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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Reviewed: Roadhawk DC-1 Black Box GPS Camera Drive Recorder
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Reviewed: Roadhawk DC-1 Black Box GPS Camera Drive Recorder
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the query regarding how insurance companies view these, it will depend very much on how serious the case is. A minor bump may not be enough to pique their interest but you can be certain that a serious accident where they are liable for a large payout might get them to sit up.

Where admissibility is concerned, ultimately, it's for the courts to decide if any evidence is admissible and it would certainly be considered. Nothing ventured etc

It is still early days for these devices in the consumer sphere but Im disappointed that insurance companies haven't been more proactive in supporting these and offering discounts etc. I have no sympathy for them when they complain about ever increasing payouts yet do nothing to mitigate their losses other than increase premiums, won't defend drivers and make no efforts to embrace technology such as this.
mostdom wrote:
@Darren.
I do have an issue with the parking feature as it won't stay set. No good if you use valet parking of use it when the car is in for servicing. As soon as the car is driven away after setting it will unset and remain unset, eating up all the memory card space. I gave up with mine and re wired it to the ignition.

I thought the 'parking mode' required the accessory cable? It may be that the ignition interrupt if used with a cigarette plug causes it to reset?
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:

I thought the 'parking mode' required the accessory cable? It may be that the ignition interrupt if used with a cigarette plug causes it to reset?


I think it just requires a permanent power supply but I will check again, it unsets when it detects continuous movement from the force sensor. It just doesn't seem to know when it is stationary to reset again!
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Dom

HERE LIES PND May it rest in peace.
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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the user manual, it appears that parking mode is deliberately turned off as soon as the car moves. Also it is put into normal recording mode while parked, not in 'impact-only'mode, so it will eat up the loop anyway! Can't see the point in not having the impact recording as an option in parking mode, but maybe there is some technical difficulty.
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telematicsman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Insurance Response Reply with quote

It seems to me a lot of claims handlers are under the same sort of restrictions a lot of bank staff used to be under regarding Email etc. So sending in footage is only possible on CD-Roms or the equivalent and they don't or didn't have the means to play it, mainly due to overzealous IT departments!

As another correspondent points out in major incidents they make more of an effort- although the bulk of the premium payments insurance companies actually make are actually car park bashes. KSI and other major things are actually a small percentage. We may moan sometimes about traffic regulations in this country but we do have the safest roads in Europe so we are doing something right.

The parking thing puzzles me about this gadget. I would have thought the parking mode would actually have been its ignition off default since thats often when we get damage done by people who disappear without giving details. With a little modification it ought to be possible to get it to save a 30 second loop or similar then go back to monitoring.

There would need to be a power save mode to stop it draining the battery in, for instance airport car parks but none of this is beyond modern technology.

If video of the lead-up to the bump is not a necessity a car alarm type vibration sensor could be used to 'wake' the device rather than firing the camera up 24/7 reducing battery power consumption. a loop conatining the lead-up might be helpful in increasing the opportunity to catch the offending vehicles number plate but maybe is not essential in a car park knock.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because the device has flash software it can be updated to correct some of these concerns but only if RoadHawk choose to do so.

The permanent power cable they offer has a power monitor attached that will disconnect the power if the battery shows signs of distress.

The easiest option would have been to have a three wire setup as default where you have live, earth, & ignition. A missed opportunity I think.
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Dom

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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get in touch with Roadhawk, they're a good bunch and very receptive to feedback.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigPerk wrote:
...Also it is put into normal recording mode while parked,...

Normal recording mode at a reduced rate to conserve disk space. Significant but not enough for a week away in a multistory carpark on the standard 4Gb card.

I think the manual suggests up to three times the recording space. 18 hour - 4Gb. 6 Days - 32Gb.
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Dom

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mostdom
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Get in touch with Roadhawk, they're a good bunch and very receptive to feedback.


Will do. Very Happy
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Dom

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Mearns
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the RH-2 which Roadhawk supplied to me at the RH-1 price back in April because for many weeks they were out of stock of RH-1's. It's really meant for taxi drivers as it has a forward and rear facing camera as well as an infra red attachment (which I haven't connected) so the rear seat passengers can be recorded at night. Otherwise it has all the facilities of the RH-1.

The RH-2 has performed faultlessly since installation - I had it professionally wired into the fuse box so it is only live when the ignition is on. If you do this yourself then don't cut off the cigarette holder type plug as my installer said you need it to maintain the 5v output. This may not be the case for the RH-1 as the FAQ says you can cut off the plug and use 12 to 24v but I suggest checking this. On the RH-2 you have to get a spare cigarette socket and wire that to the fuse box.

As for not being able to see number plates, I have downloaded to computer the incident where an idiot on a narrow country road thought it was a rally course and nearly slid into the front of me and his number plate is quite readable. I have also downloaded the incident where my wife spotted a radar trap near Arbroath as I overtook another car. I went up to but not above the 60 limit but it was good to have the recorded evidence of Roadhawk to fight any speeding ticket if the police camera had been faulty.

It was quite funny watching the video of my car being MOT'd recently. The examiner spotted the Roadhawk eventually but didn't realise it was a camera and carried on regardless. As someone found out a while back - quite interesting to watch your garage do a test drive or in their case racing his car quite needlessly!

I lost my prescription sunglasses in Aberdeen recently. With the help of the RH-2 which videos the inside of the car, once I got home I was able to download the files and see the last point I had got out of the car with them on and as a result I recalled I had left them on a nearby Pay and Display parking machine whilst I paid - they were still there after two hours!

It is a great pity that without expensive software (CamStudio is what Roadhawk use for their website videos) it is not possible to forward the video of an incident to someone else. As well as the relevant file you have to send the software which is on the SD card so that someone can view an incident. The software is freeware but does not run on a MAC.
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Tony
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mearns wrote:
I had it professionally wired into the fuse box so it is only live when the ignition is on. If you do this yourself then don't cut off the cigarette holder type plug as my installer said you need it to maintain the 5v output.

The RH-1 accepts 12/24v direct into the device as does the DC-1 reviewed here.
Quote:
I lost my prescription sunglasses in Aberdeen recently. With the help of the RH-2 which videos the inside of the car, once I got home I was able to download the files and see the last point I had got out of the car with them on and as a result I recalled I had left them on a nearby Pay and Display parking machine whilst I paid - they were still there after two hours!

What a fantastic use, I could do with one permanently strapped to my shoulder!
Quote:
It is a great pity that without expensive software (CamStudio is what Roadhawk use for their website videos) it is not possible to forward the video of an incident to someone else. As well as the relevant file you have to send the software which is on the SD card so that someone can view an incident. The software is freeware but does not run on a MAC.
The RH-1 was the same but I'm sure I recall there being an option to export the video to a format that is readable by others, is that not the case with your RH-2?

Happily, the DC-1 video is in a standard .mp4 format so you can easily share the videos without needing the software.
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Mearns
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren - yes, I think the camera video can be exported easily from the RH2. If you want the whole screen of the software output, ie Google Maps, G readings, speedo, etc then I think CamStudio is the best bet.
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RoadHawk
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: parking mode Reply with quote

Hi All,

I've just had a quick read through this thread and with regards to parking mode. I certainly can't see any reason for the hardware to not support auto parking mode. I'm going to put a specification together for the next firmware development to try this. If we can get it working and it remains stable (the most important thing!) then we could offer it as a firmware upgrade.

I should probably note now though, these things tend to take quite a long time to get right with all the testing etc. and I don't want to make any promises in case there's a really good reason the software engineers have omitted it in the first place.

Best Regards,
Mark
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for quick reply Mark. Always nice to see manufacturers taking an interest in our forums. We will look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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Dom

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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren said:
Quote:
the DC-1 video is in a standard .mp4 format so you can easily share the videos without needing the software.
I remember (I think) Darren, that in the RH-1 thread you said that the native recorded data was tamper-proof and therefore might well be admitted in a dispute (though an exported version wasn't, and so probably wouldn't).

Is this still the case, or has the DC-1 lost this tamper-proofing by going to .mp4?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've changed the system slightly. The native mp4 loses all the geolocation and speed data if tampered with.

It's a simpler system which means the videos can be more easily viewed whilst still retaining the tamper proof system.
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