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Susan (Tilbury, United Kingdom)

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Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! I mean, just wow!, 6 Nov. 2012
OK, let's qualify that title for a moment- this is NOT as powerful as an upright Dyson, but it is MUCH easier to carry around. I'm getting on a bit now, and I find it difficult to cart my DC04 up and down the stairs these days.

The sneaky stuff (courtesy of Dyson) -

1). The DC44 is no more powerful than the DC34/35 (I have a DC34 Animal too), nor does it run any longer than the original DC34.
Let me explain - What Dyson have done is replace the 30 Watt Li-On battery with a 45 Watt Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt version. This gives you extra run-time, and by the way of the "No-Fade" characteristic of the Cobalt battery, you get pretty close to full power over that period.
The DC34 is now available with a "Longer run-time" Dyson DC34 Animal Handheld Vacuum with Longer Run Time for Pet Owners and Dyson DC34 Multi Floor Handheld Vacuum with Longer Run Time.

2). The *POWERED* tools from the DC34 and DC44 are not interchangeable, although they run on the same voltage. The powered connectors are different on both cleaners. I think this is to stop clever people (obviously not me!) buying an upright solid tube, and the uprated battery, to save them having to by the DC44 as I did. I wanted the extension tube because of my bad back, and a longer run-time to help with getting the cleaning done.
You can save yourself some cash if you have a DC34 and want a DC35, or DC44 equivalent, etc, by buying this: Dyson DC35 Vacuum Cleaner Extension Rod Handle

A problem with the listing maybe? Direct from Dyson, you do get two motorised brushes. I didn't buy here as I was unsure whether this supplier (Amazon itself) supplied both brushes as part of the package. The pictures listed show both, but the listing makes no mention. Also, the Dyson-direct offering comes with a wall-mounted Docking Station, crevice tool, and a combo-brush/stair-cleaner.

The bad stuff -

The trigger. I have very strong hands, but after five minutes, my index finger is really complaining. The trigger is way too stiff and only makes contact at the end of the travel. It actually needs to be held in place quite firmly or the motor will shut off. This is VERY TIRING!
Why you could not have a trigger latch mechanism? Maybe there is the possibility that the battery or motor would overheat if running continuously. How about the possibility that a deep-discharge of the battery ruins it?
In both cases, it is not too hard to protect against these problems. The cheapest option is obviously to put a huge spring on the trigger....
In my opinion, I think is a design flaw.

The good stuff -

It says on the Dyson website that the new Turbine-Powered Tangle-Free Brush-Head (Part No.925068-02) does not work with the DC44 or other hand-helds. Rubbish! It works fine on the DC34/35/44, on standard power or high power. No more hair wrapped around brushes! (At time of writing, not available on Amazon or would have bought from here)
The dust container is easy to empty. There is a large red catch on the left-hand side that causes the bottom of the container to pop open and thus empty it. A couple of taps on the side of the container and everything drops out into the bin. It is hard to do this accidentally.
In the front of the dust container is a flap-valve that stops dust and dirt falling out of the container when the cleaner is pointed downwards with the motor off, or hanging in the docking station.
It is easy to get to the motor pre-filter for cleaning. Just press the the button on the top of the vortex chamber and the motor unit hinges away from the chamber, taking the filter with it. Pull out the filter, wash, dry, and re-insert.
Accessing the higher suction mode is just a simple matter of pressing the "MAX" button on the rear of the motor housing. When active, this has a glowing green ring of light around the button.
Removing the battery is achieved by pressing the release button on the handle and sliding the battery pack out of the handle. Replacing the battery pack is just a matter of sliding it back into the handle until it clicks into place. The battery packs can be charged in the vacuum cleaner body, or externally by plugging a charger directly into the battery pack itself.

The DC44 - a real Back-Saver for me! Really versatile, and has loads of other attachments available on Amazon and elsewhere.

(Add the Tangle-Free Head - Amazing!)

A couple of pieces of advice, from recent experience -

If this is to become your main cleaner, and if you are going to do a lot of cleaning at one time, a spare battery is a good idea as they take at least 3.5 hours to charge (Note: The 45 Watt version is not generally available at the time of writing this review).
Also a spare motor pre-filter is handy if cleaning up a large area with fine dust. The filters are washable, but take a long time to dry (unless you use a hair-dryer). It's much easier to have a spare filter to hand to swap out while cleaning as they are only about £12.

Four stars instead of five because I think it is a bit expensive compared with other versions of this cleaner.

I'm so very glad I bought the DC44. I hope will be as happy as I am with it.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2013 11:35 AM BST

Mega Blaster Super Soaker Water Pistol/Gun Pump Action
Mega Blaster Super Soaker Water Pistol/Gun Pump Action

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic range and trapped fingers..., 6 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was taken in by the name "Mega Blaster Super Soaker Water Pistol/Gun Pump Action" and "Will squirt 27ft".

The first point, the name - OK, it sounds great.
The second point, the range - 27ft? Nope. Not even close!! Out of a tall building's upstairs window and down at the ground, maybe, but horizontally? Don't make me laugh!
Realistic distance is about 12ft horizontal. And this was after going silly and trying thirty strokes of the pump. Pathetic. Really pathetic.

The pressurising pump "Pump Action" is not guided. By this I mean, that if you are not careful when you are pumping up the pressure, it will snap, as my nephew found out to his dismay after about half an hour's play.

All moaning aside, I should point out that there is a REALLY BAD finger trap-hazard where the trigger meets the trigger-guard at the bottom. There is a gap where you can readily trap your finger when you pull the trigger. My husband, myself, and my nephew (before the pistol broke!) managed it on several occasions.

I gave this toy a score of two stars overall as you can't give it one and a half stars.
Reasons being that it made my five year old nephew cry when he trapped his right index finger for the third time, and then cry again when it broke while he was trying to pump it up.

Seriously folks, do not buy. You WILL be disappointed.

10Pcs Double end Test Lead Alligator Crocodile Roach Clip Wire 45cm
10Pcs Double end Test Lead Alligator Crocodile Roach Clip Wire 45cm
Price: £4.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly well made, 6 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was dubious about buying a set of test leads at this price, knowing how much the Croc-Clips (Alligator) and cables cost on their own, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Have been using these most days for weeks now and have had no problems whatsoever with them.

There's not much that can be said really. The clips work, and the leads are attached to the clips securely.
IMHO these are good value for money - I hate making up test leads!

Will be buying more again soon.

Concentrated Hot Water Extraction Lemon Fragranced Low Foaming Carpet Cleaner Shampoo. 5 Litres Makes 500 Litres
Concentrated Hot Water Extraction Lemon Fragranced Low Foaming Carpet Cleaner Shampoo. 5 Litres Makes 500 Litres
Offered by Lakkaur Store
Price: £9.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Good Performance!, 6 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this solution as a cheaper alternative to the overpriced Bissell (and others, Rug-Doctor, etc) cleaning solutions that are on the market. The idea being that "Professional" cleaning solutions would be more economical. This has turned out to be very true.
This solution is being used in the original Bissell ProHeat upright carpet cleaner.
As this liquid is a concentrate, it is a good idea to dilute it before putting it into the cleaning fluid bottle as even with the setting on the machine set to a weak mix it is a stronger mix than is needed for all but the nastiest of stains. In other words, you will just be wasting it unnecessarily. However, please bear in mind that cleaners with separate water and cleaning solution containers water-down the cleaning solution again, so some experimentation will be necessary in order to get the best results.
A stronger solution, as I found, deals readily with grease stains from my son's motorbike.

It smells of lemon, and is a very-watery dark blue in colour. I have been assured by the manufacturer (Craftex) that it will 100% *NOT* stain light coloured carpets in any way.
The normal dilution rate is 10ml to 1 litre of hot (or cold) water. The pH is 10.5 (Alkaline).
As far as I can tell, there is no residue left from cleaning. I always rinse my carpets just to be sure anyway.

A better all-round option was recommended, by Craftex, as Lavender Fragranced Liquid Carpet Woolcare Shampoo Cleaner. Ideal For Woollen & Wool Mix Fibres. 5 Litres Makes 500 Litres. Cleaning Accessories Powered by TheChemicalHut.. This is because the cleaning power is approximately the same, but it has a neutral pH and can be used on any carpets, not just synthetics.

I have to point out though, I have since found the same Craftex products available elsewhere considerably cheaper. Apologies to TheChemicalHut - excellent delivery service by the way.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy with purchase. Very good value for money!, 7 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this in a hurry, and I didn't read the description closely. Thankfully I got more than I thought I was getting for my money!

I bought this case for my sister because she needed a good quality leather pouch case for her HTC Desire. This looked like it was the best of the bunch.
It arrived quickly, and apart from a cursory look through the plastic bag it came in to see that it was indeed a leather pouch and looked intact, I promptly forgot about it.

When I handed it over to my sister, she commented excitedly on the tab you pull to slide the phone out of the pouch. I was not aware of this at the time. I had mistakenly thought you just pinched the bottom in order to eject the phone like most pouches.
I must read things more closely, but I thought at the time, "Hey, it's just a plain leather pouch. Not much to it..."

I was lucky.

This is a well-stitched, quality product, that has a very useful way of ejecting the phone from the pouch with as little hassle as possible. You just pull the leather tab, and the phone slides out easily. When you push the phone back into the pouch, the tab slots back into a little recess in the back. There is sufficient friction between the phone and the case so that the phone cannot slip out accidentally. The leather is thick and tough enough to provide real protection from most insults to the integrity of the phone. It however, is flexible enough to allow the phone to be removed, with the ejection tab, without difficulty.

I was happy at the time of delivery, even more so now. Worth every penny!

Home Button Key Repair Part Flex Cable For iPhone 4G 4,IPHONE 4 4G INTERNAL HOME MENU BUTTON FLEX CABLE,iPhone 4G Home Menu Button Flex Ribbon Cable Replacement Part
Home Button Key Repair Part Flex Cable For iPhone 4G 4,IPHONE 4 4G INTERNAL HOME MENU BUTTON FLEX CABLE,iPhone 4G Home Menu Button Flex Ribbon Cable Replacement Part
Offered by ibaye-tech
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was worried about the fit in the case - a perfect fit!, 7 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is working with no problems, and the colour matches perfectly with an after-market (non-Apple) screen and digitiser assembly.

Fitting was an interesting experience as it first it looked like that the ribbon-cable was a bit too long. However, once the new screen was in place, it all lined up perfectly. My mistake.
The size of the white button plastic was spot-on. I have had experiences in the past where the hole in the digitiser was either too small or the button diameter too big.
I will be buying from this seller again as I had no problems with the fit.

The only, very minor thing I will mention, is that on one of the tabs that locate the button in position had a tiny piece of plastic injection-frame residue sticking out from it. It fitted still and worked, but to make sure of no future problems, I gently removed the spike with a nail file. Took a couple of seconds.
You often get this on small plastic parts - it's where they are removed from a frame (a bit like the old Airfix model kits).

All in all, a really good and well-made switch.

Transparent Plastic Glass Cover Case Housing with Frame for Apple Iphone 4 G 4G in Black by MicroGadget
Transparent Plastic Glass Cover Case Housing with Frame for Apple Iphone 4 G 4G in Black by MicroGadget

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitted perfectly, 7 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived quickly, and THIS IS IMPORTANT:-

It was sensibly packed in a padded, hard plastic case (Unlike another seller who shall remain nameless).

It also helpfully comes with the necessary Torx (star) screwdriver to remove the two screws next to the large connector socket at the bottom of the phone..

I bought this for a friend's iPhone 4. Fitted perfectly with no hassle inside a couple of minutes.
It's just a matter of turning off the phone, undoing the two screws, and sliding the cover up by about 5mm. You then lift it off.
Fitting is the reverse of this. It's really easy as it is a good quality back.

Just in case anyone wondered if it will fit a 4S, *IT DOES NOT*. I tried just for fun. The lugs are in the wrong place.
So, beware of sellers who say they are selling a covers that fits a 4 and 4S. They are DIFFERENT covers!! ;-)

Synology DX1211 12 Bay Desktop Expansion Unit
Synology DX1211 12 Bay Desktop Expansion Unit

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be better! Another Winner from Synology, 12 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this expansion unit for my DS2411+
Unpacked it, plugged it in, slid in a hard drive, and set the array expansion in motion. Simple and effective. Well worth the money.
I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, but it does come with its own Infiniband cable, so no need to buy one.
Simplicity itself. Awesome!!

Update (7th September, 2012)-
After some months of use, I can say that this unit has performed superbly.

A couple of negative points have arisen since my initial review in April 2012.

A. When I first went to use the drive-security lock (many weeks after purchase), it would not lock. The key would not quite come to the upright position. I noticed that when one particular drive tray was removed that the lock would operate properly. On comparison of this tray with the others, I noticed that the slot that the locking-bar engages in was too small. I remedied that with a flat needle file and the lock now works as it should.

B. There is no security anchor on this unit. Or if there is, I can't find it. Security anchors only stop the casual thief, not a determined one, but it would have made me feel better if one was included. My office is on the ground floor and I tend to have the window open in all weathers. Although I am in there most of the time, I have to leave it occasionally.

I suppose I should mark my score down because of the fault, and for what I consider to be a security omission, but I won't. The build quality of the unit itself, the general lack of noise and heat, and the overall performance (I was initially very sceptical regarding the performance and reliability of Infiniband cable connection) have left me with the wish to increase the score. That not being possible - Five Stars it is then.

There are a few things I should add to save prospective purchasers from having nightmares....

1. The Server that this expansion unit plugs into, controls the power. It switches it on. It switches it off. Do **NOT** switch the expansion unit on and off using the front-panel button! I did on one occasion by accident and learnt from my mistake - I corrupted a 24TB array. Although the data was readable, the array could not be repaired. I had to rebuild the array from scratch and reload my data. It took over a week to test the disks, rebuild the array and reload the data. Trust me, you won't do it again! That having been said, you will need to keep the server and expansion unit out of the reach of prying and inquisitive fingers just to be sure...

2. The unit has a drive-security lock. Use it. You don't want drives removed by the same fingers mentioned above.

3. Get a DECENT UPS! My one was an old one with tired batteries. It failed before the server and expansion had a chance to shut down properly during a power-outage - The result? See 1. above.

Well, that's pretty much it. It is still working perfectly.
Sorry for the waffle. I always have been more than a little on the verbose side...

Synology VS80 VisualStation 9 Channel NVR Surveillance Solution
Synology VS80 VisualStation 9 Channel NVR Surveillance Solution

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is good once set up, but very fussy about what it will display., 24 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was a little sceptical regarding the need for this device as I thought the Synology Server I recently purchased should be able to display my IP cameras. The server can, via a web page, but not to a computer monitor somewhere on your network. That's where the VS80 comes in.

NOTE: The VS80 Visual Station works as a display driver for a Synology DiskStation Server running the Surveillance Station software. It Is not a standalone device capable of directly displaying IP cameras on a network. It's main purpose is to facilitate the display of video feeds that are being processed and recorded by a Synology DiskStation Server. The VS80 must be paired with a suitable DiskStation. It will only work with Synology DiskStations.

The VS80 allows a monitor to be attached to the overall system and can be used to access up to nine IP cameras attached to the Synology Server. I have had problems in the past with remotely positioned IP cameras on my LAN, but have not had a single incidence of a lost camera or corrupted display since installing the VS80. It works quietly, cooly, and competently, and it looks superb! It can be fitted on the LAN anywhere that has an Ethernet connection. It works with MPEG4, MPEG4(H.264) and MJPEG feeds. It would be great if RTSP had been supported as I have a couple of other non-IP LAN-based systems that could have been integrated.

You need to be aware that MPEG4, and the H.264 codec, are only supported in their Simple Profiles.

The real downside is the supplied setup information. It is very sparse and leaves you to struggle how to set up your IP cameras with the VS80. I have HD cameras on my LAN, but the full HD resolution does not seem to be supported. Which in itself is partiicularly annoying as monitor support goes up to 1280x1024. Then again, this really is to allow you to support multiple camera views on the same screen.

I found that It was only when I dropped my camera resolutions to 640x480 that I managed to get the VS80 to display a picture.. Even the online instructions are not very clear about this. There are also many annoyances regarding the actual settings on your cameras that it will support.
Quite often, the Synology Server's "Surveillance Station" program will show that the camera settings are acceptable, BUT, the VS80 "Video Station" itself does not produce an error on-screen, just a blank display. You will get used to multiple "Disconnected" reports, and "Unsuported Profile", so much so that you will probably see them in your nightmares!
Don't get me wrong, when it works, it works superbly, but getting there.... Oh boy!

In mitigation, I think that a lot of my problems have been down to the rather flaky ACTi-1321 that I was using for initial testing. I didn't want to let the VS80 loose on the network until I had worked out the kinks.
Something else you should be aware of, Surveillance Station camera licences that are used on the Server are not cheap. You get just ONE supplieid with the Synology Server system. No licences are supplied with the VS80 itself.

To sum up.
Initially I was crazy about the VS80. Having just upgraded the firmware on my cameras, I have run into all sorts of problems regarding camera settings that are not supported. Very VERY annoying!
Seriously, in these days of HD IP Cameras, I would have thought that more than a basic 640x480 resolution would be supported. Especially when you consider that H.264 only uses a fraction of the network bandwidth that MJPEG does. Is scaling really that hard? The reason that it is important is that by double-clicking on a small camera window expands it to full-screen. It would be REALLY USEFUL if the increased size was not to the detriment of resolution.
If you have more modern IP cameras than me (less than two years old) you should be ok. There is a compatibility list on the Synology website. I suggest you study it at length before parting with cash.

Once setup and running, it is seriously reliable. It's just getting to that stage that will give you grey hairs.

Synology DS2411+ 12 Bay Desktop with NAS Enclosure
Synology DS2411+ 12 Bay Desktop with NAS Enclosure

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ULTIMATE Media Server, 17 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these systems a couple of weeks ago for use as the ultimate home file-server. It does not disappoint. To say that it is awesome is an incredible understatement. Every day I am finding new features that do what they are supposed to do, and better. It has DLNA and WebDAV covered. ftp, http, and a host of other methods of accessing it are provided. You can watch videos on iPad, download files and listen to audio on remote computers, IOS devices and Android. There are Synology apps for these platforms. You can stream across the Internet to remote devices. Mac, NFS, and CIFS file systems are supported. Even the CIFS Recycle Bin is supported. There is an iTunes server and local storage and printers can be attached by USB ports. Bonjour Printer Broadcast is supported as well as AppleTalk Zone and Time Machine. UPS management is built in. The two Ethernet connections can be configured in failover mode or as bonded (IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation) connection to a suitable switch. PPoE is also supported as well as a tunnel. There is just too much to go into. The File system on the DiskStation is ext4. You can use different kinds of RAID, but I went for the Synology Hybrid RAID that allows different size disks to be expanded at a later date without wasting huge amounts of disk space. I have mine set up with two disk redundancy. This means that if any two disks fail at the same time the volume is still intact. The system runs cool and quiet, and so far, faultlessly. You soon realise that the extra money spent in buying this Synology unit is well worth the money. None of the performance problems associated with lesser systems has happened. This is a quality piece of kit. Management is a breeze. You are presented with a web interface that is easy to navigate and understand. The DiskStation can be managed remotely using the interface once your router is set up to forward the correct ports. This really is the system we had been waiting for. I can't praise it highly enough.

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