The AdventureCAM project started because we needed a way to hike and shoot video footage at the same time. We are constantly reworking this setup, but the basic configuration is pretty much the same (digital storage, remote camera, remote trigger, backpack).
Our most recent update to this setup is to replace the tape-based DV Camcorder with a solid state recording mechanism.
It is true that DV recordings have a much higher resolution than MPEG4 recordings, but we want the option for shooting footage for the web, for the video iPod, and for other situations where the lower resolution is not a factor. Besides, once we saw the size of the Neuros MPEG4 unit, we knew we had to add it to our mobile recording setup :-)
First we had to verify that the VioSport camera would work properly with the Neuros Recorder 2. It took a few tries, but we finally got everything (monitor, camera, recorder, power) sorted out and working. Once we confirmed that we could indeed record video directly to the Neuros unit, we had to find the appropriate external battery pack to power the Neuros Recorder.
The Neuros Recorder 2 came with an AC power adapter. Based on the specs, the unit requires +5V and the tip has a "+" center. We had two rechargeable battery options available from the RainyDay Test Lab (Tekkeon myPowerAll, iGo batteryPak).
The Tekkeon is a variable voltage unit. We have been using the Tekkeon myPowerAll for a lot of different things here...so much so that we have not had time to finish the FirstUse write-up!
The iGo battery pack is a couple of years old. It still works great, but we don't use it much because it is a fixed voltage and was for a digital camera which we no longer own.
Both of these units have multiple tips for different power sockets so finding a tip which fit the Neuros wasn't difficult.
We were pretty certain the myPowerAll would work, but we weren't so sure about the iGo. Much to our surprise, when we plugged in the iGo and hit the remote, the Neuros unit powered up! We did a few test recordings and everything worked just fine.
This was great because not only did we find a new use for the iGo, it was a much smaller in size than the Tekkeon.
We managed to trim our final setup down to the parts above: Camera, camera battery pak, camera cable, Neuros Recorder 2, Neuros remote, iGo battery pak, battery cable.
1. VioSport Camers: $200
2. Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2: $150
3. Battery Pack: $50
We needed the remote to turn the recorder on and off since there are no controls on the recorder itself. The limitation to this setup is that we need a display to change any of the recorder's parameters. However, once the settings have been picked, hitting the record button on the IR remote will activate the recorder.
The last step was to find a good bag to put everything in so we could take it on the road. We found a quite a few bags which would work, but the two we like best were the ApeCase and the Kata S-312. We will switch to the Kata bag in a few weeks. For the moment, we'll try this rig out using the ApeCase.
One reason is the ApeCase is smaller and can be strapped to a belt.
We do wish we had a better mechanism for starting and stopping the recording. The IR module will be adequate for now, but if you have any suggestions on how to improve this setup...feel free to drop us a line!