We answer hundreds of Dash Cam questions per day which is great. It tells us that people are doing their research and comparing specs/reviews before buying a Dash Cam. There is much more awareness now about the benefits of purchasing a quality Dash Cam that suits any particular needs. We understand drivers want the best video evidence and reliability while on the road. We understandably get many repetitive questions, so to assist Dash Cam buyers find quick and easy answers to some common questions, we have put together this list of the most common Dash Cam questions we receive (in no particular order). Hopefully they will answer a few of yours:
Q: I want to buy a Dash Cam for my partner/Mum/Dad/friend who are not very tech savvy?
A: Opt for a Dash Cam with a screen. Dash Cams without screens are operated and controlled on a smartphone App. The manufacturer App is downloaded onto your smartphone and the Dash Cam connects to the smartphone via Wi-Fi. If they are not very tech savvy, this could be confusing or frustrating for them to setup and operate. Dash Cams with screens can be more user friendly to operate for the non tech savvy customer.
Q: Can the screens on Dash Cams be turned off while driving?
A: Yes, most screen integrated models have a screen saver setting or a screen on/off button that will black out the screen. The Dash Cam still records when the screen saver is activated. The screen can be turned back on by pushing any button.
Q: I’m an Uber/Taxi/Ridesharing Driver and want a Dash Cam to record inside the cabin as well as the road ahead, is this possible?
A: Yes. The popularity of in-cabin recording Dash Cams is fast growing amongst the Uber/Taxi/ridesharing community. In-cabin recording models enable you to monitor unruly passengers and protect yourself from false accusations or harm. Passengers usually put on their best behaviour if they know they are being recorded.
Q: I operate a large fleet and want to record my drivers as well as the road ahead, is this possible?
A: Yes. Dash Cams with in-cabin recording cameras enable you to monitor poor driving practices like talking on the phone or using the vehicle for personal use. Drivers put on their best behaviour if they know they are being recorded and their location can be tracked. If a fleet vehicle is in an incident, you can post review the footage at the time of the incident to determine if poor driving was at fault. The footage can also clear your drivers of any wrong doing and protect your fleet from false accusations from other drivers.
Q: I need to mount a rear Dash Cam on the outside of my truck/ute/motor home/caravan/dual cab vehicle, is this possible?
A: Yes. The best location for a rear camera on a truck/ute/dual cab is generally external. Mounting internally is most often not practical in these vehicles as the view out the rear is obstructed.
Q: Do Dash Cams automatically turn on and start recording when the car is turned on?
A: Yes. All the Dash Cams we sell automatically power up with the car engine and start recording and power down with the car engine and stop recording = set and forget.
Q: How long do the batteries power Dash Cams for?
A: Dash Cams do not run off internal batteries like a Smartphone does. All Dash Cams require constant power from the cigarette lighter socket to operate while driving. Batteries/Super capacitors used in Dash Cams are extremely small and are only used to safely save the last file when power is cut to the Dash Cam. You will notice when you switch off your engine, the Dash Cam will stay on for around 5-10 seconds then shut down. This is the internal battery saving the last file to the SD card. All our Dash Cams have either a super capacitor and/or a premium, high temperature resistant battery to withstand the heat.
Q: Is the GPS function of a Dash Cam like a navigation system?
A: No, it won’t tell you how to get from A to B. The GPS function in a Dash Cam is to track speed and coordinates of the vehicle. This data can is imprinted on the video files and can be viewed during video playback. The coordinate data can be used to visualise the vehicle location on a Google Map when post reviewing the videos in the manufacturer’s software player. The GPS feature also allows various driver safety assist features to operate on selected models.
Q: What do you plug the Dash Cam into?
A: Dash Cams plug straight into the vehicle cigarette lighter socket (accessory socket) via the manufacturer power cord. They operate on both 12V and 24V batteries, provided the manufacturer power cord is used. Dash Cams can only take a 5V input, which the power cord adaptor regulates. If the power cord adaptor is chopped off and the wires directly hardwired into the car fuse box, the Dash Cam will fry with direct 12/24V and void the warranty.
Q: How are the front and rear cameras connected on a 2-channel Dash Cam?
A: The two cameras are connected via a connection cord. The connection cords are generally 6 metres long to give you plenty of length to hide it around door or roof trim. Only the front Dash Cam plugs into the cigarette lighter socket which then powers the rear camera. The Micro SD card is only inserted in the front Dash Cam.
Q: Can I power the Dash Cam with a USB cable?
A: No. If a USB cable is connected to most Dash Cams, they only operate like a USB stick for data transfer to a computer. Always power the Dash Cam with the manufacturer power cord into a cigarette lighter socket. Using anything else might not provide the specified Volts and Amps thereby damaging the Dash Cam and potentially voiding any warranty.
Q: My accessory/cigarette lighter socket is taken up by my GPS/phone charger, how can I power my Dash Cam?
A: You have a number of options. You can purchase a cigarette lighter adaptor (we supply 2-way and 3-way adaptors) or have an auto electrician install another cigarette lighter socket elsewhere in the vehicle. Discrete locations to install another cigarette lighter socket are in the glove box or the passenger foot well. This is an affordable option that can hide the power cord adaptor nicely.
Q: Do you guys offer a Dash Cam installation service?
A: Unfortunately not. We supply the Dash Cams only.And It Easy To Install It.
Q: Are Dash Cams easy to install?
A: Yes. Straight out of the box they are DIY. Mount the camera on the windscreen and plug it into the cigarette lighter socket. Wires can be hidden around the roof liner and door trim. Most power cords are 4m long so you have plenty of length to feed it around your trim. Dual cameras are slightly more tricky because of the front to rear camera connection cable.
Any qualified auto electrician with Dash Cam installation experience can discreetly install your Dash Cam.
If hardwiring your Dash Cam with a hardwire kit (for parking mode), we highly recommend using a qualified auto electrician.
Q: What is included in the Dash Cam box?
A: The Dash Cam, power cord and a mount is always supplied. Some manufactures offer both adhesive and suction mounts in the box. Some only offer one type. Check what is included with your preferred Dash Cam for suitability.
Q: I want to record footage while I am away from my car, is this possible?
A: Yes. Most Dash Cams now have a “Parking Surveillance Mode” feature. When the engine is switched off, the Dash Cam stays on to record while parked. The Dash Cam will start recording if motion or impact is detected. The Dash Cam needs constant power to do this therefore the use of a Dash Cam hardwire kit is required. A hardwire kit is a battery discharge prevention device that provides power to your Dash Cam when the engine is off, and monitors your car battery for low voltage. The hardwire kit connects into your fusebox and draws power from the car battery. When your car battery reaches the low voltage set point, the hardwire kit detects this and cuts power to the camera. This prevents draining the battery and jump starting your car.
Q: My cigarette lighter/accessory socket is continuously powered, so do I still need a hardwire kit for parking mode?
A: Yes you do. Most commonly, cars have what is called a “switched circuit” cigarette lighter socket that doesn’t provide power when your car is off. Your car radio is on a switched circuit for example, when the engine is off the radio doesn’t work. Some cars have continuous power to the cigarette lighter socket when the engine is off. Your headlights are on a continuous circuit for example, they still turn on when your ignition if off. Parking mode will work on a continuous socket, however there is nothing monitoring your car battery voltage. The Dash Cam will keep recording in parking mode and could potentially fully drain your battery, requiring a jump start. A hardwire kit with low voltage cut off prevents this.
Q: How does Parking Mode work?
A: On most high-end Dash Cams, parking mode works without you thinking about it (the parking mode feature must be automatically activated, this is model dependant). A Dash Cam with automatic parking mode activation knows when the car is stationary and automatically switches to parking mode. In parking mode, the Dash Cam does not constantly record. It goes into standby mode if no motion or impact is detected. If motion or impact is detected, it wakes up and records that event. When the event stops, it goes back into standby mode. It operates this way to save battery (to record for longer while parked) and to save memory on the SD card. When you restart your car and drive off, the Dash Cam senses you are driving and automatically reverts to continuous recording in driving mode. Clever.
Q: Is a hardwire kit easy to install?
A: We always recommend a qualified auto electrician with Dash Cam installation experience install your hardwire kit. You don’t want to be messing with any airbag or safety feature circuits in the fusebox. Also, if not installed into the correct fusebox circuits, the Dash Cam might not operate correctly.
Q: Can you recommend a Dash Cam installer?
A: We don’t associate or recommend any installers. Ask family or friends for a good auto electrician or contact your local state motoring body.
Q: I notice you don’t recommend SanDisk branded cards, why?
A: All our Dash Cam manufactures strictly do not warrant use of SanDisk branded cards. Extensive testing has been undertaken on Micro SD cards and SanDisk cards are known to cause functional and physical damage to your Dash Cam. Brand new, they might seem to work but they very rapidly degrade and fail with the stresses of constant video recording and looping (even if they are Class 10 rated).
Q: I notice you don’t recommend Micro SD cards be purchased off eBay/Amazon, why?
A: eBay/Amazon is plagued with fake/rebranded/refurbished SD cards that can cause physical and functional damage to your Dash Cam. You don’t know where they came from or if they are genuine. Always purchase your Micro SD card from a reputable Australian retailer like us or one of the big Australian technology stores. If you’re buying a quality Dash Cam, you want a quality SD card. Must be Minimum Class 10 write speed. We recommend Samsung EVO+ Micro SD cards. Some Dash Cam brands recommend particular models or types so check before you purchase.
Q: How long can I record for with a xxGB SD card?
A: Depends on the size of the Micro SD card and the recording resolution. For an approximation, please click here and refer to the table at the bottom of the page. Always check the maximum Micro SD card capacity of your Dash Cam.
Q: What is loop recording?
A: Our Dash Cams operate on a looped recording system, unlike a smartphone. When the SD card in a smartphone fills up with photos or videos, you have to manually delete everything to free up space for new files. This wouldn’t be practical in a Dash Cam. Therefore when the Dash Cam SD card fills up, it automatically re-writes/loops over the oldest files one by one to ensure you have the latest files at hand. If you don’t need to access an incident file, then you leave it – set and forget. The only files that won’t be looped over are SOS button/G-sensor protected files (brand/model dependant).
Q: What is a good loop recording file length?
A: Most Dash Cams allow you to change the recorded video file length. Generally options are 1, 3 & 5 minute files. For Wi-Fi enabled Dash Cams a 1 minute file length is best and quicker to download files onto your smartphone via Wi-Fi. 1 minutes files also make it easier to upload and share your videos via email or social media. For non-Wi-Fi Dash Cams, a 1 or 3 minute file length is optimal for faster file transfer onto your computer. All files are generally labelled with date and time so you can easily find the file you are looking for.
Q: How do I review video files on my computer?
A: Simply remove the Micro SD card from the Dash Cam, and insert it into your computer SD card slot. You need to use an SD card adaptor. The SD card then behaves like a USB and you can copy and paste files onto your computer. The default video player on your computer should play the files. You can also use the free VLC player (click here) or the Dash Cam manufacturer software that can be downloaded from their website. When viewing your video files, ensure you have the monitor at highest resolution. No point watching a 1080P video file if the monitor is set at 720P. Video quality will be reduced.
Q: I like to speak with a real person and pay over the phone, is that possible?
A: Sure, our team can manually take orders over the phone if paying via credit card. Call us on (03) 9350 2605. We don’t store any credit card details .
Q: I notice some of your Dash Cams come with included Micro SD cards. Can they be swapped out for a larger one and I pay the difference?
A: Unfortunately we cannot do this. The included Micro SD cards come in the sealed box and are part of the manufacturer package. Most customers do like to have two SD cards, one as a backup while driving