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Track day video set up

 
Old 07-01-2019, 09:45 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Surfndav View Post
So I have a 2009 Cayman S that I tracked 5 times last season (Arizona, our season is September-May) and I plan to track as much as possible next season. I have become addicted to watching track day videos. So for my B'day my wife said she would buy me a GoPro and other components to make this happen. So I've already ordered what I think will be a good setup after researching the best I could. So here is what I've ordered,

GoPro Hero 7 Black
Kiwi 3 OBD II
Garmin GLO portable GPS
And a $30 aluminum mount that I think I can mount the camera to the grab bar between the seats.

I use Apple products with the TrackAddict ap on my iPhone. I think I will need to purchase an editing software, RaceRender seems to have an affiliation with TrackAddict. Video edition is going to be a real learning experience for me.
So, I'm looking for advice or tips, suggestions about this setup. Am I missing anything, are there better products/equipment out there?
I'd like to make videos so that I can critique my driving and if I make a good one, maybe share it on social media. I'm hoping to beable to display things like track info/profile, speed, tach and so forth.

So what do you think?
I ran a similar setup for a couple of years. Speaking from experience you need to consider:
a) power, particularly the GoPro. It will eat at least 2 if not 3 batteries in a day. I ended up running a 12v powered USB 4 port hub, this allowed me to directly power the phone, camera, and GPS. Ď
b) setup - plan to get your act together 5 to 10 minutes earlier than you normally would (Iím talking about getting ready for your session). Sometimes these items donít all connect properly and you want to have the time to reboot if needed.
c) make sure everything on your phone (apps) are closed and off, also shut off your cellular data (do NOT go to airplane mode as you still need the WiFi and Bluetooth to connect to the GoPro and OBD and GPS).
d) RaceRender is quite easy to use. Keep a copy of your Run Group schedule so you can easily see which data file goes with which video files, the time stamps will not be the same. I typically got a starting time on my data set and an ending time on my video (guess as the file is closed). Once youíve done it once itís a cake walk.
e) use a sharp gear shift, like 2 to 3, to synchronize the data and the video. You will learn that if you exaggerate this shift, rev 2 all the way to the top and then make a slow deliberate shift, once when you first start it makes syncing easy.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:45 AM
  #17  
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Biggest inconveniences at the track with GoPro:
  • Short battery life that will force you to remember to charge/change batteries, and/or is guaranteed to shut down just before the lap you really wanted to capture.
  • Does not start/stop automatically, and impossible to reach once strapped in if it's mounted behind the driver. So you pretty much have to start it in the pits. Easy to forget to stop it and fill the memory card while you're eating lunch.

Solutions:

  • Hard wire the GoPro to 12V. I was able to use a charging cable and wired a USB extension to the fuse box (power outlets are long gone). Potential issue is overheating since the battery gets hot during charging, but mine would run on the charger with no battery installed...so no issue. Then never worry about the battery quitting again.
  • Wireless remote that I velcro'd to the dash, within reach while strapped in. You need to synch the remote at the beginning of the day, but then can start and stop recording from the remote, and it gives indication of whether it's recording.

Worked great...but alas the auto start and automatic data overlay eventually got me to a Smartycam. Stupid expensive. Really convenient. Picture is nowhere near as good as the GoPro if that matters to you.

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Old 07-03-2019, 08:48 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by wgn View Post
Biggest inconveniences at the track with GoPro:
  • Short battery life that will force you to remember to charge/change batteries, and/or is guaranteed to shut down just before the lap you really wanted to capture.
  • Does not start/stop automatically, and impossible to reach once strapped in if it's mounted behind the driver. So you pretty much have to start it in the pits. Easy to forget to stop it and fill the memory card while you're eating lunch.

Solutions:

  • Hard wire the GoPro to 12V. I was able to use a charging cable and wired a USB extension to the fuse box (power outlets are long gone). Potential issue is overheating since the battery gets hot during charging, but mine would run on the charger with no battery installed...so no issue. Then never worry about the battery quitting again.
  • Wireless remote that I velcro'd to the dash, within reach while strapped in. You need to synch the remote at the beginning of the day, but then can start and stop recording from the remote, and it gives indication of whether it's recording.

Worked great...but alas the auto start and automatic data overlay eventually got me to a Smartycam. Stupid expensive. Really convenient. Picture is nowhere near as good as the GoPro if that matters to you.

Not sure how you can say that Smartycam is near is as good as Go Pro considering the quality looks like video from 15 years ago.

Regarding auto start, its totally possible with Go Pro and Harrys Laptimer now. The camera auto starts once you cross the finish line if you have it setup to do it, and has voice commands for when you want to end the session or you can simply press stop record on your phone. The Go Pro voice commands are 100% effective and very convenient.

The video overlay process is not too time consuming once you know how to do it and are processing 1080p or less. Processing 4K is a pain.

I'd go AIM or Vbox if the quality equaled the cost.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:23 PM
  #19  
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Nevermind
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:41 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by jscott82
Maybe I'm missing something. Why does video quality matter? I just use mine to evaluate my driving. As long as I can clearly see the track and cars around is all I need.. I don't need to see the nads on the squirrel in the tree.

No one else is interested in watching me drive. I'm too slow i guess.
Honestly once the videos get processed to YouTube I can't tell difference between GoPro and Smartycam.

Also, if you're getting trackside coaching, it gets awkward to ask the coach to wait two hours while you sync and render data and video, whereas if you have Smartycam you just pop out card and boom you can look and video with data overlaid.

Plus Smartycam is terminator in that it never ever ever forgets to turn itself on. Of course you can forget to put the card back in on your LRP track record lap like this thundermoose character.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:33 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by max pl View Post
Not sure how you can say that Smartycam is near is as good as Go Pro considering the quality looks like video from 15 years ago.

Regarding auto start, its totally possible with Go Pro and Harrys Laptimer now. The camera auto starts once you cross the finish line if you have it setup to do it, and has voice commands for when you want to end the session or you can simply press stop record on your phone. The Go Pro voice commands are 100% effective and very convenient.

The video overlay process is not too time consuming once you know how to do it and are processing 1080p or less. Processing 4K is a pain.

I'd go AIM or Vbox if the quality equaled the cost.
I had a voice activated Go-Pro and I used to have to scream in the car "GOPRO START RECORDING" and usually it would work but not always, and if I forgot to stop recording I would come back to a full SD Card and and/or dead battery.

I went with AIM to start which worked very well, but wanted a mutli camera setup so recently ended up with the VBox which is the same quality as a Go-Pro 1080P setting, not the 4K but those files are to big as you mentioned and don't really notice that much of a difference for what we are doing.

You are also forgetting the most important part about the Aim or Vbox which is the data and if used correctly is an amazing tool to get faster laps times.

P.S. I use the GoPro now as a POV camera attached to my helmet which is pretty cool in itself.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:43 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by max pl View Post
Not sure how you can say that Smartycam is near is as good as Go Pro considering the quality looks like video from 15 years ago.

The video overlay process is not too time consuming once you know how to do it and are processing 1080p or less. Processing 4K is a pain.

I'd go AIM or Vbox if the quality equaled the cost.
I think he said that the SmartyCam video quality was nowhere near as good as the latest GoPro. Apples and oranges. The GoPro is dumb, the SmartyCam is, well, smart.

The video from the SmartyCam is 720P using the H.264 compression codec, for information rendered to the video REAL-TIME, it's pretty darned good for the price point ($1K, the top GoPro is close to half that). The SmartyCam has it's own CPU, GPU and Linux OS in it, and it's made out of a solid block of aluminum, WAY stronger and more durable than the GoPro. I can pick out pavement imperfections, sealer lines, paint dots, transformers and PA speakers on telephone poles hundreds of feet away. It's more than adequate for the work most are doing at the track, even if it's not a beauty queen.

You can overlay throttle position, Lamda, g's, brake pressure, RPM, track position, steering angle, best lap number, best lap time, current lap number, current lap time and, with CompareMyLaps or TrackAttack, compare video (and data, in TrackAttack) side-by-side. You can easily edit with quicktime pro or VLC Player, and if you have a mac, there is a player that will knock your socks off with the video quality.

The VBOX HD2 is even easier. All the data and 1080p picture-in-picture (both streams are true HD) is on one SD card and the software is the daddy. It's the best coaching (and thereby, SELF coaching) tool available right now. The reason why the box is big and not cheap is again, it's industrial grade and has more computing and rendering power than almost all laptops. It does it all REAL-TIME. The software is instantly and automatically syncing the data and video to GPS position, not just time or distance. Even AiM doesn't do that yet.

Another option is the MoTeC V2. This is the smallest true 1080p rendering camera there is. It's midway between the SmartyCam and the VBOX HD2, but the picture is almost better than both. Still needs a logger though.

In the end, you pay your money and you make your choice. I know plenty of people who use RaceRender, Dashware and others, some for quite awhile. But I also sell more than two hundred thousand dollars a year of AiM/VBOX/MoTeC video equipment JUST to people who started with the HLT or PPTA and GoPro route and got tired of it, fast... About a third of my sales are to people who started with apps and/or inexpensive cameras.

Is a really good, relatively expensive solution like the AiM S2DL/SCHD combo, at $1778 shipped with metal mounts and set up to be PnP really needed? Probably not, but after driving around in circles, people generally want to know more than to watch videos their family and friends get bored with fast. I've never seen someone go back to HLT/PPTA and a GoPro once they take this step. And some choose after using (reviewing) the rendered video from the AiM and separately, the squiggly lines from their S2DL, to go to the VBOX HD2. They don't go back either.

Just my perspective, from someone who has repped, sold and taught people how to coach themselves using this technology for the last decade. RaceRender, Dashware and TA are fine, but there are easier, better and not much lesser quality options that turn cameras from simple video into "intelligent video," performance information already ON the video, so that better decisions can be made, with less risk, the very next session out.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:28 PM
  #23  
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One other things to add if I may...

As you are getting ready for your session you really need to be in a "Zen" like state before going on the track and risking your lives and everyone else around you.

Dealing with the uncertainty of the phone setups (I have had a phone go flying during a session once ending up below my feet) along with external cameras can create a frustration right before your session, having to rush to make it on time which can be mentally exhausting in itself.

Just knowing your stuff is going to work creates a less stressful environment which is a very positive thing at the track.

Anyhow, we all started doing the same and learned there are better ways to get your data and video and I believe everyone here is just expressing the same.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:28 AM
  #24  
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Much has been said here that is spot on. No matter what the system, get in the habit right away of always having a good cars in the camera. Then you never have to worry about missing sessions because of no card.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:26 AM
  #25  
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The problem with keeps good cars in the camera is that some of them are pretty quick and you tend to lose them after a corner or two :-) :-)



Sorry.... couldn't resist
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:49 PM
  #26  
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VBox for me
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:32 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by TRAKCAR View Post
VBox for me
I remember when you, Grady and Randy bought the first three standard def units many years ago. I think Randy's is in Clarke's car now.

Great to see your video in the new car at the 'Ring...
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:55 PM
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Yup
Time flies, must have been 2011/12 or so.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:36 AM
  #29  
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And with Vbox you can make some pretty cool custom scenes.

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Old 07-08-2019, 12:03 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by GT345 View Post
And with Vbox you can make some pretty cool custom scenes.

That does look very nice and customizable. AIM or VBOX for automation is amazing. Especially with the camera quality getting better and better through the years. I'm still using a GoPro with AIM data, which is a PITA to sync... but you can get some nice template customization in Race Render, just be sure to save as you are making a template because it tends to crash quite often (im using mac pro version) Below video shot on HERO7 Black 2.7k linear.

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