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DR900S Overheating and other issues......

I am now on my second camera in less than one week.  It is 75 degrees Fahrenheit  outside and not even close to the temperature that it will be soon and the second camera is already giving warnings that the camera may overheat.  This is very concerning since this is supposed to be one of the better dash cams out there and I am already on my second unit and it is still having the same problem.  How is this even possible when the camera is advertised as "Desert-Tested".  According to Blackvue the following is supposed to be true of the DR900S:

Desert-Tested Dashcam

Wondering how well the DR900S Series fares when it comes to heat resistance and overall reliability?

Good news! The DR900S Series was put to the test in the most extreme conditions and came out unscathed.

See how Caballo del Diablo drivers Boyd Jaynes and Brian Godfrey took the 4K BlackVue dashcam on a bumpy, dusty and hot ride for five days straight in the NORRA Mexican 1000 race. 

The advertising by Blackvue is highly deceptive to say the least.  Which desert was this tested in and was it winter in this desert? What were the temperatures it was "tested" in?  The suggestions to park in the shade or leave the windows open is ridiculous at best considering it is advertised as "Desert-Tested"; in what world is that a plausible option?  You park where there is space where I live, if you can even find a parking space and leaving the windows down?  Really??  Might as well leave a sign that says steal my stuff (including my overheating dash cam) on the window if you leave the windows open for "ventilation" and theft.  There needs to be a design change to this camera so this is not a problem because the options for resolution to this problem being given by Blackvue are simply unrealistic; maybe in lab testing is this possible but in the real world it simply is not an option.  To pay for such a "high-end Desert -Tested" camera and have this happen within the first week on a cool day is simply unacceptable.  If the problem persists I will just have to return and or dispute the charges on my credit card and give this paper weight back to Blackvue.  I don't understand how Blackvue support (Francis) could even think that these suggestions are possible in the REAL WORLD.  How about solving the problem instead of just putting the issue back on customers that have spent a significant amount of money; especially when you buy the top of the line camera and largest backup battery and largest SD card, etc. we are talking over $1,000 dollars for something that won't work on cool days much less in the summer time when it is ACTUALLY hot!

Unfortunately this is not the only problem I have had with this camera in the VERY short about of time I have owned it.  It also connects and disconnects all the time; this appears to have been an issue dating back to at least mid last year and is supposedly being worked on but I don't have much hope at this point if it has taken this long to resolve the problem; obviously it is not a priority to fix issues with the software until enough people complain about the issue.  Also, the "two-way communication" feature does not work in a true two-way manner.  You can hear audio while the mic button on live view has the line through it but not when you press the mic button to talk; the person in the car can not respond until you turn tap and turn off the mic; if they respond before they just get what they just said repeated and it sounds like a echo affect.  Once again this is different than the way it is advertised to work and should be advertised as one-way communication.

When calling about these problems I was hung up on while I had my installer at my house trying to figure out the problems mid call after being on the phone for about an hour.  When I called back the message said they were closed now; maybe this is why the representative hung up becasue my call had gone past their call center hours.  I called back a few days later when I could get my installer back on the phone with them and they had us do all of the steps that we had already done including re-installing the app, updating firmware to both camera and phone and reformatting the SD card.  When I called back again about the continued problems the message said that it would be a three minute wait but instead I was told to call back in a while to try and get help after waiting on the phone for 10 minutes. 

This has been a horrible experience and I am very disappointed as I had high hopes for this system after seeing their website and all the reccommendations from online stores for the Blackvue as the best camera.  I can't imagine what other cameras are like if this is the best but when the best doesn't work either........why bother spending over $1,000 expecting the best and end up with nothing but problems and headache, I would rather just wait until they get their act together and produce a product that IS WHAT IT IS ADVERTISED AS and not have to go through all these issues.  I really thought I would be avoiding issues by spending the extra money and getting the supposed best but it obviously has not turned out that way for me.

Blackvue, please either address these issues and offer a real solution other than parking in the shade and roll down the windows for a "Desert-Tested" camera or I will have to just return this camera and lose the $250 I paid to install this system and lose any future business I may have given you.  I realize I am not a corporate customer so it may not matter to you but if your goal is customer service then EVERY customer matters and you do what needs to be done to make it right.  I am only posting this on your website now to give you a chance to make it right but if not I will be posting this everywhere I can find to post to make sure other people don't have to go through this as well. 

Thanks.

19 comments

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    Matthew Carmody

    Our two DR900S cameras cope fine with our tropical heat and humidity. Yes the heat sink (around the lens) gets hot to touch, but no warnings on a series of days of 39C with the car in the sun.

    Is it at the top of the windscreen, or have you placed it low down above the dash valance?

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    beb064

    Thats funny because I don't live in the tropical heat, I live in LA. When the system tells you it is about to overheat, its not my opinion, just facts. No it is not mounted low, but all the way up next to the mirror. I would expect a different response than telling me that it deals with heat fine in your area, however, it was a 76 degree F day here when the problem happened so it does not deal with heat very well, obviously. Customer support would be how can we help you not telling the customer that it works fine in your area. Thanks for the support, really appreciate it......lol! I feel great about buying the most expensive system on the market....btw, I have called in about another issue about 3-4 weeks ago and still haven't heard anything. Customer service is something that you have to do, not just say you are going to do. Very disappointed and now I will be posting my problem and your response, if you can call it that, on other places not just here. I tried to give Blackvue the chance to resolve before I did that but it's obvious you have no intent of solving either of my issues.......nor the connectivity issue that's been plaguing users now for months. Thanks!

  • 2
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    UnsatisfiedUser

    @Matthwe Carmody What do you think is the heatsink? (because Blackvue hasn't used even any thermalpads...)

  • 0
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    Matthew Carmody

    It's the bronze coloured collar around the lens according to BlackVue support.

    And - you paid $250 to have it installed?

  • 0
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    beb064

    Its how u built the camera and how I received the second camera is how it is.......iand yes I paid $250 to hardwire the system and your battery and a hotspot. Wanted it done right after spending $1300 for everything? I take it you think thats outrageous? Not for a system that costs this much.

  • 0
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    beb064

    Looks kike from the picture another user posted there arent any heatsinks? Pictures speak louder than a claim......now I am not electronics wiz but looks like the other user that posted is......

  • 0
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    UnsatisfiedUser

    @Matthew Carmody As you can see here https://youtu.be/ajrHiiseN_8 that's just a plastic cover around the lens. I bet "Edison" was the one who said so, did he..?

  • 0
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    Matthew Carmody

    UnsatisfiedUser- it was an email exchange when I bought the first camera - I was asking as to where the GPS antenna was (which end basically) so I could position the antenna peering through the window in the athermic windscreen. I do know Edson does most of the company response here though - perhaps it was him.

    beb064 - I don't think I will persuade you that what you have is anything but a POS, but both dual camera hard-wired installs (Mercedes AMG and an Audi SQ5) both with PowerMagicPros were straight forward and worked as advertised from the get go. Regarding overheating, I'm offering up the fact that ours don't overheat even in tropical summers - even in my wife's silly black Audi. Both are installed under athermic windscreen glass high against the roof rail. Both cameras switch to "Parking Mode" to reduce power consumption and heat production I guess. Ive not tried to use the camera to talk to my wife (I have a mobile phone for that) but the cloud function is excellent for seeing where she is and how the traffic is on her commute home.

  • 0
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    John Kelly

    I have had mine installed for a couple of week and the body of the camera is really hot, not had any overheating warnings but the camera is really hot in a shaded area, so do they get that hot or is it faulty?

     

    The body is really hot to touch and i wonder how long the components would last subjected to this heat.

  • 0
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    Lee Ladisky

    I have that exact same problem with my 900.

    I've gotten complete BS responses from them about cracking windows, parking in the shade, etc.

    I've tried multiple SD cards, reducing the load on the processor with lower video quality settings, etc.

    Nothing works.

    The camera is HIGH on the windshield, actually shaded by the rear view mirror/Audi camera enclosure.

    I've tried window shades, and - just for giggles - their suggestions, and NOTHING works.

    I've ordered another SD card now to see if that might help.

    My 650 NEVER overheating, even under significantly worse (more extreme heat) conditions.

    I have my 900 set to the same settings as my 650 for video quality, etc, and it STILL overheats, even with a faster processor in the 900.

    If I recall correctly, there were a large number of overheat issues in some of the earlier BV model cameras that were resolved with firmware updates.

    I have also heard rumors that people have hacked the firmware to reduce the processor load.

    Anyone here, seen anything on that????

     

  • 0
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    John Kelly

    Lee,

    I would not waist your money, i have tried three different makes as had them and they are all the same issue, it has nothing to do with the SD card.

    I tried Samsung, Sandisk and there own supplied SD card without any changes.

    The issue is nothing to do with the SD card.

    I have seen some posts in the USA where they have used stick on heat sinks to the outside case to help lower the temperature so going to try that now.

     

  • 0
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    Lee Ladisky

    John - can you post a link to which heatsinks you are buying? 

    I would love to see if that works here, in Vegas, as well.

    As for SD cards - I had heard that Samsung and SanDisk have caused problems with BV cameras in prior models.

    My current card is a Kingston.

    I've just ordered a PNY.

    I am going to change the settings back to full 4K resolution, but set parking mode and normal recording to the maximum recording time, to reduce the number of files and see If that makes any difference (worse or better).

  • 0
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    John Kelly

    These have the same diameter as the camera so going to change the colour from Blue to black so they do not stand out and fit them to the body making sure not to cover any ventilation holes.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GBXVZNP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

     

  • 0
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    Lee Ladisky

    I ordered 3 of them in the states.

    I'm going to try and experiment, as follows:

    1) drill holes in the heatsinks to better align with the top holes on the camera to:

        A) allow the rising heat to still escape, and to draw the heat out in the correct direction

        B) Keep the direct sun hitting the heat sinks, versus the camera

    My plan is to mount two on the top, and one on the bottom - cover my bases

    If all else fails, Maybe we should start poking holes in the bottom of the cam housing to allow proper airflow in the first place....

     

  • 0
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    Lee Ladisky

    @Unsatisfieduser:  After disassembly, did you find any place to mount internal heatsinks or thermal pads?  

    Do you think thermal transfer gel might work by itself?

  • 0
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    John Kelly

    The heat transfers to the plastic body and that's the issue it does not have anywhere else to go, increasing the surface area is in my opinion the only way the temperature will lower.

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    UnsatisfiedUser

    @Lee Ladisky: I'm not an author of the picture. My DR900S was too expensive and i still have a chance to return it... xD I was about to do some testing with internal heatsink (according to my "research" i think there is a free space) but few days ago Viofo annouced their A129-Pro so at this moment i'm waiting for the release day and then i'll consider return or modification.

    Yes i think even just a couple of thermalpads transfering heat to the shield will help (not much but there will be a difference). Just to give you perspective - even this heatsink (34x26x7mm) is pretty damn hot (IMX226+Hi3559 => 4K+same chipset as in DR900S):

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    UnsatisfiedUser

    Find the difference... (Viofo A129 Pro)

  • 0
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    John Deere

    @

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