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How to Install an A118 Dashcam in a Tesla (No splicing)

How to Install an A118 Dashcam in a Tesla Model S
(Switched power with no wire splicing required)

I always wanted to get a dashcam in my car but was originally waiting until next year when more funds freed up. Sadly that plan changed when a lady failed to yield on red, hit my car when I had the green arrow, and lied to her insurance to create a my word against hers situation. A dashcam could have helped me then so I went to look for a lower cost option compared to the Blackvue dashcam system a lot of members on the forum have talked about. I wanted a system that was easily removable and for now only on when the car is on.

Tools/Items Used:

  1. Test the dashcam to make sure yours is working properly. I plugged it into the car can had it recording for a few days to make sure it behaved as I expected.
  2. Scrape off the adhesive on the wire clips provided with the A118 dashcam then wipe down the remaining area with rubbing alcohol. It's white and looks extremely obvious when placed on your windshield
  3. Add two Scotch mini tabs to each wire clip and trim off any area that overhangs

  4. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the area on the windshield underneath the rear view mirror that the dashcam will be placed. Also clean the area on the windshield where the wires will be run closest to the headliner from the dashcam to the driver side A-pillar. Allow a few minutes for the rubbing alcohol to be fully dried.
  5. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the part on the dash cam that will be placed on the windshield, apply the 3M adhesive to the dashcam, and place the dsahcam on the desired location in the windshield. I gave myself a little gap between the dashcam and the rear view camera. The dashcam is located out of my line of sight while driving.
  6. Place two wire clips just to the left of the rear view mirror by the top of the headliner and another wire clip to the right of the A pillar
    [INSERT picture]
  7. Connect the USB mini adapter to the wire and connect to the dashcam
  8. Run the wires along the windshield by placing them in the wire clips
  9. Open the driver side door and pop off the dash trim piece that is hidden by the door when it's closed. 3 clips hold this trim piece on and there is a wire attached to it so keep you're Hercules strength at bay when pulling the trim off. Place the trim piece on the floor.

  10. Pop off the trim piece just to the left of the trim piece that was just removed
  11. Pull back the rubber seal back slightly next to the top of the A pillar and tuck the wire in the closest opening to the A pillar all the way down to the bottom of the A-pillar



    [INSERT picture]
  12. Slide the USB A end of the wire into the gap leading to the foot-well. I used my finger to see where the gap is

  13. Use the zip ties to secure the wires to the trim piece just above the pedals
  14. Run the rest of the wiring behind the accelerator pedal and underneath your floor mat then to the USB car charger.
  15. Plug in the dash cam
  16. Reinstall the removed trim pieces
    [INSERT picture of final install from outside]

Hopefully this helps some people.

The USB ports for the Model S supplies enough power for the A118 dash cam so once I get an adapter that can prevent the use of the data protocols for the USB this setup can easily be changed from being switched to continuous by just plugging the wire to the USB port, as opposed to the USB car charger.
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Don't know what the law is in the state of Maryland. However, all cars marketed in the past 15 years or so in the USA are required to have a diagnostic program running in the airbag controller. It knows exactly how fast the car was going, in what gear, at what acceleration or deceleration rate, the rate of attack (i.e. how fast the car brake pedal was depressed) and a few other details. It stores that information for some time. It is supposed to be used to check why the airbag did (or didn't) deploy. If the laws of your state allow, you may be able to get the info from both your and her car. You can at least put enough fear into her that she may fess up to the truth.
@CSFTN: Thanks for the info, I'll look into it. No air bag deployment for either car. I saw that she was coming towards me as I was turning so I honked my horn and accelerated to avoid but she still managed to be stuck on slow and hit me in the rear passenger side quarter panel (bumper, quarter panel, tail light, tail light reflector damage resulting in $10k worth in repairs).
This is strange. I can't edit my original post anymore. I'm trying to add some pictures and there is no edit button.

I'll add some of the interior/exterior final pictures here for now:

I pulled up the velcro attached carpet in the center console area and tucked the remaining wire underneath. I may look into a more elegant approach by pulling trim pieces under the center screen.
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The dash cam has been operating nicely. It's overwriting past clips and very easy to mark each 3 minute segment as read-only.
The A118 B40 dashcams claim night vision but the quality of the picture is not too good at night. It captures what is going on but unless a car was directly in front of you at night reading off the license plate from the video would be very difficult. As other have mentioned in the reviews, it's good to supplement the video by verbally reading off license plates. I'm enjoying the added piece of mind and this setup doesn't cost as much as a current gen game console. :smile:

My quest to use the car's USB ports to power this dash cam have been resulting in failure. I've tried USB "condoms", slicing the data wires in a USB 2.0 wire, and next I'll be trying to convert the USB into a 5V DC power supply (5.5x2.1mm) and back to a female USB. All of this is to try and prevent the dashcam from thinking the car's USB is a computer. With the methods I've tried the amps being pulled drops to ~0.03A, which is an order of magnitude lower than the camera needs to charge continuously.

The USB "condoms" I've tried are:
  • PortaPow Fast Charge + Data Block USB Adaptor with SmartCharge Chip
  • Sabrent USB Turbo Charging Adapter
  • FlyStone Fast Charge Only USB Adapter
  • Plugable 'USB-MC1' adapter

The devices I listed work fine with my Nexus 4, drawing ~5V and ~0.45A, and they prevent the dashcam from going into the mode that only allows for the 'Mass Storage' or 'PC camera' option, but the amps are too low. If others have some ideas, I'm all ears or eyes in this case.
Just an FYI to others that might use this thread, the iXCC car adapter i listed in the first post is pure hot garbage :cursing:. It was providing inconsistent to charge my phone and the dashcam. It appeared to not sit flush in the 12V port and wiggled lose as I drove. I've thrown it in the trash and replaced it with the small form factor Aukey dual usb model (Amazon.com: Car Charger, Aukey 4.8A Dual USB car charger for iPhone 6S, 6, 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy,Google Nexus,LG,HTC,Motorola and more (The Smallest but Most Powerful Car Charger in the World) - Black: Cell Phones Accessories). Works soooooo much better :cool:.

I solved the problem with the dashcam going into mass storage mode when being plugged into the car's usb ports by using the following products:
* Amazon.com: Generic USB Female To DC 5.5x2.1mm Female DC Power Supply Extension Adapter Cable Pack Of 2: Computers Accessories
* Amazon.com: StarTech.com USB2TYPEM 3 Feet USB to Type M Barrel 5V DC Power Cable: Electronics

Using the male USB to 5V to female USB chain, I'm able to swap from the car's USB plug to the USB plug in the 12V port.

Unfortunately the male USB to 5V to female USB chain using the car's USB port doesn't supply quite enough power. I've got the Voltage/Amperage numbers at home somewhere. It's enough for the dashcam to be on for a few hours using the usb ports but I'm noticing a discrepancy on if the usb ports are always powered. They're definitely powered when the car is plugged in but they appear to shut off similar to the 12V port when the car isn't plugged in.

I'm trying to keep this easily removable setup while I test the dashcam out. I might migrate to a hardwired solution others have suggested later.

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