Multistrada Headlight Mods

The early models of the Ducati 1200 Multistrada were equipped with four halogen headlamps. These use H11 bulbs rated at 55 watts and put out a decent amount of light. But there’s always room for improvement!

More modern headlight bulbs using light emitting diode (LED) technology can produce more, whiter light than halogens while using less power. Another complaint with the Ducati is the way the hi/low headlights work. Switching on the high beam turns off the low beams (or dipped beam as they say in the UK). For my aging eyes I want all the light I can get! Fortunately there’s an easy way to remedy this.

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Pennytech: Simple Lightbox

Snapping product photos for eBay or Facebook Marketplace just got a whole lot easier! Using this simple lightbox you can shoot on a blank “infinite” background to emphasize the item, instead of your surroundings.

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Pennytech: New and Improved Teleprompter

Avid readers may be familiar with my homemade teleprompter (see Making a $5 Teleprompter) for shooting video without the use of cue cards or memory-enhancing drugs. The original was made from a wine box, piece of glass and some packing tape.

Teleprompter in ActionI hadn’t used the $5 Teleprompter for a couple of years. But recently we started shooting some talking head segments for the Two Wheel Oklahoma video project. The cardboard version was in pretty sad shape after being stored for several months.

I happened across some surplus coroplast signs and decided to give it a go. What a difference! Very sturdy, easy to work with, strong yet light. I used duct tape to temporarily hold it together, then made a permenant bond with contact cement.

It works great and has really helped make my video work look more professional.

Pennytech: Laptop Workstation

During our recent ice storm trauma Jackie and I spent a good deal of our mornings soaking up coffee and wi-fi at the nearest Panera. This went on for the entire eight days our power was out.

Each morning we would pack up the Dell laptop I use at work. It’s a reliable, if not exactly light, Inspiron 5500 that has served us well. Jackie doesn’t use laptops very often and had trouble negotiating the glidepoint pad and found it difficult to type with the laptop flat on the table. I solved the glidepoint problem next time by bringing along a mouse. The solution to positioning the keyboard at an angle was her idea…

Most dollar stores sell rubber door stops in a package of 4 or 6 or more. Placing two of them under the laptop sets it up at an angle and makes it easier to type.

Now I keep a pair of doorstops in the laptop bag to use whenever I travel or need to use the Dell on a table top.