Very off topic and inappropriate, but I thought I should mention to my fellow geekish individuals that you should stay very far away from Ellies Electronics' Remote Blaster units.
I own quite a number of things made by Ellies and have always considered them to be a great manufacturer of electronics and A/V equipment, however, they have now changed my opinion of them and their products permanently.
Ellies, in their infinite wisdom, thought that building every single remote blaster transmitter unit to use a 433.92MHz carrier signal and every single receiver unit to use a 433.42MHz VFO would be a very good idea.
I bought a pair of these extenders to treat my dad for father's day and must say I am terribly dissapointed. The house is extremely close to that of a next door neighbour who also owns a pair of said extenders, all though he has the older version. These still work on exactly the same frequency though.
The problem is that since installing them, my dad can not only change his channels from the bed room, but can also watch as the channels are changed at random to something else. When he changes it back, it seems the house is haunted as it changes back to what it just changed to.
It would appear that South Africans have not lost their ability to exceed even my wildest expectations of their stupidity. Since all of the units use exactly the same frequency, if you happen to live within 75m of a neighbour who also uses a set, you will be getting your channels changed and you will be changing his channels.
This would not really have bothered me that much if Ellies took the route of EVERY other manufacturer of remote extender units and included a button to change the channel or frequency of the units. Incredibly, Ellies have included no such button. May be they think it would be a bad idea of users could tune the device to an open channel so that neighbours could peacefully co-exist of both sides own such units.
Instead, Ellies decided to make everybody use the exact same frequencies, I guess it just never occured to them that two people living next door to each other might both want to use these and that it could be a problem if you can't tune the frequency channel.
According to marketing hype on their web site, you could buy the Genius Remote Blaster, which has a digitally encoded serial number with its RF signal. According to them, with the "Genius" unit, you won't get interference from a neighbour's equipment because your receiver will only respond to a signal that carries the serial number of your transmitter.
Of course, this doesn't mean that your neighbour's old unit won't respond to signals from your "genius" unit, so in effect, we would both have to upgrade.
My neighbour had his set first and I can't expect him to upgrade or stop using his gear. Also, I refuse to go and buy a set of "genius" units for both houses, so my dad's father's day gift just has to go back, even though he was ecstatic about it when he could zap the transmitter in his bedroom and see the channels change.
At this point, I have phoned the local Ellies help line and they have been able to offer my no assistance what so ever. I'll be phoning the head office later today but I expect much the same "sorry, buy the genius unit" response.
I'll be returning the extenders I have now anyway and I very much doubt that I will be purchasing the "genius" units or any Ellies products for that matter, for a very long time. It's enough that they are stupid, but since this was meant to be a treat for my dad, they are adding embaracement to extreme annoyance. [:(]
Browsing their site, I also noticed that they are now selling wireless door chimes. I wonder if those all use the same frequency too. I should go buy both our neighbours and myself a set of those so that people ringing his door bell can annoy me too and so that people ringing my door bell can also alert him that I have visitors. Heck, we could probably use our door bells to tap out morse code to each other, great, thanks Ellies.
At the very least, I would have expected them to print a warning on the pack so that I could have anticipated this before giving my dad a present that I will now have to return.
Something like this comes to mind:
WARNING: We are dumb as dog manour, we have used the same frequency for all our sub standard remote extender products and offer no way to adjust the frequency used.
If you live close to somebody else that also uses one of these products, you will cause havoc for both households by installing it in your home.
If you want to use this product in denseley populated areas, both households must purchase our "genius" product at a greatly inflated price for the same dodgy equipment, which has a serial number that will at least give some minimal protection against interference, of course, we do not guarantee that the more expensive product will help, it will just be more expensive.
Not even the slightest warning about possible interference even appears on the packaging.
Please don't buy Ellies products.
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