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

Cigarette lighter 12v constant power with Sentry on?

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
382
124
Burton-on-Trent
I've been looking up older threads for installing your own dashcam in the Model 3. There were a couple of threads from 2019 that mentioned a software update meant that the 12v cigarette lighter was getting constant power while Sentry Mode was active.

Obviously this isn't ideal with a dashcam plugged into that as it'd be recording constantly during that time.

Does anyone know if this is still the case?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,162
7,856
Visalia, CA
...Obviously this isn't ideal with a dashcam plugged into that as it'd be recording constantly during that time...
Yes.

In the old days, 12V outlet would turn off when a Tesla car times out. Obviously, that's not ideal because the whole purpose of having a dashcam is to catch all events at all times, not just when the owner is in the car but also when the owner is not there too.

That's when Tesla updated so that the 12V outlet would continue to be on when sentry mode is on too.

It's not hard to unplug from the 12V outlet. It just takes a second. But if it was like the old days, there's no way to have a third-party dashcam keep working when the car times out.

The sentry is nice but it's also nice to have a backup and WITH sound!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nick77

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
382
124
Burton-on-Trent
Cheers. I have a trusty old Aukey DR02 which has GPS coordinates and time/speed embedded in the video, plus a rear camera as well (if I can manage to get the wires through the wiring loom to the boot lid).

Plus the TeslaCam footage is quite blocky with poor colours, so I'd like a better quality footage that you can actually read number plates properly.

I wonder how long my 128GB high endurance microSD in the Aukey would last with Sentry on? TeslaFi scheduler will help here as I could only have it enabled on the morning when the bin men drag the wheelie bins back and forwards through all the parked cars (I park on the street).
 

curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
258
243
Northern Ireland
I installed a cellink neo battery, powered from the cigarette lighter, the dashcam then powered from the battery.
The dashcam automatically switches to parking mode when the 12v switches off (ie when parked) and uses a fraction of the watts that sentry mode consumes.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: davidmc and Nick77

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,239
5,759
Surrey, UK
I believe the official line is that 12v is powered when car is powered on or is in standby, but not when asleep. Sentry is one mode/state that prevents car from sleeping.

imho, as some of the posts above suggest, there are better ways to power a dashcam than preventing the car from sleeping some of which, such as sentry, will have a significant drain on the main battery.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nick77
Jan 20, 2020
307
149
Crawley
My dashcam+trunk power+ambient lights is powered from the pole under dash and the car is sleeping like baby.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210629-093727_Samsung Internet.jpg
    Screenshot_20210629-093727_Samsung Internet.jpg
    163.7 KB · Views: 17

s88ats

Member
Jul 12, 2020
406
197
London
For dashcams with "parking mode" etc that need constant power, I wondered if it will prevent the car from sleeping if you were to connect to constant 12v? I suspect not and the motion detection features would only kick in if the cars awake - unless a battery is also installed?

I remember when I tapped into the cig lighter for my ambient lights and found they stay on until the car goes to sleep, which I later changed. but I didn't wait long enough to see 1. if it eventually did go to sleep; 2. if it did, how long it took,

I've been debating it for a while now and played with the different variants of TeslaCam etc, but feel I need something more reliable god forbid I need it. The only time I'd need it recording while parked is when I'd activate sentry. This would keep the car awake and the dashcam would be powered.

Am I missing something with my logic...
 

s88ats

Member
Jul 12, 2020
406
197
London
From 27th May (hannshowdisplay) , so one month without any issue.
The power trunk is installed approximately two months ago.
I had read tesla can make changes with updates etc and the behavior of wires can change - the guys who had amps installed and needed remote/ constant 12v weren't too happy when this happened. I installed a relay for my ambient lights just because of this.
 
Jan 20, 2020
307
149
Crawley
I had read tesla can make changes with updates etc and the behavior of wires can change - the guys who had amps installed and needed remote/ constant 12v weren't too happy when this happened. I installed a relay for my ambient lights just because of this.
I know. For now everything is going well.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
382
124
Burton-on-Trent
I believe the official line is that 12v is powered when car is powered on or is in standby, but not when asleep. Sentry is one mode/state that prevents car from sleeping.

imho, as some of the posts above suggest, there are better ways to power a dashcam than preventing the car from sleeping some of which, such as sentry, will have a significant drain on the main battery.
Just to clarify, it's the opposite that I wanted. No power to the dashcam other than when I'm driving.
 

curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
258
243
Northern Ireland
The only time I'd need it recording while parked is when I'd activate sentry. This would keep the car awake and the dashcam would be powered.

Am I missing something with my logic...
No. Sentry works very well I think. Not great resolution but the side cameras are great for capturing door slams.

The only problem with sentry however is that it keeps the car awake, draining far more battery than a dashcam should. Sentry really does consume a lot of watt hours.

So, to provide some extra flexibility for those long trips when the car is sat at the airport then the dashcam battery gives me some flexibility to keep recording for longer without draining the main battery. At least that's the plan.

The irony is of course that in a post covid world I don't fly anywhere anymore. If I do go on holiday then I take the ferry and car. Doh! :rolleyes:
 

curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
258
243
Northern Ireland
Just to clarify, it's the opposite that I wanted. No power to the dashcam other than when I'm driving.

Not sure how your dashcam works, but I have a hardwire kit from the small battery to the dashcam.
The battery mimicks a traditional hardwire setup, with 3 output wires to the dashcam, LIVE, ACCESSORY and GROUND.
When the input to the battery (the ciggy lighter) is powered off, then the battery swithches power output from ACCESSORY to LIVE, to signal to the dashcam that the car is parked, but with a power source available (LIVE) for parking mode.

I can then configure what happens automatically when the car is asleep. Or I could pull the ciggy lighter out of course, but that would be far too simple. And isnt what I really want anyway.

If you are connecting a dashcam to the fag lighter, you can hide the wires under the rubber stop and then down into the footwell.
The side of the centre console pulls out enough (without fully removing it) to loosen the torx bolts with a T20 socket. Like this:

20210417_170020.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nick77 and Durzel

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
382
124
Burton-on-Trent
Fitted it today. No problems with the installation. Not bothered with the rear camera as the Tesla rear camera is pretty decent. And if someone hits me from behind then it'll be plenty close enough to read the plate!

I figure if it's recording constantly during the hours I have Sentry on is fine. It's a 128GB endurance card. If it goes I'll just buy another card. Plus I'll stop using sentry in a couple of weeks once everyone around here has had a good nose/look at it. My next door neighbour said she saw a few lads looking at it the last couple of days. No sentry events though so a respectful distance! :D
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
382
124
Burton-on-Trent
If you are connecting a dashcam to the fag lighter, you can hide the wires under the rubber stop and then down into the footwell.
The side of the centre console pulls out enough (without fully removing it) to loosen the torx bolts with a T20 socket. Like this:

View attachment 679342

Yep it was all pretty simple. I thought I was gonna have to pull like Giant Haystacks to get the side trim off! Only had to undo 3 T20 screws and that gave me plenty of room to tuck the wire away into the console, then just prised the front bits away to tuck the rest behind.

Ran the wire through where the rubber stop was, but didn't have enough room to get it back in so just left it out. Makes no difference to operation of the armrest.
Couldn't fit my stealth camera mount too far up or close to the rear mirror mounting as it blocked the top right corner of the camera view. A bit lower than I ideally would have liked, but I can't see it from the drivers seat any way.

Ended up with this:
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210701_140724.jpg
    IMG_20210701_140724.jpg
    356 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG_20210701_140707.jpg
    IMG_20210701_140707.jpg
    164.3 KB · Views: 15
  • Like
Reactions: curmudgeon

Products we're discussing on TMC...

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