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  #1  
Old 25 Jan 2008
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Archos and On-Bike camera?

A friend has offered me an Archos AV500 digital video recorder. I know it's a hard drive based one and that they don't like g-forces and vibrations but the price he's asking for it is too cheap to completely ignore.

Is it possible to set up a remote switch, probably on the bars to start recording?
Has anyone got any recommendations or comments about the bullet cameras available for it?
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  #2  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
A friend has offered me an Archos AV500 digital video recorder. I know it's a hard drive based one and that they don't like g-forces and vibrations but the price he's asking for it is too cheap to completely ignore.

Is it possible to set up a remote switch, probably on the bars to start recording?
Has anyone got any recommendations or comments about the bullet cameras available for it?
I have the 404 with the helmetcam, which has a remote control built into the wire that leads to the camera. From the Archos site, it looks like there is a similar helmetcam for your unit as well. The remote is ok to use, but the microphone is part of the switch unit on the helmetcam remote, and this switch unit isn't waterproof. I was unable to find an easy way to protect it from heavy rain and have it still be usable, so I put the unit and remote switch into a small backpack and turn it on when I start riding, then leave it on all day.

As you said, the unit is very sensitive to vibrations, and will shut off even after going over only slightly bumpy stuff. What I did was put the unit snugly into a small Pelican case, along with a DC regulator from a lighter socket adapter to get power from the bike.

Unfortunately, the helmetcam plug is proprietary, even though the actual camera itself looks like a run of the mill Sony CCD camera.
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  #3  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
A friend has offered me an Archos AV500 digital video recorder. I know it's a hard drive based one and that they don't like g-forces and vibrations but the price he's asking for it is too cheap to completely ignore.
Is it possible to set up a remote switch, probably on the bars to start recording?
Has anyone got any recommendations or comments about the bullet cameras available for it?
You will get better quality and reliability from a mini DV recorder and a bullet cam that has a standard AV connection. The DV recorder MUST have an AV socket for this to work and a LANC socket so you can plug in a remote start/stop button.

Check fleabay for a miniDV cam and maybe a bullet cam as well. Thats how I got mine. I go a little used Sony DCR-HC30E (theres on on now for £175 - 300194041510). Then you can either buy a 7hr battery for it or get a cig lighter adapter and run it off the bike. Same with the bullet cam.

Cheers,
John
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Old 29 Jan 2008
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You will get better quality and reliability from a mini DV recorder and a bullet cam that has a standard AV connection. The DV recorder MUST have an AV socket for this to work and a LANC socket so you can plug in a remote start/stop button.

Check fleabay for a miniDV cam and maybe a bullet cam as well. Thats how I got mine. I go a little used Sony DCR-HC30E (theres on on now for £175 - 300194041510). Then you can either buy a 7hr battery for it or get a cig lighter adapter and run it off the bike. Same with the bullet cam.

Cheers,
John

The resolution will be about the same as miniDV, as the camera for mine looks to be a rebranded Sony 525 line model. I don't know about the AV500, but my little 404 records in 640x480, and with power off the bike, runs for 3 days (approx 10 hours riding/day) before filling up the microdrive. I have found my miniDV to be more durable until I put my Archos in the Pelican case, which also made it waterproof. The LANC remotes are so simple that I don't even bother to protect them from rain/mud/etc, and they still work well. They also have the advantage of being able to turn the miniDV power on and off, thus conserving battery if you don't take power from the bike, and more importantly conserving tape time, as miniDV only records for two hours on a tape if I remember correctly.
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Old 30 Jan 2008
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If you're after recording quality, I have come across this:

BLICKVANG 570 - Helmkamera Package - BLICKVANG - Helmkameras und Helmkamera Zubehör

(Unfortunately in German, but I believe it is actually a rebranded US-product from what I heard). It only needs a standard AV input on the recording device and comes with a waterproof 1.5m cable I think.

...and this (though less quality):
O'Neill's H4 Campack ditches iPod, integrates camera and media player - Engadget

What do you guys reckon?
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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The lad only wants £70 for the AV500 so I'm going to buy a camera from here ...

4Kam - On-board sports cameras, 4Kam & helmet cam.

...and try it out before I commit myself to buying. I'll need the camera anyway so might as well.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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The lad only wants £70 for the AV500 so I'm going to buy a camera from here ...
4Kam - On-board sports cameras, 4Kam & helmet cam.
.
Hmm... they don't give you any info about what cameras they supply... Sony or what? Not all cameras are equal.
Have a gander at Sony Colour CCD - The 21CWSHR PAL Pack 3

A good unit.

John
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
Hmm... they don't give you any info about what cameras they supply... Sony or what? Not all cameras are equal.
Have a gander at Sony Colour CCD - The 21CWSHR PAL Pack 3

A good unit.

John
Thanks for that. I do remember someone saying to go for Sony and avoid Sharp cameras. Might be a little more expensive but I think I may ask them to put a package together for me.
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Old 1 Feb 2008
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YouTube Only?

All I'm looking for is something which will provide YouTube-able videos so quality is less of an issue. What is an issue of course is ruggedness, reliability, and storage space.

Can anyone recommend anything?
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Old 1 Feb 2008
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Not sure about France but in the UK, there is a bit of an issue with bikers posting videos of themselves on YouTube.

Police are stopping bikes and seizing video cameras that they believe may provide evidence of dangerous riding.

Britain's most wanted speeder at present is a Kawasaki ZX10 rider who put a video of himself on YouTube doing an indicated 189mph on public roads through Gloucestershire.

Not planning to video myself doing anything daft but I don't want to get pulled by the plod repeatedly so whatever I buy must be discreet.
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  #11  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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Not planning to video myself doing anything daft but I don't want to get pulled by the plod repeatedly so whatever I buy must be discreet.
Make sure your speedo and key fob is not visible in the shot. Mount the camera inside the fairing looking trough a hole.

Most of the "excessive" videos seem to be done through camcorders mounted to include the speedo to look hard. If you just want to record a your travels, a suckered-on bullet cam should be AOK. Stick it to the pannier, looking rearward, on top of the tank (bag) looking sideways or fairing side looking forward. No fairing? Its not hard to bolt an alloy plate to your bike to stick it to.

Here's a little sample recorded on miniDV from, scene1 - miniDV, scene2&3 - bullet cam made into a DV file (.avi) then converted to Divx to reduce the file size... still 10meg though

http://bikerbytes.com/txp/movie/Jamba2007.avi - should auto view in windows media player or divxplayer or whatever you have associated with .avi files.

John
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Old 2 Feb 2008
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I like it!

I've got a ZX6-R so mounting it to the fairing is no problem. Some good tips on positioning the camera too. I've even got a mounting point intended for a steering damper which would get some great shots. Just need to make a bracket up. I'll let you know how I get on.

This is the ZX10 rider I mentioned in my last reply.

Fastest ever YouTube rider - Motorcycle News - MCN

Last edited by craig76; 2 Feb 2008 at 01:55. Reason: Added link
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