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Autel MS300 CAN Diagnostic Scanner Tool with Trouble Codes Reader for OBDII Vehicles
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This thing saved me at least $96 on it's first (and so far only) use! Even if you don't do any work on your vehicle yourself, knowing what's wrong BEFORE you take it into the shop can potentially save you hundreds, even thousands of $$$ from shops and mechanics that may not be the most honest about whats' wrong. (See Other Thoughts below)

Cons: Not really a BIG con, but this isn't the most advanced OBD II reader out there. After reading the code from the vehicle you have to look it up in the booklet or on the internet (there are sites that list codes in detail). No PC hookup either (for upgrades to code databases or application interfacing).

Other Thoughts: As I said, on its first use this thing saved me $96. We just had out 1998 Plymouth Voyager into the shop for a fuel pump replacement ($650, and a bit overpriced IMO, but I couldn't do the work myself because I'm disabled). Only a seek after I was driving it and the Check Engine light came on. My wife called the shop and they said it would cost us $96 to read the code and tell us what was wrong with it. I bought this reader, read the code, and found out it had something to do with the EGR valve. I looked under the hood and found that the mechanic who worked on the vehicle had knocked off (or disconnected on purpose - not maliciously, but for the purpose of working with the fuel lines) a rubber hose the went from the EGR valve to the fuel injector.

Would the shop have charged us the $96 for reading the code after seeing the problem? Would they have charged us for labor to put it back on (a whole 3 seconds)? Would they have admitted to their mistake and waved the fee? I don't know, but my van is fixed now, and it only cost me $25... and I now have the ability do diagnose our vehicles should the need arise.

Something else of note... we trusted the shop we regularly use for years. Now I have doubts. They didn't offer to return any of the parts from the fuel pump replacement. Your shop should always offer to give you the old parts for your inspection. One thing I DO know is that if I had struggled and done the replacement myself it would have cost me about $475 less. They overcharged me for the pump by about $100-$$125, and it didn't take them THAT long to do the replacement. Nor was it THAT difficult of a job with all of their equipment.

Oh... this is also the same scanner that Freight that's in the Harbor charges $60+ for... just under a different brand name.

APC BR700G 700 VA 420 Watts 6 Outlets Power-Saving Back-UPS Pro 700
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Bought this to replace another brand that (was defective?) would not work with my NAS box (a Seagate BlackArmor 440 NAS). The NAS box would not see the other brand and could not manage it. This one works perfectly (see Other Thoughts below). Lots of features.

This is not only supporting the NAS box, but my router (a Netgear WNDR 4500), Load is reading at 8%, with a runtime of 55+ minuets. This gives me room to either plug in the cable modem or the external USB drive I use to backup the NAS box (yeah, I know.. it's a single hard drive, but it's used as an off line backup to the NAS).

Cons: The only con that I have is there are only 3 battery backup outlets, which means I can't have everything I would like on backup power (NAS box, router, cable modem, and external USB backup drive). Most likely it will end up being the cable modem since the external drive is most often off anyway.

Of course, this UPS was made with keeping a single computer running, not an entire network setup with 4 devices on battery power.

Other Thoughts: So far this UPS has saved me from potential data loss 6 times... 3 in one day. Not even one day after putting this unit on my NAS box the power went out. Any time you improperly shut down any hard drive (let alone 4 in a RAID 5 configuration as I have in the NAS) you risk data corruption and catastrophic loss. If you have a home server or NAS box and that data is important to you (i.e. your music/video library, backup of your e-book library, family photos, financial data... GET A UPS ON IT ASAP !!!

Also, I should have known better than to try the other brand of UPS (which turned out to be defective anyway). When I contacted Seagate to find out what type of UPS I should use with the NAS box (pure sine wave or simulated), they could only tell me that they only tested with APC units. (They didn't even know what the heck pure sine wave meant !!!) Should have saved myself the trouble and frustration and just went with this APC unit.

The only other con that I have with the unit concerns the NAS box... you can only set the run time on battery power to 999 seconds maximum. That's 16 minuets and 39 seconds... and the UPS is capable of running for 55+ minuets on the current load. This is a shortcoming of the NAS, NOT the APC unit.

Rosewill RCNC-12002 3 ft. Cat 6A Black Shielded Cat 6A Screened Shielded Twist Pairing (SSTP) Enhanced 550MHz Network Ethernet Cables
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The only SSTP cables I could find at a reasonable price. I've bought several of these cables in different lengths for all of my wired networking needs (cable modem to router, router to NAS box, router to powerline network adapter, and media PC to powerline network adapter). The shielding is on each individual pair of wires, then the whole bundle is shielded. So far I've seen slightly increased network speeds, even when transferring data wirelessly from my Macbook Pro (wireless N) and the NAS box.

There are a lot of power bricks and wires around where the NAS box/cable modem/router/battery backup/external USB drive are located, so the shielding really cuts down on the interference. Same goes behind the media PC and TV area. Movies now stream and play from the NAS box with no stuttering.

At the very least, the cable between the router and cable modem, a 1' cable, has made a difference in internet speeds. Before installing it would fluctuate between 18Mb and 20Mb download speeds, and now it is at a rock solid 21Mb no matter when I test (to a relatively local server). Test speeds to other servers across the country have also seemed to stabilize.

Cons: Absolutely none for me, and none for you either if you are using these cables directly between devices.

But... if you are going to use ANY shielded cables with wall jacks, 1) the jacks have to be shielded, 2) the wiring inside the walls has to be shielded... otherwise the shielded cables will do you absolutely no good.

Other Thoughts: If you think you might be experiencing slower network speeds because of interference get some of these cables! Even if you don't think you have any problems these cables are worth it (between devices). You may just be surprised to find that they have made your network more reliable, and a bit speedier.


Dale D.'s Profile

Display Name: Dale D.

Date Joined: 01/31/03

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 06/15/10
  • Last Review: 06/25/13
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