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Author Topic: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera  (Read 788 times)

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Offline Daboo

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HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« on: August 05, 2018, 10:39:37 PM »
I have been using a Sena 10C Bluetooth camera for years now. I've loved it, but it is on its last legs. The battery has no life left and I think there's an internal memory error. I've been waiting for Sena to release the updated version, the Sena 10C Evo. Sena is about two years late on the Evo release, so I quit holding my breath on getting a replacement from Sena. When I bought the 10C, I only wanted a 20S and opted for the camera headset entirely on a whim.   After buying it, I've been very happy with the camera. While I use it on trips, ninety percent of the time, I am using this helmet camera as a "dash" camera.  My thinking is that if I am run off the road in a hit-and-run, my wife can tell the cops to check the camera for who the other party is. So I was looking for a trouble-free solution where I could get video from the front of my motorcycle as well as the rear. I also wanted something that would be powered by the motorcycle and not have a limitation of two hours as so many "action" cameras have before the battery runs out. Lastly, I wanted something discreet so I wouldn't have to worry about it being stolen. After doing a lot of research, I decided on the HaloCam M1.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D371DRF  Cost was only $179.89. I highly recommend it.

What attracted me to the HaloCam M1 was a couple things. First, it has 1080p cameras on the front and rear.  Many of the older or less expensive cameras are only 720p. I don't know much about the cameras, but I do know that Sony is a good name brand, and they are using Sony cameras in the M1. That's a plus. The other big plus in my mind, was the wi-fi capability. Trying to aim your cameras without being able to see what you're doing in real time is a pain. The HaloCam M1 comes with a nice app for a smartphone that allows you to see what the cameras see in real time. You can also download your videos without touching the DVR unit, and even make changes to the settings from the app. It's slick.  I was impressed with the HaloCam M1 from even the time I opened the box. The outside isn't glitzy.  It actually has a touch of class to it, IMHO.


When you open the box, you'll see the DVR unit along with the two cameras and the manual switch neatly arranged. To me, everything looked professional, not cheap.  This was promising.
 


Lift that packaging up and you'll see the cords neatly tucked away underneath. They use a short cord attached to each item like the cameras with a longer section to run from that camera to the DVR unit. Everything is color coded. You can't mess this up in the installation. Even the color coded plugs have only one way to plug them in. You can't mess it up. And they include heat shrink tubing that you can use to guarantee the connections are waterproof. They have thought of everything.
 


Installation is straight-forward. Mount the front and rear cameras. Mount the GPS device they include. And mount the manual switch. Then find places on your motorcycle to hide the wires and plug them into the DVR. The last thing is to find a good power supply.

The front camera is mounted on the black "lip" under the headlight.  I doubt you can see it.
 


The rear camera is a little more visible...but I doubt you'd notice it without it being pointed out.
 


You'll want a power connection that turns off when the ignition is turned off. Otherwise, the camera will continue to record and you'll run your battery down eventually. I connected mine to the tail light circuit. I have a BMW, and there's a lot of concern about the CANBUS system having errors when you do this. I had no problems with mine. They also include a USB power connector that you can use to power the camera. Again, very well thought out.

One note. The DVR does not have any built in memory storage. You'll need to supply your own SD memory card. Use the highest speed memory card you can buy for this, since you're recording from two cameras simultaneiously with sound.  I used a Class 10, U1 card and the images were pixelated.  With a Class 10, U3 card, all seems fine.

What is it like in use? I've attached three screen captures. The rear camera shows a white vehicle merging behind me on the freeway.  If you look closely, you can see another car to the side of it.



The next picture shows the blue car rapidly gaining speed.  Although there is a large open space to merge into, it is clear he is not merging there.
 


The last picture shows the blue car cutting in front of me.  BTW, the only reason he had that much space to merge into, was that I wasn't going to "fight" for my space and I backed off.  Right after he moved in front of me, he cut over two more lanes in heavy traffic.  If there had been an accident, the video shows a seamless capture of his actions from the rear camera to the front camera.


 
I haven't tested this yet :) , but if there had been an accident, the camera has a vibration sensor that locks the video so it isn't overwritten.
 
This is not an "action" camera, yet one of the sales people at Cycle Gear mentioned that the video I showed her was as good or better than her GoPro. I don't know if I'd go that far.  But it is good.
As a "dash" camera though, I'd rate it as exceptional. The quality of everything is excellent, and the price is great.
 
I have only one nit-pick... When you mount the cameras in their mounts, they are still a little lose when the screw is tightened all the way. The "fix"...just use another washer on the inside of the two arms of the mount that holds the camera and it'll tighten just fine. That is really minor. You'll see what I mean when you mount yours.

Lastly, I have to make a comment about the HaloCam customer service. It is exceptional. I notice that of the previous reviews, one person had issues with his camera. I did too initially. I contacted them and they were outstanding in resolving my issue. I don't know when I've had better customer service. They definitely stand by their product.

Chris
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 11:14:47 PM by Daboo »
Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
John 14:6

Offline naustin

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 10:09:42 AM »
Nice.   I'm interested!   :clap:

Offline copdocpvd

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 04:42:03 PM »
I'd like to see some video.  The sykik system is very similar, but if you transition from bright to darker environments, the video quality leaves a lot to be desired

Offline Daboo

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 09:10:37 PM »
If I understand what you're saying, you want action camera quality out of a dash camera.  :)  Don't we all.  :D


Action cameras give some outstanding video.  The biggest objection I have to most of them, is the battery life.  It's generally 2-3 hours.  That's fine on a short day ride, but even my day rides are 8-12 hours long.  What do I do for the rest of the time?


And really, what I wanted out of this, was to get a dash camera.  The snapshots you saw attached are actual saved frames from the video.  You can judge for yourself if that quality is good, or not.  The transitions I've seen are not quite as good as my Sena 10C, but they aren't bad at all.


Chris
Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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John 14:6

Offline Brick

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 06:58:38 AM »
Hmmm... looks and sounds good. DaBoo is it coincidence that your BMW and the one in the companies add are the same? Are you associated with them?

I really like the quality of the snap shots.

My problem... which bike do I install it on?



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Brick
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Offline stevegrab

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2018, 10:41:47 AM »
Very interesting product, I've had a GoPro (Hero4) for a few years now and really enjoy watching the videos I've recorded, be they more action (twisty riding, following others) or just the interesting scenery and odd sites you see on a ride. I've considered using it as a dashcam and will turn it on sometimes when in congested areas. Even without that I've caught near misses with animals, cars, even one lady on a horse that shot across the road in front of me.

Yes battery life is a consideration, so would recording space as I've found a 5min HD video is about 1GB. I carry 2 cards 32 & 64GB, and also have large flash drives to offload video on trips, I carry 3 batteries, and generally have one last until lunch, then swap and good until end of ride. Depends on how long the camera is on, I have it on most of the time while riding, so I can record when needed.

Seems there is now a market for dash cams, because that is really what is being sold, with everything you need and at a good price.
Steve Grabowski - Northern OH Asst Director
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Offline Daboo

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 11:15:04 AM »
...DaBoo is it coincidence that your BMW and the one in the companies add are the same? Are you associated with them? ...
That's interesting!  Would you mind posting a link?  I just did a search on the camera and only came up with the Amazon web site.  The bikes there are some kind of cruiser bike, it looks like from the handlebars and an above view of a sport bike.


No, I'm not associated with them in any way.  But you certainly have my attention!


My involvement with them is that I researched the different cameras on the market and made a choice just like you would do.  When I ran into some issues with the camera, I contacted their customer service.  I suggested they replace the camera, and they willingly agreed to.  I had a new camera in two days.  It works fine, and I think there was something wrong with the first one.  They bent over backwards to make sure I was a satisfied customer.  That's rare these days.


I'm just one of these people who like to share what I call "good deals".


Chris
Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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Offline Brick

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HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 11:25:47 AM »
Chris,
I’m very pleased that you posted this. I believe the view from above is a white BMW like yours. I’ve been wrong before so obviously it’s possible again.

BTW it’s not a problem either way.


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« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 11:28:01 AM by Brick »
Brick
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Offline Daboo

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 11:46:38 AM »
Very interesting product, I've had a GoPro (Hero4) for a few years now and really enjoy watching the videos I've recorded, be they more action (twisty riding, following others) or just the interesting scenery and odd sites you see on a ride. I've considered using it as a dashcam and will turn it on sometimes when in congested areas. Even without that I've caught near misses with animals, cars, even one lady on a horse that shot across the road in front of me...

Steve, you'll find the video quality isn't up to Hero4 standards.  It all depends on what you're hoping for as to whether this will work for you, or not.


I loved my Sena 10C.  I found it on sale a couple years ago, just before Christmas.  The cost was about $280, which put it just above the normal price for the 20S.  At the time, I didn't know what I'd do with the video recording capabilities, but I figured what the heck, and bought it instead.


While the Sena 10C isn't perfect, it was pretty good.  I found that there were times when I would see something on the side of the road that I wanted to capture, but wasn't able to stop to take a picture for.  I could capture that on the Sena 10C either in the video or with a still snapshot, and not miss the memory.  I really never used the Sena 10C to take videos and watch them later like you do.  Storage became an issue.  Eight hours of riding, generally filled a 32GB card.  So on one of my trips, I'd transfer the video to my laptop...then I found 32GB of video files will fill all the free space on your laptop after a couple days of riding.  And posting them online was not practical.  That gets real costly in short order when you have to pay a monthly fee for cloud space.  Besides, no one else really cared.


Battery life was an issue.  When new, the Sena 10C would last about 2 hours when recording.  Less if you were playing the FM radio as well.  I found I could plug in a cell phone battery pack to it, and it would record all day like that, even in rain.  But that USB connection is not made for being used continually and it is getting loose internally.  Sometimes, it is charging, and sometimes it isn't.  And of course you can't see while you're riding, only when you get the "battery low" voice in the helmet.  :(


But my Sena 10C has just about died.  The BT portion is about all I can count on.  And maybe Sena will come out with the updated version.  The Sena 10C seems to be out of stock everywhere.  And the replacement, the Sena 10C Pro is "coming soon".  Same with the Sena 10C EVO.  I gave up on them.


Shortly after I bought the Sena 10C, and while I was still exploring what to do with this thing, I came across some forum posts where they were saying they used their Sena 10C as a dash cam.  It made sense to me.  While I rarely have anyone pull out in front of me, I'll be surprised if it doesn't happen some day.  I've come to think of the Sena 10C as being like my air bag vest.  Something I use, but hope to never need.


And since the Sena 10C is dying...that's why I went in search of a replacement.  No one makes something as practical as it with both a decent (not perfect) video camera, with the ability to use it all day, and combines a Bluetooth headset in one package.  So I had to compromise. 


That's where the HaloCam comes in.  It's a compromise.  I no longer can capture those scenes that grab my attention off to the side when I can't stop.  The video quality is decent...but not perfect.  But, I get the dash cam capability, which is what I used the Sena 10C for most of the time anyway, and I get a rear facing camera to capture that moment when someone comes crashing into you at a stop.  And I no longer have to worry about the extra power cords and if they are actually charging or not.  Bike goes on, camera goes on.  Bike goes off, camera goes off. 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 11:52:42 AM by Daboo »
Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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John 14:6

Offline Daboo

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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 12:05:00 PM »
Chris,
I’m very pleased that you posted this. I believe the view from above is a white BMW like yours. I’ve been wrong before so obviously it’s possible again.

BTW it’s not a problem either way.


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I see what you're saying.  But it has dual exhausts.  Different mirrors.  It looks like an older BMW sport model, but it could also be a Suzuki.  The Hayabusa has that single headlight and the mirrors look close.  Or it could just be a generic sport bike picture.


Chris
Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
John 14:6