Archive for December, 2010

A very Ipad Christmas.

December 29, 2010

I received an Ipad for Christmas and now I know what all the fuss is about.

I don’t intend to write much about it here as its all been written before but if you like discovery and you’re able to put some money aside in your piggy bank then an Ipad would certainly be worth saving for.

Having used an Iphone for over a year I’m familiar with the concept of the touch screen however it took me a while to get used to the screen of the Ipad, a bigger area to cover than that of the Iphone.

I plan to get several accessaries for the Ipad including a case but not sure about the camera connecting kit right now, I’m doing research but it would appear that Apple have restricted connectivity in the latest IOS update so various accessaries I had planned to connect to the ipad using this kit may not work now as they did, I know of a case in point where USB keyboards no longer work. I spoke to someone who uses USB headphones with the kit still but he cannot yet verify whether the Microphone of the headphones still works, he’ll do that when he finishes his vacation .

I have the wi-fi-version of the Ipad with 64GB of memory so that ought to keep me going for a while, there was little point in me getting the 3G version as I plan to get a mobile wi-fi device, more on that as it comes to hand .

Audio from the Ipad is excellent, yep even better than that from my Iphone 3GS but that’s to be expected.

Finally, Pages is your perfect word processing app for the Ipad, will Apple develop a version of this stunning tool for the Iphone? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


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CCRane EP Radio

December 24, 2010

Firstly a Merry Christmas to you all!

 

Yes, the CCrane EP Radio was a present from Me to Me and what a wonderful gift this radio would make for anyone interested in listening to AM and FM bands.

 

We’re talking here about a radio that has more positive things going for it than any other radio I’ve ever used, everything from a slim line design to a slim line budget price and that’s only the beginning.

 

First the radio feels like a quality product but that comes as no surprise given that the people who sell the radio are known for their quality to detail when it comes to the products they sell.

 

Unlike previous CCrane radios this one is an analogue rather than a digitally controlled radio and I have nothing against analogue radios whatever, it can of course be argued that radio sets of this type perform better than their digital counterparts as there is no special shielding required to stop interference from the micro processors these sets use, analogue sets are easier to use and so on.

 

The tuning has a wonderful “analogue type” tuning feel when the tuning knob is turned.

 

Tuning is gradual meaning that you can move the dial in small incriments with a decent turn of the knob.  Tuning frequency’s start from 510KHZ-1710KHZ for AM and 87.5-108KHZ for FM but I’m sure the range goes beyond these specs slightly, no complaint there.

 

The radio boasts an antenna tuner, highly useful when you’ve located that distant station, you can optimise the antenna of the radio to null out interference from adjacent stations, optimise the antenna for a better signal etc.

 

The narrow/wide band filter reminds us of just how good an AM station can sound particularly a music station, when set to wide quality is brilliant! you may wish to set the filter to “Narrow” when listening to speech or trying to receive distant stations, previous models of CCrane radio did not have this feature so addition of the filter is a very welcome improvement.

 

The radio has several inputs and outputs, gone is the mains input for power, replaced with a DC 6V input jack which makes far more sense, the radio can be connected to a wider variety of devices including cigarette lighter adapters, solar cell kits, external battery packs etc.  You can connect your Ipod or similar device to the Aux in, quality from a single speaker unit as this radio is, very good.

 

The headphone output is a stereo 3.5MM jack and will output FM stereo broadcasts in stereo if stereo headphones are connected.

 

At the rear of the radio you’ll find various external antenna connections, spring clip type for AM and a f Connector for fm, use the antenna switch to switch between built-in and external aerials, another nice touch.

 

Battery life is excellent! over 300 hours on a set of 4 d alkaline batteries.

 

I ordered my set from CCrane directly in the States at http://www.ccrane.com, I can only hope that a retailer in Australia starts selling these sets as I believe their would be a huge demand once the word gets out and given that Australia is a vast country where distance in radio listening is an issue.

 

Dick Smith Electronics in australia sold a version of the CCrane 1 Radio, it was called the “Outback” radio in australia and boasted a “long-wave” band along with FM and AM bands.  Performance was good for a digital set however the micro processor would interfere with the reception.

 

This radio worked well for receiving broadcasts in speech but wasn’t too good when it came for music, the CCrane EP is a far better set for listening to music on the AM band, in fact a far better set all round.

 

Price: around $70.00 U.S.

 

 

The Pure One Mini DAB+ Radio

December 9, 2010

A friend of mine has been recommending this DAB+ radio for quite some time so it was with great pleasure! that I purchased and took delivery of one yesterday afternoon.

I had a bit of trouble finding the radio online at a good price, I couldn’t find it listed at the Dick Smith Online store but perhaps I may have missed it.

The ABC Shop sells them however the price is rather high and they don’t seem to stock accessories for the radio, more of that shortly.

Eventually – again thanks to the help of others who did a little research on my part – I was able to track a Pure One Mini radio down at a Dick Smith store not that far from me so if you’re after one look up your nearest Dick Smith store and make sure they have one in stock.

The Pure One Mini it seems comes in multiple colours, Black did me fine though I know I could have bought white.

I purchased the rechargeable battery pack accessary with the radio, the ABC Shop didn’t offer the pack for purchase and if they had? Well I’ll be honest in saying I may have paid the extra $20.00 to have the unit delivered to my door.

So what does the radio look like? A square box of about 4 inches with a speaker covering most of the front of the unit, above the speaker on the right is an extremely small display which can be scrolled.

On the top of the radio are 5 buttons which include a power button, its identified from the other buttons by an indent.

At this time I haven’t worked out all the radios functions so I can only tell you what 2 of the round buttons do, the one ot the right of the power button is a “Band Select” button which toggles the radio between FM and DAB+, the button at the right end is the “Tuning”” button.

On the right-hand side is a panel of 3 sockets and a multi function jog dial. The 3 sockets consist of a stereo headphone output, a stereo line input and a USB socket, I’m assuming this facility is there for updates to the radio in the future.

The jog dial is one of those which clicks as you turn and it can be “pushed” in to select, by default the jog dial controls the volume but if pressed in it scrolls through memories though I have’t been able to access this function yet so I’ll write a follow-up post in the near future.

To tune the radio you press the “tuning” button on the top, turn the jog dial to get to the desired station and press it in, radio is immediately tuned to that station and audio of the new station starts playing. Its a bit of a problem if you don’t have sight as you can’t see the names of the stations on the screen but after a bit of practise you’ll remember where the stations are and thus be able to scroll to them easily, by default the Pure One Mini stores stations in alphabetical order, you can also count the clicks when scrolling which I find useful.

Not sure how many preset memories the set has at this time so that will be a job for sighted assistance to tell me about .

Battery life on the rechargeable battery is about 20 hours, that’s quite impressive for a set as small as this. Volume is extremely good as is sound through the mono in-built speaker.

This model is available in the U.K. as a DAB radio rather than DAB+. I paid $80.00 for the radio which I consider to be very good value for money.


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