A119 V3, its GPS Unit, and an Arkon BT010 (Car Passive Holder with Suction Cup). Advice please.

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Hi,

I have an A119 V3 for 18 months and am very happy with the unit. I'm using 3M Dual Lock fastener (a bit like velcro) to allow for removal from the windscreen for ease of access to remove the memory card.

I have recently got a second A119 V3 which I want to use mainly as a rear dashcam for my Land Rover Discovery 2 (rear screen is almost vertical, it's 13 degrees from the vertical if my iPhone is to be believed). I wish to use the GPS module as well in order to ensure that the displayed date and time are consistent with the front-facing camera. Speed and location would be useful but not essential as the front camera will record that.

I also want to use it as a temporary front camera (with GPS) for use in rental vehicles.

So how does one attach the A119 V3 (and GPS module) to the Arkon BT010 (Car Passive Holder with Suction Cup) so that the GPS has a chance of picking up the signal:

1. Hinge upmost with plastic plate pushed tight up against suction cup with dashcam on the outermost side of the plastic plate?
2. Hinge downwards with plastic plate unfolded against the glass and the dashcam on the outermost side of the plastic plate?

I'm presuming option 1 as it would be more compact.

NB I wish to use 3M Dual Lock fastener to connect the GPS module to the Arkon BT010 for ease of swapping to my front dashcam. Will the use of 3M Dual Lock fastener cause too much vibration into the mix?

Does anybody have any pictures of the Arkon BT010 being used with a dashcam, preferable with an A119 V3 and its GPS module?

Many thanks for your help.
 

Dashmellow

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So how does one attach the A119 V3 (and GPS module) to the Arkon BT010 (Car Passive Holder with Suction Cup) so that the GPS has a chance of picking up the signal:

1. Hinge upmost with plastic plate pushed tight up against suction cup with dashcam on the outermost side of the plastic plate?
2. Hinge downwards with plastic plate unfolded against the glass and the dashcam on the outermost side of the plastic plate?

Why not try different configurations and see what works best?

NB I wish to use 3M Dual Lock fastener to connect the GPS module to the Arkon BT010 for ease of swapping to my front dashcam. Will the use of 3M Dual Lock fastener cause too much vibration into the mix?

There will be a slight chance of increased vibration with Dual-Lock tape but it tends to be quite stable.

Keep in mind that you can buy a spare GPS mount for your V3 camera(s) which you could mount permanently on your Arkon mount. That would be more stable and far more convenient for camera swapping.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/B07TGKWGZR
(AFAIK you should be able to buy a spare V3 GPS mount directly from Viofo or other vendors in the UK.)
 
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Hi Dashmellow,

Many thanks for your reply. Apologies for not replying before but I wanted to come back with my findings and I've only been able to do that today. I'll reply to your comments then give my finding for others who may want to have a transportable (windscreen sucker) option of a Viofo A119 V3 with GPS:

Why not try different configurations and see what works best?
Excellent advice and I was intending to try different configurations but I was happy with the first, which was the most compact configuration, so I ended there.

There will be a slight chance of increased vibration with Dual-Lock tape but it tends to be quite stable.
So true. 3M Dual Lock tape does vibrate a bit. It's worse at speeds and I've tried up to the legal speed limit of 70 mph (112 k/h) on UK roads (not the best) in the rear window of a Land Rover Discovery 2 (a 4x4 SUV with pretty solid suspension).

Keep in mind that you can buy a spare GPS mount for your V3 camera(s) which you could mount permanently on your Arkon mount. That would be more stable and far more convenient for camera swapping.
Again true and wise words. Yes, I could have bought a second GPS mount for slightly more than the Arkon BT010 universal mount, but I wanted to save money but more importantly, I wanted a windscreen suction mount to allow me to swap between vehicles. I have a Land Rover Defender with a tinted film that was professionally installed and using a windscreen suction mount would not damage the tinted film whereas a piece of 3M Dual Lock would when removed.

Mount setup
I have the Arkon BT010 universal mount with its hinge upmost with the plastic plate pushed down, tight against (and covering) the suction cup towards the windscreen. I've cut two strips of 3M Dual Lock fastener and stuck them horizontally across the outermost side of the plastic plate. I've cut one strip of 3M Dual Lock fastener and stuck it horizontally on the GPS module of the Viofo A119 V3.

The two strips of 3M Dual Lock on the Arkon BT010 universal mount gives me room adjustment up/down the plastic plate, which in turn allows for the camera to get closer to the windscreen.

Installation
The set-up was placed in a back window (almost vertical) of the Land Rover Discovery 2. The GPS unit of the dashcam has to deal with being obstructed by the plastic plate and the hinge of the mount plus the steel roof of the Discovery.

In action
I was unable to determine whether the unit had obtained a GPS lock until I reviewed the footage. Remarkably, a GPS lock was obtained within three minutes of travelling and it was held all of the journey, so not only do I get synchronised time, but I also get speed and location which is a bonus.

There is a little vibration (due to the 3M Dual Lock fastener, our wonderful UK roads, and the Discovery's suspension). However, the vibration is minimum but acceptable and the video gives a clear view. The Arkon BT010 universal mount is solid and not affected by the weight of the Viofo A119 V3.

In conclusion
Would I recommend the use of the Arkon BT010 universal mount with the Viofo A119 V3 and connected by 3M Dual Lock fastener?

Yes - most definitely! It gives you the ability to use the Viofo A119 V3 with its GPS module and a windscreen sucker for temporary fixing to vehicles that you may only use for a few days or which aren't yours. Using the 3M Dual Lock fastener allows you to remove the Viofo A119 V3 from the Arkon BT010 universal mount and mount the Viofo A119 V3 on the windscreen of another vehicle for a more permanent fit.

If this set-up works in a near-vertical position on a back window, then it must presumably also work on a more raked front windscreen with only glass (and no roof) to lock onto a GPS signal.

If I can work out how to post pictures then I will.

Regards,
 

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Great! Sounds like you've got things all sorted out.

I think I may have misunderstood what you had in mind when you said you wanted a temporary GPS mount for rental vehicles. I was thinking that you may like to have a permanent GPS mount in the rear of your primary vehicle so that when you return the camera back to your car you wouldn't need to do anything other than simply put it back onto the original permanent mount without having to remount or re-position the camera, hence my suggestion to purchase a spare. I was thinking the spare GPS would be more or less permanently attached to the Arkon suction mount so that it would be ready to go wherever you might want to temporarily mount the camera. The cost of a spare GPS mount is really quite modest, so the expense might be worth the convenience.

Either way, as long as you've got a set-up now that works for your needs, that's all that matters. Yes, please do post some photos!
 
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Ok, here are some pictures that hopefully say 1,000 words.

[Below] Here's the complete set-up on the back windscreen of my Land Rover Discovery 2. The Viofo A119 V3 dashcam is attached to its GPS module, which is attached to the Arkon BT010 universal mount by using 3M Dual Lock fastener.

tempImagea8ZCm6.jpg


[Below] Here's the complete set-up removed from the rear windscreen and indoors. You can see which side of the Arkon BT010 universal mount that has the 3M Dual Lock fastener.

tempImageKHew3D.jpg


[Below] On the left is the Arkon BT010 universal mount.
On the right is the Viofo A119 V3 dashcam, attached to its GPS module

By using the 3M Dual Lock fastener, I can connect the two together to give me a temporary windscreen suction mount. Or I can just use the Viofo A119 V3 dashcam, attached to its GPS module connected to 3M Dual Lock fastener that is attached to the windscreen.

tempImageqcumsp.jpg

Regards,
 

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That looks great! I have to admit, it looks more viable and compact than I imagined it would be, assuming the plate on the Arkon BT010 is secure and free of vibration. How does it tighten? I don't see any obvious tightening knob or screw.

Also, where did you find Dual-Lock fasteners with black adhesive? Several years ago, at least here in the US, 3M switched from the black adhesive to a white adhesive backing much to the dismay of us dashcamers who had been applying Dual-Lock directly to our vehicle windshields. Suddenly, the discreet black of the tape was no more. Personally, I stocked up on black backed Dual-Lock Tape, purchasing several packages before it was no longer available which turned out to be a good move. Perhaps, they've reintroduced it with black adhesive?

dual_lock.jpg
 
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assuming the plate on the Arkon BT010 is secure and free of vibration. How does it tighten? I don't see any obvious tightening knob or screw.
My mistake!

On the hinge of the Arkon BT010 universal mount in the photograph is a flush-mounted hexagonal nut. On the other side, there is a bolt with a slotted/Phillips headed bolt. I haven't tightened the unit yet as it has a ratchet movement that holds the plate steady.

Yes, there is slight vibration but it is still steady enough to not be too noticeable and it clearly shows enough detail for things that we rely on dashcams for.

where did find Dual-Lock fasteners with black adhesive
I was lucky. I bought 2.5 metres of 25mm black Dual Lock for £15.36, on 7 December 2019 from Amazon UK. Whilst the same is still available today from Amazon UK, the price as of 12 June 2021 is £32.65! Have a look:

Amazon UK: 3M SJ354B Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener, 25 mm x 2.5 m, Black

Regards,
 

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With the suction cup you lose a lot of visibility, the camera becomes very big. And because of the vibrations you lose all the advantage of the camera resolution.
Well, that's my opinion
 

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Yes, there is slight vibration but it is still steady enough to not be too noticeable and it clearly shows enough detail for things that we rely on dashcams for.

There is a method that would help stabilize the camera further and eliminate any possible vibrations. I've done this myself in a somewhat similar situation. If you mount a block of hard foam or other material on the back of the camera, or the mounting plate between the camera and the glass it will make the whole unit far more stable and free of vibration. The hard black foam I used was from packaging that a dash cam came in. I've also used a more flexible but still stiff white foam from dash cam packaging that I spray painted black. For securely, (but temporarily) attaching the foam block I used a bit of 3M VHB tape.

So basically, you would place a block of foam where either of the arrows are that I've added to your photo. For extra stability you could attach a block of foam to both the back of the plate as well as the back of the camera.

tempImagea8ZCm6.jpg
 
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With the suction cup you lose a lot of visibility
you don't lose any visibility, for either the camera itself or the driver myself.

Don't forget that I'm in the UK and we drive on the left and have the steering wheel on the right. The dashcam set-up is just within the sweep of the rear wiper.

the camera becomes very big.
Sorry, I don't understand. The camera is the same size as the identical one in the front.

If you mean the camera lens is further away from the windscreen, then yes it is but only slightly and my three hours of footage is very good.

And because of the vibrations you lose all the advantage of the camera resolution.
Yes, there are vibrations BUT the vibrations are very slight even at 70 mph (112 k/h) on UK roads (not the best) in the rear window of a Land Rover Discovery 2 (a 4x4 SUV with pretty solid suspension). If there are potholes in the road you'd be going a lot slower anyway.

Well, that's my opinion
That's fine, everybody's entitled to an opinion, but in my experience, the experiment which cost less than £20 gives very good results for the expenditure.
 
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If you mount a block of hard foam or other material on the back of the camera, or the mounting plate between the camera and the glass it will make the whole unit far more stable and free of vibration
Yes, that is a great idea and one that I will use if I feel the vibrations need storing.
 
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