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Sentry Mode / Dash Cam Questions

I noticed even before I added a SSD it was recording and saving footage. Where was this being stored? I plugged in a 1TB SSD now and haven't noticed a change (is it saving to both spots, only the SDD now or how would I even know?) There is a tab for dash cam and one for sentry. I'm not seeing much get saved to dash cam ever. (Maybe nothing since the SDD?)

How's this all setup? I have sentry mode enabled whenever I'm not at home. I see the red dot on. I also see on the app sentry is active when I'm away from my car.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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On 2021+ model 3s there is a USB in the glove compartment. Is that where you installed the SSD?

There is a chapter on the dashcam and sentry mode in the model 3 manual, have you taken a look at that yet?

here is a link to the online manual. This should be a link to the specific section on dashcam, where they detail some information about it.






T
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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Riverside Co. CA
I have the 2022. It's actually USB-C ports in the middle of the center console.

There are usb c ports in the center console, and there is a port in the glove compartment with a factory installed USB A storage device (which is the answer to your question of "where are these stored"... or it should be, anyway).
 

Knightshade

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Jul 31, 2017
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Sentry does not record anything- it only moves existing dashcam recordings to a sentry folder if they exist when it gets alerted.

Misunderstanding this has caused many to think the car is recording because "sentry is on" when that is not indicative of anything being recorded.

Only dashcam ever records video to your USB storage (wherever it is), and Sentry will do everything else it does just fine without that storage existing.


Dashcam on the other hand (if local storage exists and is configured properly) is always recording as long as the car is awake, other than specifically when you turn it off.

The last hour of dashcam footage should always be there (if it's working) and this is where sentry moves the last 10 minutes of dashcam video from, over to the sentry folder, when triggered. There'll also be a saved folder for any last-10-minutes clips you manually save via the dashcam button (or honking if that's set up to save video)
 
There are usb c ports in the center console, and there is a port in the glove compartment with a factory installed USB A storage device (which is the answer to your question of "where are these stored"... or it should be, anyway).
Wow, you are right. I was thrown off by the countless videos of folks plugging into the center console.

I found the USB factory installed one, unplugged it, plugged in my SSD, formatted from the car UI and bam. It's working and I can save footage to dash cam.
 
Dashcam on the other hand (if local storage exists and is configured properly) is always recording as long as the car is awake, other than specifically when you turn it off.

The last hour of dashcam footage should always be there (if it's working) and this is where sentry moves the last 10 minutes of dashcam video from, over to the sentry folder, when triggered. There'll also be a saved folder for any last-10-minutes clips you manually save via the dashcam button (or honking if that's set up to save video)


I have the 128GB thumb drive in the glove compartment. But operating instructions are confusing: Can I manually activate the dash cam? Or is it always on automatically for an hour, then overrides the previous hour? What if I see a drunk driver swerving on the freeway, and want to record, just in case he may someone later?

The manual mentions that the dash cam needs to be triggered by honk or airbag event, but is not going into any other recording details. It supposedly only stays on for 10 minutes, or am I not getting this right? Put simply: If I cannot manually trigger the dash cam, what does, and for how long?
 

Knightshade

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Jul 31, 2017
15,439
28,946
NC
I have the 128GB thumb drive in the glove compartment. But operating instructions are confusing: Can I manually activate the dash cam? Or is it always on automatically for an hour, then overrides the previous hour? What if I see a drunk driver swerving on the freeway, and want to record, just in case he may someone later?

The manual mentions that the dash cam needs to be triggered by honk or airbag event, but is not going into any other recording details. It supposedly only stays on for 10 minutes, or am I not getting this right? Put simply: If I cannot manually trigger the dash cam, what does, and for how long?



The features are in the manual-


Dashcam records footage of your vehicle's surroundings only when Model 3 is powered on

Once a properly formatted USB flash drive is inserted into a front USB port, touch the Dashcam icon on the Controls screen to enable.

If the icon shows a red light, it's recording. If it shows a gray one it is not. Tapping it will show a green checkmark briefly indicating you've moved the last 10 minutes of footage into the saved folder (the manual shows these 3 icons)

Below that it explains you can set it to also move the last 10 minutes to saved if you honk among other settings.

It also descibes the 3 folders on the USB drive:

Recent Clips: When recording, Dashcam continuously saves footage to Recent Clips in 60-minute cycles. Footage is overwritten every hour unless you manually save it. Four videos are recorded for each clip, one from each camera (front, rear, left, and right).

Saved Clips: Contains all recordings that are saved using Dashcam.

Sentry Clips: Contains the last 10 minutes of footage from all Sentry Mode events that triggered an Alert or Alarm state. If storage space on the USB flash drive becomes limited, the oldest Sentry Clips are deleted to provide space for new ones. Once deleted, you cannot retrieve them.
 

Knightshade

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Jul 31, 2017
15,439
28,946
NC
Technical point.... the sentry clips will NOT fill the drive up.

They'll begin to overwrite older sentry clips when it approaches, but has not reached, full... (something like 90 or 95% I think? never cared enough to check as I never let it get that close)


The only clips NEVER overwritten are the manually saved ones in the saved folder. THOSE could in theory entirely fill the drive if you threw enough of them in there.


Since flash media (key, sdcard, SSD, anything) slows down as it approaches full, I generally just reformat the drive anytime it's getting more than like 2/3-3/4 full... (which pre covid was every 3-4 months on a 128GB device... and these days is more like once a year, but YMMV on that)
 

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