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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #1
Rather than clutter a bunch of otherwise unrelated threads with our nerd-ing, it would be good to have an ongoing dashcam talk here, in the gadgets forum.

The topic is: motorcycle dashcam systems. This means: a system having one or two video cameras fixed to the motorcycle, which records automatically any time the engine is running, being powered by the motorcycle's electrical system

"Dashcam" then doesn't include GoPros, other battery-powered, single-camera systems, or anything helmet-mounted. Those setups are fine for certain purposes, but aren't dashcams.

The point of a dashcam is to record one's riding continuously, without having to remember to turn it on and off, change or charge batteries, etc.

I'll start with discussion of a couple systems I know about:


-Innovv K2. Bought one in July 2019. Had nothing but problems until about a year later. Long story short, the power supply design was defective.

Once Innovv finally got me a properly-designed power supply, around July 2020, the system became reliable. It's been great to have. It's how I found out who was responsible for bending one of my rims recently, and have evidence to go after them for damages.

I know there are at least a couple of us Stromtroopers with this system. Mine is the only one I know about on a first-gen DL1000.


-Viofo MT1. I haven't tried this one, but came pretty close to buying one. The MT1 was the top candidate for a replacement system, when I was about ready to give up for good on the Innovv K2. The MT1 has only been available for a couple of months in the US, as of this post.

I know our own @Ophbalance (not sure whether that will summon him, it works in some other forums) has recently installed an MT1 on his 'Strom, and am eager to hear how it works for him.

I have had a Viofo A129 Duo in two cars for just over a year, and it has been superbly reliable. Even baking inside my car in our desert summers. Which, is why I was considering their MT1.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #3
It's possible, but first I need to figure out video hosting.

I use an Imgur account for the vast majority of posting photos in forums. I'd rather not have to fool with yet another account for sharing video, but we'll see.

The video files are rather large, because I use a modified firmware on the Innovv K2, to boost image quality. The result is larger files with more detail captured, vs. the factory firmware. It's sort of like a Power Commander for your dashcam.
 

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It's possible, but first I need to figure out video hosting.

I use an Imgur account for the vast majority of posting photos in forums. I'd rather not have to fool with yet another account for sharing video, but we'll see.

The video files are rather large, because I use a modified firmware on the Innovv K2, to boost image quality. The result is larger files with more detail captured, vs. the factory firmware. It's sort of like a Power Commander for your dashcam.
Use youtube. Its free and easy
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #5
Keep in mind that you won't necessarily get an accurate impression of the video quality when it's hosted.

YouTube (and other providers) inevitably apply some compression to hosted videos.

The only way to see exactly what I do is to download the actual video file, or at least a compression-less repackaging of it. For public consumption, I'll want to strip the GPS data. I think Dashcam Viewer provides a way to do that.
 

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Keep in mind that you won't necessarily get an accurate impression of the video quality when it's hosted.

YouTube (and other providers) inevitably apply some compression to hosted videos.

The only way to see exactly what I do is to download the actual video file, or at least a compression-less repackaging of it. For public consumption, I'll want to strip the GPS data. I think Dashcam Viewer provides a way to do that.
Your best bet is going to be something like Dropbox or Google Drive or One Drive for folks looking to see the original source.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #8
Your best bet is going to be something like Dropbox or Google Drive or One Drive for folks looking to see the original source.
That's exactly what happened when I was shopping for dashcams. Some folks who had posted reviews of the Innovv K2 were kind enough to provide links so I could download the actual *.mp4 files that the system produced.

It will be some time before I can share video connected with the firewood incident, for reasons I can't get into right now but will explain when I can.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #9
@Ophbalance if you are inclined toward feats of firmware-editing, you could probably make the desired changes yourself. see this discussion:


Supposedly the Viofo MT1 uses the same Novatek video hardware as the Innovv K2, so it may be fairly easy to roll your own modified firmware using the same methods.

Since you have an MT1 and I don't, I nominate you to try the experiment.
 

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Keep in mind that you won't necessarily get an accurate impression of the video quality when it's hosted.

YouTube (and other providers) inevitably apply some compression to hosted videos.

The only way to see exactly what I do is to download the actual video file, or at least a compression-less repackaging of it. For public consumption, I'll want to strip the GPS data. I think Dashcam Viewer provides a way to do that.
It'll be good enough. Their compression does a pretty decent job of not degrading the video visually.
 

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First Impressions:

They've nailed the packaging. It's done up very neatly and concisely. It's very polished and what you'd expect for the money involved. The twist lock connectors work well and are easy to connect. Having to fumble with the little notch on each connector is a bit "meh", but unless you're hanging upside down from a tree branch by a toenail over a pit of vipers on a time crunch it's not a deal breaker. It's nice to have a little piece of mind knowing it should be both waterproof and vibration proof. It's also handy in that you can snake those connectors through some tight spaces.

Ease of setup; it really doesn't take reading the directions to get it. The two yellow connectors go together and they're video. The blue connector is the remote and mic (not required to be used). The black connector is GPS. The red connector is power. I didn't try to connect them in a wrong order, so let's just assume that the pins only line up one way. Or you've the the manual and know better. Or that you've spent $300 on a product to place on your at least $2500 motorcycle and don't want to damage either piece of kit.

Always on (or not). I elected to run my extraneous connections through a relay when I first started loading them up. So I already had a tap in place on my rear brake light. I didn't feel like putting in another tap. The MT1 comes with a switched power line (blue) that I've wired up with the red power line since my setup is already on switched power. By doing this I lost the ability to manually turn on recording and the ability for the system to record on motion based events. Which, I'm fine with. But something to keep in mind.

Recording modes; I'm a fan of this. You can set it to record in 1,2,3,5,10 minute blocks of time. It records both front and rear to the microSD card in the main body. Or, alternately if you want to save space, you can set it to timelapse (which I'll be testing in the NC mountains). Timelapse can record in 1,2,3,5,10 second intervals. That's pretty rad, to me at least, if you don't need realtime data.

Recording inversion; you can invert cameras! So hey, there's that. My front camera had to be inverted and it was pretty simple once I looked for the app setting.

GPS; it records your Long/Lat and MPH/KPH to the file stream. You can also insert a small amount of text into stream overlayed onto the camera feed. For an average person, meh? But for commercial purposes maybe it'll help for something like a delivery company?

Integrated app; is... well an app. It works. Mostly. It's about on par with the app from GoPro, so hey, kudos. But things that don't work are the flip video between front/rear in the PIP mode. It will take a picture though of what's on the screen. And you can download files from the app. Knowing what your timezone is for the corrected GMT is not intuitive unless you either just know, or look it up. But it works. And it's important to note it works being WiFi. Meaning, you need to connect to the WiFi access point to manipulate settings or download files. Not a huge issue but I wonder if there'd be a better way.

Video quality; is about on par with my GoPro Hero 4. It's got a bit of a waver in live view that I didn't see in the recorded product. It's 170deg FOV, so it's about the same as superview on the GP line. I love superview BTW. I almost always run it on the GP.

Weatherproofedness; no idea (yet). Everything seems water tight. I'm curious as to how long the lenses on the camera's will last without a protected film. But at the same time, I ran a GP without a case for two years and it's lens wasn't really affected much.
 

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The unsecured jumble of wires in that picture makes my head hurt.
Yeaaaaaa... I'm saving that cleanup for the day that I have to pull the tank again. It wasn't fun the first time and I don't look forward to it until I have to do a valve check this winter some time. I'll reroute all the wires up to the manual box at that point since I'll have to extend some lines. I think the gauge of wire is a bit overkill as well and I might move to a smaller size.
 

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@Ophbalance if you are inclined toward feats of firmware-editing, you could probably make the desired changes yourself. see this discussion:


Supposedly the Viofo MT1 uses the same Novatek video hardware as the Innovv K2, so it may be fairly easy to roll your own modified firmware using the same methods.

Since you have an MT1 and I don't, I nominate you to try the experiment.
It wouldn't shock me in the slightest if the vast majority of this thing is cloned. But they've done a good job of it at least.
 

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@Ophbalance if you are inclined toward feats of firmware-editing, you could probably make the desired changes yourself. see this discussion:


Supposedly the Viofo MT1 uses the same Novatek video hardware as the Innovv K2, so it may be fairly easy to roll your own modified firmware using the same methods.

Since you have an MT1 and I don't, I nominate you to try the experiment.
I'll download the tools and give it a rip. On the plus side, there's a firmware up on the MT1 site that I can grab to see if it spits out a result.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #17
OK, 12 Mbit/s per channel, which is quite common.

As I understand it, the Novatek chipset that handles the video streams can do a total of 40 Mbit/s for both cams. So you can boost both cams to 20 Mbit/s, or run one at 28 and the other at 12, etc. Right now I'm doing that last one. The idea is that the front cam needs to capture more detail, to read license plates etc.

I bet you're right, the Viofo MT1 probably has more or less the same guts at the Innovv K2.

The good news is that the Novatek chipset seems to be quite robust and reliable. Assuming Viofo did their hardware engineering right, you shouldn't have any problems with the DVR.

Power supply can be a different matter. Innovv's original one worked, but tended to drain peoples' batteries when they were parked for a while (supposedly). Then they had one or two iterations that would shut down (and unceremoniously turn off the DVR) when they got the slightest bit warm. That's why I spent half of last summer and into the fall tearing my hair out over my K2, then it worked great for a couple of months in the winter, then started turning itself off again as soon as the weather warmed up.

Anyway, hope you don't have any such problem with your MT1.
 

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I can't offer any details or reviews but Thinkware also offer a motorcycle dash cam, they call it the M1.

Personally I'd like to see the locked up DVR with 2 remote cameras concept move into the car dash cam market too. I can't figure out why companies still choose to stick the big, expensive, evidence collecting and holding core of their dash cam systems in such a vulnerable place as the windshield. They already use a remote camera for the rear, why not make them both remote cameras so we can stash the DVR?
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #19
I can't offer any details or reviews but Thinkware also offer a motorcycle dash cam, they call it the M1.

Personally I'd like to see the locked up DVR with 2 remote cameras concept move into the car dash cam market too. I can't figure out why companies still choose to stick the big, expensive, evidence collecting and holding core of their dash cam systems in such a vulnerable place as the windshield. They already use a remote camera for the rear, why not make them both remote cameras so we can stash the DVR?
That is correct, the Thinkware M1 is another true motorcycle dashcam system.

I do not think it is a great choice. Price is very high, and it is lacking in features compared to the (much cheaper) Innovv K2.

I agree with you re: the design of car dashcam systems. It would make sense to have the "brains" of the system hidden under the dash or in glove box or trunk even. The actual camera only needs to be so big, and it's dumb that we're forced to have the system storage hanging out in the open.
 

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I have Mobius dashcams on both of my bikes. The Versys 300 is fine as it sits on a shelf behind the screen, but the one on my V-Strom is out is the breeze to get a bit of bike in the shot and above 75kph the wind rustle is horrendous.


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