Troubleshooting Guide for VIOFO A119S or A119 Dash Cams

BCHobbyist

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A129Duo-8WL A119Pro-9Tm A119S-6Vk A119V3 GitUp G3+F1 DCTeam
I've noticed a large number of preventable Dash Cam failures being reported. My long Troubleshooting Guide doesn't cover everything but with input from everyone it can be continually updated to include new tests and fixes. Starting with simple verifications for all accessories such as microSD card functionality, quality, class and speed. Cheap or fake cards will cause all types of issues. For testing use original cables and adapters, then swap to shorter cables and alternate power source.

Solutions and Suggestions to Prevent Failures
Did you insert or remove the memory card while powered on? <<always Power OFF / disconnect power before inserting/ejecting memory card>>
Did you remove memory card after disconnecting power but while REC button light was red? <<always wait 10 seconds after disconnecting power before card eject/insert>>
Firmware Update does nothing stays on previous version? <<Boot Loader incorrectly applied by Vendor/VIOFO, click my Avatar start Private conversation>>
Issues with videos clips recording to memory card? <<set Loop Recording for 1min, 2min or 3min, for high bitrate/file sizes use 1 or 2min>>
Memory card randomly not detected correctly, Format Required message reappearing? <<remove then clean card contacts reinsert, see video at bottom>>[@Borg]
Startup stuck on Logo screen? <<disconnect power wait 10 seconds for red REC light to go out (drain caps), reconnect power>>[@Borg]
Own GPS Module version1 gold pin contacts with repeated Restarts? <<poor power connection, Get V2 else stabilize mount, clean contacts, secure tiny 4contact plate, see video below>>
Dashcam repeatedly Restarts when driving? <<poor power connection, check adapter & cable connections, clean contacts, GOTO Part C>>
Do you use the Car Number & Custom Text options? <<clear them manually before updating firmware>>
Does power source provide stable 5volts and 1-3Amps with no other device sharing the load? <<test with another device or swap out>>
Did you attempt to update Firmware using a Power Bank and update failed? <<suggest vehicle power or indoor 1-3Amp 5volt power adapter>>
Did you update Firmware using computer low power USB 2.0 port? <<reduce the risk, see video at bottom>>
Did you download and copy the correct Firmware binary file for your Dashcam? <<triple check and if unsure do not update>>
Do you use 128GB memory card for Firmware updates then strange issues occurred? <<works well on quality cards but reduce risk use smaller card>>
After updating Firmware do you perform Default Settings clearing? <<start doing this anyway>>

The following procedure can identify and resolve numerous VIOFO Dashcam issues.
Use at your own risk, I am not responsible for any damage or injury, but accept Likes.

Troubleshooting Common Issues on A119 or A119S (may apply to A119 PRO & A129) [BCHobbyist]
Part A - Power on Bare Bones Test

1) detach Dashcam from GPS Mount.
2) remove microSD memory card.
3) connect power cable to miniUSB side port on Dashcam.
4) turn On Power (vehicle ignition or 5volt charger).
5) press Menu button then select Default Settings.
6) // IF Dashcam Stuck THEN CONTINUE Part B ELSE Dashcam works GOTO Part C //

Part B - Firmware Reload (Updating LOADER file is for Dead Cams, skip Steps 3-6)
1) download A119S current or older version 2 Firmware binary file FWA119S.BIN
download A119 current or older version 3 Firmware binary file FWBA119.BIN
2) download A119S current or older version 2 Loader binary file LDA119S.BIN
download A119 current or older version 3 Loader binary file LDBA119.BIN
3) connect 16-64GB microSD card to computer and copy Loader LD file for matching device to root of card (not subfolder)
verify correct binary file matches your Dashcam model (do NOT load wrong file)
4) safely remove microSD card from computer, then insert into Dashcam without power connected.
5) connect cable to Dashcam miniUSB side port using 5 volt 1-3Amp power from vehicle adapter or indoor smartphone/tablet charger (NOT power bank, NOT computer USB port)
6) wait 60 seconds for DVR to restart then disconnect power cable from side port.
7) remove memory card from Dashcam.
8) connect microSD card to computer, MUST Delete Loader binary file if found.
9) now copy Firmware FW file for matching device to root of card (not subfolder)
10) safely remove microSD card from computer, then insert into Dashcam without power connected.
11) connect cable to Dashcam miniUSB side port using 5 volt 1-3Amp power from vehicle adapter or indoor smartphone/tablet charger (NOT power bank, NOT computer USB port)
12) note if REC button blinks red, wait until Dashcam Restarts (60sec) with chime, or if no blinks wait 60 seconds then disconnect power cable from side port.
13) press Menu button then select Default Settings > OK, after any Firmware Updates.
14) // IF Dashcam Stuck THEN CONTINUE Part C ELSE Dashcam works GOTO END //

Part C - External Hardware Inspection
1) verify Dashcam miniUSB side power port is undamaged or loose.
2) verify USB Power cable functions and undamaged ELSE swap-out use another.
3) verify Power source/adapter is stable and undamaged ELSE swap-out use another.
4) verify internal 28pin wide Ribbon cable from Lens module to mainboard is fully inserted, straight and undamaged or cracked on edge near clip. [@BlackCloud]
5) verify GPS backplate contacts and plate are clean and undamaged.
6) verify original version 1 gold pins are undamaged and Dashcam back connector plate isn't loose. (see Improve Conductivity video below)
7) verify microSD card is FAT32 partition, functional and undamaged (do not use 128GB cards while repairing)
8) insert microSD card while Power Off, then connect live Power cable to side port, // IF starts up GOTO END //
9) insert paper clip end into side Reset hole marked with R, hold in 10 seconds without Power cable, then connect Power and hold 10 seconds.
10) // IF Dashcam Stuck THEN CONTINUE Part D ELSE Dashcam works GOTO END //

Part D - Internal Hardware Inspection (STOP if had no experience disassembling devices)
1) remove Dashcam back plate 4 screws, gently open cover like clam shell (see Disassemble video below)
2) verify thin speaker wires aren't melted to metal surface.
3) verify two large capacitor silver tops aren't slightly bulging, split or leaking.
4) verify thin GPS/Power bottom corner ribbon cable isn't damaged, broken and fully inserted.
5) gently lift Lens house and side plastic-click-gear out of case.
6) verify wide Lens/Sensor Ribbon cable is straight and fully inserted into latch, IF not open latch and reinsert. (see Disassemble video below)
7) verify wide Sensor Ribbon edges undamaged.
8) verify copper shield over chipset near ribbon latch isn't shorting out on battery (colored mylar insulation provides protection)
9) // IF Dashcam Stuck THEN CONTINUE Part E ELSE Dashcam works GOTO END //

Part E - Replace both Capacitors (STOP if had no experience solding)
1) with Dashcam back cover open gently detach Lens/Sensor Ribbon cable (less chance of scratching Lens)
2) remove 4 screws holding main circuit board to plastic frame.
3) gently lift top edge (sensor end) of circuit board to access reverse side of Capacitor solder joints.
4) draw diagram showing polarity of capacitors.
5) using 25 to 40watt soldering iron heat bottom joint then pull cap from opposite side to remove each wire. (experience needed)
6) trim new KamCap 3.3F 2.7V SuperCapacitor -or- Nichicon 3.3F 2.7V SuperCapacitor (-25C<->70C) connector leads to same length as originals. (depending on cap thickness for bending over)
7) carefully solder each new capacitor, verify polarity position twice (warning: else caps explode)
8) verify new capacitors bend into flat position.
9) reassemble Dashcam
10) Test using Bare Bones setup in Part A
END

good luck



 
Last edited:

Borg

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I've had a few cases recently where my A119S doesn't start correctly and stays on the VIFVO screen. If I just unplug it, wait for it to completely power down and plug it back in, it starts up fine.
It also sometimes acts like the card is not formatted correctly. In that case, I power down, pop the card out and back in, and power it back up.
One of these two usually occurs about once a week but otherwise, I have been very happy with mine.
 

Mineshaft

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Viofo A119S V2, 7G F1.6, FW A119S_180919_V4.0, GPS, CPL
Good post. Thanks for taking the time to put it up.
I was wondering about oxydized or dirty contacts over a period of time.
It can pose a problem with low voltage systems.
White vinyl eraser is a good suggestion.
So far so good.
 
OP
BCHobbyist

BCHobbyist

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A129Duo-8WL A119Pro-9Tm A119S-6Vk A119V3 GitUp G3+F1 DCTeam
I've had a few cases recently where my A119S doesn't start correctly and stays on the VIOFO screen. If I just unplug it, wait for it to completely power down and plug it back in, it starts up fine.
It also sometimes acts like the card is not formatted correctly. In that case, I power down, pop the card out and back in, and power it back up.
One of these two usually occurs about once a week but otherwise, I have been very happy with mine.
Thanks, added to Guide.
 
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