Cycliq Fly6: Rain-shedding Performance

Cycliq says “Using the latest nanotechnology, Fly6 is safeguarded against any wet weather nature can throw at you.” That’s not quite the same as saying it’s waterproof, but the plastic lens cover sheds water surprisingly well.

We were caught in a brief downpour on a recent ride and, not unexpectedly, water covered the rear-facing lens:

Fly6 - Rain 1
Fly6 – Rain 1

A larger drop ran down the left side, merged with the previous drop, and blurred two thirds of the image:

Fly6 - Rain 2
Fly6 – Rain 2

Three seconds and a few major jolts later, the lens was mostly clear:

Fly6 - Rain 3
Fly6 – Rain 3

Half a minute later, it’s looking even better:

Fly6 - Rain 4
Fly6 – Rain 4

The jolts come from the deteriorated paving and poor patches along Rt 376, but at least they shake the water off the lens:

Fly6 - Rain 5
Fly6 – Rain 5

Ten minutes after the first image, both the lens and the sky were almost completely clear:

Fly6 - Rain 6
Fly6 – Rain 6

A pleasant surprise!

That transverse crack just behind me? Charlie Brown’s First Principle of Puddles applies: you cannot tell how deep a puddle is from the top. That sucker goes down through at least three layers of paving:

Crack - Red Oaks Mill
Crack – Red Oaks Mill

I forgot to put the Sony HDR-AS30V helmet camera in its waterproof housing before we left, so I put it in the (not exactly waterproof, either) underseat pack when the first drops fell. Sony makes no pretense that the bare camera can survive a rainstorm, but the packs are good for our simple needs.

Ed’s First Principle of Rain Riding: After the first five minutes, you don’t get any wetter.

Cycliq Fly6 Camera: Copying the Most Recent Files

Given Cycliq’s tech support recommendation to never, ever delete files from the camera’s MicroSD card, I’m now copying the files to the 500 GB network drive thusly:

rsync -au --progress /media/ed/Fly6 /mnt/video/

The Fly6 saws off a 400-800 MB file every 10.000 minutes, so a typical ride produces 4 GB of data.

The Sony HDR-AS30V emits a 4.2 GB file every 22:43 minutes: call it 12 GB per ride.

Somewhat to my surprise, both copy operations can proceed concurrently at 4 MB/s apiece. For unknown reasons, the drive doesn’t record the creation times for any data files:

ll /mnt/video/Fly6/DCIM/10450608/
total 4.2G
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 476M 2057-09-06 19:40 14350001.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 559M 2057-09-06 19:40 14450002.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 568M 2057-09-06 19:40 14550003.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 559M 2057-09-06 19:40 15040004.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 277M 2057-09-06 19:40 15140005.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 476M 2057-09-06 19:40 15240006.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 476M 2057-09-06 19:40 15340007.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 476M 2057-09-06 19:40 15440008.AVI
-rwxr-xr-x 1 ed root 424M 2057-09-06 19:40 15540009.AVI

The directories generally have the right dates, though, so maybe I’ve screwed up an obscure Samba / CIFS settings. The diratime option should be turned on by default.

Bicycle vs. Flying Objects

A few minutes after we started riding, an insect collided with my helmet. About 3/60 second before impact:

HDR-AS30V 1280x720-60 - Insect - crop
HDR-AS30V 1280×720-60 – Insect – crop

We paused in a park at the far end of the ride, rolled out, and another insect buzzed past:

HDR-AS30V 1280x720-60 - Insect 2 - crop
HDR-AS30V 1280×720-60 – Insect 2 – crop

Both of those flew within a few inches of the lens, far inside the camera’s fixed-focus near point, and it’s a wonder they look as good as they do. Looking at successive frames reveals wingbeats, although they’re surely flapping much faster than frame rate and therefore heavily aliased.

Fortunately, a Gas Hawk didn’t come that close:

Rt 376 - Dutchess Airport - landing
Rt 376 – Dutchess Airport – landing

All from the Sony HDR-AS30V in 1280×720 at 60 frame/s. The bug images were ruthlessly cropped to show the full-size dot-for-dot camera image, then stored with minimal compression.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been buzzed on the bike, but it’s a record for one ride.

Action Camera vs. License Plates: Sony HDR-AS30V at 1280×720

With the Sony HDR-AS30V on my helmet set to 1280×720 at 120 frame/sec, the plates on passing cars remain barely readable (clicky for more dots):

HDR-AS30V - license plates - 1280x720-120
HDR-AS30V – license plates – 1280×720-120

Throttling the camera back to 60 f/s produces slightly better results:

HDR-AS30V - license plates - 1280x720-60
HDR-AS30V – license plates – 1280×720-60

The differences seem due more to changing lighting conditions than frame rate: the camera definitely produces better results in bright, direct sunlight.

These are about as good as it gets and, if you look carefully at the images, you can see plenty of compression artifacts that wipe out small details.

Equal-size dot-for-dot crops from the original 1280×720 images, matted together, and very lightly compressed because there’s not much detail to compress…

CNC Workshop 2015: Arduino Survival Guide, Workshop Edition

MOSFET RDS Tester - Arduino
MOSFET RDS Tester – Arduino

Armed with bags of electronic parts and boxes of meters, I’ll be helping folks at the CNC Workshop understand the electrical limitations of the Arduino microcontrollers they’re building into projects.

The presentation in PDF form:

Arduino Survival Guide – Workshop Edition – CNC Workshop 2015

We’ll wing it with the source code, because nothing’s more than a few lines long…

CNC Workshop 2015: Practical Solid Modeling with OpenSCAD

HP Plotter Pen Polygon
HP Plotter Pen Polygon

This afternoon at the CNC Workshop, I’ll be bootstrapping folks into creating 3D-printable solid models with Openscad.

The presentation in PDF form:

Practical Solid Modeling for 3D Printing with OpenSCAD – CNC Workshop 2015

The OpenSCAD source code for the exercises, in case you don’t want to type along:

Practical Solid Modeling for 3D Printing with OpenSCAD –

When you download that file, you’ll get something ending in .zip.odt. Rename it to remove the .odt extension, because it’s really a ZIP file; WordPress doesn’t allow users to uploads ZIP files.