Blackbox Camera Setup w/PICS [Archive] - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

: Blackbox Camera Setup w/PICS


mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 09:50 AM
Since moving to Massachusetts last summer from NC, I have realized that the RMV/DMV here will give a license to anyone with a pulse. I've been cut off more times than I can count, and it seems like most people think blinkers are an unnecessary warning sign to other drivers that they should close up the gap in between them and the car in front of them. I frequently see drivers go all the way from the left lane (across 3 other lanes of traffic) to the exit ramp as well. It's also legal during certain hours of the day to drive in the breakdown lane here. I guess I should have expected a complete lack of driving skills or courteous driving from the residents of the land that lost it's R's :)

My BMW was totaled within two months of moving - rear ended by a Chevy Silverado while I was parked at McDonalds. And the 09 Ridgeline RTL I purchased in mid-January (to replace the BMW) was hit 1.5 months after purchase by a Bobcat that was excavating snow at my apartment building. Bobcat driver didn't even stop - just got extremely lucky and caught it within 10 minutes of it occuring:
http://i43.tinypic.com/2z8cehc.jpg

Better shot of damage:
http://i42.tinypic.com/42cua.jpg


Because I can't expect to catch it every time someone hits me in a parking lot, and I've had more accidents here in 6 months than 6 years in NC, I decided that it may be a decent idea to setup a dash camera.

So after doing a bit of research, I found a decent manufacturer that offered small integrated cameras in both standard and hi-def. The only problem with this was that the cams are not sold within North/South America :) There are a TON of cheap chinese knockoff dash/blackbox cameras out there, 90% are complete garbage (poor quality optics, low resolution, skip seconds of recording in between saves, etc). I was looking at a Contour helmet/action cam, but I wanted something that I didn't have to think about or worry so much about someone smashing my windshield to get.

The product I decided on was the PittaSoft BlackVue (http://www.blackvue.co.kr/en/main/main.asp). The cameras/optics are manufactured in Korea, and they are sold primarily in Korea and Signapore. There are some authorized distributors in the UK and Australia as well, but their pricing is insane (2x the prices in Korea/Singapore). The device is FCC certified and Pittasoft had a booth at CES this year, so maybe they will sell them domestically one day soon :) For now, these can be grabbed from eBay (shipped out of South Korea).

The cameras have a wide variety of features:
* HD and non-HD versions
* GPS and non-GPS versions (GPS version records speed + location)
* 3 Axis G-Sensor (senses movement/shock)
* Parking mode (motion sensing recording)
* Event mode (videos are flagged as "events" based on G-Sensor input)

So I decided to get a DR-400G (http://www.blackvue.co.kr/en/contents/sub1.asp?idx=7) (HD + GPS) for the front, and a DR-350 (http://www.blackvue.co.kr/en/contents/sub1.asp?idx=10) (non-HD + no GPS) for the back. This gives me camera coverage everywhere but on the sides. Speed and location logging, constant recording while driving, parking recording when there is a shock or motion detected. Each camera uses a microSD card and the stock cards that come with each unit hold around 4-5 hours of video each.

I also purchased an accessory item for hard-wiring the cameras in the truck. It's called PowerMagic (http://www.blackvue.co.kr/en/contents/sub1.asp?idx=12) (also by PittaSoft). The PowerMagic is hardwired to battery and acc power and to the camera power cables. The device monitors the battery voltage and will cut-off the cameras if the battery voltage dips below 11.8 or 11.6 volts (selectable). It will also kill power to the cameras after a set period of time (ie: parked with no acc power for 72 hours).

Everything took around three weeks to arrive, there was a bit of a delivery delay on the DR-400G. I installed these over the weekend (2 hours or less to hard wire everything). I ended up cutting the cigarette lighter plugs off of the PowerMagic and BlackVues (hardwire = no need for the bulk of the cig lighter connections, plus I wanted to wire two cameras to the PowerMagic device (one PowerMagic could run 4 of these cams with no current draw issues). I installed the powermagic under the dash (connected to fusebox) and then ran the wires underneath the door molding, into the front pillar on the drivers side, and into the headliner (removed sunglass holder/interior light assembly to install it). I then ran the rear camera cable through the headliner, and the front camera cable through the existing plastics that the compass mirror wiring runs through). The result was impressive, barely noticable from the inside and out.

Front cam interior:
http://i41.tinypic.com/33agh0n.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/111m135.jpg

Front cam wiring:
http://i42.tinypic.com/28tx2tz.jpg

Front cam exterior:
http://i44.tinypic.com/153rac9.jpg

Rear cam interior:
http://i39.tinypic.com/v8138.jpg

Rear cam exterior:
http://i40.tinypic.com/6yjnud.jpg


Day and night quality with the HD camera (in the front) is pretty good:
http://i39.tinypic.com/fjqmu8.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/xcoi9c.jpg

The rear camera is good during the day, but is so-so at night:
http://i41.tinypic.com/24lo8cp.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/2wn6ae0.jpg

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 09:58 AM
The software that these come with is pretty slick. The non-gps version is pretty basic, allowing you to review videos/g-sensor data, modify settings etc. The DR400G (GPS version) also includes a map overlay, map based navigation of videos, and some more options relating to video quality and the LED colors on the device. You can export videos, turn on/off the speed and date+time overlay, take screenshots, zoom in on the video, etc. There is also an android version, so you can take the miniSD card straight out of the device and plug it into your phone or tablet to review.

DR350 SW Main Screen:
http://i43.tinypic.com/v5eooh.jpg

DR350 SW Custom G-Sensor Sensitivity:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2iu8i28.jpg

DR350 Options:
http://i43.tinypic.com/2gxifrk.jpg

DR400G SW Main Screen:
http://i42.tinypic.com/a3zcrk.jpg

DR400G SW Map View:
http://i40.tinypic.com/2uj49ie.jpg

DR400G Main Options:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2qnuu85.jpg

DR400G LED/Audio Options:
http://i40.tinypic.com/33voz7c.jpg


I'm very impressed with the software overall, very easy to use and easy to navigate through hours of video. Videos are sorted by Normal, Event, and Parking. Event = g-sensor related incident (could be a huge bump you've hit or a crash, etc), Parking = motion sensing or g-sensor incident. The sensitivity for normal driving vs parking mode can be adjusted - with mine the g-sensor when parking mode is ultra sensitive, it will start recording if any of the doors are closed lightly, or if someone climbs inside.

The total cost for both cameras + powermagic was under $400. That's less than the cost of an insurance deductible. Rear cam was under $130, front cam was $240, powermagic was like $20-30. All costs include shipping.

The cams have a video out, so my next project is to wire up the backup camera (chinese cam in stock ridgeline handle) to an LCD in the cab, and then wire the blackvue that is rear facing to the same LCD. When the truck is reversed, bumper backup camera will display, in normal driving the rear facing Blackvue camera will display. Will probably work on this second step once it warms back up here in Mass. I found a very inexpensive solution to the voltage issue some were having with their cameras - a $15 step-up/step-down regulator. Ordered it from China and it came with 12v camera compatible plugs (no splicing required). Will post pics and more info when I get a chance to do the backup cam :)



Hope you enjoyed my book here :)

Rob

groupset
03-27-2012, 11:58 AM
There are several people on here rollin' with a Blackvue: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43477&highlight=blackvue

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 12:57 PM
There are several people on here rollin' with a Blackvue: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43477&highlight=blackvue

Very cool, didn't see that thread :act035:

I researched all of the various cams (including retired police crusier equipment lol) before deciding on these. I don't understand why they aren't as popular here in the US as they are in the asia-pacific region.


Thanks,
Rob

Nuke83
03-27-2012, 01:26 PM
Awesome setup. It would have been easier (and likely preferable) to move back to NC :act024:.

Based on your first pic, Not sure how good the video would have been through snow covered windows to catch the bobcat on video. Hopefully you went through all the expense and trouble for nothing and can enjoy New England ding free from this point forward. Like insurance, this is one of those mods you hope not to benefit from.

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 02:36 PM
Awesome setup. It would have been easier (and likely preferable) to move back to NC :act024:.

Based on your first pic, Not sure how good the video would have been through snow covered windows to catch the bobcat on video. Hopefully you went through all the expense and trouble for nothing and can enjoy New England ding free from this point forward. Like insurance, this is one of those mods you hope not to benefit from.

Thanks :) Miss the weather in NC, but that's about it! Besides, if it weren't for the snow here, I would have never considered getting a Ridgeline :)

Lol, you are very correct on the snow covered windows. At best that day I may have caught the noise of the bobcat (audio recording), shock sensor data, and possibly glimpses of it (better than nothing).

My hope that is if something does happen, I can catch them on one of the two cams. I have also noticed that unless we have an extreme amount of snow, the upper edge of the rear window seems to be the very last place to get covered up. Oddly enough the HD versions do put off a bit of ambient heat (more than non-HD) - it was enough this morning (22 degrees when I left) to keep a small patch around the camera defrosted. Warm to the touch (not hot).



Thanks,
Rob

zepada
03-27-2012, 03:45 PM
Mopedmaster, I have found the DR-400G to be an awesome camera for the price. I too mounted it in the same location as you, behind the mirror out of sight. The camera is small, even the wife did not notice it on a 200 miles drive.:cheerleader: Only drawback was to reset the language but that proved easy enough by using the Config file in the software.

I thought about the rear facing camera (rear-ended a couple of years ago) and a camera in the rear would have answered all the questions. One who hit me claimed she was hit but yet no damage to the sides or rear of her Acura so my no-fault had to pay. The 350 model is a great idea and much cheaper option. Off to eBay for purchase tonight.

Of note, I was surprised that there was no Customs Fees when ordering from Seoul South Korea. For others who are interested, be aware you must have Windows Vista or Windows 7 to use the BlackVue apps, XP does not allow you to access the tools app that Mopedmaster posted in his screenshots.

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 05:00 PM
Only drawback was to reset the language but that proved easy enough by using the Config file in the software

With the latest firmware version, there is a feature to keep you from switching languages (from Korean to English). They did this to prevent offshore export of the Korean models, lol. The english 1.38 version won't update on a 1.38 korean version. Solution is to downgrade from 1.38(KR) to 1.37(EN). You format the card, load english 1.37 fw, and then put the card in the cam. After it upgrades, reboots, and turns back on, pull the power, remove the card, and go upgrade to 1.38(EN). It's a little silly but worked. If you don't have v1.38 on your cam already I highly reccomend - huge image quality improvements.


Of note, I was surprised that there was no Customs Fees when ordering from Seoul South Korea.

Most of the time anything that comes from HK/KR/CN is marked gift on the customs papers :) Mine was actually delivered fedex express international (overnight). There were some delays with shipment by the seller, but fedex international of any kind is ungodly expensive.


Rob



Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app

groupset
03-27-2012, 05:10 PM
I can't tell from the picture - where exactly did you mount that rear camera?

zepada
03-27-2012, 05:11 PM
I simply opened DOS, opened the Config File and in the Language line changed the "=4" to "=1" and presto, english. Thanks for the tip on the version upgrade.

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 05:18 PM
I can't tell from the picture - where exactly did you mount that rear camera?

It's mounted on the drivers side back window, the sliding window in the back goes over the passenger side. I mounted it as close to the middle as possible, but couldn't put it dead center without restricting use of the window or making the cam look through double tint when the back was opened :)


Rob


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app

mopedmaster
03-27-2012, 05:21 PM
I simply opened DOS, opened the Config File and in the Language line changed the "=4" to "=1" and presto, english. Thanks for the tip on the version upgrade.

English firmware gives you an english voice on the device also, not just in the app.


Rob


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app

groupset
03-27-2012, 07:18 PM
It's mounted on the drivers side back window, the sliding window in the back goes over the passenger side. I mounted it as close to the middle as possible, but couldn't put it dead center without restricting use of the window or making the cam look through double tint when the back was opened :)

Gotcha. I've got the DR400G-HD mounted up front; been thinking about getting another one looking out the rear - but I've got 5% tint all the way around, so it would be pretty much useless except on sunny days. I too cut off the cigarette plug and wired mine direct - even pulled the fuse out of the cigarette plug and wired in a fuse holder. I didn't get the Power Magic device, but I've noticed my battery start getting low if I don't drive the truck at least once every two days. I'll probably just do without the Power Magic and unplug the Blackvue if I know it'll be parked for at least that long. BTW, the micro SD card that I received with the DR400G was blank - I had to format it, then loaded firmware version 1.038 on it - but the camera wouldn't accept that version; so I erased that, loaded 1.037 on the card, uploaded that to the camera, then upgraded to 1.038 - been working perfect since.