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    Ever wanted a dashcam?


    Posts : 2795
    Join date : 2016-08-26
    Age : 65
    Location : Home

    Ever wanted a dashcam?

    Post  sinister_midget on Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:49 pm

    I bought a dashcam a few years ago after an accident where a guy ran into the side of my truck. I wanted to make a left off of a busy street. He was sitting on that street waiting to make a left onto the one I was on. It was morning rush hour, so it was busy. I sat there a full 40 seconds, right in front of him waiting on the same traffic he was before turning. As soon as it cleared I started to turn and so did he. But he hauled, right into the side of my truck.

    I came out of it OK. No injuries. My truck was totally restored and it cost me $50 (my deductible). But I had a bit of hassle early on with getting the details worked out, and wished I'd had a dashcam to record what happened. It wouldn't have recorded the part where he hit me. But it would have shown me approaching with him sitting at the stop sign, me waiting, me starting to turn, and the result of me being hit.

    So I got the dashcam. I found a cheap one from a Chinese outfit I buy from directly (that's where it's going to come from anyway). I liked that I had it, but I wasn't super impressed with the way it worked. All video was stored locally on an SD card. If I crashed and the camera quit working or the card went bad, that was it. I preferred having the means to upload it somewhere so that I could recover it later, save it for my own uses, etc.

    So, I once again turned to my Android phone.

    I've tried several apps. The ones I tried to focus on were ones that would automatically upload videos elsewhere. And I especially wanted ones that would upload immediately if there was an impact.

    Before I go further, if you want upload capability, you'll need either an account on the phone so it has 3G/4G connection, or you'll need wifi for it just like for the home security camera. (I happen to have both because I tend to overdo everything.) If you'd like you can use your regular phone for this as long as you have the means to mount it around the windshield where the camera can record in front of you. You'll also want to have a charger cable to reach it because using it this way may drain your battery faster than you can live with.

    I'm currently using Autoguard. It uploads to youtube, it records and immediately uploads impact videos and pictures and it can record in the background while something else is running (more on that in a minute, but that includes it playing music, taking phone calls, etc).

    I've used a few other apps, too. VideoRoad (which I didn't like much because it wouldn't save to the SD card for me), Caro0 (which was great except no auto uploading), Car DVR & GPS navigator (also called CamOnRoad - I liked it except I never could get it to upload reliably even though they gave 2G free storage - sometimes it worked and sometimes not), AutoBoy Dash Cam - Blackbox (which I really liked, but I uninstalled it because I was testing several to find one my son could use, too) and a few others.

    There are others that I haven't tried as well. But I most likely won't since I like both Autoguard and AutoBoy. I'll probably go back to AutoBoy eventually.

    One feature I looked for is having it automatically turn another app on and off when it starts, plus some way to start it automatically. What I focused on was having it begin any time a certain bluetooth connection was made (for talking while I drive). And I wanted it to run a navigation app so GPS was available. Autoguard does that (but it sometimes forgets to stop recording). And so does AutoBoy (my favorite so far).

    All that I tried had the ability to take a picture of what's in front of the camera by hitting a button on the screen. You know, in case that jerk in front of you is messing with you and you'd like to get the license number for when you call the cops, even having a picture of the car to give them. Or if you see something odd in front of you (like some strange animals I saw last year that I still don't know what they were).

    What I have set up is I bought a MOTO E unlocked GSM phone (the kind that runs on T-Mobile and AT&T), bought a Tracfone SIM under the "bring your own phone" system they started (get it at Target for $1, or get it at Tracfone for $1, but they won't send you one unless you pay for a service card at the same time, which I didn't want to do). I then paid for a year ($125) of service. Yes, it has phone capability and can do texting. That would be OK in an emergency, but not what I wanted it for. (If my main phone broke, though, I could swap the SIM cards and be back in business with the same phone number, same amount of data, same number of minutes and texts - another plus for my setup.) I wanted the connection to 4G LTE service so it could upload videos. (I also add data to it when needed so I can use it as a wifi hotspot for my my son's phone, my tablet, the phone or tablet of another passenger, whatever.) It works really good as a mobile hotspot with an AT&T SIM in it. I could use another hotspot and have it work off of that except I'd have to keep the hotspot in the truck so it could upload when I parked (and let the battery run down), or wait until the upload finished and then get out, neither of which I found satisfactory.  Needless to say there are ways to do it cheaper than I do if that's what's wanted. Even using a phone without any service will work, provided you have a way for it to connect and upload. If it's your regular phone then that option is there, though it will use your mobile data so you'd want to keep an eye on that if you're consistently close to or over your data limit.

    Since I got a new job delivering groceries (which I really enjoy) in an area where I'm not very familiar, that phone also serves as my GPS so I can keep the other in my pocket when I'm going in and out of places.

    So there you have it, one more way to repurpose an old phone or do it with phone with service and do it cheaply. Plus you give yourself a little better feeling of security while you drive.

    Posts : 652
    Join date : 2016-08-26
    Age : 71
    Location : Texas

    Re: Ever wanted a dashcam?

    Post  JJRobinson on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:59 am


    Posts : 499
    Join date : 2016-08-27
    Location : Suwannee Springs, Florida

    Re: Ever wanted a dashcam?

    Post  Ladyelaine on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:27 am

    I'll pass that on to my big rig driving son. Thanks.

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    Re: Ever wanted a dashcam?

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