Since posting a few previous articles on mobile broadband, a few people contacted me for an update on how the providers compare. With Imagine launching their LTE fixed wireless broadband service earlier this year (2016), both Vodafone and Eir have silently added larger 100+GB 4G mobile broadband plans, making for a more usable alternative to slow DSL, satellite and congested fixed wireless connections. I’ll also cover a few prepay options. Continue reading Largest 4G plans for home broadband in Ireland
The most common speed test people use to check their web connection throughput is Ookla’s Speedtest.net service. While it’s pretty good at measuring the potential throughput available between the user and its ISP’s internal network, the actual throughput the user receives from the Internet can be much lower, especially when it comes to congested networks such as cellular and wireless connections. Continue reading Why do all the speed test websites differ, which to use?
The three major mobile network operators each provide a way of getting a chunk of data just by topping up. Three is the most generous offering 30 days of unlimited data each time one tops up by €20. While this sounds great, their network is heavily congested with 4G feeling more like congested 3G, with the exception of speed tests as demonstrated in my video. If the user accidentally forgets to top-up before the 30 days are up, Three rapidly gobbles up their credit at a rate of just over €1 per MB!
Continue reading Meteor data Simplicity plan quirks and performance
Towards the end of 2014, we went for the Tefal Actifry 1kg, which is their second generation fryer with the part white part clear lid. At the time, I never tasted chips cooked by one or any other air fryer and was initially concerned after poor experience with oven chips and other ways of making chips in the oven.
At the time, we were getting fed up cleaning the greasy gunk off our deep fat fryer and of course looking for a way of cutting down on excess fat even though we only typically have chips twice a week. The other reported advantage was that it could cook sausages without having to keep turning them every few minutes. Continue reading Tefal Actifry Review with various chips, fast food & cleaning
Despite what seems like low monthly caps on mobile broadband, mobile providers in Ireland are actually more generous than many other countries such as the UK. For example, Three’s largest bill pay package on mobile broadband is 60GB in Ireland, compared to just 15GB in the UK. The largest package I’m aware of in the UK is EE with a 25GB plan for £30, which works out more expensive than Three’s 60GB plan here. But go over the month limit and there’s a nasty surprise! Continue reading Opinion: What would make a fair mobile broadband plan
Since I joined Three about two years ago, I have had two main issues with their network coverage. The first issue is the total lack of 3G coverage in my area and the second is where my phone seems to prefer national roaming on to the Vodafone and O2 2G masts. Continue reading How to force Three to use 3G and 4G only (Android)
While staying over in Letterkenny (The Elms area), I did a scan of the FM band using the Tecsun PL-606 with its antenna extension positioned vertically. This is a high sensitivity DSP FM radio which picks up fringe FM stations normally only picked up by a good car stereo or roof-mounted FM aerial. Continue reading FM radio stations picked up in Letterkenny with Tecsun PL-606
I am a Three prepay customer and my phone is the OnePlus One. At a first glance, the two seem like great combination where the OnePlus is great for multimedia video and the Three network provides “All you can eat” data on the 4G network using band 3 (1800MHz) that the OnePlus supports.
In reality, my phone does not work in most rural 4G coverage areas and Three’s “All you can eat” data can slow down to a trickle very quickly, regardless of the time of day. Continue reading Three using LTE Band 20 (800MHz) and throttling downloads
As Ireland does not seem to have a feed-in tariff for solar power at this time of writing, I have been curious as to what it would cost to store excess energy in batteries if I ever decided to get solar panels installed.
If the building is completely running off-grid, then using batteries to store power makes complete sense as the solar panels alone will not run high power appliances, not to mention provide no power at all after sunset. However, when the grid is available, but does not offer a feed-in tariff, is it really cost effective to store the excess solar power in batteries? Continue reading Storing solar power in batteries costs more than the grid
About a year ago, my De’Longhi DES16E stopped working. When it failed, it would run for 2 to 3 minutes, then cut out with the display completely blank for about 15 minutes and then cycle on like this. It was just two years old, but out of warranty. At this point, I debated on whether to go with a desiccant model or another compressor, but in the end decided to go with a larger compressor model after weighting the pros and cons: