What I really want for Father's Day

Texas Beach Camp
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

It's June, so that means Father's Day is coming up — fast, as in this Sunday. So it has me thinking about what I want this year. There isn't much I genuinely wish to get, as I'm lucky to be in my career. But that doesn't mean I don't have a few things on a list that I've been eyeing. While there isn't much time left to order a Father's Day gift and have it in time to give it on the actual holiday — it's the thought that counts. 

Tech stuff I'd like for Father's Day

Like I said above, as far as tech goes, I have plenty. However, I do have some items in mind that I'd like to upgrade or add to my arsenal of gadgets. One of my favorite things to do in the summertime is go camping.

A couple of years ago, my family and I renovated an enclosed utility trailer into a camper. We designed the camper to allow us to go boondocking and camping without on-site utilities. We are constantly tinkering to adjust how we pack it, its utility situation, keeping cool inside, and more. Hence, power and water are at a premium in these situations. That's why I'm glad to have portable power stations like the Bluetti AC200Max and the Fanttik EVO 300

Powering my cargo trailer conversion camper is a balancing act between keeping it cool and not running out of electricity.

I'm working to make my camper as green as possible. Part of that equation is getting away from using a gas-powered generator — and I think I'm almost there. At the heart of my current power setup are an EcoFlow Delta Pro solar generator, and around 700W of solar from some EcoFlow solar panels. The solar output needs to be bumped up, and though the Delta Pro has plenty of power output, I need more battery capacity.

The Delta Pro is expandable with up to two additional battery packs. So, that's the first thing on my list, an extra battery. This will give some headroom to my power supply and give me more peace of mind when solar isn't an option. The downside to this item is it isn't a cheap option, so I'm not getting my hopes up here.

Moving from my camper to the house, I want some smart light switches. I cover a lot of smart home devices and platforms, but I don't have any actual smart switches in my home. This is due to a couple of reasons; one being that I started my smart home journey with some of the best Philips Hue lights and didn't need a switch. My decision to go with the smart bulbs was because my home is very old.

I live in an old farmhouse, constructed in 1885, and it lacks modern electrical wiring. When the home was first wired up, the idea of a neutral wire wasn't a thing — thus, my home lacks it. This is a problem because many of the best smart light switches require the wire to provide the switch with constant power for the smart bits to work properly.

But all hope is not lost, because there are some great smart switches that don't require a neutral wire. Options in this category are finally starting to expand. While I could get some smart dimmers that run off of batteries to control my lights, I really don't want to deal with another battery.  

I have been working hard the last few months to get back into running. I've used a variety of excellent Android smartwatches to help me track my runs over the years: From the Moto Actv, to the Sony Smartwatch 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, to the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, but never a dedicated running watch.

I've never even used a Fitbit or any other great fitness trackers out there, and I should probably rectify that at some point. But right now, I'd like to experience a watch that is calibrated specifically for running. In reading the reviews for wearables like the Polar Pacer Pro or the Garmin Vivoactive 4, I really like some of the metrics the watches can record. 

Not only is free time a luxury, but I'm also not Benjamin Button, so I'm unfortunately getting older. Meaning I need to be as efficient and calculated as possible when training to reduce setbacks in my journey. These are two factors that I am taking into account as I get back into running. 

The only other thing I'd like for Father's Day is better internet at my house. Unrealistic, yes. But I still want it. I've written plenty of times about the connectivity issues at my house. While it has gotten better thanks to Starlink, it's really my only legitimate option. Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled it's even an option. But Starlink isn't perfect, and it's pretty expensive. 

I know my family can't get me better internet, but removing the annoyance of laggy and unreliable internet would be incredible.

I'm currently paying $110 for my monthly service. I've definitely had to pay more for other ISPs in the past — **cough Hughes Net**, but five miles away from me, people are paying half of that for much faster internet. I understand why the likelihood that I get a wired internet solution is next to nothing, but it is frustrating that regardless of what the cellular carriers' coverage maps say — they can't serve me internet either. 

What I really want for Father's Day 

The past couple of years have been tough for a lot of reasons. Aside from dealing with the pandemic, I've also lost three grandparents, and it's been really tough. I have plenty of stuff and have been focusing on feeling better and having more experiences. I want to create memories with people I love, which are big reasons for my camper project and attempting to run again.

Most of all, I want to think about those people in my life who have positively affected me, who have taken the time to help me and make me become the person I am. Many of these wonderful people are still around, and I hope to spend some of my time with them, at least talking with them. So, while there are some things that I'd like, I'd love to have a good time with those I care about and remember times with the ones I can't hug anymore.

Chris Wedel
Senior Editor - Smart Home
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.