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Thread: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

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    Member sudz's Avatar
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    Default Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    Hi all,

    I finally got around to installing my 40 dollar dash cam from china. I was a bit weary due to mixed reviews, but so far, for daylight, it hasn't disappointed me.

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/160797834965

    So, the Good:

    • Installation. I just pushed the wires under the headliner and they're not visable. I pulled back the A-Piller and then ran it under the rubber trim around the inside of the door. Super easy. I mounted it under my 407 transponder, so it is 100% blocked by my rear view mirror. I forget about it. That's awesome as its one less technogadget to distract me while driving.
    • The price: it was under 40 dollars to my door. No shipping or taxes. (they marked it as gift. How nice!)
    • Wire Length: The length of wiring was more than adequate. I had about 3 feet left over, which I just bundled up. It fit under the kickpanel fine.
    • I budgeted 3 horus to install this. I was done in 20 minutes. I cut a corner (which haunts me now... more on that later)
    • handles a 16gb microsd card fine (not sure about 32... 16 is SDHC, I think 32 is SDXC?



    The OK:
    • Labelling of the wires was falling off. It was pretty obvious, but annoying
    • Video Quality: I haven't driven at night with it yet, but daylight playback is great for evidence. I was NOT expecting "goPro Hero" quality by any means. Here's a sample video:
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqLLu_y6LNM
    • They put the QC (quality control) label over the "play/pause" button. Trying to peel it off proved to be annoying, as it disintegrates, (but still sticks)
    • By Default, No sound. so if you want sound for your trip, you have to hit a button, every single time you turn on the car.



    The Bad:
    • Ebay says "built in lithium Ion battery for data protection" This does not exist. the moment you turn off the car, it dies, but this is probably my fault.
    • Instructions. HORRIBLE engrish.
    • You have to hook it up to a TV via RCA cable to set the date/time/settings. Pull your battery, and you'll ahve to do it again.


    Notes:

    95% my fault:

    There are 4 wires from the unit: Video(yellow RCA) 12V(with fuse) 12V Remote, and Ground.

    I was lazy. My Amp Remote turn-on line was right there, so I tapped into it with both turn-on and remote, thinking that the "built in battery" would save the date/time.

    The battery does not exist. That's my biggest beef. So I have to take a bit and actually connect the 12v Line to the battery/Amp Power wire when I have some time.

    As a result, however, The camera doesn't work unless I format the card every time... Because it resets to the same date every time, so the files it tries to save "already exist" and it stops recording. If it retains power, it'll keep its file naming progression and not have an issue. So, I'll update when I've gone and installed this PROPERLY.

    Again, if I followed the engrish instructions properly, this wouldn't be an issue, althoguh I'm a bit miffed that it didn't come with the built in battery as described.

    Over all, I'd give this product a 6.5/10. Up for re-review after I have some night footage to examine!

    I'll post some pictures of it installed when I get around to taking pictures.

  2. #2
    Member leecheefoto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    Glad you found your mistakes! This happened to me when I was installing my volt meter gauge last night, but it was a quick fix to run it down to the firewall and to the battery. Don't put all your connections to the amp, instead get some kind of distributer to put before connecting the amp

    Click to enlarge!

    www.leenguyen.ca

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    Member sudz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    lol, I have no idea how I'd even connect a 24 gage 12volt wire to that massive block. I'm just going to stab a slit in my amp wire and shove the 12V wire in there, and use electrical tape to seal it up again. Its dirty, but it'll work.

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    Sr Member peterm15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    As for the battery.

    Try turning on the unit when it's not plugged in. I know for my cam, it's a setting.

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    Member sudz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    unfortuately no "on" button. I'll try mashing play or record to see... but doubtful.

    The unit is VERY light... like So light I thought I got jipped and they sent me a dummy.

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    Member leecheefoto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    Hey Sudz, if you don't mind recording and uploading some night shots after you finish up everything as well as a picture of your mounting point!

    I'm kind of interested in trying one knowing I can't afford the higher end ones lol

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    Sr Member Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    Looks like a decent camera for the price.

    I notice you cannot make out license plates though, can you on your PC and youtube is just compressing the crap out of it?

    Does it have a parking mode?

    I read the ebay article but it did not specify.

    Thanks man!
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    Member sudz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    define parking mode?

    When stopped at a light You can make out a plate easily. On Oncoming traffic... its really hit or miss, depending on the lighting/speed.

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    Sr Member Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    Quote Originally Posted by sudz View Post
    define parking mode?

    When stopped at a light You can make out a plate easily. On Oncoming traffic... its really hit or miss, depending on the lighting/speed.
    If you turn the car off the camera will still turn on if there is movement.

    I am looking for a cam but also not wanting to spend a lot of $. This fits both those needs

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    Member trulankan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    looks promising...i had actually ordered one that got good reviews but it disappeared in the mail and i had to file a paypal claim...i hate ordering things from China. i want to get a small one like this, especially if i can connect it to my deck to view the footage. that would be sweet.
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    it has RCA Out - Definately not HD output... but its required to set the date/time. Quite annoying.

    Note: I kept forgetting the Memory card in my computer, so I FINALLY just put it back in my car (lol) so hopefully I'll do some night driving in the next few days to check out its quality.

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    Jr Member starscream's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    bump any update on this.... kinda wanna see more footage, and night time footage.

    Any updates on how you like the camera? problems? issues? hotdogs?

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    Member sudz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap-o "Smallest HD Dash cam" from E-bay Review

    The night footage is just under acceptable quality. The problem is, it ramps up the Gamma so you can actually see stuff at night - But then when your lights hit a license plate, its super over exposed, and you can't read the letters. In well lit streets its not bad. I'll post some video clips.

    I can't give it a full review yet, because I don't have it installed correctly. I am ASSUMING most of its issues are my fault.

    It says it has a built in battery - that's an outright lie. It needs 12Volt always, + Remote turn on. I figured with the battery built in, it'd save the time, so I could be lazy and just wire it to my remote turn on. False.

    As such, the date and time resets. and I'm ASSUMING this is screwing up file creation/deletion, as it doesn't actually know which file is oldest. I think its getting confused, as sometimes there is a 1 second gap within files, and some times theres a 12-45 second gap between files. the files will be in random order. I basically reformat the card before every long drive. But again, its my fault for being lazy during installation. I need to run a 12v line from the battery before I pass judgement totally.

    I AM impressed with the fact that it is totally stealth. I constantly forget its there. 100% invisible to the driver. I have it mounted below my 407 transponder. It isn't obvious to the passenger either (its there, but doesn't obstruct the view)

    I am NOT impressed that you have to plug it into an RCA port on a TV in order to set the date/time. :-S

    Once I install fully, I'll probably post another review. In the mean time, this is the "closest" call its caught - Someone almost blew through a roundabout and clocked me. He goes off camera as I pass him... but it was within a few feet, and he had a look of panic/shock/apology on his face.


    And some night shots: (once its done uploading)


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