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Automobile cameras

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:36 pm
by burger2227
I decided to join the Russians in the attempt to document every asteroid or meteorite that happens to enter
my life since I have never managed to have seen one yet.


I just happen to have a glass table, so I mounted it underneath it and forgot about it. It documented everything quite well.

Sort of like a sleep study as it was aimed at me on the couch...

The instructions says it automatically shuts off when the car is no longer running. Is it smart enough
to find 14 volts instead of 12? I have mounted 3 extra car outlets, but I wired them to switch off
with a relay so that my battery is not drained. I know that it shuts off when it has no power to it...

$27 with a 10 foot 12 volt cord to hide the wiring and a 110 volt USB adapter for home security.

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:31 am
by burger2227
The technology is GREAT and the camera takes a pretty decent picture. So why would I send it back?

Suction cup technology has not kept up! The only thing that has saved the camera so far is the cord.
Otherwise it would probably have busted when it fell. I had the same problem with my Tom Tom satellite
locator until I found a way to mount it on my steering wheel base in front of the instrument cluster.
That worked out good so that it does not stick out like a sore thumb and entice thieves.

I have resorted to heavy duty double sided mounting tape, but even then it wobbles if I don't use the
suction lever to pull 80% of the tape off of the windshield surface. I will test it out when I go to
Pittsburgh next week if it stays on that long.

Funny how it stuck on the bottom of the table for a week with no problems. The sun probably does
not help either.

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:34 pm
by burger2227
I sent the camera back, but I ordered another kind. This one has a 2.5 screen with control buttons below.
The other one had 3 buttons on each side and were harder to navigate also.

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:33 pm
by burger2227
This is the second car DVR I got. It has the menu below the screen which is easier to access.
I was able to get it to stay on the window with a little spit. It works well behind the rear view mirror.

It starts recording from a switched 12 volt outlet and stops when the ignition is turned off.
An internal battery can record after the power is off until it dies. That allows recording while parked.

It comes with a 2 G memory card, but that doesn't last too long. When memory runs out, it
stops recording. It is easy to restart by choosing Format in the second menu.

I will use a 32 G card on longer trips. It uses standard SD or SDHC cards or Micro with an adapter.

Posted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:31 am
by burger2227
A note about car DVR recorders. Many will have LED's on front that can be set up to light up at night.
Those lights are useless when used in a car and may blind you from the reflection off of the windshield.

I don't see any use for the LED's even when used as a security camera in the home. Since most are motion activated,
you wouldn't want the location of the camera given away even if it does see something...

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:22 am
by burger2227

I had to get a new battery from the seller so that it can record with the ignition off. After it turns
off, it can be turned back on manually to record while the car is parked. An 8 Gigabyte card lasts about
four hours. If nothing interesting happens, which hopefully will be most of the time, I just reformat it.

Every once in a while the camera suction cup fails to hold to the window due to the sun and heat. I'm
going to try using clear silicone calking to see if it will hold better. Double sided heavy duty tape
did not work so well either.

I also wired up the mounting bracket to the rear view mirror so that the camera does not fall too far.
The power cord plug alone will not keep it from falling and possibly being damaged over time.

Re: Smile, you're on candid camera

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:51 pm
by burger2227
I bought a car mirror camera to see how it might work and unclutter my windshield:

The mirror cam has velcro straps on the back to mount it on the existing rear view mirror:
The camera is on the right and the angle can be adjusted by hand after mounting. The 12 volt USB micro plug and SD card are on top
of the center box area which I had to tape to cut down on vibration noise. The speaker mic is on the left.
The velcro straps have both velcro surfaces, but they are on the same side so I had to twist them to mate up properly.
The control buttons are labeled on the mirror, but the buttons are on the back at the bottom, making them difficult to access.

Here is the camera view in my apartment.

When the camera is plugged into the USB cable, this is what it displays:
The movies can be accessed on the My Computer drive screen as a removable disk(letter)\DCIM\100MEDIA.
I was able to play them from the 32G Micro SD card with Media Player on Windows 7. XP had problems so they had
to be copied from the disk before they could be viewed. That can be a real pain!

Re: Smile, you're on candid camera

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:49 pm
by iamdenteddisk
though I question the under table application as being anything but a jerk cam, I am glad to see working with cams..

has there been any advance in using the cam with qb64? I would love to be able to snap pictures from shell command and use point commands to do color blob detection "robot vision" is it possible yet?

Re: Smile, you're on candid camera

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:06 pm
by burger2227
QB64 is either on hold or waiting for another C programmer. Galleon has to feed a family now!

See if you can find somebody interested in helping the cause. Michael Calkins is my bet. He's still single LOL.

Update on the mirror camera: It has quit working already! It records sporadically or just refuses to turn on or off at times.

I am now waiting to receive a new battery from China. God knows if it will ever come with the instructions necessary to replace it. It must snap apart! I will show how its done or just tear it apart for a final autopsy!

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:39 am
by burger2227
Had a problem with the car window camera plug. The fuse spring bracket broke that retained the end of the spring.

I decided to use clear calking to retain the fuse spring and gave it four hours to cure:
The PC board is just loose in the plug too. The LED is the only thing holding it in place.

Also note that one ground contact is not connected to anything. Only the top contact has a green wire for ground.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:58 pm
by burger2227
Dash cameras help convict officers who brutalized a man and lied about it. (video)

If I am ever pulled over, I will re-aim my own dash camera perhaps...I was stopped once in Texas for turn signal being on too long.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:11 am
by burger2227
The HD camera from Hell!

Recently purchased an HD car camera that I found on sale on Ebay for $24 Buy Now FS instead of $40.
I normally look on Ebay to compare prices and perhaps also save on shipping costs. I seldom bid for items.
This camera started having problems immediately! First the Micro SD card missed the slot and fell inside!
That required me to have to PRY the camera apart to get it back out. Then I carefully inserted it correctly.

As usual, the manufacturers just have to have some kind of light for night time, even though it is useless!
This light is really bright and looks like a spotlight shining forward in my car while driving! Taped it over!
This camera came with no brand name, but it does have a red star and sickle on the screen.

The camera would sometimes work and suddenly shut off for no reason. Then it started making weird sounds!
Sometimes the camera would pretend it was recording with a picture, but no motion as shown below:
Here's my hand still above. One time it actually had a picture of itself recording with frozen screen.

I suspected the battery from the start! 200 MAH is really not much for the camera over days sitting in a car.
The 402030 battery can be replaced for $6 to $10 with a small circuit protector included. I cut it out.
Problem is that the circuit protector kills the battery power altogether at a certain voltage!
That takes the time with it plus perhaps other settings. Plus it freezes the camera and functions!

The Motion Detection setting is always set to Off no matter how many times I set it!
However it has to be set On EVERY TIME the battery dies just to get that function to stay working.
Even if it says it is off or it will record everything otherwise or nothing until Record/OK is pressed.

This morning I tried again, after finding out that I need not return it for a refund. Took 2 weeks!
Here is the camera after I pried it apart with the blue tool from the top side near the DC power plug:
I immediately cut out the bright LED lights and the battery which was not returning any voltage.
The red wire is near to some surface components so I kept it long then jumped a larger 3.7 volt battery.

Here's the camera hooked to a 4000 MAH 18650 battery with my frozen hand shot:
I decided to try it with a Micro SD card and suddenly it started working correctly so far today.

So now I am testing it and plan to add the 18650 battery outside of the camera and mount it on the mirror.
The USB cable supplies the 5 volts like the car would. I'm monitoring the 18650 battery voltage as it runs.

Velcro could hold the larger battery on the back of the mirror and it will last a lot longer, easier to change!

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:29 pm
by burger2227
After hours of testing, I have found out a few things:

The camera freezes if the battery is removed while the USB mini 5 volts is applied.
That means that it froze when the old internal battery was shut off by the protector.
My car has a relay that turns power on and off with the ignition so there was no way
to charge the battery other than when the car was running.

I am testing an old phone battery with it now and it goes from 3.9 volts down to 3.85
volts when the camera is on. If I power it off with the USB voltage on, it goes to 4.
So far the battery seems to be staying steady with the camera running long periods.
Lowest voltage so far is 3.8 when recording video.

Maybe I'll just use it instead on the umbilical cord. I'll try running it all night...
Camera shut off while I was sleeping so wen back to the 18650 battery,

The problem with the camera is that it constantly pulls the battery down using over 200 ma:
6 AM ............... 4.07 volts
7 AM ............... 3.97
8 AM ............... 3.94
9 AM ............... 3.92
When the camera is turned off, voltage jumps to 3.97 and charges through USB
when powered on. I will have to keep that in mind with my switched car supply.
IE Perhaps I will have to turn the camera off at times manually to charge the battery...

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:17 am
by burger2227
Hooked up the battery to the camera with enough cord to reach from the back of the rear view mirror.
Later I put black tape over the red battery so it would not show up as well...

Then I have to set the Motion Detection On and fix the Time and Date after connecting the battery.
Motion Detection is listed in the first Menu button press, Date and Time in second press list.

Annoyingly the Motion Detection and Audio Rec are always turned off when viewing Modes too!

Below I have noted the various function buttons and USB mini plug port:
Rec button is also the OK button in menu's. Mode can view pictures or movies recorded.
The Rec button must turn off Recording before the Menu can work too.

You have to press the Menu button to get out of the Date Time screen that changes numbers
with the left Up or Down arrow buttons also used to navigate the menu or events.
There are also menu selections in the Picture and Movie modes.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:20 pm
by burger2227
I installed the camera on the opposite side of the mirror from my older one which takes up more vertical space:
The small size of the camera and suction cup mount make it harder to mount as lower gets further away.
It is hidden behind the mirror partially from the driver's view, but I can easily navigate menu's there.
Hopefully I do not have to do much resetting of menus...

So far the camera has recorded the entire trip to local stores. I found it on when I came out of Walmart,
but I am not sure what triggered that. It does have a G-Force sensor I set to 2 G. Maybe slamming the trunk?

Update: HD cam recorded my entire 7 hour drive to Pittsburgh. Shut down twice after stops.
Camera may start recording when the car is not running when the trunk is slammed.
After it has started before the car starts it seems to shut down after a few minutes.
Sometimes the camera would come back on after a stop all by itself...

It appears that the G-sensor will turn on the camera when bumped or vibrated even with power off.
After a few minutes the camera will also shut down again even when car is moving if G-sensor activated.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:20 pm
by burger2227
HD camera movie pictures were automatically opened in VLC Player full screen:
I just inserted the micro SD card into a USB reader and VLC recognized it first!

Video is a lot clearer so that signs are now easily visible compared to the previous cameras:

Plates are still hard to read until you hit them almost:

The camera loops and overwrites files every 1.5 hours with a 16 G micro SD card:
Found one picture file from my tear down and a sound file without any picture.
Sound works well with the HD video although it is not real loud. Time works well too!

The older camera's 32 G lasted about 8 hours before it was filled up and needed formatted:
This picture from the old camera makes reading a lot more difficult.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:53 am
by burger2227
HD Camera froze after a quick stop at 7-11 and refused to shut off or power down unplugged.
The screen held a frozen picture of the 7-11 store until I got to my final destination.
5 minutes later when I reached my destination with no USB power, it finally shut off on its own.

Battery charge is only indicated when the car ignition is off. It reads 2/3 full so far since install.
That is after a week of little car use while I was on pain pills for a nasty painful shin injury.
The wind blew the passenger door closed with my legs sticking out adjusting the old camera.
My left leg now has a large black and blue knot on it! Hurts pretty bad...

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sun May 01, 2016 12:33 am
by burger2227
HD camera keeps shutting off after a few minutes driving.
Battery sill reads 2/3 full and it got a nice charge on the 900 mile round trip.

Also had to reset the time and date numbers. Was off one day and lots of hours.

2G sensor setting also sometimes trips it on when closing doors or trunk.
When that happens it will always shut down after a few minutes even when powered on.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:18 pm
by burger2227
HD Camera date and time are wrong again and unit is making a high noticeable squealing sound, but still recording!
Disconnected mini USB and camera froze on until battery got so low it went off on its own.

Battery was down to 2.4 volts so I replaced it with a fully charged 18650 battery...
Had to reset time and motion recording as always.
Seems to me that battery never gets a full charge through camera.

Re: Automobile cameras

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:24 pm
by burger2227
HD Camera does not work well when hot! Camera no longer runs...

99 today and feels like 115 according to my Windows Phone's Accuweather...

After a cool off in Pittsburgh, camera needed a new battery. Stopped working again as temps went over 90.

Have not had access to Menu lately and time wrong. Camera works on cooler days...

Similar HD cameras are now selling for less than $30:
Problem is that the SIZE of them determines the battery size and small batteries CANNOT LAST LONG!
AND those batteries are NOT EASY TO REPLACE AND EXPENSIVE. ($6 to $10 with circuit protector)

PLUS the manufacturers STILL try to use Built-in IR night vision to capture evening drives.