A silly way to transfer video files to home computer/server automatically in SOME circumstances (home network / home wifi / sync)

kngharv

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I have tried to find a way to automatically transfer video files from the dashcam to my home comoputer/server for a long time.

The scenario is the following: I return home, car is parked in the garage, which is within my home wifi's coverage. Ideally, I want video footage automatically transfer to an always-on home computer or a NAS server once the car is already in my garage. The entire process shouldn't require any human intervention.

Since most of dashcam are designed and made in Asia, and most of Asians don't have an attached garage right next to his/her apartment, such usage scenario is quite foreign to them. Thus , most of dashcam aren't designed with such scenario in mind.

Most of solutions I have surveyed require
- either a linux-based dashcam thus able hack it (find out rtsp URI or http-based streaming URI then write a script to download the video)
- and a way to keep dashcam stay on for tens of minutes while the car power is off. Most of the dashcam will shut off its wifi within minutes after the car is shutoff, not enough time to transfer files to a computer wirelessly.

Yet, the problem is that
- Most dashcam is designed as a wifi hotspot which require your phone connect to it, not other way around.
- Only one or two dashcams (thinkware/blackvue) are open enough for you to hack into it. For most cases, we don't know the streaming URI thus we can't write a script to download the video footage
- Again, most dashcam are designed to have wifi shut off within minutes car is off, even if you connect the dashcam with a fuse kit. This behavior turned out to be very difficult to override. Since video footage tend to be large in size (up to hundreds of megabytes), there is no way dashcam footage can be wirelessly transferred to home computer within the few minutes car ignition is off.

I have find a silly way to transfer video file seamlessly to my home computer once the car is parked within my home wifi's range (i.e. no human intervention during the entire process). However, it has a following requirements in order to make it work:
1. the dashcam app has to have an Android version (iOS won't work)
2. the app has the option of automatically download footage from dashcam to the app without human intervention (IMPORTANT)!
3. your car garage is within your home wifi range
4. an used Android phone dedicated to the dashcam app AND synching footage your home computer
5. usb car charger which charging that used Android phone all the time (or all the time when the car is on)
6. a free file sync software installed on both your home PC and your phone (i.e. syncthing)


Once everything set up, here is what going to happen
- have a dedicated Android phone attached to an usb charger so this phone is being charged while you are driving
- this android phone has dashcam app installed. During normal driving condition, this android phone is "dedicated" to dashcam (i.e. phone's wifi is connect to dashcam's hotspot all the time) thus dashcam footage will automatically transferred to the android phone
- once your car is parked in the garage and ignition is off, the android phone naturally disconnected from the dashcam's hotspot and switched to your home's wifi
- the android phone will then start to sync the video files to your home computer eventhough your car is parked, since the phone has a battery which it can run on
- note that this android phone will never leave your car.

This solution rely on
1. dashcam app automatically fetch footage to the dashcam app
2. syncthing's ability to set up directory-based synchronization and its ability to turn run at a specific wifi network. This is also the reason why iPhone wont work, as the user can't have the direct access to files inside the phone.

Such solution does require you to get an extra hardware, i.e. an extra android phone. But the beauty is that most basic low-end phone will do the job, and that a lot of people happened to have an old phone / a phone with a cracked screen lying around. In my case, I didn't have spare phone, so I end up buying a seller-refurbished Motorola phone for $35 dollars including shipping.

That is the gist of the solution. I end up doing something a bit more than that (i.e. i installed an automation app that turn on dashcam app when connected to dashcam's wifi... but i am not sure this is needed as my dashcam app has an option of start the app when the phone is turned on). If you guys have any question, please let me know


Harv
 

Leonauto

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This is an interesting solution to use a smartphone as an intermediate link, when in most dash when working with Wi-Fi there is no function to switch to station / client mode, but there are several problems:
- when the dashcam is recording, Android will not be able to download files from the memory card, for this you need to stop recording,
- your smartphone should have enough free memory (although this is not the main problem)

PS: it is not clear what the problem is for dashcam manufacturers to implement dashcam Wi-Fi in station / client mode, all CCTV cameras, even the cheapest ones, can do this
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
or just do this

 

Nigel

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This is an interesting solution to use a smartphone as an intermediate link, when in most dash when working with Wi-Fi there is no function to switch to station / client mode, but there are several problems:
- when the dashcam is recording, Android will not be able to download files from the memory card, for this you need to stop recording,
- your smartphone should have enough free memory (although this is not the main problem)

PS: it is not clear what the problem is for dashcam manufacturers to implement dashcam Wi-Fi in station / client mode, all CCTV cameras, even the cheapest ones, can do this
I think the smartphone is going to record the RTSP live stream? Then the problem is solved. Unless it is a multi-channel dashcam!

I don't think there is a problem implementing station mode, the Viofo A129 has it in the new firmware, the Gitup cameras have had it for years.
 

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The main problem is most of dash cam Wi-Fi transfer speed is not high.
Like the A129 Pro can support Wi-Fi transfer speed up to 8MB/s in 5GHz mode will make sense.
 
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kngharv

kngharv

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or just do this


1. As I stated in my original post, the solution you suggested require a Blackvue branded dashcam. For those who are looking for a new dashcam, your suggestion is great. But for those who already have a dashcam, spend another $100-$150 USD to buy a new dashcam just to have this additional function is a bit overkill, no?
2. how do you make sure the dashcam's wifi stay on when you turned off the ignition? It takes tens of minutes to download everything while most dashcam will shut off wifi in 2-3 minutes after the car ignition is off, fuse kit connected or not.
 
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kngharv

kngharv

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tens of minutes, good luck with that, only if you don't drive much

How do you solve the problem of dashcam's wifi being turned off within minutes after you shut off the ignition? The blackvue downloader need to connect to the dashcam directly and it require dashcam to be on even when the ignition is off.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
How do you solve the problem of dashcam's wifi being turned off within minutes after you shut off the ignition? The blackvue downloader need to connect to the dashcam directly and it require dashcam to be on even when the ignition is off.
would need the camera to stay on, some industrial (bus, truck) systems have the function to offload video to a known network and are setup for this, it's not something you see in consumer grade product though
 

kamkar

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10 years, many dashcams
8MB/s that's not something i would wait for, not even for say just the 6 event files i created on my just finished drive.
For comparison my internet download speed are around 130 MB/s

I would need something like 20 MB/s before i got even remotely interested, so until then i pop my memory cards and do it at +80 MB/s in the card reader.
Also it would have to be a factory option, i cant bother with hacking onto my camera for this stuff.
 

Nigel

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8MB/s that's not something i would wait for, not even for say just the 6 event files i created on my just finished drive.
For comparison my internet download speed are around 130 MB/s

I would need something like 20 MB/s before i got even remotely interested, so until then i pop my memory cards and do it at +80 MB/s in the card reader.
Also it would have to be a factory option, i cant bother with hacking onto my camera for this stuff.
If all you want to do is download the 1 file of the accident onto your phone so that you can edit and share it, then the 8MB/s works fine, even for 4K, and it is much better than the typical 1-2MB/s of most dashcams.

But if you want internet speed, maybe we should abandon wifi completely and just use a 5G mobile connection, then there is also no problem with getting the car close enough to contact the home wifi range, it will just work from anywhere. Although I'm not sure that 5G upload speeds will better the 8MB/s?

"i pop my memory cards" - that won't be an option soon, when dashcams follow phones and do away with removable memory cards!
 

kamkar

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10 years, many dashcams
Yes in the grand scheme, and probably for most people.
But i would sit looking at that slow moving transfer bar eat its way thru the 2 X 300 MB that make up a event these days, and think it would have been 10 X faster in the card reader.

My internet also just have to feel a little off and i have to run a speed test, and the 200 mbit that seem to be the max of my VPN, well that's too slow for me so now i just use the VPN some times.
 

SawMaster

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I'm not so sure that dashcams will follow phones into non-removable memory. The primary use of a dashcam is to obtain transferable evidence, which in most places requires that the evidence be in the form of the original recording and not a copy of it for that evidence to be used in a Courtroom. Such a solution might be acceptable to insurance companies though.

No problem giving your cam's card to the Police or Court, as it's cheap and easy to pop in a new card, but to hand over the whole cam could leave you with a rather deep hole in your money pocket :(

Phil
 

jokiin

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I'm not so sure that dashcams will follow phones into non-removable memory.
hasn't even happened in phones, it's mostly the high end of the market where no removable storage is a thing, the majority of phones in the market still have provision for a memory card to expand the storage, improving camera tech has seen that on the rise as people want more storage, at the high end they try and sell you into paying for cloud storage
 
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kngharv

kngharv

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- when the dashcam is recording, Android will not be able to download files from the memory card, for this you need to stop recording,

Do you know is there any branded dashcam which will transfer let say previous video file to phone's app WHILE recording to the current file without human intervention?
 

Leonauto

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Do you know is there any branded dashcam which will transfer let say previous video file to phone's app WHILE recording to the current file without human intervention?
This is unlikely, all the possible ways to transmit video online have already been mentioned here, although
 
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