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colin_e (Nr. Reading, UK)

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Keedox 12V Audio Amplifier - Mini Hi-Fi amplifier Mini Hi-Fi Audio Power Amplifier  Keedox
Keedox 12V Audio Amplifier - Mini Hi-Fi amplifier Mini Hi-Fi Audio Power Amplifier Keedox
Offered by YPC-UK
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More suited to 4 Ohm speakers, but for the price it's a great deal, 19 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted a cheap amplifier to hook up to my old Stereo speakers for an outdoor summer party. I didn't want to risk an expensive "real Hi-Fi" amplifier getting rained on, or being blown up by an over-enthusiastic party goer winding it up to maximum volume.

The amp arrived in just over a week, just in time for me. First impressions are it's tiny and very light, but basic build quality is ok.

Note you will need to have a 12V power supply with the common 5.5/2.1 mm plug on the end. The nice thing is that with a cable with the right connectors you could run this from a car battery and be independent of mains power supply.

I hooked the amp up to my "large bookshelf" speakers, a power supply, and an MP3 player via a 3.5mm stereo jack cable and... it works!

The sound quality was perfectly ok (in the outdoor context), but the output volume was somewhat limited.

I suspect the amp is intended to be used for in-car audio.. This is reflected in the 12V power supply, but also in the speaker matching. Car speakers are typically 4 Ohm (sometimes even 2 Ohm).

Plugged into my domestic speakers (nominally 8 Ohm), the limitation was the amp couldn't go very loud. For me this was actually an advantage, because even if the party goers got over-enthusiastic and cranked the volume up to the max, the system just couldn't go too loud, avoiding both upsetting the neighbors AND the risk of damaging the speakers. However don't expect this little amp to blow the cones out of your speakers with volume, especially if connected to typical home hi-fi 8 Ohm speakers.

For me this was a great success, it gave us good music for our party without putting an expensive Hi-Fi amp at risk. If you can live with the limited power output it's a nifty little piece of kit for the money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2014 11:44 AM BST


NEWLink 4 Port USB 2.0 Self Powered Hub (N14320)
NEWLink 4 Port USB 2.0 Self Powered Hub (N14320)
Offered by sellthemquick
Price: £9.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Power Supply failed after 2 weeks, 17 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this hub to use with a Raspberry Pi plus peripherals. It worked well for about 2 weeks but then the PSU unit failed, it just kept cycling on and off at about 1 second intervals.

The supplier was very good, they provided a freepost returns label without any quibble. Unfortunately they were then out of stock so I didn't get a replacement, just my money refunded.

So, full marks to the supplier, and IF you get a good one this is a good hub to use with a Raspberry Pi, but the quality is clearly variable.


USB 2.0 High Speed 7 Port Slim HUB with 5V PSU UK Power Supply
USB 2.0 High Speed 7 Port Slim HUB with 5V PSU UK Power Supply
Offered by kenable_ltd
Price: £15.21

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but not very cheerful, 17 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Physically fragile, and with a poor PSU. No good for use with a Raspberry Pi

I bought this hub with the intention of using it to connect a Raspberry Pi, Keyboard, Mouse and a 2.5" USB hard disk. I specifically wanted a Hub with a decent power supply (this one is rated at 2A) to power all the devices from the hub.

It arrived quickly and first impressions were good, it's very slim and light with a typical modern shiny black "fingerprint magnet" finish.

Things started to go downhill when I plugged the power supply in. The PSU has a plug that's about 12mm long, but it only slid about half way into the socket on the hub. When I pushed it a little harder to make sure the plug was properly inserted there was a loud cracking sound and the bottom plate of the hub started to break away from the main cover.

The hub still seemed to be working however, so I hooked it up to the Pi and peripherals, but it failed this test too. The claimed 2A power supply should be more than enough to power my hardware. However the Raspberry Pi with USB peripherals needs a good quality power supply that maintains it's rated 5V output under load, and unfortunately the hub falls down again on this.

As soon as the Raspberry Pi started to boot I could see from the range of console errors relating to the USB interface there were going to be problems. The keyboard operation was intermittent, either missing or repeating characters (a classic sign of power supply problems) and although the Pi booted up it crashed within an hour or so. It looks as if it may have corrupted the hard disk, so this isn't going to be an easy thing to fix.

This hub may well work ok with a desktop or laptop PC as a host and USB peripherals that don't need much power. However the plastic casing is lightweight and all to easy to break, more importantly the power supply is weak and not up to delivering anything like it's rated capability.

This hub might work for you if you have modest needs, but if you have a Raspberry Pi definitely look elsewhere.


Hama Skull on Fire PC Headset
Hama Skull on Fire PC Headset
Price: £12.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not very comfortable, and failed after 4 months. Can't Recommend., 8 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this headset for my daughter to take to University so she could listen to music and use them for Skype etc.

First thing to say is that although they look soft + padded in the photos, in the flesh these are rather small headphones and the padding is quite hard and unyielding. As a result they are less comfortable than I would have hoped.

More importantly, after only 4 months regular use they failed with no sound coming out of the right side headphone. Presumably this is a wiring fault but there are no breaks in the visible wiring, meaning perhaps a connection failed inside.

These are pretty cheap headphones so on the comfort side I suppose you can't ask for too much, however to fail after only a few months isn't acceptable, hence the low star rating.


Corsair CH-9000003-UK Vengeance K90 Performance MMO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Corsair CH-9000003-UK Vengeance K90 Performance MMO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely hardware, software needs to catch up, 10 Nov. 2012
The Pros-
---------
+ Really nice hardware design.

+ Value, when you look at the price of other mechanical keyboards and compare them with the K90s all-aluminium easy-clean design, media keys etc. there's really not many other products that can compare.

+ Controllable lighting.

+ Lots of flexibility with media keys (which many gaming keyboards lack) and the programmable key group.

+ I have found Corsair's hardware warranty support to be good on their other products (RAM in my case) and I think I trust them to support the user properly with any hardware issues.

The Cons-
--------
- It's a physically large (wide) keyboard. You need quite a bit of desk space.

- Not all the main keys are mechanical cherry keyswitches. That's fair enough at the K90s price, but it's a nuisance if (a) like me you're a left-hander and use the insert/delete group keys a lot in games; or (b) You want to go creazy with customising your key tops etc. (which a lot of "keyboard enthusiasts" like to do with Cherry-based keyboards).

Ideally Corsair would come out with a "K100" model with Cherry keyswitches for all the main array of keys.

- The K90 has been plagued by software and firmware bugs that Corsair have been slow to address. The worst example is a "random repeating key" bug that reported soon after the keyboard came out that still hasn't been fixed, after something like 4 updates.

There were so many other users that reported issues with the most recent software/firmware update (like their motherboard no longer recognising the keyboard during boot) that I was very nervous about installing it. In then end I was ok, but I'm still concerned that Corsair's testing of the their driver releases may not be up to scratch.

- Like a lot of other modern software, the K90 driver software focus far too on looking "cool" with a non-standard Windows UI appearance, and far too little on good old fashioned functionality and reliability.

- There's rather less capability in the programmability of the K90 than I had hoped, with no real macro language with branching logic etc. In the end I achieved what I wanted with a combination of the Corsair drivers and AutoHotkey for "real" macro programming, but it's a bit of a faff having to use multiple separate bits of software.


R80 ES (E27) Fitting 15w CFL low energy saving reflector spot light bulb. R-80 No flicker. Standard Edison screw fitting (27mm thread diameter) . Warm white light.
R80 ES (E27) Fitting 15w CFL low energy saving reflector spot light bulb. R-80 No flicker. Standard Edison screw fitting (27mm thread diameter) . Warm white light.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent light output but painfully slow to start, 13 Oct. 2012
I bought one of these EverReady CFL spots a while ago (not from this seller) to install in a recessed fitting in a bathroom. Not a great success. When you first walk into the bathroom and turn on the light-nothing happens! It takes nearly 10 minutes to approach full output, which in a bathroom/toilet is not much use at all. All Compact Fluorescents are slow to get to full light output but this is much worse than average.

This bulb would be ok in a situation where it was left on for long periods, but in a bathroom, toilet, storeroom etc. where people are walking in and out, this is not the bulb you need.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2013 11:35 AM GMT


Super Bright GU10 CREE 3*3w 9W High Power LED Light Bulb In WARM WHITE (3000K) ENERGY SAVING SPOTS PERFECT FOR REPLACING 50~60W HALOGEN BULBS - "Combined Purchase Discount Available of up to an additional 12% or more" SAVE MORE!!!
Super Bright GU10 CREE 3*3w 9W High Power LED Light Bulb In WARM WHITE (3000K) ENERGY SAVING SPOTS PERFECT FOR REPLACING 50~60W HALOGEN BULBS - "Combined Purchase Discount Available of up to an additional 12% or more" SAVE MORE!!!
Offered by YODEALS
Price: £7.14

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable bulbs, but not remotely equivalent to 50W, 13 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are reasonable bulbs, but no way are they equivalent to 50W. Subjectively they are about as bright as 35W Halogens, but they have a narrower beam angle so they tend to produce patches of light on the floor rather than an even spread.

It annoys me that suppliers continue to suggest that LED bulbs producing 300-500 Lumens are like-for-like replacements for 50W halogens. They aren't, not even close. A 50W halogen delivers about 900-1000 ANSI Lumens over a wide (often 60 deg.) beam angle and the technology isn't available to produce anything like that from LED yet.

By all means swap to LEDs to save energy but be aware that if you swap 50W halogens for these, or similar, products you will see a noticeable drop in light levels.


5W Dimmable Warm White GU10 LED Bulb. The brightest 5W LED Spotlight currently available and brighter than many higher wattage LED bulbs.
5W Dimmable Warm White GU10 LED Bulb. The brightest 5W LED Spotlight currently available and brighter than many higher wattage LED bulbs.
Offered by LEDLights4less
Price: £11.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly ok, but don't think they are equivalent to a 50W Halogen- They aren't, 13 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are reasonable bulbs, roughly as bright as 13W Compact Fluorescent (CFL) GU10 bulbs so they are efficient, but don't expect them to be as bright as a 50W Halogen. Subjectively they are about as bright as 35W Halogens, but they also have a narrower beam angle so they tend to produce patches of light on the floor rather than an even spread.

To be fair nobody is yet producing a true LED equivalent to a 50W halogen bulb. That would need to be at least 1000 ANSI Lumens and the technology just isn't available to produce that yet. However be aware that if you swap 50W halogens for these, or similar, products you will see a noticeable drop in light levels.


GMYLE (TM) PCI-Express USB 3.0 2 Ports with 4-Pin Molex Power & 20-Pin Connector NEC D720201 Chipset Control Card Adapter
GMYLE (TM) PCI-Express USB 3.0 2 Ports with 4-Pin Molex Power & 20-Pin Connector NEC D720201 Chipset Control Card Adapter
Offered by Clever Gadgets
Price: £13.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight hitch during install, seems ok now. Functional and cheap, 4 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My Asus uATX motherboard only has 2 USB 3.0 ports on the back, so I was looking for a tidy and cost effective way to add some front ports.

I chose this card over several other similar cards on Amazon because:

1) It has a couple of ports on the rear backplate as well as the internal 20 pin connector.

2) It uses the NEC USB 3.0 chip. My motherboard's onboard USB 3.0 ports are on an NEC controller so I was hoping this would mean they could share a driver. A little less software clutter, and some people seem to have problems with the drivers for the VIA USB 3.0 chip. (more on this later)

3) It's cheap!

The card arrived in 2 or 3 days. Just an anti-static bag with the card, an alternative low-profile backplate and a mini-DVD of driver software. Luckily my CD was in good condition. Many people seem to receive bad DVDs with these cheap Chinese cards.

I installed the card and connected the 20 pin header up to an Akasa 3.5" drive bay panel that gave me a 2.5" drive adapter for an SSD one day, plus two front USB 3.0 ports.

I got a nasty surprise when I switched the machine on and it hung at the BIOS start screen, before even starting to boot into Windows. This was a persistent problem, occurring after multiple resets, and to get the machine to boot I had to disconnect the front panel cable from the 20 pin header.

Once I got the machine to boot I found the OS (Windows 7 Pro 64 bit) couldn't find the correct driver automatically. It turns out this card uses the latest NEC controller chip and you need the Renesas (new name for NEC) 3.0.16.0 (at time of writing) driver from the DVD. So hope you get a good DVD!

After installing the driver from the DVD the card was recognised, I reconnected the header and the machine was able to boot correctly. So at this point (fingers crossed) it's looking good. Four more fast USB 3.0 ports without breaking the bank.


ROCCAT Kova[+] Max Performance Gaming Mouse (ROC-11-520)
ROCCAT Kova[+] Max Performance Gaming Mouse (ROC-11-520)
Offered by Only Sportsgear
Price: £47.49

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of style, substance slightly less so, 29 May 2012
I've had this mouse just a few days, so long-term reliability is an unknown. It may seem harsh giving only 3 stars to a device that hasn't really done anything wrong yet, but if you're spending £40 on a mouse I think you have every right to be demanding, and the Kova+ is a bit of mixed bag.

To reiterate the points that others have made-

* This mouse is quite small, in particular being very slim left-to-right and extremely light. If you have average size hands, for a man, you are definitely going to need to use a fingertip control "claw grip", this is not a big mouse to slide your whole hand+arm around on.

* Yes it's very pretty. With the matt black finish and angular lines it looks very sexy (to the extent a mouse can look "sexy"). With the correct dark blue illumination selected to match my new keyboard in the half-dark it looks great.

Having said that, I suspect most users over about 12 years old will find the more OTT visual effects like "pulsing" or colour-changing lights to be just a little silly and turn them off in the driver after 5 minutes of experimenting.

* The side buttons are pretty stiff (hard to click). Unless the two smallest fingers on your hand are as strong and mobile as a monkey's arm you should really consider this an "ambidextrous 5 button" mouse not a "7 button" mouse.

Also the "button shift" feature can only be assigned to either of the the rearmost side buttons, so if you want to use that it costs you another one of your 5 usable buttons.

* Having said that I use the mouse in my left hand so i'm really keen to see manufacturers continue to support us "lefties".

Further comments-

+ The control software is actually pretty powerful, and so far I have found it to be reasonably easy to use and quite reliable (on Windows 7 Pro 64 bit). Given the awful state of a lot of PC peripheral driver software (yes I mean you Corsair Vengeance drivers...) this is a big plus.

- Similar to the stiff side buttons, the centre wheel click is also much stiffer than the main L/R buttons and this does detract from the cohesive, quality feel of the device.

NOTE-

* With the driver/firmware version I currently have (v1.25/v1.17) I discovered that if you set the mouse polling rate to anything below the default of 1000Hx the mouse wheel starts missing or skipping up/down rolling events, to the point that if you select to poll at the minimum 125Hz the wheel basically stops working!

It appears this is a known bug, so it means you really can't use this feature and have to run at the max polling rate all the time. Hopefully a firmware upgrade will cure this at some point.

* When I raised this problem with Roccat support I got an email back with the answer the following day. A lot of companies selling to end users / consumers have little or no support so all credit to Roccat for responding quickly and efficiently.

Overall-

You get the feeling a lot of what you're paying for with this mouse is the style and the software, plus a sensor and about 4oz of plastic. You get quite a bit of capability for your money, but it's lightweight and doesn't feel very solid or robust. The inconsistent weighting of the various buttons is definately a downside for me, it makes this "high end" mouse feel in some ways inferior to a 5 year old Generic Microsoft or Logitech wired mouse, even if the sensor has better performance.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2014 5:41 PM BST


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