For ages I've been meaning to modify a cheap digital camera into a time lapse camera - I'd even bought the camera, and a timer board, but just because I can build something doesn't mean I ever actually get around it - and now I don't have to, because someone's made one, at a reasonable price, too (I've seen digital cameras with a time lapse function hidden away, admittedly, but this is purpose-made for the job).
For £40, Maplin are selling a 2"x3" box that records a 1.3Mb picture repeatedly after a set interval. It records to SD card; the settings can not be changed on the until but are recorded on a data file on the card by the [PC only] set up software; however the results are recorded to an AVI file and can be viewed on any computer with a card reader. This really is quite exciting; it's designed for car use (and comes with a 12v power supply in a cigarette lighter plug), supplied with a couple of different holders, one of which has a standard 1/4" whitworth tripod thread on it - I have a g-clamp that has this thread on it, so a good start (although I'd like to build it into a non-descript and weatherproof box that can be solidly fixed to the boat, really.
This of course will allow the user to make time-lapse canal videos very easily - I wish I'd found this in July & August. I know these already exist on youtube by other people, but this would be my journey, memories, lock delays and mooring stops.
Images captured are 1280x1024 (a strange 5:4 aspect ratio), it's a basic CMOS sensor so not great quality, but that doesn't matter much, I don't think. It works. The still above is from playing with it on Alnwick this morning, as I hitched a lift from Thrupp to Heyford after a quite marvellous boaters banter (thanks Bones for the event & the sofa, Graham & Jane for the ride on Alnwick, and everyone else for company & putting up with my drunken rantings). I need to do a bit of research on programs to edit & resize/crop the output videos, but I think this gadget's going to be fun.
(Maplin are also doing a 12v (takes 3A, not too bad if just on for half an hour to warm the bed) electric blanket for a tenner - certainly tempting this time of year.)
Also discussed was my dubious pedal powered sound system, (the website includes info on how to build a 50w 12v battery charger that will run from a bike) and 12v guitar amps from Germany (albeit made in China, inevitably):
£23 for 'CG-5 street' basic mains & AA battery model
£23 for 'CG-15' a louder one with the same EQ board but no battery option
£47 for 'CG10x street' a swisher one with chorus & delay,
CG-10x - cheaper (£30) version with the same effects but no battery option)
I bought the last option, and modified it myself (putting the preamp in a bigger box with bigger amp & speaker). The battery option is just a battery compartment for 10 AA batteries - although converting this for a 12v input connector would be quicker and easier than with the mains only version, it didn't seem worth the extra money. ;-)
(for £80 they do a 30w 2-channel amp with built in 12v battery - a copy of the Crate busking amp at a third of the price.)
Ooh, and a few people admired my Moo cards, link included for completeness.
Making a dash for it. - 8am and the Herbies are still lying in bed wondering if we'd get through Nells Bridge today. Suddenly we hear the sound of an approaching boat from the di...
34 minutes ago