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Thinkware F750 Dash Cam

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by bollar, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    #1 bollar, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    Given the negative reviews of the Blackvue DR650GW, I decided to look at alternatives when my el-cheapo Mobius ActionCam died. I went with the Thinkview F750. It's a nice unit and total cost was just under $400 from Amazon, including a Sandisk Ultra 64 memory card (comes with 16GB)

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    Pros:

    - 1080P front / rear
    - Customer service returns calls
    - GPS locks reliably within three minutes
    - Nice Mac / PC program to view video files -- shows both cams simultaneously, plots car position on map, displays speed and x, y, z changes

    Cons:

    - Rear camera cable is thick micro-USB, making it harder to fish. All the best regards to those of you who can stuff it through the hatch grommet -- I failed.
    - Front unit seems "large"
    - App is new and not feature complete -- the biggest "miss" from my perspective is that although you can view and download videos onto your smartphone, you can't do anything with them after that (like save to Photos or email to someone).

    It also has lane assist, front collision warning and speed camera database, but I haven't explored how those work yet.

    I also don't know if this is a pro or a con, but the box provides status updates by voice, so you don't have to look at and decipher the blinking lights. For example, you'll get a voice notification when GPS locks, or if you turn on manual recording.

    Thanks to wk057, JPP, LastNLSig, egiljae & Fezzik for your installation tech notes! I don't have a lot of installation pictures to add, but to summarize:

    - Power from unused microphone screen connector
    - No hatchback drilling -- fish wire down to hatchback handholds and back up to window frame.
    - Route cable on outside of hatchback boot :(

    Also, that right side window frame fascia with connectors that tend to break. Note that they slip on from two different directions, so my take is pulling straight out is the best way to get it out.

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  2. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Screenshots from the iPhone version of the app.

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  3. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I've had a chance to play with some of the non-dashcam features:

    - Red Light Camera database. It's there, but appears not to be as comprehensive as Waze.
    - Lane Departure Warning System. It works surprisingly well, but it doesn't know when you plan to change lanes, so it alerts every time you cross a line. Too often. I currently have it set to alert only above 65MPH, but I'm sure I'll soon turn it off.
    - Forward Collision Warning System. It also appears to work, but I haven't comprehensively tested it. I'm leaving it on for now.

    Also, Parking Mode only works when you use a special harness that's connected to both switched and un-switched power. I didn't do that, so mine doesn't segregate parked recordings into a separate folder.
     
  4. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    Thanks for posting this thread.

    I am very interested to know how well the Forward Collision and Lane departure warning system works

    This will be considered as somewhat an "alternative" to those of us who don't have auto pilot features in our MS.

    Would install be quick who has dash cam already installed ?
     
  5. raychkg

    raychkg New Member

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    Thanks Bollar for sharing.

    I also installed the same today but the GPS & speed detector fail to work. The shop told me it is because of the Tesla front windshield. What have you done to have those GPS & speed work?
     
  6. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Nothing, actually. It just works. Something you might try is to let it get a fix outside the car, the first fix can be time consuming, but subsequent fixes should be faster.
     
  7. raychkg

    raychkg New Member

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    Thanks, let me try again. But first I need to find another power cord as the original one is mounted inside the car.
     
  8. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    And get the best clear view of the sky that you can -- I believe a lot of the signals will be coming in through the side windows, so that's also an important consideration. Maybe go up to the Peak. :D
     
  9. tomp

    tomp Member

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    Thanks for this info. This one is currently my leading choice. I think I will watch prices on amazon for a little bit. On amazon I'm currently seeing $283 for the camera, plus $30 hardwire kit, plus $99 rear camera. Plus whatever a 64G memory card runs. I realize prices on amazon can change rapidly, but would be curious how that compares to what you obtained. Also, I assume the $30 hardwire kit is basically required?
     
  10. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    How is the camera holding with heat and having the car parked in direct sunlight? Living in California there are days where the sun is just pain brutal and having a car parked outside is a serious heat test for anything in a car.
     
  11. Battman

    Battman Member

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    Is this camera system not called Thinkware F750?
     
  12. tsarlsy

    tsarlsy Member

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    It is. Wrong brand in title.
     
  13. gizmoboy

    gizmoboy Member

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    Rick, how was the install time/effort?

    As you know, I was thinking BlackVue 650 because of the predominance of coverage on it here on the board, but if this turns out to be a stronger alternative, I'll need to consider it soon.

    The extra features weren't a big deal to me considering my car will have AP which should have better versions of most of them, but red light camera alert might be nice... And if the video quality is better, that's a plus.

    Even if you don't have it wired to a switched connection, the car records all the time, just doesn't sort the parked videos into a different folder?
     
  14. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    The front camera is easy, especially if there's power under the mic grill. The rear was difficult for me, and I was unable to fish the USB cable through the rubber boot the wiring harness passes through at the lift back.

    I don't have the switched power supply, do you're right -- all recordings show up in one place.

    You're welcome to look at my installation and I can show you what "easy" means to me.
     
  15. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    #15 liuping, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    I ordered a circular polarizer for my F750 (Polarizer Filter ThinkWare F750) for about $40 after shipping.

    I definitely reduces dash glare, but it shows rainbow circles in the video due to the Photosync tint on my windshield.

    If anyone with a F750 is interested in the polarizer, PM me with an offer, I can't use it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    There is a switched power wire for the mirror you can easily tap for parking mode. See my pictures here: Newer VIN constant 12v power options (dashcam)? - Page 7
     
  16. gizmoboy

    gizmoboy Member

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    Yeah, I'd like to come by and check out the install. Seriously thinking of this instead of the Blackvue...
     
  17. cynix

    cynix Member

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    Is there a switched 12V source that doesn't require tapping/splicing into an existing wire? I don't want to make any irreversible modifications.
     
  18. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    It depends on how new your car is, but there is a harness in the center console near the passenger footwell. Details here:

    Spare Switched 12V Circuit on Model S built after July 2014
     
  19. cynix

    cynix Member

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    Ah yes, I remember reading about that. I was hoping for something near the microphone grille though, since that's where the constant 12V source is.
     
  20. PatD

    PatD Member

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    Something I found that helped for fishing the wire through the hatch grommet. I used a wire tie (Just like the ones you used to attached the wire to the grommet.) I had a long one and ran it through bare with no problem. Then I taped (Using electrical tape) a long portion of the camera wire to the wire tie (Again, a long wire tie is better for this reason) and with some massaging of the grommet, was able to make it through easily.

    Now this was on a Blackvue. Your mileage may vary, but give this technique a try and see if it helps.
     

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