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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teaching Drivers to Observe the Event Marker Box

Is there any more frustrating feeling in this entire industry than needing a piece of video or a view from a particular camera, only to find a camera out or a problem with your DVR?  We have all had it happen to us.  Most times, the cause is very simple the DVR was unplugged, etc.  Teaching your drivers to observe the lights on the Event Marker box can be a key component in your preventive maintenance program and getting problems with your video system fixed before you lose a critical piece of video.

The event marker is two components rolled into one.  Since many of your DVRs may be mounted in a bin compartment or installed in such a way that the driver is unable to simply see the status lights on the front of the unit, the Event Marker box also contains status lights that will give you the most basic information on the status of your DVR in addition to having the Event Marker itself so that a driver can flag an incident on their bus.  The event marker has the button itself that marks a clip of video on the hard drive and also has three lights that your drivers need to be aware of.  Those three lights are Power, Recording and Video Lost.

Soon after turning the key to the “on” position, the DVR will recognize the ignition input and turn the DVR on.  At that time, the power light on the Event Marker box should be illuminated a solid green color.   As the DVR continues through the boot sequence, the DVR will begin recording.  Once it has booted up and has started recording video footage to the hard drive, the green power light will stay on and then amber Recording light will also come on and stay on. 

In normal operation mode, the green light and the amber light should both be illuminated.

The third indicator on the DVR is the video lost light.  When the DVR does not see video from one or more cameras, then the video lost light will flash in red.  It is possible that the power light will be on, the recording light will be on AND the red video lost light will be flashing all at the same time.  That is an indicator that the DVR has power, has booted up and is recording, but it is looking for video from a camera that for some reason it cannot see.

It is important to teach your drivers to observe the event marker box upon start up of the bus as part of their pre-trip routine.  If your drivers notice anything on the Event Marker Box other than the green power light constantly on and the amber recording light constantly on after the DVR has had a chance to boot up and go into Record Mode, then that needs to be reported to a technician in your bus shop for advanced troubleshooting.  The technician can then plug into the DVR using their laptop and the provided crossover cable to see what the problem could be.

For advanced troubleshooting or technical support, contact 247 Security at 866-693-7492.