May 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Logitech C922x Pro stream webcam unboxing, test and review


A Logitech C922x Pro is unboxed and tested in this episode of House of Hacks. Harley shows everything that's in the box as well as a test and mini-review comparing the Logitech C922x Pro stream webcam with built-in iSight camera on the Mac Book Pro.

Buy it: Logitech C922x Pro (Associates link)

Download link for Open Broadcaster Software

For a written transcript, go to Logitech C922x Pro stream webcam unboxing, test and review

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at


Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to unbox a new Logitech C922x web camera.

[Intro music]

Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers. Harley here.

Today I'm in the beautiful Pacific north-west, outside the workshop on a trip.

The day before I left on vacation I received this in the mail.

It's a new webstream camera and I just wanted to unbox it today.

This is going to be kind of a first look. After the unboxing, we'll go do a screen shot and see how it looks on the computer and hopefully it'll be working pretty well here.

It did get a little wet. The box is a little messed up. One of our iceboxes leaked in the car, but everything... it should be OK. It'll be fine.

So, we've got a six month premium license for XSplit that came with it. I probably won't be using this. I'm planning on using OBS with this, so... It comes with XSplit trial license and the standard "don't leave this out in the sun," "don't use it in a wet environment" kind of disclaimer product stuff that all the lawyers require.

It comes nicely wrapped in some plastic here. And not much to it. It has a USB cable built in. It's built-in, wired directly in, you can't remove the USB cable. It looks like it's a pretty long cable. And then it has some plastic wrapping things up. I'll take that off the front. And, not sure... it looks like this plastic has some sort of adhesive on it but it also looks like it's a plastic bag, so I'm not quite sure, have to figure that out. Another piece of plastic protecting the plastic. I'll just rip this off. There we go. And...

Oh, it's got a 1/4-20 hole in the bottom to mount this on. And some more plastic, remove before flight. And it looks like it has some sort of stand. I'm not sure how this is supposed to work yet. I've seen people mount this. It's got some plastic, rubber protective parts in here. I think it's supposed to mount on top of the monitor somehow. I'm not quite sure, I haven't figure that out yet. But it does sit on the base like this, if you want to sit it on a desk. Since it has the 1/4-20 mounting bracket, I'll probably use it with a Gorillapod in most of my applications.

And the cable... let's see how long this cable is. It looks like it's not short. Probably about 6 feet or so, so long enough to plug into a laptop. It might be a little short for a desktop environment if you have it underneath a desk or something like that, you might need an extension cable.

But that's really all there is in the box. Not much to it. So let's go throw it on the computer and see what kind of image quality we get.

OK. Here I have the two camera's setup side-by-side. The right side is the iSight built into the Mac. The image on the left is coming from the Logitech.

The way I have this setup is the iSight image is native size from the camera in the vertical height, it's cropped a little bit on the width to fit the frames side-by-side. The image on the left coming from the Logitech is scaled down a little bit to get the sizes the same so you can kind of see side-by-side in terms of size comparison how they compare.

You can see over... oops... over here... notice in particular the noise difference between the two in these details. The noise coming from the webcam is just horrible. We are in a really bad lighting situation. This is at night and lit by one table lamp and so we've got really poor light here which really exacerbates the differences between the cameras.

The webcam does seem to have a little bit more saturation and a little bit warmer than the Logitech, but the Logitech has much more dynamic range. The brights aren't quite so blown out, the darks have a little bit more detail in them.

Let's go look at these images full screen so we kind of get a better look at the detail on them.

First we go to the web-camera, here we have the web-camera is now expanded for 1080 height. Since it's not a high def camera it does have the black bars on the side and it is kind of above its native resolution. But this is kind of the application that I would have for it. I'd want to post things on YouTube in high-def and so this is kind of representative of what I'd want to be doing. So, it's a little bit fuzzy and we notice the noise is again on this side is really exacerbated since the pixels are expanded a little bit.

Let's go look at the Logitech now. This is just looking at the Logitech. This is the native size coming out of the camera since it is high-def and this video is high-def. We can see we're filling the screen. We've got more dynamic range. The darks over here aren't quite so... there's a little more detail in them. And the brights on this side of my face aren't quite so blown out. It's a little bit flatter on the color, not quite so saturated, but that can be brought up if I really want to with filters in post processing. So I think overall this is obviously, particularly with the noise that we see over here, or the lack of noise that we see over here, it's a much better camera.

And finally, let's go back to side by side mode for one last comparison. And there we have kind of what the two cameras that I have access to look like.

So I want to talk a little bit about why I picked this up.

In April and August there's an event called VEDA: Vlog Every Day in either April or August. And last year I did this in August. I did this on my second channel where I talked about a liitle bit about House of Hacks and things related to making, but also some other personal stuff, so I didn't put it on this main channel because I though it was a little bit off-topic.

This year I'm thinking about doing it in August and have everything related to making. So everyday I'd do a fairly short video on making things. Something more philosophical or quick-tips or something short and sweet, not a big project videos, but something I can do on a daily basis, just to post on the channel to get practice in doing videos on a daily basis kind of thing.

Most of those I'm anticipating would be pre-recorded but I also want to do, like once a week, do a live video. The only webcam I had was built into my Mac and it has pretty low resolution and doesn't work too well. So I wanted to get this kind of in anticipation of doing some live streaming, particularly in August coming up in a couple months. So that was kind of the motivation for getting this.

I am kind of thinking about ideas for what I want to do in that month, plan out an editorial calendar. If you have any ideas of something you'd be interested in hearing me ramble on about, in a live stream or even in something pre-recorded, leave them down in the comments below. I'd love to hear any ideas you might have in that regard.

I think that's it for today.

Until next time, go make something. Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to use French cleats to hang a mirror, picture or TV


French cleats can be used to hang mirrors, pictures and TVs. In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to make some French cleats suitable for use with heavy items and then uses them to mount a mirror on drywall. They are a simple and strong solution for hanging or mounting heavy objects, such as mirrors, pictures and TVs, in a way that is easy to move for cleaning but are sturdy for an environment where they may get bumped.

For a written transcript, go to How to use French cleats to hang a mirror, picture or TV

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at
Incidental: “Rocket” by Kevin MacLeod at


Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to go from this... to this.

[Intro music]

Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to mount this mirror.

It was originally designed to sit on a dresser and so it doesn't have any hanging hardware on it.

Instead of going to a home improvement store and getting picture frame mounting hardware, we're going to use French cleats.

It's in a commercial environment, so that should be a little bit more stable and easier to work with in this environment.

So the thickness of the French cleats needs to be about 7/8" to sit against the wall nicely.

To make the cleats, I’m just going to use a scrap 2x4.

First I planed off an 1/8" to remove the radius from the corners.

Then I marked an inch off to indicate the excess material.

The band saw took off what wasn’t needed.

Now about an 1/8" needs to be removed.

Running it through the planer again.

And it’s right at 7/8".

Next I find the center.

And rip down the center with a 45 degree cut.

Then cut the two pieces into two pair.

A Forstner bit makes a flat bottomed countersink.

And then a hole for the screw goes the rest of the way through.

The other side gets a standard countersink for a flat head screw.

OK, after all those machining operations, I've got two sets of cleats.

These will go on the mirror itself. It's got wood screws in here with a standard countersink.

And I've got... these'll go on the wall and they've got a flat countersink on them with a washer to kind of help distribute the weight.

We'll put drywall mounts on the back that these will screw into.

So these will fit together like this when they're hanging on the wall.

Marking where the pilot holes goes with a couple taps of the hammer.

And then drilling the pilot holes. I used a piece of tape to mark the depth.

And cleats for the mirror are attached.

Again, mark screw locations with a couple hammer taps.

I love these screw-in drywall anchors…
that the wall cleats simply screw into.

I think that's going to work well. It's nice and stable. It's not going anywhere and, yeah, I think it'll be good.

If you are interested in projects like this, or making things out of wood, metal, electronics, other things of that nature, subscribe down below. Or if you're interested in another video right now, YouTube's got something suggested over here to the side.

Until next time, perfection's not required. Fun is!