Installing Blackvue DRG400HD Screen Camera

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wilsodg

Active Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
228
Location
Hampshire
Car
2011 S212 350 Sport with Brabus D6S, 2020 SLC43, 2000 SLK320
A few weeks ago I had my O/S mirror clobbered on a country lane by someone not understanding where the edge of the road was (my wheels were running on the edge of the tarmac - I could feel it). Plenty of room for 2 cars who get close to the kerb but she was 3 feet out from the kerb. Anyway, no witness and we were never going to agree on fault so I just had to cough up 300 for a new glass on my car. In any event, it was arguably a valid case of tit-for-tat. However, I'd been considering a screencam and on this forum seen a good review of the Blackvue so decided to get one. I haven't found a write-up on here of fitting one, so here goes (hopefully others will find it useful):-

They're not cheap - about £250 - £300 all in if you buy in the UK, but during my research I read of some people who had purchased off ebay and although the makers have been trying to prevent these imports (from Korea) I decided to risk it (£122). There are plenty on there - I got mine from a guy called 'dream-seller'. I was worried about customs costs etc., but it was delivered in 2 weeks (delayed for a week in customs during jubilee celebrations). I had to pay 22ukp customs fees so still a lot cheaper than buying locally.

The unit is very easy to fit. The covering behind the mirror for the rain sensor just pulls off and the power cable can be routed from the glove box, up the A pillar (remove the door trim to tuck behind) across the top of the screen (cable tucks above the headlining), and down into (and through) the sensor box on the windscreen. The self adhesive bracket sticks on the windscreen just below the rain sensor unit, pop the sensor cover back on and (almost) no visible cable.
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View from Drivers position, showing almost hidden camera



If you buy off ebay, it will come with Korean language and some have struggled to upgrade the firmware, but the outfit I bought from sent me English instructions and firmware so if you are reasonably tech-savvy, it is easy to sort.
Download the English firmware to your pc, format the micro-SD using the offical SD organisation app, and run the firmware upgrade program. This copies the Blackvue (Pittasoft) firmware to the SD card and optionally installs the PC application (to view the videos merged with information on speed, g forces, and google map of progress.)
Now the tricky bit - to make it work in English. Edit the file called version.bin, which is in the \Blackvue\config directory on the SD card. Change "English" to "Korean" (on 2 lines). Place card in camera and start. Wait for upgrade to complete (2 minutes). On restart, greeting is in Korean. Power off camera, remove card and place back in PC. Edit the Config.bin file again, this time changing the language back to "English". Open up the Blackvue app on the pc, and configure the camera settings (I turn off all warnings and lights). Job done. There are plenty of reviews out there and examples on youtube. I'm happy with it. The quality is good (can read moving number plates easily). There is a full funtion Android app to replay on an Android pad or phone, or if you just want to watch raw video then anything that can play MP4 off a micro-SD will cope (i.e. not Apple!)

The unit can be permanently wired (rather than the 12v plug in the glove-box) and this then enables parking mode so the cam will record events while parked (for a limited time to prevent excessive battery drain). I've not done this (not sure best approach yet) but will do. Perhaps a visit to Comand-Online?
 
I've had the BlackVue 400G installed for about two months now, and it is great (I tried a few others before). You can actually playback the mp4 files on Apple (OSX) either directly from microSD card or after copying them to your Mac - I have a BlackVue folder on TimeCapsule - everything copied automatically there, once connected.

Last month a bus almost run me off the road on a narrow bendy country lane, I had to swerve sharply, curbed the N/S front wheel. Complained to bus company, included a couple of printouts of relevant frames (it is excellent that coordinates and speed are there - no way to shift the blame) ... got an apology and 50 quid for my troubles. Not bad :thumb:

My only mistake is: I fixed the cam just over the area covered by the wipers (as you should, according to MOT rules etc), but now, when it rains, top part of the screen is as if painted by Monet ... :rolleyes: mainly sky and rooftops though, so no worries really.

I am now thinking about fitting a rear facing dashcam (unless I can figure out how to record a feed off the reversing camera already there) - some tailgating idiots really deserved to be famous :devil:
 
? MOT rules?. ? over the area covered by wipers (as in not within the wipe area)?

I'd struggle to find a piece of screen not covered by wipers on mine. I'd assumed that tucked up behind the rear-view mirror would be ok - if I can't see it then it can't be obstructing my view.

And re re rear one - I'm inclined to agree.
 
? MOT rules?. ? over the area covered by wipers (as in not within the wipe area)?

I'd struggle to find a piece of screen not covered by wipers on mine. I'd assumed that tucked up behind the rear-view mirror would be ok - if I can't see it then it can't be obstructing my view.

And re re rear one - I'm inclined to agree.

Yeah, the company I bought it from mentioned the "nothing, other than gov/official stickers (i.e. Tax Disc) within the wipe area, etc so I was trying to be a good guy (well, MOT was only about two months away) ...

You're absolutely right though - if it's hidden behind rear view mirror, how can it be obstructing my view? Anyway, passed MOT on Monday, no problem :thumb:
 

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