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Dashcam quirk

Dashcam quirk

I received V9 last night and have been playing with the dashcam today. I have a couple of observations that I thought I would share which will hopefully be useful to others in the future.

I have a ton of spare USB sticks lying around, so I grabbed a 4GB stick, formatted it FAT32, created the TeslaCam folder, and popped it in my car. Within a few seconds, the camera icon with the red dot showed up. SUPER SIMPLE!

I decided to take it for a test run, so I went on an errand to the grocery store and came home. The total driving time was less than 30 minutes. I'm in IT, so I'm kind of anxious/paranoid about pulling out a USB stick while it is being written to, so I pressed-and-held the icon on the screen and the red dot went away, indicating recording was paused/stopped. I pulled out the stick and went inside to check it out.

What I found was that the only thing that was saved was the last drive (in other words, the trip from the grocery store to the house). The trip from my house to the grocery store was not there (despite being about a 7-minute drive there and 7 minutes back). So, keep that in mind. I'm guessing as soon as you park, get out, and lock the car, that the next time you get in, a new "loop" starts. So if you want to save anything from your drive (and you didn't tap to save a clip), you need to do it before your next drive.

The way it seems to work is that it saves video in 1-minute increments (my guess is that it buffers for a minute, then saves it to a file, buffers, saves, etc). Something that disappointed me is that the final minute of my drive home was corrupted. Every other file worked fine, but the last file would not play, despite me stopping the recording before pulling the drive. I imagine yanking it without stopping it is even worse. So, that's something else to keep in mind. If you want to make absolutely sure to have that last minute of recording, I'd do a manual save (tap the icon on the touchscreen) before pulling out the drive.

Last quirk - when I was done viewing files, I took the drive back to my car and plugged it in, and the screen showed the camera icon but it had an X where the red dot is supposed to be. I pulled the drive and tried the other USB port, same result. I rebooted the car, same result. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to resume recording. I took the drive back to my computer, reformatted it, recreated it the TeslaCam folder, and took it back to my car, and it almost immediately started recording again (red dot). It's possible I could have just deleted the data instead of completely reformatting it, but whatever the case, wiping it and restarting it seems to have resolved it. I don't know if this was a quirk or just the way it works for now.

Hope this helps!

Bridgetschmal | 13 octobre 2018

It helps tremendously. I managed to get the camera icon onscreen but cannot get a red (or green) dot. I wonder if I need to format the drive, which was totally empty, so any suggestions you could give would be most appreciated... Hopefully you reported the issues you had.

garibaldi | 13 octobre 2018

Where can we send Tesla feedback? My request to Tesla would be:

1. Let the old videos stay. Or start to rewrite old files only after 1 or 2 hours, even in between trips.
2. Fix the corrupted file problem. If this happens after an accident, you may lose the footage.

charles.a.braun | 13 octobre 2018

Another "quirk". The file name has the correct Date/Time, but the file modified date/time is + 8 hours so I guess it is based on GMT?

shadoh | 13 octobre 2018

@Bridgetschmal: Yeah, I would just reformat it and ensure you select FAT32. And while I don't think the capitalization matters on FAT32, I would ensure the folder is named TeslaCam (with the T and C capitalized).
@garibaldi: Good question. The only thing I know about is the "bug report" voice option
@charles.a.braun: yeah, the timestamp on the video files is GMT.

rxlawdude | 13 octobre 2018

"Recordings not downloaded after an hour will be deleted. Be sure you have sufficient space on your flash drive to allow for saving (each minute of video recorded uses approximately 30 MB; the 1-hour circular buffer requires ~1.8 GB of free space)."

So why is anyone advocating/buying bigger flash drives for this? Those talking about 128GB flash drives are really wasting money.

joe.lynn.atp | 13 octobre 2018

Video is only saved when you hit the camera icon. Then it saves 10 one minute files. It keeps an hour loop, but I don’t think you can view that unless you have saved it.

shadoh | 13 octobre 2018

@rxlawdude: absolutely. I haven't seen the people advocating for 128GB drives but that's an enormous waste. I can't imagine needing more than 4GB. I can see getting 8GB since smaller drives are harder and harder to come by, but unless you're just constantly saving, saving, saving, saving, it just doesn't make sense. A 128GB will be something like 70+ hours of saved videos. Uhh... why? lol.

japhule | 13 octobre 2018

I guess some people are also storing both music and dashcam footage on a drive using partitions to some success. Flash drives are cheap anyway (128gb is as low as $20+ on amazon, 64gb is $10+, 32gb is $8+)

gmr6415 | 13 octobre 2018

Hmmm! I'm not having nearly as many issues. I formatted a 32GB drive and set up the folder named TeslaCam. I drove around for a good 2 hours including a couple of stops at various stores. I hit the record button and saved a few 10 minute segments.

When I got home and popped it in my computer. I had plenty of space left. All of the 1 minute segments from the time I left until I arrived home were there and all of the saved 10 minute segments were there too.

I calculated out that it uses about 2GB per hour of recording. I did have one of the saved 10 minute segments that was corrupted.

AMDPower | 13 octobre 2018

I’ve been having issues. You DEFINITELY need to stop recording before pulling the USB. I’ve found that no matter what drive I use, the files are easily corrupted.

shawncordell | 13 octobre 2018

Maybe the wording is confusing me. It saves one minute segments and 10 minute segments too? Or does it save one minute segments without action from the driver and saves 10 minute segments after hitting record?

AMDPower | 13 octobre 2018

Everything is saved as 1 minute segments. It just names them “saved”. So 10 minutes is actually (10) one minute clips. Honestly don’t care as long as it is reliable. Still testing that though.

shawncordell | 13 octobre 2018

Mine has been pretty reliable except for the very last saved clip. And that’s because instead of stopping the recording, I’ve just removed it which corrupts that file. From now on, I’ll just end recording before removing the USB drive.

Ruby110 | 13 octobre 2018

I believe the large drive capacity is too avoid re-writing to the same locations too frequently. SSDs degrade after many re-writes.

Hopefully, someone with more expertise will chime in here.

dnizel | 13 octobre 2018

Shadoh: Your comments are very helpful. I’m currently experiencing exactly what you described. My next action will be to reformat my 4 GB flash drive to get this working again. And if you are right about not pulling out the flash drive too soon, then there should be a warning on the screen. Also, a red dot for standby and no dot when writing files seems backwards to me. Tesla should issue a user manual update that describes how to use this thing, including its quirks!

Cyphr1s | 13 octobre 2018

@rxlawdude they say get a bigger drive be a use they mentioned adding more cameras to the feature so eventually you may be able to save 360 around the car in the future but who knows.

Darrelly | 13 octobre 2018

I get the red dot and I can push the button to save it. However, after I turn off the recording and bring the flash drive back to my computer the file doesn't play. It always says it's corrupted.

creativeguy | 13 octobre 2018

If you want to remove the flash drive without corruption, turn off the car in Security settings.

6813435 | 13 octobre 2018

@creativeguy That's what I did as well and no corruptions.

Also since thumb drives are so cheap, I am keeping multiple thumb drives (16GB is the smallest I can buy nowadays) in the car and all of them are formatted FAT32 and have the TeslaCam folder created. In case I would like to save some video, I can unplug the current thumb drive and pop another one in. Remember to power off first.

gmr6415 | 14 octobre 2018

@shawncordell, My understanding of how this works is that 1 minute segments are constantly saved to the drive until the drive or that partition on the drive is full and then it starts to rewrite over the first file saved and so on and so on.

When you tap the camera image it saves the last 10 one minute segments into a compiled 10 minute segment and those can't be overwritten. I'm assuming that's in case you need the video for some reason such as an accident or a break in, etc.

shawncordell | 14 octobre 2018

@gmr6415 interesting! I’ll do some more testing...

shawncordell | 14 octobre 2018

@gmr6415 I think you’re right. It starts recording as soon as the drive is plugged in meaning no action from the driver is required. I was under the impression that you had to click it to start recording. When the dot is gray, it isn’t recording or is ‘paused’. So when you do click the camera icon, it saves 10 one minutes clips into a segment?? Which are named ‘saved’ and can’t be overwritten.