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Old 12-18-2017, 03:38 PM   #1
jmason
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Looking for Track Day A/V Recommendations

I would like to use one camcorder center-mounted in the car (an over the shoulder viewpoint), one mic to pick up engine sound (next to exhaust pipe?), and use the audio from in-car driver/passenger intercom (Chatterbox Tandem Pro 2). I guess I would need a mixer to combine audio for input to camcorder. I would appreciate any recommendations on equipment for this setup.
Thanks.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:23 AM   #2
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I like a helmet cam because it lets the viewer know what's going through the driver's head at any given time. Also, if at the end you just have a bunch of separate audio files you can just combine them in a video editor.
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:30 PM   #3
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Aim smarty cam and solo DL it can record video, car and the GPS unit outputs and sound from an external source and combine everything as it records.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:36 PM   #4
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Easy.

Two go pros or cameras of your choice. one inside for video and the other for audio. When you edit the video you can take the audio from one and layer it. Very easy to do and probably the easiest option.

I stick my camera upside down on the sunroof and it gets a good angle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg9O42ahAhY&t=191s
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:21 PM   #5
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_D6mI5O4sw

Here's my latest monstrosity. Two GoPros, external sound (Zoom H1 in the car, microphone in the engine bay), data recorded on my phone (TrackAddict app), then put it all together on the computer (RaceRender).

It takes a while to sync all four sources accurately, but I like the results.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:17 AM   #6
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Where did you put the mike in the engine bay? How did you route the cable?
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:33 AM   #7
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Ymmv, but my Garmin Virb Ultra 30 has produced much better results than my GoPro Hero5 Black. Much better image stabilization and auto-exposure adjustment. Not sure if the GoPro 6 caught up, but the Virb also records basic gps data for speed, time and track. Creating a light version of the full Harryís or RaceRender instrumented video is super easy. Not as much data but zero effort.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:36 PM   #8
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This is going to be a long post, so fair warningÖ

To answer your question I think you first need to ask yourself a few questions:
1) Do you have anything else in your life that you want to take rugged video of?
2) How much information do you want to have in your track videos
3) How much editing are you willing to do to make the videos come out the way you want?

If all you ever expect yourself to want to do is track videos, then some of the dedicated track recording systems mentioned by others above are probably the way to go. If you are like me, and probably a lot of other people who arenít racing competitively and are just out for a good time, then your better bet is probably something more along the lines of a GoPro/Garmin rig.

I personally run the following equipment:
-- Garmin Virb Ultra 30 w/ Bluetooth OBDII dongle Ė mounted on the hood with a GoPro suction mount
-- GoPro Hero4 Silver Ė mounted on the rear with a GoPro suction mount
-- GoPro Hero4 Black (loaner from a friend) w/ external mic adaptor and Olympus Stereo Mic Ė mounted either to a stick-on mount on the center console or with a GoPro suction mount on the inside of the windshield

For video editing I use the following:
-- Garmin Virb Edit software to pre-render the front Garmin camera and add all of my gauge and GPS data
-- Cyberlink PowerDirector editing software to piece together the 3 cameras, create the picture-in-picture layout, and mute the 2 external cameras

A couple example videos from my setup (from my Z, not my R):
Autocross: https://youtu.be/qpJnUVl6kec
HPDE: https://youtu.be/TtLXnuTSXmA

Equipment reviews:
-- As far as my equipment goes, I canít speak highly enough of the GoPro suction mounts. Iíve been north of 130mph and they have been rock solid (but I do use some 3mm high-tensile cord from a climbing shop to make tethers just in case). GoProís mounts in general are very good including the rollbar, the handlebar (which works on head rest posts), and the stick-ons. One thing I highly recommend is getting one of the thumbscrew wrenches to make sure things donít move/vibrate at speed
-- GoPro Ė My experience has been nothing but positive with GoPro. Their remote is awesome and can power multiple cameras on/off and gives you a visual indication of how many cameras are connected and what the cameras are doing. I think the picture quality, on the Hero4 at least, is better than my Garmin Ultra 30, especially in lower light. The touch screen on my 4 Silver has always worked well and I do get good battery life out of the camera. My Hero4 case system has been more robust and easier to deal with than the Garminís and I donít have the issues with lens fogging that I do with my Garmin.
-- Garmin Ė The feature set on the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 with the built-in GPS, ability to tie into a Bluetooth OBDII dongle, ability to add in a heart rate monitor if you have the right type, the image stabilization, and the ability to use all of GoProís mounts made it too tempting to pass up. I think GoProís newest cameras have some of those features now but I havenít gotten to test them. Garminís remote is absolute garbage compared to the GoPro one and I have had many instances of lost video because the remote un-paired itself. Garminís editing software is also better than GoProís and the process of adding gages is very easy. One thing that Garmin claims but I havenít been able to verify, is that if you use multiple Ultra 30s, you can sync them using the GPS timestamp which would be very handy.

Iíll cut myself off here and if you or anyone else has any questions or wants any information/opinions Iíll be glad to give them.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepocket View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_D6mI5O4sw

Here's my latest monstrosity. Two GoPros, external sound (Zoom H1 in the car, microphone in the engine bay), data recorded on my phone (TrackAddict app), then put it all together on the computer (RaceRender).

It takes a while to sync all four sources accurately, but I like the results.
+1 for trackattack app!
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:14 PM   #10
jmason
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ADVNTURR,

Thanks for your informative post.

What I want from an in-car system is to record video and data so that I can to create a product that I can use for self coaching.

My track days are a hobby, so I can't justify nor do I need a dedicated data acquisition system. I have considered GoPro and similar, but I don't have a use for this type of camera beyond track days, so it seems a little extravagant to go that route.

I have used a micro 4/3 camera for video, Wifi dongle for OBD data acquisition, and my cell phone running TrackAddict for data, GPS, and dynamics recording. I use Race Renderer to put it all together. It has worked pretty well, but the camera has some drawbacks that I need to address (recording time, ease of start/stop recording).

To mount the camera and phone, I have a bracket that attaches to the headrest posts. The organization that I typically participate with does not allow suction mounts. I don't have a roll bar.

I have recently purchased a consumer-level palm camcorder to replace the micro 4/3 camera. My initial experience hasn't been all that I had hoped. There is a lot of vibration in the video (at least when driving on city streets) that needs to be addressed. Also, the focal length is a bit too long.

So now I am trying to address the vibration of the camera. I'm thinking that butting it up against the headrest may dampen vibration. Also, if I mount the bracket to the driver side seat, my body may help reduce seat vibrations. If the outside temps ever get above 20, I'll run some experiments!
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmason View Post
Where did you put the mike in the engine bay? How did you route the cable?
Most lavalier microphones come with a little alligator clip. I just clipped it to the cloth battery cover in the engine bay. I have a nice puffy deadcat cover on it to cut the wind noise down even more.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:17 PM   #12
jmason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepocket View Post
Most lavalier microphones come with a little alligator clip. I just clipped it to the cloth battery cover in the engine bay. I have a nice puffy deadcat cover on it to cut the wind noise down even more.
Thanks. I was thinking about the same general area. That location might also be somewhat sheltered from engine heat.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:44 PM   #13
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAImkVn893s

Here is one I did with a headrest GoPro mount, before I sorted out my audio. Having it attached to the driver's side headrest definitely helps with vibrations.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:19 PM   #14
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Thanks sidepocket!
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