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pulse1
2nd Sep 2013, 16:50
For the last 29 years I have dreaded the apple season because our lawns and drive get covered with mostly inedible or rotting windfalls. I asked one of our boys to give Mrs p something for her birthday which will help her pick them up.

He has given her a thing called an Apple Wizard which is like an oval, wire cage which you roll along the ground on a long handle. With very little effort it picks up the apples without damage and there is another accessory for unloading it into a bucket. Absolutely brilliant and it will totally change my life, and the look of the garden, over the next month or so.

What other simple gadgets have Ppruners found that have changed their lives?

radarman
2nd Sep 2013, 17:10
The wife :E

G-CPTN
2nd Sep 2013, 17:18
That Apple Wizard looks clever, but simple.
I wonder how the inventor came up with the idea.

Despite the apples being less than perfect, they can probably still be used for cider.

superq7
2nd Sep 2013, 17:22
GHD hair straighteners my wife can't live without them.

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 17:25
Instead of leaving the light on outside the house all night,
I purchased a small, 8 LED Auto sensing light that runs
on 2 AA batteries that seem to last forever.

Screwed it to door frame, when I walk up to the door (or the dog does)
it turns on, giving plenty of light for the key hole.

airship
2nd Sep 2013, 17:33
I won't comment on "gadgets" in general. These mostly remind me of how in spite of our advanced development, humanity's "gadgets" work once or twice, or until they're somehow superceded with other "gadgets" which automatically result in the previous "gadgets" being only suitable for the rubbish heap.

Simple "inventions", I might have something more to say about.

Please change the thread title and/or remove me from your ignore list?!

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 17:37
airship

"humanity's "gadgets" work once or twice,"

Don't you hate that. I try to pick things that last, I hate the "throw away
mentality".

"or until they're somehow superceded with other "gadgets" which automatically result in the previous "gadgets" being only suitable
for the rubbish heap."

Not one for buying an item unless it is good and going to last.


BTW, you are not on my ignore list !!! (As I don't have one :O).

Sallyann1234
2nd Sep 2013, 18:03
Despite the apples being less than perfect, they can probably still be used for cider.
I have a friend who has a small orchard. Each autumn a cider company delivers a skip for him to fill up with apples. They accept the apples in any condition - bruised, rotten, maggots, the lot. The only stipulation is that they must not have been sprayed with any form of chemical.

Blues&twos
2nd Sep 2013, 18:09
As a Controls Engineer, spending a large amount of time working in dark and cramped electrical panels the single best thing I ever bought was a decent tiltable LED headlamp. No more attempting to hold a torch between my teeth with my head jammed sideways against the far wall of a control box desperately trying to focus on a terminal rail and the end of a black wire in the shadows. Sometimes up a ladder.
Brilliant bits of kit!

Lon More
2nd Sep 2013, 18:32
There's a box in the shed full of unmissable gadgets.

All I need is a tin/bottle opener and a bread knife.

Krystal n chips
2nd Sep 2013, 18:37
A can opener.....so simple, yet so effective.....possibly the best bit of kit the Gov't ever provided.....no doubt by accident rather than design.

G-CPTN
2nd Sep 2013, 18:41
Can opener (and bottle opener) (http://media.thesimplygroup.com/EasyCampCanOpener/100278/2.jpg).

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 18:46
Krystal

Agree. I have the larger one / version with the spoon on the end.

I used mine the other day when the "normal" kitchen type decided they
didn't want to work.

G-CPTN
2nd Sep 2013, 18:50
Hardware shops in Denmark sell a refined version (http://img1.etsystatic.com/011/1/7472720/il_570xN.429771909_95o0.jpg) (that is larger and easier to use) that is the universal standard in all households.

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 18:57
I use this type which is even bigger and easier to use
plus has a spoon on the end.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/9K4AAOxykVNRtCcW/$T2eC16JHJHEFFl0vrI0uBRtCcW%28Grw~~60_35.JPG (http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/9K4AAOxykVNRtCcW/$T2eC16JHJHEFFl0vrI0uBRtCcW%28Grw%7E%7E60_35.JPG)


http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$%28KGrHqMOKkUE1stlLZTrBNtQyb6lD!~~_35.JPG (http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$%28KGrHqMOKkUE1stlLZTrBNtQyb6lD%21%7E%7E_35.JPG)

Rossian
2nd Sep 2013, 18:59
....does anyone here know who invented it? It is really beautifully simple and effective - the man deserves an award of some kind.

The Ancient Mariner

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 19:01
I agree. One of THE most effective tools I have ever seen.

What is really interesting is they don't actually take much effort
to cut through tins.

Lon More
2nd Sep 2013, 19:10
You can thank Uncle Sam for the original P 38 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38_can_opener) and the Australian Army for the advanced version with a spoon

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 19:23
I like the way someone describes the Aussie version, known as FRED,
the Fcuking Ridiculous Eating Device !

Typical Aussie humour but from experience of what was in the ration packs,
combined with a normal spoon and the FRED, you could eat the whole thing.
No knife and Fork required so cut down on weight !

Mike X
2nd Sep 2013, 19:35
Needle-nose plier and copper wire. Don't ask.

beaufort1
2nd Sep 2013, 19:56
Recently bought a bean slicer which not only tops and tails the bean but takes off any stringy bits. Come to think of it, it was manufactured in Oz.:ok:

G-CPTN
2nd Sep 2013, 20:34
a bean slicer which not only tops and tails the bean but takes off any stringy bits.
I thought that was standard equipment for anyone who eats (green) beans - my mother had such a thing back in the 1960s. Of course they also grew their own beans.
I bought one when I set up my own home.

lomapaseo
2nd Sep 2013, 20:48
That Apple Wizard looks clever, but simple.
I wonder how the inventor came up with the idea.

probably from the device they use on a driving range to pick up gold balls



Despite the apples being less than perfect, they can probably still be used for cider.

True, but most states ban them as a health risk.

Of course the best cider is still made from apples that fall.

I miss the smell of cider making in the fall with the swarms of bees and flies all around the hand press.

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 20:51
"probably from the device they use on a driving range to pick up golf balls"

+ 1

I meant to post that and forgot !

beaufort1
2nd Sep 2013, 21:07
I thought that was standard equipment for anyone who eats (green) beans - my mother had such a thing back in the 1960s. Of course they also grew their own beans.
I bought one when I set up my own home.

We had a bog standard one for years that just sliced, this got lost, we turned the kitchen upside down but couldn't find it.
Needed a new one as we've had an excellent crop of green beans this year and found this one in our local handy store.
http://kitchenneeds.com.au/files/2012/03/04KK729-Krisk-bean-slicer.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=O1Jd8aVPSbCLXM&tbnid=wDdUBGMkIg3UGM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fkitchenneeds.com.au%2Fstore%2Fproducts%2Fkr isk-bean-slicer%2F&ei=wO8kUqujHKuN0wWn54CwAQ&bvm=bv.51495398,d.d2k&psig=AFQjCNF880s6At6BujMHLhWHhTtlGqvltg&ust=1378238777483827)

PingDit
2nd Sep 2013, 21:35
http://i1142.photobucket.com/albums/n608/PingDit/Victorinoxknife.jpg (http://s1142.photobucket.com/user/PingDit/media/Victorinoxknife.jpg.html)
One of these.

Nervous SLF
2nd Sep 2013, 23:32
We have a gadget that lets me open jars and bottle tops, when we first were given it I thought what a waste. Now however
as I get older and weaker I use it more and more. :ok:

Dushan
2nd Sep 2013, 23:41
He has given her a thing called an Apple Wizard which is like an oval,

Shouldn't that be called an iWizard?

reynoldsno1
3rd Sep 2013, 02:23
"We have a gadget that lets me open jars and bottle tops" - oh yes, we have an Aussie thing called a "Boa" - works a bit like an oil filter wrench. mrsr1 had a habit of not putting lids back on properly so she could open them easily - she didn't tell me, so after the 2nd dumping of contents I got the boa - works well.
I still have my Mum's bean slicer - cast metal and bolts to the work top, her meat mincer, a parsley chopper, and her original metal potato masher (still the best)

Arm out the window
3rd Sep 2013, 02:27
The can opener / spoon in the Aussie ration packs was known to many as the John Wayne, because it was better than anything.

Gadgets? As far as tools go I love the Stillson wrench http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t641/borella2/Stillson540x540_zpsd5e3345f.jpgand Vice-Grips http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t641/borella2/vise-grips-590590x393_zps8af4c4e5.jpg- with those two you can undo just about any ridiculously rusted-on nut and bolt without stripping them, better than a whole toolkit full of 'proper' spanners.

Recently though (since dropping my old steam driven mobile phone and getting an iphone instead), the wide diversity of really useful (seriously, I mean, not just time wasting) apps is bringing me to the realisation these things are possibly one of the best gadgets you can have. I still leave it off and/or at home whenever I can, but it's bloody useful when you need it. Making phone calls is just the tip of the iceberg.

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 02:34
" The can opener / spoon in the Aussie ration packs was known to many as the John Wayne, because it was better than anything."

That's more like it. I think someone is having a joke on Wiki :O

Wxgeek
3rd Sep 2013, 03:49
Does indoor plumbing and the toilet count?

I am reminded how handy turning on the water tap is and having a toilet nearby when I'm camping.

Although taking a whiz on a airy mountain ridge is OK, a crap not so much.

mikedreamer787
3rd Sep 2013, 05:23
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRl6P96GVp1uD11FdGwmd8H0_rZX5VPNAoNj2EqH-1zThR19N5V5Q

Certainly changed my life! :)

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 05:58
WxGeek

" I am reminded how handy turning on the water tap is and
having a toilet nearby when I'm camping."

I am trying to find a picture of what I use camping, 20 litres of hot water
always available (as long as you have a camp fire). Did wonders for my
camps, ease of washing up, ease of washing in the morning !

I'll post a pic when I find it.

Here it is.

Hillbilly Hot Water Service 20L | Snowys Outdoors (http://www.snowys.com.au/Camp-Kitchen/Cookware/Hot-Water-Service-20L.aspx?c=8&sc=50&id=2716)

parabellum
3rd Sep 2013, 06:03
I joined up in 1959 and we had ration packs up to five years old with the famous compo can opener so I guess the UK took the idea from the USA after the war?

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 06:06
Para

Don't laugh, but at one time somehow we ended up with Vietnam,
1960's era Ration packs :O

This was in the latish 1980's.

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Sep 2013, 06:50
John Wayne? Heard of bogroll referred to by that name. Apparently don't take no shyt from no arseholes.


I carry a small Lansky stone. While idling over a pint, it does a great job of polishing up a razor edge on pen knives and folders. Probably falls more into the realm of a rock than an actual gadget as such. One day I may even evolve enough to no longer peel bananas with my feet.:}



That hillbilly hot water supply looks the business, Mr N. You can get a hot water camp shower in these parts which works on a small fire or gas flame at the base. It's a pretty simple device, consisting of a six foot steel tube around six inches in diameter with a coil of copper tube running up the inside and a wide-ish tripod base (and a couple of steel cables and pegs to stabilise things). A cold water supply is attached to the copper tube at the bottom and a hose with shower head and in line tap is attached to the outlet at the top. You light a small fire or use a gas flame beneath the steel pipe/chimney and then run the water for your shower. It heats up pretty fast in the coil, so the more flow you have, the cooler it is. Water source is via a tap in a camp ground or electric pump from a river or lake, or even a 20 litre can on the roof rack in the desert or bush.

Much more advanced than the simple black 20 litre PVC bag you hang in a tree in the sun all day. It has a shower head and a tap on the bottom so when you get back to camp in the evening, you can have a warm shower.

11Fan
3rd Sep 2013, 06:58
500N, C-Rations.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/96/Crations.jpg/300px-Crations.jpg

Dined on quite a few myself, thanks to my handy P-38.

http://phoenixpatriotmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/timeline-b11.png

Never could get a Peaches and a Pound Cake in the same box though.

Hydromet
3rd Sep 2013, 07:02
Bean slicers are all well & good, but don't get your finger caught in one. The last time I did that, we both got the sack.

ExSp33db1rd
3rd Sep 2013, 09:33
Heat shrink tubing. Magic.

OFSO
3rd Sep 2013, 10:10
They tried all sorts of complicated and expensive robotic devices to harvest olives here. Finally resorted to the old ways: hit the tree & branches with something heavy so the ripe olives fall off, and then run what looks like a garden roller with spikes on the drum over the ground. Hasn't changed anyone life for hundreds of years because the technique is that old.

MagnusP
3rd Sep 2013, 10:17
Wedding ring.

PingDit
3rd Sep 2013, 10:22
^^^^^
Wedding ring?
She was watching you type that wasn't she...go on, admit it! ;)

MagnusP
3rd Sep 2013, 10:25
I will only acknowledge that it changed my life. I leave it to the reader to decide whether better or worse prevailed. ;)

Cyber Bob
3rd Sep 2013, 10:46
The one's that Buzz :rolleyes:

teeteringhead
3rd Sep 2013, 13:03
Must get new specs .... at first glance I thought it said:

Simple Gadgets that Change your Wife......

..... back to the drawing board then......:(

onetrack
3rd Sep 2013, 13:46
500N - What does the Hillbilly Hot Water system do, that a 20L stainless steel bucket can't do?? I thought a man of your outback skills would possess a Glind shower system, at the very least. :)
A terrific little gadget that enables showering whilst camping, and you can even use a roadside puddle.

ShyTorque
3rd Sep 2013, 14:52
For our helicopter field deployments, the RAF used to keep something very similar to the "hillbilly" boiler.

IIRC they were known as "lazyman boilers" and made from galvanised dustbins. Excellent kit; used over gas burners they supplied sufficient hot water for the whole site to wash in.

I'd say the best kitchen gadget for me is any kind of tin opener, without one I'd be a far less accomplished "chef" :p

VP959
3rd Sep 2013, 15:14
The one's that Buzz

If the sales figures for the Rabbit are anywhere near the truth, and if those sales figures reflect usage, then I'd guess the thing must have changed a few million lives..................

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 15:19
One Track.

Good question. It does need more explantion.

The funnel / cylinder thing on the top of the lid is only to help pour fresh water into the bucket. At the base of this is a small, 1/2 pipe which goes all the way to the BOTTOM on the bucket. So if you pour fresh cold water in, it comes out this pipe at the bottom of the bucket.

You fill the unit with cold water and place it on the ground next to the campfire and it will warm quickly. The hottest water of course rises to the top ner where the outlet tube is (facing us in the photo)

As hot water is required simply pour cold water into the unit through the funnel on the lid, the cold water goes to the base of the tank via that 1/2 inch tube , displacing an equal volume of hot water from the outlet spout at the top of the unit.

Of course as you pour in cold water down the funnel to get hot water out the spout at the top, you are also refilling the unit. Because of the lid, even if it boils, it is a closed unit so doesn't evaporate.

From experience, when you build up the fire you can get it boiling
but most of the time it is just warm to hot - and stays warm until morning
even if the fire goes out.

Here is a photo
http://www.bernsbeaks.com.au/hillbilly/Images/hillbilly_hot_water_in_use.jpg


I know of the Glind System. I tend to go for a swim in the creek etc !!!

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 15:22
Shytorque

"IIRC they were known as "lazyman boilers" and made from galvanised dustbins. Excellent kit; used over gas burners they supplied sufficient hot water for the whole site to wash in."

Agree.

The Mil also used to have a dustbin set up that had a heater that went INTO the water and had a small flame inside at the bottom (drip fed fuel) that heated the air that heated the water. The only problem was they were deadly to light !!!
but used to provide warm water for heaps of people.

Cornish Jack
3rd Sep 2013, 18:41
As a dyed-in-the-wool sucker for any gadget, I have lots - mostly discarded. However, came across a garden hose reel on the 'bay' which seemed novel and not seen anywhere else - a self-powered rewind hydraulic motor! Works a treat - uses the water through the hose to drive a 3 cylinder motor on the spindle and makes stowing the hose a doddle. It was an end of line item at greatly reduced price, so doubly pleased. Haven't seen anything like it since.

NutLoose
3rd Sep 2013, 19:03
Screwed it to door frame, when I walk up to the door (or the dog does)
it turns on, giving plenty of light for the key hole.

Having locked myself out several time I recently replaced the front door and added a lock that operates on a remote like your car, simple blip and its unlocked :) if I forget that it has a keypad on it too that lights up, no more facing with keys or locking myself out :)

As for tin opening etc, my Late mums wrists were getting week, I got her these


Culinare One Touch Automatic Jar Opener, White: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

And one of these

Culinare One Touch Automatic Can Opener, White: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

Fantastic bit of kit, pop it on a can, push the button and it slowly rotates round cutting the lid off, it then holds the lid on a magnet while you bin it.

seacue
3rd Sep 2013, 21:33
In my youth, these gadgets were called "Church Keys". Apologies to Keef, etc. There was a version with a more-complex bottle cap remover.

http://members.toast.net/rcarpen/CurchKey004a.jpg

http://members.toast.net/rcarpen/CurchKey005a.jpg

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 21:36
seacue

I remember those.

My dad used to use the top one to put two holes in a tin of condensed milk !!!

unstable load
3rd Sep 2013, 21:43
I got one of them in my toolbox for opening oil cans.
Very good at the job, too.

ShyTorque
3rd Sep 2013, 21:44
We used to carry those "church keys" when out walking as essential items in the days before ring pull cans for soft drinks were invented. Isn't the one in the second photo made for/by Schweppes?

500N
3rd Sep 2013, 21:50
I think you might be right.

I think Coca Cola also made them - or one of the other drinks makers.

I think my parents still have both on the drinks cabinet !!!

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Sep 2013, 22:11
A mate used one of those church keys to cut through a static line after a stude hooked up. He'd left his hook knife on his other rig and the aircraft one hadn't yet been returned after it was removed while the aircraft was at the AMO for maintenance. Stude got towed around for a few minutes while mate was sawing away at the strop. Mate reckons he was giving him heart attacks by reaching for his reserve handle every few seconds. After that experience, he advocates jumpmasters should be issued with 9mm pistols to neutralise idiot studes who reach for the reserve ripcord while hung up.

seacue
4th Sep 2013, 00:13
I think I paid actual money for the one in the second picture at a Monoprix.

Cacophonix
4th Sep 2013, 00:28
My mouth, if it hangs open and if I am bored, I breathe. If am asleep, my nose gapes and then I snore...

My wife simply uses a peg...

To the peg, the saviour of sex, marriages and the world...

Caco

cockney steve
4th Sep 2013, 09:37
Clacton in the fifties. we would have visiting Yank servicemen for the weekend, with their "lady" friends they would arrive with goodies from the PX including cases of TINNED beer....every case included a Chirch Key canopener(though they weren't called that then) I took them to school and distributed them as we had dozens...I also took an empty tin to prove to disbelieving classmates,that beer could indeed be tinned.

Grinderette! there aint much you can't do cut /grind/sand/wire-brush orfit a drill-chuck for more versatility....wood /stone/metal/concrete/brick /tile /plastic....a truly handy and versatile tool.

tony draper
4th Sep 2013, 10:22
They were called Top End Spanners at sea.
Happy days,a case of 24 cans McEwans export with a top end spanner 6/- from the Bond.
:)

FullOppositeRudder
4th Sep 2013, 11:37
I love gadgets and have plenty of them :rolleyes:.

Realistically I find it hard to go past the pressurized (aerosol) inhaler or puffer for asthma relief. Initially it was Bricanyl for me; more recently Ventolin. There are others. Previous treatments for Asthma were messy and slow to work if indeed they worked at all .....

The aerosol dispenser is compact, easy to use, and gives an accurate dose instantly and with good results. I would probably have been dead on at least two occasions without one.

Yep - certainly life changing for me. :ok:

Keef
4th Sep 2013, 11:37
Church Keys - ah yes, got lots of those.

The device that is almost always on my belt is a Leatherman Charge. It's like a Swiss Army knife but far more practical. Most people who see me use it tell me the police will arrest me if they see me with it, but I'm still on the loose.
It will open most things, and the saw on it will remove quite hefty branches.

Teldorserious
4th Sep 2013, 21:25
No one has mentioned autopilots and GPS units?

Imagine all the pilots these days that wouldn't have a career with out these inventions!

500N
4th Sep 2013, 21:29
And imagine all the Navigators that would have a career
if GPS's weren't invented !!! :O

IMHO people should still learn to Navigate by compass and Protractor
- or even learn to read a bloody map !!!

gingernut
4th Sep 2013, 22:34
Those bean stringers must have been a god send, t'as been a great year for beans, am picking, washing, stringing, blanching and freezing them almost daily...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v617/gingernut123/DSC_0073_zps79eb0e39.jpg

The GPS thing is a bit of a mixed blessing.

Love having the TomTom switched on, even for work. It's meant to pick up the traffic, and sometimes gets it right, does seem to avoid the elephants in the room, but sometimes just doesn't know how to deal with fast changing situations. Best thing about it, is that it gives you a bit more license (?confidence) to explore from the beaten track, knowing that the route back home/to the campsite is easy to found when all you want to do is get home and have a beer. Great when used with a map.

Most of the 'yoofs of today, seem to rely on them, without a map to get from A to B. Can't help that they are somehow missing out on the romance of maps.

moosp
4th Sep 2013, 23:14
For over thirty five years I have had in my tool box a pair of laboratory crucible tongs. They work like scissors but are around a foot long and have a pliers type grip at the end for holding, I suppose, a lab crucible... (Sorry I cannot get the photo up.)

I use them at least once a week to get bolts, washers, cutlery, her jewelry, dogs toys, printer paper, electrical wires, odds, sodds and the rest of the one inch word that invariably drops down into crevices, cracks, holes, and impossible spaces engineered by moronic humans that are too small for a hand to enter.

It has saved many many hours of labour and many rebuilds where there was one small part missing.

ExSp33db1rd
5th Sep 2013, 09:16
And imagine all the Navigators that would have a career
if GPS's weren't invented !!!

No, Navigators were phased out by INS - years before GPS.

( ackcherly - navigators were phased out by Second Officer Pilots - pilot assistant for take-off and landing, and navigator for the bits in between, one salary, one man, two jobs. )

At least I learned to use a Sextant - mentioned this to a pilot the other day, he asked "what's a sextant"

One could weep, but then I guess I couldn't use his iPad, either.