On-Bike Video Camera

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Global Rider, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Nov 26, 2001
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
    After years of touring the Alps and missing some great video footage of the Alps passes, I decided to look into the equipment required to do so. I've come up with what I consider to work quite well.

    Of primary importance was a stable image and the protection of the video camera in case of an accident. Both issues were dealt with by storing the camera in a tank bag and by using a remote CCD lipstick camera which was then mounted to the helmet using the supplied mount. Mounting the CCD lipstick camera on the body of the rider provides a stable image as compared to mounting the camera on the motorcycle. The body makes for a good damper.

    I purchased a Sony DCR-TRV720 Digital 8 video camera because I wanted an upper end camera with image stabilization, a larger (4") LCD screen and a colour viewfinder. When you get right down to it, all you need is a video camera with AV in and outputs. The camera itself is used in the VTR mode as a mini recording VCR when the CCD lipstick camera is connected.

    The video quality of the CCD lipstick camera is excellent, but the audio quality of the built-in microphone is useless. I couldn't connect an external microphone because the AV input that I was using for video disabled the MIC input to the camera. Connecting the microphone to the audio of the AV input didn't work either because the signal from the microphone was too small (the AV inputs are LINE inputs). The solution? A battery powered "Stereo Amplified Listener" from Radio Shack, product number 33-1093A. This device fits in the palm of your hand, has dual built-in electret microphones, a volume control, a balance control, an Off/On/Hi (boosts high frequency) switch and a 1/8" stereo headphones jack that is then connected to the AV input to the camera via a 1/8" stereo plug to dual (white & red) phono jack adapter.

    The "Stereo Amplified Listener" should be mounted behind a fairing to keep wind noise down. Open cell foam can also be placed around the microphone area to eliminate wind noise.

    The CCD "lipstick" camera was purchased from HelmetCamera.Com. The three foot lead from the camera is terminated by a yellow phono jack (video), a white phono jack (left audio) and a black 5.5mm/2.1mm DC power plug that requires 12 volts at less than 150 mA.

    I hope this information helps anyone out there from having to reinvent the wheel.

    You can check them out at Helmet Camera.Com
  2. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

    Oct 20, 2001
    Cornersville, TN
    Oh, God, another gadget. Hold me back - I gotta have one! I wonder when I will run out of extra alternator capacity...

    John Menefee