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Artis 120m Twin Mains Plug-in Wireless Cordless Doorbell Door Chime
Artis 120m Twin Mains Plug-in Wireless Cordless Doorbell Door Chime
Offered by Safield Dist. Ltd
Price: £39.99

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A couple of minor issues, but ones that should not affect long-term use, 30 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'd purchased this doorbell as a replacement for another 2 plug-in chime unit that started randomly going off in the middle of the night - after the second time, it was clear that water ingress was causing a problem, prompting me to look at a number of possible replacements. This is the one I settled on.

Unlike my previous unit, this one has the tune set by the chime rather than the bell push. This isn't a problem for me, as we only have a bell on the front door, but if you were looking for something where you could identify which of a number of doors a visitor was waiting, you should probably look elsewhere.

We wanted a dual chime unit as we live in a three storey house, and it's difficult to position a single chime so that it can be heard from anywhere, particularly if internal doors are shut. One is placed in the hall with just double glazing and a PVC door between it and the bell push, but the other is placed in the second floor (a converted loft). In a straight line it's only about ten metres away, but it has to pass through a lot of brick and steel I-beams to get there. We've had no problems at all with signal strength in this set up - a press of the button rings both chimes without fail.

The setup was a little tight for this unit. A post mortem (I'm an electronics engineer, I couldn't resist) of our old unit reveled that water ingress was likely to be causing the phantom ringing in out old unit, so I was keen to make sure this wasn't going to be a problem with this unit. The bell push comes with a sticky pad or screws. Ideally, we'd have used the sticky pad on the side of the PVC door, but the bell push is quite wide and we didn't have a face wide enough to accommodate it, so it had to be screwed in to the brick at the side.

This obviously means holes have to be created in the bell push housing. Ideally, I wanted to seal them with hot glue afterwards, but the PCB doesn't have much clearance to the back, making that impossible. I got around this by adding a waterproof waher around the holes, then screwing around that to form the screw head around. When placed back on, though, the front housing of the bell push seemed very keen to pop off. I worked around this by using a tiny blob of cool melt glue inside the packet to hold it together near where the two sides are prised apart, giving enough to hold it together but easily allowing removal in the normal way when the batter later has to be changed.

I was also pleased to see an A27 battery is used in this unit, rather than the A23 I had in my previous bell push. The energy stored in the A27 is about twice that of the A23, so I'm hoping it won't need the battery replacing very often.

The chimes themselves are very easy to use initially - just plug in and they're pre-paired with the bell push. Press the button and they ring. The UI for changing setting is variable - the volume makes sense, though setting the ring chime could be clearer. I thought I'd set it a couple of times during testing, but actually hadn't, and with so many to choose from going back through to the right one can be a pain. However, this should only need to be done once, so it's not an issue day-to-day.

The manual states that automatic channel allocation is used, and stated how to pair a chime to the bell push. We've not had any interference problems so far, but it doesn't state how (or indeed if) the bell push frequency can be changed if someone else nearby has another bell push operating on the same frequency.

Overall, I can recommend this as a fairly decent design. I've had it now for a couple of weeks without issue except a few minor points during setup, so can't comment on its long-term life, but for now it looks like a decent purchase I could recommend (possibly apart from other people on my street, based on the last point!).

TBS DVB-S2 High Definition Digital Satellite Tuner PCI Express Card HD (DVB-S2/DVB-S) Receiver - PCIE
TBS DVB-S2 High Definition Digital Satellite Tuner PCI Express Card HD (DVB-S2/DVB-S) Receiver - PCIE
Offered by MACKTECH
Price: £69.95

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cross-platform DVB-S2 card, 13 July 2010
This was the second card purchased for a media centre PVR system designed to tune to broadcasts from Astra 2, Eurobird 1 and Thor 5 satellites, and after some problems with other cards it's refreshing to see how well this card works.

The card itself is well built, clearly having gone through a decent production process. As an electronics engineer, I'd be happy to have produced a board like this. It's good to see that the well-documented Conexant demodulator is supported by high quality passives and auxiliary components. The card originally ran quite hot, but by diverting even a small amount of air over the surface it was back down to just over room temperature.

The card is supported by recent Linux kernels as standard, and I had no problems talking to it with 2.6.34 - only the microcode had to be downloaded and was then detected and automatically loaded. The card showed up as a DVB device, and MythTV happily identified it as a DVB-S2 card with DiSEqC support - it realyl couldn't have been easier.

Tuning was no problem - pointing the satellite then giving the details for one channel, over 900 channels were quickly locked to. There's no CI (not a problem for me as I'm not going to pay for anything over my TV license anyway), so encrypted content is not available.

Even though the card has a single tuner, it will supply the whole transport stream (or indeed anything else the transponder is transmitting) to you, so with good software it will let you record multiple channels on the same tuner - MythTV is quite happy to record five channels at once with this card. HD transmissions work just as well as SD, and no problems have been noted with data streams or the EPG.

All in all, this is an excellent card. I've not tried the remote control (I use a Bluetooth PS3 remote to avoid line of sight issues since the PC is hidden in the corner of the room) or the supplied software, so can't comment on those other than to say that the problems described in other unfavourable reviews all seem to be caused by the software being used with this card. I'd highly recommend it, especially for those wanting to build a DVB-S2 capable PVR.
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