Sorta on topic... Dash Cams

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Does anyone know where to peruse and perhaps buy a range of 'dash cams'? I
    hear that they're popular overseas so it's likely they're made in bulk and
    aren't crazy prices. <crosses fingers>

    Just recently, while driving I've seen some hair-raising shit. Last year I
    tried to report a truck-driver for trying to side-swipe me on the motorway.
    He, sitting higher than me, could see a lot further ahead. I was just
    starting to wonder why the left lane was slowing considerably when this
    truck-and-trailer unit swerved halfway across the fast lane just as I was
    alongside his rearmost axle. (I have a small car, maybe he thought I was
    further back?)

    As it was I had to then suddenly swerve myself, to within inches of the
    median concrete barrier, while braking. No false modesty here; A lesser
    driver would likely have been involved in an accident. Braking alone
    wouldn't have got you out of that situation so it was a case of judging how
    close the trailer was to my left guard, the barrier to my right at the same
    time how much braking force I could safely apply while maintaining control.
    Lucky I have a small, nimble car.

    Turned out there was something going on up ahead and the traffic was reduced
    to one lane. However *I* couldn't see that - I'm not that arsehole who
    rushes alongside then squeezes in - if I could see what was going on I would
    have slowed and merged. Obviously the truckie thought that I *was* that
    arsehole and wanted me to have a last meal of concrete.

    When I got back to Pukekohe I went to the cop shop and reported it. I'd
    managed to jot down the trailer's rego number and the company's name on the
    back of the trailer - that's all I saw - unless they wanted to know how much
    tread was on the rear tyres! A few weeks after reporting it I was told that
    no further action would be taken as I couldn't supply details of the tractor
    unit. Well, excuse me if I was totally focused on staying alive!

    Anyway, saw on the news the other night some 'dash cam' footage from
    Russia - where apparently most cars have them - mainly for resolving
    insurance disputes. Now, I know that we're a bit backwards here in that not
    even our police have dash cams but I think that's just so they can continue
    to chase joyriding kids until they crash at 150kms/hr... Sorry, drifted off
    my point.

    Since that truck incident I've seen other stupid / inept motorist doing
    things that have endangered the lives of me and others. Such a thing
    happened today for instance. Trouble is I'm so totally focused on spatial
    awareness and getting myself and my vehicle into a place where it's not
    going to be mashed (while avoiding any other vehicles that might also be
    unpredictably doing the same thing) that I don't exactly get details.

    Surely there must be a relatively trustworthy source of these things quite
    cheaply somewhere? I've done a cursory Google - then thought to ask here as
    I know from past posts that there are folks who post(ed?) here to whom these
    would appeal. Folks who might have already sorted out a supplier...

    So, does anyone know of a source? Please? My Ukranian friend is coming to
    visit for a month in June but he lives in NYC and isn't going to Ukraine
    between now and then or I'd ask him - as Ukraine still has strong ties with


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 7, 2013
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  2. ~misfit~

    David Empson Guest


    Not exactly cheap, but that gives a starting point from a local
    supplier. (I see the non-GPS model is out of stock.)

    Jaycar offers moderate trade discounts, if you know someone who has a
    trade account with them.
    David Empson, Mar 7, 2013
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  3. ~misfit~

    JohnO Guest

    The good ones not only record video but also have a GPS and can embed the location and speed etc in the data. has millions of 'em (plus all sorts of other gadgets).

    Just look for someone selling them in lots of one, with free freight.

    I've bought a few bits and bobs from aliexpress - all transactions are under escrow and I've found them to be reliable and cheap.
    JohnO, Mar 7, 2013
  4. ~misfit~

    JohnO Guest

    Oh, and a G sensor, so if you get smacked it automatically saves off the last x minutes and next x minutes in a separate file.

    like this one:
    JohnO, Mar 7, 2013
  5. ~misfit~

    Bret Guest

    On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 21:28:04 +1300, ~misfit~ wrote:

    Great site thanks for putting me on to it.
    Bret, Mar 7, 2013
  6. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks for that David, I might look into it. It's quite a bit of money for
    me (for the non-GPS version - if it comes back in stock - especially when
    you factor in a decent-sized / speed card) but; a) if it proves culpability
    in an accident or even b) if it can be used to prosecute some moron then
    it's worth it.

    Also, if I read those Jaycar pages right the GPS-enabled version doesn't
    have a wide-angle lens - only 95º compared with the others 120º. From what
    I've read for anything other than recording your trip you need at least
    120º. I don't need one with a display, it would only be distracting. As long
    as it locks into place securely then I'd be happy to set it up with my
    laptop on the passenger seat for a test-drive, then disconnect it.

    After I posted I looked at DealExtreme and they have quite a few, starting
    at around US$30 delivered. However with my last two purchases from DX ($11
    and $31) I might as well have flushed money down the toilet. (They have a
    claims process but the only time I used it I found it tortuous and
    protracted.) It's a shame because, although DX has always been a bit of a
    lottery, IME the odds have previously been much more favourable.

    Apparently in Russia if you have a dash-cam fitted and working then your
    insurance premium is roughly halved - so it usually pays for itself in the
    first year. I only have 3rd party, fire and theft insurance (and then I had
    to argue with the insurers to get a reasonable insured price as apparently
    the book value of my car is ~$500. I told them that, as it's coming up on 30
    years old it's now starting to climb in value and you can't find a legal,
    running specimen for under ~$2K) but I still think it would benefit me to
    have a camera.

    I'm told that there are a lot of clips from these Russian dash-cams on
    youtube (but even more on the Russian version - the name of which has
    slipped my mind.....

    As with LED DRLs, NZ will probably be half-a-decade behind with the adoption
    of this sort of tech. (I've had LED DRLs retro-fitted to my little Honda for
    a couple of years now and it certainly improves on my cars visibility,
    especially on grey days. Much better to be running 6 watts rather than the
    ~110 watts that my headlights on low beam need. It all comes out of the fuel
    tank after all. Also the DRLs are actually much more noticable than dipped

    (Oh, forgot to mention in my OT story that, when the truck swerved across my
    lane I couldn't see ahead because there was an SUV (or 'brick walls' as I
    call them on the road) just over a truck-and-trailer's length in front of
    me - my usual following distance behind those death-traps. Also, the trailer
    unit might have 'whiplashed' a bit as I can't imagine (don't want to
    imagine) that there are people out there who would do things like that
    deliberately. Seriously, I only had centimetres between his axle and my car
    and my car and the concrete - and my car is *very* narrow. Most anyone else
    I know, in any other car, would have ended up in a serious accident.)


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 7, 2013
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Now that is almost perfect - and reasonably priced! Such a shame that it
    only records at 640 x 480... Hang on, in the initial blurb it says 'Camera
    resolution 640x480' but further down it says 'Video resolution 1280x480'.
    Confusing.... Unless it's putting forward and rearward pics side-by-side and
    calling that 'video resolution'?

    I've heard (and read in a user review on DX from a guy in Slovakia) that the
    introduction of dash-cams has made roads much safer and reduced the number
    of accidents considerably. (You'd think that the NZ govt, with it's
    squillions spent on advertising campaigns around holiday periods would
    perhaps even subsidise these if they do in fact save lives.)

    Thanks for the link - if I can find out categorically if the forward
    resolution is decent I might order one.....

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 8, 2013
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    You're welcome. Shame that someone can't find out what is a really good
    model and find out who's interested here and bulk-buy them. I'd be in for

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 8, 2013
  9. ~misfit~

    Bret Guest

    I always look for the items with most reviews, positive reviews that is.
    Bret, Mar 8, 2013
  10. ~misfit~

    Gordon Guest

    What about the backlash of privacy invasion?

    NZTA (read the Govt.) is a breaucracy. It act so slowly, that by the time
    the new idea is main stream they come out and say, look at what we have
    thought is a good idea.

    Then they also fire off thoughts off the top of their head without thinking
    too much. Nova pay and school changes are two recent ones.

    Trucks ahve dash cams, and they are capturing the stuff that need only
    appear on commerical TV. Dumded down to hell as it is.
    Gordon, Mar 9, 2013
  11. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Frankly I don't give a monkey's. As the cam would only capture what is being
    done 'in public' then, as far as I see it there is no 'expectation of
    privacy'. (The wording's not right, I'm not a lawyer but I think you get
    what I mean?)

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 9, 2013
  12. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Yeah, I did the same thing. However, when it came to buying a butane
    soldering iron recently that practice let me down. At first I bought a
    cheaper model with great reviews and it was crap - chewed through the gas
    but wasn't efficient at transferring it to the tip. Only any good for very
    fine wires when I really wanted it for automotive work.

    So I went up a couple of levels and bought one three times the price - also
    with lots of good reviews. This one just didn't let enough gas out, it was
    like it was blocked - dust in the tank maybe? Also it was 'bent'. The
    'pencil' part wasn't straight in relation to the tank, it was a good 10
    degrees off. Really shoddy work. Oh, also it didn't look exactly the same as
    the model that I ordered.

    So, two bad orders in a row - and money I couldn't afford to lose - has put
    me off committing to a larger-value purchase with them. That said I must
    have bough 30+ small things over the last couple of years that I'm entirely
    happy with. However, small purchases - less to lose if it doesn't turn out
    well. <shrug>

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 9, 2013
  13. ~misfit~

    Bret Guest

    Yeah, there's always a risk buying from overseas, I've been fortunate so
    far (fingers Crossed :).
    Bret, Mar 9, 2013
  14. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    S'what I figured. ;)

    Saw an interview with a Russian guy who said that the roads are so much
    safer since insurance companies halved the premium if you had a working dash
    cam fitted. He said nobody wants to risk getting a letter from the police
    saying they have evidence of them driving dangerously.

    So why don't we have them here (other than the select few tech-heads who
    might have one)? If I could buy locally at a reasonable price (with
    accountability / warranty) I'd dig the credit card out from the place where
    I hid it and buy one *now*! As I said - I think that the wide-spread
    adoption of dash cams would do far more for our road toll (and to reduce
    non-fatal accidents) than almost anthing else (for a similar cost at least).

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 10, 2013
  15. ~misfit~

    JohnO Guest

    Bugger. Is the vendor someone we should avoid?

    This is why I like aliexpress. If it doesn't arrive or it is not up to scratch they (aliexpress's escrow) return your money. The vendor does not get your money until you accept the product.
    JohnO, Mar 10, 2013
  16. ~misfit~

    JohnO Guest

    JohnO, Mar 10, 2013
  17. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I wouldn't go that far. I've had some bargains from them. However most
    people can afford to 'eat' the loss of a few tens of dollars if it happens.
    It's bloody hard for me to do the same.
    Innerestin'. I might have to give them a look if I'm buying stuff from China
    again. Thanks.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 13, 2013
  18. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    That looks quite good. If I hadn't already lost the money that I'd earmarked
    for a butane soldering tool I'd probably get that.

    Actually, at the bottom of that page is a pic of the thing I got from
    DealExtreme - the exact-same set:

    Only when mine arrived the main part looked quite different and, as I
    mentioned, the thing didn't work and was bent. :( A few days later, when
    the 'please confirm delivery' email arrived I considered asking for an RMA
    but am unable to find it since the day I got it. I don't *think* I threw it
    out straight away... My place is a bit of a mess as often I only have enough
    low-pain time to get stuff out and do what's needed - tidying up again is
    another matter. Annoying as I was always a "place for everything and
    everything in it's place" guy, got it from my Dad.

    Sometimes when I need some 'table' space I just dump everything that's in my
    way (and isn't important enough to get put away properly) into a box and put
    it in the corner. It can be very annoying when I 'lose' things for months -
    until the time comes when I have a 'window' and manage to get some stuff
    tidied up.


    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
    ~misfit~, Mar 13, 2013
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