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Old 11th April 2016, 21:39   #1
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Default DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

After a lot of deliberation on whether to get a dashcam or not as the route I take is less populated but has a share of heavy vehicular traffic and idiotic taxi drivers. So I felt it is better to get one and I have has a few close calls already, I decided to invest in a decent Dashcam.

Moreover I did think about the future where I will be doing road trips so a dashcam is a must so why not invest now and get familiar with its functioning so that I don't need to fumble around then.

My requirements were:
  • Day and night time videos must be good enough with number plate readability.
  • Small in size and must blend-in with the interiors (especially the IRVM)
  • Good storage capacity so that I don’t need to keep emptying the memory card
  • Need a glue type mount rather than suction mount.

Started off with a low budget, I began my search and narrowed on MINI 0801 but was discouraged due to heating issues. So the next one that was good enough after comparing specs was MINI 0805. But after a bit more research and a suggestion from fellow BHPian in the DVR thread made me think again:

BHPian FarPatel's Suggestion
Quote:
Anurag, this looks like the MINI 0801, which was reported to be prone to overheating. The 0805 and 0806 have addressed this by including ventilation slots. The 0806 also has a CPL filter, which is a great help in reducing glare and reflections from the dashboard. If budget permits I think the 806 would be the best option.
So after the little more research, I found the below points to be tilting in favour of MINI 0806 over MINI 0805.
  • 2 Memory card slots in 0806 whereas 0805 has 1.
  • View angle in 0805 is 120 whereas in the 0806 it is 135 (Not much but felt like an advantage)
  • Cooling issue has been further addressed with more holes on the cover
  • A CPL filter (Reduces glare) in 0806 whereas no such design for 0805

Here is the tabular comparison of the MINI Series:

DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-mini-cam-comparison.jpg

Cost comparison (These are approximate prices of the cam taken from AliExpress with GPS logger):

MINI 0801 - ₹2210
MINI 0803 - ₹4600
MINI 0805 - ₹4800
MINI 0806 - ₹7200

Though steep but I found it good enough when comparing to all the ones I searched. Most of my requirements were fulfilled by the MINI 0806 so I went ahead and purchased it. Since this is a long time investment and may work reliably, the cost would even out over time.

Specifications of the MINI 0806 in isolation
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-mini-cam-specs.jpg

What is what on the cam - Buttons, lights etc - Identification
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-mini-cam-identification.jpg

Total Costs:

Dashcam: $98 - ₹ 6986
Memory Card: (Samsung 64GB Class 10) - ₹1054
Hard wiring Kit: $3.24 - ₹ 216

After 41 days from shipping from GearBest, I received the order in good condition and without any customs duty to be paid. Opened the package and checked for contents and condition. Found all to be OK.

I will focus on Installation and a Mini Review of the Dashcam in the following posts:

1) Installation

2) A Small Review

3) Items required for installation

4) Links to videos recorded and uploaded

5) Files viewing and File size reduction Softwares

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th April 2016 at 00:45.
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Old 12th April 2016, 22:56   #2
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

1) INSTALLATION of the Dashcam

There are two ways one can go about installing the dashcam in ones car:

Choice A: Using the 12V car charger provided connected to the 12V socket

Choice B: Hardwiring the Dashcam

__________________________________________________ _________

In Choice A - It is pretty straightforward and easy to complete the installation as there nothing much to do.

i) Decide the position of the Dashcam and Stick the mount;
ii) Route the wiring from the dashcam mount towards the 12V socket and NOT vice-versa*
iii) Connect the charger into the socket and you are done.

TomTom charger that I use currently
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-current-car-charger-tomtom.jpg

Car charger provided in the package (Note the USB port)
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-car-charger-has-usb-port-too-other-use.jpg

I could have used this method as the car charger that I use is a TomTom one that has 2 USB ports and one 12V socket to compensate. The car charger that is provided in the package would fit into that socket in the TomTom one and even then I will have 3 USB ports to use. Since I am the solo user of the car, 2 ports are left idle anyway so there would be no load on the 12V socket.

I didn't choose this method because I wanted a cleaner install and not to clutter the central console with wires routing over/under them. Also I may forget to plug the charger in or someone may pull it off to use to charge their mobiles.

Keeping the issues in mind, I went with the Choice B.

__________________________________________________ _______

Hardwiring the dashcam makes it safer and reliable in terms of performance and battery life. There would be no issues of draining/recharging as the power would be supplied 24x7 when the engine is running to record the videos. Also I would be carrying over this dashcam to my next car so the easy to unplug and carry it would be better and also warranty-proof (For next car) if going the hardwiring way.

Steps to Hardwiring the Dashcam:

-- I am putting down the points in a brief manner so that it is easy to understand and follow:

  1. Go to the fuse box and search using the owners manual for a fuse that is "Open/Blank" that can be used for such installation. It is better to use a empty fuse point rather than using a running power line that can go kaput in-case there is an issue in hardwiring.

  2. I am looking for a fuse that would supply power ONLY when ignition is ON so that the dashcam isn't ON always (Would deteriorate overall performance) and also drain my cars battery slowly. Using a 12V Fuse tester pen, I narrowed down on the fuse that I was looking for where the pen lights up upon Ignition ON. In my Swift there are about 12 fuse points that I left blank but out of them only 3 or 4 fulfil the "Ignition ON only" condition.

  3. Once narrowed down, prepare the hardwiring kit for connection.

  4. Open the A-Pillar trim

  5. Decide and fix the camera mount**

  6. Route the wiring from the dashcam mount towards the 12V socket and NOT vice-versa*

  7. Connect the hardwiring kit and also secure the Earthing point

  8. Connect the Dashcam and plug-in the Micro USB port into the dashcam to test for Powering ON

  9. If all OK, secure the extra wiring underneath the dashboard using Zip ties

  10. Refit the A-pillar trim

  11. Clean up the car after all the mess and HAPPY RECORDING

NOTE:

* If the wiring is routed from the fuse box towards the dashcam on top, the extra wiring would be a mess and also be difficult to hide it into the headliner trim above so it is best going from top to bottom i.e. From dashcam to fuse box so all extra wiring is secured and hidden neatly underneath the dashboard.

**Deciding on position of DASHCAM MOUNT

-- When one is in confusion and not able to decide on getting the right position for the mount, please do NOT use the sticker pads provided in the package as they would render useless if once stuck to the windshield. To remove that sticker pad a thin knife would be required. So to try out different positions before finalising it is better to use Cellophane tape which can be stuck to the mount and windshield temporarily. This is a better method and easier on mount too. Record couple of videos and keep checking it during playback. After deciding, using a marker make small markings and then use the sticker pads provided to mount the dashcam.

Preparing the Hardwiring Kit:

The kit has two ends:

1) A Micro USB port that connects to the dashcam

2) A Red+black wire to be connected to the power source and earth

Clear labelling on kit which is power source and which is Earth, Neat!
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-clear-labelling-power-earth.jpg

Earth connection crimped
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-5.-earthing-crimped.jpg

Power connection crimped
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-7.-power-socket-crimped.jpg

Wiring connected and heat shrink'ed to the hardwiring kit
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-6.-acc-gnd-heat-shrinked.jpg

Hardwiring Kit - Labelled what is what!
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-8.-hardwiring-kit-labelled.jpg

To put it in simple terms, first using a wire stripper, strip some insulation off to get a larger and cleaner source of wiring to be connected. I have used a small extra wire (Thicker) to connect the hardwiring kit and fuse tap cable.

For the Power Connection: Strip some insulation off the red wire and fix it tightly into the butt connector of the fuse tap cable. After getting a tight fit inside the connector, using a crimping tool, crimp the butt of the fuse tap cable to secure the connection we'd just made. Slide in a piece of heat shrinking tube prior to crimping. Using a hot air blower, shrink the tubing over the connection to be safe and clean.

For the Earth connection: Strip some insulation off the black wire and fix it tightly into the ring terminal that I using from the set of terminals that I have. This ring terminal will then be plugged into the car metal body point to act as Earth in the whole connection. Since I have already hard-wired my Auto-dimming IRVM previously, I will be using the same earthing point in this install too.


Enough of theory, lets get the installation pictures talk the rest story:

A-Pillar trim removal - remove the beading and pull out the trim using the panel removing tools
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-1.-apillar-trim-removal.jpg

Fuse to be tapped from the fuse box:
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-3.-bcm-owners-manualtile.jpg

Checked and confirmed on the fuse using the 12V fuse tester pen
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-4.-fuse-checking.jpg

Way to route the hardwiring line - Through the dashboard
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-2.-apillar-routing.jpg

Wiring kept ready to be routed through A-pillar
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-14.-hardwire-kit-routed-through-apillar-fuse-box.jpg

Routed through A-Pillar and secured using wire holder clips
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-9.-wire-holder-clips-3-nos.jpg

A close-up of the wire holder clips
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-10.-wire-holder-clip-closeup.jpg

5A fuse in the fuse tap cable (Fuse rating on the converter box is 1.5A so went double of that rating hence using a 5A one)
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-11.-fuse-5a.jpg

Fuse tap cable connected in the chosen fuse (Note the first fuse tap present that is for the Auto-dimming IRVM)
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-12.-dashcam-fuse-tap-connected.jpg

Earth connected to the same point that I used for the Auto-dimming IRVM
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-13.-earthing-connected-same-point.jpg

Mount fixed on the windshield after a lot of trial
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-15.-position-fixed-trial-connection.jpg

[b]Test shot after hardwiring[ - All Good!!/B]
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-16.-drivers-view.jpg

Driver's View
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-17.-test-shot-after-hardwiring.jpg

View from outside
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-18.-view-outside.jpg

Closeup shot of the dashcam from outside
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-19.-view-outside-closeup.jpg

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th April 2016 at 00:20.
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Old 13th April 2016, 00:07   #3
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

Before going to the review of the Dashcam, Here are the items required to complete the Installation.

Dashcam to be installed
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-1.-dashcam.jpg

Hardwiring Kit
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-14.-hardwiring-kit.jpg

Fuse tap cable and a Set of fuses (Different Rating)
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-3.-fuse-set.jpg

Crimping Tool
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-5.-stanley-crimping-tool.jpg

Heat Shrink tubes
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-6.-heat-shrink-tube.jpg

12V Fuse tester pen
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-7.-12v-tester-pen.jpg

Hair Dryer
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-9.-hair-dryer.jpg

Car panel/trim removal set
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-10.-trimpanel-kit.jpg

Zip ties
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-11.-zip-ties.jpg

Extra piece of wiring I used a bridge between fuse tap cable, earth and the hardwiring kit
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-15.-wire-used-connecting-hardwiring-kit-acc-gnd.jpg

__________________________________________________ _____________

A size comparison of the cam v/s my car's Antenna
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-antenna-vs-dashcam-size.jpg

When I was preparing the install and carrying out the works, I let the battery of the cam charge using the 12V car charger provided
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-car-charger-used-test-dashcam.jpg

Contents of the Package
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-package-contents.jpg

Firmware upgraded today evening - Old v/s New
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-firmware-version-old-vs-new.jpg

CPL Filter mounted and set at the required position for best results
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-img20160413wa0003.jpg

Last edited by a4anurag : 14th April 2016 at 21:57.
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Old 14th April 2016, 23:10   #4
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

2) Dashcam Review - MINI 0806

With the installation done and also details furbished on how to get the install done (be it hardwiring or using the 12V socket), it is not time I put down a small review of the MINI 0806 and couple of videos taken over 3 days of the drive.

PS: This is the first time I am writing a review on a dashcam so please bear with me.

What I like:
  • Size and design;
  • No gaps between videos when viewed later;
  • Features list;
  • Storage capacity;
  • Excellent video quality - Both Day and Night;
  • VFM.

What I don't like:
  • File size is too much when higher resolution is chosen (Not a real -ve but felt it);
  • Magnetic attachment of the CPL is too delicate and needs to be a bit more powerful;
  • Takes 2-3 minutes for the GPS to understand that the car is moving.
__________________________________________________ ___

Looks & Size
  • With a 1.5" screen and 3 main buttons on the back operating the cam is pretty easy and straightforward. Yes, handling the cam when in motion is a bit difficult too due to its size so one must be parked to operate the cam.

  • As the name goes, so is its size. It is genuinely small and hides well and blends with the interiors. Even when viewed from outside, the dashcam is hardly visible making it safer from prying eyes - Stealth mode like!

  • With the older versions of this series (MINI), the heating issues were high and dash cams going kaput were high in rate so to address this they have provided numerous tiny holes for better heat dissipation. I am particularly worried on this factor as the temperatures here in Hyderabad are ranging between 39 to 44 deg C during afternoon time. The cam does get hot at this time of the day though at night time it runs cooler.

Mounting Options
  • What I like about this particular cam, is the flexibility of the mounting ways. It can be mounted either on the windscreen or on the dashboard itself. There is a provision to rotate the image and all functions if one wants to install the cam on the dashboard as compared to windscreen. I chose to put it behind my IRVM.

  • Most reviews that I read on other dashcam, some members reported shaky videos with suction mount so I was a bit wary and in tension as to how the sticker-type mount would fare on our Indian roads. All reviews online where videos posted were on good roads so this part was a suspense till I got the cam in hand. I am pleased that the cam is stable and so are the videos that are getting recorded.

Video Recording & Practicality

This is the following list of resolutions that I can choose to record:
  1. 2560 x 1080 - 30 fps - 21:9 (cinema mode) (Full HD)
  2. 2304 x 1296 - 30 fps - 16:9 (Super HD)
  3. 1920 x 1080 - 45 fps - 16:9 (Full HD)
  4. 1920 x 1080 - 30 fps - 16:9 (Full HD)
  5. 1920 x 1080 - 30 fps - 16:9 (HDR)
  6. 1280 x 720 - 60 fps - 16:9
  7. 1280 x 720 - 30 fps - 16:9
  • I have set the loop recording mode ON and set a recording time limit of 3 minutes per video. When viewed on the cam the videos are split and saved with recording time of 3 minutes each unless one stops recording manually.

  • A 3 minute video at 2560x1080 gets the file size anywhere between 450-520 MB whereas at 1280x720, the file size for a 3 minute video is 200-240 MB. So if one chooses (2560x1080 resolution) that then be prepared to have a larger memory card capacity added else it'll keep overwriting endlessly.

  • The biggest plus point of this cam is the data storage capacity. with 2 memory card slots available (Slot A & B), each slot can take a maximum of 128 GB which gets the total limit to humongous 256 GB. I am currently using two Samsung 64 GB memory card of Class 10 (As recommended). After two hours of drive with resolution set at 2560x1080 - 30 fps - 21:9 the total files that get saved are of size 12 GB. I was

  • The next day I set the resolution to 1280x720 - 60 fps, the total size was 5.7 GB.

  • With experience of over 3 days and 150 videos in total, I feel the 1280x720 - 60 fps is the best in terms of overall quality and size of the video.

  • There is a feature of Auto power ON & OFF. Since I have hard-wired the cam, it comes ON only when the ignition is ON and records videos. I have set the Auto-power off time limit to 1 minute. If the power supply is not given it stops recording and switches OFF. Same goes for situation where the cam is idle and not recording, it will power off automatically after a minute. Thus helps the cam in long-term performance IMO.

  • The cam has a GPS recorder facility so the cam can be powered in two ways, one by connecting the USB port to the camera body unit OR connect it to the GPS receiver. If one wants the videos recorded with GPS stamping then the power connection must be given to the GPS mounting bracket.

  • The other set of feature in this cam are 24 mm CPL Filter (Circular Polarization Lens) that sits on the cam magnetically. This can be used during day time to reduce the glare from sunlight. There is also a feature called LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) and FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System). I have kept both these in OFF mode.

  • GPS data and speed stamping is also an option that be used while recording the video which would be visible when viewing the video.

I'll be adding some sample video links that I have uploaded on my YouTube channel in the following post.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th April 2016 at 00:21.
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Old 14th April 2016, 23:32   #5
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MINI 0806 dashcam videos

I have put the links here based on the time at which these videos were shot.

Day Time Videos:

















Videos shot at Dawn





Night Time Videos:









Miscellaneous Videos:



This may be silly for it be put as a video but I liked the way the cam responded to the sweep. Overall the wiper arm movements are smooth.

Issues Faced Till Now:



Any idea guys, why this has happened though I noticed it only once till now but was puzzled a bit.

NOTE: Pleas use HD option in Quality section when viewing videos on YouTube to get the real clarity out. Thanks.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th April 2016 at 06:07.
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Old 15th April 2016, 00:10   #6
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We have now completed the installation and also done the recording with a small review of the Dashcam. Now lets come to the part of viewing this on the system at a later stage.

1) Video playback Software:

I use the software named 'Dashcam Viewer' which gives out data of GPS, speed, maps and video itself in 4 different windows. Since this is a paid software ($15), I am using VLC player currently.

What the Dashcam viewer offers me (Taken from Dashcam viewer website):
  • Speed, distance, and time display.
  • Compass heading,
  • Latitude and longitude.
  • The Map Window animates to show the current position of the vehicle against a map background. The route line is color-coded based on the vehicle’s speed.
  • Plot Views show the time history of vehicle speed, distance, compass direction, and G-sensor (shock) data for all the files loaded.

Link to website: Dashcam Viewer

Dashcam Viewer Dashboard
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-dashcam-viewer-dashboard.jpg

Sample 1
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-video-sample-1.jpg

Sample 2
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-video-sample-2.jpg

Sample 3
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-video-sample-3.jpg

2) File Size Reduction Software

With file sizes ranging from 200MB to 500MB, uploading videos on YouTube becomes a pain so a file size reducer software is a MUST. Moreover the slow internet speed at home doesn't help matters either so I chose this after reading reviews online.

Handbrake is the name of the software which I am using to reduce file sizes drastically without affecting video quality to a large extent.

Link to website: Handbrake Software

Handbrake Dashboard
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-handbrake-dashboard.jpg

Process to reduce size:
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-after-upload-go-video-tab.jpg

Next step
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-start-resizing.jpg

Before vs After - File Size reduction process
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-before-reductiontile.jpg
__________________________________________________ ____________

Here are a few image screenshots from the videos describing the read-ability of number plates.

Afternoon time
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-readability.jpg

DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-readability-afternoon.jpg

Night Time
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-readability-night.jpg

As a feature it is good to have - CPL Filter. Here is a image that shows the functionality

Without CPL Filter - Glare from dashboard
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-without-cpl.jpg

With CPL Filter - Slight reduction in glare
DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-cpl.jpg

That's it from me for now.

Will update the thread regularly with long term review of the dashcam which shall help others in purchase. Overall I am happy with the decision to buy this dashcam even though it was a long stretch of budget.

Love to watch me drive and also one thing that I am benefiting by the dashcam more than anything else is the small mistakes that I do daily during the drive which I didn't realise all this while is getting rectified and I am making it sure that they aren't repeated.

Thanks for reading guys. Do pour in your comments and feedback on the review. Would also appreciate points if I have done any mistake in the review and points to improve for the next time.

Last but not the least, thanks to websites like:

Dashcam talk,
Black box my car,
Dashboard camera reviews,
Best dashboard cameras

for putting their reviews and comparison which made me decide on what must be bought.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th April 2016 at 01:24.
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Old 15th April 2016, 07:14   #7
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the DIY Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th April 2016, 08:21   #8
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Thumbs up re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

That's a brilliant DIY report you have penned in. Rating it a well deserved 5*!!!

I am impressed by the specs of this 0806 variant, and will be closely observing your long term experience with it. If it turns out to be decently reliable, I'll order two of them-one for each car. Driving today without a dashcam is like heading into a warzone unarmed!!

Thanks again for the detailed installation procedure, as it will help a lot of DIY newbies like me

Regards,
Shashi
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Old 15th April 2016, 10:46   #9
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

Use "registration Viewer". It is free and has same feature set at Dashcam viewer.
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Old 15th April 2016, 13:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkg View Post
Use "registration Viewer". It is free and has same feature set at Dashcam viewer.
Did you mean Registrator Viewer?
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Old 15th April 2016, 13:29   #11
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

WOW!
That was the most detailed dashcam review ever.
Awesome detailing

How long does it take for the built in GPS to catch signal?
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Old 15th April 2016, 13:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecosport rules View Post

How long does it take for the built in GPS to catch signal?
Thank you buddy.

What I do now is, come out of my house and then switch on the dashcam. It catches GPS signal within 15 seconds.
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Old 15th April 2016, 14:27   #13
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Default re: DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Did you mean Registrator Viewer?
Yeah. Registrator viewer only
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Old 15th April 2016, 19:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkg View Post
Yeah. Registrator viewer only
Hello buddy,

I did try the Registrator Viewer and it is good.

DIY Install & Review - The Mini 0806 Dash Camera-registrator-viewer.jpg

Thanks buddy.
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Old 16th April 2016, 11:30   #15
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Its Ok. The beauty of this SW is it automatically adds up all continuous files in to one single file and plays it. If you have 3 minutes clips each for 2 hours, it makes it a single file of 2 hours and plays it.

I have read in some forum ( may be dash cam talk) that the author has died in a road accident. He is from soviet block
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