By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour
Would you like to have an automatic recording of the road you traveled? Think of the beauty you could capture driving through the mountains. Or how about just a documentary on getting out of town. When that jerk pulled out in front of you, how would you like to capture that license plate?
Maybe it’s not important enough for you to buy a dash cam. Did you know you could use that tablet that’s just been gathering dust? Just add a free dash cam app, mount it onto your dash (Velcro will do) and turn it on! No data connection required. You do want to have it plugged into power though — since it is running all the time it will drain your battery pretty fast. Here is a sample of the video and stills captured from our RV as we got out of town!
We used a 7-inch Samsung tablet and the Daily Roads Voyager app for Android. If you need an app for iPhone/iPad, we found one called DashCam. We discuss dash cams in our What Does This Button Do show #101. Here’s a link to the point where we start the section on dash cams.
How Does a Dash cam Work?
If the dash cam is running all the time, how does it store all that video? Does it use the Internet? No – you do not need an Internet connection — everything is handled directly by the phone or tablet. The video is stored on a loop. It’s recording all the time, but when it reaches the specified time limit, it starts deleting the beginning of the recording. Any time you want to keep a portion, just tap the screen to save and a specified amount of video, or still frames, will be stored in a separate file. If you’re in an accident, the accelerometer in the device alerts the app and it automatically saves that segment.
Some dash cams are now calling themselves “Black Boxes” because they can record not only the video out your windshield, but also audio, and diagnostic information from an OBD – On Board Diagnostic – device. We haven’t tried it yet, but CaroO is one that makes this claim. Next trip, we’ll give it a shot.
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983 and owned a Computer Training Center called Computer Savvy from 1983-1996. She has been a Fulltime RVer, popular seminar presenter at RV Rallies, and regular contributor to RVTravel, for many years.