Design

Insta360 Plugin For Adobe Premiere and After Effects Is Not Working

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in Design, Documentation | 0 comments

I recently recorded a lecture I gave in Stuttgart using the latest Insta360 One camera. Since it is very difficult to stop an academic from talking the whole presentation took nearly one hour. The camera divided the recoding into several files, each around 4 GB. This is probably because they wanted to be compatible with the old FAT32 file system.

Their 360 Editing Software allows you to convert their proprietary  INSV files into MP4 files and they even have a batch processing option. But the software cannot merge multiple videos into one, which I desperately needed.

Insta360 is also offering a plugin for Adobe Premiere and After Effects. After installing the plugin I was able to import the INSV files into Premiere, but the image of one of the cameras was upside down. I contacted their technical support and they explained to me that the plugin is currently not working.

Insta360 Adobe Plugin failure

I ended up having to convert all the INSV files to MP4 first and then editing them into one movie in Premiere. I have to admit that this workflow is rather inconvenient and I hope that Insta360 will either enable their editing software to merge movies or that they get their Adobe plugin working again. This seems another example of Banana Technology, it ripens at the user.

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Affordable Sound Both for Voice Recording

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Design, Documentation | 0 comments

Affordable Sound Both for Voice Recording

Recording a clear voice with no background noise is key for any video, audiobook or podcast. If you are limited in space and budget then you might consider building your own little sound proof voice recording box. I build this little gem from 6mm MDF and some acoustic foam taped to the box with double sided tape.

For the box you can create the drawing necessary for the laser cutter using online tools, such as Box Designer. It exports a PDF file which all the six faces clearly separated. If you are planning to make efficient use of your wood then you may prefer MakerCase. This service aligns the six sides so that they can be cut most efficiently from a piece of MDF. Here is the box drawing for laser cutter used for this design.

We attached rubber feed to the box and placed the microphone on an old mouse pad to isolate the microphone from any vibrations of the table, such as when a laptop is placed on it. Handles on the side allow for an easy transportation.

Here is a recording without the box. The microphone was placed just directly on the table:

This recording was made with the speaker sitting in front of the box speaking into the microphone.

The last example is with the speaker leaning into the box.

You will notice how all ambient noice is gone and how intimate the voice of the speaker sounds.

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3D LEGO Technic Connector

Posted by on Jul 29, 2017 in Design, Documentation, LEGO | 0 comments

Connecting LEGO Technic beams in three dimensions remains a difficult task. While it has become easy to connect beams in one and two dimensions, it remains difficult to extend this to the third dimension.

I first designed a new LEGO Technic connector that features pins. The design was compact and stable, put the pins were too fragile. It was also very difficult to get the support material out from the holes.

My second design had no pins but still the option to firmly hold a technic beam. With this new 3D printed corner part it is possible to build a perfectly stable cube with a minimum of parts. The additional holes provide options for further strengthening the cube or to connect other parts to the cube.

The CAD model is available from Autodesk and GrabCAD.

 

 

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Easy LEGO Mindstorms Spirograph

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Design, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

Ever since I created the Spirograph Automaton I remained interested in drawing machines. For this years Christchurch Brick Show I wanted a more compact, easier to build version of the Spirograph. This time I used three motors instead of just one. Controlling the speed of both arms and the table was very easy this way. The Spirograph worked reliably throughout the whole show. The MinuteBot baseplate makes the construction even easier. The building instruction are available for LEGO Digital Designer. More information is available at Rebrickable.

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Health Mate App Has Many Problems Since Nokia Took Over From Withings

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Design, Technology | 73 comments

I like my Withings products and the the associated Health Mate App has been a pleasure to work with in the past. Recently Nokia took over Withings and also rebranded the whole product range. They also gave the Health Mate App a complete new design. What really upsets me is that they did not manage to come even close to the functionality that Withings’ original Health Mate app offered. I received the following reply from Nokia after asking them where my swim tracking data had gone:

Below you will find a list of known issues that we are in the process of fixing:

  • Health Mate isn’t sending data to Apple Health
  • Historical weight data not displayed in app
  • Navigation and UI issues with weight data graphs
  • Temperature and CO2 widgets missing
  • Luminosity, Noise, and Temperature data not displayed for Aura users
  • Normal ranges for Weight, BMI, Body Composition not appearing in the app
  • Swim data missing from the app
  • Inability to BMI widget to Dashboard
  • Inability to set or edit alarms on the Aura
  • Inability to log food or access the Nutrition screens
  • Inability to link Health Mate to MyFitnessPal
  • Inability to edit your Profile (email address, height)
  • Inability to set or change a Reminder
  • Inability to link to MyFitnessPal

Note that this is the bugs they are currently working on, after they already released a bug fix on June 23rd (version 3.0.2). Why do they release an incomplete and buggy app? Yes, it looks fancy, but how about focusing on the functionality first? This is not a good sign for Withings products. I really hope that Nokia does not ruin their beautiful products.

UPDATE: 8 August 2017

My Health Mate App updated automatically and Nokia put up a rather apologetic message. I can’t test if all the functionality they promised now really works, but at least some connection to Runkeeper is now working. My Swimming data usually is displayed twice, which remains a bit of a bummer.

Nokia apologises

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LEGO Compatible Medium Sized Thrust Ball Bearing

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Design, Featured, LEGO, Technology | 0 comments

LEGO Compatible Medium Sized Thrust Ball Bearing

LEGO’s turn table has considerable friction and rotating a model at an exhibition for a whole day would ruin it. A thrust ball bearing is necessary to decrease the friction. I previously 3D printed a large bearing for my Unikitty. For this year’s exhibition I needed a smaller thrust ball bearing so I designed a new medium sized ball bearing. It includes liftarms to hold a worm wheel which results in a rotation ratio of 1:78. You can download the model from A360 and GrabCAD.

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