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Old Jul 07, 2011, 01:38 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggunners View Post
FYI. One way to arrive at best focus that is quantifiable is to use still photos and compare the jpg output file sizes. The largest .jpg file size will be best focus.

How it works. Set your camera up pointing to a typical complex scene. Take a picture, record the lens position. After all photos are shot, write the .jpg file sizes next to the still images. Put the lens position corresponding to the largest .jpg file.

Why this works. The jpg compression tries to group pixels together for higher compression, the more detail you have, the less compression is possible. Consequently, the bigger file is the best focus.

-- ggunners
Earlier in this thread some used comparing the video clip sizes of the same scene (or maybe it was the average bytes per frame or something like that) as an indicator of focus acuity. I don't know how accurate that is with the H.264 compression, but apparently it can get pretty close.

For still images with THIS camera, I question how accurate this would be for two reasons.

One (which also similarly applies to the video method), unless each picture is of the exact same scene, the pixel data will be different, making the compression different and not necessarily an accurate indicator of focus acuity. And taking multiple pictures of the exact same scene requires the camera to be rigidly held in position, including while the lens is rotated... possible by clamping the #11 to a heavy base, I guess, but certaily not easy.

But more importantly, the still images from the #11 are 2592x1944... 5MP in size from a 1MP video sensor array! I don't think the stills are just digitally zoomed from the sensor image, they look too sharp for that to my eye. So the stills are likely upconverted from an image that has to be at least 5 times smaller (maybe more) in the pixel count. So there is a very large percentage of pixels in the still image which were created by some upconversion algorithm and never captured by the image sensor, further clouding the determination of focus accuracy of this method.

Having said all this, I have not tried either method! It's possible, maybe even probable, that either of these methods gets pretty close? But I like to rely on what my eye can determine is the sharper image. If I can see it, it matters.. if I can't, it doesn't.

The best focus method I found was shooting short (10 sec.) clips very slowly panning across a highly detailed scene after each increment of lens rotation, then by comparing videos side by side I can quickly zero in on the lens position on each side of the best focus point. Then shooting some more video clips within that range using smaller increments, and comparing two videos side by side with an editor or player that can step forward/backwards through a clip one frame at a time I can then see which video has the sharpest image across the entire frame!

The lens in these cameras does not have a good flat focal plane, so the center and edges of the image are not in perfect focus at the same time. What looks best to some might be sharper in the center with less acuity at the edges. Or maybe the opposite? Or perhaps even with the center and edges a tiny tick out of best focus, so the image has the same sharpness from edge to edge? It's best determined by the eye of the beholder, I think.
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Old Jul 07, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwazimoda View Post
Thanks for no give up
So which steps I should repeat for 2 days? Attempts just to turn on the camera, or the full cycle?
Copy firmware file to card -> turn on-> wait for flashing complete -> turn off -> delete firmware file over card reader -> insert card -> turn on ???
Thanks.
Personally, I would try all sorts of button-clicks but not with the camera connected. If after a day (or two) it still doesn't work, try connecting to the PC to reload the battery. Then try a different firmware.

It's difficult to tell you what to do, there are just sooo many possibilities.

If it still doesn't work by Monday, then it's most probably time to contact the supplier. The problem with your camera is that it never really worked, so maybe there's a hardware problem after all. Coulld be something simple, like a dud SPI memory chip - simple for the manufacturer, that is!
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Old Jul 07, 2011, 07:55 PM
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United States, FL, Plantation
Joined Nov 2005
655 Posts
For everyone that is having problems with their new camera, here is what happened to me and how i fixed it.


1. I added the bin file to the memory card.
2. put the memory card into the camera and turned it on.
a. no lights ever came on.
b. plugging it into the computer only a red light came on. the computer did not detect it as a drive.

at this point i figured i trashed it.

I fixed this by doing the following...and it must be done exactly like this or it wont work.


1. remove camera from usb.
2. remove memory card from camera.
3. press the reset button using a paper clip or something small. it is between the usb and memory card...a little hole. carefully poke the paper clip in slowly until you hit a little click..or feel the button. remove the paperclip and set cam aside.
4. put the memory card into a memory card reader and plug into the computer.
5. add the bin file from the "recover time" zip to the root of the memory card.
6. remove memory card from computer
7. insert into camera and press the power button for 2 seconds and let go.
a. no light will come on until it is done.
b. wait for the light to come on.
8. remove the memory card from the camera
9. press the reset button on the camera
10. insert memory card into computer and delete the file, then remove from computer
11. insert into the camera and press the power button.

it should work now.

i then followed the same steps, but using the continuous record file and it worked fine.
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Old Jul 07, 2011, 10:16 PM
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United States, FL, Plantation
Joined Nov 2005
655 Posts
so far very happy with this camera....
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Last edited by GregSilver; Jul 07, 2011 at 10:29 PM.
Old Jul 08, 2011, 12:04 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
16,634 Posts
Mission Accomplished

Quote:
Originally Posted by jims123 View Post
Tom,
I sacrificed a couple old / broke No 3's to get at the latch assy inside.. It will clearly be a challenge getting inside the case of the reader to work on the latch itself.. yes there is a real spring inside that could easily be removed.. problem is if you google microSD latch and select images you'll see there are dozens of different manufacturers so what you see here in these No 3's may not be what's in the No 11's now.

by the way there is a little u shaped piece shown that came out of one of them but I couldn't find it in the other.. desoldering it with the right tools is possible but getting the right desoldering tool likely is as costly as a new cam.. Good Luck Hope this helped.. BTW this was shot with a $32 USB microscope cam from Deal Extreme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5EF9fYgbY0&feature=youtube_gdata
I successfully fixed my #11 flash card latch today. I used an old low wattage (probably about 20 watts) iron with a long taoered tip about the size of a pencil lead at the tip. This proved to be perfect for totally removing the card holder cover. First, the two solder tabs near the camera case edge were heated and lifted with a tiny screwdrive inserted into the card slot. Then the two tiny tabs on toward the circuit board center were similarly lifted, freeing the entire metal top. I did this first on my dead #3, then on the #11. I replaced all the components in the #11 (long spring, slider, and tiny catch wire) with those from the #3, as well as the cover. My #11 had previously stopped latching, and had I managed to fatigue and break off the thin case tab that pushes down on the catch wire, and also put a slight bend in the catch wire pushing down on it with a small screw driver trying to make it latch, so I replaced the whole works. I now have a functional card holder again!

And yes, with the cover off, the small plastic tab ejected and flew several feet away about a half dozen times, as well as the long spring. And I dropped the tiny catch wire a half dozen times trying to get it in position. But I was prepared and managed to find and retrieve them! I can't imagine how they can cost-effectively assemble the card holders during assembly!
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 03:06 AM
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Joined Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregSilver View Post
For everyone that is having problems with their new camera, here is what happened to me and how i fixed it.


1. I added the bin file to the memory card.
2. put the memory card into the camera and turned it on.
a. no lights ever came on.
b. plugging it into the computer only a red light came on. the computer did not detect it as a drive.

at this point i figured i trashed it.

I fixed this by doing the following...and it must be done exactly like this or it wont work.


1. remove camera from usb.
2. remove memory card from camera.
3. press the reset button using a paper clip or something small. it is between the usb and memory card...a little hole. carefully poke the paper clip in slowly until you hit a little click..or feel the button. remove the paperclip and set cam aside.
4. put the memory card into a memory card reader and plug into the computer.
5. add the bin file from the "recover time" zip to the root of the memory card.
6. remove memory card from computer
7. insert into camera and press the power button for 2 seconds and let go.
a. no light will come on until it is done.
b. wait for the light to come on.
8. remove the memory card from the camera
9. press the reset button on the camera
10. insert memory card into computer and delete the file, then remove from computer
11. insert into the camera and press the power button.

it should work now.

i then followed the same steps, but using the continuous record file and it worked fine.
Unfortunately, recent posts show that the firmware update process is still a dangerous procedure.

So, thank you for posting this very detailed description of what you did. I'm sure it will help others. For those new to this thread, and if this method doesn't work, then there may be other methods, namely here and here (see "Trouble shooting" at end of post). In order to keep things together as best as possible, I will add your instructions to the latter.

@Kwazimoda Please also try this method.

On both my cameras, only the first attempt to update the camera "bricked" the camera. Since then I have never had any problems and have updated the firmware many, many times - I've lost count, but certainly more than 30 times! I always use an external card reader for the update.
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 07:48 AM
AMA Member since 1984
Joined Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
[/URL]And yes, with the cover off, the small plastic tab ejected and flew several feet away about a half dozen times, as well as the long spring. And I dropped the tiny catch wire a half dozen times trying to get it in position. But I was prepared and managed to find and retrieve them! I can't imagine how they can cost-effectively assemble the card holders during assembly!
Watchmaker skills and tools would definately help in this endeavor.
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 08:48 AM
Registered User
San Antonio, Texas
Joined Dec 2009
44 Posts
key cam

Some help would be greatly appreciated…. I've had mine for maybe 8 months...#3...super lil camera..for 8 months..the past week ihe cam doesn't record long..this morning nothing seems to work...the camera feels warm..wont turn on..try charging it ..no light...I'm very satisfied with the camera..planning on getting the latest camera...should I open it up to see if its the battery...maybe install a micro battery port......thanks...fred
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 09:18 AM
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scotsoft's Avatar
Newcastle, UK
Joined Jul 2010
2,677 Posts
What have you got to lose might as well try it and you may learn something by doing so



Quote:
Originally Posted by rotovator View Post
Some help would be greatly appreciated…. I've had mine for maybe 8 months...#3...super lil camera..for 8 months..the past week ihe cam doesn't record long..this morning nothing seems to work...the camera feels warm..wont turn on..try charging it ..no light...I'm very satisfied with the camera..planning on getting the latest camera...should I open it up to see if its the battery...maybe install a micro battery port......thanks...fred
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 09:18 AM
Registered User
San Antonio, Texas
Joined Dec 2009
44 Posts
key cam

I pluged in the camera bout a 30 minutes ago...unpluged still doesn't work...When the camera was new I had trouble with it..so i tried resetting it..worked great till this morning...whats the best tool to use to reset the camera...and how much presure should I use when resetting....Thanks....Fred
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 09:34 AM
Registered User
San Antonio, Texas
Joined Dec 2009
44 Posts
key cam

plugged in the camera bout a 30 minutes ago...unpluged still doesn't work...When the camera was new I had trouble with it..so i tried resetting it..worked great till this morning...what’s the best tool to use to reset the camera...and how much pressure should I use when resetting....Thanks....Fred
I was planning on installing a external port when the battery gives out to cut the weight down to use the cam on a micro plane…just checking to see if anyone else had the same problem…thanks scotsoft….thanks…fred
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Joined Nov 2010
2,359 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotovator View Post
Some help would be greatly appreciated…. I've had mine for maybe 8 months...#3...super lil camera..for 8 months..the past week ihe cam doesn't record long..this morning nothing seems to work...the camera feels warm..wont turn on..try charging it ..no light...I'm very satisfied with the camera..planning on getting the latest camera...should I open it up to see if its the battery...maybe install a micro battery port......thanks...fred
....
plugged in the camera bout a 30 minutes ago...unpluged still doesn't work...When the camera was new I had trouble with it..so i tried resetting it..worked great till this morning...what’s the best tool to use to reset the camera...and how much pressure should I use when resetting....Thanks....Fred
I was planning on installing a external port when the battery gives out to cut the weight down to use the cam on a micro plane…just checking to see if anyone else had the same problem…thanks scotsoft….thanks…fred
You use so many ... that I'm having trouble understanding your post.

You mention #3, but you don't mention #11. Which camera are you talking about?

This thread is only about the #11, so if your camera is a #3 you should seek help in the "Mega Key Chain" camera thread.
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Joined Feb 2011
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I just bought a JUMBO, same LED flashes to start the thing so the same insides but with a bigger battery, just seeing how long it goes on a full charge, the Chinese continue to be very vague with their battery life estimates, 80 - 120 minutes, well which is it?.

The instruction manual has several different versions including the keyfob one pictured.
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 12:07 PM
Drifting off the reservation..
JumpySticks's Avatar
USA, LA, Broussard
Joined Jan 2011
2,284 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn758 View Post
I just bought a JUMBO, same LED flashes to start the thing so the same insides but with a bigger battery, just seeing how long it goes on a full charge, the Chinese continue to be very vague with their battery life estimates, 80 - 120 minutes, well which is it?.

The instruction manual has several different versions including the keyfob one pictured.
I tested mine. I got one 4gb file of 80 minutes, turned it back on and got one 7 minutes long before it shut itself off. I could have turned it on again and filmed for a short while again but did not want to completely drain the battery.

So I would say that at least 80 minutes on a charge is safe.

What I intend to do for thermaling is to launch, and if the flight comes down in short time, stop and restart the video in case the next launch results in a long duration flight.
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Old Jul 08, 2011, 12:39 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
16,634 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn758 View Post
I just bought a JUMBO, same LED flashes to start the thing so the same insides but with a bigger battery, just seeing how long it goes on a full charge, the Chinese continue to be very vague with their battery life estimates, 80 - 120 minutes, well which is it?.
...
I think they have stated the recording time as accurately as possible based on random tests of sample cameras! The cheap batteries in the camera seem to vary in their mAh capacity and/or ability to deliver the required current without dropping the voltage to the point where the camera stops recording. Hence the range of recording times stated. The batteries in the smaller #11 also start dropping recording time not long after they are put into frequent use. I've replaced my battery with another 240 maH stock one once already after the recording time dropped from 40 + min. when new to about 20 min. after a month or so of light use. While waiting for the replacement battery, I temporarily soldered in a really good 120 mAh 25C Hyperion G3 cell and it powered the camera for 25 min! And I know it will have a much longer cycle life as well as hold voltage much better under load because I have used larger versions of these state-of-the-art lipo cells to power my electric RC planes. When my replacement 240 mAh battery finally goes belyl up, I'm going to put the Hyperion cell back in and see how it performs over time. It may just prove to be a better choice if you don't need the 40 min. recording time.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Jul 08, 2011 at 05:51 PM. Reason: added underlined text
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