Sentry Mode thoughts

Sentry Mode thoughts

I've been using Sentry mode recently, and it seems real spotty. I get dozens of videos recorded for every car that drives by, or every pedestrian that walks past on the sidewalk, but when it comes to actual events Sentry mode is a dud.

A couple days ago I was using a free charger at a local store, and I get an alert that my charging was stopped. I run to my car and find that someone unplugged my car (wtf? the spots were set up in such a way so that it's not like someone else could even use the charger if they unplugged me... so dunno what that was about), but when I went to check my sentry footage, I had nothing. 1 video the charger is plugged in, and the next it's disconnected.

Today, I got an alert that my car alarm went off, and when I checked the footage later, I saw nothing. based on the end of one of the front cam videos it looks like there might have been some shady business going on at/to the back my car, but OF COURSE sentry doesn't record anything on the rear cam.

In fairness I did also catch a woman in a BMW 328 doing a minor hit and run on my front bumper today (knicked the paint), but Tesla owes me a front bumper because of damage on delivery, so not worth the effort of tracking her down and getting justice. And also an unusual number of people coming up and touching my f***ing car.

Curious to hear other people's impressions on sentry mode and its usefulness.

Some choice Sentry Gifs:
Randos touching the car:

Hitting the car:
Oh no! Let me just f right off:

jimglas | September 8, 2019

sounds like its working as designed

M3phan | September 8, 2019

V10 supposed to add rear cam as fourth stream to sentry.

I’ve occasionally checked sentry and the successive video clips for me don’t seem to have major drops between them.

gmr6415 | September 9, 2019

@krishanuar, what viewer are you using. This one works great

Taffy | September 9, 2019

Is there a way to look at Sentry video in the car?

M3phan | September 9, 2019

@Taffy, not yet

neil | September 9, 2019

This is for Android, you just need a suitable USB adaptor for your phone (OTG, one that lets your phone read a USB drive, if it supports that feature):

It works fine for me and, more importantly, I can then delete the files in the car :-)

I believe there is something similar for iOS, but don't have details.

neil | September 9, 2019

Regarding the original question, I would agree that it seems pretty "random" in what it records - thankfully I haven't needed to find any footage, yet...

cybergrafx | September 9, 2019

I hope Tesla makes a number of upgrades to sentry mode and the video recorder in general. Everytime I get in the car it shows that a few events have occured. I can never find these events when I scrub through the saved videos. I'm becoming so desensitized from these false events that if an actual event occured I may ignore it. (The boy who cried wolf too many times) That defeats the entire purpose of using Sentry Mode.

I think a lot of these events occur by someone walking near the car. I also suspect that one of the events is triggered by me when I open the door. Sometimes there is a split second the car takes to verify my bluetooth connection before the door unlocks.

Sentry mode and the video record,- records a 30mb file every minute. If I'm away from my car for an hour 180 files are created (60 x 3 cameras). Not all of them make it to the "SavedClips" folder but there are a large number of clips that make me wonder why it was saved. Sometime I think the wind blowing a bunch of leaves near the car is enough to save a clip, then it saves 10 minutes of video before the event. I often find the exact video in both of the SavedClips folder and RecentClips folder.

I leave the video record running so that when I'm driving around it will capture video but I hate that I have to remember to turn it off when I park in my garage and have to turn it on again when I leave my house. Sentry mode has options to turn off at certain locations, Video record should have the same options. I hate recording my garage all weekend.

@TESLA I would like to see the following upgrades:
1). Place a time stamp on the events report. "Event 1 occurred at 11:59pm"
2). Be able to view the event on screen when we get in the car.
3) Sentry mode has the option to not record at certain locations, Can you do the same for video recording?

I know, software developers do not read this forum. But if one does.....

Joseb | September 9, 2019

it does need some work.
1- It should be more discreet, car lights up for any person just walking by. This can be annoying for other people, plus a big sign for wrong doers "if doesn't light up when I just casually walk by, sentry mode is off, let's do some damage!"
2- Sentry events should be recorded in proper named folder, come on.
3- Disable at Home or well known locations

I agree is always annoying one of the events is me unlocking the car.
And yeah, can't wait for rear cam support

dath1974 | September 9, 2019

I think the #1 improvement for me would be to review events on-screen when I return to the car. Just tap the events notification and review. As it stands, it's way too much effort unless there is something obviously wrong with the car when I return. | September 9, 2019

@Joseb - Disable Sentry mode automatically at home and/or work is already available. Check the controls to set the options you want.

david_gelfand | September 9, 2019

Among all the Sentry recordings every day, a few, presumably have so called events. I wish Tesla engineers would star those recordings that have the “event” and show it on request. Also be able to delete videos while in the car w/o having to remove flash drive. IMHO, needs lots of work to be really useful.

CharleyBC | September 9, 2019

Get in car. "You had 3 Sentry events. Touch here to review." And it shows you the time of the events, and will play all 3 (soon 4) cameras simultaneously in a coordinated fashion, ideally starting at the "offense" itself, rather than the minutes of nothingness earlier in the segment.

jimglas | September 9, 2019

if frogs had wings they wouldnt bump their butts when they hopped

M3phan | September 9, 2019

If there’s no visible damage I ignore “events.” Serious stuff triggers phone notification.

Joseb | September 9, 2019 ah that's true I got confused with the "Lock on walking away" thing. | September 9, 2019

I find one of the drawbacks of Sentry mode is energy drain. I left a car in an airport parking garage for 10 days and found that with Sentry mode on the car used 3-4% of its energy per day. We had to stop at a Supercharger on the way home as a result.

LikeLightning | September 9, 2019

I’d be pissed if someone tried opening my car door like that one douche. WTF is wrong with people? And what was that tool going to do if the door was unlocked? Just have a seat inside and get a feel for it? F around with the screen? Idiots.

rdougla6 | September 11, 2019

I'm having an issue with my model 3 standard plus not being able to read a USB drive (formatted in FAT32) with music transferred from CDs and DVDs using Windows 10. The drive works perfectly in my Hyundai Sonata and, of course in my computer. I have tried formatting a drive in ExFAT but the Tesla doesn't read it. Has anyone seen a fix for this issue?The Tesla can read the menu, switch to Albums, Songs, Artists, etc. but when you try to play a song, you get a "Loading Error".

FISHEV | September 11, 2019

I put it on when car is in some sketchy area so that if I find any damage, I MIGHT have a Sentry Mode recording and it MIGHT film what happened and that film MIGHT identify the person or vehicle.

Rather than record people doing damage, might be better if Tesla came up with a sensor system that car lights up when someone/something is in close proximity and maybe PREVENT an incident vs. 50/50 chance of recording it.

Insurance company doesn’t seem impressed with Sentry Mode, no discounts for having it.

EVRider | September 11, 2019

@rdougla6: You’ll have to go back to FAT32 because exFAT isn’t supported. I occasionally get the loading error issue, usually after installing an update. Try removing the USB, rebooting the car, then reinserting the USB, which should cause it to reload.

If you can’t get it to work, try a different USB. Even if it works elsewhere, lower quality USBs might not work in the Tesla.