Hands on: the Itronics ITB-250HD wireless dashcam

Mtz

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Itronics ITB-250HD review by Mtz

Reasons I like the wireless cameras:
- I can play any recording from the camera card using the smartphone Android or the Iphone application, comfortable, watching on the phone screen or some tablet and even outside the car, maybe drinking a coffee on a terrace
- I can backup in seconds on my phone the interesting file and don't care if the loop feature will delete later any file using only my smartphone and the Wi-Fi connection.
- I can setup the camera preferences using the Android application for smartphones. The SD card stay in the camera and no need some PC for settings. I can set the night mode in seconds.
- I can watch live streaming from the camera if I am outside of the car until 100 meters (open space) distance. My room is close to the place where I park the car (about 50 meters) so I can watch from my couch if is somebody in front of it. And I can transfer the files, delete some of them.
- when I am watching live streaming I can take screenshots even the camera is not recording because is in parking mode
- using the Itronics smartphone application viewer I can setup the camera angle, so I don't need an external monitor for this
- using another application like Z-Screen Recorder I can record the live streaming to my phone, and the movie will be saved on my phone storage
- if for some reason I must to give the card (to police), before giving it I can transfer my video from the card to my smartphone, so I have a backup. The download speed is 800kbps and for 1 minute of video the tranfer duration is about 1-2 minutes.
- being without display the camera can be smaller and if is full black like the Itronics is perfect for me. I don't like cameras which are no full black.

The first topic on DashCamTalk about this Car DVR is here.

What I like at ITB-250HD:
- the wireless feature which was the main reason to buy the camera and I am very satisfied with it
- full black and matte so easy to hide
- the mount system is very short. Because of this you can mount the camera in most upper position of the windshield protecting it from sun heat. Some cameras have very long mounts so your will dashcam will be almost in the center of the windshield
- mute button

What I don't like:
- missing a power button. Even I am happy I can transfer wirelessly my files, maybe someday I want to take the card out and to do this I need to take out the power connector
- the colors are too saturated. Daylight recording is very nice, with vivid colors, but during night that saturation is adding some pixels on the image. On a big screen TV you will not see them, but close to a PC monitor you will see them. But having some pixels is better than having some macroblocks like other cameras have. Also the night mode can be improved if they will use the same white balance used for ITB-100HD.
- some people will not like because of no GPS. For me the GPS have no reason. I don't want to watch a cursor moving on my monitor or to have my speed printed on the video.

Pictures from outside and inside:


Facts:
Maximum recording resolution is 720p recorded as MP4 (H264) at 6000kbps.
The quality of recording is better for the 100HD compared with 250HD. Night mode on ITB-250HD is not great as 100HD because of different white balance setup and maybe the smaller CMOS sensor. This can be improved only if Itronics will release some firmware update which will increase the bitrate up to 7500kbps and using the same white balance color temperature setting like the used for the 100HD.
There is no official english manual or software application for ITB-250HD.
The price was sometime ago $249 on ebay and is still now on ohmyblackbox. But none of these sellers can offer the needed english tools. The camera is working OK without any korean voice messages, but you want the Android application, it is not available for download if you are not korean.
The camera can be bought using Paypal transaction and come in about 10 days with english manual and english Android application. But the english tools will be not available for download.

Video about it:

Original Itronics ITB-250HD night sample video

About wireless
The wireless solution is very simple and interesting and you can see how it is working:
Take care if you have Android 4.2 installed because the Itronics Android application will not work because of a bug in the Android 4.2 version. All other versions until 4.2 are working OK.
Update: with the latest Android application now is working also with Android 4,2.
Itronics are using a standard Mini USB Wireless dongle and the chipset is Realtek RTL8188CU. More intersting is because if somebody want to increase the wireless performance can use some RTL8192CU dongle and maybe some external antenna. On the left you can see the Android application viewer which is receiving live stream from the camera. The channel used is 9.
[Broken External Image]:[URL]http://thumbnails106.imagebam.com/23569/c61ee1235685924.jpg[/URL]

Transferring the files to your PC
If your PC is close to the camera you can use for example FileZilla FTP program to transfer the files wirelessly:


Smartphone screen captures
Some captures of the screen application which are made by the application itself:

These are from the phone screen and not from the camera recording.

Firmware
You can find the latest firmware on ipassblack.co.kr or try to download directly the version 1.4 from here. (Wait few seconds for starting the download.)

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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nice review and good pics, shame this functionality isn't combined with 1080p and GPS

bigger shame that even in Romania you have McDonalds (yuck!)

thanks for taking the time to pull it apart and offer your thoughts
 
interesting! I guess the 100HD has the GPS chip in place of the WiFi board. Wondering if one could potentially add the WiFi board along with the GPS. It would probably not fit in the case, but even an external add-on would be nice!
 
Hi Mtz,

Excellent review!!! Great videos, pics and internal shots. The first video is set to private but the rest are fine. Like that the WiFi works for 50 meters. Nice for a surveillance.

What made you choose the ITB-250HD over the BlackVue DR500GW-HD?
 
jokiin said:
nice review and good pics, shame this functionality isn't combined with 1080p and GPS

bigger shame that even in Romania you have McDonalds (yuck!)

thanks for taking the time to pull it apart and offer your thoughts
If 1080p and GPS were available I can't refuse them but I wanted an Itronics dashcam.
The McDonalds location was used for a test file regarding the wireless signal but I lost the recording. I will make it again. The video was showing that I can see live streaming from inside the McD.
interesting! I guess the 100HD has the GPS chip in place of the WiFi board. Wondering if one could potentially add the WiFi board along with the GPS. It would probably not fit in the case, but even an external add-on would be nice!
I am sure is much more complicated and needs firmware modding.
The first video is set to private but the rest are fine. Like that the WiFi works for 50 meters. Nice for a surveillance.
Fixed the private thing. Sorry!
The surveillance is one of the big advantages for a wireless when you have the car close to you. And because the wireless is a dongle just think that is possible to increase the signal using some method. And when going with the car in some not secure places you can watch it from time to time.
What made you choose the ITB-250HD over the BlackVue DR500GW-HD?
1. Price.
2. I was amazed by the 100HD quality. Also I read about some problems with BlackVue image pixelation, macroblocks in some circumstances.
3. I want a camera which is not evident. The 250HD is full black and I can even take out that Wi-Fi logo and the camera will remain full black.
I need to make another photo about the mounted camera because the first session I made the ITB 250HD was too hidden because of sunlight.

But for the people which want more to have GPS and 1080p, no matter other things the BlackVue is the way to go. And if you want to have the ITB-250HD english version of the applications and manual you must to buy the camera from one place, using Paypal. Without them I wouldn't buy the 250HD.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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Mtz said:
As I already wrote many times, I am not looking for 1080p just for traffic record because for the space needed this cameras don't offer a real difference.
enjoy,
Mtz

if it fits your needs then nothing wrong with that
 
If the 250HD have 1080p and GPS of course I can't refuse them. Who knows, maybe someday I would use one of that options.

I just measured the Wi-Fi distance in front of the car and is up to 100 meters in open space.
Added the video link on the first post.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
I don't have wifi at work and don't want to pay for a data plan so I used an old Linksys wrt54g with dd-wrt firmware installed to pickup a wifi signal from one of the surrounding buildings and relay it to my office area.
I was told to remove it but while I had it running it worked like a charm. Maybe you can use the same setup to repeat the signal from your car to your house if the signal is not strong enough (I don't know how far away you live from where you park).
 
It is a good idea and I think you need some not protected wireless network.
I am lucky because from the place I park my car the signal is enough to stay on my couch and look for some interesting video.
Video.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
Seems really good that the WiFi signal is strong. Are you saving the video when your car is parked on your home computer using some software?
 
In my first post is a screenshot about FileZilla at the bottom of the page. That transfer was made using my wireless connection from PC which is using some old Ralink RT61 Wi-Fi card.

More screenshots about the wireless:




The Itronics ITB-250HD can offer FTP transferring because can work as FTP server. So any SO which can support FTP transfer can be connected to the 250HD.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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Can you change the wifi security protocol on the camera to wpa2?
WEP is almost like leaving it open.
 
From the Android application or from the PC setup program is not possible to change the type of security.
But maybe hacking the firmware.
In the firmware I found a file named rtl_hostapd.conf which contain some information about the wireless

Code:
##### hostapd configuration file ##############################################

interface=wlan0
ssid=ITB-250_000000
channel=9
#wpa=2
#wpa_passphrase=1234567890

##### Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) ######################################
wep_default_key=0
wep_key0=1234567890
auth_algs=3

##### Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) #############################################

eap_server=0

# WPS state
# 0 = WPS disabled (default)
# 1 = WPS enabled, not configured
# 2 = WPS enabled, configured
wps_state=0

uuid=12345678-9abc-def0-1234-56789abcdef0

# Device Name
# User-friendly description of device; up to 32 octets encoded in UTF-8
device_name=RTL8192CU

# Manufacturer
# The manufacturer of the device (up to 64 ASCII characters)
manufacturer=Realtek

# Model Name
# Model of the device (up to 32 ASCII characters)
model_name=RTW_SOFTAP

# Model Number
# Additional device description (up to 32 ASCII characters)
model_number=WLAN_CU

# Serial Number
# Serial number of the device (up to 32 characters)
serial_number=12345

# Primary Device Type
# Used format: <categ>-<OUI>-<subcateg>
# categ = Category as an integer value
# OUI = OUI and type octet as a 4-octet hex-encoded value; 0050F204 for
#       default WPS OUI
# subcateg = OUI-specific Sub Category as an integer value
# Examples:
#   1-0050F204-1 (Computer / PC)
#   1-0050F204-2 (Computer / Server)
#   5-0050F204-1 (Storage / NAS)
#   6-0050F204-1 (Network Infrastructure / AP)
device_type=6-0050F204-1

# OS Version
# 4-octet operating system version number (hex string)
os_version=01020300

# Config Methods
# List of the supported configuration methods
config_methods=label display push_button keypad


##### default configuration #######################################

driver=rtl871xdrv
beacon_int=100
hw_mode=g
ieee80211n=1
wme_enabled=1
ht_capab=[SHORT-GI-20][SHORT-GI-40] #[HT40+]
#wpa_key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
#wpa_pairwise=CCMP
max_num_sta=8
#wpa_group_rekey=86400

Some configuration file like that can be found on internet using google. In this example the lines about wpa are without the # sign in front of them so I suppose in that way the security is WPA.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
The "#" symbol is a comment symbol which tells the application to ignore that line of code.
You might be able to comment out the WEP commands and uncomment the WPA2 commands.
Be sure to make a backup of the configuration file before changing anything.
With WEP, If anyone wanted to, they could log on to your camera. If they felt like it, they could lock you out of it.
 
Agreed with the # comment but that rtl_hostapd.conf file is inside the firmware. I used WinRar to open the firmware BIN file until I reached to some files and one of them is the Realtek standard rtl_hostapd.conf for the RTL8192CU and RTL8188CU or RTL8188CUS wireless chipset.
So even I can modify all that values I don't know how to pack again the firmware to be safe 100% for upgrade.
I read few words about BlackVue and using telnet to access the root via Wi-Fi. Maybe in that way is possible to modify this conf file.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
I wouldn't risk it.
Is it wireless N ? I thought wireless N only allows WPA2 so I guess it's b/g.
 
The wireless dongle is N, 150mbps and this band is in the specs of the RTL8188CU chipset.
In the conf file are two lines
hw_mode=g
ieee80211n=1
and I think this mean support for g and n.
I am not good regarding this wireless and Linux stuff.

My latest recording from my car:
Itronics ITB-100HD and Itronics ITB-250HD + Bonus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF2pwgz5o7Y

enjoy,
Mtz
 
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Wow. The wireless really gets me excited!
Now i often don't bother to take off a recorded video because i have to take out the sdcard and put it in my pc and look for the file and then put it back in the cam again the next day.
too bad the night quality is not as good as the 100HD.
 
As far as I know, the Eye-Fi cards were not compatible with dash cam because the were only looking in the DCIM folder of the SD card... But maybe these ones are different. Would be a nice addition if they work.
 
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