Review - 10 euro dashcam

More people are installing a dashcam in their car these days. They are widespread in Russia as a form of surveillance, additional evidence in court, and as a guard against police corruption and insurance fraud. In the UK rental cars are often equipped with dashboard camera's.

Note that dashcams are forbidden by law in some countries. In Belgium, where I live, they are allowed and somehow I see the advantage of having a camera recording the traffic around me continuously. Just in case.

The dashcam I ordered is not one of those very expensive camera's with gravity and speed sensors. Just a camera that starts recording when I turn on my car. It's just a cheap 10 euro dashcam I ordered from LightInTheBox.


  • Screen Size: 2.5 inch
  • LED Night Vision Support: 6 infrared LED's
  • Photo Resolution: 1600 x 1200
  • Video Resolution: 1280 x 960
  • Wide Angle: 120 degree
  • Cyclic recording
  • SD card up to 32GB (not included)
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion (800mAh)
  • Dimensions / LxWxH (mm):  105 x 62 x 20



The good points

  • It's cheap 🙂
  • Easy to install
  • Display allows to ensure correct position

The bad points

  • Night vision wasn't available although in the specs
  • Battery life is poor


The HD DVR dashcam is a fair deal for people who want to experiment with dashcams. The video quality is acceptable and usable.

The dashcam can be ordered at LightInTheBox.

iPhone doesn't charge (lightning cable) - FIXED

Last few weeks my iPhone 5 didn't charge when plugged in to the mains. It was annoying but I didn't make time to look at it (as most of the time the iPhone was charged as expected).

Today I wanted to charge my phone but it wouldn't start loading, no matter how many times I plugged in and removed the lightning cable. Time for a fix!

Actually I didn't have to open the phone or buy a new cable (although mine is looking really bad).

Continue reading →

Electric bike conversion

Electric bikes are more common than ever. It's a great solution to keep the elderly mobile and to extend the range of cycling for everyone. With an electric bike it's possible to get some air, do some exercise or go shopping in an environmentlal friendly way.

But why buy an expensive electric bike when its possible to convert your 'daily ride'? When you cycle a lot the fitst thing you do is buy a better bike. Now you have a great bike and you want to go electric. Spend an other four digits on a new bije? I don't think so! Let's convert our bike to an electric one.


For conversion the easiest way is to replace the front wheel with a new one containing a geared hub motor. This is a compact and powerful solution. In Belgium the legal power is limited to 250 Watt. When you go for a more powerful motor you'll need an insurance and a license plate. I'm going for the 250 Watt at 36 Volt.


When choosing a battery it's important to look at the weight and the capacity. At the moment the best solutions seems to be a 10Ah battery.
In my optinion the best way to but the battery is the rear rack. This way the weight of the motor on the frotn weel and the battary on the rack above the back is balanced. So this will be what I'm looking for.

I'm trying to find the parts right now, so stay tuned!

To be continiued...



HLS over https in XBMC

Since Frodo XBMC supports HLS (Http Live Stream). The HLS protocol is widely used for OTT (Over The Top) TV. In Belgium WeePeeTV  is a relatively new player on the TV market which makes use of HLS.

Although XBMC supports HLS getting the WeePeeTV streams working requires some extra tweaking. WeePeeTV doesn't stream over http but https, the secure version of the protocol. A MythTV backend could overcome this issue but there is a much easier way. Also changing channels is much faster. The cost of not using MythTV is losing PVR functionality.

Https is nothing more than http with AES encryption. This means that when we can create a proxy for the streams which adds the encryption layer we're done. 'stunnel' can handle this.

XBMC -- (http) -- STUNNEL4 -- (https) -- WeePeeTV

Continue reading →

Replacing a bicycle bottom bracket

When for one reason or another the bearings of the bottom bracket of your bike get worn you'll notice movement of the crank arms. If this occurs replace the bearings as soon as possible to avoid damage to other parts of your bike.

In fact every part that's showing defects should be replaced immediately to avoid further damage. On my bike the bearings where damaged during transportation. The bike laid on a pedal during a bus trip on a bumpy road. No good. Continue reading →

Bicycle dynamo USB Charger

Ever had a lack of 'juice' for your smartphone, gps or camera while cycling? Here's a solution: charge your gadgets with this bicycle dynamo powered USB charger. I'm building a very basic charging circuit. Much more complex circuits can be found on the internet but I wanted to keep it simple. No switches, no extra batteries. Just power!

Continue reading →

jQuery and jumpy animations

jQuery is a very powerful library to animate your website. It's especially suited for hiding and unhiding elements using sliding, fading or whatever animation.

But sometimes things doesn't do what you want them to do. Most of the time this behavior  isn't caused by a bug but just how it was designed to work. Changing the css 'display' property of one element to none causes other elements to change their behavior. For example bottom margins of headers located above a hidden element are affected.

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Why AdChoices doesn't work

Since a few weeks I'm noticing AdChoices on more websites every day. They are the for a longer time, but now I'm noticing them because they bore me. AdChoices is some kind of AdSense displaying ads based on your surfing behavior. It shows ads related to websites you visited before or search terms you used in Google search. Unfortunately for the AdSense publishers the ads are not relevant any more to the website content. Continue reading →

Accessing Siemens S7-1200 webserver over router

When the S7-1200 has an IP adress assigned on the local network it can be accessed trought that address. I don't think people who are able to program the PLC will have difficulties with that.

When the PLC needs to be accessible over a router making it possible to browse to the web interface from everywhere on the internet there are some settings in the router and the PLC that need to be correct.

On the router a NAT row needs to be added to forward port 80 and 443 to the PLC address. Port 80 is for the http pages port 443 is needed to access secure pages over https.

In the PLC it is absolutely required to set the router IP address. When this isn't set the webserver the  S7-1200 PLC will be accessible over the local network but not over the router.

Don't forget to change the password of the PLC. Allowing access to the PLc over internet can be usefull but also very dangerous when not secure.

Also it's not recommended to enable the webserver on a S7-1200 PLC if it's not necessary. A DOS (Denial Of Service) attack can make the PLC crash!

Siemens S7-1200 Firmware Update

The S7-1200 series are compact PLC's from Siemens that can be directly connected to an Ethernet network. Being compact and affordable it perfectly suits for home automation projects.

A big drawback of the original firmware (V1) is the lack of an integrated webserver, certainly the fact that it's impossible to download a program in run and that all data blocks return to the initial values after a download.

These problems are solved when upgrading the S7-1200 PLC firmware to V2.1.2. To do this update a 24MB Siemens memory card is required. Compared to the PLC this is an expensive little piece that will only be used for updating the firmware of the S7-1200 PLC. Unfortunately there is no way around this. You absolutely need this memory card to update the firmware! Continue reading →