One of our local customers had been running the Blackvue DR650GW-1CH single channel dashcam in his car for about 6 months with the Power Magic Pro but was disappointed by the parking mode performance on his car. He noticed a small crack in his front bumper recently and to his surprise there was no footage of anyone hitting his car because the camera shut down after just an hour of being parked. While all the hardware in his car was working properly and the Power Magic Pro appropriately cutoff the power so that he could start his car back up when he got back in, the actual recording capabilities were ultimately limited by the battery of the car.
Compact lightweight battery of a 2000 Mazda MX-5 Miata
This is one of our most frequently asked questions as everyone wants to know how much recording time they can get out of their dashcam paired with the Power Magic Pro, and the simple answer is there's no real way to know. There are far too many variables such as the battery age/condition, battery capacity, and if anything else is causing a drain on the car's battery when parked. With our customer's Mazda Miata, the battery is located in the trunk of the car for better weight distribution in a high performance environment and the overall battery size is quite small to keep weight down as well. Local Miata owners have reported parking mode recording times ranging between half an hour to five hours depending on their battery condition and which dashcam they're running. With that in mind, if the car is parked outside overnight or while the driver is at work, the five hour recording time may be insufficient in protecting the vehicle. In contrast, heavy duty pickup trucks have huge batteries, occasionally two large batteries, and those owners have reported recording times well above 24 hours.
A pair of local Miatas running the Cellink B battery pack
Owners of small sports cars such as the Mazda Miata/MX-5, Honda S2000, Scion FRS/Subaru BRZ, and Lotus Elise are particularly vulnerable to hit and runs due to the low front ends which are prone to being backed into by careless drivers. A parking mode dashcam can be invaluable in these situations as they can save the owner a significant deductible or repair cost. In the case of the Lotus Elise/Exige a new front bumper/clam can cost upwards of $5000 due to the limited availability and size of that particular body panel. With a dashcam, the insurance company or the driver can go after the driver responsible for the damage and cover the cost of repairs but they do need to be powered on in order to protect the vehicle. With a Power Magic Pro and a battery that has dropped below the cutoff voltage, the dashcam becomes merely a paperweight which is what happened in the case of our customer's Miata.
Frustrated, our customer came to us for advice regarding how he could better protect his car in these cases. Even with a fairly new car battery, the dashcam struggled to record for more than 4 hours due to the small size and if left parked for more than 3 or 4 days it would have trouble starting up. Without skipping a beat we recommended the Cellink Battery B (with Mini Add-A-Fuse). With the Cellink not only did he not have to worry about starting up the vehicle (which is his daily driver) but on his 1-channel dashcam he could record for over 24 hours, even though about 12-15 hours would be sufficient. He expressed concerns about the size of the battery and weight but after we showed him how easy it would be to fit under/behind the seat and that it would only add about 2-3 pounds low down in his vehicle he knew that there wouldn't be any real effect on the performance. By keeping the battery under the driver's seat the center of gravity remains low and the weight distribution isn't affected either as the weight is pretty much in the middle.
Unfortunately the cars that are most vulnerable to impacts while parked also tend to have the smallest/weakest batteries for traditional hardwiring kits. The Cellink B is the only consistent way to guarantee sufficient parking mode recording with these dashcams and to avoid premature cutoffs. Not only that but the added benefit that there's no additional battery drain when the car is off is perfect for those weekend/special occasion cars.
For the Cellink Battery B, click here