The REAL (#11) HD Key Cam Thread (PLEASE! READ POSTS #1-#3 BEFORE POSTING QUESTIONS!)
NOTE: POSTS #1-#5 ARE NO LONGER BEING UPDATED BY YOURS TRULY AS OF 05/07/2012. THE ORIGINAL #11 WAS A LATE 2010 VINTAGE CAMERA AND HAS NOW BEEN TOTALLY RE-DESIGNED WITH A DIFFERENT CIRCUIT BOARD (EASILY DIFFERENTIATED BY THE THINNER 8-WIRE MINI-USB PLUG), DIFFERENT CABLES, A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT (THICKER) CASE, AND MOST IMPORTANT, DIFFERENT FIRMWARE! AS SUCH, MUCH OF THIS EARLY INFORMATION, ESPECIALLY THE FIRMWARE, IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE TO THE LATEST DESIGN! ALSO, THE DEVELOPER HAS RELEASED A MORE CAPABLE VERSION (THE #18), BUT THIS THREAD IS BEING KEPT OPEN FOR ON-GOING DISCUSSION AND WILL BE SUPPORTED MOSTLY BY OTHER MEMBERS HERE WHO FREQUENT THIS THREAD AND ARE STILL USING THE #11 CAMERA. ENJOY!
<EDIT 9/25/11> Temporary Opinion Poll Here on the camera file format (poll is now closed, but results still viewable).<EDIT>
This thread has been started as a repository for information exchange, sample videos, etc. for ONLY the new, real, #11 1280x720 HD version of the ubiquitous "key chain camera" and it's use in capturing ground and aerial video of RC planes. Please keep posts and video links on-topic!. Off-topic videos are OK ONLY IF they show some problem or solution for getting good video from the camera. This thread should not be used to post normal off-topic videos from the camera showing what you did last weekend!;)
Be aware there are key chain cameras that have the same case and advertise they are "HD" with frame sizes of both 1280x960 and even an identical 1280x720, but they are both just up-converted image from the lower resolution 640x480 CMOS sensor in that old stlye of "808" camera. Their video has much lower resolution and a very high rate of dropped frames... as much as 40%! The telltale to distinguish those fake versions are the video codec used (MJPEG) and the file format (.AVI).
This new, true HD camera has a native 1 mega-pixel CMOS sensor that can capture 1280x720 frames at 30 fps, with no dropped frames with most any normal daytime illumination. And it uses the H.264 video codec to produce high quality, small file size video, packaged in a .MOV file format. Please restrict your posts to only this version of the key camera... there are already other threads that discuss the lower resolution versions at length.
The only real similarity between this HD camera and the old 808 version is the case. Inside this is a totally different design with more sophisticated components. Any hacks, mods, etc. that were done to the old 808 are not directly applicable to this camera. That's why this thread dedicated to the HD key cam was started. The first few posts in this thread are reserved to compile information and links to topics that frequently come up. I will try to manage this thread to keep these first few posts updated for quick reference and hopefully answer the many questions that seem to come up over and over by newcomers. There is also more information on the Chucklohr.com web site (dubbed the #11 version of the old 808).
<EDIT 2/26/11> A new 1280x720 true HD key camera has been dubbed as the #12 on the chucklohr.com web site. This version has a different style case, is totally different internally, and has inferior video qualities to the #11 camera based on information to date. To avoid confusion, this thread is not intended for discussion of the #12, or any other HD key camera. <EDIT>
If any questions or suggestions for me, please use PM. I hope you find this thread useful and informative, or at least enjoyable. Your contributions to this end are solicited.
Camera Identification, Specs, and Sources
So far, 12 eBay stores (linked by some business arrangement) have been identified selling the REAL #11 HD key cam. There has been no negative user feedback posted here on any of these stores, and positive feedback has been posted of receiving good service and vendors standing behind their product if any problems come up that are not caused by user abuse, crash damage, etc. I bought my camera from the first one, hxelepro360, and can personally recommend this store based on the excellent, speedy service and support both before and after my purchase.
hxelepro360 eletoponline365 digitalele889 beetleonline kdataonline999 Digitaleletech168
power-gps internet-shop365 powerdigital898 eletech086 cuspdigitalele666 Accesseletech2010
Prices can vary slightly from one vendor to the other, and can change from one day to the next. Also, the accessories include with the cameras can vary and can impact the price. The key differences of this camera compared to the old low res "808" version will normally be highlighted in the eBay ad. Look for the frame size and frame rate to be 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps, the H.264 video codec, and/or the .MOV file format. The detailed specification that frequently accompany the add banner may also have these details. Some sample eBay ads and specs for this camera are attached below.
This new HD version is vastly different internally from the old low res version. Internal pictures are attached below, and the original camera (v1) CMOS sensor data sheet is available here. The latest camera versions (v2) appear to have a different CMOS sensor based on the different ribbon cable trace pattern and a number (C971P) printed on it, but this has not been confirmed. Slightly less low light sensitivity has been reported with the v2, but otherwise similar picture quality.
Another bogus #11HD seller has been identified, with Ebay ID of yysimon0400_cn, and Ebay store name of theworldofsimon. They have pirated an authroized seller web listing and photos, and their camera is not from the #11HD developer. Do not buy from this seller!
I have been advised by the #11 developer that there is an Ebay seller that is selling fake versions of the #11. Their ads have stolen the exact specs and images from the listings of his eight eBay vendors listed above. They look like the real deal at a bargain price ($30 delivered with an 8GB memory card!), but the developer has confirmed they are NOT his cameras, and so far there is no information on their performance.
SO BUYER BEWARE! The fake #11 camera eBay seller is: fashionjewellery125
If anyone finds any definitive information on the performance of these fake cameras, please PM me.
The current cameras (v3) are showing a revised circuit board with several new components and a few other components rearranged or deleted. The only difference noted so far is the function of the LEDs when powering the camera via the special cable such as comes on the car charger. The prior version did not show the red charging LED light up when the camera battery was charging and the new one does. A picture showing the differences (circled in yellow) between the v2 and v3 cameras is attached below.
A new "Jumbo" version of the #11 has just been released. It is functionally identical to the v3 with identical CMOS/Lens module and video processor IC, but has a different circuit board layout and a larger battery, good for about 100 min. recording times. It uses the same firmware and comes in three slightly different case configurations with several different trim schemes as well. Case sizes are 65x35x18mm or 70x34x18mm depending on what style you picked (compare to the original 51x32x14mm case). All of these will be referred to generically as the "Jumbo #11" in this thread and will be given no other special coverage. A photo of the Jumbos and the original is attached.
The Jumbo version is now also available in a whimsical "Smiley face" case, with the lens oriented on the front of the face (in the mouth). The case is designed to be hung on the post of a car rear view mirror so it can record the travel out through the windshield. Other than those differences, the camera is identical in function to the other Jumbo cameras.
Frequently Asked Questions
note: latest change in FAQ sections shown in green
Basic Camera Function Topics
Basic Editing of HD Key Cam Videos
The HD key cam outputs files (unfortunately) in Apple Quicktime .MOV format with H.264 video codec.
MP4cam2AVI Conversion tool
If you cannot import .MOV format files in your editor, the best way to convert the file is to use the MP4cam2AVI utility available here. It will do a direct stream copy (no recompression) of the source audio and video streams and simply repackage them in an .AVI container which most editors can load. The advantage of this is both speed and quality. Since it is just copying the video and audio streams verbatim without doing any re-encoding, it is very fast... approximately 1 second for each minute of video. And because it does not re-encode, you don't lose any quality.
Some players/editors will not properly decode the direct copied audio, so I usually do re-encode it or turn it off. Selecting one of the .MP3 codecs will produce slightly smaller files.
You'll still need to have the video codec (H.264) on the computer to decode the video, though. The ffdshow codec package mentioned below will provide the codecs if needed. Other tips for using this tool are in this post.
Note: This program can also do some limited re-encoding of the video, join clips together into one, and break up a long video in smaller clips if necessary. More info on this here.
Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM)
Users who are now running Windows 7 OS can download the free Windows Live Essentials package from Microsoft's web site. This includes the new WLMM which is radically different from all prior versions. It lacks some of the functionality of prior versions, but will directly import and edit the .MOV files, and adds a few features of it's own. Fancy transitions, video effects, text for titles, credits, etc. are all there.
Windows Live Essentials (with WLMM in it) can be download from here.
If you prefer the look/feel of the old XP WMM with the better capability of the Vista version (v 6.0) of WMM, you can also download the latter. Details here.
A decent basic freeware editor that can import and edit the .MOV files directly is AviDemux. It is available in version for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It has similar functionality to VirtualDub, but Vdub can only directly import .AVI files and the H.264 video codec must be added separately.
The latest version of AviDemux can be downloaded from the author's web site here.
An AviDemux user guide is available here.
While this editor does not have the fancy transitions and text tools of WLMM, it has some very powerful filters for visibly improving the color and clarity of the HD key cam video that WLMM cannot do.
Tips and Tricks for editing HD key cam videos with AviDemux
Freemaker Video Converter
This tool can efficiently convert clips from the .MOV format to other formats with other codecs, but unlike the MP4cam2AVI tool, it will re-encode the video, which takes a lot more time and can add a tiny bit of quality loss. But, it adds the ability to also trim out un-wanted sections, rotate/resize videos, and join video clips and pictures together as one final video. While it lacks fancy transitions, video effects, and text titling tools, this may be all that's needed for many people. Buttons to click for direct uploads to YouTube and other hosting sites are also built in. Some tips for using this tool are listed in this post, and the program can be download from here.
This is a commercial product, but can be download for a trial with all functions activated. It is similar to the older WindowsMovieMaker (before WLMM was released), with a few more bells and whistles, like more than one timeline for videos and overlays which not only work for text, sound tracks, and pictures, but also a second video (i.e. picture-in-picture capability). Interestingly, when the trial period expires, if you decide not to buy it, when you start to uninstall it you are given the option to keep a freeware version, which doesn't give up much in functionality! It will still import most video formats, but will only output in AVI, WMV, ASF and DVD formats. And you can't use add-ons, like Vdub filters. But for basic editing, it's a good alternative, even in the freeware version.
Video and Audio Codecs - ffdshow
If your video editor/player does not support the codecs used in the camera's native .MOV file, you will need to add them to your system. The code pack I use and would recommend is ffdshow. This tool is regularly updated to keep it current and/or squash any bugs that might be found.
The latest version of ffdshow can be downloaded here.
Note: The latest revision of ffdshow no longer supports the H.264 video codec for encoding files, but does have the codec for decoding files. If you want to encode with the H.264 video codec, download and install the open source version, x.264vfw, for MS Windows from this source. This gives some info on using the x.264vfw codec with VirtualDub editor, and codec configuration settings that provide good results with #11 video.
Many video players/editors do not support the Apple Quicktime .MOV file format that the HD key cam records. You will need to convert the file from .MOV to a format your software will load. .AVI is usually a universal format for this.
FrankenCams - Interesting hacks, mods, and mounts
I'm in. Subscribed.
Post your videos and the link to where you bought it.
The link to my YouTube video is
It should be watched on the YouTube Site itself by clicking "YouTube" and then click the 720p button to get it in HD instead of YouTube's normal 320p low quality settings.
I am uploading the same video to Vimeo right now (they finally reset my upload counter :p) and will edit this post later when the link becomes available.
Once again, watch on the Vimeo site for best rendering and while there (and on YouTube) you can check out some of my other 808HD clips.
edit That was quick. Here's the same clip on the Vimeo site for a little better quality then YouTube
subscribed I R in. Bought mine from eletoponline365 .Traced delivery and is in California and my location is in Illinois and IN-- -- -- the depths of deep snow.Surmise it will be here soon. I have several other FOB cams and a Go-PRO CAM. Hope the next step is FOB with a CCD sensor. Captn Don
Setting, Removing, and Replacing the Date/Time Stamp
Regardless of whether you like, hate, or could care less about the BIG date/time stamp on the HD video, there's something here for you.
Setting The Correct Date And Time
This should be done even if you plan to remove the date stamp from your videos, so the video file time/date tag agrees with the file creation date your PC generates. Though not mentioned in the instruction sheet that came with the cameras, the date and time can be set to your criteria similar to the method used for the old low-res key cam. Here's the details:
1. Create a plain text file (no font formatting) with just a single text line in the format "year-month-day hour:minutes:seconds" in 24 hour format like this: 2010-12-29 13:34:45
2. Save the file with the name "TIMESET.TXT" and copy it to the flash card root directory (the one that first appears when the card is recognized by the computer). This can be done with an external card reader or with the camera connected to the computer as a USB removable drive. A sample file is attached below.
3. With the card in the camera and the camera unplugged from the computer, turn on the camera. The camera will then read the file, set the date and time, and erase the file from the flash card automatically with no user interaction. Done!
To automatically create a TIMESET.txt file in the root directory of your #11 camera flash memory card (copied from the date/time set on your Windows PC), download the excellent time setting utility crafted by Isoprop from this post. This has been shown to work on both XP and W7 (64 bit) PC's, and for PCs that use both mo/dy/year and dy/mo/year date formats. Once the file has been written to the camera flash card, follow step 3., above.
Removing and Restoring The Video Date/Time Stamp
As of the date of this post, all the cameras now being sold by the vendors previously identified should be able to remove and replace the date stamp by copying a new firmware file into the camera flash card root directory and simply turning the camera on, just like setting the date/time. BUT, if your camera was an earlier release version bought before the date of this post, attempting the date removal could "brick" the camera making it inoperative. So be aware of this if you cannot confirm when the camera was purchased. There is no way to tell from the camera's internal components. The risk of this should be low, but if it should happen, contact your vendor for resolution.
Please read through this entire section before starting this to be sure it is clear. Removing and restoring the date stamp is simple and the process is exactly the same for both, with the firmware file used being the only difference.
The latest Rlease 2 "remove time" and "recover time" firmware files are available for download here. They are in separate folders in a self-extracting zipped file because they all have the exact same file names (FW96630A.bin)! Do NOT change the file names! The exact file name is essential for the camera to properly recognize and install firmware.
Be sure your camera has a good charge on the battery before doing this. If the battery should die before the process is complete, you could brick your camera!
The procedure is:
1. Copy the appropriate firmware file (FW96630A.bin) to the camera's flash card root directory. The root directory is the one that first appears when the card is recognized by the computer in flash memory mode or when you click on the camera icon to open its contents folder. This can be done with an external card reader or with the camera connected to the computer as a USB removable drive.
2. With the card in the camera and the camera disconnected from the computer, turn on the camera with a brief press of the power button.
3. The camera will proceed to load the new firmware into its internal memory. The camera LED will NOT light up as it normally would during this process, so don't turn off the camera after you start this process thinking it's not doing anything. You could brick your camera! The yellow LED should turn on after a brief period (5 to 20 sec.) to confirm the firmware has been successfully loaded. If this is the case, ignore the rest of step 3 and got directly to step 4.
On some occcasions the yellow LED does NOT turn back on. If the LED still has not come on after a couple of minutes, the firmware may be properly installed, but the camera locks up. Disconnect the camera and see if it will respond normally to button presses. If it does not and appears dead, before you panic, do the following:
5. With the firmware removed from the card, the card in the camera, and the camera disconnected from the USB port, turn it on, and shoot a test video to confirm the camera is functioning normally and that your firmware modification has taken effect. That's it, I'm sure you did it correctly... you're done! :)
Tom, any way of I.D.ing a new vs old camera by any markings on the processor or the hardware I.D.?
FYI, Vimeo resets the upload gage every Sunday night. They will only render one HD video there per week with their free service. You can upload more, but after the first HD file, the next one(s) will be rendered in lower VGA resolution, and there is a 500 MB weekly limit (for all files).
Thanks for asking this... I meant to include this info in the post I just finished on date removal and forgot. I need to go back and edit it anyway since the formatting I used seems to have gotten the tags embedded in the text instead of the formatting.
Also, I just viewed your AV... your camera does not show the same dark corners and color hunting in that aerial video like it did in the ground videos. I haven't figured out what might be going on, but I got mine mainly for AV, so I'm glad it 's better in the air if that proves to always be the case.
FWIW, I now see clearly the white and yellow lines on the artificial turf. I sure envy your flying area. We have some single artificial turf fields here... none strung together like that, and ours are surround by tall light pole for night games, and fenced and locked. Not for public use unless you pay to rent them, even though almost all of them are at public schools or public parks.
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