The ownership of Dash Cams has gone through the roof in recent years and many people ask why? What’s the point in one?! Well i aim to explain a few reasons that a Dash Cam can be very useful:
1 – You have the obvious reason, you’re in an Accident and you need an accurate description of what happened. I had a very close call driving our Demo Van (Mercedes Vito) at around 75mph back in April ended up skidding all over the A14 in various directions as i swerved to miss 2 HGV’s that collided and annoyingly we didn’t have a dash cam in our van i would love to have been able to playback the footage as shock took over at the time! (Luckily no one had any serious injuries)
2 – Related to the above you’re in an accident, the common one is someone runs in to the back of your vehicle when you are stationary but they say you reversed into them. Even with just a Front camera you’re able to prove you were stationary and didn’t reverse into them!
3 – Damage to your vehicle whilst parked, if you have a Dash Cam that has a Parking Mode then you stand much more chance of catching the person that has damaged your vehicle whilst parked up especially if you have a 2 channel Front & Rear system. It’s still not guaranteed to catch them as it does depend what angle they hit the vehicle but with 2 x 140 degree wide angle cameras it gives some hope! All Thinkware Cameras offer this feature when they are ‘Hard Wired’ to the vehicle and they have a Battery Voltage setting you adjust so when your battery gets to that level the camera will shut down so you don’t get a flat battery.
4 – I have heard of people using the footage from the Dash Cam to send to the Council to back up their story when they have hit a pothole and damaged their vehicle because of it.
5 – If you are going on a long journey that’s particularly scenic you can capture the scenery and then replay it to family members etc when you return. You may need to increase your memory card size (or take additional ones) for this as most cards overwrite themselves every couple of hours.
6 – You never know what’s around the next corner from animals running across the road to meteorites trailing through the sky.
7 – Also owning a Dash Cam can make YOU a better driver / person, I’ve had several people tell me at shows that they have a Dash Cam to calm them down otherwise they can be quite verbal & aggressive towards other motorists.
If you have any questions or other thoughts please get in touch by replying to this post or via our website www.thinkwaredashcam.uk
We have had reports of customers struggling to connect the new F800 Pro to their phones via the App as it is quite different from previous Thinkware models. The help with this Thinkware have produced 2 Videos which can be found below:
Some vehicles may bring up a ‘Battery Discharge’ warning on the Dashboard if a Dashcam is left running in Parking Mode for several hours as the vehicle detects excessive battery drain. Fitting a separate battery pack is a good solution. Battery packs are getting more common so I thought I would briefly explain them…
This battery pack only has a Permanent Power & Ignition Supply going into it for charging (needs to sustain approx 9.4 amps) The battery pack fully charges to 90% or more in around 1hr and can power a Single channel camera for approx. 35 hours and a 2ch camera for approx. 20 hours. When the ignition is off the permanent power to the camera is purely supplied from this battery so your vehicle battery is unaffected.
If you are the lucky owner of a Thinkware Dash Cam and are thinking of upgrading your Micro SD card to a larger size please purchase a Genuine Thinkware card (Max 64gb). I can’t give the exact reasons as it’s too technical for me but memory cards are a lot more complex than i thought!
If you use an unofficial memory card you may get ‘Memory card error, system restarting’ messages. You may find that a particular feature of the camera doesn’t work like Speed Camera Warnings or Lane Departure Warnings. It has also been reported that your phone may not be able to download the videos via the Thinkware App anymore as the App may crash & close.
Also keep in mind a lot of memory cards sold online are fakes, especially on auction sites. It’s worth remembering with any Dash Cam that the memory card is a vital part of the camera, it’s in heavy use being written to and then being overwritten time & time again so please spend some money on it! (You wouldn’t buy a £700 bike and put a £5 lock on it! You get my drift….)
We are excited to sell this very impressive product. Freeview TV for vehicles has been around for a fair while now however you have to fit a unit in the vehicle and then separate screens fitted to headrests etc, they worked but cost a fortune and took a lot of time to install. HOWEVER, TVman has either Magnetic, Glass mount or Bumper mount antennas depending if you want to permanently install the unit or not. Then it picks up Freeview TV signal and then broadcasts that via WiFi to your phone / tablet becomes your screen. You can also insert a usb hard drive with Media files on and play those via the WiFi too!
Freeview can only be watched by 1 Phone/Tablet at a time, USB Media can be streamed to up to 8 Phones/Tablets at the same time (All watching different media!) I have had some time testing this and i am very impressed with the Freeview signal even at speed. You can at times lose the signal as you would expect but it was pretty much momentary as in the background the unit is scanning for stronger stations at preset intervals to ensure the best signal possible.
If you have a Bury System 8 Universal Cradle and the audio from the car kit is very low & muffled it is worth checking the volume settings on the actual cradle. A lot of people don’t realise on the left hand side of the cradle there are Volume UP / DOWN buttons.
You need to be connected to the cradle via bluetooth and actually making a call on the car kit (perhaps call your voicemail) and then repeatedly tap the button to increase / decrease the volume. Depending on your model of phone you may even get a bit extra volume by adjusting the volume of your phone too, again whilst on a phone call.
This is relevant for the Original / XL / XXL version which look similar to below:
If you have purchased a Thinkware F750/F770 or X500/X550 and you’re having problems getting the speed camera warning working please check the below setting / steps:
Firstly lets check the camera has the latest firmware version installed, your current version can be found towards the bottom left of the screen when you playback video on your PC V1.00.15 for example. Also you can find it via the Smartphone App under ‘Device Info’ or via the LCD screen on the X500/X550 model.
There are a couple of ways to update the firmware, firstly if you have the Micro SD card inserted into your PC you can just open the Dashcam Viewer and it will prompt you to download the new firmware, then when the Card is re-inserted to the camera and powered on, the camera will update. Or you can manually download the firmware for the correct model from the support pages here ‘Thinkware Support Area‘ then ‘Unzip’ the file and drop the contents on the root directory of the Micro SD Card. You should get verbal confirmation the upgrade is in progress when the camera powers on. **PLEASE ENSURE YOUR ENGINE IS RUNNING DURING THE UPDATE**
We need to also make sure the camera has a good GPS signal too otherwise the camera alerts will not work. When the camera picks up GPS it will give you a verbal ‘GPS Connected’ message and the GPS Led will be steady green. You can also check GPS via the Phone App on the F750/F770 or LCD display on the X500/X550
Once you are happy with the above steps we need to check you have the Safety database installed, you can see the version number on the above screenshot or again via the LCD on the X500/X550 model. If you don’t have any version showing then you need to download the database from the Thinkware Support Area (smartguidepoint.dx2 file) and drop this into the ‘driveinfo’ folder on the Micro SD card. The camera will install this and delete the file once it’s installed (so don’t worry when that file doesn’t show up next time you put the card into your PC).
Now we just need to check that the Safety Camera Alert is enabled on the Camera either via the App (F750/F770) or via the LCD (X500/X550) or the settings menu on the Dashcam viewer program.
That’s it, i would recommend a little drive past a fixed camera to ensure the warnings are working. Please note the camera warnings are directional so if the camera is on the opposite side of the road facing the wrong way it shouldn’t alert you. Any problems feel free to email spaget [AT] chameleoncodewing.co.uk
Poor DAB / FM Radio Reception can be caused by items in the vehicle. For example some phone chargers give out a lot of interference that then can impact your radio signal. On occasions a Dash cam can cause interference. If the vehicle has poor Radio reception it’s worth unplugging anything you can see plugged into cigarette lighter sockets first to eliminate that aspect.
If the vehicle has a dash cam, unplug the power source to that (ideally at the fuse box / cigarette lighter end) to see if the reception improves, if it does plug the camera back in, bit by bit like reconnect the power lead (whilst physically unplugged from the dash cam) first and see if the interference is still gone, then plug in the dash cam until the interference is back so you know what part is causing it. If the Dash cam has a rear camera too it’s worth unplugging that from the front camera to see if it’s the rear half causing the issue. Then again plug the cable back in but disconnected from the rear camera end until the interference starts again.
Once you have identified which part the interference seems to be coming from you can try a few things. For example re-routing the power cable to the dash cam the opposite side of the vehicle may help, same for the cable to the rear camera if it runs down the drivers side, try it down the passenger side as on occasion it’s the proximity of the dash cam cable to the Antenna cable of the car. Otherwise you can try Ferrite Clips, if you try this try and loop the cable through twice like below:
Others have had success wrapping the offending cable with a Aluminium Adhesive Tape like this Screwfix and then attaching an earth to the tape. Usually the interference can be improved with these methods the annoying part is everything is trial & error!