808 Key Chain Camera Not Working – Basic Troubleshoot and Fix

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

The 808 key chain camera is a small color video camera with audio that also takes photos. I have been using this camera a lot on my RC FPV planes and quadcopters, and since then i have had a few problems with it. Not all of this problems are related to product quality but rather user error, so I thought it might be a good idea to put down these issues and solutions somewhere. Here are some of my own quick fix and some are from the internet, hope you can find a solution to your problem.

This post are about some very basic and simple fixes to some 808 camera problems. You may have issues with turning it on, taking pictures or storing pictures and video. I will start other posts for more technical and specific issues with this camera, and put the links below. Whatever problem you’re experiencing with your 808 keychain camera, you will usually find that, unless the camera is defective or beyond its lifespan, the issue is a mechanical or user error that you can fix with some very basic troubleshoot.

SD Card Related Issues and Fixes

Battery and Power Related Issues and Fixes

User Best Practice

My 808 Camera Does Not Power On

Check that you are pressing the correct buttons on your keychain camera if the device won’t work. The “Shutter” button is on the top near the front; the “On/Off” button is behind it. The buttons at the top back of the camera near the chain are faux and serve no purpose.

Press and hold the “On/Off” button for at least three seconds if your camera won’t turn on. The power button doesn’t work with just one push. The indicator light will turn on and stay on if the button isn’t malfunctioning.

Charge the battery if the camera still won’t power on, if it turns off quickly, or if it turns on but the indicator light flashes slowly. Push the microUSB connector fully into the port on the left side of the camera. Turn on your computer and plug the USB cable into an open USB port on the computer. Wait at least two hours for the camera to charge; then unplug the cable and try again.

The 808 has an automatic power-off feature, so if your camera turns off automatically when idle for some time, it’s totally normal. It will power off after about 20 seconds in standby mode or immediately after saving a picture or video when the battery is too low.

808 Keychain Camera Does Not Record or Take pictures

Make sure your micro SD card is inserted in its camera slot correctly. If it won’t take a picture/video, shuts off after about 15 seconds or the indicator light is flashing rapidly, take out the SD card, and put it back in. If everything works correctly the light will stop flashing and the camera will enter standby mode.

If the LED is working correctly, but you are missing the pictures and videos in the SD card, it might be the way you use the camera that causes the issue. The camera takes a few seconds to store the data on the card after you have taken a picture or video, so you need to wait a few seconds between shots.

If this didn’t help, try to reset the camera by Inserting the tip of a pin or metal paper clip into the reset button hole.

Video/Audio and Picture Quality is Bad

Might be a dirty lense, try spraying the camera lens with some compressed air to remove the dust on it. Avoid using the camera in dusty places whenever possible in the future. Any dust on the lens or in the air can reduce picture quality. Remove obstructions from the microphone hole at the front of the camera if your videos contain choppy or low audio. Anything blocking the microphone (including your fingers) can interfere with recording.

My 808 Key Chain camera does not work!

This is a very bad description for a problem. BUT! you can always try these tips first see if they do the tricks without having to take the screws off and open the case.

  • Press the reset button. Try a different Micro USB cable. Try a different computer and USB port. Try pressing and holding the power button while connecting and/or disconnecting the USB cable.
  • Flash card – Try reformatting the card. Try a different card. Most cameras work with a class 4 card, higher class SD card doesn’t do any good but might introduce compatibility problems. A slow card can cause a an increased missing frame rate and sudden video termination.

If the above didn’t work, you might have to take the screws off and open the case. After that follow these instructions.

  • check all the components are connected fine, look for possible broken wires, bad solder joints or parts that have broken off.
  • Battery issues – If the 808 does not respond to any button press there might be a battery module problem or a battery charging problem. Sometimes the battery module needs to be reset. If the battery module has a connector, disconnect it and reconnect it. Then try to charge the battery.

If this does not reflect your problem please check out the links for specific issues above.

USB Cable connction issue

If you have a USB connection related problem, or Windows wants to install a driver immediately after USB connection. Or you might have a charging problem with the USB cable. The USB cable that comes with the camera is often bad in quality.

You can try a different USB cable or try a different computer port first. The reason for this could be a USB data problem, high resistance in the USB cable or bad USB cable wires or contacts.

Camera only works when USB connected as a Disk Storage and webcam

It could be a problem with your built-in Battery, make sure it’s fully charged (connected to USB for at least 2 hours). If this doesn’t work, try some basic troubleshoot.

To troubleshoot this problem, try connect the USB cable and when the LED comes on immediately disconnect the USB cable. Hold down the power button, connect the USB cable, release the power button.

If this did not work, try a hard reset (reset button), this will reset the battery module protection circuit. To hard reset you need to first remove the battery connection from the board, and press the reset button and then connect the battery again. If the battery is hardwired to the board you might need to use a solder iron.

Camera only records for a short time – a few seconds or a few minutes

This is usually caused by a bad USB cable or bad computer port that fails to charge the battery, or some flash card problem (too slow or not recently formatted).  Short recording can also be caused by a “worn out” battery, a bad battery or a bad charging circuit.  Try a different USB cable, USB adapter or USB power source. Maybe try a different computer port or a 5V USB charger.  More advanced diagnostics require removing the case (the voltages are live even when the camera is off) and measuring the battery voltage with a digital meter to verify the battery is charged, and that the USB charging is working.

Other Problems with Quick Fix

Camera is dead, can’t turn on with or without the USB connection

The Reset switch could be pushed on by the plastic case, so you can’t turn the camera on. Try to remove the plastic case and check. Shave away some plastic that is pushing the reset button.

Green trees look white and other colors are off

The infrared (IR) blocking filter is missing from the internal camera module (Infrared (IR) Filter).  Either replace the camera or glue a piece of IR blocking filter to the outside of the 808.

Smoke coming from camera

Can be caused by a loose component inside the camera.  Can be caused by pressing the reset and power buttons at the same time. Replace the camera.

Strange colors in both video and photos

Usually a data path connection problem inside the camera.  Replace the camera.

LED flashes 15 or 35 times

The camera can’t access the flash card.  Possible problems could be an improperly inserted card, a defective card socket, a defective flash card, a flash card that is not FAT32 format, a card that was used in another device and not formatted before use in the 808 camera.

When playing an AVI file, the audio plays but the video does not – The AVI file video format is either the MJPEG or XviD (#7 camera).  Some video players can play both.  Some video players, like Windows Media Player, play MJPEG video but an XviD video codec must be installed to play XviD.  Download and install the XviD video codec.

The missing frame rate is high

In most cameras the reason for missing frame is low light, a very slow micro SD card and large video frames. The missing frame rate is lower in bright daylight.

That’s all the Basic Troubleshoots of a Broken 808 Camera

If you couldn’t find what you need here, try other pages on the top of this page, Under title “specific Issues Troubleshoot”.

There doesn’t seem to be a official customer services from the manufacturer of these cameras, so when there is a technical issue with your key chain camera, you are likely to be only on your own, or if you are lucky you can get a replacement from your seller. If nothing on the internet can adjust your issues, talk to your camera sellers and see if you can get it replaced.

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20 comments

Aneeq Khan 21st March 2020 - 9:46 pm

Its not sewching on when ever I press ON/OFF button for 3 seconds Its just blink and remain close.

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Joseph 9th August 2019 - 6:29 pm

My 808 key chain (which version, no information, only FPV as version code) is basically OK, but picture is very unsharp. I can use it as USB drive (with card of course) and webcam function is OK, too. I think battery is OK. But the Nr16setup application says it cannot link with the camera and cannot change nothing although maybe change on saturation etc. could help something. The “preparation” of the camera what the app says pushing the keys etc. not gone. What to do, is it possible to do or try something ? Thanks, Joseph

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Colin Bruner 16th March 2017 - 10:40 pm

Where can I find the config file that comes with the camera on its SD card. I accidently erased mine and having problems now.

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Paolo Cantoni 2nd March 2017 - 6:21 am

Where can I find the USB drivers to install for my #26 camera? It won’t install the drivers – so the setout tool doesn’t see the camera.

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Sarugan 18th December 2016 - 4:45 pm

After charging my camera my light flashes continuosly and wont stop. I disconnected the usb and held the power button but the light wont stop flashing.

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nafees 21st August 2016 - 9:42 am

I have spy key chain 808, purched one year ago and not used, now i on it and connected pc but not shown there.

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Thumb 19th February 2016 - 1:28 am

Hi Oscar,

I’ve had my cameras since 2008 I believe and they still work great but now that I have Windows 10 systems, the computer does not recognize them, anything I can do about that?

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TheMongrel 6th March 2017 - 1:26 am

I know this was posted over a year ago, but if anyone is having this issue here is the solution:

When you follow the instructions for getting Windows to install the driver (pressing and holding the power button and shutter button for a few seconds until the light blinks) Windows will install a driver called “Icatch(X) KV…” I can’t remember the full name. You will see it under your list of USB controllers in the Device Manager in Windows. If you right click on that and go to the properties and then the drivers tab, you will see an option to rollback the driver. Do this and you will be able to use the configuration software.

My computer still won’t recognize the device as a mass storage device but that is fine, I just take out the microSD card and put it in a USB adapter.

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Brian 11th February 2016 - 4:07 pm

Hi Oscar,

I just got the 808 and it seems to record and take photos – when I connect to the computer the files show up but they will not open. It says they are jpeg files and avi files but when I click on them I get an error message saying improper file format. Any ideas?

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Peter 3rd February 2016 - 10:51 pm

Hi guys I have a problem with my camera its 808 #16 V2 and after I was trying to take it apart and place it into the water proof case my colors went bad.
Do you know what might be wrong with it?
Here is the sample https://youtu.be/oRB8f4BM2Mo
Best regards
Peter

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Dewin 30th January 2016 - 1:33 am

I have the 808 #26.

works fine except recently when I uploaded a video to facebook. it didn’t look 30fps. It looked all laggy and choppy.
though beforehand, I put 3 clips together in moviemaker and published it in HD.
I have a class 10 Scan Disk micro SD as well.

here’s a link of the video:
facebook.com/Lone.wolf.tmw/posts/1123296477702300

I don’t think it should look like this.

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ashim patowary 16th November 2015 - 5:28 am

my carchain spy camera is not plug in to my computer.

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sasidhar 14th August 2015 - 11:25 am

hello sir iam having 808 car key camera. it worked perfectly but suddenly not working. while i connect it to my pc oranve light is blowing when i disconnect it orange light stops. when i press power button nothing happens. tell me now what i must do………..

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Alexandru 17th June 2015 - 12:13 am

Hi there. I got my 808 from a trusted seller in Ebay(US)- around 50$. It worked perfectly for about 2-3months. Recently I had a trip to Europe, and got it out of the luggage, and now it records in really weird colors(8bit colors like) with lots of reds and greens. Tried to reinstall different firmware, different cards..but still nothing. My best guess is that the mainboard is fried somehow..

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CBowman 14th April 2015 - 7:43 pm

When I connect my 808 car key micro-camera to the computer it will not load. Error message said to unplug and plug it back in…this was done with the same message. The computer will not recognize the device.It said it could not load the drivers. I tried to find drivers online to down load but no luck. I am running Windows 7 Professional.

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Qamal 11th April 2015 - 2:40 pm

Hi,

I just got my 808 camera. All the functions work fine (led indicators, buttons etc) when the lens cover is on.
But once you take the lens cover off, problem occurs. The camera can be turned on and will go to the standby mode but the shutter and power buttons have no effect.

I managed to get videos by switching on the camera with the lens cover on and then pressing the shutter button to start recording and then taking the lens cover off. However I cannot stop the recording with the shutter button after that.

Any idea what might be the problem?

Thanks. Great blog by the way.

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Oscar 13th April 2015 - 12:20 pm

you just got it? it sounds like something to do with the mechanical part of the camera, or the PCB board. Get a replacement or ask a refund !

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Davor 29th August 2014 - 12:44 pm

Hi! I´ve recently bought F 999-2 multi function car key camera very close to 808 but I can´t turn it on. When I plug it on the computer the yellow light comes for few seconds and then it dissapears. When I press the ON/OFF switch for 2 or more seconds -not connected to the computer- the yellow lights does not come either. I have opened the device but all seem fine… Maybe the battery? Any idea? Thank you in forward

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Shane 28th January 2014 - 7:16 am

Great blog!
Can you provide a link to the 808 seller from China (at my own risk). HobbyKing sell this for $7.69 but the 808 #16 on ebay cost £24, even from China. There are some 808 cameras for £2.70 and I was wondering if there was a difference in spec or whether this is an ‘alternate manufacturer’
Thanks

Shane

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Oscar 29th January 2014 - 11:41 am

I am not sure which £2.7 camera you are talking about. But you can’t get a camera that cheap to record 720p videos.
The ones on Hobbyking is version 1 (£24 on ebay, probably are version 2), and they don’t come with wide angle lense. also they buy them in very large quantity, so they can afford selling them dirt cheap.
I would suggest rather spend some more money to get something from somewhere you can trust.

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