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Saturday
May072011

HD808 #11 The Story So Far

The chaps on the RC Groups forum have got hold of another firmware for the HD808 camera and I thought I should post it up here. It's been a while since I did my video review of the HD808 camera so it also seems like a good opportunity to tidy things up a bit.

Firstly, No I didn't brick my camera. When I made the video I thought I had, but it turned out that it only looked that way, I brought it back to life and it's still working today. 

My original review and accompanying text are here  (details of some retailers are included here as well)

Secondly, If you want to know all about the 808 Cameras in general, there really is only one place you should go, and that's Chuck Lohr's excellent 808 website. If you can't see an answer to your question there - then you are asking the wrong question. 

Thirdly, I mentioned this in the review and must give credit where it is due….There is a massive thread on the RCgroups forum all about the HD808 camera. This is where I've downloaded all the firmwares from and the diligent and detailed work these enthusiasts have collated on the HD808 is amazing. If there are any more developments with firmwares for these cameras, this is where you will find out about it first.

Finally, I've re-organised my firmwares and they are linked below….if any more turn up, I'll add them to the bottom of this post. Note that firmwares 2-4 are iterative…i.e. FW2 removes the time-stamp, FW3 removes the time stamp and adds continuous recording, FW4 removes the time stamp, has continuous recording, and reduces the flashing brightness that was very evident under certain lighting conditions. 

The instructions for upgrading the firmware are as follows…

I suggest you use a card reader and a fully charged camera.

Download and extract the zip file. Get the file called "FW96630A.BIN" and copy it to the root of your memory card. Put the card in the camera. Tap the On button and then wait for the yellow light to come on, this should take about 5 seconds. Turn it off again and remove the card from the camera and then delete the "FW96630A.BIN" file from the memory card and put your card back in the camera - that's it.

I have tested all these firmwares on both my HD808 cameras without any issues - but remember that Flashing your firmware has a risk attached to it - it could go wrong and you could break your camera. Many have succeeded but some have failed..

 

FIRMWARES

ALL FIRMWARES NOW DELETED FROM MY SITE

(Too many people were reporting errors with these firmwares - so I've removed them)- Please get any Firmwares directly from the RC Groups Forums instead - Links Below 

 

UPDATE - 20 MAY 2011 

There have been some new firmware developments on the RCGroups Forum. Rather than repost these again - I'd prefer to link everyone to the source. The people over on the RCgroups forums are able to provide a lot more information, detail and ongoing support regarding the HD808 camera than I could hope or want to do.  I really prefer to review a device and move on to something else - rather than continually revisiting and revising. So I suggest that from here on in you keep your eye on the RCgroups forum  for future updates on this camera - and here is the link to today's new firmware.

You can see a video of a successful firmware update below.

 

 

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Reader Comments (80)

Hey, thank you for all the time and dedication you've put on introducing this camera. It is also very nice to see the firmware files listed here where they are easily accessible.

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertigrus

You provide great reviews for all the little gadgets I like to read about. Glad I found you on youtube. I'll be definitely buying one of these little cams soon. Good to see Manchester from a different prospective too hehe

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick

I have tried to use your instruction to remove the date stamp.. But why the date and time still have at my video??? Can you help me to solve this??

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpipi

@pipi - No idea why this didn't work for you. Are you sure that you are putting the FW96630A.BIN file on the Root of your memory card and Not in any folder? Does the light take a while to come on after pressing on - as shown in the video demonstration.

May 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Could I drill a hole in the case and turn the camera 90 degrees? What I am after is the ability to wear it like a necklace. Love your blog and youtube videos. Thanks for all your hard work

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeeko

@Techmoan: nice website + very useful information on the HD 808 #11. Also it's a nice extra that there is a video review. Keep reviewing gadgets!

@meeko: You can do that, it's also done in the video on this page.
You need to have some soldering skills if you want to use a cable this long. If you just want to tilt it 90 degrees that could be possible just as it is now, enough space, connector lenght, possiblity to drill a hole, ...

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSwa

@swa hey thanks for the info. Yep 90 degrees will do what I need.

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeeko

Hi,

Love your website! Great and very usefull reviews.

I bought a #11 (10000kbps version).

My device seems to refuse to start recording when connected to any powersource. When connected to my PC, it's not too strange but when connected to (for instance) my car battery, it just doesn't start recording when I push te front button (nearest to the lens). In order to start recording, I need to unplug it from the powersource, then power up the camera, then push the font button to start recording. After that I can safely connect the USB cable to power it. Do you encounter the same problem? (right now I'm running the latest 'exposure' firmware)

Best regards,

Quemo

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

@Quemo You are experiencing these problems whilst using the supplied car adaptor?

May 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

thought i'd briefly mention that the youtube video on this post is set to private. can't view it. thanks for all your time and energy put into these reviews. they've been very helpful.

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbalckfeathers

@Techmoan:

Thanks for your reply.

I haven't tried the supplied adaptor since I don't have a 12V car plug (female) in my velomobile (faired recumbent tricycle) but I do have 2 USB ports so I used them with a USB cable.

Right now I tried the supplied adaptor in my car and then the problem doesn't seem to occur; the camera does start recording when powered by the supplied adaptor. (but not with 230V USB adaptor, not by my USB ports of my velomobile, not by 2 different solar chargers)
Looks like I have to look for another USB cable which doesn't have the problem (I tried about 5 I have right here but none worked)

USB had 1 connection for +5V, 1 for 0V. Furthermore 2 connecitons for data. Mini USB seems to have a 5th connection which is ground? Looks like data or ground might be the problem?

May 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

Thanks...I think it's fixed now

May 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey, cheers for the review and details on flashing the firmware, just bought one of these and applied the "remove time and date patch".

I thought I'd bricked it at first because it wouldn't respond, but on further investigation, it seems sometimes after the new firmware is installed, the LED light won't come on, I plugged it in to my pc, tried to turn it on again and it took about a minute for the orange standby light to come on, but it worked fine! So don't panic, just give the little camera time to update!

More information on this at the RC Groups forums:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16953447&postcount=16

Many thanks again, :D
James

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames

@Quemo...don't waste any more time trying more USB leads... The camera's USB port is wired in an unusual way and the only way to charge and record at the same time is to use the supplied 12v lead.

Alternatively you can power the camera up first, start recording and then attach a normal USB lead to power it....but it will stop recording when it saves a file. So with the continuous recording firmware, you could record 4GB only.

May 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

hello
and thanks for the great reviews
i've buyed (waiting to receive) this camera you've made the review #11, to put in this:
http://i54.tinypic.com/2qdpj6q.gif
so now, can someone give me ideas on how i'm going to attach the camera on that? maybe on kart? or helmet? How?
:)
i'm so impatient to film my race with friends hehhehehe

regards

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoão

@João:

you might try Velcro on either (helmet or kart). On your helmet gives you the possibility to aim the camera (by turning your head). But that's sometimes rather annoying to see (when you turn your head a lot)

You also might try strong magnets. I made pads with 2 magnets in them. The camera is put on the pad with velcro, the pad with magnets is placed on the shell of my velomobile: (sorry, it's in dutch)

http://velomobielfan.blogspot.com/2011/05/sleutelhangercamera-monteren.html

results when driving:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceQA6NSwcBs

My velomobile shell won't hold magnets so I glued 2 on the inside of the shell so the pad will stick on the outside of the shell where the glued magnets are.

BTW: check the strange sound at 0:24 (I'm waiting at traffic lights) and later at 0:37 when driving but no traffic lights are near. Strange pulsing buzzing sound.

=====================

About the USB power problem. I think I do need to find a solution. I plan to shoot movies over 4 GB in continuous mode. I'm hoping that modifying a USB cable might do the trick.
I encountered a similar problem a few years ago but can't remember exactly with what device. But it seemed to be caused by the 5th connection in the mini USB connector. So I'll do some measuring with the supplied adaptor with cable and a standard USB cable. I might try to cut some wires in the mini USB plug. I'll see and report if I solve my problem.

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

Hello Techmoan,

I just did some measuring on my adaptor which is supplied with my camera.

http://www.cpkb.org/wiki/Mini-USB_pinout

Normally the pinout of mini USB has pin 1 and pin 5 for + (plus 5 volt) and 0 (zero volt). With the adaptor they moved pin 1 to the unused pin 4. So I'll 'hack' a USB cable and move the wire from pin 1 to pin 4 but leave pin 5 in place. That might do the trick but i'll have to find out about that and if moving the +5V is the only thing I need to do.

May 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

@Quemo the chaps on the RC groups forum have covered the USB Power issues somewhere in their massive HD808 thread and I seem to recall seeing a hacked USB connector. If I were you I'd have a look through the posts to see if someone has already done the hard work for you. A link to the thread is on my front page.

May 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks!

Indeed, it's mentioned (a lot!) on the RC forum:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=18030709&postcount=3026

I might give it a try but first I'll need to figure out what's going on with my camera.
Some strange things:
1) When charging (with supplied car adaptor and also with any external power supply with any USB cable), the movies that were taken have a buzzing noise every second and the screen has stripes on the right. Sometimes the sound is louder and the stripes are really bad or the sound is nearly gone and the stripes are also nearly gone.
2) Sometimes I can't start a movie when powering the camera with any USB cable connected to an external power supply (battery or car adaptor) and sometimes I can (because I couldn't I wanted to modify an USB cable but I wonder if I really need to do so)
3) Sometimes the camera continues recording in a new file when first file is 'full' (20 minutes or 4 GB, depending on firmware version), sometimes it doesn't.
4) Sometimes it stops recording for some reason even when connected to an external power supply.

I think I'll have to do a lot of reading on the RC forum. Perhaps more answers can be found there.

Thanks again!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

Buzzing sound problem solved: to low battery power according to the RC forum

unfortunately I cant test any more. Last night I put back the exposure firmware. Succesful flash. Afther that I set the camera to recording while connected to USB power.

This morning the 4GB SD card didn't show a single file. I put the card in my laptop but my laptop suddenly couldn't see my SD card at all. I tried 2 uSD tot SD adaptors from Sandisk and a SDHC USB mini cardreader from Sandisk but none worked (they do with other SD-cards and did before with the mentioned 4GB card). So I tried a format but all I could do is format it at just 1MB so something is really wrong.

Looks like my SD card is trashed somehow (4GB class 6 Sandisk)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterQuemo

@Quemo
I get a buzzing sound recorded whenever the camera is near anything electrical.... Similar to how the sound of a mobile phone is picked up on a radio. There is also a buzzing sound when the battery is nearly empty, but this only occurs within the final few seconds of the battery life.
It does sound like your memory card is broken. Have you tried formatting it with the special formatting utilities mentioned in the most recent posts on the RC groups forum... Maybe these can fix it.

May 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@João
To start with just go for the quick cheap and simple option, duct tape it to your helmet. The tape holds it on safely and peels off easily without leaving any residue. Putting it on your head also dampens the vibrations.

May 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I use this #11 cam for mountain biking and Airsoft - things Ive found to work really well:

Mountain biking - Either duct tape the little keyring camera to the central rib on the top of the helmet - make sure its towards the front of the rib so the angle of your head doesnt just show horizon all day :) Also you can strap it to your shades/glasses to the right or left of the arms/frame. I think this works really well as it shows EXACTLY what you see.

Airsoft/Paintball - As above - I use Bolle, yellow tinted sunglasses that protect your eyes from enemy shots etc. Now the plastic sunglasses frame on these is similar to Oakleys/Arnettes etc. The camera simply secures to the side of the glases frame with duct tape and secures it ALL DAY no problem at all. Dont bother with nifty mounts, velcro or anything, simply a roll of black insulation tape secured so that the cam is level, at eye level, with the controls and SD card available to access easily, is the perfgect solution to mounting this cam.

If anyones keen I'll assemble some pics of the footage captured plus the way I attach it to the glasses. Just respond here or mail me.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJezworld

Hello Techmoan,

I bougth the same camera as yours ( # 11 ) Very good quality of vids .
The problem is with the memory card : it often " jumps " out of the camera ! It does not stand on it !!
It is a micro sd hc 4 GB from Taiwan .
Does it come from the card or from the camera ?? Does it happen with your camera ??
Thank you very much for your advice
Regards
Eric

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Techoman...some help please ;)
1- what is the battery time limit? fully charged?
2- to upgrade the firmware, only using an external reader will be possible?
3- what kind of SD card should i use?

I just received now...and the film it makes is amazing...cheap camera and a high definition no doubt!
Hope you can help me

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoão

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