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Teslacam Sentry Mode Issues

Smoofv

Member
Jul 27, 2018
30
11
Chicago
Hi all,

I have a 32 GB Corsair flash drive formatted FAT 32 that has been plugged into my car for months. The red light is always appears on the camera icon when I'm driving.

Today, my Sentry Mode went full alarm. I got to the car very fast and noticed no damage, and suspect it was some very strong wind in Chicago atop a parking garage that may have rocked it. No one was around and the garage floor was totally empty. That said, upon checking the TeslaCam footage, I have all kinds of problems.

The Saved folder contains really old files from months ago, but none of my recent saves. I don't see any SentryMode folders that others report seeing on their drives, and the files I do have seem to crash my video players on both Mac and PC. I need to start over, but don't see much info on playback issues. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,209
10,083
SF Bay Area
People really should check their flash drives even though I know people don't want to bother. Just buy 2 of them and switch out so it's not such an inconvenience. That way you can make sure it's recording properly and do any file maintenance. How large of a drive were you using that you had it running for months? Can't help but wonder if you filled up your drive with saved/driving&sentry mode files a while back. I think it is recommend to reformat the drives every so often to clear out bad files.

TeslaCam can be active and recording as it rewrites the 1-hr buffer. Are the files under RecentClips (buffer) current? Were you turning on Sentry Mode each time you left the car? Presently it's off by default all the time.

Flash drives by their nature only have a limited read/write lifetime.
 

Glamisduner

Active Member
Aug 2, 2017
3,582
2,386
Escondido, CA
It has some issues for sure. Mine drive corrupted again today (just have to reformat that partition). I didn't get garbled video and corrupt files since the last two updates though.
 

balajeek

Member
Sep 25, 2018
92
15
NJ
Yesterday evening when I was returning from work and just around 50ft from my car I heard some car's alarm goes off and I get closer and closer then I see its my model 3. I also got text "Sentry mode has triggered the alarm state", I did not know why, but I can see the car next to mine he is inside his car and ready to go. I waited after he left I check the car and I see no damage. I forgot to check the footage when I get home (I am guessing this morning not those footage must be gone). Anyway since I was there near and was able to notice it and unlocking the car turned off the alarm, what would be the case when I am not around and I get message like this, how does it turn off or do I have to somehow turn it off, If I fail to notice the alert does the alarm stay on? for how long?
anyone with this experience.
 
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belanger

Member
Nov 5, 2018
75
39
USA
I enable sentry mode each time I’m not next to my car.

The first and only alarm I received, nothing happened to my car at all.

Soon after, the recording icon lost its red dot and I couldn’t save videos anymore. I was very surprised to find out later that the disc was full. I hardly saved anything and there was only 1 incident in the past.

I opened a few video and quickly realize that the alarm generated tons of files... I also noticed a camera was flickering non stop. Not sure what created all those, perhaps the flickering?

My car got keyed after the disc full and verified the storage only after.
 

Goosby

Member
Aug 18, 2018
118
61
Boise Idaho
The Sentry mode event footage is never deleted, it will stay there until you delete it.

I noticed this recently and am confused by it. I generally turn sentry mode on when I leave my car in a public area, but sentry ends up recording massive amounts of video when nothing is happening. I’m not sure if noise from the parking garage I’m normally in is kicking sentry mode on or what, but the one time my sentry alarm actually went off I wasn’t able to capture video because my drive was full. Now I know, sentry is a data hog. To add even more confusion to the mix, last night I went to the middle of nowhere in a parking lot and turned sentry on and went into the store for 30 mins. Sure enough when I checked the USB stick there was about 12 minutes of footage, all with nothing but an empty parking lot. Maybe wind is kicking it on, but it would be nice if sentry overwrote itself after a couple weeks time (aside from saved clips), or at the very least a message popped up on the screen indicating the USB drive is full. I wouldn’t want it to be less sensitive to movement, but a quality of life change for managing storage would be a godsend.
 

sreams

Member
Nov 7, 2017
732
1,307
Sacramento, CA
I noticed this recently and am confused by it. I generally turn sentry mode on when I leave my car in a public area, but sentry ends up recording massive amounts of video when nothing is happening. I’m not sure if noise from the parking garage I’m normally in is kicking sentry mode on or what, but the one time my sentry alarm actually went off I wasn’t able to capture video because my drive was full. Now I know, sentry is a data hog. To add even more confusion to the mix, last night I went to the middle of nowhere in a parking lot and turned sentry on and went into the store for 30 mins. Sure enough when I checked the USB stick there was about 12 minutes of footage, all with nothing but an empty parking lot. Maybe wind is kicking it on, but it would be nice if sentry overwrote itself after a couple weeks time (aside from saved clips), or at the very least a message popped up on the screen indicating the USB drive is full. I wouldn’t want it to be less sensitive to movement, but a quality of life change for managing storage would be a godsend.

Sentry mode records on any detected motion. Sound is used to trigger the alarm. If you park in an area where there is lots of activity, it will almost always be recording.

This behavior is exactly why the woman who keyed the Model 3 while putting her kid in her SUV got arrested.
 
Last edited:

japhule

Member
Jul 24, 2018
177
165
Dallas, TX
I noticed this recently and am confused by it. I generally turn sentry mode on when I leave my car in a public area, but sentry ends up recording massive amounts of video when nothing is happening. I’m not sure if noise from the parking garage I’m normally in is kicking sentry mode on or what, but the one time my sentry alarm actually went off I wasn’t able to capture video because my drive was full. Now I know, sentry is a data hog. To add even more confusion to the mix, last night I went to the middle of nowhere in a parking lot and turned sentry on and went into the store for 30 mins. Sure enough when I checked the USB stick there was about 12 minutes of footage, all with nothing but an empty parking lot. Maybe wind is kicking it on, but it would be nice if sentry overwrote itself after a couple weeks time (aside from saved clips), or at the very least a message popped up on the screen indicating the USB drive is full. I wouldn’t want it to be less sensitive to movement, but a quality of life change for managing storage would be a godsend.
When Sentry Mode is triggered, it will save the last 10 or so minutes leading up to the trigger event. In your example, I'm guessing that 12 minutes was probably when you came back to your car and it triggered the save.
 

Goosby

Member
Aug 18, 2018
118
61
Boise Idaho
Sentry mode records on any detected motion. Sound is used to trigger the alarm. If you park in an area where there is lots of activity, it will almost always be recording.

This behavior is exactly why the woman who keyed the Model 3 while putting her kid in her SUV got arrested.

When Sentry Mode is triggered, it will save the last 10 or so minutes leading up to the trigger event. In your example, I'm guessing that 12 minutes was probably when you came back to your car and it triggered the save.

Interesting, for some reason I thought it only auto saved if the alarm went off, but would keep recent, no alarm triggered recordings for X amount of time.

Guess I’ll have to be more proactive in cleaning my USB drive or buy an actual HDD. Thanks for the info!
 

BayAreaBob

Member
Jan 13, 2019
25
5
Silicon Valley
Upon returning to my car tonight, I noticed the Sentry mode had been triggered to Alert state.
But I'm unable to determine the time and from scanning the video clips so I'm not able to find what happened.

Two questions:
1. How do I learn what time the Sentry mode was triggered to Alert?
2. Shouldn't a notification have been sent to the Tesla app on my phone (or somewhere)?

Any other suggestions or ideas will be welcome.
Thanks
 

Fernand

Active Member
Mar 22, 2019
1,578
1,734
Northern california
It saves in folders. The folders are time-date stamped, I think GMT,
so you can get some "tomorrow" folders. Also each file has a date
and time at the beginning of its file name.
 

Toumal

Member
Mar 9, 2016
204
988
Austria
Tesla really needs to improve this by adding the following:

1) exFAT or NTFS support so we get more than 32GB storage
2) Reliable filesystem operations
3) Better event detection that doesn't keep hours of footage of nothing happening in sentry mode. This is what fills up the partition btw.
 
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brobinson

Member
May 23, 2018
621
704
Ohio
Tesla really needs to improve this by adding the following:

1) exFAT or NTFS support so we get more than 32GB storage
2) Reliable filesystem operations
3) Better event detection that doesn't keep hours of footage of nothing happening in sentry mode. This is what fills up the partition btw.

You dont have to use exFAT or NTFS to format a larger drive as FAT32, you just need a utility.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,543
38,868
Oregon
Two questions:
1. How do I learn what time the Sentry mode was triggered to Alert?
2. Shouldn't a notification have been sent to the Tesla app on my phone (or somewhere)?

You only get an alert if it gets to the alarm level. And as far as the time, you go through the saved files and it would normally be in the last couple of minutes of saved clips. (It records the ~9 prior minutes to the "event".)
 
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BayAreaBob

Member
Jan 13, 2019
25
5
Silicon Valley
You only get an alert if it gets to the alarm level. And as far as the time, you go through the saved files and it would normally be in the last couple of minutes of saved clips. (It records the ~9 prior minutes to the "event".)
I did look through the last couple saved clips.... but couldn't find anything unusual that would have set off the the Sentry Alert mode.
That's why I was trying to figure out approximately what time the Alert mode kicked in. Have others experienced false alerts?
I still think all this is an outstanding idea!
 

Transporter

Member
Apr 19, 2019
41
14
Sebastian FL
I ordered a usb adapter and plan on using an SSD as the camera storage, probably a 240gb since they are down to around 25-30.00. As a bonus can use in a computer later as a boot drive if needed. This video explains pretty well.
 

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