Dashcam Viewer Manual

Dashcam Viewer Manual
Dashcam Viewer
USER’S MANUAL
v1.4.2 June 22, 2014
Welcome to Dashcam Viewer! Dashcam Viewer (DCV) is a Mac OS X and Windows application for viewing movies, GPS
data, and shock-sensor data recorded by dashboard cameras. With Dashcam Viewer
you can play your videos on the main screen while watching your vehicle’s speed,
distance, position, bearing, and shock-sensor data update on graphs, data displays, and
Google Maps. You can even export your GPS tracks to common file formats such as
comma-separated value (CSV) and GPS-exchange (GPX) for further data analysis.
Dashcam Viewer
Dashcam Viewer is compatible with the following popular dash cams:
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Mini 0801 Ambarella A2S60
Mini 0803 Ambarella
BlackVue DR400, DR500, and DR550GW-2CH
HP F210
Vicovation Vico-Marcus1 and Vico-Marcus3
Powerucc Panorama II, Panorama S
Some earlier GuardTrak dashcams
With the BlackVue, HP F210, and Vicovation models, DCV supports the extended GPS
data captured by these cameras, including vehicle altitude, HDOP, and Number of
Satellites in View. With the DR550GW-2CH, both front and rear camera views can be
displayed simultaneously in a picture-in-picture perspective. Support for these and
other camera models will evolve with new releases of DCV. Even if your dashcam is not
one of these models, you can still play your camera’s movies without the data.
Features
• Resizable main viewing screen
• Zoomable and translatable movie view
• Heads-up display of current date, time, speed, distance, position, and bearing
• Heads-up display of altitude, HDOP, and Satellites-in-View (BlackVue cameras)
• Picture-in-picture front and rear camera displays for BlackVue DR550GW-2CH
• “Real time” display of vehicle’s location on a Google Map
• Graphical displays of speed, distance, bearing, altitude, HDOP,
Satellites-in-View, and X, Y, Z shock sensor data
• Compass display of vehicle’s direction
• Weather display widget for retrieving weather conditions at the location
and date of the currently-playing movie
• Automatic transition between sequential movie files
• Variable playback speed control
• Slider controls for direct access to any movie file or any position in a movie file
• Navigation buttons to jump ahead or back by one or ten movie files
• Display of current movie file name and file size
• Drag and drop loading of movie directories
• GPS data export to CSV and GPX file formats
• Export current movie window to PNG file
• Click to reveal currently-playing movie in Finder
• Support for kph or mph units
• Support for 12/24 hour time display
• Support for timezone biasing
• Keyboard and mouse shortcuts
• Support for MP4, MOV, and AVI movies
• Controls for movie brightness and contrast (Windows version only)
• Support for internet connection via proxy server
System Requirements
• Mac version: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
• Windows version: Windows 7 or 8. Low-end PCs with low-res screens not
recommended
• Internet connection for Google Maps functionality
• 15-in or larger screen recommended
Dashcam Compatibility
Dashcam Viewer has been tested with the movie and GPS file formats produced by:
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Mini 0801 Ambarella A2S60 dashcam (firmware 20131026 tested)
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Mini 0803 Ambarella
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BlackVue DR500, DR400, DR550GW-2CH
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HP F210
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Vicovation Vico-Marcus1 and Vico-Marcus3
Powerucc Panorama II, Panorama S
With these models, DCV supports display of GPS and 3-axis shock-sensor data.
Preliminary support has been added for some GuardTrak models. As the software
evolves (and I get my hands on more camera data files), these and other models will be
fully supported
Getting Started
Running Dashcam Viewer takes just a few simple steps:
1. Be sure your dashcam’s internal clock is set to the correct time zone for your area.
DCV relies on the file creation timestamps to sync the movie to the GPS data so
this setting is important. If your camera’s time zone has not been set correctly or
if you are viewing videos and GPS data from someone outside your time zone,
the time bias can be compensated for. See the Preferences and FAQ sections
below on time zone biasing.
2. Insert your dashcam’s microSD card into a card reader attached to your Mac or PC.
3. Run Dashcam Viewer and load your files. You can load them in three ways:
a. Click the Open Movie Folder button at the top left of the toolbar (or select
Open Movie Folder from the File menu). Navigate to your microSD card’s
movie folder. For the Mini 0801 this is called “100MEDIA” on my
camera’s microSD card and houses all of the movie clips (see below). For
BlackVue cameras this folder is called “Record”. Click the Choose button.
Choosing the media folder
b. [Mini 0801 dashcam only on Mac] Drag and drop your SD card’s disk
image from the Finder on to a gray region of Dashcam Viewer’s main
window. Dashcam Viewer knows the Mini 0801’s file structure and will
load the movies and GPS data on the disk image.
c. [Other camera models] Drag and drop your SD card’s movie folder into a
gray region of the Dashcam Viewer’s main window.
4. That’s it! Dashcam Viewer will begin playing the first movie in the folder,
according to file modification date. When it reaches the end of the movie it will
jump to the next movie in the list and continue playing. It will do this until all
movies have been played.
Dashcam Viewer running under Windows 7
Dashcam Viewer Features and Controls
Main Window
1. Select movie folder
2. Export all GPS track data to CSV file
3. Export all GPS track data to GPX file
4. Export viewer contents to PNG image file
5. Arrange ancillary windows to the right of the main window
6. Re-center movie(s) in viewer frame (useful after zooming and translating movies
in the viewer)
7. Modify preferences (mph vs kph, graph min and max)
8. Current date/time and speed display
9. Current movie scrubber
10. Movie file selector
11. Reveal movie in Finder
12. Current movie filename and file size
13. Movie player controls: Skip forward/back one or ten movie files, pause/resume,
increase/decrease playback rate
14. Volume and mute controls
Dashcam Viewer Features and Controls (continued)
Data Display Window
1. Computed speed, total elapsed distance, current date/time, mph/kph toggle
2. Current vehicle direction (bearing). Click the arrows to change this widget to
weather or calendar views.
If the “Get Weather” button is clicked, DCV will attempt to retrieve the historical
weather conditions at the vehicle’s latitude/longitude (#3) for the given date
displayed (#1). DCV uses http://wunderground.com for the weather data.
3. Current vehicle position (latitude/longitude). Also, vehicle altitude, number of GPS
satellites used in geolocation, and GPS accuracy (HDOP) meter (if data available).
Note that bearing is only updated when vehicle speed is greater than 3 mph (or kph) to
avoid jitter.
Google Map View
The Google Map view displays the current position of vehicle. Standard Google Map
controls apply (zoom in/out, switch from map to satellite layers)
Dashcam Viewer Features and Controls (continued)
Graphical Data Display Windows
The Speed graph displays the
combined time-history of the
vehicle’s speed over all of the
data in the movie folder.
The Distance graph displays
the distance covered by
integrating the vehicle’s speed
over time.
The Bearing graph shows the
history of direction for the
vehicle. North is 0 or 360-deg,
East is 90-deg, South is 180-deg,
and West is 270-deg.
Dashcam Viewer Features and Controls (continued)
Graphical Data Display Windows
The G-Forces graph displays the
X, Y, and Z components of
acceleration from the dashcam’s
shock sensor. The G units vary
from manufacturer to
manufacturer so the plots should
be considered relative G-force.
The X and Y components are
horizontal force and the Z
component is vertical. The 1-g
effect of gravity is subtracted from
the Z component in the graph.
The Altitude graph displays the
elevation of the vehicle above sea
level. The altitude data is only
provided by the BlackVue series of
cameras so this graph will read 0
for the Mini 0801 and Panorama II
cameras.
The HDOP, or Horizontal Dilution
of Precision, is a measure of GPS
accuracy at the receiver. Lower
numbers are better and indicate
higher confidence in the
positional fix. Higher values
indicate a poor dispersion of
satellites in view and/or a low
number of satellites in view. This
plot applies to the BlackVue
dashcams only.
Dashcam Viewer Features and Controls (continued)
Graphical Data Display Windows
The Sats In View graph shows the
time history of available GPS
satellites in used to make the
geolocation “fix”. In general, the
more satellites in view the better
the fix (and lower the HDOP). GPS
satellites are constantly in motion
so the 7 satellites in view now may
be a different 7 in an hour or so.
Terrain and urban canyons will
block visibility to the weak GPS
signals and worsen geolocation
accuracy. Blackvue dashcam only.
Dashcam Viewer Preferences
Time Preferences:
• Time Format – choose between 12 hr and 24 hr timestamps
• Clock Bias – bias used to synchronize the embedded movie timestamp with the
displayed time. Use this setting to match the embedded movie timestamp to the
timestamp displayed by DCV. This setting does not affect the time biasing
between the movie and the GPS data. For that, use the Time Zone Offset.
• Time Zone Offset – optionally offset the timestamps by the indicated number of
hours/mins/secs. This is useful if the dashcam’s timezone is incorrectly set for
your timezone or if you are viewing movies creating by someone in a different
timezone. It is recommended that you click the “Auto Fix” button to have DCV
estimate the offset value before entering values in these fields.
• Timezone Auto-Fix – When this button is clicked DCV attempts to synchronize the
GPS data to the video by applying time bias such that the first GPS time in the
data segment matches the start time of the video. Use this button if the movie is
playing and plots are seen in the Graph windows, but the graph cursor is not
moving. The checkbox to the left of the button tells DCV to do an Auto-Fix each
time a new movie is about to play. Note that if there is no GPS data associated
with a movie the Auto-Fix button will have no effect.
General Preferences:
• Speed Units – select the units for the speed and distance displays.
• Altitude Units – select the units for the altitude graph and data display.
• Temperature Units – select the desired units for the temperature display in the
historical weather widget.
• Movie Sequencing - This setting controls the play order of the movies. “By Date” is
a better option for dashcams that write movie files in a continuous loop (i.e, new
files overwrite older files as the SD card fills up). “By Name” is a better option for
viewing a series of miscellaneous movies in a folder. Use the “By Date” setting
with the BlackVue DR550GW-2CH.
• Aspect Ratio – You can choose to have the movie fill the viewer window or
maintain its native aspect ratio. In the latter case you will see black bars filling
the unused space.
• Network Proxy Settings – If you connect to the internet via a proxy server, you can
enter the server settings here. Restart Dashcam Viewer after making changes for
them to take effect.
Plot Settings:
• Min – choose the minimum value for the plot
• Max – choose the maximum value for the plot
• Ticks – select the number of gridlines/ticks for the plot
Note: Settings are preserved from run to run of Dashcam Viewer.
Check for New Version
Check for New Version (under the Help menu) will go online to check if a newer version
of Dashcam Viewer is available. If so, clicking the bottom left button will download it to
your computer. If you are up-to-date the features in the current version will be shown.
Register Dashcam Viewer
The Register option is located under the Help menu. After purchasing the “full” version
of Dashcam Viewer from our website, you will be sent a registration code which will
remove the 15-movie limit. Registering will personalize Dashcam Viewer and your
name will appear as the registered user under the About menu.
Shortcuts
Player Window:
• When the Main Window is selected, the spacebar will start/stop the video player
and the arrow keys will jump 1 or 10 files forward or reverse as indicated above.
The P key will take a snapshot of the viewer window and save it to the Desktop.
The A,S,W,D (and 4,5,6,8) keys will translate the movie in the movie frame. The
Q and E (and 7 and 9) keys will zoom out/in of the movie. The 0 key resets the
zoom and translation to default values.
Graph Window:
• When in a graph view, the “1” and “2” keyboard keys will decrease/increase the
Max value of the plot. The “3” and “4” will decrease/increase the number of
gridlines.
Exporting GPS Data
Your vehicle’s latitude, longitude, speed, bearing, and XYZ shock sensor data for all the
tracks can be exported to a text file. Two file formats are supported: comma-separated
value (CSV) and GPS Exchange format (GPX).
Exporting to CSV
Select Export to CSV File from either the File menu or the toolbar button, give the file a
name, and choose Save. A CSV file will be produced from the GPS data and include the
following fields as columns:
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Movie filename
Date (Local)
Time (Local)
Date (UTC)
Time (UTC)
Latitude (Degrees)
Longitude (Degrees)
Speed (from Dashcam, in output units)
Distance (Computed from waypoints)
Bearing
Shock sensor X (horizontal)
Shock sensor Y (horizontal)
Shock sensor Z (vertical)
Altitude above Sea Level (BlackVue dashcam models)
GPS HDOP (BlackVue dashcam models)
Number of GPS satellites used in geolocation (BlackVue dashcam models)
CSV files can be imported into Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and other programs for
further data analysis.
Exporting to GPX
Select Export to GPX File from either the File menu or the toolbar button, give the file a
name, and choose Save.
The GPX file format is widely supported in the commercial GPS receiver market. There
are a number of interesting websites that can analyze your data. One of my favorites is
GPS Visualizer, which has a plethora of GPS data analysis tools, maps, and plots.
Vehicle’s track exported to GPX file and viewed into GPS Visualizer.
FAQ
Q: I’m seeing the message “No GPS Data for this segment” on the Graph display. What
does it mean?
A: The “No GPS Data” error message will be shown if Dashcam Viewer cannot find a
corresponding GPS log file for the currently playing movie. If this happens the speed,
latitude, longitude, etc, readouts will indicate 0. Although infrequent, this can happen
under normal dashcam operation.
Q: In the movie window the player shows my vehicle moving but my speed is indicated
as 0 mph.
Q: I see data plotted in the graphs but the cursor isn’t moving.
A: Could be a couple of things. When the dashcam unit is first powered up after being
off for a long period of time, it requires a minute or so to acquire signals from the GPS
satellites. During this time the vehicle’s latitude, longitude, and speed are unknown and
are displayed as “0” in Dashcam Viewer.
This could also happen if the dashcam’s timezone is set incorrectly. DCV relies on the
accuracy of the movie file’s timestamp to sync the movie with the GPS data. The
dashcam’s timezone should be set to the computer’s timezone. If not, the difference in
timezones should be entered in the Preferences. Use the “Auto Fix” button to
compensate for the difference.
A third possibility is that the movie’s original timestamps have been altered. This can
happen if the files were copied from the SD card to another location. In some cases the
copy process changes the file modification date. If this happens, use the “Auto Fix”
button in the Preferences window to compensate for the difference in time. To avoid
this issue, it is recommended to open the original SD card’s movie folder in DCV rather
than opening a copy of the folder on a hard drive.
Q: The Google Map shows me driving on the sidewalk. What’s up with that?
A: Could be a number of things. For starters, obscuration of the sky by buildings and
terrain can block line of sight to the GPS satellites. Fewer GPS satellites translates to
higher dilution of precision (DOP) and less positional accuracy at the dashcam. Also, the
GPS receivers and antennas in these cameras are commercial units are not designed for
high accuracy. Lastly, you may actually be driving on the sidewalk. Please watch out for
pedestrians.
Version History
Version 1.4.2 – June 22, 2014
New Features:
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Added new background image to fill the empty movie window void upon startup
Changed the wording of "kph" to "km/h" throughout program based on user
recommendation
Bug Fixes:
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Made internal improvements for dual-channel cameras (like the Blackvue
DR550GW-2CH). If the rear camera movie’s file modification date was earlier
than the front camera Dashcam Viewer would not play the rear channel.
Version 1.4.1 – May 17, 2014
New Features:
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Added support for Powerucc Panorama S dashcam
Improved compatibility with Powerucc Panorama II with newer firmware
Bug Fixes:
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Improved PNG export-to-Desktop for some users. In some cases the PNG file
was not written to the Desktop. Also, no error message was given if an export
failed. Now an error message will be displayed if the PNG export fails.
Version 1.4.0 – May 10, 2014
New Features:
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Added accelerated movie playback controls. Playback rate can now vary between
1/16x to 2x real-time.
When using the Export to PNG function, the filename of the PNG will contain both
the source movie name and the time into the movie when the image was
captured. For example: [email protected]
Tested compatibility with Mini 0803 dashcam
New application icon!
Version 1.3.5 – Apr 19, 2014
New Features:
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Added support for Vicovation Vico-Marcus1 and Vico-Marcus3 dashcams
Right and left arrow keys provide frame-by-frame movie scrubbing
Up Arrow key skips to next movie, Down Arrow key plays previous movie
Page Up goes forward 10 movies, Page Down goes back 10 movies
Double-clicking in Player window resets movie zoom/translation
Export to PNG now saves PNG file to Desktop instead of Dashcam Viewer folder
Added retina display support (beta)
Bug Fixes:
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Fixed display issue in which the graph cursor would disappear when the user
switched between graphs when the animation was paused.
Version 1.3.4 – Apr 12, 2014
New Features:
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Added support for HP F210 dashcam
Version 1.3.3 – Apr 6, 2014
New Features:
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Improved the experience of zooming into or out of a movie. Now the zoom
center point is whatever is in the middle of the movie window frame, which
makes zeroing in on such things as license plates more intuitive. Previously the
zoom center was the center of the movie (not the frame) which was not as
intuitive.
Added keyboard shortcuts for zooming and translation of the movie in the movie
frame.
Updated user manual
Version 1.3.2 – Mar 23, 2014
New Features:
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Added support for connecting to the internet via a proxy server
Added option to "Auto-Fix" timezone every time a movie is played. This autocorrects for bias' due to timezone or DST differences between movie
modification date and GPS data.
Data View window is now resizeable.
Bug Fixes:
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Fixed bug that could hide the hundred's digit in the longitude displayed in the
Data view.
Version 1.3.0 – Mar 15, 2014
New Features:
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Added support for BlackVue DR550GW dual-camera dashcam. DCV will display
both front and rear camera views in the main window. The rear view display can
be dragged anywhere on top of the front view window and can be resized using
the mouse scroll wheel.
You can now translate and zoom the movie within the movie frame using the the
mouse scroll wheel
Added Recenter Movie toolbar button. This will center the video in the in the
player window. This is useful if you have zoomed and/or translated the movie in
its frame and want to restore it.
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Added "Export to PNG" toolbar button. This will take a screenshot of the viewer
window and save it to a file in your Dashcam Viewer folder.
Added option to change aspect ratio to fill screen or preserve original aspect
ratio.
Added new Preference controls to independently set the speed, altitude, and
temperature units.
Master slider now jumps through the individual movies when scrubbing
Updated User Manual
Bug Fixes:
• Fixed bug that would crash DCV if the user attempted to scale the G-Forces graph
using keyboard shortcuts
Version 1.2.0 - Feb 23, 2014
New Features:
• Dashcam Viewer now runs on Microsoft Windows 7 and 8! See the
http://earthshinesw.com/dashcam-viewer/ website for more info.
• Added movie playback and GPS data support for Powerucc Panorama II dashcam.
Dashcam Viewer now supports the Mini 0801, BlackVue DR400, DR500, and
Powerucc Panorama II dashcams.
• Added graphical displays of shock-sensor data for Panorama II, Mini 0801, and
Blackvue DR400/500 cameras.
• Preferences: Added "auto-fix" option for correcting biases between camera
timezone setting and computer timezone setting. Try this is you see the movie
but the graph cursor is not moving.
• Preferences: Timezone offset setting is no in hrs/min/sec instead of decimal
hours.
• Added Bring All To Front option under Windows menu
• Fixed sizing of splash window.
• Updated URL to website
• Updated User Manual
Bug Fixes:
• Assorted minor bug fixes
Version 1.1.0 - Feb 8, 2014
New Features:
• Data window: Click a button to retrieve the weather conditions at the location
and time of the video capture!
• Data window: More GPS metrics are displayed for cameras that record them (like
the BlackVue DR400 and DR500). These metrics include vehicle altitude, number
of GPS satellites in used in geolocation, and GPS HDOP (horizontal dilution of
precision), a measure of GPS position accuracy at the receiver.
• Data window: Added a new Calendar widget
• Graph window: Added plot of vehicle altitude above sea level
• Graph window: Added plot of HDOP
• Graph window: Added plot of number of GPS satellites in view
• Graph window: Removed graph of Computed Speed as it was redundant with
Dashcam Speed plot
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DCV now remembers which windows were open and closed upon restart
Timezone correction and clock offset are now in units of hours (not seconds)
Registration codes are now understood even with carriage returns and spaces in
them (extra white space can be introduced when a user copies/pastes the
registration code from an email).
Bug Fixes:
• Improved "Arrange Windows" feature in cases where not all windows are visible.
There is still work to be done here.
Version 1.0.4 - Jan 26, 2014
New Features:
• Drag-and-drop support: Users can now drag their SD card's movie folder from
the Finder on to the Viewer window and the movies will start playing immediately.
Mini 0801 owners can drag and drop the SD card's disk icon from the Finder
onto DCV to load the movies and GPS data (no need to hunt for your movies
folder).
• Added button in Data View to toggle between kph/mph
• Added preliminary support for BlackVue DR500 gps data files (let me how this
works for you. I don't have one of these cameras.)
• DCV will close the data window, Graph Window, and Map Window, if a folder of
movies is loaded that has no associated GPS data
• First public release
Contact
For questions, suggestions and bug reports please email [email protected]
Thank you!
John Coggi
Earthshine Software
Disclaimer
Dashcam Viewer is supplied “as is” and all use is at your own risk. This document is not
intended to express or imply any warranty that the operation of the software will be
uninterrupted, timely, or error-free. Under no circumstances shall Earthshine Software
be liable to any user for direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary
damages, arising from or relating to this agreement, the software, or userʹs use or
misuse of the. Such limitation of liability shall apply whether the damages arise from the
use or misuse of the software or any errors of the software, etc, etc.
Special Thanks
The author would like thank “mollydog”, “DaveP”, “BrazilianGuy”, “DashcamDave”,
“kevinhill”, and “jokiin” (those are their DashCamTalk forum handles) for their support
and advice with this project.
Appendix
Note: The MINI 0801 produces a hierarchy of files on the microSD card. There should be
a folder named “gps” on the card that contains log files with the same root filename as
the movie files. If no gps folder is present, then Dashcam Viewer will not be able to
geolocate your vehicle. Please insure that your Mini 0801 dashcam is GPS-enabled and
that the dashcam has been configured to store GPS position data.
File Structure on the Mini 0801 Dashcam’s microSD card
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