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C. MacPhail RSS Feed (Solana Beach, CA USA)
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GE Dimmer, Light Socket Indoor with Light Level Control Knob, White 55431
GE Dimmer, Light Socket Indoor with Light Level Control Knob, White 55431
Price: $9.94
2 used & new from $9.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Works with LED Bulbs. Mostly., August 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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Most "Dimmable" LED bulbs are actually more dimmer-friendly than incandescent bulbs. They don't go orange and wasteful as the dimmer goes lower. It's an energy-saving win-win if you like reduced brightness at times.

This "Incandescent" dimmer works with all 3 LED bulbs I tried (see Note 1). Down to about 10% brightness, but it's kind of choppy and harder to control below 30%. (Cold start needs at least 10% to 30% brightness.)

Works with "Dimmable" LED bulbs only, of course.

It adds 1.45 inches to your bulb height...make sure you have clearance.

- - - 95% Brightness Maximum - - -

This dimmer (and most others) will not do 100% brightness. It's not wasting energy as far as I can tell. But an LED bulb that draws 10.6 watts from a regular socket will only draw about 10.15 watts max with this dimmer (corresponding drop in brightness). It drives incandescent bulbs at about 98% brightness max.

- - - Compared to Leviton 6151 Dimmer Socket - - -

- Leviton will go to only 90% brightness maximum (97% for incandescent bulbs).

- Leviton requires wiring/installation.

- Leviton does not add 1-1/2 inches to bulb height.

- Leviton will dim smoothly down to 5% or less.

- Leviton is more expensive

- - - Compared to Lutron TT-300NLH-WH Credenza Lamp Dimmer White - - -

This is another way to add dimming to your existing lamp. I'll post results for this soon.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: I tested with the following bulbs. Results were similar for all 3.

- G7 610 lumen A19 Dimmable
- G7 1100 lumen 2700k BR30
- TCP RLBR3010W27KD2 650 lumen BR30

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Leviton 805-6151  Dimmer Socket
Leviton 805-6151 Dimmer Socket
Offered by TEXASVALUEONLINE
Price: $14.90
5 used & new from $10.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Works with LED Bulbs. Mostly., August 21, 2014
.
Most "Dimmable" LED bulbs are actually more dimmer-friendly than incandescent bulbs. They don't go orange and wasteful as the dimmer goes lower. It's an energy-saving win-win if you like reduced brightness at certain times.

This "Incandescent" dimmer works with all 3 LED bulbs I tried (see Note 1). Smoothly and quietly down to about 5% brightness or less. (Cold start needs at least 10% to 20% brightness.)

- - - 90% Brightness Maximum - - -

Sadly, this dimmer (and most others) will not do 100% brightness. It's not wasting energy as far as I can tell. But an LED bulb that draws 10.6 watts from a regular socket will only draw about 9.6 watts max with this dimmer (corresponding drop in brightness). It drives incandescent bulbs at about 97% brightness max.

- - - Compared to GE's screw-in dimmer - - -

- GE will go to about 95% brightness (98.7% for incandescent bulbs).

- GE requires no wiring. Just screw it in.

- GE adds 1.5" to bulb height.

- GE will not dim quite as low (about 10%) and the dimming action below 30% is a little choppy and hard to control.

- GE is 30% to 50% less expensive

- - - Compared to Lutron TT-300NLH-WH Credenza Lamp Dimmer White - - -

This is another way to add dimming to your existing lamp. I'll post results for this soon.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: I tested with the following bulbs. Results were similar for all 3.

- G7 610 lumen A19 Dimmable
- G7 1100 lumen 2700k BR30
- TCP RLBR3010W27KD2 650 lumen BR30

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Aleratec TunePhonik iXR5 In-Ear Headphones 3.5mm Premium Stereo Headset with In-line Microphone
Aleratec TunePhonik iXR5 In-Ear Headphones 3.5mm Premium Stereo Headset with In-line Microphone
Offered by Aleratec
Price: $39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Buds., August 21, 2014
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I've had Aleratec's iMX5 for 9 months and like them a lot. They're not as sleek or compact as these iMX5's, but honestly, I think they sound as good and they sometimes sell for $15-$20.

The sound: I'm not a sound geek, but I listened to the same challenging tunes many times over with each set. Beautiful, rich sound with plenty of deep bass capability.

Compared to JBuds J3M: J3M's are nice buds, but a bit less in the deep bass department, and the control button is harder to feel out. They do have a choice of colors and 4 ear cup sizes are provided vs. 3. (J3M has been replaced by J5M)

Cord noise while walking or exercising: It's an issue on all 3 models. Not sure what to recommend if that's a hot button. Maybe Bluetooth.

Cord length: 50 inches (total)

Minor issue: The decorative cap came off of the plug on day 2. Maybe a fluke. Not needed anyway.

- - - Pricing - - -

Headphone prices bounce around. You can save money by checking price history on CamelCamelCamel and setting email alerts.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Features, Nice Price, August 18, 2014
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This is a review of the 8550H model.

It's my first pistol thermometer. The build quality is what I expected for $25. Not professional grade, but very nice specs and function for occasional use.

The first unit I got was either bad, or I fried the electronics by putting the battery in backwards (see Note 1). The unit I have now works great.

It looks like the same models are branded and sold by many competing companies. So shop around, and check merchant feedback and warranties.

The 16:1 spot ratio and the dual laser are really nice to have. You know how wide the measurement target is, and it's nicely focused. I was able to measure a counter-top temperature while aiming through the hole of a freshly toasted bagel, for example.

- - - Accuracy - - -

You can read about "emissivity" in order to get the best accuracy and understand its limitations. Most non-shiny objects have an emissivity between 0.90 and 0.98 and will read with some reasonable accuracy at the default setting of .95. You won't know the exact emissivity of your target, so the temperature reading should usually be taken as a "ballpark" number.

I painted a thick steel plate flat black (reported emissivity of .95) and checked it at temperatures of approx 80°F and 212°F.

The NUB8550H measured 79.6°, and about 210°. More accuracy than I expected.

Accuracy claim is "+/- 2% or 2°C." The percentage part makes no sense. Why would accuracy vary by the distance from arbitrary zero-points (0°F or 0°C)?

PROs:

* 16:1 spot ratio
* Dual Laser spot marker
- Emissivity can be adjusted
- Helpful owner's manual, including emissivity values for 48 materials
- Nice Price (when $25 or less) (See Note 2)

OKs:

- Accurate enough
- Build quality is OK

CONs:

- No Warranty stated in listing or with product

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: There are no markings or instructions for which way to insert the 9V battery. If you look closely, there's a wider gap in the plastic for the minus (-) terminal, but you could easily miss it. If you get it wrong, the battery makes contact and the battery door closes anyway.

Note 2: As a benchmark, Harbor Freight Tool sells a unit with only 8:1 spot ratio, only 1 laser marker, and no emissivity adjustment for $30-36 ($60 list).

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Remington Products R4 Lithium Power Series Rotary Shaver
Remington Products R4 Lithium Power Series Rotary Shaver
Price: $39.97
3 used & new from $33.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good-enough Budget Shaver, August 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
.
I like rotary shavers for their for quiet, close-enough shaving.

This basic model has some minor annoyances, but it works fine.

Similar to Norelco's PT730, but it's

- $10 to $15 less expensive (usually)
- No Protective cap included (really? to save 30 cents?)
- Flipping the heads open is a bit more awkward

Both shave well, have 2 year warranty, pop-up trimmer, and wet-shave capability.

Rig up some kind of travel case that will protect the heads and prevent suitcase power-ups.

I also tried Remington's Xr1350 (often $70) which has a fuel gauge, pivoting head assembly (not necessarily better), a smaller pop-up trimmer (which I prefer), harder-to-clean heads, and a charging stand (pluses and minuses). See my review of the Xr1350 for details -- http://www.amazon.com/review/R16CMS6Q6NCNSF

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


BlueDriver - Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone®, iPad®, Android
BlueDriver - Bluetooth Professional OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone®, iPad®, Android
Offered by Lemur Vehicle Monitors
Price: $99.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Feels Like 5-Stars, August 12, 2014
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This is my first On Board Diagnostics device, so excuse me while I gush.

"OMG this thing is amazing!"

Clearly, you want a smartphone or tablet interface for all this data...not a device with a little gray screen, a crude interface, and no data forwarding. The OBD2 scanners at Harbor Freight Tool make zero sense, compared to this thing.

However, there are lots of Bluetooth or WiFi OBD2 Scanners on amazon for under $25. How does the $100 BlueDriver compare to them? Sorry, I wish I knew.

The "Most Useful" reviews here are obsolete. They complain about lots of add-on charges that no longer exist since late 2013. Everything is now free except for "Repair Reports" if you want them (5 for $1), and the first 5 are free. It would be nice if those guys updated their reviews.

So, we are down to BlueDriver features vs the less expensive competition.

So far, all I can say is:

- The introductory videos are very well done: A+

- The iOS app is very nicely done: A+

- No problems with setup or operation

- It seems to have dozens of readouts and functions (30% of which my 2002 Mazda Miata does not support.)

- 24x7 support from Lemur

- It seems like a 5-star product.

But it's hard to go 5-stars without comparing other products.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Beltaway Flat Buckle Elastic Women's Belt One size (0-14)
Beltaway Flat Buckle Elastic Women's Belt One size (0-14)
Offered by Trendy Trend
Price: $19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity on your waist, August 12, 2014
.
Report from spousal unit:

I've had this for 6 months and just bought another. I like its basic, simple look.

PROs:

- Lays flat. Works nicely with untucked tops
- Compact and TSA-friendly (no metal) for travel
- Quick and easy to fasten/unfasten
- Simple, basic look. Goes with almost anything casual.
- Adjustable length

CONs:

- None yet

- - - Dimensions - - -

Width is 1.2 inches. You need about 1.65" of loop to get the slider through.

Length is adjustable from 22-1/4 inches to 44-1/2 inches (stretch to 60+ inches)

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


iXCC ® 6Ft Male to Male 3.5mm Universal Gold Plated Flat Design Tangle-Free [Tangle-Resistant] Slim Thin Auxiliary Audio Stereo Cable for [All 3.5mm-enabled devices] iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsaung Galaxy, Samsung Note, Android, Smartphone, Tablet and MP3 Player
iXCC ® 6Ft Male to Male 3.5mm Universal Gold Plated Flat Design Tangle-Free [Tangle-Resistant] Slim Thin Auxiliary Audio Stereo Cable for [All 3.5mm-enabled devices] iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsaung Galaxy, Samsung Note, Android, Smartphone, Tablet and MP3 Player
Offered by iXCC
Price: $24.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks and Feels like Studio Quality, August 12, 2014
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The 4 mm thick rubber cable is soft and sensuous.

The 1/8" x 0.23" diameter neck accommodates almost any case (see Note 1).

PROs:

* Looks and feels like studio quality cable
- Soft 0.15" thick rubber cable
- Very pliable
- Forgives and forgets your kinky behavior

OKs:

- No crackle or loose connections found
- Warranty: 1 year

CONs

- None yet

- - - Alternatives - - -

There are plenty of nice alternatives for under $7, such as Monoprice 109765 6-Foot 3.5mm Cable and Aurum Cables 6 Foot 3.5mm Cable 2-pack

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: The connector on my over-the-ear headphones is way up inside a little cave. In this situation, the 9to5Cables cable is much better because you can completely remove one of the sleeves. The jack is now 0.27" diameter maximum. It does not need the sleeve. On the iXCC, you can unscrew the .300 diameter sleeve, but it then dangles loose on the cable.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


(Updated Version) MOCREO® Universal World Wide All-in-one Safety Travel Charger Wall Charger Adapter Plug Built-in 2.1A Dual USB Ports - Safety Fuse Protection (White)
(Updated Version) MOCREO® Universal World Wide All-in-one Safety Travel Charger Wall Charger Adapter Plug Built-in 2.1A Dual USB Ports - Safety Fuse Protection (White)
Offered by MOCREO

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice design. Nice materials. Nice price., August 11, 2014
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This is so unlike my prior adapters...It's not junky. There are no pieces to keep track of or lose. The receptacle end puts a firm grip on your plugs.

The USB charger is worth at least 8 bucks. So I guess you're getting the 4x4 international power adapter for $9 more on a good day.

- - - What it's Not - - -

- It's a physical adapter, not a voltage converter. You can only use it with devices that are agreeable to the foreign voltage. Many devices are designed for 110 - 240 volts = "worldwide use" these days.

- 6 Amps max. It would not work for a hair dryer, etc. The adapter's fuse would blow.

- Your 3-prong grounded plugs will fit, but they will not be grounded.

PROs:

- Very sensible design
- Looks and feels like quality
- Very firm grip on your US plugs (have not tested other plugs)
- Plastics seem to be unbreakable
- Prongs are solid
- Fuse (plus a spare fuse onboard)
- Compact and lightweight
- Nice price (when selling for $17)

OKs:

- USB Apple port charges my iPhone at full speed
- Status light (power supplied)
- Slide action (to extend plugs) seems fine

CONs:

- Warranty: None stated

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


Volmate® 6.3A / 31.5W Tri-USB Port Car Charger - Portable Travel Charger Rapid 3 USB Ports Car Charger For iPhone 6 5 5S 5C 4 4S, iPad 4 3 2, iPad mini, iPad air, iPad Mini Retina, iPad touch, iPod Nano; Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3, S2, Note 4 3, 2, Tab S 4, 3, 2 7.0 8.0 10.1; All New HTC One M8 M7 M4, Mini 2; LG Optimus G3 G2, Flex, G2 Mini, G Pro 2, G Pad 7.0 8.0 8.3 10.1; Google Nexus 5 4 7 8 FHD 2; Other Android Smartphone/Tablets
Volmate® 6.3A / 31.5W Tri-USB Port Car Charger - Portable Travel Charger Rapid 3 USB Ports Car Charger For iPhone 6 5 5S 5C 4 4S, iPad 4 3 2, iPad mini, iPad air, iPad Mini Retina, iPad touch, iPod Nano; Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3, S2, Note 4 3, 2, Tab S 4, 3, 2 7.0 8.0 10.1; All New HTC One M8 M7 M4, Mini 2; LG Optimus G3 G2, Flex, G2 Mini, G Pro 2, G Pad 7.0 8.0 8.3 10.1; Google Nexus 5 4 7 8 FHD 2; Other Android Smartphone/Tablets
Offered by Nubeestore
Price: $19.98
2 used & new from $17.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Ports and Power. Nice quality., August 11, 2014
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If you need ports and power, this is the nicest car charger I've seen. Its minor annoyances that may or may not bother you.

PROs:

* Build quality seems excellent. Nice finish and detailing.
* Ports and power - impressive
- Ports labeled for Apple or standard protocols (for fastest charging speed)
- Compact. Not clunky.
- Doesn't get hot (or even very warm)
- Simple good looks
- 3 year warranty

OKs:

- 12v socket fit is good. Tighter would be nicer (see Note 1)
- A little more expensive than some others
- Tested out fine with my iPhone. Full speed charging.

CONs:

- Status lights might annoy at night. Too bright. (see Note 2).

- - - Alternatives - - -

There are some less expensive 5-amp alternatives, but with no stated warranty, and it's unclear which ports (if any) are optimized for Apple vs Standard devices.

- Cappec's Trio Pace 5.1 Amp

- EasyAcc 5.1 Amp

- - - Pricing - - -

Low tide seems to be $15. You can use CamelCamelCamel to check price history and set email alerts.

- - - Disclosure - - -

The manufacturer gave me this item for review. I believe my review is impartial.

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: Socket fit - I like a really tight fit, so you can remove USB cables one handed (without pulling the charger out of the car's 12-volt socket). This charger does not do that.

Note 2: Status lights - If they annoy you, fill holes with caulk. The light bleeding into the ports is just enough.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~


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