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Dash Cam Repair
#1
You know everything is built to last for just a little longer than the warranty. Dash cams are no different and they are in an extreme environment which is why most dash cam manufacturers don't use batteries---oh wait they they do have batteries.

So when I got my Thinkware dash cam they boasted how they use "super capacitors" and they don't have any batteries. Well, that turns out to be completely false, they do have a battery although it is a tiny battery for the sole purpose of keeping the RTC (Real Time Clock) while the unit is off. Turns out the lifespan is about 3-4 years tops. The bad news is the date and time not being correct causes a lot of problems, one being all the video recorded has the wrong timestamp causing the dashcam to delete random clips, reminding to format the card every time you get in the car and so on. It almost renders the camera useless, especially if you need video off the card. The good news is that the batteries are pretty cheap and can be found on places like Digikey, Mouser, eBay, etc and are usually cheap. I ordered a couple for $1.98 each + $6.99 shipping, much cheaper than replacing the unit.

Now, I don't do small electronics repair very often and soldering skills are meh...it'll stick but certainly not a pro at it. However, I did find that there's not a whole lot out there about how to do the repair and yeah I could have used an overhead camera or microscope but that stuff is expensive and would probably get in my way. So I did a short video explaining the process. The process is probably similar on other Thinkware models like the F770, F750, X550, they all use the same battery which is MS621FE-FL11E made by Seiko.

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#2
(08-25-2021, 02:33 AM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: You know everything is built to last for just a little longer than the warranty. Dash cams are no different and they are in an extreme environment which is why most dash cam manufacturers don't use batteries---oh wait they they do have batteries.

So when I got my Thinkware dash cam they boasted how they use "super capacitors" and they don't have any batteries. Well, that turns out to be completely false, they do have a battery although it is a tiny battery for the sole purpose of keeping the RTC (Real Time Clock) while the unit is off. Turns out the lifespan is about 3-4 years tops. The bad news is the date and time not being correct causes a lot of problems, one being all the video recorded has the wrong timestamp causing the dashcam to delete random clips, reminding to format the card every time you get in the car and so on. It almost renders the camera useless, especially if you need video off the card. The good news is that the batteries are pretty cheap and can be found on places like Digikey, Mouser, eBay, etc and are usually cheap. I ordered a couple for $1.98 each + $6.99 shipping, much cheaper than replacing the unit.

Now, I don't do small electronics repair very often and soldering skills are meh...it'll stick but certainly not a pro at it. However, I did find that there's not a whole lot out there about how to do the repair and yeah I could have used an overhead camera or microscope but that stuff is expensive and would probably get in my way. So I did a short video explaining the process. The process is probably similar on other Thinkware models like the F770, F750, X550, they all use the same battery which is MS621FE-FL11E made by Seiko.


You should of watched Teachmoan before buying anything like that 

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#3
I don't need a tefifon!


Nah the Thinkware cameras are pretty much on par with others, and I suppose that others will experience a similar problem as any GPS enabled camera will have an RTC of some sort. The camera does have parking mode, motion detection and all that junk, also has a rear camera. The problem is that the rechargeable button cell fails after 3-4 years. Remember that I'm in the southeastern US, it gets quite hot here in the summer, can easily reach 100 F (about 38 C) and despite being in the south it can also get quite cold -2 F (about -19 C) was the coldest I've seen it here since I've lived here. What I'm saying is that temperature is the culprit. If I were to park my car in a garage instead of outside, the battery problem might not show up until 5 years and perhaps by then I might want a 4k dash cam.

Either way for about $10, I was able to fix the camera and will probably work fine for a couple more years.
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