After an infamous thread on RedFlagDeals regarding an insurance fraud scam foiled by a person’s dashcam, many people started installing them as their own insurance, or simply to point out and ridicule poor drivers. Sometimes people catch some crazy events. I ended up purchasing a BlackVue DRG400G-HD from a group buy. It was one of the better cameras at the time, 1080P recording, GPS, and a nice sleek build. There are more affordable ones out there now such as the G1W which I have installed for my family members.
Most recently I captured lightning striking a utility post and it took out power to a traffic intersection. When I went to check the footage, I found that the image quality was very poor. I knew it was getting worse but always attributed it to a degrading sensor due to summer heat.
My camera also had an issue shutting down — it would no longer say “BlackVue now shutting down” when the power was cut.
Instead of tossing it for a new one, I opened it up for a little bit of maintenance to get it running like new.
Disassembling the BlackVue is very straight forward. There are four screws consealed by four rubber stoppers. Pull them out with a small flat screwdriver or tweezers, then unscrew the four screws with a small Philips screwdriver.
Once you get the screws out, split the shell in half. One side will come off freely (the one held on by screws).
The other half is attached to the button on the side. You will need to lift the board out of the little plastic tabs gripping it. Pull it “down” and out on the shell away from the side you are gripping.
Here is a front on view of the dash cam minus most of the casing. The yellow plastic contains the small rechargeable battery. Underneath it is a small button battery.
Once you free the PCB from the other half of the shell, there are two screws attaching the lens to the PCB. Unscrew those and wiggle the lens free. One side will lift up and out first.
Here you can see the film that built up on the inside surface of the lens. Clean it. I chose to use LCD screen cleaner and a cotton swab.
Very clear now, minus some dust specks inside the lens itself. Not much you can do about this.
My unit also had issues with not shutting down cleanly. It would no longer say “BlackVue now shutting down” when power was cut, resulting in a corrupted last minute of recording. I ordered a 3.7V 150mAH battery off eBay with the approximate dimensions of 17mm x 14mm x 6mm. I could have gone with slightly larger but I couldn’t find any matching the correct specs.
Remove the white connector and peel the battery off. It is fixed using a small adhesive pad.
Here is a comparison of the stock battery and my replacement battery.
I didn’t have spare terminals so I opted to splice the new battery onto the old battery connector. Be careful when you do this, as you do not want to short the terminals and kill the battery. Solder the tail onto the battery and heat shrink or wrap the wires in electrical tape.
You can see it’s a bit too skinny.
Reassemble the casing in reverse, power it up, and give it a whirl! My battery replacement and lens cleaning were both a success. My dash cam shuts down properly with no corrupt files, and the recorded image is very clear and vivid. Hopefully this gives your cam a breathe of fresh air. Ideally you should take a look at your footage at least once a month to make sure it’s still capturing a clean image and clean as necessary.