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Old Jun 03, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Mobius ActionCam Vendors and Specs

Mobius ActionCam Vendors and Specs

The Mobius, by the developer of the highly successful #16HD "808-style" keychain camera, is a logical progression to the more capable 1080p level of video hardware. The features that made the #16 such a hit, namely small, light, configurable, great video, and low cost are being extrapolated and expanded to match the capability of the new hardware. The firmware will take many months to mature and incorporate all the capabilities of the new hardware, but the developer is actively pursuing this goal while watching this thread for user feedback on issues that might need fixing.

Vendors

You are advised to only buy your Mobius from a developer-verified source. The following web stores have been verified by the developer as selling the real Mobius camera, replacement parts and accessories with a commitment to customer satisfaction, both before and after a sale, if any problems are found when the hardware is put into service and not caused by user abuse, crash damage, etc. If parts are not listed on their sites, use their web site email contact link to request what you need. They will respond promptly with information of how to buy them. They all use direct PayPal payment. The China eBay sellers work directly with the developer and will usually have the lowest delivered prices. The other re-sellers may offer quicker delivery depending on your location.

Direct Sellers:
China: eletoponline365; digitalele889
Re-sellers:
China: HobbyKing (Hong Kong); BangGood;

Singapore: Drone Matters

U.S.: BuyMobius.com, a.k.a. novotm (MA); Massive RC (FL); SPYTEC (NY); ReadyMadeRC (OH); BangGood-US warehouse (CA); JooVuu-US warehouse (PA); HobbyKing-US Warehouse-East (AR); HobbyKing-US Warehouse-West (WA)

Canada: Great Hobbies (PE, ON, AB)

Europe: BangGood (UK warehouse); Webbex (UK); JooVuu (UK); Pakatak (UK); ; Mobius-Cam (NL); Revotech (CZ); Car Black Box (PL); Mobiuscam (RU); Mobius Action Cam (DE)
Prices can vary from one vendor to the other and depends on what is included in different accessory packages. The cost from the China direct seller eBay outlets will be nominally about $70 US with free shipping.

Non-verified sellers may be selling fake imitation cameras at seemingly bargain prices, and you should be wary of buying from them.

NOTE: Both users and vendors are expected to abide by this forum and thread vendor communication protocol.

Memory Cards

Class 4 memory cards from popular manufacturers provide the best compatibility with this camera and are recommended. Class 6 and Class 10 cards, at best, do NOTHING to improve the camera's video and cost more, and at worst, they may not work properly! ALL MEMORY CARDS should be formatted using the camera's internal formatting routine for best compatibility!
. If you are uncertain about what kind of memory card to buy, order one from the camera vendor when you place your order.

Case Design

The camera has a modern case design precision molded of rugged high-density plastic to house the upgraded CMOS imager, DSP chip, and larger battery. Three buttons (power, mode, and shutter) are provided to toggle various functions, with 4 LEDs for visible feedback on the cameras operation. The top of the case has two exposed metal heat sink surfaces protruding through the case heat dissipation from the DSP and memory chips. The case has a shallow groove extending around case upper and lower joint line. This enables the case to be securely slid into a mating base piece for a variety of mounting hardware options (more info below).

This shows a size comparison of the Mobius with the current #16 camera in its current flat-bottom case and wide angle lens. The basic camera weighs approximately 39 grams (without lens cap) and measures nominally 61mm (L) x 35mm (W) x18mm (H). When inserted into it's mounting base plate, the overall dimensions (without the mounting screw insert) are 63mm (L) x 38mm (W) x 22mm (H).
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The inside of the case top and bottom has precision molded rib structures to accurately position and securely hold the CMOS/lens module.


In Oct. 2014 the case design was changed very slightly with a wider top LED view port equipped with a plastic "light pipe" inside to make the LED's much more visible. The CMOS module slots were also had very minor revision to the side rails. Further revisions to widen the CMOS module slots were made in May 2015 to accept the thicker revised CMOS module tabs (see CMOS module revisions in the Lens paragraph below).

Circuit Board and Battery

The circuit board has a reset button and easy disconnects for the battery and CMOS ribbon cable. The charging and external communication port is a standard 5 pin mini-USB socket. The V3 circuit board released in Oct. 2014 has an added over-voltage protection IC on the USB external power input which will disconnect the external power if the voltage is between 5.6V to 28V. More details here. PLEASE NOTE THIS USB POWER SUPPLY ALERT. Standard microSDHC cards up to 32GB are accepted for recording. Class 4 cards should work fine and are recommended. The CMOS imager and DSP chips used in the camera are confidential at this point at the developer's request. The stock 520 mAH lipo battery can power the camera for approximately 80-90 min. The higher capacity 820 mAH battery can power the camera for about 140 min. More details here.



Lens

The original lens, now being referred to as "Lens A" is a mid-AOV lens with some fisheye distortion in the 1080p frame size, but less than the wide angle D lens on the #16. When the camera is in 720p-60 fps mode the 1280 x 720 image is sub-sampled from the center of the wider 1920x1080 frame image, so the video horizontal field of view (HFOV) is proportionally less, but so is the fisheye distortion. In 720p-30fps mode, the camera keeps the wider HFOV of the 1080p mode, but scales the imaged down to 720p frame size (detail loss is very minimal). Vignetting and focus drop off at the edges are negligible. I measured the actual HFOV of the video frame width to be nominally 85 deg. at 1080p and 720p-30fps, and 46 deg. at 720p-60fps settings, and based on those, I estimate the AOV of the standard lens to be around 110 deg. The vertical FOV in 720p-30fps (or less) mode is nominally 54 deg.

A wide angle lens, called Lens B, was later offered as an alternative, and more information on it can be found here. In Jan. 2015 a third wider angle lens, called Lens C, was released as a third lens option, and more information on it and how it compares with Lens B can be found here. Lens C quickly became user's preference over Lens B, which was phased out in the Spring of 2015. Then, inconsistent QC and low yield of acceptable high quality lenses force Lens C to be discontinued in July 2015, and it was replaced by Lens C2. More information on lens C2 and a comparison video with previous Lens C are available in this post. The CMOS module has a "standard" 12M x 0.5 thread, so it can accept other third party lenses if a user can find a suitable one.

The CMOS imager and its ribbon cable attach to the lens module via two machine screws, making it possible to replace just the CMOS imager if necessary. Metal tape around the module and extending onto the rear metal CMOS attachment plate help to remove heat from the CMOS circuitry. This design was revised in May of 2015, with the metal backing plate for the CMOS imager changed to a circuit board with it's own cable connector. The new design eliminates a failure point of the ribbon cable, gives better alignment and support for the CMOS imager, and offers a 90 deg. rotation option for the CMOS imager, which gives the normal wide horizontal recorded image when the camera is rotated 90 degrees with the flat side vertical. More details on the new module are shown here. The original metal lens module was changed to a fiber reinforced composite version in Jan. 2015, but the design remains the same with a set screw to hold the threaded lens at the ideal focus point, yet allowing it to be released for focus adjustments if necessary.

Approximate Weight of Basic Components

Stock camera (inc. battery & memory card)..... 39 gms. (add 2 gms. for the wider angle lens)
Case with heat sink...................................... 12 gms.
Stock battery (520 mAh 603030)................... 10 gms.
Optional battery (820 mAH).......................... 15 gms
Circuit board, lens module, & memory card..... 17 gms.
Mounting base plate without screw stud.......... 7 gms.
Mounting base plate with screw stud.............. 10 gms.

User Toggled Functions

Camera functions are an expanded version of the #16 functions. The development of functions and user settings for the camera will be ongoing following the initial release, all of which will work in the camera when updated FW is loaded. The initial release FW includes:

•Two user selectable video modes, toggled by the mode button after power up. Either mode can be set to record 1080p-30fps or 720p-60fps or 720p-30fps. The video format is .MOV with H.264 compression codec, and the camera can record sequential clips with a one sec. overlap, so there is no lost video.

•Three movie quality settings (Super, Standard, and Low), which will vary the recording bit rates suitable for the user-selected frame size and frame rate. The Super setting (called the "High" setting in the GUI) with 1080p-30 fps video gives an approximate average total bit rate around 18,000 kbps with a high detail and motion scene. The Low setting with 720p-30 fps video gives approximately 5,800 kbps on the low end.

•Five video recording cycle time settings will be 3, 5, 10, and 15 min. plus "Max", all of which will stop/save/continue. The Max setting will record until the 4GB files size limit is reached unless the memory card runs out of space or the battery power is removed. The actual Max recording time will vary dramatically accord to the users settings for frame size, frame rate, and movie quality. The 4GB file limit can be reached in less than 30 min. with 1080p-30 fps video set for Super quality.

•Loop Recording will continue recording when the card fills up by deleting the oldest clip on the card to make room. This mode requires either a 3 or 5 min. clip length setting to work. Pressing the mode button while a recording is in progress in this mode will tag the file as write protected when it is saved, so it won't be overwritten. The file can be manually deleted, though.
•Movie Flip (180 deg. rotation) will record a video right-side up when the camera must be mounted up-side down.

•Movie Sound allows turning off the sound and eliminating a sound track from a video file to save file space when no sound is wanted.

•Photo capture mode with frame sizes of 2304x1536, 1920x1080, or 1280x720 (no up conversion).

•Time Lapse photos with delays between images of .25*, .5*, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 60 second intervals.
* Note: The settings below 1 sec. require a photo frame size of 1920x1080 or smaller, and they will not have a date stamp even if it is turned on.

•Recording LED toggle flashes the recording mode LED on the top and rear of the camera.

•Movie/photo time stamp toggle

•Power on button delay (to prevent premature activation while handling)

•Auto-record when power to the camera is applied (useful for car recorder use - no button presses needed.)

•Charging on/off toggle when plugged into a USB data port (useful for some external USB devices)

•TV out (PAL or NTSC), which includes a playback mode with audio.

•TV display ratio (4:3 or 16:9)

•GUI program for Windows OS for easy setting of the parameters as well as updating the firmware and the GUI program itself.
Additional functions have been added with many FW updates since the initial release. The mSetup.exe configuration GUI program for Windows is the best resource to see all the functions available in the latest FW, though extracting the configuration file from the camera will also list them in brief text format along with the available configuration settings.

Mounting Options

The camera has many mounting options, starting with a flat base plate that slides onto the camera case's mid-line shallow groove.


Two studs on tabs that deflect as the camera is slid into place snap into holes in the camera case when it is fully inserted.


The camera is very solidly held in place on the base plate by the two lugs... maybe a bit too securely for some applications?


The lugs need to be lifted up by pushing on the rear of the camera case while holding the base plate into order to remove the camera.


The removal force can be greatly diminished to your preferences by shaving off a bit of the lug height as well as tapering the side of the lug to for a ramp. If you pursue this option, remove material in small increments and test the camera release force at every change.


The base plate can be mounted via wire ties or straps through slots in the bottom. The base plate also accepts a snug snap-in plug that has a standard 1/4-20 tripod thread.


Several heavy duty mounting options are available for mounting the camera to a variety of objects via the base plate tripod screw thread. Three of these are a flat surface adhesive pad mount, a bike handlebar mount (accommodates oversize bars), and a lever-actuated suction mount for smooth surfaces such as a car windshield. Each of these specific mounting options use an adjustable articulating ball piece that screws into the base plate, making very minute changes in alignment possible.


The optional helmet mount has both a slightly flexible adhesive pad plus a retaining strap for rugged use. The screw attachment point has only two rotation axes available for aiming the camera.


Another option is a mini-tripod bolt mount for use as a web cam or other use on any level surface.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Jul 07, 2015 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Added info on new lens C2
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