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Old 06-08-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
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Default Dash Cams - which ones, and why?

As the use of smartphones while driving has greatly increased the possibility of getting clobbered out there somewhere, I'm interested in what others use to record the beauty and splendor of the passing panorama, while actively recording their travels, for future litigation resolution.
I see some units in truck stops (can't recall the makes/models off top of head) and am also aware that some dashtop GPS units come with cameras and recording capabilities.
I'd be interested in what others use, and why they use them? What features do you like and what features are useless? I think some have auto-collision-record, some can detect vehicle in front has stopped, or lane wander, and many have micro SD card slots to store huge amounts of recorded data. Any other features you find useful?
I already plan on using a standalone nav system, so I'd also be interested in mostly standalone styled dash cams, as opposed to GPS/Cam combos. However, never say never on switching.

Thanks, folks.
p.s. I searched the forum for "dash cams" using the search function, and got a plethora of hits. Wasn't there once a way to search all posts for "exact phrase" matches? Anyway, I couldn't figure out how to do it, which resulted in this post.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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This guy in a ClassC simply went to Costco and got a multi-camera home surveillance unit.

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Old 06-08-2017, 12:41 PM   #3
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Hmmm, perhaps a bit of overkill for just a dash cam application. That sort of strikes me as a 360 degree surveillance system?
Thanks for posting it up. That might be in the cards too, somewhere down the road.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:34 PM   #4
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If you narrow the search down to a few models then check Youtube videos for them to see if the quality and field of view is acceptable to you.

Then check where you'll mount it and how will you power it. I have one that is bit older now but produces great 170 degree view HD video but it is a windshield mount so the power cord dangles in the van. My plan is to run the wire under the headliner someday so I can mount the camera up high and out of the way. I can dash mount it on a disused GPS disc but then have to flip the video to view because it is upside down. Some dashcams let you choose which way it is mounted and automatically flip the video if needed.

I think I got it for 50% off at Canadian Tire.

Uniden Cam650 HD


(I'm not recommending that Uniden - just using it as an example - there are better dashcams available)

I tried a cheap dashcam first but the video quality was not good enough to later read license plate numbers etc.

For a very inexpensive alternative:
(not a dashcam, 120 degree view, no GPS, no G-sensor, no auto on/off)

Surplus at Princess Auto: https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...ra/A-p8742553e

Official HP link: lc200w - Life Cam - HP Image Solution

I think it would/could work.

I just got one of those & it is fun to have. It’s inexpensive, very small and has a magnetic back in addition to a sticky mount so you have many mounting options. I got a great video of a hummingbird at the feeder. The cam was about 12” away!
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:43 PM   #5
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there are all kinds of phone apps.

a system needs

a video camera and a storage memory

you have that in your pocket

I have the nexar app

Mike
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
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.

Make sure you check the dashcam spec
Make sure it can automatically overwrite the oldest file.

My brother bought a cheapie
and found out it does not do the overwrite.
The camera just stops recording when the SD is full.

He has to reset the camera every morning.
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
there are all kinds of phone apps.

a system needs

a video camera and a storage memory

you have that in your pocket

I have the nexar app

Mike
Cool app - thanks for the info. Free too! The horizontal view angle is approx half of the Uniden on my inexpensive Android phone though so it would miss all of what happens on the sides. A phone with a wider view angle would give better results.

Edit: spoke too soon - I can't seem to look at the video unless I signup with nexar ............. -> uninstalled.
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:33 PM   #8
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$15 at wallymart

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Old 06-08-2017, 04:51 PM   #9
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We had at least two, if not three, cheapies that died from a variety of poor design causes. They tend to brick. Or not recognize SD cards. And suffer from a variety of other ailments.

In response to those money-wasting failures, my husband researched and bought a SJCAM 4000. We just got it hard wired this past weekend. We strapped it to the back of our rear and side camera monitor, although from the look of this pic, we still need fine tuning on the aim:



I didn't see a link above but I was wondering if you folks have seen this excerpt from a Windshield Witness dash cam (reportedly). It certainly established culpability in this case.

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Old 06-08-2017, 07:51 PM   #10
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They are evolving in features every year. The one I use in the B is one that has a motion activation feature so it will record anyone walking near the front of the van . I have it plugged into a constant 12v source.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
If you narrow the search down to a few models then check Youtube videos for them to see if the quality and field of view is acceptable to you.

Then check where you'll mount it and how will you power it. I have one that is bit older now but produces great 170 degree view HD video but it is a windshield mount so the power cord dangles in the van. My plan is to run the wire under the headliner someday so I can mount the camera up high and out of the way. I can dash mount it on a disused GPS disc but then have to flip the video to view because it is upside down. Some dashcams let you choose which way it is mounted and automatically flip the video if needed.

I think I got it for 50% off at Canadian Tire.

Uniden Cam650 HD


(I'm not recommending that Uniden - just using it as an example - there are better dashcams available)

I tried a cheap dashcam first but the video quality was not good enough to later read license plate numbers etc.

For a very inexpensive alternative:
(not a dashcam, 120 degree view, no GPS, no G-sensor, no auto on/off)

Surplus at Princess Auto: https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...ra/A-p8742553e

Official HP link: lc200w - Life Cam - HP Image Solution

I think it would/could work.

I just got one of those & it is fun to have. Itís inexpensive, very small and has a magnetic back in addition to a sticky mount so you have many mounting options. I got a great video of a hummingbird at the feeder. The cam was about 12Ē away!
Interesting idea, the HP mini wifi cam. Not sure if all the other typical bells and whistles that most car specific cam/video recorders bring to the table. Does it have expandable on board storage or is it strictly wifi transmit to a paired smartphone of other storage capable device?
Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.

Make sure you check the dashcam spec
Make sure it can automatically overwrite the oldest file.

My brother bought a cheapie
and found out it does not do the overwrite.
The camera just stops recording when the SD is full.

He has to reset the camera every morning.
Great tip for these things. Wouldn't have thought of that.
TY, BBQ.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoman View Post
They are evolving in features every year. The one I use in the B is one that has a motion activation feature so it will record anyone walking near the front of the van . I have it plugged into a constant 12v source.
Do most of the dash cams have motion sensing triggers? How about infrared (night vision) modes? Might be nice to have something (or several?) that could be left plugged in overnight, discreetly aimed to pick up any activity near your vehicle, even after dark.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
there are all kinds of phone apps.

a system needs

a video camera and a storage memory

you have that in your pocket

I have the nexar app

Mike
With my luck the phone would ring, just before the collision.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Interesting idea, the HP mini wifi cam. Not sure if all the other typical bells and whistles that most car specific cam/video recorders bring to the table. Does it have expandable on board storage or is it strictly wifi transmit to a paired smartphone of other storage capable device?
Thanks.
Yes to the Micro SD slot. It did not come with a card. The card needs to be larger than 8GB to enable loop recording. When you enable loop recording it reserves 8GB space on the card. It has a 120 degree view compared to the 170 degree view that the Uniden 650 has. It doesn't have an LCD screen so you need to view it via WiFi on a smart phone when aiming it. I mentioned it because the very low price at Princess Auto, tiny size & possible bonus usefulness in other applications.

The automatic turn on feature common to most actual dash cams when you start the car is good to have. You'd have to always remember to turn on other types of cameras.

The dash cam I have has a G sensor that will turn the cam on if the car is bumped or starts to move but that feature only seems to work if the camera is left on. I think it gets 10 minutes of recording on the internal battery.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:30 AM   #16
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Yes to the Micro SD slot. It did not come with a card. The card needs to be larger than 8GB to enable loop recording. When you enable loop recording it reserves 8GB space on the card. It has a 120 degree view compared to the 170 degree view that the Uniden 650 has. It doesn't have an LCD screen so you need to view it via WiFi on a smart phone when aiming it. I mentioned it because the very low price at Princess Auto, tiny size & possible bonus usefulness in other applications.

The automatic turn on feature common to most actual dash cams when you start the car is good to have. You'd have to always remember to turn on other types of cameras.

The dash cam I have has a G sensor that will turn the cam on if the car is bumped or starts to move but that feature only seems to work if the camera is left on. I think it gets 10 minutes of recording on the internal battery.
I think I could remember to turn it on. Maybe.
I like the magnetic base and portability potential. It could be moved easily from vehicle to vehicle.
Important for me these days. Crowded driveway....
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:06 PM   #18
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Any luck with the dash cam search Mike?

I finally figured out that the GPS in the Uniden 650 is in the base suction cup part. You can power the cam via USB directly or through the base but the GPS only works when powered through the base.

I briefly tried the HP Pixi cam as a dash cam and it's not bad. It's not quite as good as the Uniden. I think it is light enough and small enough to attach to the forward side of the rear view mirror like Interblog did.

Here's the Pixi cam video of the Hummingbird at the feeder I mentioned a few posts back:



http://www.youtube.com/embed/9uMddIV...st=9uMddIVZJdY

It's fun to watch. Youtube video quality needs to be at 480P to see it clearly. The Pixi cam made getting that video easy. I did trim the video down from its original 120 degree viewing angle so that the focus was on the Hummingbird.
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:17 PM   #19
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Zero progress on the dash cam project. I've back burnered it, and just about everything else, as non-essential for now. I do like the Uniden 650 you've mentioned. By the time I get around to doing anything about it, it will probably be obsolete. Maybe there will be a "new and improved" replacement?

My "other" project has continued to get in the way of everything else.
Most of the "people" issues have been resolved.
The latest roadblock involves repatriating some assets held abroad, and that is becoming the main drag on project completion. I literally am at the mercy of a domestic bank, and a foreign entity, and can't move any faster than they will allow, and they are both dragging their respective feet.
As a bonus, my lawyer says his fee has easily doubled what he originally quoted.
I'm not surprised.

Hope you and J are well?
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:40 AM   #20
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All good here

Re: the Uniden - I'd guess it is a 3 year old model & now discontinued. If I ever buy another cam I'd like it to mount on the dash and not on the windshield. This Uniden can mount on the dash but the resulting video is recorded upside down It's meant to be mounted on the windshield. It does have a nice feature set though.
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