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BT 150 Digital Baby Monitor; a review by a father

What I like

The sound

The most important thing about a baby monitor is the ability to pick up sounds of your baby and transmit them to your parent unit as clearly as possible. The sensitivity of BT 150 Digital Baby Monitor\"\" is so high I can hear the sounds in the baby room as if I was actually there. Thanks to digital transmission there is no interferences to the signal and the only noise I can hear is a soft quiet hum generated by the amplifier (similar to the hum a stereo system makes when volume is high and there is no signal – like the pause between CD tracks).

BT 150 also has capability to transmit sounds from parent unit to the baby unit – so called talk back. You just press a button and use the parent unit like a walkie-talkie. The sound quality is equally high as when listening to the baby, but I can’t comment on the usability of the feature yet, since we always have to caress our baby a little or adjust the pacifier when he’s unsettled – just talking to him won’t do. But supposedly talk back is useful when the kids grow up a little and you can settle things out just by talking to them.

The lullabies

BT 150 can play five different lullabies and while I was playing them for the first time as I was changing our baby\’s diapers, I wondered why I wasn\’t annoyed by the songs. Then I realised these melodies were not your ordinary greeting-card-beeping tunes, but more of a good mobile-phone-ringing-tone quality. It actually says so right there on the box: polymorphic lullabies.

There is more: you can record your own song or connect your mp3 player to the baby unit, and even set a timer to stop playing after arbitrary time. We don’t use this feature because our baby doesn’t have trouble falling asleep and he actually prefers peace and quiet. But every baby is different any if yours needs lullabies to get to sleep, the BT 150 has great options to set it up.

The parent unit

At the first glance the parent unit doesn’t stand out. It looks and feels nice; it’s the right size; has its own charging cradle and a small display with the temperature of the baby’s room. But very few baby monitors come with a built-in torch! BT 150 has a relatively weak LED light – just perfect for lighting your way on a night trip to the baby room. We use our baby monitor for just a couple of hours in the evening because the baby is sleeping in the bedroom for now, but I can imagine we’ll be very grateful for the torch feature, once he’ll be sleeping in his own room.

You can do much more with the parent unit than just listening and talking back to the baby. One can set the sensitivity of the microphone on the baby unit; the volume of the receiver; you can switch the nightlight and the lullabies on and of or set the timer to switch them off. You can’t however set the intensity of the nightlight – only baby unit has this option.

Lastly, both the parent and the baby unit have a clock display but somehow it got reset every time I set it up.


Most of below features are not that important and majority of parents will not care about them. They are not unique to BT 150, but they do build up a picture of how well it was designed.

  • The baby unit has a nightlight with three intensity levels.
  • In addition to the timer-off feature described above, there is also a timer-up that warns you when to take medicine for instance.
  • It’s pretty. Don’t underestimate this – a lot of baby monitors are tacky or just plain ugly.
  • You can load the baby unit with backup batteries. They enable continuous operation of the unit when the mains power supply fails. However, they can’t be recharged (in the unit).
  • Just the right amount of buttons and relatively easy-to-navigate menus.

What I am not happy about

The temperature sensor

I though a temperature sensing feature is a nice one to have, but I am slowly realising the obvious: the temperature is more or less the same in all the rooms so I don’t really need another thermometer. Anyway, it bothers me that the BT 150 seems to have a measuring bias of two degrees. I don’t know whether this is due to a faulty unit or design flaw.

The alerts

I can’t figure out how the alerts work. The parent unit can warn you with beeping and/or vibration when there is something you should pay attention to. The vibrating works for the temperature-out-of-bounds warning, but not for the unit-out-of-reach warning. I also expected that if I mute the sound the unit will warn me by vibrating, but it only flashes its lights. Again, I don’t know if it’s bad design or just a faulty unit.

Audio feedback

If parent and baby unit come within a few meters of each other a loud whistle comes out of the parent unit due to the Larsen effect. We thus have to mute the parent unit before entering the room with the baby unit. I don’t know if other baby monitors have an audio feedback filter, but it would be a really nice feature to have!

Why BT 150

I was happily bragging to a colleague what a feature-packed baby monitor I bought – I was genuinely pleased with the product. But he pointed out that most baby monitors are overkill, since anything you really ever need from one is to listen to the baby and maybe talk back to them. After a bit of discussion on the subject I basically agreed with him (bringing my good mood down a little) and if I had another chance to choose, I’d find the cheapest model meeting said requirements.

However, now that I have BT 150 Digital Baby Monitor I admire the good design, abundance of features, easy usage, good build quality and the pretty looks. I recommend it.

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Rattling noise in Toyota Corolla intake manifold solved

I have a 2002 Toyota Corolla that developed a vibration noise. I searched the net and found that this is a factory design defect and that similar Toyota cars (Camry, 2002 and 2003) have the same problem. The intake manifold has a chamber partitioned with a baffle. This baffle is glued into place and the air vortices in the manifold apparently weaken the bond so the whole thing starts to rattle against the walls of the chamber. The solution is to affix the loose baffle and so stop it to vibrate. The procedure is described on the Topix forum and since it didn’t look too complicated I tried it myself.

The engine I worked on (with a lot of help from my father) is 3ZZ-FE, but I think intake manifolds from other Toyota models look the same or are indeed the same part as mine. The first thing to do, was to pull the intake manifold off the engine. In my case all the screws and bolts were accessible from above but some people report you have to get to one or two screws from below. I guess it depends on the engine model. I had to dismount some rubber tubes and a big air hose coming from the air filter.

The tricky part came next. I didn’t know exactly how the baffle looks inside the manifold so I spent the next hour or two to analyze the whole thing. I slowly built a mental image of what is inside and was just about to give up when it all came together. You have to look trough the big hole (where the throttle body is normally attached) but diagonally across it. You will see very little of the inside of the manifold chamber but you’ll be able to glimpse the edge of the baffle.

The next step was pretty straightforward. We found a good spot to drill a 3 mm hole. We could feel the drill go trough the outer wall of the manifold and then trough the baffle. A 3 cm sheet metal screw (with stem diameter of 3 mm) was carefully screwed in and that’s it! I think a shorter screw would work as well.

I had a new gasket so I used it but the old one looked OK. The dealer also suggested that a new one is not neccessary.


Reassembly was quite quick and I impatiently started the engine. The noise was gone, although further driving revealed maybe a very narrow range of engine revolutions where the resonance is apparently too strong for the screw to muffle it. If perhaps I could use another one on the opposite side (the bottom of the first picture) the result would be better. But then I would have to drill trough one of the intake tubes which I didn’t want to.

Update (15. 02. 2010)

Michael Lavelle had the same problem (with his Avensis VVti, which has the same intake manifold), but he had two manifolds and was able to sacrifice one to cut it open. You can see on his photo what is inside an intake manifold and what the screw is holding when the fix is applied.

There are two other screws lower down on the manifold, but disregard those as they are a part of an early (and unsuccessful) attempt at fixing the rattle.

Also note that Michael didn’t take the manifold of off the engine, he just used longer screw from the opposite side of the manifold as in my fix. He didn’t even drill a pilot hole. Read more on his fix in the comments below.

I am very thankful for Michael’s input and photos.

Update (11. 03. 2010)

Dan also sent me pictures of his fix to 2003 Camry.

Dan wrote:

a replacement part is $300,
having a non-dealer replace it, another $300

two stainless steel screws: 50 cents
the sound of success: priceless

He drilled outer holes to outside diameter of screw, then drilled smaller tap holes in baffle. After 1.000 miles there is no problem.

Thank you, Dan.

Update (5. 11. 2013)

It’s been four years since I switched my Toyota for a Volkswagen, but the comments about manifold fix keep streaming in.

Here’s a video Brian made, showing what the engine rattle sounds like.

Thank you, Brian.

Update (20. 3. 2014)

Fvo did a video of the fix. Thanks!

Update (26. 1. 2023)

Wow, the post is still relevant! Jean Claude sent me pictures of his fix. I like his very clean engine and methodical approach. Thank you!

Update (21. 2. 2023)

Dani, too, sent his photos of a Toyota Avensis t22 1.6 petrol VVT-i fix. Thank you! He explians it so:

The first attempt was unsuccessful. The second screw solved the problem perfectly. It is very important that the screw in the right place and must be wound vertically. Only the plastic cover covering the engine needs to be removed to make more room for the operation. Then I insulated both screws so that they don’t suck in unnecessary air. The car has never been so quiet in the last 15 years. I am super satisfied.

V paralelnem hribovju

\”Nizko sem. Kakšno je propadanje?\”
Pogled na variometer pokaže 1,7 m/s. Potegnem komandi za dodatnih pet centimetrov, da upočasnim kupolo in s tem njeno vertikalno hitrost. Številka se izboljša na 1,4, ampak to je še vedno preveč. Letim nekaj deset metrov nad tlemi in če bi imel čas, bi lahko občudoval visoko nepokošeno travo polno regratovih lučk in rumeno belih cvetlic ali pa razgled z višine, ki se razteza daleč naokoli. Tako pa sem le osredotočen na pas gozda dvesto ali tristo metrov pred sabo. Ocenjujem, ali bom prišel preko dreves, ali pa bom izgubil preveč višine. Ves čas opazujem svoj vpadni kot glede na vrhove krošenj: če se kot zmanjša, pomeni da bom toliko težje preletel drevesa.
Kupola je nemirna, znašla se je v manjši turbulenci. \”To je v redu – ravno sem šel preko manjšega kuclja v terenu. Zdaj bi me moralo celo malce ponesti.\” Pa me ni, propadanje se je spet povečalo na 1,7 in vrh dreves se je še malo dvignil proti moji liniji poleta.

Sonce bo zašlo čez četrt ure. Letenje v sončnem zahodu je še bolj osamljeno kot sicer. Šibka svetloba in večerne meglice naredijo naravo kot tečno gostiteljico z utrujenim in mračnim obrazom, ki ti z očmi pobliskava, da je čas, da odideš domov. Povrh vsega ošibljena sončeva toplota povzroči kotaljenje zraka po hribu navzdol – nekaj, česar si letalec ne želi.

Drevje je oddaljeno le še sto metrov. Ocenjujem vpadni kot. \”A bom prišel čez, ali ne? Se naj podam preko, ali naj pristanem?\” Desno spodaj je čistina. Sicer ni ravna, a bolje pristati v hrib, kot v drevje. Misli se mi utrinjajo bolj kot koncepti ne kot besede: \”Kaj bo, če pristanem tu in ne spodaj na uradnem pristanku? V najslabšem primeru bom pešačil dol. V redu – pristanek je opcija. Kako visoko sem nad drevesi? A pridem čez?\”

\”Ja, na tesno bo šlo, ampak lahko preletim ta gozd.\” Z očmi preiskujem preprogo drevesnih krošenj pred sabo. \”Katera točka je pod najbolj ugodnim vpadnim kotom?\” Ne smem izbrati poti, ki gre čez drevesa, kjer so najnižja, ampak moram upoštevati, kako dolga je taka pot. Bolje je izbrati malo višjo krošnjo, če je le-ta precej bolj blizu.
\”Še zadnji moment, ko lahko pristanem. Grem čez ali dol? ČEZ!\”
Oči fiksiram na črto drevesnih krošenj na poti, ki sem jo izbral. Srce mi začne biti še hitreje kot prej, na tilniku čutim, da mi je vroče. Za trenutek se zavem, da sem popolnoma napet od dlani do stopal. Ošvrknem varimoeter in hladno sprejmem odčitek: -1,8 m/s.
\”Prišel bom čez, prišel bom čez. Tesno bo, a prišel bom čez.\” Toda občutek za prostor in smer me je zmeraj bolj opozarjal, da se spuščam prehitro.
\”O, ne! Mogoče bom pa le z nogami oprasnil krošnjo … O, NE! Prenizko sem! Ne bom prišel čez! NE BOM prišel čez! NE BOM PRIŠEL ČEZ!\”
Zopet bolj z utrinki in ne z notranjim monologom preletim razplet dogodkov, ki bodo pred mano.
\”Upočasni kupolo. Pred drevesom močno zavri. Noge iztegni pred sabo. Ciljaj deblo – smreke so mehke – še sreča! Takoj objemi deblo …\”

Pristal sem, kar se je dalo lepo. Dovolj sem upočasnil, da nisem pretrdo priletel v smreko par metrov pod vrhom. Kaj se je dogajalo med trenutkom trka in trenutkom, ko sem na pol postrani obvisel osem metrov nad tlemi, trdo se oklepajoč debla, ne vem. Prvo, česar sem se zavedel, je bilo moje hitro dihanje in razbijanje srca. Potem je prišel adrenalin v noge – skoraj boleč prehod šuma po stegnih navzdol.
Po nekaj dolgih trenutkih pa izbruh misli: \”ZAKAJ nisem pristal!? (Najprej se priveži.) Zaletel si se v drevo! (Ko si zavarovan, pokliči pomoč po radiu.) Joj, kako bi zavrtel čas nazaj! (Vrv imaš pod sedežem.) Nočem biti na drevesu! (Popusti malo deblo, da preskusiš, če te drži v krošnjo zapletena kupola.) Pa še kupola je totalno zapletena v tej prekleti smreki! (Dobro je, lahko varno vzameš vrv izpod sedeža – kar s pašnjakom jo zaveži okrog debla.) In zdaj se moram reševat!\”
Brez večjih težav sem res pritrdil vrv, se s pomočjo plezalnega pripomočka – osmice – s celim sedežem obesil nanjo, in se počasi spustil navzdol. Na tleh sem se sesedel s tresočimi nogami in rokami, a brez vsake praske. \”Kakšna sreča! Kakšna sreča!\” mi je odzvanjalo v glavi, ko sem končno poklical pomoč po radiu.

\”Ja, na tesno bo šlo, ampak lahko preletim ta gozd.\” Že naslednji trenutek se je v meni oglasil pragmatik: \”Kako močno si želiš čez to drevje glede na to, da morda ne prideš čez? A ni bolj ziher, da pristaneš?\”
\”Ma, grem dol!\” In že obrnem kupolo v desno ter preiskujem travnik pod sabo: ocenjujem osamljena drevesa, iščem ograje, kole, položen teren. Še zadnji preblisk, da sem pa le morda bil dovolj visoko, da bi prišel čez, a telo je že avtomatično zlezlo iz sedeža in se pripravilo na pristanek.
Tiho preverjanje postopkov v glavi: \”Postavi se iz sedeža, pridrži komande, močno zavri – v hrib boš pristal -, usmeri se prečno na hrib, pot je v redu – ne boš se zaletel v ograjo -, …\”
Pristal sem zelo v redu. Kupola je sicer precej trdo priletela v travo pred mano, a nič hudega. Najprej javim po radiu, da sem pristal, ker sem bil prenizek. Potem odnesem kupolo bližje k cesti, vse skupaj pospravim, se usedem ob rob ceste in na dušek spijem plastenko vode. Pomirjen poslušam čričke, opazujem večerno zarjo, čutim veter na hrbtu in čakam na kolega, da me pobere, kot sem se dogovoril po radiu.
\”Kako bi zdajle klel z vrha onele smreke, če ne bi …\”


Da imam zapisano: pod Brankinim vodstvom sem odplaval 1.500 m malo pod 27 minutami. Obvezno je treba imeti nekaj sto metrov ogrevanja pred tem.

Tek v šolo

Adam in Bert tekmujeta, kdo prej priteče od doma do šole, ki je oddaljena celo število metrov. Bert sicer preteče več kot pol poti a vseeno izgubi: zaostane za Adamom za dvomestno število metrov.
Naslednji dan da Adam Bertu prednost tako, da se odpravi v nasprotno smer od šole za isto število metrov, kot je Bert zaostal prejšnji dan. Spet sta hkrati začela teči (z isto hitrotjo kot prejšnji dan), vendar je Adam zopet zmagal – ponovno za dvomestno število metrov. To število ima isti števki kot število prejšnjega dne.
Kolikšna je razdalja med domom in šolo?

Koker čili

Dno največjega piskra sem konkretno pokril z olivnim oljem. Na majhnem ognju sem prepražil sesekljano celo čebulo, sesekljane tri stroke česna, sesekljano papriko in na kocke narezan korenček. V drugem loncu sem v pol litra vode četrt ure kuhal 10 dag zelene leče s tremi krompirji, narezanimi na kocke.

Ko je bila čebula dobro prepražena, sem dodal veliko konzervo paradižnika, konzervo belega in konzervo rjavega fižola ter lečo s krompirjem skupaj z vodo, v kateri sta se kuhala. Začinil sem s poporom, mleto sladko rdečo papriko, baziliko, timijanom, origanom in malo peteršilja. Dodal sem tudi žlico in pol Začinke. Vse skupaj se je počasi pokrito kuhalo slabe tričetrt ure.

En krožnik tega koker čilija sem dodatno začinil s posušenimi feferoni. Zraven se je odlično pilo pivo, posmrkal pa sem za tri robce, tako je peklo. 🙂


Ko v Sparu začnejo prodajat zemljo za rože, je čas, da začnem s kalitvijo novih feferončkov. V tem članku so opisane izkušnje, ki sem jih pridobil z gojenjem do sedaj.


Kalim kar v lončku oz. posodi, kjer bodo feferončki rasli, lahko pa jih damo tudi v banjico od sladoleda, če jih bomo kasneje presajali. Namočim zemljo, z zobotrebcem zabodem luknjico in notri spustim eno seme. Globina naj bi bila enaka velikosti semena (torej milimeter ali dva). Včasih sem dajal po dve semeni v isto luknjico, da sem povečal verjetnost, da vsaj eno vzklije. Vendar je potem gneča in bi jih moral porezat stran. Lonček pokrijem s folijo, da ohranim vlažnost ter dam za en teden na toplo (idealno nad 25 stopinj C) in temno mesto.


Sprva rastejo poganjki kar v sobi na okenski polici, ko pa je zunaj vsaj 5 stopinj nad ničlo vso noč, gredo na balkon. Dobro bi morali uspevati tudi v sobi, vendar imajo radi sonce, zato jih dam ven. Sapica jih tudi utrdi, da zrastejo bolj močni in zdravi. 🙂

Feferončki so mi dobro rasli v vsakem lončku in na različno gosto posejani. Res pa zrastejo večji, če imajo več zemlje (torej manjša gostota in večji lonček).

Zalivam jih na dva do tri dni, saj potrebujejo kar veliko vode. Poleti jih moram zaliti na vsak dan kar obilno – vročina hitro vzame majhni količini zemlje vso njeno vlago. Feferončki so sicer odpuščajoči – če zamudim kak dan, ovenejo, pa se po obilnem zalivanju spet poberejo. Pazim pa nanje med cvetenjem in rastjo plodov, da ne ustavljam rasti. Enkrat na teden gnojim s tekočim generičnim gnojilom, ki ga dam pa malo manj, kot je predpisano na embalaži.


Cvetijo toliko časa, dokler niso oplojeni (tudi več tednov). Ker ni čebel na balkonu, jih moram ročno poseksat. 🙂 Z vatirano palčko malo raznesem pelod sem pa tja med cvetovi. V dveh, treh tednih bi že morali začeti rasti plodovi. V tem času je rastlina precej občutljiva, zato moram vestno zalivati. Če jih več dni pozabimo zaliti, se plodovi posušijo in odpadejo. Začne se novo cvetenje, tako da ni tako hudo, vendar se žetev prestavi za kak mesec ali dva.


S plodovi je rastlinica zelo luškana, saj štrlijo navzgor. Ena rastlina ima med 10 in 20 feferončkov. Naprej zrastejo 2 do 3 cm v dolžino, potem pa gredo od bež barve preko oranžne do rdeče. Takrat jih začnem uporabljati, večino jih pa pustim na rastlini, dokler se ne začnejo sušiti. Ne pustim, da se posušijo na rastlini, ampak jih poberem (s škarjami) in jih dam sušit na peki papir (na radiator, če je že čas kurjave). Nekateri pa jih tudi vložijo.


Okus sicer ni tako sladek, kot ga imajo kakšne paprike (za to so boljši habanerosi), so pa hudo pekoči. Peče nekje toliko kot omaka Tabasco. Capsaicin, ki povzroča pekoč občutek, je topen v maščobi, zato pijem (mrzlo) mleko, če me preveč peče. Voda ne pomaga! 🙂


S feferončki kuham tako, da jih bolj ali manj na drobno sesekljam in dam v kakšno omako ali k umešanim jajcem. Odvisno od tega, kdo bo jedel, dam med enim in tremi feferončki. Dobro si je umiti roke po sekljanju ali potem ko oberem rastlinico, sicer peče, če si pomanem oči ali se dotaknem ustnic. Včasih me pečejo tudi prsti.

Pekoče olje

Posušenim feferončkom odstranimo pecelj in jih damo v olivno olje, ki smo ga prelili v lepo posodo z ozkim livom. V nekaj tednih olje prijetno peče, uporabimo pa ga za špagete ali ga nakapamo po (že pečeni) pici. Olje hranimo v temi; lahko tudi v hladilniku, a potem se olje strdi.

Radioaktivna jajca

Sesekljamo dva do tri sveže feferončke, malo čebule in peteršilj. Feferončke in čebulo prepražimo na olivnem olju, umešamo dve jajci, dodamo peteršilj in sol ter spečemo. Jed je grozljivo rumeno-zelene barve in peče kot hudič, od tod njeno ime. 🙂