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1 Channel Dash Cameras

FAQ's


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Why do I need a dash cam?

You need a dash camera for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Liability protection in the case of an accident (recorded footage of accident)
  • Protection of the vehicle while parked (recording an incident while the vehicle is parked)
  • Hit and Run evidence recording (capture video of the perpetrator)
  • Protection from road rage incidents
  • Liability protection for ride-share drivers (tax/UBER drivers)
  • Cargo protection for fleet vehicles (reduce theft or damage of good by capturing video)
  • Industry Compliance (snow plow operators etc. can capture video of work completed)
  • Funny and Interesting videos
  • Family protection (teen drivers, elderly drivers)

Will a dashcam drain my battery?

This question has a multitude of answers, but the quick answer is YES and NO, as per below:

If the camera is installed and connected to an accessory or ignition circuit for main power, NO the dash camera will never drain your battery.
*PRO* Never have a dead battery due to a dash camera being installed
*CON* You will not have parking mode recording capability available to you when the dash camera is connected in this method

If the dash camera is installed and connected to a constant power (always on) circuit for main power, YES the dash camera will drain your battery, BUT there are things you can do to prevent this from occurring *see the above article: What is parking mode?*

*PRO* Parking mode video recording will be available to you, because the camera is always on

*CON* You risk draining your vehicle battery if you don't use a power management device or if your dash camera does not have built in power management features.

If the dash camera is installed and connected to a dash cam battery (see our article below: What is a dash cam battery?) then NO the dash camera will never drain your battery.

*PRO* You will never have a dead vehicle battery and will be able to take advantage of all features of any dash camera, including parking mode.

*CON* You will need to make the investment in a dash cam battery, as well as installation for the dash cam battery, which adds to the overall cost of adding a dash camera to your vehicle.

 

What is parking mode?

This is a question we get frequently from our clients, related to dash cameras and how they work when the vehicle is parked/turned off.

Parking mode is a mode many dash cameras have that allows the camera to record while the vehicle is off, and only record if motion or impact is detected. Most cameras that have the parking mode feature, will segment the recorded footage into a separate file folder on the memory card so the user can easily see footage recorded while the vehicle is parked.

In order for parking mode to work, the dash camera must be connected to a constant power source (ie the vehicle battery) that does not switch off when the engine/vehicle is turned off. Care must be taken though when using parking mode, as the camera will consume battery power from the vehicle battery, which can lead to a dead battery situation if the vehicle is left for prolonged periods of time. The amount of time it can take to drain a vehicle battery varies widely, based on numerous factors such as battery age, outside air temperature, driving habits, and the type of vehicle, and more.

There are a few ways to help protect your vehicle battery from discharging (going dead) when using Parkin Mode such as:

  1. Purchase a camera that has built in power management circuitry, cameras such as those from QVIA and Thinkware have this technology built in
  2. Purchase a power management device, such as the Power Magic Pro:

     

    Learn what a power management device is HERE
  3. Purchase a dash camera battery, such as the Cellink B or the Blackvue B-112, see all of our dash camera batteries in the link below:

    Dash Camera Batteries

    Learn what a dash camera battery is HERE

Do I need a dashcam battery?

A dash cam battery is a stand alone battery pack that powers your dash camera when your vehicle is off. They are used to provide safe, reliable power to the dash camera for parking mode use (powering the dash cam when the vehicle is off).

Using a dash cam battery assures your vehicle battery (the one used to start the vehicle) will remain fully charged and ready to start your car. This is because power required by the dash camera is drawn from the dash cam battery, and not the main starting battery of the vehicle.

The vehicle only recharges the dash cam battery while the engine is running, when the engine is off, the vehicle does not send power (or consume power) from the dash cam battery at all. This is because the positive input of the dash cam battery is connected to an ignition or accessory power source, which only comes on when the vehicle is running.

 

Many newer BMW vehicles use a complex battery management/monitoring system that monitors the charge state of the vehicle starting battery, as well as the over-all current draw of the vehicle systems when the vehicle is off. When you add a dash camera, and have it running when the vehicle is off (parking mode), the battery monitoring system will detect this additional power (current) draw, and trigger a warning message notifying you of excessive power consumption while the vehicle is off. As the vehicle battery gets drawn down lower, the battery monitoring system will start to turn off vehicle accessories such as proximity key-less entry, puddle lighting systems, and more. Here is what the error message can look like:

 

The solution to this issue on BMW vehicles is to have your camera turn on/off with the vehicle OR if you wish to use parking mode, add a dash cam battery.

 

Dash cam batteries are not water proof, so they MUST be installed inside (interior) the vehicle, away from moisture. If there is room under the vehicle dash board, we recommend they be installed there. Alternatively the trunk of the vehicle or the spare tire area of the vehicle is a good mounting location as well. In BMW, Audi, and Mercedes vehicles, we recommend installing the dash cam battery in the trunk, either next to the vehicle battery (which is generally in the trunk of these vehicles), or near the rear fuse block location in these vehicles.

Dash cam batteries can be re-charged at home or outside the vehicle (adaptor purchase may be required), if this is something you wish to do with your dash cam battery then mounting location should factor this in and the battery should be mounted in such a way as to be easily accessible and removable.

Take a look at the picture below showing the install of a Cellink B in a BMW 5 Series:

 

 

You can buy a dash cam battery at Lockdown Security, we carry a wide selection of dash cam batteries, which you can see in the link below:

 

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1 Channel Dash Cameras