DIY remote live view on the cheap ! ! !

Review: DIY Remote Live View

Table of Contents
Intro Who is this for How I use this Whats to like
Whats to hate My Verdict Where to buy Alternatives

Introduction to DIY a remote live view for your DSLR

TP-Link_TL-MR3040

If you’re looking for a budget method of getting remote live view for your dslr, then check this out. You will need

1) DSLR compatible with #3
2) An Android device compatible with #3
3) DSLR Controller (in Google Play Store)
4) TP-Link TL-MR3040 (or another #2)

This setup will get you wireless remote live view for your DSLR. Whether it’s for remote shooting, selfies or taking vids. This will help a lot.

Who is this for

TP-Link_TL-MR3040

If you’re on a tight budget, The cheapest way, is to have 2 Android devices capable of running DSLR Controller and linking them together instead of using the TP-Link TL-MR3040. But from my experience it’s a bit laggy and can get frustrating. However, I was using older phones that have since went the way of the dinosaurs. You will have to be comfortable with a replacing the firmware of the TP-Link TL-MR3040 essentially making it a dedicated DSLR Controller router for you DSLRs

Where to buy (also alternate versions)
How I use this

TP-Link_TL-MR3040

I’ve used my phones (Samsung Note 5, Sony Neo V, Note 2) with DSLR controller with a Canon 7D, 7D II and a 5d II. Using 2 phones is a bit laggy but doable but since my Note 2 and Neo V busted, I bought the TP-Link TL-MR3040. The TP-Link TL-MR3040 is a battery powered portable router which you will need to change the firmware available from DSLR Controller. Firmware and easy to follow instructions HERE.

So basically, I can set up my camera on a tripod, compose for the scene then walk away and remote trigger when I see something interesting walk into view. I can tap the subject in my scene to focus on that. But mainly I use it for taking action selfies and discreet street shots while having coffee.

Whats to like

TP-Link_TL-MR3040

All the “extras” you can do remotely via DSLR Controller, more stealthy street shooting, this method is cheaper than anything I’ve found at the time of this writing. Unless you’ve got two recent android phones you can use.




Whats to hate

The TP-Link TL-MR3040 is discontinued and getting harder and harder to find at regular/original price. There are a few “scalpers” out there selling them at double the price.

If you want to change your firmware back to factory, it may be as simply as finding the original firmware and following the same directions as before but there’s no guarantees.

My Verdict

Absolutely LOVE THIS!!!

 

Alternatives


Et tu, Starhub?!?!

Ok, so because Singtel refused to honour their advertised special (free modem/router) I switched everything to Starhub. Maybe I should have changed to M1

It seems Starhub likes to play the “old switcheroo”. As seen in the photo, the advertised package has fibre tv.

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So the technician comes over today (Sept. 6, 2015) and tries to install the exact same cable tv box as the one I’m already using. So I asked why. The response was that my plan is cable tv, I have to specifically declare that I want fibre tv and that sales didn’t explain it to me.

Wait, what?! Seriously? Explain what? The “plan” is on a friggin’ flyer for cryin’ out loud. What’s to explain?!

So I call customer service and they basically said the same thing except in a condescending, “I know I’m right, so just take it” kinda attitude. So I got more mad and was rude and abrupt and got put on hold for what seemed like 30 minutes but probably only about 15. So he asked for my particulars and said a person from Sales will call me within 48 hours to solve the problem. Somehow it didn’t sit right with me so I went to the customer service centre where I signed up for the plan.

I was told the same thing, the plan’s sales rep didn’t tell you, explain to you blah blah. So I asked why call it a fibre plan and put fibre tv on the flyer? They’ve never once answered that. Instead kept shifting “blame” to Sales.Then they said they can’t do anything until my “order” is completed and it usually takes a week to close. Then they can reschedule another technician to install the fibre tv box. I’m getting pissed and I guess it showed so he muttered something to the effect that he will schedule it, then recanted and went to find the original sales guy.  He came back and said the guy was unavailable and would call me back regarding rescheduling. What kinda lame crap is this?!

The original “sales person” contact me at around 8:00 pm to tell me that it was a miscommunication between us, that he apologizes and that he was talking about cable tv when we were discussing plans. Still trying to put the blame on me for not falling for their “bait and switch”. He promises to call me back tomorrow with a reschedule date. We’ll see….

As I’m reflecting on the day, I’m wondering why 2 employee’s of Starhub would discourage me from getting fibre tv by saying “in the event something happens to the fibre, then I lose both tv and internet.” Why would they say that? Why would Starhub advertise, in print, fibre tv in a bundle package and (up to this point) renege on the deal?

Something doesn’t seem right….we’ll see…

So I got a call from the sales rep (the same guy that signed me up with the plan) today (24 hours later). I was hoping for a resolution but no. Here’s what went down aside from being informed that they call fibre tv “IP TV”.

He informed me that I should keep the cable because the serial number of the set top box I refused to let them install is already entered into the system and he and his technician recommends it on the basis of:

  1. Fibre tv and cable tv has the same quality
  2. The tv must be within 5m of the fibre point or else I will be charged extra because they will need to install a new fibre point.
  3. Cable is more convenient because if I wanted to watch tv in another room I can just move the set top box. Not so with fibre tv.
  4. Fibre tv is connected with the fibre internet, so if 1 goes down, so does the other.
  5. Switching plans to fibre tv will disconnect my internet.
  6. There is a limitation difference on the number of set top boxes / connection points for fibre tv vs cable tv which makes cable tv better. There was a whole explanation on this but it didn’t make sense to me).

This just doesn’t make sense. If i wanted to watch tv in any other room I would still need a connection point (jack), right? Speaking so frequently of “if one goes down, then I lose the other too” is making me doubt the reliability of their service, are they really that bad? When I questioned the reluctance to fix the problem, he just told me the feedback of fibre tv customers indicate that cable is better. When asked how long my internet will be interuppted, no answer, twice. When asked when the technician will fix the problem, he didn’t know and spoke of a plan change. The call ended with no resolution whatsoever.

I’m still waiting for a call with the appointment date for the technician to install my fibre tv. As I’m still within the 48 hours resolution time frame I got yesterday, I won’t raise a ruckus yet.

UPDATE:

OK. so 48 hours have come and gone, I emailed their customer service (Sept. 9, 2015) regarding my situation and requested an email with details regarding if they are billing me for tv and when the technician will come.

UPDATE:

I got a call from the sales rep (Sept. 12, 2015) with the exact same bullshit as before…system this system that. Still no info whatsoever. I did get a somewhat tentative, “…give you a call Monday with scheduling details.”

UPDATE:

It is now Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 15, 2015) still nothing. Let’s see what kinda trees I can rustle…

UPDATE:

Finally, they sent out a guy to “install” fibre tv (Sept. 21, 2015). Basically, just plugging in the set top box to the tv, power outlet and modem/router. Not as sophisticated as what they make it out to be. So prior to this install, I received the bill in which they charged a full months use. When I called to inquire, they said that their billing cycle is such that they first bill is a “deposit” which will be refunded when the plan is finished. For some reason that seems kinda sketchy to me. But what else can i do, eh?!



Just got a Polar Loop activity tracker

I just spent the last hour or so fitting, installing, charging and updating the software (desktop and android) as well as the new firmware. The whole process seems buggy having stalled twice. Syncing to my Samsung Note 2 Android smartphone was a pain too. Although all good once I figured out that you have to wear the Loop in order to get the Bluetooth to pair.

Color is Black Currant but it also comes in Black and Mystic Blue. The Polar Loop’s strap is custom fitted meaning you have to take the clasp off and cut it yourself. The tool to undo the clasp is included, as well as a measuring piece of paper to help you with sizing your wrist. Sounds difficult and a hassle but not too bad. Personally I like custom fitted for me stuff.

The “button” is not actually a button in the sense that there is something to depress. Its more like a button on a touch screen. A simple touch would trigger the screen to come on. See the carved oval with the line in the middle in the picture below?  That’s the “button”.

image    

I will be back with more details…

Jan. 01, 2015

Ok, so I’ve worn this activity tracker for a few days now and I can add the following info:
1) Although I haven’t swam with it on yet, I have showered and washed dishes (fully submerging the Polar Loop in warm soapy water). It’s still working.
2) Although setting up the Polar Loop to sync with my Android Phone (Samsung Note II) was a bit finnicky, as in, it didn’t go smoothly at all the actual syncing was smooth. Fire up the app, it’ll tell you to tap the button on the loop and voila it syncs. Pretty quickly too.
3) Setting up the Polar Loop to my laptop didn’t go smoothly as well (Asus Transformer, win 8.2 touch screen) but after a few tries it completed.4) The button works. I haven’t experienced it not working. The water from the shower hitting the button will activate it. It’s more of a touch button rather than an actual “raised” button.
5) When cutting the band, I would suggest not cutting exactly the numbers indicated on the “measuring tape” corresponding to your wrist size. It may not be accurate. AND or you didn’t measure the exact place on your wrist where the Polar Loop fits most comfortable for you. I cut mine 1 ‘dot’ at a time and over the course of 3 days ended up cutting more than the tape measure indicated but I love the way it fits now.

My thoughts so far:
The software is very simple. Both on the android app and on my laptop. Honestly tho, I haven’t really looked into it yet. Haven’t had the time to or feel the need to. However, I did see the “social” part of the software and I set my profile to private and hope it really is private. I don’t need to know/see anyone else’s progress/stats or whatever and I don’t want to show the world mine either.Then there’s the inactivity notification, I saw it in the Polar Flow (Android App). The literature for the app indicate that there are no “real time” notifications within Polar Flow . The notifications are by LED on the Polar Loop and audible tone from your phone. For me, I’m getting “real time” pop up notification on my phones screen but no sound and no LED flashes from my Polar Loop.
NOTE: It seems there was an update that now crashes the app when you try to get into Settings/Notifications….

Jan. 8, 2015

Charged the Polar Loop for the 2nd time a couple days ago (not too bad, every 5 or so days I think it is). Ok, after the charge / sync with my laptop, I get the inactivity LED notification. Specifically, it is a message that scrolls across the display on the Loop. It says “time to move” (something like that). Still no audible sound from my phone AND it seems my data only syncs every other day now….Not that it really matters much right now as I’m only doing cycling and light weights and yoga. Not high on arm movements thus hard for the Loop to track. I think when I recover and do a more strenuous work out, it’ll all work out maybe I’ll get the compatible heart rate monitor as well..

Get it as a set:

Jan. 21, 2015

Here we are after an update or two on the Android App, syncing the Polar Loop to Samsung Note II is hassle free. All the days sync, it connects on the first try and is done in minutes. Charging is pretty quick too. The Polar loop will display “low battery” on the display and when plugged in to charge, the battery’s capacity will be shown on the Loop’s display as a %. Without having actually timed it, from “low battery” to 100% charged, I’d say it takes around an hour. So far, the only noticeable wear and tear are the couple of scratches I got on the clasp. No fading or discoloration on the band and the silver colored trim has not faded or tarnished.  All in all, I really like this band and would recommended it to people like me, who needs a visual cue and stats (for activity tracking) to break the monotony of prolonged desk work. To me it’s like playing character based mobile games but instead of “leveling up” my character, I’m actually making myself healthier!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a note in the comments. Thanks.



Singnet…What the…?!?!?!

So I get a call from a rep from Singnet (my internet service provider) and they said my contract is done in 3 months, would I like to renew. I said no. They asked why so I told him to review the calls previously in which I called to complain why I didn’t receive the free modem/router as advertised when I renewed last year. So he said, would you renew if I gave you the modem/router now? I laughed and asked him why I should take his word for it when it was in print that I get the modem/router free but didn’t. Then a couple days later, my mobile internet usage warning sounds…in the 2 plus years of having modem internet I’ve NEVER had the warning go off and I have it set 1 gb below the max.

Since the day I got off the plane 8 years ago til now, the decline in service and social responsibility is staggering ! Here’s some more examples (summarized):

1) I called customer service asking if Fineartamerica.com was being blocked. Fineartamerica is a print on demand site where artists upload their works of art for sale. They asked me to check a whole buncha settings in my computer, I told them I already did and that only their service cannot access the site. They then told me they needed access to my computer to figure out the problem, I said no. He said ok, I need you to follow these steps and then proceeded to get me to open a remote assistance session. Unbelievable! So I told him that’s not gonna happen and that I wouldn’t need any more “help” from him. I contacted fineartamerica.com and they said they think they are censored by Singent because some of the artwork has nudity….oh well. Go have a look at the site if you can and decide if censorship is warranted or not.

2) Up until last year, I had refused to connect mobile internet to my phone and was perfectly happy until I got my daughter a phone and connected it to my plan. Low and behold she managed to rack up almost $4000 in mobile internet usage. I went and asked why there was internet charges when my plan doesn’t come with internet. They said my phone was internet capable so I can access the internet. I told them if I wanted internet on my phone, I would have chosen one with discounted (free) usage. They said too bad. The only thing they can do is let me choose a data plan and apply the minutes so I would only be charge the max for going over my data usage limit. That price came up to almost $300.

3) I had set up a home network for someone years ago (prior to coming to singapore, I was an IT/Systems administrator). Then recently the router/modem broke and Singtel went to replace it. I got a call from the technician asking my what the password is. I asked him password for what and he said for the internet. I kinda laughed and asked him to clarify and he said I changed the default password cuz he tried the default password and it didn’t work and if I didn’t give him the password he’ll have to call his office for them to reset the account. So I asked him again what password is he asking for he said the account password. So I quite rudely told him it was impossible for him to know that the account password had been changed and that there was no way there would be a default password for customer accounts. Right? He kept quiet, so I asked him again, what it was that he was trying to do, he said configure the internet. I chuckled and asked if he plugged the box in and he was trying to access the box so that it would connect to singnet’s servers, he said yes, so I told him the login and password he needs is for the modem/router not the customer’s account. He kept quiet again and I told him that if the default credentials don’t work then the unit is a used one and he needs to either hard reset it or get a new one. So he asked me if I knew what the password to the account was and I said yes but I’m not telling you. He hung up. I got a call 15 min. later saying after hanging up, the guy got it working and just left.

4) Also highlight videos from NHL.com (professional ice hockey) don’t work either but they work on mobile. Can you guess why?

So I’m done with them. Your choice is up to you.



My newest read…

A book entitled The Citizen Journalist. I like how this book is organized, it’s sections are short, sweet and to the point. Some of the issues brought up were kinda new and interesting (to me). Lots of info included on where to get more info.

If you’re into Street photography/videography you’ll want to give this a read as well. As some of the “rules and regulations” can be applied here as well.

The book is an easy/leisurely read, you won’t feel like you’re studying for an exam or anything like that. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon: