HardwaresTips IP Camera Apeman ID72 - Softwares, Firmware, ...

I just bought a cheap IP PTZ camera 1080p: an Apeman ID72. The user guide is enough to quick start. But I couldn't find how to change the DNS settings, access the web interface, etc... I finally found a website with enough info to figure out the URL of the Web UI.

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I bought this camera as it supports ONVIF and I was intending to manage it from Synology's Surveillance station. I did succeed but it was not obvious.

  1. ONVIF port is 10080
  2. Video format is H.264
  3. Audio format is G711.
  4. Resolution is set to 1920x1280
  5. Frame rate is 15
  6. Transport protocol is TCP

I am using an ethernet connection between the camera and my Synology. The video is smooth and PTZ is responding fast.

The Apeman ID72 is part of the "T,C Series" (it's a C). It's not from the "PnP T,C Series".

  • Official Website: http://www.apemans.com (ID72)
  • EyeCloud Softwares: http://www.eyecloud.so (for Android devices, iPhone and Windows + IPCam Finder for Mac and Windows)
  • Online CD, Video and other software: http://cd.ipcam.so
    • Central Management Client (For PC): Central Management Client is a Windows software used to manage multiple IP cameras. It is characterized with multi-camera monitoring, PTZ control, record, alarm and access authority management function, as well as easy operation and strong capability.
    • Smart upgrade tool: Using this tool, you can just press a button to automatically upgrade IP-Camera's firmware to the latest one. It can be used to update both the Http Web UI and the Firmware of the camera.
    • IP Camera Wizard: Use this tool to setup the Camera and configure its network environment.
      • At step 3, the wizard shows the http port configured to access the admin UI of the camera via a web browser (a.k.a.: Web UI).
        • Once connected via the browser, you have access to all the settings. This is for me the most convenient to do any advanced configurations.
      • Reconfigure that port, the submask and the gateway
      • Check the DDNS
      • Define Port Forwarding

Using the IP Camera Finder from http://www.eyecloud.so, you will see the Http URL to be used to access the admin page in a browser (including the admin port if any). Notice that for some reason, the IP camera disappears and reappears very 3 seconds in that IP Camera Finder... So it's nearly impossible to configure it there (it should be doable). I could only change settings via the Web UI or via the IP Camera Wizard.

I did also use successfully the Central Management Client ("IP Camera Super Client") from http://cd.ipcam.so to find my camera and note its IP and admin port.

Notice that, via the Web UI, I tried to set 80 as the http port used to access that UI. Unfortunately, although this was rebooting the camera as expected, another port always appeared to be assigned after the reboot... I was only able to successfully change the http port via the IP Camera Wizard, via the "Advance Mode" and only when defining a "Static IP address" (it didn't work when choosing "Dynamic IP address"). NB.: the http port is neither the ONVIF port, nor the RTSP port. The ONVIF port is 10080. The RTSP port can be changed via the Web UI.

Each time I change a setting via the Web UI, the camera reboot and reset the http port I have configured :(

I was not able to configure (or even find where to configure) the DDNS. I found the DDNS password in the tab "Other" of the IP Camera Wizard (in "Advance Mode"). But each time I enter the DDNS step of the "IP Camera Wizard" (in mode "Wizard"), I get an error message:

Obtaining DDNS options from the camera...
Failure: DDNS has not chosen then IPCam type, please click the "Settings" button to change the settings.

I also get an error when entering the setp "Port Forwarding":

Error: unknown error

please contact the IP camera supplier.

I was also unable to disable the access to the camera via the Cloud. I am indeed not interested in that feature.

To do a Factory Reset, you must use the Web UI (I didn't find this option in the IP Camera Finder or IP Camera Wizard). Notice that I played with so many settings that I had to do a Reset Factory before being able to connect the camera with Synology Surveillance Station...

As far as I am concerned, I have triggered the firmware update via eyeCloud on my Android Mobile (it's done without manual intervention) as I didn't find where to download the files. It succeeded without any problem. The versions are now:

  • Firmware: 48.53.203.110
  • Web UI: EN203.26.1.20

Although the quality of the video is good, from a configuration perspective, I really prefer my Foscam cameras! Otherwise, it does not make a lot of noise when moving (compared to my Foscam) . The camera rotation speed can be adjusted and will be used by EyeCloud but not impact by Synology Surveillance Station.

Hardwares Android Remotes tested with NVIDIA Shield TV

I have several Android remotes. Here is a short list of what keys are working well or not with my Nvidia Shield TV.

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FeBite Backlit 2.4G MX3

Backlit Fly Mouse MX3 2.4G

Backlit Fly Mouse MX3 2.4G

This is an Air Mouse (with 3-Gyro + 3-G sensor,) Mini QWERTY Wireless Keyboard for Android, Windows, ... , with IR learning (up to 5 keys) and Backlit (this is why it's my preferred one)

This remote does not look as cheap as the Rii i25 but, as far as I am concerned, with a weight of 100g and a size of 172x52x19mm, if does not fit in hands as well as the Minix.

It's an exact clone of the Rii MX3(Multifunction 2.4G Fly Mouse Mini Wireless Keyboard & Infrared Remote Control & 3-Gyro + 3-Gsensor for Google Android TV/Box, IPTV, HTPC, Windows, MAC OS, PS3)

It works with 2 batteries AAA (Working Power: Less than 10mA in the work condition). When removed, one can store the receiver (a mini usb dongle) into the batteries slot, although not designed specifically for. This slot is also quite uneasy to open. The two batteries are "at the bottom" when using the remote as a pointer to control the mouse. So one does not feel their weight.

NB.: I didn't test yet the IR Learning feature.

On the Home screen:

using the Keypad side:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (which is not the case with all remotes).
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next buttons do nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature. NVIDIA is next waiting on you to press the microphone button. Unfortunately, this remote has no microphone.
  • Play/Pause button does nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing
  • Home button clicked once comes back on top of the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button does nothing on the home screen. But is works well when one opens the search feature, the browser or most Apps (Ex.: works with Plex. Do not work with Netflix. In such a case use the Home button).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the Apps and the Ok button runs the one currently selected.
  • A Long press on the Ok button on an App will lock it. You can next move it left or right and press again Ok to release it at its new position.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing
  • Mouse button (a.k.a. Cursor button) enables/disables the mouse pointer. Once enabled, use the remote to move the mouse and the Ok button to click (and e.g. select an App). Once disabled, the mouse pointer will freeze and soon disappear. Tip: You can temporarily disabled the mouse to move and realign the remote and the pointer if necessary.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet button which opens a browser and for sure, the Backlit button which turn on/off the keys. Extremely useful when using this remote in the dark (which is often the case when connected to an HTPC system, ...). The light switch off after a few seconds if the remote does not move anymore.

using the Keyboard side:

  • Left/Right/Up/Down can be used to navigate between Apps and Enter/Space can be used to run the currently selected App. But Left/Right/Down sometimes stop to work.
  • If one clicks the Search button, as it opens the Voice Search feature, the keyboard can't be used.
  • To search, use the D-pad to select the Text Search feature. Once this feature opened, the keyboard can be used.
  • Backspace delete the last entered character.
  • Esc will cancel and exit the search feature. To reopen it easily, you can press Right and Enter
  • Press once Caps to switch into the capital mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Press once ALT to switch into the special character or figures mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Left/Right/up/Down can be used to select characters from the virtual keyboard. But pressing Enter won't select the character currently focused. Instead the Virtual Keyboard will close.
  • Press once Enter to close the virtual Keyboard and once more to execute the search. It's searching among the Apps, Youtube, Plex and Spotify if installed, ...
  • If the Virtual Keyboard is closed, Left/Right can be used to edit the text entered.

With Plex:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just plex!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • While playing a movie, Ok does a pause/play and Down opens the menu (Return will close it).
  • The figures (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0) can be used to type users' pins.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward can be used to rewind/skip x sec.
  • Previous and Next buttons do nothing.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Plex. You must select it with the D-pad . It's the native search feature of the NVIDIA.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does something "not visible". Once pressed, the D-pad does not work anymore. Press a second time to unlock the D-pad .
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen although the movie is continuing to play and keeps visible in the background. Press Return to hide the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec does nothing.
  • Return button open the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing or to exit Plex.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button.

With Netflix:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just Netflix!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Up/Down can be used to open the menu while playing a movie. Return will close the menu.
  • Left/Right can be used to rewind/skip scene while playing a movie. Ok will continue to play from the selected scene.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Netflix. You must select it with the D-pad. Next, use the keyboard. You can type of use the Arrows and Enter to select the letters on the Virtual Keyboard.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button go back the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing but won't exit Netflix!.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button.

Spotify:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just Spotify!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) can be used to navigate and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next work as expected while playing a music.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Spotify. You must select it with the D-pad. Unfortunately, the keyboard does not work with Spotify's search feature and no Virtual Keyboard opens... I think that the problem is with the search feature...
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing music.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button go back the previous screen, including to the home screen. But the music, if any, will continue to play.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button. Notice that the music, if any, will continue to play when a browser is opened.

Remote learning feature (copy/paste from here):

If you would like your MX3 remote to learn some commands from another remote, then you can teach it to ‘copy’ the IR signal of the other remote. For instance, whilst the power button will turn your player off, it wont turn it back on because its not using the same ‘Turn on’ signal as your standard android remote.  So here is what to do:

  1. Get your standard android remote (or any remote that you want to replicate a button from) and place it end-to-end with the MX3 so that the IR receivers are facing each other.
  2. Then, on the MX3 press and hold the red TV button. You will see the LED flashing rapidly then slow to a steady flash (the steady flash means the X3 is now in ‘learning’ mode)
  3. Release the ‘TV’ button.
  4. Now press the power button on the standard remote (or whichever button you want to map) You will see the LED light stop flashing and glow continuously, at this point press the power button on your MX3 remote. The LED will then flash again and eventually extinguish. This means the MX3 has finished ‘learning’ the IR code from the other remote and has successfully mapped it to the power button

MINIX  NEO A3 

The Neo A3 of Minix has more or less the same features as the FeBite MX3, although a bit heavier and larger (making it more comfortable than the FeBite MX3). It has however no backlit but a microphone for Voice input.

It works with two batteries AAA, one in each extremity, making it well balanced when using the keyboard. On the opposite, you can feel it, compared to the FeBite MX3, when using the remote as a pointer to control the mouse. NB.: one of the battery slot, when empty, can be used to store the receiver (a usb dongle). And both battery slots are easy to open.

Minix Neo A3

Minix Neo A3

On the Home screen:

using the Keypad side:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off the NVIDIA.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing. Double click the Home button instead.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen although the movie is continuing to play and keeps visible in the background. Press Return to hide the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec does nothing.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the Apps and the Android button (Ok) runs the one currently selected.
  • Return button does nothing on the home screen. But is works well when one opens the search feature, the browser or most Apps (Ex.: works with Plex. Do not work with Netflix. In such a case use the Home button).
  • The Microphone does nothing if one does not open first the Voice Search feature with the D-pad. It works fine otherwise
  • Mouse button (A.k.a. Fly Mode) enable/disable the mouse pointer. Once enabled, use the remote to move the mouse and the Ok button to click (and e.g. select an App). Once disabled, the mouse pointer will freeze and soon disappear. Tip: You can temporarily disabled the mouse to move and realign the remote and the pointer if necessary.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward do nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Play/Pause button does nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Opposite to the FeBite MX3, there is no Zoom-in/Zoom-out buttons, no Previous/Skip buttons, no Browser button, no Search button, no Mute button.
  • A Long press on the Ok button on an App will lock it. You can next move it left or right and press again Ok to release it at its new position.
  • And no Backlit feature.

using the Keyboard side:

  • Left/Right/Up/Down can be used to navigate between Apps and Enter/Space can be used to run the currently selected App.
  • To search, use the D-pad to select the Text Search feature. Once this feature opened, the keyboard can be used.
  • Backspace (Del) deletes the last entered character.
  • Esc will cancel and exit the search feature. To reopen it easily, you can press Right and Enter
  • Press once Caps to switch into the capital mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Press Shit simultaneously with a letter to type its capital.
  • Press once Fn to switch between letters and special characters or figures.
  • Left/Right/up/Down can be used to select characters from the virtual keyboard. But pressing Enter won't select the character currently focused. Instead the Virtual Keyboard will close.
  • Press once Enter to close the virtual Keyboard and once more to execute the search. It's searching among the Apps, Youtube, Plex and Spotify if installed, ...
  • If the Virtual Keyboard is closed, Left/Right can be used to edit the text entered.
  • Tab can be used on the Home screen to move to the next App. It does nothing in the Text Search feature.

With Plex:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once comes back on top of the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • While playing a movie,
    • Ok does a pause/play.
    • Down opens the menu (Return will close it).
    • Right/Left rewind/skip x sec.
  • Return button opens the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing or to exit Plex.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.

With Netflix:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Up/Down can be used to open the menu while playing a movie. Return will close the menu.
  • Left/Right can be used to rewind/skip scene while playing a movie. Ok will continue to play from the selected scene.
  • Return button go back the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing but won't exit Netflix!.
  • Open the search feature of Netflix and use the keyboard to search (Voice search does not work with the microphone). You can type of use the Arrows and Enter to select the letters on the Virtual Keyboard.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.

Spotify:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) can be used to navigate and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Return button go back the previous screen, including to the home screen. But the music, if any, will continue to play.
  • The microphone does not work as Spotify's search feature and its Virtual Keyboard does not work ?!
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward work as expected while playing a music.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing music.

Rii Mini i25

The Rii mini i25 is a Mini wireless AZERTY keyboard with IR remote and Air Mouse similar to the FeBite MX3, although smaller (170x48x11mm) and 10g heavier (110g)... and without backlit or microphone.

It has a built-in 450mAh lithium-ion battery that must be reloaded via usb micro-B. There is a switch on/off on the side. No slot to store the receiver (a usb dongle).

Rii Mini i25

Rii Mini i25

The red buttons does nothing (Power off, Set, ..., Source and return).

There is a off button and the bottom-left, which turn off the NVIDIA, but does not turn it back on...

All other keys works as described for the Minix Neo A3 (Read more details here).

Rii Mini i8 

The Rii Mini i8 is also wireless keyboard, with a touch pad and an air Mouse but without 3-Gyro + 3-Gsensor, backlit or microphone. And because it seems extremely light (a feeling due to a large surface of plastic 148x97x18.5mm for only 109g), it looks cheaper than the others.

It comes with a removable lithium-ion battery of 280mAh which can be reloaded via usb mini-B. The slot with the internal battery has enough space to store the receiver (a usb dongle).

Rii Mini i8

Rii Mini i8

This is much more comfortable as a wireless keyboard to browse on a TV than a remote control for an HTPC.

Hardwares Rii mini i25: an Air Mouse/Wireless keyboard working with Windows, NVidia Shield TV, Plex...

I just bought an Rii min i25 (< 35€) as an alternative for the NVidia Remote Controle (~50€). I am not disappointed !

Rii Mini i25

Rii Mini i25

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Although mine is not a model with audio (microphone and headphone), it's clearly a great accessory to replace the native remote of the NVidia Shield TV. Notice that if it looks really nice, it's not heavy. As a consequence, it does not feel robust in hand.

Remote NVidia Shield TV

Remote NVidia Shield TV

I did test it with Plex, both on Windows 10 and on NVidia Shield TV. Everything is working out of the box, except the fast forward and fast rewind. Those two keys will probably need some remapping.

Both on Windows and NVidia, I did use the wireless keyboard successfully (including the FN keys: mute, Home, PgDn, PgUp, End, Del, Ctrl-Alt-Del), as well as the Air Mouse.

Regarding the Remote Control:

  • Volume + and  - worked both on Windows and NVidia.
  • Power off only worked on Windows not on NVidia.
    • But it was switching off Netflix.
  • Search and Home worked on NVidia
  • To do a selection in Netflix on NVidia, I had to lock the mouse before clicking on OK!
  • Fast Forward (+10 sec) and Fast Rewind (-10 sec) work fine within Netflix but not in Plex.
  • I noticed in Netflix that the arrows (left/right) which could be used to move forward or backward in the scenes was "sometimes" not working...
  • I noticed that sometimes, the axes up/down and left/right appeared to be inverted. I did fix that by keeping the remote on the table, parallel to the screen, keyboard up (i.e. just in front of me), for 10 long seconds.
  • To scroll the page in Chrome, take the remote (keyboard down), move the mouse onto the background of the page (where there is no field) and press the "turn back arrow". Move next the remote up and down.
  • To enter the search bar in Chrome, (keyboard down) simply press the "search key". To exit the search bar (keyboard up), press the "Esc" key.

From installation perspective, there is nothing to do: just plug the receiver in a USB port and switch on the remote (Button On/Off, on the side, next to the micro USB Charging Port).

Using the air mouse is very convenient. The experience is very similar to using the remote pointer of Smart Samsung TVs (a smart remote with a large trackpad). NB.: if the mouse pointer is out of alignment with your wrist, simply lock it using the 'Lock' button, the one with an arrow icon:

Lock Button Rii mini i25

As mentioned above, the keys can be reprogrammed by sending an IR signal from another remote whose the behavior must be copied.

If you want to use an AZERTY model you will need the "External keyboard Helper Pro".

Hardwares Chaos reincarnation

Although I did upgrade some parts of my old PC Chaos, built end of December 2012, it's suffering of his age. I have various issues with the power management, the USB ports, the sound, ... So, I have decided to migrate its OS to a new hardware using Acronis Universal Restore.

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The new hardware includes:

  • 1 x motherboard MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon LGA 1151
    • CPU:  Intel socket LGA 1151 (for Core i7)
    • Chipset: Intel Z170
    • RAM : 4 x DDR4-3600+ (max 64GB) - Dual Channel Architecture
    • Storage: 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, 2 x SATA Express 6Gb/s ports, 1 x SATAe port (PCIe 3.0 x2)
    • Slots: 3 x PCIe x16 (Support SLI and CrossFire), 4 x PCIe x1
    • LAN: 1 x Intel Gigabit
    • Audio: Realtek ALC1150 Codec, 7.1 Channel HD with S/PDIF output
    • Video:
      • HDMI (4096x2160@24Hz, 2560x1600@60Hz)
      • DVI (1920x1200@60Hz)
    • USB:
      • ASMedia® ASM1142 Chipset
        • 2 x Rear USB 3.1 Gen2 (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps)
      • Intel® Z170 Chipset
        • 2 x Rear USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports
        • 4 x connectors USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports
        • 4 x back USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) ports
        • 4 x connectors USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) ports
  • 1 x cpu Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake).
  • 1x Air Cooler Noctua NH-D15.
  • 2 x 16GB Ram DDR4 (16-18-18-38-2N at 3200MHz) Gskill RipjawsV in Dual Channel mode (F4-3200C16D-32GVK).
  • 1 x SSD Samsung 850 PRO 256GB (MZ-7KE256BW).
  • 1 x case Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 High End ATX Tower PC (BG002).
    • Performing slightly better than the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro3 (BK019) according to various reviews, but more expensive.
  • 1 x PSU Corsair HX850i (850W) 80 Plus Platinum
    • A bit less performing than the Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, but cheaper, guarantee twice longer (10 years), with manual and temperature-controlled fans, Semi-passive, consuming 0.00 W when Off and coming with Flat cables.
    • The choice between this one and the Corsair RM850i was very hard has the second one is nearly as efficient (although it's only Gold) but ~18% cheaper. The HX comes however with 2 more connectors...
    • Don't do the same mistake as I did. Air is suck into the PSU. Mount the PSU with the fan sucking the air from the bottom of the tower (if possible) instead of sucking air from inside the tower.
  • 2 x PCI Carte with 5 external USB 3.0 Ports and 1 internal USB 3.0 connector Inateck 
  • 2 x Icy Dock Trayless 3.5” SATA HDD Mobile Rack for 5.25 bay TurboSwap MB171SP-B with a fan cooler
    • To use SSD into those Racks, I use an Icy Dock MB982SP-1S 2.5'' to 3.5'' Full Metal SATA HDD and SSD Converter.

And I did reuse:

  • 1 x old nVidia GeForce GTX 760 Pci-e 16x 3.0 connected to:
    • 1 x Asus VG278HR 27” (aspect ratio 16:9) with embedded 3D IR emitter and 3D active glasses.
  • Onboard video connected to:
  • 2  x 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD103UJ (Seagate) Sata II 7200rpm 32MB cache (Read 94 MB/s, Write 79 MB/s) in a RAID 1 for the data
  • 1 x IDE CD/DVD burner Samsung Samsung Super-WriteMaster™ DVD Writer (SH-S202N/BEBN) with LightScribe.
    • Connected to a sata port of the U3S6 via a Bi-directional adapter IDE <=> SATA syba SD-ADA50016

Power Supply Calculator (from MSI): https://us.msi.com/power-supply-calculator

BeQuiet! Silent Base 800

BeQuiet! Silent Base 800

MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon

MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon

Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15

G Skill Ripjaws V

G Skill Ripjaws V

HardwaresTips SoundBlaster Audigy 2 NX USB - Cannot Unmute

I have a very old SoundBlaster Audigy 2 NX USB (produced in 2002) and wanted to reuse it on my laptop, as I needed an optical audio output for some testing purpose. Unfortunately, it didn't produce any sound... until I discovered that the Main volume was disabled in the Configuration pane.

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX

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I was first impressed that, once that external audio card plugged on my PC (Windows 8.1 x64), Windows found, downloaded and installed drivers for it. I was actually not expecting such an old card to still be supported by Windows 8.1.

But soon I noticed the "Mute" led that was on (red). And indeed, I was unable to get sound from my speakers :(

Pressing the Mute button on the card, or using the remote control to unmute the card didn't succeed. The led never turned off.

Finally, I found that I had to:

  1. Right-click the speaker icon in the systray
  2. Select "Playback devices"
  3. Set the "Speakers" : "SB Audigy 2 NX" as "Default Device"
  4. Possibly set "Headphone" : "SB Audigy 2 NX" as "Default Communication Device"
  5. Double-click on "Digital Audio Interface" : "SB Audigy 2 NX" to access its properties
  6. Go to its tab "Levels" and enabled the speaker of the "Main Volume", sometimes also named "Sum". If it is already enabled, disable it first and then re-enable it!
Config Audigy 2 NX

Config Audigy 2 NX - named "Sum"

Config Audigy 2 NX

Config Audigy 2 NX - named "Main Volume"

This is going to turn off the "Mute" led immediately. But if you press the Mute button on the card or mute it with the remote control, you will again not be able unmute it physically. You will have to redo the step 6 here above!

Hardwares Upgrade LSI 9201-16i and 9211-8i to Firmware 19.00.00.00 on Asus Striker II Formula

I was using deprecated firmwares and drivers for my two LSI SAS Controllers and noticed a lot of errors in the Windows' eventlogs like "Event 11 LSI_SAS2 The driver detected a controller error on \Device\RaidPort1". So I decided to update them.

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Notice that I didn't update the bios of my cards as recent versions are not compatible with my motherboard. See here.

First, I did update the Windows Drivers. The most recent version of those drivers are available on LSI's download page... (Search for "Component Type" = "Storage Component" with "Host Bus Adapters" as "Product Family"). E.g.: for "LSI SAS 9201-16i" see here and for "LSI SAS 9211-8i" see here.

The update is easy and straightforward via "Computer Management" > "Device Management" > "Storage Controllers". Right-click on the "LSI adapter xxxx" and select "Update Driver Software" > "Browse my Computer for driver software". Then select the folder where you unzipped the drivers.

Next step, I did update the Firmware. The most recent version of the firmwares is available on the download page too. As I have two card, I wanted to update them separately as the size of the firmware was 1KB different...

I did start a CMD prompt as Administrator and used the sas2flash.exe command the folder "sas2flash_win_x64_rel" available in the zip with the firmwares.

first I did check which number was assigned to each controller with the command "sas2flash.exe -list -c 0" and "sas2flash.exe -list -c 1"

C:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -list -c 0
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Controller Number : 0
Controller : SAS2008(B2)
PCI Address : 00:04:00:00
SAS Address : 500605b-0-01bd-bec0
NVDATA Version (Default) : 11.00.00.07
NVDATA Version (Persistent) : 11.00.00.07
Firmware Product ID : 0x2213 (IT)
Firmware Version : 17.00.01.00
NVDATA Vendor : LSI
NVDATA Product ID : SAS9211-8i
BIOS Version : 07.15.00.00
UEFI BSD Version : N/A
FCODE Version : N/A
Board Name : SAS9211-8i
Board Assembly : N/A
Board Tracer Number : N/A

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

C:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -list -c 1
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2116_1(B1)

Controller Number : 1
Controller : SAS2116_1(B1)
PCI Address : 00:03:00:00
SAS Address : 5000000-0-8000-0000
NVDATA Version (Default) : 11.00.00.05
NVDATA Version (Persistent) : 11.00.00.05
Firmware Product ID : 0x2213 (IT)
Firmware Version : 17.00.01.00
NVDATA Vendor : LSI
NVDATA Product ID : SAS9201-16i
BIOS Version : 07.15.00.00
UEFI BSD Version : N/A
FCODE Version : N/A
Board Name : SAS9201-16i
Board Assembly : N/A
Board Tracer Number : N/A

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

So, id 0 was for the LSI SAS9211-8i and id 1 was for LSI SAS9201-16i. So, I did update like this:

C:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -o -c 0 -f 2118it.bin
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.
Firmware Version 19.00.00.00
Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

Valid NVDATA Image found.
NVDATA Version 11.00.00.00
Checking for a compatible NVData image...

NVDATA Device ID and Chip Revision match verified.
NVDATA Versions Compatible.
Valid Initialization Image verified.
Valid BootLoader Image verified.

Beginning Firmware Download...
Firmware Download Successful.

Verifying Download...

Firmware Flash Successful.

Resetting Adapter...
Adapter Successfully Reset.

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

C:\\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -o -c 1 -f 9201-16i_it.bin
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2116_1(B1)

Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.
Firmware Version 19.00.00.00
Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

Valid NVDATA Image found.
NVDATA Version 11.00.00.00
Checking for a compatible NVData image...

NVDATA Device ID and Chip Revision match verified.
NVDATA Versions Compatible.
Valid Initialization Image verified.
Valid BootLoader Image verified.

Beginning Firmware Download...
Firmware Download Successful.

Verifying Download...

Firmware Flash Successful.

Resetting Adapter...
Adapter Successfully Reset.

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

The PC did reboot without any issue and I have access to my diks.. but next:

c:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -listallboards
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

No LSI SAS adapters found! Limited Command Set Available!
ERROR: Command Not allowed without an adapter!
ERROR: Couldn't Create Command -listallboards
Exiting Program.

I wanted to check the controllers and unfortunately, they are not detected anymore by the tool :(

Damned... I forgot to run it in a CMD prompt run as Administrator!!! Once run in such a CMD prompt, I got the expected info:

c:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -listallboards
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Num Ctlr Board Name Serial Number
----------------------------------------------------

0 SAS2008(B2) SAS9211-8i N/A
1 SAS2116_1(B1) SAS9201-16i N/A

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

 

c:\sas2flash_win_x64_rel>sas2flash.exe -listall
LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility
Version 19.00.00.00 (2014.03.17)
Copyright (c) 2008-2014 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Num Ctlr FW Ver NVDATA x86-BIOS PCI Addr
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

0 SAS2008(B2) 19.00.00.00 11.00.00.08 07.15.00.00 00:04:00:00
1 SAS2116_1(B1) 19.00.00.00 11.00.00.06 07.15.00.00 00:03:00:00

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SAS2Flash.

Hardwares Scan Negatives with Epson Perfection V550 Photo

I always wanted a good device to scan all my negatives. I finally decided to buy an Epson Perfection V550 Photo...

EPSON Perfection V550 Photo

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I didn't want something like those small "film scanners" at ~80€ because those are actually camera taking a photo of the negatives. As a consequence, the quality of the output is only good enough to published the photo on the web or to watch them on a screen... Even with a higher DPI, the quality is still far from amazing.

Typical cheap Film Scanner

Film Scanner

However, a real semi-pro film scanner cost at least 500€ and much more (1200€, 1500€, ..). As that was out of my budget, I was therefore looking for something as a "Reflecta CrystalScan 7200" (~200€), a typical great compromise between price and quality; the high quality of the output being mainly due to the feature named "Ice Techonology". This one is amazing when used to remove dusts and scratches on photos. Unfortunately, it only scans the negatives one by one and one has to move the film manually. I would have needed ages to scan all my negatives...

Reflecta CrystalScan 7200

Reflecta CrystalScan 7200

So, I finally decided to go for the excellent EPSON Perfection V550 Photo, the smallest in its family, but with all the features I needed. It uses the ICE Technology and scan up to 2x6 negatives from 35mm films at once at 6400 dpi. Here is an excellent review for details.

And here is a demo of an automatic scratch and dust removal with EPSON Perfection V550 Photo's ICE Technology:

Demo of ICE Technology

Demo of ICE Technology

Here after, how I process to scan negatives from 35mm films into 10x15 photo, each one around 5MB, 7200x4800px, 24 bit depth (online documentation here and good guidance here and tutorials)

  1. Turn on the EPSON and wait until the « Ready » green led on the front panel stops blinking.
  2. Start the "EPSON Scan" software on the PC
  3. Choose "Home Mode"
  4. If the "Configuration" was changed in the past, reset the settings via the "Configuration…" button > tab "Other" > "Reset All"
  5. As far as I am concerned*, I go to the "Configuration..." button and in the "Color" tab, I select the option "ICM" with
    1. "EPSON Standard" as a "Source"
    2. “sRGB” as target ("RVB" in french)
    3. and the option “Display preview using Monitor Compensation" ticked
  6. As "Document Type", choose “Color negative films"
  7. As "Image Type", use “Color"
  8. As "Destination", use "Other" and
    1. set 1200 as "Resolution"
    2. with 10x15 cm as "Target Size".
  9. Under “Adjustement” select the option "DIGITAL ICE Technology…" (The only one enabled when one choose “ICM” in the "Color" tab of the "Configuration" windows.

* I noticed that the result was often (but not always) better on my display screens. However, switching between the option "ICM" and Color Controls results in something weird... The background color of the photos become blue:

Test #3 - EPSON V550

Once all the steps above are done:

  1. Click on "Preview"
  2. Select the "negatives" to be scanned in the "Preview" window.
  3. Back into the “Epson Scan “ main window, Click on "Scan"
  4. In the new window ("File Save Settings") select
    1. The location for the output (Ex.: My Pictures)
    2. A prefix for the images
    3. The "Type" of "Image Format": "JPEG"...  Then click on "Options" next to the "Type" and be sure that you kept:
      1. "16" as compression level
      2. Encoding Standard
      3. Embed ICC profile
  5. Set the other option according to your preferences and click "Ok".

When the operation ends, it will open the destination folder if you did ask for it in the options above..

To scan one negative, it takes close to 3 minutes on my PC (a Quad Core I7 3.6GHz, 16GB Ram) although 8 minutes are announced. The negative used for this test is a 14 years old AGFA film. Here it the outcome: a picture of about 5MB, 7200x4800px:

My custom settings

If I choose next “Printer” as “Destination”, still with “DIGITAL ICE Technology” enabled, it takes a bit less than 2 minutes to get a picture of about 2MB, 1800x1200.

If I choose "Color Controls" in the "Configuration..." window instead of ICM with a "Display Gama 2.2" and a mean "Continuous Auto Exposure", I have other options in the "Image Adjustment" pane. NB.: whenever you change an option in the "Image Adjustments" pane, look at the “Preview” pane to see what’s the results...

Ticking then the options "Color Restoration" and "Backlight Correction" in addition to “DIGITAL ICE Technology”, I get this ugly output:

Test #1 - EPSON V550

Ticking the option “DIGITAL ICE Technology" with the "Backlight Correction" only, I get something better:

Color Controls with ICE and Backlight Correction

And ticking only the Image Adjustment “DIGITAL ICE Technology”, the output comes resp. in a bit less than 3 minutes at 1200 dpi (picture on top) and in a bit less than 2 minutes at 300 dpi (for printer, picture bellow):

Color Controls at 1200 dpi with ICE Color Controls at 300 dpi with ICE

Far from an expert in photography, I have my own preference for the results with only the “DIGITAL ICE Technology” Image Adjustment enabled...

If I select 10 negatives (2 slides of 5) to be scanned at once with "ICM" selected in the "Configuration" and "DIGITAL Ice Technology" enabled, EPSON Scan announces 21 minutes for 300dpi, 1800x1200 ("Printer" as a destination)…. But it takes concretely only 16 minutes. With the very same options, but targeting 1200dpi, EPSON Scan announces 51’ and takes 30’.

Now, instead of using the "Home Mode", one could use the “default” mode, which is a the "Full Auto Mode" - used when one presses the rightmost button on the front of the scanner. Here is a result, a ~2MB picture, ~1800x1200 full of dust and scratches (as you can see in full size):

Scanned in Default mode

NOTICE: if getting noise and grain in the picture, read this tutorial to use the advanced mode and fix this issue.

Final interesting touch: the scanner will automatically switch off when not in use anymore (Ex.: if the PC enter any standby mode due to inactivity).

Another tutorial here to scan on a V550 with professional settings.

Hardwares Creative WebCam Live! Motion on Windows 8 x86

I still have that very old webcam that I wanted to reuse under Win8 x86 on the PC of my daughter... It works fine with the drivers for Win2000 installed in compatibility mode...

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Creative WebCam Live! Motion

Creative WebCam Live! Motion

  • Go to the support website of Creative.
  • Select "Web Cameras".
  • At the very bottom, click on "If your product is not listed above, please click here".
  • Select "Others" in the first column.
  • And select "WebCam Live! Motion" in the second column.
  • Then, click on "Next".
  • Now, you see a list of "Latests Downloads". Take the first one : "Creative WebCam Live! Motion Driver 1.11.02". It's a beta version for Vista.
  • Once those drivers downloaded, right click on it and open the "properties".
  • If required, at the bottom of the "General" tab, "Unblock" the file
  • Then, in the "Compatibility" tab:
    • Select "Run this program in compatibility for": "Vista", and
    • Select "Run this program as an administrator"
  • Finally, run the setup.

Hardwares Dolby 7.1 Wireless Headset "Corsair Vengeance 2100"

I was missing a good microphone on my PC. And googling for that on the web, I actually found many headsets with a microphone. I have already 3 headphones at home... but none with support for high-fidelity, multi-channel Dolby audio. So, I did ask one to Santa Claus : the Corsair Vengeance 2100.

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Corsair Vengeance 2100

Corsair Vengeance 2100

I read a few serious reviews on that headset such as this one before concluding that it would fit my needs and expectations:

  • A wireless headset.
  • Closed
  • Circumaural
  • With a really good microphone with noise cancellation.
  • Cheaper than 150€
  • With enough positive (true/serious/motivated) reviews on the web
  • With a simple and light configuration interface (not like Realtek stuff)

And I am very far from disappointed :-P

Specifications

Headphones:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 105dB (+/-3dB)
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • USB power consumption: 500mA
  • Connector: USB Type A
  • Wireless range: up to 12m (I was not able to test more than 12m as my corridor is not long enough)
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours

Microphone:

  • Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser with adjustable, rotating boom
  • Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Sensitivity: -37dB (+/-3dB)

It took me a few hours, watching movies or playing games, to find the very best position on the head/ears as I am not used (anymore) to headphones. But with that adjustment, it's really comfortable although used for hours.

The main issue, as often with circumaural headphones, is that it is not designed to be used with glasses and especially not with 3D glasses which are thicker than standard glasses. It can even be bloody uncomfortable if like me you keep your standard glasses under the 3D glasses. The most valid option IMO would be to use the 3D glasses with a supra-oral headset, but I dislike those. Note that my nVidia 3D Vision 2 glasses have an increased flexibility to precisely ensure a better fit with gaming headphone (And I have to say that this is true as they are not uncomfortable with my good old Sennheiser HDR 65 - but this one is not a 7.1 headphone). But with the Corsair Vengeance, it's not great.

The quality of the microphone is really good. For testing purpose, you can ear yourself by ticking an option "Microphone check" in the configuration pane of the headset - this one must be downloaded from the corsair website and is really simple to use (There is no CD or user manual delivered with the headset):

Corsair Vengeance Config

Corsair Vengeance Config

If you listen to music while talking to a friend, he will not ear it although you push the volume quite high... And you will still ear your friend :D.  The unidirectional noise-canceling seems to be very efficient based on the feedback I got about the quality.

The microphone may be bent in order to come closer to the user’s mouth as the boom is flexible.

There is no switch to mute the microphone, but it will turn off automatically once one swings it all the way upwards.

As far as I am concerned, I keep "Source Type" on 7.1 and click on the blue "power" button to enable the Dolby Surround (a virtual surround as there are actually only two speakers). Doing so, it displays "Now playing": "7.1 surround" and I can indeed really feel to 3D audio environment. From my own point of view, the audio performance is really impressive :-P not only in games and movies, but also for stereo music. I am right now listening the Trance Top 1000 - 2013 and I really like the surround effect added on such kind of stereo sources. It makes the sound a bit "softer" (it's not my purpose to become deaf anyway) but you are immerse in the music. Otherwise (without the Dolby effect, the sound seems to come from the top-front of the headphone - but is powerful !) Anyway, about sound quality, you have better read reviews written by specialist as I am not the best person to talk about audio.

I noticed for the first time when trying this headset that music played within Chrome (E.g.: via my Synology Audio Station), is stopped if I change any settings related to the "playback device" currently used. I have to refresh the page to restart the music. It's not an issue for me as I keep usually always the same settings, but this can be quickly quite annoying. There is no such issue (sound switched off when changing playback device's settings) when playing music within IE (at least IE 11.0).

After a few more tests with IE vs Chrome, I noticed that IE was up-mixing the stereo sources to fill all the speakers (although the "Speaker Fill" option was not enabled on the headset). That's the reason why listening to stereo music sounds better within IE than  within Chrome. But as a consequence, true 5.1 or 7.1 sources played within IE sounds like crap, the volume being over-boosted. This can fortunately be fixed by enabling the option "Speaker Fill" in the Enhancement tab of the Corsair's Speaker Properties (Right click the systray speaker icon > Playback Devices > select the Speakers Corsair Veangeance 2100 Headset > Properties > Enhancement). I really don't get it but IE seems to fill automatically all the virtual speakers of the headset even without that option enabled. And once the option is enabled, it does it better ?! I spent a few hours playing around with all accessible Speakers' properties and noticed a similar "up-mix" effect within IE when using my Realtek on-board sound card and its 6.1 speakers as a playback device . A behavior that I don't experience within Chrome although I keep the very same speaker's settings.

You can also enable a "Loudness Equalization" if you like such an enhancement. Notice that those enhancements are not available from within the custom Corsair configuration pane.

If you want to test a true 5.1 sources within Chrome, when "Source Audio" is set on 5.1 or 7.1 in the Corsair Configuration pane, try the samples from this site: HTML5 AAC Audio Playback Tests - Multichannel.

If you want the ear how crap is the sound over-boosted by IE, when "Source Audio" is set on 5.1 or 7.1 in the Corsair Configuration pane, watch the video from this site: Dolby Digital Plus demo.

The headset is linked with the PC via a USB dongle that has better be connected with the USB extension cable provided with the headset. Doing so, it can be placed on top of the desk and offers a better coverage (useful if, listening music, you move sometimes in the room).

The volume is very easy to change thanks to the big inline volume controller. That was really a pain with my old Sennheiser as the control were not easy to locate with the finger once the headset on the head...

HardwaresSynology The perfect AirPlay Speaker for my Synlogy

I just bought 3 x Philips Fidelio SoundAvia wireless speaker AD7000W/12 with AirPlay. This model is must cheaper than any other AirPlay device and fully compatible with my Synology DS209+ running the Audio Station of DSM 4.2.

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Philips Fidelio AD7000W/12

Philips Fidelio AD7000W/12

I paid only 109€ (instead of the official price: 149€) for this device, which is reported as a good one (Look for reviews on the web). It's especially much cheaper than any other devices except the Philips DS3800W/10. But this last one, which actually used to be more expansive than the AD7000W/12 in the past, is not as good although better designed. I took 3 AD7000W/12 (for the price of one single Soundlink Air, the cheapest Bose AirPlay device). I will  use them respectively in the bathroom, in the kitchen and in my room.

It's perfect for a Synology as there is not useless feature, like a docking for iStuff that don't need, no remote control as I have my mobile phone, etc... So I paid only for what I really need: a basic AirPlay Speaker.

Take note that there is no need for an iPad, iPod or iPhone to configure the Philips Fidelio AD7000W/12. It's presumed to be configurable auto-magically via WPS but I didn't succeed to do so (I.e.: using the PBC - Push-Button Configuration - which is the WiFi setup button on the back of the device). Fortunately, it is really easy to configure the AD7000W/12 with a browser from any wireless client device such as a tablet, a laptop, a mobile phone, ...

Notice: when unwrapping the device, on the connectors at the back of device, there is a sticker explaining that one has to push the physical WiFi setup button for 5 sec to configure the network for the first time. This could be confusing if you read next the Quick Guide. Indeed, this one explains two ways to connect the device to the WiFi router: a first method using WPS and a second method using an iStuff. In both cases, you have to press the physical WiFi setup button. But the mistake would be to press this button for 5 seconds when using the WPS method. It must only be pressed for 5 seconds if you want to use the second method. So, here is my experience:

  1. Switch on the device. The button is on the back, close to the top, next to the Volume + and - buttons.
  2. On the back too, there is a green led blinking rapidly in the middle of the WiFi setup button, at the bottom, on the right of the USB connector. Wait for 35 sec until it starts to blink slowly. The device is then ready to be configured.

To connect the AD7000W/12 to a WiFi router using a browser (Connect the devices one by one if you have several):

  1. Press the WiFi setup button for 5 sec (= blinks 5 times). The led will then start to blink alternatively green and orange.
  2. Soon after you should see, with your wireless client device, a new opened WiFi network  named like Philips_Fidelio_AirPlay. Connect to that network.
  3. Open a browser and navigate to 192.168.1.1 to access the network configuration page of the AD7000W/12. If you are using a laptop, althoug configured to get an IP via DHCP, you could have to reconfigure it to use a fixed IP like 192.168.1.2, gateway 192.168.1.1, mask 255.255.255.0. I had to do even after I didn't succeed with a simple "IPConfig /renew". With a mobile and a tablet, it worked out of the box.
  4. In the configuration page, edit the name of the device to make it unique and select the SSID of the WiFi network on which it will have to connect. It works fine with my network configured to use WPA2.
  5. Type the Passphrase of the WiFi network and Apply the configuration.
  6. The led will restart to blink rapidly in green.
  7. As soon as device is connected on the selected WiFi network, it produces a clear "Beep" sound and the led stops blinking.
Philips Fidelio Configuration

Philips Fidelio Configuration

To connect the device using WPS:

  1. Press the WPS button on your WiFi router. It has better be configured to use WPA2
  2. Press the WiFi setup button on your device (a simple click of less than 1 sec). The led will start to blink alternatively red, green and orange.
  3. Wait for up to 2 minutes. The device should auto-magically connect on the WiFi router and produce a clear "Beep" sound once connected.

This second approach didn't work for me ?!

As soon as the Philips Fidelio AD7000W/12 is connected on the WiFi network, it becomes available as a target device for the Synology Audio Station (either in the Web UI or in the Apps for mobile). One can see targets like "XXX( DLNA)", "XXX (AirPlay)" and "Multiple AirPlay Device" where XXX is the name you gave to the device ("Philips Fidelio ####" by default). All those targets work but you will possibly have to be patient for the music to arrive with DLNA targets (?). I takes a few seconds more than with AirPlay on my infra.

If you don't want to see the speaker as both an AirPlay device and a DLNA device, you must tick "Do not Search for DLNA devices" in the "options" tab of your Audio Station's settings.

Notice that the feature "Multiple AirPlay Device" only works if turned on from Audio Station "browser based". It means that you must first select that target in the Audio Station's web based UI. You will then be prompted to select which AirPlay devices must be used. Once this is done, you can use the "Multiple AirPlay Device" target also within the Audio Station Apps for tablets and mobiles. There is no support (today) to select via the mobile App which devices are part of the target "Multiple AirPlay Device".

Notice also that selecting the target device is really easy on a mobile phone via the App. First select the music to be played in a library. Then, on the next screen you will be able to select the target:

Audio Station Apps

Audio Station Apps

For an unknown reason, it's not as obvious with the App on my tablet ? To select the target on my table I have indeed to open the settings of the App. This is really not convenient at all!

Notice finally that each device has its own queue. So you can then switch between target devices and manage their queues independently.