GoPetee Dog Anti Bark Training Collar

 

Firstly do not confuse this pet training collar with the old electric shock ones. This humane collar only uses sound and vibrations to help train the dog. That said, you need to test it first on your dog to make sure it does not cause it any distress. Nervous are highly strung dogs may react badly to it. Most dogs will not be bothered by it and will treat it as a mild annoyance easily stopped by not barking. It is important to test it before using it for the first time.

In the surprisingly small box was the collar itself, two additional covers in addition to the one fitted, two batteries, two probe cover pairs (one already fitted), LED collar pendant and a User Guide.

The collar is lightweight as it needs to be for the comfort of the dog, but everything in the kits seems well made and robust. A spare battery in addition to the one needed for the device to operate is included, as is a brightly coloured collar pendant, both these bonus items are surprising given the low price of the product at just £13.99. The neckband for the bark collar is made from nylon and again is well made and has an adjusting strap to fit any dog size. The User Guide, which I include in my video (switch to full screen to read it) is a refreshing change from those usually included with imported items and is well written in good English and easy to follow.

The bark collar deters the dog from barking by vibrating and buzzing when it barks, that increases in intensity and duration if the barking continues. There are seven intensity levels from 1.5 seconds duration to 2.5 seconds. If the dog barks an eighth time the unit will pause for one minute. There are also seven levels of sensitivity, the default is level four but this can be adjusted according to how loud your dog’s barks. A Plus and minus button on the collar adjust this setting. The soft probes that press against the dog’s neck to deliver the vibration come in two sizes which can be selected according to the dog’s fur type and neck size. Fitting the collar correctly is important. When in place it should be tight enough not to move around when in place but not too tight to be uncomfortable. You should be able to slide one finger inside it with the collar moving. This collar is not designed to be used as a normal walking collar and a separate collar must be used with the dog lead.

After adjusting it I found it worked well with my dog and she stopped barking at once when she felt the vibration. Of course, she may get used to it over time and start barking again but at least in the short term it certainly does work. Of course, it may not work with all dogs but for chronic barkers, it may be just the thing to wean them off this annoying trait. This is a training tool and should only be used for short periods and discontinued at once if the dog show signs of distress or ignore it.

If you have a barking dog then if you wisely and sparingly this may what the dog needs to break the barking habit.

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HZT Automatic 30-Day Micro Drip Irrigation Kit

 

The HZT Micro Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit is conveniently small, neat and moderately easy-to-set-up, home irrigation system for houseplants, greenhouses, and conservatories. The boxy control and pump unit works via a USB plug, or can be run from 4 AA batteries (not included). The batteries act as a back-up power supply, which preserves your settings if there’s a power cut.
In addition to the main pump/control unit, you receive 33 feet of quarter inch clear plastic tubing, a set of three and four-armed attachments to set up your circuit, two sealing plugs (to close up the end of your circuit), a set of pronged droppers which are pushed into the soil at the base of each plant and deliver the water. There’s a USB power cable and a wide hook, which can be clipped on to the back of the control box, so it can be attached to the side of your bucket if you wish, for ease of use.
First step is to work out your circuit. The blurb says this can be done in 15 minutes – which I found to be wildly optimistic, but then I did waste an awful lot of time setting everything up badly at first, and having to re-think.
Setting up your system needs a degree of consideration before you start. I would advise anyone connecting more than 5 plants together to take the time and draw up a map of your tubes and attachments before you start, and save yourself a great deal of time and nervous agitation.
The system works best if you make sure you run the shortest possible lengths of tubing between each plant. Be sure to begin the circuit with the four-pronged connector: working out from a central point, like a spider’s web, worked much more efficiently than a chain of tubes. The water takes longer to reach plants furthest from the pump, so this is especially pertinent if you’re only using short watering times, when you might find plants furthest from the pump are hardly getting watered, and may not even get any water at all. A circular pattern of short tubes is the best for even watering.
You need to cut the length of tune to suit your needs. The instructions advise you to warm the tubing in warm water before cutting, but I found it cut fairly easily and with regular kitchen scissors without having to do this. Attaching the tube to prongs and connectors is easy enough, if a little tight. Setting up the system is then pretty simple, following the instructions provided. As seems to be usual, the instruction leaflet isn’t very good and took a little bit of figuring out, but it is pretty much self-evident. The diagrams are more useful than the text.
Attach one end of a cut-length of tubing to the inlet on to the control unit. The filter is attached to the other end and dropped down into a bucket of water that will form the reservoir – this must be below the level of the plants to avoid siphoning.
The tubing taking water to the plants attaches to the control’s outlet. This feeds the circuit you’ll have already set up.
Programming the system is pretty simple, with just three buttons. The left button sets the watering time – the length of time you’ll want the system to be delivering water to your plants, anything from 1 second to 99 seconds of watering time. 99 seconds is a surprisingly long time, too long for me, it emptied the bucket very quickly and over-watered the plants so that they leaked all over the conservatory floor. For my 8 plant circuit, I found 30 seconds was perfect, ensuring all the plants got sufficient water without flooding the conservatory.
The right button is for the frequency of watering. This runs from 0.1, watering every hour,  up to 1.2, watering every 12 hours. The numbers then automatically switch to day-mode, starting at 1 – watering once a day – up to once every 30 days. The middle button switches between automatic watering and manual. Pressing to manual sets the pump going immediately, and it will then run until you turn it off or it runs out of water. It’s a useful addition if you want to top up your watering in a hot spell, or simply want the control watering as and when.
The water is supplied from a  reservoir, like a bucket, though it needs to be fairly large. The motor is more powerful than I anticipated and with eight plants on the circuit, it ripped through the water in a very short time. I’ve been adding a little liquid seaweed to the water, so plants are being fed regularly as well as watered.
Once it’s up and running, the system works very well indeed. I’m very pleased with it, it saves so much time and effort. With so many plants to tend to, I’ve found this system invaluable, saving a great deal of time and energy. I really would recommend it to anyone with lots of plants that require regular watering.

Campark T70 14MB Trail Camera

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 of the front face is a colour LCD screen, with navigation buttons alongside. Below is a three-way turret switch for Off/SETTING/ON. On the underside of the front panel are a full-sized card slot (for cards up to 32GB), mini-USB AV port. The use of a full sized SD card is a major improvement and will make life much easier when using gloved hands in the winter. Another improvement over earlier Campark models is the new IP66 rating, which means the camera is protected against dust and strong water jets.

Some trail cams just have a standard motion sensor on the front, others have front and side sensors. This one has a single sensor but it has a 120-degree wide angle view so it should be able to match the multi-sensor rivals whilst consuming less power to do so.

Although there are plenty of refinements and fine-tuning that can be made in fact the camera can be up and running very quickly with the default settings. After inserting the batteries and removing the gels covering the lens and sensors and screen, switch it to the SETTING mode and press the MENU button. From here you can now set the image and video resolutions, video recording lengths and other parameters such as time stamping, time lapse, scheduling etc. One particularly useful feature is that you do not have to choose between Video or Stills as you can set it to record both at once. Time should be spent on best positioning the camera for the front and side sensors and the device can help you with these using visual indications of when you are in range during setup. Remember to insert a micro-SD card first and to format it using the camera software before use.

I was pleased and not a little surprised by the photo and video quality, too often budget trail cameras fall down here by using cheap hardware to save production costs, but not so here. Image quality is excellent for both Video and stills and has been upgraded to 14MP image size from the 12MP of earlier Campark models and gives decent quality FHD video at 30fps. I found that in some lighting conditions highlights can burn out so take care to select the right camera position to avoid them. Care must be taken also to avoid false motion sensor alerts – foliage, vehicles, etc – as this will soon flatten the battery. Although the trigger time is a very rapid O.4s when recording wildlife try and position the camera so the subject approaches the camera and not across it. That way the trigger has time to fire and you will see the subject head on and not get a picture of its rear end as it leaves the frame!

This camera can be great fun if you have a big garden and wonder what goes on there when you are away. Professionals might look to pay more for higher quality and improved build quality.

The Good
Great price
Good image quality
Good build quality
A range of mounting options
Simultaneous stills and video option
Scheduling
Wide-angle motion sensor
Excellent User Guide
4 or 8 battery option
Audio recording option
Full-size SD card
IP66 Water/Dustproof

The Bad
RetaingClips could be stronger
Heavy battery drain when used intensively
32GB maximum card
No slow motion video

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TRACKR PIXEL – PINK – 1 EU

 

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  will detect the lost item and silently and anonymously send this information back to the TrackR servers and it will then show the location on the app screen of the owner of the missing device. This is great in areas where everyone has a Trackr but here in the Uk, this is not the case.

The TrackR Pixel is an advance on the metal bodied Bravo model. It is smaller, lighter and has a louder alert tone. That said the noise is still pretty feeble but it does have an enhanced visual alert and flashes brightly when ringing. Unlike some rivals which need to be discarded when the battery fails, the Pixel uses an easily found CR2016 battery which will last several months in normal use. The app is well designed and easy to use but on my Android phone does annoyingly keep asking me for Crowd Location permission every time it is launched.

It works well and does pretty much all it is claimed to do. However, that is all it will do and do not expect it to do more. Prices vary but at just £15.00 this is the cheapest option I can find right now and at that price, it is a very attractive buy.

The Good
Good Price
Easy to Use
Uses replaceable batteries
Good App

The Bad
Crowd Location feature limited in the UK
Poor documentation
Fiddly to change batteries
Alert tone feeble
Can become unreliable over time

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Losmile Foldable Glasses Storage Case

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

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Losmile Sport Sunglasses with UV400 Protection

 

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.

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TOP-MAX WiFi Smart Power Strip

 

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 whole plug board Off and on, control multiple plugboards together and incorporate the plugboard in groups with other devices, along with chained and timed routines.

The plugboard is a quality device and works well alone, using the app or with voice control. The only real let down for me is the lack of USB-C support and the inability to control sockets separately through Alexa or Google. The price is excellent, as is the build quality and for the current Amazon price of £19.79 it is a worthwhile addition to any Smart Home.

The Good
Good build quality
Easy to use app
Alexa integration
Google Home integration
Works with or without the app
Sockets can be controlled separately through the app
Timer feature
Countdown feature
6ft Power Cable
Inexpensive

The Bad
No physical Off/On switches for individual sockets
No USB ports On/Off physical switch
No USB-C sockets
No 5Ghz wifi
No voice control of individual sockets

More info and Purchase