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SD Card or Portable SSD drive for Sentry mode - Which one?

Mart74

Member
Sep 20, 2019
49
10
Oxfordshire
I tried a cheap SSD initially. It worked ok for a couple of weeks then stopped working all together.
I'm now using a SD Card which has been fine since.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,151
4,673
Surrey, UK
If you use dashcam/sentry say 6 hours a day, which is not unreasonable, both should last in excess of 4 years (based on a 64GB Sandisk version) or even longer for larger sizes. If you want to run sentry 24/7, its a different matter, but that is a battery killer so most people are more selective where its used. Larger sized devices don't make huge amount of different storage wise as only last hours dashcam is kept before being overwritten (sentry clips are saved longer but are aged out), but it does make a difference in how long it takes before memory is overwritten, and it is number of overwrites that limits memory life. So twice the size, twice the life.

There are other failures that are likely to occur which will affect most types of device.
 
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ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,246
982
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
Generally an SSD will have a better endurance than an SD card.

If you buy a cheap version of either then you’re unlikely to have something that lasts.

Mid range SSD or high end SD should do it. As big a size as you can afford, as that’ll mean fewer read-write cycles per cell.
 

curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
205
211
Northern Ireland
If you are as lazy as I am at clearing down old sentry clips then avoid the 128 GB SD card, it will fill up before you know it.

Get the SSD. I got a cheaper SATA SSD drive and a SATA/usb adapter. Works great.
 

DirtyT3sla

Member
Apr 17, 2019
533
558
Holly
If you are as lazy as I am at clearing down old sentry clips then avoid the 128 GB SD card, it will fill up before you know it.

Get the SSD. I got a cheaper SATA SSD drive and a SATA/usb adapter. Works great.
Sentry auto deletes so I'm not sure why your card is filling. I used to use a 32gb card for the longest time and it would never get full until I clicked save on a bunch of clips.
 

asherwood

Member
Nov 21, 2019
105
40
UK
Thanks all, think the portable ssd may be the option I go with.

now to find a way to view data on my iPhone.

I did come across Roadie for Tesla which could be a good option once it’s been developed further.

scott
 

InventEd

Member
Jan 21, 2020
94
55
Sussex UK
I was thinking of getting one of these for £22. Anybody tried? A lot cheaper then an SD so I could’ve keep a spare for when it wears out!

Samsung FIT Plus 128 GB Type-A USB 3.1 Flash Drive
 
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curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
205
211
Northern Ireland
Sentry auto deletes so I'm not sure why your card is filling. I used to use a 32gb card for the longest time and it would never get full until I clicked save on a bunch of clips.
Ah. good, I didnt know it auto-cleared so was doing some mental arithmetic based on the last time I cleared it down against 500 GB.

Usefule to know, how often does sentry clear down?
 
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WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,893
Suffolk, UK
In case helpful the one I am using is SanDisk 128GB High Endurance https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NY23WBG/

and a USB 3 card reader https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07L9VT8YY/

That is in a MS though, so i don't know if there is any issue with fitting that into M3 USB socket

The FAT Formatting tool I used (Windows PC) was FAT32FORMAT.EEXE (which is by Ridgecrop). Pretty sure the URL in their INFO is no longer valid, but if so it should be on some SourceForge type shareware site

www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/fat32format.htm
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,151
4,673
Surrey, UK
Basically, you need a card that will withstand enough write cycles to last you however long you want it to last. The maths is relatively straight forward, but I have simplified below. Its not magic, finger in the air stuff. How long a device is warranted for can be calculated.

TeslaCam will write 1GB of data approx every 4 minutes.

So cards will fill approx at this rate of use.
32GB 128mins 2 hours
64GB 256mins 4-1/4 hours
128GB 512 mins 8-1/2 hours
256GB 1024 mins 17 hours

Other factors are at play also - most flash memory slow the fuller they get, and will possibly slow to the point that the car will complain - the dreaded Too slow error. Thankfully Tesla reacted to this to improve matters by deleting stale Sentry footage (dashcam was always removed after approx 1 hour), but it is still possible if you hoard footage.

Manufacturers will often quote cycles or hours use. If hours are quoted, its often based upon HD video at 26Mbs. TeslaCam writes slightly faster than that, but using 80% of quoted hours is a good approximation.

If a manufacturer quotes cycles, the following numbers are a good approximation
300 - 32GB:25 days; 64GB:50 days; 128GB:100 days; 256GB:200 days - typical common USB stick
1000 - 32GB:83 days; 64GB:166 days; 128GB:333 days; 256GB:666 days - typical endurance card


If a manufacturer quotes hours, the following numbers work as an approximation - 8760 hours in a typical year
5000 - 4050 hours - 5-1/2 months
10000 - 8100 hours - 11 months
20000 - 16200 hours - 22 months

HOWEVER - reality may be much better
----------------
These figures are based on use of TeslaCam 24/7. Most people will not run their dash/sentry 24/7 - it has a significant power draw which adds up to significant energy loss from battery and/or electricity cost. So a typical use may only have Teslacam active for relatively short periods of time.

We have 2 no 128GB Endurance SD cards and rotate them for offline viewing, easy to do with SD cards. We also use TeslaCam significantly less than 24 hours a day on average - again, easy to do as TeslaCam can be location aware when linked to favourites/home. So I am expecting our SD endurance cards to each last 4 or 5 years - 8 to 10 years the pair. Not bad for £30 each.
 
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Dickybeau

Member
Aug 25, 2019
100
51
Scotland
I was thinking of getting one of these for £22. Anybody tried? A lot cheaper then an SD so I could’ve keep a spare for when it wears out!

Samsung FIT Plus 128 GB Type-A USB 3.1 Flash Drive
I had something similar to this but it got very hot and failed after quite a short time. Currently using this 64GB SanDisk Extreme Micro SDXC with Adapter
With no problems. Sentry mode just saved me from an excess after someone hit and run leaving me needing a new drivers door.
 

Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,516
524
UK
My usb sticks have worked fine however they will break after a while as they aren't really designed for Dashcam use

I'd go with the SD card setup and possibly buy two of them, can recommend the endurance ones. The only problem I have found with the SD cards is the actual readers, I've had three, 1st failed after 3 months (only in car), 2nd corrupted the drive everyday currently on third which is the one Vanilla recommended and its been working fine, its a Ugreen one on Amazon.
 
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