100W LED Video Light

Now that my YouTube channel has been picking up traction (more than I ever thought it would), I figured I should do a better job with the quality of my videos. A big piece of that is lighting. So I wanted some good, powerful lights to use, but without having to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars.

So in this video, I'm going to show you how I did it. First, here is a list of all the parts I used, with links to where you can buy them. All prices are in US dollars and from 2017. Prices may have changed.

LED light set: eBay ($22.69)
10kOhm logarithmic potentiometer: eBay ($1.89 for 2) or locally
10kOhm trim potentiometer: eBay ($0.99 for 10) or locally
USB wall charger: free or dollar store
2ft 4” PVC pipe: free or Home Depot ($9.13)
2x 4” PVC drain: Home Depot ($3.21)
Threaded insert: Home Depot ($2.97 for 4)
Cabinet Handle: Home Depot ($1.16)
Black plastic paint: Amazon ($5.94) or locally
IEC320 C8 power socket: eBay ($1.14 for 2) or locally
IEC320 C8 power cord: free or Monoprice ($1.88)
Knob for potentiometer: eBay ($0.99 for 5) or locally

In total, it costs $53.32. But if you decide to make a second one, the cost for the second comes down to $30.27 since many of parts you can only buy in multiples, so you already have enough for the second.

You can also buy lighting umbrellas with holders, as I did:

Umbrella holder: eBay ($2.99)
Umbrella: eBay ($2.59)

Finally, here is the video:

I doubt anyone will make these lights exactly as I did. I took inspiration from these two videos, so check them out to get some ideas for yourself.

Add Dimmer to ZY1010B 100W LED Driver

I will be working on 100W LED lights to help with lighting my videos. I bought this kit on eBay for about $30US: https://goo.gl/HgWenj

I was planning to wire in a dimmer, like this guy did: https://youtu.be/c--5c3Egv4E?t=4m4s

But alas, the LED driver I got did not have a trim potentiometer like the one in the video. However, on closer inspection, I found that the circuit board has a spot for one, there just isn't one there:

So I wired one in there, and it worked perfectly!

Here's a link to a potentiometer you can use for this: https://goo.gl/kXgcRC

And here's the video where I demonstrate how it works:

Stay tuned for a video where I put all of this together.

Save Money on CAD/USD Exchange Rates

A little known fact is that the banks that issue credit cards usually have an inflated foreign exchange rate. For many cards, like the Canadian Tire Options card, for example, that rate is 2.5% on top of the MasterCard exchange rate. So for us Canadians who do a lot of cross-border shopping, or shopping online in US dollars, that can add up.

Can you avoid it? Yes! Last year I found the Amazon Rewards Visa, only available to Canadians. Using this card, you will only be charged the Visa exchange rate, which you can check on Visa's website, and no more.

Apart from no foreign exchange fees, it does have other perks:
  • Free $20 Amazon.ca gift card for signing up
  • 2% cash back on Amazon.ca purchases
  • 1% cash back everywhere else (only applies to Canadian dollar transactions)
  • No annual fee
Once you earn $20 in cash back, it gets applied right to your card (your bill is decreased by $20).

To sign up, click on the link below. The application takes 5 minutes and you can start using it immediately on Amazon.ca, before you even receive your card in the mail.

Make the purchases you've always been making for 2.5% less. We've found it worth it.

Stop Your Treadmill from Beeping

Are the beeps from your treadmill annoying? Want to run while the kids are in bed? Watch this video to see how to quiet your treadmill.

I'll show you four (well, technically five) different ways to do it:

1. Muffle the sound, if you just find it too loud.
2. Disable the sound entirely
3. Add a switch to turn the sound on and off
4. Add a volume knob

The 5th option, which is what I do in the video, combines 3 and 4. Options 1 and 2 require no special tools, but doing option 2 without a soldering iron is not recommended.

Here are wiring diagrams for the other options, with links to where you can buy what you need:

Here is a push on / push off (aka self-locking) switch: https://goo.gl/c4j1r1

Volume knob
You'll need a 20kΩ potentiometer (labelled as B20K), which you can buy here: https://goo.gl/XxgVBD

Volume knob with switch
For this you'll need a 10kΩ (or more) potentiometer with combined switch: https://goo.gl/2WG87b

And finally, here is the video:

Leather band for RoadID Elite

In this video I'll show you how to make a leather band for the RoadID Elite to replace the silicone band that comes with it. I use these bracelets for my kids, and I've found that the silicone bands break after a while. I've gone through 4-5 bands now and I don't want to replace them anymore.

These bracelets can be bought at:

Note that you can buy the clasp and plate on their own if you plan on making your own leather band.

A leather trim piece can be bought on Amazon:
US: http://amzn.to/2kB9J2h
Canada: http://amzn.to/2laIsjL
UK: http://amzn.to/2k96MT5

Extend Keyless Entry Range

In this video, I'll show you how to add a bigger antenna to your vehicle's keyless entry system to extend the range.

You'll need the normal soldering tools, as well as a long piece of wire. I used a 14g electrical wire, but even speaker wire would work.

Optionally, a car trim pry tool would be helpful, which can be purchased here on eBay.

Install new TPMS sensors in your tires by yourself!

As promised, here is my follow-up video where I show you how to install new TPMS sensors in a tire that is already mounted on a rim. Do this if you are replacing an existing TPMS sensor, or if you are adding a sensor where you had a regular rubber valve before.

I am installing Autel MX Sensors in my winter tires. In my previous post, I showed you how to program these sensors. If you missed that, read it here: http://www.gabeshacks.com/2016/10/how-to-clone-and-program-new-tpms.html

Here's a tip I learned later: Drive a nail through the two boards into the small piece so they don't slip.