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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 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    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%! 

            

 
« Forgotten Format: The Sabamobil | Main | Aldi Boombox Review »
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.

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Hi there, nice video as always, already seen it yesterday because of the notification, but why has it been unlisted from YouTube (it can still be watched here tho)?

June 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSascha

Can your wife or anyone else in the house speak to the plug?

June 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCanada paul

Yes Amazon Echo doesn't mind who is speaking.

June 16, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat, I have been using Lightwaverf for many years now and have been using multiple Echo Dots to control the whole house lights since last November with electrical sockets and main light switches, even the garage door opens via Echo. I can definitely recommend Lightwaverf very reliable and simple to set up. The only difference with the TP Link as far as I can see is the status function, which is a good addition but if I'm away the remote cameras can check the status of lights anyway. Great vid though, as always thanks for listening, Daz

June 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

I'm surprised being such an Apple centric kind of guy that you made no mention of HomeKit and how it works in the home automation space. Although you do have to have your phone with you a HomeKit compatible switch can turn on with Siri voice commands the same as Echo.

July 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

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