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DIY Dashcam (BlackVue 550 fron&rear) - constant power source from dash

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
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Connecticut
I'm referring to what is clearly 2 conductor, black and white in picture below from the passenger dash side panel. I doubt it has anything to do with USB. Possibly proximity sensor for the doors? Take a look:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ip8pzb2fjbhnfvz/rightsidedashpnl.jpg?dl=0

Where did you tap your power from?

Oh, that! That's the antenna/sensor for the key fob. Make sure you plug it back in!

On the other side in the passenger footwell area, if you remove the two pieces of plastic trim where the yacht floor is (or would be).. behind the second plastic panel are the cables that run to the USB jacks, including 12v power. I tapped into those for both
+ and -. If you don't see the wires right away, they're there, just hidden a little bit. I used vampire wire taps.
 
Oh, that! That's the antenna/sensor for the key fob. Make sure you plug it back in!

On the other side in the passenger footwell area, if you remove the two pieces of plastic trim where the yacht floor is (or would be).. behind the second plastic panel are the cables that run to the USB jacks, including 12v power. I tapped into those for both
+ and -. If you don't see the wires right away, they're there, just hidden a little bit. I used vampire wire taps.

Ok now we're almost on the same page. Anyhow, those wires are not constant on so I'm going thru firewall to fuse box so I can monitor while parked. Thanks.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,573
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I'm curious, those who tapped power for these to run continuously, do you noticed less range? More vampire draw? I'd imagine it should be negligible, but just curious.

@AnOutsider, yes, I notice a little range loss. No big deal though. I would guess it to be 1-2 miles over a full day. Probably less. However, just so I could try it, I wired a single channel remote on/off switch into mine. Seems to have helped. But wanted to try. I bought the on/off switch on Amazon and had to take it out of the little black box so it would fit above the speaker grill. Also made sure both sides of remote switch have a fuse.

- - - Updated - - -

I installed a Blackvue 550 similarly to LastNLSigs excellent description and then connected to the constant power source above the microphone (early car).
My addition to the tips here: Put some vaseline in the rubber hose between roof and lift gate and the rear camera cable slid through like nothing :smile:

Now the car doesn't want to go into sleep mode though. Does anybody have any ideas about how to solve this?

Olle, I added a single channel remote on/off switch I bought on Amazon so I could turn my 550 on and off remotely. One remote is velcro'd to steering column and other is in my pocket, so I can turn it off as I walk away.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,203
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Connecticut
Last edited:

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,573
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Kaneohe, HI
Speaking of Constant Power Sources. I am looking for a good constant power source near the floor inside the front. I intend to attach a fuse box so I can tap off it with more than two accessories. I am going to use 12 gauge wire from it. Because I suspect its going to wind up with a 10-15 amp load, I don't want to come from the car's ceiling where I know there's constant power.

And won't go through firewall to get to it.
 

Chuck Lusin

Chuck P10548 Jenny P10614
Mar 6, 2013
91
2
Riverside, CA
@AnOutsider, yes, I notice a little range loss. No big deal though. I would guess it to be 1-2 miles over a full day. Probably less. However, just so I could try it, I wired a single channel remote on/off switch into mine. Seems to have helped. But wanted to try. I bought the on/off switch on Amazon and had to take it out of the little black box so it would fit above the speaker grill. Also made sure both sides of remote switch have a fuse.

- - - Updated - - -



Olle, I added a single channel remote on/off switch I bought on Amazon so I could turn my 550 on and off remotely. One remote is velcro'd to steering column and other is in my pocket, so I can turn it off as I walk away.


The BlackVue DR550GW-2CH max power consumption is 4.8W, that is like 8 seconds of regen for 24 hours of recording. Maybe 2027 feet at 300W/mile.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
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That's a lot of amps to be running off the constant voltage source. What kind of accessories are you thinking of running?

Well, I added a Clearwire inhouse version cable modem under the seat that is powered by a 110>12V converter. This gives me wifi every where. I want to be able to run it when I am out of the car sitting in my local Denny's connected with my iPad.
And I can also connect the car to the Clearwire and its faster than our 3G.

And when I wish to do so, I want to have the ipad charging when I am out wandering around.

Those are starters.

- - - Updated - - -

The BlackVue DR550GW-2CH max power consumption is 4.8W, that is like 8 seconds of regen for 24 hours of recording. Maybe 2027 feet at 300W/mile.

Maybe its not the BV then. Maybe its not going to sleep. Maybe I don't know what I am doing. Maybe, I don't know. Maybe I am a habitual fibber. Not I am not, yes, I am, no, I am not. Not really keeping track. :scared:

Wow, I don't mind telling you its a pleasure to not have to deal with Brian H from the TM forum over here.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
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Well, I added a Clearwire inhouse version cable modem under the seat that is powered by a 110>12V converter. This gives me wifi every where. I want to be able to run it when I am out of the car sitting in my local Denny's connected with my iPad.
And I can also connect the car to the Clearwire and its faster than our 3G.

And when I wish to do so, I want to have the ipad charging when I am out wandering around.

Those are starters.

First, you can charge your iPad using one of the two USB ports already in the car. I believe the USB port closest to the driver is the higher amperage port enough to charge your iPad.

Concerning the router, not knowing anything about Clearwire, there has to be a better solution than running an 12v->110AC inverter. First, you're taking 12VDC and inverting it to 110VAC.. then the power adapter for the cable modem is converting 110VAC back down to somewhere between 6VDC and 12VDC, so that's a big waste of energy to go up and down again, just to end up with 6-12VDC. I don't know what the voltage and amperage rating is on the router, but it should be labeled on the DC converter, and DC->DC voltage converters are cheap and don't require the step up/down from 110VAC. And the amperage draw for that will be much less if you remove the 110VAC inverter.

I used to do exactly you're trying to do, but once I got bluetooh/wifi tethering on my iPhone (from AT&T), I no longer needed "in car wifi". I just use my phone. Years ago I used a AT&T PCMCIA Data card in a home 3G - wifi bridge (I forget the brand, but it was BIG), and powered that in the car with 6VDC. Later, I switched to a Cradlepoint USB cellular data adapter, about the size of a deck of cards -- I plugged in any 3G USB data stick, and the Cradlepoint created a local wi-fi network in one very small, portable, package. That was also powered by 6VDC. But using a home router needing 110VAC -- that seems like overkill. Does Clearwire offer a USB data stick?
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,573
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Kaneohe, HI
First, you can charge your iPad using one of the two USB ports already in the car. I believe the USB port closest to the driver is the higher amperage port enough to charge your iPad.

Concerning the router, not knowing anything about Clearwire, there has to be a better solution than running an 12v->110AC inverter. First, you're taking 12VDC and inverting it to 110VAC.. then the power adapter for the cable modem is converting 110VAC back down to somewhere between 6VDC and 12VDC, so that's a big waste of energy to go up and down again, just to end up with 6-12VDC. I don't know what the voltage and amperage rating is on the router, but it should be labeled on the DC converter, and DC->DC voltage converters are cheap and don't require the step up/down from 110VAC. And the amperage draw for that will be much less if you remove the 110VAC inverter.

I used to do exactly you're trying to do, but once I got bluetooh/wifi tethering on my iPhone (from AT&T), I no longer needed "in car wifi". I just use my phone. Years ago I used a AT&T PCMCIA Data card in a home 3G - wifi bridge (I forget the brand, but it was BIG), and powered that in the car with 6VDC. Later, I switched to a Cradlepoint USB cellular data adapter, about the size of a deck of cards -- I plugged in any 3G USB data stick, and the Cradlepoint created a local wi-fi network in one very small, portable, package. That was also powered by 6VDC. But using a home router needing 110VAC -- that seems like overkill. Does Clearwire offer a USB data stick?

Dear Hank,
I think you missed one of my points. I want the ipad to charge when I am not in the car. So, it won't be using the USB since those are off when the car turns itself off. If I can ever get Clear to let me change the MAC on the cable modem from non portable big old thing to a Clear Hot Spot MAC I have laying on my desk here, I can use USB to run and keep it charged.

The cable modem is a bargain with unlimited data for less than $20 a month. And I lose my unlimited data on my iphone if I make any change to my plan.

But thanks for caring enough to offer suggestions.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
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Jan 18, 2014
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Connecticut
Dear Hank,
I think you missed one of my points. I want the ipad to charge when I am not in the car. So, it won't be using the USB since those are off when the car turns itself off. If I can ever get Clear to let me change the MAC on the cable modem from non portable big old thing to a Clear Hot Spot MAC I have laying on my desk here, I can use USB to run and keep it charged.

The cable modem is a bargain with unlimited data for less than $20 a month. And I lose my unlimited data on my iphone if I make any change to my plan.

I see. Well, for the iPad charging, may I suggest an auxiliary charging battery? I use one that's 1400mah and can fully charge my iPphone and iPad on one charge of the battery. Just keep it in the car charging when you're using the car, then use the battery to charge the iPad when you need. It's also portable if you need it elsewhere.

As far as the cell modem, I see the problem, but there should be an easy way to go from the Model S 12VDC system to whatever DC volts the cell modem needs (6, 9 or 12), without resorting to using a 110VAC inverter, which is going to draw and waste a tremendous amount of energy. I've used one of these to power my dashcam:

Amazon.com: SMAKN Dc/dc Converter 12v Step Down to 6V/3A Power Supply Module: Electronics -- it's very small and doesn't draw the power an AC inverter would. You could also use the +12VDC power from the OBBII port which is always on to power your electronics.

Just seems to me that jacking up the car's 12VDC to an AC inverter, just to power two or more low voltage DC components is overkill. I'd only use an AC inverter when I need to actually power something that needs 110VAC. I woudn't want to risk stressing or draining the Tesla 12V aux battery with the huge draw an AC inverter would pull.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,573
4,945
Kaneohe, HI
I see. Well, for the iPad charging, may I suggest an auxiliary charging battery? I use one that's 1400mah and can fully charge my iPphone and iPad on one charge of the battery. Just keep it in the car charging when you're using the car, then use the battery to charge the iPad when you need. It's also portable if you need it elsewhere.

As far as the cell modem, I see the problem, but there should be an easy way to go from the Model S 12VDC system to whatever DC volts the cell modem needs (6, 9 or 12), without resorting to using a 110VAC inverter, which is going to draw and waste a tremendous amount of energy. I've used one of these to power my dashcam:

Amazon.com: SMAKN Dc/dc Converter 12v Step Down to 6V/3A Power Supply Module: Electronics -- it's very small and doesn't draw the power an AC inverter would. You could also use the +12VDC power from the OBBII port which is always on to power your electronics.

Just seems to me that jacking up the car's 12VDC to an AC inverter, just to power two or more low voltage DC components is overkill. I'd only use an AC inverter when I need to actually power something that needs 110VAC. I woudn't want to risk stressing or draining the Tesla 12V aux battery with the huge draw an AC inverter would pull.

Dear Hank,
You are trying to talk me out of using the 12v to 110 converter. That's why I was looking for 12v constant in the first place. To go directly to the cable modem, not the converter. All the while you are telling me the converter is not a good idea. But I knew that. This was in the meantime. Wanna help? Find me 12v constant inside near the floor that supports 10-15 amps.
Thanks
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,203
11,573
Connecticut
I have mentioned several times the OBDII port in the drivers footwell has a constant 12v source. I don't know about the available amperage of any 12v source in the car, but that's still a lot of amps to draw at 12v for a cell router and iPad charging. Personally I would never hard wire in a DC-AC inverter just to plug in a AC-DC adapter. That puts a lot of unnecessary load on the 12v accessory battery.
 
SAE J1962 specification for the OBDII Data Link Connector, section 6.3.10(a) indicates pin 16 must provide permanent nominal 12V battery voltage with a current supply minimum of 4 Amps. In section 6.6(a) it recommends circuit protection for external test equipment connected to pin 16 for up to 10 A.

i would interpret this to mean you could draw at least 4 amps and possibly up to 10 A from pin 16, but it will depend upon the fuse on that line installed by the factory.
 
Last edited:
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Herbie65

eigenaar TESLAND.COM en AlloyGator.nl
Local Vendor - Belgium & the Netherlands
Dec 2, 2014
906
884
Netherlands
I installed the camera exactly as in the first post.
May car is P65308 and has the autopilot thingies in it.
The red cable in the dashboard was only powered when the dash was open. So I had to use the red-black wire.
Now my camera is under the mirror, but I am still struggling with GPS reception.
Maybe on the newer cars, this position is not the best?
 

Nevek

Overt Member
Apr 30, 2014
583
289
Seattle
Just finished the install of the Blackvue 550 front dash cam following most of LastNLSig moves. I found something that made my install easier.

I found a constant power source in the speaker grill. My S was built after 1 Aug 13 and that's supposed to make it different in many ways. But I found power up there anyway. I had to dig around a little. It was not connected to anything. There's several wire/cables pushed up against the headliner towards the mirror; this one was in that group.

View attachment 51325

View attachment 51326
Here's a picture of the connector. There are three leads coming into this connector. Black is ground, and the green-ish (middle) and blue/red (outside) are both constant hot. Even when the car has shutdown/gone to sleep.

Also on Amazon I found a 1.3mm x 3.5mm x 11.2mm plug (pigtail) with 6 feet of cord for the power from Parts Express. Saved me cutting my Blackvue power cable just to get that plug.
http://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express...+1.3mm+x+3.5mm+x+11.2mm+Plug+with+6+feet+Cord
Did anyone find a 4 pin connector that mates up with the open 12v plug under the grill? Any link for the source? Thanks.
 
When I open up my speaker grill in my headliner, I did not find a small connector. I found a large connector with 11 wires. See attached pictures. Does anyone know what this is for? Can I take advantage of it? I would settle for 12VDC switched or un-switched. (Model S P85, Delivered Dec 2013)

20150621_101549.jpg
20150621_101725.jpg
 

EK123

Member
Mar 2, 2015
12
5
Reno, NV
Constant power from dash - PA66?

<<
When I open up my speaker grill in my headliner, I did not find a small connector.
>>
Ran front/back coax today, drilled small hole as many have described. Thank you all.

I was planning on getting power from the obd port. But I found I have this connector behind the microphone grill.

p85D, VIN 78XXX, delivered april 2015. Small connector as pictured. Looks to me like it may say PA66? Anyone know where I can get the connector to make a short fused power cord? other suggestions?

thanks

e

IMG_1391.JPG
IMG_1395.JPG
IMG_1399.JPG
 

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