Last summer we went away for a long weekend staying in Northumberland at a hotel/country club that incorporated a Spa. When we arrived a hen party of young women, there for a Spa day, showed particular interest in the Aston as we checked in. After unloading our bags, I moved the Aston to the car park from reception and thought no more about it.
The next day we visited Bamburgh Castle and as I was locking the car I happened to look along the bonnet (hood) towards the Aston Martin badge only to see an indentation in the bonnet just behind the badge where someone had presumably sat on the bonnet for a photograph. I can’t say for sure that it was one of the young women but it was a heck of a coincidence!!!! It’s not desperate and most people don’t see it until it’s pointed out to them but I know its there and that’s enough for me to have to do something about it, I have a good body shop guy so I’ll get round to talking about it with him at some time.
On checking with the hotel it turned out that their CCTV didn’t cover the area of the car park where we were parked …. typical !!!
As a result, I decided that the only way to make sure I can see what is going on with the Aston when I leave it is to install my own dashcam.
[Editors Note: I’d like to thank Mike Potts (@aston2209) for contributing his time and knowledge in writing this article – Thanks Mike!]
After some research looking for a small good quality camera, I decided on the Mobius 2 as it seemed to meet my criteria. It’s quite small and light weight so is used a lot by drone enthusiasts for this reason. What you do need to do however is a modification to remove the internal battery and install a capacitor which is there to regulate the current going into the camera when using a direct and continuous power feed from the car’s battery.
Why? Over time the condition of the camera internal battery will deteriorate and ultimately may catch fire ….. enough said !!!!
I have connected the camera to a permanent live supply in the fuse box in the cabin footwell, you need to do this if you want the camera to be operational when you are not there i.e. without keys in the ignition.
The camera has various recording settings all setup by connection to a PC by a USB cable. The camera can be set to loop record so you don’t have to keep downloading or emptying the memory card (mine is 64Gb more than enough, but I believe you can now go up to 200Gb). The camera also has a motion sensor facility so it sits on standby until it detects motion when parked. Don’t be alarmed at the thought of the setup procedure it really is simple using the Mobius programme that you download in fact here is a link that shows this being done as part of a great review of the camera. (We acknowledge and give full credit to “Techmoan” for the excellent Mobius 2 review)
I have found, from use, that the camera can be left ON overnight and for up to 3 days (longest I’ve left it so far) without having any negative effect on the Aston’s battery so if you are using the car everyday you will not have any problem leaving the camera permanently running. You will certainly be OK to leave the car in a car park for a few hours or overnight and that was one of my selection criteria, that the camera did not drain the Aston’s battery too quickly. If I put the car away in the garage for a few days I simply unplug the power lead to the camera before getting out.
I’ve just checked Amazon and the latest version of Mobius 2 is selling a £70 (say approx. $90), I bought two one for the front and one for the rear.
All in all, it has been a great success and fortunately, so far, I have not needed to download any damage footage to the car or accidents.
One problem that I had was deciding where to mount the camera as I wanted it to be as unobtrusive as possible. There was no way I was going to mount something off the glass at the front or stood on the dash. After long periods sat in the car with the camera in hand and offering it up to various locations and agonising over how to mount it I recalled seeing one of Steve’s videos and noted that the rear view mirror was bolted up to the roof with a T25 screw accessed from below the mirror. This was the “light bulb” moment so I quickly took down the mirror and started to think of a way of adapting the mirror mounting to work as a camera mount.
With the rear camera I was relaxed about having it on a discreet mount high up in the back window stuck to the glass but if you do this don’t put right in the corner of the glass as the rear bodywork comes round and you lose some of the view, so I moved mine inboard about 8 inches.
This video is my solution of mounting a dashcam and whilst there may be other ways of doing it this was my preferred arrangement.
If you can stand the slow pace and no sound (we decided to have the sound recording of the camera set to OFF so we can talk freely in the car and not worry about what might possibly be heard later by others !!!) you can see our lap of the Monaco F1 street circuit on YouTube through the following link. The main thing about the lap is it shows the quality of recording of the camera.
I hope this listing is of help and interest to other DB9 owners and indeed it may also work with other Astons or indeed other vehicles.
Best regards to all,
Mike Potts (Aston 2209)