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128 GB USB Tesla branded thumb drive now available

rijc99

Member
Sep 23, 2020
154
110
Irvine OC, FEMA Region 9

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FredMertz

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
325
372
Westchester, NY
What’s the consensus? Is it a good idea to buy this from Tesla? New to a Tesla and just got my MY on 11/18 and ordered this drive when I was placing my Homelink order.

You're paying a premium for a Tesla sticker, plus, it wouldn't be a top choice at any price. It's a regular flash drive, which is not the best choice for something that is constantly writing and rewriting.

Here's a good article to explain, with some recommendations.

The Best MicroSD Cards For Security Cameras

It's a year+ old, but these things don't change much.
 

GRACKLE

Member
Oct 28, 2020
105
20
Austin, TX
You're paying a premium for a Tesla sticker, plus, it wouldn't be a top choice at any price. It's a regular flash drive, which is not the best choice for something that is constantly writing and rewriting.

Here's a good article to explain, with some recommendations.

The Best MicroSD Cards For Security Cameras

It's a year+ old, but these things don't change much.

Sounds like the Samsung 128 pro or endurance would be better. But when I went on amazon and looked it up there were reviews saying it wasn’t formatted right for the Tesla.

I’m looking for a something that I can just order, unwrap, and plug in and it’ll work. Or am I misunderstanding and these are that simple to use as well? Not even sure where I’d plug one of those cards in. Yes, I’m that clueless on storage devices.
 

FredMertz

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
325
372
Westchester, NY
Sounds like the Samsung 128 pro or endurance would be better. But when I went on amazon and looked it up there were reviews saying it wasn’t formatted right for the Tesla.

I’m looking for a something that I can just order, unwrap, and plug in and it’ll work. Or am I misunderstanding and these are that simple to use as well? Not even sure where I’d plug one of those cards in. Yes, I’m that clueless on storage devices.

In the past, you needed to pre-format the memory stick in the right way (easily done on your computer), but I believe the car does that for you now when you plug the memory in.

For plugging the micro sd card, you'd need a simple USB adapter like this one:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B06ZYXR7DL/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_5waUFbS7WEJGP
 

JBauer

Member
Oct 6, 2020
30
9
Toronto
I'd go for the Tesla branded USB, as opposed to other options. Just in case something happens to it, I am hoping Tesla would still honour the warranty or something like that, whereas Amazon would probably give me only 3 months for the warranty; not to mention there are so many counterfeits at Amazon for Samsung or other brands, really don't want to go thru the hassles to figure out those.
 
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Clark_Kent

Member
Jun 23, 2020
367
254
Smallville, KS
Sounds like the Samsung 128 pro or endurance would be better. But when I went on amazon and looked it up there were reviews saying it wasn’t formatted right for the Tesla.

I’m looking for a something that I can just order, unwrap, and plug in and it’ll work. Or am I misunderstanding and these are that simple to use as well? Not even sure where I’d plug one of those cards in. Yes, I’m that clueless on storage devices.
This is what you’re looking for.

Tesla DashCam & Sentry Mode Package - USB/MicroSD Configured for TeslaCam - Pure Tesla
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,630
2,604
Maryland
Since June 2020 the Model Y Dashcam/Sentry Mode has been able to format, use exFAT formatted SD cards and USB thumb drives, so there is no need to download 3rd party software onto a Microsoft Windows PC just so you can partition, format a microSD card or USB thumb drive larger than 4GB using FAT32 format. No need to pay $$ for a pre-formatted in FAT32 format larger capacity microSD card or USB thumb drive.

You can use a microSD card reader such as this one: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN (I use this $12 card reader)

You will want to use a High Endurance (Sandisk) or PRO Endurance (Samsung) microSD card like this one: Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM.) (I use this $20 SD card for Dashcam/Sentry mode recordings.)

A 128GB storage device can hold approximately 14 hours of Tesla Dashcam/Sentry mode video files (Tesla Dashcam only stores the most recent 1 hour of video files in the Active Log directory.) The 64GB version of the Samsung PRO Endurance card is only slightly less expensive ($7 less expensive) so the 128GB card is the better value.

You can also get a similar 256GB microSD card if you want to partition the memory card, store your music library on the partition not used by Tesla for Dashcam/Sentry mode video files. At $48, the 256GB Sandisk High Endurance microSD card is quite a bit more expensive than the 128GB Samsung Pro Endurance microSD card.

Priced together the Sandisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD card reader and the Samsung PRO Endurance 128Gb microSD card cost approximately the same as the $35 Tesla 128GB thumb drive that now comes with the Model 3 and Model Y, is available from the Tesla Store.

Thumb drives are generally not recommended for high write/rewrite use applications such as video surveillance/dash cams. A High Endurance or PRO Endurance microSD card will last longer before the storage device would need to be replaced. I am anticipating that the Samsung PRO Endurance microSD card may last one or two years of constant write/rewrite use before the microSD card is no longer reliable. (I used non-Endurance microSD cards in a pair of standalone dash cams in my previous vehicle; one of the non-Endurance microSD cards developed a problem, would stop writing data after just a few months of use. I would reformat the damaged microSD card but it would only record a limited amount of data before it would stop writing new files.)
 
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GRACKLE

Member
Oct 28, 2020
105
20
Austin, TX
Since June 2020 the Model Y Dashcam/Sentry Mode has been able to format, use exFAT formatted SD cards and USB thumb drives, so there is no need to download 3rd party software onto a Microsoft Windows PC just so you can partition, format a microSD card or USB thumb drive larger than 4GB using FAT32 format. No need to pay $$ for a pre-formatted in FAT32 format larger capacity microSD card or USB thumb drive.

You can use a microSD card reader such as this one: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN (I use this $12 card reader)

You will want to use a High Endurance (Sandisk) or PRO Endurance (Samsung) microSD card like this one: Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM.) (I use this $20 SD card for Dashcam/Sentry mode recordings.)

A 128GB storage device can hold approximately 14 hours of Tesla Dashcam/Sentry mode video files (Tesla Dashcam only stores the most recent 1 hour of video files in the Active Log directory.) The 64GB version of the Samsung PRO Endurance card is only slightly less expensive ($7 less expensive) so the 128GB card is the better value.

You can also get a similar 256GB microSD card if you want to partition the memory card, store your music library on the partition not used by Tesla for Dashcam/Sentry mode video files. At $48, the 256GB Sandisk High Endurance microSD card is quite a bit more expensive than the 128GB Samsung Pro Endurance microSD card.

Priced together the Sandisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD card reader and the Samsung PRO Endurance 128Gb microSD card cost approximately the same as the $35 Tesla 128GB thumb drive that now comes with the Model 3 and Model Y, is available from the Tesla Store.

Thumb drives are generally not recommended for high write/rewrite use applications such as video surveillance/dash cams. A High Endurance or PRO Endurance microSD card will last longer before the storage device would need to be replaced. I am anticipating that the Samsung PRO Endurance microSD card may last one or two years of constant write/rewrite use before the microSD card is no longer reliable. (I used non-Endurance microSD cards in a pair of standalone dash cams in my previous vehicle; one of the non-Endurance microSD cards developed a problem, would stop writing data after just a few months of use. I would reformat the damaged microSD card but it would only record a limited amount of data before it would stop writing new files.)

I was reading Ryan Shaws recs. Do you think one of these will last longer?

https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-Portable-SSD-500GB-MU-PC500T/dp/B0874YS2N7

TeslaCam SSD Extreme - Pure Tesla
 

Clark_Kent

Member
Jun 23, 2020
367
254
Smallville, KS
Since June 2020 the Model Y Dashcam/Sentry Mode has been able to format, use exFAT formatted SD cards and USB thumb drives, so there is no need to download 3rd party software onto a Microsoft Windows PC just so you can partition, format a microSD card or USB thumb drive larger than 4GB using FAT32 format. No need to pay $$ for a pre-formatted in FAT32 format larger capacity microSD card or USB thumb drive.

You can use a microSD card reader such as this one: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN (I use this $12 card reader)

You will want to use a High Endurance (Sandisk) or PRO Endurance (Samsung) microSD card like this one: Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM.) (I use this $20 SD card for Dashcam/Sentry mode recordings.)

A 128GB storage device can hold approximately 14 hours of Tesla Dashcam/Sentry mode video files (Tesla Dashcam only stores the most recent 1 hour of video files in the Active Log directory.) The 64GB version of the Samsung PRO Endurance card is only slightly less expensive ($7 less expensive) so the 128GB card is the better value.

You can also get a similar 256GB microSD card if you want to partition the memory card, store your music library on the partition not used by Tesla for Dashcam/Sentry mode video files. At $48, the 256GB Sandisk High Endurance microSD card is quite a bit more expensive than the 128GB Samsung Pro Endurance microSD card.

Priced together the Sandisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD card reader and the Samsung PRO Endurance 128Gb microSD card cost approximately the same as the $35 Tesla 128GB thumb drive that now comes with the Model 3 and Model Y, is available from the Tesla Store.

Thumb drives are generally not recommended for high write/rewrite use applications such as video surveillance/dash cams. A High Endurance or PRO Endurance microSD card will last longer before the storage device would need to be replaced. I am anticipating that the Samsung PRO Endurance microSD card may last one or two years of constant write/rewrite use before the microSD card is no longer reliable. (I used non-Endurance microSD cards in a pair of standalone dash cams in my previous vehicle; one of the non-Endurance microSD cards developed a problem, would stop writing data after just a few months of use. I would reformat the damaged microSD card but it would only record a limited amount of data before it would stop writing new files.)
Thanks for providing this information. If I'm reading this correct, if I buy the following items you suggested I can simply plug into the port in the center console: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN and Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM). There's no need to format or take any other steps. Is that correct?
 

rijc99

Member
Sep 23, 2020
154
110
Irvine OC, FEMA Region 9
Thanks for providing this information. If I'm reading this correct, if I buy the following items you suggested I can simply plug into the port in the center console: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN and Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM). There's no need to format or take any other steps. Is that correct?

You can format it from your car after plugging it in. There is a button in your screen for formatting.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,630
2,604
Maryland
Thanks for providing this information. If I'm reading this correct, if I buy the following items you suggested I can simply plug into the port in the center console: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader - SDDR-B531-GN6NN and Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB 100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter (MB-MJ128GA/AM). There's no need to format or take any other steps. Is that correct?

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

You don't need to purchase a microSD card or a thumb drive or SSD storage device that has been specially formatted for FAT32 file system, anymore, if you have a Windows PC just because Microsoft Windows does not support formatting of devices larger than 32GB using the FAT32 file system.

That's what I did when I started driving my Model Y, I ordered the card reader and the PRO Endurance card a few weeks prior to delivery; worked for me. You just insert the card reader with the microSD card installed into the USB-A slot (the one on the right side of the console) and then follow the prompts for formatting the microSD card within Tesla Model Y Dashcam/Sentry Mode Reader screen menu options.

The Model 3, Model Y Dashcam/Sentry Mode reader software got smarter through a software release around the beginning of June. The Tesla software now knows how to format and use a memory storage device that is formatted in other than FAT32 file system. The newer file system options include exFAT and NTFS. These file systems were originally designed for larger capacity storage devices than FAT32. In fact, today the FAT32 file system format supports up to 16TB hard drives but Microsoft Windows will only format these larger capacity storage devices using exFAT or NTFS, not FAT32.

I can't recall which file system the Tesla software used, but it was able to format the microSD card with no issue, immediately start Dashcam /Sentry mode recording.
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,630
2,604
Maryland
I don't know about the long term use of the portable SSD in Dashcam/Sentry Mode use; the main issue with using a SSD in the USB-A slot is the USB-A is limited to 900ma. The SSD may require more power (especially during write operations) so you could lose data. If you use the USB-C slot instead, you have much more power available from the USB-C port but then you lose the ability to use the wireless charging pad unless you can find a USB hub that is compatible with the Tesla charging pad and supports USB-C for data transfer as well as for charging.
 

Jeff3820

Member
Aug 1, 2019
85
62
Wisconsin
Very low power consumption with SSDs. MAXIMUM power consumption is about 2.8W. That means 560ma. Absolutely compatible with USB-A. SSD will be much faster than sd based flash cards and SSDs have greater tolerance for reading and writing...they are hard drives after all.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,630
2,604
Maryland
Very low power consumption with SSDs. MAXIMUM power consumption is about 2.8W. That means 560ma. Absolutely compatible with USB-A. SSD will be much faster than sd based flash cards and SSDs have greater tolerance for reading and writing...they are hard drives after all.
Good to know. I had read this TeslaTap page re: USB, thumb drive and SSD storage devices. Search Results for “usb power” – TeslaTap

One point that the TeslaTap page makes is that SSD are designed for use in the home. The temperature inside of a vehicle, in summer, can well exceed the recommended operating temperature for the SSD. The SSDs listed either do not specifying a maximum operating temperature or 95F. The thumb drives listed are rated to 140F or 158F. The listed microSD cards can operate up to 185F.
 
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