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M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK)

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50 x Wago 3 Way Compact Terminal Connector Block Grey 3W
50 x Wago 3 Way Compact Terminal Connector Block Grey 3W
Offered by Mallinson Electrical
Price: £14.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy and Secure, 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Right now I cannot think of an easier way to join two ends of a cable than these items. It is simplicity in itself to strip back a few mm of sheathing, push in the bare end and clamp down on the lever. Hey presto! A secure and safe connection of up to three wires. Ideal for connecting wires in an enclosure without faffing around with chocolate blocks and terminal screws in the semi darkness of a house refurbishment.

Superb to be honest and really well made.

SEBSON® 4 x G9 3W LED, Warm White, 25W Replacement for Light Bulb, 240lm, 160º Beam Angle
SEBSON® 4 x G9 3W LED, Warm White, 25W Replacement for Light Bulb, 240lm, 160º Beam Angle
Offered by SEBSON
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class G9 Replacement, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once I had made the choice to move to LED lamps my die was cast and over the last two years all my lights have been changed over as they failed or replacement LED ones at a justifiable price became available. The last type I have changed are G9 types in my utility room.

The previous lamps were 50w halogen of which one only lasted six weeks before it failed. Previous experience tells me that halogen G9's don't last long and really, within one year a replacement LED has paid for itself in the longevity and of course parsimonious power consumption.

These lamps work well. I have no doubt they equal 25w of 'normal' lamp light output. Clearly not as much as a 50w halogen, but you can use many more and still be well under the amount of absorbed power.

Quality is excellent. I've never heard of SEBSON before, but I have since noted that as a manufacturer they seem to be considered higher end. I have nothing to contradict that if these lamps are anything to go by.

Now, the only issue you might run into is the physical size. A halogen G9 lamp is very small and these are not. Yes, much smaller than other types, but not close to a G9 halogen, and that might be a problem if your light fitting is a very small one. See the picture for a comparison there. For my use this was not a problem and I am very happy with these lamps.

Overall, if they fit your light, then not changing out your old or failed G9 halogen is a no brainer.
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VAX Air Cordless Lift
VAX Air Cordless Lift
Price: £349.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrivalled Battery Powered Vacuum, 1 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 0:43 Mins

Have we reached the nirvana that is a cordless vacuum that equals the best of the mains powered ones? No. But it's close. This Vax is a genuine attempt at manufacturing a vacuum cleaner that can be used in the same way as the normal mains powered ones without compromising the ability to actually remove dirt.

Build quality is high. It is very similar in feel to a Dyson with similar design ideology which some like, some don't. For me, Dysons are a bit Early Learning Center to look at, whilst fully accepting that they work superbly. My wife has two already so I can compare them.

However, the look of this vacuum is not the reason for buying it. You will look at this because it has no power chord.

So does it work? Most certainly. Hand on heart I can truthfully say that this vacuum performs as well as any middling vacuum that is chorded. The fact that it is three times the price of one of those said vacuums means you really want to have to the convenience of a battery powered hoover though. There are of course a few fudges to get the numbers up in the blurb. There are two settings for power - standard and boost. Reality is that, if you are aiming to get heavy dirt out of a carpet you will almost certainly end up using the vacuum on boost all of the time. This is not a problem, but of course it will reduce the battery life in use. Vax state that this hoover will clean around 250m2 of floor on one battery. If that is the case then it will be more than enough to clean an entire average or less UK house. I suspect that if you have a house of 250m2 and it is all carpeted including the stairs, you will be into the second battery around the 150m2 mark.

Where you will win of course is on hard floors such as wood. On a wooden floor you only need standard power and the rotating brush off. On carpet you activate the brush head for additional help - which it most certainly is - but it will add to the battery drain. My kitchen - diner - living area is 98.5m2 and is a wooden floor with about 30% covered in rugs. I have used this vacuum three times on one battery to clean this floor to a good standard and I am to say the least, very impressed. There is still life in the lithium battery yet and, of course another spare one ready to go that I have not yet had to use.

Now, Vax have really come up with a superb design element that simply could not be done with a mains voltage vacuum. You can pull out the middle section of the unit with the hose and hand carry it to be used on things such as the stairs or your car. Frankly, this alone makes this Vax a reason to buy it. Whichever engineer thought that one up in their design studio has nailed it and Dyson must be chewing his knuckles having missed that trick.

In operation the hoover is fantastically manoeuvrable with a gimbal type joint that allows the suction head to turn and twist in any direction. It works as well as the Dyson Ball - which my wife uses upstairs. The hose detaches from the floor suction head allowing the usual extra type attachments to be used for smaller cleaning areas or the car.

The dust collector works on very much the same venturi principle as the Dyson vacuums and is large enough for a single house clean through. To empty it is simplicity itself. Remove the collector, pop the top and dump the contents. No drama, no broken nails and seconds to do. There is a small filter unit similar to other machines of this type that you can knock clear of debris a few time before changing.

Quite honestly, this Vax is in a category of one. There are no rivals at all to this battery powered vacuum cleaner for normal uncompromised use. If you want a non mains powered vacuum then look no further.

Salter Salter Deep Fill Double Pie Maker
Salter Salter Deep Fill Double Pie Maker
Price: £32.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Waistline Expanding Brilliance, 28 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't buy if you are on a diet because pies are going to kill it dead....And this machine is the tool that will do it.

Put simply, the easiest way I can imagine to make a home made pie - and it does it in about ten minutes. Switch on the machine and let it heat up which allows you to use the supplied pastry cutter to cut out the case and lid from your choice of pastry. Once hot you drop it in the base and carefully push it into the corners and sides. This is the only tricky bit as you are working with a hot pie machine and could burn yourself if you are not careful.

Once you have the case in place fill it to near the top with your pre-cooked filling. Put on the lid, close and wait ten minutes. Hey presto. A perfect deep fill pie, each well big enough for one hungry person.

You can make sweet or savoury pies with equal ease and there are plenty of books and online recipes for these machines with the only downside being that you don't have any choice of size or shape. Not a problem for me but I guess you may want to deviate once in a while.

Another big plus in these more straightened and environmental times is the power use. Cooking a pie in an oven will necessitate heating up a large area of air in a fair sized box, whereas this pie make directly cooks the exact size of pie without wasting energy in a short time scale. A real money saver in energy cost.

Sony NWZ-W273S 4GB Waterproof All-in-One MP3 Player - Orange
Sony NWZ-W273S 4GB Waterproof All-in-One MP3 Player - Orange
Offered by Zeto UK
Price: £51.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gym Music Player, 25 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love these headphones for one reason and one reason alone. They are brilliantly convenient when working out. Like most I used to use an MP3 player in a sleeve plus wired headphones and whilst clearly functional is a bit of a drag - sometimes literally - when using gym gear. When I found the original Sony versions of these I bought and used them until they carked it due to corrosion. They were not waterproof/sweatproof then. After that happened I bought the next generation version that was water resistant about four years ago and which is still working despite near daily use,. However, the headband has lost a bit of 'spring' allowing the right ear plug to slide out when trying hard and sweating. I can't complain. I have not looked after them very well and they are quite an age for modern electronic items.

So I have purchased this, the latest gen version which promises more of the same. Which it is.

Small, neat and comfortable to wear and hang in fine when doing vigorous exercise. Sound quality if I'm honest is not a major priority. If I want that I'll sit in front of a high end hifi. What I can say is that the quality is excellent and on a par with any other modern mp3 player at high bit rates. I defy most to actually tell the difference when jumping around in a noisy gym.

I use Windows Media player to sync music to this player as I rip everything into WMA Lossless. If you have a standard bit rate you could drag and drop if you want to transfer music. Personally, I find the Media Player sync so good nothing else compares. I don't use iTunes so cannot comment on that aspect.

What is much better than the previous gen player is the integrated holder and charging unit. The previous version had a simple thin clasp that gets lost immediately with a charging connection under a rubberised cover. Slightly awkward and of course a weak point in water. This player has brass connectors that are contacted by the holder/charger with no flimsy covers. The charger is also robust and solid so will help keep the player intact.

Downsides. The controls. The on/off button and the lock one feel cheap. Overall in immediate use all the controls do not come across as intuitive as the older version which in turn was not as good as the original. Odd, that.

The charging unit. Whilst I like it and it is better than the simple cable connector on the older unit, what it does mean is that if you lose the clasp/charger your unit is dead until you buy another one. Which might not be so easy or cheap to do.

Overall, I cannot think of any rival music player that is so ideally suited for exercising of any sort. Pure brilliance.

Fisher-Price Spray-n-Lights Whale Bath
Fisher-Price Spray-n-Lights Whale Bath
Offered by savvybuys2
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Made Bathtime Toy, 23 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd like to say this is for me..... but in reality my two grandchildren have enjoyed this much more.

So what we have here is a typically well made Fisher Price toy that's great fun for small children at bath time. Like all small children, my grandkids simply love the bath and anything that adds to the fun is fine by me. This toy does.

To be honest all it actually does is squirt water in a short (120mm) fountain from the top. But that's enough to provide a bit of fun. What it does not do is move the ball shown on the picture which stupidly I thought it might. Of course to do that it would have to really pump some water and if it did, your bathroom would very quickly end up soaked. The ball is actually meant to be balanced on the tail of the whale and I assume that this is to help a child's motor skills.

Negatives? Well, it's quite heavy and if swung by an enthusiastic child could clonk someone a good'un. I don't know how long the pump would run before the seal wore out if not submerged in water. The battery compartment where the batteries are fitted is quite tough to open because of the seal which if damaged would end up leaking and therefore needs to be treated with respect.

Overall though, a nice to have toy for small children at bathtime.

Lenovo YOGA 2 8-Inch Tablet (Ebony) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, 2x Camera, Wi-Fi, Windows 8.1)
Lenovo YOGA 2 8-Inch Tablet (Ebony) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, 2x Camera, Wi-Fi, Windows 8.1)
Price: £214.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Windows Tablet - That Really Works, 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:04 Mins

I like Lenova tablets. They are well made, battery lasts more than any other on the market as far as I can tell, and they are well priced. Put simply, great value for money tablets. So much so I bought two Android ones - one for me and one for my wife.

And now I have this 8" Windows version to review and I am very impressed indeed.

First off the actual build quality is better than the Android version. It looks the same but has a slightly higher quality feel with a different tactile finish to the back.

Screen quality is up there with the best. Utterly clear and crisp.

Speed is great. In operation it is smooth and slick. It is of course using Windows 8 which in itself might not be everyone's cup of tea, however it runs it well. Start up as I've shown in the video is faster than the Android version.

The only downside for me in middle age is the mark one eyeballs required to see everything on the screen. Windows by it's nature has a fairly busy look and whilst the screen is crystal sharp, truth is that much of the writing, icons and pictures are small on an 8" tablet. You need a good set of peeps or top class glasses if I'm being honest whilst using W8 on a small screen.

What I can say is that if you want a Windows tablet that will fit in a reasonable sized handbag or large coat pocket then this is probably your best option. I know from the year and a half I've had the Lenova 10" Android tablet that the hardware is excellent so I would not be worried at all about the longevity or speed of this device. Another great Lenova tablet.

Pure Jongo T2X Wireless Speaker with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - Graphite
Pure Jongo T2X Wireless Speaker with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - Graphite
Price: £79.95

1.0 out of 5 stars A Useless Plastic Brick - Will Not Work with BT Home Hub 5, 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:29 Mins

Using a quick (badly made) video regarding the Jongo wifi speaker. I have tried to show the setup procedure and the reason for my irritation. The tablet I used to attempt a connect is a Lenova Yoga Android device. Bum basic, popular and very good.

When I got the Jongo to review, my initial impression was positive. How wrong I was.

The entire setup is done via one's tablet using the Pure app that you download from the Play store. All fine and dandy so far. The initial start up using the step by step guide did seem to enable the speaker to connect. The little orange ring around the power button flashed green, then solid when connected. I was quite impressed at this point to be honest.

However, as soon as it connected it did an update - which over the years I have come to dread with various bits of kit changing status from operational to scrap in one quick step. And yes, I was not disappointed. As soon as the update had finished the Jongo no longer connected. The green ring went to flashing orange where it has stayed. With no connection visible when trying to use my tablet.

Now, to compare I also have a Pure internet radio - the Sensia 2000 - which was also a monster to get working. So much so I just gave up and wrote a lousy review. It did work on FM so I left it alone and after about a year and a number of updates, it actually started working fully. The Pure app that I downloaded for the Jongo connects to that easily enough so I know it is possible to get it working. Just not with the Jongo.

And then I checked the Pure help section and found that there is an issue with the BT Home Hub 5. It doesn't work. See the enclosed video. Nice one Pure - you have made a wifi speaker that does not connect via the most popular provider and equipment in the UK. Own goal?

I do however have another wifi unit connected via my Ethernet switch to give better coverage over the crummy Home Hub. So I reconnected to this one via my tablet - suggested via the Pure help info - and hey presto, nothing. Nil. Zip. DOA.

And.....putting this all aside, even if the damn thing did work, you have to use the Pure app which is quite frankly horrid. Pure have made it for one thing and one thing only. Selling you music and a subscription fee. It will of course control your Pure device - at least the one that actually works - and you can stream from your tablet to that rare thing, a working Pure radio. But God alive it's a pain to get there. Because the app is designed to lighten your wallet you have to scroll around trying to find what you want. To be honest, even if the Jongo worked I would not use it because of the app. I hate the ghastly thing with a passion reserved for muggers and thieves. If Pure spent as much time getting the software working on their devices as they have making an app to sell you crap music you don't like, the Jongo would be so far ahead of the competition it would be a worldwide revelation. Instead Pure have created an expensive plastic brick with an operating app designed by Dick Turpin.

Truth is that of course I got this to review via Vine. If I had pulled out a hundred quid for this garbage I would be incensed. Put simply, avoid like an Ebola case.

AmazonBasics Portable External Battery Charger 2,000 mAh (Ultra Slim)
AmazonBasics Portable External Battery Charger 2,000 mAh (Ultra Slim)
Price: £11.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short Time Extra Power, 20 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Positives first. It's neat and packaged small enough to fit easily in a small bag, purse or handbag. Not small enough to fit into your wallet though, despite the advertising that suggests it's the same size as a credit card. It's not. The power supply lead fits into the unit so you don't have to carry an extra cable around.

Negatives. Hmmm. It doesn't actually do much in reality. The suggestion is that this will charge your mobile phone, but it won't. I tried it on a Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 Zoom and a Nokia Windows phone and it didn't make any appreciable difference to the power status. On the Nokia I didn't see any movement at all to be honest. It will keep the phone going for extra time which I guess will be fine for adding extra call minutes or in a real emergency when you have run out of charge altogether.

The blurb says 'Portable External Battery Charger.' A more truthful description would be 'Portable Short Time Power Boost.'

Vileda WindoMatic Window Vacuum, 0.1 Litre, 12 Watt
Vileda WindoMatic Window Vacuum, 0.1 Litre, 12 Watt
Price: £45.30

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works Well, But Slightly Flawed, 14 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Both my wife and I have tried this out compared to the Karcher version that we already had. This has given us a pretty good idea of how it stacks up against the competition.

Firstly, it works as intended and is a genuinely useful tool to help clean windows. My wife has had the Karcher one for about eight months since it became widely available and so far she has used it quite a bit. They may look like a gimmick but window vacs seem to have a use.

It works as well as the Karcher in performance. There is little to choose between them when it comes down to the actual job of removing water and suds from your windows. Like the Karcher it will last about an hour of window cleaning use - bearing in mind that you will be switching it on and off whilst applying the cleaning solution. Probably about 20 to 30 mins of actual continuous running.

Now the negatives. This window vac has a 'flexible' head which if the blurb has it, makes the angle easily and automatically set as you press against the window. Sounds fine but in practice has no real benefit. The angle you need to get is quite shallow and equates to the head being fully pressed hard up against the glass. Any other angle means it does not work particularly well. And (if you care to check the enclosed photos) the angle you need to get when fully pressed matches the exact angle on the fixed head Karcher when held normally. It also becomes a bit of a pain as well. Whilst the spring tension is not particularly strong, it does not take many minutes before you start to end up with aching wrists. Even I did after about five minutes and I'm 14 1/2 stone of marine engineer with a love of gyms.

The on-off button tends to get operated inadvertently in use as well. Bit irritating until you get used to it.

One more thing to note - which you can see in the photos - the suction head rubbers are almost identical to the Karcher one so performance is going to be pretty much the same.

Overall, the truth is that the Karcher is the better machine. The flexible head is a hindrance not a benefit.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 8:11 PM GMT

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