Automotive

Thinkware Dashcam Draining Battery

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 9th, 2021 12:11 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jun 24, 2005
638 posts
96 upvotes
Richmond Hill

Thinkware Dashcam Draining Battery

Hi all,

I have a thinkware F70 that is hardwired.

My car battery would drain to 40% or lower overnight after charging the car battery to full. I have parking mode on the dashcam off. I even measured the current on the dashcam, and it reads zero when the engine is off. So I did a test.....I unplugged the power cable from the dashcam last night after charging the car battery. This morning the battery was at 85% and at 12.6V. I did the same test a few days ago and got the same results.

The two wires going to the switched and constant on fuses are correct because if I switch them around, the parking mode does not work, or if the parking mode is off, you do not hear the chime when the dashcam turns off....it just turns off.

Did anyone else come across this issue before? Is it a bad dashcam? I'm really stumped.
45 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
1290 posts
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Barrie, ON
Why don't use you an multimeter to figure out the draw on the Thinkware after the car is locked? To me it sounds like you've got a extremely weak battery or something else is at play here, what's the amperage draw on that camera when in parking mode? .2 amps? So let's do some math here.

Let's say your battery is 50ah, divide that by .02 and you've got 2500 hours until the battery if half full...

You've got another draw on the system if we're making the assumption that you were at 100% lastnight and you woke up and it's now at 85%....
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 24, 2005
638 posts
96 upvotes
Richmond Hill
I did put a multimeter in series with the constant fuse and found it to be 0.12A with the dashcam on continuous recording. When it shuts off, the reading is at zero. I didn't take a reading with parking mode on as I'm trying to find the problem with it even when it's off.
Maybe big brother is turning on my dashcam at night?

I don't know what the other draw (besides factory radio and car key detection) would be as I don't have any other aftermarket accessories. The battery is almost 4 years old, but short trips were made on this car during the last year and especially this year.

BTW, I took another reading just now. Still at 12.6V and 85%.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
rngun wrote: The battery is almost 4 years old, but short trips were made on this car during the last year and especially this year.
I think that’s OP’s real problem.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
rngun wrote: I did put a multimeter in series with the constant fuse and found it to be 0.12A with the dashcam on continuous recording. When it shuts off, the reading is at zero. I didn't take a reading with parking mode on as I'm trying to find the problem with it even when it's off.
Maybe big brother is turning on my dashcam at night?

I don't know what the other draw (besides factory radio and car key detection) would be as I don't have any other aftermarket accessories. The battery is almost 4 years old, but short trips were made on this car during the last year and especially this year.

BTW, I took another reading just now. Still at 12.6V and 85%.
Perhaps the camera battery is failing and I wonder if there's extra power draw trying to charge/maintain the camera battery overnight?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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engineered wrote: Perhaps the camera battery is failing and I wonder if there's extra power draw trying to charge/maintain the camera battery overnight?
From quick googling, sounds like it's capacitor instead of battery.

One should stay away from battery based dashcam anyway due to extreme temp on dash.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
engineered wrote: Perhaps the camera battery is failing and I wonder if there's extra power draw trying to charge/maintain the camera battery overnight?
Xtrema wrote: From quick googling, sounds like it's capacitor instead of battery.

One should stay away from battery based dashcam anyway due to extreme temp on dash.
Thinkware F70 doesn't have a built in battery it uses a capacitor. OP is using the car's battery.

My guess would be either incorrect install or car's battery is likely at the end of life and dashcam strain is just the straw that's breaking the camels back.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Xtrema wrote: From quick googling, sounds like it's capacitor instead of battery.

One should stay away from battery based dashcam anyway due to extreme temp on dash.
It's possible the capacitor could be drawing excessive power.

Capacitor is nice, but I've been using cheap battery based cameras for 15+ years with no problem. Eventually they die, but battery isn't critical to me as I don't use parking mode, and if I did it would be short so I'd use the car battery.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jun 24, 2005
638 posts
96 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Ecsta wrote: Thinkware F70 doesn't have a built in battery it uses a capacitor. OP is using the car's battery.

My guess would be either incorrect install or car's battery is likely at the end of life and dashcam strain is just the straw that's breaking the camels back.
But I have the parking mode turned to OFF at the moment and it's still draining the battery.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 24, 2005
638 posts
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Richmond Hill
mrweather wrote: I think that’s OP’s real problem.
I do charge the battery every 2 or 3 weeks
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
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rngun wrote: I do charge the battery every 2 or 3 weeks
Get the battery tested.

Yes, I realize that you are measuring the voltage and using that reading to equate to some approx. of what the condition of the battery is. Unfortunately, voltage is not a true indication of the absolute condition of the battery... it's a relative one. The voltage at no-load will give you an approximation of how full the battery is at its current available capacity NOT the original capacity.

For example, I could have two identical 50 Ah batteries that have been charged fully and read the same voltage but one is brand new and the other has been abused. Since both read the same voltage after fully charging them and letting them sit overnight, one would assume that they hold the same amount of charge. While it is possible, it's probably not plausible. The brand new battery probably holds a bit more than 50 Ah while the abused battery may hold substantially fewer Ah however both would be considered full relative to the current capacity of the battery due to their condition.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2006
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Woodbridge
Not that I've had problems but after a few months I got my first dash cam for my CivicX (BlackVue 650 2CH), I didn't see the point of having it on all night on my driveway. Besides we have Rogers Home Monitoring.

I got the ThinkWare Q100 for my Q3P and I turn it off when I get home.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
THE NEWSROOM (HBO)
Sr. Member
Oct 10, 2020
566 posts
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rngun wrote: I did put a multimeter in series with the constant fuse and found it to be 0.12A with the dashcam on continuous recording. When it shuts off, the reading is at zero. I didn't take a reading with parking mode on as I'm trying to find the problem with it even when it's off.
Maybe big brother is turning on my dashcam at night?

I don't know what the other draw (besides factory radio and car key detection) would be as I don't have any other aftermarket accessories. The battery is almost 4 years old, but short trips were made on this car during the last year and especially this year.

BTW, I took another reading just now. Still at 12.6V and 85%.

Why do you still insist the problem is with the dashcam (at least directly)? The dashcam would have to use at least 1 amp ( 2 amps @ 5v) for 15 hours to reduce a 4 year-old battery's capacity by 40%. That dashcam should get extremely hot and possibly set on fire.
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
637 posts
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why don't you unplug the camera for a day to see if the problem goes away?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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rngun wrote: But I have the parking mode turned to OFF at the moment and it's still draining the battery.
If you are using parking mode, isn't there a voltage cut off circuit in place so it shouldn't be an issue?

If not, why not?

Also, are there different parking modes/options with this dash cam where it may drain less?

Are you parking in a private garage or public places that you need parking mode on at all?

https://www.thedashcamstore.com/content ... h%20US.pdf
You may want to check out section 5.3.6-5.3.8.

If all those settings are on, and cam still turn off on you, your battery is just too weak.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
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Calgary/Vancouver
Jigsaw wrote: why don't you unplug the camera for a day to see if the problem goes away?
Try this. I have a feeling it may not be the camera. I also have a Thinkware cam but use a backup battery for parking mode.

I find if you let the car sit and the battery drains 5-10 times, your battery is pretty much dead and require replacing.

I use Thinkware's own brand, iVolt Mini. Never had a battery issue since.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
1290 posts
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Barrie, ON
Jigsaw wrote: why don't you unplug the camera for a day to see if the problem goes away?
He did, the battery still dropped 15% overnight. Dash cam isn't the problem.
Deal Fanatic
May 22, 2003
6167 posts
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Vancouver
If parking mode is disabled, dashcam should not be draining battery when car is off, correct? I'm getting a Thinkware U1000 installed but will be disabling parking mode unless parked at a mall, since I drive so little it would kill my battery (I already have home security video cameras at my house)
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
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GTA
rngun wrote: I did put a multimeter in series with the constant fuse and found it to be 0.12A with the dashcam on continuous recording. When it shuts off, the reading is at zero...
Okay. Now put the multimeter in series with the negative battery terminal and the negative battery cable with the key off. This will tell you the parasitic draw of the ENTIRE vehicle and all its circuits. Should be less than 0.1A.

If it's significantly above, you need to find the draw.
If it's below, you probably need to replace the battery.
Last edited by derass on Dec 8th, 2020 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Sep 3, 2005
3160 posts
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Vaughan
rngun wrote: The two wires going to the switched and constant on fuses are correct because if I switch them around, the parking mode does not work, or if the parking mode is off, you do not hear the chime when the dashcam turns off....it just turns off.
Have you tried leaving it like this, and see if it still drains the battery? Or just hook up both constant and switched both to a switched fuse.
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