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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%! 

 
« 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)

Hello again !! First, I stand corrected by your video - the blue box indicates Melodic M165, but I rented Polynesian PL166 as noted above. PL166's box was the same shade of blue.

OK, not ALL of the music was recorded by 3M's in-house band/orchestra. Last year at a flea market I acquired several old record LPs and I was surely SHOCKED that one LP's music is heard on R165 and PL166. The LP in question is by Don Tiare and his Enchanted Violins titled 'Strings Over Hawaii', Warner Bros. W-1420 issued in 1962. A quick search revealed ANOTHER LP by Mr. Tiare titled 'Strings Over Tahiti", and this LP is one of many uploaded to the YouTube website. I'm thrilled to hear this music - some of it in Stereo!! - on YouTube, even though I don't have that LP in my collection at present. When 3M began its venture into background music it needed LOTS of music in a hurry, so 3M went out to rent or buy old master tapes from various record companies to start with while the in-house band/orchestra recorded new arrangements of old songs from long ago. So now I'm searching for MORE of the LP music which makes perhaps 25% of the total music heard on the Cantata tapes. It will be a L-O-N-G and frustrating search - also EX$PENSIVE !! - but absolutely worthwhile.

May 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRalph Baker

@Techmoan: I already thought so... Well, thanks for trying anyway!

May 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeaDot

Techmoan - when you re-spooled your Cantata tapes for play on your home tape deck, did you have to invert the tapes so the playback head picked up the sound through the plastic backing (with the oxide OUTside)? That's what I had to do so to play the music in the right direction. 3M knew what IT was doing when it produced the finished tapes with the tracks reversed; you must've discovered that the music played BACKWARD without the invert !! Also, I played my tapes at 3.3/4 inches per second (slowest speed on my 2 home decks) and recorded them onto new tapes at 7.1/2 inches per second; then I slowed the NEW recordings down to 3.3/4 IPS for normal playback so I could re-record them onto cassettes. I'll send you a few samples, but you'll need Audacity Sound Recording software for the files/storage on your computer plus File Viewer Lite just to open the files for play. The files make the extension '.aup', Audacity Proprietary. Both downloads are clean - and FREE !!

May 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRalph Baker

I'm sorry to post here as this is completely unrelated to this thread but I have tried so hard to find what I'm looking for. There was a video where Techmoan had a machine with a scratch on a glass screen and he used something to fix it. I am desperately trying to find that video because I want to know what he did to fix it. If anyone can please help that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

May 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarly

Here you go (but it's a plastic screen) https://youtu.be/jVoSQP2yUYA?t=13m47s

May 18, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you for going to such a great length to bring this gem of a gadget back to life.

Have you thought of recreating the "shopping centre experience" with those output and microphone plugs?
It would make an interesting, but also quite amusing video to see it piping music around a building, as it once would have.

May 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Thank you so much Techmoan. I love your videos.

May 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarly

@Ralph Baker: would you *please* upload those files to a shared folder on Dropbox - and either email that link to me or post it here? Techmoan did try to dupe these recordings on a normal reel to reel but discovered that the Cantata head must have a different head-offset on the tape as his volume was faint. Apparently you did not have that issue. I don't know why you went the difficult route of flipping the tape and duping the music to a higher speed machine when you could've made a 48khz 16bit sound file in Audacity while playing at 3.75ips then halved the playback speed without affecting the quality of the already lo-treble original - while also reversing it.
I wonder if flipping the tape on playback so that it's reading through the back of the tape fixes the offset?

May 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sanborn

Hello, David Sanborn !! Thank you for asking, and I'll do whatever I can to send the samples to you or to Dropbox. It may be past the weekend when I do this because I must serve an elderly (92 years old) Mother plus a friend of our family who is prone to seizures despite the medications he takes, so I spend an awful lot of my time driving both of them around to medical offices, shopping, etc. I made the transfer recordings in 1999 but didn't have a first computer until 2005, and I downloaded the Audacity software plus File Viewer Lite just two months ago. If I ever find enough free time I'll practice with the Audacity 'Richter' scale; I know that it adjusts to whatever custom speed + spacing the user chooses. To confirm - yes, I had to flip the Cantata tapes to play the music in forward direction on my home decks, also I got plenty of proper volume from them with playback volume set around 40%. My decks are a 1978 Pioneer RT-909 and a 1980 Teac X-10. After 35+ years both are still working like brand new.

May 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRalph Baker

Ralph - If you put them in Dropbox, let me know and I'll put them on P-cloud to save your data allowance. Then I'll put links up for everyone.

May 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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