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Seattle dashcam installer recommendations

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by dsm363, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Anyone have an installer they'd recommend? I'm thinking of getting the Powerucc Panorama S with battery protector from Amazon.com and wanted to have it hardwired and hidden as much as possible. Thanks.
     
  2. sms

    sms Member

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    CNC Motorsports in Bellevueninstalled a rear view mirror dash cam, mobile eye, radar and laser detector as well as a red light camera blocker and I couldn't be happier.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. I'll check them out.

    This is the one I'm considering.
    Amazon.com : RoadCam Panorama2S 1080p 30fps SONY CMOS Car Blackbox Dashcam DVR + Multi Safer(Hard Wire Power Supply BDP KIT) : Car Electronics

    If I understand it correctly, the Multi Safer is a unit that monitors the 12V battery and if it is starting to get drained by the dash cam, will disconnect power to keep you from draining it.

    After a Mercedes sped through the light 3 seconds after it turned green at 50+ mph downtown, I'm thinking it might be nice to have one. I'm glad I didn't do my normal 'Tesla start' from a stoplight.
     
  4. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Have you looked at the Blackvue product line-up? Much smaller form factor. Also with Model S and the way the 12V system operates, no need for a power monitor/cutoff device. Please search these forums for much useful info and opinion.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I have. They seem to have some issues with heat and the Powerucc gets top recommendation on dashcamtalk website. Will the dash cam not drain the 12V it you leave it in parking mode? I've read through the dash cam option thread on TMC but might have missed it. Thanks.
     
  6. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Older Blackvue's did in fact have heat/thermal issues, since fixed. I have the GR550GW-2CH and it has worked great for 6 months without a problem. Only issue is that the camera has built in GPS for map location and MPH logging. The coated windshield in the S does interfere and thus I get inconsistent GPS lock--no biggie for me. There are frequent firmware updates from Blackvue for the dash cam, as well as s/w updates to the viewing app for your Mac or PC.
    With respect to 12V power draw, note that the Model S has a different way of managing the 12V system. In ICE cars the 12V must hold a charge as long as necessary to be able to start the engine. You do not want to run down the battery with your dash cam running (even in parking mode). However, AFAIK, in the Model S, the 12V system is monitored and charged through the DC-to-DC converter. If the 12V is drawn down a bit, the S will charge it back up automatically. The big pack will power the dash cam essentially indefinitely. Thus when I installed my camera, I did NOT purchase or install a power monitor/cutoff device (like the Power Magic that Blackvue offers). I do not howvere leave the car sitting for many days or weeks off a charger.

    YMMV.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. I would never leave the car unplugged for more than a few days at most so sounds like I wouldn't need the power monitor.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    My 500 overheats quite a bit. Then again, I have the custom firmware so I'm running with the higher bitrate that "has no impact on the camera overheating" (to which I call B.S.). I like the higher quality enough that I put up with the overheating.

    The overheating also contributes to the GPS conking out periodically, as well as sometimes "wigging out" the SIM cards (putting them in a PC you get prompted to "repair" and then they work fine again).

    More directly on-topic...

    I used an installer recommended by Metropolitan Detail. Apparently, mine was the first dashcam they installed in a Model S. They had done radar detector installations before on Model S previously though. I can try to dig up the name from old emails if you'd like.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Sure, thanks. CNC Motorsports got a good recommendation above by sms (thanks!) so maybe same place.
     
  10. olanmills

    olanmills Member

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    I'm getting the BlackVue front and rear cameras installed by Benchmark Motoring tomorrow. I'll let you know what I think. The sales person indicated that they hadn't done a wired rear camera in a Model S yet, so I'm hoping it goes okay...
     
  11. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Should be a piece of cake for a good custom installer, but just in case, do show them the info/photos from this post:

    DIY Dashcam (BlackVue 550 fronrear) - constant power source from dash

    Lots of good info--made my DIY install relatively easy.
     
  12. olanmills

    olanmills Member

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    Yes, thanks. I actually sent them that post weeks ago, and the sales guy had already discussed it with their techs a while ago.

    The job looks like it came out pretty good. From the driver's position, the front camera is not visible, except for a wire going up to the headliner, and the rear camera is not visible at all from the interior. From the exterior, the rear camera looks about as discreet as it could be. From the front, however, the front camera sticks out quite plainly, but that's simply where it had to be placed in order to be invisible from my seating position. Overall, I don't notice any other anomalies with the wires routed under the panels and such, but I haven't done a thorough inspection yet. I will do so later, and I'll also post pictures. One thing is that the GPS on the camera doesn't seem to work, probably due to the windshields UV coating or whatever.

    The job, including tax, was $752. That does not include the hardware, which I bought myself. It would have been significantly cheaper if I did not have the rear camera or if the rear camera was wireless. Also, Benchmark is more expensive than your average car stereo shop.
     
  13. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Glad the install went well. Yes, the GPS is sketchy due to the TM coated windshield.

    Boy, $752 for labor/install. Seems steep to me but you get the comfort level. Yes, the real work is running the coax cable to the rear...as you saw from the post I referred to and my comments, a real chore.

    BTW, you probably need to do a firmware update to the camera. Go to blackvue.com/en and look at Downloads for the latest version for your model (plus updates to the computer desktop application).
     
  14. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I am thinking getting front and back dash cams installed. Can folks provide an update on the choice of cameras and installers?
     
  15. morbot

    morbot Member

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    I'm also interested if anyone has other information to share. The price above of $752 just for install (not including hardware) seems pretty steep compared to some other posts I've seen which were in the $800-$1000 range for hardware and install...

    For people who have used Blackvue, did you have your installer order it through a distributor? Heard some other posts about hardware from other regions being 'hacked' to English and causing problems with firmware updates.

    Lastly, do we need to use the power management optional hardware to prevent parking drain? I know we can kill our 12V battery if we're not careful, it seems some people have hooked straight to it without worry though.
     
  16. ChrisPDX

    ChrisPDX Member

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    You do not need any power management hardware. In a normal car, the 12v battery is charged by the alternator when the engine runs. So if you drain the 12v battery too far, it can't start the engine and get recharged. On the Tesla, when the 12v battery starts getting low, the computer automatically turns on the DC-DC inverter which is like an alternator with the main battery pack. This recharges the 12v battery using the main battery pack. So as long as there's range on the main battery, it can keep the 12v battery properly charged even when not driving. The small amount of load that the dash cam puts on the 12v battery is minimal anyway and most likely won't cause any additional wear/tear then what it already gets from normal use.

    For me, I actually wire all my dash cams (3 of my 4 cars have them) to only be on with the car. It's not because of the car battery, but for dash cam life. Even with motion detection enabled, you are still doing a lot more recording on it which will shorten the memory card life and the dash cam itself may not last as long powered 24/7. Since my car is parked in a safe parking lot during the day and in a garage all night long, I wouldn't expect it to ever record anything useful while parked. Also, even if something did happen, it would have to be right in front where the dash cam can catch it. So forget door dings or other common parking lot mishaps.

    Oh, one tip to anybody with a dash cam. Every 3-6 months, pull the SD card out of the camera and review footage. After 3+ years of service, I had an SD card stop recording new video and the dash cam never gave an error! It wasn't until I drove in an autocross and tried to review the footage later that I realized all video on the card was over 6 months old! I replaced the card and all is good now.
     

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