Archives For Help the Earth!

Today’s EIO post is on products that can be used to get your kids involved in learning mechanics and strengthening their technical skills.

Pros of Getting Your Kid Involved in Do-It-Yourself Projects

Although children get the fundamentals of math and science at school, it is beneficial to reinforce this knowledge with projects that spur their enthusiasm and excitement for learning more about the way the world works.  From building blocks in kindergarten to legos in elementary school, kids have always been inclined to building things with their own hands.  With some of our products, you can continue to foster your kids enthusiasm for learning with some more advanced DIY projects.

OWI OWI-MSK613 3 In 1 Solar Stallion

This solar-powered kit helps kids understand the benefits of renewable energyEasy-to-build equine choices: ‘Horse Trainer’, ‘Pegasus’, or ‘Chariot’.
Brand OWI
Model OWI-MSK613
Type Educational Solar Kit
Features Triple your fun in the sun with 3- in-1 Solar Stallion. This solar-powered kit helps kids understand the benefits of renewable energy while creating their own fun, battery-free toy. It’s exciting to watch solar energy make the product come to life, and this hand-on approach to science and building creates a tangible lesson in solar energy for girls and boys alike.

Young horse lovers will especially enjoy assembling and re-assembling these easy-to-build equine choices:  ‘Horse Trainer’, ‘Pegasus’, or ‘Chariot’.








Fuel cell that combines electrolysis and power conversion into one single device.
Model KNS10
Type Fuel Cell Car Kit
Features This Fuel Cell Car Science Kit uses a reversible PEM fuel cell that combines electrolysis and power conversion into one single device. Watch as oxygen and hydrogen gases are formed in two transparent water containers. The car steers independently of the user once in operation: when the car hits a barrier, it will automatically find its way by reversing away 90 degrees. This fun science kit combines cutting-edge science, education and fun for all!

  • recommended age: 14 years and up
  • this kit contains:
    • PEM reversible fuel cell module
    • car chassis & wheels
    • electric motor
    • flashing LED lights
    • water vessels
    • gas collectors
    • connector cables
    • syringe
    • battery pack for 2x 1.5V AA batteries (LR6C, not incl.)
    • user manual on CD







Futuristic hydrogen car science kit is an amazing way to demonstrate the use of cutting-edge alternative energy
Model KNS11
Type Hydrogen Station Kit
Features This futuristic hydrogen car science kit is an amazing way to demonstrate the use of cutting-edge alternative energy and automotive technologies. Its partly transparent body displays the inner mechanics of the car. The car’s assembly instructions make it easy and fun to build, and also provides interesting education on real-world challenges.

  • recommended age: 12 years and up
  • this kit contains:
    • H-racer chassis & body
    • fuel cell system components
    • hydrogen refuelling station (2 x 1.5V AA, LR6C, not incl.)
    • solar panel & connectors
    • infrared remote control (3 x LR44, not incl.)
    • assembly & operation manual



Laptop Cooling Fans 101

eiodotcom —  September 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today’s EIO post is an introduction to some of our laptop cooling products.

Is a Laptop Cooler Really Important?

One thing that any laptop owner should be aware of is the fact that all electronic devices generate a certain amount of energy… simply by being used.  This energy is then used and dispersed in the form of heat, which is the reason why your laptop may heat up from time to time.  Manufacturers are aware of this problem, and consequently build their products to withstand a certain threshold of temperatures.  In this sense, laptops are already equipped with cooling fans and vents throughout the device. But as is often the case, overheating may and often does occur.  Consequently, whether or not a customer should look into purchasing a cooling fan depends on the individual habits of that person, as well as how and under what circumstances they plan on using the product.

Factors That Cause Excessive Heat That May Harm Your Laptop

Surrounding Temperatures:

Laptops are usually designed to withstand temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius maximum.  If, for example, you live in an area that regularly exceeds this maximum temperature, the likelihood of your device experiencing problems would be quite high.  Heat often builds up and takes some time to disperse from the inner casing of a laptop.  So if your equipment was permanently in a location with high temperatures, it would be a good idea to have something to cool it off before serious damage is done to the product.

Customer Use:
Many times customers enjoy using their laptops in conditions other than sitting at a desk or a table.  The reason they purchased the product, after all, was for the sake of mobility and comfort.  What often happens, however, is that customers begin using their laptops on the bed, sofa, carpet flooring, and especially their laps, and inadvertently block off the cooling vents.  This prevents any cooling air from escaping from the laptop.


In this sense, if you want to experience the full joy of owning a laptop and maintain the luxury of using it wherever you choose, it may be a good idea to purchase a laptop cooling fan.



Macally ECOFAN Bamboo Cooling Stand


Brand MacAlly
Type Docking Stations / Stands / Coolers
Features Organic
Ultimate thermal solution






COOLER MASTER R9-NBC-2WAK-GP NotePal X1 Notebook Cooler

Brand Cooler Master
Model R9-NBC-2WAK-GP
Accessory Type Cooler
Dimension (W / H / D): 14.37″ x 11.42″ x 2.13-2.76″
Fan Dimension (W / H / D): 4.72″ x 4.72″ x 0.98″
Bearing Type: Sleeve
Fan Life Expectancy: 30,000 hours
USB Port: USB2.0/1.1 x 2
Weight: 1.61 lbs.
Safety: FCC / CE / C-tick
Fan Airflow: 23 ~ 44 CFM
Rated Voltage: 5 VDC
Stylish design Large metal mesh surface for great cooling performance

Perfect wrist-resting position allows users to work at ease

Fan speed control

Convenient usage on the knee

Better airflow with ventilation at bottom

Ergonomic design provides perfect viewing angle

Two different height settings

Four anti-slip rubbers prevents the notebook from sliding

Convenient usage anywhere







SIIG AC-CL0112-S1 Swivel and Tilt Notebook Cooler

Brand SIIG
Model AC-CL0112-S1
Type Cooler
Specifications Fan speed: 2000 RPM
Air flow: 19 CFM
Noise: 21.26 dBA
Operating current: 0.14A

System Requirements
Notebook computer with an available USB port

  • Fits 11″ – 15.4″ notebooks
  • Ultra silent fan
  • 360 degree swivel base
  • Ergonomic adjustable tilt
  • USB powered – no additional external power needed
  • Extends notebook’s life by lowering its operating temperature
  • Protects your lap and prevents heat damage to your furniture
  • 6 level adjustable tilt, from 20 – 50 degrees







Thermaltake CLN0008 Thermaltake Massive23 CS Notebook Cooling Stand

Brand Thermaltake
Model CLN0008
Accessory Type Cooler
Dimension: 360(L) x 319(W) x 52(H) mm
Heatsink Material: Aluminum
Fan Dimension: Ø 200×20 mm
Rated Voltage: 5 V
Rated Current: 0.22 A
Started Voltage: 3.5 V
Fan Speed: 600±200 R.P.M.
Max. Air Flow: 57 CFM
Max. Air Pressure : 0.37 mmH2O
Noise: 17 dBA
Accessory: USB to DC Cable
Weight: 3.55 lbs. (1.61Kg)
Features Embedded ultra silent 23cm variable color LED Fan with On/Off switch.

Intakes massive cold airflow for best cooling effect

Aluminum material with black stylish design

Great combination of ergonomic and anti-slip design with versatile angle for optimal operating comfort.

Supports laptop dimensions 10″ ~ 17″, especially for wide-screen laptop.


Solar Panels

eiodotcom —  September 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today’s EIO post is on solar panels and the different products we sell that use the sun’s energy as a power source. Before taking a look at the various products we sell, you can learn a little bit more about solar energy by reading our earlier post on the advantages of solar energy.

Sunforce 50032 15 Watt Solar 12V Battery Charger

The Sunforce 50032 is the most versatile Sunforce solar panel available on our website.  It can charge automobiles, RV’s, boats, tractors, ATV’s, electric fences, deer feeders, telemetry and more.  Like other Sunforce panels, the 50032 can charge under all weather conditions.

Suppliers: Sunforce
Max Output: 15W
Brand Sunforce
Model 50032
Type Solar Charger / Battery
Features Works with Automobiles, RV’s, Boats, Tractors, ATVs, Electric Fences, Deer Feeders, Telemetry, and MoreMaintenance Free / Easy Installation

Works in All Weather Conditions

Ultra Bright Blue LED Provides Charging Indication

Built-in Blocking Diode Protects Battery Discharge at Night

Made of Durable ABS Plastic with an Amorphous Solar Cell

Temperature Range: -40° to 176° F

Max Output 15 Watts 1 Amp

Sunforce 50012 1.8-Watt Solar Battery Maintainer

The Sunforce battery maintainer is a great device to have on hand, as it uses the light from outside to power car, boat, SUV, ATV  and PWC batteries.  It’s also simple to use, the Sunforce maintainer plugs into the cigarette lighter and can be applied to the windshield with included suction cups.  What’s great about this product is that it can charge in all weather conditions! So, if you happen to need a backup power source for your car, boat, ATV, etc. the Sunforce is a great solar panel that can keep you in power.

Suppliers: Sunforce
 Max Output: 1.8W
Brand Sunforce
Model 50012
Type Solar Battery Maintainer
  • Maintains Car’s, SUV’s, Boat, ATV, PWC Batteries
  • Maintenance Free / Easy Installation
  • Charges in all Weather Conditions
  • Plugs into Cigarette Lighter
  • Battery Clamps Included
  • Mounts on Windshield with Included Suction Cups
  • Made of Durable ABS Plastic & Amorphous Solar Cells
  • Plugs into Cigarette Lighter with Alligator Battery Clamps Included
  • Temperature Range: -40° to 176° F
  • Max Output 1.8 Watts 125 Mah

Today’s Eio post is on how to maximize the life of one’s laptop battery.

There are three main ways to maximize the life of your laptop. Let’s call the first method “eliminating to save power;” the second “caring to maintain power;” and the third, “adding to increase power.”

Eliminating to Save Power

The first crucial step in maximizing the battery life of your laptop is to understand what drains the laptop’s power. Once you determine the biggest power drainers, you can focus on saving laptop power by eliminating the biggest power-draining culprits.

The Windows 7 Engineering blogreleased a pie chart which displays where the power in your laptop is allocated to. With an astounding near 50%, the laptop’s LCD screen sucks up the juice. So, the obvious answer with this, is to dim your screen!

Where the power goes in a modern Windows laptop offers some other good elimination tips on saving the battery’s life:

  1. Dim your screen
  2. Cut down on programs running in the background
  3. Cut down on external devices, such as external hard drives, flash drives, WiFi, a mouse

    Don’t let your laptop overheat!

  4. Don’t multitask
  5. Turn off the autosave function in Microsoft word and excel
  6. Lower the graphics use

Caring to Maintain Power

The second method of maximizing your laptop’s battery life is to take proper care of your laptop. When you properly care for your laptop’s battery and power supply, it can enhance how long your laptop will remain powered. There are several ways, again I find help from and from Lifehacker.

  1. Defrag regularly
  2. Keep the battery contacts clean
  3. Place computer on hibernate, not standby – hibernate saves your PC where you left off and shuts it down, but standby does not save nearly as much power as hibernate.
  4. Go easy on PC demands – for instance, constant laptop usage over several hours or days is not good for your device. Also, certain uses are more PC intensive, such as watching DVDs, downloading files, or playing video games.
  5. Optimize your hardware for power consumption
  6. Set up and optimize your power options
  7. Avoid laptop overheating

Adding to Increase Power

The final method of maximizing the battery life of one’s laptop is to add on functions or gadgets to increase the amount of power your laptop can support. This method may cost you more money, but the add-ons can be greatly beneficial. Again, Friedbeef is useful.

  1. Add more RAM – This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather than relying on virtual memory.  Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.”
  2. Replace your old battery with a new one
  3. Invest in a spare laptop battery
  4. When all else fails, get yourself a more efficient laptop!

Visit Eio for all your laptop needs! We carry:

See also:

In honor of Earth Day, Eio will focus on the “R” of REUSE in the “reduce-reuse-recycle” dictum. Today’s topic is rechargeable batteries, such as our popular 4-pack of Lenmar 2700mAh AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries.

Rechargeable batteries seem more ecological and economical than single-use batteries, but are they? Here are three useful points to think through when choosing rechargeable versus single-use batteries.


How do rechargeable batteries’ lifespans compare to single-use ones?

While it is difficult to quantify how many hours a battery lasts, most modern-day rechargeable batteries’ lifespans contain around 150 recharges. Single-use batteries, of course, die once they run out. But their lifespans all depends on variables such as the type of battery used and the rate at which a device consumes power.


Are rechargeable batteries’ longer lifespans worth it despite their high costs?

Rechargeable batteries may be pricier at the outset, but they are thought to save users money over the life of each battery. One downside is that rechargeable batteries and their accompanying chargers can sometimes be more difficult to find. If say, you buy the aforementioned Lenmar battery and battery charger, it is possible you may be unable to replace these items because less-popular products sometimes get discontinued.  Single-use batteries, on the other hand, are available everywhere and come in most sizes.


How do rechargeable batteries help the environment compared to single-use ones?

Rechargeable batteries do help reduce the amount of waste generated by single-use batteries, which hit 180,000 tons in 2010. However, if one does not recycle rechargeable batteries once they die, contamination is much more likely because they contain heavy metals that some single-use batteries do not possess.

The general rule-of-thumb is to recycle ALL batteries, whether they are rechargeable or not.

Go here for SoCal battery-recycling centers. Go here to mail in your batteries to be properly recycled. Visit for all your recycling needs.

A Final Thought

We would love to give you a definite answer of “rechargeables YES, single-use NO!” But much depends on where you’ll use the battery and how much power the device uses.

Jennifer Berry, over at says this:

So, what are you going to use? Is it a high-tech gadget that needs portable power on a regular basis? Then rechargeables are for you…

[But] rechargeable batteries aren’t necessary for low-cost products that don’t use much power. For example, TV remote controls can sometimes last for years on a single-use battery, so it doesn’t make sense to purchase more expensive rechargeable batteries for such a low maintenance device.”

In sum, when choosing which battery is a better choice, it all depends. Yes, rechargeables may seem cheaper in the long-run, but it all depends on what type of gadget the battery is for.

And in all things, please recycle your batteries correctly. Our future will thank you for that one small gesture.

See also:

April 22, 2012 marked the anniversary of Earth Day, a day in which people across the globe promote the restoration and preservation of the earth’s natural environment.

While the day of mobilization and celebration passed, the aims of Earth Day continue in people’s lifestyles. This year, Earth Day campaigns reached a Billion Acts of Green. For instance:

“Yeji from South Korea pledged to not use paper cups anymore, while Pearl from the UK pledged to sell her car and walk everywhere she could.” (read here) shares similar commitments to our earth.

As an electronics company, we comply with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). Stocking RoHS compliant parts means we try our best not to sell electronic items containing lead, mercury, or other hazardous substances. We also properly dispose of RoHS exempt items, such as lead batteries. These practices combined, we at Eio contribute to the earth’s reduction of toxic e-waste.

So what can YOU do?

Even if you are not an electronic enthusiast, don’t just throw away your broken or old electronic items. RECYCLE THEM by visiting your local electronics recycling center.

Here are some recycling centers for Eio’s South Bay locals:

Remember, every bit counts. Mother Earth and our future generations will thank you.

See also:

Summer is just around the corner here in the North-western hemisphere, so what better time to explore the advantages of solar panels and cells. Even if a solar product never graces your home, knowing the basics of solar energy is still fascinating.

Here is a popular product on Eio, the Velleman SOL5N Solar Charger.

Did You Know (according to Solar Energy 101):

  • Enough energy comes from the sun in one hour to power the global population for a year.
  • Sunlight is a totally renewable resource, unlike oil, coal and natural gas.
  • Solar energy is a great alternative resource due to the decrease in the world’s energy resources and the high pollution caused by many fossil fuels.

The Advantages of Using Solar Energy

Solar energy is harnessed by the photovoltaic effect created in solar cells and panels. Solar panels, a collection of tightly connected solar cells, capture sunlight and convert its energy directly into electricity. And solar panels are more common than you think: although mainly used to adorn rooftops, they also come in handheld calculators, solar powered street and traffic lights, even fans and radios.

According to the Solar Now! campaign in Oregon, the advantages of putting solar panels on your house (or business) include:

  1. Increase in your property’s value
  2. Decrease in your electricity bill
  3. Demonstrates environmental leadership in your community
  4. Lightens your personal impact on the environment

Here’s a memorable (and satirical) picture from The Simpsons, when environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. unveils his solar powered creation to the lovable family. By way of poking fun at “smug” environmentalists, Begley’s humongous solar panels generate enough electricity to make a little fan spin!