F9 explorer.

(Recommended: music in LOOP)

So, I have been using this camera to record my rides for a bit now:

But, you see, I’m not the type of biker that enjoys twisty mountain passes. I like long stretches of road and covering long distances. However, with that, comes the added cost of time.

The F9 type camera can record about 2.5h of your ride, but then that’s it. It can, theoretically, record while powered, but to do that, you must remove the back dust protector and put a flimsy connector in the back, wich I don’t personally trust it would hold well over time with the cable weight and/or snags.

But damn, I still want to record longer runs!
(easy, just buy a second camera)

But you are reading a post, so already know I just did not do that, did I?


Some time ago, I had already bought a second camera, but for completely different reasons. That one was dismantled shortly after receiving it, so I could explore the innards. That left me with spare parts, that, as it happens, came in handy afterwards.

So, I was wondering about how to add external power to the camera, and I happened to nottice that the frontal ring that holds the glass, shared the same thread with the rear protector, thus giving me a nice ring clasp for a cable adaptor:

With that, I started looking for the special connector, called EC-6E, but that was nowhere to be found, so in the end I resorted to dismantling an existing cable:

 

 

 

 

 

At this point, I was about to use a barrel jack to power this thing up, altough I was slightly worried that at the first yank, something was going to get broken. But then I remembered I had this magical magnetic USB connector adapter for phones.
I was pretty sure I could disassembly it enough to get the power out for my own purposes:

 

 

 

As said, it was just as easy as carefully removing the metal shield to acces the power pins (other pins not connected to anything):

 

 

One thing to take into account was twist motion when screwing the back cover. That could put very high forces in the connector, wich would break in no time. Luckily for me, the camera has a pair of holes that happened to accept a 1.5 and 1mm pins I could use as anti-twist mechanism:

 

 

 

 

With that, I modelled the back part that would do the following:

  1. Hold the EC-6E in place.
  2. Prevent twist.
  3. Hold the magnetic latch.
  4. Be at least as hermetic as the original cover.

 

It took me 4 tries until I perfectly located the anti-rotation pins, but there was no good way to measure the placement directly (yet, I have a future solution for that)

 

Once that was ready:

Solder the cable through:

And test:

Hotglue everything in place:


That’s not my best job, but noone has to see that while in use.

As an afterthought, I also made a second adaptor that could house a micro-SD card inside. Since the F9 can only use 32Gb max, but now the recording time is extended well past that size, it was a convenient place to put the card, for the small price of it being 5mm longer:

 

And with that, I went recording with some acquaintances:

It was on that ride that I confirmed I’m not a tight corner person. It was an awful experience that I did not enjoy at all, a shame, because the views where spectacular. (The descent was a bit better, as I’m used to that with my bicycle, but still, I would have preferred to pedal that down rather than ride my motorbike… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

See ya!

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