Mini 0801

Mini 0801

The Mini 0801 dash cam, is a Chinese camera that records 1080p at 30f/s with an average bit rate between 10,000kpbs and 12,000kpbs depending on firmware .  Externally, this camera has some resemblance with the Smallest HD 720p dash camera but the internal hardware is completely different.  There are at least 2 Chinese manufacturers of this camera and typically the hardware is based on the Ambarella A2S60 processor and the Omnivision OV2710 CMOS sensor.  Like many cameras using this combination of processor and CMOS sensor, video quality during the day is very good and night quality is average.  Another nice feature of this camera is it’s quick mount that has electrical contacts built it.

What differentiates this camera from others is its small size (75x47x3.5mm), 62g weight, 1.5″ screen and G-sensor.  There appear to be 4 different models for sale as well:

  1. No GPS, No internal memory
  2. No GPS, 8GB internal memeory
  3. GPS, No internal memory
  4. GPS, 8GB internal memory

The early versions of this camera had 512MB of internal memory or no internal memory.  Note that most versions of this camera save the video files in TS format.  The manufacturers had created a MOV version of this camera but the firmware had issues in performing loop recording and was less stable.  The quality between MOV and TS does not differ but TS files can be more difficult to work with.  For instance, they are not natively usable in the popular dash cam software Registrator Viewer.  As of September 2013, the MOV firmware is now for sale.   The previous TS firmware was very stable but the initial MOV firmware had some issues.  The most recent firmware versions, while more stable are still causing issues for some owners.

We would like to thank our member JazJon for providing a lot of valuable information for this FAQ.

Other Models

Like many Chinese cameras, this dash cam is sold under various names:

  • 0801
  • Jado 169 (comes from original factory)
  • Smallest Ambarella Car DVR
  • ProCam CX4 (Russian version – comes from the original factory)
  • HD009
  • 1080P A8

Known problems

Audio Quality

A number of early owners have complained about poor audio, particularly distortion at loud volumes.  This is most likely a microphone problem.  Replacing the microphone or using a small amount of foam padding can correct this issue.  Recent owners have not raised this complaint as often but audio quality does not appear to be spectacular.

You can hear the audio in this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3rTVar9RRY

Focus / Picture Sharpness

A small number of owners have indicated that focus is either too close or the picture is not the sharpest.  This appears to be a quality control issue with the lens and could potentially be corrected by adjusting the lens.

MPH Setting

Currently there is no MPH setting for this camera.  Speed is only recorded on the video in KM/H.  This may be corrected in future firmware releases.  Note that firmware 20131202 is MPH only.

Loose Dock

Some Russian owners of the Procam CX4 have indicated that over time the camera will get loose in the dock.  This in turn causes the camera to vibrate and results in poor audio quality.  Typically this would be a concern only if you remove and reinstall the camera frequently / daily.

Time Zone resets with GPS

Early versions of this camera with GPS had an issue that the time zone would reset.  The only known solution was to use the camera without GPS to resolve.

Low Speed Card Error

Some owners have indicated this camera has a “Low Speed Card Error” and has problems cycling videos (deleting oldest video when card is full) using a class 10 Micro SD card.  Class 4 or Class 6cards appear to resolve this problem.

It is best to avoid Class 10 cards with this camera as per the manual.  Class 10 cards use a different bus that may not be backwards compatible. The Samsung Class 6 microSD card is one of the most stable cards for the Mini 0801.

Storage IOError

Some owners have had a “Storage IO Error” with the camera powering off when the microSD card was full.  This has been corrected in the 20130924 firmware.

Camera Freezes

One owner has indicated that the camera will literally freeze when temperatures reach -20C or colder.  The blue light will come on but you can’t turn it off and it isn’t recording.  Once the camera warms up, it works again

Mounting the Camera

Mini 0801 Mount 1

Mini 0801 Mount 2

Mini 0801 Mount 3

Mini 0801 Mount 4

Mini 0801 Mount 5

Disassembling the Camera

Mini 0801 Disassembled 1

Mini 0801 Disassembled 2

Mini 0801 Disassembled 3

Mini 0801 Disassembled 4

Polarizing Filter

One of our members, JazJon has come up with a polarizing filter solution to eliminate windshield reflections / glare.  You can read all about his project here.

Led Light Meaning

The following LED light sequence describes how the camera is recording.

Blinking Blue/Off/Blue/Off = Recording in Progress (battery full)
Blinking Blue/Red/Blue/Red = Recording in Progress (battery charging)

Power Specifications

Some users have asked what the power draw is for this camera.  One of our members OldGoat has determined the Amp draw to be as follows.seq — function/status — current drawn in amps:

  1. GPS locked, recording, screen on, led blue flashing, 0.50
  2. GPS locked, recording, screen off, led blue flashing, 0.38
  3. No GPS, recording, screen on, led blue/red flashing, 0.40
  4. No GPS, standby, screen on, led blue, 0.32
  5. No GPS, standby, screen off, led blue, 0.26
  6. No GPS, motion detection on, screen on, led blue flashing, 0.39
  7. No GPS, motion detection on, screen off, led blue flashing, 0.31
  8. No GPS, motion detection on, screen off, led solid blue, 0.22

Sample Videos

Day Video

Night Video

Should I Purchase?

This camera is quite similar to a GS1000 in a smaller, more discreet package.  If you are looking for a 1080p discreet camera with a screen and GPS, this is a viable option.  Unfortunately the ongoing firmware issues make this a difficult camera to recommend.

If you don’t need the screen and GPS and are looking for slightly better video quality, consider the Mobius.  Overall the Mini 0801 is a good value for the money.  See our complete comparison on the dash cam comparison page.

Where to purchase for lowest price

This camera primarily sells on eBay and Aliexpress for approximately $100 with GPS.  The primary vendors are:

ePrance on eBay and on Amazon, Amazon UK

Givoe on Aliexpress

US vendors include fonestop on eBay / Amazon and Spy Tec.

JooVuu is a Europe based seller.

The Samsung Class 6 microSD card is one of the most stable cards for the Mini 0801 as per owner experience on our forum.

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.

Firmware Update Instructions

  1. Format the MicroSD Card
  2. Copy the firmware file(s) (.bin) onto the root of the MicroSD Card
  3. You may need to rename the firmware file depending on the your camera.  Some of the names that have worked include:
    • firmware-NO1-SPI-OV2710FLIP-TB15-M8452.bin
    • firmware-NO1.bin
    • firmware-NO1-SPI-TB15.bin
    • firmware-NO1-SPIF-TB15.bin
    • firmware-NO1-SPI-OV2710FLIP-TB15-MA310.bin
  4. The camera should prompt to update automatically (yes/no)
  5. After the firmware update is completed be sure to delete the files or  you will be prompted to update again

Our member JazJon has created a video of the firmware upgrade process.

Latest Firmware

Our member Tobi@s has firmware available from his site as well.

Previous Versions

Note that the firmware version is a date code and the following versions have been reported for sale.

  • 20130727
  • 20130617
  • 20130604
  • 20130110

Custom Firmware

Our members have been working on custom firmware versions as well.  You can find them in this thread on our forum.

Our member Tobi@s has created an Ambarella A2 Romkitchen that is available in this thread.

Software Player

The software player that comes with the camera can be downloaded below:

  1. KPH Car GPS Player
  2. MPH Car GPS Player

Unbricking the Camera

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.  THIS OPERATION WILL LIKELY DESTROY THE CABLE IN THE PROCESS. 

Our member, nuxator, was able to unbrick his camera using the following approach.
To flash the bricked cam you’ll need:

  1. You will need an USB OTG cable and a Male to Male Adapter to perform this.  Alternatively you can make the usb cable. It needs to have pin 4 and 5 of mini usb linked.
  2. Plug it on the cam.
  3. Plug the cable on the computer.
  4. The cam displays only red light and no screen but windows detect an unknown device.
  5. Force the installation of the driver in the usb software zip by pointing on the Ambarella_Evaluation_Board_1.2.3.0.inf
  6. If you get an error such as “The folder you specified doesn’t contain a compatible software driver for your device. If the folder contains a driver, make sure it is designed to work with Windows for x64 (I’ve tried it on x86 too)- based systems”, add the driver through Windows device Manager > add new legacy hardware
  7. Start the directusb.exe as an admin (i used it under win 7 64bits)
  8. Click edit and modify #define PROGRAM_TIMEOUT 0 to #define PROGRAM_TIMEOUT 300000
  9. Choose the firmware file (remove Chinese characters in elf filename to get it work).
  10. Click connect (now the app should display a green OK status)
  11. Click download.
  12. Let the magic happened.

If it doesn’t work, keep the power button pressed for 10~15sec and try again.

If you do not have an USB OTG cable you can use a Micro USB dongle jig or you can create one in the following way:
Open the cable provided with the cam with a sharp tool on the mini usb plug.  But be careful, the cable has 2 layers of pins one above the other.

Mini 0801 Cable 1

Make a shortcut with a pinpoint between pin 4 an 5 as on the picture.   Black cable with the one without solder. Forget about red, it broke when taking the picture.
Unsure if you can release the pin during process so keep it this way on all the time.

Mini 0801 Cable 2

User Manual

You can download the English manual here.

Specifications

Mini 0801
Price$100
Read Review
Manufacturer
CountryChina
Specifications
ProcessorAmbarella A2S60
CMOSOmnivision OV2710
Channels1
Screen1.5"
GPSOptional
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto or Button
Video
Max Resolution1080p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)12
Video FormatMOV
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle135°
Recording
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)32GB
Other
Size (mm)75 x 47 x 35
MountAdhesive
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-20˚C to 65˚C
Battery330mAh
Release DateApr 2013
AppsPC
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating
AdvantagesCompact
Good video quality
DisadvantagesFirmware issues (low speed card error, storage io error) for some owners
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordDiscreet, small, GPS and reasonably priced. Firmware needs improvement.

Published: September 3, 2013

Last Updated: March 21, 2014