Mounting cameras on a Formula Vee
When I had the Donington test last year, my mounting bracket hadn’t turned up in time, and so I went with the easy option – I put a bit of foam underneath the camera (a Mobius Action Camera in JooVuu waterproof case) and duct taped that sucker to the roll hoop on the Sheane.
Whilst this does work, and is very secure, it does come with a few problems. First, we found I’d taped over the LED that shows if the camera is switched on or running, so we had to guess whether it was working. It also means it’s hard to take the memory card out or charge the battery up.
For this year I’m going to make use of the bar clamp mount from JooVuu. It’s not perfect because it’s a bit too small for the 32mm chassis tube – but as I came to find when testing things out, the tube isn’t exactly round everywhere, either, so that makes things a bit tough.
The previous run with it taped on top of the roll hoop gave a good picture, but a lot of the screen was filled up by my behelmeted noggin. This is hard to get around, but with this proper mount it should raise the camera a good few centimeters up, which might make all the difference.
The best camera view will show as much action as possible – both outside and inside the car. This means mounting it on the right hand side, so you (hopefully) get a view of the gearshift and the steering wheel, and maybe even the pedals.
I may be able to get around this even more effectively by mounting the camera on the side of the roll hoop, although the mount that I currently have limits this, as you can’t have the mount in place with the camera horizontal…
This is probably what I’ll go with at first, but it’s no problem to unbolt and move the camera around a little.
As Glenn rightly pointed out, if I put the car upside down it could cause a problem for the camera with these mountings, but then I will be hoping not to do that, anyway!
We also need to consider getting into and out of the car – in a single seater it’s an even that requires an almost Olympic level of strength and contortionism, without having to worry about knocking a camera. And we need to ensure there’s somewhere for them to put a tow rope if we end up getting towed off circuit again!
I will hopefully experiment with rear-facing cameras (providing there are going to be other cars behind me on the track!), but that will need more thinking about with types of mount, heat from the engine, and vibrations from bodywork.
If the test day goes without drama, then I should have a bit of time to rethink what we’re doing with cameras, and make improvements where we can.