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Articles by Category

    

Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's a couple.

 

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
Thursday
Aug172017

Odditapes : Rare & Unusual Tapes

In this video I show a few rare or unusual tapes I've collected over the years.  

By clicking the following links you can view my earlier videos on Sony NT and Philips DCC . 
 
The DCC Museum can be found here: http://dccmuseum.com
The new Jeremy Heiden DCC (& MD) can be bought here: http://www.digitalcompactcassette.com/

 

Saturday
Aug122017

REVIEW: Prynt Pocket (iPhone Photo Printer) 

In the video below you'll find a review of the Prynt Pocket - a portable printer for the iPhone range that uses Zink paper to produce photo prints when you're out and about. It can also print videos, well kind of - it's all explained in the video. 

 

It can be purchased from the Amazon links below.

UK: http://amzn.to/2vYt7MD

US: http://amzn.to/2vwLwNi

CAN: http://amzn.to/2hTtbH7

You can also learn more on the manufacturer’s website: https://www.prynt.co

 

Saturday
Aug052017

MB OMNI Entertainment System: The 8-Track games machine from 1980

The Omni from Milton Bradley is a product that straddles 70s and 80s technologies. At it’s core, it’s a game, an electronic quiz machine. However if you examine the way it works, it could be described as an interactive computer that reads program data from tapes.... 8-track tapes. In the video below I demonstrate what it does and how it does it…but first I have to get it working.
   
    
   
Playing the Omni made me think about the massive success that Trivial Pursuit achieved just a few years later. I remember that game becoming big in the UK around 1984. It's almost as though the Omni was ahead of the game...but then I thought about how much Trivial Pursuit cost (I seem to remember it being £50) and how that was considered very expensive for a board game….so at $120 the Omni never really stood a chance. 
    
It was also a lot more difficult to introduce new technology in the pre-internet age. I recall seeing products in catalogues back in the day and all you got was a picture with a brief description like 'electronic game'. It was often impossible to figure out exactly what some of these things did and when you factor in their high cost it made buying these new gadgets a gamble that many weren't prepared to make. The game Merlin was an example...back then I really couldn't imagine how it was supposed to be used but now after all these years it turns out that the less easily definable products like these were often the most innovative ones.
               
For anyone interested in looking at the way the data on a cart is laid out - you can download a five minute sample of Vincent Price's Movie Quiz by clicking here. This is one of the simpler carts with just a question step and an answer step. Jeopardy and Password+ are more elaborate.

 

Friday
Jul282017

LG UltraWide Monitor Review

I recently bought myself a new LG UltraWide monitor. This is the first 21:9 monitor I’ve had the opportunity to use and after spending a little over a week with it, I can't see myself buying another traditional aspect ratio monitor. Watch the video below to learn more. 

 

Purchasing

Amazon Links:

US: http://amzn.to/2h8RQXQ

UK: http://amzn.to/2w6p6lj

CA: http://amzn.to/2w6vFUV

More info

LG's website: http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-29UM68


Wednesday
Jul262017

(Not) My Ten Year Youtube Anniversary

A few months ago I noticed that my first video (on my original channel) was uploaded on 26th April 2007…which meant my 10 year anniversary on youtube was imminent, so I put the date in my calendar to remind me when it arrived. Well today’s the day and it turns out that I was mistaken…it’s almost eleven years since I uploaded my first video. I explain more in the moderately shambolic video below.

Tuesday
Jul252017

Cleaning Records with the Orbitrac 3

In this video I try my hand at cleaning some old records plagued by crackles and pops using the reintroduced Allsop Orbitrac 3Pro vinyl cleaning system.

 

This is being launched in the US first but should be available in Europe from late 2017. 
 If you are a US buyer there are two options 
1) The manufacturers website: http://orbitrac.allsop.com/
2) Amazon (only in stock late August 2017) http://amzn.to/2tYc7Av

 

Friday
Jul212017

The *Best Helmet Camera (*for me)

If you ask me to recommend a Dashcam I'll say the Viofo A119. My favourite action camera? Well that's the Yi 4K...but finding a good side mount helment camera has been a bit tricker. The Contour range were great for their time but the image sensors are now long in the tooth. The Drift Stealth 2 was good enough for me to use one for the last couple of years, but now it's finally been replaced on my helmet by the camera reviewed below.

So now if anyone asks...the Sena Prism Tube is my favourite helmet camera. Watch the video below to learn more.

You can download sample clips here - but do not stream them as they will only show in their original quality when played locally from a downloaded file. There's always that one nutter who tries streaming them and then complains when they look terrible - you don't want to be this guy. 

PURCHASING

AMAZON
Tuesday
Jul182017

The Jingle Cart Machine

I've been looking for a 'cart machine' for quite a while now. These are the devices used by DJs for playing back jingles and other short pre-recorded audio segments from Fidelipac cartridges.

The occasional machines that end up on ebay are usually non-functional as the working models are still in demand by smaller radio stations, although I suspect in the 1990s (before the dawn of ebay) radio stations dumped these machines on mass when they moved to more modern solutions like Minidisc.

In this video I get to use a vintage cart machine to find out the contents of a number of of mysterious old carts...and in the process I unearth a little bit of radio history. 

Saturday
Jul082017

Edison Cup Phonograph Kit Assembly

A good proportion of viewers seemed to enjoy my Gakken Wax Cylinder kit video despite the less than impressive outcome...so here's the sequel. 

This take on Edison's phonograph records onto disposable plastic cups rather than wax cylinders. This makes it less historically accurate than the first kit, but will hopefully mean that it produces much better results.
You can see how I get on in the video below.
If you want to buy this kit - here's the link on Amazon US 

 

Friday
Jun302017

Where are all the Handheld Digital TVs? 

Have you ever wondered why handheld TVs disappeared from the stores when the analog signals were switched off and why manufacturers like Sony and Casio didn't instead switch to making handheld digital televisions. If the answer is no, then I'm not surprised, most people are now happy using smartphones instead.

Hopefully though there are a few people out there who are intrigued enough to watch this video where I explain what happened as far as the UK is concerned. It's a tale of missed opportunities, and procrastination scuppering the chances to establish a new standard before an unprecedentedly disruptive technology emerged from the shadows and laid waste to everything in its path.

The second part of the video is a more conventional demonstration of one of the current crop of small TVs.
  
   

 Here's a link to the Digital TV shown in the video: http://ebay.to/2tjejU2

Saturday
Jun172017

Forgotten Format: The Sabamobil

Here's a video about a forgotten audio format from the 1960s, the Sabamobil from SABA. In this video I'll explain where it fits in with the history of tape players, you get to see it in action, hear the music from a Sabamobil cartridge and find out the simple secret hidden inside the odd looking cartridges.