I bought this helmet in April, and am a big fan. The helmet itself is nothing special, full face helmet with the sort of venting you’d expect, all in a matte black finish. It’s the integrated bluetooth that I find particularly useful. Allowing me to listen to music, hands-free answering (or ignoring) of both phone calls and text messages and the use of my phones GPS while riding.
Within two weeks of it’s arrival the speaker inside the helmet failed. I took it all apart and found that one of the soldered connections had broken off. Fortunately I am a little handy and with a bit of cursing and muttering I was able to re-solder it, and popped some marine silicon on there for good measure. It’s worked perfectly since.
The sound quality is so-so, but we’re not lounging on the couch, it provides adequate background music (in the left ear only) for a rider, without drowning out traffic noise. The external volume control (a dial – turn counter clockwise for lower, clockwise for higher) is PERFECT allowing the rider to adjust the volume in town or on the highway with little effort (and can be done with either hand – although the control is on the left side of the helmet).
Although the unit is advertised as having a one button does all (answer/ignore/connect etc) button in the middle of the volume dial, I MUCH prefer using Android apps to make the entire process (except volume control) hands free so I can concentrate on the ride.
Battery capacity depends on use. Non-stop music the battery in the helmet seems to last for about 4 hours. Used in standby mode with a phone I haven’t managed to kill the battery yet (8 hours +).
I know riders have mixed feelings on this, but I feel better knowing that if my daughters school calls while I’m riding I can take the call without having to pull over EVERY time my phone rings. The music is an added bonus, and I can’t recall the last time I rode without it.
The unit is also capable of pairing with like (Blinc) helmets for rider/pillion or rider/rider (with a stated range of approx 1000 meters), but I have not yet had a chance to test this.
The most recent camera up for testing is a fixed outdoor action camera at $70CDN shipped. Promising a 120 degree field of vision and resistance to water and shock this camera will be mounted on the motorcycle to provide a fixed forward view of the ride.
Initial impressions are positive, with the camera working in the way the documentation describes and a few test clips being recorded properly (I was able to set the time and date the VERY first time following the documentation on this unit).
Update: 16 May 2012 – Video clip from my commute home.
I am impressed with this little camera, although the video size is not encouraging (about 16 minutes of video ate up almost 2Gb). I’ll look at a better mounting system under the front fairing, and see how that turns out.
Update: 18 May 2012 – Recorded a couple of test clips this morning (the Action cam now being equipped with a 8Gb TF card), the first to demonstrate the benefits of placing a piece of electrical tape over the microphone.
For the second clip I mounted the camera on the passenger grab handle, which resulted in somewhat shaky video of my posterior with a sliver of traffic visible on the left. Far from optimal.
I’ll experiment with other mounting locations, and (of course) post the results here.
Update: 25 May 2012 – I’ve given up the wire tie/velcro/duct tape mounting arrangements and ordered a Ram Motorcycle Fork Stem Base to install on the bike. This would give a view over the instrument cluster. We’ll see how this works out.
It took a while to make it here (35 days in transit) but the newest dashcam has finally arrived. Initial impressions are positive, with fit and finish feeling a little more substantial than the last two.
Cost was slightly higher on this model at $39.06CDN (Micro SD card not included).
It’s in the car and powers up and records just fine, I’ll review the footage in a few days and see how it does for capacity and low-light etc (whether the battery keeps the clock current).
Update: 16 May 2012 – So far so good, the unit powers on and off when it should and the clock hasn’t required setting since its initial install. Will post a sample video clip shortly.
Update: 18 May, 2012 – Nothing, so far, to shake my initial impression of this unit.
It Seems to record about 3-4 hours of video in 5 minute clips on a 4Gb TF card. Field of vision is better than the previous units and I haven’t had to adjust any settings (or reset the date or time) since I installed it.
Update: 05 June, 2012 – Occasionally this unit will “freeze” where it makes a high pitched whining noise when the car is started (the screen remains blank for this), pushing a paperclip or thumbtack into the “reset” hole returns things to normal. I’ve taken to keeping the small LCD display open so I can see that the device is running whenever I start the car.
Update: 15 June, 2012 – Still seeing the odd “high pitched whine” lock-up, but a quick press of the reset button brings it back into normal operation without issues (odd really). Time and date are retained nicely and this occasional issue is the only one I’ve encountered so far.
A quick picture of the dashcam installed, I keep the small 2″ lcd screen open just to visually verify that the unit is up and running.
I know, I know… It’s been ages since I’ve written anything firearms related at all. Well today I got dragged out to the range for some tinkering with technology (target cam – fail / DVR Glasses – Meh) and even got in a little trigger time versus some steel plates.
The video is a little disappointing, but has potential for future range trips.
(I did finally manage to set the clock on these glasses AFTER the range trip – so future videos should actually have the correct date/time)
Wanted to go for a quick ride, but was a little nervous about the looming rain after a close call yesterday. Decided I’d start checking out some of the sights around our town, having been here almost two years I’m running out of excuses why I know nothing about the city unless it exists on my drive in to work, or serves Vindaloo.
Todays destination was the HMCS Haida (which I remember from my childhood as being at Ontario Place, but has since moved to Hamilton), a WWII era Destroyer that was decommissioned following Korea and the Cold War.
It is closed for a few weeks yet, so I wasn’t able to tour the boat, but did snap a quick photo and used the ride as an opportunity to test the new DVR Sunglasses.
I did manage to beat the rain home, but was only wheeling around for about an hour. If the weather holds I’ll likely sneak out again today as it’s back to work tommorow.
The third (and final) Sunglass DVR I’m testing cost $60CDN, three times the cost of the versions I tested earlier. The good news is that these look like sunglasses, rather than pregnant bifocals.
Video quality appears the same (a low light test is likely in the near future) but the true benefit of this version is that it appears to save the video files in 900Mb chunks, and if you let it run non-stop it doesn’t eat the video but saves what it has left.
As a significant con the glasses lack any padding on the bridge of the nose, and seem to be configured for someone with a wider head than me (I plan to fix both of these issues, but inside a motorcycle helmet they are not of any real consequence).
Update: 05 June, 2012 – I think I have officially had it with these glasses. The field of vision is TOO narrow, the led indicating status does not seem to work (meaning I am never entirely SURE if I am recording, and seem to get a lot of footage of the inside of my pocket or helmet). I may experiment with a different unit (with a 120 degree field of vision) later, but for now I’m shelving this and will be sticking with the “action cam”.