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Dashcam Install Help

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
For those of you that own a Blackvue Power Magic B-112 battery, is the power LED supposed to always light up when it is receiving power through the cigarette lighter?

I just received mine today. When I plug it in, the 4 battery LEDs flash once and then stay off. The power LED never turns on. The dashcam, however, which is connected to the battery, turns on and stays on while the car is on. I left the car on for an hour, and the power LED nor the battery LEDs ever turned on. As soon as I turn off the car, the dashcam also turns off.

It sounds like a dead battery to me, but I wanted to make sure this isn't normal behavior until the battery gets enough initial juice?

I have a B-112. When it's on, the left most light will be red. The white lights will sequentially light up from left to right with the right light blinking during charging to show the current battery level. It sounds like yours isn't charging but still supplying pass-through power to the dashcam. Maybe try seeing if it will charge when the cam isn't plugged in. If it does and gets to a full charge, then you could see if it holds the charge.
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
Glad you were able to get it to work! Did you just screw the switch into the left wall of the center console compartment? Does it seem like it's going to hold up over time?

Just used some 3M double sided adhesive. Seems to hold pretty well, but removable if necessary. I had to remove it to replace the ghetto electrical tape with female quick disconnects.
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
my next project is trying to trickle charge the B124 while the car is off without HVAC so it lasts the longer rated 16 hours in parking mode during the day.

Ive been looking into solar panels and the Goal Zero Nomad 20 comes with a 12V socket adapter. I bought a PowerZero solar panel to try to keep my hotspot charge but its really slow but it managed to keep it at a constant 90% while the hotspot was in use for 5 hours, until the sun changed direction. The Hotspot has a 4k mAh battery and the b124 has a 6k mAh battery, Im wondering if it would help at all if I stuck the nomad in the front while it was parked:

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/last-chance-gear/nomad-20-solar-panel/

However, someone said that the B124 cannot charge while its being discharged by the dash cam and when connected to a 12V source, the 12V source is passing through some charge to the dash cam.
 

SDKoala

Model 3 LR RWD
Apr 11, 2018
867
980
San Diego
my next project is trying to trickle charge the B124 while the car is off without HVAC so it lasts the longer rated 16 hours in parking mode during the day.

Ive been looking into solar panels and the Goal Zero Nomad 20 comes with a 12V socket adapter. I bought a PowerZero solar panel to try to keep my hotspot charge but its really slow but it managed to keep it at a constant 90% while the hotspot was in use for 5 hours, until the sun changed direction. The Hotspot has a 4k mAh battery and the b124 has a 6k mAh battery, Im wondering if it would help at all if I stuck the nomad in the front while it was parked:

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/last-chance-gear/nomad-20-solar-panel/

However, someone said that the B124 cannot charge while its being discharged by the dash cam and when connected to a 12V source, the 12V source is passing through some charge to the dash cam.

One thing to be cautious of with your hotspot is if it has a lithium ion battery, it is at higher risk of combustion at temperatures as low as 160F (if I remember correctly), which the interior of the car can definitely get, especially if it's sunny enough for solar charging. Part of the reason it was charging slowly could be due to the operating temperature. The B-124 has a lithium iron phosphate battery, which doesn't carry the same risks.
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
One thing to be cautious of with your hotspot is if it has a lithium ion battery, it is at higher risk of combustion at temperatures as low as 160F (if I remember correctly), which the interior of the car can definitely get, especially if it's sunny enough for solar charging. Part of the reason it was charging slowly could be due to the operating temperature. The B-124 has a lithium iron phosphate battery, which doesn't carry the same risks.

Yup, understood. I also stick it in a Lipo Bag just incase even if not charging. Im less worried about the Hotspot holding charge, the b124 runs out of juice before the hotspot does. I was just testing out solar
 
The Hotspot has a 4k mAh battery and the b124 has a 6k mAh battery

Not all mAh are created equal.
Doesn't take into account at what voltage you're getting that current.
You really want to be comparing Wh. The B-124 battery is 76.8 Wh (6,000mAh at 12.8V). If that hotspot battery is 4,000mAh at 5V (I'm just guessing on voltage) that's only 20Wh, or nearly 1/4th the capacity of the B-124
 
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ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
Not all mAh are created equal.
Doesn't take into account at what voltage you're getting that current.
You really want to be comparing Wh. The B-124 battery is 76.8 Wh (6,000mAh at 12.8V). If that hotspot battery is 4,000mAh at 5V (I'm just guessing on voltage) that's only 20Wh, or nearly 1/4th the capacity of the B-124

Ah very true. I doubt using solar is a feasible way to keeping the b124 somewhat charged. I honestly might hardwire the b124 battery to the 12V battery and use another DPDT switch to switch between 12v socket and 12v battery and only switch it to the battery when absolutely necessary (long parking periods)
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
One thing to be cautious of with your hotspot is if it has a lithium ion battery, it is at higher risk of combustion at temperatures as low as 160F (if I remember correctly), which the interior of the car can definitely get, especially if it's sunny enough for solar charging. Part of the reason it was charging slowly could be due to the operating temperature. The B-124 has a lithium iron phosphate battery, which doesn't carry the same risks.

I was thinking, I might just remove the li ion battery from the hotspot and buy a TQKA battery bank that utilizes LiFePO4 cells and utilize a relay (following this guide) to automatically switch the hotspot to 12v socket power (while the TQKA charges) or to the TQKA when the power is cut off from the car. I've confirmed that the hotspot works when theres no battery in it but connected to a power source. Thoughts on that?

This way, the hotspot *should* last longer and the battery cells are better suited for hotter environments.

Edit: Actually, I probably dont need the relay. I dont care for the hotspot to be on when Im driving, just need it for when the car is off.
 
Last edited:
I was thinking, I might just remove the li ion battery from the hotspot and buy a TQKA battery bank that utilizes LiFePO4 cells and utilize a relay (following this guide) to automatically switch the hotspot to 12v socket power (while the TQKA charges) or to the TQKA when the power is cut off from the car. I've confirmed that the hotspot works when theres no battery in it but connected to a power source. Thoughts on that?

This way, the hotspot *should* last longer and the battery cells are better suited for hotter environments.

Edit: Actually, I probably dont need the relay. I dont care for the hotspot to be on when Im driving, just need it for when the car is off.

There is absolutely no way that battery bank meets it's rated capacity... but I'm curious enough to find out. Just ordered one and I'll test it this weekend.
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
There is absolutely no way that battery bank meets it's rated capacity... but I'm curious enough to find out. Just ordered one and I'll test it this weekend.

yeah, I just ordered as well. People over at dashcamtalk forums say its more likely around10k mAh. Thing is massive, even if it was 20k mAh. As long as it lasts as long as the battery of the hotspot, Ill be content since its LiFePO4 cells, which are supposedly safer for extreme temperatures. Will likely still keep it in a Lipo Bag though...

Let us know how your testing goes. $20 is pretty cheap for a LiFePO4 battery bank, even if its 10k mAh. This was the only LiFePO4 battery bank that I've found thus far

edit: cancelling that Lipo bag. Seems all these LipoSack knockoffs dont contain any fires at all. If these pack utilizes true LiFePO4 cells, theres little risk of issues:
Lithium phosphate cells are incombustible in the event of mishandling during charge or discharge, they are more stable under overcharge or short circuit conditions and they can withstand high temperatures without decomposing. When abuse does occur, the phosphate based cathode material will not burn and is not prone to thermal runaway.
 
Last edited:
FYI, heres the thread/post about the battery and max capacity:

Official Owners Thread : TQKA 20,000 mAh LiFePO4 Battery

Had a chance to test the battery today and wanted to share:
tldr: I set it up to draw ~10watts and to my surprise, it actually lasted 5 hours! Actual total power consumed: 46.9Wh

During testing, the voltage fluxuated between 4.257V and 4.396V. Not fantastic, especially when you consider that the official USB spec is 4.4V to 5.25V so this was never even in the range. The voltage regulator in this pack is definitely not high quality and you can see that in the very stepped graph in the Google Sheet linked below. It also gets worse as the battery drains towards the end. Note: the digital readout on the battery is pretty useless (last "15%" should have lasted 45min but was instead drained in apx 5min)

Unfortunately I had some trouble with my constant current load so I had to settle for some power resistors. Over the 5 hours of testing, the power draw was between 9.12W and 9.70W averaging at 9.36W so it was pretty consistent. One pleasant surprise: the battery never got hot or even slightly warm to the touch. Same with during charging.

I went back to look at the product page and noticed that while it says "20000mAh", if you look at the details, it also says 64Wh which means those 20kmAh were being measured at the cell level which is only 3.2V. This equates to only 12,800mAh at the 5V the battery should output. Not sure if that counts as false advertising, but it's certainly misleading... then on top of that, with a ~10watt load, I wasn't even able to eek out 47Wh.

So, how good or bad is this thing? Well, if you were expecting a 20,000mAh 5V battery, you'd be pretty disappointed. Actual capacity is under half of your expected 100Wh and I hope whatever devices you connect have good power regulation. But if what you expected was 4 LiFePO4 cells with a usable 3672mAh each for $20 total then you're in luck my friend.

I personally am thinking about buying another one of these and a 4s BMS to make my own 4s2p pack. Only issue is I can't figure out how to take the darned thing apart. I may have to just completely destroy it to get in.


I used a logging multimeter to measure power draw (on 5 sec interval) so if anyone's interested, all the data can be seen here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wm4SN10unK8zBf9Me4aL1UYxulhsGg3M42Vp8Di6Gng/edit?usp=sharing
 

ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
Had a chance to test the battery today and wanted to share:
tldr: I set it up to draw ~10watts and to my surprise, it actually lasted 5 hours! Actual total power consumed: 46.9Wh

During testing, the voltage fluxuated between 4.257V and 4.396V. Not fantastic, especially when you consider that the official USB spec is 4.4V to 5.25V so this was never even in the range. The voltage regulator in this pack is definitely not high quality and you can see that in the very stepped graph in the Google Sheet linked below. It also gets worse as the battery drains towards the end. Note: the digital readout on the battery is pretty useless (last "15%" should have lasted 45min but was instead drained in apx 5min)

Unfortunately I had some trouble with my constant current load so I had to settle for some power resistors. Over the 5 hours of testing, the power draw was between 9.12W and 9.70W averaging at 9.36W so it was pretty consistent. One pleasant surprise: the battery never got hot or even slightly warm to the touch. Same with during charging.

I went back to look at the product page and noticed that while it says "20000mAh", if you look at the details, it also says 64Wh which means those 20kmAh were being measured at the cell level which is only 3.2V. This equates to only 12,800mAh at the 5V the battery should output. Not sure if that counts as false advertising, but it's certainly misleading... then on top of that, with a ~10watt load, I wasn't even able to eek out 47Wh.

So, how good or bad is this thing? Well, if you were expecting a 20,000mAh 5V battery, you'd be pretty disappointed. Actual capacity is under half of your expected 100Wh and I hope whatever devices you connect have good power regulation. But if what you expected was 4 LiFePO4 cells with a usable 3672mAh each for $20 total then you're in luck my friend.

I personally am thinking about buying another one of these and a 4s BMS to make my own 4s2p pack. Only issue is I can't figure out how to take the darned thing apart. I may have to just completely destroy it to get in.


I used a logging multimeter to measure power draw (on 5 sec interval) so if anyone's interested, all the data can be seen here:
Tqka 20000 Battery Testing

Awesome, thanks for the detailed review. I tested mine just for 13 hours in my use-case scenario - running the hotspot off it for 13 hours. It went from 80% to 65%. which is pretty good as the stock battery would likely be near dead by then. It seems that the last 15% is really a crap shoot though based on your's and other's experience. I'll try to do a 100-0 run and see how long it lasts.

It would be great to see whats in this if you can take it apart. Can you explain what you mean by "4sBMS" and 4s2p?
 
Awesome, thanks for the detailed review. I tested mine just for 13 hours in my use-case scenario - running the hotspot off it for 13 hours. It went from 80% to 65%. which is pretty good as the stock battery would likely be near dead by then. It seems that the last 15% is really a crap shoot though based on your's and other's experience. I'll try to do a 100-0 run and see how long it lasts.

It would be great to see whats in this if you can take it apart. Can you explain what you mean by "4sBMS" and 4s2p?

I think I'll try to make my own battery using the cells from this TQKA. Pretty much all you need are the LiFePO4 cells and a battery management system (BMS). They are rated for how many cells they can charge/balance in series (S). In this case, I would make a "4S" battery (Four 3.2v cells in series gives 12.8v). Batteries are described by how many cells are in series (S) as well as how many are in parallel (P). You can think of "S" as adding voltage and the "P" as adding capacity. In this case, I'll actually be using 8 cells to make a battery that has 4 cells in series, each made up of 2 cells in parallel, hence the "4S2P".

My hope is to connect this battery to the B-124 which will treat it like the B-124E expansion and I can get a slightly larger (93.8Wh instead of the B-124E's 84.5Wh) expansion battery for $45 instead of $300
 
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ranova

Member
Apr 16, 2018
410
378
NorCal
I think I'll try to make my own battery using the cells from this TQKA. Pretty much all you need are the LiFePO4 cells and a battery management system (BMS). They are rated for how many cells they can charge/balance in series (S). In this case, I would make a "4S" battery (Four 3.2v cells in series gives 12.8v). Batteries are described by how many cells are in series (S) as well as how many are in parallel (P). You can think of "S" as adding voltage and the "P" as adding capacity. In this case, I'll actually be using 8 cells to make a battery that has 4 cells in series, each made up of 2 cells in parallel, hence the "4S2P".

My hope is to connect this battery to the B-124 which will treat it like the B-124E expansion and I can get a slightly larger (93.8Wh instead of the B-124E's 84.5Wh) expansion battery for $45 instead of $300

That would be amazing, keep us updated on how that goes. Any luck taking it apart?
 

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