I need to get one for my wife as she’s been in 3 accidents this year. Will take any device as I’m lost looking at all these different models.
I installed the Viofo A129 duo a few months back. It’s great, but it’s a little pricey because it has both front and rear cameras.
That’s one I read about. Is that something I could install myself once I’m not so messed up from my lung transplant?
It depends. You have to run the wiring from the camera to your power outlet. If you have a lot of rubber trim around your windows, it comes with a tool that you can use to shove the wires under it to hide them. There will still be a few places where you can see the wiring though unless you can get into all the different panels. I just live with the wiring being exposed in a few places.
There’s also hardwire kits that can go straight into your fuse box for power, but I just plug mine into the 12V jack in my center console.
This video gives you the general idea.
After some research I bought a garmin Dash Cam Mini 2. It’s inexpensive ($100).
- You need to install an app to set this up
- Videos are stored locally on an SD card. It’s supposed to sync to your phone’s app too but I haven’t checked if that actually works properly.
- By default it has a buffer of ~90 seconds or so, if you push on the button it will save the buffer to a file. It also has an option to allow voice commands such as “garmin save video garmin take picture” etc
- you can also control stuff on the phone
I only bothered with a front cam. There are other models if you want dual cam. I didn’t want to run the extra wiring.
To get the wires to stick in some places I stuck some mortite cord, it’s like a playdoh that doesn’t get hard.
Oh I remember why wireless video didn’t work. The Garmin uses wifi to transfer videos. This only happens when I am at home. Since I shut off the car when I am home this does not work. There are ways to continuously feed power to the garmin but prevent it from draining the battery below a certain point. That looked too complicated so I didn’t look further.
You’re welcome! It’s good for peace of mind, but hopefully she’ll never need it.
My first dash cam was just a front facing one, but I replaced them with a front and rear facing model. The one thing I did differently with my rear facing camera is mount it inside my vehicles. To me, that little camera sticking out on the back by the license plate just begs some bored person to rip it off. Plus being inside protects it from weather and I never have to clean it. If there is no good place to screw the rear camera into, 3M makes a good dual sided sticky pad that I’ve used and it never has come off, from the -10F in winter to the 120F (w/ the car windows rolled up) in summer.
My installations have been easy, maybe 10 to 15 minutes. I don’t do any of the fancy wiring, just plug it into the 12V jack.
Even if you never “really need it”, you will record interesting things. From that deer that you almost go to people spinning out in front of you.
I keep all my unusual/interesting/terrifying dash camera videos because they make for either great conversation starters or as examples how not to drive.
What model do you have?
I’ve wanted one for a while, but I really don’t want to mess with the wiring. With a standard transmission, too, I can’t have wires hanging down around the shifter, and I really hate the look of exposed wiring going up and into the central console under the armrest, where the 12v socket is.
So that means hardwiring, and that means a lot more effort and probably professional installation so that you get the automatic turn-on without automatic constant battery drain, etc.
And around here, finding anyone I’d trust to install one is very difficult.
I have a dashcam, works off a USB port.
Caught some interesting stuff, there are some very bad drivers out there.
Yep, my wife and I both have them. Highly recommended brand: Vantrue
My wife has the N1 model (one camera: front), I have the N4 model (3 cameras via 2 units: front/inside, rear)
If you don’t mind lurking, the /r/idiotsincars subreddit has nearly nothing BUT vids from dash cams. Every now and then a really high quality one is posted and a ton of people will ask what brand it is, etc. It’s a good way to see how well some of them work in action.
This is model I’m running right now: Amazon.com
It’s all fun until I record someone passing me into on coming traffic through an intersection. We all hit the shoulder and laid on the horns. A couple more seconds and I would have recorded, and been in, a three car collision.
I’ve been meaning to buy a dash cam the past few years. But I’ve seen some really reckless driving of late that’s making me think I need to invest.
We had Best Buy install one in my kid’s car and it died about 3 weeks before someone hit-and-run sideswiped him.
Need to find a good replacement (the rear cam either never worked, or stopped not long after it was installed).
Guy cut me up, speeding, I hooted, he stopped in the car and we had an argument. We were very very close to getting physical.
Any of you PNW folks that want a professional install, I can help with that, either in Tacoma or Bremerton.
I can vouch for the Viofo A129 Pro Duo. I’ve been running with it for 3 years with no problems. The hardest part about wiring it up to an always on fuse was contorting my body to reach the fuse box and deciphering the fuse letters with my old man eyes. Using this hardwire kit will allow the camera to stay powered for parking mode recording and it will turn the camera off if your battery’s voltage drops too low.
Viofo recommends a max endurance microSD card. I’ve been using this one without any problems. Amazon.com
It’s crazy not to have a dash camera these days, you’ll feel much more at ease once you get yours installed.
I looked at the r/idiotsincars thread and examples there & you still can’t decipher a license plate vast majority of the time.
So is the point of a dashcam to act as insurance in case someone actually hits you and they hang around so you can provide corroborating evidence? Because if they take off, no one is getting arrested because you can’t id the plate.
The reddit video tends to be compressed (plus it features the most infuriating and creative idiots.) You can see them with a dashcam with a good sensor. Check out this screen grab from a 2023 dashcam review video. Get one with the Starvis sensor (Viofo?) if you want a better chance of reading them at night.