Our social evening which this year will be held at the Last Anchor Restaurant in Ipswich Marina. Separate email invitations have gone out before this newsletter.
This was a well attended event with plenty of interesting gadgets to whet the appetite. Plus some mince pies and Stolen cake. We decided at the beginning to take it in turns to present our gadgets as each of us had several.
Our first gadget was a whisk for food stirring presented by Duncan and he demonstrated it by mixing some Angel Delight and milk which gelled during the evening and we sampled at the end of the meeting. Butterscotch flavour very Yummy! Duncan thereby was able to continue our tradition of a culinary gadget set in previous years by Peter!
Next up was Paul with a handy clip-on LED torch which can be either stood on end or clipped onto the edge of a table or other fixture.
This was followed by Peter whose first gadget was an angled screw driver with various bits. The toolholder is fixed but because the bits are hexagon shafted they can be reset to a variety of angles. Not bad for a pound shop purchase.
After Peter, Michael showed us an HDMI box from NowTV. The initial £10
purchase includes a 3 months subscription to SKY TV channels. The subscription can be renewed for £6.99 / month thereafter. These can be purchased at Tescos and PCWorld etc.
Now Gareth was very pleased to be able to show off his Smart Watch, similar to the Pebble watch ( which is Android based) . This shows a standard watch face and also can receive notifications from his iPhone which links to it via Bluetooth. They use a magnetically coupled charger allowing 2- 4 days use per charge and is available in 6 different colours - for the fashionistas! Various Apps can be purchased so that it can be used as an activity tracker. (Ed. Gareth did not present any data to support this function we noticed!)
Next Duncan showed us a special fibre borescope camera with a 1 metre fibre cable which takes both still and video shots. It is self illuminating and has many applications like underfloor viewing for wiring installations or looking down pipes. Ed. (I didn't actually get a photo of this but found a similar item online, shown here).
Paul then presented his very useful illuminated magnifying headset with a set of lenses of different magnifications. These have lots of applications especially doing close work when you don't have a spare hand , e.g. soldering or embroidery.
Peter's second gadget was a set of fine screwdrivers which included some minute bits for i-phone or Mac screws plus some fine tweezers, flat nosed pliers and a flexible drive shaft for awkward corners.
Michael's next gadget was an interesting USB over ethernet adapter which enables connecting any USB device like a mouse or keyboard to a remote computer as if it were connected directly. It can work up to 150 feet on CAT 5, CAT5E or CAT6 cabling and is around £10.
Gareth's second gadget was a trail camera for capturing wildlife. These are battery powered which can be triggered to take shots of animals in woodland or in the back garden using in Infra Red light so that the animal does not realise the camera is there. It can also trigger video clips. It could also be used as means of identifying a burglar perhaps. Two photos here of the front and back of the camera.
Peter's next gadget was a recent Aldi purchase of a revolver screwdriver with two sets of bits. The idea is that you draw back the handle which is magnetically attached to the current bit and then rotate the magazine to present a different bit which then is selected by pushing the handle back up. There were one or two disadvantages to the process pointed out by Peter. One is that you have to memorise the sequence of bits in the magazine because otherwise you never know what is coming. The second more tricky problem is that the screwdriver also has a ratchet mechanism and this works on less than 60 degrees of rotation so it is possible to get into a position where the handle is blocked and the bit cannot be raised. You can also find you have pushed out one bit with another, like already having a bullet in the barrel! This all caused some amusement. Anyway it is easy to remove the magazine and replace the bits by hand. There is a second magazine housed in the handle. It is actually quite handy to grab it and know you have a good selection of bits and a ratchet screwdriver in one tool.
Peter's last gadget was an Infra Red optical pyrometer, also Aldi, with a range from -50 to + 380 deg C. The temperature can be displayed as deg F if needed. It works on 8 - 15 micron wavelength. It incorporates a laser to aid in alignment and has a viewing angle of just under 5 degrees. With the large temperature range it can be used to check on freezer and oven temperatures. It works best on matt surfaces.
Michael finished off the evening with an HDMI over Ethernet adapter (Transmitter end shown again as a component of his home cinema set up. It will cater for 4k images upto 1080P over CAT6. We hope to see all this working when we visit Michael later in the year.
Michael also showed his favourite wall paper scraper which he has become attached to over the last few months! (Not photographed!)
Altogether one of the most interesting and varied gadget filled evenings we have had. Many thanks to everyone for all their preparation.
The Stolen cakes and pies were good too.
There were a few other topics considered for example software used by Radio Amateurs, Model Railways and Machine language translation. All of these need a bit more research before being included.
|ICENI Future programme 2015/2016|
|January 20th||Winter Social Evening - Venue TBA||All|
|February 17th||Free Software||All|
|March 16th||Accounting Software||Peter et al|
|April 20th||AGM +MS Office 2016 and
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 £10, visitors free.
We are continuing our publicity for EAUG events , however their website has not been updated for a year now. So if you wish to know information please phone one of their contacts.
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
For directions see below (note the new web addresses)
http://www.eaug.org.uk or 'phone one of the contacts on
Drinks usually available.
See the Membership page of the website for more information:
"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.)