Team Paddy Murphy

Team Paddy Murphy

Paddy, you are not a driver. You are a feckin' pilot!the_s41nt, 2015


05-06-2016: Strade del Vino 2016 ‐ Hat-trick!

Team Paddy Murphy emerged again victorious as the winner of this year's Strade del Vino rally ‐ they scored a hat-trick! The definition of hat-trick is three successes of the same kind within a limited period.

Strade del Vino 2016

Team Paddy Murphy attended the 7th edition of Strade del Vino from 1th to 5th June 2016 in Piedmont, Italy. It was once more an awesome experience. Beautiful landscapes, interesting routes, great food and drinks. Thanks to the Orga-Team of Strade del Vino for that!

Strade del Vino 2016

The statistics of the rally Strade del Vino 2016 are:

Title Total Length Total Duration Total Elevation Gain/Loss Average Speed
Prologue 245 km 4h 22m 2904m / 3012m 74.09 km/h
Day 01 192 km 7h 59m 4553m / 4558m 40.38 km/h
Day 02 237 km 8h 40m 6299m / 6291m 41.75 km/h
Day 03 171 km 7h 53m 4837m / 4849m 40.51 km/h

Map of the rally Strade del Vino 2016:

Map of Strade del Vino 2016

05-05-2016: Best of Coppa d'Europa 2016

Paddy distilled hours of recording down to this film ‐ the pure essence of motor racing for car enthusiasts and petrol heads. The film Best Of Coppa d'Europa 2016 contains only the best ingredients: speed, straight tracks, narrow roads, dangerous bends and classic cars, accompanied by the lovely sound of a V6 engine.

Coppa d'Europa 2016

Coppa d'Europa 2016

Play button Click here to view Best of Coppa d'Europa 2016

There's one more thing: Paddy proudly presents the first film encoded in a new video compression standard called High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265. HVEC promises that it encodes video files up to twice as efficiently compared to previous standards like H.264 ‐ that's a bold statement. So it's time for proof: Paddy encoded Best of Coppa d'Europa 2016 four times and used each time the same settings such as 720p, 60fps, 7000KB/s bit rate, two-pass.
Let's compare the results:

Encoder File size [MB] (du -h)
VP9 (libvpx-vp9) 431
H.264 (libx264) 399
VP8 (libvpx) 395
H.265 (libx265) 366

That is a impressive result even if it's not half the size of the others. But, and there's always a but, most browsers don't support HVEC/H.265 yet. However, here is Best of Coppa d'Europa 2016 in H.265 ‐ just play it in your favourite video player and see for yourself. Paddy would love to hear your feedback.

11-04-2016: Coppa d'Europa 2016

Team Paddy Murphy attended the 12th edition of Coppa d'Europa 2016 from 7th to 10th April 2016. The 2016 edition started in Vaals (NL) and led through the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and ended in Prague in the Czech Republic. Coppa d'Europa is among the most challenging rallies in Central Europe. Team Paddy Murphy started in the category CoppaSport and finished the rally 34rd of 41 ‐ a decent result for their first participation!

Coppa d'Europa 2016

The statistics of the Coppa d'Europa 2016 are:

Title Total Length Total Duration Total Elevation Gain/Loss Elevation Range Average Speed
Way there 626 km 9h 5m 7389m / 7701m 61m to 795m 74.09 km/h
Day 01 541 km 12h 8m 11559m / 11543m 63m to 704m 51.96 km/h
Day 02 578 km 12h 37m 12875m / 12752m 139m to 937m 53.7 km/h
Day 03 483 km 10h 58m 10122m / 10169m 201m to 799m 53.04 km/h
Way back 688 km 7h 4m 7519m / 7317m 174m to 794m 108.03 km/h

Of course there will be a cool video by Paddy ‐ stay tuned.

28-03-2016: GoPro Setup 101

As with all tools, correct setup is critical to get brilliant results. Before using his new GoPro HERO4 Black, Paddy went the extra mile to find the perfect mix between image quality and recording time. First Paddy measured maximum recording time in different video settings. This control test was done indoors and the camera didn't move during recording.

Paddy used the same settings for all recordings ‐ Wi-Fi: Off, V-Format: PAL, OSD: Off, FOV: W, Low Light: On (if available) and Protune: Off.

A few words concerning PAL and NTSC ‐ both are encoding systems for analogue television. A key difference between those two systems is the frame rate. PAL uses per default 25 frames where as NTSC uses 30 frames. Traditionally European countries used PAL in broadcast television systems. Therefore Paddy set his GoPro to PAL. After reading the manual he concluded that this setting doesn't have a big impact nowadays in the computer age ‐ expect videos are played on TVs or you'll use different recording devices. In future, Paddy will use GoPro's default NTSC and therefore goes for a higher frame rate, because that's just how he rolls.

However, here are the test results:

Video Mode Recording time [h:m:s]
720p (25fps) 01:56:36
720p (25fps, Spot Meter) 01:51:49
720p (50fps) 01:46:57
720p (50fps, SuperView) 01:56:26
1080p (25fps) 01:45:41
1080p (50fps, SuperView) 01:42:57
4K (25fps) 00:38:50

As expected, the recording time decreases when resolution and frame rate is higher. The recording time at 720p (50fps, SuperView) sticks out and is clearly an outlier. Maybe this was a measurement error or some battery saving magic in the SuperView mode. The difference between 720p and 1080p is around ten minutes, that's an affordable time for the higher resolution.

GoPro HER04 comes with two remote control options, a remote control or the GoPro app. Both need the camera's Wi-Fi connection. Paddy also measured how this function affects recording time.

Video Mode Wi-Fi Recording time [h:m:s]
720p (25fps) Off 01:56:36
720p (25fps) Remote 01:44:30
720p (25fps) GoPro App 01:41:51

If you're using a remote control only to start/stop your camera, it's not worth losing more than 10-15 minutes recording time. Shortly after Paddy did his control test, he discovered that there's an article about HERO4 Camera Battery-life on GoPro's website.

After this check, Paddy started field testing. He mounted the GoPro on the Audi S3 engine bonnet and a microphone near the exhaust pipes:

Camera on engine bonnet

Microphone near exhaust pipes

The test track was a road to Kyburg Castle south of Winterthur. He drove up and down every time with a different GoPro setup. The goal is to compare different settings afterwards and then decide which setup is the best compared to recording time. Stupidly, Paddy forgot to connect microphone and camera after a battery change. On the bright side, he did an audio test as well. You're able to see or better hear how much better the mic improves the sound. You're welcome.

On the way to Kyburg Castle

At the end, Paddy produced three films: two in 720p with different frame rates (25 to 50) and one in 1080p with 50 fps. Now you can watch one by one und compare them:

Play button Click here to view GoPro Test #01 (720p/25fps)

Play button Click here to view GoPro Test #02 (720p/50fps)

Play button Click here to view GoPro Test #03 (1080p/50fps)

Paddy did also a 4K version ‐ but neither he had a capable device to play that film in its full resolution nor his video editing software (OpenShot 1.4.3) supports a 4K project.

Paddy deceided to use 1080p with a frame rate of 50 (60 with NTSC) from now on. However, the main format for publishing is still 720p. It is nice to know that 1080p and 60 fps is the new default in the GoPro firmware version 3. It seems Paddy and the experts at GoPro came to the same conclusion.

03-12-2015: Pass Tour 2015

Paddy's Chilean cousins, Patricios Murphy and Patricios "MoXo" Murphy, visited Paddy in Switzerland this summer. When MoXo was here, they drove one day on the Night Flight challenge route ‐ that's where Paddy lost his GoPro camera somewhere between Davos and the border to Austria. Luckily, MoXo had a brand new GoPro 4 camera with him. As a result, you can see Paddys adventures in sixty frames per second. That's the same frame rate the epic Hobbit movies have.

The film starts at the Norberthöhe, a small mountain pass in Austria, which has a few nice corners. But it was not more than an appetizer for other roads to come. Paddy headed for the mighty Stelvio Pass. Well, it was raining cats and dogs at the beginning, the road was totally wet and it was challenging to drive fast. Needless to say that Paddy tried it anyway.

Rain at the Stelvio Pass

At around the twentieth turn (there are a grand total of 48 hairpin turns), the rain stopped and the road dried. Then Paddy started a race against the sun ‐ could Paddy arrive at the top before the sun sets? Yes, of course he can! Paddy won that race and enjoyed another sunset at the top of Stelvio Pass.

Afterwards, he headed back to Switzerland over the Umbrail Pass. It was a nice drive without any disturbances such as an inspection by the Swiss customs officer. Okay, there was one thing: a big tree branch was lying on the street and blocked Paddy's way. But then, like some sort of Greek Titan of myth, MoXo entered the stage and saved the day.

Play button Click here to view Pass Tour 2015

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