How to Address A139 Firmware / Overheating File Corruption Bug

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
Until Viofo Releases a Firmware Update / Fix: Here is the "Known Issue" and Steps you can take to Mitigate the Problem.

Issue: The A139 3 Channel suffers from a potential overheating issue. Those living in warmer / hotter climates, and/or parking in direct sunlight, may experience their camera shutting off due to reaching thermal max while parked (low bitrate parking mode). I've verified this is present on two different Viofo A139 3 Channel Cameras.

Problem: When the camera overheats during low bitrate parking mode, it shuts off unexpectedly during a file write. Corrupting the last files being written.

A. If Loop Record (1,3,5 minutes) is enabled, the Front + Rear + Interior Files will be corrupted for the last given loop file.
B. If Loop Record is DISABLED, the ENTIRE MEMORY CARD will be rendered corrupt

Recommendations:

1.
Always Enable Loop Recording. It is "better" to have the last files corrupted than to lose all data on the Memory Card

2. Be aware that this is a potential issue with the A139's low bitrate parking mode if living in a hot climate. The Supercacitors are only rated for 65C (149F).

149F / 65C is about when this problem occurs (Give or take a Few C or Degrees Fahrenheit). A car sitting in the sun on a hot day begins to heat up quickly. Especially if you are live in a hot climate.

3. Try to avoid parking in direct sunlight (3 wire - low bitrate parking mode) if you live in a hot climate.

Unknown:

Viofo states they are trying to resolve the Corrupt File issue. At present, there is no solution or firmware fix.

Note
: I presume the 65C is a supercapacictor limitation, but this is an assumption. I am not sure what strategies Viofo can employ, whether it be upping the Thermal Shutoff Temperature (if SuperCapacitors can handle more than 65C) or setting a lower threshold for the camera to shut off to allow properly exiting the last files being written.

Mitigation: Always Enable Loop Record to prevent corruption of Entire SD Card, if camera experiences overheating. Avoid parking in direct sun.
 
Last edited:

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
14,220
Reaction score
7,245
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A139ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K+B2K
  1. Everybody always uses loop recording on dashcams, otherwise you can be sure it will stop recording when the card is full!
  2. The shutdown temperature is chosen mainly because microSD cards will malfunction above that temperature, the super capacitors would go hotter, although with reduced lifespan.
  3. Shutting down when it exceeds the shutdown temperature is correct operation, it protects the camera and memory card by doing so, and the 65 degrees C limit is specified in the camera specifications.
  4. All 3 Channel dashcams, and many 2 channel dashcams operate in the same way and at approximately the same shutdown temperature. If you want to use parking mode on a hot day, simply don't park in full sunshine with the camera in full sunlight, no dashcam likes that! Park facing away from the sun and preferably in shade.
  5. If an H264 or H265 format file is terminated unexpectedly on any camera, then it can't be played until repaired, but it is repairable. Just needs terminating correctly. Normally this can be done by playing the file within the camera, although with the A139 not having a screen, that is not so easy. I believe Viofo is working on an update which will do this easily.
  6. Do we really need another of your threads on this same issue? Hot cars on hot days are just something we have to live with!
 

EGS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
951
Reaction score
794
Location
Texas
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Viofo A129 Pro Duo, A129 Plus (eMMC), T130, 70mai A800s
going off alex jones GIF
Blah Blah Blah Reaction GIF
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
  1. Everybody always uses loop recording on dashcams, otherwise you can be sure it will stop recording when the card is full!
  2. The shutdown temperature is chosen mainly because microSD cards will malfunction above that temperature, the super capacitors would go hotter, although with reduced lifespan.
  3. Shutting down when it exceeds the shutdown temperature is correct operation, it protects the camera and memory card by doing so, and the 65 degrees C limit is specified in the camera specifications.
  4. All 3 Channel dashcams, and many 2 channel dashcams operate in the same way and at approximately the same shutdown temperature. If you want to use parking mode on a hot day, simply don't park in full sunshine with the camera in full sunlight, no dashcam likes that! Park facing away from the sun and preferably in shade.
  5. If an H264 or H265 format file is terminated unexpectedly on any camera, then it can't be played until repaired, but it is repairable. Just needs terminating correctly. Normally this can be done by playing the file within the camera, although with the A139 not having a screen, that is not so easy. I believe Viofo is working on an update which will do this easily.
  6. Do we really need another of your threads on this same issue? Hot cars on hot days are just something we have to live with!

1. Not everyone is aware of the necessary settings.

2. Many SD cards today are rated for 85C / 185F. The camera is shutting off around 65C / 149F. Give or take a few degrees.

3. Based on your statement, the supercapacitor "CAN HANDLE MORE" but Viofo's limits are 65C to extend life. At 65C (149F), the camera is exiting the shutdown process improperly while spontaneously powering off. Resulting in file corrupton.

4. I mentioned that in my post.......(avoid parking in direct sun).

5. Files are corrupt, not playable, or repairable from my findings. Thus a major issue. Especially if that last file were to contain something of importance. I don't consider "losing video" acceptable. Maybe you do?

@Nigel to Insurance company and Police: Someone hit my car while parked...I saw the suspected vehicle begin to back into my car, but the file containing the actual footage is corrupt...You believe me right? :cry: ........

6. This thread condenses 20 pages of TALKING / Experimenting into a single, easily readable, Post. Answer: Yes, it's necessary.

Until this issue gets resolved
, it is a Major Flaw. My thread addresses how to best handle the situation.
 
Last edited:

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
14,220
Reaction score
7,245
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A139ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K+B2K
  1. The default setting is correct, maybe the option for non-loop recording should be removed?
  2. When the air temperature is 65 degrees C, you can be sure the microSD card will be significantly higher, quite likely above 85 if it is busy writing.
  3. Yes, it stops writing without terminating the last file, which is not desirable, but it is the way it works.
  4. "Thus a major issue": It would be an issue if that last file was important, but there is no reason to think that file is any more or less important than the next file, which of course doesn't get corrupted because it is never written, because the camera has shut down! The fact that the last file on an over-temperature shutdown is unterminated is not important.
  5. Yes, a useful thread then, means the other one can be deleted :unsure:
  6. "it is a Major Flaw" - no, it is correct operation. You could say that the 65 degree limit is too low, but it is approximately the same as most other dash cameras, higher than some.
 

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
30,422
Reaction score
17,103
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
If you do not mention parking guard, and i will do my best to ask about this, then i have to say my A139 have given me no problems.
And i have even thrown a range of different memory cards at it.
And if the talk falls on the external microphone, then i will have to say it is not needed.

Of the two 3 channel systems i have now tested, and + one other Uber / taxi cam in 2 channel the B2W, then the A139 is the one i can endorse as a fairly safe buy.
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
@EGS,

You amongst any should be the most understanding and the least criticizing. @Nigel and others lambasted my review and analysis of the Zenfox T3. Only to recognize that everything I said was spot on and true. You going so far as to "Modify Your Unit" to see how to resolve!
 

Paul Iddon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
1,043
Location
Preston
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
A129 Pro Duo 4K, A129+ Duo, A139, A119 V3, NB 522GW
What's the temperature in Sweden this week?

In Stockholm, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, freezing, dry, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -6°C to 22°C and is rarely below -14°C or above 27°C.

Just curious.
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
@Nigel,

1. Viofo Permits disabling loop. With the flaw mentioned above, that could result in the corruption of the entire SD CARD. - Removing OFF is recommended. So now you agree.

2. I've tested MULTIPLE MicroSD cards. The failure is 100% the camera not exiting the last file written. Nothing to do with the Memory Card. So the 185F / 85C isn't the issue. FYI: Blackvue's operating specs. 70C / 158F

1629410622230.png

3. Not Desirable? A polite way of stating something does not work. My car drives well, until it starts sputtering. Not Desirable.

5. Every file is important. Murphy's law. Things fail when you need them the most. By no means would I ever advocate "Missing Footage" as acceptable. That Last File being corrupted via an improper shutdown could be anywhere from 1-5 Minutes in Length......

The footage captured in that shutdown is corrupted and rendered useless. Since it's being terminated mid write.

I'd hate to be in a situation (and yes it could happen) where your car is damaged and that "last file" matters.

6. This thread is a very easily read summary. No one is going to read 20 pages of technical videos and experiments.

7. Viofo has two choices:

A. Up the temperature Threshold and make sure the camera properly exits within a degree or 2 of reaching it
I'd prefer this option. A shorter camera lifespa to gain longer capture times.

B. Lower the temperature shutdown threshold - Initiate proper exiting of last file being written prior to overheating.
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
What's the temperature in Sweden this week?

In Stockholm, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, freezing, dry, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -6°C to 22°C and is rarely below -14°C or above 27°C.

Just curious.

Haven't run any more tests recently. Viofo asked I test their beta 1.6 to see if issue still exists. Not really motivated to install beta Firmware on my camera. Ya, we're going to be nearing the end of my ability to run tests. My ceramic tint does a good job of absorbing heat. But mother nature has to cooperate.

Camera was tested in 26-27C up until lately.
 

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
30,422
Reaction score
17,103
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
It do seem like you are having tough luck with the 3 channel systems for sure.
 

EGS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
951
Reaction score
794
Location
Texas
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Viofo A129 Pro Duo, A129 Plus (eMMC), T130, 70mai A800s
@EGS,

You amongst any should be the most understanding and the least criticizing. @Nigel and others lambasted my review and analysis of the Zenfox T3. Only to recognize that everything I said was spot on and true. You going so far as to "Modify Your Unit" to see how to resolve!
I understand what you have done and the effort you have put into it. But I feel like you are way overdoing it to the point it becomes irritating.
No need to repeat over and over the same and creating multiple threads pertaining the same issue or you will achieve the opposite.
Yes. I have made some noise (with good reason) in the past about some product but I try to contain myself and learn to no over doing.
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
I understand what you have done and the effort you have put into it. But I feel like you are way overdoing it to the point it becomes irritating.
No need to repeat over and over the same and creating multiple threads pertaining the same issue or you will achieve the opposite.
Yes. I have made some noise (with good reason) in the past about some product but I try to contain myself and learn to no over doing.

Not my intent, and if it this thread comes off as overzealous, I do apologize. However, I also considered that no one is going to read 100s of posts about me testing this camera in all different conditions.

And because there are "settings" to mitigate and lesson this flaw, along with making people aware, I thought a single short to the point thread would be helpful. Especially until Viofo can come up with a remedy.


Guess I was wrong.
 

EGS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
951
Reaction score
794
Location
Texas
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Viofo A129 Pro Duo, A129 Plus (eMMC), T130, 70mai A800s
Not my intent, and if it this thread comes off as overzealous, I do apologize. However, I also considered that no one is going to read 100s of posts about me testing this camera in all different conditions.

And because there are "settings" to mitigate and lesson this flaw, along with making people aware, I thought a single short to the point thread would be helpful. Especially until Viofo can come up with a remedy.


Guess I was wrong.
I apologize for my remarks. I know you are trying hard to address these issues.
 
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
I apologize for my remarks. I know you are trying hard to address these issues.

I have modified the Subject of this thread to sound more "Professional" and Helpful" and less sensational.

New Topic: How to Address A139 Firmware / Overheating File Corruption Bug

With Viofo Permitting Loop Recording to be Disabled and a Rather Low Thermal Shutoff, their firmware definitely needs some adjusting. Anyone who doesn't know better will end up with a corrupted SD Card if Loop Recording is disabled and the camera overheats.

I get very frustrated when a manufacturer releases a product to testers more focused on garnering reviews than problem solving. These types of issues I've highlighted both on the Zenfox T3 and A139 are inexcusable in my opinion.

A manufacturer has an obligation to stress test their product prior to production. This includes running a over baking test, which would easily have shown the above mentioned flaws. The next step is beta testing. Instead of handing out cameras to any Reddit, Vine, Youtuber, etc reviewer, the primary focus should be on bugs and troubleshooting. Looking for any issues that might have been overlooked. Again, just another step in the quality assurance process.

Only after receiving feedback from real world results, and making the necessary adjustments, should a product get released to the reviews and then the consumer.

The Fatal Flaws of the T3 and the current bugs on the A139 3 Channel are prime examples of the need for thorough testing.

When consumers purchase a product, they expect:

1. Spending their hard earned money, the product works as described without any major flaws.
2. Any flaws or bugs be addressed in a timely manner.
3. The paying consumer shouldn't be the Manufacturer's Guinea Pig (Beta Test) for a released to market product.

Unfortunately, having missed the Beta Test for the A139 3 Channel and purchasing the A139 at full price, I am miffed that I have been turned into a Beta Tester for Viofo and their guinea pig. Viofo has asked I try all sorts of tests for them, to see the results. Loop Record Interval Changed, Different Firmwares, etc etc.

If they wanted me as Beta Tester, they should have included me in their product testing.

As a paying consumer, this isn't my job to constantly troubleshoot a product I purchased.

None the less, I made this thread to advise others, of the steps to take until Viofo Engineers resolve the overheating / corrupted file issue.
 
Last edited:
OP
H

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
686
Country
Sweden
The Take away:

No one expects a Dash Camera to operate in Death Valley....

But plenty of places around the world get sufficiently hot, especially in summer..... Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, Central and South America, Australia, Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc), The Middle East, Most Countries within the African Continent, etc

So the expectation of this camera having to perform in a warm climate isn't isolated to a few places around the world.

I believe a firmware update from Viofo could address the issue by upping the Thermal Shutdown Temperature to say 80C and maybe setting the "Camera Exit" temperature at say 78C. Meaning the camera executes instructions to shut down a degree or two before "overheat" so prevent the last file corruption.

I'd rather a camera have a shorter life and better reliability, than a longer life and "less reliability". It's always possible to release two firmwares giving the enduser a choice between the two.
 

TonyM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
4,556
Reaction score
4,302
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Mobius, SG, Viofo
Viofo has asked I try all sorts of tests for them, to see the results. Loop Record Interval Changed, Different Firmwares, etc etc.

If they wanted me as Beta Tester, they should have included me in their product testing.

As a paying consumer, this isn't my job to constantly troubleshoot a product I purchased.
You are right that as a paying customer, you should not be expect to become involved in lengthy troubleshooting of beta FW. Fair enough if you want to put in some time to help fix the issue.

I do believe Viofo are trying to fix things. They are engaging with you, have sent various replacement parts to you, and tried new FW. They are not ignoring you.

However there is no guarantee that this issue will ever be resolved to your satisfaction. As our long-time DCT member @SawMaster often says - choose a camera based on how it performs now, not on how you expect it to perform in the future.

If the camera doesn't meet your needs, send it back and move on.
 

Nath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
821
Reaction score
480
Country
Germany
Dash Cam
Dual A139-3CH, Dual Viofo A129Pro-2CH
But plenty of places around the world get sufficiently hot, especially in summer..... Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, Central and South America, Australia, Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, etc), The Middle East, Most Countries within the African Continent, etc
Where is Sweden? :ROFLMAO:

I believe a firmware update from Viofo could address the issue by upping the Thermal Shutdown Temperature to say 80C and maybe setting the "Camera Exit" temperature at say 78C. Meaning the camera executes instructions to shut down a degree or two before "overheat" so prevent the last file corruption.
If you mean 80°C ambient, recently I measured 61°C "inside" while 24°C ambient(in garage)... Are you sure it's going to survive the upping?

You are right that as a paying customer, you should not be expect to become involved in lengthy troubleshooting of beta FW. Fair enough if you want to put in some time to help fix the issue.

I do believe Viofo are trying to fix things. They are engaging with you, have sent various replacement parts to you, and tried new FW. They are not ignoring you.

However there is no guarantee that this issue will ever be resolved to your satisfaction. As our long-time DCT member @SawMaster often says - choose a camera based on how it performs now, not on how you expect it to perform in the future.

If the camera doesn't meet your needs, send it back and move on.
Spot on! (y)
 

Kremmen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
1,997
Reaction score
1,076
Location
West London & Reading
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
      Viofo A119 V2 Viofo A119 V3
I'm confused .....

If the capacitors have a top working temp of 65C then won't upping the max software shutdown to 80C cause issues ?

I'd have thought a controlled shutdown at 60C would be more appropriate.
 

Nath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
821
Reaction score
480
Country
Germany
Dash Cam
Dual A139-3CH, Dual Viofo A129Pro-2CH
Based on what I've wrote above, it could be even a bit hard for Viofo to up the limit since the chipset is obviously already well cooked and the actual thing which is killing it could be an overheating failsafe (not something which is possible to "up" by firmware without throttling the processing power).
 
Top