Thinkware sell an iVolt External Battery (BAB-50) and we often get asked the advantages of having one fitted so i will try and explain.
Battery Discharge Warning
Some vehicles monitor the drain from the vehicle battery whilst the car is locked, if you have a Thinkware Camera fitted this will usually be recording in Parking Mode whilst the vehicle is locked. The vehicle may detect this extra battery discharge and then bring up a warning on the Display of the vehicle. If the vehicle is used daily then this doesn’t seem to cause any issues and the warning will go away shortly after starting the engine. If the vehicle is left for a few days you may find the Folding Mirrors / Keyless Entry and Automatic Boot Opening may not work until the engine is started again. The camera won’t flatten the vehicle battery as it shuts down when it gets to the Set Voltage (or Timer) but still this can be a small annoyance.
Vehicles fitted with Engine Stop / Start (S/S) technology will take longer than normal for the S/S to Operate every drive as S/S only works when the vehicle battery is well charged (around 85% +) so again the dash cam is using a little power when you are parked so this power has to be replenished before the S/S will operate. We mention this to potential customers where possible and i would say 9/10 really don’t mind as they always disable S/S anyway!
Enhanced Parking Recording Times
If i had a pound for every time i have been asked how long the camera will record for in parking mode from the vehicle battery i would be rich! (Well at least £40 better off!) This is a question we can’t even guess at as there are so many contributing factors. Outside temperature, the condition of the battery, how often the vehicle is driven (and what’s turned on whilst being driven) and any other faults or devices that may be draining the vehicle battery a little to name a few. Some cars will get 24hrs but i have also come across the odd car that only gets 1-2hrs!
How an iVolt works
An iVolt will help all of the above because when you turn off the vehicle it is Only the iVolt supplying power to the Dash Cam so the Vehicles battery is not being discharged in any way by the Dash Cam. The iVolt will charge from Empty to over 90% in around 45 minutes (Hard Wired Version) and around 60 minutes for the Plug & Play Version. Once full it will power a 2 Channel Thinkware Camera for 20-24hrs depending on the camera model.
Difference between the Hard Wired & Plug & Play iVolt Versions
This is down to the fitting aspect the Plug & Play version has a Cigar Plug connection so it can just be plugged in (providing your Cigar lighter is controlled by the ignition) this should not interfere with your vehicle warranty in any way. The Hard Wired version needs manually connecting to an ignition supply that can supply about 7.5 amps, this is usually done at the fusebox and often done with ‘Fuse Taps’ (aka ‘Add a fuse’) so again it isn’t being cut into vehicle wiring. I would recommend contacting your Dealer in writing to see which way they prefer from a warranty aspect.