Isn’t life wonderful

I’ve owned a minidisc recorder for many years and despite it having to be repaired once in the past it has been a very reliable machine. It’s a Sharp MD MT161 and I bought it probably about 12 years ago. It was a good choice because much later when I wanted to buy some microphones (Core Sound) it turned out that the Sharp had the necessary microphone power to make it work.

Then about 6 months ago I went to record something and to my horror I just kept getting a error message whenever I inserted a disc. I thought that it probably wasn’t worth getting it repaired because of it’s age so I looked on ebay for a replacement. At the time there weren’t any of the same model so I ended up buying a Sharp MD-MT190 which although quite similar wasn’t as user friendly and it could only be used with the rechargable battery which was quite specialised.

So for some time I had been considering buying another MT161 but whenever I looked on ebay there either wasn’t one available or they were going for more than I wanted to spend (or felt I could justify). Then yesterday I saw an e-mail on Freecycle offering a load of DVD’s and other items. At the bottom it just said Sharp minidisc recorder so I thought why not. I was lucky enough to be given it and I went to pick it up on the way home.

When I arrived I was handed a carrier bag which, when I looked in it, I couldn’t believe my luck. There was a Sharp MD MT20 which is virtually the same machine as the MD MT161. In addition there was a mains supply/charger, a remote control, a case, a optical cable and about 15 minidisc the majority of which hadn’t even been opened.

md mt20

I’ve checked it out and it’s in full working order – in fact judging by the condition it’s in I would say it’s hardly ever been used – aren’t I the lucky one?

Cine update

So I have had a successful couple of weeks on the cine front. After my previous blog entry I spotted a lovely looking camera on ebay which I wasn’t going to buy at first but when I discovered that it did single frame shooting I decided to go for it. It was a Bauer C107XL super 8 camera and I managed to buy it for the grand sum of £3.20! It was near where I worked too so I could go and pick it up.

Bauer C107XL

I also managed to buy a Eumig projector from a lady in Maidstone for £5 which was useful as I had £5 on my Paypal account as a credit from an earlier purchase. The best result came when I bought a Prinz Cine editor from a man in Cliffe who was selling it for his mum who live in Strood. Not only did I not have to go all the way to Cliffe to get it but when I got there his mum wouldn’t accept the 99p I won it for and let me have it for nothing!

cine editor

So I had a camera, an editor and a projector and all I had to pull out of my pocket was £3.20! But wait it gets better yet.  I’d also put  an advert on Freecycle which I started to get replies from. First I got a message from someone else in Maidstone who said he had a wind up camera, he said it was Super 8 but I doubted that. When I collected it I was proved right as it was a standard 8 camera – a Rondo Cinematic Zoom 8 camera, very similar to the one my Dad had given me that used to belong to my Uncle George.

I was also contacted by a lady who said her in-laws had some equipment they no longer wanted but as yet that has come to nothing. Then I was contacted by a lady who told me she had some stuff that used to belong to her father but she wanted me to reassure her that I wanted it for my own use. So I told her all about my plans and she said I could have it. She lived up near where my garage is so I popped up there one evening to collect it.

Magnon 800 ZSR

When I got there I couldn’t believe my luck. She gave me a camera, an Ilford Elmo 8-CZ standard 8 camera complete with a handgrip and a home made leather case. There was another projector that, given everything else was standard 8, I assume would be the same. There was also an 8 mm editor and a splicer but best of all there was a box of films. In the box there was a couple of movies – Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy plus about 8 reels of vintage home movie films that her Dad had taken on holiday in Europe in the mid 60’s. He had even made his own soundtracks for them which were also in the box as was the reel to reel tape player.

The only problem there was was that the lead for the projector had perished and needed to be replaced. It wasn’t a standard kettle type plug but looked like it may have been a predecessor of one. So I took a standard IEC mains lead and cut the end off it. I undid the plug on the old one and found I needed to get my soldering iron out! Once it was all put together I plugged it in and……nothing! I got my meter out and discover the fuse had blown in the plug so I replaced it and plugged it back in – the projector sprang to life. I grabbed a film and…

The movie turned out to be a Laurel & hardy movie in black and white

Laurel and Hardy

I was keen to project another film so I found one on a small reel – on threading it I discover that it was a super 8 film and that the projector was, despite my previous thought, capable of playing both formats. I looked into the history of the projector and it dated from the early 70’s whereas everything else was from the mid 60’s so I’m guessing that it may have been a replacement projector that he bought at a later date. I then dug out one of the home movie reels and projected that – the results can be seen below (sorry about the poor quality but it was shot on my cameraphone.

I’ve now also bought a film for the Bauer camera, it’s a Kodak Ektachrome 64T Super 8  reversal film which I shall use as a test film to see what the camera is like. I suspect it may come to the Isle of Wight when we go away on holiday in a couple of weeks.

Do we look Stupid?

Bloody Nigerian Scammers!!

we were selling a mobile phone on ebay (A Samsung F480 to be exact) and last night it sold for £97. At first we were pleased it had gone for so much but when we looked at the bidders details were were concerned. The address was in the USA.

We sent them an e-mail saying that we would have to look into the cost of the postage and get back to them but a few minutes later we got and e-mail supposedly from paypal to say they had paid. However when we looked at it it said £97 for the phone and £50 postage making a total of £127 eh? It also said that the money would not be released into our account until we had posted the item and provided them with a tracking number.

This raised our suspicions so we looked into it further. The buyer had no feedback, had only opened the account that day and wanted the phone to be posted to an address in Lagos, Nigeria – it was so obviously a scam. Also closer investigation of the e-mail showed it had come from an address other than paypal.

We started to recieve more e-mails which were arriving 3 at atime proporting to be from Paypal or ebay. They all came from the same address which was The english was so bad that it was obvious they were fake despite all of the ebay logos they had gone to the trouble to add.

Due to the numerous amount of complains gotten from buyers that after payments has been made, they do not get their item been sent out, we have decided to place your money on Pending to the time you confirm the shipment to us and then we credit your PayPal Account immediately.

This morning we started to get e-mails from them which again were arriving 3 at a time but from a different e-mail address and again proporting to be from ebay. They were saying things like “her account has been re-instated please send her the phone” and “If you don’t send the phone within 24 hours your account will be closed” it just went on and on!

You have received an Unposted Item strike.
We regret to inform you that your eBay account will be suspended due to concerns we have for the safety and integrity of the eBay community.You were the seller of an eBay item ***Samsung F480 Cell Phone****(xxxxxxxxxxx) bought off you by Mrs Ann Timothy and she has informed eBay that postage for the item has still not been done, As a result, you have received an Unposted Item strike. Furthermore, you will loose feedback privileges as well we terminating your membership for this transaction if the posting of the item is not done as soon as possible. If the item is not posted within 24hrs of this warning suspension of this account will take place and be advised that you will be prohibited from using eBay in any way. This includes the registering of a new account if the item bought by our customer was not posted as agreed.

I really don’t know how people fall for this shit. We reported it to ebay and their account has now been shut down.

The really annoying thing was that the bid was obviously placed at the last second by a bot which pushed a genuine offer of £96 and another of £94 into second and third place. We have sent a second chance offer but suspect we may have to relist the item again.