Model 3

Suggested size for USB jump drive for Sentry Mode

edited November -1 in Model 3
Any suggestios for the size I need to have for adequate storage. In addition, how does one "format" the drive? In the car?

Thanks!
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Comments

  • edited March 2019
    32 GB should be a good (and cheap) starting point, but the prices are so low now, I'd jump to 64 or 128 GB. Don't buy an off brand or anything from eBay - most are counterfeits and fakes, with a fraction of memory than the stated size.

    You can format in Windows or Mac, but it must be FAT32. Windows does not provide a standard utility to format to FAT32 on any drive > 32 GB. I wrote this article a while back on USB for music, but much of it applies for the dashcam USB (i.e. how to format, how to detect a fake drive, etc.): https://teslatap.com/usb-flash-drives-for-music/
  • edited March 2019
    I sprung for a pair of these 64GB ones for both of our Model 3s: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D7P4SY4/
  • edited March 2019
    SanDisk Cruzer 128GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ36-128G-B35) $20.00 from Amazon
  • edited March 2019
    I bought a 480GB SSD for $55 and put it into a USB 3.0 case, made two partitions (32GB for video and the remaining for musi). Works like a charm and has totally eliminated the USB losing it's place when playing music.
  • edited March 2019
    In addition, thumb drives aren't designed to handle constant writing. SSDs do a better job at this.
  • edited March 2019
    @jvcesare,
    Sounds like a great solution. I'm using two separate jump drives for sentry mode and music. Yours is more elegant and practical. Thanks.
  • edited March 2019
    64GB or even 128GB, they are so cheap now why even go smaller?
  • @jvcesare - Sounds great. Care to share model numbers and sources?
  • edited March 2019
    Not a single issue since I bought and installed (after formatting)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B017DH3O5A?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_pd_title
  • edited March 2019
    SSDs actually have a limited amount of write cycles. It probably won’t be an issue. Depending on how much you drive and record. With a 480 GB drive though it’d have to be a loooottt
  • edited March 2019
    _Any_ kind of flash drive, including SSDs and USB thumb drives, have limited write cycles. An actually SSD is likely to be rated to last far, FAR longer than a thumb drive.
  • edited March 2019
    A reasonable quality thumb drive should last a minimum of 10,000 cycles. Probably far longer than anyone will own the car.
  • edited March 2019
    does it matter if it is USB 2.0 or 3.0?
  • edited March 2019
    Thank you!
  • edited March 2019
    @syclone:
    "A reasonable quality thumb drive should last a minimum of 10,000 cycles. Probably far longer than anyone will own the car."

    A very good quality thumb drive might last 10,000 cycles but most consumer thumb drives won't. And you have to take into account write amplification exacerbated by poor or no garbage collection and lack of TRIM / discard support in both thumb drives and FAT32 so that 10,000 cycles isn't nearly as much actual data written as you think.

    Have you ever tried running an OS (such as Linux) from a thumb drive? It works, but if you run it constantly from a thumb drive 24/7 it will fail reasonably quickly... Sometimes in as short as a few months. This is because Linux is constantly writing a little bit to the drive (mainly logs and temporary files) and this causes lots of write amplification despite the small amount of data written and the drive wears out.

    At work I have 6-7 storage servers in a lab I manage. We used to run FreeNAS from 2 RAID-1 flash drives on these servers (just for the OS not for the stored data of course). Even though this is the recommended configuration and relatively little data was written to these drives I still had to replace one of the flash drives every few months.

    Thumb drivers are great for storing lots of data that is written occasionally in big chunks. They are a poor choice for applications such as this where data is being written constantly.
  • edited March 2019
    Just ordered a Sandisk Connect wifi drive https://www.sandisk.com/connect. I won't be able to stream live from the car, but should be able to access the files using my phone once they are written to the drive. As long as there is public wifi access from my provider, which is everywhere around here, I'm within range of my home wife, which is 1.5 miles through a range extender or if I'm in range of the wifi from the USB stick itself I should be able to connect and view the files.
  • edited November -1
    So many issues with USB drives for a dashcam, I wrote an extensive article on how to pick a drive that works, along with step-by-step preparation guide. https://teslatap.com/articles/usb-flash-drives-for-tesla-dashcam/
  • edited November -1
    @cbmilehigh - Any will work - you can use USB 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1. Tesla USB connection is 2.0, and using a 3.0/3.1 drive is backward compatible. That said, there is no cost premium for 3.0 drives, and they often are quite a bit faster on a PC when you want to read files from the drive (if your PC has USB 3.0/3.1). See my article above for more details.
  • edited March 2019
    @gmr6415 - Cool idea, but the Sandisk Connect write speeds are quite low (1 to 8 MB/s in tests). I'm not sure you'll be able record dashcam video reliability. Hope you'll come back and let us know how well it works.
  • edited March 2019
    @TeslaTap.com, https://www.robertsetiadi.com/speed-test-sandisk-connect-wireless-stick/ That test shows 1.96MB/s to 8.01MB/s, but the slowest write speed was writing 5.47GB of almost 46,000 small files. Writing 3 consecutive 1 minute clips of video shouldn't be as demanding.

    1 minute of recording on the front camera is about 30MB per minute. The two repeaters are about 22MB per minute each. All together roughly 74MB per minute ÷ 60 = 1.23MB per second. That looks pretty doable.

    The way I look at it is that I spent $54k on the car, what's $65 to try it out. If it doesn't work I've got almost endless uses for a wifi connected thumb drive.

    If it can write the files efficiently, it's connected to my wifi network at home, and I can manage them from my laptop sitting in the house, that's a plus. If I'm sitting in my local pub connected through their wifi or through public access, I get an alert from my Tesla app and I can download and look at the video form my phone, that's big. If I were in an accident and could pull the video up on my iPad or iPhone for a COP to take a look at on site that's huge.
  • edited April 2019
    @gmr6415, This wireless USB sounds promising but isn't this another door for the information/data in the car to get hacked? I am no expert in the matter, but perhaps you have some thoughts? Thank you.
  • edited April 2019
    @zoe - I'd have zero worries about being hacked this way. The worse that could happen is someone extracts your driving video from the stick.

    @grm - Most (all?) flash drives slow the write dramatically with continuous/large writes. So that 30 MB/s drive may act more like a 3 MB/s drive under heavy loads like dashcam video recording that is writing 3 simultaneous streams. No harm trying out a slow drive, but many owners have reported all sorts of video problems when using cheap/slower drives. Video works for a while, then disappears, or the bottom half of the video image is distorted. All these kinds of problems are likely due to the drive being unable to keep up. Some controllers in the drive are better than others, and some have a cache that makes it appear fast, but once the small cache is used, the real drive speed slows dramatically.

    Anyway, it doesn't really matter if your drive works! I hope you'll come back and report after using it for a weeks or so and confirm the video looks good. It seems like it might be a cool product if it works.
  • edited April 2019
    "Anyway, it doesn't really matter if your drive works! " That doesn't sound quite right :) I meant to say all that I've talked about USB speeds doesn't matter so long as your drive works!
  • edited November -1
    I bought a Sandisk Ultra Fit 32GB for my car; lasted about 4-5 months before it permanently set itself to "Read-only" mode because the number of write cycles exceeded it's specs (which aren't published). I loved the size of the drive, hated that it got so hot, hated that it killed itself so quickly in the Model 3.
    I replaced it with Samsung Pro EnduranceMicro SD card ( https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Endurance-32GB-Micro-Adapter/dp/B07B98GXQT ) in a USB adapter (something like https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Portable-Reader-RS-MMC-Micro/dp/B006T9B6R2 ). This card has a write speed fast enough for the Tesla cam functions (Sentry, DashCam with 3 cameras), but has an extraordinary published write cycle life so you can plug it in and forget about it for years.
    As for size, I'd recommend 32GB simply from an ease of use standpoint - it'll come correctly formatted, and both Windows and MacOS can reformat it if needed. 64GB or 128GB would last longer (more years, more stored video), but require more sophisticated configuration (TeslaTap's guide is awesome for this, BTW). The Dashcam seems to record about 100 MB/min total from all three cameras, so 32 GB will store roughly 5 hours of video - that should be enough for any rational scenario of dash cam/sentry mode storage.
  • edited April 2019
    I originally used the 16GB variations, but found after a few Sentry Mode uses, that the 16GB was full and needed to be cleared out. I am now using a 128GB PNY Module so now I should have to clear out the drive a little less frequently. With the new 128GB USB 3.0 Drives many times on sell around $20 it's the best value for the money.
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