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Head mounted camera

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This project was born out of a need for a better way to video tape projects as I work on them. My shop is spread out around a small room in my basement and my garage. No good spot exits to cover all my workspace and I typically forget to move the camera mid project.

25MAY2013 Version 2 completed (HD 720 upgrade) and put this page together. 

Final head mounted camera

Like the top of the page said I built these to make it easier to capture footage of my projects while I do them. As you can see this is more or less a standard pair of safety glasses (prescription in my case) with a small camera and battery attached.

The camera is a "808" style of camera. I was originally tipped off to these cameras by a Hack a Day post about a bottle rocket POV video. There are numerous versions and even knock offs of the knock offs exist. Your best bet if your shopping for one of these cameras is to check out Chuck Lohr page or the RC groups forum (Link to information on the #16 camera). Check the RC groups forum for a list of verified sellers. As I said before there are numerous knockoffs available on ebay many claim to be the camera you want but are something totally different.

The other parts I used were some Micro JST 1.25 2 pin connectors (match what the #16V2 used for it's internal battery connector. Got mine from ebay), 1000mAh 20C LIPO (purchased from www.hobbyking.com), Some HVAC sheet metal, 2-56 screws/nuts, small magnets (Harbor Freight Tools), JB weld, hot glue, 1mm fiber optic cable (The Fiber Optic Store), solder, and some self adhesive Velcro.

The first version I used a 808 #3 camera and more or less just screwed and hot glued it to the side of my safety glasses. This had quite a few short comings:
-> Very narrow FOV (~34 deg). Many times during my videos I would  miss something important because it was out of frame and I did not realize it.
-> Short battery life. Again lost chunks of video because the battery died and I did not realize it also when the battery died it would eat the current file it was recording to.
-> Permanent mounting. Was not possible to use the camera for other applications due to it glued to my safety glasses.
-> Not HD (only 480)

The second version I switched to a 808 #16V2 with a "B" lens. The new camera has a bunch of improved features over the #3 of primary interest to me was the wider FOV (~60 deg), HD 720 video recording, and the removable battery. Another nice plus is they redesigned the case with a flat bottom. (#3 is curved so does not sit well on a flat surface)

See the photo gallery below for annotated pictures of the construction process. The main highlights of the build are:
-> Removable due to the addition of magnets in the camera case and a metal tray on the glasses.
-> Longer battery life (original camera had a 250mAh battery replacement is a 1000mAh so 4x the record time. Also the built in charger WILL charge the larger batter just takes a very long time.)
-> Camera indicators routed into my field of view via fiber optic cable. (So I can check the camera is still recording without removing the glasses.)

Notes on the fiber optic cable.
A 1mm fiber fits perfectly in the LED hole on the 808 camera case. I drilled a matching 1mm hole in my glasses side shield and fed the fiber though the hole. Once in place I flared the "eye" end of the fiber with a flame. Then with mild heat I softened the fiber and bent it to the form shown. This allow me to remove the free end from the camera for removal but stays in place on the glasses so it does not get lost.

Notes on camera lenses.
There are 3 lens options for the 808 #16V2.
A is ~52 deg
B is ~60 deg
D is ~90 deg (listed as 120)
No idea if there is a version C I have never seen one. Also there is quite a bit of discussion on the forums about FOV measurements. From my glossing the issue over it sounds like 120 deg listed is correct but the more standard way of measuring lenses would put the D at 90 deg. I have purchased one of both the B and D. So far the B seems to work good for the head mounted camera. The main reason I bought the D was for time laps (supported out of the box by the camera firmware) where I want to try and get my entire shop in frame.