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Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
February-23-2016, 15:51
Post: #1
Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
I have just bought a new Polaroid Cube action camera and find it value for money, it was cheap.
But I couldn't get the software to work, and I can see that i'm not alone with that problem.
In my work life i'm .NET developer and i thought, if Polaroid don't wan't to fix the issue, then I could give it a try. So I did fixed the errors and added the missing settings in the software as well (that why I call it Extended Edition Smile) - see the attached screendump.

   

I would like to share this software with other Polaroid Cube owners with the same problem.

You can download the software and more information visiting my private homepage at http://nikro.dk/polaroid-cube

Please notice, that I have only tested the software from Windows 7 and Windows 10 and with a Polaroid Cube firmware v1.17 only.

Hope you like it - and let me know, if there are problems of any kind.

/NielsK
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August-04-2016, 08:37 (This post was last modified: August-04-2016 08:42 by kaza.)
Post: #2
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hi, thanks for your work. I see there are no many people here who are interested in it Smile But, personally, I agree with you - someone should fix this software. If Polaroid doesn't want to, we should.
Like you, I have bought Cube for me recently. I also wanted a Red version (because it stays more cooler under sunlight comparing to black and blue versions) but I had an occasion to get a blue one with discount, so, now I'm the owner of Cube in blue.
Your programm modifications looks like you just opened some strings that were hidden. All of them are present in settings.txt and data.txt on SD. I have opened the original FW in some code editor and found some mistakes there (for example, "Kz" instead of "Khz" etc.). I was looking for a way to change an audio sampling rate (16 kHz by default is too low, IMHO) and I found some strings but I'm not a programmer and don't know the exact syntax. So, maybe we can work together on updating some features of this camera? Smile
I'm pretty sure there other hidden basic settings which we can adjust. For example, "EV" parameter is mentioned in code of FW and from settings.txt of other Chinease action camera I know that values for EV should be 0-12.

Also, maybe you can post a link to your Extended version not from Dropbox? I currently don't use its service because we do have more handy Cloud services in Russia. And thus I can't download your software without registration in Dropbox now.
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August-04-2016, 09:07
Post: #3
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hi Kaza,

I'm glad you liked it, and i'm quite sure, that other people have downloaded the software, or at least have visit my download page. But I also think, people have bought the new Polariod Cube+ camera, so the old one is not that interesting.

About downloading from dropbox.com, it should be possible to download the file without an account.
I know, dropbox.com will prompt you for logon og creating an account, when you click on my download link, but at the bottom of the prompt, there is a link saying something like ' No thanks, continue to see ->' (translated from danish) and this link should redirect to the file, so you can download it - if still not, drop me a PM, then we will find another solution.

It sound interesting, with the EV parameter. Have you tried manually adding it to the settings.txt file, adjusting the value, and check if will affect the video? - EV could stands for Exposure Value, but that is just a guess.
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August-04-2016, 09:27 (This post was last modified: August-04-2016 09:51 by kaza.)
Post: #4
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Regarding Cube+ camera - initially I was thinking to buy it. But then I've found that all of Cubes+ have "microphone problem" and it's hardware problem. I also have read that 8 MP is just an upscaling from 6 MP and I have compared several videos/photos from Cube/Cube+ on YouTube. So, IMHO, Cube+'s price should be much lower than $149... That's why I decided to get an ordinary Cube (no heating from Wi-Fi module, better battery life, better sound, the same size, lower weight). Yes, I do miss some Cube+'s features like TimeLapse or 1440p, but they don't cost additional $70.
I will try with Dropbox.
Yes, I have tried to add "EV:6" to settings.txt already. This string has disappeared right after reconnecting the camera to PC =) But I think it's OK - Cube could apply the setting but didn't show the result because its FW doesn't have a corresponding command ("print EV" to settings, for example). I also tried to add to settings.txt some other strings, which I got from other action camera, but after reloading with them Cube have installed (=restored) the default settings.txt.
So, I guess, if a parameter/function do persist in Cube's FW the device applies the command string with it and the sign for success in this case is that your previous settings file is still present. If a new string added is not present in FW and/or its syntax is wrong then the device restores a default config (default settings.txt) after reloading.

I also have summarised some facts about the device that I have learned after 2 days of using. Maybe, it will be useful fo you too. Actually, it's an offtopic here but I think it's ok since there is no administrator here Happy

Facts:
1. Cube does work with 64+ SD very well. Just make sure you have formatted it as FAT32. For example, an Android based tablet PC can format it properly.
2. Cube works with powerbanks, but sometimes you have to disconnect it from a powerbank and start to record, after you can plug in powerbank again and then you can stop record and start again - there will be no problem. But if you just plug it into powerbank and right after it press a record button - you will see no action at all, the device will just continiue to charge.
3. Cube at standby "eats" about 100 mA of power, taking a photo consumes about 150 mA, a video - up to 300 mA. So, there is a chance to get it powered from a solar panel (will test this soon).
4. Real capacity of Cube's Li-Ion battery is about 550 mAh.
5. At 1080p (13 MB/s bitrate) you can record at 72-75 minutes at max.
6. 15 min videos should occupy about 1,4 GB of space (5 min - 480 MB).
7. Some Dicapac underwater cases will work great with Cube. So, if you like me have an old Dicapac-like case for other cameras, you can just fit your Cube in it and there will be no need to buy an expensive new box.
8. The best silicone bumper case for Cube is "Silicone Case Necklace Lanyard" by Telesin brand. It's pretty much better than the original case.

Some interesting strings from FW:

UPDATE 00 00
N 00 00 00
n 00 00 00
EV 00 00
LightFrequency 00 00
TimeStamp 00 00 00
CycleRecord 00
RecordingTime 00 00 00
BuzzerVolume 00 00 00 00
VideoSwitch 00
Bitrate 00
SelfTimer 00 00 00

DVCKReadConfigFromFlash FAILED

*[USB cmd]A_E_Q*
*[USB cmd]A_S,16Kz*
*[USB cmd]A_S,24Khz*
*[USB cmd]A_S,32Khz*
*[USB cmd]A_S,48Kz*

YUY2+H264
MJPEG+H264
NV12+H264
-----------------------------------
All this tells me that it could pe possible to manage video codecs and audio sampling rate.
Will post some example of settings.txt from other chinease camera soon. I guess it could be possible that both these cameras had one chinease manufacturer...
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August-04-2016, 13:15 (This post was last modified: August-04-2016 13:16 by kaza.)
Post: #5
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
The other chinease camera I was talking about is Action Camera Mini F9 (M500).
Here is its settings.txt (i.e SportDV.txt) content:

PORTS DV

UPDATE:N
FORMAT
EV:6
CTST:100
SAT:100
AWB:0
SHARPNESS:100
AudioVol:0
QUALITY:0
LIGHTFREQ:0
AE:0
RTCDisplay:0
year:2016
month:3
date:3
hour:21
minute:12
second:0
-------------------------------
Exposure(EV)
0 ~ 12, def:6
Contrast(CTST)
1 ~ 200, def:100
Saturation(SAT)
1 ~ 200, def:100
White Balance(AWB)
0 ~ 3, def:0, 0(auto), 1(Daylight), 2(Cloudy), 3(Fluorescent)
Sharpness
1 ~ 200, def:100
AudioVol
0 ~ 2, def:1, 0:Max 1:Mid 2:Min
QUALITY
0 ~ 2, def:0, 0:High 1:Middle 2:Low
LIGHTFREQ
0 ~ 1, def:0, 0:60Hz 1:50Hz
AUTO EXPOSURE(AE)
0 ~ 2, def:0, 0:Average 1:Center 2:Spot
RTCDisplay
0 ~ 1, def:1, 0:Off 1:0n
year
2012 - 2038, def:2013
month
01 - 12, def:1
date
01 - 31, def:1
hour
00 - 23, def:0
minute
01 - 59, def:0
second
01 - 59, def:0

As you can see that really looks like our Cube.
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August-04-2016, 13:16 (This post was last modified: August-04-2016 13:22 by nikro_dk.)
Post: #6
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Wauw, you have found some serious facts there - specially the powerbank trick, and the solar panel could be good fun to try out.
BTW: I just ordered the Silicone Case on eBay, so thanks for info :-)

I just downloaded the v1.17 firmware, and unpacked the .bin file, but I didn't get much info from it, other then some text resource and graphic files.

But I think, I know why your 'homemade' setting EV disappears.
When you want the Cube to be updated with new settings you change line 2 in the settings.txt file to UPDATE:Y, so when powered on, the Cube will read the new settings, and then rewrite the known settings back to file again changing the line 2 to UPDATE:N and write the current battery level as well. So if the firmware acknowledged the EV setting, it should also write it back again, but it didn't. It's my theory.
But if i'm wrong and you succeed with one or more new settings, please let know, I will then add it to program.

Yes, the way both cameras are configured, it looks like it's the same firmware developer company, who made the firmwares - but the Mini F9 seems more advanced then the Cube.
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August-04-2016, 14:06
Post: #7
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Grats on your new case) I can't buy mine now because of PayPal's changed policy in Russia - they have asked me to fill a lot of private IDs, I did it and now I just can't pay via PayPal because of some inner error. And I have tried different browsers, even IE with cleaned cookie. So, it seems that it's their problem, not mine.
Anyway, I think this Telesin case should be nice for that $4,74. Other option is this one
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQ2...s_bw_c_x_3
It's more expensive but it's almost the same. As a gift I already got the original silicone case bumper from Polaroid. But it's not so handy as it should be: lens always looks at my feet and thus there is no need even to try to make a video/photo at this position... Also, you can't charge the device while it's in original silicone case. And with these non-original cases you are able to do it and that's good.
As to Cube's settings: yes, maybe you are right but why then it restores the default settings if I fill-in a string which was not mentioned in FW? For example, I have tried to add "SamplingRate:44" and this caused restoring of default settings. I need more experiments but since I don't know exact syntax this can take some time. Meanwhile, I have changed "Bitrate:13" to "Bitrate:13.1" and after saving it became 13 as it should be but when I compare some videos I have taken before and after I see that MediaInfo software shows me bitrate 13.2 Mbps. I have no explanation to this right now. Also, 13.2 Mbps should be about 2 MBps? I'm not familiar with bitrate speeds. Have tried to measure my SD speeds and found that at direct-to-PC connection read/write speeds are 75/20 MB/s, But via Cube's USB speeds are very low - about 7,5 MB/s both. So, my class 10 SD should be able to work with Cube's bitrate even if it will be more than 20 Mbps.
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August-04-2016, 17:39 (This post was last modified: August-04-2016 18:51 by kaza.)
Post: #8
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Here is the specification to the video chip which has Cube:
http://www.a-i-t.com.tw/english/Products_01-1.php?id=3
The name is AIT8423.

How to activate a web camera mode in your Cube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCStDSlCCCU
It's in russian, but everyone can understand it due to video presentation.
For optimum perfomance I suggest to use a dedicated SD for web camera purposes. Here is the instruction:
1. Keep an old SD and insert a new SD (FAT32 formatted) into your Cube and connect it to PC.
2. Create web_cam.txt on SD using PC.
3. Safety disconnect Cube from PC and reconnect it again. Wait until Windows sound and reconnect Cube once again.
4. If everything is OK, you'll see a camera named CUBE in your web cameras in Windows device manager. And should be able to capture the image from your working 1080p CUBE web camera via special software which can perforam a video capturing. For example, via VideoDub software.

When you will need your Cube as initial action camera, you just change the SD to previous one (old SD) and that's all. Or, of course, you can format your SD with web_cam.txt on it and re-install it into Cube. Cube can't work as an action camera and web camera at the same time. There will be no effect if you connect Cube in web camera mode to your Android device via USB OTG.

If you connect your Cube in action camera mode to your Android device via USB OTG you'll see its SD as external USB device and will be able to play all the videos/photo from Cube. In this basic mode your Cube can only work as USB disk and it also charges from your Android device, but it can't shoot videos or photos.

UPDATE about work with powerbanks connected: sometimes you don't need to start a recording BEFORE connecting a powerbank. But if you start your recording BEFORE connecting a powerbank you recording never will be interrupted. But sometimes when you have connected a powerbank to Cube in standby mode your camera refuses to make a video/photo and you need to reconnect it.

Other possible operational .txts: tu2.txt, tu1.txt, charge.txt, wb.txt and buzzer.txt. Coming up more tests. I have tested charge.txt already and didn't get what does it for. With charge.txt added to SD Cube opens as SD while connected to PC and continiously blinks "green-red-red". Not sure what is it.
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August-05-2016, 05:04
Post: #9
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
I tried the webcam hack,and my windows 10 rekons the CUBE Mike and CUBE Video, but when I try to use it, only black screen is recorded Sad
Suppose it can have something to do with Windows 10, and I can't test it on a Win7 machine, due to the free upgrade to Win 10 Smile
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August-05-2016, 05:59
Post: #10
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Don't know about Win10, actually. I have not plugged Cube in my device with Win10 yet. I haven't upgrade my main laptop because there is no need for this now. But I did upgrade all other tablets and old laptops. Will test record.

Meanwhile, I have tested and confirm that for powering Cube and making video you just need a 6-7W solar panel with USB output. That's enough. As I said, the consumption is about 300 mA only, so, most of market solar panels are acceptable.
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August-05-2016, 09:03
Post: #11
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
BTW, how to keep your software from deleting from SD after reconnecting to PC? I've found that Cube rewrites it every time I reconnect it and put a default version of program.
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August-05-2016, 10:48
Post: #12
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Nothing, I think that the firmware checks, if there is a file called PolaroidCube.exe, and if not, it write the file to the sd-card.

I have both version PolaroidCube.exe (mine version) and PolaroidCube.org.exe (the original not working version)
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August-09-2016, 08:24 (This post was last modified: August-09-2016 08:25 by kaza.)
Post: #13
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
I have tested Cam_mode. Actually I was able to make a photo via it succesfully but when I switched to video recording my Cube became frozen. So, I can't prove that it's whole working right now...
Meanwhile, I have copied your Extended software to Cube and, yes, if I keep it there with standard version also, there is no problem with replacing it. Everything works.
Also, I have looked closely at Polaroid Bike Mount for Cube and found that indeed (as was described om Amazon previously) it's very-very cheap made and mine was cracked out right at the shop desk. So, don't even try to buy if you've planned it before.
I did several experiments with different strings added to setting.txt and found nothing working yet. Maybe, there will be something if I try to create tu1.txt, tu2.txt etc files on Cube's SD...
Also, I can prove that so called "orientation sensor" in Cube just works with original QuickTime Player. So, it other players you'll see your video upside down if you had recorded it in that way. And you will no sound while playing videos on your hardware media players (like TVs, WDTV Live etc.). Have not found the fast and reliable software which can just convert original Cube's audio to MP3 yet. One way is to use QuickTime Player Pro for exporting files, but it's not the fastest way. Other possibility is to use many other programms which can code to MP4/MP3.
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August-10-2016, 13:49
Post: #14
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hi Kasa,

Good to know, that my Extended software works - thanks for info :-)

Re. software converting to MP3, i'm quite ssure, the Freekmake Video Converter can save the audio to MP3, among a lot of other video formats as well. The program is freeware, and very easy to use - Give it try.
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August-10-2016, 15:27
Post: #15
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hi nikro_dk,

Thanks, I'll try. Meanwhile I have found that Cube doesn't record more than 32 Gb on 64 Gb SD card (formatted as FAT32). So, there is some kind of software limitation. It just blinks red-orange when you tru to record more videos with 32 Gb empty space on 64 Gb SD card inserted. That's frustrating. Not sure can this be solved without modification of firmware. I guess no.
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September-04-2016, 04:02 (This post was last modified: September-05-2016 01:07 by nikro_dk.)
Post: #16
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hi Kaza,

After I read your last post, I didn't thought a lot about your issue. But yesterday, when I read it again, it strikes me, that FAT32 has a limit of 32GB in Windows, but can be extended, by using special format programs. Windows can only format up to 32GB when using the build in formatting tool.

Try have a look at this article - maybe it can help you further.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows...2gb-limit/
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September-10-2016, 03:03 (This post was last modified: September-10-2016 03:03 by nikro_dk.)
Post: #17
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
A follow up to my previous post, I can confirm that a 64GB Sdcard, formatted as FAT32 will work in the Polaroid Cube.

You have to use previous mention formatting tool - I used this one here

When you insert the 64GB SDcard into the Cube, the Cube will write the 'buggy' software and create the two folders as well.
I let the Cube record for 14 hours, using the Powerbank trick, and had 48 GB of Video recordings, with still 11 GB left for more recording. I think it is possible to record appx 17-18 hours in total.

There is one 'nag'. When inserting the micro USB cable to the Cube, the Cube will not pop up as a usb drive, so you have to use a SD card reader instead, to see the video files.


   
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September-26-2016, 10:00 (This post was last modified: September-26-2016 10:01 by kaza.)
Post: #18
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
hi, nikro_dk!
That's interesting. I have formatted mine SD with Android 4.2 tablet pc and there were no problem with SD recognition in PC, but there was the problem with recording space... Then I have formatted to FAT32 via some formatting tool (the same tool as from your link!) and currently I don't know about its actual recording capacity because I have taken Cube on vacation with me and it was on duty =)
Will try to confirm your experiment soon,
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October-15-2016, 22:14
Post: #19
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
Hello friends thank you for your excellent suggestions on cube i am new cuber jaja sorry if i am off topic but i want to know The best editing vídeo software for cube to manage my videos and take stills and many other things

Thank you

Bye

Hope you can help me
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May-22-2017, 08:57 (This post was last modified: May-22-2017 09:16 by kaza.)
Post: #20
RE: Fixed and Extended version of PolaroidCube.exe software
(October-15-2016 22:14)Dajohema Wrote:  Hello friends thank you for your excellent suggestions on cube i am new cuber jaja sorry if i am off topic but i want to know The best editing vídeo software for cube to manage my videos and take stills and many other things

Thank you

Bye

Hope you can help me

Handbrake - free software. You can create some preset for converting MOV to MKV (H264), for example, as I did. Converted files can be played on TVs, mediaplayers etc. And they even are twice smaller in size comparing to original Cube's MOV files..
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