Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

128 GB USB Tesla branded thumb drive now available

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
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.
I wanted to note that if you have cabin overheat protection turned on in the vehicle climate control settings, when parked in warm weather the Tesla vehicle will automatically turn on the AC and keep the cabin temperature under 105F (40C). Cabin overheat protection can activate for up to 12 hours after you park.
 

Itsuo-DC

Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2018
166
96
Washington, DC
I remember reading about this previously and the consensus was that no special drive is necessary. Just get something with reasonable storage (16 GB+). I know there is an urge to over think this one but in reality the limitation is not the drive but how buggy the software can be.

Since reading that, I got a new regular dive and occasionally have to reformat my new drive and then I’m up and running again. I bought some USB/USB-C drive on Amazon.
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
205
101
Torrance, CA
i have had 4 family member laptops that I had previously upgraded to 500GB SSD's die for reasons unrelated to the SSD over the last 18 months. It sounds like I could reformat one of these and use them with a $8 USB A to Sata III adaptor. Is there any reason not to go that route? I assume my MY will have the Glove Box USB plug.
 

DaveORD

Member
Mar 12, 2020
724
625
Chicagoland
i have had 4 family member laptops that I had previously upgraded to 500GB SSD's die for reasons unrelated to the SSD over the last 18 months. It sounds like I could reformat one of these and use them with a $8 USB A to Sata III adaptor. Is there any reason not to go that route? I assume my MY will have the Glove Box USB plug.

USB-A could be USB 2.0 or 3.0 which means difference in protocol/speed and more importantly how much power is available. With respect to protocol/speed, either 2.0 or 3.0 should be fast enough for sentry video recording, so no concerns there. However, USB 2.0 connections are 5V 500mA max per port = 2.5W whereas USB 3.0 is 5V and 900mA max which is 4.5W. USB-C can supply even more power.

Make sure your SSD + adapter will work with whatever USB version is being offered in that USB-A connection. While it may seem to work if just detecting the drive and reading files from it like music, worst case scenario will be when you have to do a sustained write to the drive as in saving video from a sentry event. So try in-car format of that drive and then some dash cam/sentry recording and viewing to confirm that the complete video files are saved and viewable. Not all drives are the same, so you may be okay, or on edge, or it may not work at all.
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
205
101
Torrance, CA
USB-A could be USB 2.0 or 3.0 which means difference in protocol/speed and more importantly how much power is available. With respect to protocol/speed, either 2.0 or 3.0 should be fast enough for sentry video recording, so no concerns there. However, USB 2.0 connections are 5V 500mA max per port = 2.5W whereas USB 3.0 is 5V and 900mA max which is 4.5W. USB-C can supply even more power.

Make sure your SSD + adapter will work with whatever USB version is being offered in that USB-A connection. While it may seem to work if just detecting the drive and reading files from it like music, worst case scenario will be when you have to do a sustained write to the drive as in saving video from a sentry event. So try in-car format of that drive and then some dash cam/sentry recording and viewing to confirm that the complete video files are saved and viewable. Not all drives are the same, so you may be okay, or on edge, or it may not work at all.

Thank you for the info. I currently have a old USB 2.0 SSD adapter that came with one of the SSD's as part of the migration kit. My MY was delivered today, so I can give it a test.
 
Oct 31, 2020
53
51
Denver
I assume my MY will have the Glove Box USB plug.

I really like the setup others have suggested earlier in this post. Especially if you go the glove box route... Nice and neat.

IMG_4488.jpeg
 

Clark_Kent

Member
Jun 23, 2020
367
254
Smallville, KS
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?
I wanted to close the loop on this. I purchased the two above items recommended by jcanoe and I'm very pleased. I particularly like the small footprint of the SanDisk MobileMate.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
I wanted to close the loop on this. I purchased the two above items recommended by jcanoe and I'm very pleased.
Good to know; my SanDisk MobileMate card reader and Samsung PRO Endurance micro SD card have been working well for 6 months. The MobileMate adapter is so small that it almost disappears when you plug it into the Tesla's USB-A port.
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
205
101
Torrance, CA
I was not able to get my 2021 MY to recognize the My SSD with a 2.0 USB adapter. However, I found that the little piece of plastic that came in the globe box USB slot was an 128GB thumb drive. I originally thought that it was just a dummy piece, it doesn't look like the one on the web site. There was no documentation that it was included. I was told by the delivery tech who called today, following on the original delivery.
 

Klau2

Member
Mar 25, 2019
398
229
Boyds, MD
I decided to try and future proof my drive and went with this SanDisk Dual Drive USB A/C drive.

https://shop.westerndigital.com/pro...dual-drive-m30-usb-3-1-type-c#SDDDC2-016G-A46

sandisk_ultra_usb-c_678_678x452.jpg
That is a USB drive, and is not made for constant write and rewrite or extreme temperature in the car. Like many others had said. A high endurance micro SD card is the way to go. You can just buy a reader that have both usb A and C adapter. Plenty of those on Amazon.

Here's a good article about sentry mode.

Tesla Sentry Mode USB Setup – What Type of Storage Should I Use?
 
  • Informative
Reactions: CleverUsername

GRACKLE

Member
Oct 28, 2020
105
20
Austin, TX
That is a USB drive, and is not made for constant write and rewrite or extreme temperature in the car. Like many others had said. A high endurance micro SD card is the way to go. You can just buy a reader that have both usb A and C adapter. Plenty of those on Amazon.

Here's a good article about sentry mode.

Tesla Sentry Mode USB Setup – What Type of Storage Should I Use?

Although unfortunately I had already ordered and used the Tesla branded drive, after reading that article and seeing that there is more of a power drain, and that it likely won't hold up in high TX summer temps, I just ordered one of the recommended micro SD cards. Thanks!
 

Itsuo-DC

Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2018
166
96
Washington, DC
That is a USB drive, and is not made for constant write and rewrite or extreme temperature in the car. Like many others had said. A high endurance micro SD card is the way to go. You can just buy a reader that have both usb A and C adapter. Plenty of those on Amazon.

Here's a good article about sentry mode.

Tesla Sentry Mode USB Setup – What Type of Storage Should I Use?

I’m basing my choice off what I’ve read from @Knightshade; they seem to show that it’s actually the software and not the hardware that causes the issues with TeslaCam. It also explains why Tesla themselves only chose a simple USB drive over some other more involved solution. (At lease for older TM3s which I drive and use mine on.)

On another thread in TMC: MASTER THREAD: USB drives that work with Sentry and TeslaCam Post 21.
 

elementsdk1

Member
Dec 5, 2020
108
78
SF Bay Area
For new deliveries/pick-ups (I picked up my Y earlier today), the 2021's come with a 128gb USB drive already plugged in and ready to go in the Sentry USB slot in the glove compartment.

That being said, I already purchased a Samsung SD card specifically for this use. I'll ride it out with the USB for now since it's already there, but I probably will switch it out to the Samsung SD at some point.
 

Jonikay

Member
Jan 19, 2019
10
1
Lake Forest
I have a 2018 X can I use the SS card reader and a 128 gb usb? I was using a 32 gb usb but it always had issues. Will my older Tesla format the card for me? Im concerned because everything I read says windows won’t let me format anything larger then 32gb.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
I have a 2018 X can I use the SS card reader and a 128 gb usb? I was using a 32 gb usb but it always had issues. Will my older Tesla format the card for me? Im concerned because everything I read says windows won’t let me format anything larger then 32gb.
That was true back in 2019 but in early 2020 Tesla updated the Dashcam/Sentry mode software. The Tesla can now accept, format memory devices larger than 32 GB, can format these for use with either FAT32, exFAT or NTFS file systems. (The thumb drive slot for the Dashcam/Sentry Mode memory device is inside the glove box is USB-A. All of the other USB ports are USB-C.)
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
205
101
Torrance, CA
That was true back in 2019 but in early 2020 Tesla updated the Dashcam/Sentry mode software. The Tesla can now accept, format memory devices larger than 32 GB, can format these for use with either FAT32, exFAT or NTFS file systems. (The thumb drive slot for the Dashcam/Sentry Mode memory device is inside the glove box is USB-A. All of the other USB ports are USB-C.)
I think that your answer about the software capability to format memory devices is probably correct for the MX. However, your answer about the USB ports is confusing at best. Only the MYs (and I assume M3s) with new center console (with the sliding top) have the configuration you referred to. All 2020 MYs and 2021 MYs with the older style center console have USB-A and USB-C slots in that console. My 2021 MY with a 12/10 delivery date, came with the additional USB-A slot in the glove box for Sentry Mode along with a Tesla provided USB stick. I don't know if this applies to all 2021 MYs or not. Clearly Tesla only started providing the memory stick in December 2020.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
I think that your answer about the software capability to format memory devices is probably correct for the MX. However, your answer about the USB ports is confusing at best. Only the MYs (and I assume M3s) with new center console (with the sliding top) have the configuration you referred to. All 2020 MYs and 2021 MYs with the older style center console have USB-A and USB-C slots in that console. My 2021 MY with a 12/10 delivery date, came with the additional USB-A slot in the glove box for Sentry Mode along with a Tesla provided USB stick. I don't know if this applies to all 2021 MYs or not. Clearly Tesla only started providing the memory stick in December 2020.
You are right. I misread the post as if the owner of the Model X was moving to a a Model Y. (This was posted in a Model Y forum.) I believe there are actually three variations of the Model Y as far as the location for the USB-A slot for the memory storage for Dashcam/Sentry Mode. The original Model Y released in early 2020 has two front USB slots located underneath the wireless charging pad (pad can be flipped up.) One USB-C and one USB-A (for the memory device.) There was a brief production period where some Model Y had the old console but the USB-A slot for the memory storage device for Dashcam/Sentry mode was moved to inside the glove box where it remains today. (I am not sure if that left only one USB-C slot underneath the wireless charging pad or if there were two USB-C ports. Finally, for Model Y with the new console there are two USB-C slots located inside the compartment with the sliding cover. There is one USB-A slot for the memory storage for Dashcam and Sentry mode located inside the glove box.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top