Unboxing : Tech21 Special Ops Combat Case

Tech21 Special Ops Combat case for iPhone 5

I was just going through some old folders and found a few unboxing of products that I didn’t get publishing.  Time moved on, my tech moved on and these products got forgot about.

However some of these products do need a little bit of showcasing.  The first one I will upload is a tough case for the iPhone 5. It is the Tech21 Special Ops Combat case.  Tech21 do a full range of cases from the reasonably subtle right up to this one.

This case utilises 3DO – a great product that takes the bang out of impacts and in doing so should protect your gear fantastically well.  Of course this case is big and bulky, but it is protective.  It has a built in screen shield so if you already have a screen guard installed it may well cause water marking.  That is the only issue I experienced with this case, but I would class it as a direct competitor to the Otterbox Defender and Griffin Survivor Range and if you keep your eyes out you can pick this case up now at a fraction of its original £49.99 retail price!

I was hugely impressed by this case, so much so that this was the final case I put my iPhone 5 in before upgrading and it remained in it for a couple of months.

Read moreUnboxing : Tech21 Special Ops Combat Case

BMW G650GS Modifications : High Screen, Wide Pegs, Tank Pads and Aux Lights

I recently changed my bike, however prior to getting rid of my old one I did make a few final modifications, 3 of them successfully and one not so much.

The BMW G650GS is the baby of the GS range from BMW, but regardless of the fact that it is the smallest it is still a great all round machine. It will go pretty much anywhere and with its punchy 650cc single cylinder engine it is snappy enough, however it goes lack in top end power.

The weight of the bike (in that it is very light – a wet weight of 191kg) means that it is easily managed and thrown about the B-Class roads.

However with it being classed as a dual-action or adventure style bike it doesn’t come with many add ons that other bikes higher up the range take for granted. For me a taller screen and some wide pegs were an absolute must and they came courtesy of eBay.

The screen costing a mere £55, and the pegs costing a whopping c. £25! When you consider ‘branded’ wide pegs come in at around the £200 mark, and a screen being at least £120, these were two absolute bargains and can not be more simple to fit.

The 3rd successful add-on and another ridiculously easy modification to add was some tank guards, with one purpose only – to protect the tank paintwork and plastics.

Unscrew -> Remove -> Screw back on -> Job done!

First of all we will have a look at the high screen :

The Standard OE BMW Screen :
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 photo P1080067_zps50029230.jpgSimply Unscrew, Replace and Screw!
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 photo P1080071_zps52c23c9b.jpgThe New Screen :
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 photo P1080075_zps7a04534f.jpgFollowing the successful and obviously simply installation of the Screen I replaced the OE Footpegs with some new Wide Pegs :

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 photo P1080159_zps847b3db4.jpgSimply undo one nut and bolt, carefully reeve the spring and replace in the reverse order – job done!
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 photo P1080162_zpsf9646872.jpg
 photo P1080163_zpsf9fbaa42.jpg
 photo P1080164_zps300a79bd.jpgThen we have the Tank Pads from Wunderlich – Peel off the 3m sticky pads, line them up and slap them down!

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 photo P1080278_zps6d5a35d7.jpg
 photo P1080279_zps7a0fd3d9.jpg
 photo P1080280_zps7e2eca6a.jpgSo as far as I am concerned these 3 simple modifications made a huge difference to the bike. The tank guards did just that no more needs to be said, the wide pegs make long days on the bike so much more comfortable, if if you have to go standing, much much safer and of course stable and more comfortable. In fact if you intend to do any riding whilst standing on the pegs, wide pegs are a necessity, it is that simple! Finally the screen – a great job, long days on the bike become so much easier. Buffeting is dramatically decreased and passing a lorry or bus on the motorway becomes much less of a worry.

As can be seen from the gear I bought it doesn’t have to cost the Earth to preform these simple modifications, and the question I got asked most re the pegs was do they feel sturdy and strong. Take it from me as a big biker, the pegs are fine, they held me without issue, and if they hold me at about 17-18st I’m sure they will hold you too!

Unfortunately however all was not plain sailing. I also bought some Rigid Industries Dually Auxillary Lights, just to make night time riding a little more tolerable. I did a lot of research on which lights to buy and came to the conclusion that these were the lights I was looking for. User reviews consistently rate them highly, all across the world, and no one who I spoke with that had a set could speak badly off them. They are extremely bright, extremely durable and extremely tough, and by all accounts plug and play simplicity sets them up. Unfortunately I never got that far!

For me the issue was where to mount them. The G650GS is a reasonably small dual purpose bike, there simply isn’t much spare room kicking about on it. That means mounting options are very limited. I was reduced to the option of mounting them on the crash bars.

Initially I went for the side of the bars, it was then, rightly, pointed out to me that in the event of a spill you could be forcing the lights into the engine. And the fact that these things are so tough you will do damage to the engine of they go crashing into it.

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 photo P1080287_zpscc4f8d80.jpgMy next option was on the bottom of the bars but as you can clearly see the clearance was an issue and then wiring them up and getting the light throw correct was just going to be a nightmare.

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 photo P1080298_zps5de6100b.jpgUnfortunately thats where the story of the lights ends, I never got them fitted, and then changed my bike. The new bike having aux lights my Rigid Industries Dually Lights became surplus to requirements and I sold them on. Just prior to that I was looking at getting a custom mount made but that never developed.

If you are the owner of a G650GS with Rigid Industries Dually lights fitted get in touch as I would love to see them fitted and get an opinion from an owner as to how they work for them.

Anyway that concludes my G650GS story and as I have said I have changed the bike and will be adding more info in relation to it soon, as well as doing a little bit of Moto Vlogging, so stay tuned for that, and thanks for reading!

OtterBox Defender for Nokia Lumia 920 UnBoxing

From my previous post you can see that I recently purchased a Nokia Lumia 920.  Anyone who follows my blog will also know that I am a huge fan of tough cases for phones, it means I can go to work and forget about my phone, go out on the bike, go for a run and never be overly worried about the phone, safe in the knowledge that it is well protected.  Of course there is the fact that these cases will add considerable bulk to a phone and I appreciate that therefore tough cases are not for everyone.  With that to the side it is hard to deny that OtterBox make a good case, and it is for that reason that I opted for an Otterbox Defender for my new Lumia.

Also I should say that there is very little variety when it comes to this phone, and even the OtterBox was difficult enough to source in the UK.  The other alternatives were eBay imports that looked like rather cheap Otterbox imitations.  Maybe the difficulty in sourcing this case explains the condition it arrived with me in, you may see in the photographs that the packaging certainly had better days and although it is hard to see the case itself was filthy, covered in a thick layer of dust as if it had been lying in an old store room since the beginning of time.  To be fair the phone has been released for a while and the case itself didn’t come direct from Otterbox, so there are external factors worth considering.

Anyway this case does exactly what it says on the tin, it is big and bulky for shock and drop protection, the ports and switches are covered up with should offer good dust protection and it has a build in screen guard.  It is at this point that I find my only fault with the case.  The screen guard, when the case is installed, is not tight against the screen, there is a small layer of air in there that you feel when using the phone, it is almost like a cushion effect and it detracts heavily from the touch screen.  I mean heavily.  It is not nice to use.  Also this gap seems to be a magnet for dust.  After just a short period of time I noticed an alarming amount of dust and debris had accumulated inside the case, between the screen shield and the phone itself.  This case should be removed frequently and the phone cleaned.

Having said that as far as extreme protection goes for the Lumia 920 this seems to be the best option, so if it is protection you require, and can deal with cleaning the phone and case regularly and the reduction in sensitivity and less than pleasing use of the touch screen this is a decent case, offering a standard of protection that no one else seems to for the Lumia 920.  If you don’t need the heavy duty protection but like keeping your phones in pristine condition a decent full body shield such as those supplied by Zagg or BestSkinsEver may be the way forward?

OtterBox Defender for Nokia Lumia 920 UnBoxing :

Read moreOtterBox Defender for Nokia Lumia 920 UnBoxing

FAKE Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5s – Unboxing, Review and Warning!

IMPORTANT UPDATE : After making contact with Otterbox this case has found to be fake! A refund was received from the seller who claims it was a genuine mistake. The original post has been corrected by removing any reference to this case being genuine and any Otterbox related conclusions then, I would like to stress Otterbox were extremely helpful as was the original seller, however at this point I will use this post and associated gallery as an illustration of what you can look for for!

For clarity here is a copy of the confirmation I received from OtterBox informing me the case was fake :

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Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 12.48.50

Read moreFAKE Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5s – Unboxing, Review and Warning!