New to Dash Cams Need Help


New Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Viet Nam
Hi, I'm going to expect this will be a journey for me since I am seriously clueless about dash cams. I am in need of a dash cam primarily when my car is parked.
I live in the city and use street parking. This means that I am rarely parked in the same place. It depends on parking availablity.

I have a 2017 car. I love it and want to protect it. I will be honest. I'm afraid to have a dash cam hard wired because my car is seamless and I can't have any electrical or any problems with it. I was wishing for a wi-fi that I can connect with my iphone or computer.

The problem IS, I don't even know where to begin. I am willing to spend time to get some understanding, though I am not tech knowledgable to the point of wires etc.
I really don't want to disrupt anything in the car to do this.
I would want it primarily for vandalism though having one while driving could also be an asset though, it's not my primary reason for having one.

I live in the SF Bay area and I'm willing to drive wherever to get help.. installation and a better understanding if it's possible to get my needs met.

I thought I'd start here. As far as dollar amount. I've seen ranges up to $500. If I could get something seamless, easy and not disrupt how my car operates or wires I would go to the higher end cost.
I'm looking for stress free.
I would mainly need it while I'm parked in the evening from dark to morning.
Also, hopefully it would not be visible to the point where the car would be broken into to get it. I wouldn't want to let would be vandals know I have it either.

I'm hoping I'll hear good news. Thanks very much. Forums are the best way that I've found to get in the right direction.
Again .. thanks...

BC Rural

Oct 12, 2018
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You could start by reading everything in a search of these fourms using the keywords "parking mode". But, I think that you are expecting too much from a parking mode. These devices are not magic and the technology still has great limitations especially for the price. WiFi is also not magic, requires power to transmit and is slow for large files, so transmitting WiFi to a cell phone is wishful thinking. I'd think that you would need data plan (SIM card) transmission via cell phone data frequencies (LTE 5G?), not WiFi and I'm not up on whether that even exists in tiny dashcams.

From my reading of these forums and use of a Viofo A119 v2, Dashcams of any price are AIDS and are not 100% foolproof or accurate, especially in Parking Modes. Also, hard wiring is likely the best option due to battery drain in parking modes. External battery options are quite expensive and slow to recharge after parking mode sessions (depends on time and activity), where the car battery has a larger capacity and better recharging, but still has limited capacity. Even if you do capture a break in in parking mode, you may not see or be able to define the person's face to ID them, due to low light levels or low resolutions in dashcam sensors. As well, you'd need many dashcams to get the best angle and lighting because who knows what direction the thief is going break into your car, or what angle your car is going to be hit at. One dashcam cannot cover all possibilities. Consider getting a portable battery operated Security Cam to mount hidden outside your car such as in a tree or attached to a building or lamp post or ???? But even it will be compromised due to sensor resolution quality and light levels, but it could have WiFi transmission IF in range to a WiFi receiver. SIM card cell data would have a greater reach than the short pitiful distance of WiFi.

Lots of features require lots of power which requires a large battery or batteries and which require long charging times. LOTS of COMPROMISES at this point in technology but then I'm not 100% up on what's available but I also don't buy into the hype of the latest tech yet either, because if there were a perfect dashcam, it would still only be 1 part of the entire system of image capture and file storage and or file transmission and file viewing pipeline.
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Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2013
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Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
Hard wire dont mean you start tampering with the cars existing wires, you simply just piggy back on a fuse in the fuse box and that part are tool less and dont leave a mark.
You can also pay a shop to install the camera, places that do car stereo and alarms ASO should find this easy.
It should be a 1 hour job for a good shop to install a dashcam.

Parking guard mean the camera are running or ready to run while parked, this on its own generate some heat, and adding to that a nice sunny day where you are parked in direct sun, the camera might go over the thermal threshold and shut down, and i do think you have some of those days in SF every summer, but probably not as bad as further south in LA.
Also parking guard put a load on your car battery, to you have to drive enough to charge the battery up from the power you have used while the car have been parked.
you can not expect to do parking guard 23 hours every day and only drive 1 hour, what you use while parked have to be replenished while driving, but a car do also charge fast but still short drive are not going to do it.
Your car battery will also last shorter due to this parasitic load, car batteries are not really meant to be discharged much and often, so you need to have a fairly high low voltage cut off setting, personally i dont go under 12.2 Volts ( low voltage cut off are part of the hard wire kits needed to be able to do parking mode )

And of course the higher cut off voltage you select the shorter time you can do parking guard, but 12.2 Volts and a good battery should cover a 8 hour working day just fine, and with a hour or so drive home it will probably also cover a 8 hour parking while you sleep.

You can also buy dedicated power banks for dashcams, but they are not cheap and so add to the overall price, but these can also charge okay fast if you drive some every day.

I am retired myself and often drive several short trips, but i only use parking mode for 1 hour on the build in timer in my dashcam ( not all have this timer option too ) and i use a 12 .4 Volt cut off as my car battery are old ( 2012 car ) and teh battery are as small as my car are too, so saving on it until i can afford to buy a new battery.

Most dashcams you can manually shut down if you park in your garage at home and so dont need parking guard there, normally you turn off car, the camera go into parking mode you do not need, you then long press a button and it turn off, next day the camera will then power up automatic as normal so it is just shutting off when you dont nee it you have to do manual.


Well-Known Member
Apr 10, 2015
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United States
Dash Cam
G1W-S, G1W-HC, G1W clone, B1W, K2S, B2W, (ex N2Pro & Mobius)
@BC Rural says it well and true (y)

Dashcams are rather cheap and nasty devices overall, but a few do their job quite well considering their price. They are mainly meant for driving protection, not parking protection, but again a few do that job fairly well. If you understand their limitations and set your hopes accordingly, then you won't be highly disappointed with the right cam choice(s). When you get right down to it, dashcams do not protect your car- that's what insurance is for ;) Dashcams just make it easier to prove that you bear no fault when an incident occurs, and they possibly can assist insurers and Police in doing their jobs :)

Even with all their negative aspects I will not be without a dashcam and I have at least a 2-channel one going whenever I'm parked. I know it's limitations and I don't care- it's far better than nothing and I'm sure that it's saved me from grief more than a few times because I have signage saying I am doing video and audio recording. And should the worst occur hopefully I'll have enough evidence to let the authorities catch the creep(s).

$500 can set you up with a basic 4-direction cam system which will record for 12 hours, maybe more. There's going to be a lot of work involved with the installation including adding an auxiliary power source for the cams, and it's not going to cover everything- parts of the car will block some of the view. Or you can take part of that money and get a good 2-channel cam which can record while parked and give you better vid quality. That won't cover your sides but it's much easier to deal with the installation. If you want the best of everything you'll be spending about double of what you want and you won't be getting twice as good images for the price increase :whistle:

So what do you think? Whatever way you want to go the folks here can help. We won't lie to you but don't get your hopes up for a prefect cam or system because that does not exist at a consumer level and never will.