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Gear to make your Fourth of July bash a success


alternate  (2013 Rob Prideaux)

Shooting fireworks into the sky (and capturing it all on video), grilling up some brats with neighbors, watching the World Cup in the backyard – this techie gear can make all the difference in the world as you celebrate Independence Day this weekend.

1. Fuego Element Grill

It all starts with the brats, right? This fast-cooking gas grill heats up to 500 degrees in five minutes, so impatient guests won’t have to wait long. It has two burners for more even cooking and fewer cold spots, and it has a huge, 15-pound porcelain enamel cooking grate that measures 346 square inches (good for about 16 burgers at once).

Price: $300

2. Mohu Sky HDTV Outdoor Antenna

This high-powered antenna plugs directly into the tuner on an HDTV. The kit comes with a 30-foot cable, a USB cable for providing power to the antenna (you can plug into an HTDV USB port), and a mounting bracket. It’s omnidirectional, so to watch the World Cup or a fireworks display from your local station, you just mount and scan for available channels. 

Price: $150

3. Otterbox Agility Product System

More than just a case for your iPad, the Otterbox Agility Product System lets you protect your tablet, mount it to a wall, use it in a group setting and dock it for a longer browsing sessions or using a fireworks app. For parties, it means you can set the iPad on a stand for viewing parades online or tracking World Cup stats, and your iPad will still be in one piece when everyone goes home. The Agility case costs $40, and most of the mounts and docks are priced under $100 each.

Price: Varies

4. Target Beats by Dre Pill 2.0

One of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers you will find, this new model has several innovative features. You can sync your smartphone and start streaming the World Cup with a quick tap. If you have two Pill 2.0 speakers, you can tap them together once to play the same stream or twice to make one the left and one the right speaker for stereo capability.

Price: $200 for one speaker

5. Nerf Super Soaker Barrage Water Blaster

Holding 84 ounces of water and with a range of about 38 feet, this Nerf Super Soaker is the best and baddest water pistol on the market. There are three squirt modes: a direct line of fire (distance), a wider spray (floor) for moving targets and a soak mode (scatter) for up-close water fights. For a July 4th picnic, make it fair and get a few of these for each team.

Price: $20

6. Sony POV ActionCam

One last item for your Fourth of July arsenal: Consider using the 3.2-ounce Sony ActionCam, which can record fireworks for you in lush 170-degree wide-angle HD video. (You can also take 13.5-megapixel photos in succession.) Sony offers multiple mounts for bike helmets, bikes and car windshields or dashboards. There’s also a waterproof protective case. 

Price: $300