Review: Eachine EV100 DVR

The Eachine EV100 DVR is an external DVR solution for any box goggle, Fastshark style goggle or ground station that does not have a DVR.

Since I am not yet ready to upgrade my box goggles with Fat Shark style goggles, I wanted to at least provide myself with abilities to record my flights.  Recording your flights, with something like the EV100 DVR system,  not only allows you to see how good (or bad) you are flying, but it also allows you to see where your quad may have crashed if you are unable to locate it after a crash. The EV100 DVR is a great low cost solution to add DVR to goggles that don’t have one.

Size and Specifications

The EV100 DVR measures only 38.5 x 31.3 x 12.5mm (1.39 x 1.23 x 0.45 inches) and weighs only 9 grams. So, it is super small and weighs nearly nothing. The box is black in color with nice white buttons, so it blends in nicely.

The EV100 DVR is able to record in VGA (640 x 480pixels), D1 (720 x 480) and also in HD (1280 x 480)…. Or, almost HD. It supports both NTSC and PAL and records videos in AVI format with compression done with MJPG. It can handle 50Hz and 60Hz, allowing true NTSC or PAL. The EV100 DVR can capture up to 30 frames per second and supports up to a 32GB Micro SD card.

What’s in the Box?

The EV100 DVR comes in a very small box. Eachine did seem to take care to protect the DVR from shifting around and it has a nice little home inside the box.

In the EV100 DVR box, you will receive the DVR unit itself, a 30 cm (11.8 inch) A/V cable, a 100 cm (39.3 inch) A/V cable, two 3M adhesive pads to attach the DVR to your googles, and also an instruction manual.

Below are images of the manual, if you would like to read them. Simply click on the images to see a larger version.

The English, in the EV100 DVR manual, is not very easy to follow. I had to, in trial and error, figure out what each of the buttons did. The good news is that there aren’t many of them. More on the menus in a little bit.

The A/V cables that come with the unit have one side with 3 mm 4 pole plug and the other side with a 2 mm 4 pole plug. 4 poles allow the cable to deliver both video and audio.

Micro SD Card Not Included

The EV100 DVR does not include a micro SD card, so you will need to provide your own. It supports up to a 32GB micro SD card. It is highly recommend that you use a Class 10 (UHS-1) micro SD card. I prefer to use Silicon Power micro SD cards, because they are inexpensive and I have had nothing but good luck with their card. I use them in my phones and anywhere else micro SD cards are needed. You can pick up a 32GB micro SD card, from Amazon.com for around $7, here.

Additional Cables Might Be Needed

Since the A/V cables, which come with the EV100 DVR, are 3mm on one end and 2mm on the other end, I was unable to connect the DVR to my RC832 receiver. My receiver offers 2 A/V outputs, both with a 2mm jack, and the EV100 DVR also has a 2mm jack on it. To fix this issue, I had to purchase a 2mm male to 3mm female cord. If you also have this issue, the good news is that these adapter cables are fairly inexpensive. I picked up mine from Amazon.com for $5.00.

Here’s a quick picture to show how I installed it in my Quanum V2 goggles and connecting it with the Eachine RC832 receiver

Powering the EV100 DVR

The EV100 DVR can be powered in one of two ways. On the side of the EV100 DVR is a balance plug jack, which will accept up to 2S (7.4 volts).  You can plug the balance plug, from your 2S batteries, directly into this port. I have tested mine with a full 2S battery and it had no issues in powering it or breaking from over-voltage.

Next to the balance jack is a micro USB port. You can also choose to power the EV100 DVR using this port. I have been able to successfully power the EV100 DVR using an external power bank and it operated normally with that as well.

The EV100 DVR does seem to get a little hotter to the touch, when using a fully charged 2S battery, compared to using USB power. However, it didn’t get so hot that I was worried about it breaking.

What Do all of the Buttons Do?

On the side of the EV100 DVR is a switch, labeled with I and O. You would think that this button is the on/off button, however the I and the O actually stand for In and Out.

When the switch is set to I, the A/V jack next to the switch acts as an input (for when you want to record). When the switch on the EV100 DVR is set to O, the A/V jack acts as an output )for when you want to view the recordings or make changes in the menu).

On the front of the EV100 DVR, you will find the other 3 buttons. These 3 buttons serve multiple purposes. In looking at the image above, the buttons in the manual are labeled as 1, 2 and 3, from left to right. So, the reverse button is 1, the play/pause button is 2, and the forward button is 3.

Making Recordings

To make a recording, first ensure that the I/O button is set to I and then short press button 1 (the reverse button). The light on the EV100 DVR will slowly start to blink. You are now recording. Short press button 1 again and the EV100 DVR will stop recording.

Viewing Recordings

Because the EV100 DVR only has 1 A/V jack, you will first need to ensure you are either plugging the EV100 DVR into the input of your monitor or use your goggles menu system to swithc to input mode. Next, swith the I/O button from I to O. Next, long press button 3 (the forward button) and the EV100 DVR will display the latest recording on screen. You can then use buttons 1 and 3 to switch between recordings and button 2 (the play button) to play any recording. Once the recording is playing, buttons 3 and 1 turn into forward and reverse respectively.  To get out of viewing mode, and back into recording mode, long press button 3 again and switch the I/O switch back to I.

EV100 DVR menu

To get into the menu of the EV100 DVR, first ensure you are connected to the input of your goggles and that the I/O switch is set to O. Next, long press button 2 (the play button) and the menu will open.

Page 1 of the EV100 DVR menu will allow you to control the size, whether to record sound, and the length of the video recording. Even though it says page 1 of 1, there is a second page of options, but it seems they consider it another tab instead of a page.

The Size option allows you to select between the 3 size options VGA (640 x 480pixels), D1 (720 x 480) or HD (1280 x 480). To select the option click button 2 once quickly and to select the size option, also click button 2 quickly.

REC Sound allows you to select whether to record sound or not. To select this option, use button 3 to go down an option, from the Size, and then click button 2. Currently, none of my quads have a microphone, so I am selecting No. This should save some space on the recording, since it is not recording a blank audio file into the video.

Video Size allows you to select how large of a file the system will record, before creating a new file. The default size is 10 minutes, but you can also select 20 minutes or turn off the feature. This way, it will record the file as large as your flight and then starts a new one.

To get to the second page/tab of the EV100 DVR options, hold down button 2 again for a few seconds. The following page/tab will show.

The first selection is Format. This will allow you to format the micro SD card to match to what the EV100 DVR needs. I recommend to do a quick format, before you start using your EV100 DVR. To select this option, short press button 2. Then, press button 3 to select execute, followed by button 2 again with a short press.

The EV100 DVR Language selection has a ton of options, ranging from:

  • English
  • French
  • Dutch
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Simplified Chinese (I think)
  • Russian

The EV100 DVR Light Frequency selection allows you to select either 60Hz or 50Hz. Select 60Hz, if using NTSC and 50Hz if using PAL.

The EV100 DVR TV output allows you to select which TV format you wish to use. This will depend on your own personal choices. I prefer to use NTSC cameras and monitors, so I will select NTSC. For you, the right choice may be PAL and the good news is that you can select.

To get out of the menu, and back into recording mode, hold down button 2 for a few seconds and don’t forget to flip the I/O switch back to I for input. I did the mistake, at first,  of not selecting I after the menu and it didn’t record any of my flights.

Where Can I Buy One?

Currently, the EV100 DVR is only available from Banggood.com. The price, as of this writing, is $14.99 from the China warehouse or $15.99 from the US warehouse. I always recommend the US warehouse, whenever available, for faster shipping. I got mine from the China warehouse and it took about 2.5 weeks to get to my front door.

Final Thoughts

For a budget option, for someone who does not have DVR abilities with their goggles, the EV100 DVR is a fantastic choice. The EV100 DVR is tiny, weighs next to nothing, and make good recordings. Especially when set to HD mode. In HD mode, and a 32 GB micro SD card, the EV100 DVR can record many sessions of flying without getting full.

There are some things that I don’t like about it. Since the DVR is not built into my goggles, there is no solid way to ensuring you are actually recording the video. Sure, the light blinks to indicate recording, but you may have forgot to plug in a cord correctly or push in a cord all the way. This happened to me on one flight, as I didn’t push the 2mm jack all the way into my receiver and I didn’t record anything. This is not thbe fault of the EV100 DVR, but the fault of my own and the configuration of my goggles. So, I will eventually invest in some goggles (or at least a receiver) that has a built in DVR.

The other item is that I need to swap cables, whenever I wish to view the recordings using my goggles. This is also because my goggles do not have a shared input/output AV jack, so I am stuck swapping cables.

Still, for the added benefit of having a DVR now, I can live with the above issues. Especially since recordings do come out nice and clean. Or, as clean as they can with a signal broadcast over 5.8Ghz. So, if you are in the market for a DVR, for your goggles or ground station that does not have one, you cannot go wrong with the EV100 DVR.

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