Spy Tec A118C hard wiring issues (cable AWG or cold temperature?)

ca-lurker

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Hi,

I bought Spy Tec A118C + their hardwiring kit (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/B00MH4ZVHO). Installed everything but noticed a weird issue: sometimes connecting the USB cable to the dashcam makes it enter in endless restart. Driving around a bit with the cable disconnected and connecting it again makes thing work fine.

I have 2 theories:

1) It's been friggin' cold in Canada these past 2 days (-43C/-45F), so it takes the cable or some of the components in that wiring kit time to warm up (I'm not an electrician, so no clue why that would matter). When it's warm, I can connect the camera without a problem.

2) AWG is on the low side. I tried connecting the camera to my PC today using a very thin USB cable (doesn't state AWG) and instead of going into the "low battery mode" (normal behavior) and presenting me with a menu to select camera/mass storage, it starts endlessly restarting just like in the car. Connecting it using a 28AWG USB cable makes it work right away.

It's going to warm up tomorrow (-8C/17.6F), so I'll to see if it's really the cold but somehow I think it's a combination of both.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
 
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It does. I keep the USB->cigar lighter cable (the one that came with camera) in my glovebox. So while the camera is not cold (I don't leave it inside the car), the cable is. It looks like a slightly higher AWG cable though.
 

Street Guardian USA

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2) AWG is on the low side. I tried connecting the camera to my PC today using a very thin USB cable (doesn't state AWG) and instead of going into the "low battery mode" (normal behavior) and presenting me with a menu to select camera/mass storage, it starts endlessly restarting just like in the car. Connecting it using a 28AWG USB cable makes it work right away.

I just saw your post on /r/Dashcam
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dashcam/comments/460p8j/spy_tec_a118c_hard_wiring_issues_cable_awg_or/

Don't use your computer USB port to power this camera. 500mAh doesn't cut it. Try powering it via your iPhone/iPad/Android USB wall charger. 1A/2.1A is best.
 
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Same thing happens when I plug it into the wall charger using that thin cable. It keeps restarting.

In the car, I wired it to the fuse box using where the lighter socket is using a fuse tap d a 5A fuse. Like I said, it works fine after the car warms up. It does work also fine straight from the lighter socket adaptor using a cold but higher AWG cable.

Is it some interference or cold or...? Scratching my head ;)
 

DT MI

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More than my wife thinks I need.
...1) It's been friggin' cold in Canada these past 2 days (-43C/-45F), so it takes the cable or some of the components in that wiring kit time to warm up (I'm not an electrician, so no clue why that would matter). When it's warm, I can connect the camera without a problem....

That's a possibility. I had a one time situation a few weeks ago when neither of my 2 cameras started recording until the car had been running for a good 15 minutes or so. They're both powered from the same 12V USB adapter. The car had been sitting for a couple of days in very cold temps. This is the first, and only, time it occurred even though the car had in the past and since then been sitting for longer periods and in colder temps.
 
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It's only -13 today and the camera got powered right away. I'll keep monitoring. Basically, I am trying to ensure that it's not my install and/or the hard wiring kit that's the culprit. The camera itself seems to work fine otherwise the stock cigarette->USB adapter or 28AWG USB cable at home.
 

Ralph2

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Your cigarette lighter adapter could.. be loosing its contact when cold. Everything shrinks / expands with temperature, it is possible that it shrinks just enough to loose electrical contact. When this happens.. try re-seating the adapter and see if it immediately makes a difference.
 
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