Garmin 55 - useless features and parking mode compatibility with a start/stop engine

randommonth

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Hi guys, I've just installed the Dash Cam 55 and have a few comments and a few questions...

Firstly - I've had to disable the Voice Control as it was so sensitive I couldn't listen to the radio without it picking up random commands and taking pictures/saving video. Useless.
Secondly - I've had to disable all the 'driver assistance' features (lane keeping and collision warning) as they're also hyper sensitive and distract more than they assist. Useless, again.

Thirdly- My initial installation of the dash cam was with the included cigarette lighter power socket. This power lead appeared to make the camera come alive as I unlocked the car (I have keyless entry which must activate the accessory power circuit). The camera remained active until I got out of the car and locked the doors. I've since had an auto electrician install the parking mode cable and have found some interesting behaviour with my car's start/stop feature. My car is a Ford Focus RS which has an engine start/stop feature for (supposed) fuel economy. When I stop at a red light the engine will usually stop also. Since the parking mode cable installation, I've noticed that the camera is powering up only when I crank the engine, not earlier as before. Also, when my engine automatically stops (at a red light for example) the camera begins shutting down. Me pushing the clutch pedal in will restart the car which restarts the camera. Has anyone else seen this behaviour? And should I go back to the auto electrician to confirm he attached all three wires and not just the ignition cable?

Finally - I have read across many forum posts and concur with the general displeasure with Garmin's lack of documentation on the parking mode feature functionality. I read somewhere that when the parking mode is engaged, that it is triggered by motion or a G-sensor event. Is this true? So is the timer setting in the menu just for how long you want the camera to stay alive, waiting for one of these trigger events? Has anyone found any good documentation of this?

Thanks
 

lacibaci

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To your last point here is what I found out:
 

SawMaster

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Cars with stop/start technology do not 'play well' with dashcams. Several owners of these types of cars have had to resort to using a powerbank continuously to get a dashcam working reliability. I'm not aware of any cam that offers you any better chances with this.

IMHO voice command is as much a gimmick as a useful feature in a dashcam. Generally the cam takes care of itself, needing little or no input when in use. G-sensor will lock files automatically in a crash, and saving a file manually is a lazy button press away or you can simply remember the time of the event and find it after the drive is over. To me anyway, the risk of having the cam not doing what you desire from a misinterpretation of sound far outweighs any possible advantage- imagine the cam acting up just before a crash before; not a happy thought.

The "driving assistance" features in all dashcams is rather cheezy at best, and that is well known in the dashcam community. Ditto for most 'motion detect' and 'g-sensor' functioning save for a really hard impact. They are either unreliable, or act when they shouldn't.

I know all this can be frustrating and unexpected to newer dashcam owners who read the specs and believe them as gospel, but in light of that I still think the Garmin 55 is one of the better/best dashcams you'll find in the market today. The issues you note happen with all of these devices no matter how much or how little you spend, and there's really no "fix" for them given the low prices in comparison to factory-installed systems with multiple sensors and better computers doing the same work, and the fact that a dashcam is expected to work in every vehicle instead of having a bespoke design to enhance it's functionality in each specific vehicle. I don't own a Garmin myself and in fact I have a beef or two of my own about them, but I do recognize that this model is really a very good cam overall and one of a very few with a pre-buffered parking mode which can prove to be crucial in capturing one of the most common kinds of crashes- parking lot hit-and-runs. If you don't like this cam I seriously doubt you'll find any others much more to your liking either.

Phil
 

jamkart

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Hi guys, I've just installed the Dash Cam 55 and have a few comments and a few questions...

Firstly - I've had to disable the Voice Control as it was so sensitive I couldn't listen to the radio without it picking up random commands and taking pictures/saving video. Useless.
Secondly - I've had to disable all the 'driver assistance' features (lane keeping and collision warning) as they're also hyper sensitive and distract more than they assist. Useless, again.

Thirdly- My initial installation of the dash cam was with the included cigarette lighter power socket. This power lead appeared to make the camera come alive as I unlocked the car (I have keyless entry which must activate the accessory power circuit). The camera remained active until I got out of the car and locked the doors. I've since had an auto electrician install the parking mode cable and have found some interesting behaviour with my car's start/stop feature. My car is a Ford Focus RS which has an engine start/stop feature for (supposed) fuel economy. When I stop at a red light the engine will usually stop also. Since the parking mode cable installation, I've noticed that the camera is powering up only when I crank the engine, not earlier as before. Also, when my engine automatically stops (at a red light for example) the camera begins shutting down. Me pushing the clutch pedal in will restart the car which restarts the camera. Has anyone else seen this behaviour? And should I go back to the auto electrician to confirm he attached all three wires and not just the ignition cable?

Finally - I have read across many forum posts and concur with the general displeasure with Garmin's lack of documentation on the parking mode feature functionality. I read somewhere that when the parking mode is engaged, that it is triggered by motion or a G-sensor event. Is this true? So is the timer setting in the menu just for how long you want the camera to stay alive, waiting for one of these trigger events? Has anyone found any good documentation of this?

Thanks
If your camera is turning off when stop/start activates that suggests it is hard wired incorrectly. I have a mk8 Ford Fiesta ST and that does not switch the dashcam off when stop/start activates.

When in parking mode, the red light flashes when in standby and this turns to a solid red light when triggered by detection. It automatically resets to standby after a minute or so. It is very sensitive and will be activated by any movement or passing traffic.
 
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randommonth

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Cars with stop/start technology do not 'play well' with dashcams. Several owners of these types of cars have had to resort to using a powerbank continuously to get a dashcam working reliability. I'm not aware of any cam that offers you any better chances with this.

IMHO voice command is as much a gimmick as a useful feature in a dashcam. Generally the cam takes care of itself, needing little or no input when in use. G-sensor will lock files automatically in a crash, and saving a file manually is a lazy button press away or you can simply remember the time of the event and find it after the drive is over. To me anyway, the risk of having the cam not doing what you desire from a misinterpretation of sound far outweighs any possible advantage- imagine the cam acting up just before a crash before; not a happy thought.

The "driving assistance" features in all dashcams is rather cheezy at best, and that is well known in the dashcam community. Ditto for most 'motion detect' and 'g-sensor' functioning save for a really hard impact. They are either unreliable, or act when they shouldn't.

I know all this can be frustrating and unexpected to newer dashcam owners who read the specs and believe them as gospel, but in light of that I still think the Garmin 55 is one of the better/best dashcams you'll find in the market today. The issues you note happen with all of these devices no matter how much or how little you spend, and there's really no "fix" for them given the low prices in comparison to factory-installed systems with multiple sensors and better computers doing the same work, and the fact that a dashcam is expected to work in every vehicle instead of having a bespoke design to enhance it's functionality in each specific vehicle. I don't own a Garmin myself and in fact I have a beef or two of my own about them, but I do recognize that this model is really a very good cam overall and one of a very few with a pre-buffered parking mode which can prove to be crucial in capturing one of the most common kinds of crashes- parking lot hit-and-runs. If you don't like this cam I seriously doubt you'll find any others much more to your liking either.

Phil
Thanks for your considered reply.

I went back to the auto electricians who installed it and they were also a bit stumped with the behaviour of the start/stop. The issue was they'd connected the dash cam ignition cable to an ignition source that actually died during a start/stop event. They couldn't work out what this source was, only that it died when the engine stopped They then had to deduce which of the other ignition sources at the central junction box (behind the glovebox) stayed alive during start/stop, which I think they settled on the cigarette lighter. So now it is powering up and down properly.

I also agree with your comments on the added features of the dash cam vs the core functionality. I bought the cam for its size, picture quality, red light camera reminders and ability to do parking mode - all of which are satisfying me well.
 

lacibaci

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Auto Start/Stop compatibility is a tricky one. To make it work, some kind of hardwire kit will be required along with firmware changes.
 

DashOto

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Hopefully you got this figured out already, but every vehicle we've worked on with Start/Stop function (honestly, most vehicles these days), has been able to work with a hardwired dashcam.

It will take some testing, but you should be able to find an accessory switched fuse that doesn't turn off with the Start/Stop function as it's usually a mix-up in the fuse box. Judging by what you're saying, you might actually be able to tap into the cigarette jack fuse to get the same functionality you had before!
 

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