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Potholes Timelapse Video

Yesterday I posted a timelapse video where the main feature was the GPS points on the topo map. When we drove back from Potholes a few weeks ago, I focused more on the images. I taped a USB webcam to the rear view mirror and had it connected to the laptop which was running an app to capture an image every two seconds. That worked great except that there was a problem with the inverter and the laptop battery died before we even made it back over the pass.

I took the images that we were able to snag, combined them with the GPS data and created another timelapse video. It’s all done with a custom C# program so if you geeks out there have any questions, let me know. Basically it’s a WinForms app with a web browser that loads the Bing maps and then I use Win32API calls to capture an image of the app. I have another app that combines all the image files into a WMV file.

The next thing I want to try is using the little HD video camera to record the images/video and see how that works. I have a suction cup camera mount that should make it easier to mount in the car and using the video camera means that I won’t need to have the laptop running. I plan to give it another try when we drive out to the coast in a couple weeks.

The video is embedded below, but again, it works best when you view in full screen HD quality. The GPS wasn’t able to get a lock on the signal for a while so it starts out with just images and then the location data kicks in. I wasn’t intentionally trying to keep our camping spot a secret since you could just watch the images and figure out where we were.

Modern Rogue Sign

I’ve mentioned the Modern Rogue YouTube channel in some past “Best of YouTube” posts and they’re still going strong. In fact, they recently built a huge new building on their property to ramp up their production capabilities. At one point, Brian mentioned that he thought it would be neat to add fan submitted stuff to some of their buildings on the property. I don’t know if he was serious or not but it seemed like a good excuse to try making a sign on the CNC.

Since Brian has a fire eating stage show and they do a lot of fire stuff on the YouTube channel, I decided to start by burning the wood with a torch. Then I used the CNC to carve their logo into the board and I finished it off with some spray polyurethane to keep the black ash from getting all over. I filmed the project and put together a short timelapse on my woodworking Instagram account.

KenC is friends with Brian on Twitter and helped me get a mailing address. I shipped it off and thought that would be the end of it, but a couple weeks later, they did a special Instagram post to show it off and say thank you!

Dash Cams for the F150 and Escape

Whenever I hear about dash cams, I think about people in eastern Europe or Russia recording meteors and crazy crashes (the audio of some of those videos is probably NSFW.) But then I was at a party for one of Elijah’s classmates and a King County detective was talking about how he was installing dash cams in his car and his wife’s car. Huh? It turns out that there are groups of people who travel around the country basically putting you in a situation where you have no choice but to rear end them. With no evidence, the person in the rear is generally at fault because hey, you should have stopped. He said that Seattle is swamped with this stuff right now.

It’s highly unlikely that will ever happen to me, but you know how much I already enjoy doing timelapse video, especially on road trips so having a camera mounted nicely in the car was appealing. The fact that it might come in handy some day for insurance purposes was enough to push me over the edge.

I started with my truck and was lucky enough to find a video showing the camera I wanted being installed in a truck very similar to mine. It was super handy to see where the fuse box was, how to get the various pieces of molding off, etc. Here’s what I ordered:

While Dad was visiting, we got it all installed in my 2016 F150 without too much hassle and it has been working well. You can check the Amazon page to see samples of the video quality, but it’s plenty good for what I want. The camera itself works nicely and is low profile, especially compared to some of the other big suction cup versions. The wire exits the camera and is hidden all the way down to the fuse box so there isn’t anything dangling down or plugged into my cigarette lighter.

It went well so I decided to install the same setup in our 2013 Escape. The only difference was that the Escape used mini fuses instead of the micro fuses that the truck uses. Installation there was a little more tricky because of the goofy shape of the plastic around the rear view mirror, but I found a good spot for it and was able to run the wire down to the fuse box under the glove box. I can get free access to the Chilton’s website via our library and that came in handy for figuring out how to remove a couple pieces of trim. I also stumbled across a YouTube channel devoted to the 2013 Escape which will come in handy in the future.

I’m excited to go on a road trip and use this instead of the hacky/messy/annoying GoPro setup that I used to use. With the 64GB card, I could record 11 hours of 1080p video or even more than that if I use the timelapse mode in the camera.

In other countries, insurance companies offer discounts for dash cams, but that hasn’t been popularized here yet. Even without the discount, I do wonder if/when car manufacturers are going to build these in. It’s not a big stretch to imagine this as part of your rear view mirror mount or maybe even using some of the parking cameras that are already installed.

Lunch In Kingston

As we’ve done a few times before, we hopped on the ferry in Edmonds and floated across Puget Sound to have lunch in Kingston. When we’ve done it previously, I’ve thought that it would be kind of neat to have a timelapse of the trip so this time I packed my Go Pro. I had a flexible tripod that I kind of wrapped around the railing and then held it in place with alternating freezing hands. I didn’t do anything too fancy to stabilize or straighten the video, but there’s a lot of fun stuff to see!

Filling The Garden Boxes

The garden box project is done and ready for sunshine. Elijah and I got a load half dirt, half compost) from Pacific Topsoils and filled the boxes. It took about 1.3 yards to fill the beds and thankfully they are generous with their loads there so my 1 yard purchase was perfect.

I made a timelapse of the build and filling the beds. It’s fun to watch the truck rise up as we unloaded. The unloading was very easy since I could back right up to the boxes. Elijah was having a BLAST helping with that part. It’s so nice to have my own truck to get these kinds of jobs done!