Notes on installation, operation, and limitations.

Installation:
A closed cell pad is bonded to the bottom of the DVR box. We suggest that the box be secured with an elastic strap. The box should be located somewhere that will remain dry and have minimal exposure to dirt.
Power in: this must go directly to the battery. Use a fusible link at the battery end - 15 amp capacity is best size. We suggest #8 or #10 wire size. The terminations must be soldered. The reason for this is that you must have the full voltage at the box.
Supplies can be obtained from MAD Electrical in Springville,CA. After discussing our requirements with them, and doing some poking around the test mule, we were convinced of the need for soldered connections - it is worth the extra time. Earlier, we found that we had only 8 volts on our ignition circuit! So much for crimped connectors!
Ground:
This should be just as secure as the positive connection.
Camera installation:
The camera should be secured in a dry, out of the way place. The back of a rear view mirror would be good. You should also locate it so that the view will be clear - this means the glass in front of the camera will be cleaned, inside and out, and the glass will also be cleared by the wipers in the event of rain. The camera will require two connections: an RG-59 video cable and power. We supply a 25 foot video cable and a 3 foot cord with the proper plug for the camera. You can solder connect this to any small sized zip cord to reach the DVR. Remember to observe polarity! The center of the plug is positive, and the shell is ground. Verify this with a meter before you connect the power to the camera's plug! The camera should be powered from our DVR box. You should not try to power the camera from the vehicle. Believe us, we have tried it, and it won't work. The camera should be connected (or disconnected) only when the DVR is off!
Camera connection:
If the DVR box has more than one video terminal, a single camera should be connected to the lowest terminal. Camera number two would go to the next one up.

How to aim the camera:
Connect the power to the DVR and switch the DVR box on with the bypass switch on the box panel. The camera's view can be checked with a laptop that has a video connection. If you don't already have a video connection, the one we use is a Hauppauge USB Live (model 600). This works very well and can be purchased for about $ 50.

Some further notes on the camera view:
We made a mistake when we installed the camera in the '46 PU. It looks out over a very shinny light colored hood. We get quite a bit of glare from off the hood. When we finally have the time to move the camera, it will be at the top of the window. We have also found the a lens shield is really necessary. Sun glare is also an unavoidable problem, just as it is unavoidable for the driver. You just want to minimize it as much as possible, so the camera should ideally be looking down and be well inside the vehicle. Keep the glass in front of the camera clean.

Operation:
The driver is totally out of the loop.
Once the vehicle's ignition is switched on, the DVR will run the start cycle. It takes less than a minute before video capture is full up. The DVR will continually record, in 10 minute segments.
When the vehicle's ignition is turned off, the DVR starts the shut down cycle. Then, after about 45 minutes, the DVR is completely shut down, and, draws zero current.
Downloading Video Files:
We have upgraded the recording software in the DVR box. The images are stored as individual jpeg frames. There are ~ 9,000 frames for each 10 minute segment. The DVR box (and software) can also stream these images so that they can be seen just like a movie.
Monitoring the operation of the DVR box:
Periodically, you should monitor the DVR box to make sure all is functioning as expected. This is very easy to do with a laptop computer. You can just connect the laptop to the DVR box with a network cable (crossover type). By starting a web browser (we recommend Mozilla) and typing in the URL that we will give you, you can view the images that have been recorded, both stills and videos.
It is very easy to export individual jpeg frames, however, the DVR box is used to view the frames as a movie. This is not such a bad thing as it may seem. If, for example, there has been an incident, the DVR box should be immediately removed from the vehicle to preserve evidence. There also has to be a chain of custody. We do want you to know that any "event" can be exported to another computer, and, can be viewed as a movie on the receiving computer. It takes about an hour, and the setup explanation is beyond the scope of this introductory description. I can tell you that the recording of an accident prompted a swift response from the offending party's insurance company.
Limitations:
The basic mini camera can record the vehicle that just ran the stop sign, and, if properly aimed, you can see if your driver is running red lights. But you will not be able to read license plate numbers. If you need greater detail, you will need a camera upgrade. There are many, many different cameras available. But we wish to point out that the "license plate reader" cameras at toll booths are exceptionally expensive.

Options:
Our DVR box can accommodate up to four cameras.
Depending on the software used, the DVR can record continuously or, record on motion detection, or, some combination of the two. A schedule function is also available.
Supervisor Shutdown:
We can also set the DVR box to continue to run, even when the vehicle is shut off. We can enable "crash detection" that will keep the DVR running, and can only be shutdown by a supervisor.
Wireless network access to the frame files is also available

Link back to DVR page

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