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Plaid Radar Detector install with switched power

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
7,057
13,994
Springfield, VA
After much reading about the difficulty of finding a switched 12v power source in the refreshed Model S Plaid, I decided to go a different route to achieve the same result.

I mounted my Escort Redline 360c with hidden wires from the cigarette lighter adapter all the way to the mirror which achieves both turning on/off with the car as well as having the mute button somewhere accessible while driving.

Hopefully this guide helps others who are interested in this solution.

Parts:
  • Redline 360c radar detector, EZ Mag Mount windshield mount which comes with it and their 12-volt SmartCord which also comes in the box.
    • Instructions would work for a Valentine1 or other radar detectors as well
  • 2 telephone cords - MUST HAVE 4 strands in order for the mute button to work on Escort radar detectors
  • 2 In line couplers to connect extension power cord to SmartCord. I needed 2 because it seems one reverses the wires and the other reverses them back. Using 1 caused an error. I used Monster 140164 which were a few dollars at Ace Hardware.
  • 10mm socket
  • Pry tool

Wire path:
View attachment 735286

Parts:

View attachment 735255

Wiring location along windshield. Can be pushed in by hand.
View attachment 735260

The A pillar trim pulls out from the top. Be careful not to pull too far since there is a white plastic connector that has to be undone.

There is an existing track that wiring runs through which I used as well.

View attachment 735265

Once you run the wire down the A pillar, you have to remove the kick panels above the brake/accelerator. The first one pulls down since it's held on by magnets. The second has to be removed with a 10mm socket.

View attachment 735266View attachment 735267View attachment 735268


Finally fish the wire through the back of the center console with one hand inside the console and one pushing the wire through from the back. You may have to pull the center console panel to the side. Again these are attached with clips that can be pulled out.

View attachment 735269


Finally make the connections inside the center console.
View attachment 735273

Finished product!
View attachment 735278
Great write-up! We did exactly this install with a Valentine1 in our Model 3 back in 2020, and it has been working out great. No issues with it powering off when the car goes to sleep, and waking back up when the car wakes up.

Regarding someone else's comment about V1s being too chatty, I agree; I've disabled everything except Ka band, and it's been a much better experience, as Ka is really the only band used these days, and if you get tagged with laser, it's too late. We're running a first generation V1, by the way.
 
Last edited:

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
7,057
13,994
Springfield, VA
That's useful information.

I trust the Tesla engineers didn't forget to have some means for the main batteries to maintain the 12V. Might this not be like Sentry Mode and other vampire current draws the car is designed to handle? Pennies a day with no harm to the 12V battery?

Sentry Mode keeps the car on and running from the high voltage battery.
 
Alb, Thanks for taking the time to photograph and share this with the community. Received my Plaid in October, just got around to wiring the detector today after ordering the few parts you recommended. I went over the passenger side instead, for two reasons. Used to be a spot to the right of the mirror on previous model S that didn't have the windshield coating that blocked reception, not sure if that still applies. Also, I prefer to have full use of my sun visor. Install took less than 15 minutes with your guidance, just amazing. People like you are a joy to have in the community. My turn to give back next time. Sincerely appreciated.
 
Alb, Thanks for taking the time to photograph and share this with the community. Received my Plaid in October, just got around to wiring the detector today after ordering the few parts you recommended. I went over the passenger side instead, for two reasons. Used to be a spot to the right of the mirror on previous model S that didn't have the windshield coating that blocked reception, not sure if that still applies. Also, I prefer to have full use of my sun visor. Install took less than 15 minutes with your guidance, just amazing. People like you are a joy to have in the community. My turn to give back next time. Sincerely appreciated.
So many posts on these forums have helped me and I feel the obligation to help others that way I'm giving as much to the community as I'm taking. Very happy to hear this was helpful for you. Who knows, maybe something you post will solve a problem I have in the future.

Enjoy your Plaid!
 
I also used the Model 3 Blend Mount. Works great. I hardwired via an Amazon mirror tap. Super easy. Does not turn off immediately but shuts off after the car goes to sleep.

Used the mirror tap instructions here. Took 15min tops.

 
For anyone interested in an alternative mounting method, I published my design on Printables.com. Search for "Tesla S Radar Detector Mount". If you don't have a 3D Printer, there are lots of services that can print it for you. I also published my designs for a socket adapter for those pesky front license plate safety screws and a wall mount for the charging wand.
 
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JJS in AZ

New Member
Supporting Member
Apr 7, 2021
2
6
Scottsdale, AZ
I think that the refresh has a revised mirror such that the Blendmount for the M3/MY work.
Nice writeup and parts list. Thank you for sharing and providing insights to the pillar process especially. I will hopefully be doing the same once my MS LR arrives fairly soon! I still have Gen1 Valentine1 and previously used blendmount products in all my past vehicles. Was fairly disappointed to learn there isn't a version that seems to work well out of the box with the Tesla tapered rear mirror stalk so may explore the suction cup idea you present. From another thread here it seems people are finding the OBD2 port on the new refresh S Plaid/LR (drivers side footwell) also seems switched and would reduce the cable run and possibly the extra adapters needed to get to glovebox. If you tried that approach, what was your experience? Just for funsies I bought a couple of parts of Amazon to test along with looking up pin-outs for V1 and 4-strand RJ11 cable. I'm not sure how this would work with the remote mute functionality that I guess is baked into the cigarette adapter piece in your pics.

OBD ll Power Adapter Wiring Harness

4-pin Modular Keystone with Screw Block for RJ11 cables
I have a Plaid with a Blendmount. The Model 3 version works perfectly. Haven’t got the power tap just yet, but there is nothing to concern yourself with the mount.
 
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