Sentry Mode Questions

Sentry Mode Questions

I am still waiting for my Sentry Mode update but have some questions for those who are already using it

1. Do I need to make any changes to my existing USB drive which I use as TeslaCam ?

2. Does the SentryMode keep historical recording or just from the last incident ?

3. Can SentryMode be enabled or disabled from Mobile App ?

4. Is SentryMode recording from the Cabin camera ?

5. So my understanding is that with Sentry Mode if someone tries to break in or breaks in the AP camera will record a video and store in the USB drive which we also use as our TeslaCam. I guess the main purpose of the video is to identify the suspect. So if someone breaks in and steals the USB drive we will not have any video of the suspect. Is this correct ? Or is there some other way to retrieve the video ?

6. Would it also record if someone tries to unplug my charging? It happened to me once in a EVGO charging station?

Kathy Applebaum | 28 février 2019

I can answer some of these

1. no
2. I have 10 different incidents in my SavedClips folder. Looks like it saves every time someone even comes close to the car (aka the Hal9000 red disk appears).
3. yes
4. No. Just the front and two side cameras.

jithesh | 28 février 2019

Thanks @Kathy

Wow.. that's a lot of video clips. If you do not mind could you please tell whats the total file size you got for those 10 incidents?

I like that it records from side cameras, that would solve my #6 of someone unplugging the charger :-)

Mike UpNorth | 28 février 2019

Speaking to #5 and #6.....I clicked the info button on Sentry mode and it mentions recording and sending video to Tesla without mentioning a USB being installed - only if you have 'data sharing' enabled....So maybe even if they steal your USB video gets sent to Tesla....But who can be sure.

jithesh | 28 février 2019

@Mike UpNorth Maybe if we try this with Wi-fi and monitor the Wifi Router traffic we can confirm ?

Mike UpNorth | 28 février 2019


Good idea. That would be a cool to know. I don't have one of those wifi usage monitors and I don't want to break into my car....But if you can test it out let us know!

jithesh | 28 février 2019

@Mike Same problem here.. I park in my apartment garage and don't get Wifi router in range. But I will try and see if I can use my iPhone's LTE hotspot . That should tell me something.

Mike UpNorth | 28 février 2019

Do it!

Kathy Applebaum | 28 février 2019

@jithesh "Wow.. that's a lot of video clips. If you do not mind could you please tell whats the total file size you got for those 10 incidents?"

8 GB total. Each incident has ten 1-minute clips from each of the front, left, and right cameras. Around 30MB per file.

jithesh | 28 février 2019

@Kathy Thanks.. My 32G drive should be enough I think.

Carl Thompson | 28 février 2019

It's great that it records from the front and side cameras for Sentry (and now also for the dash cam). But I wonder why they don't record from the rear camera too? Would come in handy for many parking long mishaps. Or if you're rear ended and the person that hit you speeds off without stopping (happened to me in one of my BMWs).

I noticed from videos I've seen the car's screen turns solid white when the sentry goes off. I was kinda wondering if that's because they want to provide a little light in order to record from the interior camera. Maybe that feature is coming...

Also, I see no way to enable sentry mode via the app.

Mike UpNorth | 28 février 2019

Welcome back Carl! Now go get in a fight with someone. This forum has been missing a good argument these days :)

Carl Thompson | 28 février 2019

@Mike UpNorth


Hey! There should be a comma in your sentence between the words "back" and "Carl." How dare you!

Mike UpNorth | 28 février 2019


gwolnik | 28 février 2019

The resolution and glare from the side cameras is terrible, here is a short clip showing me unlocking the door using my key card:

Studentid | 16 mars 2019

I got a couple questions...can I still do Sentry mode without USB meaning no recording?

Currently I have music USB plugged in and allows me to do Sentry mode does that mean it will Overwrite my music content?

jd4714 | 16 mars 2019

Carl, try updating your app.

gthatch | 16 mars 2019

I'm confused about the USB thumb drives. Do I need to buy two? One for the front facing camera for video recording and one for the Sentry thing?

PhillyBob | 16 mars 2019

Hello everyone ... I just updated by app and I still do not see the option. Can someone explain where it is on the phone app?


Daryl | 16 mars 2019

@gthatch "I'm confused about the USB thumb drives. Do I need to buy two? One for the front facing camera for video recording and one for the Sentry thing?"

Everything is recorded on the same thumb drive.

Studentid | 16 mars 2019

Yeah I am really confused as well. I have it activated now with USB does it record? I didn’t even format anything

Daryl | 16 mars 2019

I turned on Sentry Mode while in the mall the other day. With all the cars coming and going, it pretty much recorded the whole time I was inside. It seems that any motion in the camera field of view, even a car driving by 100 feet away, will be recorded.

I don't think it discriminates between near and far motion.

Daryl | 16 mars 2019

@gwolnik "The resolution and glare from the side cameras is terrible, here is a short clip showing me unlocking the door using my key card:"

That's a lot worse than the video I see from my car. I don't get the pixelation or jerky motion that yours shows. It's not HD, but it's a lot clearer than that.

Daryl | 16 mars 2019

@Studentid "Yeah I am really confused as well. I have it activated now with USB does it record? I didn’t even format anything"

(I should have put all my replies in one comment!)

You can share music and dash cam videos on the same flash drive, but you have to have separate partitions. You also have to have a top level folder on that partition labeled "TeslaCam", and the drive has to be formatted FAT32.

Do a forum search and there are some good descriptions of how to get the dashcam working.

surfpearl | 16 mars 2019

@PhillyBob - In Android app the Sentry Mode is in the Controls, just scroll down.

No_ICE | 16 mars 2019

I don't think you will see the Sentry Mode option in the app unless you have a usb drive inserted in the car.

Studentid | 16 mars 2019

Thank you. Can I still enable sentry mode while not recording nor having USB drive set up correctly in the car!?

SalisburySam | 17 mars 2019

@gthatch, you’ll likely want two drives though only one is needed at a time. The second allows you to immediately replace one when you remove it to see what has been recorded, and prep it (delete what you don’t want) for its next use.

jefjes | 17 mars 2019

Maybe the quality and or size of the USB drive is causing the pixelation. I also noticed the sky color appeared to be at sunset so there may have been some lighting issues that the cameras were dealing with.
The app access is only visible when the newest app is used and the USB with TeslaCam folder is installed plus it is under controls on the app then you must scroll down to see it.

gthatch | 19 mars 2019

@Daryl I cannot find the forum search feature

ybbor | 19 mars 2019

@gwolnik I just looked at the sentry footage for the first time and my side cameras look exactly like yours with the pixelation at the bottom and bad movement pixelation ... but if it's in a tight parking spot with a car next to me, the side video looks fine with no pixelation.

My memory stick is USB 3.1 with tested speed of 300MB/s read and 61.84MB/s write. Is my memory stick fast enough?

personalprogrammer | 9 juin 2019

Sentry mode is not recording. Dash cam recording works fine, so there are no issues with cameras or thumb drives. Software updated to most recent as of today. Invoked sentry mode by walking around car - HAL red eye and "Recording" on screen, so no issues with sentry mode invoking properly. Any one else with this problem?
P.S. My Model 3 is only 10 days old.

brianrmurray | 9 juin 2019

I'm having trouble getting Sentry to realize I'm home and exclude it. I have my correct address under the "Home" location in the maps and it's correctly excluded in the settings. I've bounced the setting on and off too trying to fix it but that didn't work. Anyone else having this problem?

mz76 | 10 juin 2019

I just used Sentry Mode for the first time and do not know how to access the video. I see on the forum that it involves using a USB? Can someone just briefly explain the process? My apologies. I am late to this topic.

EVRider | 12 juin 2019

@mz76: Read the section in the owner's manual about the dashcam, which will explain the use of the USB, and then you'll know where to find your Sentry Mode videos. If you start to have issues, there's a lot more information in, but start with the basics.

tipley | 22 août 2019

My Model X was built a few months before the cutoff date for the fully functioning Sentry mode so apparently video doesn't record. Sentry mode does turn on, however, if there is a USB stick installed. With Sentry mode turned on for cars like mine, does it actually do anything other than suck up battery life? The mp4 "video" files that are created and saved on the USB are not able to be played, for some reason. I assume there will be no intrusion detection, but it's weird that Sentry mode is even allowed to be enabled if it isn't supported by the hardware.

EVonne M3rie | 22 août 2019

@brianrmurray: I've had my Model 3 for about 2 weeks now and am also having trouble getting sentry mode to not record when I'm at home parked in my garage even though I've got it excluded in the settings. Were you able to resolve this? | 22 août 2019

@tipley - Likley belongs in the X thread :) Basically, Sentry mode on an HW2.0 S/X car acts to all outside observers if you do have full recording. If someone gets close to the sides of the car it flashes the headlights and displays the monitoring image on the main display. It might scare off a potential thief. Better than nothing, although you might consider getting a dashcam. Here's the article I wrote on dashcams for Teslas:

There is no reason to use a USB flash drive on HW 2.0 cars, except for music. As you discovered, no dashcam video is recorded.