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Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer | In-Depth Review

In our recent in-depth review of the Thinkware Multiplexer, we revealed how this device can level up the 5-channel dash cam game. If you're a ridesharing driver, a fleet manager, or just a meticulous driver who wants to have a strict surveillance of the front, rear, sides, and interior of your car, the all-new Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer can do the drill for you.

Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer: Changing Your 5-Channel Dash Cam Game

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Supporting up to five active viewpoints, the Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer accessory combines the video signals of two to four cameras into a single 1080p @ 30fps video. The footage is then fed to the front dash cam, saved on the memory card in one video file. With this level of functionality, using the MB-100 Multiplexer is less expensive than buying dual or triple-channel dash cams.

One of the Dash Cam reviewers we love on YouTube, Robert Baller aka RetroCarGuy530 put this Thinkware to a test. Diving deeper into its capabilities, he tested the MB-100 along with Thinkware's F200 Pro 2-channel dash cam for the front, an interior camera, two exterior side view cameras, an interior infrared camera, and a GPS module. Let’s find out more in this review.

Watch RetroCarGuy530's In-Depth Review of the Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer Box

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What does the Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer actually do?

The MB-100 is an optional product for select Thinkware dash cam models that convert the dash camera's rear Full HD 1080p video @30fps resolution channel into one – enabling you to capture two to four video feeds in a single rear video file.

By changing the piano or dip switches on the MB-100 Multiplexer, you can choose how many and in what orientation the video feeds from the cameras will be displayed. The combined video signal is then sent to the rear cam connection port on the front camera and recorded in the rear video file.

If you want to view your video recording footage, the device is capable of displaying 4 modes:

  • Mode 1: feeds from two cameras into one left-right video feed
  • Mode 2: feeds into a top-bottom combined video feed
  • Mode 3: three cameras' video feeds
  • Mode 4: four cameras' video feeds

What's inside the Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer Box?

The MB-100 Multiplexer box includes the MB-100 Multiplexer module, a video out cable, and a custom wiring harness. The wiring harness contains 4 video input connectors labeled Cam1 through Cam4 for up to four cameras, a video out connector, two power wires for constant battery power, and a ground connection. The MB-100 Multiplexer's power connections are in addition to the Thinkware dash camera's power connections.

Compatible Front Dash Camera Models for the Multiplexer

As of November 2022, the following Thinkware front dash cameras are compatible with the MB-100 Multiplexer:

Optional Dash Cameras

And here’s a list of the optional dash cameras that would work with the MB-100:

  • BCFH57UR interior infrared camera. You can use this camera to record what happens inside your vehicle at any time of day or night. The cable that comes with this camera is designed to connect it to a front dash camera that is located nearby. Because this camera connects to the MB-100 Multiplexer rather than the front dash camera, you must also purchase the F200 Pro rear cam cable in order to have a cable long enough to reach the MB-100 installation location.
  • BCFH57U interior rear cam This is the same camera that comes with the F200 Pro 2 Channel dash camera.
  • BCFH50SW side view camera. This camera is ip68-rated body makes this model water and dust proof. This camera's default configuration is to be used as a left side view camera. Simply cut the exposed white wire to enable this product's right side view mode.
  • Thinkware TWA-NIFRT exterior infrared camera. This is a perfect addition for RV owners or commercial drivers who need an externally mounted camera. The body of this camera is IP68 rated, which means it is waterproof and dustproof, making it an excellent choice for adding a camera to a dash camera that a traditional dash camera would not be able to provide.

Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer Installation

Before starting the installation, Robert reminded us to ensure the MB-100 Multiplexer installation location must account for the cable lengths of the camera video cables as well as the two power wires. It makes use of the MB-100 Multiplexer's size as well as the cable harness that is directly connected to the device. It is not suitable for mounting on the front windshield, so a typical installation location could be under the front seat, on the front dashboard, or on the side kick panel.

Also check if the flat cable that comes directly out of the side view camera body can be safely routed through the gap between the front fender and the front door when installing the side view cameras. The flat cable is 1.6 millimeters thick, or slightly more than 1/16 inch thick.

Robert’s suggestion here is to modify the side view camera body to account for complex installation situations, where the flat cable cannot exit the bottom side of the side view camera directly into the gap between the front fender and the front door.

MB-100 Multiplexer Power Consumption Test Results

To obtain baseline power consumption data for its various modes of operation, a series of power consumption tests were also run with the F200 Pro dash camera and a rear camera. 

Robert then repeated the test with the MB-100 Multiplexer added to see how much additional power would be consumed by adding the Multiplexer with two side view cameras, one interior infrared camera, and the same rear camera, but connected to the MB-100 itself. 

Depending on which configuration you choose for your vehicle, the total amount of power consumed by an MB-100 Multiplexer compatible Thinkware dash cam and the MB-100, as well as your choice of optional cameras, will differ.

Note: The Thinkware dash camera and the MB-100 Multiplexer must both be powered in order for it to function. The Multiplexer is the power supply for the optional cameras connected, so when the Thinkware dash camera is turned off, the MB-100 Multiplexer consumes no power. If the Thinkware dash camera is in any mode, including the energy-saving parking mode, the MB-100 Multiplexer will consume power and power the cameras connected to it.

According to RetroCarGuy530’s testing with this particular camera configuration, the MB-100 Multiplexer with the additional cameras will consume an additional 390 milliamps or 4.9 Watts on average over and above what the Thinkware F200 Pro 2 Channel dash camera requires. If you intend to use the MB-100 Multiplexer in a vehicle where parking mode recording sessions will last more than a few hours, it is recommended to use a dashcam battery pack to power both the Thinkware front dash camera and the MB-100.

Projected Parking Mode Times

Here are the projected parking mode recording times for the various parking modes available with the F200 Pro dash camera based on the power consumption data gathered:

The F200 Pro with a rear camera has the highest estimate. The time values represent how many days, hours, and minutes each dash camera battery pack should be able to power that dash camera configuration. The parking mode runtime estimates appear on the bottom half when the MB-100 Multiplexer is added to the F200 Pro with four cameras connected for a total of five cameras.

Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer: Recording More Footage than You Can Imagine

For RetroCarGuy530, it's a relatively simple process to convert one of the supported Thinkware front dash cameras into a dash camera with up to five video cameras.

Because the MB-100 Multiplexer system includes only one front dash camera, only one microSD card is required. The MB-100 Multiplexer’s combined video feed will also be saved in the rear camera video file on the front dash camera, making it a less expensive way to get up to a 5 Channel dash camera system. If a dash camera system is made up of multiple front dash cameras, it is possible that not all of the front dash cameras in the system will detect the same event, resulting in missed video in those situations.

If the Thinkware front dash camera connected to the MB-100 Multiplexer is recording video, all of the cameras connected to the mb100 will record video as well, so you won't miss anything that happens around your vehicle. However, because the MB-100 combines around 2-4 1080p@30fps video feeds into one video feed, the video quality may be reduced.

Regardless of the operational mode for the Thinkware front dash camera, the MB-100 Multiplexer consumes the same amount of power. This can reduce the amount of time available for parking mode recording. It is highly recommended to use a dash camera battery pack to power the Thinkware front dash camera and the MB-100 Multiplexer when it is required to support parking mode recording operations.

Level Up the 5-Channel Dash Cam Game with the Thinkware Multiplexer Box Now!

The Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer accessory is the perfect addition if you want to maximize your driving and parking surveillance coverage. Here at BlackboxMyCar, we have product bundles available to make purchasing this dash fully functional dash camera system easier. RetroCarGuy530 tested a rideshare bundle, but we also have a heavy duty bundle with three exterior infrared cameras, and a cargo bundle with two side view cameras and one exterior infrared camera.

If you enjoyed RetroCarGuy530's in-depth review and want to buy the Thinkware MB-100 Multiplexer from us, click on one of the affiliate links or enter the discount code of RCG530 while shopping on the BlackboxMyCar website to receive a 5 percent discount on any purchase over $250 USD / $300 CAD.

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