tips and tricks

Michael_K

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Dash Cam
Thinkware FA200 dual, D1-era dual camera (side view)
I just installed a car DVR, and wanted to share what I learned. But, apparently there's no thread to post any tips and tricks we've discovered regarding installation and usage.
A lot of our experiences probably don't justify their own thread, so I think that it would be useful to have 1 place for this. Then, other DIYers can learn.
Even if you mentioned it in another thread, please share it here. And, if you need a tip or trick for a certain situation, do ask!
 
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Michael_K

Michael_K

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Dash Cam
Thinkware FA200 dual, D1-era dual camera (side view)
I just installed a Thinkware FA200, which has wifi (to aim the camera, configure the settings, and view videos).
To use this feature, I'd activate its wifi radio, then tell my smartphone to connect to it. (Note that this is at home, so it's already connected to my LAN.) Android has a priority system (the first to connect has highest priority, and so on). However, it will not disconnect; so, I have to tell it to connect to the Thinkware device. So, even if you tell it to forget you LAN, then connect to your DVR, then re-connect to your LAN, it still won't auto-connect.
I wanted to avoid that hassle, so I went hunting for an app to automate that process. I found 2 (there may be more).
So, if you use your wifi-capable car DVR while connected to your LAN, and want to auto-connect to it, search for some kind of WIFI prioritizer app.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I wanted to avoid that hassle, so I went hunting for an app to automate that process. I found 2 (there may be more).
So, if you use your wifi-capable car DVR while connected to your LAN, and want to auto-connect to it, search for some kind of WIFI prioritizer app.
which apps?
 
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Michael_K

Michael_K

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Dash Cam
Thinkware FA200 dual, D1-era dual camera (side view)
I've been using this car DVR for many years (the resolution is 720x480) -- but, hey, it still works.
So, now that I have a new primary system, I figured that it would be great to use the old one for side cameras.

Happily, I had 2 things that made this project possible --
This old car DVR system is the perfect design: the cameras are separate from the main unit, and so they're tiny (about the size of 6 sugar cubes).
My car is a hatchback, so it has rear windows that don't move.

Here is the main unit.
44975

The sunroof headliner is off for another project. I pulled the trim away to show the mounting. It's mounted with a strip of steel that I bent into the proper shape to hold onto the structure.

Here is a side camera.
44976

Here it is mounted.
44977

The trick here is to have interior structure to which you can mount stuff.
 

SawMaster

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G1W-S, G1W-HC, G1W clone, B1W, K2S, B2W, (ex N2Pro & Mobius)
Just posted this as a response elsewhere but thought it might add something here; especially the making of a cardboard model to help in selecting a new cam.

1- Is the cam within the area my wipers will clear in the rain?
2- Is the cam going to interfere with my driving view to a degree where my safety is compromised?
3- Is the cam going to interfere with a car function?
4- Can I see the indicator light of the cam to know it is working from the driver's position?
5- Can I easily reach buttons I might need to use when driving?
6- How visible is the cam going to be from outside of the car? (Helps to deter theft)
7- Can I see things on the screen of the cam like parking mode and recording indicators? (Not really necessary but good to do where possible.)

And in all this, remember that the cam and cable needs to be removable from the mount, and when it can happen the card should be removable from the cam with it in the mount.

If you are considering which cam to buy, get it's dimensions from the website, cut a piece of cardboard to that size, mark on it approximately where the buttons and indicator lights are inside and where the lens is outside, then temporarily tape your cardboard model to different places as a test with you sitting in the driver's seat normally. Think about cable and mount removal space, and remember the cam has thickness your model won't have which might interfere with mirrors and such.

This should help you find what the possibilities are and guide you to the best location for that cam in your car. If you can't find a good location consider a cam with a different form-factor which might work better for you. Above all, never compromise your safety by having the cam block your needed view while driving. The whole idea of a dashcam is to enhance your driving safety, not to lessen it.

Phil
 
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