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Blackvue or Thinkware dash cam, and installer in San Diego

Discussion in 'Model S' started by MeTooFull, Jun 14, 2017.

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  1. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Hello everyone! I have a 2017 S and considering installing a 2 channel dash cam, I am looking into Blackkvue 650s or Thinkware F770.

    Tesla Dashcam Showdown: Thinkware F770 vs. BlackVue DR650GW

    The main reason for considering Thinkware is the 1080p rear cam, I want to make sure I can identify license plate in case of hit and run while parked. I know most people TMC has installed Blackvue, just wonder if anyone has experience installing and using the Thinkware,

    Also want to see if anyone has recommendation for installer in San Diego locally, I know there is a bunch of great installers in LA/OC area but I want see what options I have locally as I want to be able to troubleshoot in case of a problem without driving up to LA. The only one I can find by searching TMC is La Jolla Audio.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Richardbankd

    Richardbankd Member

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    I installed the think ware F770 with rear camera and parking recording wire harness (extra 50$ here in Canada). The image quality is great and there are no issues reading plates even at night through 20% tint. Very happy with the Thinkware purchase over BlackVue(nothing wrong with blackvue, I just liked the Thinkware better).
     
  3. 2017ModS

    2017ModS Member

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    How handy are you? I called local places in SD and found one place (don't want to name any vendors) that wanted $1200 for install. I went online, did my research and installed everything myself for under $40 in parts. The front camera was easy and took under 15 mins to install after making the patch cable (). The rear camera took some time getting the wire fed through the side door panels. I used a pick up tool (Amazon: general tools 70399 lighted steel pick-up tool). Once you get it in the trunk, you're set. I have the Blackvue myself and love it! PM me if you want more info.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Thanks for the input, I think I can do that front one but not sure about the rear one.

    2017ModS: with the blackvue, will you be able to read license plate numbers in dark parking garage? I just want to know in case of hit and run from someone backing out.
     
  5. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    If you are leaning towards the Thinkware for recording of a possible accident, do research as to how exactly the dash cam records those events and make sure you are going to get the video footage of what you want. It's my understanding the event videos are truncated and you are missing video on each side of it.

    We went with the Blackvue 2-ch DR650S, upgraded to a 128 Gb micro disk to buy some extra recording time. It's running all the time and we get basically full video that flows together for a complete picture. It's not perfect and has room for improvement in some areas but the handling of the accident footage was most important to us. Some people also enable the Cloud feature and that way all of their recordings are sent to the cloud in the event someone steals or damages your camera you still have the footage to download.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Mattzilla

    Mattzilla Member

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    Dashcams are pushing into 2k (check out the TeslaTap comparison guide) and I think we can expect decent 4k dashcams by the end of this year or the beginning of next. I wouldn't buy a 1080 system when there are currently higher resolution models available and even better ones on the brink of being released. 1080 is so 2012.
     
  7. Frankman60

    Frankman60 Member

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    La Jolla Audio installed a NVX subwoofer in my MS and did an excellent job. When I was there I talked with Donald about installing a dashcam and he mentioned that they have installed the BlackVue and one other brand dashcam in Teslas but I don't remember the other brand.
     
  8. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Do you know how much/long video can fit into 128gb? Our car usually park in a garage for 10-12 hours during weekdays and we want to make sure we get the license plate if another car hit us from pulling in or backing out from the next parking space, it has already happened once and we want make sure we can catch the hit and run if it happens again.

    Thanks.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Thanks. Yes, i already bought this on recommended by wirecutter for another car:
    The Best Dash Cam

    We are using a GoPro Hero 5 right now recording in 4k while we are on the road, but we really need constant record while the car is parked as we have a hit and run recently and lucky it was able to fixed by a PDR guy on the rear quarter panel and another guy to patch/paint the scratches on the plastic bumper.

    Anyone know of any rumors about any new dash cam coming out with 2k+ recording for both front and back cameras?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Solivera

    Solivera New Member

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    I installed the BlackVue 650S 2CH dash cam using the same video posted by @2017ModS above. It took about 4 hours but I got it done it and looks impressive. Here's is a post installation video of how it looks:
     
  11. blackhawk

    blackhawk Member

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    I had Calibred Customs install my BlackVue at my house. Great job and a better price than anyone has quoted above. I highly recommend pinging John to see if he will be in SD any time soon. See Calibred Customs

    I thought about Thinkware versus Blackvue before I purchased and read all of the reviews and forums at length. I went with Blackvue 650S-2CH for the following reasons:

    - Blackvue has a smaller camera, which is less obtrusive

    - Blackvue cloud service works great (Thinkware doesn't offer one AFAIK). I have a hotspot in my car and wifi access at work, so I know immediately what is going on w my car most of the time.

    - Ability to operate Blackvue in silent mode. Thinkware has audio prompts which cannot be turned off as of latest firmware revision. That's a deal breaker for me.

    - Blackvue seems to be more popular and has a better website. Just compare their support websites for example. Also Blackvue has much more coverage on sites like DashCamTalk

    Sure, there will be higher resolution cameras in the future, but I'd rather have a 1080P capture of something important today than waiting for the perfect camera and not having anything at all. Also, I don't want to to be the beta tester for new cameras, chipsets and firmware. :)
     
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  12. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    #12 SMAlset, Jun 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017

    The recording range for a 128Gb card in the 650S-2ch will depend on what range of resolution you set and frame rate. The bit rate also plays into the quality of recording. Not sure what my husband has ours set to right now. He's experimented with different settings. FWIW here's a FAQ on Blackvue's 650S recording time from their site: DR650S-2CH.

    If a car parks right next to you however, you probably won't get readable video of it's license plate as it pulls in or backs out of the space due to the angle of the cars and the camera positioning if you think about it....even if it goes to back out and in doing so turns directly in front of your lift gate and back camera, since their car at that point will be perpendicular to your car. However you should get the color and make of the car and maybe a visible on the person driving or anyone in the passenger side of their car depending how the car turns to pull out from yours. That might be helpful if you are in an apartment garage for example with assigned spots. It would help confirm the car that caused the impact. A dash cam is probably useful for picking up the license plate in that situation only if the car is parked across from your car. And then will depend on how plates are displayed in your state (some only require rear plates so seeing it only from the front won't be of any use).

    The 650S in the above situation would give you access to video recorded (of the person walking to their car if they came in view of the camera or leaving the car if they bumped you on the way to park--might not see them at all if they backed into the spot and dinged you) on either side of the "moment of impact" Event files as long as the camera was set to be on continuously. The normal, parking and event files all flow seamlessly into one another when you view them. No video is lost until recorded over. If you do think or know you were hit and you're not using the Cloud, I'd suggest pulling the video card out as soon as possible so it doesn't overwrite the normal and parking files should something useful still be on them. The impact files will be saved and not written over and you will have at the highest settings a recording range of continuous video of 17hrs. 20 minutes according to their chart.

    Just keep in mind none of these dash cams are full proof. Glare from the sun or lights hitting the windshield, windows, chrome, etc. can all affect the quality of the recording. Even your dashboard at times will throw up a reflection onto the windshield and affect your view.
     
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  13. Cricket88

    Cricket88 Member

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    sorry to Hijack this thread but do you happen to have a picture of how the thinkware looks mounted? I am trying to see how obtrusive the unit is taped on the windshield... Thanks in advance.
     
  14. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    I have these two photos of the Thinkware that I saved when we were doing our research. Not shown on a Tesla but you get the idea. Don't know where the photos were from to give credit.

    Thinkware - 1.jpg Thinkware - 2.jpg
     
  15. Xiao ma ge

    Xiao ma ge Member

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    Maybe you can look for the Topfit Dash Cam. topfit dash cam snap shot (2).jpg
     
  16. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Thanks for the info, it's very helpful!

    Looks like the 128gb will work for our time frame. For parking hit and run, looks like Calibred Customs can do 4 channel install with two sets of Balckvue.

    I wish Tesla let us access to all the camera in a AP2 cars, especially the side ones, may be someday they will have it in api and someone can make an app for it.
     
  17. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Thanks!! I think I am going to go with Blackvue with 128gb. Going to give Calibred Customs a call to figure out installation.
     
  18. Kurt'sX

    Kurt'sX Member

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    I did a Blackvue 2 channel on my MX with great success. I lived in San Diego and Called Johnny at Calibred for install. He wanted additional to come to San Diego, so I decided to drive up to LA for a day trip. I met him at the Fox Hills Mall super charger and he installed the cameras while I was parked in a shady spot, taking about 2 hours. I then charged up and drove back to SD. Had a nice visit to the mall and grabbed lunch while I waited.
     
  19. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Here's a tip since you're new to Blackvue. Don't forget the micro disk should get monthly reformatting maintenance to keep it in the best recording condition. The camera, if memory serves me correctly, doesn't support reformatting in camera if the capacity is above 32Gb. This is discussed in the camera's manual or somewhere on the website's Q&A or support area. Take it out of the camera and do the formatting through the app on a computer. I seen some people say that they used a larger capacity card and they were filling up their card sooner than expected and when they checked the card it still had unused space. Believe that's because of how the internal camera sets the formatting, so be sure to do it on your computer through the viewer app.
     
    • Helpful x 2
  20. MeTooFull

    MeTooFull Member

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    Thanks again for the great tip!!!
     

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