Vantrue E1 / E1 Lite - Unboxing, Initial Testing

rcg530

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Dash Cam
BlackVue, Thinkware, VIOFO, Vantrue, Blueskysea, FineVu
A Vantrue representative reached out to me to see if I wanted to review the new Vantrue Element 1 (E1) dash camera.

Vantrue is sending me a Vantrue E1 dash camera ($150 USD), CPL filter ($20 USD), hardwire kit ($19 USD) and a Vantrue branded 128GB microSD card ($37 USD).

The E1 + CPL filter can be purchased from Vantrue on Amazon with bundle pricing of $140 USD. Other Vantrue E1 bundles exist on Amazon (sold by Vantrue) to help reduce the total cost.

I just received the hardwire kit and the microSD card.

Vantrue Cycle High Endurance 128GB microSD Card

The 128GB microSD card that I received was already formatted with a FAT32 file system with 64KB (65,536) file allocation unit size. The list price for this microSD card is $37 USD on Amazon.

I ran H2testw on my Windows 10 laptop with USB 3 microSD card adapter being used to access the microSD card.

The Vantrue marketing info claims transfer read speeds up to 100MB/s, writing speed 70MB/s. The H2testw test was able to exceed the claimed writing speed of 70 MB/s with a test result of 75.8 MB/s. This test did not hit the claimed max of 100 MB/s read speed with a result of 88.3 MB/s, but that read speed is the most common max read speed I can obtain with my Windows 10 laptop and the USB 3 microSD card reader.

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Vantrue USB Type C Hardwire Kit

This Vantrue USB Type C hardwire kit is a 2-wire kit. It supports vehicles with 12-volt or 24-volt based power systems. It has a low voltage cutoff feature with to voltage selections 11.6V/23.2V or 12.0V/24.0V. The Vantrue hardwire kit has a list price of $19 USD on Amazon.

You connect the red wire to constant power to support the vehicle motion based parking mode in the dash camera or you connect the red wire to accessory power (switched) to have the dash camera turn on/off based on the state of the accessory power. You connect the black wire to a vehicle grounding point near the fuse box (if using the fuse taps) or the dash camera battery pack output power port's ground wire (if using a dash camera batter pack).

The hardwire kit comes a total of four fuse taps (one for each of the common fuse types - Low Profile Mini, Mini, Micro2 and ATO). The fuse tap upper fuse socket is already populated with a 5 amp fuse. The fuse taps and the hardwire kit's red wire already have crimped on connectors to make that connection quick and easy.

The product marking info states the wiring for this item has a total length of 11.5 ft (3.5 meters). My measurements are 39 inches (1 meter) for the 12V/24V input power wires, 3 inches (7.62 cm) for the power adapter with low voltage cutoff and 98 inches (2.5 meters) for the output power USB Type C cable.

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Vantrue Element 1 (E1) Specifications

Here's a compilation of specifications from the E1 user manual and the Vantrue website marketing info. After I receive the E1, I will begin testing some of the claiming including how exactly the parking mode features work.
  • Single channel dash camera
  • Sony STARVIS IMX335 image sensor
  • F/1.8 aperture
  • 160 degree viewing angle
  • MicroSD card sizes up to 512 GB
  • USB Type C port
  • 1.54" LCD screen
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 12-month warranty, but is extended to 18 months when registered
  • iOS and Android app “Vantrue Cam”
  • Video Resolutions Supported
    • 2592x1944P 30FPS; 2560x1440P(HDR) 30FPS; 2560x1440P 30FPS; 1920x1080P 60FPS;
    • 1920x1080P(HDR) 30FPS; 1920x1080P 30FPS; 1280x720P(HDR) 30FPS; 1280x720P 30FPS
  • Video Codec
    • H.265
  • Parking Mode Settings
    • All of the supported parking modes begin by having the vehicle stationary for 5 minutes (no vehicle movement and no vehicle impacts being detected)
    • Starting with the VT-EBG311 firmware (01-Aug-2022), you can long press the bottom center button while the E1 is in normal recording mode to have the E1 manually enter parking mode.
      Firmware versions before VT-EBG311, you can long press the
      1658268619319.png
      button to manually enter parking mode.
    • Collision Detection
      • Collision detection sensitivity can be adjusted from level 1 to level 5.
      • It will record for 1 minute after the impact event has been detected
    • Motion Detection
      • Three user selectable levels: low / medium / high
      • Corresponding motion detection ranges of 6.6 ft / 13 ft / 19.7 ft
      • When motion is detected the camera records for 35 seconds
      • Note (from user manual)
        • The resolutions of 1944P and 1440P HDR do not support the pre-recording function, so after enabling motion detection, the resolution will automatically be changed to 1440P for recording (? Need to test)
    • Low Bitrate Recording
      • After 5 minutes with no vehicle motion, the camera resolution is changed to 1080P 15FPS or 720P 15FPS (depending on the user selection)
      • The camera exits this mode when the vehicle is moved, or the camera/vehicle has an impact event
      • Audio is recorded
    • Low Framerate Mode
      • User selectable 1 FPS / 5 FPS / 10 FPS / 15 FPS
      • No audio
    • OFF
  • Time Lapse
    • Time-lapse video recording and parking mode (including collision detection, motion detection, low bit rate recording, and low framerate mode) can only be enabled one at a time. When one is enabled, the other will be automatically disabled
    • User selectable 1 FPS / 5 FPS / 10 FPS / 15 FPS
  • GPS
    • The camera time will be updated from the GPS time value
    • User selectable time zone setting – need to adjust for DST changes
  • Wireless Remote Control
    • A wireless remote control is provided which can be used to quickly control the camera to take a picture, an emergency video, set recording on/off and perform other functions
  • Voice Assistant
    • The E1 supports using voice commands to control the camera
    • Supported languages are English, Japanese, Russian and Chinese
  • Working Temperature
    • -4F to 158F (-20C to 70C)
 

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Right on Robert,
This sounds really neat.
This is the first I'm hearing of a two wire hardwire kit.
That should simplify install for consumers not experienced in electrical wiring.

Does this also mean a consumer can have parking mode by using a regular cigarette lighter power adapter plugged into a "constant hot" power point?
That would simplify install even more for the consumer. lol
-Chuck
 
Does this also mean a consumer can have parking mode by using a regular cigarette lighter power adapter plugged into a "constant hot" power point?
That would simplify install even more for the consumer.
Yes, the consumer could power it from a cigarette lighter/power port in their car that has constant power. The downside to that approach is that there is no low voltage monitoring taking place which could lead to a no start situation if the vehicle's battery is drained too low by the dash camera.

The E1 user manual states:

To ensure the camera works properly in park mode, please use the
hardwire kits or other stable and continuous power supply to power the
dash cam.
 
The more I read about the E1, the more I'm intrigued.
I just read it has a voice command for "lock the video".
That is really neat.

If Viofo had this voice command, consumers wouldn't need to spend an additional $20 on the bluetooth remote.
Or, have to worry about where to mount the remote, or replace the battery once a year.
 
The Vantrue E1 dash camera comes with a wireless remote in the box. It can turn on/off audio recording and lock the currently recording video file and the user manual states it takes a photo at that same time.
 
I request a "Rock 'em Sock 'em" shootout between the E1 vs. A119 Mini.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Let's get ready to rumble. lol
-Chuck
 
Vantrue E1 CPL Filter

Today, I received the Vantrue E1 optional 40mm CPL filter. The box contains the CPL filter and a cleaning cloth. The CPL has two sections to it which allows the CPL filter to be adjusted while installed on the E1. I'll know more when I get the Vantrue E1 dash camera early next week.

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Thanks for the update.
If it's adjustable, I can already see consumer complaints stemming from misadjustment.
How come manufactures don't make a "fixed" CPL Filter that can never go out of adjustment?
It that sacralige to say? lol
-Chuck
 
Today, I received the Vantrue E1 dash camera package. Here are the items in the box.

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The E1 measures 1.75"/44.5mm on each side of its case and it measures 1.8125"/46mm from the back screen to the front edge of the front lens. I used the optional hardwire kit to power up the E1 for some initial configuration of the settings. Its default video resolution is 2560x1440P(HDR) 30fps. The menu navigation buttons are located on the bottom of the camera.

The one slightly annoying thing is the middle button is used to move downward or to the right in the menu options. There's no up or left button so if you missed the setting you wanted, you need to circle back through the entire list. I noticed that behavior when I was attempting to select the time zone setting and missed it by one requiring another trip through the list of time zone options.

The E1 has a voice control feature. It seems to work well, but there's no voice control wake up word/phrase. For example if you want to turn on the screen, you state "Turn On Screen". I tried "Vantrue, Turn On Screen" and that did not work. The command phrases are not likely to occur in your everyday conversations while driving your vehicle, but it might be nice to have a voice control attention/wake up phrase to help protect against inadvertent command invocations by the E1.

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The optional CPL filter screws on to the front of the E1's lens area. The CPL filter can be rotated/adjusted. This next picture is with no CPL filter installed and the remaining are with the CPL filter installed.

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So cool.
This is literally the most "dash cam looking" dash cam I've ever seen. lol
I see the power cable is permanetly attached to the charger head.
Those are NOT my favorite.
I prefer the separate USB cable, and charger.
The are so much more flexible, and install freindly.
I'm excited to see test footage of pot holes, or railroad tracks to see how much vibration is transfered from the stalk mount.
-Chuck
 
Vantrue E1 - Power Consumption Testing - Initial Results

I spent the afternoon testing out the Vantrue E1 to see how much power it consumes in the various modes of operation it supports. I used the Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit with low voltage cutoff support at 12.0V and 11.6V.

Normal Mode Recording Power Consumption Tests - 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps vs 2560x1440p 30fps

It appears that setting the video resolution to include HDR bumps up the power draw by about 25 mA / 0.3 Watts.

Parking Modes


Only one of them can be selected at a time.

Parking Mode - Entry - *Modified 03-Aug-2022*

All of the supported parking modes begin by having the vehicle stationary for 5 minutes (no vehicle movement and no vehicle impacts being detected)

Starting with the VT-EBG311 firmware (01-Aug-2022), you can long press the bottom center button while the E1 is in normal recording mode to have the E1 manually enter parking mode.
Firmware versions before VT-EBG311, you can long press the
1658268619319.png
button to manually enter parking mode.

Parking Mode - Exit - *Added 01-Aug-2022*

When the E1's G-sensor detects vehicle movement, the E1 will exit the currently active parking mode and return to normal mode recording.

Collision Detection

This parking mode is a super power saver for the E1. After the vehicle is stationary for 5 minutes, it enters into this parking mode by performing a "power down" by going into what I would call a deep sleep state. While in this deep sleep state, the E1 consumes only 8 mA / 0.1 Watts (part of that being from the hardwire power adapter). When an impact is detected by the E1, it begins a power up process which takes about 9.5 seconds to accomplish and begin recording. The E1 records for 60 seconds and then it goes back into its sleep mode. If the dash camera continues to detect impacts during collision detection recording, it will exit the collision detection mode and enter normal recording mode and it will re-enter collision detection mode when the vehicle remains stationary for 5 minutes.


Motion Detection

After the vehicle is stationary for 5 minutes, the E1 will enter into motion detection parking mode. You can select a sensitivity level from 1 to 5 when you select this parking mode in the firmware settings. The default sensitivity value is 3. When the E1 detects any visible motion in the field of view, it will start recording video including between 3 to 5 seconds before the motion event and 30 seconds after it detected motion for a total of 35 seconds.

Video resolution settings of 1944P and 1440P HDR do not support pre-recording (buffering) function. After enabling motion detection parking mode, the video resolution will automatically be changed to 1440P for recording.

Low Bitrate

When you select the "Low Bitrate' parking mode, you will need to select if you want it to record 1080p 15fps video or 720p 15fps video. After the vehicle is stationary for 5 minutes, the resolution and fps will be changed to the value selected and it will record video with audio for however long it is in this parking mode.

Low Framerate

When you select the "Low Framerate parking mode, you will need to select how many frames per second to use while recording the video (which does not contain any audio). You can select 1 fps/5 fps (default)/10 fps/15 fps.

Hardwire Kit - Low Voltage Cutoff Testing

When I test a hardwire kit with a low voltage cutoff feature, I test to see at what actual voltage level it turns off power to the dash camera. The Vantrue USB-C 2-wire hardwire kit has two voltage selections 12.0V/24.0V or 11.6V/23.2V. I'm testing it using power from a 12-volt power supply. I selected the 12.0V low voltage cutoff value.

Unfortunately, the Vantrue hardwire kit's low voltage cutoff feature did not work. I start my testing with the voltage level set to 12.6 volts. I drop the voltage level by 0.10 volts and I wait 2 or more minutes to see if the low voltage cutoff logic kicks in to power down the dash camera. I drop the voltage by 0.10 volts until I reach the configured voltage level and then I drop it by 0.05 volts until I reach the voltage threshold where the low voltage cutoff logic kicks in. I tested voltages all the way down to 11.25 volts and it never turned off the power to the E1 dash camera. I've sent an inquiry to Vantrue about this behavior.

03-Aug-2022 Update:

I was sent a second Vantrue hardwire kit to test. This second hardwire kit successfully powered down the E1 after the input voltage reached 11.90 volts and was kept at the level for 47 seconds on test 1 and 1 minute 54 seconds on test two. After the power to the E1 was turned off, I measured the power consumed by the hardwire kit in this state and it was consuming 2 mA / 0.024 Watts.

I then wanted to see when the hardwire kit would restore power to the E1 as the voltage level was increased. I increased the input voltage in 0.05 increments and I left the voltage at that level for 2 minutes. When I increased the voltage from 12.30 to 12.35, the hardwire kit supplied power to the E1 within 7 seconds of having the input voltage set to 12.35 volts.

Power Consumption Results - Updated 03-Aug-2022

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E1 Firmware

On 25-July-2022, Vantrue released a firmware update for the E1. Version VT-EBG021. I updated my E1 with that firmware version before performing my power consumption tests.

Firmware VT-EBG021 - Time Zone - Screen Bug

I found a strange situation when trying to access the "Time Zone" firmware settings screen/page. After I updated to the VT-EBG021 firmware, I used the firmware option to reset all settings to their firmware defaults. That results in you selecting the firmware settings just like you powered up the E1 for the first time. As part of that initial power up firmware settings step, you are prompted for the time zone. That screen looks okay. After using the E1 for some amount of time to gather the power consumption test results, I returned to the settings page for the time zone and that's when I found what looks like a page for another setting when you first enter the "Time Zone" setting page. If you press the down button it corrects the screen to the list of time zones. I've reported this bug to Vantrue.

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E1 Firmware - 27-July-2022 - Version VT-EBG261

Vantrue let me know that another firmware version was available for the E1. The new version is VT-EBG261. The version released on 25-July-2022 was VT-EBG021.

I installed firmware version VT-EBG261. After the initial power up prompts for language, time zone, etc, I started the E1's Wi-Fi to connect from the Android Vantrue app to set the "Car Number Plate" value with my company tag of RCG530. As I typed the value the Wi-Fi connection was lost. When I connected to the E1, I clicked on the OK button on the popup page asking if I want to allow the Wi-Fi connection to be used even though it does not have access to the internet. I do that same thing for all other dash cameras and that is sufficient to keep the connection alive while in the dash camera's app.

I then returned to the E1 and accessed the settings page for the "Time Zone" setting and the same invalid page (see previous post) was displayed as I entered that firmware setting page.

I've reported my results to Vantrue.
 
I installed firmware version VT-EBG261
I have a modified version of firmware VT-EBG141 (20200714) installed with an increased
bitrate and new video parameters. Works good. By the way, the mobile application has been
updated to version 2.1.1.
 
How do you do the firmware updates? I was unable to find an option in the app anywhere. When I look where the instruction manual says to go there's nothing there.
 
I know that place, from you working on other firmware's.
I do not post the modified version anywhere yet, as I am testing this firmware myself.
The video has become much better in quality. The only thing you need is a high-speed
memory card, since the bitrate is increased...
 
I put together a quick sample of video from the Vantrue E1, VIOFO A119 Mini, A229 Duo front camera and the T130-3CH front camera all with a CPL filter installed. The Vantrue E1 has some noticeable video stuttering going on. The video from earlier in the day's route did not have as much stuttering, but it was present if you watched very closely for it.

I included a quick test of the internal microphone audio levels. Once again, the VIOFO A119 Mini's audio level is almost silent compared to the other dash cameras. I have a test version of the A119 Mini firmware that is reported to "optimize" the audio level, but it does not seem to boost it to a level that is usable.

 
I was reviewing a variety of video files from my 29-July-2022 weekly shopping trip route. I found that while driving on sections of the road that have some ripples in the roadway surface (on the 30 minute drive back to my home), the E1 microphone is either rattling itself or picking up something in the E1 that is rattling. The other three dash cameras don’t seem to have this type of static in their audio while traveling on the same road surface type.

When I examine the E1 video’s audio track vs the A229 Duo video’s audio track, the audio in the E1 mono audio track is boosted so loud that it may be contributing to how prominent the static noise is in the E1’s audio track. The E1’s audio static noises could still be a physical noise within the camera. I have the E1 mounted using the GPS mount on the windshield about 3 inches to the left of the center rear view mirror. The A229 Duo is mounted about 5 inches to the right of the center rear view mirror.

I have the E1’s audio track positioned a little different than the default layout in Adobe Premiere Pro. A1 = E1 Audio, A2 = A229 Duo Audio, V1 = A229 Duo Video, V2 = E1 Video

The A229 Duo’s audio level is in the -15db to -21db level. The E1’s audio levels are in the -6db to -3db. The E1’s audio is being overboosted and I believe the db level could be reduced to make it more usable/normal.

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The E1 has VT-EBG261 firmware installed. I've reported my findings to Vantrue.
 
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