Bike mounted cameras - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2009, 4:00 pm Thread Starter
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Bike mounted cameras

Other than riding down the road with a camera strapped to your hand, what kind of mounts do you use? Pictures please

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2009, 8:57 pm
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I'm using a VIO POV unit. Great unit and 720 line video. An 8 gig SDHC card runs about 6 hours on the highest quality setting.

Their C-clamp mounting (extra $30) attaches to the mirror stalk on the GT which is almost shake-free and you can move and swivel it almost anywhere:



The gray mount for the video recorder on the tank is fab'ed out of some thin aluminum from hardware store and painted gray hammer-tone. Bent to conform to tank shape. The silicon suction cups are screwed onto it. Tabs on the aluminum are bent up to engage slots in video recorder's sides, and a long strip of Velcro is on bottom of recorder on in cradle's channel. The video recorder's display is turned on, btw, and I can run it with summer gloves on (entire unit is water-proof to 30 feet I think).

The VIO system has screw-on cable ends so the cable won't pull out and is water-tight. A few wraps of the cable around the handlebars keeps it in place should the cups fail - which so far they haven't at speeds up to 100mph.


Mack
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2009, 7:22 pm
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Jealous of Mack's setup. Mine is a cautionary tale. I decided to go the cheap route and got a I got a ATC2K all in one camera from Oregon Scientific. (product page) To mount it, I used a ZTechnik GT mirror mount from Pirate's site. (http://piratesk12site.net/ZRadarmount.htm)

Multiple problems have prevented me from getting useful video from this setup:

- aiming is challenging. With no direct view through the camera, it's very hard to aim it properly. It captures a wide angle, but I've always ended up with straight ahead not being in the center of the picture.

- positioning the mount is challenging. It's a very flexible setup, but all available positions end up looking through the windshield, and it's easy to set up the mount such that the camera hits the windshield when the bars are turned.

- vibration is a huge problem. The ztechnik mount's lever arms coupled with the somewhat loose camera attachment means the video is constantly jumpy or wobbly. The camera doesn't capture video like a film camera, instead it reads a line at a time from the CCD, so when the vibration is faster than the frame rate of the camera you get a weird ripply compression effect in the video.

- it's very hard to turn the camera on and off, and know whether it's recording or not. The weatherproof buttons are hard to push with gloves on, and the little LCD readout that shows camera status is best viewed from the top down, so it's very hard to see while riding.

- finally, the worst problem, the camera shuts itself off randomly. I suspect this is caused by vibration from the bike making the batteries lose contact inside the unit. Typically I record anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes of video before the camera just stops.

I actually don't fault either of the items:

The ZTechnik mount would be perfect for a radar detector, GPS, or radio. It puts whatever's mounted in a good position to be seen by the rider. It's just not solid enough for a camera.

The ATC2K camera works quite well handheld or mounted on something that doesn't vibrate so much. It comes with a helmet mount which I've used off-road with decent results. The video quality is fine when the unit isn't vibrating all over the place. (And it was only $100...)

Oregon Scientific has since come out with similar products that include an LCD on the back to show what's being captured. I imagine this would be a big improvement. The vholdr camera has a similar design but has a much better switch and a laser aided aiming system and a much more solid mount.

I'd really like to find a solid and unobtrusive place to mount something like the ATC2K camera where I can get it out from behind the windshield. I've been pondering a mirror platform that I can snap the camera onto when filming, but which isn't a pain to remove and doesn't look like ass when the camera isn't mounted. I want the camera mainly for touring, where I stop and leave the bike a lot. ...or maybe I'll just get past looking like a complete idiot and use the helmet mount.

Honestly, the best video I've gotten on a ride was from my Canon SD870IS camera in movie mode, held by my passenger. Lots of benefit to that setup!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2009, 10:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonafidebob
...I decided to go the cheap route and got a I got a ATC2K all in one camera from Oregon Scientific. (product page)
I had that one before the VIO POV (Point of View) setup. The ATC2K is a fun little camera for the $130.

Somehow, I ended up using the ATC2K on the mirror stalk using their supplied hardware - and there was a lot of it! I was surprised how well it ran off there with little shake. Never had the shut-off on/off issues either from vibration as yours. I agree the LCD is very hard to see and the buttons are just as hard to press. I've used the helmet mount at times, but the perspective from high up doesn't look as cool as lower down, imho. Through-the-shield shooting and glare was a big issue with it too.

The VIO video picture is awesome over the ATC2K and may be even more of a wider angle of view too. The bright-to-dark transitions are smoother as well. I folded my hand and bought it after the MCN review listed it as top dog in one of their magazine's shoot-out comparisons. The 460 to 720 line upgrade is almost the HD quality of the 1080 lines of my 60" big screen and it looks every bit as good as some DVD's I've copied and played on it.

I just need to use it more often for practice. As 8 gig SD cards come down in price, hopefully I can buy a bunch of them and record a day's worth of riding on each one if we get to go to Ireland for a week or two. At least that is the plan for the VIO as it stands.

***

The ZTeknik TechMount on my handlebars holds my ASAD (i.e. "Aerial Situational Awareness Device") for protection from those pesky "Bears-In-The Air" who try and restrict your amount of fun-factor while riding the GT <ahem!>. Basically, I use it as an aerial-assault radar detector which picks up their plane or helicopter's radar transponder. I set the range for 5 miles. Here's a pic of it:



More about it here and at the company's website.

The Escort 9500ix radar detector unit sits at the opposite end of the GadgetGuy's monkey-bars that are shown holding the Garmin XM antenna in the above photo.


One never can have too many farkles.



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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2009, 8:58 am
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I use a helmet mount and a VholdR camera. No vibration and you get all the looks during the ride. The bike mounts produce lower quality IMO and offer no particular advantages in either aiming or perspective.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2009, 11:45 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
The ZTeknik TechMount on my handlebars holds my ASAD (i.e. "Aerial Situational Awareness Device") for protection from those pesky "Bears-In-The Air" who try and restrict your amount of fun-factor while riding the GT <ahem!>. Basically, I use it as an aerial-assault radar detector which picks up their plane or helicopter's radar transponder. I set the range for 5 miles. Here's a pic of it:



More about it here and at the company's website.

The Escort 9500ix radar detector unit sits at the opposite end of the GadgetGuy's monkey-bars that are shown holding the Garmin XM antenna in the above photo.


One never can have too many farkles.



Mack
I don't see the benefit vs. cost.

1. It will pick up any aircraft which is squaking within a 5 mile range so passing by an airport, it would go off for up to 10 miles. It also has nothing to do with radar.
2. Being as how it is going to pick up any aircraft with a transponder, do you react to it? Because I only know a small handful of people who have been ticketed by aircraft, I know that a radar detector works because only police have it, you have an aircraft detector which merely detects aircraft, not a mission oriented aircraft... so even if you are in an area that uses planes often, I would likely guarantee a nearly 98-99% false. I would not spend $500 on a radar detector if the company promised a <1% valid response.

And yes, I am a pilot, yes I am very familiar with PCAS/TCAS.

Just my $.02.

Last edited by chilei; Jan 18th, 2009 at 11:53 pm.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2009, 12:30 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilei
I don't see the benefit vs. cost.

1. It will pick up any aircraft which is squaking within a 5 mile range so passing by an airport, it would go off for up to 10 miles. It also has nothing to do with radar.
2. Being as how it is going to pick up any aircraft with a transponder, do you react to it? Because I only know a small handful of people who have been ticketed by aircraft, I know that a radar detector works because only police have it, you have an aircraft detector which merely detects aircraft, not a mission oriented aircraft... so even if you are in an area that uses planes often, I would likely guarantee a nearly 98-99% false. I would not spend $500 on a radar detector if the company promised a <1% valid response.

And yes, I am a pilot, yes I am very familiar with PCAS/TCAS.

Just my $.02.
Okay. Range is selectable, either default 2.5 or 5 mile. Altitude is also shown in hundreds of feet, descending or climbing. Display also shows ALERT on close aircraft.

In use, the CA CHP helicopter or plane flies parallel to the road. Altitude doesn't change. Once away form the airport, almost anything it displays along a section of road like I-5 is either a crop-duster or cop in the air. It's easy to see which is which as a cop pacing along the freeway neither changes in altitude and distance if he following.

If the thing shows ALERT and nothing is moving with regards to altitude or range, you are being tailed from the air. You can sit with the thing and watch police helicopters and night and see their low altitude flights on the display and get an idea of it use. To some extent, one also needs to use the same methodology with a radar detector.

My brother was tailed in Utah by one of their cop choppers. They have a Ka band unit on board to alert the pilot to things like electrical lines or obstacles they may hit. His Escort detector alerted him to the chopper' Ka avoidance system, and he was looking for a ground-based cop. Turns out it was behind him and in the air. Luckily, he had already slowed down. He said the chopper flew ahead of him and circled back while he watched the Escort's Ka band strength band rise and lower.

Fwiw, both my brother and I are pilots too.

Regarding cost (the $500), it's all relative to how much time you want to deal with a ticket. My current ticket fiasco wasn't speeding (only 37 mph), but the lawyer fee to fight the bogus ticket (it was an overtime grant by the state for the police to write as many tickets as possible in a 4 hour period as "safety enforcement") is currently at $850 for the lawyer and with who knows how much for the court. Trial date is in March. Cop wrote numbers not even in the traffic code, took 4 months to turn it in, could not determine fine from phony numbers, etc. Lawyer said "He cannot just make crap up like this and there are four items that make this a bogus ticket on face value." Lady at court said "the cop was reviving his tickets" due to the slowness of him getting them into the system. /rant

Never can have too much situational awareness.


Mack
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2009, 8:16 pm
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The mount on the left handlebar is what I use for my camera. Camera not there, using to take the picture. Works great.

Wayne

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 2009, 7:27 pm
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Thumbs up ESP - This Is Exactly The Thread I Wanted

Just Logged On With The Intent Of Finding Info About "BIKE MOUNTED CAMERA'S"

Last edited by WAX; Jan 27th, 2009 at 8:22 pm.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2009, 5:07 pm
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Alot depends on what type camera you will be using.. I use a SportBikeCam Mount from http://www.sportbikecam.com/home.php (pic below) on all my bikes. It has it's limitations but does quite well if it's NOT too twisty/curvy..On a "fixed" mount you can kinda get motion sickness on playback if you are shooting on a road like Deals Gap. Not so much so on a relatively "normal" road. .I'm gonna try a helmet mount cam next time I'm at the track..

I shot this vid at Barber on my MV Agusta..http://www.piratesK12site.net/barberz.wmv

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