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Old Dec 07, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Spy pen cam?

Hi I bought one of these. You can find them on ebay for <$20. 8GB, build USB male, pinhole lens (I think).

Here's a link to an example though not my vendor. I picked this one since the auction goes for 26 days. This one is WAY overpriced. http://cgi.ebay.com/8GB-Spy-Pen-Camc...item5ad5626663

There are a couple of problems with this camera. First off the on/off/record/stop button is quirky. You are supposed to press the button for 2-3 seconds to turn it on and then a quick press start/stop recording. It really takes more like 10 seconds to turn it on and a couple of seconds for start/stop. It's also very slow to respond to button input. press the button for a start and it takes around 2 seconds to light the blue LED indicating it's recording.

Video quality is on a par with the keychain and spygum cams (from what I've seen). It's low light response is poor and incandescent light yields an almost sepia toned video.

My cam has a real flaw - the image sensor is rotated to the right by about 20 degrees. I can compensate for this but it's pretty annoying. Guess you get what you pay for.

I want to take it apart to see if I can fix the sensor orientation but don't see how to do that. I don't want to destroy it so I've been gentle so far and that hasn't worked. Anybody have one that they've take apart?
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Old Dec 07, 2009, 04:35 PM
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I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but the pen cams are really junk. I got one and it fell apart. You'd be better off going with one of the keychain cameras. Much better made.
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 06:59 AM
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In addition to several Gum and Key Cams I have 3 of those. One from Dealextreme and couple off Ebay. I found the quality excellent for a camera that size. You can take it apart by gripping the cap on the end and pulling firmly with a little wiggle motion. There is a thread here that goes into great detail.

These are by far the lightest weight of all spy cams. Some are available with MicroSD slot but they weigh a little more.
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion - that cap seems like its on pretty tight but I'll give it a shot. At this point if I trash it, no big loss. My GoProHD is in the mail.

I just spent an hour looking for the thread you referred to but couldn't find it. I searched for "spy pen cam" - any better terms to look for?
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Here's one with good photos of the PCB and hints on removing it:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1041939

There are a couple others devoted to the Pen Cam and it crops up quite often in the Key Cam and Gum Cam threads. RCG search does take a bit of effort. Sometimes you have to go through a half dozen threads to get to the one you want.
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 02:21 AM
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thanks! It's easy to forget just how vast RCG is.
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 12:41 PM
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So pulled the cap off my SPC (it was really on there) and can see that the plastic holding the USB connector in is the only thing preventing me from removing the case. It's in there really good, though. I'm going to try a little heat tonight, maybe that will budge it. If not, it's the dremel. I'm not wild about that as it will spread lots of metal dust on the PCB but at least I only need to hit the part where USB connector is.

By the way, I can see that the sensor is crooked when looking down the barrel. I guess they don't test these things (or I got a reject or they just don't care). I tried straightening it out but it appears to be glued down. sigh.
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Old Dec 11, 2009, 05:02 PM
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I ordered this one to throw on my swift 16 heli, I know I could put a 3lb HD cam on my heli but I am cheap, and I could also throw this on something small it says it is 4GB and records 640x480...... is it the MP9 or MP10 or something else?

just wondering, thanks guys http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...fvi%3D1&_rdc=1
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Old Dec 11, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helifrek View Post
I ordered this one to throw on my swift 16 heli, I know I could put a 3lb HD cam on my heli but I am cheap, and I could also throw this on something small it says it is 4GB and records 640x480...... is it the MP9 or MP10 or something else?

just wondering, thanks guys http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...fvi%3D1&_rdc=1
I thought MP9 was the old video only Pencam and MP10 is the new one with still capabilty but several of my Gumcams came labeled as MP1o too. So I don't know how meaningful those model numbers are. I do like the black box they come in with the Neodynium latch.

Wow! 50 bucks! Mine were half that from Deal Extreme and Ebay.
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Old Dec 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
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i just ordered http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....=STRK:MEWAX:IT form eBay yesterday i was wondering if anyone had any experience with this model or type of camera?
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Old Dec 11, 2009, 07:16 PM
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I only paid $40, I wasn't really worried too much about the price.... I was mainly looking for something that would ship from the U.S as I am impatient can't wait to try it out! my last aerial video from my swift ended pretty badly did a roll and crashed...... lost orientation.... got the video though... will have to upload it

Brandon
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Old Dec 12, 2009, 05:36 PM
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It looks like the MP10 pen cams you see on ebay however I agree with Rich, probably multiple manufacturers using the same name.

By the way, my good friend dremel and I got mine out of the case. The camera looked to be randomly stuck on - 30 degrees off of square. I don't think this one could have been pulled out, there is a little jog in the edge of the PCB that prevented it from being pulled. Not sure how they assembled it. Now to get a big piece of shrink tubing and cut some holes for lens and mic.
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 12:26 AM
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got my camera. checked the FPS on Windows media player and it says 29, video size is 640x480. camera works pretty well with good light, horrible low light conditions. will have to try it outside. well, I am outta here for the next 13 days!!!!! start my leave tomorrow, headed to NC for x-mas. I would like to get more people here in the pen cam thread to share info.

Brandon
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Old Dec 27, 2009, 02:20 PM
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This is an interesting looking camera-- the long thin PCB would seem to make it a lot more compact. I'm hoping we see more information on this camera. Maybe Chuck Lohr will do some more in-depth testing of these and the gum cams as well... His reports are a terrific resource!

Let us know how you fare... the MD80's are interesting looking cameras as well, but I bet they're significantly heavier! I wouldn't be surprised if the guts are pretty similar to the gum or fob cams though... hopefully better quality.

The randomness of getting good stuff or junk with no rhyme or reason to it is a negative point to all these cams...

Later! OL JR
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 03:37 PM
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I haven't ever been able to get my pen cam from dealextreme to work. Here's what happens:
1. When pressing button, both momentary or holding it down, it's a combo yellow/purple light.
2. I tried charging it for a couple hours. Then pressing the button, I think nothing lit, but after holding the button down for a few seconds, it turned yellow. Then neither momentary pressing nor holding it down did anything. It stayed stuck on yellow. I had to do the reset. Then it went back to doing #1. Tried charging it for a couple hours again, and still does #1.

The charger has a red and green lights. When I plug it in, the green light is bright at first, but right away it starts to slowly get dim, until after a few seconds it's barely lit.

Any ideas? Did I throw my money down the drain?

BTW, the key cams are a bit more reliable aren't they? How about the gum cams? I've read of problems with all of them, but perhaps the pen cams are the worst.
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