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VeQtr DIY Lessons Learned

 
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naschmitz



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Salem, NH

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject: VeQtr DIY Lessons Learned Reply with quote

I like the MaxQ systems because all of the hardware is readily available off the shelf. If you break something, you can fix it yourself. This thread is about how to avoid a few landmines I stepped on when building my DIY system. For reference, my hardware is listed below:

-- Asus eee PC 901, 2GB RAM, 128 GB RunCore SATA SSD
-- Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000
-- Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000
-- WinTec G-Rays I WBT-300

Lesson 0: Download and read the manual -- I never do this and it would have saved me some time if I did. Seriously! Then when you purchase your DIY software licenses from Ed or Kevin at MaxQ, ask them for their lastest DIY installation instructions. These instructions contain vital instructions like disabling the screensaver, changing the power options to "do nothing" when you close the lid of your netbook, and which video options work best for the recommended web cams.

Lesson 1: Installing a larger SATA SSD drive in your 901 is pretty simple if you have access to a USB DVD drive. All you have to do is flash to the latest 1808 bios, replace the 8GB D: drive with your new RunCore 16/32/64/128 GB SATA drive, and boot from the Asus Restore DVD. After this the unit will act just like it did the first time you powered it up. Your new SATA drive is C:, your old 4GB C: drive turns into D:, and the old 8GB D: drive is now e-waste. All your data on the original C: drive will be deleted and your data on the D: drive will be stranded, so copy the files you need first. You will really love your eee PC with a fast drive SATA drive that can cost as little as $69 at http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/CategoryProductList.jsp?cat=Browse+By+Brand%3ARunCore%3ARunCore+PCI+Express+Mini+PCI-e+SSDs%3AAsus+EEE+PC+Mini+PCI-e+SSDs:RunCore+Mini+PCI-e+SSD+for+Asus+EEE+PC+900+900A+901+and+S101

Lesson 2: If you use the eee PC with a USB 3G modem like the AT&T USB Connect Mercury, you will have problems setting up the Bluetooth link to MaxQ Flight. With Kevin's help, I've posted the resolution to this problem here: http://www.maxqdata.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=763

Lesson 3: Super Hybrid Engine has to be running in High or Super Performance Mode. Otherwise your video will stutter about once per second. If you forget to do this and want the eee PC to remember this setting for you, uninstall the version of Super Hybrid Engine that comes with the eee PC 901 (version 1.02) and install version 1.12 which you can find under the Utilities for the eee PC S101 on the support.asus.com site.

Lesson 4: Do not use the Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000 install CD. Do not update Windows Media Player 9 to version 11 as recommended by auto update. If you do, your recordings will have 20-30 seconds of audio followed by no audio for the remainder of the recording. Luckily, using Add/Remove programs to uninstall/rollback Windows Media Player 11 and the Windows Media 11 Runtime Kit solved this problem for me. If you are a DIYer and plan on using the Microsoft LifeCam, contact Ed or Kevin at MaxQ for help with obtaining the right driver.

Lesson 5: Build a $25 suction cup mount for your Logitech QuickCam. http://www.maxqdata.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=760

Lesson 6: One of the biggest benefits to upgrading to a RunCore SATA SSD is that you can take advantage of the faster disk write speeds and bump up the capture bit rate. In MaxQ Setup, Settings, Camera Capture Settings, Output File Settings, set the Bitrate to 5.0M instead of 2.0M. With the 640x320 resolution and 5.0M bitrate your videos will look nice even scaled up to full screen on a HiDef monitor, kind of like an upconverted DVD. With my 128 GB SATA drive I've tried 10.0M but didn't notice any additional video quality. Unfortunately, the SSDs built into the eee PC are not fast enough to go above 2.0M bitrates, hence this is the default setting.

I'll post videos on vimeo.com with more lessons learned after my first event of the season on 4-Apr.

Bert
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naschmitz



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Salem, NH

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: First use Reply with quote

Here is my first experience in an autocross environment.

Both the main cam and pip cam are Logitech QuickCam 9000s. The audio was captured using a Samson Q1U USB dynamic mic. I had to use the audio workaround (CaptureBufferDuration=0 in the registry) to keep the audio from losing sync, pitch shifting, and popping.

Here's another lesson learned -- I tried using a usb hub so I only needed one connection to the laptop -- THAT DOESN'T WORK -- I got very low frame rates as I must have been overloading the hub or port.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCEDtzk5yOc
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Fobio



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lesson 4: Do not use the Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000 install CD. Do not update Windows Media Player 9 to version 11 as recommended by auto update. If you do, your recordings will have 20-30 seconds of audio followed by no audio for the remainder of the recording. Luckily, using Add/Remove programs to uninstall/rollback Windows Media Player 11 and the Windows Media 11 Runtime Kit solved this problem for me. If you are a DIYer and plan on using the Microsoft LifeCam, contact Ed or Kevin at MaxQ for help with obtaining the right driver.


I'm running windows 7 on the eee901. I don't have the MS cam, but I also don't have WMP9, as Win7 comes with the latest WMP. Any suggestions for a work around?
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naschmitz



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Salem, NH

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fobio wrote:
I'm running windows 7 on the eee901. I don't have the MS cam, but I also don't have WMP9, as Win7 comes with the latest WMP. Any suggestions for a work around?


Have you tried MaxQ's version 3.1c? There have been a lot of improvements made since I posted this.
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Fobio



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the heads up...will do some testing tmr.
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Fobio



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've installed the newest version of the software on my ee901 w/ Windows 7 32-bit. it'd record, but sound would drop out after about 2 secs and video is choppy. I've followed all of ed's install guide, so I'm wondering if it has to do with Windows 7's default Media Player...any workarounds?
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KevinDietz



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Federal Way

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upgrade to the 3.3a software it address the windows seven and media player 11 Issues.

-kevin
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kimbo



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: audio question Reply with quote

Is the setting you added in the registry for the
audio workaround "(CaptureBufferDuration=0)"
unique to the microphone you have. I scanned the registry on
my 901 and I don't see any setting like that.
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naschmitz



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Salem, NH

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More lessons learned:

1) EXPENSIVE LESSON: Mounting of the netbook is critical. The thermal design of the Asus eeePC901 is marginal. If you block ANY of the ventilation ports you will burn up the SSD or the netoook when you run the netbook at it's fastest CPU settings in SuperHybridEngine needed to capture video. And the damn thing is black, so even if the ports are exposed having the hot summer sun hit the netbook causes problems too. By June last year I had melted a lot of electronics and never found a decent solution.

2) The eeePC901 makes a very nice data logger. Without the video taxing the CPU, the netbook battery lasts forever and the unit runs MUCH cooler.

3) For video, I am now using the Vio POV 1.5m. Global electronic shutter, 720x480, RF remote, and external mic input. Or you could use an Aiptek HD GVS at 1280x720 60fps with an external mic. Pop the SD card from either of those into your netbook and play back the video and look at the data from Chart. There isn't enough screen real estate to watch the video and Chart play back side by side on a netbook anyways. For autocross, it is really easy to figure out where the same place is in Chart and video. For road racing it is a little harder because you have to keep track of what lap you are on.
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