Illustrating how a fire alarm detects smoke and what the plasma” is in a plasma screen television, this fascinating handbook explains how everyday household devices function and operate. More than 180 different household technologies are covered, including gadgets unique to apartment buildings and houseboats. Devices are grouped according to their "habitats"the living room, family room, den, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and basementand feature a detailed description of what the device does and how it works, as well as a photograph for easy identification. With helpful sidebars describing related technical issues, such as why a cheap dimmer switch can interfere with radio reception, this handbook for curious readers provides carefully detailed descriptions and the history behind many of the older household technologies like toasters and faucets to newer technologies like motion detectors, TiVo, and satellite radio.
1. Entering the home -- Door chimes -- Storm door closer -- Front door lock -- Security door viewer or peephole -- Keypad for home security system -- Perimeter entry detector or burglar alarm -- Perimeter alarm switch for doors -- Motion detector -- Video monitoring camera -- Garage door opener -- Garage door opener touch pad -- Keyless entry device -- Intercom -- 2. Living room, family room, and den -- Vacuum cleaner -- Central vacuum cleaner -- Robotic vacuum cleaner -- Carpet sweeper -- Compact disc (CD) -- Compact disc player -- Digital video disc (DVD) player -- Television -- Plasma television -- Television remote control -- High-definition television (HDTV) -- Antenna rotator control box -- Cable box -- TiVo -- Video game -- Radio -- Satellite radio and antenna -- Internet radio tuner -- Radio-controlled clock -- Audio speakers -- Phonograph (record player) -- Video cassette recorder (VCR) -- Fireplace -- Piezoelectric lighter -- Carbon monoxide detector -- iPod.