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Old 04-30-2005, 05:59 PM   #46
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Cackalacky
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Originally Posted by bernbern22
Question, I just want to record my commute/ drivin around, whats a good camcorder to use with the helmetcamara
Anything with A/V inputs will work fine. Most newer camcorders use a cable with a little mini plug on one end and 3 RCA plugs (audio L, audio R, video) on the other end. The mini end goes in the camcorder; the RCA plugs mate up with the lipstick camera. Sometimes you'll need a little barrel adapter to go male-to-male. They're a buck or two at any Radio Shack. Some kits include them.

If you can get a camcorder with LANC input that's even better. That will allow you to use one of the remote controls that will turn the camcorder on, start recording, stop recording, etc.

If your camera has microphone input you can plug in the little lavaliere mic that comes with the helmet cam. You'll want to put it somewhere so that it's not getting a lot of wind blast. If worn on the rider, clip it inside their jacket but away from the zippers, etc. so there's no noise from the mic hitting hard bits.

If you're using a tank bag, you can suspend the mic in the tank bag so that it doesn't contact anything. It'll pick up exhaust noise/engine noise just fine.

So--look for:
A/V input
microphone input
LANC input

Sony Digital 8 is a good inexpensive format and is backwards compatible for Hi-8. You can find older ones on Ebay--like the TRV240--for $200 or so. I've been using the TRV240 for about 4 years now for a cheap acquisition deck. Never a failure in the field, even when strapped to motorcycles, ATV's, etc.

Everything is moving to miniDV now. That's fine, too. Just look for the features I listed. I tend to not use my expensive DV gear for an acquisition deck/camera just because it's expensive to fix/replace if the rider wipes out. The lipstick cameras themselves...especially the model with the CNC protective mount...are pretty indestructible. I usually make a few mods to the wiring and battery pack so that I"ve got some redundancies and all my battery packs are identical between gear, but other than that I use a stock Helmetcam.
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