Do parabolic signal boosters work?



This is my first test with the Skyreat parabolic signal boosters. Did it help boost my signal any?

I plan on doing 3 or 4 more test with these signal boosters before giving a final verdict on them. Stay tuned. I am not knocking them or disclaiming they don't work, I am just showing my results. Maybe I did something wrong? I understand the trees work as obstacles, that is the purpose of me trying to find something to boost the signal! If you have any opinions of what I could do or try for better results please leave a comment below.

You can purchase these on Amazon for only $19.99: http://amzn.to/294h41p

Check my initial opinion or "un-boxing" of them here; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/06/skyreatparabolicantennaboosters.html

SKYREAT Copper Parabolic Antenna Range Booster for Phantom 4



I purchased these parabolic range boosters for my Phantom 4 with the hopes of increasing the connectivity of the Phantom 4 to the remote controller. I live on a mountain in a highly wooded area, so a lot of times when I am flying my Phantom 4 will lose connection to the remote controller for a few seconds. It doesn’t happen every single time, but it happens enough to where I wanted to try something with the hope of addressing this issue. I enjoy live streaming Vermont sunsets to Periscope several times a week, I am also hoping this might improve the signal quality for that as well.



A few tidbits about these — they easily fit on the antennas, you just slide them over the top and they stay pretty snug on them. They do seem to weigh the antennas down a tad, I noticed one of my antenna flopping left and right a tad; but I might just need to tighten them a bit to avoid this. These are ideal when using a smart-phone, when I put my iPad on the controller it seemed to rub against the antenna boosters due to the iPad being more heavy and causing the mount to sit lower to the controller a bit. Yes, I can adjust the mount too, but I like having my iPad sitting at more of an angle when flying. I am not saying they don’t fit with the iPad, I am just saying you will need to make adjustments, possibly.

I know there are ways to mod the remote to greatly improve the signal strength, or you can pay to have someone do that for you. Both those options are much more expensive, although I am sure the results are vastly superior. I decided to try this cheaper route to see if it improves my connectivity any at all. Most of the videos I have watched on YouTube claim these will get you about twice the range, while I am not going for distance, I am just hoping to see a slight improvement.

I also wanted to mention, the Phantom 4 is amazing and when I am in a clear, opened area, I have zero issues with connectivity. I only experience issues when I am flying at home on this glorious mountain I live on! I do plan on doing a second video to report any improvement in using these range boosters, if any at all!

You can purchase these on Amazon for only $19.99: http://amzn.to/294h41p.



FM-15 Fleximic and Quick Release 360 Mic Mount for the DJI Osmo



Both are must have items if you are thinking about buying an Osmo. The Fleximic is $10, the 360 mic mount is $9.

I have not yet compared the Fleximic vs other microphones I have for the Osmo, I am still waiting for one more to arrive tomorrow, but I will have that up by this weekend. I will say, if you buy an Osmo, an external microphone is a must if you want to record sound, if you own one you already know the built-in microphone is a turd!

Purchase the Fleximic from DJI.com; FM-15 Flexmic $10
or
On Amazon;
http://amzn.to/29d6irn

Purchase the mic mount from DJI.com; Quick Release 360 Mount $9
or
On Amazon;
http://amzn.to/295RWtQ

The top 5 Google questions about Drones and the FAA ruling



 Drone360mag.com pulled in a list of the top Google questions about the new FAA ruling regarding drone usage and the Part 107. I personally think it is bullshit to have to pay $5 to register a hobbyist drones, but I understand why they are doing so. There are many people who use their Phantom or Parrot drones recklessly, having some sort of regulation to help those understand the dangers that could occur is a good thing I suppose?

I think for this to really reach the masses, the FAA will need to require retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Apple store, etc. require literature be given out with every purchase, then have the manufacturers also include info; both, notices written on the box, as well as informational pamphlets with the laws and regulations on the inside of the box. Most weekend hobbyist are not going to know about these legal requirements, not unless they keep up with the drone hobby itself. How many parents bought their kids drones without a thought in the world of needing a FAA certificate/number to fly it?
"Who can fly 

  • Anyone 16 years old and up 
  • Those who speak, write, and understand the English language 
  • Those in physical and mental condition that does not interfere with safe flight practices 
  • Those who have been vetted by the Transportation Security Administration"

Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Final Cut Pro X (video)



The Editors Keys backlit keyboard retails for only $129.99, if you want a great keyboard that also has terrific visual reminders for shortcuts in your most used applications, the Editors Keys keyboard is for you.

The keyboard is not only fantastic with helping editors remember which shortcuts perform which shortcut, but the fact it is also backlit makes buying the Editors Keys backlit keyboard a no-brainer.

Full written review; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/06/editors-keys-keyboard.html

Buy from EditorsKeys.com; https://www.editorskeys.com/products/video-editing-keyboards/final-cut-pro-x-backlit-keyboard/

Buy on Amazon (Free Shipping); http://amzn.to/29exK76

Sample 360º

Currently uploading all this footage to YouTube, etc. for download. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


You need to use the Chrome browser to view 360º, if you don't have Chrome, you can download it for free here; https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/

How to edit 360º VR video in Final Cut Pro X

I just recently purchased a Theta S (the same camera they are using in part 1), and these videos have been tremendously helpful. 360º video is the future so it is a must to learn everything I can about how to edit this format now so I am not behind when it takes off and goes mainstream, or all videos are in 360º.

I also included some 360º footage below, I uploaded the file to my Google Drive account, feel free to download it and open it up in Final Cut Pro X to play around with it.







The MacBreak Studio in 360º


Download sample footage;
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3UHgmW2d2nSaUtaVE5hdmJDRlk/view?usp=sharing

Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X

Keyboard shortcuts are a tremendous timesaver when working within particular applications, since I work in Final Cut Pro X daily, keyboard shortcuts are a major part of my editing workflow. I also use quite a few other applications that also use keyboard shortcuts, sometimes remembering all those keyboard shortcuts is difficult because there are so many shortcut keys to remember. Having a visual reminder of which key performs whichever action is super helpful — insert the Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X. In this review I am going to tell you about some of the design features of this keyboard and the user-experience of the keyboard itself.


Design

The Editor Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X is a black, chiclet style keyboard. This particular keyboard includes the numeric keypad on the right side for a total of 109 keys, this keyboard also include F1 - F19 keys across the top of the keyboard. The keyboard is about the same exact height as my Apple wireless keyboard that came with my iMac, but this keyboard is more flat, which is ergonomically better than the raised rear / lowered front of the Apple wireless keyboard. It feels much more comfortable to type on, in my opinion. The actual keys themselves have more of a click-y sound to them, not too click-y but just a tad more than the Apple wireless keyboard. The backlights of the keyboard have four settings; low, medium, high, and off. One of my favorite aspects of the Editors Keys backlit keyboard is that it has four regular sized arrow keys, versus the half-keys on the Apple wireless keyboard. This is a wired keyboard, so it does use one of the precious USB slots on my iMac, but it is not a deal breaker, I usually have one empty slot open at all times anyhow.

The lights are bright enough to clearly see which keys are for whichever shortcuts. Each key is clearly labeled with the corresponding shortcut for each key. Each label is easy to read either in a well-lit room or a darkened room since the keyboard is backlit. The keys are color coordinated to designate which group they belong to; such as the yellow keys, those are your Tools keys: trim, blade, select, hand, etc.

Overall it is an extremely well designed keyboard, made of very high quality materials. Even the packaging of this keyboard was really nice. It was very Apple-esque, which is the gold standard of product design and packaging.


User Experience

I have been using this keyboard nonstop for three days now and probably my favorite key on this keyboard is the Power Button, yes a power button. I can actually turn off my iMac by holding down a button on my keyboard versus having to remember even more keyboard shortcuts and reaching for my mouse, it is like I am using my MacBook and not my iMac. I know, magical right? I can also put my iMac to sleep or even restart it if I do not want to completely turn my iMac off.

All the keys works just as they do on my Apple wireless keyboard, I still have access to the the brightness of my iMac, it is still the F1 and F2 keys. F3 still shows me all my open apps. F7-F9 still allows me to control media in iTunes. F10-F12 still allows me to adjust the volume of my machine. The point I am trying to make is I do not lose any functionality while using this keyboard. It is designed for a Mac. It works right of the box — Editors Keys does suggest to download their Mac app so you don’t lose any functionality you might use that isn’t supported out of the box, but for me it worked flawlessly.

The only thing that was different and I didn’t grasp on how to use out of the box was the brightness of the backlights. I haven’t used this keyboard before so the layout is different from what I am used to using, not much different, but a tad. The FN key is on the right side of the keyboard, next to the Delete key. I am used to the FN key being on my lower left, next to the Control key. So to adjust the brightness you hold the FN key and use the Page Up or Page Down key. There is also an Off button for the backlights, simply press the F6 key.

The only issues I noticed were for the two Control keys, both the left and right side. The gray Control key sort of blends in with the word Control, making it a tad hard to read. I don’t consider this an issue, but it is just something I noticed. The Control keys are gray in color and the lettering is in white, there are other gray keys but the lettering on those keys are in black — in my opinion it would have been better if Control would have been written in black as well. The Control key is the only key I noticed this happening with.

Also, on the Control key, the up arrowhead (⌃) is missing. I don’t consider that an issue either, but I know some Apple nerds may not like that.

Using this in Final Cut Pro X is so much better than using my Apple wireless keyboard, not only for the shortcut reminders or having more keys at my disposal, but also for the keyboard being backlit, which means working in the dark is now more easier than ever. You are also able to re-map the keyboard using the Editors Keys keyboard application, as an example if you want to build additional shortcuts into the numeric keypad instead of the default ‘Apply Keyword Tag’ you have that option as well. I have not yet re-mapped the numeric keypad, but that is something that I plan on doing in the near future. With that said, I cannot comment on how well that works, but I just wanted to mention that the option was there.


Final Thoughts

The Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X is an excellent keyboard and is a keyboard I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an editing keyboard to work with for Final Cut Pro X. Editors Keys motto is “Helping you edit faster” and I can honestly say that the statement holds true. Once you get into the habit of using shortcuts you will see a huge difference in your efficiency with your editing workflow. I would also like to mention, even if you are a seasoned veteran at editing in Final Cut Pro X, the shortcut reminders can be super helpful. Also, the fact that this keyboard is backlit, which helps reduce eye strain, that is a huge win. The Editors Keys keyboard feels very similar to an Apple wireless keyboard, so if you are used to that then the transition will be very smooth.

This is a no-brainer, The Editors Keys backlit keyboard is a keyboard you should consider adding to your arsenal for your editing pleasure. I feel this keyboard not only helps train you into remembering which keys activate whichever particular shortcut, but I feel it also helps get you into the habit of actually using them, if you’re not already doing so.

The EditorsKeys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X retails for $129.99. For more information or to purchase this keyboard, please visit the Editors Keys website; https://www.editorskeys.com/products/video-editing-keyboards/final-cut-pro-x-backlit-keyboard/.

I also wanted to mention that Editors Keys also offers video editing keyboards for Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro 7, Sony Vegas, and Quantel. They also offer keyboards for audio editing as well as graphic and design keyboards for applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

For more information about Editors Keys or to check out their other products, please visit their website; https://www.editorskeys.com/.

You can follow Editors Keys on the following social media sites;
Twitter : @editorskeys
Facebook : fb.com/editorskeys
Instagram : @editorskeys
YouTube : YouTube.com/editorskeys

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt external hard drive is a rugged, portable hard drive for when you are on the go. It is bus powered so you do not need to plug it into an additional power supply, it supports both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. This particular version of the LaCie Rugged is the hard drive version, there is also an SSD version as well. For those wondering, this is Thunderbolt 1.

The hard drive in this is only 5400 RPM. But transfer speeds are very fast still and for 1 TB it isn't very expensive if you want a portable drive. Add on top the fact that this is more durable than most portable drives, it has shock protection for up to a 5-foot drop, and it is also water and dust proof. I own several of these drives and have never had an issue with them. Highly recommended.

The drive comes with an integrated Thunderbolt cable and an IP54 dust and water-resistant cover for the USB 3.0 slot.

You can buy the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive on Amazon for only $169.99; http://amzn.to/1WN4OIl

ShuttlePRO v2



I have been using the ShuttlePRO v2 for about 2 weeks now and I am super happy with using it in my Final Cut Pro X workflow. I am also working on a full review of the ShuttlePRO v2 as well as a few of the workflows I incorporate with it, stay tuned.

If you are editing in Final Cut Pro X, especially on a MacBook Pro, then you should consider adding this to your workflow. It fits easily in most laptop bags and is very portable.

Also, you can use this with almost any app on your Mac, not just Final Cut Pro X. It works great with Adobe apps as well, among others. I use it in Lightroom and Logic Pro X myself.

$99 on Amazon; http://amzn.to/1Oh9BPn

Phantom Zoom (mTransition Zoom demo)



This is a short demo of some of the mTransition Zoom transition. For more information about mTransition Zoom, check my review; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/06/mtranstion-zoom.html.

mTranstion Zoom - First look / review



This is a quick look at mTransition Zoom from motionVFX. This is an excellent Final Cut Pro X transition plugin. mTransition Zoom is only $59. A great plugin. Highly recommended!

Purchase mTransition Zoom; https://www.motionvfx.com/mplugs-120.html

As mentioned, check out this short that uses mTransition Zoom.
One minute in Vietnam;

Pinnacle Studio for iPad (updated)



Pinnacle Studio for iPad is a powerful video editing application. Pinnacle Studio allows you to edit, crop, add text, audio, still images to video files on your iPad. In my opinion this is the very best video editing application available for the iPad.

Pinnacle Studio is $9.99 in the App Store: Pinnacle Studio Pro - professional video editing - Corel Inc. (iPad)

Pinnacle Studio is also available for the iPhone: Pinnacle Studio Pro - professional video editing - Corel Inc. (iPhone)

This is an updated preview of the app, I previously did a preview back in 2012: http://www.crizzo.net/2012/10/pinnacle-studio-for-ipad.html.