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  • SooCoo SJ8000 (SJ9000 clone)

    Hello all, new to site and frustrated with my firmware upgrade situation. I posted this over at DashCamTalk, sorry but I need help or suggestions fast. I've a SJ9000 clone, called a SooCoo SJ8000, last years model, that looks identical to AussieKev posting on the Ele cam recent update. This is 1 of 5 different action cameras I use to film my girls (yes, plural ) games. 2 very similar cameras that I have are this one and a Lightdow LD-4K. I was frustrated with 2 gig files that both cameras recorded. I was looking for a 4 gig file which my other cameras recorded in and fat32 should allow. I obtained a firmware update from Lightdow and applied it with success. Not thinking, I applied the same firmware update to the SooCoo SJ8000 and it wasn't as successful. The camera firmware update went exactly identical to the Ligthdow but the end result was the "white screen". I believe this indicates that the required screen drivers are different. After the update, with white screen, the camera chimes when starting, chimes with mode changes, chimes with default recording, and chimes during shutdown. I get basic video when I record with the crippled camera but it appears not of the quality of the Lightdow. Other functions, camera shake, gyro, etc., are not functioning.
    I tried contacting SooCoo and the firmware(s) they sent wasn't successful, though they indicate that it is 100% correct, end of story. Got the feeling like they've better things to do. I've tried firmware updates from several other brands, even anything with FW96660A bin firmware, with the no camera update response. The only success, limited at that, is the Lightdow firmware. Until I tried the Ele firware shown on the forum topic referenced above. I get the red led, then blue led, then blank with camera startup chime (and white screen like the Lightdow update). But different from the Lightdow firmware update, when I turnoff the camera, remove the usb cable, install the battery, go for start there's nothing.
    Two things I've noticed are that the simi-responsive procedures are firmware with a ~3,739kb bin file size. The ~3,482kb files are completely unresponsive. Additionally, the two ~3,739kb files use a LD (loader?) bin file to load the firmware. The others are said by the supplier to work by themselves. I've tried the bin files that were to work alone with the 2 loader files with no success. Dead, nada, nothing, zip.
    Any suggestions, besides purchasing a new one which I've already done?

  • #2
    Old Yeti Hi. What was the original FW version?

    Here is SJ8000 loader (08/04/2015) you might also try: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4t...ew?usp=sharing
    Last edited by nutsey; 04-01-2017, 04:24 PM.
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    • #3
      Thanks Nutsey, I have no idea what the original fw version was as I mindlessly updated it thinking it was one of my other Lightdow clones. I'll give your suggestion a try and let you know.

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      • #4
        OK, I've downloaded your suggested loader and attempted to update using the 2 files that SooCoo stated were for their SJ8000 which did not include a loader file. They told me to try both fw files since they didn't know which would work for my model but they were 100% sure one would work. I've removed the front panel previously and the little pcb on the front with the power on momentary switch states "009(660)_KEY1 20151119" which I assume is the motherboard version and date released to production for this clone. And again, stupid me didn't get the fw version before I mistakenly updated.
        Given this, I tried your suggested loader file with the SooCoo supplied fw file with 009 in the title first and........nothing. I then did the reset procedure with depressing the power on and up arrow switch at the same time for 30 seconds and waited an additional 2 minutes. Nothing. Then something new happened. I momentarily pressed the power on button and the blue light flashed and the camera started the fw update sequence. Blue lights flashing, first slow then faster, stopping for a few seconds then repeating. Finally, one blue led flash and a momentarily screen white flash. And that was all, I removed the SD card and pressed the power button and I get a momentary blue led flash and then nothing.
        I tried the same procedure above with the second file provided and obtained the same results with the exception of the momentary white screen flash. I press the power on button and a momentary blue led flash is all I get.
        At this point I'm convinced that I've fried the motherboard with all the versions of fw I've tried. So, I tried the Lightdow fw again, with your suggested loader. Updated fw as described above but nothing upon pressing the power on. Tried resetting with power on and up arrow, again nothing.
        Lastly I tried to return to just the Lightdow loader and Lightdow fw files which have worked in the past with limited success in operation. The front cover pcb for all my Lightdow LD-4Ks shows "L1027(660)_KEY2 20150722." Results were similar to the past but the attempt to record was interrupted by a dying battery. After replacing the battery with a charged one, the results were successful as in the past in providing limited recording operation. I've a cam with white screen that will record with default settings. I can assume that the motherboard isn't fried, completelly.
        Now, I've another thought, was I trying to update my fw with a low battery and would a fresh one make a difference. Again, using your uploader file and SooCoo fw files. First I had to conduct the resetting procedure, power on and up arrow for 30 seconds and waiting another 2 minutes. Pressed power on and camera conducted fw update. Exception to last time, instead of white screen flash at the end I got a continuous white screen with the start-up chime. It also would record with better quality than the Lightdow fw. Try other file provided, same as first SooCoo fw file. continuous white screen with the start-up chime. Records with same quality.
        What I've learned;
        Despite SooCoo assurances, their SJ8000 clone requires a loader file to update the firmware.
        There may be a LD / FW file relationship.(ya think) The Lightdow LD didn't work with SooCoo files but your suggested LD file did. The Lightdow LD worked with Lightdow FW.
        Resetting procedure is required before conducting on camera fw update.
        Firmware file size isn't applicable in this case.
        A fresh battery is nice.

        I'm closer to a fully functional camera with your help. I may be as close as finding the correct LD file which would load the screen driver correctly. It may be as simple as getting the SooCoo engineer to talk with their partner manufacturer to get the LD file. It also may be that SooCoo and their partner aren't on good terms. Gee, I've never seen that before.
        Thanks for your suggestion, I feel like a monkey trying to solve a rubik's cube. All emperical.
        Last edited by Old Yeti; 04-08-2017, 05:24 PM.

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        • #5
          The LD-4K you posted about on DashCamTalk, right?

          I've linked to download the firmware Lightdow sent me.

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/6lbuvbncyl...LD-4K.rar?dl=0

          Edit to add: I noticed that this firmware doubles frames on the 60 FPS settings. 120FPS seems to work fine though.
          Last edited by DrekiTech; 04-13-2017, 12:03 AM.

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          • #6
            Hi DrekiTech,
            That is the same firmware version I'm using. I've seen the double framing as well [email protected] Don't know what kind of SD Disk you're using, I use SanDisk Ultra, (cheapy $10 for 32 Gig) or Samsung EVO 32 Gig. I noticed if I format with allocation unit size of 32 Kilobytesthe problem went away for me.
            Lastly, I'm retracting my notice on the Lightdow LD-4K, "Now you tell me", I couldn't resist the urge to tear into one of these puppies. I've verified that a USB connector could be a problem. They are using a connector that is different in design than what the PCB layout was designed for and if they aren't careful the flow solider could miss the SMD pad for the USB connector support wings.

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            • #7
              Hey DrekiTech,
              Upon further review, you are correct. My most recent games all have dropped frames @ 1080/60. Don't know why this problem has reapeared. It seems to be spuratic in that I can see 2 or 3 frames correctly then a dropped frame or 2. I'm checking now to see if I've ever corrected this issue. I've at least 100 hrs of game video to review. I've asked via amazon dealer for a correction. Another camera will be arriving shortly and I'll check the stock fw.
              Last edited by Old Yeti; 04-14-2017, 08:07 PM.

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              • #8
                Man, I am totally mad. I've reviewed passed film and all drop framed at 1080/60. I upload to Youtube at 1080/30 so I'm satisfied with the Youtube results so far, now it is just the embarrassing issue of recommending them to the community.
                I requested support via amazon dealer support and they suggested downgrading to 2 previous firmwares, 20160429 or 20160416. Prior to downgrading I conducted a series of tests on fw dated 20160923 for the lightdow and 2 other camera types with their current fw. I used the same SD disk at 4 different allocation sizes, all NT96660 by SooCoo and Lightdow. A SooCoo C30, SooCoo SJ8000, and the Lightdow LD-4K. Long story short allocation size does not impact the drop frame issue. It had little effect on the SooCoo SJ8000 but not the C30 or the LD-4K. The SooCoo SJ8000 in fact had the most erratic drop frame behavior. 2 frames good then 1 bad, then 1 good, then 2 bad, 3 good, 2 bad, etc. The C30 was perfect with regard to providing 60fps with no dropped frames. The Lightdow dropped every other frame. The only difference I noticed with respect to allocation size was an improvement in quality with increasing size, 64K being best. I then conducted a test with just the LD-4K at 720p @ 120 fps. And as expected the drop frames continued with every other frame dropped. So 720p at 120fps is really 720p at 60fps.
                I then changed fw. A LD file wasn't included for either of the firmwares and the 20160923 LD didn't work either. I ended up using the LD file Nutsey provided for the SJ8000 test, I managed to get the downgrades installed, one at a time. Neither improved the drop frame issue. However, the inverted red blue screen issue cropped up. LD does impact camera drivers which is a different issue.
                Bottom line, this camera has issues and I've incentivized Lightdow to provide a solution soon or they will recieve all my inventory back via amazon return policy. I will await the last camera delivery, indicated above, to see if the issue persists, which I expect it too, and update this post.
                Last edited by Old Yeti; 04-15-2017, 06:35 PM.

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                • #9
                  OK, received my latest camera. And fresh out of the box it records and plays back 1080p at 60fps with no dropped frames. The firmware date is 20160421. Requesting copy of this firmware with loader file from Lightdow. Old Yeti is happy. I'll post a link as soon as I receive it.

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                  • #10
                    Derki,
                    Sad day. Basically I've received the firmware and loader file from Lightdow and no improvement. Still 1080p @ 60fps dropped frames. The Loader file has 8/5/2015 version date and FW has 4/21/2016. While the loader gets to loading quickly without any reset required, the results are not acceptable. Another thing I've noticed is that out of the box, upon recording start, the red and blue leds on the front would alternate. Under this version just the blue led would flash, no red. This tells me this is the wrong firmware or loader. Another thing I'm thinking about, these are noted as 1027+ while my front panel pcb states 1027. Wondering if I'm receiving the wrong firmware.

                    Also, after updating I can place prior provided FW96660 files, 4162016 & 4292016, in the root directory of a freshly reformated disk, insert and power on and it updates. Upon update I get the inverted blue red screen issue. Recordings at 1080p 60fps have drop frames. This almost sounds similar to the Ele clone problems. In addition to the 4212016 firmware with loader, Lightdow sent me a 2182017 firmware. After installing the 4212016 firmware the 218017 firmware would act like it would install but when it finishes, nothing. No power up or anything. Dead, nada, zip no matter what I did.

                    Question now is, can I download the 42116 firmware version from the camera I received recently and flash it to these cameras?
                    Last edited by Old Yeti; 04-18-2017, 05:18 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Old Yeti You can use a CH341a SPI programmer with SOP8 clip to read/write firmwares (they both cost less than $10):

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Donate here if you want to support my efforts and this site.

                      Email me if you have any offers, requests or ideas.

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                      • #12
                        Game on! I've ordered these;
                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2OCOGC9B25845
                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A1OB26G8TSLEZQ
                        I've a Weller Soldering station and a Aoyue rework station.
                        What's the process?
                        Thank you so much.

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                        • #13
                          I assume this process will involve desoldering that chip in the lower right of this photo

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                          • nutsey
                            nutsey commented
                            Editing a comment
                            That clip should allow you to get the job done without any soldering applied.

                          • Old Yeti
                            Old Yeti commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Gotcha, Google is your friend. This is a very powerful tool. Definitely going into my nuclear bunker. I'll keep you posted on the results.

                        • #14
                          OK, the USB programer shown above is suppose to have automatic 25L identification but I like to prepare. I'm guessing the pictured chip is a Macronix International MX25L3205D.

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                          • #15
                            So - fun, fun, fun, until her daddy took the t-bird away.
                            It worked! It worked! Yea Baby
                            Awwwwwwwwww....................................... ........runs off screen

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