VCS versus other in cam loggers

Video Capture System

VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby trainwrex on Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:07 pm

Guys,

I am looking at getting a in cam logger for track days and since i have a motec M800, SDL and SLM i was looking at the VCS unit.

I am not a professional driver and this is more as weekend track experience..

Now this is a fair bit more expensive to other units on the market inlcuding v-box, recorder kits (chase cam), race recall etc.

Does the MoTeC unit have much better software (MoTeC I2 PRO) over these other units to integrate all the parameters im looking at i.e lap times, braking areas, accleration, deceleration, temps etc etc..

OR

Alternatively if the MoTeC I2 software is much superior over other competitiors would it be better to get I2 PRO, GPS unit and link a video with i.e GoPRO unit??

Any help would be much appreciated..
alternatively would it b
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby YuriK on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:22 pm

Hi trainwrex,
Just to verify, your dash is an SDL not an SDL3. Is that correct?
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby trainwrex on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:51 am

Yes i have an SDL dash
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby JamieA on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:31 pm

To give you a quick summary.

The Go-Pro HD is a very good unit, and has probably the best picture quality (given that it is HD, the others you mentioned are SD)

The downside of many of the low end units are:
*they are standalone, so they take no inputs, and as such are just a video.
*they required batterys and charging, this can be very inconvienent at the racetrack
*They need to be started and stopped manually, easy to forget to record an important moment.

The MoTeC VCS is designed for motorsport, and as such is designed just for that purpose. it has these features that make it better:
*12v vehicle power runs the unit, no batterys or charging.

*CAN bus communications allows the MoTeC data systems to send and recieve messages to the VCS
*This means that you can log camera diagnostics, and view card capacity on the dash.

*unlike most units, we write gauges to the video live, as the camera is recording, so when you download, you dont have to do any data syncronisation and post processing to complete the video

*The VCS recieves CAN syncronisation messages, so that data syncronisation is automatic.
*What this means is that you just download your data and video, then when you go into i2 std or pro, the video just appears with the data, no other camera system has this level of integration with a data system

*Using the CAN messages, you can configure your own start / stop conditions, for example, you can make the camera start when you first hit full throttle, and stop when the engine goes below 500RPM. No more wasted recordings of pit garages, pit lanes, and parc firme.

Basically, the VCS has had a great deal of work to make it the best and most integrated camera system for motorsport use, each of the others has one or many of these features missing.

regards

Jamie
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby Chris Wilson on Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:09 am

I am in a very similar situation to yourself, and am using a Go Pro HD camera and manually trying to synch the video with the data, and using software called Race Render. Race Render will put data on the HD Pro (or any camera's) video by outputting a .csv file from i2 standard and adding data in Race Render as you see fit. it works, *BUT*, it's a MAJOR PITA. I, probably like many, saw the price of the VCS stuff and thought, "Hey, I can do something very similar for a tenth of the price". well, I admit it, I can't, it's been a frustrating waste of time messing with synching stuff manually, waiting for huge .csv files to be created, waiting literally hours for video to be rendered on a PC that's not designed to do this, blah blah. All my pals who say Motec is over priced, and does nothing that brand X can't do, has mega dear add ons etcetera, got to me. I see how wrong they are now, and intend to be more patient and save to buy Motec stuff designed to integrate properly with each other Motec stuff. My only gripe with VCS is why don't Motec offer an HD version? I can only assume, having messed with HD video data, that the data size is massive and it would make manipulating it slow and cludgy, plus VCS is perhaps aimed at higher end users than ourselves, who are far more interested in the hard core data than broadcast quality video to show off to their mates with? ;) If you have ten laps of data to synch with ten laps of Go Pro HD video, with them both starting at dissimilar times, I can tell you manually synching is a real headache inducer! I also have plenty of footage of pit garage doors, pit lane marshals, and even the inside of the truck all the way from a circuit to when the battery ran out at home.... Jamie is quite correct...! :)
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby Holmz on Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:28 pm

Chris Wilson wrote:I am in a very similar situation to yourself, and am using a Go Pro HD camera and manually trying to synch the video with the data, and using software called Race Render. Race Render will put data on the HD Pro (or any camera's) video by outputting a .csv file from i2 standard and adding data in Race Render as you see fit. it works, *BUT*, it's a MAJOR PITA. I, probably like many, saw the price of the VCS stuff and thought, "Hey, I can do something very similar for a tenth of the price". well, I admit it, I can't, it's been a frustrating waste of time messing with synching stuff manually, waiting for huge .csv files to be created, waiting literally hours for video to be rendered on a PC that's not designed to do this, blah blah. All my pals who say Motec is over priced, and does nothing that brand X can't do, has mega dear add ons etcetera, got to me. I see how wrong they are now, and intend to be more patient and save to buy Motec stuff designed to integrate properly with each other Motec stuff. My only gripe with VCS is why don't Motec offer an HD version? I can only assume, having messed with HD video data, that the data size is massive and it would make manipulating it slow and cludgy, plus VCS is perhaps aimed at higher end users than ourselves, who are far more interested in the hard core data than broadcast quality video to show off to their mates with? ;) If you have ten laps of data to synch with ten laps of Go Pro HD video, with them both starting at dissimilar times, I can tell you manually synching is a real headache inducer! I also have plenty of footage of pit garage doors, pit lane marshals, and even the inside of the truck all the way from a circuit to when the battery ran out at home.... Jamie is quite correct...! :)


Chris - Have you tried TrackVision? that is supposed to integrate it better (but hoping that you will try so I do not have to). 8-)
But it is true that you one trades time versus cost.
The VCS is pricy, but if you start doing a lot of video integration then it makes sense.
So everyone has different goals and needs. If I was doing it a lot I cannot deny the value of the time savings.


I have been putting an ACL on a friend's off road buggy and doing the i2 for him.
He paid for the connectors that we put on his buggy :D
I did the wiring Pro Bono :ugeek:
I do the i2 analysis Pro Bono :ugeek:
Let him use a GoPro Pro Bono :ugeek:

Suggested that he run another couple of GoPros, with one aimed at the feet and one aimed at the driver.
He now is going to use a smart phone and the following apps as he wants to do it himself. :?:
http://adyno.net/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXpNt37waf4
http://www.androidpit.com/en/android/market/apps/app/net.adyno.alaprecorderhd/aLapRecorder-HD
as well as the RaceRender S/W.
:?: :?: :?:
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby Chris Wilson on Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:21 pm

I don't have a Smart Phone, so can't use those apps, although they look very interesting. I guess TrackVision is very similar to Race Render, sharing the PITA slow data manipulation trying to synch date and video. I am 95% sure to just go for the VCS with its auto synch. The only idea I have myself is if an in car camera could be either pointed to also see a totally accurate digital clock, that is itself synced to GPS time, or a camera with time overlay was available. There is supposed to be one that uses the engine form the Go Pro HD, but has inbuilt microphone socket and digiatl time overlay, plus a rear viewing screen. Given automatic overlay of time on the video that stayed pretty accurately synched to the GPS time in the data one would think synching in aftermarket software would be much simplified. Auto synched data sounds simpler still though :). I am interested in why Motec only offer pretty low resolution cameras though. Thanks holmz!
Last edited by Chris Wilson on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby Holmz on Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:35 pm

Chris Wilson wrote:I don't have a Smart Phone, so can't use those apps, although they look very interesting. I guess TrackVision is very similar to Race Render, sharing the PITA slow data manipulation trying to synch date and video. I am 95% sure to just go for the VCS with its auto synch.
...


The trackvision is supposed to be easier... Dunno



Chris Wilson wrote:...
There is supposed to be one that uses the engine form the Go Pro HD, but has inbuilt microphone socket and digiatl time overlay, plus a rear viewing screen
...


Which camera is that?


Chris Wilson wrote:...
The only idea I have myself is if an in car camera could be either pointed to also see a totally accurate digital clock, that is itself synced to GPS time, or a camera with time overlay was available. There is supposed to be one that uses the engine form the Go Pro HD, but has inbuilt microphone socket and digiatl time overlay, plus a rear viewing screen. Given automatic overlay of time on the video that stayed pretty accurately synched to the GPS time in the data one would think synching in aftermarket software would be much simplified. Auto synched data though sounds simpler still though


I talked to someone at MoTeC about that (Maybe Darren?) about a year ago (Oct).
If you had the clock from the GPS, or some clock data on CAN maybe from the ECU/ACP/ADL to sync to then it would be relatively straight forward to modulate that data into/onto the audio either below the audio (<50Hz) or above the audio (~10k or around 20k Hz). Then that could be injected into the audio stream and demodulated after the fact.
It would require a mic input on the camera and probably a notch type filter on the mic where the time data goes.
Plus the camera would need to have the bandwidth that supports it (knowledge of any filters and audio nyquist freq).
Surely TV cameras need to time sync. One would think that there must be some hardware for this - but some quick googling indicates that it is a problem in TV.

I guess you need a clapperboard.
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby JamieA on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:11 am

For your info, they have sold very well, and we are almost out of stock of the current VCS systems.
They are SD, were designed that way from the start, and there isnt a way to alter this.

The system is one of few dedicated motorsport systems, and has had an enormous amount of hours put into it to make it tightly integrated with i2.
Obviously the amount of work required to make this system work meant that the unit was going to be expensive, but for people who want this level of integration, it is just great.

Recently, I have used it and spend a whole day racing, and not touched the VCS. At the end of the day, I plugged in, there are 4 videos, each starting as I leave the dummy grid, stopping as I enter the pit garage. Gauges synced ready to go without all the extra rubbish. I opened up my data in i2, and there is the video sitting next to it, no stuffing around, it just works.

As for the future, as you would expect, we are doing a HD VCS.

I will keep you up to date with its progress.

From what I have seen, the picture quality is very impressive, whilst maintiang many of the great things about the existing VCS.

-Jamie
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Re: VCS versus other in cam loggers

Postby Chris Wilson on Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:55 pm

Thanks for the update Jamie. Yesterday someone made a good offer on my Go Pro HD so I have sold that, and am getting a similar camera that puts a time stamp on the video, to use whilst I save for a VCS set up. I feel the time stamp will help a lot in the interim. Is the HD version likely to be a lot more expensive than the current SD one?

holmz: I wil PM you the make and model of the camera with the time stamp, probably inappropriate to mention other products in the forum, although it's sadly far removed from the VCS system :(
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