Not a Happy Camper with the A139

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HonestReview

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The files I got on H265 on my A139 were


H265 worked just like H264. Basically if camera is very very hot, pulling the power doesn't shut down cleanly. But I never get a crash/freeze when very hot.

1. Are you running firmware 1.2 or 1.1?
2. I downgraded to Firmware 1.1 and will rerun my tests tomorrow or Wednesday

So let me make sure we're on same page.

A. Your camera never shut off when recording 2k-FHD-FHD parking mode under h.x264 or h.x265? So are your last files corrupted at all on improper shutdown?

B. Your camera never froze on FHD-FHD-FHD (1080p) where pulling power cord was only way to shut it down? Files corrupt on hot shutoff or no?

We will see what firmware 1.1 does for me. My last effort. Then if this fails I send back camera for another. Want to exhaust all options before concluding hardware is faulty.
 

kamkar

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Due to the not so good naming scheme on viofo firmware's i am not 100 % sure what i am on without looking with the APP.
So i will do that tomorrow to make damn sure, but i think i am on the latest one but cant tell from the 2 folders i have as i have just had to name them by the date i DLed the files.
The firmware's should come in a folder named after the firmware version and release date, not just a file named A139.bin
 

Vortex Radar

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FWIW, my A139 did great today in the heat. I was parked for about an hour in the sun and then drove home (~12 min drive). My vehicle registered 87-90F outside.

Even with AC going while driving, most of my equipment failed at some point.

My iPhone (12 Pro) on my dash overheated and shut down so my music cut out
My GoPro (Hero 9 Black) on my WS overheated and shut down
My Blackvue (DR900S) overheated and restarted twice while driving (It displayed HT on the video footage for a few minutes before shutting off)
My A139 kept recording the whole time

All the cameras and memory cards were incredibly hot when I got home to the point where it was hard to touch the dashcams and hold the MicroSD cards. All 3 cameras were running 256 GB Samsung Evo Select cards.

A139 is running fw 1.2 with 3 cams and all settings maxed out including max bitrate.
 

drivedisk

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The heating issues mentioned in this thread, is it happening to 2 CH a139 too? or when used as 3 channel dashcam? I am interested to use it as a 2 channel dashcam with out the internal camera.

Thanks
 

kamkar

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I assume it will probably be the same, but i think all of us are testing the 3 channel version, but actually just doing 2 of the cameras could be a interesting experiment, so i will try and keep that in mind.

DAmn "VR" sound like you are cooking,,,,, my car dident even come with aircon or for that matter a simple FM radio.
 

mentadent

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1. Are you running firmware 1.2 or 1.1?
2. I downgraded to Firmware 1.1 and will rerun my tests tomorrow or Wednesday
1.1
So let me make sure we're on same page.

A. Your camera never shut off when recording 2k-FHD-FHD parking mode under h.x264 or h.x265? So are your last files corrupted at all on improper shutdown?
Never shut off on any mode, 2K, 1080, h264 or h265. Last files are corrupted on improper shutdown.
B. Your camera never froze on FHD-FHD-FHD (1080p) where pulling power cord was only way to shut it down? Files corrupt on hot shutoff or no?

We will see what firmware 1.1 does for me. My last effort. Then if this fails I send back camera for another. Want to exhaust all options before concluding hardware is faulty.
I have not tried 1.2 but I am sticking with 1.1.
 

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I put mine on H265 after reading the post on how to do it with holding the mic button down. I often use that for CCTV for the well known benefits. I'll do my hotbox test and see if anything weird happens.

H265 would be a good selling point for a dashcam IMHO, I'd choose one with it over one without.
Meh...I'd choose one with AV1 over H265 any day of the week if such hardware was available. :)
It's 30% more efficient than H265, open source, and royalty free.
 
OP
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So I'm 100% done testing. I now encountered a brand new failure which now renders all future tests null and void.

1. Flashed Back to Version 1.1 (Assume Nath Posted and Official Version and Not a Beta?) @Nath Please comment back if you posted the proper file.

2. I noticed my camera was only recording in 2 Channel (Front + Rear). AT THE RISK OF DAMAGING Cables, I screwed around with yanking out the interior / rear / power cable from main unit MULTIPLE times. Along with numerous attempts of unplugging and plugging in the cable that connects to the interior camera itself. As the Interior Camera wouldn't show up. I got it to say 3 Channel ONE TIME. As a follow up test, I Removed cords, and plugged them back in again. Camera reverted back to 2 channel and I Could never get 3 Channel recognize thereafter. I was running version Firmware 1.1 that Nathan Posted here.

3. Curious, I flashed back to Firmware version 1.2. 3 Channel recognizes . Unplugged and plugged back in cables (Interior / rear / power) and no problems with interior camera (3 channels) showing up.

So the end result, I cannot test firmware version 1.1 for overheating / corrupted files. My testing is done and this unit is going back for an exchange. Waiting to hear from Viofo.com. Not very thrilled with a 2-3 week turn around so their response will depend on what I do.

Side note:

Only variable that's different on my camera is the Rear and Interior use a right angle plug to the cameras themselves. Straight plug to main unit. Otherwise, no one here has ever mentioned the interior camera dropping out and failing to recognize on version 1.1.

Alternate Explanation, Nath posted an older "Beta" of version 1.1 and a new revision exists.
 

Nath

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1. Flashed Back to Version 1.1 (Assume Nath Posted and Official Version and Not a Beta?) @Nath Please comment back if you posted the proper file.
Yes, I've posted the file which was previously listed on the Viofo's website as the v1.1 . :cautious:

And the exact same file I used for my two units which work fine for weeks (even under the same ambient temperatures as yours)

EDIT: To make sure, you can check whether your file got downloaded properly via MDA5 & SHA checksum: 941043ACFC36972CC54CFDAF32DC137B9EFA3BA1

And I wonder now if your issues couldn't be related to cables. Higher temperature increases resistance and at some point it can cause A139 to fail - I've tested similar scenarios with cables multiple times and A139 reboots, freezes as well as shuts down (v1.2 could increase the tolerance or fix something and therefore it fails on v1.1). But that's just a guess.
 
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Yes, I've posted the file which was previously listed on the Viofo's website as the v1.1 . :cautious:

And the exact same file I used for my two units which work fine for weeks (even under same ambient temperature as yours)

EDIT: To make sure, you can check whether your file got downloaded properly via MDA5 & SHA checksum: 941043ACFC36972CC54CFDAF32DC137B9EFA3BA1

And I wonder now if your issues couldn't be related to cables. Higher temperature increases resistance and at some point it can cause A139 to fail - I've tested similar scenarios with cables multiple times and A139 reboots, freezes as well as shuts down (v1.2 could increase the tolerance or fix something and therefore it fails on v1.1). But that's just a guess.

I'm not accusing you of wrongdoing! I just wanted to know if there might have been a revised version of 1.1 (updated build). I wasn't suggesting you customized / modified the firmware. And yes, the Hash checked out just fine.

Well the cable theory would make sense, EXCEPT the car was cold and this "issue" was tested at night. So heat played no role in the Interior Camera failing to initiate. Two channel only brought up the Front + Rear Camera. I yanked the cables from Interior Camera Multiple Times. And removed the Main unit from the mount about 10 times, Unplugging and Plugging in Power + Rear + Interior Cable. Only getting it to say 3 channel once on Firmware Version 1.1. Wanting to be OCD, I removed the cables again, and it wouldn't say 3 channel no matter what.

After reloading firmware version 1.2, the camera went back to normal operations. Recognizing 3 channel without a problem.

My guess, the updated cables require version 1.2, but why I am not sure. Could Heat be having an affect on these cables and be causing the other issues? Possibly. But it was very cool outside (15C) when I tested firmware 1.1 and reverted back to firmware 1.2.

So the current issue of a "vanishing interior camera" on firmware 1.1 wasn't related to heat. Nor was bringing it back online with firmware 1.2.

100% does not mean that the overheating issues I'm suffering aren't related to the right cables. Just this current dilemma wasn't heat related.

Side note: I emailed Viofo support with the right angle + Firmware 1.2 question. Their English is horrible, so I've tried google translating all English to Chinese. Not sure if that yields any better results. But at least support seems to give me a "semi understandable" response with Chinese translation included.
 
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And I wonder now if your issues couldn't be related to cables. Higher temperature increases resistance and at some point it can cause A139 to fail - I've tested similar scenarios with cables multiple times and A139 reboots, freezes as well as shuts down (v1.2 could increase the tolerance or fix something and therefore it fails on v1.1). But that's just a guess.

Viofo Support is useless. I asked them about the cable question and I got back "Camera May Overheat on Hot Days". Nothing to do with what I asked them of course. Then Supercapacitor is bad if last file is corrupt. Camera's supercapcitor is working at least on a "Clean Non Overheating" shutdown where I yank out power cord.

I've verified unit doesn't work with right angle cable on firmware 1.1, and this failure is not correlated to hot days. However, I want to test your second theory. Right Angle Cable is may be cause of camera failure on hot days.

@Nath Is there a way to test for heat related resistance without having another cable at hand? I guess the secondary way is if my replacement camera fails (upon receiving it), then we know there's more going on.
 
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Nath

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I'm confused a bit, not gonna lie. The wires are just passive, there is no reason for not to work based only on a firmware version. The only possible explanation is they have done some changes in settings for communication between serializers and deserializers (the chips which handles the communication through coax), could be even IQ reduction or cameras with already preinstalled v1.2 are different revision with some HW changes. I hope my DIY cables will still work pass the v1.2 :ROFLMAO:

@HonestReview Out of curiosity, when your dashcam was flashed with v1.1, haven't you tried to swap camera inputs (since your cameras and wires are already mounted) whether the issue persists in the same channel or it follows the cam+wire? I know the inputs are labeled but even Viofo confirmed it's not such a big deal. It does matter only for IR-cams because only one input gets the enable/disable signal for IR backlight and only the IR-input is colour corrected (yes, I tested 3ch with both normal as well as both IR-cams).

Well, if you have a meter to measure a small resistance of a cable (around 1.6ohms for 5m) then you could be able to. But even if you would measure it before and after heating the cable inside your car, there is probably more going on, I'm afraid. One of the weak spots is cable in the connector itself and that part heats even more because of heat dissipated from dashcam's PCB and that you probably won't be able to simulate.

EDIT: Since we have v1.2 firmware finally available now, anybody else with preflashed v1.2 willing to test v1.1 whether similar behaviour will show up? :ROFLMAO:
 
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I'm confused a bit, not gonna lie. The wires are just passive, there is no reason for not to work based only on a firmware version. The only possible explanation is they have done some changes in settings for communication between serializers and deserializers (the chips which handles the communication through coax), could be even IQ reduction or cameras with already preinstalled v1.2 are different revision with some HW changes. I hope my DIY cables will still work pass the v1.2 :ROFLMAO:

@HonestReview Out of curiosity, when your dashcam was flashed with v1.1, haven't you tried to swap camera inputs (since your cameras and wires are already mounted) whether the issue persists in the same channel or it follows the cam+wire? I know the inputs are labeled but even Viofo confirmed it's not such a big deal. It does matter only for IR-cams because only one input gets the enable/disable signal for IR backlight and only the IR-input is colour corrected (yes, I tested 3ch with both normal as well as both IR-cams).

Well, if you have a meter to measure a small resistance of a cable (around 1.6ohms for 5m) then you could be able to. But even if you would measure it before and after heating the cable inside your car, there is probably more going on, I'm afraid. One of the weak spots is cable in the connector itself and that part heats even more because of heat dissipated from dashcam's PCB and that you probably won't be able to simulate.

EDIT: Since we have v1.2 firmware finally available now, anybody else with preflashed v1.2 willing to test v1.1 whether similar behaviour will show up? :ROFLMAO:

Why don't you test it out? You said you have DIY cables, so you're the PERFECT candidate to see whether or not updating to 1.2 changes anything.

And of course, we need people with Right Angle Cables on Version 1.2 to Downgrade to 1.1 to find out if they have issues, too

FYI: The interior camera was one not showing up on my tests.
 

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I've twice ran FW V1.2_0507 in low bitrate parking in ambient heat, which has been below the spec rating. I've pulled the power wire during driving and parking modes several times. All files seem to be the expected size, all last files play perfectly as do several random files checked from beginning to end. Rather than use the FW copy I already had, I went to the Viofo site and downloaded again. Though it is listed as being version "1.1" there, clicking that link gets you the latest version which is currently V1.2_0507. I will continue my testing, and when I can I'll repeat my heat-gun testing. Apparently I never loaded the 0324 or 0507 FW for testing so I can't comment on any attributes of them.

In case anyone wants a thoroughly tested FW with motion detect for parking, you can DL FW V1.1_0315 HERE from my Google Drive page. Using the latest app you can get the "Parking Timer" which works with this FW version, and I've tested that with both "low-bitrate" and "auto-event detection" parking modes. This FW is fully usable and fully stable; I do not recall there being any reports of anyone having issues with this FW version. I highly recommend it for a benchmark in testing if you're having issues with the later FW versions.

Phil
 
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Bit of a STRANGE UPDATE:

So I flashed back to version 1.2 and everything was perfect. I downgraded BACK to 1.1 again, and I seem to have an idea of what may have happened. Everything is now working on version 1.1. Except of course, the Parking Audio Prompt says Parking Recording (Never Says 3 Channel). Just Parking Recording. In version 1.2, it says 3 Channel Parking Recording.

Above is a Side Note:

I redownloaded firmware 1.1 again from @Nath's link.

My guess (and this is all I can figure) is that something failed with the initial downgrade. If you watch my video from earlier today (wish I'd recorded one yesterday from the 2 channel fiasco), you'll see the camera "Enters 2 Channel" upon booting up, and then cycles to 3 channel. 2 Channel will happen immediately after flashing from 1.2 to 1.1. The camera boot loops and then enters 3 Channel Recording. You can also replicate 2 Channel Record by yanking out the Power Cord, along with the interior and rear cable, and leaving it without power for a few minutes. Upon plugging all back in, it says 2 Channel recording. Boot Loops and Enters 3 Channel.

I played with my mini Coax? cables a dozen plus times (ya I'm asking to break one by yanking sh*t out and plugging stuff in over and over). This time around everything seems to work each time. Even after yanking and unyanking the cables, the camera will properly enter 3 channel

So my guess is something went wrong on my initial downgrade to 1.1, causing the camera to never transition from the 2 channel to 3 Channel. Like you see in my current video. I.E. Camera somehow glitched and got stuck in 2 channel no matter if I yanked out cord or restarted unit. Wish I'd recorded this issue.

Seems now version 1.1 is working on my unit.

 
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Side note: I will be getting replacement unit from Viofo on Main Camera. I think there's most likely a hardware issue given no one else is seeing failures regarding freezing / spontaneous shutdowns. But now that firmware version 1.1 works, I'll rerun my tests and see if any different results. I doubt it.
 

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@HonestReview when you change FW, do you then make sure to reset to default settings and format the card before using the camera again? Not saying this will fix anything for you, but it's good practice to avoid glitches when upgrading or downgrading the FW.

Yes, I know Viofo don't recommend this on their website instructions for updating FW. The instructions on the SG website are more comprehensive and I would regard them as best practice.
 

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Why don't you test it out? You said you have DIY cables, so you're the PERFECT candidate to see whether or not updating to 1.2 changes anything.
I will update soon or later.

But if there is anything wrong with your cables, me doing testing on my cables (either Viofo's ones or my own) won't help you by any way.

So my guess is something went wrong on my initial downgrade to 1.1, causing the camera to never transition from the 2 channel to 3 Channel. Like you see in my current video. I.E. Camera somehow glitched and got stuck in 2 channel no matter if I yanked out cord or restarted unit. Wish I'd recorded this issue.

Seems now version 1.1 is working on my unit.

But this is still wrong, you should get "3Ch started" right away.

If you are not aware of anything done differently back then I think the only difference is that one of the wires got moved a bit and the contact is better (for now) But thanks to you now we know they probably (I assume) changed something to be more tolerant to "bad" connection.
 
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