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Steve at Barton (Hampshire)
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Ronseal - Smooth Finish Exterior Multi Purpose Ready Mix Filler Tub 1.2 kg
Ronseal - Smooth Finish Exterior Multi Purpose Ready Mix Filler Tub 1.2 kg
Price: £5.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Job done!, 3 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We had a couple of windows reduced in size, and as the walls were rendered there was a fairly obvious join between the old and the new. Once the new rendering had dried out properly I gave it a couple of coats of Sandtex, which helped, but after a few months the edges of the new rendering crumbled slightly so I needed something to repair it. I tried some general purpose filler which was claimed to be OK for exterior use, but it was not particularly effective and after a while started to bubble and crack, so after a bit of research I decided to give this Ronseal filler a try.
Initially I removed all of the damaged areas back to solid rendering. The product is grey in colour and was fairly easy to apply, although once I got started it was evident that the smooth finish was actually too smooth to match the rendering. Not a fault of the product, it is meant to be smooth - the clue is in the name! So just before it finally dried I tried stippling it with a dry stiff brush, which helped a bit, bit still not an exact match. Once it had fully dried out I gave it one coat of Sandtex, but the filled area was still noticeably smoother, so in the end I added some extra sand to some of the Sandtex (I used sharp sand, but sieved it beforehand with a very fine mesh - actually an old tea strainer - to remove the larger particles) and this was very effective, and blended in almost perfectly. That was about 18 months ago, and after two winters the repair is still holding good, the filler has not deteriorated at all, and now that the repainted area has weathered in I am the only one who can see where it has been done.
I have given this product 5 stars because although it did not fully meet my specific needs on this occasion, it did perform as it was supposed to.


TomTom Start 25 5-Inch Sat Nav with UK & Ireland Lifetime Map Updates
TomTom Start 25 5-Inch Sat Nav with UK & Ireland Lifetime Map Updates
Price: £79.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and easy to use, 31 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After owning a couple of cars with built in TomTom I have got used to having one, not becessarily to navigate, but just to have it switched on showing my current location, and upcoming roads and junctions. Whilst a standalone device is obviously not as convenient as a built in one, this does come pretty close. I particularly like the option to set it to switch on and off automatically when the ignition is turned on or off, which I don't think is available on some makes /models.

I did have a problem registering it, because TomTom will only allow one device to be linked per email account, and do not have any way that you can unlink it yourself. However, I emailed their customer services and within 24 hours they deleted the previous registration.

My only ongoing complaint for daily operation is that I do have to press an "OK" button on the screen before it switches to the map display. Other than that it is fine - I have got it semi-permanently mounted near the audio on my car, so the screen is out of direct sunlight and it is also less conspicuous both when driving, and when the car is parked (although I do use a makeshift cover to obscure it if feel it necessary to). It usually locks onto satellites almost immediately, and the user interface is generally quite logical and straightforward.


Acctim 24671 Polima Day Of The Week Wall Clock, Natural
Acctim 24671 Polima Day Of The Week Wall Clock, Natural
Price: £31.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking clock, happy with purchase, 11 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Smart looking clock, the wooden surround is very well finished, and it looks like a quality timepiece. Bought it for the "Day" indicator - looked at a number of different clocks with this feature and this was by far the nicest looking one. Keeps good time too.


Inforad K3 Speed Camera Warning System - New Updated Version (supersedes K2)
Inforad K3 Speed Camera Warning System - New Updated Version (supersedes K2)
Offered by Electronics and Gadgets Direct Ltd
Price: £49.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to do what it is supposed to, 18 July 2015
Quite like this device - have had the Snooper S2 Neo for a few years now, which does the same job but needs to be plugged in to the lighter socket as it has no internal battery - not always straightforward in some cars. Also, the Snooper update software does not work on anything higher than Windows 7. The Inforad K3 overcomes both of these issues, as it is rechargeable and is capable of being updated on Windows 8. Decided to go for the Deluxe version of the Inforad K3 as it comes with a mains charging adaptor and also a leather case, useful if you want to swap it between vehicles.

It arrived promptly and after reading some of the other reviews I was pleased to find that the instructions were in English, although I had already found them online before ordering. The software downloaded easily and the K3 was fairly straightforward and quick to update. You can also change various settings at the same time, for example how much warning you want before a camera, and how soon after you have passed it before you get the all clear.

In use, it was very easy to position, I just sat it on the dashboard on a non-slip mat and because it is so light and compact it seems to be fine like that. It acquired satellites in under a minute. So far it has always given correct warnings on my known routes, the warning beeps are quite loud on the top setting, and not too annoying, but the lights are pretty useless in daylight. I have timed the battery life and it seems to be OK for five hours which is more than enough for my normal journeys, and recharging via the supplied mains adaptor takes about an hour and a half. Alternatively you do have the option of charging it in the car although this does of course mean that you need to have a lead trailing across the dashboard, although not permanently. I have tried plugging it directly into the car socket adaptor and it does seem to detect satellites OK most of the time, but this would of course vary from car to car depending on the location of the socket.

TIP: Shop around - at the time I bought mine I found that the cheapest offering was direct from Inforad, either from their own website, or even better from their own eBay listing.


Inforad K3 Deluxe Speed Camera warning device
Inforad K3 Deluxe Speed Camera warning device
Offered by Electronics and Gadgets Direct Ltd
Price: £49.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to do what it is supposed to, 1 July 2015
Quite like this device - have had the Snooper S2 Neo for a few years now, which does the same job but needs to be plugged in to the lighter socket as it has no internal battery - not always straightforward in some cars. Also, the Snooper update software does not work on anything higher than Windows 7. The Inforad K3 overcomes both of these issues, as it is rechargeable and is capable of being updated on Windows 8. Decided to go for the Deluxe version of the Inforad K3 as it comes with a mains charging adaptor and also a leather case, useful if you want to swap it between vehicles.

It arrived promptly and after reading some of the other reviews I was pleased to find that the instructions were in English, although I had already found them online before ordering. The software downloaded easily and the K3 was fairly straightforward and quick to update. You can also change various settings at the same time, for example how much warning you want before a camera, and how soon after you have passed it before you get the all clear.

In use, it was very easy to position, I just sat it on the dashboard on a non-slip mat and because it is so light and compact it seems to be fine like that. It acquired satellites in under a minute. So far it has always given correct warnings on my known routes, the warning beeps are quite loud on the top setting, and not too annoying, but the lights are pretty useless in daylight. I have timed the battery life and it seems to be OK for five hours which is more than enough for my normal journeys, and recharging via the supplied mains adaptor takes about an hour and a half. Alternatively you do have the option of charging it in the car although this does of course mean that you need to have a lead trailing across the dashboard, although not permanently. I have tried plugging it directly into the car socket adaptor and it does seem to detect satellites OK most of the time, but this would of course vary from car to car depending on the location of the socket.

TIP: Shop around - at the time I bought mine I found that the cheapest offering was direct from Inforad, either from their own website, or even better from their own eBay listing.


Samsung BD-F8500M 3D Smart Blu-ray Disc Player with 500GB HDD and Built In Wi-Fi (New for 2013)
Samsung BD-F8500M 3D Smart Blu-ray Disc Player with 500GB HDD and Built In Wi-Fi (New for 2013)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NO, NO, NO!, 29 April 2015
Bought from a local independent retailer in November 2014. Seemed OK at first, set up was fairly simple, although in common with other reviewers I was not impressed with the user interface, which was one of the worst I have come across.

However, after about six weeks it started to record programs but would not let me watch them - a red circle with a bar across it was superimposed over the thumbnail, and if I pressed play it went to the next recording. Not every recording, just the occasional one, but totally random. So, I reformatted the hard disc, and all seemed OK for a couple of weeks, then it started happening again. Contacted the retailer who suggested I should phone the Samsung repair agent direct, and they could probably talk me through a solution on the phone. WRONG! They had no idea, and needed to see it for themselves. So, took it back to the retailer who sent it off to the repairers, and that was the last I saw of it for four weeks.

When it came back I was told they had fitted a new main board so it was effectively a new machine. Maybe, but after a couple of weeks, the same problem recurred. Took it back to the retailer and asked where they kept their rubbish skip, but instead they sent it back to the repairers.

Another two weeks went by, during which time the repairers contacted Samsung and were told that there was a known issue with this machine, but this would be corrected by a firmware update which would be released "sometime" - notice the lack of any timescale? Fortunately the retailer was extremely helpful, and said that whilst they could give me a new machine this could well have the same problem and they offered me a full refund there and then, which I was very pleased to accept.

So, a bad experience but with a happy ending, but only thanks to the retailer. When it went away the second time, I bought a Humax HD recorder as a stop-gap, intending to use it in the conservatory once the Samsung was sorted. However, I have been so impressed with it that I am now using it as my main recorder, and so far it has beaten the Samsung hands down. See my separate review if you are interested.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2015 2:36 PM BST


Samsung BD-H8500M 3D Smart Blu-ray Disc Player with 500GB HDD and Built In Wi-Fi
Samsung BD-H8500M 3D Smart Blu-ray Disc Player with 500GB HDD and Built In Wi-Fi
Price: £162.00

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NO, NO, NO!, 25 April 2015
Bought from a local independent retailer in November 2014. Seemed OK at first, set up was fairly simple, although in common with other reviewers I was not impressed with the user interface, which was one of the worst I have come across.

However, after about six weeks it started to record programs but would not let me watch them - a red circle with a bar across it was superimposed over the thumbnail, and if I pressed play it went to the next recording. Not every recording, just the occasional one, but totally random. So, I reformatted the hard disc, and all seemed OK for a couple of weeks, then it started happening again. Contacted the retailer who suggested I should phone the Samsung repair agent direct, and they could probably talk me through a solution on the phone. WRONG! They had no idea, and needed to see it for themselves. So, took it back to the retailer who sent it off to the repairers, and that was the last I saw of it for four weeks.

When it came back I was told they had fitted a new main board so it was effectively a new machine. Maybe, but after a couple of weeks, the same problem recurred. Took it back to the retailer and asked where they kept their rubbish skip, but instead they sent it back to the repairers.

Another two weeks went by, during which time the repairers contacted Samsung and were told that there was a known issue with this machine, but this would be corrected by a firmware update which would be released "sometime" - notice the lack of any timescale? Fortunately the retailer was extremely helpful, and said that whilst they could give me a new machine this could well have the same problem and they offered me a full refund there and then, which I was very pleased to accept.

So, a bad experience but with a happy ending, but only thanks to the retailer. When it went away the second time, I bought a Humax HD recorder as a stop-gap, intending to use it in the conservatory once the Samsung was sorted. However, I have been so impressed with it that I am now using it as my main recorder, and so far it has beaten the Samsung hands down. See my separate review if you are interested.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2016 10:29 PM GMT


Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview Receiver with HD
Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview Receiver with HD
Offered by Hughes Direct
Price: £144.99

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe how good this is!, 16 April 2015
Have had my Humax HDR-1800T 320GB Freeview HD recorder for just three days now, not very long I know, but I am so impressed with it that I wanted to write about it straight away. For the record, I got a refurbished one from eBay, from a seller I have used before and trust, and paid £80 including Parcelforce 24 delivery. When it arrived it was in the proper box, everything was there, and it looked absolutely brand new.

Anyway, it was very easy to set up, I didn't even read the manual (typical bloke!). I did find though that it has two standby settings, and on the powersave option the aerial throughfeed to the TV is disabled until the Humax is switched on. So, I have put it onto "normal" standby which presumably uses a tad more power, but does allow the TV to be used independently.

Setting recordings is easy, you just highlight the program in the guide, hit the OK button, confirm that you want to record it, job done. The guide seems to load very quickly, unlike some, but it does only cover 8 days so you can't set recordings beyond this using the guide. However, you can set a recording manually, via the yellow button once the guide is on screen, and this is also very simple. So far, the recordings I have made have been very good, and importantly they seem to be adjusted for early/late start and end times, although whether this will apply to all channels I have yet to find out. However, if necessary you can set the machine to "pad" the start and end times of all recordings by anything from one minute up to ten minutes to overcome this, or if you prefer you can edit individual scheduled recordings to add a few extra minutes if you want.

Watching recordings is simple, hit the "Media" button, and there they all are in a list, which shows a thumbnail picture of the recording, the title, the start time and date, duration, and the TV channel it was on. Just press the "Play" button and away you go. When it is finished the screen goes back to the list, and you can delete the recording via the "OPT+" button.

OK, there are inevitably a few minus points so far:
1) It soes not have WiFi capability so if you want to connnect it to the internet you either need an ethernet cable to your modem, or you can buy a USB dongle, although this has to be a very specific type with a Ralink RT3070 chipset as the Humax is preprogrammed with the driver for this, and there is no way to install an alernative driver. This is not an issue for me, I don't intend to use it on my home network, so the only reason I can see that I would need to connect it to the internet is to update the software. If/when I need to do this, I will just need to get a suitably long ethernet cable (5 metres in my case) which I can buy for well under a fiver, and just connect it temporarily.
2) Part of the hard drive appears to be "reserved" for some reason, so only about 89% of the 320GB is available for recording. I can only assume that this is something to do with the facility to rewind live TV. Again, not an issue as far as I am concerned, we tend to delete recordings as soon as we have watched them, so there is plenty of capacity anyway. If you want to spend more money, then this model also comes with either a 500GB or a 1TB hard drive.
3) It is only a HD recorder and cannot be used to play DVD's, so if you need that option you might need to look at a different machine, or use a separate DVD player.

Incidentally, when I did get round to looking at the manual, I though it was actually well written and helpful, not too much jargon, and a lot better than most.

Just a word of warning, this review is for the Freeview version of this machine, Humax also produce a YouView version which has different features, in particular I understand that it does not have a facility to manually schedule recordings or to pad recording times, and there will also presumably be other differences. Make sure you know what you are buying!

I hope this review has been useful. If appropriate I will update it at a later date with any additional info (good or bad).
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2015 8:44 AM GMT


Braun CruZer5 Clean Shave Electric Foil Shaver
Braun CruZer5 Clean Shave Electric Foil Shaver
Offered by Innox Trading
Price: £33.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive bit of kit, 8 Mar. 2015
Very happy with this shaver. I have tended to stick with Remingtons in the past, but decided to give Braun a try and it was a good choice. Have had this for just under three weeks now and it is still on its initial charge which took under two hours.

Being colour blind, I like the fact that there are two separate LEDs on the shaver to indicate the charging status, rather than a single one which just changes colour when it is finished. May sound like a small point but if you are colour blind then believe me it matters!

In use it is pretty quiet, and for me it gives a good close shave with little effort. The intercept cutter between the two foils is also quite efficient, and if necessary the separate pop-up trimmer is very easy to deploy. The shape and feel are also good, there are rubbery grips on the side which make quite a difference.

Cleaning is relatively easy, the whole foil assembly pops off as a single integrated unit. It can be rinsed under a tap to get rid of the accumulated debris, but I have found that it is best to try and clear as much of this as possible beforehand. You are not supposed to use the brush as it can apparently damage some of the parts, but I find that most of it can be blown away, although I do try to do this outside or in the garage. I do use the brush (carefully) on the main unit, and then finish off with a quick rinse. Finaly I dry it as best I can with kitchen roll, and then leave it to on a shelf for a few hours before putting it back together.

No real drawbacks, there is no case supplied which is a pity, but my old Remington one was a good fit. The charging unit only has a two pin plug so you need either a special shaver socket or an adaptor, but that is pretty much the norm as far as I know. One word of warning, if you Google this, Braun also do a Cruzer 5 Beard Trimmer, which tends to be somewhat cheaper, so make sure you know which you are getting. It is certainly worth shopping around though, this particular model is currently being sold for up to £90 in some stores, I managed to find one at well under half that price including delivery ( but sorry, they have sold out now!).

Happy shaving.........
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2015 2:35 PM GMT


Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 inch External Hard Drive for PC, Xbox One & Xbox 360
Seagate Expansion 500GB USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 inch External Hard Drive for PC, Xbox One & Xbox 360
Offered by Maplin_Webdeals
Price: £35.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly with my Smart TV, just what I wanted., 11 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recently upgraded to a new Samsung Smart TV with two tuners so have been looking for a suitable hard drive to enable me to record via the TV itself. Looked at various options and decided to go for the Seagate based on other favourable reviews and also the manufacturers reputation. As we already have a separate HDD recorder, I went for the lowest capacity 500GB version as this would only be used as an extra means of recording when required.
The unit is basically just a small and unobtrusive black box, which is all I wanted as it is just going to sit behind the TV out of sight. It comes with a fairly short lead, about 18 inches long, which was about an inch too short to enable the unit to sit flat when connected up. However, I had already planned to stick it on the back of the TV with some velcro, so it was actually quite useful tht the lead was not too long. Once connected I turned the TV on and immediately got a message on screen saying that a new device had been detected, and asking if I wished to format it. Once I had confirmed this, the whole process was carried out automatically and took about two or three minutes to complete, and that was it. I imagine that this would be similar on other makes of TV. In use, the HDD seems to be performing perfectly, it loads up pretty much instantly when selected as a source, and does not seem to make any noise, so I am quite happy with it.


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