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IMPORTANT NOTICE for MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS

Techmoan never approaches companies to ask for sample products to review. 



    

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.

VERY IMPORTANT. These links go to the product, but 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 going rate for a real item against the price of a fake one that won't work.

As an example of the extent of the problem of fake goods online...In a recent survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold by Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

 

            

 

Wednesday
Feb222017

Badge/Pin/Button? MP3 Album √

After last week's elaborate 30 minute video about a forgotten format - this week's video is more of an amuse bouche or perhaps a pallet cleansing sorbet between larger courses. 

It's an album in a badge - something you could have bought as recently as three years ago, but you didn't and that's why it's here. 

When I uploaded the video, they could be found on ebay here - but the opportunity to buy a 2GB mp3 player for $5 has become a lot more popular since the release of the video and they'd all sold out the last time I checked. 

Thursday
Feb162017

RetroTech: VHD - The 3rd Disc

In this latest instalment of my series of videos about forgotten formats I'm taking a detailed look at VHD, a largely forgotten pre-recorded videodisc system from the 1980s. If you've seen my 2015 video about RCA's financially disastrous CED you may be surprised to find out VHD used a very similar technology but managed to do it successfully. Watch the video below to find out more. 

VHDs can be imported via eBay 

UK: https://goo.gl/aoYb1W

US: https://goo.gl/QEkrle

My machine was purchased from a Japanese Auction site - using Jauce.

Thursday
Feb092017

The Mobius 2 everything-cam is finally up to the job

It’s been a while since I finished a camera review. It’s not for a lack of trying, I’ve been testing cameras but most of them weren’t good enough to warrant spending the time needed to complete a review. 

The Mobius 2 was one of the cameras that initially didn’t impress. Upon its release last year the video quality was a noticeable step back compared to its popular predecessor. Six months later, it’s a different story. Finally the firmware has caught up with the camera and it’s now capable of producing some great results. Watch the video below to find out more. 

------PURCHASING-------

The manufacturer is in Hong Kong and sells the Mobius 2 worldwide directly through ebay. Click your country below to be taken to the Mobius 2 on their store.

UK   US   CA   DE   AU   NL   AT   BE   CH   ES   FR   IE   IT    

Also available from Amazon in the US

-----USEFUL LINKS------

Manual & Windows Software http://mytempfiles.info/mobius2/index.html

RC Groups Mobius 2  Forums Thread

-----SAMPLE CLIPS-----

Available here on pcloud

(Please do not stream these...they only play at full quality when downloaded and played locally)

 

Thursday
Feb022017

Active Speakers with built-in Vinyl Pre-amp

There are a surprising amount of items I’ve had to buy over the years to make videos. Some of these things won’t ever be seen on screen like the camera, tripod and lights, but there are many others that make occasional bit-part appearances like power transformers and extension leads. 

The speakers shown in this video have been bought to assist in the making other videos. Almost any audio device, can be connected to these powered speakers including those with bluetooth, optical output and most importantly record players, whether they have a built-in preamp or not. This not only makes these ideal for my needs, but also suitable for anyone working with limited space who wants to minimise wiring clutter.

The Roth VA4 speakers are Available from AMAZON in the UK 

RED http://amzn.to/2kQjAS7

BLACK http://amzn.to/2jUgCYI

WHITE http://amzn.to/2jCaOC5

In the USA - KANTO sell speakers with the same features

BLACK: http://amzn.to/2jVA3CO

RED: http://amzn.to/2jBR2qC

WHITE: http://amzn.to/2kqGj6k

GREY: http://amzn.to/2kqP805

 

Friday
Jan272017

Vinyl-Disc

A short video about a relatively recent music packaging format that largely went unnoticed. There have been occasional uses of this recently, so it could yet re-emerge.

Tuesday
Jan242017

Pre-recorded cassettes can sound good (really)

Unfortunately many people didn’t notice the improvement in the quality of pre-recorded cassettes, as they had stopped buying them by the time the developments covered in this (very wordy) video were implemented.

 

 

Tuesday
Jan172017

Window Cleaning Robot

A robot designed for cleaning inaccessible windows on Chinese sky scrapers finds it’s way to my corner of the UK and disagrees with my choice of glazing.

 

 

Friday
Jan132017

Design Classics - Grundig Ocean Boy 210 Radio

Number two in a very occasional series of videos where I look at cool tech that doesn't do anything remarkable…but does it with style. 
    

Sunday
Jan082017

This is about DAT

Following a collaboration between Sony and Philips, the Compact Disc is launched in Japan in 1982. This new digital music playback format was a big hit, so work then starts on introducing a new digital recording format for the home. This time Sony & Philips go their separate ways.

Philips preferred the idea of a S-DAT based system which would use a Stationary play head as this could be compatible with existing compact cassettes. However significant development would be required to get this idea to work, due to data limitations of the existing tape and head techniology. It eventually emerged in 1992 as DCC, largely owing it’s existence to innovative audio compression techniques that were not possible on a consumer device in the 1980s.

Sony however took a simpler route, eschewing the idea of backward compatibility, and using existing video recorder technology by 1986 they were able to demonstrate prototypes of their new R-DAT based system which used a Rotating head to pack more data onto slow moving tape.  This system didn’t employ any compression…and therein lay the rub.

The Sony DAT system could make perfect copies from Compact Discs…and for the recording industry, that was just not cricket. Watch the video below to learn more about Digital Audio Tape and see some DAT machines in action. 

 

CORRECTIONS
Long Play Mode is 32kHz (added as an annotation before the video went live)

WARNING
This video may contain the occasional redundant turn of phrase...e.g. "DAT Tape" if this is of concern, please do not press play. 

FAQs
Q) Are you going to do a video about Minidisc?
A) Yes
Q) When
A) I don't know

PURCHASING
I bought my DAT Recorders from EBAY - here's a link https://goo.gl/x2k1jX 

NOTE
This video does not go into detail about tape data backup solutions, these were known as DDS. This is a deliberate omission…it’s a video about audio. 

Here's a nice 1986 article about S-DAT and R-DAT.

Friday
Dec302016

Adding a bit of ATMOSphere

One of my big wishes for 2016 was to add Atmos sound to my home cinema...I just about managed to squeeze it in at the end of the year. 

Addendums. 

First I must have done a very bad job in the video of getting across the Atmos experience. So let me try again. 

I really like my Atmos system. It sounds very very good. It's much better than my old system. The sound feels like it's coming from all around. "It feels like I'm in the middle of a bubble of sound". 

Now my comments in the video were about expectations vs reality. I expected to be able to identify exactly where a sound was coming from...imagine someone dropping a coin upstairs on a wooden floor. In reality with just a couple of speakers that type of directional focus just isn't achievable...it also woundn't be achievable with four speakers as sound dissipates like a cone..rather than focusses like a laser. So whilst the sound comes from all around...it won't make you duck. It is though...and I repeat...it is, very good and much better than 5.1

PURCHASING
Marantz NR1607 Slim AV Receiver - AMAZON
   
PSB Imagine XA Atmos Speakers - AMAZON
   
Banana Plug Terminated speaker cable from Amazon
   
Atmos demo disc from eBay
Here's a link to the PSB Website 
Here's a link to the Marantz Website
PSB range also available in the UK from Sevenoakes Sound & Vision 

 

Lots of weird questions and comments on this one...so I best post the info here, so as not to get the same comments again. 

Q) What's my ceiling made of, is it reflective?

A) It's made of plaster - Reflective Atmos needs a hard surface to reflect off...so my ceiling is perfect..but who has a soft ceiling anyway unless you live in a tent (this is an odd question if you think about it).

Q) Wouldn't it be better with four Atmos speakers rather than two.

A) Yes...but probably only a tiny bit (according to a few reviews I've read) and it would add approx £1000 to the cost (an amp with 2 more channels out and two new speakers & stands) - and there's also the small issue of me not having this money, not having room for a bigger amp and and not having room for additional rear speakers. Don't worry too much about my precise situation...I'm demonstrating a technology, not asking anyone to move in.

Q) Some question about cinemas in the uk, or how cinemas are now better etc

A) I don't like the whole going to the cinema process, that's just me, no judgement on your choices, glad you like it. At my age I need to pause every film three times to go to the loo...this would annoy people in cinemas, well it would if they ever looked up from their phones and rustling sweet packets. 

Saturday
Dec242016

Merry Christmas 2016

A quick word of advice...a 100% muppet video. If this is not your bag...don't open the bag