A Cheap Video Camera And Some Zip Ties Equals A YouTube Nitro Video...
If you fancy having a go at making some amateur videos of your Radio Control Touring car, this is how I used two different methods to fix a small DV Video Camera and a mobile / cell phone to my HPI RS4 Evo Nitro Touring car.
The first thing to do is to select your video source - the smaller the camera the better, because although modern small video cameras are light, because you'll have to mount the device at the front or rear of the car, it will change the handling of the Nitro car. It will accelerate slower and take longer to stop. Depending on if the extra weight is on the front or the rear the vehicle will either under steer (have a tendency to not turn!) or over steer (where it will have a tendency to spin, or at least the back end will drift out).
Also don't use anything expensive that you will regret breaking - you will crash with the camera installed, or the camera could come loose and end up bouncing down the road.
Next up we need to have a quick practice with the camera off the car so we know we've got the right settings and enough storage on-board. I put a 1GB mini SD card in the Orange SPV C500 mobile phone I use for several of the videos, but you do not need anything like that amount of storage, a 256 or 512mb card is more than enough. Practice taking a few short videos and upload them to your pc.
Straight away with the SPV C500 I had a problem. The standard video format the phone records in is mpeg4, which although can be uploaded to youtube as is, mpeg4 cannot be decoded by Windows Movie Maker (which I use to edit my clips). A quick look at the video settings on the phone and I saw that I could change it to AVI recording which worked fine with Movie Maker. The reason you may need to use Movie Maker is that if you have to mount your video device on its side you'll obviously need to get your editing software to flip it through 90 degrees, which Movie Maker handles with ease.
Right, now we're ready to mount our video camera on our Remote Control car to get a good cockpit or drivers view of the car in action. We'll need some zip ties and some adhesive foam strips, which if you've still got the box that your RS4 came in you should find them. The foam can be stuck into place where we're going to mount the camera, which is either in-between the rear body mounts or on top of the front bumper. The foam helps to reduce camera wobble, but not by much!
To see how the cameras are mounted you're best to look at the video above or the image to the left. Try and use the zip ties that can be used again, because you'll be taking the camera off and on to download the video files.
One final thing, when you zip tie the video camera to the nitro car make sure you don't cover the lens, or have the ties pressing against any buttons, or you won't be able to take any footage.
Once you've taken your videos, upload them into movie-maker and edit away to your hearts content. Keep the length below ten minutes if you want to upload the videos to youtube, and save them for best playback on a local pc. Open up a youtube account and load your video, making sure the you add the appropriate tags so you're vids can be found.Make sure you e-mail me the url with your uploaded Nitro videos and we can share the fun!
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