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Sound Advice: 2 products for cold days and adapting to Bluetooth

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Cold weather comfort: With the incredibly cold temperatures being the big news these days, I thought it would be a good time to share two inexpensive products I purchased recently that make life a bit easier when dealing with the cold. Stay warm and safe, everyone!

Jojozoo ceramic space heater, $23.99: I work exclusively from home now, but back when I worked at a place of business I had a small space heater under my desk during the winter months and it made all the difference in the world. When faced with a colder-than-usual home office lately I picked up the Jojozoo space heater, and it has made my work environment a whole lot more comfortable. It is small and quiet, with two heat settings, and the warmth it gives off is very comfortable, like hot water radiator heat. It’s normally $29.99 and I would say it is worth that, but it is currently $23.99 under a recent offer for Amazon Prime members. It’s a great way to warm up a small area or the space under your desk for a bit more than $20.

‎Sprstar cone ice scrapers, $8.98: This product has mixed reviews on Amazon, but it worked for me so I am going to include it so readers can check it out. These scrapers look like a funnel with a cap that goes over the small end so you can use it to break up ice. The large side can be used for removing frost from the windows. I found the cone scrapers most useful for getting in corners and other areas that are hard to get at with a horizontally edged scraper, and for wiping with a back and forth or circular motion. The cap does comes off so it works as a funnel to add windshield washer fluid. That’s a good thing because I did not find the cap that effective at breaking ice. Having a funnel during winter is always useful, and you get four of them for the $8.98 to add capability to multiple vehicles.

Q. I just got a sound bar for my bedroom TV and it does not have an AM/FM tuner. I was disappointed as I thought all speaker devices still had AM/FM tuners! The sound bar does have Bluetooth and it works fine with my iPhone. I know I can use a smartphone app to tune the stations, but I guess I'm old-fashioned because I just want a hardware solution to be able to turn on FM and have it running without using my phone. It is daunting to me to tie up my phone that way! Do you know of an AM/FM tuner with RDS and Bluetooth to use with my sound bar? Is there any way to use my pocket radio with the sound bar remotely, rather than with wired earbuds?

 

—G.C.

A. It might exist, but I was unable to find an AM/FM radio or tuner that also transmits via Bluetooth. It is easy to configure almost any audio component with an analog output to transmit via Bluetooth with an adapter. Swiitech has a Bluetooth adapter for under $30 that both transmits and receives. It comes with connecting cables that will allow you to use either your pocket radio or component radio tuner. If you want a component tuner you may be able to find one at a thrift shop for $20 or less. (I found two good ones in thrift shops this way!) Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good sources for quality used tuners as well. If you don’t want to go thrifting, the Sangean HDT-20 for $159.99 will fit the bill.

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