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Articles by Category

    

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
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%! 

            

 
Friday
Jul282017

LG UltraWide Monitor Review

I recently bought myself a new LG UltraWide monitor. This is the first 21:9 monitor I’ve had the opportunity to use and after spending a little over a week with it, I can't see myself buying another traditional aspect ratio monitor. Watch the video below to learn more. 

 

Purchasing

Amazon Links:

US: http://amzn.to/2h8RQXQ

UK: http://amzn.to/2w6p6lj

CA: http://amzn.to/2w6vFUV

More info

LG's website: http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-29UM68


Wednesday
Jul262017

(Not) My Ten Year Youtube Anniversary

A few months ago I noticed that my first video (on my original channel) was uploaded on 26th April 2007…which meant my 10 year anniversary on youtube was imminent, so I put the date in my calendar to remind me when it arrived. Well today’s the day and it turns out that I was mistaken…it’s almost eleven years since I uploaded my first video. I explain more in the moderately shambolic video below.

Tuesday
Jul252017

Cleaning Records with the Orbitrac 3

In this video I try my hand at cleaning some old records plagued by crackles and pops using the reintroduced Allsop Orbitrac 3Pro vinyl cleaning system.

Amazon US  http://amzn.to/2tYc7Av

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2fNx38Q

Manufacturers website: http://orbitrac.allsop.com/

 

Friday
Jul212017

The *Best Helmet Camera (*for me)

If you ask me to recommend a Dashcam I'll say the Viofo A119. My favourite action camera? Well that's the Yi 4K...but finding a good side mount helment camera has been a bit tricker. The Contour range were great for their time but the image sensors are now long in the tooth. The Drift Stealth 2 was good enough for me to use one for the last couple of years, but now it's finally been replaced on my helmet by the camera reviewed below.

So now if anyone asks...the Sena Prism Tube is my favourite helmet camera. Watch the video below to learn more.

You can download sample clips here - but do not stream them as they will only show in their original quality when played locally from a downloaded file. There's always that one nutter who tries streaming them and then complains when they look terrible - you don't want to be this guy. 

PURCHASING

AMAZON
Tuesday
Jul182017

The Jingle Cart Machine

I've been looking for a 'cart machine' for quite a while now. These are the devices used by DJs for playing back jingles and other short pre-recorded audio segments from Fidelipac cartridges.

The occasional machines that end up on ebay are usually non-functional as the working models are still in demand by smaller radio stations, although I suspect in the 1990s (before the dawn of ebay) radio stations dumped these machines on mass when they moved to more modern solutions like Minidisc.

In this video I get to use a vintage cart machine to find out the contents of a number of of mysterious old carts...and in the process I unearth a little bit of radio history. 

Saturday
Jul082017

Edison Cup Phonograph Kit Assembly

A good proportion of viewers seemed to enjoy my Gakken Wax Cylinder kit video despite the less than impressive outcome...so here's the sequel. 

This take on Edison's phonograph records onto disposable plastic cups rather than wax cylinders. This makes it less historically accurate than the first kit, but will hopefully mean that it produces much better results.
You can see how I get on in the video below.
If you want to buy this kit - here's the link on Amazon US 

 

Friday
Jun302017

Where are all the Handheld Digital TVs? 

Have you ever wondered why handheld TVs disappeared from the stores when the analog signals were switched off and why manufacturers like Sony and Casio didn't instead switch to making handheld digital televisions. If the answer is no, then I'm not surprised, most people are now happy using smartphones instead.

Hopefully though there are a few people out there who are intrigued enough to watch this video where I explain what happened as far as the UK is concerned. It's a tale of missed opportunities, and procrastination scuppering the chances to establish a new standard before an unprecedentedly disruptive technology emerged from the shadows and laid waste to everything in its path.

The second part of the video is a more conventional demonstration of one of the current crop of small TVs.
  
   

 Here's a link to the Digital TV shown in the video: http://ebay.to/2tjejU2

Saturday
Jun172017

Forgotten Format: The Sabamobil

Here's a video about a forgotten audio format from the 1960s, the Sabamobil from SABA. In this video I'll explain where it fits in with the history of tape players, you get to see it in action, hear the music from a Sabamobil cartridge and find out the simple secret hidden inside the odd looking cartridges. 


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.

 

Thursday
Jun082017

Aldi Boombox Review

Over the years I've often been asked why I don't review the dashcams that the Aldi and Lidl supermarkets in the UK stock from time to time. The reason I don't is because by the time I'd done a couple of weeks of testing, the products would no longer be on sale, rendering the review worthless.

The Aldi UK website and stores today are selling a cassette boombox for £30. Now it's never going to be brilliant, but I was interested to find out just how good or bad it was, but the review would have to be done in record time. In the end it took me about six hours in total. The video is below and if you're intersted in a novelty cassette player 'boombox' it can be purchased in store or online in the UK while stocks last. 

 Update: Further tests reveal this to be a mono device. All playback and record features are monaural.

 

Wednesday
Jun072017

Quick Tip for 3-Door BMW Mini Owners (2014-)

Every now and then I come across a useful tip that I think is worth sharing. This one is only going to be relevant to some BMW Mini owners and as I'm not sure about any overlap between my youtube subscribers and Mini owners I'll just post it here without sending a notification. If you find it handy and want to share the tip on a site such as a Mini owners forum, please feel free.