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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    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 some.

 

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%! 

 
Sunday
Jun172018

All Box, no Boom : The Technics Sitman

The Co-Deck was Technics (rushed?) response to the runaway success of the Sony Walkman.

After the Sony Walkman arrived on the scene in 1979 at a price of 33,000 Yen the Technics Co-Deck M1 turned up in 1980 at a price of 29,800 Yen.  Whilst also being a portable cassette player, this was a very different machine in a form-factor that was never to be repeated. A look inside reveals a tell tale mystery button that gives away its simple origins.

FAQs including an update on the operation of the Rewind Auto-play function can be found in the youtube comments.

Sunday
Jun102018

No one reviews printers any more (well nearly no one). 

A couple of the videos I was hoping to work on this week were held up while I waited for parts to arrive. So here's a review of the Epson ET-7700 printer instead. Purchased from Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2M5qUUs  (Affiliated Link)

 

Monday
Jun042018

The Three-in-One Proto-boombox from the 1960s

A look at an audio oddity. 

Warning this video includes a 'shaggy dog story' -  if you get to 21 minutes into the video...just keep watching for another 3 minutes and all will be revealed.

Monday
Jun042018

Casio Number Invaders Return

A quick look at the return of a calculator game from my youth.

One thing that I neglected to mention in the video is that the high scoring 'n' character is summoned whenever the preceeding eliminated digits add up to 10. This adds considerably to the strategy required in achieving a high score.

Monday
Jun042018

Kontax Stirling Engine Kit

In this video I assemble a kit that makes a Stirling Engine. It is manufactured by Kontax in the U.K. and can be found on eBay https://ebay.to/2IujYC5 and on their own website https://www.stirlingengine.co.uk 
   

 

Thursday
May172018

Pioneer SD-1000 Stereo Display

This video features an unusual HiFi component from the early 70s. Back then no one ever truly needed one of these in their HiFi and they weren't cheap, both things that make finding a functioning survivor today extremely difficult. This particular one isn't without a few small issues, but given its age it's fairing much better than I am at a similar vintage.

The real reason I've bought this is just because I like the way it looks. I suppose it's the same reason that some people might choose to buy a painting or a sculpture for their house. This big old lump of 70's tech is my kind of art. 

Wednesday
May162018

Remember that new Hi-Res Cassette player?....well it's best to forget it.

When Toshiba announced a 'Hi-Res cassette player' under their Aurex HiFi brand I thought that I'd better order one to see just exactly what was going on. 

The problem with cassettes is that while some companies are finally starting to manufacturer decent blank tapes again, there's no one out there making a quality deck. Anyone who is truly interested in properly playing cassettes will own a decent HiFi component deck from the 70s, 80s or 90s. 

Is the Toshiba Aurex TY-AK1 the first decent cassette player to go on sale in almost a decade? Well the long detailed answer is in the video - the short answer is hell no.

 

Saturday
May052018

Recreating the Mindhunter Reel-to-Reel titles (minus the corpses)

Approximately six months ago, I set about assembling all the tech needed to recreate the title sequence of the Netflix show Mindhunter. This is the result. 
   

 

Friday
Apr272018

Cronixie - The eye-catching edge-lit clock kit

I enjoy putting together the occasional kit - especially when it ends up making something that can't be bought in any shop that's both useful and engaging.
  
The edge-lit Cronixie clocks tick all those boxes and a few more besides. In the video below, I assemble the kit as well as demonstrate all the features of the clock. If after watching it you decide you'd like to buy one for yourself, there are links below the video. 
     
   
Cronixie Kits on ebay (Affiliated Links) 
Cronixie-M
UK   DE   US   NL   CA   AU   AT   FR   BE   ES   
     
Cronixie-S
UK   DE   US   NL   CA   AU   AT   FR   BE   ES  
     
Cronixie Manufacturer’s Website (German) 
     
Cronixie Operating Instructions Translated into English
   
Notice - This is an independent review. I purchased my kit at full price via ebay.
   
Lixie Displays: 
If you are interested in a more DIY experience - here's a link to Conor Nishijima's LIXIE displays
   
Wednesday
Apr252018

Pocket Rockers

In the late 1980s all the cool kids were wearing mini Phil Collins tapes as jewellery - well at least that's what Fisher Price hoped would happen.
   
  
Thanks to Databits for the tip on the hidden Pocket Rockers screw 
Pocket Rockers Commercials:  Original  Follow-up
Pictures of the Bandai Micro Cartridge are from the Museum of Obsolete Media 
List of Pocket Rockers Titles
List of Pocket Rockers Players & Accessories 
Wednesday
Apr182018

Laser Games

I've been fascinated by Vector games for as long as I can remember. I can still recall the first time I saw an Asteroids game in a seaside arcade, and that would have been back in the very early 1980s. Naturally I own a couple of Vectrex machines and know that they were working on a colour version shortly before they folded. Well now over thirty years later, I get to experience a little bit of what that would have been like - on a screen on the wall of my garage. It's just a shame it doesn't come across well on video.
   
   
Here's a link to the Laserdock Software featured in the video.  http://www.wickedlasers.com/laseros
You can buy a laser projector like the one I used on ebay: https://ebay.to/2H88CPw
(This is an Affiliated Link)

 

Please consider this as an extra video. You’ll see that it was shot back in February and initially I scrapped it as I wasn’t happy with the way the laser images came across on camera. I’ve since added some sections and significantly re-edited it, however it’s still not the best. However as I mentioned in the video - it is what it is. Also the projector is a low-end model and no amount of software tweaking can fix that - it’s all about the hardware - if you want better results then you have to spend the money. But do you really want to spend a thousand pounds to play these games, well that’s up to you, but as far as I’m concerned this is the end of my experiment. Also if you’re wondering about the other features of the software - download it and try it for yourself, it’s free.