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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 3:46 am 
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Calc Master
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Joined: Fri 04 Mar, 2005 12:52 am
Posts: 1069
Location: NW Wisconsin
As you might remember, my last car was pretty much totaled after a hit-and-run incident a few years ago. After moving to the Twin Cities this spring and seeing a few haphazard driving techniques on the highway I decided to mount two concealed dash cams in the car. (1 forward, 1 backward).

:excited:
Civilian Dash Cam Test - Forward and Aft Test

The cameras are twin DVR D011's, each running 16GB worth of SDHC memory. That's good for about 5 hours worth of .avi video in 720p resolution. Honestly, the picture isn't sharp enough to catch license plates unless traffic is stopped or the other car is within maybe 10 meters or so. On the other hand, I haven't installed the driver included so I may have only seen standard definition so far.

Civilian Dash Cam Test - Lighting Conditions

Overall it's a real cheap camera from eBay. About $29.99 USD with free shipping out of mainland China. It's got a few glitches and design issues, but for the size and what it does, I'd recommend it so far.

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2011 3:36 am 
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Joined: Thu 16 Dec, 2004 10:06 pm
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Location: Croydon, England
They certainly seem to take good footage at night. I see that they even come with a time travel feature to take you back to 2008. :-)

Hopefully you'll never need to use the footage, but it must be reassuring to know it's there.


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PostPosted: Fri 11 Nov, 2011 6:48 am 
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Joined: Fri 04 Mar, 2005 12:52 am
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Location: NW Wisconsin
Yep. This area has a risky mix of people who follow too closely and icy roads. The timestamp is a little awkward because it resets to Jan 1st, 2008 any time the battery runs out.

To fix that, I want to run USB cables to both cameras constantly so they never have to power off. First, I'll need to disguise the cameras and cables to avoid theft.

After that, it would be nice to link them to record at the same time. I might also try putting a red blinking LED back there to warn tailgaters they're being recorded. I'm not sure that will be effective, but it would be neat if it actually does discourage them.

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Nov, 2011 11:07 am 
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Looks cool, cant stand those tailgaters!

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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 5:08 am 
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Joined: Fri 04 Mar, 2005 12:52 am
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Location: NW Wisconsin
Yeah. The worst parts is, they also tailgate while there are faster lanes to choose from. In fact, I've seen speeding drivers abandon fast-moving lanes in order to harass other drivers doing speed limit.

So far I'd have to give a mixed review to these cameras. They do the job as advertised, and the picture quality (720p) is pretty darn good once you install everything. But the biggest hangup so far is data corruption. I don't know if it was caused by vibration or contantly plugging/unplugging the chargers, but one of the cameras has (twice) wound up with a 100% corrupt SDHC card. All the files and folders will be named with random characters, and at that point, your only option is to reformat with a PC. I haven't tried recovering the data yet, but I wouldn't hold my breath. More info soon...

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