Sunday, April 3, 2016

808 Camera and Preliminary Rig Plans

I have been looking to film gameplay for years. The trouble is, I am not going to spend $300 on a GoPro. That's a used transmission for my Suzuki, or a high-end superstock gun like a Tacmod, or a HPA rig - I am not spending that on a camera.

What I wanted was something as small and cheap as possible with a wide angle lens and acceptable resolution. Bonus points for no head straps.

I came across these 808 keychain cameras from the RC community and finally just bought one:

$29.12 shipped on ebay. This seems to be a type 18 with a wide angle lens assembly, a version I have not seen documented. It also doesn't use the same configuration file as the 18 camera people have seen. Still trying to figure that out so I can get some better settings.

You get the camera, a manual in Chinese and broken English, and the nonstandard USB cable. You must supply your own microSD card.

This thing is literally the size of a car remote lock keyfob and just as light.

With velcro:

And here's where this is going:

Tested and works great, not noticeable, doesn't make my hat fall off, not in my vision, perfectly aimed. No head straps, no mounts, no turning around my hat like basicnerf for a gopro.

The big issue with 808 cameras is that they are majorly janky. They can do the job, but the hardware is cheap, poorly assembled and usually includes low quality no-brand parts. The firmware can be buggy and half-baked. You can't expect the reliability of a GoPro.

I did already encounter some strange behavior (continually turning itself back on whenever a card was inserted) and lockups that seem to have self-resolved by simply letting it run and shut down automatically on its own, resulting in continued normal function. You have to get to know your 808 model and its quirks and how to dodge them.

When I had this open for inspection

Battery is a 400mAh lipo cell, that will need to be addressed before NvZ. In the meantime I may just strap my Miller single 18650 powerbank/charger to the back of my hat with a USB cable and a NCR18650B cell, if it works I will just keep the little lipo in there.

The video from this is decent. A bit noisy and artifactey as is the audio, but the lens is not bad at all, and it is 1280x720. Footage and more technical matters in the next post, and this setup should get field time and a youtube post next Saturday at TBNC.

1 comment:

  1. Nice find.

    Given how little these cost compared to a GoPro or the like, I can see people who would have gotten a GoPro instead getting a small pile of these, and lending hatcams to their squadmates. After all, the more cameras you have on a scene, the better chance you have of getting a shot from a good angle.