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Reviews Written by
Alex MacPhee "Alex" (Surrey, UK)

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Foam & Upholstery Warehouse Upholstery Foam Cushion 20" X 20" X 2"
Foam & Upholstery Warehouse Upholstery Foam Cushion 20" X 20" X 2"
Offered by DIY-foam & Upholstery Warehouse
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, with a caveat, 16 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The order was fulfilled quickly and effectively. Somewhat bizarrely, however, the seller had written my name in large black felt tip pen lettering across the surface of the foam itself, which was a nuisance as I was using it as packing liner in a musical instrument case, so had to cut out a layer and 'dress' it so the defacement was not visible. If you're covering it, this may not matter to you, but it's as well to be aware that what you receive may marked in this way.

Dimplex 2kW Oil free radiator with timer
Dimplex 2kW Oil free radiator with timer
Offered by Deals4u Limited
Price: £69.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and effective heater, but the timer is awful and potentially costly, 1 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)

As a radiator, I can't fault it. It is modestly priced, and it generates enough heat to warm a small to medium sized room quickly. I bought one for my daughter when her central heating temporarily packed up, and it was so effective I bought one for myself for emergency or occasional use. I use the lower heat setting to take the chill off a room, and the higher setting for when it's colder. The difference is noticeable within ten to twenty minutes.


The programmable timer, however, is a mess of poor design. The controls and display are at foot level, and not angled, so you have to crouch down low to use them or even see the display. Most times, I have to lift and tilt the entire radiator to see the dim display. Angling the display at 45 degrees would have made all the difference. That, however, is not the most significant design lapse. Once the unit has been connected to mains power for some time, it acquires enough charge in an internal battery to maintain both the clock time and the four on/off timer settings when they have been set. You can set up to four on/off times, at increments of 10 minutes, and when the heater is put into Auto mode from Manual, it turns on during the set intervals. Thus, it should be possible to operate the heater for optimal efficiency and economy, perhaps warming up a room half an hour before bedtime and the same before rising time. That's the theory.

In practice, it's not that reliable. If the mains power is interrupted for any reason, however briefly (such as another device in the home tripping the RCD protection at the mains box), and is then restored, the Dimplex reverts immediately to Manual mode, even if previously set to Auto mode, switching the heater on and keeping it on. This has happened to me several times, resulting in the heater being fully on for many hours, racking up a sizeable amount on my energy bill. Why the timer system should have a battery backup system to store the timer settings when they are ignored in the event of power restoration is beyond understanding.

I contacted Dimplex about this to see if it was a fault, and they told me that this is the way they work. Switch it off, and on switch on, it reverts to factory default of Manual mode. A temporary power outage followed by a restoration means that this heater can turn itself on when you are away from home.

I have also had the clock time periodically reset itself to some random value, meaning that the heater came on at unexpected times when in Auto mode. For these reasons, I only use it now in Manual mode, and with a separate 7 day timer unit.


This is a good and effective radiator, and as a simple stand-alone heater, is hard to fault. The timer is the weakest point, ineptly designed, and effectively useless. I wanted to remove two stars for the unreliability of the timer, but as the heater is otherwise perfectly fit for purpose, I restored one. Had it been sold without a timer at all, it would have merited five stars as a heater. As it is, it still has to lose one star, because it was sold as a heater with timer function, and the timer is hopeless.

Otherwise, a good heater and it does the job well. Recommended for that alone.

Zefal Pulse Fibre Glass Bottle Cage - Black/Red
Zefal Pulse Fibre Glass Bottle Cage - Black/Red
Offered by Laxzo.
Price: £1.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective and stylish bottle cage, 3 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my touring cycle, which has no brazings for either pump or bottle cage, so I used the Zefal Doodad+ to fit this Zefal bottle cage to the down tube of my cycle. It holds the bottle perfectly securely, and stylishly, yet is easy to release when on the move. Unhesitating recommendation.

Sekonda Men's Quartz Analogue Watch - 3956.27
Sekonda Men's Quartz Analogue Watch - 3956.27
Price: £21.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily beautiful watch, 3 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a singularly beautiful watch. I bought it originally as one to wear when I did not want to risk a watch that has irreplaceable sentimental value. When it arrived, however, it was a watch that was clearly underestimated by its photograph. It is elegant, understated, yet timelessly beautiful in design. I do not care for watches that have busy faces, or days or dates, and there is nothing to spoil the classical symmetry of this watch face. The display photograph does not do it justice. It is absolutely perfect.

It is likely that in time, the watch strap, which appears to be some kind of composite of leather, will need replacing through wear. This is true of all watches, but this watch will still look beautiful with any replacement strap, whether black, brown, or any other shade.

At its price, it's a steal, and belies its modest cost. Recommendation without hestiation.

Ex-Pro® Blackberry M-S1 High Power Plus+ 1750mAh High Rated Replacement Cell Phone battery for Blackberry Bold 9000, 9780, 9800
Ex-Pro® Blackberry M-S1 High Power Plus+ 1750mAh High Rated Replacement Cell Phone battery for Blackberry Bold 9000, 9780, 9800
Offered by ExpressPro
Price: £5.97

4.0 out of 5 stars UPDATED REVIEW : better performance from replacement., 3 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)

Getting original Blackberry replacement batteries can be difficult, as many of those being sold as "originals" are cheap Chinese counterfeits. (I learned, at my cost, that these can often be identified by their fake serial numbers.)

This time, I figured I'd try a third-party battery instead, and opted for the ExPro M-S1, advertised as being lower cost than an original but with the same performance and quality, and with seemingly positive reviews.

These claims for performance and quality mean nothing unless they can be demonstrated, so I made a controlled comparison between the ExPro and my old battery, which had been displaying noticeable performance degradation : indeed, enough to prompt me to buying the replacement. I measured the battery's performance using a battery monitoring application I've used reliably for many years now in my Blackberry Bold 9700..

Astonishingly, the ExPro's performance from new is signficantly worse than that of my 'dying' five-year-old Blackberry battery. Although I've put it through several charge cycles, both directly and through the Blackberry charging pod, the Ex-Pro discharges in less than half the time the old battery takes. This is most evident when the discharge rates of both batteries are shown graphically by means of my Blackberry Bold's battery monitor display. In the picture, the first three discharge curves are for the Ex-Pro battery, and the last is for the original battery in my Blackberry. Remember : steep = worse, shallow = better/

I put the Ex-Pro through several charging cycles to make sure it was properly conditioned. All the discharge curves (as shown by my Blackberry Bold's monitor) showed the same discharge rate of around 5% per hour, thus emptying the battery in less than 24 hours. This is with the Blackberry doing nothing : no calls, no photographs, no videos, no music replay. Yet the old and 'failing' battery stills holds its charge for over TWICE as long as a brand new Ex-Pro battery.

There's a reason why this battery is cheap. It's not a reason you want to discover in the middle of nowhere when your phone's battery packs up and this is your spare.

Poor. Poorer than poor.

UPDATE ON REVIEW : 15/02/2016

The original Ex-Pro battery failed entirely after eight months. As it is guaranteed for two years, I asked for a replacement, and the vendor sent a new battery promptly on receipt of the old one (though did not refund postage costs). The replacement battery performs significantly better, matching the original Blackberry battery. The previous Ex-Pro battery only lasted about 20 hours from a full charge, discharging at about 5% per hour, whereas this replacement battery last over four days on a full charge, or about 1% per hour, with similar usage pattern.

I've added a second picture, the Blackberry's battery log app, labelled 'B' to distinguish it from the previous picture, to show the improvement. (Note that steep=poor, shallow=better.)

This suggests that I was indeed unlucky with the first battery supplied, so I have uprated the review rating from 1 to 4 stars. I've left the original review text unedited for comparison.
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SAMRICK - Nokia Asha 206 & Nokia 206 & Nokia 206 Dual-Sim (RM-872) - Executive Specially Designed Leather Book Wallet Case - Purple
SAMRICK - Nokia Asha 206 & Nokia 206 & Nokia 206 Dual-Sim (RM-872) - Executive Specially Designed Leather Book Wallet Case - Purple

4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive, but still value for money phone case, 18 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The case is neat, and the phone fit is snug in the moulded cradle, with accurately positioned cutouts for the camera lens and the phone speaker. The cover is book-opening type, which is preferable to the flip-over type (which is why I chose this design). Disappointingly, the plastic cradle fractured for about a centimetre along one side, after about a fortnight, and that after only routine and careful use. It's not enough to make it unusuable, and as the case is inexpensive, I guess one's expectations should be tailored to the price. It's still serviceable.
Ignore the picture that appears to show slots for credit or business cards. The case is not wide enough for those, and the cover won't close if you try to insert one in the pocket inside. In any case, I wouldn't want to keep anything that had a magnetic stripe that close to a phone (I've had the stripes of a season parking permit wiped clean by the field from a phone).
Despite the caveat on the apparent ease with which the cradle fractured, it's still good value for money, and perhaps I've simply been unfortunate with mine. Dispatch and delivery were prompt.

Tiger Music Alice Violin Pitch Pipes
Tiger Music Alice Violin Pitch Pipes

2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate tuning, unfit for purpose, 13 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these, one for carrying, one for spare, as a good pitch pipe can help develop an ear for 'see-saw' tuning in a way that a chromatic tuner doesn't.

Unfortunately, the Alice Violin Pitch Pipes are not particularly accurate. I checked them against a tuned piano and an electronic tuner. The D and E notes are very flat. The G and A are sharp, especially the A. It's the same on each set of pipes, so it's less likely I've been unlucky, and more likely to be down to manufacturing quality.

They're cheap, and they'll get you by for a practice session, especially if you know which direction each note is 'out'. But for performance tuning purposes, they're worthless.

Stentor 1562 Cello/Double Bass Stand
Stentor 1562 Cello/Double Bass Stand

5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile accessory for the cellist's music room, 11 Jan. 2015
The Stentor stand has independently adjustable curved arms to hold the base of the cello at almost any height up to about 50cm, with an adjustable neck support and padded cradle. No part of the cello touches metal when on the stand, and it keeps my 4/4 cello ready for use even with the spike extended to 38cm/15ins (my normal playing height), with still room in reserve.

Adjustment knobs are large and easy to turn, and there is also a neat little hook to hang the bow. Light yet stable, the stand is surprisingly unobtrusive in use, with a ‘footprint’ of about 50x50cm, and the slightly-warm battleship-grey finish is pleasing. It folds down into very small space for storage when not required.

A definite improvement on laying it on the floor, and keeps the cat from bumping into it.

A small tip : when moving the stand with the cello in place, lift the stand by the apex of the inverted V-frame, not the neck support column, in case the column adjustment screw has not been tightened sufficiently.

Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator, 500 ml
Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator, 500 ml
Price: £4.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entirely ineffective, 2 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this to remove stains from a mattress after a young child had had an 'accident' overnight, having been encouraged by positive reviews. Followed the instructions, and watched in dismay as it made the problem worse : the ring stain darkened, then began to migrate outwards, so that by the end of the treatment, I was left with a larger diameter, and darker, stain. Subsequent attempts to remove the stain have been unsuccessful. I'm afraid this is one 'Doctor' that has been 'struck off' my household cleaner register.

Photo Plus Rear Lens Cap for Olympus OM-D E-M1 E-M5 Pen E-P5 E-P3 E-P2 E-P1 E-PM2 E-PM1 E-PL6 E-PL5 E-PL3 E-PL2 E-PL1s E-PL1
Photo Plus Rear Lens Cap for Olympus OM-D E-M1 E-M5 Pen E-P5 E-P3 E-P2 E-P1 E-PM2 E-PM1 E-PL6 E-PL5 E-PL3 E-PL2 E-PL1s E-PL1
Offered by Gadget Career
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, but only just., 2 Oct. 2014
I bought several of these, and whilst they fit the rear of my M43 lenses, they all tend to be somewhat slack and undercertain, with only a millimetre or so between the 'open' and 'closed' positions. So they are not securely 'on' and have a tendency to come off rather too readily. I would be reluctant to twist them on too tightly on those M43 lenses that have plastic bayonet lugs. There are better third-party alternatives.

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