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Old June 30th, 2016   #1
ibike2havefun
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Default INNOVV 2-channel video camera

I recently ordered and installed the INNOVV K1 2-channel video system on my ST, and thought I would share a few details for those interested.

INNOVV is located in China, and sells direct-to-consumers. Some of their products can be found on Amazon but they do not seem to put products into brick and mortar retail establishments.

The unit I got includes:
  • Front camera lens + housing + 2-meter signal cable
  • Rear camera lens and housing + 1-meter signal cable
  • Central DVR recording unit with display
  • GPS sensor so that the videos are geo-locatable and also can display speed
  • wired dash-mounted control
  • Pouch to contain the DVR
  • 12V-5V power transformer
  • All necessary cables
  • A variety of double-sided adhesive mounting pads
  • A collection of adhesive-backed cable securers for tidy installation
  • Two small L brackets along with the 4mm hex head bolts and washers to attach the mount to the camera. (Note that it does NOT include any nuts or bolts to attach the bracket to the bike.)

The unit accepts, but does not ship with, micro-SD cards in the class II category. The INNOVV website lists the types (but not brands) of cards available and shows which are the types needed.

The biggest challenge I have found is exactly where and how to install the front camera. I want it out of the way and inconspicuous, but with a clear field of view for the 140-degree wide angle lens. My preferred location is near the centerline of the bike, just under the nose of the front fairing and headlights. Since there are no screws or bolts in that area to use to fasten the bracket to the bike, I have been experimenting- with limited success- with the adhesive pads and super glue.

The rear camera got bolted to an open slot on the side of the add-on taillight mount I put on the bike last winter.

The DVR itself lives in a protective pouch whose flap also serves to help secure the four incoming cables (power, front and rear camera lenses, and combined GPS and control button inputs). The cables are all plenty long and allow me to secrete both the power converter and the DVR itself into the space under the seat near the tail light assembly. They are small enough that it is not a tight fit, even with the add-on fuse block and rat's nest of wires I have in the area.

I connected the power unit to an unused output from that fuse block, which in turn is activated by relay from a switched circuit on the bike. The DVR automatically wakes up when the bike is switched on, and is supposed to begin recording when it detects motion. (I have yet to prove that to be true because I ordered the wrong type of memory card from Amazon.)

The DVR can be set to either shut off automatically when the bike is shut off, or it can be set to "parking" mode, where if continues to record for an hour after. It records a continuous series of 1-, 2-, 5, or 10-minute increments, depending on which length you select. When the media is full it begins recording over the oldest files.

It has a built-in G-force sensor. A strong enough shock- as for example a collision- will cause it to automatically mark the current video segment for permanent retention.

Both front and rear camera images can be FLIPPED (not ROTATED, which I mis-understood on my first quick read-through of the specs and instructions) so mounting the cameras offers some flexibility of orientation.

Thus far- which admittedly is not very far- it looks like a well thought-out, nicely constructed gadget. It has all of the features I was looking for and was easy to install (cable routing through the body of the bike not withstanding, and assuming the adhesive approach on the front is adequate.)

Once I have some I'll post up a few sample videos and a review.
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Old June 30th, 2016   #2
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

Pictures of "The Kit" pre and post install.

Paul
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Old June 30th, 2016   #3
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

Try using some of the 3M adhesive tape that is used to attach auto molding, it will adhere better than the traditional dual faced tape.
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Old June 30th, 2016   #4
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRB View Post
Pictures of "The Kit" pre and post install.

Paul
[EDIT: since the previous cross-post does not work for everyone I've reproduced a slightly edited version here. See post #6.]
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Now to try to wear it out.


Last edited by ibike2havefun; July 1st, 2016 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Replaced cross-post link
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Old June 30th, 2016   #5
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

I'm not allowed to play with those people.

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Old July 1st, 2016   #6
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRB View Post
I'm not allowed to play with those people.

Paul
Alrighty then, here's a copy for everyone here.


Be careful what you ask for...

(All of the photos are in an album on my profile but because of the way the albums work I can't control the sequencing.)

INNOVV K1 2-channel Video Camera Installation

As promised, my experience with installing the INNOVV K1 2-channel video camera. There are lots of pictures, mostly annotated; I'll try to keep the narrative part relatively brief.

Background

On paper at least, this is exactly the video system I've been waiting for. It has all the features I want and at a price that makes it affordable.



Judging by the number of comments on this thread, evidently there's some pent-up interest from others as well. This post will describe the basic installation as I experienced it, plus a few other notes. I expect to write a full review of the product itself after I've had a chance to use it for a while.

Ordering, Shipping, and Receiving

INNOVV is located in China. I ordered directly from the website and, after a couple of emails to provide a phone number for DHL's records, the dingus was on its way to me. The order was placed on a Saturday; the unit arrived the following Friday. Not altogether bad considering it traversed half the globe in the process. Also, in addition to the automated confirmations of ordering and shipping, the CEO / main guy took the time to write me personally and encourage me to share my experiences with others. They are trying to build a community of users, somewhat like the ST-Owners except without the forum (or Mellow).

The thing was well-wrapped and arrived in excellent condition.







My first view of the product left a favorable impression of tidiness and careful thought.



Digging more deeply, all the bits seemed to be in place.



Clockwise from top left that includes:
  • DVR and lenses in their foam shipping cushion
  • Protective pouch (power converter is tucked inside during shipment)
  • GPS receiver and speaker
  • Bag full of adhesive mounting pads in various shapes and sizes
  • Bag with various cables, connectors, and a plastic mounting bracket if you want the DVR ou where you can see it while riding
  • Micro-SD card reader (bring your own card- there isn't one supplied)
  • Installation and basic operation instruction sheet
  • Wired remote
  • (optional) protective cover glass for camera lenses; these adhere to the fronts of the camera bodies

There's a more extensive user's guide on the INNOVV website, which is good because this single-page sheet is not really enough to do more than get started.



It seemed as though there were a LOT of cables but, by jingo, every one of them has a purpose.



Getting Down To It

I started the installation process itself with some recon, looking for suitable places to put all the bits. First off, of course, was where the cameras would be located. At the front, I wanted something out of the way, visually unobstructed, and partially sheltered. I don't ask for much, do I?



After some hemming and hawing I settled on a spot just off the center line and just behind the point of the front fairing. It's not clear to me that this is really the optimum location due to possible whackage against the front fender but it had all the other attributes I was looking for and I was getting impatient. Time to break out some tools, and what better place to start than with the set I keep on the bike for emergency purposes? It has an assortment of sockets, a very compact drive for them, various screw driver and Torx bits, box end and open end wrenches; everything a body needs, right?

Signal cable routing

I started by raising the upper fuel tank to expose the frame and show where the wire might run without getting broiled on the engine or pinched somewhere along the way back. The route came through the forks, under the projection that holds the fairing in place, and so on aft. It quickly became apparent that I was going to need the fish tape. Trip #1 down to the tool storage area to root around in the gigantic debris field...

The fish tape did the trick and the signal cable was duly routed. I left plenty of slack at the front, so that I’d have maximum flexibility when it came time to actually place the camera.

The next task was to actually mount the camera. As I mentioned, the target was somewhere near the center line and just back from the nose of the fairing. There are no holes or existing bolts in that area to use for piggybacking the L bracket onto, but I was not interested in using the adhesive mounts directly onto the camera body because that would leave zero adjustment. (TIP: as soon as the recorder gets power it starts, so if you have something with a USB port bring it with you and plug the DVR in so that you can actually see the picture you will be getting while you are setting up. That will help with placement and aiming.)

The thing does not come with any extra mounting brackets or screws- just the two L brackets and a pair of very stubby 4 mm hex head bolts (plus washers) to go with them. Those bolts connect the camera to the mount but it’s totally on you to find a way to attach the whole shebang to the bike. If you have an assortment of modest-sized nuts, bolts, nylocks, lock washers, flat washers, and Loctite lying around bring it with you to the installation site. The slots on the L brackets will accept a 4mm bolt but not a 5.

There are threaded holes on three sides of the camera housing, giving you lots of options in terms of what orientation you want the camera and where the signal cable points. No need to worry about which way is up- the DVR has an image FLIP (but not ROTATE) option so you can mount the cameras with the signal cable end either up or down as needed. If you mount it on its side your video is going to be 90 degrees off.

Some rubbing alcohol and a paper towel cleaned the underside of the fairing, then the adhesive pad went into place right on the center line. There’s a nice flat area there so that the camera will mount more-or-less level.





(This was my first setup, before I understood that the DVR does flip and not rotate. I've since re-mounted it with the long axis of the camera body running vertically.)

Having got the front camera placed, it was time to change ends. There is a lot of open area available and I considered several options. My bike has a GIVI mount and also an Admore light bar right underneath it. The first thought was to stick the camera right under the light bar.



But, while I was working on getting the DVR sited and connected the camera fell off three times in ten minutes; clearly an alternate strategy was required. Re-inspecting the area I realized that the mount for the Admore has open slots right out in the open and easily accessible; all that was needed was some junk box hardware to attach it. I’ll put some blue Loctite on that bolt when I’m wrapping up.



With both cameras in place it was time to move on to the DVR and power converter placement. That in turn meant connecting the signal leads to establish the reach. There is plenty of length so you will have lots of options, even if you snake the front along the frame and through the square seat supports then under the grab rail as I did.



Two winters ago I installed a fuse block and ground strip, along with the usual 30A relay triggered from a tap into a switched circuit, giving me exactly what was needed to bring power to the DVR. However, the power converter comes with ring terminals as shipped so it took some minor surgery to swap those out for one spade connector and one flat Y connector.





Since I had them on hand, I used a couple Posi-Lock connectors and added about a foot of wire to the leads. This was not because I really needed it but it preserves the maximum length of OEM lead. A bit of heat shrink tubing should eliminate any chance of trouble from moisture, although truth to tell there better not ever be any moisture in that area, ever, or I have more serious problems.

Even with all the stuff I have crammed in there, there is plenty of space in the tail for both the power converter and the DVR in its pouch. (Mine is a non-ABS model; I think the ABS control unit eats into this space if you have it but it’s probably still sufficient.)






First Power

Making the connections to the DVR is very simple. Each incoming cable is labeled and there is a very clear diagram in the instructions that shows schematically where they go and how they connect. The hardest part is actually reading the labels printed on the DVR itself but you almost don’t need them because the instructions are so clear.

I wanted to see some results so I connected everything and fired up the bike. Spanky lives!



Finally, it was time to locate the GPS/speaker and wired “remote” DVR control. After a lot of fiddling around and holding the units up to get a visual, I stuck the GPS on the right side of the top of the dash, in the protected area right behind the windshield. The control unit went next to the buttons on the left side of the dash that control the clock and fuel readouts.

[photos coming]

I’ll use the supplied cable routing clips liberally to secure the wires along the route, particularly on the dash area and as they pass between the frame and the air box (I’ll get to raise the tank again to run them; oh joy).

I ran the incoming cables through the straps on the back of the pouch then up to the DVR. Close up the flap on the pouch, tuck everything away, and presto! the install is complete except for final cable routing and tie ups from the GPS and control. Overall, the install was a pretty easy task and not a wrestling match. There is no need to remove any Tupperware, drill any holes, or do anything else dramatic.

Wrap-up

It took longer than it needed for me to do this, since I was feeling my way at every step and pondering what to do. Handier, more clever people such as yourselves will take only an hour or two, probably, especially since you will not make umpty-ump trips between the work area and your tool storage.

Tools

Since I do not have a moto-accessible workshop or garage I have to bring the tools to the bike, which I inevitably seem to do one at a time. When everything was said and done I had about half the workshop up there, or so it seemed. The list included:
  • fish tape
  • 1/4" socket driver
  • Assorted sockets (specifically 8, 10 mm) and extensions
  • 4 mm hex head wrench with Bondhus (rounded) tip
  • razor knife
  • small jeweler's tool set
  • pliers
  • 8, 10 mm open end and box end wrenches (part of what I keep on the bike)
  • #1 Phillips head screw driver
  • Assortment of nuts, bolts, and washers
  • heat gun
  • wire cutters
  • wire strippers
  • needle nose pliers
  • channel lock pliers
  • probably some other stuff I forgot about

Sorry about the length but I hope this helps any of the rest of you who choose this product.
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-= Keith Adams =-
Rockville, MD, USA
STOC # 8824. Embarrassingly high but it's mine.
Now to try to wear it out.


Last edited by ibike2havefun; July 2nd, 2016 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Add photo of rear camera position
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Old July 1st, 2016   #7
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

I'm not allowed to play there, either, but I was able to see the thread from your link. Mellow blocked my IP at one point (very short sighted solution), and since I forced it to change, I can generally see most things, most places.
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Old July 1st, 2016   #8
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

Thanks, Keith!

I'm interested to learn anything you have to offer about some sort of long (-ish) reliability of the unit, or if you've heard from anyone else, that might be good to read, too.

I'm happy to buy whatever, wherever, and I have bought a few things from chinadirect.com. The only problem is the units tend to die quickly...stop powering up or fail in some other way.

It's rather irritating, ol' chap.
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Old July 2nd, 2016   #9
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

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Originally Posted by chaissos View Post
Thanks, Keith!

I'm interested to learn anything you have to offer about some sort of long (-ish) reliability of the unit, or if you've heard from anyone else, that might be good to read, too.

I'm happy to buy whatever, wherever, and I have bought a few things from chinadirect.com. The only problem is the units tend to die quickly...stop powering up or fail in some other way.

It's rather irritating, ol' chap.
So far as I know (which ain't very far) the guy whose review and sample video appears on the INNOVV website is the only other person on the planet who has one. Told ya I don't know very far.

Seriously, I think these are new enough, and enough of a niche product, that it's going to be a while before they become commonplace-- if they ever do. I do plan on engaging with the K1 community, if there is one and if I can find it-- to keep tabs on things.

It's a little distressing to hear they (may) have a relatively short service life. I hope my experience is contrary to that.

I took it out for a Gilligan's Island ride today (a three-hour cruise) and reviewed some of the footage when I got back. As entertainment it's not especially great, especially in raw, unedited form, but as a source of evidence in case of an unfortunate event it should do. The two things I noticed most were that there is noticeable effect of video compression (unless the camera lenses themselves are out of focus), and the underside of my front fairing seems to bounce more than I expected it would. The slightest imperfection in the road surface shakes the image noticeably.

Perhaps due to the low mounting position and the 140 degree field of view, 45 mph on a tree-lined curvy country road looks like a high-speed thrill ride.
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Old July 2nd, 2016   #10
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Default Re: INNOVV 2-channel video camera

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=innovv

If this helps.
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