As mentioned in numerous reviews I have been installing a new network at work and as well as the need for all of the network related bits and bobs I have also had to think about the electrics. Due to the nature and lay out of the office and the requirements of all the electric devices , I needed a range of small extensions so I had no hesitation in buying the devices I have been using ay home for years, from the Argos Value range. But this is so much more than merely an extension lead......
This costs £23.99 at present and it really is more than just an extension. This is a more modern device than the usual, plug in only models. This is an eco-friendly, power saving, all singing, all dancing remote controlled unit.
Its all very well put together made of tough durable material . It will survive scrapes and bumps, stand outs, knock abouts and be able to cope, scratch free, with the daily use of plugs going in and out. The wire is tough and the cord is well protected meaning you have here a well-made piece of kit.
You can use this as a standard extension plugging up to 4 devices in at any one time. It has a high overload capacity meaning it will cope with most everyday/office uses and works consistently well. I have been using it for over 2 years if you combine home and office use and it has never once let me down nor has it failed. Each socket is in great working order!
The remote control function allows you to turn it off and on without going to the main switch saving power and money. You can even switch one plug off and leave the others on, have only one running or whatever combination you like. Its user friendly, takes no setting up and even a technology novice will have this running in no time. It runs smoothly, the remote will reach for metres and metres and it responds every time. This really is a handy little device to save power and top those energy bills rocketing skywards.
The distance provided is 1m which means it is a nice tidy length and obviously gives me options. Its never too long, its just spot on and 1m will be enough for most office and home environments.
I find the Remote Control function is more use at home than in the office but it still can come in Handy. You may never need it but unless you have tried it, you really will be surprised over how this can help you on a day to day basis.
All in all this is well worth it and the price you pay for it will soon be gained back in electricity costs. It gives you more freedom and stops the faffing on with plugs and when setting up a complicated network as I have done it makes things a whole lot smoother.
It was in 1993 that I bought my first PC desk top system (An Evesham, I remember and it lasted quite a few years) and I was living away from home in a shared flat and a room that had very few power sockets. At the time I had purchased many trailing arms, or a brace of mains sockets with an extension cord and plug (depending on what they're known as) but they never seemed to last the distance, often one socket giving up whilst the actual plug brace itself wouldn't stand up to general abuse. Then I discovered Masterplug trailing arms of which I've found to be better designed, more robust and for PC systems equipped with essential surge protection LEDs. Over the years my original Masterplug trailing arm is still in use, eleven years after purchase from Argos at a cost of £7-99.
So when I moved into a new rented flat I knew that I would have to purchase another trailing arm since there are very few power sockets in my living room and where my laptop resides, I need two other sockets for the wireless internet server and another socket for my printer. I was disappointed at the time to find that Argos no longer sell the "surge protector," Masterplug trailing arm and in the end settled for the largely expensive Masterplug "Remote Control," trailing arm/4 plug brace with extension cord at a cost of £24-49. Largely expensive it certainly is, although at the time I was unsure whether the remote control was essential or just a gimmick. However I've since purchased another one for my aunt who adores this function alone.
The standard features with my old Masterplug plug brace/arm seem to have been carried over to the remote control extension. Thus, surge protection and a thermal cut out are standard features where this brand is concerned and it gives me peace of mind if nothing else to see these features with this product. You also get 1 metre of cord with the extension brace itself, which to my mind is long enough, and comparative with other extension braces/plug arms on the market. Quality however is something that Masterplug are good for and the brace itself is just like my old one; made of thick quality PVC plastic, white and inoffensive in colour whilst plugs when inserted go in with a good resounding click and the unit is stable enough to ensure it doesn't fall over, unlike the last Tesco item I had last year. Two hook holes on the underside give the option for the plug brace to be hung and you get two Plasti-screw holders and two crosshead screws fit for that very purpose.
With a maximum load of 3120 watts and a current of 13 amps it is immediately necessary to point out that convector heaters and other appliances that have 3 kilo watts/3000 watts are best avoided, particularly in view of the fact that when one socket is used with appliances of high voltage nature, it isn't best to try your luck and use other high power systems plugged in at the same time. This will immediately cut out the system and the surge protection system also responds in 10 seconds, which further adds peace of mind. The surge protection light (Red LED) stays lit all the time when the extension arm is switched on.
Whilst the extension brace is reasonably easy to set up, you then have the option of using the built in remote control adaptor supplied with the brace. Initially I had doubts of getting this function to work as the user manual supplied (a large piece of paper with instructions back to back) does go into lengthy channel selector tables and on the remote control unit itself there are 16 optional channels to select. It's a bit like a TV remote control with further selections to cancel 3 sockets, or just have 1,2 or all 4 sockets powered up when you don't or do need all other sockets (if being used) to power up. This is very handy for me, as I like to keep abreast of the power I use since electricity these days isn't as cheap as it once was and what's the point of wasting all plugs when you only need one or two powered up?
The remote control itself is also quite easy to work out once you've got past the instructions and it mirrors the same kind of memory procedures similar to a SKY remote control unit/RCU when it comes to programming. Holding down buttons for a couple of seconds allows the RCU to save the preset plug to its memory and if there is a power cut, the RCU will always save the last preset as a caution. A slight downside is that the RCU itself isn't that well made and has an ill fitting battery cover on the underside due to its concave "rocking" design. That said, the numbers and decals are usefully large to see and there are two red LED's that shine on the RCU if you power up one "side" of the channels on offer or both at full capacity and a central command light that lights up whenever a button is pressed.
Now, for most people the added facility of an RCU could well point to the fact that a clear human intervention to switch on and off a mere plug brace may sound like sheer laziness or poses inability but I rather like the function for many reasons. I use a few RCU units in my job; I don't stand on a chair to get my classroom digital projector working, or have to faff about with the Apple Mac when I have my "cheater" remote control. I don't have to walk to the other side of the room when I'm head long in marking and I want to listen to some music when I have a stereo RCU. I'm not lazy if you really knew the hours I work but I do appreciate convenience. The moment I realized how well the RCU works in tandem with the plug brace I thought of my Aunt with her Osteoporosis. She works at home and as a retired accountant works minimally during the week as well as doing basic home computer skills. Unlike her I don't live in my owned property at the moment and because of the rental property my study desk is bolted to the wall and access to the mains power socket is very difficult. In her case, any bending down to the floor has to be done very slowly and it can often be painful for her to bend down just to adjust her television. The added RCU alleviates the stress and pain she gets whilst I adore the fact that last minute at night before bedtime I just grab the RCU and switch off and leave on what I need without struggling to get into the bolted desk against the wall!
So is the Masterplug extension Remote Control brace worth it? I certainly think so. The fact that the battery is already installed in the RCU unit itself makes the product instantly accessible from the moment it is taken out of its packaging. The product also carries a two year guarantee from Masterplug and adds general peace of mind. The RCU also uses a 12volt 23A battery, which a lot of new cameras on the market are currently using and similar to AAA battery prices, they aren't difficult to find.
Made of good quality PVC plastic and very helpful lights and a good quality release system the moment plugs are pushed in and pulled out, the Masterplug extension brace is a little more than just your basic trailing arm extension. For once you have the power at your fingertips and for full control these days where savings and economy can be made, any facility such as this should be awarded as good thinking and timing - particularly when everyone is trying to save power. Thanks for reading ©Nar2 2009
Product code: 982/3178
You can never have enough power plugs & even if you do, they are often too far away to reach, so I'm always going out buying extension cables & recently purchased this four socket remote control extension lead. The big question is how does it compare to the others out there both in terms of quality as well as value for money?
I've got to start by talking about one of the unique features on this product which I've not really seen before. As well as having the whole unit switched on or off, you can also switch each one of the individual sockets on or off using the supplied remote control. This is very handy as you may have some items plugged in which you don't want switched on all the time.
It's best to bear in mind that this unit has an extension lead of one metre so won't stretch all that far so probably isn't the one to go for if you're devices are going to be located quite far away from the power source.
Available for £25, I don't think is bad value considering the amount you could potentially save yourself by switching some of the sockets off whilst they are not in use.