marcoscu

marcoscu

I have tried out quite a few Trailcams in the past including some from Campark and this one is a distinct update from previous models. But what is a trail camera? A trail camera is a camera which is designed to operate unattended outdoors and to automatically capture pictures or video of anything that triggers the built-in motion detector. They are mainly used to monitor wildlife activity but could be used for security purposes also.

This £59.99 new model T70 from CAMPARK arrived packed in an attractive mid-market product box inside of which was the camera itself, metal floor/surface mount with screw fittings, retaining tree mount strap, micro-USB to USB cable, User Guide. Although the camera itself is made of plastic and is rather lightweight (which is perhaps no drawback) build quality seems fine in general. The User Guide is large, very well printed and in understandable English and is the best I have ever seen for any trail cam. The User Guide is too long to add to my unboxing video but I do include a scan of the excellent getting Started Guide also included in the box.

The camera takes four or eight AA batteries, a lot but it means it can be left to operate untended over extended periods. Take note that if used intensively the batteries will quickly run down but in normal use should last up to six months. The batteries are housed in a compartment in the main body of the unit. It has the option to use an external 6v/2A power supply (not supplied). On the front of the device are the lens, light sensor, motion sensor LED, 44 LED infrared panel, wide angled motion sensor. On the side are clips to secure the front and rear sections of the camera together with a mount for an external lock. When the clips are released the front and back of the device open out on a hinge. On the underside is a metal tripod screw and a grommet protected external power supply input. On the rear are loops for the mounting belt or wire and a secondary metal tripod mount. On the inside..

I have had some experience with TrackR products over the last couple of years and not all of it good. I had a TrackR Bravo and found it to be Ok but with a very feeble alarm noise. One day it stopped working and despite reboots and battery changes could not be revived. I had a very similar experience with the TrackR Wallet, which again died one day and could no longer be paired with any device. I also ordered and paid for the TrackR 2, which was promised for this year, but one day received a refund with no explanation. I already have one TrackR Pixel which so far has proved Ok so that when I saw another at a good price I decided to go for it to replace the Wallet model.

The TrackR arrived in an attractive and well-designed box with inside just the TrackR Pixel, a single round sticky mount and a badly printed and hard to read Install Guide.

Despite the almost illegible printed guide, in fact, installing the device was simple enough using the walkthrough screens on the TrackR app. Just go to the add new device screen, select the TrackR model and press the button on the TrackR device.

I have read many negative reviews on Amazon for Trackrs by people;e that do not understand what they do. The TrackR uses Bluetooth to connect to the smartphone and can only be used to locate the phone directly when it is connected to it. This is great when you misplace your wallet, keys etc or whatever the TrackR device is fastened to. It works the other way around and pressing the button on the TrackR can be used to locate a misplaced phone by making it ring. However, all it can do with items lost out of Bluetooth range is to show on the map the last place the phone and Trackr were connected. If you left your TrackR in your office desk then the TrackR app map will show it as being there with a date and time stamp for the last connection. It does offer a crowd search feature whereby any smartphone with the TrackR app installed that passes by a Trackr item listed by the owner as lost..

This is one of the most unusual glasses cases I have seen, although priced at just £8.99 it is certainly by no means the most expensive. The unusual feature about the case at although made from hard and robust faux leather it folds flat when not in use and can be slipped into a shirt pocket.

The case arrived with no external packaging other than a clear plastic bag, a pity as it detracts from the appeal of the item as a gift. The 7.5cm by 17cm case opens out quickly and easily in the shape of a tent with what seems to be a magnetic flap securing the opening. The case is quite large and will hold almost any size of glasses (Elton John excepted) with inside a felt like finish protects the contents. A softer finish inside might have been better but with it, the case could not fold flat as it does.

The thing that I like about this case is that when assembled it offers the same level of protection as any other normal rigid but it solves the problem of what to do with a bulky case when wearing the glasses - you can just fold the case and pop it into your pocket.

This is a decent quality item, reasonably priced, and would be a useful gift for any glasses wearer.

The Good
Good glasses protection
Good Build Quality
Great price
Fold up flat
Attractive Design

The Bad
Large size
Smaller glasses move about inside the case
Unattractive packaging

More info and Purchase https://amzn.to/2KIDR5B

Blog: http://bit.ly/2NMUj6x

These are described as being sports sunglasses which means they should be stronger and more robustly built than normal sunglasses whilst being lighter in weight. They should also offer full protection from glare and harmful ultraviolet radiation. For just £17.99 this new pair from LOSMILE seems to tick all those boxes.

The sunglasses are certainly packaged like a premium product in a well-made designer box with the glasses, microfibre cleaning cloth and a large PU leather soft carry case. Judging by the presentation I would expect them to be priced at several times the asking price.

The sunglasses are attractively and conservatively styled with no glaring colours, mirror finish or faddy design features. Just plain and discreet black for the frame and lenses. The construction is good, lightweight but flexible and so far as I can tell tough and hardwearing.

The glasses are a good close fit but being lightweight this does not feel oppressive or burdensome. Once on, at least for me, the glasses stay on and I would have no worries wearing these whilst running or cycling. It is hard to test the actual efficiency in removing the invisible UV radiation but I have no reason to doubt the claimed UV400 protection level. They certainly do remove the glare found on a bright sunny day down to pleasant and manageable levels without distorting colours too much. This coupled with the lightweight and non-restrictive frame meant that I soon forgot I was wearing them.

This is a good quality and well-made pair of lightweight sports sunglasses that work well and are pleasant and easy to wear. My only criticism is that the supplied case, although well made and attractive is overly large without offering the protection of a rigid framed case. All in all, I doubt you will find better sports sunglasses for this price.

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2N7uyNn

Blog: http://bit.ly/2KZWXHE

This new plugboard from TOP-MAX offers a wifi connection and can be used with Amazon Alexa and Google Home to give voice control of the three sockets and four USB ports.

The plugboard arrived in a simple white branded box inside of which was the plugboard itself and a User Guide which was poorly printed and badly written and almost illegible.

Build quality seems fine, the plugboard seems well made and robust and has an upmarket feel to it. The plugboard has a 5.9ft heavy duty cable, three UK power sockets and four USB 2 ports rated at up to 2.4A each or 4A total. It has five LED lights, one each for the power sockets, one for the USB port set and one general status LED.

The device will work purely as a normal plugboard without remote control but the point of the unit, of course, is the remote and voice control capabilities. To enable this first download and install the ‘Smart Life’ app and register an account with it. To connect the app to the plugboard open the app and press the '+' sign in the top right of the screen to add a new device, and then select 'Multiple Socket'. Plug in and switch on the plugboard and the Master LED should flash, if not press and hold the Master button. Follow the app instructions to then add the device. You can then use the app to remotely control your power strip sockets individually, set timers and countdowns etc. To enable voice control through Google or Alexa a further step is needed.

For Alexa user then go to the Alexa app and add the ‘Smart Life’ skill and add the name and password that you set up in the Ama Home app when prompted. Then let Alexa search for new devices and your plugboard will be found. The procedure is pretty much the same when adding Google Home control.

Take note that although the individual sockets and the USB strip can be controlled separately using the app this cannot be done by voice. The range of control offered through Alexa and Google is less than with the Smart Life app but you can turn the whol..

You get rather a lot for your £17.99 on Amazon with this new gaming headset from EasySMX. But is it any good?

The headset arrived nicely presented in an unusually tasteful and rather upmarket box. Inside was the headset itself, and a large and easy to read User Guide which I include on the end of my unboxing video.

The headset is nicely made, seems robust and strong, and rather attractively designed compared to some gamer headsets I have tried – which is not saying much. It is well padded on both the earcups, which are of the over-ear type, and on the headband with what appears to be PU leather. It is comfortable and easy to wear even for long gaming sessions. The headset has a dual cable to allow for separate mic/audio connections – green for headset, red for the microphone. An adaptor is including to allow the mic and headphone jacks to be combined to allow the headset to be used with phones and other devices without separate mic and audio ports. The earcups illuminate with orange LED’s featuring three lighting modes using the USB plug and in fact, this is the only purpose of the USB plug as USB audio is not supported and there is no built-in vibration engine. Unlike some headsets, this one has no in-line control unit, the audio volume, microphone and LED's are operated from the headset itself. The non-detachable mic which has an orange LED indicator on the end when working is small and very flexible and can easily be folded back out of the way when not needed.

The audio quality is far better than I was expecting and worthy of a higher priced device. There is plenty of bass, not so much as to be overpowering, with the mid and higher frequencies being clear and well defined without being too sharp or abrasive. When both gaming and listening to music it is becomes a very immersive and enjoyable experience. From a pure gaming viewpoint the lack of direct talkback through the console is a drawback but the fine sound quality and ease of use for general music play..

I already own a Jabra Elite Sport headset and I was interested to try this newer and less expensive alternative from Jabra to see how it compares. As a starting point let me say that I am very happy with the Elite Sport headset and use it on a daily basis when running and walking and find it an excellent compromise between comfort, features and audio quality. My only real criticism of the older pair is that although I am a runner I seldom use the sports features as I prefer to use a dedicated running watch for those and I suspect most serious runners would do the same.

The new headset, the came elaborately presented in a very similar box to the older set. Inside apart from the headset was the charging case, cable, two additional sets of earbud gels, and a brief Quickstart Guide which I include in the unboxing video.

The build quality of the headset seems fine. It has a premium look and feel to it, although less so perhaps than the Elite Sport. Both the case and earbuds are smaller and lighter than I was expecting and compared to the older set. This is either a plus or negative depending on how you look at it. The Elite Sport earbuds are comfortable but these are even more so and perhaps the most comfortable and easy to fit of any of the many True Wireless headsets I have tried. It is easy to forget you are wearing them and possibly this may make them more easy to lose.

The charging case attractively designed and it is easy enough to fit the buds into their charging ports. One annoyance for me at least is that the case will not stand upright when opened and will only stand when closed and placed on end. The buds are not held in place magnetically as they are with the Elite Sport which means there is always a risk of them falling out. The charging time for the buds is the same as the earlier pair at around two hours. However, the standby battery life of these earbuds at an estimated 15 hours is about 10% better than with the Elite Sports. The claimed five hours o..

There are loads of budget-priced Condenser Microphones available on Amazon and elsewhere and too many of them are bought by people not realising that they need an external 48v Phantom power supply to work with a computer. This microphone kit from Neewer comes as a separately boxed microphone and power supply.

In the first box, there is the NW-700 microphone itself, pop filter, XLR to mini jack cable, shock mount cage and User Guide. In the second box is the power supply with UK plug, XLR adapter cable and User Guide. In short, all you need to connect the microphone to the computer is included.

Build quality seems fine throughout and this is one of those products where you have to ask how can make it for the price. The only item lacking is a storage case.

For my tests, I used the freeware Audacity program on my PC and the microphone worked fine with minimal hiss or background noise and with good default gain levels. Remember that this mic as with all of this type records the audio from the sides and not from the end like a stage mic.

For the current Amazon price of just £20.99, you get a perfectly decent condenser microphone with all you need to make it work. It can produce good results, certainly good enough for most users. Of course, you can pay more, much more, to get higher quality but for most podcasters and home users, this will be just fine.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Good audio quality

The Bad
No storage case
Short power cable
No mic stand

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2KWoV3N

Blog: http://bit.ly/2u4rLxf

At the time of writing, we are in the grip of a seemingly endless heatwave here in the UK. Somewhere in the attic we have two fans, possibly working, but after a search, I was unable to find them in the mountain of junk and discarded review items that reside up there. So it was time to buy a new fan. There can be no better way of ensuring the end of the heatwave than buying a fan, a fam which will then be consigned to the attic until the next heatwave occurs in a few years, so I did not want to pay too much.

This pedestal fan from the curiously named Squizzas! seemed to fit the bill. It was not too expensive at £22.99 on Amazon and received decent enough reviews, so it seemed a good buy.

The fan arrived in a large product identified box inside of which was the fan itself (in bits) and a poorly printed and hard to follow installation guide. Build quality seems OK for the budget price and all the screws and other items for the assembly kit were all present and correct.

Putting the thing together was not too hard after scrutinising the Install Guide and it became clear that there was really only one way to do so and it would be difficult to assemble it wrong. One tip is to push the little screws through the holes in the base before putting the two cross members together, that gives you room to get your fingers in. That last sentence will make more sense when you have the pieces in front of you!

Once assembled the fan is reasonably steady although as my video shows it does tend to wobble a bit when oscillating and at full power. The stand has a telescopic base which allows the fan head height to be varied by about eighteen inches or so. The fan head can be angled up and down although more up than down it has to be said. There are three speeds controlled by large clicky buttons on the front together with another Off/On button. The buttons are mechanical which means that the fan can come on when power is turned on at the wall. This is useful for lazy Amazon Echo ow..

This excellent pet grooming set from Warmdor contains all the tools you need to keep the fur of your long-haired pet groomed and in good condition.

In the simple but attractive product box were the electric clippers themselves, 3mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm plastic comb attachments, heavy duty nail file, nail clippers, steel comb, power supply and cleaning brush for the electric clippers, User Guide. No carry case is included, which is a pity.

Build quality seems excellent with none of the kit appearing particularly lightweight or liable to break anytime soon. The electric clippers have a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery which should give about an hour of use from a four-hour charge but it can also work using the attached UK plug charging cable. The clipper has a ceramic cutting blade and the blade cutting depth can be fine-tuned using the twist wheel dial around the centre of the device. The nail clippers seem suitably tough to deal with even large dog nails. The stainless steel comb seems fine and as good as any other I have seen. The scissors seem OK too although perhaps not the best I have used. The User Guide, although it has a few translation issues is far better than I expected and is large, well illustrated and easy to read. I enclose a scan of it at the end of my unboxing video.

Using it I found it all worked as is should. The electric trimmer is not too loud and pretty much vibration free and will not alarm all but the most sensitive animals. The other kit components all functioned as to be expected.

Currently priced on Amazon at £22.59 this is an excellent buy and worth considering by the owner of any long-haired pet.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great Price
Quiet Operation
Battery/Mains powered

The Bad
No Carry Case
Trimmer attachments feel lightweight
Power Cable too short

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2lRsrS7

Blog: http://bit.ly/2ubiTVK

This is not the first Melitta Bean to Cup coffee machine I have tried. A family member has the earlier version, the Melitta SOLO & Milk E953-102 , that this new model is the direct successor to. The earlier model has dropped from over £1200 in price to now just £449 on Amazon but is the new £1175 Melitta Barista TS SMART update worth the difference?

This model like the original is stylish and attractive to look at and can produce a range of coffee types either bespoke or from the 21 preset recipes. Both machines can make the coffee either by pressing one of the five front panel touch sensitive buttons linked to basic coffee type - Espresso, Cafe Creme, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato plus buttons for hot milk/froth and water - from the stored preset recipes or by delving into the recipe database using the large front panel LCD screen. Coffee strength, quantity, and other variables can also be altered from the front screen. In appearance and all basic functions, the two machines are the same. Both machines can make superb coffee quickly and easily. Like the old machine, this one has extensive automated self-cleaning procedures that endlessly ask for permission to run. Take note that these are all recorded and stored by the device for use by the Melitta engineers so do not ignore them as it may affect any future warranty repairs.

Aside from a number of minor updates this new machine is quieter in use but the real update is the much vaunted 'Smart' feature.

The Melitta Barista TS SMART uses Bluetooth to connect to the smartphone Melitta Connect app. The app is well designed and easy to use and allows the user not only to select any of the 21 preset coffee types but to make their own custom drinks and save these to the machine for easy access. The machine can also be configured to the User's choice, changing presets and varying default actions for both coffee making and maintenance. It also has walkthrough guides to clean and maintain the machine. The app is excellent,..

After a long wait, this Kickstarter project has now started shipping and will be available to the commercial market very soon. Priced at less than $40 this is a Universal Remote that should be brought Amazon Alexa and later Google and Apple remote control to a range infrared controlled household devices.

In the rather basic box was the SmartMote itself, a far too short USB to micro-USB cable, some Kickstarter stickers and a card with a link to the SmartMote website. With this initial model, no User Guide is included - promised for later versions - but the link card takes you to the download location for the SmartMote app. On the website are a number of instructional videos which I found hard to follow and in fact made the configuration process harder than it really is. After installing the app and registering a SmartMote account you need to add two Alexa skills to your Amazon Echo and you are all done.

Loading the app takes you to the setup page and a walkthrough guide to getting the device online and working. Following the instructions, you have to register a SmartMote account, connect your phone to a wifi hotspot created by the SmartMote and input your home network password. That done reconnect the phone to your home network and the Smartmote will do likewise and allow the app to then discover and connect to the device. I then had to update the SmartMote firmware and reboot the SmartMote and all was then done. This is easier to do than explain and took only a minute or so. A series of LED lights on the device confirm the status and should complete with a blue LED showing you are online and connected to the SmartMote cloud.

You can now add home devices, which at present is fairly limited in number but is due to expand soon. My Humax Sat Box, Roku, and Android TV Box were not recognised but my LG TV was and I found that all the basic commands worked at once with more specific commands learned quickly by pointing the TV remote at the SmartMote and selecting the..

AS technology advances so prices are falling and with a product like this you have to ask yourself 'How can they make it for this price?'. At one time it would cost over £100 for a dashcam that was anywhere near decent but here is a dual-lens camera for less than £30. But is it any good?

Packaged in a large and colourful mid-market product box aside from the front camera there is also the small rear camera with cable set and mounting kit, rear view mirror mounts, car power adaptor, and User Guide. The User Guide, unlike most, was very well printed, easy to read and but poorly translated. I include a copy at the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it. Unlike with many more expensive rivals, there was no SD card or USB cable and the user must supply their own. Be sure to use a good quality high-speed card of no larger than 32GB.

Most dashcams are single camera units but this system is supplied with a second small waterproof camera that is attached by cable to the front camera and can be positioned in the back window or above the rear licence plate to continuously record activity behind the car in addition to the forward picture recorded by the main camera. The rear camera is connected by a lengthy cable to a socket on the main camera. The video from the rear cam can be viewed on and is recorded by the front camera. The front camera has an F1.8 170-degree angle of view according to the User Guide, but we are not told the specifications for the rear camera. The second camera takes power from the front camera, however, if you wish to use the option to have this as a reversing camera then a connection must be made to the reversing light power supply.

Fixing the camera to the mirror on my Toyota Aygo was easy enough and the cables were easily long enough for both cameras. The front camera is built into an extra large mirror which clips over the existing rear view mirror with a 4.3" LCD screen incorporated into it. The front came..

Although mobile devices have been changing over to the more versatile and powerful USB-C format for charging it is still not easy to find good quality power banks that offer this interface. This new 20000mAh power bank from Vinsic is a welcome change as it offers not only USB-C, USB power and QC3 USB out but also the option to charge the power bank from either micro-USB or USB-C.

The power bank was supplied in a simple but attractive box that contains the power bank itself, a short USB to micro-USB cable, a Well written but rather small and hard to read User Guide and an 18-month warranty card.

The power bank is a good looking device with a matt finish to the body with a brushed aluminum look strip running the front which houses the small but bright and easy to read touch sensitive LED status window. Also on the leading edge are the four ports: USB-C in/out, USB out, QC3 USB out and micro-USB in. When the device is charging or discharging the LED panel gives a digital readout of the current battery status. There are no buttons, just shake the device or touch the display panel to get a status update. The USB-C port can support up to 5v/2A for power in and 5v3A for power out, the Quick Charge 3 USB port 3.6-6.5V=3A 6.5-9V=2A 9-12V=1.5A , the USB port up to 5v/2.4A output and the micro-USB for an input of up to 5v/2A. The ports are colour coded, which makes finding the right one quick and easy. At 20000mAh this is not the most capacious power bank I have tried but nevertheless should be able to charge an average high-end smartphone several times and smaller phone even more.

This is an attractive and well-engineered device designed to work with the latest generation of high-end phones. It looks good performs well and at the current price of £26.99 is certainly well priced.

The Good

USB-C in/out
QC 3 port
Good build quality
Attractive design
Great price
Colour coded ports
Easy to read Status panel

The Bad
Short charging cable
No USB-C cable included
No Carry..

Priced at £35.99 this is an alternative to the Phillips Hue or other smart lights but this Koogeek bulb connects directly with no hub required and works directly with Amazon and Google voice-controlled home automation. Unusually, it also works with the Apple Assistant, Siri, which few of the budget rivals do. Of course, for this to work you will need an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomeKit device but even without it you can still fully control the bulb through wifi.

The standard sized E27 screw bulb arrived in an attractive and robust presentation box. Inside with the bulb was a well printed and easy to read User Guide in colour. I enclose a scan of it on the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it. The bulb is quite large and heavier than some of the budget rivals I have tried but it has the feel of a quality piece of kit.

To use the bulb first download the Koogeek app. This app also works with a wide range of smart devices and is not used with the bulb alone. After installation follow the in-app instructions to add a new device. The procedure is simple enough and is well explained in the app. You will have to input your wifi password into the app and this is then sent to the bulb’s built-in wifi connection. The bulb will then automatically connect to your home wifi as long as the power supply to it is connected. Remember not to turn the bulb off at the socket, but always through the app or voice commands. What happens when the wifi is off, you may ask? With no wifi, t can still work as a normal bulb and can be switched off and on from the power socket or lamp switch.

Once online and registered with the app you can then turn the bulb off and on, engage a range of preset lighting patterns as well as manually selecting the colour and brightness you want. Once the Koogeek Alexa/Google skill has been enabled and the bulb named and recognized you can then perform most functions just by voice alone. You can turn it Off a..

I have been getting sore eyes of late, caused by a combination of Hay fever and too much time spent glaring at the computer. I have thought for some time about pleasant it would be to refresh my eyes with a cooling eye mask. Looking through Amazon this one seemed to be of decent quality and at £15.60 would not break the bank.

The mask arrived attractively presented in a plastic package inside of which was the mask itself, a protective bag to protect the mask when in the fridge or freezer, and some promotional materials.

The mask is quite large, easily enough to cover the eyes and the face for an inch or so around them. It is secured at the back by an adjustable Velcro strap which does a good job of securing the mask in place. The front of the mask is composed of a soft and malleable gel inside of a plastic pouch, the gel is mixed with gold coloured flecks which give it an attractive look. The other side, that which rests against the eyes, is of a soft black corduroy type cloth which feels pleasant against the eyelids when in place. The whole cooling effect is rather enjoyable and relaxing.

In use, the mask is comfortable and easy to wear. I have found that after about half an hour or so the mask will start to warm up and at that point, I flip it around so the plastic side is against the face which is also perfectly pleasant. I have found a few minutes in the fridge is best to cool the eyepad down, don't be tempted to put it in the freezer as it will quickly become rock hard and take an age to thaw out. The mask can also be put in the microwave for a few seconds for those that prefer a warm and soothing effect.

This is an excellent eye mask. It is robust and well made and really does help to revive the eyes.

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tF1BAR

Blog: http://bit.ly/2IDgXKM

You would not think there is much you can do to make a map better. Mops have been the same for generations but here, at last, is a new design that attempts to improve on the original.

The mop arrived nicely packaged and presented with a User Guide and online video guide, again clearly a step up from the hardware store rivals.

This mop offers several advantages over normal mops. It has a lightweight telescopic handle that retracts from 130cm to 80cm to make storage easier. It has a larger than normal mop head to carry and mop larger amounts of water to clean the floor faster and more efficiently. It has microfibre non-scratch pad on the end to allow heavily soiled areas to be scrubbed with no need to bend over. It has a unique twist action grip that allows the head to be squeezed dry without getting the hands wet.

I have to say that there seems to be an element of skill involved in using this mop. I found it hard to use the twist action grip properly and sometimes found it easier to wring it out by hand. But that may just be me, as other users have had no trouble with it. The large mop head although better for cleaning can be rather heavy and unwieldy and seems a bit too much for the lightweight construction of the handle mechanism.

This is a cleverly designed update on a traditional piece of home cleaning equipment and in the right hands can work really well. The future of mopping is here. Give it a try.

The Good
Easy to store
Spare heads available
EXtra large mop head
Twist action wringing mechanism
Scouring pad
microfibre Head

The Bad
Lightweight construction
Wringing action awkward to use
Wet mop head can be heavy

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tGhRRi

Blog: http://bit.ly/2N7xSc0

This charming and delightful set of Citronella soy wax candles is a ridiculously good buy at the current discounted Amazon price of £14.99.

The four 2" 4oz candles arrived beautifully presented in a robust and very attractive heavy duty designer box with the candles held inside within foam inserts. Each candle has a custom designed metal tin with matching lid, attractive items in themselves and eminently suitable for repurposing when the candle has gone. An informative and nicely designed User Guide is included to help get the best from the candles.

Normally citronella candles have a pronounced and distinctive scent of their own but here each candle has a separate, pleasant and rather a subtle scent. The fragrances are Rose, Lavender, Lemon, and Mediterranean Fig. In the past Citronella candles, I have used were primarily designed for outdoor use, to perfume the garden and drive away insects, but these candles are perhaps best suited for indoor use.

In use, the candles really are delightful and create a calming and relaxing but never overpowering or soporific atmosphere. The candles burn cleanly without smoke and both light and extinguish easily. I have not yet used mine enough to test it but I am quite prepared to accept the claimed 15 to 20 hours of burning time per candle.

This candle set would make a lovely gift for a family member or even yourself and at the current price are a snip indeed.

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tzJ5Kh

Blog: http://bit.ly/2tKCifX

There is nothing worse than filling the car boot up with odds and ends and then never being able to find the thing you need when you need it. This Car Boot Organiser is here to help.

The four pocket organiser hangs suspended from loops over the car headrests and has well sized meshed pockets to store and protect important items. It can be used suspended from the front seats for the benefit of those in the back or more usually from the rear seats for additional boot storage. My video shows it used this way in a Toyota Aygo.

The organiser arrived simply packaged in a plastic bag which is fine but might the appeal of the product as a gift and makes it seem cheaper than it is. No instructions were included and none were necessary.

The organiser is 34.4 inches wide by 16.9 inches deep, made from tough Oxford Cloth with four deep pockets of varying sizes each with a nylon mesh frontage. The pockets are deep and capacious but cannot be fastened shut or locked. Above them are four cloth pockets, two of them with velcro secured flaps. The organiser can be easily removed and can be folded up for storage.

Using the organiser is easy enough as it simply hooks over the rear seat rests and with adjustable loops to secure them. I found that the loops are easily wide enough to fit my car headrests without adjustment. The organiser has a Velcro strip running the length of the hanging end so it can be fixed to the back seat and to prevent it flapping about but annoyingly no Velcro tape is included to secure it with and on my car it would not stick without it – but may well be fine on yours. In any case, it might be argued that delicate items are better protected when hanging free.

This car boot organiser does the job and is well made and robust. Priced on Amazon at just £14.99 it is certainly inexpensive and I see no reason not to recommend it.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Velcro securing strip

The Bad
No additional Velcro tape supplied
Plain packaging

More Info..

There are a great many wireless doorbells available but few with a range of up to 450M or 1476 feet that this one has. That aside this is a well made but otherwise pretty standard wireless two ringer doorbell.

The kit arrived packed in a simple but robust with all the important information about the product clearly printed on it. This is far better than the plain box too often used by budget products these days.

Inside the box was the bell push with battery pre-installed, two ringer units with UK plug, a small screwdriver, double-sided sticky pad mount and a User Guide. The User Guide is well written, nicely printed and in good English. I enclose a copy at the end of my unboxing video.

Build quality seems fine. Everything is made of plastic but feels well well made and robust. Nothing seems flimsy or liable to fail anytime soon. The bell push is IP44 waterproof, which means it is fine even in all but the heaviest rain but does not immerse it in water or train water jets on it. The bell push has a proper clicky easy to see illuminated button. The doorbell uses a non-standard 12V/23A battery of a type I have seen before but that is not always easy to find. Remember to take note of the battery model before searching for a replacement. The ringer unit has an integral UK plug and again seems well made and robust. On the side are a Volume button and Ring Tone button to select which of the thirty ringer sounds you want. The tradition Ding-Dong default is still the best in my opinion. On the front of the ringers are bright blue LEDs that illuminate when ringing, handy for the hard of hearing. The LED's are bright but not too much so, as some rivals are. The ringer units are not waterproof so don’t be tempted to use it on an outdoor socket. What is the included mini screwdriver used for? It is to prise open the bell push box to access the battery.

Mounting it was very simple as could be using the double-sided sticky mount. If you plan to mount onto an uneven surface t..

We have had an inflatable bed in our conservatory for some months and both the dogs and I love to rest on it during the day. However, it was really too large for the small conservatory and then when it sprang a leak it became clear it was time for a change. We needed something more permanent than a blow-up bed and one that could double up as a sofa when needed and be easily taken down during the winter months. This folding daybed from Bigzzia seemed to suit our needs and at £89.99 on Amazon is not too dear. At 80cm wide is less bulky than the old one but wide enough still to be used a normal bed if needed.

The bed arrived in a huge heavy duty cardboard box containing the bed itself, a set of four lockable castor wheels, four carpet protectors, a pair of side support bars, a small pillow, a bed storage cover, and an Assembly Guide.

Assembling the bed was easy enough, took about ten minutes and the guide was not really needed. I did not that the fitting holes on the castor wheels are offset but would fit either way around. The guide did not say which way was best and so I took a guess at it and it seems to be OK. I did not bother with the two sidebars, which so far as I can tell serve no purpose other than to stop sleepers rolling off the bed.

The bed is 190x80cm in size and fold down to 80x24x95cm with a supplied lightweight storage cover it can fit into. It has a 3" memory foam mattress built in with a zipped cover which can be removed for cleaning. On one side there is a small hanging bag large enough to hold a paperback book or tablet. The pillow provided is nicely padded, soft and comfortable but too small to be of much use. The memory foam padding is OK and protects you from the metal frame but still feels quite hard and not particularly comfortable. The top third of the bed pivots and can be locked in position at a choice of six levels. To return it to flat you have to pull it fully forward and then push it back. The bed has two large springs on the unders..

We make a lot of yogurt at home and another suitable wide mouth flask was needed for the yogurt making process. This new 1Ltr sized model from Pioneer seemed to fit the bill and at the current Amazon price of £14.03, the price was good too.

The Lunch Box arrived simply presented in an attractive product box inside of which was just the flask itself with no instructions or additional paperwork, as none was needed.

The flask is made of stainless steel with a brushed effect finish and is 13 x 13 x 13 cm in size and weighs in at 376g. The lid has a bright red inset and an easy to hold large plastic grip to make for easy removal. You can carry it using the hand grip but a separate carry handle would be better. The flask is indeed wide mouthed and this makes the contents easy to access. Build quality throughout seems fine to me.

It works fine for yogurt making and the wide mouth makes it easy to get all the finished yogurt out. I have tried using it as a food flask and it does a good job of keeping the food warm for about several hours or so but not so well as a normal flask of similar capacity would do.

If you need an attractive and well-designed food flask to keep your meal hot from breakfast to lunchtime then this would be a very good buy. Yes, it works great for yogurt making too!

More Info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2MgWr56

Blog: http://bit.ly/2Mk70EA

I think we have all used kitchen timers similar to this one but this one is easy and more intuitive to use than others I have tried and the current Amazon price of just £3.49 makes it hard to say no to it.

The kitchen timer arrived packaged in a plain white box with just the device itself inside, no User Guide or other product information was included. The plain packaging is cheap to produce and better for the environment, no doubt, but it does tend to devalue the item and reinforce the budget price tag. It is a pity too that no battery was included as it means the timer will not work straight from the box.

On the front is a large and clear but non-backlit LCD screen. Below are the three operation buttons: M, S and Start/Stop. On the rear is the access panel for the single AAA battery together with a clever multi-mode positioning mount. The mount has a hanging hook, magnetic panel, and kickstand, all of which work well. The build quality of the timer is excellent and nothing looks likely to fail anytime soon.

Due to the lack of instructions, I had thought I might struggle with using the timer but in fact it easy enough to figure out how to operate it. The M and S buttons are used to set the countdown time (with confirmation beeps), the start/stop button begins and ends the timer, press M and S together to reset the timer. With no timer set pressing the Start/Stop button begins a stopwatch timer. When the countdown time is reached the alert sounds, which is loud enough but louder would have been better.

If you need a decent quality, easy to use and budget priced kitchen timer then I doubt you will find one better than this.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great price
Easy to Use
Multiple mounting options

The Bad
No Instructions included
Alarm not very loud
No Battery included
No Backlight

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2MbqDyq

Blog: http://bit.ly/2K9oTFk

I had been looking for a replacement drinking bottle for a while. My old one was getting scruffy and I wanted a new one that was reasonably large, looked good and kept the contents at the desired temperature for a decent length of time.

Priced currently on Amazon at £11.99 this one seemed to fit the bill. It looks fantastic, sleek and sexy with a brushed steel finish and with a large steel Carabiner type carrying ring on the top. It is just under ten inches tall, weighs in at 410g empty, has a capacity of 750ml with a double insulated wall to maintain the temperature of the contents and has a wide mouth.

In use, I found it kept my drink hot for a normal working day and cold for longer than that. The wide mouth is better for pouring and makes it easier to add ice cubes and other solids to the bottle but I found made it more difficult to drink from without leakage. Also, I found the screw top quite difficult to engage but once in place seems secure enough and fully watertight. It is a pity, however, that there is no anti-spill drinking valve mechanism fitted. That said, the bottle does the job well and looks great whilst doing so.

This drinking bottle is very close to being a storage flask with the wide mouth lending itself well to this. For the gym is is well suited as it is large, robust and has an easy to open top and a metal carry handle that can be easily and securely fastened to a rucksack or bike.

The current price is certainly attractive and if you are after a stylish and robust drinking bottle or flask then this would be a great buy.

The Good
Stylish Looks
Good Build Quality
Good Price
Holds temperature well
Robust
Metal Carry Handle

The Bad
Wide Mouth
Lid fitting awkward
No anti-spill top

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2tdmmUk

Blog: http://bit.ly/2MgGnjB

I am getting fed up with trailing cables going everywhere and getting in the way. I wanted a data transfer cable that can be easily and quickly;y stored away and capable of dispensing just the amount of cabler I need when transferring files from my USB-C equipped OnePlus phone to my PC. This new cable from Usams suits the job for me.

The Cable arrived nicely presented in an attractive windowed display box describing the contents on both the front and back as a 'Type-C Stotage Cable'. Don't let that put you off as the cable itself is first rate. Inside the box is just the cable and case, no instructions or further information is included and none are needed.

The cable itself is just one metre in length, fine for desktop use, and is housed in a rather stylish and well-made 50mm diameter aluminum hub. On the underside of the hub the two cable ends are housed, one USB, the other USB-C. The cable ends extend together, just pull them gently to the length you want and they will lock in position. Pull again and release and they will automatically retract to the hub. Make sure to always pull the two ends together, pulling just one plug will not work. The cable itself is of standard thickness and not heavy duty but being protected by the hub it does not need to be.

In use, the cable works a treat and I have used for charging and data transfer and it works just as well as I expected, the same as any other data cable. The retractable format means I have only the cable length I need on display, the excess remaining inside the hub.

The current Amazon price of £7.99 means this is no dearer than a normal decent quality cable. If you need a retractable format USB-C cable then I suggest you look no further.

The Good
Good Build Quality
Great Price
Metal hub

The Bad
Standard strength cable
1M Maximum Length
Box Printing Errors

More info and Purchase: https://amzn.to/2I68gZb

Blog:: http://bit.ly/2M7iprc

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Created 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

280 videos

CategoryScience & Technology

My Amazon.co.uk and Blog (www.marcoscu.com) product reviews backed up here plus other stuff.