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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Reviewed: Roadhawk DC-1 Black Box GPS Camera Drive Recorder
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Reviewed: Roadhawk DC-1 Black Box GPS Camera Drive Recorder
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reviewed: Roadhawk DC-1 Black Box GPS Camera Drive Recorder Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.com
It's been two years since we first reviewed a drive recorder, Roadhawk's RH-1 Black Box GPS Drive Recorder. It set the standard for value and features and in the intervening time nothing has come to market that offered anything better at a similar price.

That it was one of the most read reviews on our site at the time reflects the interest that exists in black box recorder technology and, if anything, the case for these devices has only grown stronger over time. Massive hikes in the costs of insuring a vehicle, the rising numbers of uninsured and unlicensed drivers and the difficulty in apportioning blame when there are no independent witnesses to an accident mean that anything a motorist can do to protect themselves, their car and their driving record can only be a good thing.

Read our full review here.
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does it constantly record and save, say, the most recent 30 seconds so if you did press the 'emergency' button slightly too late it would still have up to 30 seconds footage from before you pressed it?

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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's constantly recording. So long as you copy the files off the device before it loops round (6hrs worth od driving for the supplied card) then there is no need to do anything.

The benefit of the button is it marks that file 'Do Not Overwrite'. Think of it like a car equivalent of a PVR.

The files are written in minute long segments.
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boblister
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wondering if this device could also be useful for contributing to the safety camera database. Press the button after passing a location and review the file later with the supplied software which I presume would allow an accurate submission.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed it would and you could use the Emergency button to save the files that had speed camera passes.
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petrolhead276
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Could have done with this on my wife's car today if it will detect idiots driving into car whilst parked in a car park unattended who then just drive away. Mr manufacturer if you are reading this then here's a simple product enhancement for you, albeit you might need to include fish eye lens for front & back to get an all around viewpoint.

parked at 07:15 back at car at 15:45 thus 8.5 hours had lapsed.

With a 6hr video spool, it could have missed the incident, although it looks like it occured in the afternoon from what people moving around the car park have stated.


Last edited by petrolhead276 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:02 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I touched upon in the review, the DC-1 has a 'parking mode' option but t will still only cover the front.

However they do have another unit that has cameras that face forwards and back which may have a wide enough angle of view to cope.
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, 'parking mode' i presumed meant you could put it in your back window, feed it through to a video monitor and help you park... i DID think that was a bit of messing around to help you park...

re speed cameras - we have a taxi driver(?) member who has a similar device who, when he sees a new mobile van, will send us a screenshot of the van in use along with the coords and map etc. it's very helpful Smile

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TieJustice
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: DC1??? Reply with quote

WORKS the same as the RH1 same bad picture so its no good at license plates or face's of bad drivers you will have a hard time proving it in a hit and run.

was hoping after 2 years that the quality of the picture would at lest be able to read a license plat that is 1 car length away but still no, so don't count on it in a hit and run.

it's is good at showing who is to blame if the others party stays around but remember this also has your info on it to, so say you are a bit of a led foot it will show this up, very cool if you are like me a driving instructor keeping to the speed limits at all times and very good for the bumper hungers as i have 2 units front and back.

i would go for a 16 gig min memory card of high quality to start as the 4 gig is just a wast.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: DC1??? Reply with quote

TieJustice wrote:
WORKS the same as the RH1 same bad picture so its no good at license plates or face's of bad drivers you will have a hard time proving it in a hit and run.

was hoping after 2 years that the quality of the picture would at lest be able to read a license plat that is 1 car length away but still no, so don't count on it in a hit and run.

I'd argue that point. Whilst a Hit'n'Run is a very unique example, the evidence from the camera is still useful and I have example video where the number plates are readable at a car length or more.

For higher quality you're looking at HD which will consume memory card space at a rate of knots and would prove impractical for most purposes.

But even if the whole plate isn't, a partial will assist the Police trace when they have make, model and colour.
Quote:
i would go for a 16 gig min memory card of high quality to start as the 4 gig is just a wast.

That depends. You would surely know when you had captured an event that you wished to save? In that case you could copy it off. Otherwise, for most people, six hours of video is more than enough.
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petrolhead276
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See update to my original post. time vehicle was left unattened in car park was 8.5 Hours.

I might just drop the manufacturer a mail suggesting they are missing an opportunity here.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petrolhead276 wrote:
See update to my original post. time vehicle was left unattened in car park was 8.5 Hours.

I might just drop the manufacturer a mail suggesting they are missing an opportunity here.

No, it can cover that. You can set it to continuous record or to trigger on G-force sensor only.

So you could either install a larger memory card and set it to record continuously or you could have it set to trigger on a bump only. In which case the supplied card is plenty.
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telematicsman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the attitude of Police and insurance companies to these products? I have seen incidences in the past where police were completely indifferent to photos and videos from the public and where it was argued that the material was 'not of evidential quality'

In principle its a good idea, particularly if you are travelling alone (80% of journeys!) and do not have a handy witness travelling with you but not if the police or insurance won't accept the evidence.

I have dealt with insurance companies, large on-line or by phone isurers who send you a courtsey car and fix yours in a week but don't accept Email or protest they have no means to view your files- not just small outfits. There are also 54 Police constabularies each with a different policy on this sort of evidence and different levels of computer understanding & capability. Thats before you start with the CPS...

Its a great idea in principle but probably a Thatcham Q approval or similar is needed to overcome the insurance hurdles. The police probably need a policy from ACPO similar to those that exist for speed cameras and the ANPR network.

It would be interesting if anyone has direct experience of trying to use these devices in a real situation and useful to share it with us.
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mostdom
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

telematicsman wrote:
What is the attitude of Police and insurance companies to these products? I have seen incidences in the past where police were completely indifferent to photos and videos from the public and where it was argued that the material was 'not of evidential quality'


American insurance companies have taken it on board sadly my insurace company only wanted to add it onto the policy as a risk not a benifit. Sad
But there are a few that will consider it on your premiums.

Police will always take cctv regardless of quality, it's the lawyers that create the problems. However it does make a difference if you are right next to the action as opposed to 50 odd meters away. Evidence is evidence.

@Darren.

I do have an issue with the parking feature as it won't stay set. No good if you use valet parking of use it when the car is in for servicing. As soon as the car is driven away after setting it will unset and remain unset, eating up all the memory card space. I gave up with mine and re wired it to the ignition.
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peterc10
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are different rules for evidence between criminal and civil proceedings, and you need to reach a different level of proof. Criminal is "beyond reasonable doubt" and civil is "on the balance of probabilities", i.e. more likely than not.

Police only ever deal with criminal standard. Dealing with your insurance company, and wanting to sue the other driver you use the civil standard. You can certainly use this as evidence for civil proceedings. Of course the other side can try to discredit it, for example suggesting you doctored it, as they can with any evidence. But you can use it and it up to the judge how much weight he gives it.
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