Anyone else have issues with Viofo GPS Mount?

STS-134

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I'm really disappointed with Viofo in how they designed their GPS mount. For the most part, I only use my Viofo A119 V2 in rental cars, and I've used it a total of about 5 weeks in the last 2 years. I recently got a new car, and mounted it temporarily until I did a more permanent, 2 channel dashcam install. And now, the camera doesn't reliably power up via the GPS mount, but via the USB connector on the side, it does (so it's not a cable issue). And looking at the back of the mount seems to reveal the problem:

Viofo GPS.jpg


Trying to push the pins back in does not make it work better. Looks like a lot of people have been having the same issue: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/another-gps-mount-power-issue.21692/
Unfortunately, this thing is way out of warranty because warranty is time-based and I barely ever use it.

I like how that camera records GPS coordinates on the video itself. I like how it has the option of a suction cup mount. But the GPS mount design seriously sucks. I'll have to order a new mount and see if it fixes the problem.
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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My 3 VIOFOs have been fine. That's a weird problem to have. I kind of wonder if it wasn't messed up from day 1 and it just finally got bad enough that you noticed and looked.

I just grabbed one of mine that happens to be in between cars at the moment and I do have a little bit of deformation on one of the spring pins. This one still works fine though.

PXL_20210424_161939247.jpg


PXL_20210424_162006443.jpg



Do you have the moleskin padding on your camera to help with contact and keep it snug,
 

STS-134

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Do you have the moleskin padding on your camera to help with contact and keep it snug,
Yes, although a small corner of it did tear off the first time I mounted and then removed it, so that padding also has quality control issues. In any case, that padding is a pretty sad excuse to try to cover up a poor design. If they had built the GPS chip into the camera itself, this wouldn't have happened (and I'd be able to get GPS with the suction cup mount too).
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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I wonder if you caught one of those pins on the padding the first time you did it and bent it?
 

Deacon

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I wonder if you caught one of those pins on the padding the first time you did it and bent it?
I think his complaint is that the design would allow something like that to even be a possibility.

I understand why they do it that way. In my case with the StreetGuardian stuff they have separate small puck that you adhere to the windshield and plug into the cam body with what looks like a small audio jack. It’s foolproof, basically, but building it into the mount itself is an attractive proposition. And I’m guessing the spring tabs were an inexpensive way to make contact, but they’re thin because they’re spaced so closely together. Perhaps a rethink would allow them to put them farther apart (such as maybe two pins on each side of the keyway block, letting them be twice as wide and therefore more robust).

If they made it to where power attaches to the cam body so that the cam is feeding data and power to the GPS module in the mount, maybe they could do it more simply and better, but then some would complain that they couldn’t remove the cam as easily. It is a conundrum.

Does the sticky/suction cup mount also take power and provide GPS? Or is it just a mount?
 

STS-134

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I wonder if you caught one of those pins on the padding the first time you did it and bent it?
I don't even remember if it was the GPS mount or the suction cup mount that did that to it.
I think his complaint is that the design would allow something like that to even be a possibility.

I understand why they do it that way. In my case with the StreetGuardian stuff they have separate small puck that you adhere to the windshield and plug into the cam body with what looks like a small audio jack. It’s foolproof, basically, but building it into the mount itself is an attractive proposition. And I’m guessing the spring tabs were an inexpensive way to make contact, but they’re thin because they’re spaced so closely together. Perhaps a rethink would allow them to put them farther apart (such as maybe two pins on each side of the keyway block, letting them be twice as wide and therefore more robust).

If they made it to where power attaches to the cam body so that the cam is feeding data and power to the GPS module in the mount, maybe they could do it more simply and better, but then some would complain that they couldn’t remove the cam as easily. It is a conundrum.
Yeah, or they could make it where the mount is pushed into place and locked with a slider switch on the side, so the pins don't drag along the side of the camera as the mount is installed and uninstalled.
Does the sticky/suction cup mount also take power and provide GPS? Or is it just a mount?
Yes. There's a power port on the side of the camera for times you don't want to use GPS, and there's also a power port on the GPS mount itself, that powers both the camera and the GPS module. However when using the GPS module, you do not have to power the camera via the GPS mount, so I think it routes power from the mount, into the camera itself, and then the power for the GPS chip comes back into the mount from the camera. If I push the GPS mount against the camera on the left side, the mount works. Release it, and it no longer works.
 

Deacon

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Yes. There's a power port on the side of the camera for times you don't want to use GPS, and there's also a power port on the GPS mount itself, that powers both the camera and the GPS module. However when using the GPS module, you do not have to power the camera via the GPS mount, so I think it routes power from the mount, into the camera itself, and then the power for the GPS chip comes back into the mount from the camera. If I push the GPS mount against the camera on the left side, the mount works. Release it, and it no longer works.
Ok, but does the sticky/suction cup mount—specially—also take power and provide GPS—just like the permanent mount? Or is it just a mount?
 

STS-134

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Ok, but does the sticky/suction cup mount—specially—also take power and provide GPS—just like the permanent mount? Or is it just a mount?
No, that one is just a mount. And it lacks GPS entirely, so I have no GPS on the camera when using the suction cup mount. My general rule is if I'm renting a car for 2-3 days or less, I'll use the suction cup mount, and if longer than that, I'll put double sided tape on the GPS mount.
 

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I’ve had two GPS Mount failures, but neither was due to the pins. Was was the USB port breaking off inside the mount and the second just died for some unknown reason. Happened when I was out of the country and so I wasn’t able to log the GPS data I wanted. :(
 

hiddencam

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I've had two fail for the same reason. It's a poor design and the metal is flimsy. Once a pin bends it's pretty much toast...just a matter of time before it breaks or just stops working. I pulled mine apart and thought about trying to MacGyver fix it, but lost interest pretty quickly once I saw how intricate it would have been. Aukey got my business the last time I bought a dashcam. I've still got 2 VIOFO A119 V2s and never take them off the GPS mounts anymore to avoid the issue.

Screenshot 2021-04-24 6.41.39 PM.png
 

STS-134

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I’ve had two GPS Mount failures, but neither was due to the pins. Was was the USB port breaking off inside the mount and the second just died for some unknown reason. Happened when I was out of the country and so I wasn’t able to log the GPS data I wanted. :(

I've had two fail for the same reason. It's a poor design and the metal is flimsy. Once a pin bends it's pretty much toast...just a matter of time before it breaks or just stops working. I pulled mine apart and thought about trying to MacGyver fix it, but lost interest pretty quickly once I saw how intricate it would have been. Aukey got my business the last time I bought a dashcam. I've still got 2 VIOFO A119 V2s and never take them off the GPS mounts anymore to avoid the issue.

View attachment 177892
Yeah I'm pretty convinced that this is just a very low quality product. Maybe I should see if I can get a discount for ordering 3 of them, so that I have spares when the next one breaks.

Ridiculous.
 

hiddencam

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Yeah I'm pretty convinced that this is just a very low quality product. Maybe I should see if I can get a discount for ordering 3 of them, so that I have spares when the next one breaks.

Ridiculous.
Well all things considered I've got to give credit where credit is due: they are extremely reliable and all of mine have taken lots of abuse, running anywhere from 10-18 hours a day 5-6 days a week, sometimes 10 days straight, and have held up in heat and cold, and me inserting/removing the card multiple times a day. The broken pins is the only issue I've had with them. One unit did completely kick the bucket recently, but that was after about 2 years of hard service, the other 3 still going strong. I would actually say it's a solid quality product (the video quality is excellent for the price point) just with that one poor design flaw. 8 years ago I owned a BlackVue DR400G and that was pretty crap compared to the A119. But they've come a long way since that model, and I'd be tempted to buy another Blackvue except I'm cheap haha.
 

STS-134

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Well all things considered I've got to give credit where credit is due: they are extremely reliable and all of mine have taken lots of abuse, running anywhere from 10-18 hours a day 5-6 days a week, sometimes 10 days straight, and have held up in heat and cold, and me inserting/removing the card multiple times a day. The broken pins is the only issue I've had with them. One unit did completely kick the bucket recently, but that was after about 2 years of hard service, the other 3 still going strong. I would actually say it's a solid quality product (the video quality is excellent for the price point) just with that one poor design flaw. 8 years ago I owned a BlackVue DR400G and that was pretty crap compared to the A119. But they've come a long way since that model, and I'd be tempted to buy another Blackvue except I'm cheap haha.
Well mine kicked the bucket after just 5-6 weeks of use, so...
Of course, I probably have a lot more removal/replacement cycles per day of use than you do, since mine is a travel device.
 

hiddencam

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Well mine kicked the bucket after just 5-6 weeks of use, so...
Of course, I probably have a lot more removal/replacement cycles per day of use than you do, since mine is a travel device.
Yeah removal/replacement cycles on/off the GPS mount is gonna mess up those pins on the GPS mount super quick.
 

sdrawkcaB

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Thanks for the heads up about the pins.
 

STS-134

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Well I just placed an order for not 1 but 2 new GPS mounts, so that when the next one breaks, I have a spare ready to go.
 

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