A119 will stop recording mid drive (sometimes beeps, sometimes doesn't)

evanb88

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Hey all,

Have had my A119 for about a year and 3 months - no problems! Use a 64GB Samsung EVO card, and all has been fine (except sometimes the last file will not save properly, it will corrupt). This happens rarely though, and usually isn't a big deal. I was able to correct these files with an online service that could fix it, but since it has since gone to pay service, I haven't been able to find another resource for this. My dashcam viewer software claims to be able to repair header issues, but so far has not. Oh well for now, no big deal.

The major issue I have run into for about a week now - anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes into a drive, my cam will stop recording. Sometimes the camera will beep letting me know recording has stopped (screen will turn on, I see no red recording icon). Only way to fix it is to unplug the power adapter and plug it back in. It'll turn back and and record.
Other times the camera will stop recording but will not tell me. I will get to my destination, see the screen is black, red LED on, but I cannot push anything to get the screen to go on. I know at this point recording has stopped somewhere during driving...

I use the supplied GPS mount for power well as all supplied power cables plugged into the 12V (not hardwired). I have read this can fail due to the connection (major design flaw btw, very unfortunate how this was designed). I do remove the camera from the mount frequently, so I imagine the wear and tear might have messed up the pins/connection? I heard to try and plug the power direct into the camera, but the way I have it mounted, the mirror is in the way. I plan on relocating the mount so I can access the power port and try that.

Main question - does this sound like a failing SD card issue or a GPS power/connection issue? Before I buy a new card/new GPS mount, etc, I'm curious what this could be. And yes, I have the foam adhesive on my camera for a snugger fit. Tonight I will relocate the mount and try powering the camera directly, as well as running a test on my SD card for any failures.

Any other advice anyone can add? Appreciate any help.

I have been running an A118 on another car for 2.5 years and no single issues (same SD card as well) though the picture appears a little more washed out/faded, which I suspect is lens damage from sun, etc - no huge deal though.

My point in saying this is I know these cameras are pretty solid, and it's a shame I have an issue with this newer cam a little over a year into it. But any help as to fixes, I'm all ears! Thanks everyone, sorry for being so long winded!
 

Harsh

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Last file not saving properly is normally caused by a faulty capacitor. It is a big deal, if one's involved in an accident and panic braking results in the ignition turning off, whole point of having a dash cam is nullified.

One of the capacitors on my almost year old A119 also recently went bad, @viofo sent me a set of replacement capacitors (still on the way).

Rest of the symptoms appear to be card related, try a new card and see how the camera behaves. Recommend updating the firmware as well, in case you haven't in all this time.
 
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evanb88

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Last file not saving properly is normally caused by a faulty capacitor. It is a big deal, if one's involved in an accident and panic braking results in the ignition turning off, whole point of having a dash cam is nullified.

One of the capacitors on my almost year old A119 also recently went bad, @viofo sent me a set of replacement capacitors (still on the way).

Rest of the symptoms appear to be card related, try a new card and see how the camera behaves. Recommend updating the firmware as well, in case you haven't in all this time.

Thank you. I actually just updated to version 4.0 a few days ago, but have been running on 3.9 when these issues started.

Interesting about the capacitors... I am just past a year now so that probably screws me, but if I was to even purchase these somehow, what's the process of replacing them? Is it an easy swap/fix?

Appreciate your help, I plan on trying a different card as well and seeing if that fixes anything. For now I can even swap in my A118's 32GB card to see if it works. It's older, but maybe having only had 1080p files written to it vs 1440p has allowed it to hold up longer, or just luck of the draw in card quality... If it seems to work I will invest in a new card (Lexar seems to be the best bet if I'm reading all this correctly).
 

Harsh

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It's easy if you're comfortable with a soldering iron. I plan on getting them replaced at a AV repair shop.

Many including me have had a trouble free experience with Samsung EVO U1 or U3 cards. From what I've read, Lexar was a good choice till about a few months ago. Looks like they're reentering the memory card business - https://petapixel.com/2018/08/17/lexar-memory-cards-are-coming-back-from-the-dead/
 

CaptureYourAction

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I would definitely try a different card. Don't get a Lexar though, they have been troublesome in dash cameras. The new SanDisk Ultra A1 (must say A1 on card) has been solid. Last file corrupt issue may be a capacitor issue, but I have seen poor power issue do this as well. Playing the file back on the camera itself should "fix" the file, allowing you to play it back on another player. Open up the camera and look at the capacitors. Check to see if the bottom of one of the caps is bulging. If it is, it's blown.
 
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evanb88

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So this is the one you're referring to? https://www.amazon.com/gp/B073JYVKNX
The only reason I question it is that from everything I've read with dash cams, the consensus is avoid SanDisk red-gray cards like the plague, haha. I guess this is a newer one with different type of memory that avoids the earlier "SanDisk problem" and is good for dash cams? Thanks man.
 

CaptureYourAction

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So this is the one you're referring to? https://www.amazon.com/gp/B073JYVKNX
The only reason I question it is that from everything I've read with dash cams, the consensus is avoid SanDisk red-gray cards like the plague, haha. I guess this is a newer one with different type of memory that avoids the earlier "SanDisk problem" and is good for dash cams? Thanks man.
Yes, that’s the one. The new A1 Ultra series have been fine so far. I’ve been using a 128 and 256gb for awhile now with no problems.
 

borik

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1. (optional) if you're a windows user format a card on a PC to a Fat32 file system then test it with "h2testw" utility.
2. plug the power directly to a camera.
3. change the file format the video is recorded from .MP4 to a .TS format = Viofo claims this should fix the last "corrupted" file issue.

Edit: you may reverse the order. :)
 
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SawMaster

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With several other cams I have experienced the same symptoms, and the fault was always a loose connection somewhere in the PS chain or a failing PS. The Viofo "A" series cams must be fed a strong and stable power or strange things tend to happen. A PS or cable which works fine with all other cams may not work well here, so check and inspect more closely than usual. Fed with good power these are reliable cams.

Phil
 
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evanb88

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With several other cams I have experienced the same symptoms, and the fault was always a loose connection somewhere in the PS chain or a failing PS. The Viofo "A" series cams must be fed a strong and stable power or strange things tend to happen. A PS or cable which works fine with all other cams may not work well here, so check and inspect more closely than usual. Fed with good power these are reliable cams.

Phil
Thanks for this... yeah it seems there's 3 possible issues.
1 - SD card
2 - GPS mount connection
3 - Problem somewhere in the cable...

Guess by process of elimination I will see what's going on... With your PS problems, was the problem usually where the wire connects to the cam, the car plug, or somewhere else? The connections appear stable, and I have even tried to sort of 'move them around' while it's on to see if I can create a loose connection like a bump might do, etc, and it seems solid. Only buggers up some point into my drive... of course.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
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5Cowbells

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Sounds like a power problem to me also, probably the cable connection. Recently had a problem with the supplied short cable (two years old) that I frequently use for indoor testing with a USB power bank or USB charger. I had symptoms similar to yours. My problem was an intermittent connection at the mini USB connector input to the camera. I could wiggle the connector and get the camera to turn on and off. The only sound heard was the startup sound when the camera restarted and sometimes the screen just went blank and REC red led went out. Could get it to run by holding the cable a certain way and it would record. The camera did the same thing with cable inserted in side port or GPS mount. Swapped out the short cable and the camera works fine. Try using an independent power supply such as the supplied short cable and a USB wall charger or +5Vdc USB battery bank to rule out your car power supply (12 to 5Vdc converter/cig adapter and USB cable) as being the problem.

You have several good suggestions above. Make a list and do the easy and least expensive things first.
 
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SawMaster

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My issues were loose cable connections at the plug and socket and of course dying PS's. There will be some movement at the plug; this is not a precison-fit connection but rather one designed to work with whatever can go in there. It also wasn't really designed for movement and stress as part of it's daily routine. Still, it should fit snugly and not be easily moved with light application of force. I can't express what you should feel when wiggling it, but if it feels really loose to you then it probably is. A very slight inward bending of the outside 'shell' part of the wide side of the plug is the usual fix here. Make sure power is off when you do this. And go slowly with the bending or you can crush things and render the plug dead. Also check the fit at the ciggie socket or the hardwire connections - those should be a much better fit and more tight. A loose ciggie plug can be tightened by slipping in a business card or thin plastic beside the plug making sure to not cover any contacts.

Viofo supplies good PS's so they shouldn't be a problem beyond the connections. They also supply 22ga cables which are heavier than the norm for good power delivery. Aftermarket cables can bite you with these cams as those aren't as heavy and the usual plated aluminum types degrade over time too. And I see you now mention powering through the GPS mount, which is a known issue with some of these cams. Run power directly to the cam itself through the socket on the side- this will power the GPS too and be much more reliable.

Power and SD card issues are by far the most common failure points of dashcams with PS issues topping the list when the problem is intermittent and occurs only when driving. Loose or dirty SD card sockets do happen, but rarely, so a full overwrite test of the card with the h2testw freeware should be enough to rule out a card problem.

As has been mentioned failing supercaps can draw excess current and cause instability, though this is usually manifested in the last file not being regularly saved. Not a common issue but it does happen. I've noticed a rise in cap failures lately in several cams, which leads me to think that maybe a batch of caps were sent out that were bad or were not QC'd well. Any cam manufacturer can be caught out by things like this. A cheap and easy fix but it requires disassembly of the cam and some soldering, which any decent PC repair shop can do for you.

Viofo's "A" series cams have evolved into a very good product so it's unlikely that the cam itself has a fault other than the caps. The GPS power-through issue has an easy fix so I don't see that as a real fault; the automotive environment is a very tough one where any removable connection can cause intermittent problems like this. Worst case scenario, Viofo is very good at helping his customers who are having problems so whatever it is, you should come out OK in the end.

Phil
 
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evanb88

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Okay, so I'm home again for some tinkering... I have the cam wired to the wall socket to record, and it's been about 10 mins of recording so far, so card seems good so far. Usually the first failure is 5 mins or so into recording lately. I reviewed footage of today's commutes. I noticed something funky I've never seen before after I reconnected the cam after the first failure (5-10mins into commute home). The GPS data is briefly lost! I uploaded a pic. Does this indicate my issue is most likely the notorious GPS mount issue? I also would periodically (at a red light) check if the cam was recording, and would intermittently see the green GPS speed flash to the white NO GPS.

Seems that may be my issue... hope it is honestly, as I can relocate my mount and just wire to the cam. Cheapest fix, anyways. :)

Appreciate all the continued help in this thread. You guys are great!
 

borik

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The GPS data is briefly lost!
the camera should have a tight fit and don't dangle on a GPS mount.
did you move the power connector from a GPS mount to a camera?
you may try to clean the contacts on a camera with an eraser.
 
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evanb88

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the camera should have a tight fit and don't dangle on a GPS mount.
did you move the power connector from a GPS mount to a camera?
Camera has a snug fit to the GPS, but on the camera screen and the pic I've attached of the video output, it actually fails to log GPS info to the camera/file periodically and briefly while driving. This is a new thing, and I suspect is tied to my issue of the stopped recordings as I have been plugging the power into the GPS mount.

I have not moved the GPS mount in the car yet (I need to do this as it's located so close to my rearview mirror that there's no room to plug the cable directly into the cam (doh!). I am currently testing by running the cam at home plugged from the cam itself directly into the wall just recording, and so far no issues, it's just recording away. All these factors seem to point to the GPS mount as the culprit at this time.
 

borik

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All these factors seem to point to the GPS mount as the culprit at this time.
it could be the cable as well, this is my cable just after a month of use:

IMG_0259-crop.JPG

you should have a temp non-GPS mount that comes with the camera, place it for a day next to your GPS and mount a camera on it.
 
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evanb88

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it could be the cable as well, this is my cable just after a month of use:

View attachment 41155

you should have a temp non-GPS mount that comes with the camera, place it for a day next to your GPS and mount a camera on it.
Good point about the non-GPS mount. Worth a shot as well, thanks! Man, that wire is toast! O_O
 

borik

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Good point about the non-GPS mount. Worth a shot as well, thanks! Man, that wire is toast! O_O
that picture from september-october 2016.
smile3.gif
 

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Can you post a picture of the bottom of your camera (the mounting side)?
 

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Have had my A119 for about a year and 3 months - no problems! Use a 64GB Samsung EVO card, and all has been fine (except sometimes the last file will not save properly, it will corrupt). This happens rarely though, and usually isn't a big deal. I was able to correct these files with an online service that could fix it, but since it has since gone to pay service, I haven't been able to find another resource for this. My dashcam viewer software claims to be able to repair header issues, but so far has not. Oh well for now, no big deal.
This doesn't prevent a corrupt file, but sometimes a corrupt file can be fixed by playing it back in the Camera. Reference: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/got-into-accident-file-corrupt.21299/page-6#post-356650.

As already mentioned, newly released A119 V4.0 firmware allows use of an optional .TS Video format that might also help prevent corrupt last files. Reference discussion starting at: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/my-a119-v2.31191/page-8#post-422752.
 
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