Rear View Dash Camera

With all the modifications I’ve done with our EcoSport, the cost of getting another dash camera became prohibitive. To help offset the costs, one of our generous readers sent me a new Transcend Drive Pro 110. Our donor realized that modification projects do cost a lot, and wanted to help out offset the expenses by sponsoring a project. Thank you very much!

If you wish to help out and donate to ECOSPORT DIY SERIES, please email: donate@ecosportdiyseries.com.

To see this dash camera in action, head directly to Rear View Dash Camera Road Test.

Related links:
Installing a Rear View Dash Camera
View other website donations

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Transcend DP110 Dash Camera

The following product review is NOT sponsored by Transcend. There are NO sponsored reviews nor advertisements on this website, EcoSport DIY Series.

I am currently testing a Transcend DP110 Dash Camera, purchased locally for about 5500 pesos. Among all models produced by Transcend, DP110 is the cheapest one with a screen (display). I prefer stand-alone dashcams with dedicated displays over ones with no screens at all, or even those that connect with  smartphones and use the phone’s screen for displaying video feed.

DP110 is good enough for the task of recording and has the following basic functions of a dash camera:

  1. Time-stamped video is clear, both daytime and night time recording (it has enhanced low-light recording, but no infrared night-vision mode found in hi-end models).
  2. It has an “emergency save button”. You’ll find this very useful in case of an emergency.
  3. Saves automatically when bumped (sensitivity can be adjusted).
  4. Loops 3 or 5-minute videos (with audio). The oldest video gets overwritten with the newest video (except if the video is tagged as important—if it is saved manually by the user by pressing the emergency save button, or saved automatically when the camera detects vibrations).
  5. Has a built-in battery, allowing the dash camera to save the current video if power suddenly gets disconnected (some prefer capacitors over batteries though).
  6. Has a dedicated display (for me, this is a must)!

The camera comes with a power adapter, a mount, and a user’s manual. Installation takes only about 5 minutes! I would recommend Transcend DP110 to anyone looking for a low-cost yet fully-functional dash camera.

Transcend Screenshot
Transcend DP110 dash camera’s sample frame from a recorded video

To watch the sample video taken with a Transcend DP110 Dash Camera, head directly to Transcend DP110 Dash Camera. You may also head to Rear View Camera Road Test.

To view the reviews of other EcoSport-related accessories, click here.

Related links:
Installing a Dash Camera
Choosing a Dash Camera
Dash Camera with Night Vision

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

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Installing a Dash Camera (Part 1: Fuse Tap)

This tutorial video shows how to connect wires on to an EcoSport’s fuse box, such that the dash camera turns on only when the engine is running, i.e., the dash camera turns off as the engine is switched off. If done improperly, this could likely void your warranty, so be very careful in following this modification.

This modification requires basic knowledge of electronics and must be carried out only by those familiar with it. Please do it at your own risk.

To watch the video on how I installed a dash camera by tapping directly on the fusebox of an EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Dash Camera (Part I: Fuse Tap).

Related link:
Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode
Choosing a Dash Camera

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode

I have purchased a Polaroid N302 precisely for its superb night-vision capability. I have been using this dash camera with my EcoSport for more than a year now and has never had any issue with it. It captures video with time-stamp at 1080P (HD) resolution. Shown below are photos extracted from the video-recorded files, to demonstrate the difference between normal mode (colored), and night-vision mode (black and white).

Take note that these images were taken through a 3M medium dark tint.

High-end dash cameras feature what is called night vision mode. In night vision mode, the camera achieves heightened sensitivity in low-light environment by capturing not only visible light, but also infrared light (which is visible to the camera but invisible to the human eye). This is the same technology used in military-grade night-vision goggles.

To watch the video demonstrating the enhanced low-light capability of a Polaroid N302 dash camera (night vision), head directly to Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode.

Related links:
Installing a Dash Camera
Choosing a Dash Camera

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about beloved EcoSport, click here.

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Choosing a Dash Camera

In June 2017, I was involved in a minor road accident. Back then I did not have a dash camera. A week later, I had one installed.

Dash cameras are important investment and may be useful in case of accidents. I have prepared a guide on how to choose a dash camera, and identified the essential and optional features present in most dash cameras.

  1. Any dash camera should serve you well. If you have a dark or mirror-like tint, you may need a dash camera with enhanced capability, such as night vision feature found in higher-end models. In the camera that I am using, it automatically toggles to night vision mode (you will hear it mechanically change internal fiters) to accept infrared light, thus, yeilding enhanced sensitivity in low-light conditions. At daytime, it records color video, at night, it switches to infrared recording (black and white video, like a CCTV camera).

  2. A dash camera must have a decent screen, and dedicated playback buttons. You should be able to play and scan the saved video using the dash camera (no laptop required), which will come handy when settling a dispute on the road.

  3. Look for a dash camera with a dedicated microphone on/off button (for privacy reasons) and a dedicated save video button (quick-access button to save current video). Some cameras even have touch-screen functions, which is an optional feature.

  4. Some dash cameras feature GPS mapping to log  information about the vehicle’s location and speed. Wireless connectivity (like Wifi) is an optional feature, which allows live viewing of the dash camera (and playback access) through your phone.

  5. Check if the dash camera has an accident auto-save function (locks the current video when it detects vibrations). To those worried that their vehicle might get damaged while parked, some dash cameras have a parking-accident auto-record feature (just make sure to buy a dedicated power pack to avoid draining your battery, since the dash cam in park mode must be powered continuosly even when parked).

  6. A dash camera must have a built-in battery, so it could save the video the moment power is disconnected. Please note however that dash cameras with built-in batteries may suffer from premature battery degradation due to exposure to heat. Newer dash cameras are equipped with capacitors instead, which can work well without degradation, even at high temperatures.

Having a dash camera, even the cheap ones, will always be better than having no dash camera at all.

To watch the video on how I installed a dash camera in my EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Dash Camera.

Related link: Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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Yi Ultra Dashcam

The following product review is NOT sponsored by Yi. There are NO sponsored reviews nor advertisements on this website, EcoSport DIY Series.

We’ve upgraded to a newer dashcam—a Yi Ultra. Some of the notable features of this camera include (1) large video resolution of 2.7K or 2704 by 1520 pixels, (2) wifi connectivity with a smart phone for viewing and downloading files, (3) high sensitivity in low-light conditions, but no IR night-vision mode, and (4) voice-activated photo capture (takes photos by saying “Yi, take a photo”). The Yi Ultra replaces our old Polaroid N302 dash camera.

Here are sample night time and day time recordings captured with a Yi Ultra, (viewed through 3M medium dark tint).

Related link: View all posts about dash camera

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Installing a Rear View Camera

In addition to a front-facing dash camera, some car owners prefer to install a rear-facing camera. In the case of an EcoSport, this camera may be mounted on the rear door. The power supply cable of the camera may be neatly hidden behind the rear door panel, and passed through the door’s rubber connector.

rear view camera2

To watch a video on how I installed a rear view camera, head directly to Installing a Rear View Camera.

Related link:
Installing a Dash Camera
Removing EcoSport’s Rear Door Panel
View all posts about cameras

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Rear View Camera Road Test

I have installed a rear view camera (or a rear-facing camera) in our EcoSport. This camera is a Transcend DP110, which is actually a gift from one of our blog readers. The camera is mounted on the rear window.

To watch a sample video taken with this rear view camera, head directly to Rear View Camera Road Test.

Related link:
Driver’s-View Camera in an EcoSport
Roof-mounted Camera
Installing a Dash Camera
View all posts about cameras

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

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Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Polaroid N302 Dashcam Road Test

The following product review is NOT sponsored by Polaroid. There are NO sponsored reviews nor advertisements on this website, EcoSport DIY Series.

A pitch-black highway illuminated with just the headlights and fog lights presents an opportunity to test the night-vision feature of the Polaroid N302. Please note also that the video was taken through a dark tint.

Dash Camera

To watch the video demonstrating the enhanced low-light capability of a Polaroid N302 dash camera (night vision), head directly to Polaroid N302 Dashcam Road Test.

Related links:
Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode
Installing a Dash Camera
Choosing a Dash Camera

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Sample EcoSport Tutorial Videos

This page features 12 sample tutorial videos. A free subscription using a valid email address is needed for me to send you a password (and send new passwords). To subscribe and get a password, click here. Please read about our disclaimer here.

1. Replacing EcoSport’s Engine Air Filter

EcoSport’s service manual recommends engine air filter replacement every 40,000 km.  Knowing how to replace the filter will not only save you on maintenance expenses, but also enables you to inspect (or clean) filters regularly.

To replace the engine filter:
1. Remove the engine air filter’s compartment cover secured in place by four screws.
2. Lift the cover to access the filter.
3. Remove the old filter and replace it with the new one.
4. Replace the compartment’s cover and secure it in place.

2. Dashboard Switch for Opening EcoSport’s Rear Doors

A dashboard switch for opening the rear door must be used with caution. Such a switch taps directly on to the wiring harness of the door-open button at the rear door. This modification is similar to the third button modification of the remote, which enables opening of the rear door, using the remote.

3. Repairing EcoSport’s Rear Door Actuator

This video demonstrates how to repair a damaged rear door lock actuator of an EcoSport,with a low-cost (250 pesos or 5 US dollars) generic actuator. In the video, I explained how to remove the stock actuator, mount the replacement generic actuator using cable ties, connect the wires for the power supply, and attach the lock-release cable to the arm of the actuator.

4.  Opening the Rear Door with the Remote

EcoSport owners are quick to notice that the third button in its remote is left unused. A simple modification, however, will activate this unused button. This modification will enable the remote key to open the boot door.

The hack is pretty simple—just put an eraser on the hollow space under the button! The whole process will only take a few minutes, and does not require any special equipment.

5. Installing a Dash Camera

This tutorial video shows how to connect wires on to an EcoSport’s fuse box, such that the dash camera turns on only when the engine is running, i.e., the dash camera turns off as the engine is switched off. If done improperly, this could likely void your warranty, so be very careful in following this modification.

This modification requires basic knowledge of electronics and must be carried out only by those familiar with it. Please do it at your own risk.

6. Cleaning EcoSport’s Cabin Filter

Like in any other air-conditioning system, the air filter in an EcoSport needs to be replaced every once in a while.  My local dealership recommends replacing or cleaning the cabin filter every 20,000 to 30,000 km, or 1 to 2 years, depending on how often the vehicle is used and the environment it is exposed to. Cleaning of the filter is included in EcoSport’s Periodic Maintenance Schedule (PMS). A technician usually replaces the filter when it is due for replacement, but you may also opt to perform the procedure yourself.

7. Shifter Knob Button

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you would know that I am also a licensed amateur radio enthusiast (Class B: 4I1AWN). A number of modifications done in this EcoSport are geared towards improving my mobile radio setup. In this video, I have shown how I placed a press-to-talk button in the shifter knob for a hands-free operation of the radio.

8. Installing License Plates in an EcoSport

After 2 years of waiting, the license plates (or more accurately, the registration plates) of our EcoSport have finally arrived (you can check availability of plates in the LTO website).

In this video, I have discussed how I installed the front and rear license plates using a theft-deterrent type of screw called security screws. Security screws are no longer supplied with the plates, thus, must be purchased separately (you can buy 4 stainless-steel security screws complete with nut and washer for 100 pesos or 2 US dollars). Installing the plates with security screws requires some effort since you need to drill through the plastic material then place and tighten a nut on the other side.

9. Installing LTO’s RFID Sticker

We have finally received the registration plate of our EcoSport. LTO-issued plates come with a pair of stickers, one of which has an embedded RFID tag. The stickers must be installed on the windshield, behind the rear view mirror (installing one sticker on top of the other). In this video, I have shown how I installed the sticker set (one transparent and one with the RFID tag) in an EcoSport.

10. Auto Power-Off 12V Port

EcoSport’s 12V port remains on (powered) even when the engine is off. While this could be an advantage as there is no need to turn the engine on in order to charge a phone, some would prefer a 12V port that turns off automatically. In this video, I have modified the 12V port of my EcoSport (Trend MT) to disconnect power when the ignition key is in off position.

This modification requires the use of a DIY jumper.

11. Emergency Rear Door Opener

EcoSport’s rear door (boot door) does not have a manual override. If the door’s actuator fails, the rear door won’t open until repairs are made. In this video, I have demonstrated how I installed an emergency rear door open knob that you can simply pull to open the rear door.

The DIY manual override knob features the following:

1. When the vehicle is locked, the knob will be automatically disabled. If a child pulls this knob, it will not open the rear door for as long as the vehicle is locked.

2. When the engine is running and the knob is pulled, a notification ‘door open’ appears on the dashboard’s console. The rear door will open only when the vehicle is unlocked.

3. It integrates fully with the alarm system, i.e., if someone pulls this knob when the alarm is active, it will trip the alarm. But then again, with the vehicle locked, the alarm sounds off but the door will not open!

12. Removing EcoSport’s Head Unit

EcoSport’s dashboard may be upgraded with compatible head unit replacement kits, some of which offer full integration to the car’s computer system (via compatible ports) as well as viewing monitors with touch screen functionality.

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To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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caution

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)