Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Yet another hardwired Dashcam install -- 100% reversible/no splicing/no tapping

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
So I searched for and read all the other dashcam/radar detector install posts, and I took some of those ideas, and added my own. I figured I would share here what I did. I'm very happy with the results, which required ZERO hard wire tapping or splicing for power, and it did not use the 12V source in the microphone area, which my 15xxx car did not have (which I would have used, if it were there!). So I needed a different 12v source. I decided to use the OBDII port in the drivers' footwell area.

Here are the parts I used:

First, the dashcam -- $60 from China, plus $18 shipping. It clips onto the MS rear-view mirror very nicely. I miss the MS mirror, but I like the dashcam better. :)

attachment.php?attachmentid=45637&stc=1&d=1395601793.jpg

Link: Wholesale Car Dashcam - Rear view Mirror Camera From China

I liked this one because it had adjustable front and rear cameras. But as it turns out, the rear camera doesn't work so well with the MS since the darkness of the rear hatch changes the average exposure, so the back window itself is totally washed out during the day. The rear camera might work better at night, but I didn't try that yet.

So instead, I use two cameras facing forward for a much wider angle field of view to the left and right -- much more than one camera can deliver.

Other parts:
KEEDOX® DC/DC Converter 12V Step Down to 5V 3A Power Supply Module $4 at Amazon
attachment.php?attachmentid=45638&stc=1&d=1395601794.jpg



30A 12/24VDC Mini Blade In-Line Fuse Holder : Fuse Holders | RadioShack.com $3.50



1/4 Fully Insulated Quick Disconnects (10-Pack) : Disconnects | RadioShack.com
$2.99

pRS1C-2266750w345.jpg


1/4 Fully Insulated Quick Disconnects (10-Pack) : Disconnects | RadioShack.com $2.99

pRS1C-2266752w345.jpg


Low Profile Right/Left Angle OBD 2 II Extension with Flat Ribbon Cable 3/1m $10 at Amazon

51wRB7sP8dL._SL300_.jpg


Since the dashcam runs on USB power, I needed to step down 12V to 5.5V, which is what the KEEDOX unit does. It's pretty small. And if your car does have the 12V power in the microphone area, this converter WILL FIT in that area -- it's tight, but it will fit, so if you want to hook it up there, by all means, do that.

But if you don't have that 12V source, I decided to go with the OBDII port, which is always on. That's OK, since I can turn the dash cam on and off if I choose to do so. Otherwise, it draws very little current. Not enough that I'm worried about phantom draw.

So Step #1, was to cut off the 12V->USB power cable that came with the webcam -- it has a nice 10foot cable with the proper right-angle USB plug on the end. Discard the 12V end of the power adapter (cigarette plug). (or keep it for some other future project). I know it also has a 12v->5.5v converter, but I didn't want to bother with whatever was inside and creating an insulated housing for it. The KEEDOX was a nice, compact, self-contained unit to do the same thing for only 4 bucks.

attachment.php



Step #2: I soldered the + and - of the USB cable to the "output" end of the KEEDOX converter (off the left side of this photo). The red wire is positive and the yellow is negative (kind of obvious).
Step #3: On the "Input" side of the converter, I attached two of the Radio Shack insulated quick connects (the red ones are for smaller gauge wires):

attachment.php



Step #4: On the + side of the converter, I added a mini-blade 30amp fuse holder (and a 3A fuse), again using the radio shack quick connects (the blue ones are for larger guage wires). It's a huge fuse holder, but that's all Radio Shack had available on Saturday.

attachment.php


Step #5: (I did this in the car) Take the OBD extension cable, and cut off the FEMALE end, leaving most (but not all) of the wire attached to the MALE end (the end with the visible pins). Now fray out and strip the ends of the wire attached to the FEMALE end. On OBDII, pin 4 is chassis ground, and Pin 16 is +12V. But since I didn't have a pin out of the flat ribbon cable, I had to use trial and error. I used the FEMALE end to test each pin to find which wires were connected to Pins 4 and 16. Turns out that lead #5 was ground, and lead #8 was +12v. Don't ask me from which side to start counting, I just kept it straight (I actually cut the wire at a bias, so I had a long side, and short side to tell them apart). So I matched those leads to the MALE end, and re-tested the pins match up to the pinout. I then plugged in the MALE end into the OBDII port on the car to confirm I had the correct + and - leads. They were correct, so I pulled the OBDII plug and took it to my work bench to solder the rest of it up. Here's the FEMALE end I used for testing the pin out:

attachment.php


Step #6. The OBDII ribbon cable wires are VERY, VERY thin, so I first soldered some larger guage wire to each one, and shrink wrapped each wire connection, and then more shrink wrap around both joints. I also used some electrical tape to strengthen that end of the ribbon cable. (sorry, it's kind of hard to see this in the photos):

attachment.php


Step #7: To each end of the larger guage wire, I connected two more of the red Radio Shack quick connects. Which I then connected to the negative side of the KEEDOX converter, and the positive side to the other end of the fuse holder. Here's the finished product on the bench:

attachment.php



Step #8: Take the assembled cable to the car. Disconnect the ODBII cable from the rest of the bits using the quick connects. Remove the driver's side plastic side panel next to the dash when the door is open (same panel with the ethernet jack). You'll have to play with it, but you can feed the end of the OBDII wire up and through to this open area. Plug in the ODBII plug and pull through the rest of the slack in the OBBII wire. Bad photo, but this is what it looks like from below:

attachment.php


Step #9: Mount the dashcam on the rear-view mirror (it just slides on), plug in the USB cable to the cam, and make sure there's enough slack to move the mirror around without pulling the cable. Using a plastic pry tool, lift the front top edge of the windshield trim away from the windshield, and insert the wire. Move along the top moving to the left. It's pretty easy. Then route the wire around (and inside) the A pillar, and into the side molding moving down, under the black rubber weather stripping. Again, this is pretty straight forward if you have a good pry tool. Then feed the wire down into the open panel area.

Step #10: Hook everything up! Connect the ends of the OBDII cable to the fuse holder and converter. Plug in the dashcam. If you did everything right, it should power up. You can wrap up the excess cable and place it inside that open area behind the dash. Replace the trim panel, and you're done!

Notes: Since I used the quick-connects, when it comes time to install the Front-Rear Touchscreen Camera Kit, I can use a couple more quick connects to tap into this power source which is already fused and powered by the OBDII port. And if I'm parking the car and not using it for any long period of time, I can just pull the OBDII plug to power down the dashcam and Front Camera module.

If I had to do it all over, I'd probably order a better OBDII cable what isn't a ribbon cable -- something like this:

Amazon.com: Oem OBD-II OBD2 16Pin Male to Female Extension Cable Diagnostic Extender 100cm: Electronics

When it comes time to install the Front-Rear cam, I may re-do the OBD cable part.


To remove everything, just disconnect the quick-connects, and pull the dashcam USB wire out of the moldings and trim, and unplug the OBDII cable and pull it out. There are no traces whatsoever of the install.

I'll post a sample video from the dashcam shortly.

Good luck!
 

Attachments

  • cord.jpg
    cord.jpg
    18.7 KB · Views: 7,140
  • OBD.JPG
    OBD.JPG
    100.5 KB · Views: 7,154
  • photo 1.JPG
    photo 1.JPG
    101.9 KB · Views: 7,177
  • photo 2.JPG
    photo 2.JPG
    99.6 KB · Views: 7,234
  • photo 3.jpg
    photo 3.jpg
    81.6 KB · Views: 7,105
  • photo 4.JPG
    photo 4.JPG
    86.8 KB · Views: 7,140
  • dashcam.jpg
    dashcam.jpg
    43.6 KB · Views: 5,827
  • keedox.jpg
    keedox.jpg
    20.4 KB · Views: 5,804
  • female obd.jpg
    female obd.jpg
    52.7 KB · Views: 7,444
Last edited:

Morristhecat

Member
Jul 3, 2012
724
204
Burnaby, BC
Hey, thanks for posting this step by step tutorial.. I have a similar 6000A dual cam mirror dashcam sitting on my desk uninstalled since i didn't know how to fit the included 12v adapter in my mic area that has 12v.. Now i know what to do!
 
Last edited:

AndreyATC

Member
Dec 19, 2013
541
152
Cape Coral FL, USA
My dash cam is also USB powered with 5V
I love the camera, but i hate hanging wires, which i have 2 now, for radar detector and camera
I like the idea of using power from the microphone area, but not sure if my VIN supports it
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
My dash cam is also USB powered with 5V
I love the camera, but i hate hanging wires, which i have 2 now, for radar detector and camera
I like the idea of using power from the microphone area, but not sure if my VIN supports it

My VIN is 15xxx and definitely does not have the mic power, which is why I went the OBD route. The wires are totally hidden, except for the last bit extending from the header down to the camera.

I also installed my Valentine 1 radar detector the same way, but instead going down the right side A pillar, into the pax footwell, and connecting to the switched 12v source behind the console side panel (there are other threads the detail this method).
 

Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,335
2,202
San Luis Obispo, CA
My dash cam is also USB powered with 5V
I love the camera, but i hate hanging wires, which i have 2 now, for radar detector and camera
I like the idea of using power from the microphone area, but not sure if my VIN supports it

The yellow with green tracer is hot with ignition in the microphone area. It is big enough to support the mobius camera without any issues.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
Here are some pics of the finished install.
 

Attachments

  • photo 3.JPG
    photo 3.JPG
    38.6 KB · Views: 3,696
  • photo 1.JPG
    photo 1.JPG
    52.7 KB · Views: 3,725
  • photo 2.JPG
    photo 2.JPG
    37.3 KB · Views: 3,725
  • photo 5.JPG
    photo 5.JPG
    25.3 KB · Views: 3,689

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
The yellow with green tracer is hot with ignition in the microphone area. It is big enough to support the mobius camera without any issues.

Just a comment -- I think you're talking about the wire that is pretty far back in the microphone area in the wiring harness that runs along the header, not that easy to get to. Also, you'd have to fish it out, and tap into it, as well as find a good ground nearby. Also, it's a 12V source, so to run a 5V USB camera, it would still need to be stepped down to 5V. That's all doable in the microphone area, but requires pulling and tapping that 12v line and a ground. The reason I posted my method is that it requires no pulling or wire tapping, and takes 5 minutes to run/hide the wire along the header and down the A pillar. It's also 100% reversible.

- - - Updated - - -

Very clean install
How do you like video quality?

It's not fantastic, but it's good enough for dash-cam purposes. Hopefully I'll never need to retrieve a video!

Here's a sample split screen video I posted above: Two camera Dashcam - YouTube (shot at dusk, so it's a little dark)

If I wanted to go with just one camera, it can go up to 3 megapixels.
 

Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,335
2,202
San Luis Obispo, CA
Just a comment -- I think you're talking about the wire that is pretty far back in the microphone area in the wiring harness that runs along the header, not that easy to get to. Also, you'd have to fish it out, and tap into it, as well as find a good ground nearby. Also, it's a 12V source, so to run a 5V USB camera, it would still need to be stepped down to 5V. That's all doable in the microphone area, but requires pulling and tapping that 12v line and a ground. The reason I posted my method is that it requires no pulling or wire tapping, and takes 5 minutes to run/hide the wire along the header and down the A pillar. It's also 100% reversible.

.

I was able to tap easily with soldered connection, and put the 5V stepdown all behind the microphone grill. No long wires to run. Gound was there also. I believe it was black. Easy access by snapping apart the plastic shroud that surrounds the rear view mirror base. Mobius is increadibly clear and shoots in 1080p definition!! 4 hour loop with 32 gig micro sd. $80 without sd card.
 
Last edited:

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
Why is the left side darker than the right side in the video, Hank?

I can't tell you for sure, but two different cameras with different average automatic exposures based on the light coming into each camera. It's not as noticeable during the day, but then again, I hope to never need to view the video, and if I do in case of an accident or other event, the difference in exposure shouldn't really matter, it's the content that counts.
 

gmark2000

Member
Apr 13, 2014
12
0
Oakville, Ontario
Step #5: (I did this in the car) Take the OBD extension cable, and cut off the FEMALE end, leaving most (but not all) of the wire attached to the MALE end (the end with the visible pins). Now fray out and strip the ends of the wire attached to the FEMALE end. On OBDII, pin 4 is chassis ground, and Pin 16 is +12V. But since I didn't have a pin out of the flat ribbon cable, I had to use trial and error. I used the FEMALE end to test each pin to find which wires were connected to Pins 4 and 16. Turns out that lead #5 was ground, and lead #8 was +12v. Don't ask me from which side to start counting, I just kept it straight (I actually cut the wire at a bias, so I had a long side, and short side to tell them apart). So I matched those leads to the MALE end, and re-tested the pins match up to the pinout. I then plugged in the MALE end into the OBDII port on the car to confirm I had the correct + and - leads. They were correct, so I pulled the OBDII plug and took it to my work bench to solder the rest of it up. Here's the FEMALE end I used for testing the pin out:

attachment.php?attachmentid=45644&stc=1&d=1395603968.jpg
Pins 4 and 16 are standard, right?

OBDII_Pinout.jpg
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,069
11,318
Connecticut
Yes, on the connector end, that is the standard, but my description above was how I determined which lead in the ribbon cable was connected to pins 4 and 16 on the connector.
 
Last edited:

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top