Saturday, 3 March 2012

Surgu, part 2, the first fixes. Zi-10 and Huxley

Zi-10 next to sugru bags
To start with Sugru, I decided to hack something easy and useful. I have been using this Kodak Zi-10 1080P pocket video camera for making my youtube videos for some months now, and all in all it's really nice thingy. And for the price (about 60€ on Ebay) you can't really expect it to be professional quality or having all bells and whistles.

Perhaps the most important feature of this camera is 3.5mm stereo microphone connector, which allows me to use either Headset or other external microphone to record the audio with a improved quality. This may not sound much, but it's really difficult to find any inexpensive digital camcoder with external mic connector. Of image quality, it can't really be considered as a real 1080P system since the lens and imager element aren't really good enough. But it works nicely at 720P resolution, and that's what I use for my videos.  On the negative side (besides optics) is the mechanical design and ergonomics (lack of). The camera is made of shiny slippery plastic and don't have any kind of grip, so it's a bit hard to handle.

Five grams of blue Sugru
So, I decided to add some Sugru at the front side of camera. But there was the hard decision of colour to be used, since Sugru comes in five different colours (Black, White, Orange, Green and Blue) and for those more adventurous.. it's possible to mix them. In the end I decided to go with blue, black while obvious would been a bit too modest and shy.


Stylish? Not much, but it works.
One thing to remember with Sugru is the package type. Those small 5 gram aluminium foil bags are individually sealed and when opened, you don't have many hours to work with the material. So it's better to keep one or two smaller side projects ready in case you happen to have some excess Sugru after the main project is done. After all, why waste the good stuff?

Firstly I cut the aluminium foil bag open with scissors. Then I took the plastic and kneaded it a bit on my hands and made two balls out of it. First ball (2-3grams) I spread at the front side of the Zi-10 video camera. For texture the sugru at the camera, I used plastic comb and pressed criss-cross patterns for improved grip.

Feet of my Emaker Huxley 3D printer.
As a spare project I used Sugru for adding some flexible padding to the feet's of my 3D printer. The printed plastic legs tend to slid a bit at the tabletop, so the silicone-rubber like Sugru may keep the printer more steady.

While writing this post I once again remembered that I should really start taking proper high grade pictures for these blog posts. One of the near future posts I should write about using digital SLR-camera with home made light-tent / soft box. Otoh, I'll need to make it first. I know that some cheapish Chinese photographing tents are available at 30-50 Euros, but I think I'll rather use the materials I have here at home.

PS: If you notice typos at my text, please send send a comment. As a non native speaker of English, I know my lingo aint' 100%. 

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