generatorlabs
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:37 pm

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:04 pm

After using this set up for some time. I have realized that the socket in the trunk has power when the car is charging and also when it's not plugged in but preconditioning.
For those that do not know this yet, the rear-view mirror compass receives 12-13 volts DC only when the car is powered up.
If you want to install a DashCam I suggest you use the hardwire DC-DC converter that SpyTec sells.
I think it costs less than $8
This converts 12-24 volts DC to a clean 5 volts that most dash cams require and it draws minimal current.
It is small enough to fit in the mirror mount if you trim off any of the extra long wire.

I have quite a bit of electrical experience. I cannot be responsible for anything that you attempt to your vehicle. You could damage systems especially if you have little electrical experience or do not put safety first. Always put a properly rated fuse in your circuit!

The wires you need to look at are +Green and -Brown.
This is not a license to put high current devices on that circuit.
Use common sense. Anything on that circuit should draw a few hundred milli-amps only!

DarrenG
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:05 am

generatorlabs wrote:This converts 12-24 volts DC to a clean 5 volts that most dash cams require and it draws minimal current.
It is small enough to fit in the mirror mount if you trim off any of the extra long wire.
Most dash cams? Some of the cheaper ones that are modified webcams sure, but 'most' of the better dashcams are 12v native.
2015 BMW i3 BEV - Capparis White

generatorlabs
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:37 pm

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:27 pm

Most dash cams? Some of the cheaper ones that are modified webcams sure, but 'most' of the better dashcams are 12v native.
As a person who has designed, built and sold a lot of custom video interfaces out of my garage, I don't know if I agree with this.
I can say with a fair amount of certainty that most dash-cams are working at some voltage lower than 12volts internally.
Whether a vendor chooses to do that within the enclosure or externally is a pure cost/production decision.
And I would think that the small run-time batteries or super caps in some of these units are running in the 5 volts range anyway, so it only makes sense that the core electronics and charging circuits work in that range as well.
So yes the cheaper units may do it by some external means like the 3rd generation 0806 unit I choose to use.
http://www.spytecinc.com/mini-0806-1296 ... -1014.html
These so called "cheap units" are using similar DV/DSC SoC platforms to their famous distant cousin, the Hero.
I am not trying to shoot an iPhone commercial with my dashcam so the Ambarella setup in the 0806 unit will do me fine but may not suit everybody. The biggest challenge with the cheaper units is the lack of production reliability.

But whether a unit is working at 12 or 5 volts is irrelevant. The entire point is that there are options when using one or the other with the i3.
If you have a 12 volt native unit then great, just tap into the compass and roll. (as long as the current consumption designed into the unit is reasonable)
If you have a 5 volt unit then lower it down with a very tiny & inexpensive buck converter made for this application. I don't think they cost more than $7. The entire converter is just a little bigger than an old SD card.
With either path you get a clean install without running long cables to other regions of the vehicle.
My total cable length, including fuse holder is less than 12 inches, and not any of it is visible even if you tried to find it :)
Also this power approach addresses one of the contributors original concerns about the camera staying on when using the home charger on the i3.

davesw1
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:02 am

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:47 am

filming while parked isnt all that bad http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-33985435 besides, I can't believe these things really touch the sides in terms of battery usage,

philly10
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:52 am
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:55 am

I have a Novatek B40 A118 from Amazon for only £45, its already saved me when a woman pulled out on me and tried to say it was my fault, see below...(change resolution to 1080p)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... yzXz5Lk0uk
2015 BMW i3 Rex
2006 Mazda 6 MPS/Speed 6 (Modified)

davesw1
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:02 am

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:44 pm

philly10 wrote:I have a Novatek B40 A118 from Amazon for only £45, its already saved me when a woman pulled out on me and tried to say it was my fault, see below...(change resolution to 1080p)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... yzXz5Lk0uk
you set the video to private

jacqueusi
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:03 am

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:06 pm

I thought I would resurrect this thread. Can anyone recommend any front and rear dash cams? While witnessing my fair share of crashes and questionable driving including a driver going the wrong way, I've been rear ended more than once.

BMWi3Guide
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:25 pm

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:34 pm

You can wire a dash cam into the BMW i3 without connecting it to the 12V cigar charger sockets, or using the car's battery. Here is a great article on i3guide.com that explains how it's done: http://bit.ly/1NU44gR

DarrenG
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:47 pm

I have a Blackvue camera in mine, with front and rear cameras.
2015 BMW i3 BEV - Capparis White

i3StormTrooper
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:16 pm

Re: Dash Cam Recommendations?

Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:26 am

philly10 wrote:I have a Novatek B40 A118 from Amazon for only £45, its already saved me when a woman pulled out on me and tried to say it was my fault, see below...(change resolution to 1080p)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... yzXz5Lk0uk
Sad news. Hope your i3 is all fixed now.

Did the collision warning activate and help with early breaking? Maybe you were above the speed cut off for the system.

I had it kick in yesterday as I was slowing down.. but not fast enough for the i3 and it kicked in.

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