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Sentry mode failed to record at time of need

jamherber

Member
Sep 7, 2020
63
46
Bridport, UK
This weekend has to leave the Tesla in a city centre car hotel park.

Woke up Sunday morning to two warnings on my phone, on that sentry mode had been activated and then car alarm had triggered at 2.25am.

Hurried down to the car at 7am expecting the worst but found the car intact and nothing on recorded on the sentry webcam for the time. Returned later and realised I’d missed a massive dent and scratch in the chrome door trim above the door handle and scratch in the glass. Looks like someone was trying to get in
Must have been a big impact which triggered the alarm.

Gutted that the sentry webcam seemingly failed to record at the time of real need (yet recorded later events). Wondering how this can happen and bitterly disappointed.
 

Tony Hoyle

Active Member
May 7, 2019
1,113
677
Stockport, UK
Sentry is a last resort.. It frequently fails and there are no signs of Tesla ever turning it into a real dashcam. I get the impression it was an interns project and they've moved onto other things.

I have a camera outside the house that would catch that kind of thing.
 
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jamherber

Member
Sep 7, 2020
63
46
Bridport, UK
Sentry is a last resort.. It frequently fails and there are no signs of Tesla ever turning it into a real dashcam. I get the impression it was an interns project and they've moved onto other things.

I have a camera outside the house that would catch that kind of thing.
But car was in hotel car park. Sadly no hotel cameras on the car. Just annoying that it records all the non important events but when really needed, failed totally.
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,131
777
North West
The reality is Teslacam was an afterthought. It was an owner request rather than part of the original design. There are definitely aspects of the software implementation that could be better.

My gripe is hardware. Teslacam keeps the computer powered on. For a company with sustainability at it heart it’s really disappointing the amount of electricity they waste. I look at is this way. If 50,000 Teslas in the world have Teslacam on and use say 100W each (conservatively). Man maths:

0.10 x 24 x 365 x 50000 = 43.8GW per year. Or enough to power the Cook Islands.

Tesla can make more efficient drive trains or they could just get a grip of ‘phantom drain’. AKA running a computer just for security. Break it out into a dedicated low power auxiliary board (aka Blackvue) for HW4 please.

I have no idea what power management control HW1/2/3 has (think Intel SpeedStep) but optimising code might be a way to reduce CPU/GPU power use for current cars.

For cars with Teslacam turned off it would be great if they could power up the computer in a stripped down quick boot Teslacam mode when the alarm goes off just to capture video (even if that is just after the fact).
 
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GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
840
791
UK
Look at your error logs under Service, anything recorded? Normal pattern is that a usb can't write fast enough.
 

jamherber

Member
Sep 7, 2020
63
46
Bridport, UK
Thanks for all the replies. Car was 78% SoC. The USB card I'm using was recommended on here (haven't got the specs to hand but it was the expensive item apparently designed for frequent re-writes). It recorded me coming to check the car was ok only a few hours after the non-recorded 'incident' and always seemed to recorded without issue.

Nothing in the error logs either. Sentry mode did drain 20% of the charge over 48 hours though which is just ludicrous IMHO

Are there early signs of a failing USB card (eg corrupt files etc)?
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
840
791
UK
Thanks for all the replies. Car was 78% SoC. The USB card I'm using was recommended on here (haven't got the specs to hand but it was the expensive item apparently designed for frequent re-writes). It recorded me coming to check the car was ok only a few hours after the non-recorded 'incident' and always seemed to recorded without issue.

Nothing in the error logs either. Sentry mode did drain 20% of the charge over 48 hours though which is just ludicrous IMHO

Are there early signs of a failing USB card (eg corrupt files etc)?
The normal sign of a failing USB is errors telling you the write speed is insufficient, hence looking in the log.

Sentry mode keeps the car awake so the computer can process the videos, draws about 250W from memory, so 250*24 = 6KWh, a little under 10%. I would add that it's been warm recently, if the cabin overheat protection cam on to keep the interior under 40 then that's a whole load more energy used.

I would raise a support request with Tesla, see if they can find out where the recording went from the backend. Clearly the Sentry Mode was triggered as you got an alert.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,234
5,759
Surrey, UK
If the alarm went off, which it sounds like it did as you got notification in the app, then this may be relevant.

I have one of those, showing the car gently rising up. Alarm went off when tyres were fitted.

The last alarm event is saved in the car's onboard memory.

Last time I had the alarm go off there was no recording to internal storage, so I have no experience of how to view and/or recover. One would like to also think that ability to write to internal storage would happen irrespective of whether USB media was functional.
 

jamherber

Member
Sep 7, 2020
63
46
Bridport, UK
How do I raise a support ticket with Tesla - do I use the 'schedule service' option in the app? Only ever arranged warranty issue fixes before rather than support requests.
TIA
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
840
791
UK
How do I raise a support ticket with Tesla - do I use the 'schedule service' option in the app? Only ever arranged warranty issue fixes before rather than support requests.
TIA
Yes, schedule a service at some point into the future, they will probably contact you and help remotely.
 

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