FAQ: My Car Isn't Driven Much But I Want Parking Mode Recording
The parking mode recording feature has been a top concern for those who park their cars for extended periods of time. Without a dash cam running, the car may be a sitting duck awaiting vandalism, fender-benders, door dings, etc. Unfortunately, even with a larger battery, if the car isn't driven for several days at a time, we don't recommend running a hardwire kit that drains the battery. Doing so puts a lot of stress on the battery and even in the best cases, there would rarely be more than 12 hours of recording time. For customers that only drive their cars on weekends, this would not be sufficient. Here are some things to consider if you are looking to get more than a day’s worth of parking mode recording time and you don't drive all that often! We recommend the Cellink NEO for dash cams in general as well as the BlackVue B-124 for BlackVue dash cams.
Dash Cam Power Consumption
The higher the dash cam's power consumption rating, the less recording time you will get, regardless of whether you're using a regular hardwire kit or a battery pack. Single channel dash cams are generally more energy efficient, while two single channel dash cams will use more power than one dual channel setup though. If your vehicle is parked and you have the back against a wall, the 1 channel camera may be sufficient. However, if the vehicle is parked on the street it would make sense (for more protection) to go with a 2-Channel dash cam.
Cloud enabled dash cams like the BlackVue DR900S-2CH which require Wi-Fi running all the time will consume even more power. An easy way to extend the recording time on these dash cams is to turn off the Cloud and Wi-Fi autorun, particularly if the area where your vehicle is parked has no Wi-Fi connection anyway!
For a list of the power consumption ratings of popular dash cams, click here!
Even with the battery pack, more than 3 day’s worth of recording on one charge is unlikely. If the car doesn't get driven frequently though, the battery pack needs an alternative way of charging which is where a power inverter would come in handy. You can remove the battery pack from your vehicle and charge it with a high-quality power inverter inside your house or garage. Do note that lower spec power inverters can power a dash cam but will not be sufficient to charge a battery pack. The maximum power output rating we recommend is 5A or the “Cigarette Mode” charge method.
Our power inverter can fully charge a Battery Pack in about 1.5 hours, this is good for over 150Wh of parking mode dash cam power supply. With a 2 channel system like the Thinkware F800 PRO, it's good for just under 2 days of recording. While on a DR750S 1-CH with Wi-Fi and Cloud turned off, it's enough for just under 3 days of parking mode recording! This would be the ultimate setup for someone who doesn't drive often but still wants extensive parking mode recording. This may be a bit of work to transport the battery packs between the car and the house but it's an excellent solution if you can't charge them otherwise.
For some customers we would recommend buying two main Cellink NEO's so that the two can simply be swapped them with each other. This will result in less recording time in one charge compared to the Cellink NEO + NEO expansion but it also means there are no gaps in the recording while the batteries are removed to charge. Do note that you would require purchasing a 12V cigarette charging cable in order to charge the NEO with the power inverter.