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Customer Reviews: 20
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C. Bennett RSS Feed (Bay Area, CA)

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for thin HTPC case, but poor instructions, February 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Finding a good heat sink that will fit in a thin HTPC case like a Lian Li PC-C37 (3.7" tall) is challenging!

But this little cooler does the trick! At full speed the fan is noticeable (but not awful). The fan is PWM, so any modern motherboard will run it at very low speed (~300-400 rpm) for almost all use with an i3-2100 CPU (if the BIOS is set-up properly). Even running OCCT for an extended period only slightly increases the fan speed, although this cooler would easily be overwhelmed by an overclocked i7-2600K running full-bore!!

For my installation, this is the only fan in the entire system (Seasonic X400 fanless power supply). The result is a nearly silent (to my ears) HTPC. The slow SATA HDDs are basically the only noise sources, and only audible when seeking.

Installation is non-trivial, requiring simultaneous access to both sides of the board. The included directions are very poor, with no simple cross-reference to the labels of various parts mentioned in the written steps. Fortunately the diagrams are reasonably clear, so I was able to eventually figure everything out, and subsequent installations will be very easy (but always will require simultaneous access to both sides of the board).

As of February 2012, unlike the description on Amazon's site (and also on Scythe's site!), the *ONLY* change for "Rev B" is Socket LGA2011 compatibility. The fins, heat-pipe count (5) and fan are identical. Scythe has simply updated the mounting kit.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2012 1:50 PM PDT

Stanley 38425 TimerMax Digislim Polarized 1-Outlet Digital Bar Timer, 2-Pack
Stanley 38425 TimerMax Digislim Polarized 1-Outlet Digital Bar Timer, 2-Pack
Price: $18.23
14 used & new from $8.63

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little timers!, February 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are great little timers!

Digital timers usually suffer from *way* too much complexity and are generally complete overkill. These are very simple and basic - and exactly what is needed for most uses.

1) Apparently the manufacturer has recently (2012) switched the batteries from hard-to-find buttons to nearly-ubiquitous CR2032 cells
2) Both the prongs and outlet are polarized (one blade is larger)
3) Outlet is on the right (looking at the timer display), oriented horizontally (front-to-back)

1) Very easy to set-up (big buttons & intuitive settings)
2) Surprisingly small (can stack on top of each other in a duplex outlet)
3) Battery is cheap and easy to find (CR2032)
4) Battery is very easy to replace
5) Completely silent (particularly compared to cheap mechanical timers!)

1) The display is obviously a very low-cost LCD, with poor contrast. It works, but not in dim light.
2) Will *not* fit side-by-side in standard 4-outlet boxes
3) Manual switch feels low quality
4) Instructions require a magnifying glass :D
5) Two-prong only (no ground conductor)

None of the cons is a big deal. For the price, these are great little timers!

Samsung ET-CGPK005GSTA AT&T SGH-i777 Battery Charger with Stand - Charger - Retail Packaging - Black
Samsung ET-CGPK005GSTA AT&T SGH-i777 Battery Charger with Stand - Charger - Retail Packaging - Black
Offered by Noble Planet
Price: $47.99
2 used & new from $47.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect (& includes OEM battery), November 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Note that this charger includes a 1650mAh (6.1Wh) Samsung OEM battery (EB-L1A2GBA) with "Near Field Communication" markings.

This is a great little external battery charger for the AT&T Galaxy S2. It is very small, light, trivially easy to use, and suitable for either desktop or travel use. The charger can be powered by either the supplied wall wart, or a micro-USB cable running off a computer (e.g., laptop). Since the LED changes from red (charging) to green (complete), I believe that the battery can be left in the charger indefinitely.

Other than the LED color choices noted in other reviews, the one design flaw is the slot on the front for use as a stand. It works fine when the phone has no case, but if the slot was only 1-2 mm wider it would also work great with a thin case (the phone would merely 'lean' back more without a case). My Seidio case barely fits in the slot, but is unfortunately not stable. So I only use this 'charger with stand' as a charger, not a desktop stand.

EZOPower Sync Transfer USB Dual Dock Cradle Desktop Charger with Spare Battery Charging Slot for AT& T Samsung Galaxy S2 SII / S 2 i9100 / i777 G4
EZOPower Sync Transfer USB Dual Dock Cradle Desktop Charger with Spare Battery Charging Slot for AT& T Samsung Galaxy S2 SII / S 2 i9100 / i777 G4

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Will not work with ANY protective case, November 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This charger is a good concept, but will not work with *any* case, even very thin skins (I have a Seidio). The tolerances are very tight, both in width and depth. And the back of the charger extends high enough that I have to completely remove the Seidio case to dock the phone. :-(

I've decided to get this Samsung charger Link instead, which also includes an OEM Samsung battery. While this will not charge the phone and the battery at the same time, it holds the phone upright with just about any protective case.

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED's
DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED's
Price: $156.34
13 used & new from $156.34

110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Bosch Colt, May 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
With the Amazon price drop & DeWalt's current $30 rebate, I took the plunge (pun intended) on the DeWalt DWP611PK. I am *very* impressed!

I like my Bosch Colt routers a lot and use them often, but IMO the DeWalt is clearly superior (although durability is unknown). The after-rebate price seems very fair for all this functionality.

The only things that I prefer on the Colt are the:
1) Rubber grips (vs. the raised-dimple aluminum on the DeWalt). The Colt's grip is better when your hands get sweaty, and generally more comfortable.
2) Offset base which has come in handy a few times (no equivalent on the DeWalt)
3) Less-cheesy wrench (the DeWalt is flat stamped steel)
4) Hard case (the DeWalt comes with a canvas bag, but this is obviously personal preference) - see update below
Only the grip and offset base are significant to me. In every other respect (accuracy, flexibility, precision, ease-of-use) the DeWalt is better than the Colt.

Much of the dado-style & circle-cutting work that I do is with small bits where a 1/4" shaft works well (and a smaller/lighter router is easier to handle). But without a plunge base I was reluctant to use the Colt (I'm not comfortable plunging fixed-base routers...). The DeWalt plunge action is very smooth, and feels similar to my Bosch 1617 (but obviously with less tension). The plunge depth stop is just outstanding - very easy to adjust quickly, but also quite precise.

DeWalt obviously did their homework, and hopefully the DWP611 is reliable. The overall quality is higher than I expected, with minimal slop and very precise adjustments. The little DeWalt has an abundance of small refinements that I'd read about in other reviews but are even more impressive in-person. One surprise is that the motor can easily be re-oriented 180 deg; this is helpful for handling the power cord or aligning the power switch with the correct base edge. The LEDs near the shaft work very well to illuminate the cutting zone. And the clear polycarbonate ("Lexan") bases are one less thing that I need to replace!

If your woodworking includes lots of cuts appropriate for 1/4" shaft bits, definitely consider this router. My Colts are now relegated mostly to basic round-over work.

FWIW, the one I received was made in Mexico.

** Update August 2011 **

If anything, my impressions of the DWP611 are even better after several months of use. So far, no reliability issues. The dust collection hoods are sturdy and work very well, although dragging around a hose for long cuts is a PITA so I only use the hoods for relatively small cuts. Overall, I just *love* this little router! I'm thinking about getting a second one and unloading one of my Colt's. The only reason I'd keep a Colt at all is for the occasional use of the offset base. The little DeWalt is just a much better router.

FWIW, with all the accessories, I now prefer the canvas case. I'm not dragging the router around in the back of a pickup, and the canvas case is easier and faster for the relatively light DWP611.

If the cost of the DWP611PK seems too high, then consider the fixed-base-only model: DEWALT DWP611, but the plunge base is *very* handy, and what I use most often.
Or, keep your eyes open for a periodic price-drop from Amazon, and/or a rebate from DeWalt. :D

Lisle 24610 Spill-Free Funnel
Lisle 24610 Spill-Free Funnel
Offered by Tool Deals
Price: $33.94
4 used & new from $32.95

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool, but save the box for instructions!, March 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a sturdy radiator funnel with a clever and flexible design, and eliminates the hassles of air bubbles trapped in a vehicle cooling system.
Note that the various yellow adapters are labeled A-D to match their respective caps.

1) Simple, clever design.
2) With just a little care, it is easy to avoid any spills.
3) Seems quite adaptable (works fine on our vehicles, including Toyota, Honda, Dodge & Mazda).
4) Good value, and actually made in the USA!

1) No instructions included IN the box (or at Lisle's site), but printed ON the box (see photos).
2) Quite a few loose parts, which are easy to misplace. Storing parts on the stopper helps, but this could be improved.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2012 9:43 AM PST

Seidio SURFACE for Palm Treo Pro - Black
Seidio SURFACE for Palm Treo Pro - Black
2 used & new from $17.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my lofty expectations, May 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've always avoided putting a case on my phones because of the added bulk. However, after dropping my Treo Pro a couple of times, the case is now cracked. So reluctantly I started looking for a decent case. The reviews on this looked good, and I have had other solid products from Seidio.

After the very easy installation, this case exceeded my lofty expectations. I wish I had gotten this some time ago!

It does necessarily add some bulk, but the design is outstanding. The phone now fits snugly in a holster designed for the Treo 750, and is still thinner than a Palm Pre without a case. The various cut-outs are precise and do not interfere with any operations. There is just no comparison with the cheesy silicon cases, and if it were any thinner would probably not be useful for protection.

Highly recommended!

Weber 1810001 Summit S-420 Natural Gas Grill, Stainless Steel (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Weber 1810001 Summit S-420 Natural Gas Grill, Stainless Steel (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by evVive Home
Price: $1,529.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please consider the S-470 instead - Much more versatile!, March 16, 2010
The Summit grills are excellent, but very expensive. Relative to the top-rated (Consumer Reports) E-series at less than half the cost, the S-420 is not a particularly good value (hence the 3 stars).

However, if you are considering spending ~$1.5k on a grille, look closely at the Weber S-470.
For an additional ~20% in cost, the three additional burners add a *HUGE* amount of versatility:
1) Built-in smoke-box (with separate burner control) is extremely convenient, and works well.
With our old Weber, smoking was difficult to control and I never got good results. Now I smoke anything other than thin cuts. Ribs are amazing... :-) The smoke box does slightly reduce the available grill area, but the S-470 can still handle a large load. The dedicated smoker burner also acts as an excellent additional indirect heating source, even if you are not smoking.
2) Extra "searing" burner generates crazy amounts of heat in the middle section, enough to match any charcoal fire. This works extremely well for steaks.
3) Added infra-red burner makes browning on the rotisserie easy.
4) The combination of these added burners enables extremely rapid pre-heating. Our S-470 hits >700F in less than 10 minutes with all 7 burners active!

If you shop on-line carefully, you may find the S-470 at sale prices even closer to the S-420 than the 20% gap in list price. At the time we bought our S470, the street-price gap was less than 10%.

Weber 2840301 Summit S-470 Natural Gas Tuck-Away Rotisserie Grill, Stainless Steel (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Weber 2840301 Summit S-470 Natural Gas Tuck-Away Rotisserie Grill, Stainless Steel (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by evVive Home
Price: $1,929.00
2 used & new from $1,929.00

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Versatility, February 1, 2010
We purchased this to replace our trusty Genesis Silver B with cast-iron grates. After 10 years of frequent use, I was looking for something with more flexibility and capacity. I also had grown tired of the rust issues with the cast iron grates (yes, I know about 'seasoning'), but wanted to retain the high heat advantages that cast iron offers. The Summit S-470 has more than met my expectations. If you plan to feed a small army, consider the 600-series, but for most backyard uses the 400-series has *plenty* of usable grill area.

Key advantages:
* High-quality stainless construction. Unlike the lower-cost Weber grills and virtually *all* of the competitive alternatives, the Summit grills are made mostly of 304-grade stainless steel. This has much higher nickel content, and as a result is substantially more corrosion resistant (and more expensive). The easiest way to identify cheap stainless is that it is magnetic (so take a magnet when you compare grills). Improved corrosion resistance means that the exterior will remain beautiful for years, and the grates will last indefinitely.
* 7 independent burners on the S-470 (in addition to the side burner). Four main burners, one searing burner, one burner for the built-in stainless smoke box, and one infrared burner on the rear cover. All except the infrared burner run front-to-back. With most of them active, the grill reaches >700 degrees F in ten minutes. This provides incredible flexibility. Extremely high direct heat, completely indirect heat, crispy skin on rotisserie, lots of smoke at low heat, only part of the grill at high heat, etc... - no problem. You are limited only by your imagination, not your tools.
* Extremely thick (9.5mm) grates provide excellent searing and heat retention. These work at least as well as the cast-iron grates on our old grill, but are much easier to maintain.
* High double-wall lid. This makes the grill space under the warming rack actually usable! The double-wall substantially improves performance in cold or rainy weather, and requires less gas to keep the grill hot under all conditions.
* Pop-up rotisserie. It is extremely easy to use, and quickly folds away in a weather-protected stainless pocket. Other thoughtful touches include obvious hanging storage areas for the spit and spikes in the cabinet.
* Rodent-resistant cabinet. The cabinet has double-walled doors with secure magnetic latches, lots of ventilation, and no gaping holes.

* Very Expensive. Even on sale, the S-470 is about 3x the cost of a Genesis grill. Only you can decide if the extra flexibility is worth the extra cost. In our case I expect to get 15+ years out of this grill, and the cost is comparable to some good-quality kitchen appliances. However, the very high cost is the main reason I give this grill only 4 stars.
* Side burner has limited heat range. Presumably to prevent blow-outs that would cause safety issues, the range on the side burner is only hot to very hot. Simmering at low heat is basically impossible. For my next trick I plan to try adding a thick solid burner plate, but for now the side burner mostly does not get used.
* Lighted controls are mostly a gimmick. Fortunately they are LEDs, so corrosion should not be an issue and the batteries last for many hours. However, the lights only work on the four main burner controls, and are irritatingly bright when you happen to glance at the gap between the knob and the cabinet while reaching for the control. I added some white shrink tubing to the end of the LEDs to eliminate the latter issue, but overall the lighted controls offer limited benefit.
* Several other reviews mention a design flaw in the Summit grills which allows rainwater to flow from the back of the grill into the grease pan (making a big mess in the floor of the cabinet). Fortunately there is a simple fix. On our S-470 I put an aluminum flashing on the rear of the case using one of the bolts on each end of the grill box, similar to the way Weber handles water flow on the front. A 12" wide roll of aluminum flashing was only ten dollars at Lowes, and I cut it with scissors to fit. Now even if I forget to reinstall the cover, no water drips into the grease pan. This is not an issue with the Weber Genesis grills because the lid design is completely different (but one of the trade-offs is much lower interior space). Weber really should make something like this a running production change.
* Do *NOT* buy the Weber-brand grill cover. I like most of Weber's stuff, but their covers are very poor quality. Buy the Veranda BBQ Cart Cover instead. The 'Large' size fits the Summit 400-series perfectly, and the construction and design are far superior to the Weber covers.

Other considerations:
* These puppies use LOTS of gas! I am very glad that we were able to easily pipe natural gas to a convenient location. I can hardly imagine how fast we would be running through propane at >3x the cost!!
* If you are evaluating the stainless Genesis models, you really should consider the S-450 or S-470. The construction is substantially better and the finish will be much easier to maintain. Basically I would recommend sticking with the less expensive porcelain models, or stepping-up to the Summit grills. In addition to better materials, the front-to-back burners offer much more flexibility and control, and the side table is not covered with knobs.
* Check pricing. I buy a lot of stuff at Amazon, but we were able to find this grill for substantially (~20%) less at another reputable online vendor.
* The natural gas hose is quite thick and heavy, is apparently armored inside the PVC exterior coating, and comes with a good-quality brass 1/2" quick-disconnect. The connector on the end of the quick-disconnect is a female 1/2" IPS thread (i.e., standard steel pipe thread), so you need a male 1/2" IPS thread on the end of your supply line. Be sure to put a "O W G" (Oil/Water/Gas) rated ball valve immediately before the hose connection, and only use pipe dope or Teflon tape rated for use with gas.
* In California, galvanized pipe is *required* for outdoor gas use. According to PG&E, the western gas supply has very low levels of sulfur, so the old concerns about flaking and corrosion inside galvanized pipe are not an issue here in California.
* For rare situations where you need more grill capacity, consider the relatively inexpensive Rib-O-Lator. This is essentially a ferris-wheel with stainless trays, and will hold an amazing amount of food (and still leave parts of the grill available). There is at least one Rib-O-Lator (or Rib-O-Wheel) YouTube video with the Summit S-470, and the tall lid clearly helps. We use it mostly for ribs (surprise!), and ours fits easily inside the bottom cabinet when not in use.
* Not 100% made in USA. Several of the boxes inside the crate were clearly labeled "Made in China," including the rotisserie and both tables.
* Remove the door handles and the doors from the cabinet before removing the protective plastic coating. The doors snap-out easily if you depress the top pin, and the plastic coating is much easier to remove completely if the handles are not in the way. Each handle is held on by two Phillips-head screws and is very easy to reinstall.
* The crate weighs about 260 lbs, but if you remove the various boxes from inside the cabinet and fire-box, two people can remove the shell from the pallet. After that, you can easily roll the grill on any hard surface, and assembly is straightforward. The most tedious part of "assembly" was removing the protective plastic coating and collapsing all of the cardboard debris.

Updated July 2010

We use this grill about two or three times a week, and remain very happy. I would definitely buy this again. I've added some photos to illustrate the modifications referenced in the original review. Note that if you regularly use the smoker, the exterior stainless will inevitably get discolored near the right-side and front edges of the cover.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2010 11:27 AM PDT

Weber 7554 Premium Cover, Fits Summit 400-Series Grills
Weber 7554 Premium Cover, Fits Summit 400-Series Grills
5 used & new from $45.00

80 of 80 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Most Weber stuff is good, but pick a different cover, February 1, 2010
Most of the Weber equipment is excellent (if pricey), but their vinyl covers are not very good. The material does not breathe, and while the latest versions have apparently eliminated the mesh air circulation vents which also allowed rain to pour onto the grill, they now presumably will have issues with condensation in hot weather... I have tried two of these Weber covers (with vents), and in addition to leaking, both have cracked after a couple of season's exposure to the California sun. Overall I have been quite disappointed.

As an alternative, check out the Veranda BBQ Cart Cover. This is a *far* superior design, and costs less as well! The material is a tough nylon weave (similar to soft-luggage) with a polyester backing and piping at the key seams. The elastic cinch on both ends, combined with nylon buckles at each leg ensure that the cover will stay in place during even the highest winds. There are rain-protected vents directly over the left/right tables, with inner 'no-see-um mesh' to stop bugs. Even the built-in handles to simplify removal are a nice touch and work well.

The Large size fits our Weber Summit S-470 perfectly. The edge seams line-up exactly, and the bottom hem rests on the cart wheels. I first tried the XL (which is supposedly the 'right' size for the 400-series), but the seams were off by several inches and the cover also drooped on the ground. Presumably the XL would fit the Summit 600-series instead.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2014 12:38 PM PDT

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