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Mounting Video Camera

Discussion in 'General R1200RS Discussions' started by JasonQ, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Got around to trying out my Akaso EK7000 video camera (cheap Go-Pro).

    I tried out three mounting locations, on the left mirror stalk, on the front of the right-side engine bar and on left side pillion peg facing rear. After getting home I made a short 1 minute 20 sec video out of some of the footage for fun.

    I was also getting use to the camera set-up so whilst the low level front and rear shots are at 120frames per second, the mirror shot was at a lowly 30fps but at a larger resolution. I prefer the sharper cleaner 120fps footage myself.

    Oh and careful on the volume it's loud from the outset.

    So one bike, one camera and ride the road three times

    JasonQ
     
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  2. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Cool. These cheap GoPro action cams are getting better and better, much to the detriment of GoPro.
     
  3. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    Personally, I like a frontal view, but a little bit higher.

    One of the most impressive videos I saw was a BMW owner who mounted his camera on the side somewhere. The view showed just a little of the side of the fairing, but you could see out ahead and also watch the front suspension. I found it amazing to see the front suspension moving up and down...while the bike remained stable. I mentioned that to him, and he said he was glad someone noticed. He'd spent a lot of money upgrading the suspension to get it that way. :D

    Wow! I just looked up the price on that camera. $70!

    So if you want to record all day long, can you wire a power lead to it? I use my Sena 10C all the time and on a day long trip, I simply plug a USB cord into the bottom of the 10C and provide the power that way. It works, even in the rain.

    Chris
     
  4. Brian63

    Brian63 Active Member

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    H Jason
    nice clip i use the mirror stalk mount my self works a treat
    Brian
     
  5. Martien

    Martien Member

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    A camera on the pillion footrest sounds interesting, do you have a picture of what that looks like, and maybe also of the other mounting options?
     
  6. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Sorry haven’t got a full set of picture but here’s how I did the rear facing one (camera NOT mounted).
    20180113_102414.jpg

    The Ram ball U Clamp, Ram Ball Arm and Ram Ball Base are accessories that came with a TomTom Rider 410 I bought, but didn’t use, here are links to the separate items

    U Clamp: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CIG5YHS/ref=pd_luc_rh_sbs_03_02_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
    Arm: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mount-rap-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZF8AMSV5YTJRKG81VEY1
    Base: https://www.amazon.co.uk/RAM-Mounts...rd_wg=9F8hp&psc=1&refRID=5N5A1JK3FDHP3D0HKHZD

    From the accessories that came with the camera I stuck one of the camera's mounting clips on the Ram ball Base (using the double side foam pad provided) and added a couple cable ties as a backup.

    There may be a more elegant solutions, including some from Ram Ball, but as the initial setup cost me nothing, I stuck with this idea and bought an additional Ram ball U clamp, which I mounted on the front of the engine crash bar (sorry no picture will get one at the weekend) – in both cases there is a rubber strip between U bolt and frame/crash bar.

    So I can undo the Ram Ball Arm and Base + camera clip and move the camera between the two locations in a matter of seconds.

    Initially I had the U Clamp the on the mirror stalk and got the higher level forward facing shots - but it vibrated too much under most conditions – so moved it to the engine bar and I’m now working on a different approach to a higher level forward facing mount, using the various clamps and mounts that came with the camera.

    JasonQ
     
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  7. Martien

    Martien Member

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    Thanks for the specifications, I have a lot of RAM mount parts lying around, so using these to mount the camera on the foot pegs or bars is a good idea!
     
  8. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Chris, I'm sorry I missed replying to you initially; no there isn't a power lead for continuous or long stretches of recording; it is battery powered. Supplied in the box were two batteries and a small form charger that can charge both batteries at once or individually via a USB lead.

    So far my test have shown I can get about 90 minutes of recording out of a battery if you shoot continuously, however this will reduce a bit if you are using the standby mode and recording lots of short clips via the remote control. i.e. there is a remote control that you can velcro to something (my case handle bar) and press a button to start/stop recordings but this only works if the camera is 'on' / in standby.

    If recording the camera will record as long as it has power but if you stop recording and the camera will power down after a period of time - I think that there is a setting to say how long this is or if you want it to happen at all (haven't got that far into it yet). I'd guess by default the remains in standby to be around 3 minutes.

    Once it has powered down /off you have to power the camera up by manually pressing the power button on the camera (the remote wont work) this was easy enough when on mirror stalk, but elsewhere might be an issue.

    I have successfully charged a battery in my tank bag via a USB lead from an outlet I have on the bike - it takes longer to charge than the life you get out of a battery if recording continuously, but that's not my intended use and on a day's riding I expect to always have a battery with enough power to record what I want to. You do have to remove the camera from its waterproof plastic case to change the battery.

    Personally I can live with the inconveniences of battery power and the camera powering down when not in use for the price of it, but I can understand why these points might make it unacceptable for others.

    If none of that is clear (likely) or you have any other question just ask
    JasonQ
     
  9. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Active Member

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    I'm liking the idea of a rear-facing camera on pillion footrest bracket as per your photo. If you were to mount it on the other side, you're just below the "accessory" socket. You could then buy a DIN to USB power adaptor and power the camera from that.

    Obviously, that would compromise the camera's waterproofing, but it may just solve your 90 min recording limit time.

    Cheers

    Paul B.
     
  10. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Paul
    From what I read the camera wont operate as a camera when you plug it directly into a USB power supply, I think it goes into charge mode only, but I haven't tried it. If I can remember I'll look at that this evening as it would be useful option to have.

    Getting a power cable into the housing and retaining a good level of waterproofing would be surmountable, with a little bit of work on the housing, but that would most certainly compromise the housing's 97 feet depth rating - which I think exceed the R1200's so wouldn't be an issue - unless, like me, you had ideas of taking the camera on a snorkelling holiday... ;) but then a second housing could probably be sourced, but I'll prove the camera works as a camera when plugged into a power source first.

    Jason
     
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  11. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Active Member

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    I know all makes and models different, but my VIRBs (I have 3. Long story.) will record with external power up until their SD card is full, so your rear-facing mount idea is quite appealing! So much so, I might have to mount one the same as yours :D

    The R1200RS isn't rated to 97 feet waterproofing? Shoddy German engineering ;)

    The VIRBs are waterproof to a couple of meters as they are - and certainly fine in rain and spray - but I think leaving the USB cover open would compromise that. I also have a dive case which makes them waterproof to 30m, but I'm loath to start drilling holes in that.

    Let us know how you get on with yours after adding power.

    Cheers

    Paul B.
     
  12. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    Thanks, JasonQ. The explanation was totally clear. Thank you for taking the time to cover the details like you did.

    I really like the Akaso EK7000 camera. For what it does, it's perfect. If you want a GoPro...it seems like an excellent alternative. There were some buyer's comments that indicated it was a little more fragile than they expected and had some quirks, but if you kept those issues in mind that others found, you'd have a great deal. And gosh, it is so inexpensive that if you damage it past the warranty, just throw the old one away and buy a new one. :)

    What I'm searching for is something I can use as a dash cam all the time, and have it do double-duty as an action cam on a scenic ride. I find the INNOVV K1 intriguing. It has a front and rear camera that stay on the bike "permanently" and feed a DVR that is mounted under the seat. Power is provided by a direct tie-in to the bike. It's a lot more expensive though than the Akaso...but it fills a different "need" for me. Maybe I'll get one some day. Check out the link I included.

    In my case, I use my Sena 10C all the time. In everyday riding, it functions as a dash cam. Even on a long day ride or when touring, I leave it on continuously. As I leave the city suburbs and head out to the scenic back roads, it just transitions from a dash cam to an action cam. It is set to record in a loop mode at 5 minute intervals. When the card fills up, the camera just records over the oldest file. And as I'm riding along, I can press a button to take an individual still photo. I use that often as a "bookmark" to remind myself that there's something to look at in the video near that time. And unlike the INNOVV camera, wherever I turn my head to see something, I'm recording it. Much like the Akaso.

    Unfortunately, it has one flaw. I think the flaw is particular to my individual unit and is why I'm in search of something new for next summer. I think it has an internal memory error, and it is out of warranty. It'll lock up the unit with no warning at all. If I get another, I'm going to get the extended warranty on it.

    One thing I like about it is the size. The unit is about the size of a Sena 20S. If you want Bluetooth to talk with other riders, listen to your GPS directions, etc. then getting the camera in the same unit is kind of sweet.

    So my search continues... :D

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  13. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    I assume the Sena uses a micro SD card, have you tried formatting it to remove the memory/locking up error. The SD cards develop errors when continually overwritten and this will usually result in cameras automatically shutting down.
     
  14. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    Willy, I tried that. I've formatted the SD card both in Windows and in the Sena. No joy. I reloaded the old firmware and thought I had the answer...only to find that a day or so down the road, the thing locked up again. :( One day, it locked up six times!

    I think the Sena is much like a PC where you have the RAM that's used to execute the program, and the SD card that is used to store the data like your hard drive. My thinking is the internal RAM has a problem. Eventually, the data it is using is corrupted...and that locks the unit up.

    For my use, the Sena 10C is probably the best solution to having both a daily dash cam, and an occasional action cam...and having a Bluetooth headset for all the advantages that gives you. And yes, I do like riding with others who have BT. I headed off on a day long ride with a friend I hadn't ridden with in a couple years. He had just bought a Sena also, just a different BT only model. It was like sitting in a car with him catching up on what had happened in our lives. And when I saw a road hazard, I could let him know easily.

    Sena is about a year late in releasing their new model, the Sena 10C Evo. Upgraded resolution is the biggest reason to upgrade. I've also seen a reference to a Sena 10C "Pro". Maybe a stop-gap measure since Sena seems to be having issues with the "Evo" model.

    I really have no issues at all with the "10C", if I didn't have the lock up issue. It's like the best features of the Akaso camera in being able to record wherever you point it, with the ability to record all day long. I solved the short battery life when recording by simply plugging a USB cord into it. The power connection is on the lower rear and doesn't seem to cause any problems in rain...of which I've seen a lot of. A 32GB SD card, will last a full day of riding. And while the pictures aren't fantastic, they can be quite good.
    [​IMG]

    One benefit of an action camera is not so much to record videos to share, although that is certainly a benefit...but there are times when it simply isn't practical to stop for a picture, and this gives you a way to come away with one anyway.

    Chris
     
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  15. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Right after a few tests this has become interesting (to me at least) – the Akaso EK7000 does fully function when plugged into an external USB power supply, in fact you can remove the battery and it will still power up and function using an external USB power source.

    I’ve done a search on Amazon and sourced a second waterproof house for 13 quid. Got to figure out how to attach the power lead whilst retaining some level of water proofing and still be able to remove the camera from the house relatively easily.

    Anyone with electronics knowledge able to help me on these related questions:
    1/ If I have the USB power connected to the camera and the battery in the camera, the camera shows it is changing the battery (despite it being fully charged), could this damage the battery if left like this for long periods - in use it might be in this condition for hours (4+) at a time.
    2/ Alternatively the battery is rated at 3.7volts (1000mAh) and if recall USB is 5volts and the outlet on my bike is rated to 1Amp, would powering the camera from the USB, without the battery in, eventually fry the circuitry in the camera, 5v verses 3.7v? i.e. does the battery provide some sort of loading to regulate the 5v to 3.7v? Or am I over thinking it?

    JasonQ
     
  16. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Active Member

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    How about a small rubber grommet, that just lets the USB cable slide through? Then you can plug the camera in, and gently pull the cable back through as you put the camera into the case. Of course, that all depends on the design of the case, etc etc.

    The "battery charging" icon will be showing because the charging circuit will be charging the battery as fast as the camera is using power from the battery. No harm will come to the battery.

    USB is indeed 5V, but there must be internal circuitry within the camera to take that 5V down to 3.7V for both the camera circuitry and the battery charging. You won't fry the camera.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers

    Paul B.
     
  17. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    Yay! :) That gives you some freedom to use the Akaso for longer trips without being tied to the batteries you carry.

    The owner reviews on Amazon might give you another source for answers. There's a Q&A section on the Amazon page also. If you don't see your question there, ask it. Amazon will send out the question to the other owners and ask for answers.

    One of the things I picked up in an owner review that I found interesting, is there is an extra rear door...but the owner found it wasn't waterproof. Maybe there is a seal the person hadn't transferred over? So if you pick up this second waterproof case, you'd maybe want to look at it closely to make sure it is indeed waterproof.

    Good luck with this! It sounds like you've found yourself a great deal.

    Chris
     
  18. Robert the Brews

    Robert the Brews Member

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    [​IMG]

    SJCAM, a cheap alternative for GoPro camcorders, produces a waterproof housing for its SJ6 and SJ7 cams WITH a USB-cable completely waterproof. Maybe this is interesting for forum members when choosing a new camcorder. And an inspiration for do-it-your-selvers!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  19. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    I assume the usb lead plugs into the side of the camera. If so you could try drilling a hole larger than the usb plug into the side of the housing then stick a short length of rigid plastic tube making a small tunnel sticking out of the housing, then find some thin wall rubber tubing, like a small diameter inner tube, party balloon or perhaps the small finger from a rubber glove, it needs to be a stretch over the plastic tube. Take a length of that and secure it behind the usb plug with a cable tie. Then you could push the usb plug down the tube into the camera and then stretch the rubber over the tube to make it weather tight. Hope that makes sense. May need some silicone sealant where you cable tie to the usb cable.
     
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  20. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    I would try drawing it but I'm not that kind of artist!
     

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