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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

 
« Retro HiFi: The DBX Disc | Main | Cheap Gadget: USB LED Dimmer light »
Friday
May272016

Dashcam Battery pack lets you record whilst parked

The Cellink B Dash-cam battery pack is an unusual device that can only really be explained in a video. In the past I have reviewed the DOD SP1 camera provided by HDigital Eye in the UK, so they got in touch again to see if I would demonstrate the new Cellink B dashcam battery pack for them. Watch the video below where I expain how it works and go through the various installation options including hard-wiring it to a fuse box. 

In Korea where they take their dashcams seriously, this is a best selling product. In the UK dashcams are still quite a niche product, which makes this is an accessory for a niche product. As a result, the vast majority of people watching this video won't have a pressing need to buy one. However from the feedback I receive, I know that there are also a lot of people interested in recording video whilst their car is parked...so this could be the thing that they've been waiting for.

Purchasing

If you want to buy one (and are in the UK or Australia) the links are below.

ebay: UK  Australia 

Amazon UK

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Reader Comments (20)

Another plus for people wanting to connect their camera directly to a car battery is to get the 2017 VW Tiguan. It comes whit a solar panel, made by a German company name Heliateck, a solar panel so thin that it is mounted on the roof. The panel continually top off the battery, so the battery will take much longer (if ever) to completely drain out. Hopefully, more vehicles will be equipt with that option in the future.

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterspinnaker

Hi Mat,

Ahhhh.... I think I spotted an HP-01. Full or plated gold edition? In any case: Congratulations! I'm jealous :-D Will you do a review of that one as well? Please do!

Cheers,
Markus

Btw: I think there is another use case for the Cellink B: keeping modern navi systems from nagging you with the "I agree not to use the device while driving" message that you have to confirm whenever you start the engine...

May 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarkus

Hello Matt,
Is it possible to use USB battery pack for the same purpose? Connecting the battery pack to the car USB charger and the dash cam to the battery pack.
This way also takes the car battery out of the equation.

June 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSinay

I just use a portable USB charger when parked. It has pass through function so when the car is on, it charges and also powers the dashcam. The downside is that you have to top up the USB battery manually as you generally dont drive for the time that is required to charge it back up fully.

June 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Got me thinking too, about a USB battery pack & a solar panel.
My dad has a spare solar panel he used to keep his campervan charged, I'll have to grab it off him and check the output voltage. If compatible, I could use a splitter to provide power to the battery pack via solar during the day and/or from the car socket when I'm driving.

July 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCol

One thing to bear in mind when leaving your dashcam running is the life of the storage media. I previously had my dashcam wired to an always-on fuse location so that it would record when parked. I stopped running it from that fuse location due to the camera starting to act up (possible warranty return, I'm thinking), the car battery running low (although the hardwire I use cuts off at 11.7v) and finally, wearing out 2 microSD cards (a 32GB and a 16GB). Perhaps a larger capacity card might be less susceptible, but on the whole, running the camera 24/7 had more drawbacks than it was worth to capture someone possibly dinging my door in a public car park. These battery packs certainly look good though, something to look at when they eventually drop in price!

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan B

I ve taken the plunge and ordered one. I was just wondering what people do with theirs regarding charging? Is it best for the battery of the cellink to unplug when fully charged and run the dash cam from the cellink only or just leave it always plugged in via the accessory socket?

Thanks

August 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyt

Always leave the battery pack plugged in.

August 16, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@techmoan cool thanks 😎 Just waiting for the postman now.

August 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyt

That system seems very expensive. I have a RavPower battery pack (£40ish) of very large capacity,which, as far as I can see, will do the same thing. it has a 5v input socket, which I can power from the cigarette lighter socket via a plug that gives out 5v.l It has 2 usb sockets which will power both my cameras (front and rear). The only drawback I can see is the long charging time for the RavPower unit but as I am planning to use it with a DDPi camera which, in parkguard mode, only runs at 1 frame/sec, I don't anticipate a problem and if the worst comes to the worst, it will only flatten the RavPower.
My talents lie in mechanical engineering, not in electrical so if I am talking nonsense please let me know.

August 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Y

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