Starter Clicks But Engine Does Not Turn Over – Tech in Trunk?

If the car’s starter clicks and the engine does not turn over, this could be caused by several things. The most common cause of clicking when the car is being started is a low battery. Most people would assume that the starter is bad if it only clicks, but low-voltage can cause the starter to make this sound.

The battery is the heart of the starting and electrical system. If the battery has been drained or has a weak cell, this can cause the starter to only click. Many times the battery could just been drained due to a door left slightly open, making the dome light stay on. Other times a vanity light or a phone charger could be left on. During my time as a master auto technician, I’ve had a trustworthy co-worker close me up in the trunk so I could make sure the trunk light went off when the trunk was closed!

In order to test the battery it must have a good charge. If the battery is not charged completely the tester will indicate that it needs to be charged before testing can proceed. The first step when checking the starter and electrical system is to make sure the battery is in good condition. Most parts stores will check batteries for free. Once it’s determined the battery is good the rest of the system can then be checked. Loose or corroded connections can also cause a clicking and for the car not to start.

Starter

The starter solenoid on many Ford vehicle’s is on the inner fender well, on most other vehicles the starter solenoid will be mounted on the starter. The clicking that is heard many times is the solenoid. But low-voltage either from a drained battery, bad battery or poor connections can cause this. Most of the time if the vehicle can be jump-started the starter is okay. This would also indicate that the connections to the starter are good.

Alternator

Once the vehicle is running the alternator output can be checked. If the alternator is not charging the battery, it will be drained during the process of starting the car and driving. When the alternator is checked, the voltage and amperage output can be measured. Also the diode pattern will be checked to make sure the alternator won’t drain the battery when the engine is turned off. In the past do-it-yourselfers could disconnect the battery while the vehicle is running to check the alternator, if the car kept running the alternator was good. Doing this on computerized vehicles can be harmful. If the battery is disconnected while a computerized vehicle is running the alternator output can increase sharply allowing excess voltage to spike the computer.

Battery

When purchasing a replacement battery the cold cranking amps required for the vehicle should be checked. It’s best to purchase a battery with more cold cranking amps than the minimum required. Also when purchasing a battery you should consider if you want maintenance free or not. If the battery is hard to access or has a cover then a maintenance free battery is preferred. For instance on some Chrysler Sebrings and Chevrolet Corvettes the battery is located behind an inner fender and on a Chevrolet SSR. the battery is located underneath the bed where the spare tire would normally go. If installing the battery yourself be sure to notice which side is positive and negative in case you were sold the incorrect battery.

Terminals

The terminals should be free of corrosion and should tighten up well. Sometimes especially on import vehicles the battery terminals will be very thin and can have hairline cracks causing a poor connection. Avoid forcing the battery terminals on by tapping them. The battery casing can be damaged causing a leak, if the battery acid seeps out it can cause fast corrosion. If the battery terminal bolts will not tighten, then replacing the terminals is recommended. When the connections are tight you should not be able to twist them by hand.



Supercharger Tuning Through Cam Selection and Cam Timing

Camshaft tuning is an essential part of supercharger tuning. Camshafts orchestrate the valve opening and closing events in the engine and decide whether what comes out of our motor is beautiful high power music, or a mess of dysphonics.

The use of the proper supercharger optimized cam shaft can go a long way towards supercharger tuning and give considerable power gains for the money invested.

To understand camshaft timing and camshaft selection we have to understand first:

Relativity: Changing when the valves open or close (intake or exhaust) changes the the valve timing with respect to:

  • The piston position inside the cylinder. Depending on where the pistons is in the stroke, and where we are in the combustion cycle, then opening the valves will exploit the pressure difference between the cylinder and the intake and exhaust manifolds.For example it would make sense that the ideal time to open the intake valve is when there is peak vacuum inside the cylinder so that when the valve opens, the maximum amount of fresh air can be ingested. Similarly, it makes sense not to open the exhaust valve until peak cylinder pressures have been achieved inside the combustion chamber and the combustion is complete and all the power is extracted.
  • The high and low pressure pulses created by the design and runner lengths of the intake and exhaust manifolds.It would make sense to open the intake valve just as the reflected pressure waves in the intake manifold reach the intake valve as a high pressure portion of the wave, thus opening the valve at this high pressure point gives a ‘ram air’ effect through volumetric efficiency resonance tuning increasing air ingestion which increases power.Similarly on the exhaust side, it makes sense to open the exhaust valve, just as the reflected low pressure (vacuum) portion of the exhaust wave (reflected back from the collector) reaches the back of the exhaust valve. At this point in time there is both peak pressure inside the cylinder, and vacuum in the exhaust which creates a higher pressure differencial and a faster evacuating exhaust gas.
  • With respect to the ignition timing event, for example a shorter duration or advanced exhaust cam, opens the exhaust valve sooner with respect to when the mixture was originally ignited, this means that although by advancing the exhaust cam we may have matched our header design and opened the valve with the lowest possible exhaust back pressure for best efficiency, at the same time, we have reduced the amount of time that the mixture is combusted and possibly opened the valve before reaching our peak cylinder pressures and thrown away some horsepower.
  • The intake valves with respect to the exhaust valves: and this is usually described in terms of lobe separation angles (the offset in degrees between the center of the exhaust cam and between the center of the intake cam), or in terms of how many degrees of overlap (the number of degrees that both intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time).

Since the combustion inside the cylinder occurs at a much higher pressure than atmospheric pressure, and since exhaust valves are usually smaller than intake valves (for this same high pressure reason) then exhaust gas velocity is much higher than intake gas velocity. So, in some engines it is beneficial to open the intake valve earlier than usual during the last part of the exhaust stroke, this is called overlap. During overlap – at the very end of the exhaust stroke – the amount of pressure left in the cylinder is low so it is possible to breathe in new air under atmospheric pressure, at the same time, the high velocity of the exhaust gasses exiting help draw in even more fresh air from the intake side in an effect much like ‘syphoning’ where the fluid (in our case air) flows as a continuous stream drawing in new intake air after the old exhaust gas leaves.

The other part of phenomenon that relates to timing intake valves with respect to exhaust valves is the duration of time where both valves are absolutely closed, which is your power stroke. This is the part of the combustion cycle where the mixture can be compressed and combusted. If either (or both) intake or exhaust valves are open you will not be able to neither compress nor combust the mixture, and the absolute duration of time (in degrees of rotation) that your mixture is combusted and allowed to reach peak cylinder pressures is affected by camshaft selection and cam timing. One thing to note is that the valve angle has a lot to do with exhaust scavenging, obviously you will get maximum scavanging if the exhaust and intake valves had ‘line of sight’ i.e. if the valves were separated by an angle of 180*. If so, the exhaust air can directly pull in new air. Conversely, you would have the least possible scavenging if you had valves that were at a narrow angle (zero degrees at the extreme) between each other, so that the air would essentially have to make a U turn to come in through the intake and get pulled out the exhaust.

So different motors respond differently to overlap depending on the exhaust back pressure and the valve angle.

Duration:

Cam duration is the number of degrees of the entire 360* rotation that the intake or exhaust valve is open. The longer the duration, the more air you can get into the motor, the more overlap you have (which helps more with higher rpm power performance), the shorter your power stroke is (which reduces your combustion duration and your peak cylinder pressures reducing low rpm fuel efficiencly and clean idle….etc

Increased duration (with it’s increased overlap and scavenging) also gives the opportunity for exhaust gasses to get to the intake, or intake gasses to leak to the exhaust, and so are more sensitive to proper timing events otherwise we can get some negative effects from being ‘overcammed’

Lift:

Lift is how far or how deep the valve opens into the cylinder. The more lift you have, the less the valve is a restriction to incoming air because it is farther away from the direct path of entering or exiting air. Adding lift in general adds power to all rpms, depending on how well the camshaft (and valve train) can accelerate the valve to a higher lift number in a short duration. It’s like a ramp, the shorter the duration and higher the lift, the steeper the ramp. So what happens here is that if your valve train isn’t light enough and well controlled (Through proper valve springs or hydraulic lifting and damping) to operate that rapidly then lift will give you improved performance at lower rpms (where there is a lot of time to move the valve to peak lift) but reduced performance at higher rpms, where there are more rounds per minute and so less time per round, and thus less time to go up the steep ramp and push the valve out to full extension.

Lift is good, but usually people don’t try to radically increase lift on their aftermarket cams because of a few considerations:

  1. Make sure that at this new lift, that there is still enough clearance between the valve (at full extension) and the cylinder (at top dead center) to prevent any catastrophic mechanical failure.
  2. Upgrade to lighter valve train, with stiffer springs or dual valve springs to have more control over the valve with this steeper cam profile.
  3. It does add power but it doesn’t shift the power curve up or down as radically as changing cam duration does, and so in most aftermarket applications we really want a cam to give us peak power at a certain rpm range and so we care much more about the best duration (and some added lift).

I know this is a somewhat complex topic, but I need to make sure we’re speaking the same language before we go into how this relates to superchargers. Before you decide which camshaft to use (or how to adjust the timing on your stock cams) you have to look at one very important thing:

Your exhaust system and exhaust back pressure:

If you have a stock log type exhaust manifold, with a close coupled cat, with a dual cat exhaust system, small exhaust tubing, and a couple of restrictive mufflers on your car then it is possible at peak power to have up to 10psi of back pressure.

If this is the case, my first recommendation would be to upgrade to a high flow, low pressure exhaust system because of the potential power gains; however, I do know that some of our readers have cars that they are setting up for their parents or for dual use where their partner or the laws in their location …etc are really strict when it comes to any added exhaust noise or any aftermarket exhaust. In this case, where exhaust upgrades are not an option, then you must select your camshafts, and tune your cam timing to where you have ABSOLUTELY the minimum possible amount of overlap. If you have significant overlap, then the more you rise above about 4500 rpms the more your supercharger will suffer and the more power you will waste. If the supercharger is geared to 7psi of boost for example, then during overlap, the cylinder sees 7psi of boost on the intake side, and 10psi of back pressure on the exhaust side, the net result is that air will flow from the high pressure zone (the exhaust) to the lower pressure zone (the intake) and so your cylinder will start to fill with exhaust gases. As the rotation continues, the exhaust valve will close and overlap will end, and the intake valve will stay open for the remainder of the intake stroke (for the rest of the duration of your intake cam), and the rest of the cylinder will fill with fresh air.

What happens here is that we get a cylinder that filled for 30* of overlap with exhaust air, and then filled for another 210* (of the original 240* of duration for a typical street cam) with fresh air. The result is a cylinder that is only 85% filled with fresh air or an engine that is literally 15% smaller in displacement! On the other hand, if our supercharger is geared for 18psi for example, then during overlap we will have 18psi on the intake side and our exhaust back pressure of 10psi on the exhaust side, the net result of this overlap is that our supercharger is effectively only producing 8psi worth of differential pressure between the intake and the cylinder and so we are only going to get a power boost of 8psi during overlap. So, during those 30* of overlap the supercharger is only effectively producing 8psi of boost, and after that once the exhaust valve closes, the supercharger will be able to go back to operating at full boost for the other 210*. The net result is something like 16psi of boost so 2psi (or about 12%) of our power was wasted.

Supercharger tuning through cam selection and cam timing

Intake cam:

Because of the negative effects of overlap on a supercharger car’s performance, and especially in the case of high exhaust back pressure as is the case with most factory supercharged cars, we find that the optimal cam duration for the intake cam is typically 30-40* of duration less than a normally aspirated camshaft for the same peak power RPM. The decision to reduce the intake cam duration rather than split the duration reduction between the intake and exhaust cams, is that the intake cam will flow air under pressurized conditions (due to the addition of the supercharger and the increase in intake manifold pressure) and so at a reduced intake cam duration the engine will still be able to get it’s full share of intake air. At the same time, the high rpm efficiency improvement from the reduction of overlap will also boost power production with a more conservative cam. Finally, if we would like to get more flow from the intake cam, there is still the option of using a higher lift camshaft (with a steeper profile due to the decreased duration) with supporting valve train modifications to make sure valve float doesn’t occur at higher rpms.

Intake cam timing:

The cam timing for the intake cam would ideally be retarded which would move the intake cam opening event farther away from the exhaust valve closing event so as to reduce or eliminate overlap, and as a side effect the power stroke duration will increase by retarding the intake cam which can also compensate for the lost power from the duration reduction.

Exhaust cam:

The exhaust cam duration and lift for a supercharged version of the motor should be similar to a nitrous camshaft, in the sense that the exhaust cams on nitrous specific builds have:

1- Very healthy cam duration & very healthy cam lift to allow a severely elevated amount of exhaust gases to be able to efficiently exit the motor when the nitrous is activated and the horsepower (and thus the exhaust gasses) have both doubled in quantity.

2- As little or no overlap if possible, as any overlap would mean that nitrous would be sprayed from the intake side and out the exhaust, which is wasteful of our limited supply of nitrous. Similarly the more overlap we have, the harder the supercharger will have to work because of what we explained earlier about either exhaust reversion into the intake, or the supercharger pressurizing the exhaust.

Exhaust cam timing:

Advancing the exhaust cam both opens and closes the exhaust valves sooner. Opening the exhaust valve sooner slightly reduces the power stroke, but at the same time it reduces overlap and makes better use of our supercharger. Typically an an advanced exhaust cam combined with retarded intake cam will provide the best results on a supercharged car, especially with a restrictive exhaust.

If we had a high flow exhaust system installed, then it may not be beneficial to advance the exhaust cam, a high flow exaust system that is optimized for our engine’s power requirements can clear the combustion chamber of all it’s gasses very efficiently. Having a high duration exhaust cam, a low back pressure exhaust system and a no overlap what so ever camshaft means that we are giving the exhaust gas plenty of time to exit they cylinder, the intake valve still hasn’t opened (because the we have decide to retard it, or use a conservative cam with less duration) and so the supercharger is not pushing any new fresh air in yet, now the cylinder is void and so some of the exhaust gas can revert back into the cylinder, then the exhaust valve will close, and then the intake valve will open only to find the cylinder already partially filled with exhaust gases.

This isn’t a problem with a restrictive exhaust because a restrictive exhaust will take some time to clear the cylinder at a lower velocity, however with a higher flow exhaust system we must be careful not to dial out ALL of the overlap in the cam timing, or to over-cam the exhaust cam (using too much duration).

So exhaust cam timing can be advanced or retarded, depending on the exhaust modifications and the intake cam selection and thus must be dyno-tuned.

It’s important to note that with all of these changes in cam selection , overlap, power stroke duration, and cam timing, that the power stroke duration is effected and if it is effectively shortened then we may need to retune the car’s timing advance on the dyno (for increased advance) to regain losses in duration of the power stroke (again this against popular thinking of never to advance timing on forced induction cars, if we have a shortened power stroke, or an application with significant overlap then it may be necessary to do so).

So we see here that the end result here a lop-sided camshaft with a conservative duration, high lift cam on the intake side, and a normal duration, high lift cam on the exhaust with minimal lobe separation angle and minimal (but not necessarily no) overlap.

The exception to the rule:

Sometimes people take a car that starts off with a 9000 rpm redline, has an 11.5:1 compression ratio, and a 280* duration camshaft, and an aggressive naturally aspirated-esque timing curve and decide to supercharge it for more power. One suck example is kleemann’s kompressor for the SLK55 AMG (which already makes 400 hp in normally aspirated form from an 11:1 compression ratio motor). In this type of application, if you use a more conservative cam, and dial out all the overlap, and increase the power stroke, in combination with an already high 11:1 compression ratio and a healthy amount of boost pressure (7psi or above) you will end up with a motor that produces extremely high peak cylinder pressures and those intense pressures and heat may easily start off a chain reaction of pre-ignition and detonation and you will find that no matter how much you retard the timing that the setup will end up both powerless and still not that safe.

In this case, I would consider RPM and compression my primary power adder, and my supercharger as my secondary power adder (that is unless I decided to change that and went ahead and lowered the compression ratio of the motor). In this case it is OK to sacrifice some supercharger high rpm efficiency for preventing high-load & low-rpm detonation. Furthermore, to overcome the overlap inherent in this kind of high rpm normally aspirated power-plant it would be very advisable to use a centrifugal supercharger that is capable of producing more boost and flow with increased rpm rather than a roots type charger that will easily run out of boost and flow capacity (CFM) when facing an aggressive camshaft ‘leaking’ boost away.

Here is a great example of how cam tuning can affect supercharged power:

The car is a 1.8 liter Honda motor equipped with:

  • Supercharger optimized big primaries and short runners Kamakazi header
  • A greddy 2.5? SP2 catback exhaust system.
  • An LHT ported “S” supercharger inlet tube
  • An LHT ported intake manifold ( Non intercooled)
  • A Carbon fibre intake
  • A Jackson racing eaton M62 supercharger geared for 7.5-8 psi.

The black line is the baseline run with all of these modifications before tuning with peak power coming in at: 223 wheel hp @ 7600 rpms.

The blue line is the power achieved after a full tine (camshaft timing redone for reduced overlap, ignition timing re-optimized, and air fuel ratio optimized for peak power), with peak power coming in at 248 hp @ 8400 rpms.

You can see on by the dyno results that by reducing overlap and properly tuning the car the power peak not only increased by 25 horsepower, but more importantly shifted up by 1000 RPM’s due to increased supercharger high rpm efficiency from reduced overlap.



The Benefits of PSD to Magento Template Conversion

Electronic business is getting more and more popular, one effect of which is increased competition. To differentiate and make their venture stand out among others, business owners strive to add more useful functionality and design features to their sites.

But many of them face various hurdles in the way for being not much tech-savvy. This results in implementation of various actions that cause only harm to their business, quite often what made with good intentions turn out to be time-consuming and expensive. So when it comes to web development, it’s better to find a reputed company that can professionally guide you through the jungle of e-business insides.

As a leading ecommerce development platform Magento offers multiple opportunities to its users. It’s the most widely used CMS (content management system) and many businesses have already fully enjoyed its advantages. Magento is an open source framework, which determines a huge amount of useful tools, plugins and overall flexibility it offers. Online stores developed on this platform are not only attractive for visitors but also cross-browser compatible and SEO-friendly.

If you have specific design requirements it’s a high time to benefit from PSD to Magento conversion. Besides the fact that this process is a fast way to refresh your site, among the important reasons to add PSD transformation to your e-business development plan is that it helps to increase conversion rates.

As for other weighty benefits, check a few ones below:

  • Unique design. There are a lot of Magento themes and templates available on the market. But as business owner you know exactly who your target audience is and can say for sure what should your store look like. Converting your PSD design files into Magento you get absolutely exclusive theme that will make customers come back.
  • Lift up on search engines. Properly implemented conversion is impossible without SEO-friendly codes. Well structures and clean coding that corresponds all basic standards ensures top page rank in search engines.
  • Speed optimization. Online stores contain a lot of data and changeable content, which influences pages load speed. Adding more and more functionality and design elements can affect loading speed and as a result users will leave your site without making a purchase. PSD to Magento theme conversion helps to avoid this problem by splitting Photoshop files into different design layers.
  • User-friendly interface. Ecommerce site are made for people, so user-friendliness is crucial for them. PSD to Magento conversion helps to make functioning web pages out of regular picture. Sites created on Magento are easy to navigate and as a special advantage its coding allows to implement media files upload such as video and audio.
  • Pixel-perfect dynamic interface. The conversion of PSD files into Magento requires solid expertise from developers and entails a long-term process. Only skilled programmers are able to provide really smart and totally hand-coded markup. Such a smart and clean conversion allows to add JS and attach images later.

Magento is a powerful framework and it’s getting more and more popular everyday. The benefits above are just a few major reasons to act in this direction. In fact due to its popularity the platform is being constantly upgraded and a significant amount of programmers all over the world create the new features and modules for it every day. Start your own online ecommerce business or enhance the existing one with the help of professional PSD to Magento services.



4 Organic Search Engine Marketing Tips To Use Today

Did you realize that Google organic searches capture 3x the search volume than that of Google AdWords? This leaves the question to ponder at being why would somebody pay for lead generation in a particular keyword if they could attain 3x the leads and impressions from that same keyword for free?

Ironically enough, there are more local companies and internet marketers clamoring for Google AdWords shelf space then there are people looking to rank fast for SEO results. I’ve never been able to figure this little brain-teaser out; if 3x the people are looking for the organic search solution, why would you be going against-the-grain as a marketer? Isn’t that the point of internet marketing – to be congruent with searches and potential leads, customers and clients?

Truth be told, these 4 organic search engine marketing tips to use today will not only change you traffic flow, but they will change your business and life. I’d like to cover 4 or the 7 different types of multi channel marketing that we often discuss.

1. Article Marketing – If you are not using article marketing to blanket the relevant keywords for you business then what are you doing? There is no other better or proven way to generate residual and on going traffic.

2. Blogging – Although blogging is not an “in-real-time” as some social media platforms, blogging is one of the greatest ways to become more findable online, raise your back-link totals, incorporate videos into your marketing funnel, which ultimate gives your business’ website more credibility.

3. Video Marketing – Video marketing is fast becoming the holiest of all holies when it comes to marketing your message. According to Brian Tracey, top sales author, video is 50% more effective at relaying a message than any other method of delivering a sales presentation.

4. Keyword Research – We’ve all heard the phrase, content is king. This is true, but your content better be written to keyword or you’re in trouble.

As you attempt to ramp up productivity, collapse time and use your website as a unique force in the world of search engine optimization, I hope these 4 organic search engine marketing tips to use today make all of the difference to the improvement of your business’ production capacity.

One final note that I’d like to leave you with is that regardless of which SEO marketing method you side to choose with, do it well, and learn as many tactics and techniques that will allow you to become a master at the craft of driving traffic and then converting it to a sale. After all, this is the goal to marketing effectively online and maximizing the ‘tools of technology’ in today’s economy.



Tune in Your Antenna: Harness the Power of Emotional Energy

In this article we’ll look at some basic facts around energy, how it affects you and others, and how to make use of this knowledge to foster good health.

The facts, as we’ve been told

Albert Einstein’s work shows us that all matter is energy. Every single thing is made up of tiny bits of energy – bits of neutrons, protons, and a nucleus – all mostly empty space with all the little bits flying around, or vibrating. These little bits arrange themselves in particular patterns to form your body, a table, your coffee mug, and even your thoughts. All energy travels in waves and has different amplitude and frequencies. (Drew Rozell, The Magnet – Law of Attraction newsletter, May 2006 edition).

The indestructibility of energy

Energy cannot be created or destroyed – just transformed in to a different form of energy. E.g. food in tummy turns to muscle, blood, waste, and heat.

The connection of all things

We are all made out of the same ‘stuff’- energy. Every thing – live or inanimate – is connected due to the premise that we are all made of the same stuff.

The vibrations of all things

Nothing is in essence ‘solid’ or ‘still’ – everything is vibrating at a (usually) undetected frequency.

How vibrations affect other things

Energy travels in waves. Energy waves are attracted to other waves of the same frequency. Vibrations create energy waves. Thus things, people, and thoughts of the same frequency of vibrations are attracted to one another.

How vibrations affect your body

Thoughts are energy impulses created when the cells in your brain fire off messages. These energy impulses go through your body in waves. Sometimes the thought-energy waves are of an intense frequency. We call this ’emotion’ (‘energy in motion’).

Thoughts/emotions leave your body as energy waves.This has been measured and photographed in different experiments. See Dr Emoto’s study of the effect of thought on water crystals at http://www.whatthebleep.com/crystals/.

“So thanks for the basic science lesson,” you say, “but what does this mean in practical terms and why should I care?”

Intense emotion with its intense energy wave can affect the body’s cells in a positive or negative way, depending on the frequency. Negative thoughts and emotion tend to have a destructive vibration, while positive thoughts and vibrations invigorate and stimulate the cells. Positive emotions tend to boost your immune system. The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is founded on the science of positive vibrations.

Tune in your antenna

There are waves of energy flowing around and through us all the time. Like a radio antenna, we can tune in to the frequencies we want to ‘listen’ to, and tune out the ones we do not. This is good news because it means we can consciously choose to receive only waves that are good for us, make us feel good, and create a positive experience. We can thus avoid a lot of the nasty vibrations. With awareness comes the opportunity to harness our thoughts and emotions, and therefore our health and ultimately our destiny. It is an exciting place to be in, a fun place to play in!

So how do tune in our antenna to ward off the negative vibes and groove with the good ones?

We need to set our antenna to vibrate at the right frequency. We do this by ensuring we are feeling good vibrations (yes, the Beach Boys were on to something!).

1. Start noticing your body. Do an internal body check when you wake up and when you go to sleep- mentally scan your body for how it feels, any areas of pain, stiffness, soreness, or discomfort. These are clues to disturbances in your thoughts/energy patterns. Focus on the most intense part of the discomfort and just observe. This will help release some of the built up tension there and change the frequency of your mental/emotional vibrations.

2. Start noticing the beauty and abundance around you in small and fleeting things. When driving, set out to see and enjoy beauty – look for it, find it in the sky, the birds, and the colour of the gum leaves. Observing the beauty of nature is a powerful way of ‘tuning in’ to the strength and goodness of the life force. I always feel very connected when I go to my garden and witness the miracle of life surging out of the dirt in the multiple shapes of trees, flowers, vegetables, fruit trees. How do these things do this??? How does a brilliant rose come from the dirt??? This is when I bow to the greater power of the universe and feel completely blessed to be a part of it, to be connected to it.

3. Find joy in small moments, in the very present ‘now’. One of my favourite ways of finding peace is to observe the neighbour’s cat. She saunters in to our garden every day – completely immersed in the moment, looks around, stretches out or curls up in the sun. She has no concern of the past or worry for the future – she simply is. When I pat her and she meows back at me and purrs – the simple delight of sharing a moment of tenderness with another living thing fills me with happiness – in this moment there is no pain, no worry, no fear – it simply ‘is’ – and this feels good. From that place I can then go on to my various responsibilities with greater clarity and calm – something inside me know that the universe is working on a higher plane – from a place that triggers tiny seeds to develop magnificent flowers – and it is in the wonder of this moment I find comfort, connection, safety, and peace.

Take Action Now:

Here are some ways to tune your antenna to “groove”:

1. Here is a 6-minute video on the “Evolution of Dance” that I can guarantee get you giggling and groovin’. You need a computer with sound to fully appreciate this one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg

2. Click on this link: http://www.mayyoubeblessedmovie.com – and sit back and enjoy the reminders of what really matters in life. This is a wonderful video initiative that runs for around two minutes and is a positive and uplifting motivational piece. I liked it; it touched and moved me. Enjoy.

3. Go out in to the wilderness. Nothing inspires like nature. Climb a hill, sit under a tree, walk by a creek. Feel part of this world in all its majesty, brilliance, and beauty.

Laser Thoughts

“When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.” – W.J. Slim

“Go my sons, burn your books. Buy yourselves stout shoes. Get away to the mountains, the deserts and the deepest recesses of the earth. In this way and no other will you gain a true knowledge of things and of their properties.” – Peter Severinus, 1571 AD



Fine Tune Windows Registry

If your computer is suffering from major performance problems, such as constantly crashing, taking forever and a day to boot up, or it seems to be very stubbornly resistant to your attempts to shut it down, or your computer frequently exhibits “hourglass” syndrome, then it is time to take a look what you can do to rectify the situation.

Chances are you may already be running antivirus and anti-spyware software. So you know that there aren’t any viruses or spyware that have infected your machine and are causing this degradation.

More often than not, the culprit is the often-overlooked Windows registry.

The Windows registry is the master database that stores all of the vital information about your computer’s hardware, software, user profiles, documents, and operating system settings. If this database were to become bloated, corrupted, or unoptimized, then it can cause instability issues for your PC. Windows relies on the registry for everything. Thus, if the registry is not in optimal shape, it can be a major contributing factor to your computer’s performance problems.

Unfortunately, for whatever the reason, Windows does not come shipped with its own built-in registry optimization utility. Fortunately, many third-party software companies have stepped in to fill the void.

A Windows registry optimization utility will scan your registry for errors, inconsistencies, invalid references, referential integrity issues, missing links, and more. It will then attempt to actually correct these errors, and essentially “repair” your registry.

The end result will be a much leaner and more optimized registry and you should start experiencing significant improvements to your PC’s performance and stability.



How to Tune Up Your Mazda – Mazda Tuning Tips

The time has come to service your Mazda, and like any responsible car owner, you would like to do a good job and keep your car in tip top condition. This is a very good idea because if you ever come to sell your car one day, at least you can say that you loved and cared for it. As is normal with cars, they all come in different shapes and sizes, and their engine capacity also varies. One of the pluses of keeping your Mazda in good condition is that it prolongs the life of your car, protects the engine and helps with fuel economy.

There are a couple of  tune   up  checks that you can perform yourself on your Mazda. When you open the bonnet, you can have a look and see that the radiator hose and the heater hose are not leaking. More serious problems like if they are soft and floppy or hard and swollen, you need a mechanic as both of these indicate a more serious problem. In the engine a big valve cover needs to be checked quite often. This is the cylinder head, which protects the engine from oil spills. The newer Mazda models now use a ‘serpentine-belt system’ which is adjusted by mechanics. If this mechanism is too tight, you will have problems – talk to your local friendly service station for advice.

Normally the engine cap and rotor do not need much servicing, but with a car, nothing should be taken for granted. An experienced mechanic will check these parts and replace spark plugs and air filters as part of a routine service, especially if your engine light has been on in your electronic control panel.

If your brakes have been squeaking, this could mean that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. It could also be an indication that the brake callipers are out of line, or the drums of the brakes could have problems. This sort of thing needs to be checked out professionally at once, as it is unsafe to drive a vehicle with noisy brakes. Always make sure that you keep your eye on the temperature gauge of your Mazda. This is an easy indicator of problems in your radiator. The temperature gauge should normally hover just under half, but if it moves higher or right into the red area, drive straight to a service station. It could be something simple such as adding water to the radiator, or there could be a leak in your radiator. Your car should not be driven when the temperature gauge is in the red.

Your control panel has various lights that come on when a problem is experienced in that area of the car. So, when your oil light switches on, go to a service centre and check the oil levels. You can do this very simple procedure completely on your own! If you ignore it, you can end up with having to replace the entire engine – a very expensive exercise. If you notice that your car is constantly pulling to one side, there is a problem with the tyres – either they are worn on that side or your wheel alignment is out. This is simple to fix.



The New Marketing Research Tool – Twitter

Conducting marketing research is very important for any business. The key to success of any online business is the profitability of the niche market you select. First and foremost though should be the determination of market demand. Without the demand the probability of generating any profit is zip. With that said our consideration will turn to a relatively new way to conduct market research that will enable you to uncover those niche markets with plenty demand and profit potential.

Twitter, the fast growing micro blogging social network site offers you the opportunity to tap into a real time search engine containing invaluable research information.

If you’re looking for online business ideas around which to build an income Twitter could be your answer.

Let’s look at a simple 3 step process you can use to help you generate potent niche marketing opportunities by using Twitter.

Determine Popular Topics First

Firstly you want to see what everybody is talking about by looking at ‘trending topics’ which is located on the right hand side of the page. Being Twitter is a highly populated social network site you can assume trends found here reflect most of what you may find across the internet.

Under trending topics you’ll find separate ‘discussions’ being held on various topics. The topics or keywords of these individual discussions are precluded by a hash mark (#). Choose a topic of interest to you and join the conversation.

Focusing on conversations that interest you is very important!

Two other methods you can use to locate popular topics on Twitter are visiting hashtags dot org and stufftotweet dot com.

Find the Conversations

Track down these conversations on Twitter by entering the appropriate keywords into the search box.

Plug into conversations as this will be your market research.

Start to follow some of the participants since generally once you follow someone they’ll follow you back. This allows you to stay up with and view these conversations as they occur from day to day.

Plug Into & Follow the Conversations

Now that you’ve located these conversations you of course will contribute where you can but you definitely want to listen and take notes. You are looking for trends, common problems, angles, or other ideas to explore. If possible uncover a common problem and develop a solution for it. This could be the basis of your niche.

Throughout the course of these discussions various ideas, opinions, or preferences will be offered so take note of this. Focus in on the more prevalent and consistent ‘sub-topics’ to help you ‘narrow’ your search’.

By following these conversations over an extended period of time you’ll be validating the lasting popularity or interest of the topic you’re ‘researching’.

This process will be conducted over a period of time and the information you collect can then be used to further explore with other market research tools. You’ll want to do this to insure your hunch/findings possess the market potential you are looking for.

Marketing research can be very time consuming and boring but it is a necessary evil for any online business. The key to your success will the profit potential of the niche market you select as the core of your business. Determining the market demand is your first step when considering the potential of any number of niche markets. The accuracy of your market research is crucial and if done correctly will lead to profitable online business ideas for you. Knowing how to efficiently use the real time search engine that Twitter has should enable you to speed up the research process. Just following the current trends and the conversations surrounding them should supply you with very insightful data. It is then up to you to put this information to work as you apply it to your niche marketing efforts. The end results should be rewarding.



Do Alt and Title Attributes Help With SEO?

A highly talked about topic is the SEO world is, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” Well to help shed a little light on this topic, I did some research and came up with a few good conclusions. I’m not suggesting these are 100% accurate but from my initial research they seem to be right on target. I welcome all other SEO experts to share their opinions on this topic by posting their comments – because as we all know, every little bit of information can help us all.

Well to start, I want to provide a brief introduction of each attribute to help you understand their “intended” purpose.

The alt attribute is, popularly and incorrectly referred to as an alt tag and is commonly misunderstood to provide a tool-tip for an image. Both of these are incorrect. First of all, the alt attribute is an attribute and not a tag. The alt attribute was always intended to provide alternative information about an element and is generally required for image and image maps and is not meant to be used to display a tool-tip. The alt attribute, can be used for the img, area, and input elements to help provide alternative information to users who cannot display that element in their browser. As an example, here is how you would define an alt attribute for an image: <img src=”imagepath.gif” alt=”this is our company logo”>. If the image is not displayed the text, “this is our company logo” will be displayed in the place of the image.

The title attribute, on the other hand, is meant to provide additional information about an element, which is displayed as a tool-tip by most graphical browsers. The title attribute can be used to describe any HTML element except for base, basefont, head, html, meta, param, script, and title.

An excellent use for the title attribute is to provide descriptive text within an anchor tag to let the users know where the link will direct them if they click on it. When the user places their mouse over the link, it will display a small tool-tip displaying the title text that you’ve provided. An example would be

So as you can see the alt and title attributes have different purposes but how do they affect SEO? This is the true question we all want to know and understand. Do they help with SEO or are they simply ignored by the search engines? I tested several different scenarios, all in Google, and after my research I’ve come to the following conclusions.

Alt attributes seem to be picked up by Google, whether or not there was a link within that element. Some SEO experts have mentioned that if there is no link, then the alt attribute would not be indexed… from my research I’ve found this to be false.

Going further, I noticed in one testing scenario, if there was an image with an alt attribute and a link to a completely other site, that other site was also indexed by Google when searching for the text within the alt attribute. It was difficult for me to verify this multiple times but I definitely verified it in one testing scenario.

I also took this one step further and analyzed my results with what Google Images was displaying. I immediately noticed that Google sometimes takes the alt attribute text and provides this text as the description for the image in Google Images, something that is very valuable to know and understand when doing SEO for your website.

In all of my testing scenarios, the title attribute do not seem to be picked up by Google and adding a link to that element did not seem to affect this result at all. If you really think about it, this makes complete sense. Since you can place title attributes in almost every element of a website, it would be very easy for a user to affect the search engines by keyword stuffing throughout their web pages, something that Google and the other major players do not want, hence why title attributes do not help with SEO.

In my opinion, you should use the title attribute to help with your user’s experience and not with SEO. Since tool-tips provide more useful information to the user about images, links, fields and much more, you will help your users to understand what is happening around the web page.

So from my testing I’ve determined that a title attribute is meant to provide tool-tips to the user for user experience, whereas the alt attribute is helpful in terms of providing alternative information to the user when their browser cannot display an image or input element and helping to increase the SEO of a website. My recommendation is to pay close attention to when, where and how you are using your alt attributes. If they help with SEO, then you should pay close attention to what you are adding.

When adding images always be sure to add an alt attribute to the code of each image. If you do not have one, then just specify a blank one, such as alt=””. Also, be sure to add alternative text that is relevant to that image, the content on that page and be sure not to specify an alt attribute greater than 100 characters in length, as this may be perceived as spamming.

I hope you find my brief overview on the topic of, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” to be beneficial for you and your business. I’m sure one could dive deep into this topic, spending weeks determining the differences between how Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines handle title and alt attributes with regards to SEO for a website.

I welcome all comments and/or feedback.



Benefits Of A Coin Counter And Coin Sorter

Manually counting coins everyday can be a tiresome and boring task. It is also a great waste of your valuable time. If you own a business which accepts coins as payment such as a laundry or car wash business, manually counting the coins from your daily sales will most likely take up a lot of your time.

When you start to have more customers, you will certainly be swamped with too many coins in one day. It will be very difficult for you to continue counting your coins manually. To save your time and effort in counting the coins from your daily sales, you should buy a coin counter. A coin counter will assist you in counting your coins and will save a lot of your time and effort in counting your coins everyday.

How To Choose The Right Coin Counter

As there are different types of coin counters that are being sold in the market today, you must make sure that you buy the right coin counter for your business. The first thing you should do is to evaluate your needs before you get one. For example, if you work in a place where you do not have easy access to electricity, it would be best if you buy one of those portable manually operated coin counters.

The benefit of a portable manually operated coin counter is that you can use it just about anywhere. However, the disadvantage of using a portable manual counter is that it will take a lot more of your energy to operate. Using a manually operated counter is more difficult compared to an automatic or the electrically powered coin counter.

Coin Counter And Sorter

If you have many denominations of coins to be counted because your business accepts more than one coin denomination, it would be a best to get a coin counter and sorter. This is because a machine that is purely designed to count coins will not really sort the coins for you. If you try to feed nickels, dimes and quarters all together into the machine, it will not count for you how much dimes, nickels and quarters there are. So, to make your job easier, you should purchase a coin counter and sorter instead of just a coin sorter.

This type of machine will certainly cost you more than if you buy just a coin counter. But the good news is that you will no longer need to manually separate the different coins before you feed them into the machine for counting.

A coin sorter usually uses the weight, size and shape of the coin to sort the coins. Coin sorters are usually very accurate so you do not have to worry about losing your money.

Different Types Of Coin Sorters Available

The advantage of a coin sorter is that you just have put the coins in the coin sorter and it will do the rest of the work of you. Coin sorter will only take a few minutes to finish the task that could cost you almost an hour. As the coin sorter will now do the counting of your coins for you, you will be able to do other tasks with your extra time.

The Digital Coin Sorter

A digital coin sorter is one of the most useful types of coin sorters now available in the market. Digital coin sorters come in many different models. Some are small and battery operated which you can only load up to 20 coins at one time. There are also big heavy duty coin sorters that you can use for sorting larger amounts of coins. If you need to count lots of coins every week, you should get a heavy duty digital coin sorter.

The good thing about the digital sorter is that with just a press of the button, you can quickly see how many dimes, nickels, pennies and quarters have been counted. Most of the digital sorters can accept newer coins. This will save you from having to manually sort your coins and separate the old coins from the new coins.

Make sure that you get a good digital coin sorter, by trying it out at the store before you buy it. Ask the salesclerk to explain the functions of the coin sorter you are going to purchase so that you will be able to decide whether the coin sorter will be suitable for you.