Save Money on CAD/USD Exchange Rates

A little known fact is that the banks that issue credit cards usually have an inflated foreign exchange rate. For many cards, like the Canadian Tire Options card, for example, that rate is 2.5% on top of the MasterCard exchange rate. So for us Canadians who do a lot of cross-border shopping, or shopping online in US dollars, that can add up.

Can you avoid it? Yes! Last year I found the Amazon Rewards Visa, only available to Canadians. Using this card, you will only be charged the Visa exchange rate, which you can check on Visa's website, and no more.

Apart from no foreign exchange fees, it does have other perks:
  • Free $20 Amazon.ca gift card for signing up
  • 2% cash back on Amazon.ca purchases
  • 1% cash back everywhere else (only applies to Canadian dollar transactions)
  • No annual fee
Once you earn $20 in cash back, it gets applied right to your card (your bill is decreased by $20).

To sign up, click on the link below. The application takes 5 minutes and you can start using it immediately on Amazon.ca, before you even receive your card in the mail.

Make the purchases you've always been making for 2.5% less. We've found it worth it.

Stop Your Treadmill from Beeping

Are the beeps from your treadmill annoying? Want to run while the kids are in bed? Watch this video to see how to quiet your treadmill.

I'll show you four (well, technically five) different ways to do it:

1. Muffle the sound, if you just find it too loud.
2. Disable the sound entirely
3. Add a switch to turn the sound on and off
4. Add a volume knob

The 5th option, which is what I do in the video, combines 3 and 4. Options 1 and 2 require no special tools, but doing option 2 without a soldering iron is not recommended.

Here are wiring diagrams for the other options, with links to where you can buy what you need:

Switch
Here is a push on / push off (aka self-locking) switch: https://goo.gl/c4j1r1

Volume knob
You'll need a 20kΩ potentiometer (labelled as B20K), which you can buy here: https://goo.gl/XxgVBD

Volume knob with switch
For this you'll need a 10kΩ (or more) potentiometer with combined switch: https://goo.gl/2WG87b


And finally, here is the video:

Leather band for RoadID Elite

In this video I'll show you how to make a leather band for the RoadID Elite to replace the silicone band that comes with it. I use these bracelets for my kids, and I've found that the silicone bands break after a while. I've gone through 4-5 bands now and I don't want to replace them anymore.

These bracelets can be bought at:
https://www.roadid.com

Note that you can buy the clasp and plate on their own if you plan on making your own leather band.

A leather trim piece can be bought on Amazon:
US: http://amzn.to/2kB9J2h
Canada: http://amzn.to/2laIsjL
UK: http://amzn.to/2k96MT5


Extend Keyless Entry Range

In this video, I'll show you how to add a bigger antenna to your vehicle's keyless entry system to extend the range.

You'll need the normal soldering tools, as well as a long piece of wire. I used a 14g electrical wire, but even speaker wire would work.

Optionally, a car trim pry tool would be helpful, which can be purchased here on eBay.

Install new TPMS sensors in your tires by yourself!

As promised, here is my follow-up video where I show you how to install new TPMS sensors in a tire that is already mounted on a rim. Do this if you are replacing an existing TPMS sensor, or if you are adding a sensor where you had a regular rubber valve before.

I am installing Autel MX Sensors in my winter tires. In my previous post, I showed you how to program these sensors. If you missed that, read it here: http://www.gabeshacks.com/2016/10/how-to-clone-and-program-new-tpms.html


How to clone and program new TPMS sensors with Autel MX Sensors & MaxiTPMS PAD

Here I show you how you can buy TPMS sensors on the cheap and clone your existing ones to avoid having to visit your dealer to reprogram your vehicle. Use this if you are replacing a broken TPMS sensor, or if you want to install new ones, especially in winter tires, for example.

I'm doing this for my 2009 Honda Odyssey EX-L, but the principles apply to any supported vehicle.

To figure out if you need the 315MHz or 433MHz model, go to this page, click the 'Downloads' tab, and download the document called "Sensor_FUNCLIST" followed by your market. (e.g. "Sensor_FUNCLIST_V4.07_US.pdf" for North America)

That spreadsheet will also tell you whether your vehicle automatically learns new TPMS sensors. If it says "A", then you do not need to clone your sensors.

Then buy however many of the sensors you need (all links go to eBay):
315MHz MX Sensor

443MHz MX Sensor

MaxiTPMS PAD

Note: All eBay links are affiliate links, meaning that when you use these links, eBay will give me a percentage of anything you spend, at no cost to you. This helps me justify to my wife spending time on these videos. Thank you! :)

And here's the video:

Why I started wet shaving: the money!

Here's a video about why I started wet shaving. It does give you a better shave, but the main reason I made the switch is for the cost. Here I explain how I got started wet shaving, and what you will need to get started. I won't give you a ton of options, since that can get confusing. I'll just tell you what I bought. If you do the same, it's a great starting point.

The short story is: It'll cost you about $50 US to get started, and the only ongoing costs are soap and blades, which are super cheap.


Here are the links to everything I talked about in the video:

How to Shave in 120 Seconds: https://youtu.be/38Sz1QxjQwk

Merkur 34C Razor
Canada: http://amzn.to/2dnZdHl
UK: http://amzn.to/2dC8tqu
US: http://amzn.to/2dzX6QR

Omega brushes
Canada: http://amzn.to/2dmQLdT
UK: http://amzn.to/2dDZx4k
US: http://amzn.to/2dmQqYO

Prorazo green soap
Canada: http://amzn.to/2cOOkdI
UK: http://amzn.to/2dE02v6
US: http://amzn.to/2dmQyaK

Astra Superior blades (100 pack)
Canada: http://amzn.to/2dNJmAb
UK: http://amzn.to/2e27xib
US: http://amzn.to/2dNIviZ