Dashboard cameras have drastically grown in popularity ever since a video of a meteor falling through the sky in Russia went viral last February. While you may never catch a glimpse of a meteor, these cameras can be great for proving fault in an auto accident, or even making sure your teen is driving safely.
You can purchase a dedicated dash cam for under $100, but the video quality isn’t great and you can’t easily use the camera for anything else. Instead, the GoPro Hero 3 is a small, slightly more expensive HD camera that can go nearly anywhere, including the dashboard of your car.
With some slight modifications, the GoPro Hero 3 quickly becomes a trusty, high-quality dash cam. Here’s what you’ll need:
- GoPro Hero 3
- GoPro suction mount
- USB charging cable
- USB car charger
- Power drill
First, remove the GoPro from its plastic housing and drill a hole into the side where the USB input is located. This will allow you to plug your GoPro in and charge it while you drive. Just don’t expect the housing to remain waterproof after you’ve put a hole through it.
Next, suction mount your GoPro to your windshield. For the best angle of the road, you may have to mount the camera upside down. GoPro offers an in-camera option to flip the image, or you can rotate it using the software that comes packaged with the camera.
Finally, plug one end of the USB cable into the GoPro and the other into your vehicle’s 12-Volt outlet via a USB car charger adapter.
Once you have your GoPro set up, simply turn on the loop recording feature. That’s the key of the recording process.
Loop recording is a new feature and is kind of mysterious at a first glance. If you set it for, say, 20 minutes you’ll always be able to stop the camera and have at least the previous 20 minutes recorded.
The way it works is by actually splitting the 20 minute duration by 4, and keeps 5 sets of these clips on the SD card at any given time. 4 of the 5 clips are 5 minutes in length (20/4) which equals the full 20 minutes, the 5th is the current one recording (until it hits 5 minutes). So if you stop after 44 minutes you’ll have 4 clips each 5 minutes long and one clip 4 minutes long. This is why I say you’ll always have at least 20 minutes (or whatever duration you set).
Now you can capture everything that goes on in front of your vehicle. And even if you don’t end up with a video of a meteor falling from the sky, you can always speed up your footage and make a cool time lapse of your favorite driving route.
In case crash happens and your cam got damaged your footage could be repaired using MP4repair.org services. Drive safely!