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Old Dec 30, 2010, 12:49 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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A Non-working Camera May Be Risen From The Dead!

OK... you tried a firmware change and turned your camera in a Zombie! Are you doomed forever? Well maybe not!

<UPDATE 02/18/2012> If your camera turns on with a solid yellow LED, but will not start recording even after trying the reset button and disconnecting the battery, maybe this is the problem!

<UPDATE 09/28/2011> If your camera worked OK, but was then dropped or suffered some other kind of impact, then the yellow LED would not turn on when you next powered up your camera, maybe this is your problem, which can be easily fixed!

<UPDATE 08/16/2011> An alternative "in situ" way to repair mangled boot loader code and firmware. This is a repair of the code in the firmware IC rather than a total replacement of the IC chip as described in the <01/03/2011> update below. This is a tougher solution, but costs nothing to try.

<UPDATE 07/07/2011> Another possible solution.

<UPDATE 02/15/2011>
On infrequent occasions, the firmware is properly installed, but the camera locks up and the Yellow LED does not come back on as it should normally do. Also, the camera will appear dead and not respond to any of the buttom presses or the reset button. Before you panic, the following procedure has worked to restore the camera to normal operation:

1. Plug camera into USB port, and hopefully the red LED will come on.
2. Push the camera "power on" button briefly, and hopefully the yellow LED will now come on, toggling the camera normally into it's flash drive mode.
3. You should then be able to access the camera's flash memory card. If so, delete the firmware file that you copied there.
4. Disconnect the camera from the USB port, turn if off, then attempt to turn it back on again.
5. The camera may now function normally again. Shoot a test video to confirm the firmware was successfully installed.
6. If the above does not work, also try pushing the reset button with the camera connected to the USB port in charge mode.
7. If this does not help, flash in a new firmware file again.
8. If none of that worked, try disconnecting the battery to totally remove power from the camera. Then reconnect the battery and try these solutions again if it is still non-functional.

<UPDATE 01/03/2011>
If you bought your HD key cam from any one of the vendors identified in Post #2 and had your camera not recover from a firmware change, you may inquire about other resolution at this email address:

hotbid365@gmail.com

Though the english is a little rough, they have suggested they will repair or replace your camera in this reply I got from them:
"... we would like to find the problem. then explain. you know the item begain to flood into the market, will come with some problem. but i think that can solve it. as long as have problem, we would like to solve, back the items to me, will check and replace new one to them. please do not worry about that."
And for the do-it-yourself fanatic, if you have or know some one with some PC and small scale soldering skills, you might be able to do some micro-surgery to replace a key component on the camera circuit board and bring life back to your bricked camera. One user has done this as documented here.

Alternatively, if you don't have the skills to revive the camera chip as shown in the above link, but do have soldering skills, one vendor (internet-shop365) had offered to send a user who bricked his camera the replacement IC (8 pin, surface mount) chip to revive his camera and also allow new firmware to be flashed in. I have attached a picture of the circuit board and component in question to show it's size and location. This solution may not be available to any one else or from other vendors, nor do I know what the cost might be for the replacement IC. I'm providing this information on a FYI basis only.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Feb 18, 2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: added an impact damage successful recovery method
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 12:52 AM
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Gloucester Ma
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Date line for new version

Thanks Tom for this new thread.
My camera was purchased Dec 9 and shipped the same day. I have 3 more incoming shipped Dec 19. The vendor eletoponline365 has not been able to confirm which of these if any are older versions. He/they sent me the time off file knowing the 2nd order was not yet delivered. The latest email 12/29 had this and another copy of the time off file
" dear friend,
please do not worried, have any problem, i will help you. i will sent you a new files for the delete the time and date, it's can help you. and if have any problem, let me know."
I guess this implies if one dies he will help?
Do you know the purchase date of clx1's camera
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 12:55 AM
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 01:02 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Has anyone confirmed this camera can be plugged into an external voltage source via the mini-USB connection (like the car 12V outlet plug connector that comes with it) and power the camera without depleting the internal battery? I assume that is the case, but I wonder if that cable has a built-in voltage regulator to drop the voltage down to 5V like a USB port would have, or whether the camera has internal voltage regulation. It would be good to know this for powering the camera from an external source in a plane, like a 3S lipo.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 01:12 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
17,704 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Monell View Post
Thanks Tom for this new thread.
My camera was purchased Dec 9 and shipped the same day. I have 3 more incoming shipped Dec 19. The vendor eletoponline365 has not been able to confirm which of these if any are older versions. He/they sent me the time off file knowing the 2nd order was not yet delivered. The latest email 12/29 had this and another copy of the time off file
" dear friend,
please do not worried, have any problem, i will help you. i will sent you a new files for the delete the time and date, it's can help you. and if have any problem, let me know."
I guess this implies if one dies he will help?
Do you know the purchase date of clx1's camera
I do not know the purchase date of clx1's camera... maybe he will chime in here. But I do know that his vendor, internet-shop365 (aka eletoponline365) is sending him a new camera since he bricked his using the firmware flashing info that the vendor released without any warnings.

I would think (hope) that vendors who released the date on/off flashing firmware would do this, especially if they knew in advance that the early camera version would brick if people tried the flash procedure. Or for that matter, even if they found this out after the fact!
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 01:34 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
...
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.
Yabba, in regards to my quoted comment, I just had a thought as I was watching one more time your ground video in the other forum where I commented on the "changing color" of the field stripes . You mentioned you were using your "clothespin camera" so I'm wondering if you had the HD cam clipped UNDER the bill of a baseball cap, or something like that? That could explain why the upper corners of your video were considerably darker than the bottom corners, and why the AV you just posted did not show this!! Am I right!
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 03:16 AM
Me a long time ago
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 03:38 AM
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Me too.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
I hope you find this thread useful and informative, or at least enjoyable.
Absolutely! Thanks Tom!

Mine has still not arrived and was paid for 8th Dec. I guess its just a waiting game thanks to the Christmas post and heavy snow

Simon
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
Has anyone confirmed this camera can be plugged into an external voltage source via the mini-USB connection (like the car 12V outlet plug connector that comes with it) and power the camera without depleting the internal battery? I assume that is the case, but I wonder if that cable has a built-in voltage regulator to drop the voltage down to 5V like a USB port would have, or whether the camera has internal voltage regulation. It would be good to know this for powering the camera from an external source in a plane, like a 3S lipo.
Computer USB ports Deliver 5v at (1000mA (1A) MAX - some portables fused at 1/2A (500mA))most unpowered external hubs only provide 500mA. So you would have to buy one of those cheap car lighter socket -> USB power adapter - they should work fine from 3S lipo, but don't plugs 3Slipo into camera direct through its USB port - you stand a very good chance of letting the smoke out of both camera and lipo.
Mike
Hummm re-reading I need to clarify my bit.
1). A car 12v outlet plug with USB socket on it will have a 5v (probably 1A) V regulator in it. (well 99% chance - there are always GotChya's waiting to humble X-spurts like me).
2). Do Not connect 3s Lipo directly to the USB input of the camera.
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Last edited by empeabee; Dec 30, 2010 at 05:41 AM. Reason: just clarification - like shining a bright light at FOG ;).
Old Dec 30, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Cranfield U.K.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
OK... you tried to do the date stamp removal with a "first generation" camera in spite of the warnings, and turned your camera in a Zombie! Are you doomed forever? Well maybe not!

If you have or know some one with some small scale soldering skills, you might be able to do some micro-surgery to replace a key component on the camera circuit board and bring life back to your bricked camera. One vendor (internet-shop365) had offered to send a user who bricked his camera a replacement IC (6 pin, surface mount) chip to revive his camera and also allow new date removal firmware to be flashed in (I think). I have attached a picture of the circuit board and component in question to show it's size and location.

The person who bricked his had purchased his camera from this vendor, who had given the files and directions for their use. So this solution may not be available to any one else, nor do I know what the cost might be for the replacement IC. I'm providing this information on a FYI basis only.

If it were me and I could get the chip at a reasonable price compared to the initial cost of the camera, I'd give it a try with a very sharp tipped, low wattage soldering iron! I love challenges!
er er I count 8 pins on the thing pointed to
Mike
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Car charger

My cigarette lighter charger states on the label
12-24 VDC input and 5VDC 1.5a output.
I haven't tried any tests with it yet as to whether the camera will only charge or record as well.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 07:14 AM
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Replacing flash chip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
OK... you tried to do the date stamp removal with a "first generation" camera in spite of the warnings, and turned your camera in a Zombie! Are you doomed forever? Well maybe not!
.....
.....
If it were me and I could get the chip at a reasonable price compared to the initial cost of the camera, I'd give it a try with a very sharp tipped, low wattage soldering iron! I love challenges!
I don't know what your soldering skills are Tom, but I would definitely NOT advise anybody without good soldering skills to try this. An SMD capable soldering iron is a MUST. Soldering the 8-Pin (not 6-Pin) flash chip is dead easy in comparison to desoldering it. If your iron is too hot and/or you apply heat too long, you will lift the track - guaranteed! Then you have a real problem...
The only possible approach for beginners, IMHO, is to cut the original leads with very thin cutters and then QUICKLY desolder the remains of each cut lead one by one. But I still don't believe a beginner can do the job - SMD is just too tiny.

Another very good option would be to use special low melting point solder to desolder the chip (see chipquick.com or similar). This must be completely removed before soldering the new chip with normal, fine solder. But again, I don't believe a beginner could manage this. In any case, I advise testing your skills on an old mobile phone, for example, beforehand.

If a beginner should attempt this, despite all warnings, remember to position the new chip the right way round (Pin1 - the one with the small dot - must be aligned where Pin1 should be). Failure to do so will almost certainly destroy both the camera and the chip.

From the picture, the location of the flash chip is excellent. There are no components near the pins which could hamper the iron.

Could someone identify this SPI Flash chip? Is it 1MB or 2MB (8Mbit/16Mbit), type, manufacturer?

And, if somebody succeeds in removing the chip undamaged or has received a replacement chip and has access to an SPI programmer, it would be great if he could post the memory dump from the good (unbricked) memory chip.

I recently bought a few virgin SPI chips for $3 to $4.5 each on eBay, postage included. I find this expensive, but I had difficulty in finding the correct type and size. Last summer I bought two replacement chips for my #3 and paid $8 which is almost the price of a new #3 but much cheaper than the current HD price - AND, my chips were virgin.
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Last edited by Isoprop; Dec 30, 2010 at 09:06 AM.
Old Dec 30, 2010, 08:26 AM
Just thumbing through...
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Watching, but not on board yet.

Tony
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