Brown’s Bargains Episode Twenty-Two

This week, Brown’s Bargains went in search of some accessible stand-alone calculators to make your number-crunching a little easier …

Reizen 12-Digit Jumbo Talking Calculator: product code LC222, £15.95 excluding VAT, available from

This giant sized talking calculator is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. It announces each button press and calculation in an American female voice. The easy-to-see, oversized black buttons are printed with white text which gives good contrast against the silver coloured surround. It also features a large 12 digit LCD display. There is an adjustable volume, and speech can be turned off completely if not needed. Hinged LCD display tilts towards you for easy viewing. Displays the time and includes alarm function. Text on buttons is 1.4cm high (56 point) and number and function buttons measure 3.8cm wide by 2cm long. LCD display measures 14.4cm wide by 3cm deep and calculations are shown in 2.2cm high characters (88 point)
• Requires two AAA batteries (not supplied)

Flexible Talking Calculator: RRP £7.99, now £4.99, available from Amazon.

Have fun with this roll-up flexible talking calculator. It can do your calculations out loud and comes fully loaded with a clock and alarm clock function. There is also a handy magnetic strip on the back which allows you to stick it to your fridge or other such surfaces.

• Large Symbols, Talking! (With On/Off Function)
• Time and Alarm Function, Flexible – Roll It Up!
• Magnetic Strip on Back – Attachable to fridges etc…
• Battery Powered (Included!)
• Dimensions: 21cm x 29.5cm (A4 Size)

Talking Calculator With Earphone: £20.95 (including batteries), available from Cobolt Systems Ltd, 01493 700172

A basic function calculator with percentage and memory keys. This calculator features a large clear display, adjustable volume, selectable speech on/off,
large tactile keys and an earphone which disconnects the speaker when plugged in for private use (included).
Size: 175mm – 7″ (W) x 130mm – 5.14″ (L) x 33mm – 1.29″ (D).

Brown’s Bargains Episode Twenty-One

This week, Brown’s Bargains goes in search of some hygiene products to make you feel good and look immaculate!

Oral B Pro 600 Cross-Action Electric Toothbrush: RRP £49.99, now £24.99, available from Amazon

• Dynamic movement helps you achieve enhanced results
• Removes up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush
• Clinically proven 3D cleaning oscillates, rotates, and pulsates to break up and remove plaque better than a regular manual toothbrush
• Rechargeable electric toothbrush with one mode: Daily clean
• Included in pack: One toothbrush handle, charging station with brush head storage, one toothbrush head

BaByliss 7235U 10-in-1 Grooming System for Men: RRP £30.00, now £24.99, available from Amazon

• Rechargeable trimmer with five interchangeable attachment heads
• Precision trimmer (0.5 mm) with titanium blade technology for extreme precision and sharpness
• With a five-position comb guide (3 to 15 mm) and three jawline blending combs (3 mm, 5 mm and 7 mm)
• Body groomer (0.5 mm) with five-position comb guide (3 to 15 mm)
• Three-year guarantee
• Rechargeable trimmer with five interchangeable attachment heads
• Precision trimmer (0.5 mm) with titanium blade technology for extreme precision and sharpness

Remington WDF4840 Cordless Lady Shaver: RRP £34.99, now £24.97, available from Amazon

• Double foil shaver for comfortable and quick shaving results
• 2 x hypoallergenic floatings heads the follow the body’s contours
• Intercept trimmer for enhanced cutting performance and smoother results
• Cordless with charging stand
• Bikini trimming comb attachment

Brown’s Bargains Episode Twenty

Brown’s Bargains this week went in search of some portable DAB radios that are not going to break the bank. Here is what I found:

Majority Chesterton Compact DAB/FM Radio: RRP £49.99, now £22.95, available from Amazon.

A compact, portable digital radio, the Majority Chesterton offers a blend of quality, style and affordability that’s hard to beat. The Majority Chesterton’s punchy audio rivals that of much larger sets, and it features both DAB digital and FM radio. There’s also plenty of additional features including-
Rechargeable battery with 4-6 hours playback

Mains powered; 20 presets (10 DAB / 10 FM); Auto set time and date; Alarm clock; Sleep function; Clear LCD display; Auto scan tuning; Earphone socket; Integral telescopic aerial. Dimensions- 13 x 13 x 4.5cm

Goodmans Portable Digital and FM Radio: RRP £25.85, available from Amazon.

Enjoy the clarity of crystal clear high quality Digital sound with this Goodmans GMR1886DAB DAB/FM Radio. With a minimalistic sleek design and superb build quality, this DAB Radio is a perfect addition to any home. It also gives you the option of switching seamlessly between DAB and FM radio – so you’ll always be able to find the station you want. The GMR1886 DAB/FM Radio comes with a 3.5mm stereo headphone socket, 360 degree telescopic aerial and with the option to be powered by mains or battery – so you really can enjoy this DAB Radio anywhere you choose. Also with an auxiliary input, you can connect an external audio device for playback through the GMR1886DAB radio’s high quality speakers.

Roberts R993 three-band Portable Radio: RRP £20.00, now £16.99, available from Amazon.

The R9993 is a compact and portable LW/MW/FM waveband radio, powered by batteries and also has a ‘mains option’ (AC adaptor required). The R9993’s angled tuning dial makes it easier to select the frequencies you require. The radio is battery powered and with the carrying strap it becomes the perfect outdoor companion. The LED power indicator let’s you know when the batteries are running low. LW / MW / FM wavebands; Angled top panel for ease of use; Dial tuning system; LED power indicator; Carrying strap; Headphone socket; DC input socket; Batteries 4 x LR6 (‘AA’ size); Size (mm) 195(w) x 115(h) x 50(d); Weight 0.42kg.

Pairing A Hims Note-Taker With A Smart Device

I have been asked many times how to pair a Hims note-taker with a Smart device, so here’s what to do …

On your Braille device:

1. From the main menu, choose Utilities and enter.

2. Arrow to Terminal For Screenreader, and press enter.

3. Choose Bluetooth Serial, and press enter.

On an iOS device:

1. From the Home screen, choose Settings and double-tap.

2. Swipe to General and double-tap.

3. Swipe to Accessibility and double-tap.

4. Swipe to VoiceOver and double-tap.

5. Swipe to Braille and double-tap.

6. Here, you need to look for the Hims Braille device. If you find a button that says “Not Paired,” double-tap it.

7. You will now be asked to enter a PIN. Press 0 four times and then double-tap on Pair Button.

8. On your Braille device, you should complete the connection process by inputting 0 four times in Computer Braille, (dots one-two-three-four-five-six) then enter.

9. If you hear a connection beep, your Braille device is paired. If you receive a message from your iOS device that “pairing was unsuccessful,” follow steps from 6 above to try again.



1. From the main menu, choose Utilities and enter.

2. Arrow to Terminal For Screenreader, and press enter.

3. Choose Bluetooth Serial, and press enter.


1. You will need BrailleBack on your Smart device before you can proceed. Go to the Play Store on your Android device, then download and install BrailleBack.

2. From the Home screen on your device, choose Apps.

3. Go to Settings.

4. Choose Accessibility.

5. Go to BrailleBack and ensure it is turned on.

6. Now return to Settings, and find Bluetooth under Wireless and Networks.

7. Ensuring Bluetooth is on, look for your Braille device.

8. Once found, pair it by entering 0 four times.

9. On your Braille device, type 0 four times using Computer Braille, (dots one-two-three-four-five-six) then press enter.

10. If you hear a connection beep, your Braille device is paired. If you receive a message from your Android device that “pairing was unsuccessful,” follow steps from 7 above to try again.

Setting Up Email On A Hims U2 Series

I am asked repeatedly by people how to do this, so here goes:

Before you set up your Email account, you might wish to allow any passwords to be spoken by the note-taker. I recommend this if you are new to setting up Email accounts in Braille. In order to hear any password you enter, use dots one-three-five with space to open the Options menu, and arrow down to Hide Passwords. By default, the box is ticked, so press space to untick it, then press enter to save the change. Now you are ready to set up your Email account. Please ensure you have an Internet connection!


1. Open the Email client from the Main Menu.

2. Use dots one-three-four with space or F2 to open the menu.

3. Arrow up twice with dot four with space to Tools and press enter.

4. You should be on Accounts Manager. Open this by pressing enter.

5. Tab with dots four-five with space until you come to Add, and press enter.

You are now presented with a list of servers:
• Manual
• Google
• Outlook
• Yahoo
• iCloud

If none of these is applicable to your Email address, highlight Manual. Note: do not enter at this point, simply tab once using dots four-five with space. This brings you to the series of edit boxes you now need to start filling in. Use dot four with space to arrow down once to each field and enter the relevant information as follows, but do not enter after each field, simply arrow down:

1. Account Name – type in your provider here, such as BT, Gmail, or whatever your Email address relates to.

2. Display Name – usually the name you want to be known by when your Emails appear in someone’s Inbox.

3. Logon Username – this is normally the whole of your Email address, but enter whatever your logon username is.

4. Password – enter it correctly (this is where having them spoken and displayed as you enter Braille characters is very useful.)

5. Email Address – type your full Email address here.

6. Default Mail Server – this is where you can choose either IMAP or POP. To change to your preferred protocol, press space.

7. Incoming POP3/IMAP Server – whichever protocol you selected above, you need to enter your provider’s incoming server details, for example, BT, Gmail, Virgin Media, or other.

8. Outgoing SMTP Server – similarly, you need to enter your provider’s outgoing SMTP server details.

9. Tab with dots four-five space to Advanced, and press enter.

We now come to a series of checkboxes which you tick or untick according to your provider’s protocols. Use space to tick or untick each box, and arrow down to each field using dot four with space, as follows:

1. Use Secure POP3/IMAP SSL – you need to know whether or not your provider wants this ticked.

2. POP3/IMAP Port Number – this should be automatically inserted, depending on what information you have entered above. But you sometimes have to change the port number yourself, especially if you have chosen to enter your details manually.

3. SMTP Encryption Type – press space to choose between None, SSL, and TLS. Your provider should give you these details.

4. SMTP Port Number – this should be automatically inserted, depending on what information you have entered above. But you sometimes have to change the port number yourself, especially if you have chosen to enter your details manually.

5. SMTP Username – only enter this if your logon protocols require it.

6. SMTP Password – again, only enter this if your logon protocols require it.

7. Use AS Default Send-From Account – if you want to use the account you are creating as default, tick this box. Otherwise, if you are going to create another mailbox which you want as your default send-from account, leave it unticked.

8. Keep Mail Copies On Server – if you want your Emails to remain on the server so that each time you launch the Email client, they come in, tick the box with space. If you don’t want to keep your Emails on the server, untick the box.

9. Save Mail Copies In Sent Mailbox – tick the box if you want any Emails you send to be automatically put in the Sent folder.

10. Tab once with dots four-five space to Signatures, and choose whether you want one at the end of your Emails. If you do, tick yes, and tab once more to the Signature button and press enter. An edit box appears that allows you to write what you want to put at the end of each Email you compose. When you have finished, tab once to the Confirm button, and press enter.

11. If you do not want a signature, choose No, and tab to the Confirm button, and press enter.

12. Now tab once more with dots four-five with space to the final Confirm button to conclude the setting up of your Email account.

13. You can now press dots one-three-five-six with space to take you back into your Inbox.


If you have set up your account using POP, do the following to receive Email messages:

1. From your Inbox, press dots one-three-four with space, or F2, to bring up the menu.

2. Arrow up once using dot four with space to Messages, and press enter.

3. Now arrow up twice to Check For New Mail, and press enter.

If your account is correctly set up, your messages should come into your Inbox if you have any.

If you chose IMAP, from the Inbox, simply tab once with dots four-five with space, and you should start to receive your messages if you have your account set up correctly.

Brown’s Bargains Episode Nineteen

Have you been looking for portable or travel-size speakers with Bluetooth technology, but with a 3.5mm lead to connect to other devices too? Look no further than the bargains for this week …

Introducing the KitSound Flair: RRP £60, available on Amazon for £25.71.

Wired or wireless connectivity? When you hear the authentic high fidelity audio from the KitSound Flair, you’ll probably want to listen to it all day, every day – and with two connectivity methods, it’s easier than you think. You can connect it to your device through Bluetooth using the soft touch controls, or use the included 3.5 mm aux-in cable. The Flair has been extensively crafted both inside and out, to give you fantastic audio packaged in a beautiful design. The passive bass radiator ensures that the sound is well rounded and rich, and when combined with 10 Watts you can be guaranteed a fantastic listening experience.

Betron BPS60 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with 3.5mm cable: RRP £29.99, now £11.95, available from Amazon.

3W output, incredible sound quality from a small package. Compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled playback devices; connects wirelessly up to 30 feet away. 3D stereo dynamic bass engine and the expandable bass resonator technology offers you magnificent bass.

Rechargeable lithium battery that provides up to four hours of wireless play. Line-In jack for non-Bluetooth-enabled devices directly to the speaker. Small, compact, and extremely portable, easy on the go.

XMI X-Mini Max Duo Portable Mini Speakers with 3.5mm Jack: RRP £49.90, now £11.95, available from Amazon.

Offering crisp and clear sound with the latest ceramic drivers is the stereo X-Mini Capsule Speakers – the MAX Featuring a fresh, snazzy design, enjoy greater portability and an enhanced stereo sound experience with the MAX. Each module now has its own stow-away cable which provides an additional option of using them individually. No matter how it is used, the promise of Sound Beyond Size remains.

To eliminate cumbersome audio cables dangling from the speaker, XMI has designed a connecting audio cable that can be tucked neatly into the base for a cleaner and sleeker look; whilst the high capacity rechargeable battery capable offers sustained output for up to 18 hours. The MAX is revolutionary in the world of portable audio technology, striking the perfect balance of pocketsize portability and uncompromising sound quality.