back to article 12 of the best... travel gadgets

As another British summer disappears down the meteorological toilet amidst howling gales and driving rain Reg Hardware's mind turns to getting away from it all for a few weeks to a place where carrying a solar charger is not an act of near criminal optimism. To help ease the miles we decided to take a look at a dozen gadgets for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Aquapac bag

    For an extending compact like that, you'll want the #420 bag with the hard tube and built-in lens or you'll be straining the zoom motor, particularly under the pressure of 5m of water. Even then the spec some websites show of a 30mm interior extension is about 2mm too optimistic. I needed to insert a spacer cut from a plastic funnel and rubbed down smooth to fit my cheap little Fuji in without it whacking the glass whenever I turned it on.

    You'll also want to make sure your camera doesn't rely on a sliding power switch or a dial selector, as you'll never be able to operate it through the bag. And if the badly thought-out paper dessicant sack bursts the grains are very likely to kill your camera, even if seawater never does.

    Still, the bag itself is a damn good piece of kit and a lot more worthwhile than those diving cases they only make for the most over-priced cameras. So other than actually trying it in a real environment or saying anything useful about it, great review guys...XXX

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  3. garetht t


    "However, if you do come over all Lord Lichfield"

    Look.. I apologised once..

  4. fnordianslip

    Monkey nuts?

    I think you have got confused between your monkeys and your nuts!


  5. b 3
    Thumb Up

    lacies are indded "rugged"!


    i bought a 320gb rugged and a m8 bought a 500gb one..

    he dropped his from a height of about 2m onto a CONCRETE floor..

    np drive fired up without batting an eyelid..

    when i first got one of these i thought it was a bit gay and asking for trouble to call it the "rugged", but it would seem it really is!



  6. Thomas Shinnick

    Unhappily unjoyful

    Oh dear, accidentally good demo of translation limitations in your note about the Franklin. Screen's last 'word' in phonetic translation, yukai, should be yukuai, 'joy'. With its many homonyms, you don't want mispronounce Chinese - you might be saying its been a _waste_ doing business with you.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Tittle Tattle Tooting

    "...However, if you do come over all Lord Lichfield..."

    Then you're a better man than me, Gunga Din!

  8. A J Stiles

    Franklin TGA-490 12 Language Speaking Dictionary

    I will not buy this record -- it is scratched.

  9. Dave Bell

    USB Swiss Army Knife

    But why?

    I'm not sure it really adds to the protection for the drive, and I wouldn't want the full weight hanging off my computer's USB connector. Get a knife with the tools you want, and get a USB drive with the features you want.

    Besides, I'd like to keep my data seperate from a knife, the way the plods are these days.

  10. Al Pha

    Good Luck...

    trying to get that knife on the plane...

    Hope you like cavity searches administered by a big customs guy with no medical training.

  11. F MacIllFhinnein


    You are mistaken, sirs, in believing that those gentle souls, the good citizens of the US of A, would be so crude as to mention the word, ahem, 'toilet'.

    Maybe that's why when abroad they're so often full of.......

  12. Tipjip

    Oregon Maps

    The best thing about the Oregon (well, one of the best things because it's really a great device) is that you don't have to pay for maps anymore in many cases. It works fine with maps, including car and bicycle routing.

  13. Paul Renault

    Better Travel Radio, the Eton FR150

    Eton FR150 Travel Radio:

    Bonus: a flashlight, and a cell-phone charger... And it's cheaper than the FreePlay and much much lighter FreePlay: 112 x 60 x 186mm and 700g: Eton: 126 x 60 x 46 mm and 200 g.

    While the specs on the webpage lists an extra weather radio band, mine has two shortwave bands. (Because I purchased it outside of the USA?)

  14. Jason Togneri

    Wi-fi detectors are becoming obsolete

    What with everything from modern Nokias to PDAs to iPods being able to connect to wireless networks, is there really much need for a wi-fi detector?

  15. NogginTheNog

    FreePlay radio

    I'd be a bit wary of pronouncing the toughness of these things until you've lived with one for a while. I've got a FreePlay Summit, a nice little unit: portable, ok sound quality for the size, and sort of neat to look at. However I tried to be uber-green and never charge it from the mains, only using solar (left on a window ledge) and the winder. After a couple of years the teeth wore on the winder gears, and that became useless.

    I called their support peeps, who sold me so new gears for about a tenner. However when I got the back off to fit them I discovered the mechanism was fairly solidly glued in, and I managed to break the wiring for connecting it to the battery! So now it only works when charged from the mains :-(

  16. Alan Edwards
    Thumb Up


    The WiFi detector - if you've already got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can get software WiFi detectors off the app store. I use WiFiTrak, but there are loads of them. It will show you networks that are technically too weak to use so don't show up in the standard network list, so you know to do a bit of wandering watching the meter to get closer.

    Wind-up radio - the Tesco own-brand equivalent is £8, has a good LED torch on it, and I'm sure is lighter than 700g - could be a lot smaller, of course. Wouldn't say I use mine extensively, but it's still going and the charge lasts amazingly well with no use for a NiMH. Tuning is a bit fiddly as it's not geared.

    One point - the solar phone charger, are you sure the battery's only 150mAh? That's tiny, should be 1500mAh surely.


  17. Huntley

    Franklyn, my dear...

    Thomas Shinnick is right. Should be yu kuai, not yu kai. Piss poor. Also, why no tone signs?


  18. Dex

    "You call that a knife......"

    "THIS is a knife...." "'s a USB stick"

    Think Simpsons.....

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