Vico-Power PLUS: 12V/24V Battery Discharge Prevention Hardwire Kit

Harsh

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#1
For the past 3 months I'd been using a Power Bank to keep my front and rear dash cams running when parked at unfamiliar or sketchy locations. But ever since coming across a fellow member's thread on TBHP about his car's interiors nearly going up in flames due a Power Bank that exploded inside the armrest console, running dash cams off a Power Bank while parked was put to a complete stop.

What made me shudder was that I had left two dash cams running off a live Power Bank under similar conditions for several hours, that too on numerous occasions. Maybe mine survived because it was never left inside a closed space (like the armrest console or the glovebox), or maybe it was sheer luck.

Either way, I was done playing with Lady Luck!

With Power Banks out of the equation (at least during summer), started looking for a hardwire kit with BDP (battery discharge prevention).

A BDP hardwire kit draws power from the car's battery and can provide continuous power to a dash cam when the car's engine is OFF. If the battery's voltage drops to the preset cut-off value, the BDP kit cuts power to the dash cam and switches OFF.


Other options considered -

1) BlackVue Power Magic Pro - https://www.blackvue.com/power-magic-pro

Voltage cut-off protection and timer cut-off protection.

2) MotoPark Multi Safer - https://www.blackboxmycar.com/products/multi_safer_hardwiring_kit?variant=303721987

Voltage cut-off protection and timer cut-off protection.


Why did I pick the Vico-Power PLUS over the other two?

In addition to the voltage cut-off protection and timer cut-off protection available on MotoPark's Multi Safer and BlackVue's Power Magic Pro, the Vico-Power PLUS features over-temperature protection, over-current/surge protection and a LED display.


Vico-Power PLUS: Battery Discharge Prevention Hardwire kit

VicoVation Vico-Power PLUS - http://www.vicovation.com/productdetial.asp?id=E61BAB5B-D4D8-4BDB-9B97-D7064A93C859&lang=eng


Features
  • Low voltage protection - 11.6/11.8/12.0/12.2/12.4V for 12V and 23.2/23.4/23.6/23.8/24/24.2/24.4/24.6V for 24V
  • Over temperature protection - 50°/55°/60°/65°/70°/75°C
  • Timer protection - 2/6/12/24/48/72 hours
  • Over Current/Surge protection
  • Timer ON/OFF button
  • Parking mode ON/OFF button
  • LED display

Timer protection can be enabled by switching the side button to 'Timer' from 'Normal'. Switching the side button to 'Timer' will provide power to the dash cam for a set number of hours, depends on the timer cut-off preset selected.

Parking mode can by disabled by switching the side button to 'Bypass' from 'Activate'. When Switched to 'Bypass', the dash cam will receive power only in ACC mode (Accessory Mode) or when the engine is ON. With the button switched to 'Bypass', the Vico-Power PLUS will function like a two wire hardwiring kit that's wired to a 'Switched' fuse.

Downloadable manual - http://www.vicovation.com/uploads/Vico_201610334832.pdf.zip

Cost

Bought from OCD Tronic on eBay.com - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vico-Power-P...t/172451693264

Price - $59.95

Shipping - $22.25 (USPS First Class Mail International)

Total - $82.20


Unboxing

Vico2.png

testdct.png

Vico1.png

Vico6.png

Vico5.png

Vico4.png

Vico7.png

Vico8.png

Vico9.png

Vico10.png
 
Last edited:

Harsh

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#3
Install and set-up

From the manual.

diagram.png

I do not agree with what VicoVation illustrates on page 12 & 14 of the manual. Please don't wrap wires around a fuse's leg. Crimp or solder the wire to a fuse-tap instead.

Untitled-2.png

Special notices -

spn.png

Items required

  1. Two appropriate fuse-taps
  2. Soldering or crimping tools
  3. Heat shrink tube (if soldering)
  4. Multimeter

Install


'ACC' and 'Battery' wire soldered to a fuse-tap each, then insulated with transparent heat shrink tubing. I've used two different sizes of heat shrink tubing to compensate for the thinner wire on the 'ACC' and 'Battery' ends.

Vico13.png

Wiring ready for installation. 3A fuses inserted into both the fuse-taps. The Vico-Power PLUS's 'Battery' wire comes with a 2A inline fuse. In the unlikely event of the dash cam pulling over 2 amps due to a malfunction or such, the inline fuse will blow first.

test (3).png

Ground (GND) wire location. The forked spade connector goes around the bolt.

Vico15.png

Original fuse pulled out and added to the fuse-tap. Both fuse locations tapped are rated for 10A. VicoVation's manual recommends using fuse locations with a rating of 10A or less.

Vico26.png

A 'Switched' and 'Constant' fuse location were located using a multimeter.

Fuse-taps connected to the appropriate fuses. Yellow wire (Battery) connects to a fuse location that receives constant power from the battery. Red wire (ACC) connects to a fuse location that receives power only when ACC (accessory mode) is engaged or the engine is ON.

Vico16.png

Anker 5 port USB adapter connected to the Vico-Power PLUS's 12V female socket.

The Vico-Power PLUS's output current is rated at 1A (Max. 2A). Even though I have a 5 port adapter connected, don't plan on running more than two dash cams off this device

Vico27.png


Set-up


Voltage offset

If there is a difference between the voltage measured through a multimeter and what shows on the Vico-Power PLUS's display, the offset needs to be corrected.

Voltage measurement from the fuse box with the engine OFF - 12.6V

Voltage showing on the Vico-Power PLUS - 12.5V

Offset - +0.1V


Low voltage cut-off

Once the battery reaches the low voltage cut-off threshold, the Vico-Power PLUS will turn OFF power to the cameras and switch OFF automatically.

Voltage measurement from the fuse box with the engine OFF - 12.6V

Voltage measured with the Vico-Power PLUS running and powering the dash cam in ACC mode with the engine OFF - 12.4V

The cut-off needs to be set at least 0.2V lower than the reading in ACC mode with the dash cam running. Cut-off voltage set to 12.2V

Plan on experimenting with 12.2V, if the recording time while parked turns out to be too short, will give 12.0V a go.


Temperature protection

Set to 65° C. If the ambient temperature of the device ever crosses 65° C, the device will cut power to the dash cam and turn OFF. If one doesn't want to utilise the temperature protection feature, it can be turned OFF in the settings.

Timer Protection

Set to 2 hours. After two hours of recording in parking mode, the device will cut power to the dash cam and turn OFF.


ACC restart reboot function

Set to OFF as none of my dash cams are made by VicoVation and I don't want them to reboot when I enter the car and start the engine.
 
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Harsh

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#4
Up and running

Start-up logo.

Vico18.png

ACC Mode (Switched power).

Vico19.png

Battery Mode (Constant power).

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Voltage reading with the engine turned OFF.

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Voltage reading with the engine turned ON.

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Parking mode ON. In Battery Mode the red dot blinks left to right under Normal Mode and up & down with the timer function ON.

Vico23.png

Ambient temperature reading.

Vico22.png

Dual Lock tape stuck to the unit's back. Still contemplating where to stick the main unit. Probably the panel it's resting on or somewhere inside the glovebox.

Vico25.png

Overview and bench test (from Youtube)


Review, installation and set-up (from Youtube)




Since I've had the Vico-Power PLUS in action for just 3 days, don't feel like I'm in a position to comment on the pros and cons as of now.

While looking through available options for BDP hardwire kits a few months ago, I came across mostly positive experiences about this kit. I hope my experience is no different.

If there's anything I like or hate about the Vico-Power PLUS in the days to come, you'll definitely see it here.
 
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Rajagra

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#6
Complete list of things I don't like about the Vico Power-Plus:

Hard to read the LED display in sunlight.

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
 

Harsh

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#7
Timer Protection

Set to 2 hours. After two hours of recording in parking mode, the device will cut power to the dash cam and turn OFF.
Well, it doesn't.

https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/power-plus-timer-mode.31623/

Had meant to post about my experience with VPP's timer not being accurate but in the absence of any similar documented experiences anywhere, had refrained till now.

After initial use of the VPP's timer function, had noticed that the timer wasn't cutting off exactly as per the preset selected and at times would cut off prematurely. Mostly the cameras would still be recording post the 2 hour period and a few times power was cut before the one hour mark with "TIME" on the display.

Was provided a replacement by OCD Tronic but the replacement unit also exhibited similar behaviour.

Contacted VicoVation and after exchanging a few emails and a bit of further testing on both sides, they sent me a replacement unit from their latest batch. The latest replacement had an additional preset of 0.5 hours.

This time around I left the unit alone after the set presets elapsed, revealed a delay of 8 minutes with the 0.5 hours preset and the two hour preset was cutting off late by 32 minutes. This unit also cut off prematurely a couple of times.

On further inquiry with VV, was told that their RD department has gotten back saying that a delay/latency was normal as their device doesn't use a clock based timer and instead uses MCU programming to calculate time. VV attributed the premature cut off to "other circumstances".

According to our RD, the timer mode is calculated by MCU programs, not through external clocking device.

For each 30 mins interval, there should be around 3-5min latency.

It will be in accordance with your test outcome for 30min mode.


For 2 hour mode, it should be at least 130mins or so.

The early cut-off might be due to other circumstances.
More testing at their end didn't trigger any premature cuts and their response was

The unit in our RD’s car also functioned well. Two hour timer mode is working normally.

There should be in your car some factor that causes the abnormal behavior.

We just can’t figure it out at the moment.
I've had the replacement unit received directly from VV in service for 3 months now, strange thing is that the premature cut-off's were limited to only the testing phase, haven't experienced any since then.

VV should mention the cut-off delay in their manual and consider switching to a clock based timer in future iterations of the VPP.

8 minutes, 32 minutes and probably more for higher presets is not necessarily a bad thing (could actually be useful if away for a little more time than planned). Only if there was something mentioned as suggested above (which most probably their RD department was already aware of), would've saved a lot of time and effort installing and then ripping out these kits from the car.
 

Harsh

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#8
Mostly the cameras would still be recording post the 2 hour period and a few times power was cut before the one hour mark with "TIME" on the display.
Cut off early again last evening. Was set to the 6 hours timer preset but the cameras were off after just 20 minutes, showed TIME on the VPP's display.

The timer's latency I can live with but this not acceptable.
 

tomee

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#9
this will sound like a silly question but can you use wire up the vico power plus like a cellink B? as in not hardwire it but connect it to a male 12v socket?

Looking at ways to not tape into the cars wiring.
 

Harsh

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#11
I'm done with the timer function!

Turned off again within 30 minutes, was set to 6 hours. :(
 

Nigel

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#12
For the past 3 months I'd been using a Power Bank to keep my front and rear dash cams running when parked at unfamiliar or sketchy locations. But ever since coming across a fellow member's thread on TBHP about his car's interiors nearly going up in flames due a Power Bank that exploded inside the armrest console, running dash cams off a Power Bank while parked was put to a complete stop.
I think the best answer is to place the power bank somewhere where it doesn't matter if it goes up in flames. Car interiors are flammable, they are designed to burn slow enough to allow the occupants to escape to safety, they are not self extinguishing like home furniture. So power banks should not be mounted inside the cabin. However it is quite hard to set fire to the engine compartment unless you have an oil/fuel leak so it should be quite safe to mount a powerbank on the other side of the firewall - there is a reason it is known as a firewall!
 

Harsh

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#13
However it is quite hard to set fire to the engine compartment unless you have an oil/fuel leak so it should be quite safe to mount a powerbank on the other side of the firewall - there is a reason it is known as a firewall!
I think the chances of a fire are higher if the power bank has to put up with temperatures inside an engine bay.
 

Nigel

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#14
I think the chances of a fire are higher if the power bank has to put up with temperatures inside an engine bay.
The car battery puts up with them, and the engine bay has a cooling system to ensure it dosn't get too hot. Obviously you don't want to put it next to the exhausts!

How about inside a metal box in the boot?
 

Harsh

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#15
The car battery puts up with them, and the engine bay has a cooling system to ensure it dosn't get too hot. Obviously you don't want to put it next to the exhausts!

How about inside a metal box in the boot?
I don't know, my car's hood gets pretty hot, may work for UK weather.

Again with the temperatures here, doesn't sound like a good idea. The power bank that exploded was sitting inside the armrest console.
 
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#16
Interesting thread. I'm interested in buying this device. Sounds like the timer function does not work at all reliably which is a massive shame. Do the other functions work, specifically does it turn off correctly if you set a voltage threshold?

Regarding the power bank, I think it's important to buy a power bank with good safety features to minimize risk. And it's probably a good idea to place it in a container/bag designed to protect in the event of the battery exploding. They're quite cheap, and may not stop the fire entirely but would probably stop anyone getting hurt I would imagine. And invest in a small dry powder fire extinguisher. I don't think putting it in the engine bay is a good idea because it is much hotter in there and excessive heat is probably one of the major causes of a power bank exploding.
 

Harsh

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#17
Interesting thread. I'm interested in buying this device. Sounds like the timer function does not work at all reliably which is a massive shame. Do the other functions work, specifically does it turn off correctly if you set a voltage threshold?
Voltage cut-off works as it should, it's just the timer that's erratic.
 

Rajagra

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#18
Mine has always worked correctly as far as I know, at least the timer has never let me down. Back when I allowed it to run for 6 hours, that did give me a recording of thieves stealing my brother's motorbike (not that the police would even bother watching it when I offered it.)
 

Harsh

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#19
Mine has always worked correctly as far as I know, at least the timer has never let me down. Back when I allowed it to run for 6 hours, that did give me a recording of thieves stealing my brother's motorbike (not that the police would even bother watching it when I offered it.)
Do you utilise the timer function frequently? If not and if it's not an inconvenience, could you test the presets?
 

Rajagra

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#20
Do you utilise the timer function frequently?
I always have it running. When I had it set to 6 hours, the camera ran continuously during the day, between stops, and into the late evening after getting home.
Now I have it set to two hours. I drive to 4 or 5 places during the day, and it seems to do what it should, running continuously when the visit is short, and turning off when I'm stuck at a longer call.
I'll try to check the recordings to see how accurate the timer runs.