Veho Technical Support & Upgrading To A ‘Better’ Camera

Veho Technical Support & Upgrading To A ‘Better’ Camera

As none of you will know (because I didn’t tell you), I managed to drop my Veho vcc-005 HD10+ camera onto the hardest damned stone floor in the world.

I have dropped the camera a couple of times in the two years I’ve had it, with no ill effects – but this time the glass covering the lens shattered.

Broken Veho camera

After being sick in my mouth a bit, I established that the glass was just a dust cover, and the camera seemed to work fine without it.

I got in touch with Veho Technical who very kindly sent a replacement glass cover out to me, with full instructions of how to replace it.

Excellent service!

So, as I mentioned, I’ve now been using this Veho camera for just over two years.

In that time, performance has been flawless.  The battery life has dropped to 1.5 hours (about half what it was from new), and I am considering cracking it open and replacing the battery with one from Ebay.  I’m leaving it as long as I can in case I bodge it up and kill the camera, though.

I have found on my YouTube videos there is an increasing number of people telling me that I should ‘upgrade’ my cam to a Go Pro/Drift HD/etc.

These cameras certainly all cost around 3 or 4 times more than it would cost me to buy another Veho HD10.

What nobody has actually been able to tell me is WHY do I need to pay out many times more money for something that, well, doesn’t do the job any better?

 

Let me just break things down against the Go Pro:

  • Image quality is the same.  Someone will come and argue that, but look at 2 HD vids on YouTube and there is no difference.  So you’re wrong.  Fact.
  • Battery life is less on a GoPro.  Less.  So why would I want something that records less?
  • Go Pro and most other cameras record to some weird Neanderthal-like slate.  Nobody uses Super HD flash 6″ Vinyl Micro cards.  Veho record to Micro SD.  Like just about everything else, so you probably already have lots of them lay around.  If not – they are CHEAP.
  • Reliability.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the discussions on vlogging forums about how everyone’s cam has some problem, or has just died.  You won’t find Veho mentioned.  I’ve used mine daily for 2 years – why have a super-duper expensive camera that doesn’t work?  And card failure/faults?  I’ve never had a single one!
  • Price – I can buy another 3 or 4 Veho HD cameras for the price of something like a GoPro.  Even if I did have that money to spend, why would I want to??

You can view my onboard bike and car videos using Veho cameras here: http://www.youtube.com/nastyevilninja

 The shape of all of these cams is a down-side – especially if you want to shove it on the side of your helmet.  Considering I don’t really want to vlog, and I’ve already experimented with various mounting points, again, I can’t see any of the other cameras doing a better job of things!

So, if you’re one of those who’ve told me I should ‘upgrade’, please feel free to tell me exactly WHY and what I’d actually get out of any such change?

 

Mounting Veho Muvi Cams

Mounting Veho Muvi Cams

Everyone has to agree that these cams are great.  Whether you use an £8 MD80 or £60 Veho Muvi Pro, the fact is that only 5 years ago this sort of kit would cost well over £200.

The main problem people come up against, and one of the most common questions I’m asked, is where is it best to mount it on a bike?

I like the cheap and easy option.  Duct tape, a bit of foam, and you can pretty much mount this anywhere just using the tape and foam itself to get the right view angle.

I’ve mounted cams on track bikes in minutes this way.  If you have a heavily tinted screen it cuts your options right down, but otherwise most bikes will be able to take the cam on the rear of its dash.  This can be a bit fiddly, buit obviously you get protection from the elements and especially wind noise.

Incidentally, some cams need a bit of tape over the microphone hole to filter out most of the wind noise whilst keeping the bass sound of the engine.  Have a play around.

On some bikes (like my ZX9R C model), you can tape the camera to the front of the brake fluid reservoir and get good results.  This was my chosen place.

I even fashioned a custom mount to cut down on vibration and be easy and quick to remove and install:

If you’ve got good duct tape you can mount it pretty much anywhere, facing in any direction.

For my Veho HD10+ I tried the duct tape method but it wasn’t that great because of the cameras extra size.

I decided to have a play around with the ‘official’ mountings supplied with it.  The smaller cams and MD80 has similar mounts and so this may also work fine for them.

I found the tank mount had far too much vibration to make it useable.

The mounting I use now is actually kind-of a mistake, where I wanted to try one of the sticky pads on my top yoke, but found it doesn’t quite fit on there and has to be at a slight angle.  And on full lock the screen brace touches the camera…

Luckily it works really well.  This is good, because that glue on the sticky pad is immensely strong!  Make sure you’ve got it exactly where you want it.

You may also want to try (especially for the smaller cams) one mounted on your pillion footrest hanger, or even the number plate surround.

Or my trusty helmet camera using a length of duct tape behind the helmets cheek pad and just wrapping it around the camera and sticking it down outside the visor.

You can see loads of videos using all of these cameras and more on my YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/nastyevilninja

Feel free to subscibe!

Rockingham International Trackday 21/05/11

Rockingham International Trackday 21/05/11

I was watching this for ages, and as soon as the weather looked good (just over a day before!) I booked my first trackday of the year and my first for almost a year!  With No Limits trackdays and as Intermediates was all booked I was in the Novice group with a mate…

I quite liked the International track when I did it before, and to be honest liked it a lot more this time.  Compared to circuits like Oulton it’s a bit soulless – but there’s no denying that in the dry it’s still a -ing great place!

This was also the first trackday I’ve done where I was using my road bike – a Kawasaki ZX9R Ninja C2 – rather than a fully tricked-out hire bike.

I figured I’d take it easy in the first session I’d just feel out my bike and then had options from there, as you may have seen in my last blog.  

I HATE sighting laps!  OK, I see their point, but FFS people don’t cruise around them – use them to get some heat in your tyres!  I didn’t have the luxury of tyre warmers this time, but already know my Pirelli Angel ST tyres are good for kneedown from cold (I did a video to prove it!), so unsurprisingly I was still flying past almost everyone on the warm-up laps.  That’s not because I’m great on cold tyres – it’s just because I know the limits and still leave a massive safety margin whilst getting a move on.

There were a fair few incidents, but considering most ‘hardcore’ trackday riders pick mid-week dates, this Saturday event didn’t seem to have any Nob-heads in the Novice group.  Sure, some were slow, but generally the pace was pretty quick and there were a few very fast riders – including my mate and a few from TrackDayRiders.co.uk who I met.  I couldn’t stay with them.

I got advice from the Tyre Guru to use pressures of 34psi front and 32psi rear.  After noting that my front tyre was screeching like a teen at her first fisting mitten session under heavy braking, instinct told me to drop the pressure even more, but the same Tyre Guru advised against it, and I had to admit what I already suspected…. That my front brake discs are warped.

Major issue, but I just had to brake early and try and ride around it.

My worries of ground clearance were unfounded, because on track I hang off so much more than the road that my foot pegs were clear.  The tyres were also much better than I thought, and although I could have pushed harder they never failed me.  Sports-touring tyres?  Well the videos will show me on full throttle, kneedown at 12,000rpm and 120mph all the way around the left-hander after the first chicane with not a single glitch!  Very impressive for tyres I honestly thought would overheat and try to spit me off!

I was a bit proud that my mate and I were representing 90s sportsbikes and how cheap trackdays can be done, with him on a 1996 Fireblade, and both of us riding around the outside of much more modern machinery.

Then, in the 5th session my mate lowsided it into the last chicane thanks to one of the TDR riders (only joking lol) – amazingly little damage, but unfortunately he broke a footrest hanger sliding over the curves so his day was over…

I found my fitness was a major problem, and I was proper gassing when I was on the pace.  And I was lapping around 1min 50 – which for a 12 year old ‘sports tourer’ on sports touring tyres and with warped front brake discs that I knew I couldn’t afford to crash – was very impressive!  And also seem to have got one lap in closer to 1m40!

Great day – good to meet all those who I did, and I should have a ‘highlight’ video uploaded soon… The professional photos should be sent out soon.

EDIT: There are 3 good laps through traffic then a load of mistakes, crash victims and other stuff at the end.  You can hear my front tyre screeching under hard braking if you listen closely – and also hear I was doing some serious trail-braking into some of the corners to compensate!


Putting A Road Bike On Track

Putting A Road Bike On Track

As funds suddenly got tight this year, I was left with the choice of either risking riding my every day road Kawasaki ZX9R C2 on track, or simply not being able to afford a hire bike and not doing a trackday at all.  So that was a no-brainer!

I am capable of riding the ZX9R quite rapidly on the roads, and am more comfortable with it than jumping on a totally unknown hire bike as I have done previously, but the disadvantages are that my road bike doesn’t have race-grade brake pads, I use Pirelli Angel ST (hard-wearing sports-touring tyres) rather than super-sticky trackday tyres, I scrape my footpegs on the roads, so on track could be a major problem with ground clearance, and of course a road fairing is VERY expensive to repair or replace.

Ideally, I’d sort all this out by using a race fairing, race rearsets to raise the footpegs, shove some race-grade brake pads in there, and fit some filthily sticky tyres for the day – but of course the reality of that is that you’re looking at close to £1000 just in preparation.  That’s the very reason I decide to hire bikes before!

So what to do?

Well, I know I can get a Chinese made fairing from Ebay for around £340.  I figure if I just use my bike as it is, and the worst happens, THEN I can buy the replacement.

The Pirelli Angels are great tyres, but I think they will overheat on a track.  What that actually means in real life terms I have no idea!  So I’m going to give it a go, and if I’m getting huge filthy great slides then I shall just call it quits or take it easy.

The brake pads I’m running are again great for the road.  They’re actually unbranded pads from www.blackshadow-uk.com that can be had for £12.99 for FOUR pads!  Compare that to the £120 that Lady Snoots use on their hire bikes, for example.  Generally, braking is my ‘safety zone’ on track just as it is on the road, so I’ll simply brake nice and early, slow-in, fast-out, and see how it goes!

Someone from www.zx-9r.net came up with an ingenious solution to the footpeg situation, by recommending I tape a 5p coin into the hinge joint of the footpeg, instantly giving vital degrees of extra clearance.  For the fit session I’ll go out as standard, and then give this a go to test it.

Aside from this, I had Stealth Motorcycles of Redditch (the only garage I still trust to lay their hands on my bikes) check my valve clearances and balance the carbs to make sure everything there is ok.

Then it was just general maintenance to prep the bike: lube and adjust chain, give it a quick clean for the photographs, and get the brake calipers off for a good clean and check all is working perfectly.

I got to test the brakes this morning as a lorry ahead on a dual carriageway slammed on it’s brakes and indicated right in front of me.  All was clear behind me and I had no idea what he was trying to get past, so hammered on the anchors from Um Plenty Big Speed and all was perfect.  Apart from my pants.

Tonight I will go through my usual trackday ritual of cleaning and treating my leathers (again, more for the sake of the photographs!), and then I’ll be off to Rockingham in the morning!

For anyone reading this who hasn’t done a trackday before, as well as the above, take loads of water, and quick-carb foods like chocolate bars.  Snickers and bottled water is my staple diet on a trackday, to keep the energy up, with maybe a burger and chips at lunchtime.

When I arrive at Rockingham I shall remove my number plate, tape over my lights, and fold my mirrors in, as removal doesn’t seem like a great option for them.  Then I’ll speak to the tyre guru’s about what psi to drop my tyres to…

Oh, and FFS buy a camera to film the day onboard the bike!

You can get an MD80 from Ebay for under £10 that will do the job, so there really is no excuse.  See my previous blog about these cams here:

I’ve been excited since the second I booked it last night!  Just pray for a nice dry day!

Removing The Time/Date Stamp – Veho Muvi HD Cameras

Removing The Time/Date Stamp – Veho Muvi HD Cameras

Some of you may have seen on one of my previous blogs a comment was posted linking to YouTube where someone explained how to get rid of the time/date stamp on a VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+ and VCC-005-MUVI-HD7 camera.

I’d had a good look around the camera options, and even read the manual, but somehow missed this!  I guess I just figured it was the same old story as the smaller Muvi cameras and it was just tough titty as far as removing the stamp went.  Well apologies to Veho, and I’m very happy to say I was wrong, and they HAVE addressed this issue which almost every user found to be a major bad point.

Here’s how to do it:

1.  Switch the camera on.

2.  Using the touch buttons on the back of the camera on the display screen, tap the ‘M’ sign to bring up the main menu.

3.  Press the ‘>’ button twice to take you to the ‘Setup’ screen.

4.  Press the ‘-‘ sign to scroll down the menu right to the bottom (7 times on the HD10+), or the ‘+’ sign once, and the ‘Date/Time’ option should be highlighted.

5.  Click the round middle button to go into this option and press ‘-‘ again to get to the bottom where there is a box.

6.  This box says whether or not you want the stamp displayed.  If there is an ‘x’ in this box, press the round middle button once to tell the camera not to use the time/date stamp.

7.  If the box has a tick in it, that means it ISN’T displaying the time/date stamp, so leave it alone!  Unless you want to turn it back on again, of course.

8.  To check this, touch the ‘M’ sign twice to go back out of the menus and back to the camera display, and you should see that the infamous time/date stamp is now gone!

Thanks to Oox for your comment (I’d link to you if you had a link!) drawing my attention to this, and I hope others see this and word gets around.

I Will Swap All My Organs For A ZX10R!

I Will Swap All My Organs For A ZX10R!

I figured if I’m going to get my ZX9R on track this year, I should at least get the valve clearances done to make sure all is well.  I’m sure I could handle this job myself, but can’t be arsed fiddling about getting shims etc, so booked the bike into about the only motorcycle mechanics I still trust to touch my bike – Stealth Motorcycles of Redditch.

Expecting to be bikeless for a while, I was chuffed to the core when a mate offered to lend me his ZX10R Ninja.  And a bit scared.

If I hadn’t been made redundant last year, this is the bike that I would have been buying for myself just about now!  I couldn’t wait to get on it and see what it was like.

So after some quick pre-flight checks and asking what I should be watching out for, I swung my leg over the big black beast for the first time… And all my expectations after this have been shattered!

The bike is a bit smaller dimensionally than my 9R.  And it’s lighter.  And has around 40 horsepower more.

I pottered dow the road, noting that the throttle is a little snatchy at low revs (no doubt just the injectors) but it was all very smooth and well-behaved.  I arrived at a junction and stalled it – again, no drama, it’s just a much more sensitive clutch than I’m used to.

I pulled away smoothly and glanced down at the digital speed readout to see WHAT THE HELL?!?

Pulling virtually no revs with no effort whatsoever the speedo just shoots up.  I know my bike is no slouch, but when you’re trying to get to 60mph fast you know you’re giving it beans.  On the 10R you have no idea until you look down.

With absolutely no drama, and barely a wail from the twin Akrapovic cans it will just grab an illegal number and slap it up on the speedo display with seemingly nothing in between.

The power bogs down a tiny bit below 4000rpm, but above that it’s totally smooth all the way to, well, it says 12,000rpm but I don’t think I’ve even seen the shift light come on yet!  The twin cans sound a lot quieter than I expected – but then that’s whilst I’m sat above and in front of them – the rest of the world may have a different opinion on their sound levels.  To reel it all back in the brakes have amazing feel, and are very progressive whilst having more than enough power to pull you up in a hurry.  They’re perfect.

Suspension is pretty hard, and the bumps do throw you around a bit.  To be honest this is exactly how I prefer my bikes set up, and I’m sure a few twists of the adjusters would soon get it all working to your tastes.

What is clear is that the bike is awesome in the corners!  It goes EXACTLY where you want it whenever you want it there, and you can feel how perfectly balanced it all is.  Within minutes of riding it I was already fully confident keeping me feet on the pegs and balancing at traffic lights without a single wobble.

When you drop it into the corners it just tracks as if it’s on rails.  After only a couple of hours I can already feel it’s the best handling bike I’ve ridden on the roads.  In fact I’d say that it’s at the very least equal to the track bikes I’ve hired in the past.

In short, this 2006 Kawasaki ZX10R is such an amazing piece of kit, it’s unreal.  It would flatter any rider – even a total novice.  Its limits are always just on the horizon, teasing you to just have a go and see if you can get anywhere near them – but of course the closer you think you are to them, you realise they’re still miles away!  If a toddler could reach the controls he’d be in shot of getting a TT podium finish on one of these – they’re THAT good and easy to ride fast!

The scariest thing about it is just how tame it is.  I was expecting to be fighting it everywhere to keep it in line, but the reality is that it will do exactly what you tell it to do – be that pootling through a 30mph zone in heavy traffic to cruising fast sweeping bends without ever worrying you may have overcooked a corner.

I did find I was getting pins and needles in my right thumb and wrist when riding through built-up areas, but otherwise the bike was perfectly comfortable and would be easy to ride all year round without any problems.

I would LOVE to try one on a racetrack.

I would also now swap every organ in my body for one!  What an unbelieveable machine!

My Favourite Road – Bridgnorth To Ludlow

My Favourite Road – Bridgnorth To Ludlow

As a biker, I’m happy to just jump on the bike and ride.  It doesn’t matter where I’m going, or for how long.

Much as I hate paying almost £1.40 for a litre of Super Unleaded petrol, I WILL pay it and have fk all to show from it apart from a smile on my face and slightly less rubber on my tyres, and maybe less plastic on my toe and kneesliders.  Yeah, screw you Society!  That’s how I roll!

Of course, I do have my favourite destinations.  The Redditch Cloverleaf is almost impossible to resist anytime I have to ride past and the roads are dry.  I mean, you simply pull off the dual carriageway and scrape your knee around the four corners and then carry on in the direction you were headed as if nothing had happened.  It really is Heaven.

Except this year the road surface on the Cloverleaf is rather shocking… The tarmac is broken and very rough on EXACTLY the line you want to be taking around there!

Anyway, enough about that – what I really wanted to blog about here is one of my favourite roads.

It’s the B4364 that runs from Bridgnorth to Ludlow.  It’s over 22 miles through some of the most beautiful Shropshire countryside, and has everything from open straights and fast sweeping corners to mega-tight OFM (“Oh Fuck Me!”) twisties.

Ludlow itself is a very nice place for a stop-off, as is Bridgnorth – and the Quatt Biker Cafe just outside Bridgnorth is always a mecca for bikers of all kinds who drop in for a bacon sandwich and a coffee.

At the Ludlow end of the B4364, if you head in the opposite direction towards Kidderminster, you cross the stunning Cleehill – where you’ll see a lot of my bike photographs are taken.

This was a lovely sunny day, so I got the Veho HD10+ mounted on the bike and decided to get footage of the whole of the B4364, at legal speeds to show how it is still a lot of fun to ride without being silly.

I hope you enjoy this and don’t criticise my riding too harshly!