Sport DV camera

This sample is with camera electrical-taped to the left side of the drop on my handlebars. The included handlebar mount seems (even) more prone to vibration. And the sample is in 1080p 30fps mode. The other mode, 720p 60fps gives a wider-angle, with even more fisheye effect. As you can see, it’s pretty shaky; the unit has no stabilization (and as a side note: youtube’s stabilization doesn’t really help and also makes everything very fuzzy). It’s not clear to me how much youtube degrades the quality.

The camera operates by writing 3 minute clips (each about 230MBytes = ~ 4GBytes per hour) cyclically, that is it deletes the oldest file as needed, and will run until the power gives out in this fashion. It’s not clear to me what if any gap is between clips, there is an alternative firmware that writes on big file and stops recording.

SportDvCameraIn my second direct-from-china foray (see led-lights for the first), i decided to purchase a “bullet” style sports camera. I ended up with this on from Amazon, for under $60 w/shipping from China in July of 2014; mine took about 3 weeks to arrive. The seller was “MECO“. These are also sold on eBay by many sellers, they all look virtually identical. The unit says SPORT DV on it, and two buttons. The end-cap unscrews which is where the sd card slot is and a receptacle for charging and data xfer.

SportDVoverstock-UsbCableThat port is not a usb standard; it’s apparently called a UC-E6, (pinout) used on many Nikon and Olympus cameras. Monoprice unfortunately doesn’t have these connectors, I found some on overstock relatively cheap). The Amazon description says it comes with an 8GB card but mine did not.

Curiously, to set the date and time you edit a file that is placed on the sd card by the device itself; it’s always called SportDV.txt   Anyways you just change the UPDATE line and that will cause the camera to update settings… see comment below for details. Other oddities: It works plugged into a computer as a mass storage device; it only worked on motherboard ports (and not on my front panel usb jacks), and also you have to power on the unit (by holding down the forward button) for it to be recognized by the PC. The light will glow red when charging and turns off when fully charged. AC charging is a little flakey, the included charger, as well as two other usb “cube” style chargers (that came with Nexus tablets) won’t charge when the plug is pushed all the way in; my leviton receptacle charger, however, doesn’t exhibit this problem. The leviton uses a “smart chip” to determine charge, so maybe that has something to do with it. I would like to buy some extra cables and see if i can power it from my LED lights battery pack.

A thread on DX refers to it as the Mini F9 Sport DV camera. and talks about updating firmware by simply placing a file in the root of the sd card with some particular name ‘M500_FW.bin’ and the update happens. The 50 minute f/w is sku.205511.bin and 3 minute ‘cyclic’ is sku.205511M500_FW.bin according to discussion on amazon.uk which also seems to be same device.

SportDVcableUC-E6Mario Geraldes has a couple of very helpful youtubes, one about firmware update procedure, and another about loose battery charging connections (I had that exact problem! My charging cable was unreliable, the end that plugs to computer). When the battery is too low, the blue light flashes rapidly, for as much as about 45 seconds, then the unit shuts down. The charging indicator light has no indication of low charge. This is a little confusing because the blue light also rapidly flashes when it’s loading firmware, though if it was really in that mode, the red light is also on (see youtube above).

I am worried about the mechanical latch that holds/releases the micro sd card. At this point, I am just going to try and leave it always plugged in, and use the data cable as needed to retreive the video. The only reason the card MUST come out is when updating firmware.

Another more mass market possibility is  the Action Shot HD. It’s only $30 and got some good reviews.

Horn honking

Not being a mind reader, it’s hard to know exactly why a motorist is blowing their horn, though is must be pointed out that it’s generally illegal.

§28-954.  Horns and warning devices

B. If reasonably necessary to ensure the safe operation of a motor vehicle, the driver shall give an audible warning with the driver’s horn but shall not otherwise use the horn when on a highway.

 The driver of the red Lexus SUV behaved appropriately prior to passing, making a complete lane change well ahead… for some odd reason felt the need to blast the horn after overtaking… ironically right near a “Share the Road” sign 🙂

Lane positioning (“On a multilane road with narrow lane, ride in the middle of the right lane.” — ADOT AZ Street Smarts) works just fine. Any violation here would be the motorist’s:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other possibilities

[ I probably looked this “808 #16” up in mid-2015]There’s a series of keychain (They’re shaped like a key fob thingie) cameras, keycams, that are very popular in the drone hobbyist community. In particular the 808 #16 (V3). Here’s one on ebay from what is reputed to be one of the best sellers, eletoponline365,  for ~ $45 w/lens and cables. A LOT of info at chucklohr.com.

It charges and does everything else including analog video through a standard mini-USB plug. It can be configured to begin recording automatically whenever external power is applied. I don’t see that it has a wrap-around when the micro-SD card fills?

FREDI brand 1080p mini/body cam
FREDI brand 1080p mini/body/sport cam

There’s no end to these things, and the market is changing rapidly; as of mid-2016, something like a FREDI HD 1080P Indoor/Outdoor Sport Portable Handheld , priced at $34 each. Very small, like a thick postage stamp. It seems to have a mini-usb (in any event it’s not a micro; which is a pain for charging). It’s non-wifi, by the way. And battery life is supposed to be ~ 100 minutes.

Security Wi-fi

from ebay
from ebay

This doesn’t really belong in this article, but I put it here anyway because it’s a camera… “Wireless WIFI HD HD 720P IP Camera ONVIF Indoor Security Pan Tilt Night Vision”

  • ebay.com purchased for $20 delivered; no-name but from the specs: Model HD97GH6,  CPU GM8135S+SC1045 which might be helpful to identify it.
  • 360eye.cc is where they direct you to get software. There is an iPhone & android app in their respective app stores, a direct d/l for the android .apk, and MVCMS_Lite a windows application. One of the smartphone apps are required to provision the wifi(?).
  • MVCMS_Lite the PC app apparently is just a software surveillance-style viewer/recorder. I was able to add the camera easily with the search and view it. I never figured out how to record?
  • ONVIF Device Manager from sourceforge was used to discover the rtsp url string (below) need for other apps to use camera’s stream
  • rtsp://admin@ww.xx.yy.zz//live/ch00_0 Once the wifi is setup, this string will allow the camera’s stream to be viewed on the Lan. This worked for both vlc media player, and for iVideon server (add custom camera). [notes admin is the default username, this is on a sticker on the device; and the default password is blank]
  • The unit has a micro-sd (“tf”) slot. If you put in a memory card, it will rec, and the video will show a red “Rec” on the lower right. The smartphone app has a playback mode.
  • szdr.net This may be same/similar items??

Here are the issues/problems i found:

  • The time is 11 hours ahead; this is some sort of time-zone issue. If i use the android app to “sync time to mobile device” and save it works, but only until the camera gets rebooted.
  • Outdoors has some sort of bizarre color-shift; e.g. green looks like fuscia.
  • There appears to be no way to configure the device other than to use the smartphone app; factory reset appears to put the camera into AP mode(?I guess?), but i still can’t figure it out. The usb port appears to be power-only, it doesn’t enumerate if plugged into a computer. And the sd card doesn’t appear to have any way to supply a configuration file, a la the the Sport DV camera above.
  • the supplied usb adapter didn’t work; the unit would say (it has voice prompts, which is pretty cool): “system is starting”… “system startup complete”… and then repeat forever. The next prompt should say something like “waiting for smartlink configuration” or something. When I used another usb power adapter, it worked fine.
  • These cameras seem to be also referred to as “P2P” (as in Peer to Peer) but I’m not sure exactly what that means; though i suspect it is Wi-Fi direct.
  • I don’t think the nightvision/ IR works much if at all. It says it’s automatic.
  • P2P may refer to an ad-hoc (instead of infrastructure) mode??
  • I turned on alarms and then later couldn’t get the siren to shut off, EVEN AFTER A FACTORY RESET. In the smartphone app, it still shows an alarm icon, even though they’re disabled.

In any event, once configured, this camera works independently on the LAN and doesn’t, e.g., have any sort of cloud connection or storage service.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Sport DV camera”

  1. if u watch the video of the red lexus, the car infront of him slammed the breaks a lil n he had swerved into ur lane after the overtake, not sure who beeped from the video could of been the front red car who breaked hard at the blue/grey car infront of him or the red suv at the red car for breaking like that n making him swerve/turn into ur lane hard.

  2. Here is what the file SportDV.txt The camera creates this file on the inserted SD card if none exists. To set correct date, edit the file on the SD card and also set the UPDATE:Y … Then once unit boots up again, it will re-edit the file back to UPDATE:N

    SPORTS DV
    UPDATE:N
            FORMAT
    EV:6
    CTST:100
    SAT:100
    AWB:0
    SHARPNESS:100
    AudioVol:1
    QUALITY:0
    LIGHTFREQ:0
    AE:0
    RTCDisplay:1
    year:2014
    month:7
    date:7
    hour:16
    minute:11
    second:0
    -------------------------------
    Exposure(EV)
    	0 ~ 12, def:6
    Contrast(CTST)
    	1 ~ 200, def:100
    Saturation(SAT)
    	1 ~ 200, def:100
    White Balance(AWB)
    	0 ~ 3, def:0, 0(auto), 1(Daylight), 2(Cloudy), 3(Fluorescent)
    Sharpness
    	1 ~ 200, def:100
    AudioVol
    	0 ~ 2, def:1, 0:Max  1:Mid  2:Min
    QUALITY
    	0 ~ 2, def:0, 0:High  1:Middle  2:Low
    LIGHTFREQ
    	0 ~ 1, def:0, 0:60Hz  1:50Hz
    AUTO EXPOSURE(AE)
    	0 ~ 2, def:0, 0:Average  1:Center  2:Spot
    RTCDisplay
    	0 ~ 1, def:1, 0:Off  1:On
    year
    	2012 - 2038, def:2013
    month
    	01 - 12, def:1
    date
    	01 - 31, def:1
    hour
    	00 - 23, def:0
    minute
    	01 - 59, def:0
    second
    	01 - 59, def:0

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