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Old 04-10-2015, 09:09 AM   #1
safischer OP
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Innovv C3 motorcycle dashcam installation on an F800GS

I would like to document my installation and results of the Innovv C3 action camera on my 2015 BMW F800GS Adventure motorcycle.My motivation and choice of this camera is based on a desire for having the equivalent of a "dashcam" for the motorcycle that will continuously document my ride without having to even think about it.I figure this will help address any disputes or ambiguities in the unfortunate situation of an accident, dispute with the police or help keep everybody honest, to document what happened in case of a hit-and-run and somebody later finds my dead body and bike on the side of the road, or lastly to document some of my adventure rides.

My bike:

The Innovv C3 camera seems especially geared for this purpose. It has a detachable, yet small waterproof video head on the end of a 4' cable that plugs into a separate recorder. The recorder can be configured to run continuously, overwriting the oldest footage in a looping manner, and to automatically start when you turn on the bike, and stop when the bike power is shut off.The recorder is quite small at about 2.5" x 1.5" x 1", but is not waterproof. It accepts a microSD card for storage just like a GoPro. Also previously having a GoPro 3+ silver edition mounted on the handlebars of my DRZ400S dual sport, it sheared off its mount from my handlebars on a particularly rough ride through Death Valley, losing $300 somewhere on the trail in the process. You can find a shameless plug for a ride report of this trip here: http://www.stephenfischerphotography...ycle_ride.html
Researching a replacement that could also serve as a dashcam, I realized the GoPro is not particularly well suited due to a lack of an autostart and bulkier more obtrusive setup; and that other more capable and affordable options exist.I decided on the Innovv C3 based on its feature set, baseline video quality of 1080P at 30fps, past reports by others, and a much more affordable price of $130 for everything including the supporting cables and various mounts.With a 32GB microSD card, it should be capable of capturing a buffer of the last 5 hours.

The Innovv C3 also supports interchangeable lenses and comes stock with either a 90 degree or 120 degree angle lens, with the alternate being orderable for an extra $30. I decided on the 90 degree angle given the camera will be on a fixed mount and not suffer from the ambiguity of one mounted on your helmet and being subjected to the movement of your head. A narrower focal length of the 90 degree angle will also have less distortion and help more easily discern details in front of you. Some captured video of rides with my setup are shown here to give you an idea of this field of view.

The other option to decide on for the camera configuration is whether to be capacitor or battery based.Contacting Innovv through email, they indicated that the capacitor based configuration is better for a vehicle where the camera will be externally powered, as the capacitor will not wear out over time like the battery. The downside of the capacitor configuration is that it can't be used as a standalone recorder.The battery option is more suited for portable usage where no separate power supply is convenient. Given this and my planned usage, I ordered the capacitor based option.

After examining my bike for the most effective installation, I decided to mount the camera head on the bottom of one of my driving lights, down where it will not be as noticeable, but still have reasonably good visibility of the road ahead, but being off to the side so as to not pick up too much debris thrown up by the front wheel.I also expect that this more obscure location will not be noticeable by others that may otherwise tamper or interfere with its operation.





I placed the recorder further back under the seat of the bike where I can more easily access it without tools for the purpose of dumping camera footage, swapping microSD cards, or reconfiguring it, yet more protected from the weather. After examining the F800GS, I realized that it is still possible for some road spray to get under the seat through the rear shock. For this reason, I found a small plastic electronic project box just big enough to hold the recorder, cut a few snug holes in the side for sliding in the cable for the video head and micro-USB-like connector for power and USB connectivity. As a result, it will still not be sufficiently waterproof from immersion, but should be sufficient to keep out road spray and other debris.Given the limited space under the stock seat this bike, the case can't be no larger than 4.5" x 2.5" x 1.25".I attached the bottom of the box to the top of the metal electronics module of the bike with double-sided foam tape that can be removed in case of service. I snaked the cable from the camera head from the left driving light up above the radiator, under the top simulated tank cover, and back under the saddle area to the recorder, using a few zip ties for securing it along the way. The cable length was just long enough to reach between these two points, but no more.






The Innovv C3 recorder requires USB power through a supplied adapter cable.To provide this power I used a 12V to USB adapter ordered off Amazon (Drok 3A/15W dual power adapter).I connected this up to my bike power through a Touratech TPS15 relay switched power module that I installed separately under the simulated tank cover. This has allowed me to connect accessories like this recorder and a GPS to my bike, and have them automatically switched on when the key is turned on, and switch off with a 1 minute delay after the key is turned off.I tapped the power module control wire onto the switched CAN bus wire that is routed to the existing accessory connector reserved for those willing to pay for the mucho grande official BMW GPS.Personally, I use a standard automotive Garmin Nuvi on a RAM mount, and find it to work just as good, and costing only about $100.If it rains, just throw a clear plastic sandwich bag over it cinched with a rubber band. Unlike an iPhone, the resistive touch interface of the Nuvi will still work with gloves or with a bag over the display.



After installing the setup, it needs to be configured and updating of the firmware. To do this, the best approach is to connect to the recorder (with the lens head still attached) via the supplied USB adaptor cable to a notebook computer.On the notebook computer you will then need to download an application linked from the Innovv website.This was not very clear as the documenation for this camera is very sparse, but after some fumbling around via Google I found it here at: http://2kool4u.com/minicams/Ez_Configuration_C1.shtml
When you run this web based app it will provide the ability with directions on how to update the firmware and configure the camera.It is important to turn 'on' the 'Power on Record' setting via the configuration in order to enable the "dashcam" mode of operation.Although nice for cars for locking critical footage after an accident, you should also turn off the G-sensor to prevent the camera from automatically generating 'locked' files whenever the motorcycle goes over a big bump in the road. Otherwise your microSD card will fill up after enough off-road rides.



One note about my experience in setting up the Innovv C3: At first I could not figure out how to support non-dash cam modes of operation. Trying to use the recorder 'mode' button directly to select some of the other modes of operations (i.e. capturing still pictures or a single video) was unresponsive. But the Innovv support folks clarified that you must first press the the shutter release button before pressing the mode select button.

After replacing the computer to recorder USB cable with the thinner USB power cable wired to the bike, it should be ready to use.I did some test rides during the day as well as at night, and after dumping the footage back to my computer I was quite impressed with the quality, resolution, and dynamic range.An alternate way to dump the footage without unplugging the USB cable on the recorder is to simply pop out the microSD card, and then insert that into a reader on your computer.

Given the engine vibration characteristics of the F800GS twin cylinder configuration, I was concerned about the stability of the video footage, especially at higher engine RPMs. But the mounting point on the driving light seems to be sufficiently stable for a reasonably minimal vibration at freeway speed, and perhaps better than if mounted on the handlebars? I also helped cushion the mount by inserting a bit of higher density foam with an adhesive tape on one side (weather stripping for a door jamb works well here) todampen vibrations from the bike.Reviewing the footage of while riding in traffic, I found it to be very stable with the quality sufficiently clear to read license plate information off cars in front of you.

I have posted the video footage on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPFrQBUe9_U
It should be noted that the compression on YouTube degrades the quality, so it is hard to fully judge it from this.

So far I have been happy with the results and performance of this Innovv C3 camera setup on my motorcycle. After about a week of experience so far without issue, I think the next proof point will be after a full season of operation to see how well it holds up.


safischer screwed with this post 04-12-2015 at 01:47 PM Reason: Fixed an inaccuracy on the use of the mode button.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #2
Jolly Roger
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Great post. Thanks for taking the time to do that in such detail. I hadn't really considered this type of camera before reading your post, but it sounds like a good investment as there are lots of distracted vehicle drivers on the road these days.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
safischer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Great post. Thanks for taking the time to do that in such detail. I hadn't really considered this type of camera before reading your post, but it sounds like a good investment as there are lots of distracted vehicle drivers on the road these days.
Thanks Jolly. I figure for a $130 investment plus half a days work, and the potential savings from an accident or ticket dispute, it was well worth it.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #4
HappyHighwayman
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Thanks a lot for this thread. My headlamps are mounted parallel to the main lamp so I'll see how I can mount my camera, but I am stealing the rest of your ideas.

I ordered the 120 degree...we'll see how it is.

I can see myself wanting to get a second one for the rear view :)

HappyHighwayman screwed with this post 04-11-2015 at 11:38 AM
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
safischer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
Thanks a lot for this thread. My headlamps are mounted parallel to the main lamp so I'll see how I can mount my camera, but I am stealing the rest of your ideas.

I ordered the 120 degree...we'll see how it is.

I can see myself wanting to get a second one for the rear view :)
I would be curious how you end up mounting yours. It would be good to learn from all people's experience with this.
As for a rear camera, that would be nice assuming you can find the space for both recorders.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:09 PM   #6
HappyHighwayman
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This is how mine are mounted

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Old 04-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #7
safischer OP
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Use of the Innovv C3 mode button

Just a new clarification from my original post: To switch modes via the "M" button on the recorder, you must first press the shutter release button, then the mode button becomes responsive. Thanks from Innovv support for providing this clarification.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:54 PM   #8
HappyHighwayman
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Can I meet you in Sacramento if I need help installing it? :)
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:21 PM   #9
safischer OP
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Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
Can I meet you in Sacramento if I need help installing it? :)
Sure, let me know or send me any questions you may have.

I think the hardest parts will be:
- Determining a stable mount for the camera head that will not have too much engine vibration or movement from wind turbulence. My driving lights they are not as exposed as what I see in your picture. I am not sure if that will make a difference from a turbulence standpoint, but I guess it will depend on how stable the mounting brackets for your lights are...
- The wiring of the switched USB power to your bike. For the 2015, I was able to identify the unused CANbus connector under the simulated tank cover, and just tap into that using a crimp-on wire tap. I am not sure about earlier models. Typically the power for the tail light is used. For wiring a switched GPS on a different bike (DRZ400S), I tapped directly into the headlight power wire as it was convenient to my mounting location. This was not as ideal as the headlight power is temporarily cut when pressing the starter button, causing the GPS to reboot whenever starting the bike. Using the CANbus power on the BMW does not suffer from this issue.
- A mounting location for the recorder that will be protected from the elements as well as theft. Under a locking seat seems most ideal for this. I know that BMW has changed the seat pan for the 2015 F800GS Adv from 2014, so I am not sure what the situation will be like for other years or models.

safischer screwed with this post 04-13-2015 at 08:55 AM
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:18 AM   #10
OnTheWay
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safischer, you are a good blogger, that makes your DIY and ridding more fun.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:50 AM   #11
kendives
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Power converter

I just received mine and it had a 12v to 5v converter with the proper usb included in the package.
I really like that the power cable is extra long so you can mount it anywhere you want.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:40 PM   #12
RandoCommando
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Thanks

I have to switch to this camera.
The camera I'm using is an all in one with a small video monitor.
Similar to this one

http://www.amazon.com/2-5-inch-Vehic...+degrees+whirl

I can get almost 6 1/2 hours of video in 720 mode on a 32GB card. Only about 3 hours in 1080 mode.
I watched your YouTube video.
Did you happen to notice the green car go through the red light? Jeesh
Thanks for the write up.
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