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Author Topic: video set up for $360
Jfornachon Verified Driver
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What do you all think about this video set up.
http://www.chaparral-racing.com/Chaparral/productr.asp?pf...752FE4F919BBE5EECD52D70C2

I know it is made for motorcycles but, I know there is some one out there that can make it work. I don't know how to mount it. I don't know if the camera is the same as the chase cam or not. If it is then you can just get one and go from there. Let me know what you all think about the camera. I want to get video in my car by the 26th if possible.

Thank you and have a great day,
Jared

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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320x240 is pretty crummy resolution.

I put together a setup with a 580-line bullet cam, stereo mics, and a solid state MPEG-4 recorder for just over $400. Details here:
http://thenobot.org/stories/?i=160
Scroll to the bottom for the parts list.

With a cheaper bullet cam (480-line) you could do it for just over $300.

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Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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That's very nice video Zack.
Where did you place the microphones? That's about the only thing I didn't like. Seems like they (or the input to the Aiptek) were overdriven.

--------------------
"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

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The issue is most likely the wrong style of mic. Google "Mic Level & Line Level".

Look at these links for more detailed information http://forum.specmiata.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/38/70.html#000004

And for a quick hit summary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level

Match the mic's line output with the Aiptek device and you will probably eliminate the raspy peaks and snares. Once you've got that sorted out with the correct input levels, you may need a wind sock (home made) to reduce buffeting wind noises depending on where you place the mic.

If you have the wrong style of mic, you can reduce some of the rasp by wrapping it heavily in tissue and sticking it in the trunk in a crack or crevice. It will still sound raspy though. It will not eliminate the rasp, but it will reduce the peak distortion slightly. The best thing to do is search for the input signal needed for the Aiptek and match the mic to the device. This goes for all recorders whenever you are using remote mics in the car.

Nice video quality for the price Zack. Does it look good on a TV?

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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smtejas -- on the TV I think it looks good. The native resolution matches standard-def TV. I downsample it to 600x400 to put online.

Antonio -- I have the mics, Aiptek recorder, and DC/AC inverter inside of a plastic toolbox I bolted to the trunk floor. I put towels in the box to keep things snug. No wind in there (double-buffered ;-)

Personally I'm cool with the sound, since all I'm looking for is to be able to hear when I'm on and off the gas. I guess if the mics I'm using fail, then I'd look for a set that can handle a higher SPL. The Hoyttech mics are powered, and their output is line-level. Though I guess it could be hotter than what the Aiptek is designed for...

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Z-MAN Verified Driver
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I think it all depends on what you want from the camera.

I just had my first chance to use the my new Go Pro Hero camera in the race car - after a few start up issues it looks like it will do the trick.

54 mins of video on a 2G SD card - Great Video - and it includes all the mounts for $179. Search for goprocamera.

Now I have to learn how to edit video files - can't send 2GB files to your friends.

Z-Man

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The go-pro is a great starter camera. a little tough to use in terms of interface, and i'm still working on some mounting solutions but all in all a good basic package. worked great as a helmet cam with my snowboard as well.

I do have to say sound quality is not that great though.

Z-Man I'm in the same boat on the editing. If I get some time this week I'm going to play with the Windows Movie Maker software. If I come up with anything good I'm PM you.

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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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Thenobot-Would this setup work?
http://cgi.ebay.com/SONY-580-EX-VIEW-HELMET-C...ZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

As well as this,
http://cgi.ebay.com/AIPTEK-A-HD-HD-CAMCORDER-...ZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I am shure I can find this stuff for less if I tried. If this is basically the setup then i will give me a better idea of what you are talking about.

Have a great day,
Jared

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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Hi Jared -- Yep, both are good. The bullet cam kit seems like an OK price -- the cam itself is about $200, then stereo mics are $30, and the power adapter is another $20 or $30, so it pencils out. The included Pivot Mount could be used to build something that would work well attached to a rollcage.

FWIW, I bought my bullet cam, mics, and cigarette power adapter from http://www.hoyttech.com/

The Aiptek price looks decent. I must have gotten mine at a good time, since it was $130 in-store at Circuit City and came with a $30 rebate. It's back up to $145 (no rebate) there now.

--------------------
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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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If you are thinking about this setup you can get the camera on sale at circuit city. It is $12 off. I don't know how long the sale will last though

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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I just found out that sears has it on sale as well.

Lucky_Kid
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If that the Mustek I used that unit before and is sucks. http://www.Datatoys.com has the Aiptek kits with very good cams at a decent price. They also have some better units(DVR Pro) if you want some better recording quality.

Z-MAN Verified Driver
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Mounting the GoPro isn't that hard if you buy the Motorsports kit.

It comes with several adhesive backed bases and several swivel joints - I welded a 2x2 plate to the top of the cross bar. Used three of the swivels so I would have good adjustability. (also comes with a vacuum base - I didn't use)

The video has some buffeting in the middle of the long straight at Gateway (probably air flow) but otherwise it worked great.

The sound can be adjusted to the low setting to help make it more acceptable.

Someone tell me how to add a pic to the thread I'll post a pic of the mounts.

Z-Man

-Bob-
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For those using the GoPro and are looking for other mounting possibilities:

I took the plastic base that the GoPro is attached to when you receive it, drilled four holes 3 inches on center and mounted it to:

http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/bigpicture.asp?RecId=2301

With all the other attachment pieces that come with the GoPro using this configuration I can mount the camera on the level, angled, or upside down since the GoPro will invert the recorded picture.

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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It has been a while since I have installed the camera. I have a few issues that I nned ot work out. Hopefully some of yall have some experiance with them. I have put some window tint on it and it makes a very slight change nothing major.

1. when I view the videos on my computer it is way to bright. When I view it on my Ipod It is very perfect. How can I fix this?

2. I have mounted the camera just as Zach has in his link above. While I am driving the camera rotates. The odd thing is that it is not where it screws onto the mount it is the case. I have tried to superglue it but I just ends up rotating. Do you have any experiance and or sugestions?

Have a great day,
Jared

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The only significant downside to the Aiptek A-HD+ is that it can't be externally powered. The good news is batteries and chargers are cheap and it looks to be fairly easy to hack.

--------------------
Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

Craig Heyl
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I have a similar set up to the one Zack references. I use the Sony 580-line camera, and external/powered mic and the Aiptek camera/recorder as the DVR. The camera and mic are directly powered by the car, no batteries.

The nice thing about the Aiptek recorder is it records .MOV files for direct import into Final Cut and QT players (easy -fast) and with the larger battery and 4G SD card, I can easily record a 3 hour enduro. I made a small foam box for it to fit into on my right-hand side so I can reach it.

If only the Aiptek could be externally powered... and record higher resolution via external inputs, it would be better. But for $149 when I bought it, it's a pretty cheap solution for a DVR.

Also I have split audio so radios or other sources can be recorded in addition to the car sound.

The whole set up was under $400.

Here's an example, and others on my Vimeo page.
http://www.vimeo.com/2290624

Eventually I'll replace the Aiptek with a Chasecam or similar DVR so I can integrate Traqmate data overlays.

--------------------
Craig Heyl
Decatur Speed Shop
404-375-6025
Atlanta Region SCCA
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Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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Good stuff Craig. I love the radio chatter! ("I wet my pants" - HA!)

You can power the Aiptek if you use a power inverter and the wall wart that comes with the camera.

Also, if you put a half-circle of window tint over the glass lens cover of the bullet cam, you will get better exposure inside and outside the car. Just get a little scrap from a window tint person (I think I use 20% tint) cut to shape and apply with water to the glass lens cover.

--------------------
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Craig Heyl
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Zack, thanks for the tip on the window tint. I'll try that. The wide-eye lens is almost too wide with such a small window and a dark interior. So the exposure gets hot in bright sunlight.

So the wall charger plugged into a power converter will power the camera? I tried the cig lighter USB power cable that came with the camera but all it did was charge. I haven't tried the AC cable however.

--------------------
Craig Heyl
Decatur Speed Shop
404-375-6025
Atlanta Region SCCA
NASA - SE
craigheyl@mac.com

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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Craig,

Thank you for sharing. I have tried the window tint which helped very little. The clairity of my videos are no where near that of yours.

What would the difference be between the 580 and 480 cameras? Could that be the reson that it is way too bright and may be out of focus?

Have a great day,
Jared

Craig Heyl
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Jared, something to consider is both the camera's resolution and the record resolution on the recorder. Although I have the 580 line Sony bullet camera, the Aiptek recorder only records 640x480 through the line input. The 580 line camera might look marginally better than the 480. But the record quality impacts the overall picture a great deal.

The bullet cams are fixed focus (most of them). Your focus should always be sharp unless the lens is unscrewed.

Stand alone as a camcorder, the Aiptek records a very nice 1080 or 720p image. But the line input is limited.

Also, if you're converting your video files, flipping them from one codec to another, or scaling the picture size, the picture quality will get zapped very quickly.

In my case the extreme wide angle lens picks up the dark cabin interior as the average light level, vs the bright exterior, so the exposure can get a bit hot. I'll try some ND filtering on the camera like Zack recommended to see it that helps.

Most of the more expensive DVRs don't record quite the resolution I'd expect for the money. So I haven't messed with them yet.

--------------------
Craig Heyl
Decatur Speed Shop
404-375-6025
Atlanta Region SCCA
NASA - SE
craigheyl@mac.com

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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Craig,

I play them dirrectly on my quick time player. I have to use the adjustments for the video to getit even close to what I need to be able to see what is going on.

I have added a film of tint. It may not be dark enough to filter out the light. What is ND filtering?

Thank ou for the help and any more that you may offer.

Have a great day,
Jared

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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ND == Neutral density or "not a color, just cut down on the amount of light passing through"

Applying tint over the whole lens won't do the trick. The trick is to put tint in the areas that see the brightest light. In my case, putting the tint in a half-circle so it only covers the upper 1/2 of the glass lens cover blocks enough light coming in through the windshield that I can get a good exposure of both the inside and outside of the car.

You could put the tint on the windshield itself to get the same effect, but that would make the whole racing part kind of weird. [Smile]

http://www.vimeo.com/2865797
see how the view out the windshield is not washed out, and inside the car isn't too dark either

--------------------
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Craig Heyl
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Zack, your video looks very clean and the half circle filter works. I'll try it at the OPM test weekend in a few days.

Jared, do you have a video posted somewhere I could see it? Maybe I missed that in the thread somewhere. I'll take a look and give you some thoughts. What's the recording resolution you're using? 240?

Craig

--------------------
Craig Heyl
Decatur Speed Shop
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Atlanta Region SCCA
NASA - SE
craigheyl@mac.com

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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No, I don't. I will see if I can get it on you tube.

Have a great day,
Jared

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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I have got the whole 20 min HPDE session up. This was taken a while ago. Let me know what you think may be wrong with the quality of it.

Here is the link.
http://www.vimeo.com/3024359

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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How about this for starters...
"Sorry, you do not have permission to watch this private video."

:-)

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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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Sorry about that I had no clue that it was blocked. I have it set so that you can watch it now.

Have a great day,
Jared

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Jfornachon:
Let me know what you think may be wrong with the quality of it.

Aside from the focus?

--------------------
Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Muda:
quote:
Originally posted by Jfornachon:
Let me know what you think may be wrong with the quality of it.

Aside from the focus?
It's almost as good as... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2b1D5w82yU

--------------------
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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Muda:
quote:
Originally posted by Jfornachon:
Let me know what you think may be wrong with the quality of it.

Aside from the focus?
What do you think I am asking for help for? I am trying get it working.

Jared

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Zack Steinkamp:
quote:
Originally posted by Muda:
quote:
Originally posted by Jfornachon:
Let me know what you think may be wrong with the quality of it.

Aside from the focus?
It's almost as good as... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2b1D5w82yU
I would have to say my car sounds better than him by far. Seriously do you have any ideas on what I may be able to do. Since you did a write up on this I am hoping you have some idea on what I can do to get it better than what it is.

Have a great day,
Jared

Jfornachon Verified Driver
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I have a track day planned for this weekend. DO you have any ideas on what I can so that I can test it out.

Have a great day,
Jared

Zack Steinkamp Verified Driver
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Well for starters, the focus is seriously not set correctly. Get that working first and foremost. Or was putting a 20 minute session online that was that out of focus a joke? Maybe I'm missing something. Wouldn't be the first time!

If it's not a joke, what kind of camera is it? Maybe someone with the same one can help you with the focus settings. If it's the Aiptek AHD, there's a little mechanical lever on the side to switch from "close" to "far" focus. Make sure it's on "far".

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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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It is not a joke. That is why I am looking for the help. I have esentially the same camera system that you have just from different sellers.

My camera is the aiptek hd. I ust checked and my camera was set on Close. I am recording with it useing a bullet cam. I will try the far setting this weekend and post a new video when I get it. May be on saturday night. I will also bring more window tint to try that to cut down on the glare.

If that works then it will be onto fingind a way to keep it from rotating. Here is hoping.

Thank you for hte help.

Have a great day,
Jared

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If you are using a bullet cam, then the camera setting has no effect.

On most bullet cameras, you can unscrew and remove the front end crystal glass (which is where you hopefully installed the tint) and then manually adjust the focus on the lens itself.

--------------------
Yosh Hakutani
SSM /SM #77
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Jfornachon Verified Driver
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I ust went out and checked the camera with it on the far setting. As was stated there was no change.

I also removed the front cover and checked on how to adjust it. I used a set of pliers and rotated what looked like a inside threaded washer. There was no change. Is this the adjuster? If so how does it work?

Have a great day,
Jared

Craig Heyl
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Give the guys at Datatoys.com a call or drop an email. They're good with tech questions regarding these products.

http://www.datatoys.com/products/Products-Cameras..._Camera/product_info.html

--------------------
Craig Heyl
Decatur Speed Shop
404-375-6025
Atlanta Region SCCA
NASA - SE
craigheyl@mac.com

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quote:
Originally posted by Jfornachon:
I also removed the front cover and checked on how to adjust it. I used a set of pliers and rotated what looked like a inside threaded washer. There was no change. Is this the adjuster? If so how does it work?

You should be able to bring the camera into the house and just plug the yellow RCA connector right into your tv and check for focus that way.

You shouldn't need anything like pliers on any bullet camera I've ever seen, but I can't say that I've seen them all.

A picture of the inside of the camera would also go a long way towards helping you figure out what to adjust.

--------------------
Yosh Hakutani
SSM /SM #77
http://www.woodlawngarage.com
http://www.syncspeedinc.com

   

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