DDPai Mola N3

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richx

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And I finally took time to remove the Zenfox, and installed the DDPai Mola N3 to that car. Cleaning up took more time than installing the new camera. Anyway, here is the parking mode sample. It is a fixed function 1 fps time lapse, so 1 minute of video (fixed length, no options to change that) is equal to 30 minutes of parking. The playback file is 30 fps. Bitrate is the same ~14 MB/sec. Pixel dimensions follow what you've applied for normal recording.

@fisherman10

 
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richx

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The hardwired kit is a US$12 add-on when purchasing the dashcam. For that kind of money, it's hard to believe they've also included 3 types of fuse taps, 2 each. Mini, midi and low profile. Each one of them already have 2A fuses installed for the dashcam. The other slot is for your car's original fuse.

20201022_135048.jpg

The fuse taps fit nice and snug on both male and female ends. In this example, a 2006 GD3 Honda Jazz (Fit in some countries), I've tapped constant power from the headlamp 20A fuse, and ACC signal from the cigarette port 7.5A fuse.

20201022_142904.jpg

Here we can see the ground line terminated at the fusebox mounting bolt. The power supply unit itself tucked into the other side of the fusebox nicely. The taps and power supply leads are pre-crimped with terminals so that you can connect them without additional tools. All makes for a clean and easy install.

20201022_143515.jpg

Yes, the dashcam is quite far away from the glass. It's not optimal and is a by-product of their decision to make the camera reversible so that you can get footage from inside the car as well. Of course at this mounted position, it is pointless to try to reverse it (because all you would see is the back of the mirror). The release isn't the smoothest as well, but okay it works if you wanna bring it down. I've aligned the lens to the centre of the mirror stalk, which means the power cable needs to go around the far side where the driver can see all that clutter :/

20201022_144656.jpg
Once the phone app is connected and you go to camera settings, a new option appears. You can now configure the low voltage cut-off level to use. I've not checked how accurate these settings are (Viofo HK3 for example, 12.4v setting actually cuts off around 12.2v and then the battery will float at 12.3v after that once the load goes away). The parking mode timer also has some pretty odd options. I mean why would anyone want to record for just 15 minutes? I think 30 minutes would be a more appropriate minimum value. It would also be good to have option for say, 2, 4 and 18 hours as good mid-points between what is offered now.

Screenshot_20201022-144107_DDPai.jpgScreenshot_20201022-155242_DDPai.jpg

After this we will probably test for parking mode reliability when the car hits 40+ degrees C in the middle of the day. I will not be testing for voltage cut-off stability because the monitoring tool is attached to another car. I will be reporting on battery float voltage after 6 hours as an indication maybe.

Overall, the availability and pricing of this hardwired kit, its quality and bundle, makes it a must-have when buying a Mola N3. Both items go for ~ US$60 on Lazada Malaysia, and I think is available regionally in South East Asia where Lazada operates.
 
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Some initial observations about parking mode:
  • The blue LED at the back will stop
  • The red LED in front will glow faintly
  • There is no way to change this behaviour
  • The camera will not enter parking mode if you shut the car engine while app is connected and showing you the live video feed. So if you leave the car just then, you may come back with just normal recording footages OR a flat car battery.
 

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Other than fitment, I'm not sure that there is any great disadvantage with a lens being away from the glass, and that can help with keeping a cam in the shade during the summertime, which can be important for many of us in hotter climates ;)

Phil
 
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Other than fitment, I'm not sure that there is any great disadvantage with a lens being away from the glass, and that can help with keeping a cam in the shade during the summertime, which can be important for many of us in hotter climates ;)

Phil

Seems to catch more dashboard reflection. I had an A119v2 in front before this, I don't remember the dashboard details being that clear.
 

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Seems to catch more dashboard reflection. I had an A119v2 in front before this, I don't remember the dashboard details being that clear.
That can happen, but it doesn't always happen. I've had a B2w, Mobius, WR1, and some G1Wx cams mounted 2 1/2" (67mm) or more away from my windshield without much dashboard reflection. My K2S install was almost touching the glass at the very top without much reflection too. Yet with that same B2W and other cams mounted on the glass as intended but lower, they're getting some serious reflections :( So at least in my experience it's not consistent or predictable and I cannot determine exactly why this happens. Akaso once sold a cam with a 4-sided "V" shaped shield meant to go against the glass to eliminate reflections, but it looked horrid from the inside and looked very out of place and noticeable from the outside too :( It wasn't on the market for very long and I never found much comment of how well it helped with dash reflections.

A non-reflective dashmat is the best cure, a CPL can also help, and having both should eliminate the problem but might not. All you can do is try ;)

Phil
 
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That can happen, but it doesn't always happen. I've had a B2w, Mobius, WR1, and some G1Wx cams mounted 2 1/2" (67mm) or more away from my windshield without much dashboard reflection. My K2S install was almost touching the glass at the very top without much reflection too. Yet with that same B2W and other cams mounted on the glass as intended but lower, they're getting some serious reflections :( So at least in my experience it's not consistent or predictable and I cannot determine exactly why this happens. Akaso once sold a cam with a 4-sided "V" shaped shield meant to go against the glass to eliminate reflections, but it looked horrid from the inside and looked very out of place and noticeable from the outside too :( It wasn't on the market for very long and I never found much comment of how well it helped with dash reflections.

A non-reflective dashmat is the best cure, a CPL can also help, and having both should eliminate the problem but might not. All you can do is try ;)

Phil

You're right in how unpredictable it is. Just gotta keep trying. I looked back at footage from some other dashcams, height of mounting seems to have strong effect too. Obviously tinting film plays a big role depending on lighting condition. If you've got light coming in from the side, it'll reflect more internally.

In regards to the distance from glass, in theory further away means you capture across a larger area/section of the glass. The amount of glare from the glass is probably the same as being nearer, but since being nearer captures most of the vision from a smaller spot of the glass, the camera can better compensate with exposure adjustments since the glare profile is likely to be consistent in that smaller spot. Across a larger spot, some parts of the dashboard reflect more, other parts less. The camera exposure attempts to adjust across the average frame, but some parts would be blown out and others underexposed. That's how I think of it in my head anyway. Hope it makes sense.
 
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Forgot to post this earlier. Here's a G-sensor triggered snapshot taken by the camera when I got into the car. It seems to be at full sensor resolution regardless what video resolution is being used for normal driving recording. Clicking on the in-line image should allow you to see the full resolution photo.

PS: I have to say the 140 degrees FOV makes a lot more sense than some cameras doing 160 or thereabouts. You just end up getting more sky and more A-pillar, unless there's a way to mount it really close to the glass. Perhaps then you'd see more of the lane left or right of your own, but I rather more pixels be used to capture number plates per meter distance from me. I'm not liking the Papago GoSafe! S50's 150 degrees FOV very much in my other car.

G_20201022163301_435_0000_X.jpg
 
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Parking mode night-time video. Nothing very much to say, except my 4 month-old 38B20L battery held up throughout the 6 hours time-out with some juice to spare. This morning I measured 12.59v at the battery terminals. The 12.4v cut-off threshold has not been reached. The camera seems to have G-sensor based recording active even after the 6-hour timer has ended. I will try to get a better example of the G-sensor 10-second video + snapshot parking record and upload later.

 
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Trawling around Tmall and found this interesting accessory for the Mola N3. Unfortunately it definitely will not work with the toll collection system of your country (aside from China?). Also I think it doesn't have GPS functionality, so more of just a power supply piggy back. But I understand a bit better now why they came up with this mounting system, it could open up the market for more accessories like TPMS kit, 4G connectivity, or *gasp* M.2 storage slot! The connection between camera to mount is USB-C.


Capture.JPG
 

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And I finally took time to remove the Zenfox, and installed the DDPai Mola N3 to that car. Cleaning up took more time than installing the new camera. Anyway, here is the parking mode sample. It is a fixed function 1 fps time lapse, so 1 minute of video (fixed length, no options to change that) is equal to 30 minutes of parking. The playback file is 30 fps. Bitrate is the same ~14 MB/sec. Pixel dimensions follow what you've applied for normal recording.

@fisherman10


Parking mode "fixed function" meaning there's only 1 method of recording after it enters parking mode? No option of recording with a lower bitrate or motion detection with 10 second history or other different fps?

And yes gotta try at full Malaysian hot weather. This few days has been rainy weather.

I had 1 unit of Blueskysea B1W that I wired up with constant power. It auto switches to parking mode when G-Sensor is not triggered within a certain time frame. Left it recording for many rounds of 9am - 6pm in open air parking. It still works but seems like the date/time gets reset every time eventhough I changed the button cell battery. Finally sent it back for warranty.

Hopefully this Mola N3 can take the heat!
 

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I got mine yesterday, i am kinda learning to use it, i step out of the car and after a while the blue light is off and wifi of the camera is off, there is no way for me to connect to camera to see the live feed, is this part of parking thing?
 
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I got mine yesterday, i am kinda learning to use it, i step out of the car and after a while the blue light is off and wifi of the camera is off, there is no way for me to connect to camera to see the live feed, is this part of parking thing?

Is the red LED in front (beside the lens) glowing softly? If it is, parking mode is active. It would be natural for WiFi to be off as to conserve power and prolong how long it can record for before voltage cuts off. I did note above that if your phone app is connected to the camera, it will not enter parking mode if you turned off the ignition then. It did not seem to enter parking mode either after I've closed the app and disconnected the WiFi. I had to start the car and turn it off before parking mode would successfully trigger under that condition.

@fisherman10 From the product description and the settings available in the app, yes it seems like parking mode entails 1 fps time lapse, take it or leave it. Seems to be that way across their entire product line up. However, there's also a G-sensor setting that takes a snapshot and 10-second video but it doesn't seem to be related to parking (I need to investigate further, it has potential).

Now I'm going to run further test on parking mode timer and cut-off behaviour given that my battery hasn't had problems running for 6 hours. I'll try 24 hours settings later and see how long it takes to reach 12.4v voltage cut-off. Two nights ago it ran for 6 hours and still had 12.59v in the morning on freshly charged battery. Yesterday the battery condition should be more normal, will continue to observe.
 

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Trawling around Tmall and found this interesting accessory for the Mola N3. Unfortunately it definitely will not work with the toll collection system of your country (aside from China?). Also I think it doesn't have GPS functionality, so more of just a power supply piggy back. But I understand a bit better now why they came up with this mounting system, it could open up the market for more accessories like TPMS kit, 4G connectivity, or *gasp* M.2 storage slot! The connection between camera to mount is USB-C.


View attachment 53762
This ETC accessory is only useful for Chinese users, most of the Chinese car installed the ETC card to pay the highway fee.
 

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Is the red LED in front (beside the lens) glowing softly? If it is, parking mode is active. It would be natural for WiFi to be off as to conserve power and prolong how long it can record for before voltage cuts off. I did note above that if your phone app is connected to the camera, it will not enter parking mode if you turned off the ignition then. It did not seem to enter parking mode either after I've closed the app and disconnected the WiFi. I had to start the car and turn it off before parking mode would successfully trigger under that condition.

@fisherman10 From the product description and the settings available in the app, yes it seems like parking mode entails 1 fps time lapse, take it or leave it. Seems to be that way across their entire product line up. However, there's also a G-sensor setting that takes a snapshot and 10-second video but it doesn't seem to be related to parking (I need to investigate further, it has potential).

Now I'm going to run further test on parking mode timer and cut-off behaviour given that my battery hasn't had problems running for 6 hours. I'll try 24 hours settings later and see how long it takes to reach 12.4v voltage cut-off. Two nights ago it ran for 6 hours and still had 12.59v in the morning on freshly charged battery. Yesterday the battery condition should be more normal, will continue to observe.
Yes, i can see the red light softly blinking, i had set the mode to "Shirnk Video" does this mean 1 fps per second? how does the cam come out of parking mode? soon as car moves and wifi auto activates?
 
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Yes, "shrink video" essentially means 1 fps time lapse. The other options will cause the camera to continue normal 30fps recording, or to disable parking mode.

The cam gets out of parking mode as soon as the ACC wire has a voltage applied. Normally that means ignition key is in ON position if you've tapped the at fuses like AC, ECU, wiper or in some cars power windows too. If you tapped the fuse for radio or cigarette charger port (or some cars, the power windows), it will get out when ignition key is in ACC position. It is not dependent on G sensor or GPS reading from what I can tell so far (and as described in the hardwire power supply product description).


PS: Haha I'm reading the online manual for the hardwire kit and I love this line in the safety precautions clause:

It is very practical to use the fuses scientifically and rationally; Unscientific wiring and unawareness of large currents are very unsafe and must be strictly prohibited or dismantled immediately.
 
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planning of getting N3 as main/front and another DDPai mini as rear. A bit overkill but can sure of both quality video of front and back without too much cost.
 
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