Percussa micro super signal processor

I’ve recently had another shipment arrive from previously mentioned purveyors of cheap gadgetry, DealExtreme (disclosure: Affiliate links used, if you buy stuff I get a (tiny) cut). Last time I write about the site, I noted that super-useful VJ things such as preview monitors weren’t available.

The $42 LCD Monitor

They are now.

As you can definitely tell from a larger shot, this 3″ (seems to be around 390×260 pixels) monitor isn’t going to win any awards for image quality or resolution. The manufacturers have also managed to label the AV and Line In ports around the wrong way. However, if there was an award for “super cheap, light, and tiny” monitors, this one would win hands down.

It supports both NTSC and PAL, but it doesn’t come with a 12V power adapter, so you’re going to have to find a separate source of electrons. Fortunately DealExtreme comes to the rescue here too, with an array of power adapters joining their lineup (I’ve found the smaller, cheaper ones are able to power this monitor just fine).

Since I last talked about VJ-specific monitoring solutions (back in 2007), things don’t seem to have changed much. Numark’s triple-screen VM03 has been discontinued Numark are still selling the VM03 MKII, and the cheaper, knockoff version is still costing several hundred dollars per screen. As the volume of cameras mounts up, I think it’s quite likely that several more of these are going to make it into my rig.

Alongside this monitor (and it’s slightly smaller, cheaper, 2.5″ sister), some new visualist-friendly stuff has hit the catalogue since I last wasted an evening trawling through it. Here’s an updated list of things which may be useful to pixelmongers:

Disclaimer: I haven’t purchased or tested all of these items. Most of the stuff I’ve received from DealExtreme has been fine, but if things break, melt, or electrocute your cat, I’m not responsible.

IP Camera with remote pan and tilt control: $109
USB to MIDI cable device: $17
Waterproof* security camera – PAL and NTSC: $22 (*May only be waterproof for a very small value of “water”)
Tiny NTSC security camera: $13 (the PAL version of this was used for various Vixid experiments)
Wireless, underwater camera with monitor and recorder: $250
8 composite over CAT5 video baluns: $37 (like a composite version of these previously mentioned on CDMo. These will require BNC-RCA conversion for most video tasks though. Anyone have a source for cheap BNC-RCA converters? DealExtreme’s ones are the wrong gender)
USB S-Video/Composite AV Capture dongle: $16 (I used one of these for the NetLag broadcast. Works fine on PC, Mac drivers don’t seem to exist)
4-channel, security style USB capture dongle: $19
SATA Hard drive enclosure, video recorder and player: $84 (
160 degree fisheye lens for security cameras: $6.40
2.8-16mm, 6 lens set for security cameras: $15
Tiny webcam: $11
Gorillapod knockoffs of various sizes: $6-15
Video Glasses: $133 (and a version with media player and tuner: $179)
Wireless AV transmitter and receiver set: $52
Video to VGA converter: $41
VGA to Video converter: $35
USB touch screen film: $57
Triple RCA joiner: $1.50
Single RCA joiner: $1.30
Velcro cable ties: $2.50
Composite and S-Video AV cable for Sony DV and HDV cameras (useful for multi-screen projection spanning): $4
DIY RCA cable plug: $1.40
1000 cable ties: $11
USB cable A-B: $3.80

And other, less VJ-centric (yet still enticing) bits:
White 75-LED strip: $12.50
SMD 12-LED Strip and power connector cable: $9 and $1.6.
RGB, 54-LED strip: $11
SATA to USB2 adapter with PSU: $15
PC fans 12cm and 8cm: $5ish
3-Fan speed controller: $7
2xRCA to 3.5mm Stereo plug: $1.20
100 spherical NIB magnets: $20
USB over CAT5 cable extender: $18
USB LED light: $5

I’m sure you’ll be able to find lots more use[ful/less] (delete where applicable) stuff as you get sucked into the DealVortex. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments, or to discuss sources for that all important stuff we spend so much time lugging around and plugging in.