Support PDR100


FAQs

Can I buy the DM-10 Data Module?   No, these are sold out and we do not have any.  We may have a few prototypes lying around for repair or replacements.

What is the layout of the RJ-45 connector on the back?  What is it used for?  The RJ-45 connector on the back was our way to have 8 pins to be able to connect to certain things, some of which were planned for the future (at the time).  On the RJ-45 are two pins that are the same signal as the switch on the front panel.  Connecting those two pins is the same as pushing the front button.  Two other pins are the same signals that drive the red and green LED.  This way you could have a remote LED and Switch.  Which we did make about 10 of, back around 2005.   Then there are two pins with 3.3V and ground, we thought we would use this for a future dash module, which did not happen.  Then are the two pins for a serial connection.  This became RS-232 around 2006.  See diagram.

What is the pin out of the MiniDIN connector?  See diagram

Why did you use a power plug that falls out?  We really did that for our own lab use and for those that wanted a simple connection that used the industry standard.  We also have a locking power connection right next to it, but many customers seem to have missed that.  The green plug is for attaching 12V & GROUND using a screwdriver.

Why did you not use a locking camera connector?  Yeah.. guilty.  We should have.  Some high vibration customers use RTV to lock this down.

What is the max size of CF Card?  We only tested for 32 gig but we have customers reporting that they have been using 64gig cards and they work fine.

What kind of CF Card do you need?  Should be a good one.  Rated 133X or faster (larger numbers).

What does the serial number mean? It is a date code.  Two digits are the year, followed by the day of the year.  The dash is the specific unit we built on that date.

I got the unit wet and now it does not work.   Wet and electronics is bad.  We can review it at our repair shop and see if it is fixable.  If the fine pitched electronics on the top Main board get wet, we normally have to replace that.

The unit no longer remembers the date and time I set.   The small coin cell battery on the board has gasped its last breath and needs to be replaced.  We can do that at the repair facility.  It is not serviceable by the customer,

I only get recordings of the car when I don’t think it should be recording.  When I push the button, it stops recording.  You may have it set to trigger record automatically and by pushing the button, you are stopping the recording.

What does CF CARD WAS SLOW mean?  It could not handle the data flow.  Most common reason is the card is fragmented and should be reformatted.  Most of our customers never format the card and this is a mistake.

My unit made files with a LUP on the end.  Now what?  Oops. That was an old way of making continuous recordings.  We have a way to UNLUP the files. We can send you the program if you are  comfortable with a command line DOS based program, or we can UNLUP them for you.  But this also means your firmware is really old and should be updated.

Where is my data stored?  Inside the MPEG2 video file.  You have to extract it using DashWare.

How do I turn off the Gforce bars?   Go to the menu, Features, ON SCREEN DISPLAYS and select TURN OFF DISPLAYS by pressing the 2 key.

How I can see the video output when recording?  Press the 2 key (TURN ON REMOTE DISPLAY).

Can I use any AAs in my old PDR?   Yes and no.  You can use Alkaline or NiCad but you will not get much life out of them.  They are fine for back up though.  For long life use Lithium batteries.  They will run over 2 hours.  Remember to take your batteries out so they do not leak over time onto the electronics.

How much power does this thing draw?  What size fuse should I use?  Without a camera it is less than 500ma.  A camera adds about 150ma.  So a 1amp slo-blo fuse should be fine.

 

 

Versions of the PDR100 HARDWARE over the years-

There are some major changes over the 10+ years of production of the PDR.

Version 1.  Production started in 2004.  Power supply connection used a 4 pin terminal block with a 12V and Ground output.  Rear panel also had a headphone jack.  Top membrane has the cursor buttons centered with a “C” shape on the enter key.  This version included a door switch behind the battery door. The Serial Data connection was not RS-232. GForce is an optional plug in board.

Version 2. Approx 2006.  Removed battery door switch. Power supplies were now offered with either AA battery slots or built on Supercaps (blobby electronic parts that block the AA openings). Membrane changed to newer style. Cursor keys are shifted to the right.  Added RS-232 to the rear data interface.

Version 3.  Approx 2007.  Power supply, removed two extra output pins on the terminal block.  Green terminal block is now two pins, input only.  Added auto-on power feature.  Added small red sliding switch inside of battery door.

Version 4.  Approx 2008. Added GForce to all units, no longer a separate plug in board.

 

Troubleshooting Guide:

If the unit had smoke coming out of it, smells burnt, has some mysterious loose part you can hear when you shake it, or got very wet… then probably best to send it to us to look at using our RMA form.  But if there is some other issue, please read on:

The first thing to note is what the PDR is telling you.  Take notice of the LED on the front, what color it was and what it changes to.  What does the LCD say?  Many error conditions are noted on the LCD.

The LED is blinking green means that it is NOT ready to record.  Look at the LCD and it will tell you why. LED solid green is paused and ready to record.  A SLOW red blink means it is waiting for a Gforce trigger. A solid red is bad news.  A flashing red/green almost orange means it is recording.

What is plugged into the PDR?  When diagnosing, remove the variables and then test for those variables.  The most common problems we run into are camera cables, followed by cameras, then other units like a Traqmate, then the automated recording features fighting with something else telling the unit to record (operator pushing a button).  Over 50% of the time, a unit sent back to us for repair, is tested as working perfectly.  If it is a camera cable, perhaps we can save each other time and hassle by figuring that out.  And at least, if you are sending the unit to us, include the cables.

If the LCD says it is not getting video, it may be something inside the unit.  But 90% of the time, it the camera or the cable.  Most of the time, it is a cable issue.  And the most common reason is a pinched cable that caused some internal breakage. Often by a cable tie to a rollbar or cage. One way to test this, wiggle each part of the cable and if you see the LCD go back and forth from VIDEO READY to VIDEO NOT READY… you found the problem.  If it is an extension cable, try plugging the camera directly into the PDR and seeing if it now works fine. We can fix camera cables normally.  We can replace extension cables.

If the video is getting odd colors, lines, blocks… that means the camera is probably bad.

If the video is getting blurry, less sharp… changes with rpms or vibration,  or looks blocky… that means your camera’s internal lens needs to be replaced.  This is easy to do at our shop.  This happens a lot on cameras subject to high vibration.