Gadgets :: April 20, 2015

Iris Irrigation Timer

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman


If you forgot to turn on your sprinklers while you are out of town, or it rained overnight but you left for work without turning them off, neither is a problem to control with the Orbit 12-Station Indoor/Outdoor Irrigation Timer.

The system is the second accessory I’ve tried from Lowe’s to work with the IRIS wireless smartphone system (the first was the smart garage door controller).

First, a little about the Iris/smartphone system; it has add-on’s to control alarms, security cameras, thermostats and even electric pet doors. Each must be connected to the wireless IRIS Smart Hub (sold separately $99).

The hub connects to you’re home router with the included ethernet cable.

That might sound complicated, but it takes just minutes with the quick start guide and the web-based instructions.

You must have an in-ground sprinkler system and this system replaces your existing one, with the addition of being able to control it anywhere.

It works on the Z-Wave system, which is a protocol for smartphone remote control systems. Control is done through the IRIS app on smartphones and tablets.

Now on to the sprinkler system; I had the hub installed so that step was completed.

The quick-start guide makes it simple; I would advise reading the short instruction before the actual installation. If they seem complicated just call a friend who is the handy type to install it.

Each of the first six steps is for connecting the timer box to the wires which went into my existing box. The only electrical step was plugging in the AC power cord.

Step #7 is connecting the sprinkler controller to the IRIS hub, which is easily done by following the steps while logged into your Iris account at

If it all sounds simple, that’s because it is, just like the garage controller was.

As for the sprinkler box, it has everything you would expect; 12 stations, can be mounted indoor or outdoor, programable by day/times, lithium battery backup and has a connection for a rain sensor (not included).

I fully expect that the system can pay itself off with water savings along with keeping your lawn nice and green. $129

Cyntur JumperPack miniSmartphones, like most any other portable electronic gadget, can be charged on the fly and now with theCyntur JumperPack mini, you can jumpstart your car on the fly.

It has an internal 12,000mAh lithium-ion battery for jumpstarting vehicles with up to eight cylinder engines. This includes cars, trucks, SUV’s and boats.

What’s even great about large amount of power is it’s small enough to fit in a glove compartment (6 x 2.2 x 1.3-inches and 0.9 lb.)

Back to the beginning, if your smartphone’s battery is dead, the JumperPack has a 2.1amp USB port. It’s good for most phones, tablets, GPS units or most any other portable electronic gadget.

The JumperPack has a 200 lumen LED flashlight and comes with a zipper storage bag.

The battery holds its charge for up to a year and is advertised to be used for up to 25 times before it needs a charge itself.

It also has an IPX3 weatherproof rating and comes with an AC wall charger. $99

Pegasus Wheeled Backpack 1The Pegasus wheeled backpack from ECBC is listed as a 2-in-1 bag on the ECBC website, but I really think thats wrong.

I think it’s at least a 3-in-1.

My three are a rolling suitcase, which can be converted to a backpack and it has a front padded TSA friendly computer bag.

Additionally there are compartments inside of compartments and extra padding enabling it to hold just about every accessory you would want.

Soundmatter DASHaAs for the backpack, just unzip the back panel to get the backpack straps out.

If you carry a laptop (up to 15-inches) in the bag, keep it in the front part and just unzip it and lay it flat on the security X-ray conveyer without taking the computer out.

Included is a portable battery pack (4500mAh) for charging gadgets on-the-go.

After loading your electronics, there’s the main compartment for a few day’s worth of clothes.

The bag measures 22 x 14 x 10-inches and weighs 9 lb. $399.99, available in five colors


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