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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

 

Drift Stealth 2

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

 

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
DDPai M6 Plus (My Pick)
 

A119

Transcend DrivePro 220
MINI CAMERAS
(The Mobius also works as a dashcam)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+

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%! 

            

 
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. 


Wednesday
Jun142017

Echo has finally made Smart Plugs relevant (to me)

In this video I set-up a voice controlled smart plug...and while this is something that has been possible for quite some time now, I wanted to show that it's now become simple enough for anyone to do. 

The specific reason for me wanting to get remote operable plugs is because I have a number of power sockets in the house that I need to switch on and off but they are inaccessable due to being behind large items of furniture.  

Home automation has been around for decades with the X10 systems first appearing in the late 1970s, but it’s really only been in the last year or so that I've become interested because of the ability to control devices with voice commands via an Amazon Echo. I’ve no desire to use a smartphone app to turn on a light…I’d rather get up and press a light switch, but voice control gives me that feeling of living in a 1980s science fiction movie. 

The thing that attracts me to the TP Link plug I feature in this video is that it’s a sensible price and doesn’t require the additional expense  of a ‘smart hub’. It’s the kind of thing you can buy on its own without committing to a specific ‘smart home ecosystem’ and if it does turn out to be useful, it's easy to expand the system at a later date as funds allow. 

 I recommend turning off the mic on any Echo devices you have nearby while watching this.

    
Purchasing a TP Link SMART WiFi PLUG
   
Echo Dot: 
   
If you don't like the idea of using voice control - then the RF remote control socket I show at the beginning can also be found on Amazon.

 

Thursday
Jun082017

Aldi Boombox Review

Over the years I've often been asked why I don't review the dashcams that the Aldi and Lidl supermarkets in the UK stock from time to time. The reason I don't is because by the time I'd done a couple of weeks of testing, the products would no longer be on sale, rendering the review worthless.

The Aldi UK website and stores today are selling a cassette boombox for £30. Now it's never going to be brilliant, but I was interested to find out just how good or bad it was, but the review would have to be done in record time. In the end it took me about six hours in total. The video is below and if you're intersted in a novelty cassette player 'boombox' it can be purchased in store or online in the UK while stocks last. 

 Update: Further tests reveal this to be a mono device. All playback and record features are monaural.

 

Wednesday
Jun072017

Quick Tip for 3-Door BMW Mini Owners (2014-)

Every now and then I come across a useful tip that I think is worth sharing. This one is only going to be relevant to some BMW Mini owners and as I'm not sure about any overlap between my youtube subscribers and Mini owners I'll just post it here without sending a notification. If you find it handy and want to share the tip on a site such as a Mini owners forum, please feel free.

Wednesday
Jun072017

Video8 - The forgotten future of home video recording.

In this video I’ll be taking a look at the 8mm Video8 tape format and hopefully showing you a couple of things that you haven’t seen before.

This was a really fun video to put together and I think it’s one of my better ones, so I hope you get as much enjoyment out of watching it as I did making it. 

Thursday
Jun012017

Custom Vinyl Picture Discs

Here’s an unusual gift idea for record enthusiasts - a custom made picture disc. 
   
   
You can order these from VinylArt.co and you'll get 10% off using the coupon code techmoan10

 

Monday
May292017

Mio M560 Helmet Camera Review

A common request I receive is to suggest a 'dashcam for a bike' - and that's exactly what this is...although it's not one I'd recommend.

Downloadable Sample Clip

A downloadable sample clip is available from here. Do not stream this video - it needs to be downloaded to a computer to be seen in it's original (non-re-encoded) quality. The streamed version will look worse than youtube.

Purchasing

The Mio brand seems to be UK-centric. You can find this camera here on ebay...or on Amazon as shown below.

 

Sunday
May212017

1986 in your pocket

Here’s a quick video about a forgotten gadget from the eighties. It’s a personal stereo with a built-in television. The idea of being able to carry this in a pocket was pretty cool back in 1986…but as you can see in the video, it did come with a few compromises. 

Monday
May152017

The Gakken WorldEye

This unusual device intrigued me so much, I just had to buy one and try it out for myself.  Watch the video below to learn more about what it does, then read the paragraphs below for a bit of behind the scenes info.

While I was putting this video together it began to occur to me that it probably wouldn’t be of interest to most of my subscribers.  I therefore kept the video brief, uploaded it youtube and moved onto making the next one. However when I released the video early on Patreon, the response was a lot more positive than I expected. A few people wanted to know more about some of the features I’d skirted over and Anders from eox.no offered to try to create some new videos for it. 

After he sent me over his new videos and they worked perfectly I returned to my video review, took it down and re-edited it to include an extra five minutes of demonstrations. In an unusual turn of events, the act of reviewing something has actually increased it’s ‘usefulness’.   So now if you do import a Worldeye you’ll have something else to play on it other than the original Japanese clips. 

Purchasing

You’ll be importing from Japan - so turn on international search in abay and you may also end up paying duties.

ebay UK  US  CA  DE  AU  NL  AT

Amazon UK  US 

Prices vary wildly...so choose a seller carefully as they are all offering the same device. 

New Videos For the Worldeye

The newly created videos for the Worldeye can be downloaded from here. These were all created by Anders Enger Jensen - who is also the talented musician behind the Retro cassette seen in a couple of recent videos. His website can be found here. 

I'd ask that you kindly only download the videos if you own a Worldeye as they don't display properly on a traditional screen. 

Monday
May082017

A True Tech Classic - The Sony TC-D5 Field Recorder

There’s a reason why broadcasters buy professional products when consumer versions are often available for a tiny fraction of the price. It comes down to that old adage ‘No one ever regretted buying quality’. A camera with an intermittent fault or a fuzzy sound recording could be the thing that ruins months of planning. Like a faulty indicator light on a space rocket, the cheapest part has the capability to shut down the most expensive operation. 

Cassette recorders like the Sony TC-D5 were made for professional use, but when the pros moved on to digital recording these old analog machines often got packed away and forgotten about. Some are reappearing now thanks to estate sales and making their way on to ebay. People who spent the equivalent of £1000 on a tape recorder will have usually taken good care of it and many of these machines can be found in good condition. Whilst they aren’t cheap - they never were, but they now sell for a fraction of the original price.

The TC-D5 is an anomaly (in a good way), it’s put together like a piece of technology constructed in the late 70s, but it carried on being made into the 21st century. 

I doubt that any company could manufacture a device to this standard now, and even if they could, no one could afford to buy it. So if you want the best, this is one of those times where you have to look to the past. The video below explains more. 

PURCHASING:

Sony TC-D5
UK  US  DE  CA  AU  NL 
    
Alternatively these links will look for my second recommendation - the Marantz PMD430 (US) or CP430 (UK)
UK  US  DE  CA  AU  NL
  
I've also put together a list below of some alternative models that might be worth looking into...I'm sure there's plenty of others too.
JVC-KD2
JVC KD-1635 
JVC KD-1636
Marantz/Superscope CD 330
Nakamichi 550
Teac PC-10
Technics RS-686 DS
Philips D-6920
Sony TC-D5
Uher CR-240
    
That Tascam Deck I mentioned at the end is currently on pre-order. Here it is on Amazon US
   
The cassette used in the video can be purchased from here

 

Monday
May012017

On Wax/Off Wax - Building an Edison Wax Cylinder Recorder Kit

In this video I’m assembling an educational kit from Japan. The end result should be a functional model of an Edison Cylinder Phonograph.
Places to find Gakken Kits...
1) Amazon  UK  US
2) ebay  (click a country, ensure ‘International Search’ is turned on
UK  US   DE   CA   AU   NL 
  
Here is the Gakken Japan website