Dave wants to know if he can install a USB 3.0 port onto his desktop computer. Leo says sure, but it largely depends on the bus of his desktop. If he has PCIexpress, he should be just fine. USB 3.0 goes as high as 5 Gigabits, but that doesn't mean he'd necessarily get that. What about just plain PCI? He won't get the max speed, but the hard drive isn't as fast as USB 3.0 either. So it should be good enough for his use of it.
Pete wants a camera that he can stream little league hockey games on. Leo says he'll need a camera with live HDMI out. Most video cameras will do this, and with excellent quality too. Then he'll need a laptop that is able to take HDMI in and then stream it over the internet. The camera really isn't the hard part.
Yvette has a USB key with music on it and she wants to play it in her car. Leo says that some cars come with USB options, but Yvette will probably need a third party head unit radio that will support that. Or, she can get a small computer that plugs in. Satechi mades the Soundfly, an MP3 player that supports USB drives. It comes with an FM transmitter built in.
Randy listens to TWiT podcasts with his Droid connected to his car dock, but his Samsung Galaxy S4 will not pass audio from the phone to the computer without bluetooth. Leo says that's odd that they've taken those features out. He suspects it's because of Bluetooth that they've taken it out via the USB port. An audio jack plugged into the dock could work, but he'll have an extra wire running.
Gordon has a BaoFeng UV5R+ ham radio, and it keeps displaying an error whenever he tries programming the radio through Windows. Leo says that less expensive ham radios don't have an ideal user interface to allow the user to troubleshoot easily. Leo suspects that the USB cable is broken, but he also suggests making sure the drivers for Windows are installed first.
The Chatroom says it's the "prolific driver" that's causing the connection. They recommend using Chirp on Windows to find it.
Trish's keyboard seems to randomly type letters and numbers when she's not touching it. Leo suspects the keyboard could have shorted out or the USB port it's plugged into is shorting out. She should try a different keyboard. If that doesn't fix it, then that would point to a different problem. Leo also suspects that the computer may still be paired to the wireless keyboard and her daughter is playing with it, causing the issue!
Robert wanted to create a bootable operating system on his USB key, but his computer won't recognize it. Leo says it may not be formatted properly. He should go into the BIOS and make sure USB is an option to boot to in the boot order. The Chatroom suggests holding down ALT+O when booting up and it'll tell the computer to look at the USB, but Leo hasn't done that so he can't vouch for it.
Leo says if the head unit in the car has bluetooth, that would be the easiest way. Dave says his car does not have bluetooth, though.
Another possibility is to connect the phone via USB instead. Or he could try getting an adapter, like this one from Belkin, to go from the iPod 30 pin connector to USB.
This week's gadget is the NewerTech Power2U USB outlet. What it does is that in addition to the AC plug outlets, the Power2U adds two convenient USB charging ports. The new version has safety for kids, has been boosted to 20Amp version for commercial use. Leo just installed them and he says they were easy to install and work really well! Note though - The Power2U USB device requires the 16 cubic inch electrical box. But they're only $15 at Amazon.
This week's gadget is an update of one of Leo's favorite gadgets -- the NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter. Newertech calls it the "Swiss Army Knife" of Disk Connectivity because it lets you turn pretty much any old hard drive you have into an eternal storage device. Great for getting old data off a drive without installing it into your PC or getting an external enclosure. $30.