Since most people were having issues with the images in my previous post on this topic, I've created another version with images hosted by imgur. Hope you can see the photos this time...
Today I decided to give my dash-cam installation a go. This is the first time I've done something like this, but it was actually very easy and I'd say anyone can tackle this without too much trouble as long as you are patient and take your time.
What you will need:
1. dash cam. I am using a "360" brand dash cam that I purchased while on a recent visit to China. My colleagues over there recommended it. The image quality is very good and the price was reasonable. Only downside is that all the menus are in Chinese, but they were easy enough to figure out and the wifi was easy to set up with the corresponding app for my iPhone.
2. add-a-circuit connector. For our car, the fuse type is Micro2, so make sure that you get the correct adapter. Mine came with spare fuses, and I used the
3. hardwire kit for your dash cam. My camera uses a micro USB connector, so thats what I purchased. if your camera uses mini USB or another standard, get the hardwire kit that is applicable to your camera. What this harness does is allow you to connect to a 12V power source and run power to your camera. The one I purchased came with a in-line fuse on the hot side. Since I am using the "add-a-circuit" with its own fuse, I removed this inline fuse (its not good to have two fuses in a circuit). I then crimped on the "add-a-circuit" and a connector for the ground wire.
5. plastic trim removal tool. My dash cam came with a little plastic pry tool to help remove interior panels. It came in handy, but is not required.
6. socket wrench and 10mm socket.
7. connection terminal (as mentioned/shown in #3 above).
The plan here is to install the dash cam as cleanly as possible as well as make the installation completely reversible. There are other ways to hardwire power to a dash cam, but they usually involve splicing into existing wiring in the area of the rearview mirror. I did not want to cut any wires. The power comes from the fuse panel below the steering wheel. The cord is run through the dash, up the driver's side A-pillar, and then up behind the headliner to the rearview mirror. It then runs behind the plastic trim under the mirror and connects to the dash cam.
1. The first step is to locate a circuit in the fuse panel that is only energized when the ignition is turned on. I used my multimeter to test the 10A fuses marked as "spare" and found the one circled in the image below to be switchable.
2. remove the 10A fuse and install it into the "add-a-circuit".
3. Next, its necessary to determine which side of the fuse holder in the panel is the "hot" side. Its necessary to know this so that the "add-a-circuit" connector can be inserted with the correct orientation. The "add-a-circuit" adapter I used had the "hot" side blade as the outermost blade, so I needed to install it as pictured below based on the "hot" side of the fuse holder being on the left.
4. Now we remove the weather stripping. It simply pulls off so give it a tug and it will come out.
5. next remove the dash trim panel on the side of the dash. pry it out and it will come off. I used the trim removal tool that came with my dash cam, but its not completely required.
6. The next part that needs to come out is the A-pillar trim. This will come out if you give it a strong tug. Do remember that there is an airbag behind this trim panel so be careful not to damage it. Don't worry, it won't go off just because you yank the panel, but just know that its there.
7. Now run your wiring from the fuse panel area, up through the side of the dash, up the A-pillar, and then tucked behind the head liner. It is VERY important that you run the wire behind the airbag in the A-pillar. DO NOT place the wire in front of the airbag as it may prevent it from properly deploying in a crash. Don't be paranoid about it, but just make sure your wire runs behind it.
8. remove the little piece of plastic trim immediately above where the rearview mirror connects to the windshield. Run the wiring in this area and then replace that little plastic trim.
9. plug the "add-a-circuit" connector into the fuse panel where you removed the 10A fuse.
10. connect the ground wire to the chassis. I used a 10mm bolt as shown below.
11. tidy up the wiring and use zip ties to secure everything.
12. re-assemble the trim and weather stripping, and you are all done.