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TeslaCam & WiFi problems

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by srs5694, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've just today taken delivery of a new Model 3 LR. I can't drive it yet, because of the way Tesla handles deliveries in Rhode Island, where there is as yet no Tesla store (I've got to wait to receive paperwork from Tesla, after which I can go to the DMV to get plates).

    Anyhow, I've been setting things up as best as I can without moving the car. So far most things have worked; however, I've run into two technological problems:

    • TeslaCam file corruption -- When I set TeslaCam to record, I get recordings from the left repeater camera that are, at best, OK in the top 3/5 or so of the image but that are bad in the bottom 2/5 or so. (In macOS, the bottom 2/5 is a solid block of green. In whatever Linux used as a default media player, it looked like the last good line was repeated to the bottom of the image.) Some of the files from that camera are of 0 length. The front and right repeater files are mostly OK, although I've noticed brief bursts of similar corruption on the front camera, too. I've tried two different USB flash drives -- one a brand new SanDisk 256GB drive I bought for the Tesla and another a rather old OCZ 8GB drive that's never given me problems. I tried using both of the USB ports, and neither worked better than the other. I also tried resetting the Tesla's computer by holding both steering-wheel buttons down, but that had no effect. (The computer did reset; the screen went blank and then went through its start-up sequence.)
    • Weak WiFi -- I've been unable to connect to my home's WiFi from the car, and in fact it shows no WiFi networks available, with one exception: If I enable my OnePlus 5t cell phone's WiFi hot spot, the car can find and connect to it. When not in its WiFi hot spot mode, my phone detects dozens of WiFi networks available when I'm inside the car. (Many of those are actually the WiFi connections from my solar panels' inverters, but others are legitimate WiFi networks.) The signal strength of these networks on my phone isn't great, but isn't awful, either -- most are about half-way down on the graphical meter. (I haven't used an app to quantify the signal strength, though.) I also have no problem connecting to my home WiFi from an Apple MacBook Air I took out to the car for doing this testing. Is the Model 3 known for having weak WiFi, or is it likely that there's something wrong with my car?
    So, does anybody have any advice? I can certainly buy a WiFi repeater to put closer to where my car is parked if that will help me get decent WiFi in my car, but my initial impression is that it should be doing better than it is, given that both my cell phone and a laptop can detect multiple WiFi networks from inside the car. The TeslaCam file corruption strikes me as likely to be a hardware fault, but if somebody has another suggestion of something to try, I'm willing to try it.
     
  2. Waltjo

    Waltjo Member

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    TeslaCam - I also get files that can't be read.

    WeakWifi - I had a repeater in my Garage and the car connects but I get only 3 bars and the repeater is about 6 feet from the rear of the car. I have not had time to see if relocating the repeater might git a stronger signal. I tin the wifi is a bit weak on M3.
     
  3. CommandoFL

    CommandoFL Member

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    Get a repeater...I put one in my garage and my Tesla has full bars all the time
     
  4. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    #4 boaterva, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    Either a repeater or a mesh network (Orbi or the like) to allow you to have an antenna near the car. I have an Orbi right in back of the garage wall on the Family Room and both cars have full strength.


    Temporarily, try folding or unfolding the car mirrors. Sometimes the angle improves the signal when it’s marginal.

    I have the mirrors folded and the Orbi is directly in front the car if that helps you line up things with your current antenna.

    Edit: To clarify: I’ve seen folding the mirrors change the signal strength. This is not theoretical talk. :D If the signal is from the wrong direction, the antenna will benefit from turning (since they are in the mirrors as far as I know, still).
     
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  5. GolanB

    GolanB Supporting Member

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    Regarding WiFi reception, I found that both the Model X and Model 3 that we've owned didn't have particularly great signal strength. It may be because the WiFi antennas are less senstivive than your laptop and mobile device. We use commercial Ubiquiti Networks AP's and I have one within 20 feet of the car, yet it only displays partial WiFi strength. Its possible that Tesla does not want to communicate with an AP that it can't hold a reliable connection to because of the risk to OTA updates. For whatever reason, their OTA software update recovery routines are weak - I know this because I once started an OTA update over a tethered mobile device while driving, and the update got stuck. I resolved it with a call to Tesla Support and they reported seeing the OTA download failure.

    I'm not sure what to make of your video corruption, other than to say that TeslaCam is still very much a work in progress. I haven't noticed the same corruption you have under MacOS, but I have noted that sometimes files are 0 length. I'm assuming you are properly ejecting the USB key from the Tesla, as per documentation.
     
  6. KenF

    KenF Member

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    For Teslacam, it is a good idea to use memory that is meant to be overwritten over and over, such as memory for a security camera or video recording device. Most flash memory (e.g., your typical thumb drive) is not meant to be constantly overwritten, and, as the memory degrades, the amount of file corruption will steadily increase.

    I haven’t had any file corruption issues since I switched to Samsung Pro Endurance memory.
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I finally managed to get the car to connect to my home WiFi by manually entering the AP name, but it took half a dozen tries, and I get one bar at best. It sounds like I may need a repeater.

    As I said, one of the two USB devices I've tried is brand new, so it's certainly not been degraded by repeated writes (although it could be defective from the factory). Also, I don't think the problem is with the media, since the problem is almost exclusively restricted to the left repeater camera, and to the bottom 2/5 or so of the image. I'd expect media problems to be far more random than that in their effects. I tested with the second USB drive, and on both USB plugs in the Tesla, just to rule out this easy-to-test but unlikely possibility.
     
  8. 9114s

    9114s Member

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  9. RayK

    RayK Member

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    WiFi and LTE antennas are supposed to be inside the right hand side mirror. I've had the best WiFi reception by keeping the front side of the mirror assembly pointed toward my access point.
     
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  10. GolanB

    GolanB Supporting Member

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    Even so, he shouldn't see corruption this early. Enterprise grade solid state storage is always an option and I've heard of some people using them. Samsung achieves "5 years of continuous recording" on their larger Endurance models which is quite good, but it asumes that Tesla is going to write out to the entire drive and I haven't spent enough time looking into how Tesla is writing to the volume.

    A number of years ago, Apple purchased a company called Anobit which leveraged consumer grade flash and some interesting controller techniques to squeeze additional performance and reliability. They ended up taking the company off market and integrated the technology into their storage on their mobile and computing devices.

    In the past, I made the mistake in the past of using consumer grade flash and never checking on its functionality until I needed it and found that the video was corrupt for several months. I hope that Tesla plans on integrating some validation of the flash writes and warning the user when corruption is present.
     
  11. McFlurri

    McFlurri Active Member

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    Is your USB drive formatted to FAT32?

    I personally use a 128GB SSD in an external enclosure.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Yes, FAT32.
     
  13. wEagle99

    wEagle99 Member

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    I've had similar issues with my side cameras. From reviewing my recent footage it seems to mostly happen when there's too much light in the frame. Is that the case with yours too? I was parked in a parking garage last night and had no green bars, but earlier in the day I was parked outside and the footage has them.
     
  14. srredbeard

    srredbeard Blue MS 75D and Black M3

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    In regards to the TeslaCam I have also had files corrupted. On my Model S it is usually the right camera, on the Model 3 it is the left. In thinking about it, the errors on the Model S are definitely related the sun. I will check the files on the Model 3 to see if that is likely the case there.

    The Model 3 has had a High Endurance microSD card since day one, the Model S just had a SanDisk USB stick that others here have recommended. I have switch both over to 128GB High Endurance Samsung microSD cards. While this won't resolve this issue it should result in longer life of the media since it is designed to be written to continuously.
     
  15. Silicon Desert

    Silicon Desert Active Member

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    Same as the other comments on the Wifi. I noticed our X to not be as good at Wifi reception as other devices. Since we use EERO in the home, I simply got and placed another one in the guest bedroom on the wall opposite the garage. The X immediately saw it and I connected right away. 5 bars.
     
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  16. Scott7

    Scott7 Member

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    I’m curious why you aren’t driving the car yet. How did you get it home?

    My car doesn’t have plates yet either, and there’s no store in my state, but it does have a temporary tag in the window that is meant for exactly this purpose. You can definitely drive the car with this tag. I believe all states have roughly the same temporary tag process.

    I’m expecting I won’t have the paperwork to even get the plates at the DMV for up to a month.
     
  17. FloridaGary

    FloridaGary Member

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    Are you connected to a 2.4ghz or 5ghz wifi network? If you have both, choose 2.4 since it has a longer reach. Also, are you parked in a garage or outside? I have a strong signal in my garage, but as soon as I pull out, it quickly converts to LTE.
     
  18. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Did you try folding or unfolding the mirrors? No matter what, it should have made a difference in signal strength so you know that it matters. :D
     
  19. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Not to hijack, but did they give you a temp plate for another state? I can’t see how they would give out temp paper plates for a state where they have no presence but I can see them giving you temps for another state and then you have bill of sale to hand-walk to your own state.
     
  20. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I tried again this morning and it was much better. For this test, I drove the car ~20 feet back and forth in my driveway, so maybe that helped; or maybe the light was the problem. I'll have to test it out some more once I can take the car out on the road.

    Tesla has no store in Rhode Island, where I live, and so they can't work with the RI DMV to get temporary plates. I bought the car through the Dedham, Massachusetts store, and if I understand correctly, MA doesn't provide temporary plates -- or if they do, out-of-state buyers don't qualify for them. Thus, to sell cars to RI residents, Tesla offers two options: Deliver the car without plates (either delivered on a truck or driven to the residence on dealer plates) from Dedham; or pick up from a Tesla store in New York State, where temporary tags can be issued to out-of-state buyers. The latter option requires getting to the Tesla store that's about a 2.5-hour drive away. Either option requires an in-person trip to the DMV to get RI plates. Thus, home delivery seemed like the better option.

    In sum, your assumption that all states operate in more-or-less the same way is incorrect.

    It's connecting to my router's 2.4GHz radio, but I'm parked outside. (I have a driveway, but no garage.)

    I've tried it both ways, but I'm not sure how much difference it made, since mostly the mirrors were folded out when I was testing inside the car but folded in when I got out. I'm now able to connect either way, but the signal is weak. The initial problem was that my network wasn't showing up in the list; I suspect that Tesla is filtering the list by signal strength so that only very strong networks appear. When you manually enter a network that's not in the list, though, you can connect to it. As I said, it took several tries, but I did finally get it to connect. (Some of those tries may have involved typos that prevented connection, but not all of them, so the weak signal probably caused me problems, too.)
     

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