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

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

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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%! 

 
« DIY 79p Macro Lens for the iPhone | Main | Belkin Micro Auto 12v Car USB Charger Review (updated) »
Sunday
Jun072009

The 2009 Piaggio MP3 400 ie - Getting back in a saddle after 15 yrs.

So I finally bought a Motorbike (or should I say scooter).

 

 

 

 




A 2009 Piaggio MP3 400 A 2009 Piaggio MP3 400

 

 

I passed my full motorcycle test in 1994, and that was the last time (until a couple of weeks ago) that I had sat on a Motorcycle. Its hard for me to explain why this was. As far as I can remember I think at the time I passed the test I found the cost of buying and insuring a bike prohibitive (I was 23). Then over time buying a bike became irrelevant to my situation and the idea was all but forgotten about.

 

 

 

I always remembered my motorcycling experiences though. The main things that I recall fondly were the improved visibility compared to a car, seeing over walls and hedges and feeling more in touch with the environment. I remembered hearing people talking and smelling the food cooking in the bakers or chip shops whenever I stopped at  pedestrian crossings. It felt like I'd actually visited places rather than just having driven through them.

 

 

 

The thing that sparked my interest in biking again was when I went on a European Cruise two years ago. I experienced first hand how in mainland Europe the attitude to Motorcycles is completely different to the UK. No where is this more apparent than in Italy. Every type of person there rides a scooter, from businessmen commuting to work,  to old women going shopping. Seeing people in cream coloured designer suits wearing slip-on shoes weaving through the traffic without a second thought made me see what I was missing out on. It was during this trip that I saw my first three wheeled scooter - and I realised that this was the bike I wanted. I started looking for them everywhere to find a parked one to figure out who made them. I eventually found out that there were two types, The Piaggio MP3 and the Gilera Fuoco. I even found Police in Cagliari, Sardinia using Piaggio MP3s.




Police in Cagliari Sardinia on their Piaggio MP3 scooters. Police in Cagliari Sardinia on their Piaggio MP3 scooters.

 

 

From further research when I returned home I found that the Fuoco and the MP3 are made by the same company (Vespa-Piaggio). The Piaggio MP3 is available in the UK in a 125cc, 250cc and 400cc model. The Fuoco is designed to look like a more sporty model and is 500cc only.




Gilera-fuoco The Gilera Fuoco 500cc

 




Spot the difference Spot the difference

I decided to get the MP3 as it has more storage than the Fuoco. Its bulkier design means it's got a boot as well as under-seat storage - and it costs a bit less. I'm not into driving like a nutcase. I've always been interested in motorcycling for the freedom of the road, driving on my own and not in a gang. I like to sit upright, I dislike the racing bike type seating position (and I don't think my bad back would like it either). Scooters have automatic gears, are comfortable and the rider is less exposed but they have traditionally been seen as a bit pathetic, a step below a 'proper' motorcycle - however for some reason the extra wheel at the front exempts the MP3 from this prejudice and it turns as many heads as a supercar.

 

 

 

As far as choosing the right MP3 engine size there was only one choice for me - remember I have a full motorcycle licence and can therefore drive any engine size.  The 125 is a bit underpowered, but suitable for town commuting, the 250 is suitable for A-roads and is probably quite happy going 60 mph, but not much more and maybe not for sustained periods. I settled on the the 400cc. I live near a lot of nice A roads, but if I were ever to commute to work the only option is to travel 35 miles down the M6 motorway and my only Piaggio dealership is 25 miles up the M6 motorway in the other direction.  I had no option other than buy an MP3 capable of Motorway travel and the 400cc  cruises at 70+mph  without a care in the world.

 

 




The rear view - not as radical, but it does have a boot! (Boot=Trunk US) The rear view - not as radical, but it does have a boot! (Boot=Trunk US)

Anyway that's enough for this post - i've already gone on a bit too much. I intend to do a further post in the coming weeks about my experiences of getting back on a saddle after 15 years. I am going to write about safety, the clothes and accessories I had to buy, the things I had to learn again,  and whether a scooter can ever actually be considered cool.

I also made a youtube clip explaining most of the features/controls of the bike for those people who are interested. I'll briefly explain why the quality of this is so bad. I put my Creative Vado video camera in my Motorcycle jacket's inside pocket. But then just before I left the house the outside temperature was so hot that I removed the lining from the jacket and left it at home. When I arrived at  my secluded car park shooting spot I realised that my camera was still in the jacket lining at home. Luckily I had my stills camera in the bike's boot which also takes video, albeit rather poorly - so I was forced to use this.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl38HRGcxK4]


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good

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteriads

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