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[DashCams] Advice on cams and installation.

VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
So I got a new car last year, but in October I was already in my first major accident (not my fault thankfully and insurance paid for everything). I was very lucky in that the person I collided with was extremely apologetic and admitted fault immediately. Well I'm sure lightning won't strike the same location twice, but I'm interested in getting a dash cam for my car (dual channel, so two cameras, one front, one back).

No one I know RL has ever bought a dash cam before so I don't have any place to go to for advice except here.

I've done some searching around and I've got my eye on Thinkware's F800 Pro model. I'm also thinking about getting the hardwiring kit so that it's hooked directly into the fuse panel and will work while parked. Professional installation is recommended for this sort of thing, so I looked around for options there too and Best Buy Geek Squad is getting good reviews too. I've never used them before. Does anyone have any testimonials/warnings/advice? They seem pretty expensive, but hey, unless there is some easy trick to installing this sort of stuff myself so that the cables are hidden behind the trim, I'm not experienced in that sort of thing so i'm willing to put up the cash so that I don't mess something up.

Thanks in advance!

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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    You can see if you have a open spot that's hot when the car is hot. You can also use an 'add a fuse' which costs about $8.

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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    This is the one I'm using

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X528FNE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It came with a car adapter that has a usb charging port, so I went ahead and is it in my 12v port that I was using to charge my bluetooth headphones. I hid the cables my tucking it behind the headliner, weather trim, and above the dash panel. My only complaint is that the 3M double sided tape won't hold the camera on the windshield if the windshield gets super hot. But, I take the camera off whenever I park the car in the sun so that isn't a big deal.

    I kind of wish I got a camera that records at a higher resolution, but 1080p is plenty for what I"m using it for (basically covering my ass from people who may try to screw me over). I like the fact that it will auto lock a recording in a car accident or I can press the 'OK' button to lock a recording manually. I also got it during a prime sale so it was fairly cheap ($60).

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    VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    I haven't bought anything yet. Still just putting the feelers out. Can you tell me more about the installation and tucking cables behind trim? I want to hide the wires as much as possible, but if there are any significant tricks special tools needed to do it that I don't trust myself to do, then I'm OK with paying a pro to do it.

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    VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    Hrm, just saw this video. Same brand camera that I'm looking at, just older model. After watching that, I'm definitely leaning towards professional installation. Do not want to mess with airbags or yanking out weather stripping myself. The question is just who to go with to do said installation.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I picked up a VIOFO A119. It runs on 5V USB, which is kinda convenient since I can power it either from USB or a 12v adapter. It has a handy GPS mount that also serves as a quick-release for power. Parking mode is decent, camera quality is solid. It's single-channel only though. Personally, for my money, I recommend getting two simple single-camera units and wiring them separately, especially if you have a convenient power connection in your trunk. If you don't intend to fiddle with the camera, and only want to mess with footage after an accident/vandalism, there's no reason you need them connected to each other, and you can get a better pair of single-channel cameras at a lower price point than a similar dual-channel system.

    If you're going to hardwire and run it when the car is off, get a secondary power source. The camera doesn't draw much, but the one time you park for three days and forget about it, coming back to a dead battery will be no fun. You can get a low voltage cutoff, and that helps, but from everything I read those can be finicky as well...either they shut off too early, and can't last the night, or they run the battery too low and you end up with issues on that end. Better to just find a quick-charging battery kit (one that can handle the heat, so not a standard Lithium Ion pack) and wire it to a switched source so that it doesn't draw when the car is off. There are a couple options from a couple makers that you can go with. These will tend to cost as much or more than a camera, often $150-$300. Personally I decided that I wasn't that worried about parking mode.

    Also, double check the SD card you go with. Supposedly you don't want to go with any old card. While I don't recall exactly what the specs mattered, a little research led me to this guy, which isn't really expensive or anything and provides a lot of hours of recording.

    And yeah, if you don't want to deal with pulling off trim or weather stripping, pay a pro.

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    swphreakswphreak Registered User regular
    edited July 2018
    This is the one I'm using

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X528FNE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It came with a car adapter that has a usb charging port, so I went ahead and is it in my 12v port that I was using to charge my bluetooth headphones. I hid the cables my tucking it behind the headliner, weather trim, and above the dash panel. My only complaint is that the 3M double sided tape won't hold the camera on the windshield if the windshield gets super hot. But, I take the camera off whenever I park the car in the sun so that isn't a big deal.

    I kind of wish I got a camera that records at a higher resolution, but 1080p is plenty for what I"m using it for (basically covering my ass from people who may try to screw me over). I like the fact that it will auto lock a recording in a car accident or I can press the 'OK' button to lock a recording manually. I also got it during a prime sale so it was fairly cheap ($60).

    I can second the Rexing V1. I got mine 2-3 years ago when I had a close call with a reckless driver. I like that it's low profile, and doesn't draw attention to it. I put it behind my rear view mirror and it blends in so well it's very hard to see that there's a cemera there. I went with the Rexing V1G (dashcam plus GPS dongle), but it doesn't look like that bundle is available now. Looks like there is a new generation of Rexing with new features like wifi.

    I also had an issue with my 3M tape splitting in half. I just used some superglue to glue the two halves back together and it's been fine since. I opted not to bother hardwiring the cam to my shitty car. It's not worth the money to pay someone to do it, I like to have control over the camera, and I'd end up worring about my car battery getting drained.

    When I was researching back then, I used this site and it was super helpful: https://dashcamtalk.com/

    One thing I mention is you should keep an eye out for dashcams with batteries or capacitors depending on your climate. I'm in Florida, so I made sure I went with a dashcam with a capacitor. This pages goes into more detail on capacitor vs batteries.

    Edit: Forgot to mention: I went with this microSDXC card and haven't had issues with it.

    swphreak on
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    VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    swphreak wrote: »
    This is the one I'm using

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X528FNE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It came with a car adapter that has a usb charging port, so I went ahead and is it in my 12v port that I was using to charge my bluetooth headphones. I hid the cables my tucking it behind the headliner, weather trim, and above the dash panel. My only complaint is that the 3M double sided tape won't hold the camera on the windshield if the windshield gets super hot. But, I take the camera off whenever I park the car in the sun so that isn't a big deal.

    I kind of wish I got a camera that records at a higher resolution, but 1080p is plenty for what I"m using it for (basically covering my ass from people who may try to screw me over). I like the fact that it will auto lock a recording in a car accident or I can press the 'OK' button to lock a recording manually. I also got it during a prime sale so it was fairly cheap ($60).

    I can second the Rexing V1. I got mine 2-3 years ago when I had a close call with a reckless driver. I like that it's low profile, and doesn't draw attention to it. I put it behind my rear view mirror and it blends in so well it's very hard to see that there's a cemera there. I went with the Rexing V1G (dashcam plus GPS dongle), but it doesn't look like that bundle is available now. Looks like there is a new generation of Rexing with new features like wifi.

    See bolded part above. In my research, I keep seeing that referred to...keeping it out of sight, low profile, not calling attention to itself, etc. I guess I don't quite understand that, but hey, I live in a smaller midwestern city so there is the context for that. Does a camera make you a bigger target for being broken into to steal the footage? or just to pawn the camera off for $$? I always figured it was the opposite. "oh crap, don't do anything illegal around that car because I see that camera catching everything I do.

    I haven't followed up on it yet, but a coworker of mine who knows a lot about cars thinks the car dealership would do a dash cam hardwire installation for labor costs, which hey, might be more expensive than geek squad, but then again the dealer service center might do a better job than something like geek squad, or just less likely to screw something up.

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    LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    I mean, if you steal the camera who cares if it recorded you? Just make sure to take the SD card too.

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    swphreakswphreak Registered User regular
    I guess it just depends on your location. I feel like there no need to draw attention. I've seen some dashcams that stand out quite a bit.

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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    Okay, don't bother with double sided tape. Use the suction cup if possible.

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    swphreakswphreak Registered User regular
    I'm bumping this thread because I recently noticed that my Rexing dashcam is losing the last 5 minutes or so of footage after each drive. I was hoping to get a license plate frm footage, but it was missing.

    Guess I'll be seeing what's new with dashcams these days.

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