Vico Power Plus outputs lower voltage than input

OzAdam

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Has anyone who has a Vico Power Plus noticed that it outputs a lower voltage that what is fed into it? I have the latest 2017 revision.

For example with a multimeter battery voltage reads 12.4v at the point where the Vico Power Plus is connected but at the output cigarette socket of the Vico Power Plus it reads 11.7 volts. This drop remains in effect even when the car engine is running. I had a suggestion that it was due to it using transistor switching within the unit which is creating a loss internally. It is not related to cabling voltage drop or anything like that. Even the LED voltage display on the Vico Power Plus agrees with the multimeter reading, it just doesn’t output that voltage to the dashcam.

This is annoying as I was planning to use the unit to connect another dashcam hardwire kit to provide temperature cutout and “parking mode bypass” features. At 11.7 volts (battery at 12.4v) it would trigger the low voltage cutoff on the camera. The blackvue Power Magic Pro does not seem to have this issue.





 
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Yooshaw

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I noticed a drop in mine, but not that dramatic (delta of 0.2 V). If memory serves, you can set the offset in the Vico unit as a menu item to correct the voltage drop from the terminal reading to the Vico unit.
 
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OzAdam

OzAdam

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I noticed a drop in mine, but not that dramatic (delta of 0.2 V). If memory serves, you can set the offset in the Vico unit as a menu item to correct the voltage drop from the terminal reading to the Vico unit.
Interesting. I was under the impression that was only to correct its on board volt meter of which it makes calculations to shut down the dashcam at the user set low voltage. I didn’t think it was to adjust its actual output voltage. I shall test that out.
 

Harsh

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I was under the impression that was only to correct its on board volt meter of which it makes calculations to shut down the dashcam at the user set low voltage.
Correct
 

Yooshaw

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Interesting. I was under the impression that was only to correct its on board volt meter of which it makes calculations to shut down the dashcam at the user set low voltage. I didn’t think it was to adjust its actual output voltage. I shall test that out.
I must have misunderstood then - I was talking about correcting the onboard voltmeter. I've never measured the output voltage of the unit before.
 
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OzAdam

OzAdam

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I must have misunderstood then - I was talking about correcting the onboard voltmeter. I've never measured the output voltage of the unit before.
No worries. Mine is certainly is outputting a lower voltage than it is receiving from the car. Not sure if it is defective or these units are just of a poor design.
 

Yooshaw

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No worries. Mine is certainly is outputting a lower voltage than it is receiving from the car. Not sure if it is defective or these units are just of a poor design.
Has me curious now. I had two of these units in my two cars - and one died. Refused to output power anymore. Your report makes me wonder if yours is in the process of failing. This now makes me want to test my remaining working unit - though I confess it is going "unused," as I'm not using parking mode currently.

Curious what your set-up is? Are you using the Vico to power an HK3 kit? I wish the Vico had a cut-off switch like the Vico, I hate the idea of having to go into the menu every time to turn off parking mode when I don't want to record my garage overnight.
 
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OzAdam

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Has me curious now. I had two of these units in my two cars - and one died. Refused to output power anymore. Your report makes me wonder if yours is in the process of failing.
My Vico Power Plus is brand new – 3 days old. I tested it straight out of the box on the bench with a 12v car battery. This is when I first noticed the low voltage issue. Installing it into the car later that day showed the same issue.

My plan is to use it with a Viofo HK3 kit to provide control –temperature and timer cuttoff as well as a hard switch to bypass parking mode when parking in the garage. I have no need to have the camera powered up all the time. I could just use a SPDT switch but wanted the aforementioned extra options. At 11.7 volts, it will trigger the low voltage cutout on the HK3 as its lowest voltage selection is 11.8 volts. Here is the problem.

I honeslty expected a better quality product for the $80 it cost me. It was refered to as a 'premium power kit' with others costing far less. The Blackvue Power Magic Pro costs $60, cheaper if on sale but has no over temperature cutoff.

I know this unit isn’t intended to power another hardwire kit, but that’s besides the point – it can do it (its just 12 volts out via a cigarette plug) but it’s the low voltage output that’s the problem. If it sees 12.4v it should pass through 12.4, not 11.7v. Even direct to a dashcam as intended, I am not so sure that any 12 volt device would be that happy running at that low of a voltage. That’s equivalent to a very very very flat car battery.

If you are wondering how I did the test of the output voltage – I got hold of the vico’s cigarette lighter socket and touched the red probe of my multimeter (set to voltage) to the center bottom (positive), with the black probe on the side (negative).
 
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