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A. Joyce
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Stanley 194749 23 inch Waterproof Toolbox
Stanley 194749 23 inch Waterproof Toolbox
Price: £19.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Will take a Equatorial SynScan telecope mount, 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought a SkyWatcher EQ5 telescope mount last year (see my review elsewhere dealing with the tripod itself), which - being a big beast - was not always the easiest to lug about. After dithering about it for quite some time, I plunged into buying this box in order to store and carry the equatorial mount (not having the resources to splash out on a dedicated Peli case).

The box looks and feels substantial. Having a waterproof seal on it means that I would have to worry less about the electronics of the mount and the SynScan unit getting damaged in storage or outside. Given the nature of the equipment the removable tray that normally sits inside the box had to be removed, but for my purposes it was of little use anyway. I had originally intended to get foam and create a cut-out scaffold into which to sit the equipment (and I may still do that at a later date), but I came across some left-over foam scaffold that a PC case had been delivered in, which just happened to be the right size for the mount and the box.

With this temporary scaffold in place, the box has been able to take the equatorial mount, a couple of the smaller counterweights, all the associated electronics and cabling and still leave space in there. As I mentioned, the box feels substantial and while it was able to take my 100kg weight on the lid, it was clearly getting to a point where it might not take much more. The box won't necessarily protect the mount from damage should you drop it (but given the mount's weight, that might be an issue for a lot of storage containers), but it does allow you to have the mount and all the associated gubbins within easy reach and keeps everything located in one place. All together, the box and contents tip the scales at about 15kg and whilst it's not something I'd carry too far, it will keep the mount safe in the boot of the car or when stored in the attic or garage. The carry handle in the lid will take the weight (although I don't know what the maximum rated content weight is for the box), but the design also has integral carry handles moulded into each end of the box to make a two handed carry easier. The catches on the box were tight and clipped in a reassuring way suggesting the seal was tight on the lid.

In short, I can recommend this box to anyone with a similar equatorial mount to be stored or carried. It's not a purpose-built equipment case: you will have to improvise and adapt. Equally, it doesn't have the price of a dedicated equipment case. But if you can put up with that it should serve you well for the purpose.


Deluxe Gun Bag Black 2 Strap Rifle Carry Case Gun Slip
Deluxe Gun Bag Black 2 Strap Rifle Carry Case Gun Slip
Offered by Retail Zone
Price: £25.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Works for telescope tripods too, 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Last year I bought a Skywatcher EQ5 telescope mount. It's a big beast (although not the biggest available) and storing it and lugging it about proved to be a pain. I had searched in vain on several occasions for something that I could store it in and use to carry it about and was about to give up again when I stumbled across rifle cases / gun gases on Amazon. Given the prices being asked I decided to give it a go and selected this on the strength of the previous reviews and the picture. (Perhaps I should explain that I have dealt with the storage of the relevant equatorial mount in another review - there's no way this bag would be suitable for that!)

The item was ordered on a Thursday and arrived on a Saturday (a full four days before the earliest anticipated delivery date); so many thanks to Retail Zone.

The case is a black nylon bag with some padding. It has several pockets and has two larger pouches to take firearm of your choice (or, in this case, a telescope tripod). Both the larger pouches have zips which open up along the entire length of the bag, making putting the tripod into the case a piece of cake. For me the tripod (at 100cm long) was too big for the smaller pouch, but was smaller than the larger pouch and the head of the tripod (the bit that the equatorial mount attaches to) fitted easily into the pouch and could be zipped up with no problem. Because the tripod was too small for the larger pouch I ended up leaving it partially extended so that it was less likely to slide back and forth in it. There were also a couple of straps on the outside of the bag that could be buckled up and tightened to further reduce movement and play of the contents which for me would mean the legs of the tripod would be less likely to splay whilst in the bag. I would have thought he materials of the bag (being nylon) would make it at least shower proof, if not actually waterproof, although I've not tested this.

All the various pockets and zipped compartments in the bag also took the various accessories that accompanied the tripod such as handset clips, bolts and other items used in its assembly. The gun bag originally came with a back-pack strap meaning you could hike with it on your back if necessary (but I doubt I'll be going anywhere so remote!). However, this could be un-clipped and stowed away in another of the compartments. Once in the bag and lifted by its handles, the bag feels secure and well balanced. The weight of the tripod and other bits and bobs don't appear to be too taxing for the handles, although this is clearly early days yet.

I can easily recommend this bag for anyone with a similar astronomical telescope tripod in the absence of a dedicated equipment box. It won't prevent damage in the event that you drop it (it's far too lightly padded for that), but it will make carrying the tripod and all the accessories to and from the car or the viewing point far less tedious and time consuming, and having everything to hand for assembling / disassembling the tripod and mount can only be a good thing.


Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Recycled Robust Stackable 84 Litre W444xD710xH380mm Black Ref 84L
Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Recycled Robust Stackable 84 Litre W444xD710xH380mm Black Ref 84L
Offered by 3WM Ltd
Price: £21.29

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Useful...And it was., 12 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recently moved house, and knowing that there was a ton of stuff in the garage and workshop to move I invested in several of these black Really Useful boxes of various sizes. All the boxes were consistently good in terms of manufacture. The clip handles consistently clipped with a very firm action. Despite being packed with circular saws, club hammers and the like, the boxes took the strain and never showed any sign of failure, even when stacked several high. A couple of additional factors swayed my purchase too.
First of all, all the lids sealed over the lips of the boxes making accidental ingress of water less likely. And secondly, there were holes drilled into the lids and to the boxes which allowed us to seal them all with cable ties which made the boxes far more 'tamper-evident' (particularly given the expensive workshop items stored in them).
One thing to bear in mind if you do order them is to consider ordering several smaller ones rather than a single big one, particularly if the contents are going to be weighty: a couple of tools per box is manageable, but having a lot of tools in a larger box makes for a difficult time!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2014 11:06 PM GMT


Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Recycled Robust Stackable 50 Litre W440xD710xH230mm Black - Ref 50L
Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Recycled Robust Stackable 50 Litre W440xD710xH230mm Black - Ref 50L
Offered by Shoplet-UK
Price: £14.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, 12 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recently moved house, and knowing that there was a ton of stuff in the garage and workshop to move I invested in several of these black Really Useful boxes of various sizes. All the boxes were consistently good in terms of manufacture. The clip handles consistently clipped with a very firm action. Despite being packed with circular saws, club hammers and the like, the boxes took the strain and never showed any sign of failure, even when stacked several high. A couple of additional factors swayed my purchase too.
First of all, all the lids sealed over the lips of the boxes making accidental ingress of water less likely. And secondly, there were holes drilled into the lids and to the boxes which allowed us to seal them all with cable ties which made the boxes far more 'tamper-evident' (particularly given the expensive workshop items stored in them).
One thing to bear in mind if you do order them is to consider ordering several smaller ones rather than a single big one, particularly if the contents are going to be weighty: a couple of tools per box is manageable, but having a lot of tools in a larger box makes for a difficult time!


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I know it's only a pencil sharpener..., 12 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
And being fed up with the small metal ones, I decided to invest in one of these after a young niece came over to visit and kept snapping the pencil leads with her over-enthusiastic colouring. It's brilliant: the sharpening has been consistently good and far easier than using a manual sharpener and not having shavings everywhere is a boon too. There's also a certain retro feel to it too, taking me back to my primary school days.
It comes with a small clamp that allows it to be fixed to a table or other work surface (as long as it's less than about 5cms thick), and I suspect having it fixed will make it far easier for children to use. It's also possible to dial the sharpness of the pencil nib and I'd recommend setting it on the most blunt setting for any enthusiastic colourers out there! Set to its most sharp setting it produces beautifully pointed pencils.
I don't know how long the blades will last; like anything, it will depend on how much use it gets, but I suspect that for me, the blades will last quite a while.


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Lens
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Lens
Offered by Aspen Sale
Price: £94.60

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps not the best, but useful and inexpensive, 10 Oct 2011
Recently got a Canon 550D and was eager to get a longer range telephoto for it, primarily for astrophotography work using a basic motorised equatorial mount. While one of the L-series lenses would have been ideal, I'd have had to sell my camera to get one so I looked towards the ordinary EF zoom lenses as a more realistic proposition. I settled for the EF 75-300 f/4.0-5.6 III lens, partially because of the price and partially because I reasoned I wouldn't need the image stabilised version (which was more expensive) if I was taking night sky pictures.

The lens arrived in good time and well packaged. It was smaller than I anticipated, but felt comfortably hefty in the hand. Attached to the 550D it felt weighty but not excessively so, although it was unlikely I would be walking about carrying it for any lenth of time. I suspected that if I had to carry it for a day out somewhere, I'd soon get tired of the weight. The majority of the lens body was black plastic, with the mount itself made of metal. Both the zoom and focusing rings were easy to discern to my fingertips. The lens itself was threaded for a 58mm filter (and a UV filter went on automatically to save the lens from any damage). Just bear in mind that the entire end of the lens rotates while focusing, so that if you were shooting with a graduated filter or a circular polarizer you might have to re-orientate the filter after focusing. Zooming out to 300mm the lens approximately doubles in length: the zoom action felt a little stiff, but that might be down to it being a new lens. On the good side, the lens didn't show any indication of 'lens creep' regardless of whether the lens was pointing up or down.

Lifting and pointing the camera and lens combo was easy, although it required resting my elbows on something or bracing myself when shooting at the far end of the soom range. The pictures so far (mostly of birds about the feeders in the garden) have been reasonable if not brilliant. The lens clearly struggled with focus towards the far end of the zoom, occasionally searching for the focus and sometimes settling on something that was not being aimed for. In areas of better light (instead of birds in hedges) the lens was much better behaved, and was pretty spot-on. Reading the specs of the IS version, it probably wouldn't struggle as much as this one does in poorer light (although I've not had the opportunity to do a comparison).

As far as astrophotography images go it's allowed me to take some pretty good images of the sky: having a 300mm lens has brought a host of new objects within reach (and with the 1.6x crop factor of the 550D, this worked out at a 480mm equivelent in 35mm terms). All I had to do was to remember to switch off the AF and manually focus the lens, and used the live view function whilst the camera was attached to a netbook running the camera control software from Canon. The size of the camera and lens combo is clearly getting to the point where the basic mount struggles to deal with the weight and star-trailing occurs as a reasult, so it looks like a larger, more capable mount might be my next purchase.

So, is this lens any good? Yes, but with provisos. If you wanted a state of the art lens, then you'd clearly have steered towards the L-series (and probably wouldn't be reading this review anyway!). If you wanted something very capable, then the IS version of this lens would probably be a better bet. But if you wanted something that would work at a reasonable price, and you're willing to forgo the bells and whistles of later models, then I think this lens would be a pretty good investment.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2012 9:08 AM GMT


Fruit of the Loom Athletic Vest 3 Pack - Heather Grey Large
Fruit of the Loom Athletic Vest 3 Pack - Heather Grey Large

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 5 Oct 2011
Good value vests. A little on the small size (as are all of Fruit of the Loom's T-shirt sizes), but arguably makes wearing them under other clothing easier. No appreciable shrinkage noticed after washing.


V-Neck Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt - White Large
V-Neck Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt - White Large

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value T-shirts, 5 Oct 2011
Good value T-shirts that will get a lot of use. A little on the small side, but arguably this makes them easier to wear under any shirts. No appreciable shrinkage after washing noticed so far.


Aluminium pen torch with pupil guage
Aluminium pen torch with pupil guage
Offered by Nightingale Nursing Supplies
Price: £12.05

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for work, 5 Oct 2011
Purchased this for work after I accidentally trod on a previous torch. It's made of aluminium and has circles with their corresponding diameters printed on the side. The black ends are plastic, and the bulb is an ordainary filament type rather than a LED. The switch has got a good, positive action, although how durable this will prove to be only time will tell. It comes with two AAA batteries installed, so replacement batteries (and bulbs, come to that) should be easy to obtain.

Given the white-coloured barrel, it'll make marking it with my name using an indelible marker much easier, and no doubt I'll have to keep an eye on it when I'm at work as such items always end up walking away...


FRUIT OF THE LOOM RAGLAN SLEEVE SWEATSHIRT JUMPER - 13 COLOURS (LARGE - 42/44", DEEP NAVY)
FRUIT OF THE LOOM RAGLAN SLEEVE SWEATSHIRT JUMPER - 13 COLOURS (LARGE - 42/44", DEEP NAVY)
Offered by Indigo Overstocks
Price: £7.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 5 Oct 2011
Having purchased Fruit of the Loom clothing previously I was pleasantly surprised when the sweatshirt arrived and found that it was a good fit (their T-shirts seem to be a little on the small side of the sizing chart). Good value for something to wear in the garage or out in the garden.


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