Sunday, February 23, 2014

Nexus 5 - Accessories

   After months of contemplating, I finally went ahead and got myself the Nexus 5 and I'm really glad I got it. I love using this phone. But I'm not here to review the phone. I'll just be sharing some of the accessories I have bought and looking into buying :D for the phone.

    First off the case, I'm using a Caseology Slim Fit TPU case pictured below. I can say that I really like this case. Ports are easily accessible and the phone is well protected. NFC and wireless charging still works even if the phone is in the case.

Caseology Slim Fit Premium Matte PU Leather Hybrid TPU Case for LG Google Nexus 5 (Burgundy Red)

     For the screen protector, I decided to try out the Nillkin 9H Tempered Glass screen protector. I must say that I will not go back to those plastic screen protectors. Tempered glass is the way to go. I love the feel of the screen protector on the phone. It's like I'm using it naked (well it's glass after all ;p). It attracts minimal fingerprints and it's easier to clean than those plastic screen protectors. It also comes with a (plastic) protector for the camera lens. The screen protector also works well with my Caseology case.

   Here are a couple of other tempered glass screen protectors to choose from meOne and eBay Generic Tempered Glass

     The Nexus 5 has a built-in wireless charging capability. You can use just about any Qi standard wireless charger with the phone. Below are some of the chargers that works with the Nexus 5:

Nillkin Wireless Qi Power Charger Charging Pad (manage to test this in a shop and it charges thru my case :D)

Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging Plate (also tested this one in a shop and it also works)

 or if you want a portable wireless external battery pack

[2-in-1] RAVPower® Qi-Enabled Wireless Charger / 4800mAh External Battery Pack Charger

   You can also find some generic ones on eBay.

   Since the Nexus 5 doesn't have a microSD card, we can make use of various USB OTG device to extend the storage capacity of the phone (pls note you have to install programs like [root] StickMount or Nexus USB OTG File Manager [non-root] to access USB OTG for flashdrives)

Meenova - Mini MicroSD Card Reader for Android

ADATA USA DashDrive Durable UD320 USB Flash Drive OTG

Leef Bridge 2.0 32GB Multi-Use USB Flash Drive (Black) for Android, Phones, Tablets, Mac, and Windows PC

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lightroom Presets Disappear?!

If you suddenly found your Lightroom presets disappear, you might want to uncheck this setting
"Store Presets with Catalog" in the Presets Tab (Lightroom Menu>Preferences on a Mac, Edit Menu>Preferences on Windows) - see screenshot below:

What it apparently does is to create the presets folders in the catalog directory and make Lightroom look for presets in that directory. Since the folders are empty it will look like your presets disappeared. It doesn't automatically copy your existing presets into the directory. You must manually copy all of them.

Thankfully, unchecking the settings will revert Lightroom to look for the presets in the default directory.

A more detailed explanation and when to use this setting can be found here :

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

DIY Guitar Cable for iPad/iPhone (iRig DIY)

If you have an electric guitar and an iPad/iPhone you've probably heard of the iRig device.

In Singapore, the iRig is available at Davis Guitar Music Centre (Peninsula Shopping Centre) for around SGD $80-85 (sorry forgot the correct amount quoted). The Peavey Ampkit is around SGD $79 but is currently unavailable (from SweeLee and SV Guitars).

And for less than SGD $35 you can assemble your own iRig Guitar Cable to connect to the iPad/iPhone. I'll show you how.

All the items I bought was from Challenger (Singapore) but I will give links to Amazon items that can also be used.

1) The most important part is the main cable. Get a 3.5mm stereo (AV) plug - 3x RCA Plugs (Audio/Video Cable). To be sure that it will work, you should buy those that are made for the iPod Video like these below:

Belkin AV Cable for iPod 4G, 5G

I would like to point out that Not all RCA Video cable are wired the same way. If you have an existing 3.5mm to RCA A/V Cable (from old camcorders etc), by all means try if it works. But if you are going to buy one, just make sure it works with the iPod Video or was designed for the iPod Video.

2) RCA Female to 3.5mm Female adapter

Unfortunately for me this isn't available in Challenger so I bought these instead

Two RCA Plugs to 3.5mm Stereo Jack

RCA to RCA Jack

3) Last, but not the least, the RCA Jack to 1/4 Mono Plug

That's it. Just combine all these cables to look like the image below then rock on \m/ :D

I have tested this to work with the following iPad/iPhone Applications:

Garage Band



1) Change the RCA plug that goes into the guitar. Normally the Yellow RCA plug should be the one going into the guitar but I have seen others use the Red RCA plug. In fact, I have one other cable that works by using the White RCA plug as input.

2) Set your guitar to max volume and choose a single coil pick-up then plugin the cables into the iPad/iPhone. I'm using an Ibanez GRG170DXL that has two humbuckers and a single coil. If I choose the humbuckers there will be no line-in signal, but once I set it to single coil then re-plugin the cable, line-in signal was detected. After the iPad/iPhone has detected the line-in signal you can switch to the humbuckers.

* Just play with the switch positions on your guitar, re-plugin after every change to check if signal is detected.

3) In GarageBand, make sure the "Monitoring Option" is turned "On" to hear the guitar.

There you have it, your own DIY iRig Guitar Cable hehe

You can further enhance this by introducing an impedance matcher in the cable configuration such as below but I will not dwell on that :D

Shure A85F XLR-Female Lo-Z to Hi-Z 1/4"Male Transformer

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