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John C

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Quest Dual Voltage Travel Iron
Quest Dual Voltage Travel Iron

1.0 out of 5 stars Failed on first use, 2 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The sole plate was not fitted correctly. After a few minutes of use the front of the sole became detached and blew the house fuse. The item has been returned for a refund. I will be looking for a different brand.

Komputerbay SD / SDHC / MMC Card to Compact Flash Type II High Speed Adapter
Komputerbay SD / SDHC / MMC Card to Compact Flash Type II High Speed Adapter
Price: £14.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Works with Eye-Fi Pro X2 and canon 40D, 31 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've used this adapter together with the Eye-Fi Pro x2 and the Canon 40D and had no problem at distance < 10 feet.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB 8GB SDHC Class 6 memory card - memory cards (SDHC, Orange, Class 6, USB, 128-bit WEP, 64-bit WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, Eye-Fi Center)
Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB 8GB SDHC Class 6 memory card - memory cards (SDHC, Orange, Class 6, USB, 128-bit WEP, 64-bit WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, Eye-Fi Center)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works with Canon 40D, 31 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use it with the Komputerbay SD / SDHC / MMC Card to Compact Flash Type II High Speed Adapter and it works very well. Up to now I've had no missed downloads. However, I've only used it at close range, e.g. < 10 feet which is all I need it for. After all the negative reports of its use with the 40D I'm happy.

Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger
Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger
Offered by WestBase Direct - UK VAT
Price: £79.99

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Performs very well, 24 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've used the Solar Gorilla for four months and thought it was time to share my experience.

The Solar Gorilla was bought to charge several of my portable batteries. These batteries are then used to charge a multitude of low voltage devices (5V-12V) which, at the moment, seemed to be permanently plugged into the mains. This procedure may seem rather cumbersome, but many of these low voltage devices appear to be rather sensitive to the fluctuating output of a solar panel. Batteries, on the other hand, are not so fussy and can provide a stable charge to the low voltage devices without any problems. Clearly the cost effectiveness of this procedure does not enter into the equation. I just like the idea of running all those bits and pieces off "sunshine".

The first problem that had to be overcome was the issue of the different charge requirements for all the different batteries (5V-18V). Most of the portable size solar panels only have one output voltage. The Solar Gorilla, although quiet expensive, does seem to cover my requirements. It provides 5V and a 20V variable output.

To get the best out of the panel I strapped it to an old camera tripod and adjusted it to be at 90 degrees to the sun. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all the batteries were happy with the output. The 20V output seems to adjust itself to the best requirement of a battery. On a clear day the panel provided 300-500mA, depending on the voltage. On an average dull day it still provide a useful 100mA.

To continuously get the maximum out of the panel the tripod had to be readjusted every hour to face the sun. Clearly that is not a practical solution. To resolve the issue I built a clockwork solar tracker on which I could mount the Solar Gorilla. This is a device that would faithfully track the sun across the sky without consuming any of the carefully harvested energy. Now I just place the tracker outside in the morning and bring it back in evening. It's a much better solution. With this arrangement any one battery can be fully charged in two to three days, depending on the weather. Talking about the weather, the panel did get wet a few times and has not shown any detrimental effects. Probably because the output ports, which are not waterproof, are facing downwards.

Since I've had the Solar Gorilla none of my low voltage gadgets have been plugged into the mains and I find that very satisfying.

If I'm so pleased with the Solar Gorilla you may ask why I only gave it four stars. It has one cosmetic flaw. After two months of continued use I notice the part of the casing that is always pointing towards the sun started to become sticky accumulating a lot of dust. The sticky stuff wouldn't wipe off with either a wet or dry cloth. I emailed Powertraveller describing the problem. When I didn't get a reply after a week I tried to remove the sticky stuff with various chemicals and eventually found that methylated spirit did the trick. It removed the sticky stuff and revealed the shiny base layer underneath. It appears that the top layer (the cosmetic layer that gives it the matt look) is breaking down when continuously exposed to full face sunlight. Once all the sticky stuff around the front of the panel is removed the case looks well worn but it has not been affected in any other way. For something that is suppose to be exposed to the sun this should not happen. A few days later a received a reply from Powertraveller offering an exchange. I declined the offer as I was of the opinion that the problem was an inherent design fault and the exchange unit would probably exhibit the same fault within a few months. As it is only a cosmetic issue and the panel that I have is working well I decided to keep it.

11200mAh High Capacity Solar power Charger and Battery with Flashlight D04 for laptops, phones, camera, GPS, game console, DVD player, and more
11200mAh High Capacity Solar power Charger and Battery with Flashlight D04 for laptops, phones, camera, GPS, game console, DVD player, and more

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not meet expectations, 17 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had the device for a couple of months now so I've had it long enough for the device to have settled in and for me to understand exactly what its capable of. The tests are not very scientific and are conducted with standard of-the-shelf multi-meters but they do shows some significant anomalies between the specification and reality.

I bought this device primarily to provide 12V to an ASUS Transformer and to keep a variety of camera battery charged whilst away from the mains for a few days. Of course the 5V devices that come out with me will also be topped on the way. The capacity seemed substantial and the ability to top the device up from the sun between charges seemed attractive.

The product Web page indicated that there might be a dispatch delay of several days, mine shipped within 24hrs of placing the order and arrived 9 days later. It didn't come in a box, it was wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and looked like it had been around the world several times. Only one phone adapter was damage and I don't use that one (it looks like that was damaged before dispatch).

The package contained an English leaflet, a carrying bag, the device itself (has no name), a power supply, two cables and two sets of adapters (for laptops and mobile devices).

It looks like the leaflet was written in China without an English editor. The text, the photos and the annotation were so small that at time it was necessary to use a magnifying glass to read it. The leaflet was poorly written and required careful study to make any sense out of the operating instructions, not that many instruction were required. There were, however, some subtleties that weren't worked out until after a few days of use.

A netbook size bag is provided. It looks like a quality reject. The stitching had missed the hem in a number of places and required a bit of remedial work before it could be used. The supplier was informed and they sent out another bag but that had the same problem.

The power supply is a fairly standard international unit with a detachable US cable, 110 - 240 volt in, 18 volt out and a 3.5 foot cable terminating in a barrel plug. A three pin UK mains adapter is provided. It's not a very compact solution. There are many neater power supplies with interchangeable prongs on the market and most are made in China. The power brick and the device do get quiet warm when charging.

Two cables are provide, one for the 19V laptop output and the other for the manually variable output (I haven't got anything that uses 19V so for me it's a waste). The laptop cables is only three foot long. The other cable is even shorter, only about two foot. So to charge your phone or your camera batteries the device must sit next to them. The main (19V) cable has a twin prong end to take the adapters. Although one hole in the socket is a little larger than the other it is still quite easy to insert the adapters the wrong way around. It is marked on the plug and socket but in the dark or when in a rush the plug will get put in the wrong way. The short cable shouldn't be a problem with wrong connections. There is a male barrel plug at the input end and female socket on the adapter end. Both cables are fitted with the same size barrel plug and can therefore be used in either output socket. All sockets are a tight fit and at first you wonder are the plugs the right size.

When the device arrived it was completely dead. It needed a charge to bring it to life. The other thing that really annoyed me was that plastic cling film had been place over the solar screen. It was full of bubbles. Whether it was suppose to be a screen protector I don't know but the loose fit and the bubbles certainly won't improve solar transparency. Mine came off at the first opportunity (probably invalidate the warranty). The cling films edges are nipped firmly under the casing so you can't get it off without leaving raggy ends protruding.

The orange ends are not to my taste but I suppose it's easy to find in a cramped tent or hut. The case is made of ABS with a matt finish and looks well made but its not weather proof - too many water entry points. I believe the solar panel surface is made of fiberglass, its certainly not glass. On the top of the device is a solar charging light. The instructions say it lights up when there is sufficient light, however, there is no indication when it is actually charging. I assume its charging when it is lit, even in some very dark rooms. When it does light up it's extremely bright and it remains on all the time, which can be distracting. It only goes off when placed in a very dark place. Next to the solar light is a three way switch and four little LEDs to show the remaining battery life. Moving the switch to the left the turns the LED torch on, the middle is off and the right illuminated the previously mentioned battery level lights. The level light only gives the usable reading when the power supply is not connected. When plugged in to the mains the lights show 100% regardless of the battery condition. The lights are not accurate. Even when the last light (25%) has gone out I had an hour and a half of power left. A torch is something that isn't really needed and it is not all that bright.

Viewing the device from the socket end, at the bottom of the left side is the mains power input (18V) - not much to say about that other that it would have been nice to have a variable input. I have used a solar panel with its fluctuating output in that socket and the device coped very well. I don't know to what capacity it got charged but the level lights and the charge LED seem to indicate it was full.

Going round to the bottom edge of the device you come to the charging LED, red charging, green full. 19V output is next. It's a straight 19V out with short circuit/overload protection and not voltage sensing which is what I though the user leaflet referred to. The LED between the output socket lights up when it is powered up, green power OK red requires charging (too many lights on the device). The manually selected voltage out socket is next. The real output doesn't match what the spec. Spec says 4.2V, 8.4V, 12.6V and 16.8V. The actual no load output is 5.3V, 9.0V, 11.2V and 15.2V. There is over 1V difference for the two upper outputs. A mini USB socket is provided as an 18V solar input from an external solar panel but it doesn't work. To test it the device was connected to another larger solar panel. There did not appear to be any throughput. I'm not sure it is connected to anything. A meter across the pins shows all are open circuit. The last item along the bottom is a single white LED that acts as a torch.

Up the right side we have four LEDs identifying the selected voltage for the variable output followed by the power switch. To power on hold the switch for three seconds and it will cycle through the four voltage LEDs and settle on the 4.2V output. To change the output double press the power button and it will select the next voltage in line and when it reaches the end it will start all over again. You cannot change the output voltage when the cable is plugged in the socket. The cable must be removed first. The device will stay powered up until it is switched off again. No powering down when the device you are charging is full.

The last thing to mention about the device's feature is a hand strap loop at the top left hand corner (hand strap not provided). I don't think I would be carrying it around on a hand strap. Better would have been to provide a built in loop at both top corners and then it could be attached to a tent, backpack, computer bag etc..

So what is it like in use? After a few days I noticed the battery was moving around inside the case when I changed the orientation of the device. Either it has come loose during transit or it was not secured properly in the first place. I had to open it up and that is when my opinion about well made changed. There are four batteries inside taped together with ordinary masking tape and just lying loose in the case, no clamps or fittings. The solar screen was stuck to the case with silicon sealant, rather messy, so there is no chance of removing the leftover bits of cling film. While I was inside I took the opportunity to check on the real output of the solar screen. Nothing like what the spec claims (18V/2W). Slightly overcast day - 10mA @ 6.5V, bright clear mid day sunshine - 80mA @ 9V. With that sort of performance it will take forever to charge the battery. To prove a point I tried it. Four days of sunshine and mounted on a solar tracker it only resulted in one bar on the level meter.

The other thing that became noticeable very quickly was the paint was wearing off on the case contact points and was showing shiny black plastic underneath. So the nice matt coat is only a coat of paint.

Does it do what I bought it for? No, it just hasn't got the capacity. It does charge all my camera batteries and 75% of the Transformer but not from one charge and it's a slow process as there is only one port that I can use. I was a little concerned with the capacity of the battery. The specification quotes 11200mAh/14.8V. The device charges much to quickly and doesn't charge as much as it should based on what is quoted. I had to test the device. Discharging it at 956mAh / 15V the device switched off after 2.5 hours that gives me an approximate capacity of 3400mAh which is nearly a third of the specification. With that kind of variation I had to check the volt drop on the variable output as well. Selecting 4.2V (5.3V actual) drawing 334mA the voltage drops to 4.9V, selecting 8.4V (9.0V actual) drawing 160mA voltage drops to 8.8V, selecting 12.6V (11.2V actual) drawing 850mA and the voltage drops to 10.4V, selecting 16.8V (15.2V actual) drawing 990mA and the voltage drops to 14.4V. This matters when you voltage dependent devices. For instance selecting 12.6V to charge the Transformer the voltage drops to around 10V (drawing 990mA). At this voltage the Transformer switches to trickle charge mode (around 100mA) and that would take forever. I needed to select the 16.8V, which is really 15.2V before the Transformer would charge at a reasonable rate.

I thought the solar top would help out but it is a waste of time. Because of what I saw when I opened the device I haven't got confidence to rely on the device when out and about. The capacity is far from what is required so it stays at home and that's not what I had in mind when I bought it.

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