The Thinkware F50 is our favourite entry level parking device in 2016, it has a small size and a very minimalist design. Unfortunately, because it doesn't have a screen, very many buttons, or a WiFi app, the initial setup requires the use of a computer. We recommend doing the setup with a laptop in the vehicle as the time settings will be the most accurate this way. Here is a step-by-step guide to initially setup your Thinkware F50 on a Windows computer:
Step 1: Power on the Device
To access the settings on the Thinkware F50, you need to initialize the SD card by powering on the unit with the memory card inside. This will load the files onto the card which can be accessed from your computer. You do not need to use the original 8GB SD card for this but if you are using a different SD card, we recommend formatting it in the camera by holding down the record button on the left side for about 5 seconds.
Step 2: Plug the Micro SD card into your Computer
The Thinkware F50 comes with a Micro SD to SD adapter, most newer laptops will have a built-in SD card reader so this will be fairly straight forward. Make sure the "lock" is not set on the SD adapter otherwise you won't be able to modify the settings file. If your computer doesn't have an SD card reader, you would need to buy a USB card reader
Step 3: Open the Settings Program on the Memory Card
Once you've plugged the SD card into the computer, you need to open the program titled "F50_Setting.exe". It's located in the "SETTING" folder from the root of the SD card. Make sure to allow this app to make changes to your device.
Step 4: Go to the System Settings Tab
In the F50 Settings app, go into the system settings tab to access the time and time zone settings. The time zone settings will be important for those that have the external GPS module. To set the time, check the arrow under "Date/Time" and then click "Get current time" which will sync it with your computer's clock. After that, click "Save" on the bottom right, you should see that the program added a file called "time.dat" on the SD card under the "SETTING" folder.
Step 5: Power your Dash Cam back on with the SD Card Inserted
Put the SD card back in the camera and power it on again, the time will now be set. It's important to do this as soon as possible after changing the setting on your computer, otherwise the time will be quite out of sync. You can verify the time by watching recorded videos to see if it's close to the correct time of when the video was recorded.
While you're setting up the time, we recommend configuring other settings on your F50 as well.
- Memory card settings: We recommend choosing partition "C Type" for those that want to use the parking mode feature of the F50. The default "A Type" is not sufficient for motion detection and parking incidents.
- Record Settings 1: You can configure the impact sensitivity based on your car, if you find that it's beeping quite frequently while driving, turn it down. Make sure to enable parking mode if you are hardwiring your camera for parking mode.
- Record Settings 2: Here you can set how sensitive the motion detection is, note that the camera is much more sensitive when it's bright out versus in a dark area, so don't overcompensate one way or the other. You can also set your cutoff voltage and timer settings here. We recommend experimenting with 12.0-12.2V to see what kind of recording times you get, if more time is needed and your car starts up properly, you can set the cutoff voltage lower. If you are going to park the car for more than 2 days, we recommend unplugging the camera.
- Record Settings 3: Here you can set the Parking Mode to On/Off, by default the Thinkware F50's parking is turned off. You would have to go into the internal settings here to turn this function on. *Please note that by turning this function on, you should check your cutoff settings as well to ensure your vehicle will startup again*
- Other System Settings: These will only apply if you have the external GPS antenna. Speed stamp will let you choose whether or not to display speed in the video and the road safety warnings are the red light camera/speed camera warnings.