Wishlist A non-pro Drone for fun & Video/Photo

I already have a drone for fun, but would really love a new one following me and recording video when biking or skying with kids...

I did a quick tour comparing brands and model and concludes that right now, the best one (compromise price/quality/feature) would be the DJI Spark.

DJI Spark

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I have been considering:

  • Quality of image (better than Parrot Bebop 2) - full HD, 12MB, stabilized on 2 axis (but no big deal with this limitation)
  • Duration of the flight (15')
  • Range of the flight (100 m or 2000m with the optional remote, at 13 m/s)
  • Obstacle Avoidance (forward facing and bottom facing sensors only)
  • Flight modes: Circle or Helix around the subject, auto landing and takeoff (from the palm), follow-me (tracking), Selfie, Tapfly (goes to the location indicated with your finger on the screen),
  • Easy to use for novice. has an optional remote, can connect with a Android phone, can be controlled with gesture.
  • Handle the wind very well.

See review here.

 

Other options that I could be considering are:

  • In my dreams only, a DJI Mavic Pro, decribed here. Just a question of price, as it's making fun a bit too expensive...
  • Maybe, because it comes with a FPV headset, a Parrot Bebop 2 Power, described here. But it's less compact and portable than the DJI Spark and the quality of images is also lower. On the opposite, the flight can last for 30' !
  • Possibly, a Yuneec Typhoon H, introduced here. It is more a pro device, more expensive, but very exiting :p Would be a better choice IMO than the DJI phantom from a quality/price perspective.

DJI Mavic Pro

Parrot Bebop 2 Power

Yuneec Typhon H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishlist A Switch to share 4 USB 3.1 devices with 4 PC

I currently have a USB Switch ATEN US224. I would like to upgrade it with the ATEN US434

Aten US434 Image

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Briefly said, I would be able to share 4 USB 3.1 devices with 4 PC instead of sharing 4 USB 2.0 devices with 2 PC.

I.e.: Currently I have this (Aten US224):

And I would like this, which is close to 90€ (Aten US434):

There is also a cheaper version, named Aten US424, to share 4 usb 2.0 with 4 PC:

Wishlist A 3G/4G mobile Wi-Fi hotspot

As I am often travelling to foreign countries where data connections for foreigners are exhibitive, I am looking for a solution able to share a network connection based on a local 3G/4G connection.

TP Link 4G Mobile Wifi Hotspot

TP Link 4G Mobile Wifi Hotspot

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The first obvious solution would be a "Mifi" device (Mobile WiFi).

Another one would be a cheap android mobile with tethering.

To be investigated :p

I Got ItWishlist A Noise Cancelling Headphone

Since I tried the Bose QuietComfort headphone with noise cancelling, I am very interested in such a technology :p

Bose Quiet Comfort

Bose Quiet Comfort

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I would look for an over-the-ear (circumaural) design with, if available, both wired and wireless support.

So far, I like the Sennheiser PXC 450... expect for it's price! Indeed, it still plays sounds without batteries while the Bose does not play anything anymore when it's out of juice. But the Bose QuietComfort 25, which is ~60€ cheaper (looking for best prices for both: 239€ vs 299€), has a better noise filtering technology... The choice will be very difficult...

EDIT 15/07/2016  I got one : a Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Around Ear Wireless Headset, Ivory.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

I Got ItWishlist A Smart TV Running Plex, DS Video and more...

It was time to replace my old TV... But having become addicted to Plex (on my NUC), I really wanted my new TV to be a Smart one, able to run smoothly the Plex App, with native support for most codecs, to avoid transcoding, as well as 3D and a universal remote control. After a lot of research I have chosen the UE48H6500.

Smartv TV Samsung UE48H6500

Smartv TV Samsung UE48H6500

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I finally found a TV not too expensive (<700€) but matching perfectly all my requirements!

Features are available in attachment... Here are some notes:

  • It's large but not too much (fit in my living room: 48" = 121 cm).
  • It runs both "Plex" and "DS Video" that are great apps to play movies stored on a Synology NAS. Those Apps are available in the category "Videos". But there are really much more Apps than those.
  • With its Quad Core Processor, the menus (including Plex) are very reactive. That's the point I was the most afraid of... But I am really not disappointed.
  • It supports really many many formats (Plex has therefore never to transcode any movie and can easily run with a "lower profile" Synology) - see the User Guide for details:
    • Video format:*.avi, *.mkv, *.asf, *.wmv, *.mp4, *.mov, *.3gp, *.vro, *.mpg, *.mpeg, *.ts, *.tp, *.trp, *.mov, *.flv, *.vob, *.svi, *.m2ts, *.mts, *.divx, *.webm
    • Audio format: *.mp3, *.m4a, *.mpa, *.aac, *.flac, *.ogg, *.wma, *.wav, *.mid, *.midi, *.ape, *.aif, *.aiff, *.m4a
    • Image format: *.jpg, *.jpeg 15360x8640, *.png 4096x4096, *.bmp 4096x4096, *.mpo 15360x8640
  • With its IR repeater, it can remote control the TV Decoder of my Provider (Belgacom) and as it's own TV Guide (I.e. an EPG) which is really running smoother than to Belgacom's Guide. The only drawback is that one has to use the Provider's default sort order of the channel. It can actually be changed, but it requires some tricking.
  • With the HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel), no need to switch between audio sources anymore on my Sound Bar (TV Decoder, NUC or TV/plex).
  • Once named adequately (e.g.: with H-SBS in the name), 3D movies are automatically played as such by Plex on the TV.
  • A really great Smart Remote Control with a touchpad and motion control. I love it ! Small, it fits perfectly in one hand and works really like a charm both to control the TV Decoder and Plex. Also, using the control as a pointer (based on motion control) to pick entries in menu, etc... is so user-friendly!
  • The TV runs also a decent Web Browser that works:
    • It's not the fastest one but it displays fine most web sites (Google, MSN, Facebook, ...)
    • One can scroll easily within pages using the Smart Control's "OK button" (which is actually a touchpad), simply sliding the finger on that "touchpad/button". This is very convenient to read pages!!
    • It's also very easy to type text/urls/... pointing letters on the onscreen-keyboard with the Smart Control
    • And it supports Flash animations.
  • One can connect a Wireless Keyboard to make typing even more comfortable. I am using a Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 and it works seamlessly.
Samsung Smart Control

Samsung Smart Control

Tips and tricks:

  • One thing I have been looking for was how to delete Apps installed in the Smart Hub. One simply has to select an Apps and press 'OK' for a few seconds on the Smart Control. It opens a menu with useful actions. To learn more about playing within the Smart Hub, this video is really great.
  • Another stupid thing I didn't find immediately: how to specify a specific port within the "DS Video" App to connect on my Synology NAS. Indeed, as long as my Synology's DSM was configured to run on its default port (I.e.: 5000), there was no need to specify this port in the "DS Video" App (One only had to enter the IP of the NAS and credentials). But once I did reconfigure my DSM to run on another port, "DS Video" didn't succeed to connect to the NAS anymore. There is no field to type a port in "DS Video" App's connection pane. The trick (stupid and obvious) was to type the port in the IP field. E.g.: 192.168.0.1:5555
Port Configuration Within DS Video

Port Configuration Within DS Video

I Got ItWishlist A new HTPC

I am pissed off by my current HTPC Acer iDEA 510... Too many issues with the video drivers, too slow for some heavy HD movies where many dots moves at the same times... I need a new one !

NUC D54250WYK

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After some research, the easiest solution will be to buy a barebone matching my requirements:

  • One HDMI 1.4 connector with audio support
  • Once HD Audio Controller
  • One placeholder for a SSD
  • One Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • One IR receiver for a Windows MCE remote.
  • An Intel above or equal to Core i3-3225
  • Low power consumption (<~5w when idle)
  • Low noise level (~30db when idle, ~40db at full load)

A barebone solution will be a bit easier than buying each parts separated (case, Motherboard, CPU, PSU, ...).

The barbone being closest to my requirements is the Intel NUC D54250WYK. Its processor is however a core i5-4250U which is unfortunately not as powerful as a core i3-3225 (See here). But with its GPU HD Graphic 5000, it seems to be from far good enough to play HD movies based on technical reviews.

It has two SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 16 GB of 1600/1333 MHz 1.35V DDR3L memory. So, I will take 2 x 8Gb Corsair Vengeance CMSX16GX3M2B1600C9 DDR3L 1600 MHz CL9 (PC3-12800).

I will also add/use:

This barbone also has:

  • two USB 3.0 connectors on the front panel and two USB 3.0 connectors on the back panel.
  • two USB 2.0 ports and one SATA port inside but there are IMO useless as there is no place at all in that small case.
  • a consumer infrared sensor on the front panel
  • a 8-channel (7.1) digital audio via its HDMI 1.4a output or via its DisplayPort 1.2 connector.

At full load, it seems it will be a bit louder than I was expecting from my future HTPC (reported to produce ~44db), because it's not a passive cooling. But it's still really ok. And from the power point of view, it consumes less than 5 Watts when idle. Perfect !

EDIT 31/01/2014  I got it and... IT ROCKS !!!

Much more fast and silent than expected!

I Got ItWishlist Remote control for electrical sockets (via ethernet)

There are many different models of basic and cheap remote controls for electrical outlets. I have some from Chacon (the Zen model). But this kind of remote is usually limited to max 4 sockets.

Power Outlets with remote control "Zen"

Power Outlets with remote control "Zen"

So, I am looking for something else.

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The best solution would be to control the sockets via Ethernet from a PC, an Android or an iOS. But as I don't have an Ethernet plug next to each power outlet, I would love Devolo to develop a solution with support to switch on/off the power outlet via CPL... Unfortunately, they don't have it (yet) :(

Belkin has a solution named WeMo, a Wi-Fi enabled Switch that lets you turn a power outlet on/off from anywhere using an Android or a iOS. It's however quite expensive: ~50€ for one outlet.

Belkin WeMo

Belkin WeMo

There are also solutions based on X10, but to simply remotely control power outlets, it's over-killed IMO.

So a fallback solution, could be to combine a very old Devolo dLAN® 85 HSplus with a device like the EnerGenie EG-PMS2-LAN which is an advanced surge protector with power management features. It is possible to individually switch 4 sockets on/off via Ethernet (local network or Internet from a PC, an Android or an iOS), by timer schedule, or by programmable special events... I already have an old USB version of that device (it is more than 8 years old now but still supported on Windows 8.1)

EnerGenie EG-PMS2-LAN

EnerGenie EG-PMS2-LAN

An alternative to the EnerGenie device could be the NetIO 230B from Koukaam. It does also allow control from a PC/Android or iOS device. The command interface via http is well documented.

Koukaam NETIO-230B

Koukaam NETIO-230B

I am however still not convinced... and really hope Devolo will do something :p

EDIT 01/04/2014  I wrote to DEVOLO and got an answer !!!

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I was far from expecting an answer but couldn't resist to ask DEVOLO if something similar to the Belkin Wemo was planned for the coming months... If not, I was suggesting to introduce such a feature request to their R&D department...

I was actually surprised to quickly get an answer from their support team. DEVOLO has some plan that will probably offer what I want and much more at a democratic price (compared to the current product on the market).

http://www.devolo.com/en/Press/Press-Releases/2014/devolo-Home-Control-Home-automation-made-simple-devolo-announces-a-new-product-portfolio-for-greater-comfort-convenience-security-and-energy-efficiency

I am very excited  :-P

EDIT 04/07/2015  I finally bought 10 Chacon Wi-Fi Neo, 25€ each, at MediaMarkt (Promo).

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More than one year after my email to Devolo, there is still no Home Control Solution in shops here. I can only see some products on German websites...

So, I finally decided to buy the Chacon Wi-Fi Neo solution (also sold with the name Ankuoo) which works quite well although not perfect. It's indeed sometimes not easy to configure it for the first time. And sometimes, the scheduler doesn't work as expected (turn on/off the device on schedule)...

Chacon WiFi Neo

Chacon WiFi Neo

But to switch on/off a device remotely from a mobile device, it works very well!

Details here, or for Belgium, here.

I Got ItWishlist A Precision Screwdrivers Tool Kit

I really don't have good tools for DYI computer work :(

Facom Micro-Tech

Facom Micro-Tech

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Something like the Startech CTK100P would possibly make my day...

Screw driver Computer Tool Kit Startech CTK100P

Startech CTK100P

But I am not sure if the quality will be good enough ?! I think that a better quality would come from Wiha Tools. But a complete set will cost too much IMO.

EDIT 03/01/2014 Et voilà: Finally, I ordered Facom's Chrome Blade Micro-Tech screwdrivers :-P

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I bought two sets:

  1. Facom MT.J4XPG
    1. Torx® AEX 5x35
    2. Torx® AEX 6x35
    3. Torx® AEX 7x35
    4. Torx® AEX 8X75
  2. Facom MT.J5PG
    1. Slotted head AEF 1.5x35
    2. Slotted head AEF 2x35
    3. Slotted head AEF 3x75
    4. Phillips® AEFP 0x35
    5. Phillips® AEFP 00x35

I am now only missing the screwdrivers for male hex screws...

Notice: those screwdrivers are not magnetized! I choose to not go for Magnetized screwdrivers but to magnetized them myself on purpose, when required (as explained on WikiHow):

Using a fairly strong magnet, slide it lengthwise down the screwdriver repeatedly. Only drag it from the middle to the tip of the screwdriver, not back and forth from tip to middle and back up, just from middle to tip.

Do the motion several times repeatedly, count to 20 for less magnetization, and higher numbers for higher magnetization (depending on the strength of the magnet). The more strokes, the higher magnetization.

EDIT 13/08/2014 I found an easy and efficient way to magnetize my screwdrivers.

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I bought this Magnetizer/Demagnetizer:

Magnetizer and Demagnetizer

Magnetizer and Demagnetizer

It works really well, simply dragging the screwdriver inside the lower hole to magnetize it and in the upper hole to demagnetize it. I am only curious to see if it will works for ever or will loose its "capabilities" as  time goes by. If this happens, I will report here.

I Got ItWishlist Circular polarizing filter

I would like a Polarizing Filter to increase color saturation and reduce reflections on pictures taken with my Camera.
After some research, I would be glad to get a B+W F-PRO S03 Slim Circular Polarizer.

B+W F-Pro S03 Polarisant Circulaire Slim 62mm

B+W F-Pro S03 Slim Circular Polarizer 62mm

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Product Reference: 66-026595

A picture worth a thousand words:

Effect Of Circular Polarizer

Effect Of Circular Polarizer

Edit 10/05/2014 I finally bought a B+W Polfilter Circular Käsemann XS-Pro Digital MRC.

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Based on this post, I thought I would go for a XS-Pro instead of a Slim. Also because the price was about the same (for for a standard F-Pro, but for the F-Pro Slim!) :).