Thinkware F770-2CH - cannot connect to wifi [solved]

JT86

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#1
Hi everyone,

Apologies for starting a new thread for my specific issue, but I haven't been able to find a solution so far and have already read a lot of useful information on these boards prior to my purchase, so please allow me.

I recently purchased the new Thinkware F770-2CH, and unfortunately I have been nothing but disappointed so far.

It is absolutely impossible to connect to the Dashcam through WiFi, which has prevented me from even installing the device properly.

I will tell you the steps I have already taken:
- connected the Front Camera via the cigarette lighter, waited for it to boot up, receive GPS signal and start continuous recording;
- downloaded and installed the Thinkware Dash Cam app, which is running on my iPhone6plus (iOS 9.3.2), and also tried with an iPad2 and iPhone5 (all running iOS versions above 7.0)
- I press the WiFi button on the dashcam unit, and then go into the iPhone settings to connect to the WiFi network; which works sometimes, sometimes not (sometimes the network is discovered, sometimes it is not)
- when I successfully connect to the WiFi network, I open up the Dash Cam App, which displays the following:



The unit itself states an audio message "smartphone connected - continuous recording stops" and then the iOS loading dots just fill the screen for 5-10 seconds as displayed above. After about 5-10 seconds, the unit gives another audio message "smartphone disconnected - continuous recording resumes" and AFTER this message, the iPhone screen turns to this:



which actually states that the Dash Cam is now connected via WiFi; however it is NOT - when I then click on any of the options within the App, it displays the message below stating the Dash Cam is not connected (which corresponds with the audio message)



I have tried, retried and retried again for the past two days which has proven extremely frustrating. At one point in time, I managed to press and hold the WiFi button on the dash cam unit for multiple seconds in order to start (which the manual tells me) is the "WPS"-mode, which is apparently only for Android devices. However, somehow I managed to actually connect to the device for once, and have liveview initiated for like 10 seconds. After that, the app crashed again and I haven't been able to do the same since; not by pressing the WiFi button once, nor holding it for multiple seconds. As stated, I have tried using different iDevices but to no avail.

I have also downloaded and installed the firmware from the Thinkware website, and updated the device. This has also not helped at all.

This is extremely frustrating. I bought the unit so I could install it this weekend before we leave on a 3-week road trip, but as the situation is right now I have not even been able to install it properly due to not being able to liveview in order to have a decent point of view.

I don't know whether this is a dash cam firmware problem, or an incompatibility of the App with the F770, or if maybe I just have a bad unit? This is not what I had hoped on after shelling out 350 euro for a dashcam (I'm in Belgium by the way).

I have browsed the internet for similar problems or F770 wifi connection issues, but to no avail; maybe as this is a newly released unit? I have also contacted Thinkware through facebook but am yet to receive a reply.

I dunno, maybe you guys/girls have some input or thoughts/ideas which I could try?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
 
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#2
Hi JT86. Sorry to hear about your problem. One thing I have noticed is that the wifi connectivity performance is not consistant. I have had very fast connections for downloads and very slow connection, depends on where I am (garage at home, underground garage at work, on the sidewalk etc). It may have to do with radio frequency interference.

If you have been doing your installation or troubleshooting at the same place, I would suggest you try to connect after you drive to a different location.
 
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JT86

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#3
Hi JT86. Sorry to hear about your problem. One thing I have noticed is that the wifi connectivity performance is not consistant. I have had very fast connections for downloads and very slow connection, depends on where I am (garage at home, underground garage at work, on the sidewalk etc). It may have to do with radio frequency interference.

If you have been doing your installation or troubleshooting at the same place, I would suggest you try to connect after you drive to a different location.
Hi Sir Loin - thanks for your very quick response!

Unfortunately, I thought the same and have tried at 3-4 different locations, which were all outside. In addition, I even took the dash cam unit outside of the car (long DC cable anyway) to eliminate possible interference from the car itself, but also to no avail.

I also contacted kmd1970 who posted in this thread that he was experiencing the exact same problem. I was psyched to read that he managed to find a solution in the end, but he just replied to my message stating that apparently he had a defective unit...and got a new one, which worked.

Do you think this might be my issue as well? I'm still kind of hoping to find some workaround/solution, but as it looks as if I'm one of the only people experiencing this specific issue (others on these boards seem to be able to connect fine with iPhones) and the only other person apparently had a defective unit, my hope is diminishing by the minute. I was planning on having everything installed this weekend but now it looks as if I'm facing a long process of sending back the unit which I bought online and waiting for a replacement (hopefully the retailer will not tell me they are going to send it back to the manufacturer to have it repaired but instead offer me a replacement unit immediately). In any case, chances are few I will have it all installed before leaving on our 3-week road trip through Europe. What a pity...

In any case, still open (hoping) for other suggestions :) thanks for the help.
 
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#4
I would return it and get a new one. Sounds like your unit is defective. If you can't wait for your trip, send it back, wait for the new one, and buy a cheap dashcam for the trip. Like the mobius dashcam. Good luck.
 

Dee_82

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#5
First things first, are you using the thinkware SD card? if no use it and rear on

Secondly, download the firmware from here
http://www.thinkware.com/Support/Download

unzip the file and copy contents to the root of the thinkware card

insert the card and turn the camera on, the device will update.

power cycle the camera then try reconnect

its important you have used the thinkware card after reflashing, thinkware have told me that an SD card that's not 100% compatible can potentially mess up the software on the camera, reflashing being the only way for us to fix it.
 
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JT86

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#6
First things first, are you using the thinkware SD card? if no use it and rear on

Secondly, download the firmware from here
http://www.thinkware.com/Support/Download

unzip the file and copy contents to the root of the thinkware card

insert the card and turn the camera on, the device will update.

power cycle the camera then try reconnect

its important you have used the thinkware card after reflashing, thinkware have told me that an SD card that's not 100% compatible can potentially mess up the software on the camera, reflashing being the only way for us to fix it.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply! I was amazed to see that the steps you described actually worked :)

The weird thing is though, that I was using the Thinkware SD card the first day I was trying to get everything functioning, and my iPhone would not connect to the dash cam unit over wifi. As I had another (already empty) SD card lying around, I installed the firmware onto that one and followed the steps to install it in the dash cam unit (although the firmware version was the same as the one already on the unit; however, I downloaded the version for the Netherlands (I'm in Belgium) and hoped that would perhaps change things). However, the firmware installed (using the non-Thinkware SD card) but the problem of not being able to connect via wifi persisted.

I have now tried the steps you described, re-installing the Netherlands firmware AGAIN but this time with the Thinkware SD card, and then power cycling the camera (had to look it up how to do it, but apparently you need to disconnect power and hold the power button for about 10 seconds - never know someone else might read this thread later on in search of a solution to the same problem).

After powering on again, I was able to connect to wifi without any issues! I even connected the rear camera and also worked perfectly; was able to install both cameras and only have the wiring to properly hide tonight and install the hardwire kit to enable parking mode. Also still have to figure out ADAS etc., but that's cool.

So thanks a bunch! Really helped and glad I didn't have to return it.

Just a few additional questions though:
1.)
Do you really think the SD card was the issue? I haven't retried it with another SD card since, but the reason why I cheaped out on the purchase and went with the Thinkware 16GB model is because I have (multiple) high-capacity and high-write/read speed SD cards lying around so I didn't want to shell out more $$$ for an extra card. However, now it appears the Thinkware does not accept all SD cards? Would I run into additional difficulties besides not being able to connect via WiFi by using another SD card?

The one I tried yesterday was a 16GB version, but I have a decent Sandisk Extreme 64GB as well which I was planning on using; I'll try that one tonight and hopefully it will work, because otherwise I'll have to buy an additional Thinkware SD card separately (I don't even know if they're sold separately?)

2.) I have another question with regard to the speed cam data; I could have sworn that when I checked the Thinkware support page before buying the F770, the F750 page had Speed Cam Data for "Europe". However, when I check the page now the F750 page is the same as the F770 and only has the following countries: USA, Canada, Kuwait, Russia, UK, Australia, Singapore.

Anybody know where the Europe speed cam data went? I was initially going to ask whether I could install the F750 speed cam data on the F770 (it's only information after all, right?), but now it appears the Europe file is no longer there so the question is now actually: can I get this info from another source? The page states it's "dx2"-files, so do I need to wait until Thinkware updates its support page or can I get this from another source?

Thanks again for your help guys, really appreciated! Glad that I was able to get it to work in the end :) and let's hope it was a one-time hiccup for the unit itself!
 

Dee_82

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#7
hey, glade to hear that it worked!

Its an odd one ill admit, but as for your questions

1, unless you buy a thinkware card you can not guarantee that It will work. people will say x y and z have worked for them and that's wonderful for them but no two cards are alike meaning you might not be so lucky. The speed you see on a card isn't anything to do with whether the card will work or not, from my own tests it appears that its actually random READS that cause the problem and you cant buy a card with a specific random read figure, they just aren't sold that way. What that essentially means is that its a guess if its going to work or not and nothing more. To be clear, I have 2 identical cards, same brand, same model, both highspeed 50MBps cards, one works, one doesn't and the only difference between performance is random reads.

Can that then cause the problems on the device like thinkware said? possibly, my theory is that the camera uses the SD card for operations, perhaps processing data, perhaps using like a scratch disk or swap file, perhaps if that data isn't read back correctly or quick enough the camera might load back the wrong data which then might corrupt the device? I dunno, but its the most plausible thing I can think of with the information I have. What we do know is that you and I have both had problems which came about after using a 3rd party card, which was then fixed by using a thinkware card and reflashing the device.

2, The F750 camera is hardware identical to the newer F770, In fact I have installed the f770 firmware on my 750 turning it in to a 770 :D if I were to take a guess about the camera data, id say that its probably identical to the f750 data, albeit that might not be as up todate, ive analysed the two data files from a f750 and an f770 and the structure is pretty much the same, so if I had to guess, it should work certainly the 770 data on my 750 works.
 
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JT86

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#8
hey, glade to hear that it worked!

Its an odd one ill admit, but as for your questions

1, unless you buy a thinkware card you can not guarantee that It will work. people will say x y and z have worked for them and that's wonderful for them but no two cards are alike meaning you might not be so lucky. The speed you see on a card isn't anything to do with whether the card will work or not, from my own tests it appears that its actually random READS that cause the problem and you cant buy a card with a specific random read figure, they just aren't sold that way. What that essentially means is that its a guess if its going to work or not and nothing more. To be clear, I have 2 identical cards, same brand, same model, both highspeed 50MBps cards, one works, one doesn't and the only difference between performance is random reads.

Can that then cause the problems on the device like thinkware said? possibly, my theory is that the camera uses the SD card for operations, perhaps processing data, perhaps using like a scratch disk or swap file, perhaps if that data isn't read back correctly or quick enough the camera might load back the wrong data which then might corrupt the device? I dunno, but its the most plausible thing I can think of with the information I have. What we do know is that you and I have both had problems which came about after using a 3rd party card, which was then fixed by using a thinkware card and reflashing the device.

2, The F750 camera is hardware identical to the newer F770, In fact I have installed the f770 firmware on my 750 turning it in to a 770 :D if I were to take a guess about the camera data, id say that its probably identical to the f750 data, albeit that might not be as up todate, ive analysed the two data files from a f750 and an f770 and the structure is pretty much the same, so if I had to guess, it should work certainly the 770 data on my 750 works.
Hi Dee_82! Thanks for your quick reply again and also once again thanks for your help :)

Very odd situation with regard to the SD cards it appears, especially given the example of the two identical cards...guess there's nothing I can do but test the 64GB Sandisk I have tonight and cross my fingers/hope for the best! With regard to corruption after using a 3rd party card; I should note that the wifi connection didn't work from the start, even when I was using the Thinkware SD card; I then installed the firmware for the Netherlands (which was actually the same version (1.00.2 I believe)) using a 3rd party card, and the situation did not improve. However, indeed after re-installing the firmware again with the Thinkware SD card and reflashing, it did work. So using the 3rd party card certainly didn't improve the situation, but I was experiencing difficulties before that as well (I'm just noting that as we're all trying to learn from experiences I suppose so just clarifying to get things 100% clear :)).

I will try with the Sandisk tonight and report back! I've also read that formatting the cards with special software might help, so if it doesn't succeed at first maybe I'll give that a go.

With regard to the speed cam data: it's very very odd, I'm sure that a few days ago the download list for the speed cam data on the Thinkware Support page only listed like 3-4 options, and "Europe" was one of them (which is quite useful to have in case of a roadtrip (such as my case)). However, both the F750 and F770 pages now only list the countries which I mentioned above. The UK is geographically the closest for me, but as I'm not planning on going there any time soon that won't be of much help for the moment :)

I just contacted the Thinkware helpdesk to inquire towards the availability of the files for Europe, and also asked them if I'm seeing ghosts or my mind is playing tricks on me with regard to the previous availability of the "Europe" data file. The guy asked for my e-mail address and was going to check with Thinkware (it was the BeNe support desk) and he'll let me know.

Cheers!
 

Dee_82

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#9
the software is called SDformatter, its basically created by the chaps who made the standard but there isn't much difference compared to any other formatting program as they all use the same commands. There is some evidence to suggest that SDcard manufactures use the secure storage of the card to do some funky caching, or something like that, from what ive read else where, they may use this area to make the card appear faster than it would normally be, think of it like prefetch on windows, the problem with prefetch is that its only useful if it knows whats coming next which is at odds with the random reading I mentioned before and is perfect for sequential data. its worth a shot but in my experience it might not be successful its also worth noting that no one makes software to clear that cache, even SDformatter wont do it, cluster size is another one you can play about with which might help. Interestingly slower cards tend to be more likely to work, but not too slow because the camera will need 20-25 Mbps to function. Its a lottery, you might get it working, it might work for a while, it might not work at all :(

Ive always said this every time this comes up, don't spend money you cant afford to waste if the card doesn't work and your unable to return it. you could end up with a really useless paperweight. If in any doubt, spend a little more and get a thinkware card, you know that will work then.
 
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JT86

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#10
Just a small update: haven't had the time to fiddle around with another SD card yet: I'll probably do that tonight.

I did get a reply from the Thinkware helpdesk though, and the guy told me that they're currently re-uploading the speed cam data for Europe. He provided me the file through e-mail as well, which I installed yesterday and verified is working in Belgium - nice!
 

Dee_82

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#11
excellent news, hope it works out this time!
 
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#12
Just a small update: haven't had the time to fiddle around with another SD card yet: I'll probably do that tonight.

I did get a reply from the Thinkware helpdesk though, and the guy told me that they're currently re-uploading the speed cam data for Europe. He provided me the file through e-mail as well, which I installed yesterday and verified is working in Belgium - nice!
I am off to France in a few weeks. How do I know whether I have the latest data from Thinkware?

Where do they get their database from? I use PocketGPSworld.com in the UK. They have, in my opinion, the latest and most updated data.

On the Thinkware software update page it asks you to choose which country. Does selecting UK include Europe?
 

Dee_82

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#13
i honestly couldn't tell you if it includes Europe, but I suspect not, or they would have said Europe on it. as for knowing which version its using, I believe you can use the thinkware video viewer to see which version is installed, don't hold me to that as ive not tried but I'm sure there was an option that allowed you to see what was installed, of course it wont hurt to just get the latest version available and overwrite what is on it.
 
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#14
Guys. I've gotta the same Wi-Fi connectivity issue. Whenever trying to view a file, the connection would have dropped.
I've tried updating the firmware n even upgrading to MX player Pro, but it didn't help. It was later discovered that without selecting the power savering on my Samsung Note 5 actually worked!
So, you might like to give this a try.
Have lucks!
 
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#15
I have e-mailed Thinkware UK and they replied that there is no speed cam data for Europe!

Their actual reply was :-
As far as I'm aware, this department doesn't have access to any of the speed cam data before it's released. I'm not sure who this forum member spoke to, but it wouldn't have been this team, I'm afraid.

If any body can categorically state otherwise, please let me know.

 

dhavie

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#16
Having the same problem on the wifi conncetion to Iphone 6+ with software version 9.3.4 and 9.3.5. Try to use android and it takes time to connect too. Is anyone have found out what is the problem. Just get this F770 yesterday.

Now, it is intermittent. On and off.........:mad::mad::mad:
 

dhavie

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#18
Having the same problem on the wifi conncetion to Iphone 6+ with software version 9.3.4 and 9.3.5. Try to use android and it takes time to connect too. Is anyone have found out what is the problem. Just get this F770 yesterday.

Now, it is intermittent. On and off.........:mad::mad::mad:
Update 1 (7 Sept 2016): As per our local dealer/retailer advice the following and now it can connect easily. Just get it done yesterday and monitoring now.
  1. Please uninstall the apps and reinstall again
  2. Download the firmware from www.thinkware.com
  3. Format you SD Card via Viewer (Note: Please kindly back up all media files that you need it before formatting the sd card)
  4. Unzip the downloaded folder and copy to the sd card.
  5. Plug the SD Card back to the cam and power on (Please ensure the car ignition is on) The initialization will take between 3 to 5 minutes and sometimes longer.
  6. Please follow the voice notification.
  7. Turn on the wifi in your Phone Setting Page and connect to the cam
  8. Open the apps and listen to the voice notification.
After the above instruction, I am not sure if the firmware is the problem or not but I am monitoring the situation now. So far it is ok.
 

kmarnes

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#20
Hmmm, I temporarily ran into a similar issue today when I switched out my F750 with a new F770. I moved the bigger non-Thinkware 64GB card into the new unit, formatted it, and was able to connect sporadically. Things went downhill after I changed the wifi name and password. Took forever before I could connect successfully. I fully power cycled both the camera and my phone before it would finally work.
 
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