I love doing time lapse video and wanted to try something new. This time I did a time lapse assembly of the lego 42038 Arctic Truck. It was a fun build and fun project. I learned a lot from this and already working on my next build.
During a surprise visit to my grandmother in Jersey, I took my DJI Phantom Vision 2+ with me. Outside of the annoyance of having to ground ship the batteries I had a good time.
Areas featured: Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Boro and Bay Head.
The weather was near perfect. It was sunny, next to no wind and very light haze. It’s very rare to experience a day like that. I didn’t hesitate leaving work early to bring out my new DJI Phantom Vision 2+.
I previously had a DJI Phantom Vision with a Dronexpert Gimbal. It worked well, but I really wanted the 3 axis. Based on the results of my new video I say it paid off. The PV2+ also provides increased range, which was used in 2 shots of the video. I was able to fly up to 650′ away while still having video. In the past, I had the video start cutting out after 450′. Because I was flying over water most of the day, I really didn’t want to do a range test. That will have to wait for another day.
The camera feels very improved. The fisheye is less harsh which leads to higher quality video. I don’t want to completely turn off the fisheye, otherwise the video will look too flat. The fisheye adds a nice level of depth. The new fisheye lens also has the advantage that I don’t need to fiddle with it as much in post. I only did an analyze color and mild color adjustments. There are a number of areas on the video I felt I could have done better on the color correction, but I am still learning.
imgur hosted their 5th birthday party in Golden Gate Park. I brought the drone along to video the event. It was rather fun making my entrance by flying the quad in. Only one person knew that I was bringing it and they went nuts trying to find me. I was well hidden on top of the hill.
I still haven’t solved the vibration issues with the Dronexpert Gimbal. It’s currently raining in San Francisco, and the weather forecast doesn’t show that changing anytime soon. So I won’t be able to test out some replacement dampers that I purchased.
2 months ago I decided to finally take a dip into playing around with crypto currencies. It all started with doge coin. I had been following bitcoin for a while with the market ups and downs. From a mining perspective it is impossible to get into.
The problem with bitcoin mining is the level of equipment it takes to be profitable. That awesome high GH/s appliance you bought today is obsolete within a few weeks. That is because the difficulty doubles about every 3 weeks. That also means your returns are cut in half every 3 weeks.
Cex.io advertises a solution to this by providing cloud mining. Instead of worrying about equipment. You are purchasing instant compute.
They also offer the ability to resell that compute when you are done with it. They have an instant market that allows you to sell your compute to other users based on demand and price of the market.
This sounds like an awesome idea right ? It’s not, it’s a total rip off and you will never back your money back. In fact, it’s near impossible to even break even!
Here is how I got screwed over. A friend came over my house to let me know about this awesome idea. He was explaining it like getting interest on money just sitting in your wallet. Exactly like a bank account. Well, sure that makes sense to me. He went on to explain how the cloud mining service cex.io worked and honestly I was very skeptical.
My gut instinct was to not do it. After a few drinks talking about it, I decided to go with it. You know, for science! And also, this was money I mined from a computer sitting at idle. Sure, if you take those dogecoin. Convert it to bitcoin, then determine based on current market rate. The value was $150 USD.
I converted the 100k DOGE to BTC using Cryptsy. After paying the 0.3% cryptsy exchange fee, I was left with 0.1838468 BTC. Transferred it over to cex.io. Watched the graph go down a little more and bought 5 GH/s worth.
Sweet! I am now mining on bitcoin with very little effort and nothing to monitor. Within an hour I had my first reward and reinvested it. I did this a few more times before bed, and when I woke up the next day.
For the next few days I reinvested my earned BTC into GH/s. Very quickly a pattern started to emerge. The price of GHS keeps going lower and lower each day. My initial though was that we were about to switch difficulty and that the prices would need to stabilize shortly after that.
On cex.io they have a graph with the time ranges of 1 day, 1 week and 1 month. I searched and searched but couldn’t figure out how to increase the time range more then a month.
I put together a spreadsheet to determine my starting point and my profit even with the price drop. My stomach sunk once I started seeing the values. I am hemorrhaging BTC! I put my GHS up for sale right away at a number I felt would be a reasonable loss and allow me to walk away with most of my shirt.
The next day I noticed the price drop even more. Updated my spreadsheet and realized that overnight I had lost another $10 USD. It’s really my fault for not properly researching this before hand. I should have dug into the reviews on them to realize how bad of an idea it was.
It really bothered me, why do they only have 1 month displayed ? Every exchange shows tons of different charts. Even if it only had daily summarized data for values over 1 month. Why doesn’t this exist ?
After searching around I found a chart that basically confirmed the reasoning. If anyone saw this graph it would instantly scare them away.
I contacted their support, and after a few emails back and forth it went no were. Here was their first response to me questioning the shady nature of their service
“CEX.IO is an exchange, the price is mostly controlled by the users it is comprised of.
Also, as the price of hardware decreases due to increases in mining difficulty, it works the same for cloud hashing.
However, it still remains that the user base is the biggest contributing factor to prices on the exchange.
Lastly, you are still receiving mining payouts for GH/s in your possession, unlike a typical exchange.”
Of course the price is controlled by the users. But cex.io damn well knows that this price will continue to drop. They are the middle man making money by selling you access to hardware that is obsolete within a few weeks.
You are absolutely still receiving mining payout while you GH/s is up for sale. But that is a very misleading statement. First off, you will never sell it back for even close to what you paid. While you wait for this to happen, the amount you are earning will never fill the gap. Every week this gap gets bigger and bigger.
The last straw was when they said they are working on offering the charts for longer periods. Really ? This isn’t very complicated, it’s maybe a few hours of dev work. As a developer I have to call out this excuse.
Business wise of course they don’t want to show you the charts, you wouldn’t even consider using the service. And I strongly believe this is a very deceptive business practice.
In the end it was an interesting experiment. It was a strong reminder of just how shady virtual currencies can be. When I finally transferred out, I lost approximately $40 USD. This all happened a few weeks ago. Had I tried to sell it today, I would have been out another $20 USD. In a few days the difficulty will increase again, they the value will plummet some more.
I received my Dronexpert Gimbal and this was the maiden flight with it. The video is far smoother then without the gimbal. However, I am noticing a few artifacts and “shimmering effects” from vibrations. I am going to try making some changes to the dampers to see if that improves it.
There was a bit of wind, so you will see that in a bit of yawing.
I was invited to fly my drone over a race track on January 17th at Thunderhill in Willows, CA. Most of the video was from the DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. The remaining ground footage were recorded with a Canon 7D and 70-200m f/2.8 IS.
The video was assembled using FInal Cut Pro X. I still need a lot of practice on color correction. I am not totally happy with the color results, but didn’t want to sit on this video for weeks before posting it.
It is sad that I realized the last blog post I did was comparing the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 4s in low light.
I will run a low light comparison later on tonight, but until then here is a side by side during the day. These pictures were taken back to back letting the camera handle the focus.
The difference is very subtle. The trees have more clarify in the iPhone 5 and the colors are more saturated.