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How to use the dash cam

How to use the dash cam

When you’re out on the road, things don’t always go to plan. If an incident does happen however, having the moment caught on camera can prove very useful.

To help you get started with your new PC 105 forward facing HD dash cam, here’s a quick guide on how to set up your dash cam.

How to set up your dash cam

Everything you need to set up your PC 105 dash cam will be included in its box. ProofCam dash cams are plug in and play, so you should be able to get started within five minutes. Here’s how:

  1. Connect the suction pad to the dash cam and then insert the USB end of the car charger into the camera. Use the suction pad to secure your dash cam to your windscreen. The ideal place to mount your dash cam is behind the rear-view mirror on the passenger’s side. Any excess cable can usually be tucked into the ceiling of your car.
  2. Insert the charger end of the car charger into your car’s power socket. Start the engine and the dash cam will turn on and start recording immediately. If you sometimes leave your car power on after you’ve switched off the engine, you may want to turn off the dash cam using the power button.
  3. If you wish to set the time or change any of your dash cam’s settings, simply push the REC button (middle button on the right), which will stop the dash cam recording. Push the MENU button (last button on the left), and you’ll find two menu levels – the second of which you can access by pushing the MENU button a second time. You’ll then be able to scroll through the menu options and select whichever item you wish to change by pressing the REC button.

Once your dash cam has been set up, it can be left in place without needing to change the settings. The PC 105 dash cam records using loop technology, so once the memory card is full, it will tape over the oldest files and continue recording. You’ll also need to make sure the dash cam is plugged into your car’s power supply at all times. When you turn off your car’s engine, your dash cam will switch off as well. You can make sure your dash cam is recording properly by checking it once a month.

How to save important footage

As the dash cam records on a loop system, you’ll need to make sure you save any important video footage that you want to keep. You can do this by simply pressing the emergency button on your dash cam.

When pressed, the current segment of your recording becomes protected and will not be lost when the camera continues to record. The recording segment lengths are pre-set to 1 minute on the PC 105 dash cam, however you can change this in the menu settings, if you wish. The saved footage will only be removed when you manually delete it off the SD card.

The amount of total video footage stored depends on the size of the SD card being used. The PC 105 dash cam can support SD cards with a capacity of up to 32GB and it comes with a 4GB MicroSD card. When recording in HD, 6 minutes of video uses about 1GB of space on the SD card. So, if using a full capacity 32GB SD card, your dash cam should be able to record for about 3 hours before it overwrites the original footage.

If you do get bumped whilst out on the road, having the footage caught on camera can be pretty handy. Take a look at our blog 5 reasons dash cams are useful to ensure you’re putting your camera to good use!

Five reasons why dash cams are useful

Five reasons why dash cams are useful

We all want to stay safer on our roads, but do we really need a dash cam? Well, as it turns out, they can actually be pretty useful. From helping protect against fraudsters to capturing magical moments, here are a few reasons why a dash cam could give you peace of mind while on the road.

1. Proving you’re not at fault

Being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault is always frustrating. What’s more frustrating however, is not being able to prove your innocence. With a rise in ‘crash for cash’ scams in recent years, being able to provide your own video evidence of what really happened is proving incredibly useful for drivers.

Dash cams are fitted to your car and can record in high definition during both day and night. They operate on a loop recording system and come with a memory card, making sure you never miss an incident. If you do have a bump and you’re not at fault, this can help with your insurance claim depending on who you’re with.

2. Tracking down who bumped your car

Unfortunately, not all drivers stop or leave a note when they bump your car. If you’ve been bumped while driving, you’ll be able to re-watch the incident in HD playback. So, instead of simply having to put up with it the next time someone damages your car, you could be able to use the video footage as evidence when making a claim depending on your insurance provider.

3. Keeping an eye on young drivers

If you have a young driver insured on the family car, it can be handy to keep an eye on their motoring skills. Inexperienced new drivers could make decisions that you might not approve of. Are they consistently parking in areas you would deem unsafe? Or do they have a habit of driving their friends all over town without permission? Either way, it can be handy to double check that they’re always being safe while out and about.

4. Teaching learner drivers

If you’re helping to teach a friend or family member to drive, being able to watch back footage of certain manoeuvres can help learners see where they’re going wrong. From three point turns to parallel parking, having another perspective can be very handy when it comes to highlighting repeated mistakes.

5. Capturing unexpected moments 

If you encounter the unexpected while driving, stopping the car to capture the footage on camera isn’t always an option. However, when something remarkable happens, that’s exactly what you want to do. Whether it’s a spectacular weather system or a heart-stopping near miss, you’ll be glad to have the moment recorded.

How Do Dash Cameras Work?

How Do Dash Cameras Work?
While it is technically possible to use virtually any recording device as a dash camera, there are a number of reasons that you should consider buying a purpose-built dash cam instead of hacking something together.

There actually are a handful of important factors that set dash cameras apart from other portable and handheld recording devices—all of which make dashboard cameras easier and more convenient than the other alternatives.

How Does a Dashboard Camera Work?
In order to really see what sets purpose-built dashboard cameras apart from general purpose devices, it’s necessary to understand how a dashcam really functions. Unlike general purpose recording devices, dashboard cameras tend to be no-frills affairs that often lack fancy bells and whistles like power switches and recording controls.

In fact, a prototypical dashboard camera consists of only a handful of basic components:

a video camera
hard-wired power inputs
built-in or removable solid-state storage media
Function follows form in the case of dashboard cameras, so you can probably get a pretty good idea of how they work by looking at that sparse list of components.

Without an on/off switch, a dashboard camera is typically wired into a circuit that is only hot when the ignition key is in the start or run position. And without any sort of recording controls, dashboard cameras are typically designed to record continuously whenever they are powered up. With that in mind, you can see how these simplistic devices are designed to automatically turn on and start recording each time a car is driven—without the need for any input or interaction from the driver at all.

This can be contrasted with general purpose portable recording devices. Although you can use virtually any recording device as a dash cam, you will have to turn it on and set it to record every time you get in your car. If you imagine a scenario where it slips your mind one day, and you just happen to get into an accident, then it should be easy to see the draw of a purpose-built device.

What Happens When the Storage Fills Up?
If you’ve ever used a portable recording device, whether it was a cellphone, digital camera, or anything else, then you’ve probably seen what happens when the storage media fills up. The device stops recording right then and there, and you have to either free up some space or insert a new memory card if you want to keep recording.

On the surface, it seems like this would be a huge dashboard camera issue. After all, they record all the time. Even if you use a huge SD card for storage, it’s going to fill up eventually, right? And who wants to fiddle with memory cards while driving.

This is actually the other area where a purpose-built dashboard camera tends to really shine in comparison to the alternatives. Unlike general purpose recording devices, a dashboard camera will typically be designed to automatically overwrite the oldest files on its storage media if the media fills up. This is a feature that would be horrible if it was baked right into a digital camera or an iPhone since it might accidentally delete something you really wanted to keep, but it works great for surveillance and sousveillance devices.

Do Viable Dashboard Camera Alternatives Exist?
If you don’t want to hard-wire a camera into your car’s electrical system, or you just can’t afford one, then there are viable alternatives. It’s important to remember that these alternatives do lack the convenience features that are built into dashboard cameras, but that may be a trade-off you’re willing to deal with. For instance, there are apps that can turn your iPhone, Android device, or another smartphone into a dashboard camera, although these still aren’t truly “set and forget” solutions.