Vantrue E1 - Unboxing, Initial Testing

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I have two Vantrue E1 dash cameras mounted in my car. Both E1 dash cameras have test firmware EBH161 installed which appears to allow the E1 to enter parking mode after being parked (stationary) for 5 minutes. I configured the first E1 with a resolution setting of 2560x1440p(HDR) 30fps and the second E1 with a resolution setting of 2560x1440p 30fps (no HDR).

I updated the VIOFO A119 Mini with a test firmware with HDR support and turned on the HDR feature in the firmware settings screen. The colors captured in the A119 Mini video seem a bit off now, but in this license plate example you don't see the extreme color difference in the A119 Mini video. I'll post frame grab from the A119 Mini and the A229 Duo showing the color difference over in my review thread for the A119 Mini.

Here's a frame grab from four dash cameras and the two without HDR enabled actually "almost" let you begin to make out the license plate when scaled by 500 percent. I will attempt this again during a nighttime test drive in the next week or so.

20220819_hdr_license_plate_example.jpg
 

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Wow, what a difference between the E1 HDR on/off.
The HDR license plate looks very poor.
Does this mean HDR is only for night time?
-Chuck
 
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Wow, what a difference between the E1 HDR on/off.
The HDR license plate looks very poor.
Does this mean HDR is only for night time?
-Chuck
The E1 HDR selection is via the "Resolution" setting, so it's not very convenient to change. The VIOFO A119 Mini HDR feature has a "HDR Timer" configuration option which by default turns it on at 19:00 (7:00 PM) and off at 07:00 (7:00 AM). I'm going to contact Vantrue and see what they have to say about my daytime test results.
 
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Vantrue E1 - Firmware EBH182

Vantrue released firmware version EBH182 on 2022-08-19 for the E1 dash camera.

Here are the items Vantrue states are fixed/updated:

1. Solved the problem that the recording angles in parking mode and normal recording are inconsistent.​
2. In Spanish, change the word Sobre to Encendido.​
3. Optimize the stability of the connection between WIFI and APP.​
4. Optimize the GPS and parking mode issue.​
5. Fix icon issue.​

With firmware version EBH182 installed, I tested the vertical field of view change between normal mode and parking mode (low bitrate 1080p 15fps).

The vertical field of view still shifts upward in parking mode, contrary to item 1 in the list of fixed issues. I reported my findings to Vantrue a couple of days ago and they're continuing to investigate the issue.

1661328425489.png
 
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Vantrue E1 - Test Firmware EBH261

I was just given a copy of a test firmware for the E1 with a version of EBH261.

EBH261 is reported to fix:
  • Field of view change (recording angles) when switching from normal mode to parking mode
  • Adjust audio recording level (my wording)
I just bench tested the field of view bug using low bitrate parking mode set to 1920x1080p 15fps and 1280x720p 15fps. The horizontal and vertical field of view stayed the same as in normal mode. This does appear to be resolved with this firmware version.

I'll test this firmware with two E1 cameras in my car over the next couple of days. I'll check the audio recording levels to see if it's been reduced to no longer have some of the audio get clipped for be too loud (high dBA level).
 
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Here's a couple of screenshots showing the normal mode vs low bitrate parking mode field of view with Vantrue E1 EBH261 firmware installed.

The same field of view is maintained in both recording modes despite the resolution change from 2560x1440 to 1920x1080. I know these are not true high resolution screenshots, but I'm just trying to show the field of view does not move vertically upward like it did before firmware version EBH261 when it was recording in parking mode.

vantrue_e1_20220829_na.png vantrue_e1_20220829_pa.png
 
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Firmware EBH261 Audio Levels - Too Low

Prior to firmware EBH261, the audio levels in the mono audio track of the E1 video files were too high. It would clip the audio at times depending on how loud the input sound level was in the vehicle.

With EBH261 firmware installed, the audio level has dropped to a whisper quiet level (-40 dBA range). A VIOFO T130 recording at the same time generated an audio track with dBA levels in the -12 dBA range which was decent for the input sound level. Channel 1 and 2 in this screenshot are the audio tracks from the E1 video files (two E1 dash cameras recording at the same time). Channel 3 is mono audio track from a VIOFO T130-3CH front camera.

I've reported my findings to Vantrue. I hope Vantrue can get the recording level somewhere in the middle.

1661806041443.png
 
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Firmware EBH261 Audio Levels - Too Low

I just sent an email to Vantrue asking for an update about audio level problem I reported last Monday.

Hardwire Kits

Earlier this week, I received two hardwire kits to test from Vantrue.

3-Wire Hardwire Kit

This is 3-wire hardwire kit makes the E1 enter parking mode immediately when the ACC+ is turned off and the E1 exits parking mode as soon as ACC+ is restored (typical 3-wire behavior). This new Vantrue 3-wire hardwire kit will be available sometime in the near future (I've not been told exactly when). It will be a supported accessory for the E1 dash camera (and I assume other models as well).

2-Wire Hardwire Kit

I've been working with Vantrue to try and get the E1 dash camera's motion based parking mode to work (which does work now!). To power the Vantrue E1 during parking mode, I attempted to use their current production version of the 2-wire hardwire kit along with a BlackVue B-112 dash camera battery pack. The B-112 battery pack has a 2-wire output power connection (BATT+ / GND) and that's what the Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit needs for power (BATT+ / GND). I did find an incompatibility between the B-112 and the Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit.

The BlackVue B-112 output voltage level is raised by the B-112 (internally) to 16.7 volts when it is supplied with input charging power (typical 12-volt range of 12 to 14+ volts). When the B-112 output voltage was elevated to 16.7 volts, the Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit would power down the E1 dash camera.

The currently available (original) Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit has a voltage protection range to separate/detect the 12-volt input voltages from 24-volt input voltages of 16 volts to 22 volts. Meaning, if the 2-wire hardwire kit power module received an input voltage in the 16V-to-22V range, it simply would not power or turn off the power to the dash camera.

Since the B-112's output voltage was 16.7 volts when it was being charged, that's why the Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit would turn off the power to the E1 since the input voltage provided to the 2-wire hardwire kit was within the 16V-to-22V protection range.

This week, I received a modified Vantrue 2-wire hardwire kit. This updated kit has a voltage protection range of 18V-to-22V which makes it compatible with the BlackVue B-112 battery pack's output voltage levels when it's being charged.
 
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E1 Audio Level

The update from Vantrue is that their engineering department is still working on the E1 audio level problem. I'll post more info when I have information to share. :)
 
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I just released a video on my channel discussing how the VIOFO A119 Mini firmware was recently updated to include HDR video support.

The video is focused on the A119 Mini, but I also use two Vantrue E1 dash cameras in that video. One with HDR enabled and one without HDR enabled.

 
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Vantrue E1 - Changes

I've been working with Vantrue over the past several weeks to get several issues resolved that can be addressed in the firmware (parking mode is now functional, field of view in parking mode no longer shifts upward, etc).

There are some issues that were encountered that require more than a firmware update to resolve correctly. Vantrue engineering is working on revisions to the E1 dash camera hardware to resolve the following issues (I was given permission to mention these publicly):
  • GPS bracket is being optimized
    • In some situations, the E1 dash camera would experience a power loss when the power adapter was plugged into the GPS mount
    • An updated socket that is used to connect the GPS mount to the E1 will resolve the loss of power to the E1 and some GPS problems
  • Optimize audio recording level
    • During my testing, I found the audio recording level too high.
    • An updated firmware tried to adjust audio recording level to a good level but it was now far too low.
    • Vantrue engineering has stated they are going to change the internal microphone to fully resolve this issue.
When the E1 dash camera with the hardware changes is made available to me for testing, I will let you know.
 

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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.
Hi Chunk,
Vantrue E1 Hands-Free Voice Commands includes:

Video Start (start recording)
Take Photo
Lock Video (emergency file save)
Turn Off Audio (microphone off)
Turn On Audio (microphone on)
Turn Off Screen
Turn On Screen
Turn On Wi-Fi
Turn Off Wi-Fi
 

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Here's a couple of screenshots showing the normal mode vs low bitrate parking mode field of view with Vantrue E1 EBH261 firmware installed.

The same field of view is maintained in both recording modes despite the resolution change from 2560x1440 to 1920x1080. I know these are not true high resolution screenshots, but I'm just trying to show the field of view does not move vertically upward like it did before firmware version EBH261 when it was recording in parking mode.

View attachment 61637 View attachment 61636
I'm surprised that I cannot see the license plate of that GMC truck that is almost directly in front of you. Both vehicles are parked, so motion blur should not be an issue.
Not sure if it is the sun glare that is the issue, or the fact that the Vantrue camera is limited to 16Mbps bitrate?
 
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I'm surprised that I cannot see the license plate of that GMC truck that is almost directly in front of you. Both vehicles are parked, so motion blur should not be an issue.
Not sure if it is the sun glare that is the issue, or the fact that the Vantrue camera is limited to 16Mbps bitrate?
Here's the front license plate of that GMC vehicle.

The left side is normal mode 1440p footage scaled 500% and the right side is parking mode 1080p footage scaled 666.5%.

HDR Enabled
1665382028510.png

HDR Disabled
1665382052327.png

Here's another example of normal mode 1440p footage with the sun facing the opposite direction with the image scaled 500%:
1665382746296.png
 

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Here's the front license plate of that GMC vehicle.

The left side is normal mode 1440p footage scaled 500% and the right side is parking mode 1080p footage scaled 666.5%.

HDR Enabled
View attachment 61974

HDR Disabled
View attachment 61975

Here's another example of normal mode 1440p footage with the sun facing the opposite direction with the image scaled 500%:
View attachment 61976
Vantrue E1 dash camera is equipped with a top-quality Sony CMOS sensor that's capable of capturing crisp 2592*1944P footage. It utilizes HDR (High Dynamic Range) Technology and F1.8 wide aperture, which can increase exposure automatically in dark situations and ensures super night vision, able to read number plates or find spot minor things that could act as important evidence.
 

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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.
Glad to hear that you the voice command functions satisfy you.
For the hands free voice command, it includes:
Video Start (start recording)
Take Photo
Lock Video (emergency file save)
Turn Off Audio (microphone off)
Turn On Audio (microphone on)
Turn Off Screen
Turn On Screen
Turn On Wi-Fi
Turn Off Wi-Fi
 

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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.
Exactly. And for the functions of the remote control includes:
  1. Press the button to enable or disable audio.
  2. Short press the button, the camera will lock the current file and take a video snapshot; continue to short press during the locked video, and continue to capture the photo
 

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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.

View attachment 61153View attachment 61154View attachment 61155View attachment 61156View attachment 61157View attachment 61158View attachment 61159
With the Vantrue CPL Filter, you can rotate the ring to adjust the intensity of the filtering effect. This way, you can find a setting that will work best for you in all situations.
Tips: Tear off the protective film and ensure there is no dust on the camera's lens or both sides of the CPL filter. You can remove dust using scotch tape.
rotate.jpg
 

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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.

View attachment 61153View attachment 61154View attachment 61155View attachment 61156View attachment 61157View attachment 61158View attachment 61159
For the CPL (circular polarizing lens) filter, is a lens that you can improve your dash cam video quality by reducing lens flares, glare, and reflection that significantly impact the quality of footage details, like license plates and vehicle models. Eliminate these issues caused by moments of extreme brightness by quickly installing the Vantrue’s Circular Polarizing (CPL) Filter. Then you can reduce glare and increase the quality of your E1 or E2 dash cam footage.

These filters work best when outdoor lighting conditions are at their worst. For example, the sun rises, causing the dashboard to reflect on the inside of the windshield. Polarizing filters can also help reduce glare when facing the sun directly. Check out the comparison footage below, showing the same scene with and without the filter on the dashboard. [Shared by our customer]
 

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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.

View attachment 61189View attachment 61190View attachment 61191

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.

View attachment 61192View attachment 61193View attachment 61194View attachment 61195
Sorry for the middle button bring you inconvenience. Although the dash cam's compact size affect the button design, E1 allows you to long press the middle button, and then it will automatically play the menu, and when you see the item you find, you can stop it. Hope that will help you
 
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