The Mobius & Heat Issues

BobDiaz

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I'm still torn between several choices for a car cam. I like the small size of the Mobius, BUT the heat issue worries me. Excessive heat shortens the life of electronics and is even harder on the life of the battery. My big worry is that over the long haul, the camera will fail.

I'm trying to get a feel from those who have the Mobius what they have found:

(1) How long have you had the camera?

(2) How has it held up so far?

(3) Did you put an extra heat sink on the camera?

I'll only be recording when driving and not recording when parked.


Thanks for any input.

Bob Diaz
 

sludgeguts

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I love the way the lens is placed on the smallest end - if only they'd done this with the DR32?
I would be happy to pay for two of these to put in my bus at work - however, I expect the units to record for around 4 hours straight - my DR32 copes without problem.
As you say, the heat is a worry.

I like the new amberella but although it's small, they have still stuck the lens in the wrong place.
It wouldn't be so bad if these companies allowed us to buy a lens extension kit (like the ones for the key fobs and mobius. You could accept a large DVD up out of the way.
 

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BobDiaz

BobDiaz

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Thanks for the links to the comments. The Mobius does get a good review overall, which peeks my interest in the camera. I keep thinking that adding heatsinks will help with the heat issue. Maybe not solve it, but help. Heatsinks are sold everywhere and are dirt cheap and they can't hurt anything, but could help.
I'm thinking about using a heatsink like this one and if it fits, try to squeeze 2 of them on the unit.

http://www.allelectronics.com/mas_assets/cache/image/1/9/d/6/6614.Jpg

Because the Mobius has only been out for a few months, I may just wait until January to see what the "long term" results are. I like the Mobius for it's small size and the fact it's easy to mount, but I worry about the heat issue. ... Maybe I worry too much. ;)


Bob Diaz
 

reptar

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1. I've had the camera for 1 month with it always in the car and running every time I drive.
2. No issues so far even with 90-100 F temps and the car sitting in the sun. The heat sinks do get too hot to touch which is worrying but the plastic stays cool. So far this has been a perfect dash cam.
3. No extra heat sink added but I might consider adding one as a precaution.
 

sludgeguts

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All well and good sticking heatsinks to the unit - but then that defeats the whole reason behind buying this cam in the first place, that being the physical size of the unit.

Maybe take the guts out and take a hacksaw to the case - cut loads of slots across the width to allow better airflow?
Maybe even leave it out of the case & use it with an extension lens?

Perhaps we shouldn't be using this unit as a dashcam at all - it might just have been produced specifically for the RC world?
Being strapped to a small plane, copter or car, it would have a decent (and mainly cool) airflow constantly over it whilst it is recording ?

@reptar. The unit isn't going to get hot when not being used, it only starts when you drive (ignition on), so would the unit be getting some sort of airflow from your aircon/blowers? (so the inside temp of the car is lower anyway).
Also, how long have your journeys been?

If I had the spare cash I'd order a unit to use in my bus (instear of the DR32), as it'll be running constantly for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (with a break of 45 or 60 mins (depending on my workload), I could report this back.

Only problem is, it might take a few weeks of constant use - or it might take a few months before the heat finally destroys the electronics - or it might never happen !
 

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sludgeguts said:
Perhaps we shouldn't be using this unit as a dashcam at all - it might just have been produced specifically for the RC world?
Being strapped to a small plane, copter or car, it would have a decent (and mainly cool) airflow constantly over it whilst it is recording ?

I tend to agree, there's more to making the product suitable for automotive use than meets the eye, nice to make a product small but there's limitations and problems that come with that
 

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jokiin said:
sludgeguts said:
Perhaps we shouldn't be using this unit as a dashcam at all - it might just have been produced specifically for the RC world?
Being strapped to a small plane, copter or car, it would have a decent (and mainly cool) airflow constantly over it whilst it is recording ?

I tend to agree, there's more to making the product suitable for automotive use than meets the eye, nice to make a product small but there's limitations and problems that come with that

I did wonder about how weatherproof these units were - then I thought - "they wouldn't be using RC models in the rain" :D

So we're back to the remote lens situation again. By making remote lens dashcams, the DVR can be any size - if heat is such a problems then it would be an idea to maybe use an enclosure with a couple of small fans inside - like a small hard drive enclosure?
 

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sludgeguts said:
So we're back to the remote lens situation again. By making remote lens dashcams, the DVR can be any size - if heat is such a problems then it would be an idea to maybe use an enclosure with a couple of small fans inside - like a small hard drive enclosure?

there's a couple of heat sources, the CPU, the CMOS, the memory card and a charging battery, getting the CMOS out helps a lot as it's one of the hotter items, if going remote cams though I guess the main box can be hide away and doesn't need to be that small, making things smaller generally makes heat dissipation more difficult
 

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sludgeguts said:
@reptar. The unit isn't going to get hot when not being used, it only starts when you drive (ignition on), so would the unit be getting some sort of airflow from your aircon/blowers? (so the inside temp of the car is lower anyway).
Also, how long have your journeys been?

The cam seems to be hotter when sitting in a very hot car than when running. So it is hotter when I first start driving on a hot day then cools down a bit but the heat sink is still too hot to touch.

In my car the cam gets no direct airflow from the aircon/blowers but of course it benefits from it once the car cools down.

I've been using it for 1 month driving at least 6 hours a week with it on. Longest single trip with it so far would be about 1 hour.
 
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sludgeguts said:
All well and good sticking heatsinks to the unit - but then that defeats the whole reason behind buying this cam in the first place, that being the physical size of the unit.

Maybe take the guts out and take a hacksaw to the case - cut loads of slots across the width to allow better airflow?
Maybe even leave it out of the case & use it with an extension lens?

Perhaps we shouldn't be using this unit as a dashcam at all - it might just have been produced specifically for the RC world?
Being strapped to a small plane, copter or car, it would have a decent (and mainly cool) airflow constantly over it whilst it is recording ?
...

The heatsink I'm thinking of measures 31mm x 16mm x 11mm with a 16mm x 16mm underside surface. Just enough to add more surface area, but not too big. IF it extends the life of the camera, it's worth the increase in size.

I'm even considering mounting the battery external to the unit to avoid over heating the battery. I guess if I really wanted to go crazy, I could take the unit out of the plastic case and mount it inside a larger metal case. That would help with the heat issue and if I ground the case, help with any RF/GPS interference. However, that seems like a lot of work. There's just no easy answers here....


Bob Diaz
 

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BobDiaz said:
sludgeguts said:
All well and good sticking heatsinks to the unit - but then that defeats the whole reason behind buying this cam in the first place, that being the physical size of the unit.

Maybe take the guts out and take a hacksaw to the case - cut loads of slots across the width to allow better airflow?
Maybe even leave it out of the case & use it with an extension lens?

Perhaps we shouldn't be using this unit as a dashcam at all - it might just have been produced specifically for the RC world?
Being strapped to a small plane, copter or car, it would have a decent (and mainly cool) airflow constantly over it whilst it is recording ?
...

The heatsink I'm thinking of measures 31mm x 16mm x 11mm with a 16mm x 16mm underside surface. Just enough to add more surface area, but not too big. IF it extends the life of the camera, it's worth the increase in size.

I'm even considering mounting the battery external to the unit to avoid over heating the battery. I guess if I really wanted to go crazy, I could take the unit out of the plastic case and mount it inside a larger metal case. That would help with the heat issue and if I ground the case, help with any RF/GPS interference. However, that seems like a lot of work. There's just no easy answers here....


Bob Diaz


I agree, it seems crazy to buy a great little camera and then have to start putting it in a bigger case & mounting the battery remotely
 
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BobDiaz

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I agree, it seems crazy to buy a great little camera and then have to start putting it in a bigger case & mounting the battery remotely

I realize that doing everything I listed would be 100% on the crazy side.

Putting a heatsink is a minor thing and easy to do, but everything else is going crazy. If I had to do all that, I might as well pick a different camera. :D



Bob Diaz
 
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Hello Bob,

I think I'm the first one here on Dashcamtalk which Mobius camera got broken. After maybe two hours of non stop driving today I just couldn't switch it on anymore.

If you realy want the Mobious because it's pretty small and discrete you should buy it and drill a few holes in the plastic so that there can be better air circulation.


Answers to your questions:

(1) How long have you had the camera? ----- I had it for about three month now and recorded maybe only 20 or 30 hours with it

(2) How has it held up so far? ----- Yes but it gets extremely hot after just 20 minutes of recording

(3) Did you put an extra heat sink on the camera? ----- no because I've heard that this won't help




PS: Sorry for my bad english

PS2: There are also small key chain cams like the 808 #16 and the 808 #18 but they both broken after just a few hours of recording so I don't can reccoment those two key cams.
 
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BobDiaz

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Jim,

Could you please tell us if you only ran the unit while driving OR did you have it running all the time?

There is a video on YouTube of another user who killed his camera, but the conditions were 85F (29C) in the sun, in a truck with rolled up windows. The man admitted that those conditions would kill his dog, so it was a bad idea to do it that way.



Thanks,

Bob Diaz
 
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BobDiaz

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Humidity will have an impact on humans because we perspire to cool off. High humidity means less cooling for us and dry conditions means that the perspiration will cool us the most. With electronics humidity isn't much of a factor because it never perspires to cool off. For electronics 30C (86F) is the same high or low humidity.

Direct sunlight on the other hand does heat up the unit. With a black case, the heating from sunlight is at maximum. Still, 30C (86F) doesn't seem that extreme. SpyTec said that they have sold a thousand (or thousands I can't rememebr) of Mobius units and with few problems. Given that the sales occurred during the summer, I would think if heat were that bad a problem, they would have seen a lot of returns for failed units.

There is the possibility that your unit was one of the few that failed early. According to the bathtub curve, we expect some "infant moralities" in the early life of products. You may have been that unlucky person.

ht21_1.gif


http://www.weibull.com/hotwire/issue21/hottopics21.htm


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I think the problem is the mount on the windscreen camera returned to the top of the heat sink directly into the sun.

under these conditions the camera should be mounted to the windshield with Suction Cup Car Windshield Mount Holder, then the camera should be rotated by 180 degrees heat sink down.
The sun does not heat sink, air circulation flows through the radiator

The simple solution? :)

Regards Tom
 

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Hi, I'm in Australia and have 3 Mobius' mounted in two different vehicles. Summer is approaching and it can get up to 45 degrees C - so I'm hoping I don't end up with 3 dead cameras?

Has anyone actually mounted an external heatsink?
 
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