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January 23, 2018, 05:16:48 PM
 
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Author Topic: In-car/van camera  (Read 1402 times)
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Robin
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« on: October 17, 2012, 10:49:27 PM »

Does anyone have any experience of the Roadhawk-style camera/CCTV systems for recording your journey/incidents?

There are plenty of cheap ones on eBay, but are they worth the money?
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Vandrederic
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 06:41:52 AM »

I've not used dedicated ones, however if you have a smart phone (android/apple mainly) then there are quite a few apps out there that use your phones camera.

That way you can record GPS location, speed, sound, g-forces, vibration...etc.
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growler2009
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 01:09:34 PM »

G-force in your van, lol
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Robin
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 11:02:42 AM »

So I bought a RoadHawk 720 (£140)  http://www.roadhawk.co.uk/roadhawk-720-black-box-camera/prod_31.html
Here's my review:

It is a simple camera that records at 1280x720 resolution and just plugs into cigarette lighter socket, so it powers up and starts recording as soon as the ignition is switched on. 

The down-side of this is that you have to set the time and date *every* time you turn the camera on - so for example if you drive somewhere and stop, you'll have to set the time and date when you start again.  I'd kinda presumed there would be a watch/CMOS-style battery that kept the clock running.  This pretty much makes the timestamp feature worthless.  To set the time you need either an external screen, or a computer to create a text file on the memory card which contains the correct time when you turn the camera on.

The camera can be set to record in 1, 2 or 5 minute segments.  However when the power is removed anything after the last save is lost - again I presumed some power reserve would allow the last data to be saved; even if you have it set to save every minute, there could be quite a bit of 'evidence' lost.  (Just how long after an incident would you turn the ignition off?  I think it could well be less than a minute)

If you rename a folder on the memory card, that stops any further data being saved to the card, until you reformat it.  Found that out yesterday...

The files are saved as .AVI files - although the box says they are MOV format, and the instruction book says .MP4.  The instruction book also says the files can be played on just about any modern computer - my Windows Media Player doesn't play them although it does play other .AVI files.  VLC will play the RoadHawk AVI files, mostly.

I was going to produce a montage to show you some of the footage, but Windows Movie Maker won't accept the files.  Seems I'll have to learn a lot about video convertion to be able to do anything useful with the footage.

This RoadHawk camera looks good and feels well made but other than that it seems I was better off using my trusty Canon Ixus 100 camera in movie mode (also 1280x720) on a windscreen suction mount.

Would I recommend? No.
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Robin
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 12:04:57 PM »

So I've been in contact with RoadHawk and they say mine is faulty and I should return it.

And the *funny* thing is I've since found that there is a very similar looking camera known as an "A8" available on ebay for less than US$100...
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J J 007
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 08:10:34 PM »

If i was you robin i would be more concerned what  is going to happen to your lower body if you have an accident sod the camera get some rsj s to protect you lol
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Robin
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 12:45:43 AM »

I'll still be making use of the van's primary safety feature - the steering wheel  Wink

I seem to have a lot of incidences lately of people pulling in front and then braking, especially on dual carriageways and motorways - happens when I'm in the van and car. Maybe it's me - or maybe there are too many zombies on the roads  Cheesy
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teaspoon
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 11:08:32 AM »

watch out for people just trying to claim on your insurance,,,,, try to see if you can remember if its the same car or driver,, this might be how they earn money.
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Robin
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 07:57:48 PM »

So the replacement camera has arrived - it does work much better: seems there should be a rechargeable battery built in which maintains the date etc. 

Here is a sample from today's roadtest
http://youtu.be/Z2o9jHoanGI
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Vandrederic
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 04:37:06 AM »

So the replacement camera has arrived - it does work much better: seems there should be a rechargeable battery built in which maintains the date etc. 

Here is a sample from today's roadtest
http://youtu.be/Z2o9jHoanGI

Really good quality video. Sounds good too!
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Robin
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 06:49:00 PM »

So I've replaced the RoadHawk 720 with a Mobius ActionCam!  Much better quality video, and much cheaper (£70ish) although perhaps not as 'polished' in it's presentation.

Haven't tried it in the van yet, but it works fine in the car  Wink

I bought this, although I'll probably replace the suction-cup mount with the adhesive-backed one
https://joovuu.com/gb/action-cameras/84-mobius-wide-angle-lens-car-camera-pack-2.html
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