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Frequently asked questions


1. Troubleshooting

1.1 My dashcam does not power on.

If your dashcam does not power on anymore, please try the following things in this order:

  1. Check if the power cable is connected properly and gives power.
  2. Check if there is a power switch on the dashcam and if it's turned on.
  3. Check if there is a power button on the dashcam and press it if there is.
  4. Power the camera with a USB charger (5V, min 1.0A) on the 220v network. Most phone chargers will do.
  5. Press the reset button if the dashcam has one.

If this doesn't help, there is probably something wrong with the dashcam and it should be checked.

1.2 My dashcam does not record.

If your dashcam does not record, please try the following things in this order:

  1. Format the SD card in the dashcam. (see section 2.1)
  2. If provided, try the original SD card. Otherwise, try another SD card if possible.
  3. Update the dashcam with the latest firmware.
  4. Put the dashcam back to factory settings.
  5. If possible, reset the dashcam using the reset button.

If this doesn't help, there is probably something wrong with the dashcam and it should be checked.

1.3 My dashcam turns off while driving.

In most cases, it might seem that the dashcam turns off but in reality it's the screensaver turning off the LCD after 3 minutes. The camera will then still record, pressing the OK button will activate the LCD screen.

If the dashcam turns off completely, it's probably because of one of the following reasons:

  • It stopped recording first due to an error and then the camera turned off automatically because of the auto turn-off function. Please check or format the SD card (see section 2).
  • The power is not connected properly or has a loose contact. If you have a hardwire kit installed, please check if your car's battery gives enough power to meet the set voltage threshold (Low voltage cut-off prevention).
  • The dashcam has an internal defect and should be checked.

 

2. Formatting

2.1 How do I format?

Formatting an SD card should always be done in the dashcams itself. All dashcams have a format option in the menu or the app or have a format button on the camera.

  • For dashcams with an LCD screen, simply go to the Menu (or System menu, usually indicated by a gear icon) and go to 'Format'. Confirm with the OK button.
  • For dashcams without LCD screen, formatting the SD card should usually be done in the App.

Check your dashcam's manual for detailed instructions on how to format the SD card.  

IMPORTANT:Note that all data will be erased from the SD card while formatting. If you have any important data on the card, be sure to save it to another device.

 

2.2 How often do I have to format?

This depends on a lot of factors like the dashcam and SD type, intensity of use and other settings. It's recommended to format before the first use and then about every 2 months. Some dashcams give a sign when it's time to format, others format automatically. When problems start occurring with the dashcam it's usually time to format or change the SD card.

2.3 Do I format to FAT32 or ExFat?

All dashcams use FAT32. SD cards of 32gb and lower are formatted to FAT32 by default. Cards of 64gb and higher use ExFat and should be formatted to FAT32. Always format your SD card in the dashcam if possible, it will format to FAT32 automatically.

3. Functions

3.1 What is a G-sensor?

Every dashcam has a built-in G-sensor, it's a sensor that registers vibrations. In case you have an accident, the G-sensor will notice and the dashcam will save the current recording as 'emergency file' that cannot be erased. The sensitivity of the G-sensor can usually be adjusted in the dashcam's menu. 

3.2 What is the use of GPS on a dashcam?

Some dashcams have built-in or optional GPS receivers. GPS (Global Positioning System) is a network of satellites used for navigation on the road or in the air. GPS in dashcams has 2 main purposes:

  1. Registering the current speed: Dashcams with GPS show the current speed in the bottom of every video. This can be very useful in providing proof in case of an accident or when you received a speeding ticket. 
  2. Showing the location or driven route of the vehicle: De GPS coördinates are stored in the video or in a separate file. Using PC or Mac software, like the universal Dashcamviewer or the dashcam's dedicated branded software, the location of every video van be seen on the map next to the video. Some software also allows you to see the driven route.

Some dashcams also use the GPS data to determine when to activate the Parking mode. The GPS can indicate when the car has been stationary for a certain amount of time. 

3.3 What is the use of Wifi on a dashcam?

Dashcams with Wifi broadcast a Wifi signal to which you can connect with your phone or tablet. Every dashcam brand has their own app for iOS or Android, each with different functionality. The most basic apps give you the following options:

  • Seeing live recordings
  • Seeing and downloading recorded videos
  • Changing recording type (Normal/Parking).
  • Changing other basic settings
  • Formatting SD card

The more advanced, usually dedicated branded apps, can allow for more functions like the following:

  • Instant sharing of videos on Social media
  • Downloading and updating latest firmware
  • Changing advanced settings
  • Contacting support

Please check your dashcam's manual for supported functions.

3.4 What is Parking mode?

Most dashcams have a Parking mode option to use the dashcam as surveillance camera when the car is parked. There are two different type of Parking mode: Manual and Automatic (see section 3.5). Most basic dashcams have Manual Parking mode which usually consists of two different settings:

'Parking mode': With this function activated, the dashcam will turn on and start a short recording when a vibration is detected. The 'Parking mode' function can be left active continuously without problems.

'Motion detection': With this function activated, the camera will be in stand-by mode and will start a short recording when a movement is detected. After the recording stopped, it will turn into stand-by mode again. The 'Motion detection' function is preferably only turned on when the car is parked. When left active, it can cause problems with the loop recording.

Note that, regardless of the activation type, the dashcam should always be connected to a power source (hardwire kit or battery pack) in order for the Parking mode to function properly. The dashcam's battery, if it has any, is too small to power the dashcam for a long time. 

3.5 What is Automatic Parking mode?

We distinguish between dashcams with Manual and Automatic parking mode, with the difference being the way the Parking mode is activated. In dashcams with Manual Parking mode the function must be activated and deactivated manually in the menu (see section 3.4).

Dashcams with Automatic Parking mode activate and deactivate the Parking mode automatically. We distinguish these dashcams further in the way they activate the Parking mode:

  • Stationary: The dashcam uses the G-sensor and GPS data to determine wether the car has been parked for a set amount of time. This way the Parking mode is activated after a little delay (usually 5 minutes). 
  • Contact: The dashcam uses a 3-wire hardwire cable to determine if the car is parked. The Acc+ cable of the hardwire kit loses power when the car is turned off, giving the dashcam a signal to activate the Parking mode. This way the Parking mode is activated directly after the car has been turned off.

Note that, regardless of the activation type, the dashcam should always be connected to a power source (hardwire kit or battery pack) in order for the Parking mode to function properly. The dashcam's battery, if it has any, is too small to power the dashcam for a long time. 

3.6 What is ADAS?

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant System) is a system on some dashcams that alarms the driver in certain critical situations. It keeps an eye on the road in case the driver seems to have lost attention. ADAS usually consists of the following functions that can be turned on and off separately. 

FCWS: Forward Collision Warning System. This system gives a warning when a vehicle in front is approached at high speed, for example in a traffic jam. The dashcam uses different visual sensors and GPS data to determine whether the situation is critical and should give a warning.
LDWS: Lane Departure Warning System. This system gives a warning when the car is about to leave the current lane slowly and unnoticed.
FVSA: Forward Vehicle Start Alarm. This system warns the driver when the vehicle in front is driving away but the driver's car remains stationary. 

Some ADAS systems can give addition warnings, like a Fatigue alert on Mio dashcams when the person has been driving uninterrupted for a long time and it's probably a good idea to take a brake.

Note that above systems work best in light and clear environments and depend heavily on road conditions. LCWS and LDWS only work on +60km/h and on straight A-roads.

3.7 What is Night vision?

'Night vision' is feature on a dashcam that's being sought after and that we get asked about very often. Having highly detailed and bright recordings in low light conditions is of course very desirable when using a dashcam. You'll want to recognize the face of that supposed neighbor that's scratching your car or puncturing your tires at night.

The problem with Night vision on a dashcam is that Night vision is not just a setting that can be turned on and off in the menu (although some manufacturers make you believe it can). Good visibility at night is dependent on a lot of factors, the image sensor and chip being the two most important ones. Determining whether a dashcam has Night vision is therefore not an easy task.

The latest Sony Starvis sensors prove to be performing very well in low light conditions, as well as a combination of other high quality sensors and chips. This is why we specify dashcams with the Sony Starvis sensor as 'Excellent' Night vision dashcams and the latter as 'Very Good' Night vision dashcams.

3.8 What is a Super capacitor?

A Super capacitor is an anergy generating component that is often used in dashcams and is different from ordinary batteries. It's a quite complicated story but the bottom line is that batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy and capacitors store a small current between two conductive plates. 

All dashcams either have a small battery or Super capacitor with the main function to store the latest file on the SD card after the car is turned off. Ordinary batteries tend to lose a lot of their capacity over time (especially when being connected to a power source constantly) and are less resistant to temperature changes, which is why more recently dashcams are often equipped with a Super capacitor instead of a battery. 

The downside of a dashcam with Super capacitor is the price and the fact that it cannot function without being connected to a power source. A dashcam with Super capacitor is usually more expensive and will turn off immediately after the power is cut.

 

3.9 What is Loop recording?

Loop recording is a feature on every dashcam which makes sure that the dashcam can keep recording even when the SD card is full. A dashcam with Loop recording stores the video files on the SD card in shorter fragments, usually 3 or 5 minutes. When the SD card is full, the dashcam automatically deletes the oldest file so there is space for a new file. This way you're sure that the latest trips are always stored on the SD card.

3.10 How do I keep files from being erased by the Loop recording?

The Loop recording on a dashcam might be great for regular driving, but some files you want to keep for later. You might have seen something funny or remarkable on the road or worse, you got involved in an accident. You don't want these files to be automatically erased by te Loop recording.

Luckily a dashcam is able to either protect a video file or to store it in a separate folder to prevent it from being erased. There are usually two ways a dashcam is able to do this:

  • Manual SOS recording: Most dashcams have an SOS button to manually save the current file. One press on the button and the current recording is either protected or stored in a separate folder. Some dashcams also make a snapshot of the situation in case the SOS button is pressed.
  • G-sensor: All dashcams have a built-in G-sensor which senses vibrations (see section 3.1) and can therefore notice when there was an incident. When the vibrations reach a critical point the video is either protected or stored in a separate folder.

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