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Sentry and Tesla Cam

BobChaput

Member
May 10, 2016
46
9
Durango CO
I have never been able to get Tesla Cam to function properly. I have done, re-done and re-re-done all the online advice. It works for one/two days and then stops.

Does Sentry mode depend on a fully functioning Tesla Cam mode to be operational?
 
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Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,613
3,172
SF Bay Area
Yes, Sentry Mode is built on the same camera recording scheme as TeslaCam.

What did you use to format the USB drive? If it works only for a short time, you may have formatted it in the wrong format.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
Hi @BobChaput, If it works for a few days and stops I suspect you are using a low capacity USB drive. When it's full it will stop recording. I'm using a 128GB and that seems to be a pretty good storage capacity for me. What size is your drive?

If you look at the files created inside the TeslaCam folder you'll see it created a RecentClips (which is just your 1-hour buffer of 1-min. videos from 3 cameras--now occupying 5.4GB of space). It also creates a SavedClips folder that will contain any Saved videos you save while driving as well as your Sentry Mode files. All of the videos in this folder are apx. 0.9GB each (10 min. x 30GB aver. file size x 3 cameras). The big takeaway is that RecentClips will write over itself, and SavedClips will not. Any motion in the cameras' field of view or other car triggering motion/sound will cause Sentry mode to save a 10 min. video from the 3 cameras.
 
Last edited:

devlodha

Member
Mar 19, 2019
43
4
Toronto
Hi @BobChaput, If it works for a few days and stops I suspect you are using a low capacity USB drive. When it's full it will stop recording. I'm using a 128GB and that seems to be a pretty good storage capacity for me. What size is your drive?

If you look at the files created inside the TeslaCam folder you'll see it created a RecentClips (which is just your 1-hour buffer of 1-min. videos from 3 cameras--now occupying 5.4GB of space). It also creates a SavedClips folder that will contain any Saved videos you save while driving as well as your Sentry Mode files. All of the videos in this folder are apx. 0.9GB each (10 min. x 30GB aver. file size x 3 cameras). The big takeaway is that RecentClips will write over itself, and SavedClips will not. Any motion in the cameras' field of view or other car triggering motion/sound will cause Sentry mode to save a 10 min. video from the 3 cameras.
Great info SMAlset. Where can I get all this info, is it on the owners manual? I can hardly find any detailed information about these new features online.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
Great info SMAlset. Where can I get all this info, is it on the owners manual? I can hardly find any detailed information about these new features online.

You can figure out this out by looking at your TeslaCam files and doing some quick math. The last manual for Model 3 was updated 12/20/18. I suspect there will be another update at some point soon as there have been a number of feature releases in 2019 now. But the manual doesn't go into depth about stuff like this so reading the forum can be very helpful. Sentry Mode came out with 2019.5.4 (maybe .3 but I didn't get that version) back I think end of February. Subset of owners have it and have been using it and reporting on observations from it. I'm presently on 2019.5.15 and seeing corruption in some of the videos generally in each folder of 1-min. clips so still a work in progress. Waiting for my next update hoping to see some improvements.

There are release notes that come with the OTA firmware updates and people usually post screen shots of those on here too; helpful knowing what to expect in advance. The info will be included in the next online manual.
 
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petersk

Member
Oct 6, 2018
25
11
Colorado
I have the same problem. I bought a high speed 128 GB drive (supersonic rage 2). I formatted in multiple formats, the latest ext4. It works for maybe a day or two, and then the icon disappears.... And I can't even read the drive when I pull it out and insert or on my computer. It is totally ridiculous. I don't even record anything.

We can't be the only ones having these issues, since it's been gong on for so long.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,185
9,913
SF Bay Area
The drive has to be formatted in FAT32. If you are on Windows you need a third party app. What computer OS are you on?

What icon are you referring to?

Read or re-read the latest Model 3 Manual, specifically the sections on Dashcam and Sentry Mode.
 

andressler

New Member
Dec 3, 2018
1
0
Altadena
I have played around with the TeslaCam a bit since I figured out it could be useful. I tried it with an 32 GB USB drive, but that filled up in one day. Then I tried a 2TB USB drive and my M3 would not accept it, although properly formatted etc.

What is the larges USB drive that the car accepts? I read 128 GB with mixed results. Anything bigger that works? Where do I get more information on this system?

Thanks!
 

petersk

Member
Oct 6, 2018
25
11
Colorado
It's not just the size, it's the speed. I think I finally fixed it by using a high speed drive, formatting it with Linux ext4. That's not enough though. You must use larger sector sizes and possibly right dir permissions. I've been running for a few days now with no error.
I used the following Linux commands:
# log in as sudoer
sudo -s
# partition it for Linux 85 partition
fdisk /dev/sdb
# Also make sure you Set for max size
# exit out of fdisk, writing disk partiion table
# now do format with larger sector size
mkfs.ext4 -F -b 4096 /dev/sdb1
# wait patiently
cd /mnt
mkdir tmp
# and then mount it
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 tmp/
# make the TeslaCam directory
cd tmp
sudo mkdir -p TeslaCam
# make permissions as wide open as possible on the new directory
sudo chmod 777 TeslaCam/

I don't know which did it the chmod or the format with larger sectors, but it seems to work now.
 
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petersk

Member
Oct 6, 2018
25
11
Colorado
It's not just the size, it's the speed. I think I finally fixed it by using a high speed drive, formatting it with Linux ext4. That's not enough though. You must use larger sector sizes and possibly right dir permissions. I've been running for a few days now with no error.
I used the following Linux commands:
# log in as sudoer
sudo -s
# partition it for Linux 85 partition
fdisk /dev/sdb
# Also make sure you Set for max size
# exit out of fdisk, writing disk partiion table
# now do format with larger sector size
mkfs.ext4 -F -b 4096 /dev/sdb1
# wait patiently
cd /mnt
mkdir tmp
# and then mount it
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 tmp/
# make the TeslaCam directory
cd tmp
sudo mkdir -p TeslaCam
# make permissions as wide open as possible on the new directory
sudo chmod 777 TeslaCam/

I don't know which did it the chmod or the format with larger sectors, but it seems to work now.

I've also been experimenting with the "-T" option which sets inode per file size... , so I added a "-T largefile4."
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,530
1,510
Nashville TN
The OP hasn't ever replied to this thread, and hasn't logged onto the site in over 4 months. And ext4 support for the dashcam has been dropped in 2020.12.5. It still works for music stuff.
 

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