The newest member of Photog Adventures, Drew Armstrong, joins Brendon for the first Gear Time Live.  On today’s introductory Live Gear Time, we will strip down an external hard drive and show you how to save money by doing it! Also, we talk about the Shimoda Explore Accessory Case and Heated Lens Wraps for Astrophotography.

External Hard Drive = Internal Hard Drive

Drew takes a brand new Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External USB hard drive and shows us how to easily and quickly remove it from its housing. Once it’s removed, you can use in your computer or in a NAS backup like a Drobo or Synology. You first need to remove the drive from the external drive housing. You can slip a knife or flat-bladed screwdriver in the seam of the drive enclosure. Once it is out, you need to remove the USB adaptor from the end of the drive. Do not remove the controller board from the drive, just the interface board that sits atop the controller board. You will need a small screwdriver to do that. One the interface is removed, you now have a disk that you can use as an internal hard drive. If you save the hardware you just removed, you can put the drive back in and you have an external disk again.

If you’re worried about the drive hitting the desk as it comes of its case, don’t. Since the drive is off, the read/write heads are safely parked. And hard disks are designed for several G of impact.

Shimoda Explore Accessory Case

Drew shows us his Shimoda Explore Accessory Case. It’s a fabric bag with clear windows. If you have problems with finding small items that roll around in your camera pack, and who doesn’t, now you can put them into this Shimoda bag. The case opens in half so you can lay it out in an X-Ray machine for TSA checks. Not only does it have a hand strap on it, I also has attachment loops for a larger strap or connecting to the outside of your current pack. There is also webbing inside so your gear stays in place every time you open the case. It comes in a large, medium, and small size. Prices range from about $25 to $35.

Drew’s a big fan of Shimoda (and Peak Design) gear, so stay tuned for more reviews of their equipment.

Heated Lens Wrap

If you’ve done some Milky Way photography, you’ve probably had your lens fog up when shooting a time-lapse. A great solution is a Heated Lens Wrap. It’s a fabric band with little wires inside and Velcro straps that you wrap around the front end of your lens and then plug into an external USB battery. The wrap then gently heats the end of the lens to keep moisture from condensing on the front element. It doesn’t have to heat up super hot, it just needs to get the lens above the dew point so moisture stays off. You can use chemical hand warmers, but this solution can weigh less and in the long run, costs less.

Future Episodes

Really Right Stuff, the maker of really excellent tripods, has relocated to Utah. We hope to be able to take a tour of their facilities at some point.

Upcoming Milky Way Workshops

Join us for our Milky Way Workshops in 2019!
Goblin Valley Workshops
Escalante Workshops
Bandon, OR / Crater Lake Workshops

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Items Discussed in this Podcast

Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB8000100) –
Shimoda Explore Accessory Case –
PROTAGE Condensation Prevention Lens Heater Evening dew Remover USB Warmer P-LH02 –

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Aaron King