GH5s Studio Setup – My Camera Gear 2020

Here’s a comprehensive list of the gear I use to capture and edit my DIY projects, tutorials, and videos. My tool selection is optimized for my photography and videography practice and has been built up and refined over a long time. I maintain the advice that the best camera is the one you have access to, and you can get really far using just your phone these days.

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Slack Status Updater

This project helps make your day a little easier if you’re a remote worker using Slack. I’ll show you how to build it using an ESP8266 wifi board. Don’t miss the video above for the overview.

Whether you’re new to using Slack or you’ve just been using it a lot more lately, you’ll understand the importance of setting your Slack status. It lets your colleagues know if you’re available to chat, in a meeting, out sick, etc.

Forget to set it when you leave your desk, and you may get interrupted by somebody who thinks you’re available. I thought it would help me remember to have a physical device on my desk that can set my Slack status for me. This project is a collaboration with Brian Lough, who’s an ESP whiz and author of many Arduino API libraries including this new one for Slack. You might remember my YouTube subscriber counter, which was also written using one of Brian’s API libraries.

If you’re new to Arduino, try my free Arduino class first.

Supplies:

For this project, you will need:

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Maple and Epoxy Resin Bedside Shelves

This project is a pair of bedside shelves made from maple and epoxy resin. This wood has a bunch of beetle holes in it, some of which I filled with silver wire as an accent. Let’s get started.

For this project, you will need:

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Hunter Cat Card Skimmer Detector Review

Today I’m reviewing Hunter Cat, a business-card sized circuit designed to root out magnetic card skimmers. Thieves use skimmers to collect your bank card information, most commonly at ATMs and gas stations.

Dip the Hunter Cat into a magstripe payment device and it will tell you with some small LEDs whether it’s safe to dip your bank card.

It works by detecting the number of magnetic stripe heads inside the reader. Too many and the Hunter Cat will tell you it’s suspicious.

I keep my Hunter Cat in the dash compartment on my scooter, since I’m most likely to need it when I’m getting gas, but if I were traveling, I’d carry it with me to identify safe ATMs.

Hunter Cat is a collaboration between Mexican hardware company Electronic Cats and security researcher Salvador Mendoza.

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My Rooftop Ham Radio Antenna

I recently put a ham radio antenna on my roof, so I could get better signal inside my apartment, which isn’t on a high floor.

As an ultra beginner without a lot of investment in the hobby, it was perfectly acceptable to have to climb onto the roof to get any signal on my portable radio’s antenna. But the benefit of this larger, roof-mounted antenna is that now we can leave the radio on all the time and listen to it inside, which leads to more opportunistic connections and overall more time spent enjoying.

What follows outlines the process we used. I have previously written a guide about getting started in ham radio, in case you’re interested.

The antenna I got is a VHF/UHF antenna that mounts on top of a pole. My friend David, my boyfriend Smokey, and I put up one of these on David’s roof and on our own roof, and the two had different mounting situations. At David’s place, we used a mounting kit with metal straps and special brackets to hold the pole to a chimney. At our place, there was an unused analog TV antenna pole that we planned to repurpose.

Important note about safety: if you don’t know what you’re doing, consult someone who does (and who knows your local regulations, too). Putting an antenna on your roof brings the risk of a lightning strike which, if not properly grounded, can cause fire and other damage, as well as loss of life. I’m not an electrician or an expert.

Everything I used to connect to my Baofeng UV-5R radio:

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