Three cool gadgets for your hot summer needs and enjoyment

James Careless —

Welcome to a short, hot Canadian summer! No whining now; remember, we just finished six months of winter. Here are some tech devices that will help you beat the heat – or at least cope with it.

The Gadget Zone in Summer

If you are concerned about the appearance of tornadoes and other previously rare weather in the Great White North, then you might want to get a radio capable of receiving tornado and other ‘Weatherradio’ alerts from Environment Canada. Radios that can receive these warnings tune into high-frequency stations at 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550 MHz. (Details HERE)


None of these stations can be heard on conventional AM/FM radios; you’ll need a ‘Weatherradio to receive them. One option is the X-shaped Eton FRX3 Weather Alert Radio. Available for $59.99 at The Source, the Eton FRX3 picks up AM. FM, and the Weatherradio band. It is suited for power outages, given that the FRX3 can be powered using its built-in solar panel, hand-cranked generator, or conventional batteries. The FRX3 also comes with its own LED flashlight, and can be used to charge cellphones. More at


Do you have a baby who is a light sleeper? You want to check to see if she is safely asleep aboe the drone of the air conditioner, but you don’t want to risk waking her by opening the nursery door? Then the Summer Infant Baby Zoom WiFi Video Monitor & Internet Viewing System is for you. This system comes with a remotely-controlled colour video camera that links to your home Internet router. With this connection, you can check on your baby using the included handheld 2.5″ color monitor – with controls to move and zoom the camera – or over the Web. There’s even a free Summer Link WiFi App for Apple and Android devices that lets you check in using a smartphone and/or tablet PC. $299.99 at

“Just take those old records off the shelf,” sang Bob Seger when I was young. Good idea, Bob; now where’s my record player?

Electrohome-playerIf you don’t have a record player anymore, fear not: You can buy a retro-themed all-in-one record player, amplifier and speaker unit from Best Buy. The Electrohome Signature Retro Hi-Fi Stereo System can play 12 33 1/3 LPs, 45s and – gasp! – even 78s! It also has a CD player, AM/FM radio, a USB drive for MP3s and an input for audio from iPods or smartphones. The Retro Hi-Fi Stereo System will even record LPs as MP3s using a plugged-in USB drive (not included) – and it is all built inside a real wood cabinet; amazing! $197.98 at