Simple dash cam for race/street car ?

kamkar

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Well for racing i would use a action camera thats for sure.
For my every day car i will use a dashcam.

To me it is 2 different beasts that need their own way in handling.
 
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Iroczman15

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Wow, first of all, THANK YOU for all of your replies! I was having a hard time doing research on my own. Some of the car forums I am on didnt have any helpful answers when I posed the same question to the members. I am glad i decided to ask here; you guys seem to know quite a bit.

Prior to me creating a post here, it was suggested to me that a camera system like one of these two might suit my needs:

1. https://freemanscarstereo.com/produ...DmWP4bsD4KPTa8o2EjafPk4LnZOwzECBoCjbEQAvD_BwE

or

2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/B07R9GX558
any thoughts on those? It is going to take me a day to get some time to compare their specs to what recommendations you guys have (both in the cameras you suggested and the specs like EIS and whatnot).

quickly, I am learning that the Mounting style is more important for image stabilization when compared to the camera's software. good to know. Will have to keep that in mind with any camera suggestions.

one thing that I have also read is that the cameras that feature a G-meter or acceleration detector (crash indicator) might become problematic for me. If I am on the street and the time/place is right for a bit of 'spirited driving with fast acceleration... there might be a camera that is triggered when i really don't need it to. of course I can let it do its thing and save the recording, but if it is not pertinent for me to actually save... I would just delete it/over write it.


I still have 4-6 weeks until I buy a camera, so if we want to keep this discussion going on, that would be awesome! The more advice/suggestions from the experts I can get, the better!
 

SawMaster

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We've had a few reports of Cobra cams dying an early death and the video quality isn't the best either. I've seen similar reports elsewhere :( Seems they're relying on brand recognition and a lack of customer knowledge to sell their cams. Garmin does make good cams, their main issue is that they use a LiPo battery instead of supercaps, and in hotter environments that battery life can be short. You should be OK in NJ but I wouldn't want one here in upstate SC where summer is half-a-year-long and sweltering hot. For warranty work Garmin sometimes does want to repair your cam instead of swapping for a new unit- this can take some extra time, but it's not often needed with their good quality where warranty is not often needed. Just something to be aware of. They do have very good customer support, which many cams lack (y)

The G-sensor in dashcams varies, even from unit to unit, but generally you can find a setting which doesn't create too many locked files with normal driving even on poor roads. But sometimes it's just too sensitive so you either live with that or turn it off in the menu. Either way you'll still get recordings so it doesn't matter, and with almost all of today's cams both the locked files and normal ones are automatically overwritten when the card fills up. The purpose of g-sensor while driving is to ensure the last file is saved should you become incapacitated in a crash; normally this rarely happens and even when it does, the cam should have that critical file for a long time after a crash regardless, by which time the cam power will probably be lost or intentionally stopped by emergency responders anyway precluding an unwanted overwrite. It's utility in parking mode is a different subject. I have many cams going and G-sensor is turned off in most of them where it's proven to be too sensitive. I'm not worried about it ;)

I'd prefer you buy a cam with supercaps simply because they are generally better in the long-term, and there are several which compare well with the Garmin you're looking at, but if the Garmin looks good to you then go with it :cool: It should serve your stated purposes quite well and there are knowledgeable members here who can help you with any questions or issues you have with that brand and that model. It's a good cam.

Phil
 
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Iroczman15

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Again, much thanks. Good to learn that about some of the Cobra cams. Also, thanks for letting me know about the Garmin's using a LiPo battery, that is certainly something I want to avoid. I am certain that I do want a camera that has one of the super-capacitors. It just seems like a smarter idea. I have been doing more research and a few of the ones I was thinking of, I have now eliminated from my list. These included: Garmin Dash Cam 56 Tandem, Kenwood DRV-830, Thinkware Sports M1, Cobra DashCam 2208 Super HD, and some of the more expensive "action cameras".

I spent some time watching some (well made) video reviews about certain cameras; specifically the one many of you guys suggested... the VIOFO A129. quick link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/B07RXQJ148 I know there is a A129 and a A129 Pro. Price and features are listed online and in some review videos. The A129 Pro Duo is even still within my $250 budget too, so that is awesome.

I was pleased to learn that this camera has a way of adjusting the sensitivity of the G-meter, picture clarity vs data usage, and so forth. This is all good, and I am sure I can explore the variety of settings for use on the public streets, and then change the settings for when I am at the racetrack. I keep calling it "pre-record" which is totally the wrong term, but the "constant recording in a loop" feature that will "auto-save in the event of a heavy crash which left me incapacitated" is a great feature. That 'pre-record" feature will also be helpful because there have been a few times at the racetrack that I have thought I properly pressed "record button" on the GoPro before a race, and afterwards I would realize that I didn't' click the button hard enough, or instead took a photograph and have no video. With the A129 I can scroll back and see the video recording, and then save it.. but I am guessing.. there would be no saved audio, just video?

I thank you all for letting me know to NOT pick one with a suction cup mount, and instead go with the adhesive cam-to-glass setup. That is important. I also can place it nicely nearby/behind the central rear-view mirror, as I do not have those black-dots called Frit on the glass.. I am considering the 2Duo 2-camera system, since the price is really not too much of a difference. I learned that when recording with both cameras at the same time, the front camera picture quality is limited... but is still great enough. I could also just keep the rear camera settings "off" at the track by clicking through the settings. For the price, it makes sense to have two, whether I use the rear cam or not... it could even stay in the box for a while if I am not sure that I want/need it. I'm thinking, sometimes a rear view cam might be cool on a dragstrip or road course racetrack too though. cool

I will certainly hard-wire it to my fuse block. I have my optima red-top battery mounted in the trunk and this goes to an on-off kill switch located at the rear of the car in the tail-light. The on-off kill-switch is required for some types of racing i do, and it is also a nice feature for if I am working on the car and safety, as I can simply click the switch to off in an instant. Usually, I click this switch to OFF almost every time I park the car also. As far as I can think of it, when I click this switch to off, the fuse panel is off, so the camera would not be getting direct power to it.... meaning it should not be active/recording... right? Is this how the super-cap works? OR, is it like a battery that stores energy in it and will record for a while? For example: if I park the car in the garage, turn OFF the battery's kill switch.. the camera would not be recording? or would it have power for a while from the super-cap and keep recording ? Or is this configurable in settings of the A129 ?
 
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kamkar

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capacitor / battery are just there to ensure power to finalize last recording in a very violent event where power would be lost ( i think today many new cars automatic kill power in big events )
But otherwise a barrel roll into a ditch will probably dislodge the common used 12 V cigarette plug.
But granted a working lipo battery could probably provide power for some minutes, but they are not meant to be used that way.

Most cameras today are powered by 5 V into a USB plug in the camera ( mini - micro or USB C ) this mean there is a 12 - 5 volt converter on the power chord, this i think are most often in the plug you put into the cigarette lighter in the dash or center console, but Street Guardian have it in a box a few feet up the wire, CUZ that way you can snip off the plug in the end and instead wire the 2 wires into the fuse box, and so you sort of get a free hard wire kit with a SG camera though it will not support parking modes just regular while driving operation, and then of course free your 12 V socket for other things you might want to power.

If you do want to use parking guard, then you also need a hard wire kit for this ( from the camera brand ) this will then also have a build in low voltage cut off, so your dashcam can not totally drain your battery while parked, most often the voltage cut off options are 11.8 - 12.0 - 12.2 and 12.4 volts, and it is not recommended to use 11.8 volts. at least not if you have a lead/acid battery, a AGM one i think can handle that.
Today hard wire kits for parking mode are 3 wire systems, so you need to tap into a always on +12V and a ACC switched +12V and then of course GND.
Outside of the hard wire kit you need to know what add a fuse adapters you need to get with the hard wire kit.

Some cameras today also have a cut off timer for parking mode, i use this myself with one camera where i use a 1 hour cut off, i drive a small car with a equal small battery, and really i dont feel a need for parking guard, but it is a camera sent to me to test so of course i must also test that function.

Most duo / 2 channel systems, if you unplug the rear camera ( or i assume change it to not use rear camera in the menu ) well then the front camera alone can most often do 60 FPS recording, which would be nicer in a race situation.
 
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Iroczman15

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ok, awesome. I understand the SuperCap function now. thanks. Also, great info about the hardwire kit and fuse setups. That is the route I plan on going indeed.


Using the advice given here by everyone I am pretty darn sure that my best option is with the Viofo A129 camera. I am between the A129 Pro Duo or the A129 Plus Duo. I went onto the Viofo website for the technical specs and comparing both the Plus and the Pro, the single only difference I can find is the resolution. 4k for the Pro and 2k for the Plus. Everything else spec and feature wise seems the exact same. Price for the Pro is $212 and for the Plus is $152. Both are therefore within my $250 ballpark budget. I will need the hardwire kit and the fuse kit, so thats another $30 putting me right at $250 to0tal if I ge the A129 Pro. I already have a 128gb micro SD card, but i do use it for other things, so I might spend some money on a new microSD card and get the biggest (128gb). I think that would about do it for the purchase of components?

Thoughts on me selecting the A129 vs any other cams? Pro vs Plus?
I might just run the front camera only (better quality recordings) Or maybe I will like the rear camera feature. I think instead of unplugging it, I can just disable it inthe touchscreen options.


A129 Pro Duo:

A129 Plus Duo:

Viofo hardwire Kit:

Viofo Fuse Tap connectors:( I actually already have the parts to make my own)

Thoughts on me selecting the A129 vs any other cams? Pro vs Plus?
I might just run the front camera only (better quality recordings) Or maybe I will like the rear camera feature. I think instead of unplugging it, I can just disable it inthe touchscreen options.


Thanks again !
 

SawMaster

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The "Pro" will have noticeably better vids daytime under almost all circumstances, but worse at night than the A129. Look at plenty of raw vids, day and night, and that will decide for you as you consider what is good enough and whether the cost difference warrants a "Pro" instead.

The fuse taps simplify the job and are not necessary as long as you do something equal. Your previos mention or car wiring seems to say you know how to do without them (and probably prefer that). Just fuse the HWK properly- I'm sure you will.

The Viofo HWK is more robust than most and absolutely necessary for reliable operation hardwired to get the low-voltage protection while parked.

I don't know of any other make or model of cam which will deliver the vid quality of these when comparing like types. Even then most can't match any or the A129 series of cams overall. So "Pro" or A129 as you prefer- I think you'll like either.

Phil
 

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I might just run the front camera only (better quality recordings) Or maybe I will like the rear camera feature. I think instead of unplugging it, I can just disable it inthe touchscreen options.
you'd need to unplug it, can't disable it in the settings
 

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... and I am sure I can explore the variety of settings for use on the public streets, and then change the settings for when I am at the racetrack. I keep calling it "pre-record" which is totally the wrong term, but the "constant recording in a loop" feature that will "auto-save in the event of a heavy crash which left me incapacitated" is a great feature. That 'pre-record" feature will also be helpful because there have been a few times at the racetrack that I have thought I properly pressed "record button" on the GoPro before a race, and afterwards I would realize that I didn't' click the button hard enough, or instead took a photograph and have no video...
In the case of dashcam, you do not need to be afraid that the button for recording will not be pressed correctly, when the engine starts, the dashcam will start recording by itself.

Perfect example of how bad a dashcam will look without EIS
As for EIS, this is a delusion, I read the posts of @Wiz33, but I did not have time to answer, and the forum members @SawMaster, @jokiin and @Nigel correctly explained about action cameras and the EIS.

Why @Wiz33 was wrong, I will explain - I have been engaged in motor sports for many years (and now I also continue) and periodically I conducted dashcams tests in different disciplines of auto racing - autocross, trophy raids, circuit races. And I have long concluded that EIS is not needed for dashcam in the car, the main thing is a reliable fastening.




The Viofo mount meets these requirements, it is the right choice.

And one more addition - if you need to install the dash on the roll cage inside the cabin so that the driver's actions are visible - you must make a sufficiently rigid plate, at least 2 or 3 mm thick, and attach the dashcam to it.
PS: in order to get rid of vibrations caused by a very stiff suspension in cars on ring tracks, a special mount is used for a special action camera Aim Smarty Cam, but its cost and functionality exceeds your needs several times and this is just an example.
КРОНШТЕЙН smarty_kit_staffe_roll-bar_large.jpg
inside 1.jpg
The whole trick in this mount is in the material of the balls, they are plastic, but on the outside they are covered with a thick layer of special rubber (or entirely made of solid rubber), which dampens high-frequency vibrations from the car
AIMSMARTYCAM GP HANDLEBAR RECORDER MOUNT KIT GBP 84,00 :p
 
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Iroczman15

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Got the camera in the mail last week, but didn't have a chance to get it installed until just yesterday. Packaging was great, and everything appears to be pretty good quality. The front camera I wanted it tucked away and in the center of the windshield glass so that's where it is mounted for now. I can easily slide it off of the adhesive (GPS) mount which stays on the glass. I can also easily pop-out the 256gb micro-SD card and I can access the 5 buttons just fine. The rear camera will eventually be mounted to the roll-bar, but that is not installed yet, so for now I put it on the hatch glass. I put it off to the drivers side, but there is plenty of wiring for me to put it anywhere I want. It is "hidden" from my view when i look in the rear-view mirror because it is behind my head/headrest, which makes the view "off-center" For now I am ok with that... but VIOFO supplies a few extra adhesive strips in case I want to re-mount the camera. In fact, the rear camera is only held in place now with my own double sided Velcro and not the supplied sticky mount.. yet.


50826548836_051ec25ea3_c.jpg


50826644662_046711a4d5_c.jpg



I had my wife drive the car around the neighborhood while I messed with the lens angles, some settings, and the mute button. I did not install the polarized sun-glare eliminating lens yet, as I wanted to test the camera without the lens.. but there was no sun today. I have not gotten too deep into messing with the settings yet, but after these videos were filmed I did enter the correct date/time, changed kph to mph, changed the VIOFOA129 tag to my IROCZman15 username, and a few other things. The camera was default setup to record footage in 1 minute files, so I have a bunch of 1 minute clips; however after the drive I changed it over to 5 minute long files. I can also view Front and rear cameras on the LCD at the same time (picture in picture) and I can put the display to sleep.


Front camera location:

50846737511_6437c31e7b_c.jpg


50846737521_6a8f13c639_c.jpg




Rear camera location (for now.. and its on sticky velcro so I can move it):

50846737546_4ae548369d_c.jpg


50846824672_fea136c0c7_c.jpg



I hard wired the camera to the 12 volt junction post I have under the hood, so anytime that the master on-off battery kill switch is On, the camera is recording. I can adjust the settings if needed. I have not yet played around with the wi-fi and cell phone control(app).


So.. for some videos:
again, my wife was driving so I could fiddle with stuff, so its just basic 20 mph neighborhood driving. I tested the audio mute function during middle of video #2 front and #2 rear. I'll move the rear camera a touch lower too, less of the horizontal stripes on the glass.

VIOFO test drive video 1 front

VIOFO test drive video 1 rear

VIOFO test drive video 2 front

VIOFO test drive video 2 rear

VIOFO test drive video 3 front

VIOFO test drive video 3 rear
 

Wiz33

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Did you tint the rear window? Those bands looks weird.
 
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Iroczman15

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The window is NOT tinted, that is factory 1987 Camaro glass. As I mentioned a few times in my write-up, I will be moving the camera down a bit, so I only had it there to see how "in the way" the bands actually were out in the real daylight. In the garage, they weren't bad.. but this was the maiden test drive, so now I know I can move it down a slight bit and not see the bands. That's why I also have it mounted temporarily on Velcro.. so I don't waste the adhesive strips just yet.
 

Wiz33

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The window is NOT tinted, that is factory 1987 Camaro glass. As I mentioned a few times in my write-up, I will be moving the camera down a bit, so I only had it there to see how "in the way" the bands actually were out in the real daylight. In the garage, they weren't bad.. but this was the maiden test drive, so now I know I can move it down a slight bit and not see the bands. That's why I also have it mounted temporarily on Velcro.. so I don't waste the adhesive strips just yet.

Simply changing the camera angle may help then.
 
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Iroczman15

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yup, I tried that earlier while in the garage, but the design/shape of the camaro glass gave me a reflection back into the hatch/trunk which showed me reflections of the two sub-woofers and amplifier. The glass has a pretty good diagonal slope to it from the factory, so the angles/reflections get tricky.
 
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Iroczman15

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started exploring more in the Viofo dash-cam settings. For this weekends Test and Tune drag race day, I set the front camera to 4k resolution and the rear camera to 2k resolution. I set the bitrate to highest also.


(fyi: the HD version of the video is still "processing" to youtube, so it might not be the proper quality for a few hours from now)
In this video, you will see:

front footage = 4k
rear footage = 2k
inside footage +goPro Hero 4 silver

video:
 
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Iroczman15

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quick question:

Occasionally while I am driving and the camera is recording, I will here the "chime" noise that usually plays when the camera is initially starting up. This could be on a flat road while I am coasting, and also has been while I am driving bumpy roads or racing. I originally thought that is was a loose connection, but I checked over everything and all seems tight and good. All wires and connections are supported as best as actually possible. I reviewed the footage and there is no indication that the camera is cutting out or loosing power, because the video footage from the moments is not broken-apart or missing.

Anyone have any idea why I am intermittently hearing the "chime" noise from the camera unit while driving the car?


Side-note: I gotta setup the power-cut off limits on the camera. I have a battery kill-switch on the back of the car and I almost always remember to turn off the car when I will not be using it for several days. However, a few weekends ago, I forgot to kill the power and 4 days later I had found that the cameras were running the whole time and drained the battery down where it was too low to spin the starter! I know there is a voltage cut-off function, I just have to figure out how to play around with enabling it.


Otherwise, the cameras rock, they do everything I need to do for racing and street driving in the deadly chaotic NJ roads with bad drivers.
-Very happy with this purchase.
 

kamkar

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Some cameras do a chime if it have a event, but to have that you need to have G - sensor on, these events would then be missing from the regular recording directory and be in the event / RO folder.
You should not have G - sensor on while driving, it do nothing but create false events, you will know just fine if something out of the ordinary happen, so for little things just press the vent button, for bigger out cold things, rely on a large enough memory card, and the fact responders will turn off car as one of the first things upon arrival.
 
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Iroczman15

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thats right, they would be in the separate folder, good point also! maybe I will try to readjust the settings and make sure the G-sensor is off permanently. Maybe I will have to restore the default settings to assure this is not glitchy? As you mentioned, if there is an event, I will be sure to save the recording, and if I am knocked out cold, the 256gb memory card will hopefully have not looped over the footage by then. I'll re-investigate it, but as I mentioned, its odd that the noise has gone off multiple times while on smooth roads and calm driving. I doubt I could hear the noise while wearing my full -faced helmet and racing, but when I hear it street-driving, it has been confusing to me!
 
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