car security camera suggestions - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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car security camera suggestions

I live in a college town where towing is extreme. Just a second ago I saw a wrecker take under a minute to snatch up and tow a lexus with the drive wheels on the ground. It seems like the airmatic on my 220 would be very susceptible to damage from towing.

It occurred to me that installing a security camera would help me in suing the wrecker for damages if it came down to it. More importantly, having and advertising that it's there might cause a wrecker to be careful. Does anybody have experience putting in something like this and could make recommendations?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 11:39 PM
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In another words you are asking how to break the law more efficiently?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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I enjoy using the legal system to get back at people who screw me. Signs in wrecker offices that say "not liable for damages" are incorrect. Under Florida law they are very much liable. If I sue them for 4 grand and win the guy who tows my car will probably be fired. His children will go hungry and his wife will divorce him. I will then laugh. This is my dream.

However, without some way to prove the car was towed improperly the trip to small claims court will be tricky.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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But no, I'm too scared to park my baby improperly in Tallahassee. Getting towed even when the car is parked legally is a plausible scenario here.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:19 AM
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Technical aspect with today's technology is easy.
Go on google and type "Russian dash cameras" and you will find lot of hits how to install one on the dash.
Than you might install another under the car to show how the tow truck driver is handling the hookup.
But frankly I would worry more about being towed while parked legally more, than potential damage to the car. The second can be relatively easy proved without cameras.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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The Russian dash cams are actually what got me thinking about this! I was hoping to have a Mercedes quality look to the end product though. Also, the 220 does not have cig lighters on hot circuits, all have no power while the car is off. So I either need something with a long life lithium ion battery or need to power it with a hot circuit.

The issue of being towed while parked legally is not a big worry. Thats a matter of 80 bucks. If the front axle airmatic struts deflate and the bumper cover is ripped off or the tranny is destroyed or the tear something up trying to break in that's in the thousands.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 10:38 AM
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The Russian dash cams are actually what got me thinking about this! I was hoping to have a Mercedes quality look to the end product though.
I recently got myself a (Chinese) dash cam simply for my amusement for less than 20 USD. With a 32 GB SD memory card I can save over 4 hours of driving video. The quality is not brilliant though - especially when moving in/out of shadow, the optics struggle to get the exposure right. If you spend enough, I'm sure you would get much better results. Also it can be powered by an external battery.

As for protection against theft - if the car is towed, so is the camera!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 02:30 PM
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$299 buys you a system with 4 cameras and memory for 2500 hours.
DVR Security System w/ 4 Surveillance Cameras
Small inverter will power it from car battery although installing 2nd battery might be recommended.
It says you can monitor it from your phone, but it might require land line.
Lot of owners parking in problematic areas just buy 2nd car as a beater and keep the good one for church and vacations.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Is the camera limited by SD card space or battery, keyhole? I only need low quality video. But it would need to run for at least 24 hours to be viable. Some of the Chinese ones I saw were motion activated. Can you speak to how well that works?

As to theft, to get a security system that would cover that would require a dedicated data plan for the car and a second battery or really boss photovoltiac recharging setup. Not trying to spend more than a few hundred bucks.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 06:44 PM
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Is the camera limited by SD card space or battery, keyhole? I only need low quality video. But it would need to run for at least 24 hours to be viable. Some of the Chinese ones I saw were motion activated. Can you speak to how well that works?
You can use an SD card with as much memory as you like. The memory card was not supplied. I was advised to get a Class 10 45MB/s version for best reproduction. The battery is BL-4C - I'm not sure how much unpowered recording that gives, as I always plug mine into the AUX power socket. It is claimed to be motion activated but again I'm not too sure if that works. The instructions are in 'Chinglish', so I have managed only the basic operations....

I pop the memory card into my laptop for playback. There is sound also, so my rants at the traffic are recorded...

This is what it looks like, and it also has a bracket with a rubber sucker for attachment to the glass on the inside of the front windscreen. The flip-down screen rotates to face the other way.
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