01 June 2012

Helmet Cam

  I've watched many of those Youtube videos taken from a helmet cam. Some are lame, some are funny, and some scary. Either way, I watched them. it got me thinking I might like to have something just in case something happens to me. Normally my ride is quite boring and uneventful. But I wear a helmet every time despite the non-excitement, why not a camera too?
  I looked around for a cheap camera I could use. I found some cool sports cams, some auto dash cams. Nothing was sticking with me though. They all had some drawback that didnt sell me. Months later I came across something mentioning this little tiny "spy" cam. I looked into it and found 3 spy sized cameras that all had very similar features. After finding a good comparison of the 3 I bought what has the nick name of gum stick camera.

  The biggest feature is the price of $12. Its specs are equally low: only 720x480 and 30fps, 8GB max, not waterproof. I bought one. It's the size of a small pack of gum. I wanted it on my helmet so it would see mostly what I was seeing. Not being waterproof I would have to put it behind the visor. I tested several locations for what kind of view they would give, how much of a distraction it would be, and how easy it would be to make a mount there.
  I ended up putting it to the left of my face in the cheek pad. I had seen another helmet cam mounted by cutting a notch in the helmet foam. This camera is so small that I didn't have to cut much out. This gives an image at my eye level. The camera is just barely in my peripheral vision. Being farther left than my eyes actually sees a bit more of the road than I do. I used a knife to cut a little slot that the camera snugly slides into.
  After using it for a week I had to adjust it slightly. It was aimed too far right and down. At first I wanted some down angle so I could see my speedometer and mirrors. Now I think I want to see more road and I can look down to capture speed. I've cut the slot a bit bigger and added some stiff foam to change its position.

  Although my drive is usually dull, I have already captured two stupid drivers. Enjoy the short clips!