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Sentry Mode Broken? Event Alerts, No Video.

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
Hi All,

So, I was parked at a marketplace with fairly tight parking. When I got back in the car there were two Sentry Alerts but yet again, no camera icon to launch the viewer. This was quite frustrating.

When the Sentry Mode camera icon decided to show up later on my return home, there was no video from these two reported events. I put in a service request through my phone app to Tesla.

Does everyone agree that my Sentry Mode is obviously not working as-intended? When I first got my car I remember it working much better, and I could see viewer footage when an event was reported. That seems to have changed inexplicably on its own.

Here's the drive I am currently using, related closely to what is recommended in the Tesla manual;

SanDisk 256GB Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive - SDCZ430-256G-G46

The first drive I tried was the one show below. It's working perfectly for my girlfriend and her Model 3, but I got the same results with it as the current drive. That is, inconsistent Sentry Mode icon displayed and events reported without anything being recorded. I have Sentry Mode disabled for home, but not for anywhere else.

SanDisk Ultra Flair 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - SDCZ73-128G-G46,Black

I've tried soft reboot, deeper reboot (with brake), and nothing seems to resolve this issue. I let the Tesla Model 3 format the drive in each case, and it's not being used for anything but Sentry Mode (no music storage).

Anyone else had this issue with successful resolution, or is there anything else I can try before my distant Tesla Service appointment on the 23rd?

Thanks!




 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
12,261
17,192
NC
Sentry mode does not record anything. This is frequently misunderstood.

Sentry mode does this:

Keep the car awake.

If someone comes near it goes to alert state, puts message on screen, and (if there is any) moves the last 10 minutes of recent recorded video to the sentry folder

If the alarm state is triggered it does all the loud stuff.

That's the red circle icon when it's on. You only see it when the car is stopped and in park (and sentry is on)



What it does NOT do is record video.

Dashcam does that. Which is the camera icon with the red dot. And is always recording if the car is awake (and the dashcam feature is working)


If it's not recording, there's nothing for sentry to "move" to the sentry folder when an alert happens.


So Sentry is working fine for you- dashcam appears to be your issue.

If when you put it in park you ONLY see the sentry icon, not the dashcam-is-recording one as well, you will get no footage from alerts because nothing is being recorded.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
Sentry mode does not record anything. This is frequently misunderstood.

Sentry mode does this:

Keep the car awake.

If someone comes near it goes to alert state, puts message on screen, and (if there is any) moves the last 10 minutes of recent recorded video to the sentry folder

If the alarm state is triggered it does all the loud stuff.

That's the red circle icon when it's on. You only see it when the car is stopped and in park (and sentry is on)



What it does NOT do is record video.

Dashcam does that. Which is the camera icon with the red dot. And is always recording if the car is awake (and the dashcam feature is working)


If it's not recording, there's nothing for sentry to "move" to the sentry folder when an alert happens.


So Sentry is working fine for you- dashcam appears to be your issue.

If when you put it in park you ONLY see the sentry icon, not the dashcam-is-recording one as well, you will get no footage from alerts because nothing is being recorded.


Thank you for sorting me out on that. See, I knew it was worth asking. Yes, then this explains why nothing got recorded. Sentry mode (per your clear explanation) is working but dashcam is not. Either way, sounds like my service appointment is warranted. Hope they can fix it. My girlfriend's Model 3 seems to work just fine in this regard.

Thanks!
 

pjensen

Member
Jul 24, 2020
155
93
Highland Village, Texas
Sentry mode (per your clear explanation) is working but dashcam is not. Either way, sounds like my service appointment is warranted.

Have you tried a different usb memory?

Here is what I use and it works great. Samsung 128gb Pro endurance UHS-1 micro SDXC memory card and Sandisk usb 3.0 mobilemate card reader. This memory is designed to work with security cameras, cctv and dash cams. The memory is already formated exFat, but i did have to create a directory called TeslaCam. It did not work until I added that (as per the manual).

Most standard memory simply can not take the abuse (constant writing).
 
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Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
Have you tried a different usb memory?

Here is what I use and it works great. Samsung 128gb Pro endurance UHS-1 micro SDXC memory card and Sandisk usb 3.0 mobilemate card reader. This memory is designed to work with security cameras, cctv and dash cams. The memory is already formated exFat, but i did have to create a directory called TeslaCam. It did not work until I added that (as per the manual).

Most standard memory simply can not take the abuse (constant writing).

Intriguing. I have not tried microSD. How do you plug a microSD card in to a Tesla? Is there some kind of USB adapter? Wouldn't the USB portion still be a speed bottleneck? Is there a microSD connection somewhere on the Tesla that I don't know about? Thanks!

Fascinating. I found this video that explains it. I guess that's why people use microSD because of the fast constant write capability? Must be, and the guy in the video confirms it. I'll try it!

How to plug microSD card in to Tesla - Bing video
 
Last edited:

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,485
10,655
Riverside Co. CA
Intriguing. I have not tried microSD. How do you plug a microSD card in to a Tesla? Is there some kind of USB adapter? Wouldn't the USB portion still be a speed bottleneck? Is there a microSD connection somewhere on the Tesla that I don't know about? Thanks!

Fascinating. I found this video that explains it. I guess that's why people use microSD because of the fast write speed?

How to plug microSD card in to Tesla - Bing video

Many buy the micro SD cards because you can buy versions that are designed for camera usage (multiple writes), and also support using in an environment like a car, with its temperature variations.

I didnt click the video (cause I am not a person who clicks many videos), but I assume they are telling you that you just use an USB adapter. Thats what I have, anyway. In fact, one of the best one of the adapters is actually designed by a TMC member here, who is a hardware engineer in his day job and made these adapters as he saw a need for high speed USB adapters for model 3s.

Anyway, its not write speed (plenty of usb drives have that) its more that the SD cards are designed for the constant writing that happens, while many devices are not. There is also the issue of counterfeit USB devices that people end up with sometimes etc.

BTW, let us know if tesla actually ends up keeping that appointment with you and doesnt cancel it, and if they do, what they end up saying. "My dashcam / sentry is not working properly" is probably the second most thing tesla gets asked about, right after "why does my car not get rated range".

I suspect they will tell you "we remotely accessed your car, found no errors. We recommend you use an approved device, and are closing this service request. If the issue re appears with an approved device, please make another appointment, and make a note of the date / time of when you notice the issue so we can check the logs further" (or something like it).

I am curious to find out if they actually do something about your request. Let us know.
 
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Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
Many buy the micro SD cards because you can buy versions that are designed for camera usage (multiple writes), and also support using in an environment like a car, with its temperature variations.

I didnt click the video (cause I am not a person who clicks many videos), but I assume they are telling you that you just use an USB adapter. Thats what I have, anyway. In fact, one of the best one of the adapters is actually designed by a TMC member here, who is a hardware engineer in his day job and made these adapters as he saw a need for high speed USB adapters for model 3s.

Anyway, its not write speed (plenty of usb drives have that) its more that the SD cards are designed for the constant writing that happens, while many devices are not. There is also the issue of counterfeit USB devices that people end up with sometimes etc.

BTW, let us know if tesla actually ends up keeping that appointment with you and doesnt cancel it, and if they do, what they end up saying. "My dashcam / sentry is not working properly" is probably the second most thing tesla gets asked about, right after "why does my car not get rated range".

I suspect they will tell you "we remotely accessed your car, found no errors. We recommend you use an approved device, and are closing this service request. If the issue re appears with an approved device, please make another appointment, and make a note of the date / time of when you notice the issue so we can check the logs further" (or something like it).

I am curious to find out if they actually do something about your request. Let us know.


Yes, will let you know what happens. I'm hoping this is all fixed with the Micro SD card and USB adapter. The USB drive I have always felt hot to the touch and as mentioned, sentry alerts with no video. That alone is very frustrating.

I'll also report back how it goes with the Micro SD card testing. Hope it works! Thanks for the input.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,485
10,655
Riverside Co. CA
Yes, will let you know what happens. I'm hoping this is all fixed with the Micro SD card and USB adapter. The USB drive I have always felt hot to the touch and as mentioned, sentry alerts with no video. That alone is very frustrating.

I'll also report back how it goes with the Micro SD card testing. Hope it works! Thanks for the input.

I am using a micro SD card with an adapter, and have been for almost a year, with no issues.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
12,261
17,192
NC
I used a newer-gen 128GB FIT drive for 2 years, 0 issues ever. Only reason there's an SDcard in there now (also samsung) is Navak sent me a free 2nd gen splitter to do testing on and it required me getting an SDcard to test it properly. (It also works fine of course)


The Samsung FIT USB key one of two devices Tesla explicitly recommends in the owners manual- and apparently new 2021 Model 3s now come with a 64GB of this exact drive, with a tesla logo, pre-installed in the car.

I will say I did remove it every 3-4 months to clean it off (it was usually about 50-75% full each time)- because flash memory in general tends to slow down as it gets full... I suspect that's the issue some people have if they don't clean off old stuff.


The idea you "need" some super fast or durable special memory is simply not supported if you do the math on the speed of writing the car does, or the amount it does.

Any good USB 128GB key should be good for on average at least 5-10 years of writing at the speed/amount the car writes.

If you wanna hand dashcam footage down to your grandkids though by all means get some crazy high endurance thingy.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
I had a samsung FIT USB drive that worked fine for months, then started displaying "drive too slow" errors when I knew the drive specs were sufficient (and it had worked for months properly).

I bought a fast USB 3 drive and never got that error, but yeah my DashCam is not really working so I guess that's a sign. :D
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
I used a newer-gen 128GB FIT drive for 2 years, 0 issues ever. Only reason there's an SDcard in there now (also samsung) is Navak sent me a free 2nd gen splitter to do testing on and it required me getting an SDcard to test it properly. (It also works fine of course)


The Samsung FIT USB key one of two devices Tesla explicitly recommends in the owners manual- and apparently new 2021 Model 3s now come with a 64GB of this exact drive, with a tesla logo, pre-installed in the car.

I will say I did remove it every 3-4 months to clean it off (it was usually about 50-75% full each time)- because flash memory in general tends to slow down as it gets full... I suspect that's the issue some people have if they don't clean off old stuff.


The idea you "need" some super fast or durable special memory is simply not supported if you do the math on the speed of writing the car does, or the amount it does.

Any good USB 128GB key should be good for on average at least 5-10 years of writing at the speed/amount the car writes.

If you wanna hand dashcam footage down to your grandkids though by all means get some crazy high endurance thingy.

I agree with you and that's why I went USB 3 at first, but mine's not working. I'm trying this other method in the hopes that it'll solve my issue. If not, my Tesla appointment remains!
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,030
1,230
Wildomar, CA
UPDATE!

Just wanted to report back that Dash Cam seems to be working normally now with the fast MicroSD card and the USB interface. The card has 160 MB /s write speed and the interface maxes out at 170 MB /s so that's way higher performance than I need. The icons are always there (at least when I've checked) and 'format' is always available where it would go away with the USB thumb drive. It caught a staged Sentry 'event' and I was able to 'Save on Honk' to test it out further.

Tesla contacted me today and I reported all of this. We canceled my service appointment but they said to continue monitoring and set up another appointment if needed.

Thanks to everyone in this thread for your help! :)

If it helps anyone else, here's the exact MicroSD card and interface I bought;

MicroSD card
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCMKK5X/

MicroSD USB interface
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G5JV2B5/
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,485
10,655
Riverside Co. CA
UPDATE!

Just wanted to report back that Dash Cam seems to be working normally now with the fast MicroSD card and the USB interface. The card has 160 MB /s write speed and the interface maxes out at 170 MB /s so that's way higher performance than I need. The icons are always there (at least when I've checked) and 'format' is always available where it would go away with the USB thumb drive. It caught a staged Sentry 'event' and I was able to 'Save on Honk' to test it out further.

Tesla contacted me today and I reported all of this. We canceled my service appointment but they said to continue monitoring and set up another appointment if needed.

Thanks to everyone in this thread for your help! :)

If it helps anyone else, here's the exact MicroSD card and interface I bought;

MicroSD card
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCMKK5X/

MicroSD USB interface
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G5JV2B5/

Those are the exact products I am using, btw (clicking the links takes me to amazon pages that say "you ordered this product 1 time".

I am also using the generation 1 of the "navak USB splitter", developed by a TMC member here who is a hardware engineer in his day job, but who developed these because he saw a need (and an opportunity).

https://www.amazon.com/Navak-Splitter-Tesla-Model-Power/dp/B07Z2KQ719/

This is the gen 1 version, and the generation 2 version also has a SD card slot in the side. @Navak is a member here, and this product is solid (and I loved supporting a "makers" innovation).

Not sure if the gen 2 version is available on amazon. You could also ping navak via chat here if interested and see if he is still offering a small discount coupon for TMC members here.
 
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