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Using the 2021 USB-C ports in center console for purposes other than charging?

brannigan

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
1
0
Holly Springs, NC
I’m trying to purchase a game pad for my 2021 model 3. I would like to use the USB-C ports in the center console rather than the standard USB port in the glove box (and needing to add a hub). Specifically I would like to plug the wireless adapter in here. Has anyone tried something like this and know if these ports are useful for anything other than charging?
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
833
264
El Paso, TX
My 2021 car has 2 USB-C ports inside the front center console (you need to open the lid), 2 on the rear, and one inside the glove box that is taken by a USB stick for the dashcam. I assume that's the only USB port, right? My question is can you connect a music USB stick on ANY of the 4 ports in order to play, or it has to be in one of the 2 front ports? And the rear ones are strictly for charging or not? Wish there was a second USB port inside the glove box to put the music USB there.
 

Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
612
525
NORWAY
My 2021 car has 2 USB-C ports inside the front center console (you need to open the lid), 2 on the rear, and one inside the glove box that is taken by a USB stick for the dashcam. I assume that's the only USB port, right? My question is can you connect a music USB stick on ANY of the 4 ports in order to play, or it has to be in one of the 2 front ports? And the rear ones are strictly for charging or not? Wish there was a second USB port inside the glove box to put the music USB there.
The 2 in the back is only for charging AFAIK.
You can partition a storage device into 2 drives, or use separate folders. If you have a portable SSD drive, like the very popular Samsung T5, you can create 1 partition for recording (remember to create a TeslaCam folder on it) and one partition for music.

See here:
Tesla Dashcam USB Drive Setup with Sentry Mode and Music - AutoPilot Review
 
Dec 22, 2020
56
44
Pennsylvania
I bought two USB-C adapters and plug in my Logitech F310 controllers. Makes it nice because I use that area for storage too, so everything is out of the way when you are done.

I like what others mentioned too about getting the wireless set up. I may have to look into that as well for the future. We don't do an excessive amount of gaming in the car so our setup works for us.

Basically, do what works for you. Each need is different. Enjoy the car!!!
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,934
6,014
My 2021 car has 2 USB-C ports inside the front center console (you need to open the lid), 2 on the rear, and one inside the glove box that is taken by a USB stick for the dashcam. I assume that's the only USB port, right? My question is can you connect a music USB stick on ANY of the 4 ports in order to play, or it has to be in one of the 2 front ports? And the rear ones are strictly for charging or not? Wish there was a second USB port inside the glove box to put the music USB there.
The two rear ports are for charging only from my own testing (those ports are also a bit weird and my Samsung tablet throws a warning when charging through the rear ports through my USB-C to A adapter).

For music, both the front USB-C ports can be used (just get an adapter or adapter cable to USB-A).

You can also likely use a USB hub (haven't tried myself however), for partition another partition on the same stick as others mentioned.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Koolio46

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
833
264
El Paso, TX
Thank you guys. Will remove the USB Tesla stick, and check size. If it's 128Gb, will try to dump my music there (only 4.34Gb), and see if it works. Supposedly, it should pick it up, but we'll see. Otherwise, would have to do a partition, which I obviously don't know how to do. Ha ha.
Hey gang, one question: When I click on the sentry icon, the red button in the middle turns on. However, if I go to 'safety and security', it's not turned on. What's the deal with that? Do I need to turn it on there? And if yes, can I turn it on and off from the screen, by touching the icon? I only want to use it when I click on the icon. Don't want it all the time, since it not only uses juice, but doesn't allow the car to sleep. We'd only use it in certain situations. Thx.
 

Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
612
525
NORWAY
Thank you guys. Will remove the USB Tesla stick, and check size. If it's 128Gb, will try to dump my music there (only 4.34Gb), and see if it works. Supposedly, it should pick it up, but we'll see. Otherwise, would have to do a partition, which I obviously don't know how to do. Ha ha.
Hey gang, one question: When I click on the sentry icon, the red button in the middle turns on. However, if I go to 'safety and security', it's not turned on. What's the deal with that? Do I need to turn it on there? And if yes, can I turn it on and off from the screen, by touching the icon? I only want to use it when I click on the icon. Don't want it all the time, since it not only uses juice, but doesn't allow the car to sleep. We'd only use it in certain situations. Thx.
First of all, memory sticks are notoriously bad for continuous write, like dashcam and sentry, and based on feedback on the USB stick it's not reliable (I've also experienced it, switched with a portable SSD).
As for sentry. Turning it ON in the menu means sentry will be on by default every time you park the park. So what you're doing (click the icon) is doing exactly what you want, which is turn it on "just this parking session".
Also, turning on sentry mode through the app is like clicking the icon, it will not affect the sentry mode settings. So if you forget to hit the icon you can go in there and activate it.
 

elptxjc

Member
Dec 15, 2019
833
264
El Paso, TX
So what you're doing (click the icon) is doing exactly what you want, which is turn it on "just this parking session".
EXCELLENT! Thank you very much. The reason I was doubting that is because yesterday, when I activated it, I'm sure there were people near my car, and didn't record anything. But to make sure it's working, will give it a 'test drive' right now, and see what happens :). Thank you for your great help :).
 

Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
612
525
NORWAY
EXCELLENT! Thank you very much. The reason I was doubting that is because yesterday, when I activated it, I'm sure there were people near my car, and didn't record anything. But to make sure it's working, will give it a 'test drive' right now, and see what happens :). Thank you for your great help :).
Yeah, happened with the memory stick that was included with my 2021 as well. Memory sticks aren't made for continuous operation. They generally support something like 10-100k write cycles, while max durability SD cards can support up to 14 years (and maybe more) of continuous operation.
 

bradknit

Member
Sep 26, 2020
7
3
Richmond Hill, GA
I’m trying to purchase a game pad for my 2021 model 3. I would like to use the USB-C ports in the center console rather than the standard USB port in the glove box (and needing to add a hub). Specifically I would like to plug the wireless adapter in here. Has anyone tried something like this and know if these ports are useful for anything other than charging?

I use my port for a SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD for sentry mode.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,101
21,598
NC
Thank you guys. Will remove the USB Tesla stick, and check size. If it's 128Gb, will try to dump my music there (only 4.34Gb), and see if it works. Supposedly, it should pick it up, but we'll see. Otherwise, would have to do a partition, which I obviously don't know how to do. Ha ha.

AFAIK music must be on a separate partition

Hey gang, one question: When I click on the sentry icon, the red button in the middle turns on. However, if I go to 'safety and security', it's not turned on. What's the deal with that? Do I need to turn it on there? And if yes, can I turn it on and off from the screen, by touching the icon? I only want to use it when I click on the icon. Don't want it all the time, since it not only uses juice, but doesn't allow the car to sleep. We'd only use it in certain situations. Thx.

There's 2 different icons. Folks sometime misunderstand the system.

One is kinda square/rectangle and is the dashcam icon. If there's a red dot there, it's recording. It requires the USB storage device to record.

This is the only feature that records video. Sentry DOES NOT.


Then there's the sentry icon, which is a circle. It has a red dot when IT is on.

It can be on even without ANY USB storage- because again, it does not record video.

What it DOES do is keep the car awake when it's on. Which means DASHCAM, if turned on, will record video continuously just like it always does any time the car is awake.

Then, if sentry goes to alert mode, it'll move the last 10 minutes of dashcam video to the sentry folder.


Sometimes folks just see that sentry icon on and mistakenly think it's recording. You need dashcam for that.




That said- a USB stick is just fine

Folks grossly overestimate how much the 4 720p cameras are recording.

A 128GB stick should be good for like 5+ years with 8-10 hours a day of use based on typical lifecycle of the flash memory. (the detailed math on this has been provided, many times, in other threads)- so no need to replace the one that comes with the car (if it did come with a 128)

SSDs draw more power, take up more space, and are typically rated for a narrowed range of temperatures than USB sticks too.... with basically no upside at all for this purpose unless you really need to pass your dashcam video down to your grandkids... (in which case get a max endurance SDcard- it's also massive overkill for normal retention lengths, but at least doesn't have the 3 SSD drawbacks I listed).

Now- if you had a HUGE music collection (like >256GB) then an SSD is the only economic choice- otherwise it's bringing a nuke to a knife fight.
 

Nayston

Member
Oct 7, 2020
87
40
Chicago
Thank you guys. Will remove the USB Tesla stick, and check size. If it's 128Gb, will try to dump my music there (only 4.34Gb), and see if it works. Supposedly, it should pick it up, but we'll see. Otherwise, would have to do a partition, which I obviously don't know how to do. Ha ha.

Just make a partition. I'm one of the dumbest computer people on the planet, and even I followed these step-by-step instructions and had my SanDisk 128MB card partitioned to 50% TeslaCam and 50% music, while plugged into the glovebox USB. Music plays perfectly.

 

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