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The Geo-spatial Information bill : Are they serious

The draft bill is here : http://mha.nic.in/sites/upload_files/mha/files/GeospatialBill_05052016_eve.pdf

 

Some gems

Every person who has already acquired any geospatial imagery or data of any
part of India either through space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircrafts,
airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles or terrestrial vehiclesor any other
manner including value addition prior to coming
of this Act into effect, shall within
one year from the commencement of this Act,make an application alongwith
requisite fees to the Security Vetting Authority for retaining such geospatial
information and grant of licence thereof.

This basically means if you have google saltellite imagery stored on your phone, you need to deposit some fees?

Any person who wants to acquire, disseminate, publish or
distribute any geospatial information of India, may make an application alongwith
requisite fees to the Security Vetting Author
ity for security vetting of such geospatial
information and licence thereof to acquire, disseminate, publish or distribute such
Geospatial Information in any electronic or physical form.
So what happens to stuff like openstreetmap, or using google maps?
The penalty section: Yes 1 crore fine and 7 years imprisonment


violates the terms and conditions mentioned thereof, he shall be punished with a fine
ranging from Rupees ten lac to Rupees one hundred crore and/orsuspension or
revocation of the licence and/orimprisonment for a period upto seven years.

I wonder who comes up with these bills. How disconnected they are from the real world? This is back to “No Photography allowed here”, but this time neither the camera, nor the location is under their control. What next? Claim all space from where India is visible? But then.. I shouldn’t give them ideas!

Ordro Q505W 1296p Dashcam review

Disclaimer: Camera provided by gearbest.com. Buy here : http://goo.gl/QbmJJz

After reviewing excellent 1080P cameras(Mobius and SJCAM M10), I was pretty excited to review a 1296P dashcam. On paper, it sounds very nice. Higher resolution means better chance of catching the number plate, and better overall quality.

Unfortunately, the Ordro Q505W disappoints . Sure, its a 92$ 1296p dashcam, but with the abysmally low bitrate, it does not really feel really good. There are a couple of pluses though. Exposure and colors are pretty accurate, and the WIFI interface is good to use. But in the end, the overall quality is not very good. If you are able to get a much higher discount, well you can take a look at it, but at 92$, there are other options available.

Some screenshots(Click to see full size)

The Daytime footage has pleasing colors and exposure is good even against the sun. But the sharpness is clearly lacking

Daytime footage   Into the sun

 

The Night footage is quite bad. Even on well lit streets, its barely acceptable.

Night 2Night 1

 

And finally, lets take a look at the review video

 

TL;DR : Not recommended

Got a VPN? Make sure you plug the leaks too!

A VPN. Its often touted as the all encompassing answer to your “blocked website” woes. Unfortunately, just getting a VPN and switching it on is not enough. To make sure you are complete protected you need to fix two common holes.

  1. DNS leaks : While data goes through VPN, your DNS queries may still go through regular ISP connection
  2. WebRTC : This leaks your IP address, inspite of connecting through VPN

A site like ipleak.net can easily tell you if you have such a problem. If you do, well here is what to do.

DNS leaks can be fixed by using Google or openDNS as your DNS provider. However, if you do not want to do that for some reason, there is a fix in firefox if you are a socks proxy user. Type about:config in the address bar, and click on “I’ll be careful”. Just change network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to false. You are done.

For WebRTC leaks, just toggle media.peerconnection.enabled to false. Unfortunately, for chrome browser, there is no cure for desktop(Though android has a fix)

With these two fixes, your VPN is plugged. You may need to do this if you are the ssh tunnel type of user.  Always make sure you visit ipleak.net or a similar website to confirm the leaks.

 

SJCAM M10 review


Dashcam yay!
So I got a new dashcam.
Or should I say, I got another dashcam.
Technically speaking its my third.

But with SJ1000 going boom(things break when handled hard you see), I needed a replacement.
Well, there is my mobious, works great, stellar community support, and stellar image quality too… But you see, that I use for a special purpose.
Primarily, timelapses, and other funky stuff.

I still needed something which can be used underwater, and used as a backup cam.
To be frank, I wanted a SJ4000, without WIFI of course, but the bulk was putting me off. The SJ1000 was also pretty heavy, and this I do not like. So, enter the SJ M10.
Same chipset, similar mounts but lighter and smaller. Not as small as the polaroid cube, but then polaroid cube costs quite a bit more.

So how is the image quality?
Well, its quite good. It has to be, its one of the best chipsets in budget cams.
Sure, it tends to underexpose a bit, but you can up the exposure a notch if that’s what you want.

Anyways, here are a couple of sample videos
First we look at how it performs as a Dashcam.
I have taken 4 different scenes
First is against the sun, second is normal, third is to show the slight vibration which might creep in, but its fixable, and last but not the least, the night shot capability.

Second, we will see how it does underwater.
As you can see, the white balance is handled perfectly, so is the exposure. Why would you spend over 250$ on a camera not even as capable?

The casing held up for many days of underwater use. No leaks at all.

Other things to note

  • You get waterproof case and action mounts, no car mount or charging cable
  • A car mount can be had for 2-3$, as for charging, your cell phone micro USB charger will do fine
  • When using the non waterproof mount, insert a small strip of paper between the mount and the camera at the bottom, and all the shake will go away
  • Increase exposure by one notch if you are using it for show off videos rather than documenting your driving. It makes the image brighter and more pleasing

Time for a few pictures

In the box

 

The full collection of mounts and sticky tapes. There are quite a few. For your helmet or handlebars, all you need is there. For your dash, however you got to buy the windshield mount separately. Do note that there is an additional waterproof case cover with the mount.

 

All the mounts

 

And last but not the least, there is the cradle mount, which you will use to mount to a tripod or a car suction cup. Good to know that this is much much better than SJ1000. Side by side comparison.

 

The 60W light bar.. And the light bar buying guide… and stories

So, I got a LED light bar. Yes. 60W of pure Cree 10W each.

Why you may ask. But some why’s do not have an answer. I collect flashlights. Whether its browsing on the streets of pataya, or the street markets in India, I pick up lights. The cheaper the better. From the street I have picked up stuff worth 500rs, and some worth 5rs.

And then there is the big beautiful world of “China”. When you buy a few, you get to know who sells trash, and, whom to trust.

So cree LED light bar was the natural progression. With so many sellers popping up here and there, offering anything from the Sun to the Big Bang itself, I wondered, whats the fuss. Is it a viable hobby for fun and some commerse. We Flashlighters often build stuff, assemble stuff, and sometimes even indulge in group buys. After all, my first “Light Saber came. But that’s another story.

Coming back to the light bar. Some research, and past experience with flashlights meant I had a good head start. I knew the 3W LED is useless for automotive purposes. You can get something with a 100 LEDs, and bask in the warmth of 300W, but all you will do is light up your bonnet, and few things in front.

For long range, you want a single powerful source, with good focus. Think of it this way. You have 55W halogen in your car, and 10W parking lights. Would 6 parking lights outshine your headlamp? No way, right!

So the research began. I know I can only put so many lights on my own vehicle. Rest of the stuff would have to be sold, traded or whatever. But then, there is the itch.

So the first light bar I got was a a high quality 60W light bar. More have followed. A friend down south wanted something big. 200W to be precise, and thankfully, my favorite current manufacturer obliged. I also got a few 12W LED stuff. 5 LED = 60W. You will see a review soon.

And now we come to the light bar Story, or a guide if you may say so.

LED light bars are LED lights arranged in a row. So you have 1 row light bars, most common for 10W LEDs. There is the 5W Epistar bar which is usually a two row bar. there is even a curved bar, though I cannot figure out the use for the same right now.

And then there are the work lights. These are rectangular or circular, and come with 3W LEDs. Very few manufacturers make them with 10W or 12W LED, and if you want these, I would strongly, no.. very very strongly suggest to go for atleast 10W.

Now with that out of the way, lets look at the other thing.

Beam types.

So you have light bars in Spot beam, Flood beam or Combo beam.

Spot beam is where all the individual LEDs are focused into a narrow beam. Good range!

Flood is wide spread beam

Combo is a mix of these two.

So whats the difference between flood and Spot beam. Well here, lemme show you

combo

Do you see the side LEDs? You don’t right? Because there is a frosted glass. And this my friend, is the great Flood beam scam. Its the same LED and lens, but just a diffuser is added. This just cuts the light, and creates the flood illusion. And 90% of sellers use this con.

So how do you make a Flood beam or a spot beam. Well its easy. By moving the lens in front of the Glass, you can create spot beam or Combo beam.

See this pic for example.
True Combo

The edge LEDs have a different beam pattern, wider if you look closer, without using the diffuser. This is true combo beam. My first 60W LED light bar has the diffuser, but length is same.

Then there is the mixed pattern. Here glass is diffused, but lens is also moved. This is used to get a 90+ degree flood beam. You have to put a diffuser here. Haven’t tested any of those yet, but this true combo is indeed a monster.

 

So this is what sums of LED automotive lighting for you.

Feel free to ask questions. I do not have any light bars with me now. I just have a couple of true 30 degree Work lamps with 12W LED. And review will come soon!

 

Andromeda Goes viral!

andromeda

Over 15000 views in Just two days! I never expected it. To be frank, I did not even know what I was shooting. This was the ultimate accidental shot.

I was pointing my fisheye in the sky, and taking 50s exposures(longest you can go without trailing). And then I decided, how about a 10s shot with my 50mm 1.8?

So I took a few shots, towards a north-ish direction, and guess what, one of the frames had this galaxy. Posting it online, I discovered, I had shot the andromeda galaxy!.

 

And this piqued my interest in “knowledgeable” Astro-Photography.

So no longer I was going to just point and shoot. It made me a “point” shooter. Find an interesting object in the night sky, and then shoot.

Hopefully, sometime in the future, I will acquire a tracking mount (my job at the Spoken English institute will start paying next month), and will be able to do much longer exposures. Night skies… here we come!

Go at https://sleeklens.com/review-of-best-10-canon-lenses/ to get more information.