Dash cams

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RoverRevival
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Dash cams

#1 Post by RoverRevival » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:09 pm

Getting a bit bored of the wife’s nightmare journeys to and from work so looking for a good dash cam.

From what I’ve been reading some only record for like 20 mins. Which is obviously no good.

I’m looking for front and rear be it single or two camera system.

What you got?
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Re: Dash cams

#2 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:59 pm

1234dist wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:09 pm
Getting a bit bored of the wife’s nightmare journeys to and from work so looking for a good dash cam.

From what I’ve been reading some only record for like 20 mins. Which is obviously no good.

I’m looking for front and rear be it single or two camera system.

What you got?
It's memory card and format dependent. Even the basic Motorola MDC150 available from Argos for £40 will record several hours of footage before overwriting/looping - depending on whether you're recording 1080 or 720 vertical resolution and the size of the card (32GB max).

You can get rear view mirrors with built in dash cameras from China. One advantage might be that they're in disguise, so nobody is going to be breaking into your car to pinch your dash camera, which is entirely possible.

Some are motion-activated, so the recording should start when the car starts to move, then switch off soon after the car stops moving. Some just switch on when there's power to the charging port - which comes from a car adapter plugged into the cigarette lighter. Several hours of recording time, so you just have to remember to take the memory card out after there's been an "incident" and copy the relevant file to a PC for safekeeping, as it will be overwritten by the dash camera when the card space is all used up and it has to start again by overwriting the oldest recordings. I would guess the files are date-stamped so you know what's what - you might even be able to mark a recording as "read only" so the camera doesn't overwrite it, but I don't know for sure and I wouldn't rely on that if it was valuable footage for an insurance claim or a report of dangerous driving to the police...

You can get front cameras with rear camera slave units, but if you can get a deal you could just buy two of the same type and fit one front, one rear. Most have a viewing angle of 130 degrees - some go to 150 degrees, so should capture most events. You could go for side cameras as well, but that's starting to get expensive and would prevent you winding down the windows!

This from the MDC150 owner's manual:

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Re: Dash cams

#3 Post by Kriss707 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:23 pm

I've got the cam in mirror, they are really good, I've been using them for years.

I've got a Gen2 4.3“ screen in my Cabbie it has a record cycle of 3min front & rear cams & just keeps overwriting unless you lock the file. It also has movement detection so if your car is hit when stationary it records front & rear for 20secs. The rear camera connects to your reverse light & shows in the mirror as a reversing cam when you engage reverse.

I've got a Gen3 in our daily drive Espace, it does all the Gen2 does but is touchscreen.

I personally wouldn't be without them now & highly recommend them to anyone.

I want to upgrade the Espace one o a Gen4 which has built in Sat-nav & runs on Android OS. They are around £80 at the mo.

Check them out on ebay search for 4.3" mirror cam.

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Re: Dash cams

#4 Post by ROVER-25X » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:30 pm

Let me know what you end up getting Dist. :D
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Re: Dash cams

#5 Post by RoverRevival » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:37 pm

#bulk discount
I need 4/5 of them
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Re: Dash cams

#6 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:46 pm

1234dist wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:37 pm
#bulk discount
I need 4/5 of them
Might be something you could raise as a potential bulk buy amongst club members, if everyone can agree on a fairly inexpensive model that a lot of people might go for? Need access to a wholesaler who can do discounts...
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Re: Dash cams

#7 Post by Kriss707 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:52 pm

174048608511

This item no.on ebay offers a multi buy discount.

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Re: Dash cams

#8 Post by RoverRevival » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:00 pm

I have a merc with the auto dim rear mirror so not looking for the mirror replacement type.

But thanks for the link.
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Re: Dash cams

#9 Post by ROVER-25X » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:19 pm

Any more progress on this?

I forgot to add earlier, that 20 min recording time is quite common, it is closer to an hour or two to be honest as it
will record a 20 min block, save it and record another, I think they record about 4 20 min blocks before recording
over the first one unless you 'Save it', quite nifty and that is my old 2012 China ebay special for £12.
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Re: Dash cams

#10 Post by Astraeus » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:12 pm

They are well worth getting. My friend had a recent minor bump when another driver parked indicated and pulled straight out without looking. Right into him. The other driver than said your fault I was indicating. Dash cam footage clear and so at least a no fault claim. Without that one word against another and a likely knock for knock insurance claim.

Got one fitted last weekend to my MG3 as it is the first new car I have ever bought. Had a very close thing courtesy of some idiot not looking where they were going on way home after picking car up. Nearly the shortest lived MG3 ever!

After much previous thinking about one it persuaded me to get one.
At least a bit of protection from claims against you when not your fault.

Chris

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Re: Dash cams

#11 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:40 pm

1234dist wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:09 pm
Getting a bit bored of the wife’s nightmare journeys to and from work so looking for a good dash cam.

From what I’ve been reading some only record for like 20 mins. Which is obviously no good.

I’m looking for front and rear be it single or two camera system.

What you got?
Finally got round to trying my base-model Motorola MDC150 dash cam. So here's my report:

1. Lots of really easy menu options (the "three lines" button on the back) including white balance, resolution (1080 or low-res 720), time-segment size (2, 3 5mins) etc.

2. Slot in a micro-SD card (up to 32GB and these are really cheap so...) and apply power and it will start recording straight away if you've already done the preliminary menu set-up (including formatting the SD card). Auto recording start can be a bit disconcerting at first - I found myself reaching for the "OK" button which will stop a recording, then pressing it again when I was ready to start driving. But it's really not necessary - just let the camera record...

3. Video quality is very good (I'm quite surprised it's that good) - on the windscreen below the rear view mirror it will see down almost to the A-pillar trim each side but a lot wider than that in terms of the view straight out the front of the windscreen - it definitely records everything the driver can see and with decent focus too, so you'll get number plates, road signs and street signs clearly if you freeze-frame when playing back on a PC - not much motion blur either. Only annoyance is if your windscreen is a bit misty on the inside and you have to drive for a minute or two before the demister starts to work. That, and I've also noticed distant parked cars with headlights on create a large "yellow haze" area on the video like the sun is dawning right in front of you, but this goes when you're a bit closer to them - and dusk driving with peoples headlights on didn't suffer this problem at all. Haven't tried it at night to see if it picks up anything more than car lights, i.e. whether it has any "infra red" night-vision type capability. The video is date and "live" time stamped in the bottom right (if you've set the time and date correctly...!) but there's no GPS so you don't get any long or lat positions.

4. Audio quality would be "okay" but like most car-based recording I've done, it picks up a "buzz" intermittently in my 216, which is either the windscreen or scuttle panel vibrating, or more likely a bit of electrical interference on the supply that it's not filtering out.

5. Using the suction cup below the rear view mirror, it has to sit a way down the screen. I heard of someone recently picked up by the police for driving with their Sat Nav too high-up on the windscreen, so I think I'm going to try it "next to" the rear-view mirror next time.

6. Having the cable hang down to the adapter in the lighter socket is a right pain. It'll power off any old micro-USB cable, so I'll try and find a white one at about 3m long and poke it into the headlining and A-pillar trim and try and run it invisibly to the centre console area, then fit a multi-way lighter socket adapter with some 5v USB outputs so I don't even have to use the original power adapter and I've still got a lighter socket (or two) free for other things.

7. If you plug the camera into a PC with a micro-USB lead, it'll map as a removable drive and you can access the ".MOV" files directly. But the easiest will probably be to leave the unit stuck to the windscreen and remove the SD card. It's in the right place (on the underside edge, so accessible) but it's a tiny micro SD and it's a "push-click-in/push-click-out" type fitting, so you need fingernails, non-sausage fingers and some manual dexterity.

8. I set the segment size to 5 minutes, so I got a series of 5-minute recordings - the next one started exactly as the last recording finished. Each 5 minute file is 0.5GB, so on a 32GB card I make that (32/0.5) files of 5 mins each, so 320 minutes (5 hours 20 mins) of continuous recording in segments. The manual says 280 minutes, so 4 hours 40 minutes. That's on high-res (full HD 1080P) recording. Either way it's a lot - as long as you remember to protect a segment that contains "the accident" or whip the card out and copy the relevant file(s) to a PC before your 5 hours is up and it begins to overwrite segments with new video.

9. The "M" button gives you access to the recordings, and the "OK" button then gives you an option to delete the current recording segment or everything off the SD card in one go, which is nice.

10. When you turn the car ignition off and the power dies, the unit starts flashing up "low battery" warnings straight away because it's got some miniscule rechargeable thing inside it. When you reach for the power button to turn it off, it only checks you're pressing it just after it's flashed up yet another "low battery" warning which is annoying 'cause you're trying to switch it off anyway... So the best is to reach for the power switch (on the top edge) and turn it off before you turn the ignition off...

That's about it! Seriously impressed to be honest. Given these things start recording automatically when they're powered up, I could quite happily fit one at the back too (and if I was being really paranoid, one on each rear side window or rear quarter-light!), hide some USB cabling, and just leave it all plugged in. Then I'm covered without even thinking about it each time I go for a drive.
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Re: Dash cams

#12 Post by RoverRevival » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:46 pm

That’s one hell of a write up, surprised the page didn’t time out on you.
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Re: Dash cams

#13 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:57 pm

1234dist wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:46 pm
That’s one hell of a write up, surprised the page didn’t time out on you.
As long as you got something from it (anything at all really...) and I didn't just waste half an hour writing it, I'm not bothered. I like to be thorough... but then, so do you :)
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Re: Dash cams

#14 Post by 220 GSi turbo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:36 pm

As an alternative to running a cable all the way down to the cigarette lighter, cound you modify the interior lamp to accommodate a suitable USB output?

Then you can just hide some wiring above the roof lining :)
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Re: Dash cams

#15 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:17 pm

220 GSi turbo wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:36 pm
As an alternative to running a cable all the way down to the cigarette lighter, cound you modify the interior lamp to accommodate a suitable USB output?

Then you can just hide some wiring above the roof lining :)
That would be an idea. Also useful for the MG-TF illuminated rear view mirror of course :) The overhead light has a live, door-switched live and a ground. I'm not sure if the light cuts out during a "start" - if this isn't true, perhaps there would need to be an ignition switched live routed too, so as to "disconnect" the USB power supply during supply fluctuation. But you could probably do it just by making sure the USB power supply was protected from spikes and voltage drops...
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