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Dash Cam Operation

RCAF 73

Member
Nov 27, 2020
9
5
Ottawa
Will the dashcam record from startup to shutdown as the norm? I had "record on horn" selected and it seems to me that is the only time it recorded. The dashcan icon appears with the red dot at all times. I have the recommnded Samsung thumbdrive installed so I have lots of recording space. The sentry mode seems to work well. So I am just a bit confused and I want the dashcam to work all the time. Without selecting upon the horn if I want to save a specfic event then I would actually have to touch the icon to capture this event and that is now the only way to do this?
I know there are just a few experts out there that can help!!!! Thanks and I have a 2020 M3 LR. Cheers
 
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camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,188
Vernon, BC, Canada
I don't recall exactly how it works anymore, but it's basically just keeping a buffer (1 hour I believe) when that red dot is there. When you hit the record button, it keeps the last 10 minutes or so instead of allowing it to be overwritten.

If you unplug the drive, the last hour of footage would be available in the Recent folder. This folder is constantly overwritten though, since it's just a buffer basically.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,625
23,117
NC
Dashcam is intended to be recording any time the car is awake.

Assuming:
You have storage attached
and
You have dashcam on (the red dot on the camera- NOT the sentry icon which has nothing to do with recording)


It keeps a rolling "recent" buffer of recording but will overwrite anything more than an hour old.


The only time it "saves" anything long term is:


Sentry will move existing 10 previous minutes to the sentry folder when it goes to alert mode.

Honking the horn, or pressing the camera icon, will save the previous 10 minutes to the saved folder.


IIRC if it gets very close to full it'll start writing over the oldest sentry saved footage now too.
 

RCAF 73

Member
Nov 27, 2020
9
5
Ottawa
Thanks to all. I removed the USB and put it into my computer and sure enough it had recorded from start up today. The "Saved Clips " versus "Recent Clips " are confusing since there does not seem to be a reason for the video to be in one or the other other than I suppose one save function and you get the last 10 minutes of driving which lasts only to the act of saving and not forward of that. The buffer should go a minute or so beyond the save function as obviously if you are saving it is for a reason and typically not what happened 10 minutes before. Other than that I am satisfied that all is working well.
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
833
268
El Paso, TX
Is this explained somewhere in the manual? I tried to keep up, but I'm still confused. Ha ha. Maybe when I own the car will understand better, but I don't know if I like that when you have to honk, the car will store 10 minutes of video. Hope it's a user setting. By the way, I was told 2021 cars already comes with some sort of USB storage device, but the Tesla guy didn't know the capacity, or how long it can record.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,625
23,117
NC
Is this explained somewhere in the manual?

Yup.


I tried to keep up, but I'm still confused. Ha ha. Maybe when I own the car will understand better, but I don't know if I like that when you have to honk, the car will store 10 minutes of video. Hope it's a user setting. By the way, I was told 2021 cars already comes with some sort of USB storage device, but the Tesla guy didn't know the capacity, or how long it can record.


It's pretty simple.

If you have properly formatted storage attached, and dashcam feature is turned on (rectangular icon with red dot showing) then:

The car is recording. Period.



Driving, parked, sentry on or off- doesn't matter- dashcam is recording to the USB storage device recent area. It'll have the most recent hour of footage max after which it overwrites older stuff.



From there:

If you tap the camera icon it'll copy the most recent 10 minutes of recorded footage to the "saved" folder and NOT overwrite that ever.

You can also configure it to do the same thing when you honk the horn (this is an optional setting).



As far as sentry goes- it never "records" anything.

If sentry is off it does nothing.

if sentry is on it does these things:

Goes to alert mode if someone/something approaches the car- this is where it might flash the lights, put up the YOU ARE BEING RECORDED display, etc.

If it goes to alert mode it will attempt to move the most recent 10 minutes that dashcam (not sentry) already recorded into a Sentry folder. This footage is NOT overwritten unless the drive is almost entirely full, then it'll start to overwrite the oldest content here.

If it goes to ALARM mode (ie someone actually is breaking in) it'll also blare max volume classical music and send an alert to your phone via the app.



Note all of the above STILL works on sentry except the moving-most-recent footage bit even if you have no storage device attached.




As to 2021s, they supposedly have a new USB port in the glove box that older cars did not, and a rebranded Samsung (with a Tesla logo) USB key....IIRC it's 64 GB.


The cameras record about 2MB per second, so 120MB per minute, or 7.2 GB per hour.

Allocating for the 1 hour "recent" buffer that overwrites itself that leaves you enough to save (via either the saved or sentry alert methods described above) another nearly 9 hours of video before you're full.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,242
10,118
SF Bay Area
TeslaCam records in one-minute blocks from each camera. It’s holds a continuous one-hour buffer of one-minute files in the Recent Clips folder (which buffer is written over from oldest to newest while camera is recording).

A “save” command will collect the last ten recorded clips from each and all of the cameras (so 10 minutes of recorded video from each camera) and put them in a separate Saved Clips folder. Everything is date/time stamped.

Be mindful that since the camera records in one-minute files, if you stop a recording mid-stream recording it won’t save that interrupted recording as it starts saving instead. At least that’s how it was when owners here first were given TeslaCam feature and for some time after (I haven’t viewed my files on my computer in sometime). Advice from owners when wanting to Save an event due to this was to wait at least a full minute or so before Saving to be safe (and not knowing where in the normal record minute TeslaCam was in recording). It was also important to physically stop TeslaCam from recording (by depressing the red camera icon to turn it off) before pulling out (effective ejecting) the flashdrive. Turning off TeslaCam allows the equipment to safely finalize procedures it needs to and write to the drive before properly shutting down. Pretty much same as for ejecting an external drive from your laptop. You don’t want to just pull it out while it might be writing or reading and risk corrupting files. At least that is my understanding from what was said on the forum back in 2018-2019.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,242
10,118
SF Bay Area
Save on Honk is a toggle setting.

Being a newer user I’d suggest spending some time looking through your car’s setting screens in combination with reading the manual through, at least the software operational parts. There’s some very important safety-related features with choices that you definitely should understand how they are set and what the capabilities and expected behavior of is. You’d be surprised at how much your car can do and be customized ;).
 

Hi_Im_Mike

Member
Dec 14, 2020
125
120
Vancouver B.C
Quick question, I notice I don’t have that camera symbol in my new 2021 model 3, the red sentry mode is there but the camera symbol can’t be found. Anyone know why? Can’t even find it to watch the 5 sentry mode videos I have stored lol
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,625
23,117
NC
Quick question, I notice I don’t have that camera symbol in my new 2021 model 3, the red sentry mode is there but the camera symbol can’t be found. Anyone know why? Can’t even find it to watch the 5 sentry mode videos I have stored lol


Car doesn't see any valid storage attached
 

Chrishoffel

Member
Dec 10, 2020
18
49
VA
i checked the glove box and the Tesla stick is in there. I tried to turn off sentry mode then reformatting it then take it out and put it back in and still nothing, sentry mode works again but don’t see the symbol up there to view the footages.


Hey, I have this problem as well. You just have to do a reboot. I have had to reboot my Tesla several times since I got it in order to get the dashcam icon back. Hopefully, an update will fix it permanently, but in the meantime... Reboot when you notice it missing.
 

Hi_Im_Mike

Member
Dec 14, 2020
125
120
Vancouver B.C
Hey, I have this problem as well. You just have to do a reboot. I have had to reboot my Tesla several times since I got it in order to get the dashcam icon back. Hopefully, an update will fix it permanently, but in the meantime... Reboot when you notice it missing.

thank you! Hold down the 2 buttons on the steering wheel does reboot right?
 

15Peter20

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 26, 2020
549
3,377
Norfolk
Did you format the USB drive? I had to do so, from the security settings tab before it would record sentry clips.
 

Hi_Im_Mike

Member
Dec 14, 2020
125
120
Vancouver B.C
Update - tried restarting again and it didn’t work still, did a full system restart and still didn’t work. Reformatted the 64g Tesla stick and it worked. Lost all my footages but at least it works now. I’ll wait and see what happens the next time I drive. Hopefully it’s fixed.
 
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