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Customer Review

on February 20, 2013
Excellent place to start with a dashboard (or maybe home security) video camera and DVR. Cheap and reasonably good. Just to be clear, the 270 degrees refers to turning the camera around by hand in the mount; the field of view is 120 degrees. The instructions were so bad that I have regenerated them below.
UPDATE: In response to readers, I'm using the default settings, And am getting about 80 1-minute videos with audio, about 50MB each and they are automatically overwriting the oldest on a 4GB chip. I have not yet filled a 32GB chip (24 hrs)!

LAST UPDATE: l am informed that the menu on items purchased after Dec 3, 2013 has changed, so these instructions may not be useful for people who have purchased such units. Did I mention that these might make dandy motion- activated home security devices?

Dowson Dashboard Video/DVR Operating Instructions
These instructions are based on the actual menu settings of a device delivered in mid-February, 2013. The included instructions did not match.

Switching Modes
1) Press ON/OFF: (on the back of the DVR this is the international O+I superposed).
2) Default mode is Video Recording; press "OK" (which is a round spot on the back of the DVR which lights up) to begin recording. Press it again to stop recording and save file.
3) Press MODE to switch successively between: Video recording (red cam icon), Audio Recording (blue A), Playback (left arrow icon), in circular fashion.
4) Press to turn OFF

Function Keys
ON/OFF
OK- confirm mode selected
Keys below screen, in left to right order:
MENU - choose a menu for settings, detailed below, and also leave a menu
DOWN - go down a menu, or 4/3/2/1 x digital zoom while recording
UP - go up a menu, or 1/2/3/4 x digital zoom while recording
MODE - mode switching video record / audio record / playback

Menu Settings

Video / System Settings
Press ON, press OK, press MENU, press OK, then UP or Down as needed
Video................Output Settings
1. Size..............640x480, 720x980, 1280x720, 1280x960
2. EV................+1/3, +0.0, -1/3, -2/3, -1.0
3. White Bal.........Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
4. Time Stamp........Off, Date Only, Date & Time
5. Video Time........3, 4, 5, 10, 15 minutes (per file)
6. Motion Det........Off, On (when On saves 2 min files during motion)
7. Record............Off, On
8. Night Mode........Off, On
After each selection press OK to confirm, and press MENU to leave one menu item for another and then again to exit

Video with Audio Settings
Press ON, press OK, press Mode, press MENU, press OK, then UP or Down as needed
Capture.................Setup
1. Size:................12, 8, 5, 3, 2, 1.3 M, or 640x480 (0.3 M)
2. Quality..............Fine / Standard / Economy
3. Scene Mode...........Auto, Sport, Night
4. EV...................+1/3, +0.0, -1/3, -2/3, -1.0 (Exposure luminance adjustment)
5. White Bal............Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
6. ISO..................Auto, 100, 200
7. Color................Standard, Vivid, Sepia, Monochrome
8. Saturation...........High, Normal, Low
9. Sharpness............Hard, Normal, Soft
10. Time Stamp..........Off, Date Only, Date & Time
11. Burst...............On, Off
After each selection press OK to confirm, and press MENU to leave one menu item for another and then again to exit

Playback Settings
Press ON, press OK, press Mode, press Mode again, press MENU, press OK, then UP or Down as needed
Play....................Setup
1. Delete...............Single, All, Select (came up as Execute)
2. Volume...............1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Press MENU again to get the following:
1. Format...............Cancel, Execute (came up Next Menu)
2. Beep.................On, Off
3. Language.............English, Francais, Deutsch, Italiano, Espanol, +6 others
4. Auto Off.............1 min, 3 min, 5 min, Off
5. Sys Reset............Cancel, Reset (came up Next Menu)
6. Light Freq...........60 Hz, 50 Hz
7. TV Output............NTSC, PAL
8. Data Input...........Off, Set
9. USB..................PC Cam, Disk Drive
10. Screen Set..........Always On, 1 min, 3 min
After each selection press OK to confirm, and press MENU to leave one menu item for another and then again to exit

The rest of the operating instructions provided make some sense, except Loop and Slideshow commands, which may be on another hidden menu. If I find them, I will update.
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