Monday, January 8, 2018

Novation Twitch

Novation music is one of our favorite brands (as NUMARK MIXTRACK PRO 3 ) out there, dominating a lot of our top choices in shopping guides we write. The Novation Twitch gives us a bit of a different spin on DJ controllers. You’ll notice in the image that it isn’t the most traditional setup since it’s lacking pretty much the benchmark of a DJ controller — the decks (or JOG wheels), but not so fast. It has touch-strips for track navigation, beat splicing for mixing on the fly, a built-in audio interface, 16 trigger pads for some drum or sample controls, and quite a few rotary controls. I’ve actually heard of DJ’s pairing this up with their simpler deck controls for a nice combination (plus it looks cool to have more gear in your setup these days, unfortunately). If you use Ableton Live as your digital audio workstation then it’s even better because they have a free app that you can install to pair up with it seamlessly. Although, it works well with most software too. It’s fully bus-powered for convenience, pretty convenient in terms of size and the build is overall stable being a tough metal surface. The most standout of this is the slicer for chopping, trigger pads that are decent quality as well as the master FX and fader FX mode. It may work with some, it may not for others. Synthtopia’s Novation Twitch review highlights it in more detail.

Dimensions: 17.1 x 13.6 x 4.7 inches
Slicer performance mode
2 x 8 triggerpads, 8 pots (EQ and trim)
2 channel faders and 1 main crossfader (replaceable)
2 rotary encoders and 2 fader FX assign buttons
2 headphone assign buttons
Touchstrip (modes are swipe and drop)
Cue, play\pause buttons
Mode selector buttons (4)
Outputs: L/R on TRS jacks (2)
Inputs: 2 AUX
Microphone input

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Flagship residential solar panel from LG breaks 21% efficiency, goes all black

LG is pushing out their upgraded “Neon R” and “Neon AC” solar panels to the residential solar market in the USA. The Neon R peaks at 365W and 21.1% efficiency in a 60 cell format. The Neon AC – with an integrated Enphase Microinverter – peaks at 330W and a 19.3% efficiency.

Both panels are available immediately.

These panels are part of a new wave of monocrystalline products (PERC and n-type) that have pushed efficiency levels up considerably from the standard 15% polysilicon products of a few years ago – while keeping pricing respectable for homeowners.

The Neon R has two variants – the standard, higher efficiency, Neon R and the more aesthetically consistent Neon R Black. The standard R ranges from 355-365W per panel, while the R Black ranges from 345-355W – peaking at 10W less and 20.6% efficiency. The two panels are the same otherwise.

The ‘Black’ panel exchanges the white backsheet – see below in the two images – for a more aesthetically pleasing black backsheet. The physics of backsheet color means that prettier solar panels will cost you about 2.4% less wattage. You will also pay more for the Neon R Black versus the standard.
Compared to most any other ‘black’ solar panel (like GOAL ZERO NOMAD 20 ) that is sold for aesthetics, the Neon R has one extra step up – they’ve moved all of electrodes to the backside of the solar cell. This does two things – first, the panel hides all that highly reflective silver making for a more consistent dark panel, and secondly, it increases the total amount of silicon solar cell that gets directly hit by sunlight. That increases efficiency.

The second solar panel announced was the Neon2 AC. The main pitch here is that we have an Enphase inverter, coming from the factory, attached to the solar panel. Individual solar panel electronics – hardware mainly from SolarEdge and Enphase – drive a majority of residential solar power installations. Having the hardware attached from the factory just makes sense.

This AC panel does not have the pure black face of the Neon R panel, however, it does have an electrode technology – called Cello – giving it an efficiency bump. The electrodes are actually thin and round – taking up less space, and reflecting photons in a way that they can potentially be recaptured by the solar cells behind them.

Additionally, moving to many busbars – 12 and 30 – from the industry standards that are around 3-5 busbars, also increases effective panel efficiencies by lowering losses. Incremental efficiency increases outside of the solar cell itself, like the electrodes here, really excite me

One interesting data point I heard in the presentation was that LG’s warranty also covered the labor associated with replacing solar panels if one goes bad – up to $350 per panel replacement.
Elektrek’s Take

I’m writing about these panels because they excite me. LG was the first product that came into the market with a high-efficiency solar panel – 19%+ that was under $1/W. Before that, the only company I would go to for high-efficiency was SunPower and their price was much more expensive. Now a days, in larger volumes, if you’re buying direct from the company you can get the commercial non-black LG panel like this for under 50¢/W – and that panel is closer to 21% efficiency (10% more efficient than the 19% model I first saw in the spring of 2016).

Of course, LG is no longer the only company that you can buy a 20% efficient panel from at a reasonable price. I do really wonder how much availability there is of this panel and any other 20%+ panels..

If you want the highest level efficiency because you have limited roof space, give your contractor an elbow and ask them what this product costs. It’s worth the conversation.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Do higher Megapixel ratings mean better Image Quality

This year as in every year the trend is an ever escalating MP war by manufacturers to have a higher and higher megapixel rating on their cameras. I fear that buyers are confused into thinking that a higher megapixel means the imaging is better or that they use it as part of their selection process.
Do not confuse Quantity with Quality

For me, I totally ignore the MP rating because it does not mean a thing. Internally most cameras on the market use only a handfull of different CMOS sensors in total. The MP ratings on these sensors are 2, 3, and 5. Now if you are a manufacturer and you actually use a 30MP sensor please do not get upset.

My thoughts are this: “you can’t get blood out of a turnip”.

If a CMOS sensor is a two dimensional array of pixels, 2 million in total, where each pixel contains an RGB value among other things, how do you save a JPG onto the SD card with a 30MP rating?

If you stored the entire CMOS array of 2 million pixels as a file to the SD card, would it not be a 2MP image file?

Well, the term “interpolation” comes to mind. Interpolation means that software creates pixels in between existing pixels as we stretch or blow up an image from 2MP to 30MP. It uses math, which we won’t get into but the process is what we need to understand.

Now if I was to study the original photo in 2MP and zoom in, then study the interpolated 30MP image and zoom in, will I actually see more details in the 30MP?

What might confuse the issue is that the camera does not save a native 2MP image uncompressed because it is huge. It compresses to a JPG file first then saves this to the SD card. Now when you compress an image into a jpg, there are factors used in the compression to get a smaller or larger file, with a corresponding poorer or better resulting image quality.

Could it be that if the camera simply saved the 2MP image as a 2MP jpg file but increased the compression quality factor, the resulting image would be all we need? I believe so. I just do not feel that interpolating gives you anything more. It does create larger and larger JPG files and the illusion you can zoom way in but do you really see anything more there? I say no.

Do I want a 30MP camera with a minimum setting of 14MP? No. The files are too large and require more CPU and disk space to handle.

So, we could compare two cameras that both use the very same 2MP CMOS image sensor, one with a 30MP rating on the retail box and one with a 2MP rating on the box. Will consumers buy the 30MP camera? Probably ….

Should they? Well the answer is complicated. Much of the image quality is a factor of firmware engineers’ image processing code and the jpg image compression settings. Two identical cameras can produce very different images because of a different firmware (software).

So, this year we have 30MP, what next year? 40Mp, then… 50, 60, 80, 100MP ?????

When will it stop?

This is just stupid.

Please do not buy a camera based on its MP rating. This is just nonsense….

Finally i want introduce MOULTRIE 6V BATTERY CHARGER best charger on the market for cameras. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures

To understand the nature of something extremely complex, you often have to study its smallest parts. In trying to decipher the universe, for example, we search for gravitational waves or faint waves of light from the Big Bang. And to comprehend the very essence of matter itself, we break it down to the subatomic level and use computer simulations to study particles like quarks and gluons.

Understanding materials with specific functions, such as those used in solar cells (for example: GOAL ZERO NOMAD 13 ), and engineering ways to improve their properties pose many of the same challenges. In the ongoing effort to improve solar cell energy conversion efficiencies, researchers have begun digging deeper -- in some cases to the atomic level -- to identify material defects that can undermine the conversion process.

For example, heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in a variety of optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, due to their heterogeneous nature, these materials contain nanoscale interfaces exhibiting structural defects that can affect the performance of these devices. It is very challenging to identify these defects in experiments, so a team of researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago decided to run a series of atomistic calculations at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) to find the root cause of defects in two commonly used semiconductor materials -- lead selenide (PbSe) and cadmium selenide (CdSe) -- and provide design rules to avoid them.

"We are interested in understanding quantum dots and nanostructures and how they perform for solar cells," said Giulia Galli, Liew Family professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and co-author of a paper published in Nano Letters that outlines this work and its findings. "We are doing modeling, using both classical molecular dynamics and first principle methods, to understand the structure and optical properties of these nanoparticles and quantum dots."

Core-shell Nanoparticles

For this study, the team focused on heterostructured nanoparticles -- in this case a colloidal quantum dot in which PbSe nanoparticles are embedded in CdSe. This type of quantum dot -- also known as a core-shell nanoparticle -- is like an egg, Márton Vörös, Aneesur Rahman Fellow at Argonne and co-author on the paper, explained, with a "yolk" made of one material surrounded by a "shell" made of the other material.

"Experiments have suggested that these heterostructured nanoparticles are very favorable for solar energy conversion and thin-film transistors," Vörös said.

For example, while colloidal quantum dot energy conversion efficiencies currently hover around 12% in the lab, "we aim at predicting quantum dot structural models to go beyond 12%," said Federico Giberti, postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering and first author on the Nano Letters paper. "If 20% efficiency could be reached, we would then have a material that becomes interesting for commercialization. "

To make this happen, however, Vörös and Giberti realized they needed to better understand the structure of nanoscale interfaces and whether atomistic defects were present. So, along with Galli, they developed a computational strategy to investigate, at the atomic level, the effect of the structure of the interfaces on the materials' optoelectronic properties. By using classical molecular dynamics and first principles methods that do not rely on any fitted parameters, their framework allowed them to build computational models of these embedded quantum dots.

Using this model as the basis for a series of simulations run at NERSC, the research team was able to characterize PbSe/CdSe quantum dots and found that atoms that are displaced at the interface and their corresponding electronic states -- what they call "trap states" -- can jeopardize solar cell performance, Giberti explained. They were then able to use the model to predict a new material that does not have these trap states and should perform better in solar cells.

"Using our computational framework, we also found a way to tune the optical properties of the material by applying pressure," Giberti added.

This research -- which included studies of electron and atomic structures -- used four million supercomputing hours at NERSC, according to Vörös. Most of the atomic structure calculations were run on Cori, NERSC's 30-petaflop system installed in 2016, although they also used the Edison system, a Cray XC30 with Intel Xeon processors. While the calculations didn't need a large number of processors, Giberti noted, "I needed to launch many simultaneous simulations at the same time, and analyzing all the data was in itself a rather challenging task."

Looking ahead, the research team plans to use this new computational framework to investigate other materials and structures.

"We believe that our atomistic models, when coupled with experiments, will bring a predictive tool for heterogeneous nanostructured materials that can be used for a variety of semiconducting systems," Federico said. "We are very excited about the possible impact of our work."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pre Owned Luxury Watches

Pre Owned Luxury Watches

"The making of a person is the type of watch he wears!" I often times hear my friends say and that I consider this can be valid. A branded wrist watch is obviously a sign of prestige and sophistication. A pricey watch takes in itself a specific standing and craftsmanship that displays art in its most authentic kind. How would you rate a guy riding a Lamborghini? How can you take a look at a man wearing a Swiss masterpiece? Certainly, it is possible to confirm a character from the guy who uses a luxury timepiece in his hand.

2014 introduces several high-priced watches in the marketplace with costs more than that of a Lamborghini. It is truly breathtaking and inspiring to have a look in a genuine masterpiece. Yet, before I take you on a tour to view these very wonderful artworks, let's analyze what sets all these watches apart from other watches, aside of course for his or her excessive cost that just a billionaire are able.

Why Is a Watch Pricey?

A wristwatch could be an intriguing bit of artwork. Mostly made and produced with the intent of deciding the time. Who could have told afterward that it would later defeat the world's attention using its standing and sophistication? A watch, which will be somewhat mechanical timepiece developed in the emerging rule of a sundial in 1940 has now become a real craftsman's state of the art masterpiece. The time spent on every detail of each and every attribute provides the timepiece its worth of singularity and actually enriched by the range of quality materials used such platinum, scarce and pricey stone, bones or metals. A report says some producers use stone from and moon and dinosaurs bone and that what makes this kind of watch high-priced and outstanding. A wristwatch is carefully handcrafted with an ability and command completely embedded with fire and commitment, fashioned in the making of each and every detail it takes. This is an established state of the art technology as it embodies in itself such worth of importance.

Development of Watches

Before the 20th Century, a watch was just meant to be a girl's novelty. It's called a "wristlet" and had got a little recognition from guys as a timepiece. It was simply in the 20th Century when Military began to shift their views on wrist watches as they find its invaluable use in keeping time throughout the war. It's thought that in the 1980s, the German Imperial military was already using wristwatches and synchronizing their time for tactical naval strikes. Such wrist watches were supplied by Girard-Perregaux. Decades after, the British won in the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902).British were in a position to win the war by utilizing wristwatches to synchronize troop movements and strikes. In 1905 wristwatches became more acceptable to men.

But its popularity is still restricted to girls. It was just during the 1014-1919 war when Europe goes to fight contrary to the German Empire that demands for wrist watch improved due for their popularity in the Boer War. Wristwatches subsequently became an evident importance.

Over time, wrist watches had gained popularity not only one of the girls but among the guys at the same time. A wristwatch is after considered a luxury thing. Innovative technology was utilized as more features were added along with various engineering layouts was implemented. Some makers like Francis Baumgartner, Borgel and Dennison introduced new engineering layouts, which lead them to make watches immune to water and dust. Glass covering of the watches which might be contributory to breaking and chipping were later replaced with a stronger form of plastic stuff.

Now, brands like Tag Heuer, Movado, etc. are much valued by most and were considered luxury but some reviews show that these watches are really overrated through their marketing strategies. Versions including Tiger Woods enhance Tag Heuer's worth so that you are really paying for the version rather than for the real value of the wrist watch. Since watches are made from importance, their characteristics are tool-oriented. This can be most likely the main reason why now, most watches for men were created using a tough look appropriate for more adventurous activities like scuba diving, sky-gliding, mountain climbing, etc. Others take attributes such as built-in radar to provide you with directions in the event that you are lost in a desert or a jungle. These characteristics and characteristics were included to focus on needing a particular job or profession.

Things to Take Into Account in Investing In a High-End Watch

There are 3 kinds of high-end watches: the Entry Level pre owned Luxury Watches, the Medium Range Luxurious Watch as well as the High-End Luxury Watch. But somehow now, I am handling on people 's general understanding of a high-end watch. In selecting one, you should take into account these variables so you will not find yourself crying over spilled milk.


Due to the success of multimedia ads as well as other corporate marketing strategies, individuals now give attention to purchasing the brand compared to the product itself. This principle is quite powerful and must come primarily together with your range of shopping for your high-end watch. A favorite brand carries in itself a narrative of good will as well as a corporate character which has long endured over time and catastrophe in the business. The brand name is sufficient to guarantee of a long time guarantee.

his is why everyone should be careful about making this decision otherwise one can be easily mistaken and make the mistake over and over again. For more information use Google or any other search engine system as it will be easier to find a solution to the problem if you try to do a little research by yourself.

Another matter to take into account in investing in a wristwatch is its built. Is it construct for precision and endurance? Watches are anticipated to own its life benefit especially when it is a luxury thing. They need to take a license plate of a very long time endurance and preciseness. The outdoor look alone must supply the owner the feeling of affluence. It's this that distinguishes you from your remainder as a high-end watch embodies a status symbol,


Because of modern technology, a wrist watch now is now not a straightforward apparatus construct for telling time. It's engineered with attributes that encompassed simplicity and intent. Related attributes are incorporated in its layout to offer the watch owner the satisfaction for the price he paid for the watch, characteristics including a chronograph, a casing that's water or dust-resistant, automatic function. Multiple time zone as well as camera or radar built-in attributes.

Discretionary Attributes

To entice buyers into purchasing an extremely competitive merchandise, for example, a watch, manufacturing companies contain other alternatives for indulgence with all the goal of creating the owner a standout from your remains. A good example of the alternatives is the inclusion of precious metals like diamond and stuff from your moon or dinosaur remains.

The Cost

The last but the most significant factor to think about in investing in a high-end watch is the cost of the thing itself. Though there is no special guide with this, it comes with your option of how much you happen to be prepared to spend on your watch. All things considered, I'm you who'll pamper yourself into this self-indulgence.

Having a high-end watch is definitely the best action of self-indulgence. Wearing it comfortably in your wrist and experiencing the great convenience it provides for its worth is definitely a thing that will gain you to get a very long time. So why don't you begin gratifying yourself of one excellent option and what better time to start than NOW!

Friday, March 31, 2017

How Your Personal Credit Score Can Impact Your Business

As a business owner, credit may be a tool that can help your business grow to new heights, but it can also be a difficult concept to master. Making things even more challenging, your business may not be able to stand on its own when it comes to applying for credit. In many cases, your personal credit may hinder or improve your business’s credit approval. Here are some instances when your business credit may be impacted by your personal credit score.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Dos and Don'ts of Using a Well-Known Business Accelerator

Accelerators are an amazing way for entrepreneurs to learn the ropes of launching (and running) a business while also gaining valuable connections. That is, if the founders select the right one for their needs. Participating in the Techstars Boston accelerator program has had a profound effect on the success of Moritz Plassnig’s company Codeship, a developer-tool business. In the article below, he offers some smart advice on using elite accelerators like Y Combinator and Techstars.

“I made vital connections, expanded my local network, received excellent advice and increased my work ethic due to long hours of training sessions, demonstration preparations and mentorship meetings,” Plassnig says. “By the time my team and I graduated from the program, we had attracted local investors and were on our way to receiving our Series A funding. This probably wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for Techstars, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity. But all accelerator programs are not created equal.”

Here’s how to make sure you get the most out of yours:

Novation Twitch

Novation music is one of our favorite brands (as  NUMARK MIXTRACK PRO 3 ) out there, dominating a lot of our top choices in shopping guid...