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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2009, 8:03 am Thread Starter
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Video On Bike

Just had BMW Motorcycles of Omaha install a new set of PR2s (ordered from SWMOTO), and I saw this little video gadget on the counter. Since I haven't had a new gadget to play with in a while, and since this thing came with a bunch of mounts at under $200, I just had to check it out.

First impressions are pretty good - definitely give it a thumbs up; although some more testing is in order...

The camera is a GoPro Wide Motorsports (linky); it records 56 minutes of video onto a 2GB SD card, or 112 minutes onto a 4GB SD card (firmware update). The 'Motorsports' kit comes with a bunch of 'sticky mounts,' as well as an "industrial strength" suction cup mount. I also ordered the handlebar mount.

I tried the sticky mount on the front fender of my GT, just under the fairing. It works well, but the camera is a little too close to the road for my taste. I also mounted the camera using the suction cup mount on my left (standing behind the bike) pannier, as well as on the windshield. This last mounting point (windshield) is nice, since it allows the camera to face either forward or backward.

As to quality/vibration you ask? See for yourself...

GT Video Test Run (Western Iowa, 5/17)

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Last edited by amzarinelli; May 21st, 2009 at 8:06 am. Reason: Fat Fingers
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2009, 11:28 am
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That's the same camera I used for my trackday video posted in this thread http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18182

It's a pretty good bang for the buck camera. Two pieces of advise 1. Don't mess with rechargable batteries , use the Energizer Lithium batteries. 2. Keep an eye on the 90 deg mount adapters, I've had both of mine crack and break. Luckily I caught it before I lost the camera.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2009, 7:13 am Thread Starter
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Thanks...

for the tip... I'll check the mounts frequently!

And great video, BTW.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2009, 2:00 pm
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I'm running a VIO unit on my bike along with a shotgun mike in a foam-pipe insulation tube with a black wind fuzzy sock tie-wrapped to the passenger grab-rails. It's pointed to the rear of the bike under the trunk to hinder the Ka-Klunks and engine racket. Helps cut down on wind noise immensely too.

With regards to batteries, I recently bought one of these new fangled Maha MH-C9000 chargers along with 4 of their Maha Powerex 2700 mah batteries for around $60. Their life is very long and I can run all day (6-8 hours) of video onto an 8 gig SDHC card on the same Ni-MH cells.

The charger will tell you the true mah of the battery while charging. Often they are much lower than stated (e.g. the 2700's read out to be about 2550, but I also didn't cycle them 3 times on their charger like I should have because it takes days to do so). Sort of like BMW's stock battery over an Odyssey.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2009, 9:16 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
With regards to batteries, I recently bought one of these new fangled Maha MH-C9000 chargers along with 4 of their Maha Powerex 2700 mah batteries for around $60. Their life is very long and I can run all day (6-8 hours) of video onto an 8 gig SDHC card on the same Ni-MH cells.

The charger will tell you the true mah of the battery while charging. Often they are much lower than stated (e.g. the 2700's read out to be about 2550, but I also didn't cycle them 3 times on their charger like I should have because it takes days to do so). Sort of like BMW's stock battery over an Odyssey.
I have a nice charger that takes 12+ hours to charge and ~24 hours to run the discharge/charge cycle. The problem is GoPro went with using 2 AAA batteries which just don't hold as much juice, typically 850Mah. I tried a set that claimed to be 1200Mah but they were total crap. Temprature also has a greater affect on the performance with Ni-MH over Lithium.

If you're just out cruising and don't care much if your batteries die and you miss some of the ride then rechargeables are fine in the GoPro for short periods of time. If you're doing something like a track day where you don't want to miss a minute, use the rechargeables at your own risk. If anyone finds a set of rechageables that can run for an hour in the GoPro, I'd like to hear about them.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2009, 12:30 pm
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Regarding the GoPro, how much video can you record on a card?

My VIO POV.1 did some firmware update that allows an 8 gig card to be used in it and it supposedly records 6 hours of Hi-Res. (720x480). The 6 hours is about right for tank-to-tank operation and card and battery changeouts (e.g. 240 miles per tank / 6 hours = 40 mph avg. in mountains).

I'd like another cam for rearward shooting and was considering the GoPro (for cost savings) and do something to attach it under the rack on the GT. Plus, soemtimes the sun isn't best heading forward and the scenes look better (less glare) from behind.

I can use the audio off the VIO and mix it so that's not a problem. However, the GoPro looks like it can only accept a 2 gig card and no specs on length other than 1:56 (hour/minutes) on a 2 gig. True? If so, I 'll need to do something different as I prefer to go tank-to-tank and need a little more storage and not get off and change batteries and a card both. I was thinking I could do some funky battery compartment plumbing and get more juice to it, or hopefully it has an external power jack?

Also, how do you activate it into video mode? If it requires a manual turn-on for rearward shooting, it may be a hindrance to get it up and running.

Running two VIO's is some serious ca$h outlay. Looks like I can find them for maybe $450 more than the $200 GoPro, but for a simple rearward camera it should be easier and less costly and not take the space of two VIO recorders.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2009, 7:31 am Thread Starter
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Probably not a good fit (re GMack)

Mack - Sorry, I just now got back to looking at this...

I think for your intended use, this camera is probably "too simplistic." You need to turn it on on the camera, so you pretty much have to do that before you take off, if it's mounted in a 'hard to reach' spot. Also, currently, it only records 56 minutes of video onto a 2G SD card; with the firmware update that's scheduled to come out 'soon,' that will increase to 112 minutes onto a 4G SD card.

Also, there is no 'live view,' and when the camera is in its waterproof housing, the viewfinder is partially obstructed, so it's hard to see exactly how your video will be framed...

-A.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2009, 8:58 am
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Nice video! Pretty cool gadget. BTW, there's a UFO spotted on that video! Skip to 1:42 of the video and look at the dot against the sun

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2009, 10:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVD
Nice video! Pretty cool gadget. BTW, there's a UFO spotted on that video! Skip to 1:42 of the video and look at the dot against the sun
That dot must be some sunspot! It's there in almost all of the images with the sun.

Aside, notice how the wheel appears to go into reverse around 2:02 in the video? Must be "spinner rotors." I got to ask someone how that happens...

Ended up finding another VIO.1 from B&H Photo in New York for $595. Guess that's good. Now I got to fab up some holder for the two of them and some bracket thing for the tail end.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 2009, 12:35 pm
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I'd look elsewhere for your tank-to-tank solution. My 8GB card from my BlackBerry works in the GoPro with an adapter. I've heard that it will over write the video if you go past the 1hr mark on a single video clip. I've never tested this though. The real problem is that you can't get a full day's ride out of a single set of batteries hense looking elsewhere for your solution.
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