New Helmet CAM - Need some help/advise- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Helmet CAM - Need some help/advise

    I'm new to riding on the trails this year, so excuse my lack of ability on the bike. I've been a roadie for a while, and running for over 26 years. BUT, I'm having a blast!! The two other riders in the video have much more trail experience than I do, so I chose to ride in the back to learn by watching.

    I recently purchased one of these ATC-2K's from Oregon Scientific, just for fun. I don't intend on making quality production video's, so no hard time about the grainy quality, and I don't plan on spending any more than the $90+. This "toy" is just for me and my group of riders to "have some fun."

    I would like some recommendations on how I could keep the helmet cam from bouncing as much as it is in my FIRST VIDEO attached here. I'm using the standard rubber pad under the mount along with the velcro strap through the helmet. It seems to loosen up as the ride went on. I've read that some have used a "foam" block under the mount? Would that make a considerable difference?

    Thanks for the recommendations.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDmQXGQCaH4

  2. #2
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    Did you shoot that at 15 frames per second? Use 30 as it will help. If you can get a wideangle lens for it (some cameras allow a screw-in lens), that will help. Since the lipstick style cameras usually do not have any image stabilization, so that is working against you.

  3. #3
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    30 Fps

    No, that is 30 Frames per second, but when you convert the original video from .avi format to .mpg format for Youtube, you lose some/a bunch of quality. I'm only asking about the camera "bounce" that you can see as I'm moving over roots, rocks, holes, etc.

    I don't want to "tighten" my helmet under my chin so tight that the helmet doesn't move, but something must be configurable to keep the camera from "absorbing" all the shocks.

    ......I hope that makes sense.

  4. #4
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    So the AVI is not like that then? Or the bounce is still there?

    As for shock and stabilizing, it is you and your bike. I shoot a Glidecam on my feet and that requires learning how to walk in sort of a slither. It is more sensitive that a full steady rig. Part of that is learning to get your head to be a bit more steady. So work on riding 'soft'. I am messing with air pressure and rebound on my shocks. You want something as a damper to unwanted motion.

    Real steady rigs use a counterweight to create inertia with the camera. There is a set of gimbles that than attach to the camera sled to isolate it from motion. Then there are usually two sprung arms to isolate all of that from the cameraman. All of that just does not fit on your head

    Just thought of an idea... Microphones use shockmounts to get rid of barrel noise. The easiest one is 4 rubber bands. A tube will have 8 notches on each end so that the rubberbands at 90 degrees form a square in the middle. One at each end. The camera would then ride in there. Might help. Never seen it done.

  5. #5
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    Shocks

    I think I understand........I tried stabilizing my "head" as I was riding, trying not to look left and right. Barreling down a hill is more difficult to keep the head from bouncing. I'm going to try a small piece of "insulation" or foam, not too dence, but maybe enough to absorb some of the shock.

    The avi file is just more clear, but still shows my "chatter" of my bones going down the hill. The camera is only capable of so much, but its really a fun piece of technology. My wife thought I was nutz rolling around those tree's, etc. She was so worried, she never realized I purchased the camera!

    I'm going back out tomrrow to try again. with the same setup, just a slight change to the position on the helmet. I think if I get it off the "apex" of the helmet, it might sit more stable. Small changes, then I'll try something radically different. I can't imagine mounting it to the front of the bike. That must be worse??

    Thanks for the input.

  6. #6
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    I've been riding for a month now with my ATC2K and have noticed the same things. It seems bumpy -- but I guess my trails are fairly rocky. I would like to see the ATC-3K with a slightly wider angle lens and an image stabilization feature if they can do it for under $300 I'd be in line for another one.

    mbb

  7. #7
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    I've had success using window insulating foam tape from the local hardware store. I simply cut a nice square (which is sticky on one side) and wedge it into place where the camera comes in contact with the helmet. Of course it doesn't eliminate all the jitters but it definitely cuts them down.

    By the way, that looks like some nice singletrack in your vid, where do you ride?
    Ever been to Mountain Bike Tales Digital Magazine? Now if only the print rags would catch on!

  8. #8
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    Here is a link to a pic of what I was talking about. BH Photo link - Beyerdynamic camera shoe shock mount
    It is about isolating the camera from the shake. Maybe a piece of 1" or 1.5" PVC as the barrel, cut the notches in the pic on both ends, some soft rubberbands. I don't have a lipstick, so cannot experiment. A couple of pieces of foam in the barrel might or might help as a damper to prevent springing motion. The foam would need to be loose to allow the rubberbands to do their job too.

  9. #9
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    That's a great idea. I have some of that in my garage and will try that before I go out today.

    The trail is in Central Virginia near Richmond. This is one of the easier trails in our area, but its a lot of fun. Not to far from here is a connecting trail that has more obstacles that we also do on this ride. For years, I've been running the fire trails, and getting on some of the bike trails to run, but I have to admit, this is way more fun.

    Thanks for the reply.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the follow-up and recommendation. That's a bit more ellaborate that I was thinking, but probably works real well. I don't know if the amount of work is worth it for the way I'm using this thing, but there's an invention for everything. I'll try the insulating tape today on the trails, and check some additional video later. We'll do that same section, plus the more technical section to see if the bounce decreases or not.

    Before I removed the sound from the file with my video editing software, you could hear the tires and chain bouncing in the video. It was pretty funny. My wife said "how can you take that." Between the bounce in the video, and the sound, she was getting dizzy!

    Everyone go ride today!

  11. #11
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    Believe it or not, I've found the image is more stable when I mount the my camera to the bike rather than my melon. I've mounted it to the head tube and to the fork (the upper cylinder, so the fork still absorbs shock. I ride a hard tail, so I'm not on any kind of crazy long suspension rig.

    Another added advantage of this is that it brings the POV closer to the ground, so it tends to make the terrain look more impressive on the video, and makes it look like you're going faster. I highly recommend giving it a try.

    Yet another added advantage is that it takes the weight off of your head and eliminates the challenge of trying to keep your head steady. The weight probably isn't an issue for most lipstick cams, but my Viosport H2O cam weighs in at a neck-bending half pound.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
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    I have the mount for my handlebar as well. I'll try it on my road bike during a crit for some cool video, plus the road is much smoother!

    If I get some alone time on the trails, I might try that as well.

    Thanks for responding to my question, and the recommendation.

  13. #13
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    Oregon Scientific ATC 2K - review

    Quote Originally Posted by Run1stRide2nd
    ...I recently purchased one of these ATC-2K's from Oregon Scientific, just for fun. I don't intend on making quality production video's...

    I would like some recommendations on how I could keep the helmet cam from bouncing as much as it is in my FIRST VIDEO attached here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDmQXGQCaH4
    I just did a review/comparison on the OS ATC2K here: http://www.helmetcamreview.com

    It was my conclusion that only some of that bouncing is due to the way it was mounted. Try some perfectly still video, there is still some "jitter" to it. I believe that this is due to the inability of the processor to write fast enough to the card - or just a firmware issue.

    Like I said, check out my review and see what it looks like compared to some upper end helmet cams.

    CJS

  14. #14
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    Helmet Cam Reviews

    Yes..........

    I've seen the reviews earlier today. Good job. I think it will provide many folks with a nice comparrison rather than having to search through YOUTUBE, or each of the manufacturers (lab) produced video's, where they all look excellent.

    I've been using the camera on and off for a few weeks, and its exactly what I expected. .....Good Enough for my purposes. The gang that I ride with really enjoys the video's, and they love sharing them with their families. And, if you've seen any of the video's on Youtube, I've set them to music that is TOTALLY out of character for the rider thats in the video.......

    That's all I really want out of it, and the quality is "good enough" for those purposes. Its also much easier to carry around than anything that I've seen so far that produces marginally better video's. At the highest end, I've seen some really nice video, but not really where my interest are at this point.

    Next I"ll take it on a road ride and get some movie of a crit race here in town as soon as the season opens back up.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run1stRide2nd
    Yes..........

    Next I"ll take it on a road ride and get some movie of a crit race here in town as soon as the season opens back up.
    You mmight want to try a helmet mount to dampen vibration, I tried it on my road bike with the supplied mount and the road vibration (not the bumps) made the video "wavey" at times... wierd.

    CJS

  16. #16
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    Helmet Cam on the Roa

    Agreed...........

    The helmet / muscles in the neck should dampen it some when on the road. When I tried it in my driveway and neighborhood, it was much "smoother" than on the trails. Amazing how the original .avi file "looks" so much better than the mpeg converted files for youtube. I end up loading them on my laptop to play for friends and co-workes since they get motion sick from the "waves!"

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