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Customer Reviews: 242
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Reviews Written by
S. M. Baker RSS Feed (Tucson, Az USA)
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Adrift
Adrift
by K.R. Griffiths
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.99
17 used & new from $11.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Bad things happen on a boat!, June 5, 2016
This review is from: Adrift (Paperback)
I wasn't expecting much, the description sounded like just another monsters on a boat story, but I was pleasantly surprised and hooked from the moment I started reading. I'm now part way through enjoying the second volume in the series.

I'm going to try not to spoil much in this review, so I'll say a little bit about myself any what I like. I'm in my 40s, and I enjoy science fiction. Occasionally I'll find myself reading a horror novel to the extent that it overlaps or borders with my interest science fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Dan Simmons, Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, and F Paul Wilson. I like stories that surprise me rather than than formulaic monsters-vs-heroes fiction. This novel is one that surprised me a bit, and I liked that.

From the first moment of being introduced to the novel's Rennick brothers, I didn't know what to make of them. I didn't know what they were up to. I didn't know why they were doing what they were doing. As the story unfolded, it all made sense, and it made sense in a natural sort of way. I could picture the scenario unfolding it as the author described. I've found a new favorite author, and look forward to more volumes in this series.


Thunderbird
Thunderbird
by Jack McDevitt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.94
79 used & new from $7.56

3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome potential turns into strange meandering novel with little or no central plot, June 5, 2016
This review is from: Thunderbird (Hardcover)
I'm a fan of Jack McDevitt, having read nearly all of his novels. His recent work though leaves me baffled. There's so much potential with the Ancient Shores universe that this should have been one heck of a story. However, what was delivered was a random meandering story with no central plot. The character just kinda show up at the roundhouse, explore something, nothing exciting happens, and they come back home. Rinse and repeat. The administration of the roundhouse seems somewhat implausible for an artifact of such interest to humanity, to be sending out missions haphazardly with what appear to be unqualified characters and unclear goals. Security is terrible. A significant portion of the book is characters whining about how the roundhouse presents a threat rather than an opportunity. It's like McDevitt is giving the middle finger to the work that he created. I'm genuinely puzzled why this thing turned out the way it did. Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading it, and I enjoy the author's work, so I feel it's worthy of three stars, and McDevitt completionists will want to pick it up.


Moen R8724P Peened 24-Inch Grab Bar
Moen R8724P Peened 24-Inch Grab Bar
Price: $17.28
12 used & new from $11.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought a pair of these, installed one outside the shower, and one inside the shower with a Moen SeucreMount, June 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought two of these for my fiberglass shower. I selected the peened finished to give a little better grip than the smooth finish. There was enough wall for me to install one of them outside the shower, to assist in getting into the shower. The other one I had to install inside the fiberglass shower. Having a fiberglass shower adds a whole lot of additional complexity to the install. The fiberglass shower doesn't sit flat against the studs; there's a gap between the fiberglass and stud. I ended up going with a Moen SecureMount for the bar that installed into the shower. You can read about my experiences with the SecureMount in a separate review.


Moen SMA1000CH Home Care Securemount Anchor, Chrome
Moen SMA1000CH Home Care Securemount Anchor, Chrome
Price: $23.61
21 used & new from $10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative install method for fiberglass shower pan, June 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I did my research and considered several different options: The Solid Mount, Wingits, and this product. The solid mount is used for installing over a stud. The wingits cannot be installed over a stud. This product can be installed over a stud (using a lag bolt through the middle) or without a stud, using the plastic anchors. This seemed the most versatile product, and also the least expensive of the three. Furthermore, I had selected Moen grab bars, and pairing a Moen Grab bar with a Moen mount ensured that the holes would like up.

I used one set of these to install one Moen R8724P grab bar in a fiberglass shower. My initial plan was to select a spot where there was no stud and use the anchors as described. My fiberglass shower was adequate thickness (1/4") but after pushing on the fiberglass surface in a few spots it just didn't feel as solid as I wanted. So I decided to use these anchors in a location where there was a stud. The issue with the typical fiberglass shower is that there's a small gap between the fiberglass and the stud. After finding the stud and measuring many times, and using a level, and everything else I could do to increase the probability of making sure the stud was in the place I thought it was, I drilled a couple of pilot holes and found that yes, I can done my work correctly and the stud was there.

Because of the gap between the fiberglass shower and the stud, you can't just secure this mount with a lag bolt -- you'd crush the fiberglass shower when you tried to crank it down tight. So, I fashioned a couple of spacers out of some approximately half inch diameter tubing that I had. I measured the shower-to-stud depth, and cut the spacers to exactly that size. My measurements were 40mm for the first spacer, and 48mm for the second spacer (my shower bows out from the stud in the middle). I drilled out my pilot holes to the diameter of the steel tubing, inserted my "spacer", then installed these securemount anchors using the biggest lag bolts I had on hand. The grab bar then installs to the securemount with the included machine screws. I threw all my weight against it and tested it -- what I ended up with is a very secure install.

The one issue I had is that the stainless covers that came with the grab bar didn't completely cover the secure mount. It left the tiniest of gaps, which I managed to cover up with some caulk. It's not a big deal, but it turned my otherwise perfect install into something that looked a little amateurish. I see one other reviewer here had the same problem, so I guess it's not just me.


Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi / Pi2, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux (Black/Gold)
Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi / Pi2, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux (Black/Gold)
Price: $8.95
103 used & new from $4.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good adapter, using with Raspberry Pi 2, May 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased a couple of these USB WiFi adapters to use with some Raspberry Pi 2 projects. The adapter is working fine for me using Raspbian Wheezy on my Raspberry 2s. I have not experienced any connectivity issues. I ran a ping test for a couple hours to be sure.

Setting this up on the raspberry pi was fairly easy, basically involving editing /etc/network/interfaces to set the SSID, password, static vs dhcp, etc. Plenty of instructions on the web to point you in the right direction.


Cellularize Lightning Extension Cable (3 foot white) for iPhone 6, 6S, Plus; Pass Video, Data, Audio Through Male to Female 8-Pin Cable. Dock Connector Extender Extension Cable for Lightning
Cellularize Lightning Extension Cable (3 foot white) for iPhone 6, 6S, Plus; Pass Video, Data, Audio Through Male to Female 8-Pin Cable. Dock Connector Extender Extension Cable for Lightning
Offered by Cellularize
Price: $19.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good cheap extension cable, using it with iPhone 5s in Otterbox case with Seek Thermal Imager, May 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this cable because I wanted another option to use my Seek Thermal Imager with my iPhone 5s in its otterbox case. It works fine for that purpose. I also tried charging through the extension and syncing through the extension and both worked without any problems. The overall quality of the cable and its connectors appears to be fine.

If I plug the cable into the iphone without any accessory connected to the cable, then I will usually get a "this is not a genuine apple accessory" error. The answer is to plug your accessory into the extension cable first, and then plug the extension cable into the iPhone.


Vktech Black Camera 323 Quick Release Plate
Vktech Black Camera 323 Quick Release Plate
Offered by Warm sun
Price: $11.47
10 used & new from $8.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clone of Manfrotto 323 QR with some quality / consistency issues, May 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 6:50 Mins

I bought two of these to use along with my genuine manfrotto 323 plate. The advantage of these is that they're much cheaper. The disadvantage is that quality suffers. In my video review, I put this clone side-to-side with the genuine QR adapter and compare them. Here are the difference:

1) This one is slightly lighter color, and slightly glossier appearance.

2) The genuine Manfrotto has a small circlip that holds the camera mount stud. This one is simply threaded in, and could conceivably work its way loose.

3) There's significantly more metal in the genuine Manfrotto base around the tripod mount threads, making me think it's probably more durable than this clone.

4) The quality control on the casting of the base plate has much variation. One of the QR bases was too narrow and my Manfrotto camera plate would not fit it. This is shown in my video review. The other QR base I received fit fine. This shows me that there just isn't good consistency in the manufacturing process.

5) The mounting stud on the camera plate is a little deeper than the genuine Manfrotto, and the clone's base plate is dished slightly to accommodate it. This means the clone camera plate won't sit quite flat on my Manfrotto base.

6) The rubbery surface seems slightly less "grippy" to me. This is a very subjective measurement and had to quantify.

Basically, it comes down to cost versus quality. My impression is that Manfrotto makes consistent good quality products, whereas this clone has some consistency issues and cuts some corners. However, you save a lot of money by going with the clone. I do have sufficient confidence in this clone that I will be using it with my cameras.


dockStubz for Lightning; Designed for iPhone 6S / 6S Plus / SE, iPad Pro and all Lightning Accessories; Female Lightning to Male Lightning Case Adapter that Passes Full Functionality
dockStubz for Lightning; Designed for iPhone 6S / 6S Plus / SE, iPad Pro and all Lightning Accessories; Female Lightning to Male Lightning Case Adapter that Passes Full Functionality
Offered by CableJive
Price: $18.95
38 used & new from $16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extend the lightning port on my phone due to an Otterbox case, May 7, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 2:39 Mins

I bought this specifically to allow me to use a Seek Compact Thermal Imager with my iPhone 5s in an Otterbox case. The connector on the Seek Imager itself is not long enough to plug into the iPhone through the case, so some kind of extender is necessary. My primary concern was whether this would be "wobbly" and whether there would be concern of the camera falling out. I'm glad to say there seems to be no problem at all. The lightning connector is a pretty sturdy connector. In my video review, I shook the phone with extender and camera attached and it didn't budge.

There have been a few incidents of plugging in the adapter and getting a "This is not a certified Apple accessory" message on the phone. When that happened, I had to unplug the adapter and plug it back in.

I also tested it with my charging cable and my sync cable, and it worked fine.
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General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter, Pin Type, Digital LCD
General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter, Pin Type, Digital LCD
Price: $27.86
47 used & new from $24.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good meter, tested it with several pieces of wood to see how it reads, May 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 3:49 Mins

I bought this moisture meter to check for moisture in my crawl space. I conducted an experiment with some pieces of wood to see what it measured for various conditions. I figure it's good to do this yourself, so you know how to interpret the results against a known sample.

Dry piece of 2x4, from my garage - 11.9%
Chunk of cedar from outside wood pile, not recently rained on - 12.9 to 14.1%
Chunk of cedar recently rained on - 24 to 26%
Chunk of cedar, soaked in a bucket for 30 minutes - 27 to 30%

The meter is pretty easy to use. One button turns it on, one button switches between building material and wood mode, and another button holds the reading. It emits a constant beeping noise and will beep faster the wetter it is. It comes with a battery. Prongs are good and sharp. Seems like a decent meter.


Manfrotto 323 RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate - Replaces 3299-Black
Manfrotto 323 RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate - Replaces 3299-Black
Price: $34.90
87 used & new from $31.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality, durable quick release adapter, April 30, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 3:40 Mins

This is a high-quality metal quick release adapter and plate. I bought this to use with my Canon t6i DSLR. My old quick release (a plastic one that came with a cheap tripod) had a large plate that obscured the battery door. This one nicely just barely misses the battery door, so I can change the batteries without having to remove the plate. The plate has several nice features. There's a safety mechanism that can be set so that you don't inadvertently bump the quick release lever. There ring on the mounting bolt seems heavy duty and there's a circlip that holds the mounting bolt so it won't fall out when the plate is not attached to a camera (I researched some of the cheaper imitation plates, and there were complaints about these features lacking). The quick release itself holds the plate fairly sturdily and I don't think there will be much play unless you are really rough with your camera. As others have pointed out, there is a protrusion on the bottom that might interfere with whatever you're mounting this on (see my video for some measurements). There's is an 3/8 to 1/4 adapter included that comes already screwed into the base. It feels like a genuine high-quality product, but it comes at a hefty price. I'm debating buying a second one, so that I can have one on my tripod and the other on my Manfrotto dual-beam arm.


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