This will be held at the Wooden Fender Restaurant in Ardleigh and will be detailed by email.
This turned out to be quite a lively evening with 17 gadgets exhibited. Thank you to everyone for bringing them along. There were also a few nibbles to keep our strength up. Unfortunately Michael couldn't make it and Gareth had to leave early as he was anticipating his 40th Birthday and parents wedding anniversary so had to travel that evening. Congratulations to Gareth and his family.
So now to the Gadgets. These were as varied as usual and ranged from culinary to electronic via woodworking.
It was agreed that Gareth should show all of his gadgets so he could leave early. He began with his MyFi SIM card unit which allowed him potentially to get 4G access and be independent when camping. This was a HUAWEI ES577C giving 150Mb/s with a Pay&Go SIM. It was a bit more expensive because it has an aerial. It is unlocked so can run on any network. However Gareth had it on 3 as it came with a 3 SIM card and that has better coverage than O2 or BT. In Hampshire in the New Forest he got 1 bar of 3G with 3Mb/s down and 1MB/s up although not brilliant was better than his US friend in Orlando.
Gareth then showed his Christmas present from Sophie which is a kit to fit a reversing camera to his Camper van. Which will make it easier for Sophie too. It takes power from the reversing light and uses WiFi for connectivity (www.Autovox.com
Gareth 's final gadget was a special mug for filter coffee( Zyliss) from Amazon, very neat for £8.
Paul showed his self powered tyre inflator which also included a torch. This saves having to get at the 12V supply. Shown in two views here. It is available from SUNJOS via QVC video channel and retails for £75 with postage included.
Duncan began by showing his weather station which he had bought from the now sadly defunct Maplin. It is of German manufacture and uses the German DCF77 time signal for time keeping although it can be set up for GMT/BST for use here. It measures both inside an outside temperatures and humidity using a local WiFi connection to the external unit.
Steve did not have a real gadget but instead wanted to tell us about his problems trying to drive earphones from his phone. Many phones now do not include a 3.5mm earphone socket, but expect the user to use a bluetooth device, however this decreases battery life. Steve discovered that digital audio output is still present on the USB-C connector however one needs an active coupler with some computational elements to convert this to analogue audio. He had had to purchase a new coupler when his first one broke but had been fobbed off by purchasing a non-active coupler which did no conversion.
Sue's gadget was probably the most fun and consisted of a mini sphero device. This is a small coloured robot ball which can flash lights and because it contains an accelerometer and a gyroscope can roll out the floor. It is driven by a smart phone app and can be programmed in different ways. It is designed with children in mind as an interesting toy to get them programming. It comes with a set of small road cones and using the app you can guide the sphero around the floor. I hope you can just make out the cones in this photo and also the app running on the phone. The mini sphero comes in 4 colours and is available for £49.99 from John Lewis and others. It comes with its own charger and can move at up to 1m/s.
[I have resisted going to John Lewis over Christmas to get one as they look very addictive! Ed.]
Apart from his new car, Peter was a bit stuck for gadgets this year so resorted once more to culinary items. The first of which is the special vegetable peeler which he seems to remember buying in France. It has three setting for straight peeling of carrots or potatoes by rotating a small wheel can change to producing shredded carrot or a very fine peel. He mainly uses it for straight peeling where it cuts very easily.
Peter's second item was an egg cutter for those who like slicing the top off their boiled egg rather than the beating method Peter usually uses! It consists of a set of teeth which can be pulled together.
Peter's last item was an EasyHome Power adaptor and dual USB charger as a 13A plugin . He finds this very handy as it can be used anywhere and still has a feed through 13A as well. (Aldi or Lidl.) Current output 2.4A on 5V. Available from www.walteronline.com in Germany but seems to be made in China. (surprise surprise!)
Paul next gadget was a string wound food chopper by KUHM RIKON called the Swiss Chop Chop and it can be used for processing vegetables and fruit with the pull of a cord. It contains steel blades for cutting. Especially suitable for Guacamole and tomato salsa. For coarse cuts pull a couple of times and for finer cut pull up to 20 times. Cost £29.95 including free delivery if spending more than £30 (otherwise £4.50.)
Duncan then showed his digital callipers which can be used to measure both internal and external dimensions. Also when the jaws are separated a small probe emerges from the far end of the callipers which will measure depths from the body of the unit. There are three buttons, for on/off, zeroing and conversion for inches/mm. The battery life is better if it is kept separate until required as there is still a small current drain when turned off.
Duncan's next gadget is also a measure, made by TREND and is designed to check the height of router bits and similar items. It can be used as a depth gauge and also a height gauge. The legs ensure that the gauge is at 90 degrees to the worktop at all times. The metal rule slides upwards and measures between the two plastic legs and also emerges from the top.
Paul's next gadget was a torch with a telescopic section and magnets on both ends and is useful for finding things.
Paul's last gadget was also an LED torch with magnets both ends and with a flashing sequence to the lamp sending morse SOS. (. ---.) It can be set for white or red light.
Duncan's next gadget was an interesting one. It was a door lift. A special wedge to assist when hanging a door to get the right height for the hinges and to support the
weight of the door whilst doing so. It also includes a hinge position guide and a spirit level. The base is curved so one puts one's foot on the wedge and can lift the door the right amount.
It is available from www.spectratools.co.uk
[I always find this tricky when fixing a door single-handed. Ed.] The next thee photos show base and side views and also the packaging.
Duncan had the last gadget of the evening in the form of an old fashioned woodworking plane purchased from a market stall in Ely. What intrigued him about it was that it has an adjustment to set a curvature either concave or convex on the base plate so that reliable curves can be fabricated as well planes.
So that ended the gadgets evening. Many thanks for everyone who came and brought gadgets and party food. Another very good selection of gadgets
At the Committee meeting we decided on the following list of future events, but as always, if someone else would like us to introduce some other topics we would be delighted to accommodate them.
|ICENI Future programme 2018/2019|
|January 23rd||Winter Social Evening - The Wooden Fender, Ardleigh||All|
|February 20th||NAS + RAID + storage solutions||All|
|March 20th||New Devices and hardware SSD||All|
|April 17th||Mac Evening||All|
|May 15th||AGM - Computer Surgery||All|
The Social evenings dates and venues are just suggestions at this stage.
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website.
Membership fee currently £15, visitors free.
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)