DOD F900LHD

The DOD F900LHD is probably the most popular dash cam that has dozens of copies.  It can record HD video (1080p at 30FPS).  It is a reliable dash cam and provides very good picture quality in the day and average / acceptable picture quality at night.  One drawback is its relatively large size at 106.7mm(L) x 53.9mm(W) x 33.3mm(H).

Like many of the DOD cameras there are many clones available on eBay, Aliexpress and DealExtreme.  Some of these clones are exact replicas of the DOD F900LHD while others are cheap fakes.  This page will help you identify the real cameras from the fakes.

Real vs Fake F900LHD

Below is a comparison of a Real DOD F500LHD vs a fake version.  The picture on the left is the real version while the picture on the right is the fake.

  1. The real version’s screen closes tightly against the camera.  The fake does not
  2. The real version has a screw behind the tripod hole.  The fake does not

  1. When turning the lens, the real version is smooth and quiet.  The fake version makes a sound
  2. The real version has a black inner ring for the LED lamp.  The fake version does not

  1. The real version has an EV button.  The fake has a WB button
  2. The real version does not have an indent between the On and OK buttons.  The fake version has an indent

  1. The real version has a different speaker compared to the fake version
  2. The real version has a different font on the HDMI rubber cover compared to the fake version

  1. The real version has 3 terminals for the battery.  The fake has 2 terminals for the battery
  2. The real version has a screw in a different position when compared to the fake version
  3. The real version has a warranty sticker while the fake version does not

  1. The real version has a different screen connector when compared to the fake version

  1. The real version has small circles under the screen.  The fake version does not

  1. The interface is different between the real and fake versions

  1. The menu screen is different between the real and fake versions.

The differences above are some ways to tell a fake camera from a real camera.  Also make sure the dash cam you are choosing has 4 buttons on the side.  Many fakes only have 3 buttons.

The original version uses an Ambarella chipset while many of the fakes will use a Novatek chipset.  If the version you are looking for has a maximum resolution of  1440×1080 at 15 frames per second or 1920×1080 at 10 frames per second this is a fake camera worth less than $50.  Be aware that there are a few sellers who are selling an F900LHD with Ambarella chipset that has bad firmware.  Avoid this if you can.

The best way to tell if you are getting a “original version” is by looking at the firmware.  You should be able to find a camera with firmware V2.46 OTH-MF H and above.  All firmware that end in “OTH-MF H”, can be upgraded to the latest version (v2.75 OTH-MF H)  by following the Firmware update instructions in this document.

Known problems

No major problems but the following issues have been noted.

Bumpy road sound quality

The dash cam vibrates on a bumpy road causing sound quality to be shaky and poor.  This is a known issue of dash cams in this series (and many other Chinese-made) due to poor quality of the microphone used.

The easiest solution is to use a more rigid mounting bracket to minimize how much the dash cam shakes. See the next section on mounting the camera.

Some owners have replaced the microphone but that is a much more complex procedure.

Bumpy road picture quality

The dash cam vibrates on a bumpy road causing picture quality to be shaky and poor.

Once again, the easiest solution is to use a more rigid bracket to mount the camera to glass.  See the next section on mounting the camera.

Delay between clips

Starting with firmware v2.67 there are no breaks between recording clips (technically there is a break of about 1/30 seconds, which is equal to two frames in continuous recording)

Mounting the camera

Standard mount

Standard mount attached to bottom of windshield.

Standard mount attached to top of windshield.

Mounting with threaded tripod hole

Using the tripod hole does not provide the necessary stiffness to support the cam.  This attachment point is not designed for continuous vibration in the car.

Optimal Settings

For Recording Cycle:  DURATION – OFF, RECYCLE Clip length:1/5/10/15 minutes, MOTION DET. – OFF, AUTO OFF – OFF

To improve the legibility of small details:  SHARPNESS – HARD, CONTRAST – STANDARD

To enable and automatically start recording when an external power supply: USB IN = YES.

To automatically turn off when disconnecting the external power supply: SHUTDOWN – choose from: 10s , 5 min, 15 min (10 seconds is recommended.)

Ideal memory card

Choose an SD-card from a good manufacturer (SanDisk, Transcend, Kingston, Verbatim, Silicon Power) Class 4 and above.  An 8 GB or greater (max 32 GB) Class 10 SD-card is optimal.

Flipping the image

Find the menu item “VIDEO FLIP”, Change the value (moving from left to right) to “ON”, then press the “OK”.

1 minute clips, regardless of setting

When the motion detector is installed the dash cam ignores the cyclic recording setting and will always write clips lasting 1 minute.

To correct, turn off the motion detector: MOTION DET = OFF.

Charging while recording

When external power is connected to the dash cam while recording, the battery will be charged.

Battery life in record mode

When the display is off and with a fully charged battery approximately 2 hours.

After prolonged use of the battery (6 months of daily usage), the time drops to 20 minutes.

How long to charge the battery

Approximately 5 hours.

Operating temperature range

Officially – from -10 to +60 degrees Celsius. In practice, we observe the following:

a. In winter, below a certain temperature, the dash cam may not start.

b. In summer with direct sunlight the dash cam temperature can hit 80 degrees and above. There have been instances of expanding lithium batteries (which is are designed to operate up to 75 degrees).

Device manufacturer

It is believed that the manufacturer is “TRANSFLUENT TECHNOLOGY LIMITED” .  Another company, DeSheng may also be an original manufacturer.

Bit Rate and Viewing Angle

The F900LHD has 9 different resolution settings / frame rates.   Each resolution setting corresponds to a specific viewing angle.  Note that the viewing angle of the 720P video is wider than the 1080 p video (97°  vs 72°)

Resolution / Frame Rate Bitrate 
kbps
Horizontal Viewing Angle
1920×1080 / 30 8000 72 °
1920×1080 / 15 8000 72 °
1440×1080 / 30 9000 72 °
1280×720 / 30 6700 97 °
848×480 / 60 6500 72 °
848×480 / 30 4200 97 °
640×480 / 30 2300 72 °
320×240 / 120 2900 27 °
320×240 / 30 850 72 °

Sample Videos

Day

Night

Where to purchase for lowest price

The best places to purchase right now are Aliexpress and Ebay.  These are identical to the DOD models but have blank cases and no logos.

Firmware

WARNING!  MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK.  WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Do not try to flash dash cams with incompatible firmware. For example, if you have a 3-button dash cam, do not use this firmware.  If your existing firmware does not end in OTH-MF H, do not use this firmware.

Firmware Backup

Before updating your firmware, it is highly recommended to backup your existing firmware.  This can be easily done using the following method.

  1. Download the Backup autoexec.ash file.  This is a simple text file with the following contents (firmfl gen 5 bst bld pri rom dsp d:\backup.bin). This file has the necessary commands to extract the existing firmware from the dash cam.
  2. Make sure the camera battery is fully charged
  3. Use the following settings in your dash cam:USB – NO (USB IN – NO),Delay. – NO (SHUTDOWN – NO), Auto save – OFF (MOTION DET. – OFF) A.SHUT. – OFF (AUTO OFF – OFF)
  4. Format the SD-card (via the dash cam or your computer).
  5. Copy the autoexec.ash file to your formatted SD-card.  DO NOT copy the autoexec.ash file to the DVR’s internal memory, only to the SD-CARD!
  6. Insert the SD-card with the autoexec.ash file in the dashcam and turn it on.  The dashcam will be in normal standby mode.  The process to backup the firmware takes about 10 seconds.  However, we recommend that you wait  1 MINUTE.
  7. After waiting a minute, and turn off the dash cam.
  8. Insert the SD-card into the computer.
  9. Copy the firmware stored as BACKUP.BIN
  10. Rename the resulting BACKUP.BIN in accordance with the number of your firmware. For example, “2.75 OTH-MF H”.

Simple Firmware Update Instructions

  1. You must use an SD-Card reader to perform this operation.  Do not attempt to do this directly on the dash cam.
  2. Download the desired firmware from the section below.
  3. Rename the downloaded firmware file to yamaha.bin
  4. Copy the file yamaha.bin on SD-card using a card reader.
  5. Insert the card into the dash cam and turn it on. You should see a running circle and the inscription “Firmware update”.
  6. Do not turn off the dash cam until the symbol and the words  disappear from the screen, the whole process takes about 10 seconds.
  7. You should see a message to turn off the dash cam.  Turn it off,  remove the memory card and delete the yamaha.bin file.
  8. Use your dash cam with the latest firmware.

Complete Firmware Update Instructions

  1. You must use an SD-Card reader to perform this operation.  Do not attempt to do this directly on the dash cam.
  2. Download the Update autoexec.ash file.  This is a simple text file with the following contents (rm a:\autoexec.ash
    firmfl prog d:\firmware.bin >> d:\flashlog.txt
    rm d:\autoexec.ash
    rm d:\firmware.bin
    ).  This file has the necessary commands to extract the existing firmware from the dash cam.
  3. Download the desired firmware from the section below.
  4. Rename the downloaded firmware file to firmware.bin
  5. Copy the autoexec.ash and firmware.bin files to SD-card using a card reader.
  6. Insert the card into the dash cam and turn it on.
  7. Wait a minute for the process to complete (the whole process takes about 10 seconds).
  8. Turn off the device
  9. Use your dash cam with the latest firmware.

Latest Firmware

These firmware files are only compatible for cameras that have an existing firmware of V2.46 OTH-MF H to V2.75 OTH-MF H.  IF THE CURRENT FIRMWARE IN YOUR DASH CAM DOES NOT END IN  OTH-MF H, DO NOT UPGRADE YOUR FIRMWARE.

The latest firmware is version 2.75 OTH-MF H.  Click the following link for the latest firmware version.  V2.75 OTH-MF H

A new firmware version has been released.  It is V2.97 T2M-MF H.  Apparently it is compatible with cameras that end in OTH-MF H.

Previous Firmware

Click the appropriate link to download any of the previous firmware files.

User Manual

Specifications

 F900LHD
Price$100
Read Review
ManufacturerDOD
CountryChina
Specifications 
ProcessorAmbarella A2S60
CMOS
Channels1
Screen2.5"
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock Files
Video 
Max Resolution1080p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)8
Video FormatMOV
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle120°
Recording 
SD Card TypeSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)32GB
Other 
Size (mm)107 x 54 x 33
MountSuction
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-10˚C to 60˚C
Battery1000mAh
Release DateNov 2010
AppsNone
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating 
AdvantagesReliable
Good video quality
DisadvantagesNight quality could be better
Too big
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordSame internal components as 500LHD, buy that instead.

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2013