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forward camera and dvr


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dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: October 22, 2008 at 8:23 AM / IP Logged  
Now that you can get a digital video recorder for $100 I'd like to put one in my car. I'm looking at the DV606 for example. Anybody installed one? Advice on what forward-looking camera to use or where to mount it? What quality picture do you get? Can you post a recording on YouTube so I can see the quality?
megaman 
Copper - Posts: 385
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 24, 2008
Location: Montana, United States
Posted: October 22, 2008 at 9:39 AM / IP Logged  

why on earth would you like to record your driving?

A simple back-up camera will work, but they are only 1 CCD chip so the picture quality is relatively poor.  Also, most back-up camera's use a wide angle or fish-eye lense to give you the widest picture, so everything tends to look like it's coming from a bubble.

You can wire it up to a simple DVR, so you'll have to use a power inverter for the DVR's power.  Other than that it's a simple install.

dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 9:02 AM / IP Logged  
Thanks megaman. It's other people's driving I'd like to record, not my own. Also, it could be handy to have a record of an accident. Last year I chased a getaway car for 20 mins until the police caught up and took over. That's highly unlikely to happen again but it would have been cool to have it on video. Mostly I'm just messing about adding toys to my car.
The DVR I have in mind runs on 5V DC so there is no need for an inverter, just a 12V to 5V adaptor.
I don't think a back-up camera will work well for forward-facing recording. Anybody else got advice about what sort of camera works well facing forward?
dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: November 07, 2008 at 11:25 AM / IP Logged  
I've decided the camera should be 12 volt and colour, but there are lots of other decisions to make:
- Which resolutions: 400, 420, 480, 520, 530, 550, 560 or 580 lines?
- My DVR captures 320x240 pixels(i.e. Quarter VGA). What happens if my camera captures more lines than my DVR records?
- Bullet cam or minicam?
- Lens fixed, interchangeable or zoom?
- Pinhole or not?
- Infrared LEDs or not?
- Angle of view: 16º, 28º, 40º, 53º, 78º, 92º or 130º?
- 1/3” or 1/4” chip?
- Built-in microphone or separate?
Any advice for a rookie fitting a forward-facing camera?
dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM / IP Logged  
Well, I got the DV606 for £38 from ebay plus a colour 12v camera for £30 from Maplins. It's a 1/3" advanced CMOS camera, 60º angle, 6mm fixed lens that has 628x582 pixels and 380 TV lines.
I enjoyed the installation process and the results are OK in daylight but pretty poor at night. The camera has 9 LEDs for night but the night vision range is listed as only 3 metres. My CCTV friend says £68 is dead cheap for a car camera system, but I guess you get what you pay for. If I pull up behind a car at the traffic lights I can read the number plate from the video, but not if we're just driving at a normal distance at 30 mph. However, you get a reasonable record of what cars are where doing what so I guess it would help in case of an accident. If it's a hit and run then it may or may not get the number of the other car.
I've wired it to be on when the ignition's on. It stores .avi video files on the SD card, each file lasts 20 seconds and is 1 MB in size, so a 10 minute journey produces 30 files. It can fit 55 hours of footage onto my 1 GB SD card. Files are stored on a first-in-first-out basis so when the card is full it overwrites the oldest files.
It has been a fun project. If I were to do it again I'd consider a DVR with a higher than QVGA resolution.
dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: January 12, 2009 at 6:21 PM / IP Logged  
I have posted one of the 20 second videos on You Tube. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zhJnrdLFuNc
dory 
Member - Posts: 7
Member spacespace
Joined: October 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: June 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM / IP Logged  

I've posted video of a car cutting me up, but the resolution is not good enough to get the number. They can solve that problem in CSI though!

http://www..com/watch?v=XURah_QyTMM&feature=channel_page 


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