Question: Which Lemons team was using the same technology as Formula 1 teams?
Answer: Team SFF1 was using the same ChaseCam setup used by Formula 1 teams like Renault and Red Bull.
As I’ve said before, the ChaseCam PDR100 Racer Kit is my dream in-car video setup – a solid state video recorder with a lightweight, shockproof, weatherproof camera. When we decided to run the 24 Hours of Lemons I approached ChaseCam to see if they might be interested in lending us a video setup to record the race. I am glad to report that they were very interested in the race and sent us a two full recording setups (PDR 100, bulletcam and camera mount) so that we’d be able to record both forward and backward views.
We mounted the cameras to the rollcage and velcroed the PDR units to the area where the back seats used to be. To avoid having to change batteries every stint, we directly hard wired the units to a 12V line from the dashboard. Once the cameras were aimed all we had to do was pop in a couple of 8GB video cards and we were ready to go. We are still sifting through the recorded video but here is a quick teaser from our rear facing camera. Jyri was driving the car when he gets hit while going through the esses. He recovers well from the hit but a few seconds later he gets hit again while going through the right handed sweeper and goes into the tirewall. Incidentally the blue CRX that passes us in the beginning of the video is Team Blue Goose, a team of EliseTalkers from Texas who finished 8th.
At its highest quality setting, the PDR100 records MPEG-2 at the rate of 4GB an hour. This meant that at every pitstop we had to switch CF cards and download the card data onto a laptop. The only issue we ran into was that the maximum file size on the PDR is 4GB (irrespective of card size) which means that in high quality mode you can only record 1 hour of video. If you are going to be recording video of greater length I suggest you reduce the quality to “normal”. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some 50 GB of super high quality video to sift through.
P.S.: I am in the process of writing up our entry for the December race so it will probably be a week or so before I recap the race and post the video online.
Update from Randy Chase: “The largest single file size is 4gigs but it can record continuously using consecutive 4gig files. For example, a 16gig card will record 4 hours of the highest quality video, but in 4 files. A 32gig card will record 8 hours. The gap between files is less than 1/2 second.” The PDR100 is now officially perfect.