Dashcam
I R Stoopid
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Mimi got me a Nextbase 312G dashcam for Christmas and I finally got around to getting an SD card and plugging it into our USB socket (12v socket is missing).

It powers on and off with the ignition it seems but with the myriad of options on it and stuff I can’t work out if I need to press record at the start of every journey or whether it will auto record everything on a loop.

If it does always record everything on a loop then I can’t understand why it has the manual record function.

Any guidance would be much appreciated please.
It'll automatically start recording and stop when the ignition goes off. It'll delete older files as space fills up, but keep an eye on it as once the card fills up with "protected" files that it can't delete, it won't be able to loop and it'll basically be useless - I don't know if it warns you if this situation occurs, though.

You can set it to record in 2 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute intervals. I always leave mine on 2 minutes, just so I don't have to scrub so long to find the bit I was interested in.

The record button is to stop recording (and then start again) or to take a photo when in Photo mode.

The red button in the bottom left "protects" the current file from being erased in the looping procedure. You'd press that if you witnessed something on the dashcam that you wanted to keep for whatever reason, but in certain circumstances it'll automatically protect a file - basically if the car accelerates/stops suddenly, tripping the G Sensor.

//edit: One thing that's very important, and that very few people realise. If you are driving the car and the screen is on, with the video showing, and is visible to the driver, you're breaking the law. In the options menu, there's a "Screen Saver" option - set this to the smallest time period (10 seconds I think?) and the screen turns off after that time - it's still recording, but you're no longer breaking the law. Just bear in mind that, with the screen off, if you want to "protect" a video file, you need to press the bottom left red button twice - once to turn the screen on, once to protect. You'll know when it's protected it because a red padlock will appear on the screen, in the middle.

//edit2: Also, if you can, consider going to Halfords or somewhere else suitable and getting them to hardwire it for you. It'll be around £50 (£20 for the hardwire kit, £30 for the install) and they'll hook it directly up to the car's power and put it on the windscreen for you, and hide all the cables as best they can. It's very neat when done, and saves all the hassle of having to remember to take it with you, take it out of the car etc. and also frees up your USB port.
Yep, what GazChap said. I’d also recommend popping the memory card out every few months and verifying that it’s still recording ok as they sometimes need a format.

It’s also worth hardwiring it in. It’s a pretty straightforward job with a wiring kit and piggyback fuse.
I am going to get the dashcam hardwired in. Got it in the garage on Thursday and if they can’t do it there at the same time I’ll book in with Halfords. Glad it’s as easy as you say and thank you for the knowledge on how the recording works. Makes sense to stop it for photo mode and then then it back on yourself.

Knowing that all I have to do is put it on and forget about it is brilliant, so thank you.
GazChap wrote:
//edit: One thing that's very important, and that very few people realise. If you are driving the car and the screen is on, with the video showing, and is visible to the driver, you're breaking the law.

Hmm, I wonder if that's also true of the Tomcat's reversing camera, which doubles as a rear view mirror.

I guess technically it is?
Hmmmmm.... what about the new wing mirrors on electric cars, that are actually cameras with a screen in the door? Are those technically illegal too?
Grim... wrote:
GazChap wrote:
//edit: One thing that's very important, and that very few people realise. If you are driving the car and the screen is on, with the video showing, and is visible to the driver, you're breaking the law.

Hmm, I wonder if that's also true of the Tomcat's reversing camera, which doubles as a rear view mirror.

I guess technically it is?

A quick google suggests that it is legal if it's providing the driver with information to assist them. So should be okay.
Interesting one, that. The law I've referenced is about it being illegal to view screens in the car, unless they're showing driving related information.

This might mean that dashcam screens are actually OK to be on, although in my opinion it's not really "driving information" - be interesting to see if its ever been tested in court though.

In the case of your reversing camera, arguably it is driving information as, in "rear view" mode it's giving you driving information that you can't get through other means without being seriously unsafe and looking over your shoulder.

The Honda E with it's video side "mirrors" would be an interesting edge case as well.
I think the question would not be so much over the legality of the cameras and screen but the lack of any actual mirrors.
GazChap wrote:
In the case of your reversing camera, arguably it is driving information as, in "rear view" mode it's giving you driving information that you can't get through other means without being seriously unsafe and looking over your shoulder.

You'd have to practically get out of the car, so yeah, unsafe.

I too thought that cars had to have mirrors in the UK to pass an MOT, but after doing some digging it appears not.
Grim... wrote:
I too thought that cars had to have mirrors in the UK to pass an MOT, but after doing some digging it appears not.

I always thought at least 2 were needed to pass an MOT? Or is it one of these "if originally fitted" things?
Me too, but I couldn't actually find anything that said they had to be mirrors.
There are cars that exist that have no mirrors and just cameras, I think
Unless I'm thinking of some proof of concept thing
There's this page which sets out the minimum requirements as far as physical "mirrors", and then gives further references to what constitutes a mirror - but it's from 2010 so I doubt it takes into account any sort of fancy screen based mirror trickery.
Cras wrote:
Unless I'm thinking of some proof of concept thing

The Honda E is the only one that has made it into production, as far as I know - and presumably this meets legislation, so I assume it's fine.
Cras wrote:
There are cars that exist that have no mirrors and just cameras, I think

The Audi e-Tron is available with that option in the UK. So it must be legal.
MOT wording appears to say now

Quote:
The Tester will check that all mandatory rear-view mirrors or indirect vision devices provide an adequate view to the rear from the driver’s seat.

Indirect vision cameras may replace mirrors on some vehicles. If such devices are fitted, the camera(s) and the screen will be inspected.

Rear view mirrors and indirect vision devices can be any of the following positions:

an exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the offside of the vehicle
an exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the nearside of the vehicle
an interior mirror or device which provides a view to the rear of the vehicle


Source: https://www.motester.co.uk/mot-test-of-mirrors/
Bet those camera stalks are expensive to replace. Even more so than usual, I mean
DavPaz wrote:
Bet those camera stalks are expensive to replace. Even more so than usual, I mean

Sure, but they’re also 4-5 inches smaller than a wing mirror, so less likely to come to harm. Swings and roundabouts.
DavPaz wrote:
Bet those camera stalks are expensive to replace. Even more so than usual, I mean
Perhaps at first but really there's the camera which is probably quite cheap anyway and other than that they should be a smaller, much less expensive thing to produce.
Those electrically folding door mirrors are stupidly expensive to replace, so I would imagine a small fixed housing with a cheap camera would be cheaper to produce, no?
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Cras wrote:
There are cars that exist that have no mirrors and just cameras, I think

The Audi e-Tron is available with that option in the UK. So it must be legal.

Ah, not just the Honda E then. They look a bit more swish on the Audi, too ;)
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
DavPaz wrote:
Bet those camera stalks are expensive to replace. Even more so than usual, I mean

Sure, but they’re also 4-5 inches smaller than a wing mirror, so less likely to come to harm. Swings and roundabouts.


If you are knocking off your wing mirrors on swings and roundabouts, you should probably find a different route to work.
Or lay off the Carmageddon a bit.
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