Vantrue E1 - Unboxing, Initial Testing

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rcg530

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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.
 

Vantrue Dash Cam

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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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