Syncing sensor data with video to create an onscreen display

Build a ‘black box’ data logger for adding onscreen display gauges to your highlight videos. 

If you enjoy motorsports, mountain biking or “extreme tricycling” (aka riding a drift trike), you may take videos of your rides. This kind of presentation can be interesting by itself, but how much cooler would it be if you could display stats like speed, altitude, or even the temperature outside?


Well now you can, using an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) equipped with several sensors, including a GPS and accelerometer. Instructions for making your own can be found on Fluxaxiom’s Instructables post on this ‘black box.’ The parts list is fairly involved, and although it doesn’t look like a ridiculously-hard build, you’ll definitely spend some time soldering components.

Once everything is soldered together, it’s attached to an anti-vibration mount reminiscent of something that would be used on a quadcopter. The assembly is then inserted into what is physically a clear box. Since it’s important (or at least less confusing later) for the box to be kept in a known orientation, the box is labeled with X, Y and Z direction labels.


After the data is obtained, it can be combined with your video using software called “Race Render 3.” There are other possible solutions to put this kind of data onscreen, but Fluxaxiom has gotten good results with it — as seen in the drift trike video below.

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