Car Cam: One week left! Who's returning it?

I feel like I’ve given this device a fair shot and today I got my one week warning message from Ring that my trial will be expiring soon. Honestly, I expected more from Ring, not only in this product, but in the aftermarket support. This product launch was a mess in my opinion and the “solutions” that have been given on this forum and over the phone for the issues I’ve and others have reported are not acceptable. If there aren’t any updates or return window extensions by midweek, my car cam will be going back. Is anyone else planning to return their units as well?

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Yes, I’ve had enough… Although I found some interesting facts through my experiments that I do like. One major thing is the super-capacitor in the stem keeps the cam alive long enough to transfer inside + outside video to the cloud -via- LTE for 3-4 seconds if the cam is ripped off the dash. This is repeatable and is for the smash and grab type event. (I only checked this while the CAM has both Wi-Fi and LTE connections though). It DOES need to be triggered by an event before power disconnection though. If power is cut prior to an event trigger, you get nothing other than a ‘lost connection’ video start, black screen.

I also confirmed the operating voltage hysteresis is 12.20V - 12.80V and the blue LED on the OBD-II connector starts blinking when it trips the lower voltage point (12.20). It continues to blink (and prepares for shutdown) until the voltage trips the higher (12.80V) trigger point, at which point the blue LED stops blinking and shut-down is aborted. Ring really needs to move the lower point down to 12.00-12.05V to satisfy a larger application base.

Another BIG think I discovered is the Ring’s ability to run on ONLY a 12V supply. As far as I can see, even though there is a CAN-BUS interface, the Ring Cortex is not asking for anything from it. Maybe they monitor it - but it’s nearly impossible to ‘see’ what the Cortex is forwarding to the cam itself. But I’ve not had any captured requests (Trigger on oscilloscope) from the Cortex to the CAN-BUS. It’s continually flat-lined. AND the Ring seems to works flawlessly without the CAN-BUS connection! So this opens opportunity to external power - for anyone with a data-harvesting concern (me included). And no, it can’t be powered from the USB-C because they use an ARM Cortex microprocessor (DA14586) in the OBD-II plug. Yes, there’s a TON of stuff in that plug!

I ordered the new top-end BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE that was just released a week ago. That along with the B-130X should do a much better job. Although it’s in a completely different league, it should do everything the Ring can do (hopefully) and give me 27hours of 1+1 fps parking mode. It also can be set for motion with pre-roll video PRIOR to the event. To me, this is another downside of the Ring.

I’ll probably keep checking back here to see if Ring releases a firmware update - or extends the return window. I think that’s the LEAST they can do… give us all 90 days more… to help them through their woes. Good luck to all!

Unfortunately I am returning my Ring Car Cam as it interferes with my car’s app (Mercedes Me Connect). I was getting erroneous messages that my car door was unlocked and open. Checked to find that was not the case.
My biggest disappointment was that one major feature I expected from the Car Cam was the ability to capture video when the car was parked and not turned on. My camera kept turning off to conserve energy. I was looking forward to using this camera but it has fallen short of my expectations - especially the app interference.

I spent over an hour with a very friendly and helpful rep trying to see if they would be willing to extend the return window another 30 days to give Ring a chance to fix some of the issues. He was communicating with 3 supervisors and none were willing or able to authorize that. He did extend the Ring Protect Go another 30 days, but I told him if there are not changes in the next couple days to the firmware, I will be returning it by the end of the week. It blows my mind that this company is willing to accept so many return before they even have a chance to possibly fix some things. It just shows that even big companies like this have forgotten what good customer service is.

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Totally agree, Mark.

I suspect they’re not coding f/w updates (understandably) and need time to have the CM make the changes. Sounds like they will need to run any requests through Legal (liability release) as well before any change would be released. I know that takes time… I wouldn’t expect an update for another month or two. But they could surprise me.

At <40mA draw in ‘protect mode’, I think the value of having justifies the cost. I’ll hook it to a lithium phosphate under the seat and eliminate the shutdown. And at ~10% of the draw as the DR970X (350-500mA) I should be able to keep the Ring running a full WEEK- just on the battery. That’s my biggest gripe here - shutting off at 12.20Vdc and leaving my 60k vehicle sitting, unmonitored.

How are you able to connect it to another external battery? What is your setup to do that?

I posted an answer on Amazon that the cam only connects to 4 pins of the ODB-II (Pin16 = Constant Power, Pin4 = Ground, Pin6 = CAN+, Pin14 = CAN-) even though all 16 pins are there. You can always search OBD-II Pinout to get definitions on each pin and its location in the connector.

I bought a M->F extension that I cut into for my experiments. But I have one on these on the way: (search Amazon for b2a15335188). It’s a OBD-II Female to cigarette lighter plug. I think that will work fine. I’ll cut the end off and wire it to the battery output. It only connects +12V and ground - no CAN-BUS connection :slightly_smiling_face: so no possible data harvesting :+1:

BTW… I forgot to mention that the applied voltage needs to be > 12.80V for the cam to turn on when powered. That’s why we have to start the vehicle and wait a few seconds to get the cam turned back on.

Hope that helps. There are other alternatives too, like voltage booster which side-steps the Ring cam’s battery monitor/shutdown circuits. (Search for B089M5KYZM). You’ll need something with 13.8V output and a fairly wide input range (10-20V or so, min). The Ring draws <500mA (0.500Amp), so there’s a lot of options including (B082XQC2DS) if you’re comfortable doing things like that.

Yes, it all probably voids the warranty. But how are the going to tell, anyway :wink:

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I decided today to throw in the towel and called Ring to initiate a return. Not only am I disappointed with this product, but I’m also unhappy that in the month that we’ve had it, none of the issues we’ve experienced have been fixed with any sort of firmware, backend or software updates. I love all of my other Ring products, but this one feels like a beta product to me. Maybe version 2 of the Car Cam, if one comes out, will be better.