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Dashcam continuously powered on


andy1741
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Hi All,

First of all, I own a 2009 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI Zetec. Just got my first dashcam as a gift for christmas. I have a Nextbase 212 (Pretty decent for the price if anyone is looking!). I've wired this up in the simplest way just using the cigarette lighter port in the arm rest compartment. From looking at the footage from the camera, I can see that the camera is continuously recording 24/7. It seems that the camera is continuously given power even when the ignition is off for some time.

I have a couple of questions:

  • Will this affect the battery by draining it when not in use? I often don't use the car for the 3 or 4 days at a time and this would obviously cause issues.
  • Is this normal for this car? My father has a fiat punto with the same camera, in his car it will cut power to the camera and turn it off when he turns the iginition off.
  • Is there anyway to replicate the above scenario for my car if indeed this is normal functionality?

I guess if there is no risk in draining the battery, it's not really a massive issue except that it'll be recording 8 hours of garbage every night & day while i'm at work or sleeping.

Note that I'm trying to avoid the scenario of plugging it out/in every time. This is just too tedious to do every single time.

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Yeah, the lighter sockets aren't a switched feed.  It's normal for these cars but I don't know of anyone that finds it useful!

It will drain the battery if the car isn't used regularly.  The camera should shut off below a certain voltage but even that may be too low if you go to start the car on a cold morning.

The best way to wire in a dashcam is by using a piggyback fuse holder in the fusebox.  Some of the fuses are switched lives and will only power the camera when the ignition is on, which is exactly what you want. :smile: 

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1 minute ago, TomsFocus said:

It's normal for these cars but I don't know of anyone that finds it useful!

Agreed... Seems pointless.

2 minutes ago, dezwez said:

I wired mine in with a hard wire kit off feabay and a piggyback fuse in to the rear fog lights  only comes on when I start the car

Brillaint, I see the hardwire kit for sale at a decent price. I'm not expert in electronics on the car. Is this the fusebox user the bonnet or the glovebox? Do you remember how long the whole process took? Do you remember which position the rear fog lights fuse is?

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Don’t forget to order the right size, there a different size fuses. Also you will need a 2A fuse for the new circuit that the cam is on. If you haven’t used piggy back fuses before then do some research or ask some questions here, the fuses must go in the correct slots on the piggy back or it will cause problems. You will also need to find a ‘switched’ live fuse, also known as ACC fuse. Rear wiper fuse is usually a safe choice. The kit also needs to be grounded to an earthing point on the chassis, there are several points available. 

The Nextbase model you have does not have a voltage safety cutoff AFAIK so it will easily drain the battery in a short space of time (esp if the battery is 5+ yrs old) so I’d suggest unplugging the camera at night or when parked up, unless you need it to record whilst parked for an hour or two - say at the shops etc. 

Hardwire kit is the way forward though and very very simple - plenty of knowledge and experience on here if you have any questions, no question is stupid if it stops you making a mistake and saves you time/money

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4 minutes ago, Jonro2009 said:

Don’t forget to order the right size, there a different size fuses. Also you will need a 2A fuse for the new circuit that the cam is on. If you haven’t used piggy back fuses before then do some research or ask some questions here, the fuses must go in the correct slots on the piggy back or it will cause problems. You will also need to find a ‘switched’ live fuse, also known as ACC fuse. Rear wiper fuse is usually a safe choice. The kit also needs to be grounded to an earthing point on the chassis, there are several points available. 

The Nextbase model you have does not have a voltage safety cutoff AFAIK so it will easily drain the battery in a short space of time (esp if the battery is 5+ yrs old) so I’d suggest unplugging the camera at night or when parked up, unless you need it to record whilst parked for an hour or two - say at the shops etc. 

Hardwire kit is the way forward though and very very simple - plenty of knowledge and experience on here if you have any questions, no question is stupid if it stops you making a mistake and saves you time/money

great advice

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