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newbie on dashcam

Knightshade

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Jul 31, 2017
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If you see the red light on the dashcam icon it should be recording. (some folks mix up the dashcam icon with the sentry icon though- sentry never records anything, though it can move existing dashcam footage over to the sentry folder if alerted)

Note it's only going to record the most recent 60 minutes, in the recent folder.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
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Syracuse, NY
If you've inserted a properly formatted flash drive, memory card (+ reader), or SSD then Dashcam should activate automatically while you're driving. Format the storage device as FAT32, and create a TeslaCam directory at the root level of the drive.
You do not need to do that. Just format the USB stick using the car. It will do everything for you. Also stop using Fat32, it's exFAT.

Anyway... the USB stick that comes with the car should be all set. When you see the red dot while driving, it means the dashcam is ON. HOWEVER, you need to save this footage by either turning on the 'honk to save footage' setting in the car, then honking or press the dashcam icon when you need to save the footage.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
15,388
28,657
NC
You do not need to do that. Just format the USB stick using the car. It will do everything for you. Also stop using Fat32, it's exFAT.

Anyway... the USB stick that comes with the car should be all set. When you see the red dot while driving, it means the dashcam is ON. HOWEVER, you need to save this footage by either turning on the 'honk to save footage' setting in the car, then honking or press the dashcam icon when you need to save the footage.


Point of clarity-If on, dashcam will always record the most recent 60 minutes (and over-write that as time goes on)- the pressing the icon to save or honking (if enabled in the menu) will move the last 10 minutes of "recent" footage to the "saved" folder where it will NOT be over-written.
 
Wait so no matter how much space you have, it will only hold one hour of video? Then delete it?

This matters, because on my other vehicle I once needed to go back a couple days for an event, that I didn't realize needed to be saved.

(First few days with 2019 M3, so much to learn and haven't reviewed video yet.)
 

Knightshade

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Jul 31, 2017
15,388
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Wait so no matter how much space you have, it will only hold one hour of video? Then delete it?

This matters, because on my other vehicle I once needed to go back a couple days for an event, that I didn't realize needed to be saved.

(First few days with 2019 M3, so much to learn and haven't reviewed video yet.)


The "recent" folder only holds, at most, the most recent 60 minutes of video and overwrites it regularly, yes.

If sentry mode triggers while on it will move the most recent 10 minutes of dashcam video FROM the recent folder TO the sentry folder... and it won't delete that at all unless you're nearly out of room (I think it starts writing over this at 95% full?)

If footage is manually saved by the driver (either tapping the dashcam icon to do so, or honking the horn is save-on-honk is enabled) then it moves the last 10 minutes of dashcam video FROM recent folder TO the saved folder- that is never written over.
 
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That's why a lot of us have real, third party dashcams installed. I have a blackvue 750 system. The teslacam is a nice add-on to the car, but tesla seemingly decided to engineer it from scratch, without using any experience from how other dashcams work, and can only be viewed as a work in progress at this point.
 
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lascavarian

little endian
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Jul 27, 2017
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usa
Sharing for those interested.

I have used a couple different types of PNY USB flash drives with decent success in the past (M3P '18). When I started using them there was a process I used to get them formatted and set up with the "TeslaCam" folder. They seem to wear a bit over time and get flaky.

Today I converted to a slightly different product. BestBuy has a Samsung T7 SSD 500GB discounted $30 so about $69 in the US. (I am thinking that with FSD betas on the horizon, having a well functioning TeslaCam would be helpful to Tesla.)

I bought one. It comes with the necessary USB C to USB A cable to connect to the vehicle.

First I plugged it into my Mac Mini and (without any formatting) simply added a new folder and named it "TeslaCam" exactly.

I plugged in the supplied USB A cable to the car and it worked. No fussing required.

I believe this technology is faster than the PNY flash drives (a bit). It does offer nice performance and good video quality. I decided to try this after reading recommendations for the T5 1TB SSD from Samsung ($139). I thought this T7 500GB smaller SSD would be ok and so it seems. YMMV.
 
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That's why a lot of us have real, third party dashcams installed. I have a blackvue 750 system. The teslacam is a nice add-on to the car, but tesla seemingly decided to engineer it from scratch, without using any experience from how other dashcams work, and can only be viewed as a work in progress at this point.
Actually, both the dashcam and sentry mode feature was tacked on after the fact. The cameras were not designed to do this from the beginning. They can probably change the programming to act like a normal dashcam if they wanted, but then people would probably complain about why their USB storage device was always full or their USB sticks were dying left and right, etc, etc.

The dashcam footage is too low resolution anyway. Probably want a third party dashcam just for that fact.
 
(I am thinking that with FSD betas on the horizon, having a well functioning TeslaCam would be helpful to Tesla.)

Yeah, I thought that, and learned that they give less than a crap about your video. I had several clips carefully edited with explanations of how the car clearly screwed up. They have zero interest. And Musk has basically come out and said so publicly.

I have a Raspberry Pi Zero plugged in as the media storage. It contains one of the durable SD cards meant for dashcam use (can be re-written for years). The Pi also stores DAYS of video instead of one hour. And whenever I am home, it uploads the saved and sentry videos to my desktop over wifi. Before the Pi, I was just using the durable SD in an adapter.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
15,388
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Today I converted to a slightly different product. BestBuy has a Samsung T7 SSD 500GB discounted $30 so about $69 in the US. (I am thinking that with FSD betas on the horizon, having a well functioning TeslaCam would be helpful to Tesla.)

To my knowledge the content uploaded to Tesla does not require having your own USB storage-or even using the dashcam feature at all.

it uses internal storage for that, and only captures/sends things based on Tesla-initiated requests.... for example it might send out a campaign of "send us all pictures of what you think is a dog in a drivable area of the road" so the fleet (or whatever portion gets that campaign) anytime it thinks it sees that, sends that to Tesla.






I believe this technology is faster than the PNY flash drives (a bit)

Either is massively faster than needed for the task of recording 4 30 fps 720p cameras though.

. It does offer nice performance and good video quality.

Video quality is unrelated to how "good" the USB storage is- it's the car doing the encoding of it, the stored files should be identical no matter they're saved to.
 
Yeah, I thought that, and learned that they give less than a crap about your video. I had several clips carefully edited with explanations of how the car clearly screwed up. They have zero interest. And Musk has basically come out and said so publicly.

I have a Raspberry Pi Zero plugged in as the media storage. It contains one of the durable SD cards meant for dashcam use (can be re-written for years). The Pi also stores DAYS of video instead of one hour. And whenever I am home, it uploads the saved and sentry videos to my desktop over wifi. Before the Pi, I was just using the durable SD in an adapter.
Hello, I am a new owner and I’ve only had my model 3 for less than a month. I am not very technically savvy so could you provide a little more detail if you have time? Do you just plug the board into the glove box receptacle and just leave the board in the glove box and do you need anything else other than the board and cable. Thanks in advance
 
I've been a network and server admin for 30+ years, so it's impossible for me to quantify what an end user would face in doing things. Here are the instructions, which are mildly technical, I think:


I'm using a Pi Zero kit that was $25 on Amazon, with a high endurance SD card meant for dashcams ($20 or so). I have it connect to my desktop computer and upload the video when it's at home on wifi. This is an option, you could also use it without wifi, and just get data off the card itself as needed. Even without wifi, the system extends the recording time to days instead of a single hour.



One huge note is that when you run the part that completes the install (./setup-teslausb), it will take a VERY long time to finish. Like maybe 20 minutes. So plan to let it sit and be patient. I actually thought something had failed and restarted it (running headless, no monitor, so no feedback).
 
I've been a network and server admin for 30+ years, so it's impossible for me to quantify what an end user would face in doing things. Here are the instructions, which are mildly technical, I think:


I'm using a Pi Zero kit that was $25 on Amazon, with a high endurance SD card meant for dashcams ($20 or so). I have it connect to my desktop computer and upload the video when it's at home on wifi. This is an option, you could also use it without wifi, and just get data off the card itself as needed. Even without wifi, the system extends the recording time to days instead of a single hour.



One huge note is that when you run the part that completes the install (./setup-teslausb), it will take a VERY long time to finish. Like maybe 20 minutes. So plan to let it sit and be patient. I actually thought something had failed and restarted it (running headless, no monitor, so no feedback).
Thanks for the detailed explanation… this is definitely something I want to explore !
 

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