Vantrue E1 - Unboxing, Initial Testing

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rcg530

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I pulled the E1 off of its GPS windshield mount to install the EBG311 firmware update. I found that when I lightly tap any of the sides/screen of the E1 there's a buzzing metallic noise/rattle coming from the inside of the E1. I believe I've found the E1's audio track static/buzzing noise. I tried lightly holding the buttons to see if they were the source of the noise, but the noise continued. I've reported this to Vantrue.
 
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I've been trying to pin down an accurate description of how the Vantrue E1 enters and exits parking mode. I updated my previous post with this updated information.

Parking Mode - Entry - Updated 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

When the E1's G-sensor detects vehicle movement, the E1 will exit the currently active parking mode and return to normal mode recording.
 
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That matches what I've observed: it will not enter parking mode if there is visual motion. This makes sense if parking mode is set to motion, but if it's set for impact detection then it makes zero sense. The camera will never enter parking mode in most public places. I have impact detection set low while driving and high for parking which means since the camera pretty much never goes into parking mode it will likely not detect most impacts while parked either.
 
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Low Voltage Cutoff Testing

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.

Parking Mode - Entry

I've been working with Vantrue on pinning down a more accurate description of the requirements for the E1 to transition from normal mode recording to parking mode recording. Just a few days ago, I was told that entering parking mode required the vehicle to be stationary for 5 minutes and there needed to be nothing moving within the field of view of the camera.

Yesterday, I received an email from Vantrue stating that having nothing moving within the field of view of the camera was NOT a requirement for the E1. I tested that in my garage last night and the E1 did in fact enter parking mode with the vehicle being stationary for 5 minutes or during another test with the vehicle being stationary for 5 minutes while I walked from side-to-side within the field of view.

I thought maybe the latest firmware (EBG311) might have fixed something. I went on a test drive today and parked the vehicle for about 10.5 minutes. The E1 did not enter parking mode (low bitrate was the selected parking mode for the E1).

So, I supplied several video files to Vantrue to see if they have any additional feedback on how to get parking mode to begin solely with the vehicle being stationary for 5 minutes.
 

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Thanks for the update. I’ve given up on parking mode in this thing. It’s a fantastic dash cam in every other way, so it’s a shame it has been crippled by a lousy parking mode implementation. They should have just gone with a 3-wire setup like everyone else.
 

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After installing that latest August 1 firmware update the list of VoiceCommands has gone away in the settings. Previously under the option to activate voice commands and set the sensitivity, there was a menu item that would actually show you a list of commands. That is no more. Does anyone Have that list?
 
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I'm running the EBG311 firmware (2022-08-01) and it still has the list of commands. "System Setup > Voice Content".

Here's the list of commands from that screen:
  • Take Photo
  • Video Start
  • Turn On Audio
  • Turn Off Audio
  • Turn On Screen
  • Turn Off Screen
  • Turn On Wi-Fi
  • Turn Off Wi-Fi
  • Lock The Video
I just checked on the vantrue.net website and there is a now a E1_VT-EBH031.bin dated 2022-08-04. I have not downloaded that one yet. There's no changelog entry for version EBH031.

1659645946015.png
 
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I received a second E1 dash camera from Vantrue. The first unit had something that was rattling around on inside of the camera that was being picked up by the internal microphone. The second E1 does not have any noise makers inside of the unit.

I was hoping the second E1 might enter into parking mode when used in an actual vehicle that's being driven/parked. Unfortunately, the second E1 with firmware EBH031 (2022-08-04) still did not enter into parking mode during my weekly shopping trip. There were four times the vehicle was parked for more than 5 minutes that should have allowed the E1 to enter into parking mode, but it did not.

I've sent my testing findings to Vantrue. Their engineering group is currently looking into this issue and all of the files / info I've supplied to them this week.
 
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I created a couple of frame grabs from recent videos to see how well the 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps of the E1 captured plates in daytime use. I have a VIOFO A119 Mini, A229 Duo and T130 installed as well. I have to say I'm not impressed with the clarity of the plate captures. The first one is with my vehicle and the other vehicle traveling in different directions at about 25 MPH for both cars. The other one is from this week and both cars are traveling in the same direction. I zoomed in 500% on the plates so you can see how good/bad they are.

Different Directions:

plate_pic_25mph_diff_directions_20220729_v2.jpg

Same Direction:

plate_pic_same_direction_20220805_v2.jpg
 
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Here's a status update on the issues I've encountered with the Vantrue Element 1 (E1) dash camera

Parking Mode

I've tried all of the available firmware versions for the E1 up through EBH031 (released 2022-08-04). The E1 will enter parking mode while my car is parked in my garage and it works with objects moving in its field of view.

Parking mode still does not work on any route I've driven outside of my garage and the car has been parked at times for up to 45 minutes.

I've provided a lot of feedback / info to Vantrue and the Vantrue engineering group is continuing to check into the issue.

Vantrue Hardwire Kit for the S2/X4S/N4/N2S/E1

vantrue_hardwire_kit_04.jpg

When I attempted to test the low voltage cutoff feature of the Vantrue hardwire kit, I found the first hardwire kit I was sent did not actually cutoff the power to the E1 even when the input voltage was nearly 1 volt below the selected value of 12.0 volts.

Vantrue sent me a replacement hardwire kit. When I tested the low voltage cutoff feature of the replacement unit, it worked. It turned off the power to the E1 when the voltage level was at 11.9 volts for just under 2 minutes with the cutoff voltage setting at 12V.

When I installed the E1 into my car, I used the replacement hardwire kit to power the E1. To power the E1 for parking mode, I have the Vantrue hardwire kit connected to a BlackVue B-112 dash camera battery pack. When I tested powering up the E1 after it was installed in the car, it worked (engine off / no charging voltage). When I attempted to drive the car the next morning, the E1 would not power up when I switched on the power from the output of the B-112 battery pack to the Vantrue hardwire kit (engine running).

Working with Vantrue, we traced the reason the Vantrue hardwire kit would not provide power to the E1 with the engine running (accessory / charging power provided to B-112 battery pack). It was due to the way the current (new) Vantrue hardwire kit detects 12-volt input power vs 24-volt input power. You can tell if the Vantrue hardwire kit is the new/current Vantrue hardwire kit when there is no ferrite ring present on the USB-C cable. This version of the Vantrue hardwire kit has a voltage protection range (16V-to-22V). When the input power to the hardwire kit is in the 16V-to-22V range, it will not provide power to the dash camera. The 12-volt systems in passenger vehicles will not (or should not) reach 16 volts, so it's not a problem when using a fuse tap to obtain the power for this hardwiring kit.

The BlackVue B-112 output power reaches an output voltage level of 16.7 volts when charging power is present. The BlackVue B-112 dash camera battery pack has a LMS122 boost regulator that boosts the vehicle supplied voltage level to 16.7 volts which is provided to the Charger IC which deals with charging the battery and it supplies the 16.7 volts to the output port of the B-112 which is then supplied to the hardwire kit or a dash camera connected to the output port. BlackVue dash cameras can handle 12 volts up to 24 volts (not sure what the max is for a 24-volt system in commercial vehicles), so a voltage level of 16.7 volts for a 12/24-volt BlackVue dash camera is just fine and supported. Several months back, I asked Pittasoft for info about the output voltage levels of the B-112. It took several months to get the info from Pittasoft, but all of my statements about the output voltage levels from the B-112 have been confirmed by the info provided by Pittasoft support.

The other hardwiring kits (VIOFO HK4, Blueskysea B4K) I've connected to the BlackVue B-112 battery pack, has been compatible/capable of handling the 16.7 volts (12V/24V capable hardwiring kits).

The other dash camera battery packs that I've used, do not boost their output voltage to that high of a voltage level (EGEN produced: BlackVue B-124X, Cellink B, BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8). Their output voltage was usually maxes out at around 14.4 volts with charging power being provided.

I'm not sure if there are any other dash camera battery packs that output the 16.7 volts like the BlackVue B-112 battery pack. In case there are any, the Vantrue hardwiring kit would have the same behavior when powered by one of those dash camera battery packs.

This particular problem was a perfect storm of conditions with my use of the BlackVue B-112 battery pack and the voltage protection strategy currently implemented in the (new) Vantrue hardwiring kit for the S2/X4S/N4/N2S/E1.

Rattling Noise in E1

The E1 I received to start my review, ended up having something rattling inside of the camera. I was sent a replacement E1 and the second unit does not have anything rattling inside of the camera.

Overboosted Audio

1660113189723.png

The screen shot is from an earlier version of the firmware, but the same overboosted audio level issue is still present with the EBH031 firmware (2022-08-04).
 
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Vantrue E1 - Firmware EBH091 - Power Consumption Test Results

There have been several Vantrue E1 firmware updates over the past couple of weeks. I updated my E1 to the latest as of 2022-08-10 which is version EBH091. I reran my power consumption tests. I narrowed the normal mode recording tests to the default resolution of 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps. The numbers are very similar to what they were with previous firmware versions installed.

I'm able to get the E1 to go into parking mode for these tests while it's sitting on my filming desk. I (and a few others) have not been able to get the E1 to go into any of the supported parking modes while it's installed in a car and being driven/parked in the real world. With it installed in my car, it will go into parking mode while my car sits in my garage, but not after it's been driven/parked for the required 5 minute parking mode delay. I'm still trying to chase down the solution to the parking mode entry problem with Vantrue.

vantrue_e1_power_consumption_ebh091.png
 

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Vantrue E1 - Firmware EBH091 - Power Consumption Test Results

There have been several Vantrue E1 firmware updates over the past couple of weeks. I updated my E1 to the latest as of 2022-08-10 which is version EBH091. I reran my power consumption tests. I narrowed the normal mode recording tests to the default resolution of 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps. The numbers are very similar to what they were with previous firmware versions installed.

I'm able to get the E1 to go into parking mode for these tests while it's sitting on my filming desk. I (and a few others) have not been able to get the E1 to go into any of the supported parking modes while it's installed in a car and being driven/parked in the real world. With it installed in my car, it will go into parking mode while my car sits in my garage, but not after it's been driven/parked for the required 5 minute parking mode delay. I'm still trying to chase down the solution to the parking mode entry problem with Vantrue.

View attachment 61328
I'm relieved my one current draw test is within 8mA of yours. lol
(180mA vs. 188mA)
-Chuck
 
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Vantrue E1 - Parking Mode - Firmware EBH161 (test version)

For the past few weeks, I've been working with Vantrue to see why the E1 won't go into parking mode if the vehicle is driven and then parked.

If the E1 was in a vehicle that was not driven or it was sitting on a desk for the required 5 minute parking mode entry delay period, it would go into parking mode.

I tested a few different firmware setting changes and test firmware versions. The test firmware version that I received today (EBH161) appears to have resolved the problem!!!

I installed firmware EBH161 and configured the parking mode as low bitrate (1080p 15fps). I drove my car on a test route and parked the car twice. Both times the E1 went into parking mode after the required 5 minute period of the car not being in motion. The first parking mode had no direct motion in the E1's field of view other than reflections from the glass in the storefronts. The second parking mode session was in a busy parking lot with a large amount of motion in the E1's field of view. Both times, the E1 entered parking mode like it should with firmware EBH161 installed.

Here's a file listing of the video files generated from this test run. Notice there are actually "P_A" files present (parking mode file for channel A).

1660679645847.png
 

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The test firmware version that I received today (EBH161) appears to have resolved the problem!!!
Thank you for your hard work.
You deserve a raise. lol
 
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I noticed the field of view changes when the E1 goes from normal mode recording at 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps to low bitrate parking mode recording at 1920x1080p 30fps.

vantrue_e1_20220816_nm_screenshot_1080x1080.jpg vantrue_e1_20220816_lbr_screenshot_1080x1080.jpg
 

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Wow, what a difference.
 
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I added a Thinkware iVolt BAB-50 dash camera battery pack to my car yesterday. I provide charging power to it using the 4 terminal relay approach I documented in my BBMC PowerCell 8 dash camera battery pack review. I now have enough power (amp) and connections to power six dash cameras. I must admit that the center console area where a lot of the temporary installation dash camera power cords are located looks like a mad scientist slapped it together, but it works. :geek:

Now that I have a way to power a second Vantrue E1 dash camera, I installed the first Vantrue E1 I received from Vantrue. That unit has a rattling noise inside of the unit. I have test firmware EBH161 installed in both of the E1 dash cameras, which appears to allow parking mode to work when the car is driven and then parked. I've configured one E1 with a resolution setting of 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps and the other E1 is set to 2560x1440p 30fps (no HDR). I wanted to see whether HDR makes any difference in the video captured by the E1 for plate readability (day and night).

20220819_caprice_front_dashcams.jpg
 
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