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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« Reel to Reel Recorders - impractical and beautiful | Main | Dancing Fountain MP3 Speaker »
Monday
Feb242014

Using a Mobius Camera and some accessories to make my ideal Dash-Cam

It has been a while since I reviewed the excellent Mobius Camera so it is time for an update. In the months since I made my review, the popular little camera has received numerous firmware updates and now has additional features including Motion Detection, it is now supported by Mac as well as Online and PC configuration apps and numerous accessories (as well as a waterproof case due any day now).  In this video I demonstrate a few of these accessories.

I'm always looking for the most discrete (hidden) dash-cam available on the market, and by combining my existing Mobius with a few accessories, I think I've managed to get nearer than any manufacturer has, to creating my ideal dash-cam. It's not a perfect set-up, but hopefully it will give dashcam designers something to think about when planning their future models.

Many people get in touch with me looking for a dashcam with a central recording unit attached by a cable to a tiny lens..and whilst there are a few low definition cameras like this on the market I haven't seen any models that I would recommend. If I can put one together myself...I don't see why a manufacturer couldn't make one with two small HD cameras attached by wires to a single recorder. If you are a manufacturer and you have a device like this that you'd like to show to the world, you know where I am. 

All the accessories and the camera can be purchased in the UK at Joovuu

The camera and some accessories can also be purchased on ebay direct from the Manufacturer in China.

UK US (ebay Links)

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Reader Comments (112)

Here is how I did this in my car. Front and rear one (kinda).

http://imgur.com/a/UfFGK

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHrabroslav

Good post and an excellent camera to do this with! I bought from dx.com a 12v to mini USB adaptor cable and wired that in to the courtesy light switched positive to avoid having to run a cable around the car. Beware on Joovuu T&C's which only give you 30 days to return faulty products. Sharp practice and they are not abiding with the sale of goods act!! Breaks after 30 days and you're stuck with it.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Plumb

Hrabroslav, great work. I haven't finished with the instal part for mine, but I won't be cutting into anything....the car is still under warranty. I just wanted to demonstrate the basics, then it's up to people to tailor this to fit their own specific car and needs.

February 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat, you always come up with these brilliant ideas, I love these simple but effective add-ons. I am a confirmed Mobius camera fan, as I have two currently, so demonstrating there are other options to these is intriguing.

The only other comment I would make is why not make the camera lens lead a lot longer. Long enough perhaps to have the recorder near the foot well or perhaps under the passenger seat, because really once the cam is set up, you won't really need to get to it that often. This might prove alot neater, with the main box hidden from view.

Again thanks for listening.

Daz

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Thanks for that Matt. Really useful to see fitting the lens.

I am thinking about doing much the same (albeit with wiring to the interior light with one of these.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130978707059

Glad to see that it works well.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

@Techmoan: I actually bought extra piece of that plastic I cut into from a crashed car for 5€ so there's no problem if I'll be selling my car in the future. But I understand that for your purpose of reviewing and showing an example of how to use it, hacking away in your car isn't really an option. I just wanted to expand your article so viewers can see that it can be done neatly and almost OEM like.

@Daz I believe there are options for 5cm, 10cm and 20cm long extensions. And if I'm not mistaken, longer cables wouldn't work as there would be too much power loss and interference as raw image data streams from camera modules are quite delicate.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHrabroslav

@Hrabroslav

Very nice installation.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Where did you buy the capacitor and the wide angle lens?

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterterry

As Matt states in his text you can buy those at Joovuu, for example https://joovuu.com/gb/accessories-for-the-mobius/95-mobius-super-capacitor-.html

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteraviva

Thanks for the link. Would be great if someone designed a small waterproof case for the lens unit. What is the maximum length of intermediate cable? Could they make a 2 metre shielded cable? Then the lens could be mounted in the front grille of the car and the main unit inside the car.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterterry

Re: Dashcam with Central Recording unit - Ive been looking for something like that as well - I've not tried one yet but the nearest I can find is this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-2CH-Car-Security-Mini-DVR-SD-Video-Audio-CCTV-Recorder-UK-Stock-/251355903414?_trksid=p2054897.l4275 - of course you then need to source some small camera's with RCA jacks which I'm still looking into. (There's also 4 port ones Ive seen on some chinese sites as well)

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

@terry

Maximum available cable length is 8" / 20cm, as longer cables cause unacceptable video quality degradation.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Loving this. Early last year I took an A1 to pieces and put it all inside my rear view mirror. This would make a great alternative option.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterevilution

I really like the idea of having the lens on a cable, there's a definite market out there for someone to produce a single/twin camera setup like that where the main recording unit is tucked away and the only things visable are the tiny lenses..

I am curious though, when the Mobius is used as a dashcam, does the capacitor store enough energy to:
A) Keep the internal clock running so the timestamp is always correct. And for how long.
B) Properly close the file being recorded when the external power is turned off.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHaku

@Haku

I use the capacitor in my Mobius, & time/date is apparently ok for a week or so if you drive infrequently. I drive every day, so I cannot vouch for this personally, but the capacitor was tested in this respect before being made available for sale to the public.

Yes it does save the file being recorded when external power is cut... I've been monitoring this particular aspect of it's functionality.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Nice solution! It's awesome to hide the Mobius camera like this!

You can also purchase all the items from our store based in The Netherlands! Very fast shipping to all surrounding countries! Please check our site for more info or contact us by e-mail.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermobius-cam.com

Matt - Thought about a WATERPROOF DASH CAM? - I'd like to DASH-CAM the bike. The thought of adding something on the bone dome is far from appealing. They have to (imo) compromise lid integrity.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Chris

JooVuu sell a waterproof housing for the Mobius. Attach it to the handlebars, etc.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

We do indeed sell a waterproof case for the Mobius: https://joovuu.com/gb/home/103-mobius-waterproof-case.html. It fits both the wide and standard version of the Mobius.

Kind regards,

JooVuu

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJooVuu

I know JooVuu's case - And it's impressive. BUT AFAIK the MOBIUS once inside depends on the battery. This is for my needs useless. I need it to work for hours on end with no intervention. 8 hour days on 2 wheels. If it does indeed allow a remote power feed - then I stand corrected.

What I need is a Waterproof case that allows an external power lead so that it functions like a Dash-Cam. Ideally it would be a lead with buck converter allowing 12V Hard-wiring. I'd also have to use the capacitor option as daytime temps here are severe in summer.

Would also be interested to see how well the case copes with misting in cold damp weather. The SJ1000 I have mists exactly dead centre in the lens cover in cool damp weather, within 15 minutes. I've tried replacing the lens covers and have some success using GLASS. But the issue of remote power inside a waterproof case is the same.

A fully sealed system seals in ambient moisture. I know some high end cases have a Goretex breather fitted to purge moisture from the case. I'm not adverse to resolving this particular issue on my own - I don't need an immersion proof case - but rain driven at 80mph gets through most splashproof cases ime.

I'm happy to discuss this off-line if Joovuu think there's a market. I'm on their mailing list and have mentioned the above in their survey too.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Chris

I think the waterproof case is suitable for scuba diving, so that pretty much guarantees no access to the Mobius power socket. You could drill a suitable hole in the case to allow access, but you doubtless don't want to do that.

If you're handy with DIY I've seen a 'waterproof' case made using a large TicTac container.

Your best best is probably a camera that's waterproof without a special housing. The SJ3000 is a possibility. It can use external power while recording, but I'm not sure if it can record in loop-mode.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Yup I'm trying to avoid modifying a case

If I need to take that route I might as well machine one from scratch and drop a laminated glass lens cover in. May look at remote lens solutions like Matt has - but encapsulate things a little better - the only real PITA is the heatsinking.

It may be possible to house the lens inside a LED torch head or something. Odd - but everybody seems to think Bikers will prefer a camera on their lid.

Could somebody with Mobius lenses PLEASE publish the overall external diameters of the lens units? And also the extension cable connector blocks.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I think this capacitor accessory is testimony to a sad fact about low cost dash cams, that their battery only lasts a year at most, which makes them almost a disposable item. in the last 2 years I have changed my smartcam twice over battery issues.

my question is , with branded $$$ high end dash cams, do they suffer the same battery charge/discharge rot issues?

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRandoplh M

P.s. Does the mobius have a sound beep informing the driver that its started/stopped recording?

this feature that smartcam has appears missing from mobius. A tiny led is useless
on mobius especially if you tuck the unit away

cigarette sockets do become loose, without sound indicator
you might find your dash cam was actually never recording at all

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRandolph

@Randolph

Agreed that dashcams use cheap LiPo batteries, which need replacing every year, or sooner. Although my LiPo was working well, I've replaced it with the capacitor kit which will, hopefully be more durable & reliable. Only took 5 minutes.

Mobius does not make a noise when starting / stopping recording. Mine is between windscreen & rear view mirror, & the winking red rear LED is clearly visible night & day.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

It would be interesting to have a poll here on this,
anyone here has a dashcam whose battery lasted more than a year?

is the problem arising due to 808, mobius
being primarily designed for rc aircraft
and not for the dash cam role?

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRandolph

@Randolph

All cheap action cams & DashCams use cheap LiPo batteries, which will need periodic replacement. Manufacturers could use higher quality batteries, but that would increase the camera price & they would lose sales. It's our fault for chasing the lowest possible price, we get what we deserve.

Buy an expensive dashcam & it will have a capacitor not battery. But no need to buy an expensive dashcam, buy a Mobius & replace the battery with the capacitor kit.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Mr. Techmoan are you done with the Mini 0801?

Would love a cam that works as it says on the can and doesnt overheat in hot weather....

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrimm

@Grimm

Mobius does not overheat in hot weather. It needs a 5V 1A external power supply. Any less causes charging circuit problems, which leads to the LiPo battery overheating & failing prematurely. Add hot weather to the mix, & the battery failure is accelerated.

Give the Mobius the required current & there's no problem. I know of one person in Australia running 3 Mobius DashCams on a daily basis through the Summer heat with no problems.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterruss331

Has anyone fitted the Super Capacitor Batteries into a Mobius?

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike22

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