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Mr. G. M. Stannett
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Engineer PA-21 Universal Crimping Pliers
Engineer PA-21 Universal Crimping Pliers
Offered by japanstore
Price: £27.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made - good value, 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use these in my home electronics lab for the Molex KK Series of connectors. I simply could not have justified the cost of a crimp tool from the major electronics distributors in the UK. These are very well made and affordable. I am looking forward to many years of service from them.


Tecsun PL380 BLACK DSP FM Stereo/MW/SW/LW World Band Digital Radio Receiver with ETM
Tecsun PL380 BLACK DSP FM Stereo/MW/SW/LW World Band Digital Radio Receiver with ETM
Offered by 2012street
Price: £40.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Tecsun PL-380 – An Enthusiast’s Opinion, 16 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a radio frequency design engineer, I carried out considerable research before buying the PL-380 to replace my aging Grundig YB-305. My listening preferences include BBC Radio 4 on FM and international broadcasts on AM. I’m also a licensed radio amateur and I wanted the option to tune through the Russian FM band which is 64MHz to 108MHz because it includes the 70MHz (4m) amateur band.

There can be no doubt that this set represents a quantum leap in domestic radio technology in terms of performance, user friendliness and value for money. The excellent sensitivity, DSP filtering options and huge range of functions are nearly all provided by a single integrated circuit, the Silicon Labs Si4734-D60. Having so much functionality in one component significantly increases reliability, and keeps production costs down. In this case it also provides exceptionally long battery life.

The audio is crisp and clear. The 50mm diameter speaker is fine for speech but I normally use headphones when listening to music. In FM mode, with a reasonable signal, the noise floor is so low that it’s a pleasure to listen to serious music on a good pair of headphones. Users in very weak signal areas can select mono mode or use the clip on wire antenna supplied with the radio. Received signal strength and signal to noise ratio details are available by means of the Display button. As I write, I am listening to BBC Radio 3 in crystal clear stereo at a signal strength of 52dBuV and a S/N ratio of 40dB. For technical reasons, the Si4734-D60 limits the audio high frequency response to about 15kHz. This is not quite hi-fi but I find it perfectly acceptable.

There are two automatic tuning modes, ‘Auto Tuning Storage’ (ATS) and ‘Easy Tuning Mode’ (ETM). ATS scans the selected band and stores all incoming carriers into Preset Memories, P001, P002... etc. ETM scans the selected band and stores incoming carriers but does not allocate P--- numbers. The ETM memories can be overwritten without affecting the Program Memories. I use ATM for the stations I listen to every day at home and I find ETS really useful for Short Wave listening. I will probably also use ETS for rapid access to regional FM transmissions when I’m away from home. Of course, manual tuning and direct keypad entry is also possible. The Volume control is incremental; it has sufficiently fine steps to enable the listener to set a comfortable level when using headphones.

The radio looks good and feels solid, the ergonomics are well thought out. Button actuation is positive, not in the least spongy or stiff. The LCD display is easy to read and it has an intelligent backlight function which comes on for three seconds whenever a button is pressed. This can be disabled. There is also a Light button in the top left corner, close to the headphone socket. This turns the backlight on for three seconds. It’s easy to find the button in the dark by running your fingers along the headphone cable to the plug. I find this really useful for bedside listening.

The 21 page Operation Manual is concise with clear instructions on how to use the various functions and enable less commonly used features such as Long Wave and extended VHF coverage. I worked through the entire manual in about an hour as soon as I received the radio. Having done that, I am unlikely to need it again. There are no deep menus to memorise, just second functions. The manual supplied was in Chinese but a photocopy of the English version was also in the box. A PDF version is freely available on-line. There were a few goodies in the box too, a soft carry case, a pair of ear buds and a clip on wire antenna for improved reception on SW and VHF FM in very weak signal areas.

Medium wave tuning steps can be set to 9kHz for use in the UK and Europe or 10kHz for use in America. My radio was set to the UK standard by default but when I changed it to 10kHz to test it, the temperature display changed from Celsius to Fahrenheit, brilliant! SW tuning steps are 1kHz. A DSP filter is used to set the AM bandwidth from 6kHz to 1kHz. This is a very powerful function which will be enjoyed by SW/MW DX enthusiasts. Technically minded readers may be interested to know that two de-emphasis time constants are available within the Si4734-D60. I think these may also be automatically selected to suit local pre-emphasis standards in the EU/USA but if so, there is no mention of it in the manual.

In summary, the PL-380 is a top class radio which, despite its low price tag, easily out performs the classic super heterodyne receivers which, in their day, were far more complex and very expensive. I would recommend it to anyone from the casual listener to the MW/SW DX enthusiast. It’s easy to use and packed with features which have been well thought out. Thank you for reading this review, I hope you found it informative.


Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Lightweight Robust Stackable 64 Litre W440xD710xH310mm Clear Ref 64C
Really Useful Storage Box Plastic Lightweight Robust Stackable 64 Litre W440xD710xH310mm Clear Ref 64C
Price: £15.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good sturdy boxes, quick delivery.


Morse Code for Radio Amateurs
Morse Code for Radio Amateurs
by Roger Cooke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I passed my Morse test in 1982 and operated on the HF bands for a couple of years before the children came along. Then, over 30 years later when my feet touched the ground again I didn't have a rig so I built a CW transceiver and went on the air. After a few flakey QSOs I realised that I needed to increase my speed and regain confidence. This little book has helped in both respects. It is packed with very helpful advice and encouragement for people at all levels from absolute beginner to contest operator. The writing style is very relaxed and straight forward.. Do look at the CD, there is a wealth of helpful information on there too!


Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Stereo Headphones - Black
Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Stereo Headphones - Black
Price: £28.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought my first pair of these many years ago to use with my Clavinova so that I could play without disturbing the rest of the family. I wear spectacles and the cushions at the bottom of the headband make these headphones very comfortable. I have not seen any other headphones with this feature. Sadly, the dog became interested in the jack plug at the end of the ultra lightweight flex and as a result, I found myself in need of a new pair. I bought my second pair this month and I am equally pleased with them. They are more expensive than some other types but, in my opinion, well worth the little extra.


PATHFINDER 21 LED Headlamp Headlight - Water-resistant. 4 Modes Of Operation, Head Safety, Lamp, Flash Light, Torch For Cycling, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Camping, Night Reading. Adjustable Beam Angle. 100,000 Hours LED lifetime (in RETAIL PACKAGING) (BLACK)
PATHFINDER 21 LED Headlamp Headlight - Water-resistant. 4 Modes Of Operation, Head Safety, Lamp, Flash Light, Torch For Cycling, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Camping, Night Reading. Adjustable Beam Angle. 100,000 Hours LED lifetime (in RETAIL PACKAGING) (BLACK)
Offered by WowBox UK (EU-wide shipping)
Price: £20.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't normally bother to review the items that I buy on Amazon because I'm too busy. However, this has been so useful that I wish to give it some of my stars. If you have never had one, get one. It gives you a variable intensity directional light source for reading in bed without keeping your partner awake, it keeps both hands free when you in the loft, putting out the dustbins when it's dark, the list goes on and on. The batteries seem to last for ages and our dog finds it finds it hilarious - anyone would think I look a little odd when I wear it !


PowerSmart [ Ni-MH 7.20V 3000mAh ], Replacement Power Tools Battery for BOSCH GBM 7.2, GBM 7.2 VE-1, GBM 7.2 VES-2, GDR50, GNS 7.2V, GSR 7.2V, GSR 7.2VE-2, GSR 7.2VES-2, GSR 7.2VPE-2, GUS 7.2V, PBM 7.2, PSR 7.2VES-2, Compatible Part Numbers: 2 607 335 031, 2 607 335 032, 2 607 335 033, 2 607 335 073, 2 607 335 153
PowerSmart [ Ni-MH 7.20V 3000mAh ], Replacement Power Tools Battery for BOSCH GBM 7.2, GBM 7.2 VE-1, GBM 7.2 VES-2, GDR50, GNS 7.2V, GSR 7.2V, GSR 7.2VE-2, GSR 7.2VES-2, GSR 7.2VPE-2, GUS 7.2V, PBM 7.2, PSR 7.2VES-2, Compatible Part Numbers: 2 607 335 031, 2 607 335 032, 2 607 335 033, 2 607 335 073, 2 607 335 153
Offered by 168onlinegoods
Price: £25.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the ticket, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 18 year old Bosch drill gets very little use these days so it was difficult to justify buying a new one when the original battery pack finally failed completely. I was so pleased to find this on Amazon, it does the job perfectly and if I get another 18 years out of it I may even treat myself to a new drill !


X-30 N 2M 70CM DUAL BAND COLLINEAR ANTENNA AERIAL PMR 446 PMR446
X-30 N 2M 70CM DUAL BAND COLLINEAR ANTENNA AERIAL PMR 446 PMR446
Offered by MFL Qualtech
Price: £42.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars X-30 N or X-30 ?, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As an RF Design Engineer with years of experience in antenna specification, design and testing, I was not expecting much for forty quid. But, I was expecting to receive an X-30 N as described on the Amazon page, not an X-30 which has a different connector. To be fair, I failed to notice the problem myself until I had assembled it. The seller confirmed that he had sent the wrong item and agreed to a refund so it's on it's way back.

However, I did take the opportunity to pop the X-30 on to a vector network analyser in my lab and run a few tests before re-packing it. Suffice it to say that I do not intend to buy another one.

If you are looking for a cheap antenna to extend the range of a 2m/70cm handheld transceiver, this could suitable. Get it up above the roof and use a good quality low loss feeder such as RG214.

Ignore the gain figures printed on the packet, they are meaningless. Antenna gain figures are only valid if they are specified in dBi or dBd. This defines the gain relative to an isotropic spherical antenna or a dipole in free space respectively. Antenna gain figures specified in dB (without the suffix) have no reference and could relate to a wet lollypop stick on a baked bean tin.

I've been lucky with the connector issue, so I'm off to the pub now to celebrate with a few friends. After all, I've got a spare forty quid now!


HP CG966A Professional Glossy Laser Photo Paper A4 210x297mm 200 g/m2 (100 Sheets)
HP CG966A Professional Glossy Laser Photo Paper A4 210x297mm 200 g/m2 (100 Sheets)
Price: £14.53

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Toner Transfer PCB Prototypes, 29 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use this for making printed circuit board prototypes using the laser printer toner transfer method. It works perfectly for me, most of my work uses SMD components and narrow tracks so it should be fine for most electronic engineering hobbyists.


The Da Vinci Code: (Robert Langdon Book 2)
The Da Vinci Code: (Robert Langdon Book 2)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Food for though....., 29 Jun. 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!

It's a fast moving, thriller with believable characters and plenty of brain food for the mystery fan. I would recommend it to anyone who, like myself, needs to 'get into' a book within the first few pages. The ingenious story-line is very powerful and contains plenty of historical facts which add credibility and food for thought.

I'm in partial agreement with the huge number of reviewers who have criticised the writing style. The differences between American English and UK English can cause distraction but this novel is so fast and interesting that I managed to glide over them.

However, there is a continuity error during a hair-raising drive in Paris which should have been spotted by the proof reader and there is a little repetition. Hence my four star rating.


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