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#26 Wed, Mar 3, 2010 6:41 PM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Handheld.  I'm not sold on the quality of the tracker mounts yet.  I think they need better shock absorption.

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#27 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 7:24 AM

WadeWilliams
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Quality and better shock absorption are two different things... the mount is solid... although you are correct it could use better shock absorption.

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#28 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 7:40 AM

Chef23
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

danbirch wrote:

Handheld.  I'm not sold on the quality of the tracker mounts yet.  I think they need better shock absorption.

I agree on the shock absorbtion front that is why I am interested in the image stabilization.  My other issue with the trakker is the lag when the skier crosses the wake.  They can move in and out of view and if you zoom out enough so it isn't an issue then you can't always see what is going on.

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#29 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 8:08 AM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

What "shock" are you guys going through in the course? We're typically running glass or near-glass with very nicely tuned boats. If the water was really rough, we wouldn't be in the course. My Trakker mount doesn't have to absorb anything because it's getting zero shock from the pylon in the slalom course. Also, what else do you need to see to convince you that it works other than the many awesome video examples posted by several of us?

Last edited by Jhughes (Thu, Mar 4, 2010 8:10 AM)

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#30 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 8:47 AM

WadeWilliams
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

chef23 wrote:

My other issue with the trakker is the lag when the skier crosses the wake.  They can move in and out of view and if you zoom out enough so it isn't an issue then you can't always see what is going on.

If you're getting the skier moving in and out of the picture, this is due to 2 factors:

-> Make sure the camera is pointed directly down the line. Its easy to mount the camera a little crooked which will obviously not get you a great picture. While this sounds simple enough, you just need to be meticulous when you setup the camera on the mount... it's very easy to set it up just a little crooked -- it's not as easy as bolt it on and hit record and assume it will do great.

-> Second reason to loose the skier out of the picture is SLACK. If the rope is slack the camera will not point at the skier. This is a technique error and the Trakker mount will simply 'let you know' by not recording anything you do while you have slack -- because you already made an error, which was on tape big_smile At least that's the way that I look at it.


As far as the "shock" the only issue that I've had is again due to poor technique, skiing with 'basher' style which does rip the pylon around.... so image stabilization is a must... mostly learn to ski better.


Handheld obviously works great too... better shock absorption... depends on the lady running the camera though, some people can move the camera and keep the skier in the frame, some can't.

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#31 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 8:47 AM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Jhughes wrote:

What "shock" are you guys going through in the course? We're typically running glass or near-glass with very nicely tuned boats. If the water was really rough, we wouldn't be in the course. My Trakker mount doesn't have to absorb anything because it's getting zero shock from the pylon in the slalom course. Also, what else do you need to see to convince you that it works other than the many awesome video examples posted by several of us?

Joel,

The shock I'm referring to is from the skier's rope hitting the trakker's arm.  You can sure see what I am talking about by looking at the video used to promote the trackker. 

  As the skier comes out of each ball, you get this etch, etch, etch.

That CAN be dampened by adding shock absorption to the oval arm, where the rope hits the arm
http://danbirch.com/trakker.jpg

If you are happy with yours, and it is helping you that is GREAT!  I just believe that the manufacture CAN imporve this version substantially, and until then, I prefer handheld video.

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#32 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 8:54 AM

WadeWilliams
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Just so we all know what we're talking about, the camera used to shoot that video above has NO image stabilization.

Interesting idea about adding shock absorption on the rope arm... I'll do some testing this summer.

In my experience the trakker is just more consistent than the random skier who may or may not be adept enough with the handheld camera. But I ski with a lot of different people. If you've got someone who can run the camera, perfect.

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#33 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 9:00 AM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

To me, the advantage is that we can get ANY video in situations where we normally can't. These situations include 0600 runs with 1 driver and 1 skier (no third) and instances where we have one or more toddlers in the boat, which demand so much attention that filming is not possible. Obviously a hand-held camera is going to do a better job than a mount of ANY sort in most situations. Once nice thing about the mount is that the filming is so consistent that I can do side-by-side comparos very easily if needed.

As far as the rope slap, I think that skier just doesn't know what he's doing. ;P I don't think any amount of padding is going to absorb that much slack off the ball.

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#34 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 9:04 AM

WadeWilliams
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

JHughes wrote:

As far as the rope slap, I think that skier just doesn't know what he's doing. ;P I don't think any amount of padding is going to absorb that much slack off the ball.

Ya it's pretty horrible stuff for sure. It's just meant as an example of the camera and not a demonstration of technique.

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#35 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 9:11 AM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

WadeWilliams wrote:

JHughes wrote:

As far as the rope slap, I think that skier just doesn't know what he's doing. ;P I don't think any amount of padding is going to absorb that much slack off the ball.

Ya it's pretty horrible stuff for sure. It's just meant as an example of the camera and not a demonstration of technique.

Sure, sure, sure. tongue I just looked at one of my vids and I guess if you look closely we get a little rope slap as well, even on the trans-atlantic-cable-length -15 line. Never noticed it before, never bothered me one bit. The consistent video and the ability to video with no spotter and/or crazy kids in the boat make this mount an absolutely KEY weapon in our ski arsenal. We actually have two of them because they are so important for us. I was a Trakker user/buyer before my review/affiliation with them as well. I am still a little hung up on how that rope slap is enough to basically write off the device.

Edit: One thing this product REALLY needs is a quick release. Rusty allen keys in the boat are a no-go, and mounting/un-mounting takes time out of early morning glass.

Last edited by Jhughes (Thu, Mar 4, 2010 9:19 AM)

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#36 Thu, Mar 4, 2010 2:02 PM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

WadeWilliams wrote:

JHughes wrote:

As far as the rope slap, I think that skier just doesn't know what he's doing. ;P I don't think any amount of padding is going to absorb that much slack off the ball.

Ya it's pretty horrible stuff for sure. It's just meant as an example of the camera and not a demonstration of technique.

Actually, the skier in the video is incredible!  It's the etching in the video that makes my stomach get queeezy...

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#37 Fri, Mar 5, 2010 5:36 AM

WadeWilliams
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Jhughes wrote:

Edit: One thing this product REALLY needs is a quick release. Rusty allen keys in the boat are a no-go, and mounting/un-mounting takes time out of early morning glass.

yes, big wing bolts would be perfect!

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#38 Fri, Mar 5, 2010 6:08 PM

h20dawg79
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

danbirch wrote:

[

The shock I'm referring to is from the skier's rope hitting the trakker's arm.  You can sure see what I am talking about by looking at the video used to promote the trackker. 

  As the skier comes out of each ball, you get this etch, etch, etch.

That CAN be dampened by adding shock absorption to the oval arm, where the rope hits the arm
http://danbirch.com/trakker.jpg

If you are happy with yours, and it is helping you that is GREAT!  I just believe that the manufacture CAN imporve this version substantially, and until then, I prefer handheld video.

I wonder if Trakker has ever experimented with a shock tube and a reconfigured arm to help alleviate the shock or slap???


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#39 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 8:49 AM

Deke
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

I think Trakker was looking at foam as a vibration isolation.  My understanding is the rope slap issue was improved with the dampened camera mount.  That video above is WAY better than my older model Trakker and would be fine for figuring out what's wrong with your technique.

Dan, have you tried dampening at the arm?  I don't see how it would differ from dampening at the pivot.  One thing about the way it is now is, the better your technique, the better the picture!

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#40 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 11:05 AM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Deke wrote:

I think Trakker was looking at foam as a vibration isolation.  My understanding is the rope slap issue was improved with the dampened camera mount.  That video above is WAY better than my older model Trakker and would be fine for figuring out what's wrong with your technique.

Dan, have you tried dampening at the arm?  I don't see how it would differ from dampening at the pivot.  One thing about the way it is now is, the better your technique, the better the picture!

Deke,

I agree that some type of foam might be best (cheapest) on the arms, to help absorb some of the shock.  The type and amount of foam would need some experimentation, but it could act as a buffer so you don't get the etching effect.  If that didn't work, I would have 2 more (interior) sets of arms, (inside of the oval arms that currently bang against the rope) connected them by springs, and shock absorbers, just like a vehicle supspnsion.  That would cost more $, but It would work.... and yes, I would spend up to $500+ for a system that really could video a slalom skier smoothly.

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#41 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 12:25 PM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Here's some video from me trying to  figure out my new ski this August. Skiing is terrible. Rope slack/slap all over, boat doing turnarounds and running over it's own wake, etc. Still, I still don't understand how the video could be much smoother. Am I missing something here?

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#42 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 1:41 PM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Still, I still don't understand how the video could be much smoother. Am I missing something here?


Joel,

At 32 mph, 15 off, you can run a fairly smooth line.  It won't be happening when you start skiing much shorter lines with faster speed.  Things will be getting a lot more agressive, and happen faster.  The skier in the Trakker Promotional video  (I am assuming it is WW) is a far better skier than you or I, but you can see how hard the rope is hitting the trakker arm when the ski is in the white water and behind the boat (I believe that was taped at -32).  At many points, you can't even see his ski, because the trakker is bouncing so hard (i.e. after 4 and 6 ball).

Also, your tape is very zoomed out.  Try zooming the camera in closer to the skier, as my tape was with the Sanyo Camera.  I prefer it closer to be able to see my problems better (and boy are there alot of them!)

As I said before, if it is working for you, that is GREAT! It just doesn't work so smoothly for shortline skiing.

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#43 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 3:32 PM

davemac
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Joel,
Re your video, any idea what rope length was, and was that taken w/ the Flip "zoomed"?
TIA,
dmac

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#44 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 3:46 PM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

davemac wrote:

Joel,
Re your video, any idea what rope length was, and was that taken w/ the Flip "zoomed"?
TIA,
dmac

Not zoomed, -15, 32mph.

Dan, are you a basing your "it doesn't work for shortline" conclusion on WW's video only or on your own experience? Did you recently purchase one, try it yourself with your equipment, and find out based on hands-on experience that it doesn't work? Just trying to get the whole picture here. We're talking about flat-out saying that someone's product doesn't work at all for a certain type of skiing, which is a fairly strong statement.

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#45 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 4:18 PM

danbirch
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Joel,

I haven't purchased the trakker yet, because, I have seen quite a few trakker videos, and have used trakkers (friends) and have seen the quality of the video that it produces, especially at shortline lengths.  I purchased a masterline unit (for MasterCrafts), tried it, and it had some serious problems as well, so it was returned.  At this point, I'd say that the Trakker is better than the Masterline product, but still not good enough to invest into. 

It is just a matter of more effort on the part of the manufacture to correct the etching problem, but, until then, I'll stay with handheld.

Again, if you are happy with yours, that is GREAT!  Keep doing what works for you.

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#46 Sat, Mar 6, 2010 4:37 PM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

danbirch wrote:

Again, if you are happy with yours, that is GREAT!  Keep doing what works for you.

[Facepalm]

Dan, the point is that I'm endorsing a product based on my own extensive personal hands-on experience. You are sitting back in your computer chair throwing rocks at it on a public forum (possibly causing irreparable product reputation damage, turning off potential buyers)  without that same level of experience. I'm calling you out on that single point exactly. Case closed.

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#47 Sun, Mar 7, 2010 6:26 AM

h20dawg79
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

If the Trakker folks follow this thread, I hope they will begin to incorporate a shock tube into the mix regardless of it's possible video inhancement... It sucks to run w/o a tube and who knows, a tube might just inhance the image, save the camera and/or the drivers neck! 


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#48 Sun, Mar 7, 2010 6:59 AM

Jhughes
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

h20dawg79 wrote:

If the Trakker folks follow this thread, I hope they will begin to incorporate a shock tube into the mix regardless of it's possible video inhancement... It sucks to run w/o a tube and who knows, a tube might just inhance the image, save the camera and/or the drivers neck! 

If you read up earlier in this thread, you'll see an announcement from Trakker regarding this exactly. They did it already.

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#49 Sun, Mar 7, 2010 7:43 AM

h20dawg79
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

Trakker wrote:

Thanks for all of the feedback up till now.

I have experimented with a minor modification to the Trakker.  Many users want to use the Trakker with a shock tube, but the rope loop is not made to accommodate the larger diameter.  Basically, I made the rope loop on the Trakker into a U shape to accept the larger diameter.  The customer that tried it got great results and ordered another one for their ski club.  I just wanted to let everyone on this forum know that this modification is an option.

You can purchase the Trakker from the Homepage of this website.

My Bad! -I never saw this post...

I'd love to see some long line and short line examples with this new arm. This particular arm may or may not help the image, but at least it will help solve the safety issue and maybe save the cam...


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#50 Wed, Mar 10, 2010 6:30 AM

david38off
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Re: Trakker Video Camera Mounts for Water Skiing and Wake Boarding.

I bought a trakker and used it with Wade's camera when he was visiting last summer.  I have tried to use it with my camera, but the camera shuts off every time the boat takes off?  I guess from vibration of the engine.  It shuts off prior to skiing so it is not related to skier tech or "shock" of the rope.  I have tried every setting on the camera that I can figure out.  Was wondering if anyone else had the problem and could tell me the "fix".  I know it must be something with the camera, but have been unable to find a setting on the camera that doesnt do this.  The camera works fine if hand held , so must be related to engine vibration??  I have tried the anti motion setting both on and off, and there is a camera "drop" setting and have tried it both on and off.  Has anyone else had this problem and if so what setting on the camera fixed the problem?  Thanks.

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