Due to the number of morons on the road, I thought carrying a camera would be a good plan in case something dramatic happened in front of me and video evidence might be helpful.

Also a number of times on various road trips I've been having too good a time to stop and take pictures, and with video running all the time at least there'll be a chance of catching a picture of a nice view.

I don't like the idea of mounting something as bulky as a camera on my helmet due to the risk of it compromising safety, so I decided to find something suitable to mount on the bike.

Requirements #

The camera would need to:

* have reasonable video quality
* be waterproof
* have a mounting lug
* do dashcam-style loop recording so I don't have to mess with it if nothing interesting happens
* be easy to turn on and off with gloves on
* have an external mic input
* ideally be able to be powered from the bike somehow

I settled on a TCL SVC 200, which is dirt cheap and meets all those requirements apart from an easy bike power feed (more on that later though).


The added bonus is that I can mount the waterproof case on the bike, and take the camera out easily for charging / data transfer / theft prevention. The yellow slider on the top of the case starts & stops video and is dead easy to work with gloves on.

Fitting #

I decided to mount it on the right hand side of the headlight, where it's easily reached while on the bike and on the more accessible side when the bike's on the side stand.

Of course there is no handy TCL mount built into the bike, and I didn't want to use any of the common glue-on mounts, so I made a bracket. Here's a viddy of its fabrication:

Sample footage #

The camera records with very high bandwidth on its maximum setting (something like 18Mbit/s at 1080p30) so you don't lose much to compression artefacts, however that doesn't survive a trip through the YouTube / Streamable / etc sausage machine so bear that in mind here. Exposure control is very good, better than other more expensive cameras it seems...

Power feed #

Another handy feature of the camera is that connecting a power-only USB feed (i.e. no USB host present) will turn it on and (if the switch is in the right position) start recording video, as well as charging the battery. However, once it's inside the waterproof case there is of course no way to plug in a USB cable. Watch this space...

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