Sentry Eyes App
for the DashCam
in our Model 3

Mark D Larsen
November 5, 2019

For the last few months there have been several instances of strangers purposely damaging Teslas: breaking windows to steal what’s in the cars, kicking and keying them, bashing them with shopping carts, tossing acid and coffee on them, even sideswiping them while driving. Fortunately, our vehicles have DashCams that record such crimes, and consequently the authorities have been able to use these videos to identify and charge the criminals.

Given the growing number of these attacks, I am frankly surprised that Tesla has yet to release a software update to immediately view the recordings on the touchscreen, especially with “Sentry Mode”. I therefore decided to use a “workaround” solution for the time being, at least until such an update is finally available. I saw on Twitter that there is a new iOS app to view DashCam clips, “Sentry Eyes.” I decided to purchase a copy and the additional hardware required to use it with SSD drives like the Samsung T5 that I use with my Jeda Hub.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movie to play it.

I ordered these two items from Apple: a USB-C to Lightning cable on the left (to power the SSD) and an adapter on the right for both that cable and a USB-A plug (to connect the SSD).

Here are those items out of the box.

And here they are connected together, with a velcro strip around the cable.

The velcro strip helps keep the cable neater when its USB-C plug is connected to the Jeda Hub.

I decided to first try “Sentry Eyes” with my iPad, since its larger screen would be easier to photograph and film.

I was surprised to see that the iPad needed to update the adapter before I could use it.

Unfortunately… the update must not have worked. I couldn’t get the app to recognize and open the directory on the Samsung T5. I therefore decided to use my iPhone instead, and took this video using the iPad. Please forgive the clumsy demonstration using my left hand: if you're patient, you’ll see that the app works as intended. I managed to access the DashCam, open the SentryClips folder, select and play one of the most recent recordings of all four cameras. Voilà! It works!

I am pleased to have this workaround, as there are times when I return to Correcaminos and see that there have been several “alerts” from Sentry Mode. Rather than wait until I get home and can load the clips onto my computer, I can at least peruse the most recent ones before driving away.

Although disappointed that the app didn’t work with my iPad, through pure trial-and-error I later identified the problem —and how to solve it. I discovered that none of the USB ports in the Jeda pad provide enough juice to power both an iPad and the Samsung T5 at the same time through the adapter. However, if I plug a USB-A to Lighting cord into one of the rear USB ports in the back of the console… Sentry Eyes will work on the iPad. I also found that the app also works fine with the iPad and adapter if I plug a 12V-to-Lightning charging cord into the power outlet in the console’s rear compartment.

To be fair, I should state that this workaround is far from ideal. I still have to turn off the Dashcam, remove the “stealth” cover from the Jeda Hub, unplug the Samsung T5, plug in one of the three USB-to-Lightning cables mentioned above, the SSD to the adapter, the adapter to my iPhone or iPad, launch the app, and… finally view the clips! It is better than not being able to review them on the spot, no question, but it is nonetheless a hassle. I long for the day that we can merely touch the Sentry Mode alert button and see the clips on the touchscreen. Please don’t delay that feature too much longer, Tesla!