Tech Talk: Tailgating Apps

Posted at 7:21 PM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 20:21:04-04
As the Pack take on the Cowboys this Sunday, many of you are planning your tailgate! If you want to move beyond the basics, then Jason Strong from AT&T joined on Wisconsin Tonight for some suggestions on tailgating gadgets and technologies:
1. Power Inverter
A journey of a thousand miles might begin with a single step, but a properly electrified tailgating party begins with a beefy power inverter. This is the essential component that will allow you to plug in basically any electronic device you want, so it’s absolutely vital to start here. Of course, not all power inverters are created equal, and dinky little cigarette lighter inverters are probably the least equal of all. Unless you want to sit around in the dark like a caveman, make sure to pick up an inverter that’s capable of meeting all your electricity needs.
2. Extra Battery
If you aren’t familiar with how power inverters work, or how your vehicle’s electrical system works, then suffice it to say that a long day of tailgating is basically a recipe for a dead battery. You can help mitigate that by starting and running your engine, which will help keep the battery charged, but who wants to sit around in a cloud of exhaust? If you get an extra deep cycle battery to run all of your electronics, then you’ll never have to deal with the dreaded dead-battery-click when it’s time to head home.
3. Portable Power Pack
Although an extra battery and a good inverter will go a long way, a portable power pack is a great way to keep your smaller gadgets (like your phone, tablet, portable game systems, etc) juiced up. Sure you can plug chargers into your inverter, but why not save the inverter for more important stuff, like:
4. TV/Mobile Video
So long as your battery and inverter can handle it, there are a ton of great tailgating entertainment options available. Even if you narrow the focus down to just mobile video, you can bring along a portable 12 volt television that will run straight off your battery, pack a regular tv and plug it into your
inverter, or even go whole hog with a built-in mobile video system (we’re talking multiple video monitors, multiple video sources, maybe even a projector if you’re feeling adventurous.) More: Watch TV in your car.
5. Satellite/HD Radio Satellite radio and HD radio are completely different technologies that are both great to have when you’re tailgating. Sure you can settle for regular old AM/FM radio, but why would you? HD radio is a free option that allows you to listen to a lot of extra content in most major cities, and satellite is a subscription service that has something for everyone. If you’re tailgating the old fashioned way, then satellite radio is also a great way to keep up with all of the other football games that you aren’t currently at. If you’re not, then it’s a lot easier than carting around a bunch of mixtape CDs.
6. Mobile Internet
In the same way that an inverter and deep cycle battery form the cornerstone of your whole electricity situation when you’re tailgating, a mobile hotspot can provide both connectivity and access to a wealth of other entertainment options.