Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

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DarkHelmetII
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:25 pm

Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by DarkHelmetII »

My objective: I want to ride my bike around a neighborhood that does not have Google Maps Street View (given its location probably won't for years if not decades - much of it is dirt road and undeveloped) and record the experience. I am not expecting an image quality or 360 degree view offered by Google Maps but nonetheless would like to be able to share this video with others interested in the neighborhood.

I have basically no experience with GoPro / helmet cams. Seems like I need:
1) A camera
2) A means to attach the camera to the helmet and / or handlebars
3) A means to store the video, either to local memory or the internet (live streaming not necessary)
4) Optional / cherry on top: would be super cool to display a street map in the lower right-hand corner with a dot that moves along with my position so that the viewer can associate what they see to where I am in the neighborhood.

Preliminary research has revealed the iON Camera 1014W AirPro (https://www.amazon.com/iON-Camera-1014W ... g-20&psc=1). Pros seem to be price and relatively quick availability (presumably Amazon can deliver in a few days). One con to me seems that I have to buy a separate memory chip - maybe not a big deal, but I don't even know how to find the right kind.

Thoughts?
tmhudg
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:56 am

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by tmhudg »

I wouldn't attach the cam to the handlebars - too shakey for dirt roads and you get a lot of swinging back and forth as you move the bars to steer. A helmet mount would be better but I would suggest some sort of chest mount (I use one for my GoPro) (although you may get some of the handlebars in the shot (that you could possibly edit out)).

That cam you linked is going to give you a very fish-eye look to your video - is that acceptable? More expensive cams will let you control how wide the angle is.

With pretty much any cam, you will need a memory card. They are cheap and easy to use. The manufacturer will tell you the kind required. Just get a SanDisk that fits the specs and don't worry about it.

As for the street map display, probably not quite what you want but the Garmin video editor (free to download for anyone) lets you drop overlays on your video that can use GPS information. If your cam supplies it, you could maybe do a kind of overlay showing the route. Not a google map with points of interest, etc. but it's something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5v9ZCwcung
bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by bob60014 »

Do you have a smartphone? For your purpose just get a universal head mount (your head in place of a helmet) attach the phone to it and record. Download video to the program of your choice.

Amazon has the mounts for $16-$20.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWAY2NI/?t ... UTF8&psc=1
Last edited by bob60014 on Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4408
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by adamthesmythe »

bob60014 wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:51 am Do you have a smartphone? For your purpose just get a universal head mount, attach the phone to it and record. Download video to the program of your choice.

Amazon has the mounts for $16-$20.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWAY2NI/?t ... UTF8&psc=1
By the way, there was a very recent Apple advisory NOT to attach an Iphone to motorcycle handlebars, apparently the vibration reduction system can freak out. I don't know if a similar issue arises with ordinary bikes. A phone on a helmet is probably OK, although I suspect that gopro vibration reduction will be better.
Topic Author
DarkHelmetII
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by DarkHelmetII »

bob60014 wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:51 am Do you have a smartphone? For your purpose just get a universal head mount (your head in place of a helmet) attach the phone to it and record. Download video to the program of your choice.

Amazon has the mounts for $16-$20.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWAY2NI/?t ... UTF8&psc=1
Great idea and might just be the most practical / shortest path to accomplish what I would like to do. Do you know if I can fit this around my helmet, or is elastic band too small?
GmanJeff
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:12 am

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by GmanJeff »

Attaching anything to a helmet may be dangerous if you have an accident. Protruding add-ons can add torque as you hit the ground, can penetrate the helmet shell, and can otherwise compromise safety aspects of the helmet's design. Some studies show no impact (pun intended!) from cameras mounted to helmets, but consideration of alternative mounting solutions might be prudent.
Topic Author
DarkHelmetII
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Helmet Cam - Hardware / Software

Post by DarkHelmetII »

I ended up buying this from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KY ... UTF8&psc=1).

1) Comes with a strap that I jerry-rigged for attaching to handlebars
2) Includes 128 GB memory
3) Pretty easy to view videos on PC, tried quickly with SmartPhone and couldn't get it to work, but I barely tried

For $50 was a pretty quick and dirty solution that delivered. The level of English in the instructions is comical implying low quality Chinese build, but hey, it has worked for at least Day 1!
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