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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

 

 
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
Drift Ghost X

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%! 

 
« A great small Dashcam (with a screen) - Vantrue N1 | Main | You can power a Dashcam via your OBD port - But perhaps you shouldn't »
Wednesday
May112016

Retro Tech: The 3M Cantata 700 Background Music Machine

Another delve into unusual audio technology from the past. In this video I take a look at the 3M Cantata 700, a format that boasts the largest music cartridge ever made.

If you think 8-track tapes were a bit bulky, wait until you see this. 

If you want, you can CLICK HERE to download a 1hr MP3 of Music recorded from one of the Cantata tapes (I forget which one). This is all I am able to capture at the moment as the machine has now taken to chewing up tapes and making horrible rattling noises.

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Reader Comments (64)

I've had luck with slipping pinch rollers by applying Rubber-Renew, or Regrip - and there's a product for laser printers and photocopiers to apply to the rollers in them when they cease to properly pull paper through their mechanism. It makes old rubber grippier - though sadly I don't know a product that makes old, soft and melting rubber solid again.
In regards to these musical selections - I'd be right chuffed to hear this music in shops today rather than the top-40 selections that are now the defacto selections in ALL venues today. Many years ago in a grocery store I heard back-to-back Muzak versions of Shriekback's "Gunning For The Buddha" then the theme to The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Epic stuff.

May 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sanborn

I was very pleased to see your video of the 3M Cantata tape player. I was a technician for a company that sold these machines in the sixties and seventies. We had a retail customer that had listened to one tape for five years. They begged me to repair the player when it broke down. They said that they no longer heard the music but the silence would drive them crazy. The main problem with these machines was the softening of the pinch rollers.

I found your site while searching for dash cam reviews. I appreciate your reviews and enjoy the oddball equipment you find.

May 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHarry Page - USA

SpaceX should use this in their launch webcasts.

May 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGrow Mane

@Harry, thanks for getting in touch - it seems that there are a lot of people who remember working with these - it seems like they kept quite a few people busy.

@David, someone also recorded this http://www.reelprosoundguys.com/RestoreKit.html - it's unfortunate that I can't get deep enough inside the machine to extract the rubber wheels. I think it needs an expert to look at it. The cost of a service in the 80s was $500 though - so I'm thinking of leaving it as it is and just finding a way to dub the cartridges across to a digital file using my reel to reel.

May 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Watching your video reminded me of the 1/4 inch endless loop system they had in the pub I worked in in the early 80's. It used large c12inch diameter reels of tape in a clear plastic case. Your comments re the limited tapes on offer made me smile I can still remember Christmas bringing relief in the form of the festive music tape.
Had a good google but cant find the exact system but the cassettes were similar to the "Customusic" ones.

May 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMikeK

Another very interesting video.

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMel Smith

A beautiful and very interesting video to take a dip in retro technologies. I didn't knew anything about this system. Amazing to check your Webpage and discover these devices.

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaume Martí

Awesome! I wish you could save these gems of dusty background tunes and let us have a copy of them... Well, somehow at least... Are those PD in the meantime?

May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeaDot

Awesome! I wish you could save these gems of dusty background tunes and let us have a copy of them... Well, somehow at least... Are those PD in the meantime?

May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeaDot

Thanks so much for posting the file of the music, I kind of love this cheesy old stuff.

BTW if you ever need pinch rollers or idler wheels redone (like the dissolving ones in the video!), there's a guy who works as Terry's Rubber Rollers (in the US) who re-rubbers them. I work in a shop where we repair old turntables and we've sent him many an odd old, dead wheel or roller and gotten them back like new.

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