Dash cam for strictly parking only?

LaReinaJ

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Hello, I am a new member just looking for some help.

Today I’ve encountered my second hit and run on my car. I finally decided enough is enough. I’m looking for a dash cam that’s strictly for when I am parked and away from my car. Unfortunately, my cigarette plugs don’t work unless my car is on. I’m almost thinking a regular run of the mill camera might work at this point. I’ve been searching for a good 3 hours. I feel kind of desperate at this point. Please help me :). Thank you in advance.
 

SawMaster

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Welcome to DCT @LaReinaJ :)
Cams can be powered with "hardwire kits" (HWK in our geek-speak). Those are generally tapped into a fuse which gives you the function you desire. Luckily most cars still have an always-on fuse appropriate for this usage but some of the newer cars use a computer-controlled power scheme which can complicate a HWK install. Most folks can DIY these but any car audio shop can do it if you don't feel up to it.

There are many suitable cams for this, along with several different ways they function when parked. Some activate by impact (G-sensor), some activate by seeing motion nearby (motion detect), and some record continuously but with a "low bitrate" which saves on SD card wear and allows more recording time for a given card size. Some of us simply record continuously same as what is done when driving. It can be rather complex for newbies but with a few answers we can get you on the track to finding the cam which will work best for you ;)

First is which car do you have? And how long do you need dashcam protection when parked? What budget do you have in mind to spend on this? Lets start with that and we'll go from there afterward.

Phil
 
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LaReinaJ

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Welcome to DCT @LaReinaJ :)
Cams can be powered with "hardwire kits" (HWK in our geek-speak). Those are generally tapped into a fuse which gives you the function you desire. Luckily most cars still have an always-on fuse appropriate for this usage but some of the newer cars use a computer-controlled power scheme which can complicate a HWK install. Most folks can DIY these but any car audio shop can do it if you don't feel up to it.

There are many suitable cams for this, along with several different ways they function when parked. Some activate by impact (G-sensor), some activate by seeing motion nearby (motion detect), and some record continuously but with a "low bitrate" which saves on SD card wear and allows more recording time for a given card size. Some of us simply record continuously same as what is done when driving. It can be rather complex for newbies but with a few answers we can get you on the track to finding the cam which will work best for you ;)

First is which car do you have? And how long do you need dashcam protection when parked? What budget do you have in mind to spend on this? Lets start with that and we'll go from there afterward.

Phil

Wow, thank you Phil for replying.

I drive a 2013 Maxima. I will need the dash cam to record 12 hours a day as I park on a residential street across from my work (where the first hit and run happened) and then at the gym (where the second one happened lol). I would like to maybe keep it around $100ish but considering I would need dual, I would be willing to spend more for the perfect dashcam. Thanks again for the help!

Just editing my post to list things I’m looking for in a dash cam:
-dual cam for rear and front
-I would be willing to just get two separate dash cams, one being for rear and one for the front if it works better this way.
-Is able to hold a memory card large enough to record 12 houses straight.
-good quality to read plates
-something that I can run off a reliable power bank instead of hardwiring into my car.
-waterproof rear camera or if quality doesn’t suffer being recorded through tinted rear windows.
-a screen would be nice but not a need.
 
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kamkar

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Welcome to the forum LaeinaJ.

12 hours of parking mode every day are doable i would think ( this kind of depend on the size and state of your car battery ) And also you then have to drive some too as it is after all a drain on your battery with a camera going.
Also since you are up North on the globe, you cant run your car battery too low on the voltage as that will give you starting problems in the winter, so keep up shut off voltage,,, over 12.2 is what i use, though i don't think that give me 12 hours on my old and small battery in my small car, but i don't want to / need to have parking guard for that long.

Since you are experiencing hit and runs, then you need a camera that have a pre-buffer so you get a little video leading up to the event itself.
Motion detect i can not recommend as it pretty much mean that if you don't park in a closed garage the camera will pretty much always be triggered to record by some movement within its field of view.
Another option are to do low bitrate but constant recording, this is the kind of parking guard i will go with when i get to try it out.
This mean there are room for much more as the files are smaller, and sound are recorded too, a thing you do not get if you use some kind of time lapse recording for parking guard.

Third is G-sensor activated parking guard, this i also like providing there are a buffer, and the G sensor are normally able to detect pretty small things, but someone keying your car might get away with it as a key along the paint are not really a major G ( shock ) event.
But someone denting your car by kicking it, crashing into it with a bicycle or motorcycle or car should be detected by a properly tuned G sensor.

And as you are touching upon yourself since it is hit and run thats your major problem, a dual camera will give you 2 X the chances of getting that capture you need.

Still up North as you are in Canada and i am in Denmark, then in winter time, little details like number plates can be a major issue for a dashcam, not least at higher speeds in relation to the camera.
But this is the same with all dashcams, not even sure you could get something really expensive in the professional segment that could do something in regard to that problem.

Have a look around in here, and dont be afraid to ask more questions, the dashcam market are a mess and there are many a things to consider in regard to ones need.
And we have no stupid question policy in here, cuz there are no stupid questions outside of asking the same one over and over and expect different answers to it.
 

SawMaster

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The car wiring shouldn't be a problem, but the battery in it won't sustain a dual channel cam for that long a time; perhaps not even a single-channel cam. So in addition to the cam you'll need a powerbank which will have to be recharged between uses. You could buy two and have one charging at home while using the other one since normal driving won't give you enough charging time in the car. Some powerbanks like the Cellink do have a fast-charge function but they're costly.

As to the cam, Rexing makes a decent 2-channel model and there's still the Mini 0906, but TBH I'd go for Viofo's A129 Duo as it's a much better cam with continuing updates, and it's also got several parking mode options. The first two are near your budget, the A129 past it but it's a very good value at it's price. With all you'll need a SD card, which for 12 hours or recording time will have to be 512GB, and those are around $50 all by themselves. So 12 hours parking protection on a decent 2-channel camis going to start at the $175-$200 range and go up from there.

If that cost just can't be met, you could set up a single-channel B1W with a hardwire kit that has low-voltage protection and a 128GB card for about what you want to spend. If your car battery is really good, that would probably get you somewhere near 10 hours recording time, maybe more. That cam has a low-bitrate mode as well as a basic parking mode which activates with the g-sensor. Mine works perfectly, but some users have reported their g-sensor settings are either too sensitive or too insensitive. And there's about a 2 1/2 second delay between g-sensor activation and recording start. The low-bitrate mode records continuously and would work regardless; it is the parking mode I think best for most people.

If you can be somewhat selective where and how you park, one cam in the front can give you fairly good protection. The more the better but that can get expensive and complicated too. So essentially it's going to be your budget that determines what you can achieve here, but you can always add more later on- that's how most of us do it.

Phil
 
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LaReinaJ

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The car wiring shouldn't be a problem, but the battery in it won't sustain a dual channel cam for that long a time; perhaps not even a single-channel cam. So in addition to the cam you'll need a powerbank which will have to be recharged between uses. You could buy two and have one charging at home while using the other one since normal driving won't give you enough charging time in the car. Some powerbanks like the Cellink do have a fast-charge function but they're costly.

As to the cam, Rexing makes a decent 2-channel model and there's still the Mini 0906, but TBH I'd go for Viofo's A129 Duo as it's a much better cam with continuing updates, and it's also got several parking mode options. The first two are near your budget, the A129 past it but it's a very good value at it's price. With all you'll need a SD card, which for 12 hours or recording time will have to be 512GB, and those are around $50 all by themselves. So 12 hours parking protection on a decent 2-channel camis going to start at the $175-$200 range and go up from there.

If that cost just can't be met, you could set up a single-channel B1W with a hardwire kit that has low-voltage protection and a 128GB card for about what you want to spend. If your car battery is really good, that would probably get you somewhere near 10 hours recording time, maybe more. That cam has a low-bitrate mode as well as a basic parking mode which activates with the g-sensor. Mine works perfectly, but some users have reported their g-sensor settings are either too sensitive or too insensitive. And there's about a 2 1/2 second delay between g-sensor activation and recording start. The low-bitrate mode records continuously and would work regardless; it is the parking mode I think best for most people.

If you can be somewhat selective where and how you park, one cam in the front can give you fairly good protection. The more the better but that can get expensive and complicated too. So essentially it's going to be your budget that determines what you can achieve here, but you can always add more later on- that's how most of us do it.

Phil

What are your thoughts on the Yi smart dash cam? I will definitely take a look at the other ones you suggested. Thank you for replying, you’re very helpful!
 

comadose

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And there's about a 2 1/2 second delay between g-sensor activation and recording start.

Doesn't that make it completely useless? If the recording doesn't show the accident then they will just claim the car was already damaged when they got there.
 

SawMaster

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Don't know much about the Yi but it has it's adherents and a forum here for it. It seems to be OK IIRC.

Non-buffered cams all have this problem. What happens is that the cam is 'asleep' until impact (or motion) is sensed, and the cam then boots up to begin recording which takes time. With pre-buffering the cam never sleeps but only stops recording to the card; when an event is detected the internal memory of the recent past gets sent to the card along with the part which shows the activation and some time afterward so you get the whole event from before to after. With low-bitrate parking mode the cam is always recording to the card- nothing is missed because it never stops recording to the card.

While it may seem useless due to the delay and missing the actual event, most parking damage happens at low speeds where there is enough time to still capture images of the offender and hopefully the plate number, which when matched with the physical damage evidence is enough to prove the claim. This functionality is in almost every dashcam processor/chipset (even the cheap ones) with nothing extra needed but to activate it in the firmware design. Little heat is generated in the cam because nothing is going on, and there is no extra card wear as nothing is normally being recorded to it.

Pre-buffering takes additional memory which isn't inherent in the lesser chipsets; it needs more expensive hardware and more complex firmware design. Some heat is generated in the cam since it is recording, but there is no card wear since nothing is normally being recorded to it.

Low-bitrate recording works well when parked because there isn't a lot of change in the cam view like you get when driving, so while the images may be of a slightly lesser quality they're almost always as good as when driving using higher bitrates, and they will show everything. There is somewhat less heat being generated in the cam compared to when driving, and there will be extra wear on the card as it's always being recorded to, only with smaller size files.

Heat is hard on dashcams, especially battery-equipped ones. If you're already in a hot climate, there can be various problems related to the heat in the cam- battery swelling, focus shift, early cam failure, shutdowns and having the cam lock up until re-started are some of them. Good quality cams now almost all use super-caps instead of batteries and do OK in the heat- only a few cams handle extreme heats well. A few battery-equipped cams use a thermal sensor to shut the cam down when it gets too hot; something I don't like as I see it being both unnecessary and a poor solution to the problem. Heat also affects card life and reliability sometimes too. Once again having good enough quality is the answer.

I prefer constant normal recording for parking, but I'm set up for that and I'm willing to accept the several consequences which come with doing that. Most folks will do better with some kind of parking mode as long as it works well with their cam(s) and fits their needs.

Phil
 

Airborne

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Welcome to the forum LaeinaJ.

12 hours of parking mode every day are doable i would think ( this kind of depend on the size and state of your car battery ) And also you then have to drive some too as it is after all a drain on your battery with a camera going.
Also since you are up North on the globe, you cant run your car battery too low on the voltage as that will give you starting problems in the winter, so keep up shut off voltage,,, over 12.2 is what i use, though i don't think that give me 12 hours on my old and small battery in my small car, but i don't want to / need to have parking guard for that long.

Since you are experiencing hit and runs, then you need a camera that have a pre-buffer so you get a little video leading up to the event itself.
Motion detect i can not recommend as it pretty much mean that if you don't park in a closed garage the camera will pretty much always be triggered to record by some movement within its field of view.
Another option are to do low bitrate but constant recording, this is the kind of parking guard i will go with when i get to try it out.
This mean there are room for much more as the files are smaller, and sound are recorded too, a thing you do not get if you use some kind of time lapse recording for parking guard.

Third is G-sensor activated parking guard, this i also like providing there are a buffer, and the G sensor are normally able to detect pretty small things, but someone keying your car might get away with it as a key along the paint are not really a major G ( shock ) event.
But someone denting your car by kicking it, crashing into it with a bicycle or motorcycle or car should be detected by a properly tuned G sensor.

And as you are touching upon yourself since it is hit and run thats your major problem, a dual camera will give you 2 X the chances of getting that capture you need.

Still up North as you are in Canada and i am in Denmark, then in winter time, little details like number plates can be a major issue for a dashcam, not least at higher speeds in relation to the camera.
But this is the same with all dashcams, not even sure you could get something really expensive in the professional segment that could do something in regard to that problem.

Have a look around in here, and dont be afraid to ask more questions, the dashcam market are a mess and there are many a things to consider in regard to ones need.
And we have no stupid question policy in here, cuz there are no stupid questions outside of asking the same one over and over and expect different answers to it.
Can you elaborate,” properly tuned G sensor?”. I do not want to hijack his thread
 

kamkar

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Normally you have at least 3 settings for the G - sensor, to tweak its sensitivity. ( low - mid - high )
As i understand this it work fine in most cameras today, but there have been histories back in time where taking a sledgehammer to the side of the car dont trigger anything.
In general i would go with the max sensitivity when parked if its not too sensitive of course, so when parked larger things like a semi or a bus passing close buy would set off a event from wind pressure of vibrations alone ( this should happen far less than what motion detect would do )
BUT ! some cameras only have one G - sensor option in the menus that go for both driving and parked, and this are not necessary bad, upon testing the cheap B1W dashcam, i found that with G - sensor on ( LOW ) me wearing sneakers kicking the rear tire with the front sole of my foot set off a recording, and really you cant kick a steel wheel that hard without having to deal with pain, which i dident as i used the sole of my foot.
LOW on the B1W rarely trigger events while driving, even with my some times rather frisky style of driving.

I can see the new street guardian cameras have separate G - sensor values for driving and parked, personally i would never use G - sensor while driving as i am there and can feel every little bump and press event button.
And should i get knocked out bad my cameras have room for 8 hours of regular recording, and first respondents should as one of the first things turn off power ( and then i have told family / friend to go retrieve cameras if i get off bad )

So using G - sensor, you are advised to start in one end of the settings ( i would use low ) and then do some test drive seeking out different road surfaces, and parking where you push car body hard ( where its strong not on the middle of the door as that will give you a dent ) or kick the wheels / bitch-slap windows to simulate a parking event.
Normally you can see thru the side windows of the car if the dashcam react to what you do while parked, ( color / flashing of LED's )
And when driving you will probably get some audio alert.

Since you have a 4 x 4 i would probably also try to push / kick any rock sliders / panel guards and bull bars.
 
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