Junior knew the score when we bought the kart – as far as birthdays go, that was pretty much it for some years to come. His birthday was 7 or 8 weeks after we bought the kart and, from us, he got very little although we said the family could get together to buy a few karting luxuries that we wouldn’t have otherwise bought. The most useful advice you will be given when karting on a budget is to buy only what you need – it’s excellent advice and, looking at my expenses, I don’t think I’ve done too badly in this respect; especially given my impulsive nature. There is one are where I really do harbour burning desires to spend unwisely and that’s on technology – in this case, data analysis. Technology is my day job – I love it. I love gadgets. I would like to do as much as possible in this respect and the expansion options for the Mychron really do excite me! Of course,these really are luxuries that I cannot afford – we have the Mychron data key and I spend a fair bit of time post-session looking at Junior’s laps in Race Studio 2 but it’s hard to see myself ever splashing out £200 on a GPS module, second-hand or not.
My karting addiction meant I was looking around for toys that I could buy under the ‘Dad’s birthday present’ excuse, despite not really being able to benefit from them personally! I had looked into action cameras a few months back just to check things out (as you do). Obviously the GoPro HD Hero is the clear market leader but, at £200+, was not a justifiable karting purchase. It was at that time that I came across the ActionPro (or the Astak CM-7200 as it’s known in the US) – it was a cheaper rival to the Go-Pro HD Hero 2 and YouTube video comparisons looked very good, if the colours were a tad rich for my tastes. I didn’t really think more about it until I read of a new ActionPro model and, with my birthday coming up, I wondered…
The original ActionPro is no longer available in the UK although a quick search on eBay.com showed they are being sold off in the US and for as little as $100. A £70 punt on what was a very reasonable camera (720p @60fps or 1080p @30 fps, with remote, waterproof camera, several mounts and memory card) became very tempting. The company did seem to get some criticism for their reliability but I considered the pros and cons and took the punt.
It arrived a couple of weeks back and I took it for a test on The Swarm at Thorpe Park last weekend – I was quite impressed with the image quality although the sound is indistinguishable when the camera is inside the waterproof case (I’d have posted the video if I didn’t sound quite so drone-like in the footage!). The case is, however, the only drawback that I have come across in my initial tests: it cannot be powered on inside the case!!! The camera has three buttons on top – record, power on/off, take photograph. The case has only the record and photograph buttons! What bright spark designed that? Never mind, I will need to switch it on before mounting it at the start of a session and use the remote to start recording.
I fixed the mount onto the nassau yesterday evening and ran a few tests to see what angle/view I wanted. I’d really like to have gotten a view which showed Junior’s pedal activity but couldn’t do it without filling the picture with kart and obscuring the number plate on the nassau. This is the view I have settled on:
Not sure the micro-SD card is large enough but it will be fine for testing. Looking forward to Dunkeswell on Saturday 🙂