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Hardwiring a device on the windshield (like a radar detector)

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
I successfully mounted my Valentine One radar detector to the top of the front windshield near the mirror, and ran the wires under the front headliner, down the A pillar side curtain airbag inner wiring channel, and connected to the fuse box in the passenger kick panel. My June, 2020 Model S does not have any metallic coating on the front windshield. Works great, turning on and off with the car, and has an excellent view of front, rear and side radar sources. Gathering the preliminary information was difficult for me, and I can post more detailed information if anyone wants to install any 12V accessory high on the windshield while safely hiding wires. Install at your own risk. :)
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,509
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Kaneohe, HI
Was there are reason you didn't use power behind the speaker grille in the headliner and avoid putting wires between the passenger and the passenger airbag? I hope for your passenger the wires are behind the airbag if the airbag in the A pillar opens.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
My research indicated the power in the upper headliner was not switched with the "Ignition". There is a factory wiring channel for securing wires through the airbag "A" Pillar mounting that holds the wires in place so the airbag is not affected. There are other factory wires where I put my new wire in the "A" pillar.

wire-routing-a-pillar.jpg
 
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DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
jealous of your non metalic glass
I was so happy to find out I had non-metallic glass on the windshield. I could not find out anything on this prior to delivery, and I assumed I had metallic glass. I posted a list of all the features my car has in the "Ordering" forum, so that new and prospective owners can see what comes on the car. Tesla is the only car company I know that does not list standard and optional features of each model. I guess Elon isn't into sales. :)
 
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ev_fox

Banned
Jul 10, 2020
5
1
North America
I was so happy to find out I had non-metallic glass on the windshield. I could not find out anything on this prior to delivery, and I assumed I had metallic glass. I posted a list of all the features my car has in the "Ordering" forum, so that new and prospective owners can see what comes on the car. Tesla is the only car company I know that does not list standard and optional features of each model. I guess Elon isn't into sales. :)

Yea, Tesla doesn't.
I guess you've got to keep your fingers crossed until your car is delivered.
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
I successfully mounted my Valentine One radar detector to the top of the front windshield near the mirror, and ran the wires under the front headliner, down the A pillar side curtain airbag inner wiring channel, and connected to the fuse box in the passenger kick panel. My June, 2020 Model S does not have any metallic coating on the front windshield. Works great, turning on and off with the car, and has an excellent view of front, rear and side radar sources. Gathering the preliminary information was difficult for me, and I can post more detailed information if anyone wants to install any 12V accessory high on the windshield while safely hiding wires. Install at your own risk. :)
DerbyDave, this is most excellent! This is exactly what I wanted to do and I've researched and researched, but couldn't find anyone that has done this exactly. By the way, which generation Valentine One do you have? I purchased the Gen 2 in anticipation of installing it on my soon-to-be-delivered Model S.

So, I contacted Tesla (through the online Chat) and they told me the windshield still has the layer. As a matter of fact, the current Owner's Manual also says that it is there and there is a cut-out for toll transponders to the right of the rearview mirror (page 203). I DO NOT discount your real-world experience or the many others that say the layer is no longer there. It makes me wonder, has Tesla just not bothered to update that portion of the Owner's Manual? Or, did they find a way to 'blend' the cut-out so it's almost imperceptible? Plenty of people have also said they they've done tests and saw no degradation in detected RADAR signal quality regardless of what part of the windshield it's on or even if they're holding it outside the side window (no obstructions) compared to inside. It sure makes me think there's no layer there. Is there anything to decode on your windshield BUG?

Anyway, I'm installed the Valentine One, like you did; it's just a matter of will I install it not the driver's side of the rearview mirror (preferred) or the passenger's side? The BIG question I have is where exactly is that switched 12V? I know you said the passenger's kick panel, but do you know which connector & pin?

I'll definitely be hitting you up again when I get ready to do the install. Thanks for the info.
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
My research indicated the power in the upper headliner was not switched with the "Ignition". There is a factory wiring channel for securing wires through the airbag "A" Pillar mounting that holds the wires in place so the airbag is not affected. There are other factory wires where I put my new wire in the "A" pillar.

wire-routing-a-pillar.jpg
Can you share a picture of the installed Valentine One and location of the switched 12V?
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
I updated my Valentine One a couple of years ago, but it is the Generation 1 model. The new model should be even smaller, and shouldn't be any problem. I used the standard suction cup windshield mount and mounted approximately where the cut out area is illustrated in the manual, but I feel certain I do not have the metallic coating. You can usually tell if you have the coating in certain lighting, and I have looked carefully, but I find no cut out area or special area on the windshield, and then did the ultimate test by testing the V1 in the area I wanted to install it, and it works the same excellent way as my other cars. I suppose the cut out area could be invisible to me, and/or I have happened to mount the V1 exactly where it must go, but I doubt it very much. It could also be that Tesla just ran out of metallic windshields when my car was being built. There is no interference with the sun visor. I used a Bussmann BP/HHTR-RP ATR Micro II Fuse Add A Circuit, and the fuse was the 4th one down from the left side, a blue 15A fuse. More info to come.
 

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joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
I updated my Valentine One a couple of years ago, but it is the Generation 1 model. The new model should be even smaller, and shouldn't be any problem. I used the standard suction cup windshield mount and mounted approximately where the cut out area is illustrated in the manual, but I feel certain I do not have the metallic coating. You can usually tell if you have the coating in certain lighting, and I have looked carefully, but I find no cut out area or special area on the windshield, and then did the ultimate test by testing the V1 in the area I wanted to install it, and it works the same excellent way as my other cars. I suppose the cut out area could be invisible to me, and/or I have happened to mount the V1 exactly where it must go, but I doubt it very much. It could also be that Tesla just ran out of metallic windshields when my car was being built. There is no interference with the sun visor. I used a Bussmann BP/HHTR-RP ATR Micro II Fuse Add A Circuit, and the fuse was the 4th one down from the left side, a blue 15A fuse. More info to come.
YES!! This is what I want. Are you free on the weekends? :)

So, you didn't even have to splice a wire?! I thought that what I was going to have to do. I'm dreading this less and less. Another quick topic: do your headrests adjust? Just curious.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
I did not want to modify Tesla wires in any way. I only had to connect the V1 wire to the add-a-circuit, and attach the V1 ground (There is a big silver screw with washer holding part of the dashboard to the right side -- very visible). My headrests are integrated and fixed. I have a dog hammock in the rear, and it fits fine using the front and rear headrests. You can see it in 2nd photo up above. I am 6' 4" and I am very comfortable in the seats. I test drove a Tesla S several years ago with the panoramic roof, and it has a huge roof beam right where my head was with the seat all the way back. These new versions have the full one piece glass roof. Headroom is not an issue!
bus-ele-pp-10290-add-a-fuse (1).jpg
 
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joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
I updated my Valentine One a couple of years ago, but it is the Generation 1 model. The new model should be even smaller, and shouldn't be any problem. I used the standard suction cup windshield mount and mounted approximately where the cut out area is illustrated in the manual, but I feel certain I do not have the metallic coating. You can usually tell if you have the coating in certain lighting, and I have looked carefully, but I find no cut out area or special area on the windshield, and then did the ultimate test by testing the V1 in the area I wanted to install it, and it works the same excellent way as my other cars. I suppose the cut out area could be invisible to me, and/or I have happened to mount the V1 exactly where it must go, but I doubt it very much. It could also be that Tesla just ran out of metallic windshields when my car was being built. There is no interference with the sun visor. I used a Bussmann BP/HHTR-RP ATR Micro II Fuse Add A Circuit, and the fuse was the 4th one down from the left side, a blue 15A fuse. More info to come.
You've got a 2020 MS LR+, right? I looked and my 4th fuse down is yellow and it's a 20 amp. I would've tried it, anyway, but I mistakenly bought a Mini Add-A-Circuit and now have to wait on my Micro II Add-A-Circuit to come in.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
You've got a 2020 MS LR+, right? I looked and my 4th fuse down is yellow and it's a 20 amp. I would've tried it, anyway, but I mistakenly bought a Mini Add-A-Circuit and now have to wait on my Micro II Add-A-Circuit to come in.
Sorry about that. It is the left, vertical line of fuses in the right kick panel fuse box. I thought it was the 4th one, but it was the only blue 15A fuse anywhere close on that row. Perhaps it was the 4th physical fuse, as I seem to recall at least one blank socket above it. I should have snapped a picture. I also originally bought the Mini-Add-A-Circuit. :mad: Please let me know what the correct number of the fuse is. Be careful replacing the little trim panel between the right side of the dash and the door (a vertical "rectangle" looking panel). It has a tab on the top that must go in the hole at the top of the receiving area. I almost broke it off. I ended up putting the tab in first.
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
Sorry about that. It is the left, vertical line of fuses in the right kick panel fuse box. I thought it was the 4th one, but it was the only blue 15A fuse anywhere close on that row. Perhaps it was the 4th physical fuse, as I seem to recall at least one blank socket above it. I should have snapped a picture. I also originally bought the Mini-Add-A-Circuit. :mad: Please let me know what the correct number of the fuse is. Be careful replacing the little trim panel between the right side of the dash and the door (a vertical "rectangle" looking panel). It has a tab on the top that must go in the hole at the top of the receiving area. I almost broke it off. I ended up putting the tab in first.
Yes, there is a blank above it. The next chance I get, I'll look one down to see if that's it.

When I took that panel off, it popped off with a vengeance and I believe its wiring prevented it from dropping to the ground. What is that device wired onto the panel, anyway? Is it to detect the FOB as you approach the car? And, thanks for the advice on re-installing the panel.

All of this helps.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
Yes, there is a blank above it. The next chance I get, I'll look one down to see if that's it.

When I took that panel off, it popped off with a vengeance and I believe its wiring prevented it from dropping to the ground. What is that device wired onto the panel, anyway? Is it to detect the FOB as you approach the car? And, thanks for the advice on re-installing the panel.

All of this helps.
I am not certain, but I think it is a FOB antenna.
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
My Micro II Add-A-Circuit came in earlier than expected and I installed it last night. I put it in the slot you originally cited - 4th one down from the left. Your fuse is a blue 15 amp, mine is a yellow 20 amp. It seems this is the same circuit. But, before I move on from this, I want to verify the operation of your Valentine One after your install:

I noticed that mine does NOT come when the door handles are presented. It DOES come on when I open the door and before I sit down in the car. The detector stays on after I've exited the vehicle and it has locked, but it shuts off after a couple of minutes. Is this how your's works, as well? I was expecting it to not turn on until I either sat down or stepped on the brake to initiate a drive. Also, I expected it to shut off when the door was closed and locked upon exit. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with how it operates now, I just want to see if you have different behavior and I'm possibly on a different circuit.

Thanks for all the info!
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
Good news! My detector goes on when display turns on (opening the door), and shuts off when the display turns off (closing the door). Strange about the fuse. Maybe Tesla just ran out of 15A fuses while yours was in production?:)
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
Okay, it sounds like we're on a different circuits. I just checked and my detector turns on when the display turns on (like yours), but it doesn't shut off when the display does. Not a big deal because it eventually turns off, I just wonder what they changed?...
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
1,236
766
Kentucky
Strange about the different fuse, but should work OK anyway. I will pull my panel and take a fuse box photo at some point so we can compare fuses, but I have no squeaks or rattles, everything is fine, and I don't want to break a clip or loosen anything unless I am actually trying to get something accomplished.
 

joe.smith

Member
Aug 29, 2020
41
10
Melbourne, FL
Strange about the different fuse, but should work OK anyway. I will pull my panel and take a fuse box photo at some point so we can compare fuses, but I have no squeaks or rattles, everything is fine, and I don't want to break a clip or loosen anything unless I am actually trying to get something accomplished.
Don't do it; not for the sake of this, anyway. If everything is working fine, leave it alone. This information is mostly for others who come along afterwards and are interested in installing their RADAR detector/accessory.
 
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