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Old Nov 21, 2009, 01:45 PM
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ONE STOP: COMPLETE "Portable Recording Device list!" (More added 7/13/2012)

This living thread tells a story of our Quest to find the best fpv recorder out there. Many are ground based, some can actually be wired into the plane(s) themselves. It lists all the portable recording devices that are being used by FPV Pilots & Drivers in the field. It was created as a one stop thread where we rate portable recorders, supply video feeds if available, and compare them with others. If you use a recorder that is not listed and you know of a guy/girl using it, please post your sample here and I will add it to this 1st post as they come in.

Thank you for contributing to the discussion of the "ONE STOP: COMPLETE "Portable Recording Device list!"

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EMTEC 150H - HDD Video Recorder.
Dragonlink 7mi/11km out and back in Sky Surfer 8x speed (4 min 27 sec)

Po73 is using this recorder
Positives:
+ One touch recording, hit exit to stop
+ Fast 30Mbs data transfer rate on USB
+ Great IQ 5v DC, any UBEC 2+ amp will power

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DV02 portable D1 AV recorder
FOXTECH DV02 TEST1 (1 min 3 sec)

foxtechfpv is selling a decent portable with built in screen.
Model: DV02 Portable DVR
Shipping Weight: 550g
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Another top contender fro those with deep wallets is the Lawmate Line of PV recorders.

Lawmate 500
Resolution: 320x240/640x480/720x480/1024x768/1280x720/1280x960 Real Time

Lawmate 700
Resolution: 320x240/640x480/720x480/1024x768/1280x720/1280x960 Real Time

Lawmate 1000
Resolution: 320x240/640x480/720x480/1024x768/1280x720/1280x960 Real Time
+ Awesome Quality Recording.
+ video resolutions: 320x240, 640x480, up to 1280x960
+ SMALL size! Doesn't take up much room in your flight bag or brief case.
+ All Self powered.
- Expensive ($400, $550, $650)

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Aiptek MPVR+cb

+ Great Quality Recordings (Yes its a little over sharpened)
+ video resolutions: 720x480, 640x480, 320x240 (the VJ classics!)
+ SMALL size! Doesn't take up much room in your flight bag or brief case.
+ Self powered.
+ RECORDS STATIC!
- Some models do not have Video IN & OUT for goggle loop through.
- Almost extinct!

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Ebay: 1CH Realtime Video DVR Recorder Support 32GB SD Card D1

+ More than decent Video Quality (640x480 3MB/s).
+ video resolutions: 720x480, 640x480
+ SMALL size! Doesn't take up much room in your flight bag or brief case.
+ 12V, So you can easily power it off 11.1v LiPO.
- AUDIO SUCKS (This really isn't a show stopper for what we use it for though.)

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eBay 2.5"HDD AV Video Recorder

CMulder just picked one of these UP!
+small size
+video out while recording (loop trough)
+ Records Static (No Blue Screens) which makes this great for FPV Goggle Pilots. (CONFIRMED)
+/- 720x480, 29/fps data rate 2870kbs
-Needs remote control to operate
-Requires 2.5" HDD (Optional)
+Records to SD Card (Confirmed)
-External 5v DC to operate (use an ESC, BEC, UBEC, or a 5.5v Solar Cell pack)


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BARU DVR (Like the above 2.5"HDD AV Video Recorder, it shares a common video processing board with this unit.)

+ Small size
+ Video out while recording (loop trough)
+ Records Static which makes this great for FPV Goggle Pilots. (CONFIRMED)
+/- 720x480, 29/fps data rate 2870kbs
- needs remote control to operate
- external 5v DC to operate (use an ESC's BEC or UBEC)

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Pinnacle Video Transfer USB 2.0 Capture Device

+ Small size
+ About $99
+ Video out while recording (loop trough)
- No Video out while recording. (Rquires AV splitter for real time FPV)

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The GoPro HD Hero cam is a wide fov camera/recorder you can put on your plane.
+AMAZING 720p/1080p footage
+wide field of view (Some may not like this but IMO a 170 degrees Field of View is great!)
+ Can Record and Output standard AV at the same time (w/Latest Firmware)
-Weight considerations... ( 94 grams)
-Quirky menu system
-250 to 300 price tag.


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Fatshark AirFLO HD

The AirFLO is a full HD onboard camera made specifically for FPV use. Compact,
durable design with attention to RF suppression to ensure it won’t interfere with RC
control.

Features:
- 720p 60fps/ 1080p 30fps
- Serial link for 3D (2 cameras)
- NTCS/PAL real time AV out
-include pan/tilt bracket (servos not included)

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Fatshark FSHD1 FPV HD Camera / Recorder: $300US

+ HD 720p 30fps 4Mb/s or 8Mb/s data rate
+ Every feature an FPV pilot has ever wanted
- Expensive

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eBay 720x480 KeyChain Cameras: $8-20US
Video Codec: Motion JPEG (720x480, 30/fps, 10263kbps)
Audio Codec: PCM Audio 2050Hz 353 kb/s (1 chnl)

+ Ulta Lite record only
+ Hi resolution flight captures.
+ Self Powered/
+ Can be modified to run directly off your BEC or Receiver via a Y-Adapter on CH3
- NO VIDEO OUT. (for use as a backup flight recorder for later playback.)
If you loose signal, these also also make great crash videos.
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eBay 720p Mini DVR (AKA, Black Box) : $85-100US [http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.44984]
Recording resolution : 1280×720 / 960×720 / 640×480.
AV-OUT : PAL/NTSC compatible.
voltage/current : DC 5V/400mA.

+ Light weight
+ 720P Video Capture
+ Self powered (Or rig 5vdc UBEC or servo lead hack for continuous)
+ Real Time VIDEO OUT while recording.
+ Flight videos from ommadawn looks like a great 480p image.
+ Thanks to this thread, it now has it's own thread dedicated! ( http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1310870 )
- Sample 2miniute avi's measure at 2Mbs which means its probably 480p interpolated/up converted too 720p.
- Audio Clipping.... (Microphone needs sponge to dampen air sounds)
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Foxtech Mini D1 quality SD card video recorder: $85 + $25s/h to most countries.

+ 705x 576 AL or NTSC (takes advantage of higher resolution cams)
+ 5vdc so can be powered through UBEC or servo lead hack (See key chain)
+ Records between 2-4MB/s wich should handle high motion scenes nicely.
+ Firmware upgradable.
- Remote required to stop/start rec feature (Cross fingers for firmware hack)
- 65x45mm is pretty beefy... Goto FoxtechFPV to judge for yourself though.
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HDD Portable Media Players: One Touch Video Record! (DISCONTINUED, Only USED ones to found on ebay if lucky.)


Now these are tried and true. China Vision
+ Compact
+ One touch record.
+ 12V DC (Can be powered with unmodified 3SP1 Lipo Packs)
+ Inexpensive (about $80US_
- DISCONTINUED, Only USED ones to found on ebay if lucky.


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KS638

-No verification if these can Record and view at the same time through goggles yet.
Hard to find but can be had off eBay between $99-130US. It uses the same video encoder chip (Zoran) as Nikon L18 camera. Examples show good quality 640x480 even at low bitrate.
-the built-in 2.4GHz receiver/antenna useless past 300m
-beware of similar looking KS639 which is worthless.


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Mini DVR: Chinese Made, there are MANY versions of this! DogcamSport, Micro DVR, Mini HDVR

Mini DVR1 records in mpeg4 format at 640 x 480 resolution
eBay between $80-300US this purpose built DVR for Helmet/spy cam use captures video and 640x480 and looks very promising.
(no reviews yet)

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San Disc V-Mate:

+ Popular $30 Recorder.
+ Small form factor.
+ 640x480 30fps
+ One Touch Record
- Not all units allow 640x480 Record and View so you may end up needing a splitter.
- Requires 5v DC adapter (Confirmed you can use an ESC BEC or UBEC to power.)

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Neuros MPGEG-4

Open Source $70 Recorder.
Support: http://www.neurostechnology.com/faq/29
Forums: http://forums.neurostechnology.com/
+ Records Static : CONFIRMED
+ Records / Plays Real-TIME : CONFIRMED
+ GOGGLE FRIENDLY : CONFIRMED.
± 640x480 30/fps : 29/FPS (Actualy removes prop banding for me so its not to bad)
- Remote is required : CONFIRMED {No buttons on unit, remote very sensative.}
- 2048kbps video bitrate. : 2027kpbs Actual {Slight image tearing in high motion scenes)
- Run 5volt dc so you need to use an old BEC you have laying around.

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ARCHOS AV405

ARCHOS AV500 - 605

+ Small Size
+ Self Powered
- Short Battery Life
Archos is a very Popular portable recorder company for those with $100-300 burning a hole in there pocket. From reviews it has a Poor battery life however from the pfv footage I have seen posted looks decent.

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CS-T60C Portable HDTV Player/Recorder

-These Units appear to Record and view at the same time but I have not seen any reviews from FPV Pilots using them.
Price Range Between $120 - $150 on eBay (Search for: LAN 2.5 HDD )
Recording quality At DVD quality, i. E. MPEG-4 D1 resolution(720x576/720x480 pixels), MP3 stereo
Recording mode: Quality setting at 3 level (HQ/MQ/LQ)
Recording format: AVI file format (AVI)
NOTE: They are not designed for portability so you need to rig a DC 12volt adapter on your own.
Questions: WILL IS RECORD AND PLAYBACK WITHOUT LAG IN REAL TIME?!

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DY-T60 Portable HDTV {;ayer/Recorder

- These Units appear to Record and view at the same time but I have not seen any reviews from FPV Pilots using them.
Arround $99 on eBay. Not sure whats diffrent between the DY-T60 and the CS-T60C.
NOTE: They are not designed for portability so you need to rig a DC 12volt adapter on your own.
Questions: WILL IS RECORD AND PLAYBACK WITHOUT LAG IN REAL TIME?!
Features:
Recording function (Smart and powerful)
- connected with Set top box to record TV programs; Connected with VCD/DVD player to record contents in VCD/DVD disc
- One-touch video recording; Advanced Scheduler for multiple time recording. Smart!
- Up to 280 hrs (recording in SP mode) in a 750GB exchangeable HDD. Powerful!
- In DVD quality with selectable high, medium and low compression ratios (720 x 576@25fps, 720 x 480@30fps MPEG 2 mpg format).
- time shift
- simultaneously playing and recording function
Questions: WILL IS RECORD AND PLAYBACK WITHOUT LAG IN REAL TIME?!
If an HD Portable DVR is what your looking for....
These run $70 Wholesale $130-150 Retail.
Holds 2.5" Hard Drives
Accepts 12v DC
Records and plays back in HD!
Questions: WILL IS RECORD AND PLAYBACK WITHOUT LAG IN REAL TIME?!

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http://www.infinity-hobby-jp.com sells this promising DVR.
# Storage Device: Built - in 2GB Mini SD RAM & Micro SD Card of any size
# Image Resolution: Record 320x240 MPEG4 <--------------------------------------------To bad its not 640x480
# Video Playback: NTSC:30 fps/sec, PAL: 25 fps/sec. (ASF,AVI,3GP,MP4 file format)
# Audio/Video Input: Built-in MIC/LINE IN(with DC power for camera)
# Audio/Video Output :Composite AV output x1(Phone Jack 3.5mm).
# Built-in speaker.
# Video System: NTSC / PAL

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JXD 990 4.3" 8GB TV-Out Camera MP3 MP4 Media Player
- No verification IF unit can Record and view at the same time yet.

These DVR's can be had on eBay for under $100US.
TV-In Recording / TV-Out Support Resolution 720x480 Although I doubt very much it can RECORD anywhere near that. Not many reviews in FPV circles but I did find one from gromitvt10 who reported that its not the greatest but works well for what he does.

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DVR (aka Piano DVR).

NGHOBBIES is selling this for about 100US. They Play HD content and record at high quality.

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STACK LTD - A Ruggedized, Solid State, Digital Video Recorder for any application from Planes to Submarines.

Do you have $800-2000US Dollars burring a hole in your pocket and do not want to play any games? STACK LTD has just the thing to lighten that wallet!
+ 1 to 4 camera inputs (Pro-4 only).
+ 720x576 resolution @ 25 fps (PAL) or 720x480 @ 30 fps (NTSC).
+ Records to removable Compact Flash (CF) card, playable on PC or burn to DVD.
+ Up to 8 hours of highest quality, full resolution recording.
+ 2 channel audio recording.
+ 9 - 20V DC
+ Fully waterproof unit (DVR Pro-4 and DVR PRO only)
- Expensive
- Nobody in the FPV / UAV trade has used this...... yet.

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If you use a particular brand of recorder and it does real-time record and view, please post it here and your thoughts for all to share.
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Last edited by SoMoney; Jul 13, 2012 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Added Foxtech Mini D1 quality SD card video recorder
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 02:47 PM
Stupid gravity!
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Trinity, FL
Joined Jul 1999
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I've tried pretty much everything out there. Grab this one if you can:

http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/hard-di...o-recorder.htm

Nice resolution. Tolerates static with no dropouts. Lightweight. The hard drive can be swapped for an SSD.

I also like the JDX 990. Good resolution. I've stripped it to bare PCB and mounted it to my plane for direct recording with a video splitter for tranmitting to the ground.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Did you take build footage of your JXD990 modification? How much did it weigh?

I can appreciate the benefits of having uninterrupted OSD footage to view when you get your plane back but I have a hard enough time stuffing all my gear in my planes as it is.


That DogCamSport looks nice but I'll need to make sure I can plug my goggles into it and view my OSD footage without my goggles going to blue screen.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 06:14 PM
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A comparison such as this is worthless without knowing the actual bitrate
each device records at. 640x480@30fps is swell, unless it's only 2.5-3Mbit/s
which is pretty common for a lot of these devices.
Those that use H.264 codec can get away with about 30% lower bitrate, but they're
more rare, and generally more painful when it comes to editing.

I'd also consider anything under 30fps unacceptable which would rule
out the PVR-500r linked above.

That's why I like the Aiptek MPVR+CB for low budget recorder, because it
has one touch recording, and does 3.5-5Mbit/s (variable).

Beyond that like the BR3002 (the silver HDD recorder above), also because
it has one touch recording, and variable bitrate that goes anywhere
from 6Mbit to 20Mbit as needed.

ian
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 07:16 PM
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You hit it on the head.
DVR/PVR's don't generally advertise their bit rates so its up to us the consumer to discover these short comings the hard way.
I made this thread to bundle the records that I know about being used in the field.

They must all be discussed and examples posted so we can all make informed decisions.
As new models arrive I'll add them to the post.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 10:32 PM
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I own more pvr's than I care to admit. Save yourself the heartache and buy a mini-dv camcorder with av in.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:15 AM
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As far as I'm concerned, there's no bigger headache than having to
slog back and forth linearly through hours of footage on various MiniDV tapes to find
the clips I want to use for a particular video. I'll give up some absolute image
quality just for the convenience of having separate files for each flight. In fact, I
often stop and start multiple times in one flight to capture different scenes as
separate files. It makes using normal non-linear editing tools about 10x easier.

If I were publishing to anything other than the web, I might feel differently.

ian
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 02:08 AM
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I think camcorder is better in quality wise.
DVR's are not a bad idea to use. Problem is those cheap dvr use cheap encoders which also are low performance, you wouldn't expect any good result come out from that kinda equipments.

I myself are doing cctv business, but honestly, I am never interested in those portable dvr's. You probably should go for MiniDV or those cheap HD cam. They all do better than those cigrette box sized portable DVR's.

just for your reference.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 10:39 AM
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CS-T60C Portable HDTV Player/Recorder

Recording quality At DVD quality, i. E. MPEG-4 D1 resolution(720x576/720x480 pixels), MP3 stereo
Recording mode: Quality setting at 3 level (HQ/MQ/LQ)
Recording format: AVI file format (AVI)

If an HD Portable DVR is what your looking for....
These run $70 Wholesale $130-150 Retail.
Holds 2.5" Hard Drives
Accepts 12v DC
Records and plays back in HD!


My only concern is how easy is it to switch inputs to the front for recording.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:01 PM
Love is the message
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If anyone has some info on this mini DVR it would be greatly appreciated :
http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/minidvr...ra-system.html
( Same manuf. as the Angel Eyes ? )
Gizmo
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post

...That's why I like the Aiptek MPVR+CB for low budget recorder, because it
has one touch recording, and does 3.5-5Mbit/s (variable)....

ian
What does the "+CB" mean? I found this one, but does it have AV in? It doesn't say so.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Aiptek-MPVR-Digi...item27aceb573d

Edit: I found one of the Plus versions that does AV in - on it's way.

-Ellis
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Can anyone post Mbit/sec or Mbyte/sec for each of these recorders while recording. Many look flashy; Most are worthless.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis108 View Post
What does the "+CB" mean? I found this one, but does it have AV in? It doesn't say so.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Aiptek-MPVR-Digi...item27aceb573d

Edit: I found one of the Plus versions that does AV in - on it's way.

-Ellis
Note item description....
Interfaces/Ports
Interfaces/Ports: 1 x Headphone
Interfaces/Ports: 1 x Audio/Video Output
Interfaces/Ports: 1 x USB
Self Timer/Remote: 10 Second(s) Self-timer

I Dont See an Audio/Video INPUT. I think thats what you get with the +CB version.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 10:50 PM
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+ and +CB both have AV inputs, but +CB records at higher bitrate thus better quality.
If you look on Aiptek's website you'll see that the +CB goes by *many* different
model names. Keep searching around and you'll find one of those models for sale.

ian
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 11:14 PM
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BTW, even if you use some other higher quality recorder, simply having
something inexpensive like the MPVR+CB is a good idea.
It ismy backup recorder, and without I would have missed this video when I had
a problem with my primary.
FPV Soaring with Hang gliders and Paragliders at Zion (8 min 14 sec)


By comparison here's another with similar theme and lighting with the
BR3002 DVR (silver one touch hdd recorder above).
Close formation FPV soaring with para and hang gliders. (5 min 48 sec)


Vimeo compression eats a lot but you can download the higher quality versions.

ian
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