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Cycliq Fly 6 Bicycle Rear Camera and Light - SD card recording gaps

cycling
sd-cards
security-cameras

#1

Some months ago I purchased a Cycliq Fly 6 rear camera to record any incidents happening behind me when cycling- ones I may not see coming and be able to take evasive action for.

rotated 90deg from how I saved it, for reasons unknown.

I only occasionally ride in cities and towns, mostly riding on quiet rural roads, many of which are gravel (ie rocks and corrugations) surfaced.
It records in files that are 10 minutes long, and originally there was essentially zero gap between one video file and the next, but in recent weeks I have noticed that there is generally a ~30sec (and up to 1 minute) gap in between files. So with up to 10% of the action not being recorded, this device is nowhere near as useful as it is supposed to be!
The USB charged internal battery lasts for close to 6 hours, and the 32GB MicroSD card will hold quite a few days worth of rides, with file sizes typically in the range of 500 to 800MB.

These couple of frame grabs from a recent video show the type of events I’m recording


I raised my concerns with the Compliance Manager of trucking company, and he had a talk to the driver, and also reminded all their other drivers of the rules regarding overtaking clearance to cyclists in 60km/hr (1m) and higher speed zones (1.5m). I was happy with his actions and didn’t take the matter to the police. I asked him to review the truck’s dash cam, and he and the driver agreed that it was a bit too close.
If this incident, duration only 5-10 sec, had occurred in a recording gap, I may not have had any success.

I’ve discovered in very small print in the Quick Start Guide that Cycliq recommends a full overwrite of MicroSD cards regularly, so I’m reformatting today and will see how it goes tomorrow.
I will post an update on the results when I run through the recordings.


#2

Interesting. I have noticed this with security cameras as well, and couldn’t fathom the reason for the increasing gap between the recordings. I have it on motion detect, and set for shorter durations when there was motion, but found I was missing traffic. So I increased it to 5 minutes, and still missing traffic.

In a similar vein to you, it would be possible to completely miss recording a miscreant due to the undisclosed gap in between recordings.


#3

Maybe you need to also tell the trucking company that their trailer rims also need a clean, as the prime mover ones are spotless.


#4

Formatting the 32GB MicroSD card hasn’t made much of a difference, there are still gaps, mostly 20-30sec, between video files.
This morning I went for a ride with the 8GB card that came with the Fly6, and it has no gaps between files. In fact in some instances there is a very small amount (~1sec) of overlap!

It’s a bit of a mystery, as the 32GB card (Sandisk Ultra) had no gaps between files when initially used (and was ok until recently), but now it does, even after formatting.

@meltam, have you tried formatting the card to see if that makes any difference.


#5

Yes, and no :frowning:


#6

This sounds like a “Trim” issue, ie the software and hardware system are perhaps unable to discern when a cell in the memory is free to be written to and so has to rewrite the entire cell when new data is entered leading to extreme delays in writing, some say of up to X 100 times. Formatting of these cards tends not to flush the data as most use a “quick format” and all that does is removes the file name from the allocation record and on an old style drive this would be sufficient but not on SD, Memory Cards and similar. A full format however initialises the cells again by clearing each one but on memory like Micro SD or SSD this also wears out the useful life of the item faster.

There are some after market tools that promise they will run a Trim command on the cells but the Linux command fstrim will do a Trim on the SD. Too frequent a Trim will also affect the lifespan of lesser quality SSDs and SD etc cards. Recommended frequency is about weekly but you may wish to wait longer.

First you will need to check if your particular SD card supports Trim, the SD card must be mounted for these steps

sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep “TRIM supported”

Change the dev/sda to whatever your mounted SD card reports as its designation eg “media/32G_SD”. If you get the message that Trim is supported then you can use the fstrim command (not all SD cards or even Linux distros support the Trim command but Ubuntu 14.04 and later does), some have it as nfstrim but as an example with fstrim it could be fstrim -v /media/32G_SD/. The -v (lowercase) stands for verbose so that it gives a bit more detail of how much was trimmed

For a bit more info on fstrim see:

https://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/xenial/man8/fstrim.8.html


#7

I did do a full format, rather than a quick one, in Windows 10.

Cycliq recommend using their free download of SD Formatter, I might have to try that, but wonder how it could be any better than doing a full format.


#8

It could just be a bad controller on the card, there is a bit of evidence that there are bad controllers even on some brand name cards that do not work well. I guess they spec and price the product based on what they think the market wants/needs. Some cards for size are way cheaper than others of similar capacity but read/write speeds soon let you know why there is a difference. I can get at least three varieties of same sized USB sticks from the same manufacturer but the difference is the speed at which they read and write with the fastest much more expensive than the slowest. In a non speed critical usage any of the three varieties would do but on some extreme speed needs only one will do the job. So I tend to buy more of the cheaper less speedy ones for capacity and when I am not concerned with throughput but I have a couple of the premium for their specific tasks.


#9

The SD Association has info about why their formatter is better than the one built into the various OSs, and the free download can be found here too:

I can attest to the fact that it is a very slow process! I’ve had it going for quite a while, and it is only up to 16%.


#10

Thanks. I will have a look at this.

I even have gone to using U1 SD cards in the hope that the faster cards will keep up. Hasn’t made a difference so far. Perhaps using this app will help?


#11

Formatting now up to 81%, still some time to go here! I’ll test it out tomorrow and see if things have improved.


#12

@gordon - I’ve used the “SD Memory Card Formatter” to format several 8GB Class 6 SDHC disks, at about 15 min each.
Did a 32Gb U1 SDHC in 35 min.

The faster the card the faster the format??


#13

Yes it could well be.

However, both of the cards I have been using are of the same 10MB/sec minimum sequential write speed, which I would have thought is way more than adequate for a file that only needs to be written at around 1MB/sec. (~600MB in 600 sec), and the 32GB card was fine until recently.


#14

theory holds… I just did a 32Gb U3 in 27min


#15

I can report that using SD Memory Card Formatter does not help- there is no improvement over Win10 formatting. I’m still seeing typically 25-30sec gaps in today’s recordings.
Very disappointing!

I’ll contact Cycliq to see if they have any suggestions/excuses.


#16

Also try a Trim if you can and see if that may help??? Ubuntu can be run from a USB stick/DVD if you don’t want to install it.


#17

Despite the “Ultra” moniker, SanDisk Ultra SD (and microSD) are low grade cards. They have a write speed typically a quarter the read speed.
And, that is if you actually have a genuine Sandisk card. There are heaps of fake Sandisks at unbeatable prices.
“Extreme” and “Extreme Pro” are the performance cards.
The card designed for dash/Cycliq/cams is actually the “High Endurance” range. It depends how much cycling you do, but all dashcams are regarded as high-stress for memory cards resulting in short life.
If you can find them, the Samsung Pro range (not Evo) SD cards are also meant to be long life.


#18

I’m not sure if the grade is the problem, since it initially was fine, with no recording gaps. Having a claimed write speed 10X what is required I’d think would be a sufficient margin. It was bought at a well known office supplies store, not from a dodgy dealer on ebay, so I’d hope it is genuine.

I did once get a fake Sandisk CF card on ebay many years ago. I demonstrated to the seller why it was fake and the read and write speeds were appallingly slow, which is what made me suspicious in the first place.


#19

From Cycliq:
https://support.cycliq.com/support/solutions/articles/13000043352-microsd-card-considerations-for-fly6-ce

"Do not use SanDisk Ultra microSD cards as they are not able to handle the read and write speeds of Fly6 CEdevices."

Here is the card designed for the job:
https://www.sandisk.com/home/memory-cards/microsd-cards/high-endurance-microsd

I have a Cycliq 6CE, 3 or 4 months old. It is set to 5 minute record chunks with timestamp. The start time of the second file is identical to the stop time of the first file. Can’t be sure without analysing frames, but it gives the impression that there is a one second overlap from one file to the next.

Your problem is the card, not the camera (you said the original card still works and the Ultra used to work). Sandisk have “lifetime warranty” so you could make a claim on Sandisk, but what’s the point?

I am happy with the High Endurance card in my car dashcam and currently happy with an Extreme card in my Cycliq. When it dies, I’ll try a High Endurance card even though Cycliq don’t seem to know about it. You can’t expect any card to actually last a “lifetime” in a dashcam, or, to highlight the marketing slant, one human lifetime is approximately 50 dashcam SD card lifetimes.

Enjoy the rides.


#20

Thanks for the link mnews. It would appear that the 10MB/sec write speed claimed by Sandisk for the Ultra must be a gross exaggeration, since it can’t handle 1MB/sec. I’ll see if I can find a better card to use. The supplied 8GB card just doesn’t have enough space for most of my rides, so I only turn it on for some of the time, where the risk of encountering idiot drivers is greater.

A possibly related issue is the frequent corruption of the last video recorded on each ride, where I manually end it by holding the ON/OFF button down for 3 or 4sec. It wont play on either of the Windows players I have.