Failing SG9665GC V2?

jokiin

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#22
Electronics is an exacting technology and yet somehow when it comes to digital electronics it's still kinda' part Vooddoo. :confused:
the camera has multiple voltages in use for different parts, 1.8v, 3v, 5v etc, add firmware into the mix and it starts getting more complex, power supply stability is an important part of the process, I wouldn't have expected the results you were getting from the problem you found but you learn not to be too surprised when things like this turn out to be something you never considered, an odd one that's for sure
 
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Dashmellow

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#23
Nothing is an absolute 100% perfect exact science end to end especially electronics.
Well, yes, nothing is an exact science and all that but I guess in context with
the camera has multiple voltages in use for different parts, 1.8v, 3v, 5v etc, add firmware into the mix and it starts getting more complex, power supply stability is an important part of the process, I wouldn't have expected the results you were getting from the problem you found but you learn not to be too surprised when things like this turn out to be something you never considered, an odd one that's for sure
Nothing is an absolute 100% perfect exact science end to end especially electronics.
Yeah, I think we're really saying the same thing, except that by "Voodoo" I guess I'm referring to an apparently confirmed (so far), but odd result which even you guys find puzzling.
 

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#24
I read through both pages of Dashmellow's dilemma and after he mentioned a couple of times that unplugging and reconnecting the lead the GC worked fine until the next failure.
I was thinking to myself maybe there is short or broken wire/s in the lead, but there was no way known I was going to go up against jokiin & jon and suggest it. :cautious:
Luckily for me I reached the end of page 2 and Dashmellow had located the problem himself. :D
 

suparoo

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#26
I have been negligent in checking my GC lately, so I am off out to check it over. :eek:

Phew! 120GB from 12-17-2018 to 01-03-2019, deleted all the files, put the card back in the GC - formatted it and we are off for another run. (y):D
 
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Dashmellow

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#27
I read through both pages of Dashmellow's dilemma and after he mentioned a couple of times that unplugging and reconnecting the lead the GC worked fine until the next failure.
I was thinking to myself maybe there is short or broken wire/s in the lead, but there was no way known I was going to go up against jokiin & jon and suggest it. :cautious:
Luckily for me I reached the end of page 2 and Dashmellow had located the problem himself. :D
I guess I'm a little puzzled about how you could conclude that the problem I reported might indeed be "a short or broken wire/s in the lead" for the reasons I will try to explain below but either way I'd say it was a good call. Please don't feel that you shouldn't "go up against jokiin & jon" as your opinion is as worthwhile and valuable as anyone else's around here, especially in this case, where neither of them had a good clue about the cause of this oddball problem, whereas you did.

Troubleshooting dash cam problems is a methodical process of slowly eliminating the possible causes of the issue one by one. I'm certainly pleased that I tracked down the bad USB cable but the initial symptoms I was experiencing didn't seem to indicate any short or broken wires. The camera booted up, the power LED and the MIC LED illuminated properly and fully with a live but poor quality image on the screen, except that the camera wouldn't begin to record and the REC indicator didn't light up, so a bad cable was at the very bottom of my initial list of possible culprits. A broken power wire wouldn't have allowed the camera to boot up at all and an actual short would likely have yielded the same result. It seems in this case there was just enough damage to the pinched cable to cause some sort of electrical noise/interference and or perhaps an impedance issue but not enough to prevent the camera from booting up.

Another factor was the question of why unplugging the USB-A end of the cable from the power supply and plugging it back in would get the camera working properly again. If there was an actual short or a broken wire, unplugging and re-plugging the power wouldn't fix or change anything. I've had issues with bad dash cam USB cables before and the problem was almost always in one of the plugs where one of the pins goes bad. For me, unplugging the power and plugging it back in is simply a way to force a hard re-boot of the camera which can often fix a digital device with a start-up glitch especially a dash cam which is in essence just a tiny little computer on a PCB. For example, one of my early generation Mobius cameras fails to properly boot-up in extreme sub freezing temperatures but if I let the DSP warm up to it's rated temperature spec for 60 seconds while plugged in, unplugging and re-plugging always gets it going. And that's what happened with this problem, the SG9665GC would start working properly again after a reboot, so go figure!

Anyway, like Street Guardian USA said, "Just when you thought you’ve seen it all.....".

But in the end there are only so many things that can go wrong with a dash cam (that are user fixable) so the only thing to do is take the time to carefully eliminate each possibility.
 
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suparoo

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#28
I guess I'm a little puzzled about how you could conclude that the problem I reported might indeed be "a short or broken wire/s in the lead"
I have experienced various types of wire connections (not just USB cables) with a break in them many times before, just by moving them a fraction in any direction would make them work.
You mentioned that several times that you would unplug the cable and re-plug it in and the dash cam would then work, that is where I drew my conclusion from, it had to be a wiring problem for my money. I also could have been totally wrong, just look back at post #21 above. :)
 
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Dashmellow

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#29
I have experienced various types of wire connections (not just USB cables) with a break in them many times before, just by moving them a fraction in any direction would make them work.
You mentioned that several times that you would unplug the cable and re-plug it in and the dash cam would then work, that is where I drew my conclusion from, it had to be a wiring problem for my money. I also could have been totally wrong, just look back at post #21 above. :)
I see what you are getting at but at the same time, (as I mentioned above) unplugging and re-plugging the camera also reboots it and as anyone who has ever re-booted a balky computer knows this will often resolve issues or glitches on any digital device, including dash cams. Plus the fact that rebooting the camera by unplugging and re-plugging would consistantly resolve any start-up issues with the dash cam for the entire rest of day even when the USB cable was swapped from the vehicle's power supply to a power bank also made the cable seem a less likely suspect. I would probably have been initially more suspicious of physical damage to the USB wiring if the same issue happened repeatedly throughout the day with each start-up.

You're certainly right about post #21. :)
 
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Dashmellow

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#30
Bad news. :grumpy:

After all this discussion about damaged USB cables and the weeks long apparent resolution of the problems I was experiencing with my SG9665GC after installing the new upgraded USB cable the problem has suddenly re-appeared. Again, the camera fails to fully boot up and will not record. It's pretty much a replay of the exact issue I described in my initial post except that the screen remains blank (black). There was no image on the screen, washed out, magenta tinted or otherwise. The camera powers up properly and the POWER LED and the MIC LED are fully illuminated but the RECORD LED never lights up and of course, the camera fails to begin recording. I'm not sure if it made it to the Street Guardian logo splash screen or not, so I will have to pay closer attention the next time this happens. As before, performing a hard re-boot by unplugging the camera briefly and plugging it back in will result in the camera working properly.

As I mentioned in my original post I suspected that colder weather "might" be a factor here. After a period of more modest winter temps, we are suddenly experiencing a so called "polar vortex" here in northern New England with dramatically colder temperatures and snowy weather. The night before this issue reoccurred the temperature dropped down to 3º Fahrenheit ( -16.11111 Celcius) but I have no idea if that is really affecting the camera or not. It's just a theory at this point.

Either way, it's probably time to consider a new camera. There's only so much trouble shooting I'm willing to do or have time for and at this point there does indeed seem to be an issue with the camera itself. This has been a remarkably reliable camera up until now and in my view reliability is one of the KEY features every dash cam requires.
 
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jokiin

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#31
interested to know if it works ok once the weather warms up a bit more, might be a sign of some component that is starting to fail that becomes a problem in the cold conditions
 
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Dashmellow

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#32
interested to know if it works ok once the weather warms up a bit more, might be a sign of some component that is starting to fail that becomes a problem in the cold conditions
I'll report back, but that could take awhile. Typically, we'll get cold winter temps but they fluctuate quite a bit. Cold snaps come and go but they usually don't last all that long. Then last year, when we experienced one of these "polar vortexes" it lasted for months and just wouldn't let up.The temperature often hovered above and below zero degrees Fahrenheit (sometimes quite a lot below zero) and was accompanied by numerous severe storms with lots of heavy snow. It was brutal! Hopefully this time around it won't be quite that bad but it's been in the news and that's never a good sign.

In the meantime, I have to decide just how long I'm willing to live with a compromised camera where I have to remember to check it every time I drive off. I've been dealing with this since at least mid-October now.
 

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#33
are you able to set it up using the included power cable for a while, I know we go back to power and memory being the two most common points of failure but I know in our own lab testing not starting when cold has been a problem that could be reproduced with some power supplies and also some memory cards
 
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Dashmellow

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#34
are you able to set it up using the included power cable for a while, I know we go back to power and memory being the two most common points of failure but I know in our own lab testing not starting when cold has been a problem that could be reproduced with some power supplies and also some memory cards
I can try that, at least on a temporary basis. The problem is that I would have to forego using a power bank for parking mode which is important to me. Perhaps I can try it for start-up and switch back to my usual method with the USB-A cable.

The fact is that I've been using my set-up of a dual USB-A 12V power adapter and Monoprice USB-A to Mini-B USB cables for over three years now with no problems whatsover in all kinds of temperature extremes, so obviously something else has changed since October when this all started and so I'm not sure what experimenting with the supplied Street Guardian power supply will tell us.

Also, at this point you've asked me to see how more moderate temps affect the problem with my existing set-up and now you are asking me to try the included Street Guardian power cable (which I believe you have upgraded or changed entirely since the one that came with my camera.) To be honest, as I alluded to in my previous post I'm getting a little burnt out to trouble shooting this camera after months of dealing with the problem. There comes a time to cut one's losses and move on to a different camera. Let me see how it goes.
 
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Dashmellow

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#36
yeah was only suggesting as a test to see if the problem remains or not
Thinking about this and considering how the problem has manifested I would have to do this temporary "test" numerous times to know if the SG power supply really was or was not really affecting the outcome and then I still wouldn't be sure until I went back to further testing with the cabling and power supply I've been using all along, all the time having to deal with uncertainty due to the variable of whatever temperatures we happen to experience on any given day. Given the way the camera is installed I would have to remove it from its mount each time so I can have access to unplug or install each cable for each of the two power supplies. Since the problem has been manifesting intermittently all along, going to all this trouble may not even tell me anything definitive when all is said and done.

I'm not sure if I am willing or even have the time to deal with such "testing" each and every time I leave the house every morning. But like I said, let me see how it goes. In the meantime I'll start shopping for a new camera.
 

jokiin

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#37
with a cig charger I would generally just unplug from the socket, pulling in and out of the camera is too much mucking about, was only if convenient, if not then that's understandable
 
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Dashmellow

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#38
with a cig charger I would generally just unplug from the socket, pulling in and out of the camera is too much mucking about, was only if convenient, if not then that's understandable
Yeah, if I want to use my power bank during my daily travels, it means swapping in a USB-A to Mini-B cable when switching from the Street Guardian power supply to the dual USB power supply. Again, like I said, I'll see how it goes. Who knows, maybe a single test with the original Street Guardian power supply will evoke the issue and we'll have our answer.
 

jokiin

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#39
the temps are below the rated temp of the processor which it normally deals with ok, maybe as it has aged it has lost some tolerance to the cold starts, hard to know for sure
 
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Dashmellow

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#40
the temps are below the rated temp of the processor which it normally deals with ok, maybe as it has aged it has lost some tolerance to the cold starts, hard to know for sure
That's new information. Wish you had mentioned this sooner. Yet, all this time (3 years or so) the cam has never balked at even much lower temps. Come to think of it, back in October when this all started the colder temperatures I speculated might have contributed to the issue were nowhere near as cold as it have been recently.

Actually, based on what you just said about the rated tempture of the processor I suppose I could put the camera in the freezer for a period of time and see what happens upon start-up.
 

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