Wednesday, March 21, 2018

High endurance microSD card suitable for use in car dashcam

If you have a car dashcam, you will need to install a microSD card in it to store its video recording and emergency photo taking.

Even though certain dashcams come with some amount of internal memory, the storage capacity of this internal memory just won't be enough, and you probably would not like to give your whole dashcam (instead of the microSD card only) as evidence for investigation in case it really captured some critical event that happened to your car.

Most people found that the microSD card installed in their dashcam is unable to last long and will be unusable within a few months of usage. Most memory card manufacturers also exclude warranty if they found out the memory card is used in dashcam. Why? Because ordinary memory cards are not designed to be used in tough working conditions in your dashcam.

What kind of tough working conditions for the memory card to work in your dashcam, which installed right behind your car windscreen?

  • It will need to be able to endure the sunlight heat entering and developed in the car. At noon, when your car is parked in uncovered place, its cabin temperature can easily go above 35 degree Celsius (if you installed good window tint with high TSER value) , and can possibly go beyond 65 degree Celsius if your car is non-tinted and stays for long hours under hot sunlight.
  • It will need to have high number of rewrite cycles for its lifespan. As you might aware, the electronic storage cells in the memory card has limited times of data rewrite. That is also the reason whereby disk defragmenting is highly discouraged for SSD hard disk as massive data rewrite will shorten its lifespan. Whenever your dashcam is working, it will keep on recording videos into your microSD card. If you are recording 1080p videos, it just takes a few hours to completely used up a 32 GB microSD card. When the microSD card is used up, older videos will be overwritten by new records, and the rewriting will occur.

Other than the above 2 essential conditions, the memory card used in your dashcam should also meet the following conditions:
  • Shock and vibration proof - if it got damaged while writing data during accident shock, you will have difficulty retrieving what it had recorded.
  • Water proof - what if the accident caused it to immerse in water?
  • Class 10 - this is the minimum read/write speed required to smoothly record 1080p full HD video.

By the way, certain memory card manufacturers also include the following conditions, which I consider as "marketing gimmick" as it should be true for all flash memory cards:
  • Magnetic proof - metal detector used for security scanning could induce magnetic field. Don't worry, only magnetic hard disk will be endangered by magnet. Flash memory should immune to magnet by nature. So, nothing to shout about.
  • X-ray proof - x-ray is used for security scanning in airports. Flash memory should immune to X-ray as well. Nothing to shout about either.

Therefore, you need high endurance microSD card that can fulfil all of the above conditions to work in your car dashcam, to last for at least 24 months of operations, or a minimum of 5,000 hours of continuous 1080p full HD video recording.

The high endurance microSD card should have an operating temperature range of around -25ºC to 85 ºC and storage temperature range of around -40ºC to 85ºC.

Some of the available high endurance microSD cards in the market include:
  • Sandisk high endurance video monitoring card
  • Transcend high endurance MLC microSD card
  • Silicon Power high endurance MLC microSD card
  • Kingston Industrial Temperature microSD UHS-I
  • Adata Premier Pro microSD UHS-I
The price of this kind of high endurance microSD card is much higher than ordinary microSD card. Among them, Sandisk high endurance video monitoring card has a relatively lower price, being a mid-range product of its kind. It has a 2 years warranty period which would not void even you use it in your dashcam.


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