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Old Dec 13, 2009, 4:00 PM   #11
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Hi Foxdirtrider,

Have you tested how long the batterylife is per charge? And how much video it will record both in time and size?
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Old Dec 13, 2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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I get a record time of ~58 minutes on a charge. It wrote 3.6gb of data, breaking it up at 1.8 gb (total of two files). Each file was 30 minutes in length.

View inside my camera:
It appears to have a 160 mah lipo battery.
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 6:43 AM   #13
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ha-ha-ha, WOW! that is neat
enough room to fool with the battery, mic, andwas tht a lithium watch batt to the mid right?

I am sure some good mods can come out ofthis, rather the battery inside or making it longer life one cn modd the cover, etc, etc.

thanks for sharing
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 10:19 AM   #14
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The battery has been removed, it normally sits on top of the board with double sided tape. It is a small lithium polymer 160 mah battery (according to the numbers printed on it)

To get an idea of how small this thing is, the metal square in the upper left board area is the micro SD card holder. You can just see the end of the 8gig card sticking out. The whole camera weighs next to nothing, that is why these things are popular with the radio control aircraft crowd, they are easy to mount and carry aloft, even on a small plane or helicopter.

I tried the cell phone "jelly lens" on the camera and it did not work too well. The lens is cheap and has poor focus around the edges. I need to find a decent (small) .5x wide angle lens for this camera. It's FOV appears to be about 50 degrees, I need something closer to 100 degrees to get decent video on the motorcycle.

Last edited by foxdirtrider; Dec 14, 2009 at 10:23 AM.
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 12:51 PM   #15
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Thx for the picture and info, foxdirtrider. Amazing how much is cramped into a small space.
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 5:01 AM   #16
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Hi All new to this forum .....anyway If you are playing with one of these fob cams click on the link, this is a great site to have a look at, this guy has some realy good advice and usful downloads. There is even recovery software for "dead" cameras

http://www.chucklohr.com/808/#SystemMode

Apparently there are three types of fob cam I use this "Number 3" and some other lightweight cams ( GUM CAM..EDVR) for recording flights on model planes.

I currently have a problem with my digilife ddv1000 that will not power up just the red light comes on for about a minute..any ideas

Regards Jeff

Last edited by JEFF8847; Dec 18, 2009 at 7:25 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 2:00 PM   #17
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There is not much you can do to fix the cheap digicams. One way is to find a parts donor on ebay, look for one with a broken LCD screen that you can buy cheap. I fixed my Vupoint twice like that, the main board fails after a few good hits (I used it as a helmetcam). Other than that, they are basically throw-away items.

Lots of very small parts inside..................
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 4:30 AM   #18
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Hi FDR I just have the feeling that it needs a "reset" I think I may have pushed the REC and "w" button at the same time apparently this is a sequence for firmware identification.
I have written to digilife and ispan ,no relpy, I have tried to get it apart to see if the is a internal reset.
Got it almost split, buttons off, but the lens cap will not come off and is holding the two halfs together.

What cam is ti you are using has it got AV in as I said I use mine to record down link video files transmitted from model aircraft

As you say best idea is to get a second one off ebay ect but I keep looking none there as yet, except a ispan 910 in the USA postage cost is prohibitive as I am in the UK.
If you have a brainwave let me know

Did you look on chucklohr's site?

Regards Jeff

Last edited by JEFF8847; Dec 20, 2009 at 4:33 AM.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 7:57 AM   #19
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It is a Vupoint Dv-da1-vp. It does have AV in, but it records at 20fps only. I use the camera's pickup not the AV input.
I later bought a cheap Aiptek MPVR (~$25 used on ebay) for recording AV input from a helmet mounted "bullet" camera. It works pretty good.

I did know about the site, I posted a link to it here in another thread. A friend flies R/C airplanes and helicopters and he told me about these tiny cameras.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 2:44 PM   #20
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Default Car Keys Camera 808 #8: Fire & Explosion risk!, USB power hack

I bough from eshop-allen on eBay a Car Keys Camera 808 (8.99EUR), that turned out to be version #8.

The USB cable did not transmit data despite all 4 leads are wired correctly; I suspect that a lack of shielding or high resistance makes trouble. With the USB cable from my Hama HUB&Reader (card reader with 3 USB2 ports) it was correctly detected as a mass storage device, but without card it could not be accessed.

It identifies itself as "USB Disk/EKEN Video Camera".

- SD card corruption

So I bought a "Platinum" 4GB micro-SDHC card (Class 4, card bottom number "HAGS40, 14STA340"). Now the camera works, but during test it suffered several times of file system corruption (file names turned into mess with some files inaccessible), so I do not recommend to store any data on its card but immediately move all successful recordings on a different media. I also once had a crash where I needed to press reset to make it turn on again.

- webcam does not work

But the webcam mode does not work on my Win98SE PC (AMD K6-3+ 550MHz, KernelEx) and it can not play the video without jerking. So I opened the case and identified the hardware on the Chucklohr.com website as model #8, but the drivers found there did not help. The file EKEN_V0.0.03.exe (should set clock) always displays "not connected" (manual clock set through tag.txt works), and despite EKEN.exe driver installs, it identifies itself itself as a "USB Composite Device on USB 2.0 Bus" with 2 unknown subdevices "Device on USB 2.0 Hub" because Win98SE finds no suitable drivers.

- how to record USB powered

A well known flaw of 808 cameras is that they can not record video or photos while connected to USB. I wanted to examine why, so I dismantled mine and desoldered some small components.

(DANGER: Before soldering anything, cut the + wire of the LiPo battery and insulate its battery end to prevent short circuit. Lift off the battery and keep it away from hot soldering iron to prevent explosion.)

When the lens is facing right and USB port down, you will notice above the USB port 2 black diodes (bigger "IS4", smaller "A", wired parallel?). The +5V from USB is directly connected through these diodes and a 1.5 Ohm resistor ("1R5") to the + line of the battery. This seems to be the entire charger circuit. So long there is power on the USB port, it attempts to charge the battery. On the foil pack battery sits under orange adhesive tape a tiny PCB that apparently has the protection circuit IC on its back, that limits voltage (and possibly current) during charge and discharge to prevent overcharging or deep discharge. (I didn't dare to examine this lithium grenade closer.)

To the left of those diodes leads an 18 kOhm resistor ("183") the USB +5V to an input pin of the CPU(?). That's how the electronics activates its mass storage/ webcam mode when USB voltage is detected. With resistor removed, the camera records normal even with USB connected, however will not be recognized as an USB device by the PC anymore. (With 808 camera model #3 I guess that disconnecting diode D1 would have the same effect. I have no #3, so I couldn't verify this.) So I soldered the resistor back to the upper pin and soldered wires with a jumper plug (protected by 500 Ohm resistor in series). I have soldered them to 2 pins from a drilled IC socket mounted on the left upper rim of the case top to access from outside. To make the camera work normal, simply insert a small wire bow between both holes to bridge them.

But like before, the camera will stay always on and can not be switched off so long it is connected to USB. This may be desirable to see that it is charging, but otherwise the electronics produces additional heat that increases the risk of battery damage and explosion. I discovered that disconnecting the "A" diode above the left solder joint of the USB port metal frame permits to switch the camera off when USB powered. (I have not examined if it still functions correctly in this state, but buttons seemed to behave normal. The only downside is that it needs to be switched on manually after plugging into USB.)

CAUTION: When you want to keep the camera always connected to a power supply or large external battery, I recommend at least to reduce the voltage (maximum 4.5V, less is safer) to reduce heat and prevent overcharging.

Additionally I have added an IC socket pin to the "+" line of the battery connector (protected by 500 Ohm resistor in series) to measure the battery voltage from outside (GND needs no contact because it is already on the USB port metal shield.)

When you put it back together, insulate all added components well to prevent short circuits. (I used hotglue and adhesive tape and have pulled a wider cable insulation sleeve over the battery cable solder joint.) Also watch out not to crush or pierce the LiPo battery by anything, else it may cause a fatal explosion.


- DANGER: Fire & Explosion risk, design flaws

The 808 camera is a cheap and very miniaturized design with the LiPo foil battery pack resting directly on top of PCB components. Although this battery ("KBT 042030, 3.7V 200mAh") has a small pcb with protection circuit against overcharging and likely short circuit, it can easily be damaged mechanically or by heat above 60C. Even worse, the charger circuit contains a potentially fatal design flaw.

Generally when lithium ion or lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries get damaged by heat, overcharge or high current, they can suddenly explode like firework rockets (see YouTube demonstrations) and release severely poisonous smoke, and also the burn residues are so toxic (contain cobalt compounds or hydrofluoric acid) that touching them by bare hands can cause life threatening poisoning. The resulting fireball has the vigour of a shotgun shell and can easily burn a house down when it happens unattended e.g. during overnight charging.

The 808 camera construction barely protects the LiPo explosive charge against mechanical damage and overheating. So it is a bad idea to sit with it in your rear pants pocket or accidentally step on it, because components may pierce the battery plastic foil package and and short it internally. Even worse, many components those directly touch it produce heat, and despite the battery protection circuit may prevent the battery from internal overheating by short circuits, in case of external short the touching parts may easily turn hot enough to meltdown the battery from outside. So the situation is much riskier than with normal camcorders those have an changeable LiIon or LiPo battery in a separate compartment. Due to the 808 cameras have poor quality control and lack internal insulators, solder blobs or loose or bent parts can easily short it out. E.g. the naked metal back of the optic module almost touches the solder joints of both battery cables - a tiny deformation and the thing may ignite.

The USB detonator eh charging circuit basically only consists of 2 parallel diodes in series to a 1.5 Ohm resistor. So the charge voltage strongly depends on the USB port voltage and cable resistance. Even worse, said resistor directly touches the foil battery exactly at the opposite end of the protection circuit, which likely has no means to detect that heat. (In a forum I read an article "Roar of the Pelican" where a similar thermal situation caused a mysterious series of lithium powered torchlight detonations.)

P=U/R

Thus in worst case when the empty battery has only 3.0V, the USB voltage is 5.25V and the diode drops only 0.5V, there will be 1.75V across 1.5 Ohm that will make the tiny SMD bomb fuse eh resistor run boiling hot with 2.04W and detonate the lithium explosive charge.

I am not sure if the infamous non-working USB cable perhaps was even intended as an additional resistor to circumvent this flaw, and if the incapability of the camera to record with USB voltage connected was by design to prevent people from keeping it plugged in unnecessarily long. How ever the webcam feature may encourage people to keep it plugged in too.

It is hard to estimate how dangerous this thing is and if I should rather duck and cover or call the bomb squad instead of using it. I have a bad feeling to charge or even store this camera with such a LiPo grenade inside. Should I better remove the grenade and install an external battery instead?

On eBay I saw a tiny MP3 player (roughly resembling the old iPod Shuffle) with photo/video camera that seems to be technically similar (i.e. no screen). I would like to use it to film my bike rides etc., but I fear it may detonate in my pocket or do other nasty stuff. Also the earphone has a special plug, and since on Chucklohr website they found high lead content in the 808 camera case, I worry that it may be no good idea to plug a product like this into my ears.
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