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Solar Dashcam

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kuttakamina, May 31, 2015.

  1. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    1. Cameras don't consume a lot of power. I don't understand why no manufacturer has come up with a solar powered dashcam that you can just stick on your front dash. It would remove the hassle of all the wiring you have to do, no?

    2. The new D's come with autopilot which includes a camera as standard hardware. I wish Tesla would allow us to use that camera as a dashcam too (both front and back). C'mon Tesla.
     
  2. No2DinosaurFuel

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    1) The amount of energy to capture video is pretty high unless you are using very low resolution, no compression, no encryption, etc. Sure the camera can sip energy from the sun, but to actually continuously power the capturing 24/7, you will need a pretty large surface area. I think it can be done if you can remove the roof of the tesla and replace it with solar cells like the fisker Karma... assuming you park it in the sun the day before and not store the car away for long period of time.

    2) If I remember correctly, the camera is on the bottom front of the car so it's not a dash cam per say. But I understand where you are coming from. I would imagine it is a simple mod to allow the camera stream to go to BOTH the Autopilot hardware and the sdcard for dash cam action. I have done this using network cameras and you just need to capture the network packets. If you are using any other type of interface, I suspect it is locked or encrypted. I remember asking about this to one of the Sale representative. They have no idea why not but they know it's cannot be done. I know nissan has the 360 camera, but I don't know if they are doing any fancy function like autopilot other than invert perspective view on all the cameras to give you a pseudo 360 topdown view. But you can access the video stream of the front and rear camera.
     
  3. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Hmm for
    #1 - Most dashcams consume 1A 5V, which is doable via this - Amazon.com: ALLPOWERS 10000mAh Solar Panel Charger with iSolar Technology for iPhone, iPad, Samsung and other 5V USB devices (Orange): Cell Phones Accessories. Solar + battery backup, and you should have a solution.
    #2 - I think there is a camera on top also. That is what I was referring to. Certainly the rear view camera could be a nice dashcam.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, once I get my Tesla, I am going to try a DIY solution for

    this ..
    http://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-10000mAh-Charger-Technology-Samsung/dp/B00LBWFLQ4
    + iPhone stand
    + dashcam

    The problem is, my car remains indoors most of the time. Only in the evenings or very early morning when I go to gym is when its outdoors, and its dark around then anyway.
    Very rarely am I exposed to sunlight .. yes I'm a VAMPIRE :)
     
  4. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    It makes no sense to install expensive solar panels on the roof when you have an EV with a huge battery. Cars are parked in garages or in the shade and in many regions you go weeks with heavy overcast skies. It would really be a silly idea to use solar panels to power one little thing in the car when everything else is powered easily from the 12 Volt and main battery which is recharged every day regardless of the sun. Solar panels make little sense installed on cars. They are best installed on roofs, angled towards the sun and free of shade where they can harvest as much as possible.

    Next thing someone suggests to put a little wind generator on top of the car to charge the battery LOL
     
  5. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Yes I get that. But the whole idea here is to do a DIY aftermarket without taking the car apart.
    Yes it'd be just super duper that everything was built into the car from the factory. And that we didn't need a 12V battery at all.

    Why haven't the smart people at Tesla figured out a way to not need the 12V battery? There is no mechanical motion or sparkplugs in this car, why do we need the 12V battery to start the car?
     
  6. Mookuh

    Mookuh Member

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    There is, the relays that connect/disconnect the main battery work via 12V. And it's a good thing, too, as it's a safety feature. You don't really want the car sitting around idle for longer periods with an "armed" battery.
     
  7. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Cool thanks! Makes sense! Still, I wish they'd figure out a way to drive everything without the need for a 12V.
     
  8. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    I don't understand this fascination with the dash cam. I get the rear one - really cool to see you smoke the other cars and watch them get small (like the cop the other day until he turned on his lights).

    But, I just don't understand the front cam thing. What are we hoping to capture? Do you have to turn it on every time you're going somewhere? Is there a remote control for it like a GoPro?

    Again, I'm sure some folks love theirs, I just don't understand the whole thing . . .
     
  9. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Cameras are ireffutable evidence of facts. Too many bad apples out there lying to their insurance companies about what happened.
    I've run into two accidents over the past 10 years, in both cases, not my fault.
    In both cases, the other party blatantly lied about the details (I mean not a slight lie either, just a total rewrite of the facts), and it took me a long time to get reimbursed (18 months and 8 months respectively).
    In both cases, the only way I could convince the other insurance company was via phone camera pictures I took.

    With my phone camera, I am capturing pictures of deadbodies after the shooting, and then hoping to prove who did the shooting.
    With a dashcam, I am capturing the shooter as he is doing the shooting.

    I feel, a dashcam would have greatly reduced my headache in both cases.

    Plus people can vandalize your car when it is parked, inadvertently, carelessly, or on purpose.
    Shopping carts in grocery store parking lots is such a bad idea for instance.

    Dashcams are a good idea.

    I may or may not get XPel on my car, but the two things I will definitely get are rubber floor mats and dashcam, hopefully something that can do front and back.
    They also have mirror things you can put on top of your existing mirror that adds night vision for instance. Need to do some research, but dashcam on a pricey car - definitely worth it.

    PS: In both cases, the other driver, got away with no reprecussion on them for lying. So they are just encouraged to lie again. Really sad. Its what people do these days, they lie shamelessly, unabashedly. Camera pins them down to the facts.
     
  10. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    So it just stays on while you're not in the car? When does it turn off? Does it cycle and then start writing over the old data after 2 hours or something? Sorry for all the Qs. I'm really just trying to understand how they would work.
     
  11. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Depends what you get, if you get a too fancy cam, maybe someone will try to break your glass and steal the camera :)

    Most of them record on a loop, and you can add an SD card. So you have say, 2 last days of video.
    Some of them have shock sensing, if they detect a physical jerk (like an accident), they will lock that part of the video and not delete it until you delete it.
    Some of them also have a supplementary screen, and the camera has night vision, so they double up as a night vision thing.
    They also come in all shapes and sizes, some even stick on top of your rear view mirror, and take place of your rear view mirror.
    They are reflective (like your mirror), but rely more on the camera in front and back (so the mirror is a screen).
    .. etc. etc.

    Albeit, I haven't done my full research on these. I don't know which one is better/worse etc.
     
  12. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Let me know what you come up with. It's interesting.
     
  13. Cebe

    Cebe Member

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    • Informative x 1
  14. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Please search these forums for way too much info on dash cams, selection, good & bad, installation, etc. I consider it an insurance policy. Install it and forget about it until you need the evidence. I was an unbeliever until I saw the video of a forum member/early S owner who was T-boned by a kid in an M5 at high speed. I installed a dual front-rear Blackvue. It is essentially fully automatic. Records continuously while driving. Captures and saves events triggered by 3-axis accelerometer (i.e. collision forces, bumps, etc). In Park mode, goes into memory & power saving mode (the latter not necessary as the 12V system is recharged from the traction pack by the DC-to-DC converter). It does overwrite 'routine' data recordings. With a 32GB micro SD card, I get about 12 hours of full HD 30 FPS video. YMMV.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, just a note on their install--they did not fish the rear camera coax through the rubber boot/sleeve from the C pillar to the liftgate. A mistake IMHO and less than a clean professional job. If you plan to get the camera installed, please search these forums for lots of info and photos on how to install and find always on 12V power, etc.
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. EVenthusiast

    EVenthusiast Member

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    I always wanted to do this, since my LEAF has a solar panel built into the spoiler. But the panel is too small to have a real impact, and considering how important your dash cam might be, you want to minimize the variables which might affect reliability/performance.

    Every vehicle should have one. I've witnessed 3 hit & runs (where I had to get involved), and recently, I was also in the middle of an SUV flipping 8 times (and caught the beginning of the accident on video). There are even insurance companies which will give you a discount (but none in the US afaik).

    Just check the millions of dash cam videos on YouTube. The majority of drivers in both Russia and South Korea have dash cams, so there are some really interesting ones.

    Basically, there's no downside (unless you like to break the law in significant ways).
     
  16. K5ING

    K5ING MegaMiler

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    This is the camera he was talking about. In the first picture, there is another dashcam that looks like it's being held on with blue tape, but the built-in camera is the one I've circled in red. It would be nice if owners could tap into that one but I'm not sure how you could record off of it unless Tesla adds a mini-sd card slot somewhere to make it a built-in dash cam system.

    Tesla Mobieye camera2 mod.jpg

    Tesla MobiEye camera mod.jpg
     
  17. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    I would be surprised if it's not already recording and saving the data from the dash cam. Most of these cars now have "black box" that is used in the case of accidents. Also, it would be extremely useful in trying to figure out any auto pilot issues in accidents.
     
  18. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Exactly! Thanks for making things so clear.
    And Tesla doesn't need to add a mini-sd card slot either, just let us use the USB port.
     
  19. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I think a dash cam should be an option in every car. It's such a great provider of evidence in accidents. If it was standard in every car, people would be aware of their presence and drive differently and wouldn't be able to lie their way out of having caused an accident.
     
  20. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Great idea! The faster you drive the more your SOC increases? :)
     
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