Troubleshooting a RC Land Defender with camera

My son Jackson bought a RC Land Defender car complete with 720p camera yesterday from Harvey Norman. And while the car worked straight out of the box, the camera didn’t until we realised two things 1) The instructions are horribly vague and 2) The app that comes with it is rubbish. Luckily after some trial and error, it’s not that hard to get things working again.

Important: Before you get the RC Land Defender home..

Make sure you have enough batteries. While the car itself is USB charged (which is handy) the remote control that comes with it isn’t and requires 4xAA batteries which are sold separately. You still will need to charge the car of course, which I’ll get to in a sec.

Oh and a micro sd card for the camera. I don’t think the instructions mention this strangely, but there’s a slot for one in the back of the camera.

Getting the camera to work on a RC Land Defender

First things first, you need to plug it in as it comes in the box from Harvey Norman/Domayne/Joyce Mayne unplugged. Simply pull the split pins out of the car shell, lift it up and you’ll easily see where it plugs in. It can only go in one way as you’ll see and you feed the plug through the small hole in the shell.

Camera cord feeds into the hole in the shell

Secondly, charge the car with the USB charger. The camera won’t work on low charge. This will be one of the first times you look at the instructions and wonder who the hell wrote them in a hurry because it says that the charger will have a red light on it until it’s fully charged and then it won’t display a light at all. What actually happens is that it’s a red light while it charges and a green light when it’s fully charged. Give the RC Land Defender at least a couple of hours of charging just to make sure.

Funnily enough, there’s no start to press on the next screen.

Thirdly, the app itself is complete rubbish and that seems to be a thought shared by anyone who has ever used it. Once you switch your phone’s wifi to Wifi FPV car you’ll find that you can move the car and plough it into anything you please easily via your phone screen, even change the speed if you want to but you can’t take a picture with the camera or even get it to record anything.

Controls work, camera does not. This supplied app is hilariously broken.

We tested this app on two different phones, a Samsung S9 and my Samsung S20 FE and it’s the same hassle on both – you can drive it, you just can’t film anything. Which would be okay if it didn’t have a camera, but this one does so it’s no end of frustration when kids load up this toy and half of it doesn’t work right out of the box.


A completely different app called Heliway Racing (Android). While it’s designed for quadcopter drones with camera, it works here. Although strangely either the RC Land Defender’s camera is either mounted upside down or there’s a button to turn it up the right way we haven’t found yet.
But still, we have vision now which we didn’t before which is a great start.

Hey that’s me!

And the quality would be best described as okay (as it would be a very basic webcam more or less). However that quickly delves into very rough territory when you try filming at speed and the thing bounces around like a ping pong ball in an empty cement mixer, like so:

I’ve turned this the right way to save you the motion sickness.

Because the recording is working via the WiFi on your phone, reception gets worse the further away the RC Land Defender gets, so find somewhere with plenty of turns to bring it on back within range if you need to.


Straight out of the box it was an exercise in frustration for Jack due to the instruction manual that didn’t solve anything no matter how many times I told him to go back and read it and the supplied app which is completely rubbish. Having to find solutions like the one I’ve posted here shouldn’t be a thing for something that retails for over $100 normally, seriously. However once that issue was solved, he loved it and instantly set up drag races with it and his sister Sophie on a scooter, planning to use the camera for YouTubing and the like. For a 42 year old blogger like myself it’s a novelty and I certainly wouldn’t buy one on a whim but for an 11 year old into RC stuff, he got a huge belt out of it.
After almost throwing his phone through the concrete trying to get the camera to work first though.
Maybe grab it for a kids birthday present or Christmas perhaps? Just give the parents (if they’re not you) a heads up about having a bit to do to get things working first..

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