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Old Dec 14, 2007, 2:09 AM   #11
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Hi.. I've been lurking for awhile. Love my A-HD, hate the sound. I need to record live band rehearsals, and at $120, I decided to break out the soldering iron.
A few days ago, I replaced the tiny A-HD mic Condensor with a larger one, with a wider frequency range (20-20k) and it made a bit of difference. Although I was still left with SPL problems (plus the horrible noise-gating as well).

So, I decided to build a tiny, simple, mono 9v mic preamp to wire in. I built it today and did a quick install and a few tests.. So far, the headroom seems increased greatly, and the overall quality seems waaay better. It still needs some tweaking and cleanup.

I'll collect some samples and photos to post updates soon. The only drawback is it does have a 9v battery on the outside of the camera, and the preamp itself (which is only half the size of the battery).
I <3 my Custom A-HD.. I just need someone to crack how to wire up a Stereo input/
I'm going to bed./

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Old Dec 14, 2007, 1:19 PM   #12
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Here's some pics. As you can see, It needs a little cleaning up of the wiring still.

A work in progress. So far it is sounding A LOT more like a real camcorder. I plan on adding a gain attenuator circuit for different SPL environments as well.

notice different mic size:


It's pretty small, and you can switch between internal mic or external with the switch:


Here's the backside.. It looks harder than it really was:


Overall, here's the size:


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Old Dec 14, 2007, 3:56 PM   #13
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a few updated pics.



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Old Dec 16, 2007, 2:27 AM   #14
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dbrowder wrote:
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I bought a cheap omni-directional clip-on mic from radio shack, but it's not working with the camcorder for some reason.* It's possible that the 'ring' does need to be wired, so I might have to open it up again.* I'll keep you guys updated, but if you have any suggestions for a good cheap mic to pick up all sounds in a room, please let me know!
You should probably connect the two +'s on the jack together so that any configuration 3.5mm mono mic will work.

Thanks for the tut. I'm going to upgrade my mic and relocate internally to be forward facing by the flash. I also plan on adding a switchable 3.5 jack to the original mic location.
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 1:18 PM   #15
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first off, you have the polarity reversed on the first post in this thread. The ground is closer to the lens, + is next to speaker.
On my preamp setup, I have a switch and a 1/8" jack, so that I can power an external condensor mic if I want, or use the one built in.
The sound quality is light years ahead of the stock setup, although it's still mono. I don't mind having the external battery and mic, although I might eventually find a way to cram it inside and relocate the mic. Unless I can find a way to tap into the internal Nokia battery to power the preamp, it will need the external 9v. The battery on the side actually helps prevent my finger from covering the flash and keeps my finger on the record button. I only spent $15 to build it, as well.

Check out this test of me filming in my car. This was with a weak battery. I am going to post a few more videos later today. Also some w/ a wide angle lens.

http://vimeo.com/434826

Thanks Fishy for the info on the wide angle lens mod. I was able to use a wide angle I already had!
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Old Dec 16, 2007, 1:41 PM   #16
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updated pix:
BTW, I can put this camera back to stock in about 15 minutes, and I didn't cut or drill any holes in the A-HD body for this mod.
Notice the 1/8" input jack below the Mic.





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Old Dec 16, 2007, 4:42 PM   #17
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Wind........ I be sending mine to you for that mod lol. I may one day try that but iam not sure the parts i would need for now I am alright satasfied.

theWide angle lens what is that size on there? so others that may se it will know? I am awating a 11/16-1 3/8 Visorblue also should recieve credit .

I have some oftodays vids as headingf or my 2 A-Hds on a stormy day but dam I was in D1 mode Lol would love to film my whole journey, and that may one day be spy glasses LOL
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 1:43 PM   #18
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there may be a easierfix butwhite noise is present no loading firwamre and bathroom time . will post soon..
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 10:03 PM   #19
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I'm itching to add an external mic but I only got my A-HD two days ago so I'm not ready to rip it apart. Here is a suggestion for those who are doing this mod. The external mic jack is great if you've got a mic that you want to get closer to your subject or a better quality mic but dont you think it kills the out of the box usability of the camera, you may not always want to carry around an extra mic and hold it while you are taping (such as when audio is not as important).

So my thought is: after you clip off the stock mic, you can take it (or use a different one) and mount it right on top of an 1/8" jack plug. Just solder it directly onto a plug end, maybe cover with some heat-shrink tubing to make it nice and clean. This way, when you arent using an external wired mic you just plug this right into your jack and you've got a barely noticeable factory-type mic elegantly protruding out of the top of the camera like a tiny periscope.

Take a look at the image I mocked up.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 10:10 PM   #20
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FYI - after my very first time testing this cam I realized the audio issues, I tried making a mic shield out of an old credit card cut and bent into a semi-conical shape. I did a baseline test with audio at the same levels - there was ZERO difference.
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