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Minty (Bristol, England)

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Polar T31 Coded Transmitter
Polar T31 Coded Transmitter
Price: £23.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great with gym equipment, 29 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a heart rate monitor strap to use in the gym, and after searching around decided on the T31 Coded Transmitter. So far so good - it just works with the equipment in my gym (Technogym and Startrac) without any need to do anything other than wear it as described in the brief instruction leaflet. So, I'm pretty pleased with that! It loses a star due to the lack of replaceable battery, though it should last me quite a number of years as I do only use it in the gym. However there are a few guides out there to replacing the battery yourself, even though it's not constructed to allow this

USB Mini Desktop Power PC Laptop Fan Desk Table MAC by BuyinCoins
USB Mini Desktop Power PC Laptop Fan Desk Table MAC by BuyinCoins
Offered by Liroyal
Price: £2.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Good little fans, 19 Sept. 2013
I already had a fan identical to this from a different vendor which expired just after its first birthday. I considered trying to fix it but I'd have had to find a replacement switch to fit, or USB cable or motor which would have been more expensive than buying a whole new fan.

However, these are good little fans and perfect for the office desk - providing a cooling breeze without being too cold or blowing paper all over the place. The on/off switch is especially useful - saving having to plug/unplug the fan all the time.

So I decided to buy another one. It arrived in 8 days direct from China and was well packaged in bubble wrap and polystyrene. It works fine and is actually a bit quieter than my old one. The motor looks slightly different - no doubt these are sourced from many factories and I'm sure the parts can vary a bit.

Anyway I'm happy again to have a cooling breeze again now that the guardians of the office windows have resolutely slammed them shut for the winter.. (winter is any time between August and June apparently)


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to work very well, 26 July 2013
I have an outside lamp that is dawn-to-dusk on a low level light, then full brightness if the PIR detects movement etc. So, normal CFL lamps are no good as it needs a 'dimmable' bulb. Online research indicated it would be 50/50 whether a dimmable LED would work due to the different dimmers that are often required for LED bulbs. I'm happy to say that this bulb works very well. I have set it to a low level for normal operation, and it comes on at full brightness when the PIR activates - and is only 7w so saves a bit of power over the 60w bulb that was there before.

The light itself is a very white as you'd expect from an LED, vs the softer colours of a filament bulb. Also, these bulbs do not have as wide a dimming range as normal bulbs. However it works fine for the purpose intended so I'm happy.

In theory it should last for years but time will tell.

Gerber Recon Task Light Torch
Gerber Recon Task Light Torch
Offered by ToysElite
Price: £19.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Torch, 20 Feb. 2013
I read quite a few reviews before buying and I am happy to say that I'm not disappointed with this little torch. You really need to be aware that this is a small 'task' based torch. So if you're looking for something to throw a beam 100ft into the trees then look elsewhere.

It is nicely made, seems very sturdy and the plastic lens selection bezel has a very positive click to it. Also there are double o-rings sealing the switch/battery cover which is unusual. Gerber do not claim that this torch is 'waterproof', merely 'water resistant'. I have no qualms about using it in any weather however.

It has many uses, not just military. The red and green lights are good for map or other note reading whether you're just camping, on a boat etc. It'll be a really handy sailing torch for chart work and general fossicking around for stuff whilst preserving night vision. The addition of a hole in the end-cap means that with some para-cord added it can be slung around your neck - useful if you need both hands free to sort out a jammed roller reefer or re-set mooring lines for example.

The red light is noticeably dimmer than the other colours, but still good enough to shine at the ground to check where you're walking if needs be.

I think people that describe this as a toy have misunderstood its purpose (or been mislead). It is well made, has a lifetime warranty and a myriad of uses to complement other sources of lighting. It goes well with my LED Lenser P7 which is like a searchlight in comparison, but can be *too* bright sometimes for close up use.

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock HF3510/01 with Sunrise Simulation - 3 Sounds and Radio Function
Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock HF3510/01 with Sunrise Simulation - 3 Sounds and Radio Function
Price: £100.00

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, works well, 8 Feb. 2013
I purchased this after spending some time researching and looking at 2nd hand lamps on a certain auction site. There is a confusing multitude of Philips lamp versions - seemingly they change every year. That's before you start trying to compare them to Lumie equivalents. I'd pretty much decided on one of the newer vertical Philips lamps, until I realised that they're not all equal. Some have normal bulbs, some halogen, some CFL, all of varying wattage - and not all are replaceable. A bit of a minefield really, especially when buying second hand.

I decided to get this light brand new because:

- 2nd hand prices were approaching new prices for many lamp models out there.

- It is LED based which, whilst technically not easily replaceable does have the advantage of long life, low power usage and low temperature operation.

- I think the Philips lamps just look a lot nicer than the Lumie ones.


Philips are a little creative with some of their imagery, I've seen some pictures where the clock glows gently out of a uniformly bright lamp face. The reality is different. The bottom third is much darker and contains the clock display. Only the top two thirds of the lamp light up. In fact you can see this in the pictures associated with this particular listing. Anyway, it looks good on the bedside table, kind of a smooth glowy soft pebbly thing ;-)


The clock brightness can be dimmed by 4 levels, and the dimmest is pretty dim. I don't like over-bright clocks at night and this is fine. It is a shame it doesn't have an auto-dimmer like every other bedside clock made since 1980. However it DOES put the clock brightness up when the light is on, and it reverts to your pre-set brightness when the light is off.

The radio is FM only which in some ways is a shame. However the DAB reception in my bedroom isn't great so it would probably need an enormous aerial to sound good. The FM reception is excellent given that it just has one of those dangly wire aerials. The sound quality sounds good to me too, in some ways better than my Pure DAB Classic - sort of 'clearer' on speech programmes. I can't comment on what Radio 1 at full volume sounds like as I don't drive a white van for a living ;-)


Many have commented on the strange layout of the buttons, spread around the rim of the light face. It is a little odd at first but didn't take more than a couple of days to get used to. There are raised images on the buttons so you can identify the function when looking at them. If it's dark, unless you can read braille it is a case of remembering what is where. The raised pictures enable you to feel where each button is more easily anyway. On the rim are the controls for setting the alarm time/enabling the alarm, controlling the light, snooze and clock brightness, FM radio & volume, and the Zzz button (sleep timer). On the front are four touch sensitive areas marked menu, select and << >>. The latter change values up and down or tune the FM radio. The touch areas glow in anticipation as your finger approaches which is kind of cool. There's also a clicky noise to indicate they've registered your press - though this can be turned off if desired.

You have to pre-set your 'wake up profile' from the menu which means the maximum light brightness, alarm action (tweety birds, radio etc.) and the maximum alarm volume. Once you've done this it is just a case of pressing the alarm button to activate the alarm. The first time you do this you need to set the alarm time, and after that it remembers it (but you can change it easily when activating the alarm).

The sounds are a dawn chorus type tweeting, something similar with cuckoos I think, and some music. I believe there's also an alarm beep which I've not tried out. Personally I prefer to be woken by a blackbird - must be a result of all those 'come and praise' books back in Primary school ;-) the sounds are on a fairly short loop, but if you've ever heard the dawn chorus, birds are pretty repetitive at the best of times lol. I can't say it bothers me. There is no way to add your own sound via USB on this model.

Well.... yes! :) It took a few days to work out the best sound and light levels, but after day 1 I switched off my normal alarm clock completely as I was happy it wasn't needed any more. Obviously different people are going to respond in different ways but I find that I am indeed more ready to get up at 06.30 than I would be by being beaten around the head by my old alarm clock. I find that if I am facing the light I will wake up 5-10 minutes before the birds start tweeting. If I am facing away I might wake up a bit later or just be almost awake when the birds start up. That's then enough to wake me fully.

I'd be lying if I said that now every morning I spring from bed fully alert and ready to face the day. However I do feel more awake, and it is a lot easier to get up straight away rather than hitting snooze 27 times as I'd do previously. The snooze on this clock is 9 mins which is a bit too long for my liking so I don't use it. Note that snooze only affects your chosen alarm noise, not the light - which stays on. That makes sense if you think about it.

The light starts its routine half an hour before your alarm time with a dim-orangey glow that slowly brightens to whatever you've set as your maximum level. At full brightness it is a bright white light (well it is an LED after all). It is NOT a coloured sunrise effect - I believe the next model up has that option however.

I'm finding I used the Zzz (sleep timer) as well. I always have my DAB radio set to 45min sleep timer when I go to bed, but I have been trying just the FM radio/light to do this instead and it seems to work well - I always drift off and because it reduces the radio volume gently at the end there's no sudden transition to silence. The fading light does seem to help sleep also - though I set it quite dim before activating the timer anyway.


I'm glad I paid a little more for this model brand new rather than saving a few quid on a second hand one from the bay of plenty. The prices fluctuate often so if it seems a bit pricy just watch it for a while until the price drops again. I'm very happy with my purchase and would recommend it. It is expensive, but then so are all the other similar options. The use of an LED means it doesn't burn much electricity either which is nice.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2014 1:00 AM GMT

Jvc Haeb75b Sports Ear Clip Headphones with Adjustable Clip - Black
Jvc Haeb75b Sports Ear Clip Headphones with Adjustable Clip - Black
Offered by Price Grabber
Price: £6.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and cheerful, 9 Aug. 2012
Well I saw mixed reviews but decided to get these as they were cheap. I wanted some earphones for running which wouldn't fall out like my usual ear-buds do.

First impressions were mixed. They look OK, but the adjustability doesn't have any/much resistance - the earpiece pretty much just slides up and down the clip part at will. They also felt quite loose in my ears compared to ear-buds which are fitted tightly.

As I bought these for running, I thought I'd better go for a run! And, actually they were fine. They stayed in place perfectly and only felt a bit weird because they just rest in my ears rather than being plugged in like normal ear-buds. Also the sound was fine too - although a volume control on the cord would be nice (but hey, these are cheap so no probs really). They are OK for comfort - I wouldn't want to wear them all day but for 45 mins they were absolutely fine.

Going by the mixed reviews for these (and many other clip type earphones) it probably comes down to the shape of your ears. Luckily for me they fit fine and stay in place whilst running which is all I wanted. If these break outside of the warranty there's a good chance I'd replace them like for like as they're cheap and do the job.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good protective cover, 4 July 2012
I'm not usually a fan of this style of phone case, but decided I wanted something to add a bit of protection to my Nokia. TPU has an advantage over the more common silicone in that it is less 'sticky' and doesn't attract dust and pocket fluff in the same way.

The cover is shiny black & fairly unobtrusive when fitted to the phone, and the fit is very good and secure. The side buttons are covered, but with cut-outs inside. So, although you do have to press a bit harder to operate them, they still work well. The TPU material is stretchy enough to make it very easy to remove the cover if required. THe USB, headphone, mic, speaker and camera lens are all left uncovered as you'd expect.

It feels like the cover provides some impact resistance, and will certainly protect the phone case from scratches and the like, it also makes the phone more comfortable to hold.

I'm happy with it and see no reason why it shouldn't last the life of the phone.

Black PC USB Retro Office Desk Fan - PC, Laptop, Mac by Gadget Juice
Black PC USB Retro Office Desk Fan - PC, Laptop, Mac by Gadget Juice
Offered by IZKA
Price: £8.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well, 26 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had been using 12v fans cobbled to USB leads for a while, but they don't move much air when running on 5v. So I thought I'd try a proper USB fan.

This fan works pretty well actually. It's not too loud - though as it's a small fan turning at high speed there's always going to be some noise. I like the on/off switch. I'd prefer it if it had a proper variable speed controller but for this price that was never going to happen! The foam feet do a good job of isolating any vibration away from the desk too.

It looks fairly unobtrusive on my desk, and doesn't look too cheap and nasty in plain black. It was packed just in a cardboard box which had clearly been used for a game of corridor rugby by the delivery company. However the fan itself had survived unscathed somehow - I was expecting it to be in several pieces when I saw the state of the box.

The airflow is fairly diffuse, and like all small fans you have to find the 'sweet spot' where the flow is greatest. For me this is with it pointing approx 45deg away from me.

I'm happy with it because full size desk fans tend to freeze the side of your face or blow all your papers around. Whereas this emits a nice breeze which isn't too powerful but enough to help cool you in an open plan office (where the temperature is ALWAYS set to 150C, and any opening windows are always guarded by people who would feel cold in Death Valley at noon...;-)

And finally: The box proudly states: "Lileng-816 USB Mini fan. Ultra-low Power-wind Volume. Shape Amiability. Free Angle Adjustment. Super Mute"

And if anyone can translate the following for me I'd appreciate it: "Do not open the fan on its own network or decomposition of the first modification of this commodity"

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2012 4:10 PM BST

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout
Price: £24.97

177 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for sofa-surfing!, 18 Jan. 2012
I bought this to use with a small 'under telly' PC that's mainly used for a bit of web surfing and watching downloaded iPlayer content. The PC runs Ubuntu GNU/Linux and I already had a wireless keyboard/mouse combo which worked usually, but suffered from reliability issues - the mouse had a habit of going crazy unless kept close to the receiver (like 1m away). Plus it was heavy and used loads of batteries.

So I was after either a trackball or trackpad keyboard. I happened to see this one first and the price was reasonable so I bought it.

Initial impressions were excellent - I plugged the tiny usb dongle into the PC and rebooted. First off, this keyboard works with the BIOS so you can alter settings without plugging in a different one.

Secondly... it just worked with Ubuntu. Straight away, with no fuss, from a distance farther away than it's possible to read text on the TV screen. No faffing with drivers or anything else. Phew :)

The keyboard layout is a little quirky, but no worse than many laptops. As this is smaller and [much] lighter than a normal keyboard, the large trackpad takes up the space where the number keys would usually be. Also the enter key is rather small and some of the auxiliary keys are scrunched up or moved around a bit. Page/up down and similar are accessed via a function key but this is all clearly marked on the keyboard and easy to get used to. The keys require a fairly firm press to register - if you're a light typer you might find the od drped chrcter.

The large trackpad is very responsive and works accurately. I have no problem clicking on menus and buttons and so on. The only minor issue I have is that it can be hard to resize windows sometimes in Unity - but this is mostly down to Canonical's current 'my way or the highway' approach to its users at the moment :-| (the grab area for the window edges is very tiny).

Oh yes, my one reservation was the loss of the 'scroll wheel' functionality from the mouse. But I discovered that you can scroll using two parallel fingers as the trackpad supports 'multi-touch'.

I would prefer the mouse buttons to be a little further away from the trackpad too but again it's just a case of getting used to the layout as I'm not normally a trackpad user.

The other hardwired buttons are a second 'left click' mouse button on the left hand side which is very useful. and mute/volume controls which work in Linux. Also there's a 'home' button which opens your homepage if you're in a web browser, or your home folder if you're not. The usual plethora of 'media' buttons is missing but as I never used them that's fine by me. Oh, there's a tiny on/off switch too.

The keyboard is amazingly light and can be held in one hand to type with the other if required. There are no fold-out legs but the battery compartment provides a slight angle to the keys when the unit is on a flat surface.

Apparently the batteries should last for around a year.

All in all I'm very pleased with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a small/light ingegrated keyboard and mouse replacement. Oh, there's space to carry the dongle around in the battery compartment too if you're taking it with you to use elsewhere. Nice little touch.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2013 1:04 PM BST

Trans X Alloy Ski Bend Bar Ends in Silver
Trans X Alloy Ski Bend Bar Ends in Silver
Offered by bikes4life limited
Price: £13.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Light and strong, 6 Jan. 2012
These are nice and light and seem very well made - there was even grease on the clamp bolt when I removed it! They're a standard size and length and come mounted on card, and include the bar-end caps if you haven't got them already. I also like the fact that these have narrower clamps than really cheapo steel bar ends, so you have to cut away far less of the grips to fit them. If you have foam grips, you might well get away with compressing them along the bar rather than cutting them.

So far they've stayed in place, and make cycling up the steep hill to work a little more comfortable. So for the money an excellent bargain.

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