in Part 2 Gordon Schmidt is a guest blogger and host for Home Tech at Gordon’s Review of the Nest Thermostat: Podcast About Nest:
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Home Gadget Geeks

Overview of the Nokia Lumia 520, NEST Video Review, IFA 2013, Women in IT and STEM, Leap Motion Review, HP Microserver G8 – HT135

Jim (@jcollison) is joined this week by Christian Johnson, Andrew Morris(@unrealshots), Kevin Schoonover (@schoondoggy1979) and Greg Welch (@welchwerks) for show 135 of Home Tech.  With a large cast of hosts and Kevin coming in from Denver, we have a lengthy conversation around the idea of being “too plugged in” with all our digital devices and are we doing enough to promote STEM here in the United States.  We spend a few minutes covering the New Nokia Lumia 520, the video review from Mike Howard from of the NEST Thermostat, an update of IFA 2013, a review of the Leap Motion device and an update on the HP Proliant Microserver G8. Great deals on Laptops and Netbooks at the Microsoft Store! Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile: The new experiment with for the preshow – Overview of the Nokia Lumia 520] Nokia Lumia 520 GoPhone (AT&T) by Nokia  NEST Thermostat Review / Tronsmart MK908 ] IFA Update] Is the Internet Causing Us All to be Anti-Social?] Leap Motion Review] Leap Motion Controller, Gesture Motion Control for PC or MAC by Leap Motion MicroServer G8 update] HP ProLiant 712318-001 Ultra Micro Tower Server – 1 x Intel Pentium G2020T GHz by HP Kevin’s Deals] SOLD OUT ON NEWEGG – Amazon: Crucial m4 128GB () SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD2 by Crucial  Link: [Final Updates Still time to join us for the meetup in Indy on Sep 21 – Tech Scholarship Fund – We are now on iHeartRadio – Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Tech

Home Tech Special – Live Review of a NEST Thermostat

During the post show of Home Tech 132 () we got Mike Howard from to give us a live review of his 2 NEST #160; Its all contained in 8 minutes of #160; You can review the Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577 on Amazon here:  Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Gadget Geeks

Banned by YouTube, Is Yahoo Back? Christian-Johnson.net, Connect to Windows Server 2012 Essentials Remotely, Email Management with Outlook, Haswell Based HTPC, NEST – HT132

Jim (@jcollison) is joined this week by Andrew Morris(@unrealshots), Christian Johnson and Mike Howard from for Home Tech episode #132.  We are back to old school with 132 as we left the show notes open to any tech topic the guys wanted to cover.  We chatted about being banned by , the return of Yahoo, Christian’s new site, connecting to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials Remotely, Email management with Outlook, Haswell based HTPC and NEST Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile: Click on a Time Stamp to jump to that spot in the video Banned On YouTube] Chromecast Update] Is Yahoo Back?] Yahoo seems to be on their way back?  Christian’s Corner] Christian’s new site: Connecting to WS 2012 Essentials Remotely] A Discussion About Email Management] Mike Howard’s New Thermal Leak Detector] Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector by Black & Decker – Christian’s New Haswell HTPC] Christian’s HTPC Build: ASUS Maximus V FORMULA LGA 1155 Intel Z77 Extended ATX DDR3 2800 PCIe HDMI SupremeFX IV Audio Motherboard by Asus – Intel Core i5-4570S Quad-Core Desktop Processor GHZ 6MB Cache- BX80646I54570Sby Intel – Are you moving to Windows ] Start8 –  NEST Thermostats] One month of living with the Nest  Updates] Icy Dock MB153SP-B DAS Array – they call it the Fat Cage – The tech scholarship fund is working!  Thanks for supporting Financial Tech Podcast – Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Gadget Geeks

NEST Thermostat, Lightning Strikes, Surge Protectors and UPS Devices – HT081

Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined this week by Gordon Schmidt and Bill Paulmenn for Show 81 of The Home Tech Podcast.  Gordon spends the first part of the podcast talking about the NEST Thermostat that he reviewed in a post right here on the site.  We also talk about a lightning strike at Bill’s place and the destruction is caused to his out buildings.  That discussion led into one about Surge Protectors and UPS Devices.  Andrew found what will be come a popular Christmas gift for this year and Jim finished up the conversation with a question about the new leadership at Yahoo and a rant about not getting the newest update for his Sprint Galaxy SII. MozyPro–secure online backup for businesses Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile: Gordon’s Blog  Andrews near by Sky Resort: Bill’s in house surge protector: Whole house surge protection from Jim’s Power company: Useless Gadgets – The Wiki Reader – Gaming build for Jim.  Post at the Home Server   Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Tech

A Review of The NEST Thermostat

I was first introduced to the Nest as I was scrolling through my large list of RSS feeds in Google Reader in the fall of 2011.  Since then my interest has grown in the product.  The idea is perfect… take one of the items in your house, the thermostat and make it better. In the past the Nest was sold only through the website but on May 8th, 2012 the Nest became available at Lowes and more recently at the Apple stores and It is always nice when a product comes to a local retail store so I can get some hands on experience and see the product in action even if it is only a demo. Recently I discussed the Nest on The Home Tech Podcast show # 72. At that time I was in the final stages of making my decision whether I was going to purchase the Nest and replace my current thermostat.  As you probably guest I did go forward with the purchase and have been using the Nest in my home for about a month now.  The reason I decided to spend the money on the Nest was because of the automation, energy/cost savings and design of the product.  I am interested in home automation and this is the first step I have made in that direction thus far.  This device has become a very interesting conversation piece when family and friends are at our house.  In the past episodes of The Home Tech Podcast I had brought on John Hughes who is the founder and developer of Code Core Technologies which is a full home automation solution.  Although, I am not at that point yet I do enjoy the automation that I am getting with the Nest already. There is not much to installing the Nest.  The first thing I did was make sure that my current thermostat wiring was going to work with the Nest.  You never know what has been done in the past by the installers.  If you go to the Nest compatibility site you can pop off the front of your current thermostat and document the wires that you have.  Then fill out the check boxes on the compatibility site to see if the Nest is going to work with your existing wiring.  I got a “Your system is compatible” message which gave me a green light to the next step.  Who was I going to purchase it from?  Like most people when you want something now and not later I was glad that Lowes was carrying the Nest and has a few stores close to me so I did not need to wait for shipping from   Now that I had my own personal Nest I started to plan how I was going to perform the install.  I knew that I was going to need to shutdown the power to the existing thermostat and this might be intrusive to the other family members so I resisted my urge to install that night and waited till morning while all but I were still sleeping. I then proceeded to shut down the power to the thermostat and furnace.  The rest was almost easier then shutting down the power.  I removed the old thermostat and installed the new Nest thermostat turned on the power to the furnace and the Nest was up and running.  The next couple of steps were configuring the device; put in my zip code, my min and max temperatures as well as get the Nest connected to my wireless Wi-Fi network.  The Wi-Fi connection allows me to see and control the Nest via a webpage or via the Nest application on my deluge of mobile devices.  The Nest also utilizes the Wi-Fi connection to measure the weather outside to optimize the performance based off the temperature and humidity. The Nest takes about 5 days to learn the behavior of the family and after that starts building a customized schedule that fits our needs and saves power when we are away automatically.  Some of the other features of the Nest that I am enjoying are Energy History, Airwave, Time to Temperature, and The Leaf.  Energy History is exactly as it sounds… the Nest gives me a simple interface to view what my trailing energy history.  Airwave is the Nest ability to shut down the compressor outside and continue running the furnace fan to save on energy while still cooling the house to the desired temperature.  Time to Temperature is also exactly as it sounds… after the Nest learns the time that it takes to get your house from the current temperature to the desired or set temperature you will start to get a time estimate that the system is going to take to reach that desired temp.  The Leaf, this is a method of coaching the user of the device to choose temperatures that help save energy. I am very happy with the Nest so far and enjoy the simplicity yet advanced feature set.  I have thought about tracking the cost savings with the Nest but I don’t think the data would be very comparable.  If meteorologists can’t figure out what the weather is going to be for the day I don’t think that previous weather data is going to compare to current and future weather patterns.  I will be sure to give updates on future Home Tech Podcasts as new updates and features come to the Nest.
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