Friday, July 3, 2015

Should I Download the New Windows 10?

            If you’ve been using a Windows 7 or 8 PC lately, you may have noticed a new icon on the taskbar in the bottom-right. Microsoft is releasing the new Windows 10, and you can go ahead and sign-up for a free download when it releases! Just click the Windows logo on the taskbar and follow the simple instructions, and Windows 10 will download to your device once it’s released on July 29th. You can then install it whenever it is convenient for you.


            Only industry insiders have seen Windows 10, but Microsoft promises that it will be familiar and easy-to-use, and that it will be compatible with all current hardware and software. Even documents and files will be preserved in the upgrade. Once it’s here, we’ll be sure to let you know how it is, and whether or not it’s worth upgrading. There’s no harm in going ahead and signing up though - the free download is a limited time offer!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How can I Save Data While Still Streaming Videos?


You probably know that higher quality video uses more data to stream, but did you know that your favorite video services may be set to stream the highest quality by default (and use up the most data)? Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube all have quality options, and automatically select the highest quality that your connection speed can currently handle. This is great for getting high quality video, but not so great for your data limit each month! You can lower these by clicking on the gear icon on the video player for YouTube and Hulu. In Netflix, just go to Your Account, then Your Profile, and look under Playback Settings. 


Netflix Step 1: (found in the top right corner of your computer screen)  Click "Your                                       Account" once you log in to your account.



Netflix Step 2: Click "Playback Settings" 



Netflix Step 3: Choose the level of playback you would like for your videos.




         
As a default, these services could be streaming video quality to the tune of up to 7 GB per hour, and you can get that as low as 0.3 GB per hour. You could cut your data usage from streaming video by up to 95%!  Now, if you live in a house and you are connected to unlimited WiFi, decreasing the quality of a video may make no sense to you, but when you travel in an RV and pay for every GB of data you use, sacrificing a little video quality can save you a lot of money in the long run.  Your picture quality won’t be quite as nice, but you’ll appreciate not having to shell out for extra data at the end of the month! 


Can I Connect my 50 Amp RV to a 30 Amp Service?

 
The short answer is yes, however there are some issues that you need to consider when you do this. The first thing to know is that if you are in a 50 Amp RV and there is 50 Amp service available then you should go to the site that is dedicated to 50 Amp service. Some people will try to save a few dollars by going to a 30 Amp site, and while you may get away with it, in the long run you could be opening yourself up to potential RV issues. So rule number one: only use a 30 Amp if 50 Amp is not available.
Now that we have established that, if you must connect to a 30 Amp service with your 50 Amp RV, be sure to get a good 50 to 30 Amp adapter. TechnoRV sells Progressive adapters (50A to 30A and 30A to 50A) and it is always a good thing to have in your tool box in case you need it, and if you travel enough, you will need it at some point. (We are putting these on sale 25% off this month, July, 2015, so you
 can have it when you need it).  Progressive adapters provide superior durability and heat resistance, over “dog bone” type adapters. Unlike “dog-bone” type adapters, no cable is used, therefore eliminating cable separation.


Now let’s get into the electrical considerations. If your 50 Amp RV is plugged into a 30 Amp service, you will not be able to use everything in your RV. You cannot count on the campground breakers to protect your RV from an overload situation. Let’s look at the numbers. A 30 Amp service will provide you with 3600 watts of availability. I arrive at this number because a 30 Amp service is run by one 120 volt line, so 30 Amps times 120 volts = 3600 watts (Amps X Volts=Watts).  Generally the breakers used in an RV park are not going to have a tight tolerance for when the breaker trips, maybe 10-20% over or under the 3600 watts. So doing some rough math, the breaker could reach its limit anywhere from around 2850 to 4300 watts. This won’t be a problem for a RV that is made to run on 30 Amps because they are built to run well within the limits, but for a 50 Amp RV, this wattage limitation can quickly become an issue.

So does a 50 Amp RV only require about 60% more wattage than a 30 Amp RV? After all, 50 is only about 60% more than 30. Not so in this case, because a 50 amp service runs on two 120 volt lines instead of the one 120 volt line that a 30 Amp RV uses, and therefore the equation is 50 Amps times 240 volts which equals 12,000 Watts of availability. WOW! That is nearly 3 times the amount of power for a 50 Amp RV than a 30 Amp RV. Again, some rough math, and I can possibly only use a third of what I may normally run on a normal 50 Amp service.  Now this is 
still doable if you need to. You will certainly be limited to one AC unit, and I wouldn’t be cranking out a 1200 Watthair dryer while I am staying there. There are charts online that you can look at how many watts an average appliance uses, and this could be helpful. Keep in mind, an air conditioner may run on 1000 watts, but it could take double that to start it.


Now, there are 50 Amp RVs that are being run on 30 Amp service in parks every day, so don’t be afraid to do this if that is all that is available. Just take the advice of this article and be about 2/3’s more frugal on what you normally run in your RV. There will be times that you pull into a park after a long day of driving and find that a 30 Amp is all that is available. Just pull out your adapter plug, and make sure you do not exceed the wattage availability. You can always refer back to this article if you forget the calculations.

The other thing that you can do is use one of our Progressive cheater boxes (on sale this month, July 2015). If there is a pedestal with two 30 amp plugs in it, then you can plug this unit into the two 30 Amp plugs, and it will provide you with a 50 Amp service. Again, this is another great thing to have in your tool box.

If you have more questions about this article, please feel free to post the question in our forum at forum@technorv.com. Your question will likely help others too, and we will be sure to post an answer back to you.