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Old Nov 5, 2012, 1:31 PM   #1
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Default Aiptek Z5X5P Action HD 1080p

After reading what must have been over a thousand posts here on Steve's about Aiptek & other similar cameras I decided on buying a couple HD 1080p's to try out. I now have bought 7 of these camcorders over the last several weeks for my ghost hunting team. I chose these cameras because of the high quality video they produce at such a low cost. All of them are setup exactly the same and are recording to 32gb Sandisk & Kingston Class 10's.

I have removed the IR Filters from all of them and they do extremely well in complete (visible light) darkness with IR Illuminators. I'll probably be getting a few more of these and can make a video of the filter removal if anyone would like to see how easy it is.

The next upgrade to them will be removing the poor quality mic and adding an 1/8 jack for an exterior mic. The existing audio quality is so poor that we have given up even using it in our reviews.

Has anybody done a lens upgrade on these? I've read a lot of threads here in Steve's about it being done on some of the older models. I would like to swap out the lens that's in there for a wider angle lens with manual focus that I can add a visible light filter to.

I'm having problems with one of the cameras just randomly shutting down but the charge light stays on. Does anybody know of a fix for this problem?

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Old Nov 12, 2012, 1:50 PM   #2
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A little more info on these after using them for another week.

I discovered that you must use a 5volt, 2amp wall charger for them to run plugged in. A few of the cameras did not come with chargers so I bought a couple 5volt, 1.5amp ones from WalMart and although they do seem to charge the battery the cameras will not stay on when plugged in.

I have ordered a couple more of the Sino-American SA110C-05S-I chargers.

One issue I still have is that sometimes the cameras will just shut off. The auto-off is disabled on all of them. All are running Sandisk or Kingston 32gb Class 10 memory.

For portability reasons I'm building several portable battery packs using 12volt 7ah sealed lead acid batteries with either a home brew 5volt 2amp out usb jack or a cigarette lighter socket for using a car charger. The battery should last a good 4 hours and also provide enough power for the 2 IR Illuminators we run with each camera.

Still looking for some input on adding a wide angle lens to these. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Do I just pull off the cover with the flat glass and mount it there?

I have also replaced all of the built-in microphones with 1/8" jacks for plugging in external mics. The audio is much better but nowhere near what I'd like. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 2:00 PM   #3
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The Sony Mic shown is stereo so I used a stereo jack and soldered the 2 forward pins together (outputs) and soldered it directly to the mic pin on the motherboard which is the one nearest the lens. For the + input to the mic I had to run a short wire. The case had to be modified slightly for the jack to fit and to get a tight fit when the cover was put back on.

The jack needs to be reinforced slightly, probably just some epoxy around it on the side with the screen. I'm not concerned at all with how they look, just how they function.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 4:21 PM   #4
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If you only have a mono input, I think you will probably get better sound quality by only using one of the mics. Without buffering, the outputs will be partly working against each other.
My guess as to why the cams are shutting off is that at times, the load is going to be a bit much for even your 2 Amp adapters, and will create enough voltage drop to trip the camera's low voltage shutoff. The battery power should not have the problem.
Wide angle auxiliary lenses are available in magnetic and stick-on types for cameras which don't have threaded lens barrels. You might be able to find one of these which would work.
Good luck with your hunt, though I don't think you will have much. Ghosts tend to be a bit snobbish, and no self-respecting ghost would allow itself to be caught dead by such home-brewed, budget gear. You're going to have to have at least 250 grand worth of high tech goodies to even get them interested in showing up.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 2:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
If you only have a mono input, I think you will probably get better sound quality by only using one of the mics. Without buffering, the outputs will be partly working against each other.
My guess as to why the cams are shutting off is that at times, the load is going to be a bit much for even your 2 Amp adapters, and will create enough voltage drop to trip the camera's low voltage shutoff. The battery power should not have the problem.
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I will try a mono mic in it and see how it does.

I agree with what you suggest could be the shutdown issue. I do have a couple more power supplies coming as well as a 12 volt, 7amp sealed lead acid battery and and gathering parts to build a 12v to 5v dc to dc converter that's rated for 3amps. This should be more than enough clean power for the camera and 12volt lights to run for the 4-5 hours needed.

I have also ordered a lens adapter and a 37mm threaded wide angle lens to test out. I choose the larger lens because of the blurriness others have experienced with the small ones on the edges.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 3:15 PM   #6
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Here are a couple pics of the lens upgrade. I chose to go with 37mm mounts to prevent the distortion of the outside edges using the small diameter lenses. I tried several ring adapters and finally settled on the 27mm to 37mm adapter ring.

The silver cover over the lens needed to have the glass removed and then a few mm's needed ground out with a Dremel. That part and the adapter were then epoxied together. The assembly is then slid back onto the body and then taped on. It could also be glued like it was from the factory but the tape makes it much easier to disassemble the camera.

I'll post a couple pics of the image quality later but the one I have completed is doing a runtime test using a 14,000mah battery pack with a modified usb cable so the camera runs full time. So far it's been recording for 3 hours!





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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:39 PM   #7
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Well the 14,400ma usb batteries failed after an hour or so. It seems that they would not provide clean enough power to the Aiptek so they shut down. I tried both batteries and even made a Y adapter so that both the 1amp and 2.1amp outputs were used and it still happened. My guess is that the amp ratings are peak ratings and that it cannot continually provide that much current once the voltage in the camera battery starts dropping.

What I ended up using was a 12volt to 5volt 3amp dc-dc converter with an old school 12volt 7amp sealed lead acid battery. The aiptek along with 2 ir lights has been recording for over 8 hours now.
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