mods, X4

Adding a camera to the X4

After doing a little research, it seemed like the simplest way to add a camera to an X4 is by strapping this wonky little 808 car keychain spy cam to the bottom. So I tried it. What could possibly go wrong?

The build

I removed the keychain shell to reduce the overall weight of the thing. It’s held in place by a few rubber bands with the camera buttons exposed so I can access them. This means the camera is actually upside down. The camera was super shaky without anything holding it still, so I added the electrical tape to it. I cut a small hole in the tape and stretched it around the camera. It seems to hold up pretty well. I did a quick test or two to find a decent camera angle before I added the tape.

The results

I rode over to the park to really test it out. Here’s a video of the results:

Gotchas

Using the camera

The instructions that come with the thing are pretty hard to decipher. I watched a couple videos, but they weren’t super helpful or specific so here are mine.

Power on – Hold the bottom button (when camera is pointed up) for a few seconds until the light turns on. Wait a second or two for another quick flash of the light to tell you it’s ready to go. This is important. If you don’t wait for the flash, you won’t be able to start a recording.

Power off – Hold down the bottom button until the light turns off.

Start recording – Hold the top bottom a few seconds until you see three flashes. The light will then turn off and it will be recording.

Stop recording – Tap the top button briefly. Don’t hold it down. You’ll see the light come on and start flashing. Wait for it to finish flashing before powering down.

Corrupted video files

Literally half the clips I recorded were corrupted. I have yet to get to the bottom of this. Will update if I figure it out. The frustrating part is that the clips will play in video editors, but won’t export due to corruption. I tried a bunch of apps (Mac) to fix it, with no success. I finally (after almost giving up) tried Adobe Premier Pro. I dropped the clips into one big video and export and it worked!!! Goodbye corruption.

Shipping takes freaking forever

The delivery window on this thing was about a month. I was not thrilled at the wait. That said, it was under six bucks. I can’t complain much at that price.

It’s heavier

It’s not a TON heavier, but it’s enough to make increasing elevation or slowing the X4 coming down from way up pretty tricky. As for maneuverability, as long as I’m accounting for the weight, it handles really well and is really stable. I have yet to try a flip, though.

Heck yeah!!!

So that’s pretty much it. I might mess with the camera angle a bit more to either get less grass or less sky. I’ll flip a coin. Anyone try this with another camera or have suggestions for improvement?

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