Hamilton Beach vs Oster 4-slice toaster

This is a side-by-side comparison of the Hamilton Beach (24810) and Oster (TSSTTRJB30) 4-slice long slot toasters.

By checking out Hamilton Beach’s website (hamiltonbeach.com) and Linkedin page you’ll learn that it is a subsidiary of NACCO Industries, Inc. and is associated with these other brands: Electrics, Proctor Silex, Whole House (WH), TrueAir, Weston.

Instead of using the toaster’s model number 24810 you have to use its “Type” number “t97*” as a keyword in UL lookup form. You either found the “Type” number by looking at bottom of the product box or on the last page of the users manual. From there we find the manufacturer to be:

ELEC-TECH INTERNATIONAL CO LTD., located in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Website: http://www.elec-tech.com.hk
TradeName(s) noted: Wal-mart

PROS: The Hamilton has more even toasting relative to the Bella and Oster. Also it has “cool to the touch” sidewalls.

CONS: The Hamilton is taller (8″), has thinner grille/grates, uses a smaller crumb catcher opening (vs Oster), and power cord placement in front.

I already tried the Bella Linea (Bella Toaster Review) and Oster 4-slice long slot toaster.

For the current Amazon price of the Hamilton Beach Toaster click on the toaster here:

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Research Nugget: Sometimes model numbers are not helpful in UL or ETL lookups. Look for alternative numbering/marking scheme that may be unique.

 

Oster 4 slice long slot toaster review

This is quick review of the Oster 4-Slice Long-Slot Toaster, Model TSSTTRJB30.

Checking out Oster’s website (oster.com) leads you to Jarden Consumer Solutions (jardencs.com) aka Sunbeam Products.

Using the toasters model number, from Intertek ETL lookup (http://www.intertek.com/directories/etl-listed-mark/), we find the manufacturer to be:

NINGBO KAIBO GROUP CO., LTD., located in Cixi, Zhejiang, China.
Website: http://www.kaibo.com
Trade Name(s):   Oster, Ronco, Mr Coffee, Sunbeam

Good to know so that if I come across a 4-slice long slot toaster from Sunbeam, it will most likely be from the same manufacturer as the Oster. Even though externally it may look different, internally they have a good chance of being the same (depending on the model).

I already tried the Bella Linea (Sensio) 4-slice long slot toaster as mentioned on a previous post (Bella Toaster Review).

So, for my next review I will try the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Long Slot Toaster. It looks promising from the reviews on Amazon and it is also one of the few long-slot toasters under $100!

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Happy New Year’s!

A Cold Trail on a QC hunt

Last week I picked up a new Bella 4-Slice Toaster since my cheapo 10-year old toaster broke.

Bella-Side1

The new Bella looks very nice and has a quality fit & finish but the heating elements were not that great. You can see in pictures below how the wires are not heating up evenly and causing the bread to be diagonally toasted!

Bella-ToastingBread1Bella-UnevenBread1I’ll be returning it this weekend but I was curious why something that is this nice just missed the mark on simple toasting that my cheap toaster got right.

Underneath you can see that it is ETL certified and has a generic “QC PASS” quality control sticker. With that information you can do a little research with the model number.

Searching the ETL Directory I found that the manufacturer for this Sensio brand Bella toaster is KINWING ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD in China.

Googling “KINWING ELECTRIC” I found their website: www.kinwing.com. Interestingly enough the company on the website is: Jiangmen City Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

Bella-Bottom1

Under the page for the company profile, they reference their ISO9001 quality control certification. However, the only certificate I could find on their website is from the China Quality Certification Center (CQC).

The CQC website is “www.cqc.com.cn” but only has generic info on the ISO9000 family of certifications. I attempted to use the CQC certification query tool but had no success. Luckily, they referenced that they are partners with IQNet, The International Certification Network.

IQNet has a user friendly certification query that allows for a partial matches. I tried multiple queries but never had any luck with the various company names. The closest match was for Jiangmen Pengjiang Yongkeng Electric And Hardware Co.,Ltd. with an ISO9001:2008 certification registered with CQC.

Here the trail went cold for the QC hunt. Short of emailing the manufacturer regarding their quality control process, this a fair effort when dealing with layers of alternate company names.

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Research Nugget: If possible use alternative search criteria such as business activity and location vice a company name.

Who made that?

While shopping for a dual port USB charger on Amazon, I came across a nice 17 Watt one from iXCC.

I wanted to learn more about it and searched for it on ixcc.com but the closest models were a 15 Watt and 20 Watt chargers. While checking out the iXCC website I soon learn that iXCC is not the company but the brand. 8Likes Inc. is the actual company.

After checking out Buzzfile and Bizapedia, it turns out that 8Likes is only a trading company and not the manufacturer. Taking a different approach on figuring out who the manufacturer is, I decided to verify the UL certification to see if I could learn more.

I went to the UL Online Certifications Directory (OCD) and searched for ixcc* and 8likes* as the company name. No luck.

Then I tried to use the model number listed on Amazon and that didn’t work in OCD or Google. Next, I went over the pictures on Amazon and notice one view showed the following:

          MODEL: M6U

This is the breakthrough I needed! By putting “m6u” in the Keyword search box I found out the charger is made by:

          SHENZHEN SHI YING YUAN ELECTRONICS CO LTD

Googling that yielded the website www.szyingyuan.com, which actually has the name as:

         Shenzhen Yingyuan Electronics Co., Ltd.

On the website you can find the manufacturer’s listing for the 17 Watt USB minus the logos BUT I wouldn’t recommend it, since there is a script from “ebs.gov.cn” that will execute on that webpage.

Note:  UL is not affiliated with Research Nuggets and does not endorse researchnugets.com.  Provision of this link is for convenience of reader and does not imply endorsement by Research Nuggets of UL’s services nor the products certified by UL.

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Research Nugget: Verifying certifications or “seals of approval” can help identify the actual manufacturer of a product.

Windows 10 – Edge browser lockdown for kids

A nephew of mine is getting a nice new Toshiba laptop for Christmas and I was asked to help set it up for him, so I obliged.  I opened the box and I was greeted with Windows 10. Alas we meet!


I have mixed feelings about privacy concerns and Windows 10 since listening to Steve Gibson’s “Security Now!” podcasts. Luckily, Episode 520 pointed me to https://fix10.isleaked.com/ that has screenshots to walk you through setting up Windows 10 for privacy.

True in the world of Facebook and Google+ people give away some of their privacy and it allows Facebook and Google to generate revenues. So, I really can’t knock Microsoft for trying to do the same. However, I figured I would leave it up to my nephew’s parents to decide what would be appropriate.

The overall setup went fine until I got to the Edge browser. There is no Content Advisor in it like the Internet Explorer (IE 11) browser. So, I dug up IE from Windows 10 apps list to replace Edge. Next, I searched around IE’s options and content but there was no Content Advisor. Then I decided to edit the registry to try to force it to show up:

reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main”  /v ShowContentAdvisor /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

No luck.  Then I tried:

reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main”  /v ShowContentAdvisor /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Again, I had no luck. Changing tactics I executed this from the admin Command Prompt:

RunDLL32.exe msrating.dll,RatingSetupUI

AWESOME! The Content Advisor popped up as a stand-alone GUI… I must be getting somewhere. I review the settings, making them strict so I can test it out. I pull up IE do a quick search…and no. It failed.

Finally, I come across K9 Web Protection during my internet searches. A first heard for me regarding the FREE product, except I do recognize the company that makes it: Blue Coat Systems. When I go to download the Windows version it only lists 7 & 8. But it worked just fine on Windows 10. It was able to intercept searches in Edge, IE and Firefox.

Just be warned that you need to review K9’s settings to make sure it suits your needs. Know that for some of its functionality to work, it will convert things like Google HTTPS searches into HTTP so K9 can scan it.  K9 warns you (the administrator) about it and does allow you to configure it as you desire.

Now,  I wonder…is there a point where adding content filters and monitoring software you might as well have not worried about privacy settings with Windows 10? If you end up giving a good amount of your information to 3rd party vendors, then I think yes. You might as well share that same information with Microsoft and enable Windows Family Safety.  You just need to find that balance that makes sense for you.

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Research Nugget: Use wikipedia.org for quick cursory checks on companies.

Internet + Haynes Manual = WIN $

I wish I could afford the 2006 RAV4 Toyota Service Repair Manuals, but they are too cost prohibitive to just replace an alternator. There are a total of four service repair volumes:

Description       Pub No.
Volume 1            RM01M2U1
Volume 2            RM01M2U2
Volume 3            RM01M2U3
Volume 4            RM01M2U4

All four volumes are currently priced at $518.13 and available directly from the dealer according to Toyota Parts and Service. Supposedly they total around 4,000 pages.

Now compare that amount of knowledge for one year of a car (both L4 & V6 engine types) to the Haynes manual (92082)
that covers 15 years (1996-2010) of a car (both engine types) in 336 pages or the Chilton manual (68670) that does it in 400 pages.

I think there might be some information missing but the real question is can I still use the $23 dollar manual to get the job done?

Luckily with some internet research I was able to fill in the gaps of my understanding how to replace a 2006 Rav4 alternator.

My first issue was that the pictures in the Haynes manual of the belt tensioners are taken at angles that I could never see from my perspective.

Also, none of various Haynes pictures of Rav4 tensioners matched what was in my 2006 Toyota Rav4 with a 4-cylinder engine.  All the pictures show a bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley. I don’t have a bolt with a hex head. I have a round bolt that uses a T50 Torx (star) bit. Great!

After examining the torx slot, I realize it is too shallow. You could never use it to turn the tensioner clockwise to release the belt tension.

Google to the rescue! I figured I wasn’t the only 2006 owner encountering this issue and I was correct. I Googled:

2006 rav4 alternator tensioner correct

Using a generic search caveat-ed with “correct” I was able to find a YouTube video (link below) that solved my torx mystery. The torx is NOT for removing tension on the belt. There is actually a casted (fixed, boss’d) 19mm hex bolt head next to the tensioner pulley that should be used.

What the tensioner looks like removed.Notice the casted hex bolt to the top right of the pulley.

What the tensioner looks like from the bottom with the 19mm socket wrench attached:

2006 Toyota Rav4 - 1

What it looks like from the top with the 19mm socket wrench attached:

2006 Toyota Rav4 - 5

The YouTube video can be found here: “The Correct Way to Remove the 2005 Rav4 Serpentine Belt”

This looks like the serpentine tool belt set featured in the YouTube video. I may have to pick one up for next time!

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Research Nugget: Use an extra condition or context words to help narrow searches. Such as: “correct,” “wrong” or “problem.”

Which alternator to buy?

About a week ago the alternator in our 2006 Toyota Rav4 died. Our Rav4 is a 4-cyclinder 2.4 L engine and thank goodness because the V6 Rav4 requires removing the radiator and hoses to replace the alternator!

So, I started my search for a remanufactured alternator. Online I searched at AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts and NAPA Auto Parts, since these are the stores local to me.

For local in-stock remanufactured alternators (100 Amp, 7 groove serpentine belt) AutoZone had Duralast (part no. 11201), Advance Auto offered CARQUEST (part no. 11201A), O’Reilly carried Ultima Import (part no. 11201) and NAPA had Power Premium Plus (part no. RAY 2139724). Sadly, the Denso remanufactured original equipment (OE) alternators were not in stock at Advance Auto or NAPA. Also the NAPA Power Premium Plus (RAY 2139725) with a new clutch pulley was not in stock.

Relying on my own “crowdsourcing” of online comments and recommendations from coworkers I went with NAPA’s Power Premium Plus (RAY 2139724). NAPA conveniently has the Warranty PDF and “Features and Benefit PDF” on the product’s web page. In the warranty pdf you’ll find that the alternator is backed by BBB Industries (bbbind.com) headquartered in Alabama.

Interesting to note this number “11201” happens to be the same number for Duralast, CARQUEST and Ultima. Doing a quick Google search of “11201 Alternator” returns results for Amazon where they offer the Quality-Built Alternator
(origin is Mexico) or the BBB Industries Alternator.

When I got home I checked out the NAPA (BBB) alternator. Lo and behold, on the box it says the alternator is “Remanufactured in Mexico” with the code “11201” on the bottom right.

Remanufactured Alternator

It seems to me that these major auto parts chain stores offer the same remanufactured alternator. Revisiting the bbbind.com I do find at the bottom of the “About” page that operations were moved to Reynosa, Mexico.

Oh well, so much for finding a remanufactured alternator that stands out from the competition!

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Research Nugget: cross-reference part numbers, manufacturer ids, model numbers, stock codes, etc.