Search my site

Amazon AStore

A selection of relevant products available direct from Amazon. You'll find lots more practical info in various articles on my website.

Visit My Amazon AStore


Key Web Links

How a CCJ can wreck your finances

Some recent news items highlighted the plight of innocent people who have nearly lost their homes or suffered severe financial problems when their credit history was damaged by old County Court Judgments (CCJs) that they knew nothing about - parking ticket penalty notices that are sent to very old addresses, for example. I'll explain a few options to help prevent this and check up on your credit file for free, to ensure you're CCJ-free.

Click to read more ...


PURE digital radio 'Sounds' service closed

If you have a PURE Internet radio such as the beloved Evoke Flow then you maybe enjoyed the 'Sounds' service which streamed soothing soundtracks over wi-fi to your radio receiver. I particularly enjoyed the metal windchimes (played as background on the patio for summer parties), but most of all I enjoyed the babbling brooks, rainfall or running stream sounds which often helped me to get off to sleep at night. PURE Sounds has been an essential and well-used feature - so imagine my surprise to find that I could suddenly no longer use them - it turns out that PURE has silenced them for ever!

Click to read more ...


So long, Demon Internet!

Updated on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 12:40PM by Registered CommenterAlan W

Since 1995 my Demon Internet e-mail address has been deeply embedded in everything I’ve ever done for hobby/ amateur electronics and EPE Magazine. I coined the ‘epemag’ moniker when signing for a so-called Tenner-a-month dial-up account in an era when 14.4k modems reigned supreme, and was born. Vodafone (Demon's owners) is ditching supposedly 'free' email services, so my new address will be

Click to read more ...


Install a Brother LT-400 lower paper tray

My Brother HL-1450 laser printer is doing sterling service, hooked to my Synology NAS it’s a decent network printer, and what’s more I can print to it from my Windows 8, 7, XP and (yes!) Windows 98 PCs, over the network.

I located a used lower paper tray LT-400 and the supplier Cotswold Printers was extremely efficient and friendly to deal with.  Good old-fashioned service like that is nice to see.

The tray's a bit of a luxury item but I’ll use it to feed 90 gsm paper on demand. There were no instructions but it seemed easy enough to use: a small socket on the printer rear is for the connecting lead of the LT-400, and the printer simply drops onto the lower tray, adding 11cm to the height of the printer.

But, and here’s the big but, there’s something else you have to do to make it work, as I found out when testing, as I got one infuriating paper jam and snarl-up after the other. On the underside of the original Brother paper tray there’s a protruding plastic tab near the front. It matched the location of the paper damage.  You have to cut off this tab to free up the paper path, then the lower tray can feed paper properly.  I’d recalled something about that (can’t remember where) years ago, so I snipped it off with cutters and – lo and behold! – the LT-400 now works properly. I’m really chuffed.

Also you need to go into Devices and Printers / Printer Properties, device settings and ensure Tray 2 is now enabled.

You can now choose Tray 1 or Tray 2 when you print a document.

Here’s a photo of the plastic tab.

Snip off the plastic tab underneath the UPPER TRAY, to enable the LOWER TRAY to feed. [click to see]


Getting rid of spider mite on greenhouse crops and houseplants

This year my greenhouse crops are being plagued by a spider mite infestation. These miniscule bugs can  destroy the most handsome of tomato or cucumber plants as I have found to my cost in recent years, so this year I'm declaring all-out war on them using a specific organic insecticide that's made for the job. More details, along with photos of what to look for on your greenhouse or indoor plants, for are in my special feature.  Read more about how to control spider mite...