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Old 01-03-2015, 10:19 PM   #1
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Hardwire Dashcam and/or Radar Detector

I'm planning on adding a dashcam and maybe a radar detector to my 2012 Ti HB. There are two ways these things are hooked up: using the cigarette light cable, or hardwiring. I don't want to tie up my cigarette lighter outlet and I don't want coiled cables dangling about so I plan to do a hardwire install.

OK, I've looked a bit into the electrical system of the car and there are a few options for where I could tie into the electrical system. The most common method involves using an 'add-a-fuse' and then running the wire from the fuse box up to the rear view mirror area and then to the device (dashcam/radar-detector). I've also looked into using the power for one of the vanity mirror lights, power from the overhead lights in the console above the mirror or maybe the auto-dimming mirror.

The vanity mirror lights are powered by the interior light power which goes on when you turn the car on and goes off about 10 minutes after the car is turned off -- that would be perfect as it would give 10 minutes of coverage after you leave the car.

The switch cluster in the overhead console (my car does not have moonroof) would be nice as it's so close to the point of use. The problem is I'm not sure how to remove the assembly and there are special tools specified that I don't have. Does anyone know how to remove this to access the cables?

I might tie into the dimming mirror power cable and it would be pretty easy to get access by just removing the covers in front of the mirror and covering the rain sensor. I need to confirm the type of power, but this should only be on when the car is on.

Of course, I could just use the 'add-a-fuse' and tie into the fuse panel, but then I'd need to run the wires up along the A-pillar. How do you remove the A-pillar cover? Are there special tools needed for that?


Brian


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Old 01-03-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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Moved to the MkIII interior section,

There's already one thread with some answers here and more on interior disassembly.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:50 PM   #3
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I used an add a fuse on mine going to the fuse panel (fuse 86) right behind the glove box. Connected the Add-a-fuse to a cig lighter socket.Ran the ground to a metal support under the dash and bolted it in place. Using fuse 86 the camera goes on and off with the ignition instead of the 10-30 min wait of the cars acc port.

As for the wires to the windshield there was no need to take anything off. I was able to pull the trim out just enough to stuff the dash cam wire behind it. when i got to the headliner i just gently pushed the wire up behind the lip of the liner. Everything stays in place and isn't even noticeable. Everyone thats been in my car don't usually see the camera until i point it out.
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradoxmaker View Post
I used an add a fuse on mine going to the fuse panel (fuse 86) right behind the glove box. Connected the Add-a-fuse to a cig lighter socket.Ran the ground to a metal support under the dash and bolted it in place. Using fuse 86 the camera goes on and off with the ignition instead of the 10-30 min wait of the cars acc port.

As for the wires to the windshield there was no need to take anything off. I was able to pull the trim out just enough to stuff the dash cam wire behind it. when i got to the headliner i just gently pushed the wire up behind the lip of the liner. Everything stays in place and isn't even noticeable. Everyone thats been in my car don't usually see the camera until i point it out.

thanks for posting
need to do the same for my dash cam
I wasnt sure that the cigarette port in the console ever powered off
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradoxmaker View Post
I used an add a fuse on mine going to the fuse panel (fuse 86) right behind the glove box. Connected the Add-a-fuse to a cig lighter socket.Ran the ground to a metal support under the dash and bolted it in place. Using fuse 86 the camera goes on and off with the ignition instead of the 10-30 min wait of the cars acc port.

As for the wires to the windshield there was no need to take anything off. I was able to pull the trim out just enough to stuff the dash cam wire behind it. when i got to the headliner i just gently pushed the wire up behind the lip of the liner. Everything stays in place and isn't even noticeable. Everyone thats been in my car don't usually see the camera until i point it out.
OK, so you didn't have to remove the A-pillar trim completely, just pry it out enough to tuck the wires in. Did you push the wires in from the front side (toward windshield) of the trim or the back side?

Also, at the bottom of the A-pillar, how did you run the wires to the fuse panel? Were there any other cover that needed to be removed?

I'm going to look at how to remove the upper console and see if I can tie into the wires from there. If so it would make for a shorter run and avoid any issues with airbags etc.

Wouldn't it be nice if car makers provided a 2-pin socket (molex or similar) at the mirror that we could just plug into?


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Old 01-04-2015, 08:20 AM   #6
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Subbing to this as a clean dash cam setup is very high on my list of wants.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:52 PM   #7
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I tried getting access to the connector for the vanity mirror lights but I couldn't. I removed the visor mount and found the wires for the light, but when I tried to pull the cable to reach the connector it wouldn't budge and I didn't want to force it.

I then looked at pulling the overhead console to access the connectors and wires but I could not find any screws and didn't want to pry too hard.

Lastly, I was able to remove the black two piece cover for the rain sensor and found the 12V on pin 1 of 3, or maybe it's pin 3 of 3 - I'll confirm that in a bit. The ground pin is pin 2, the middle pin. The hot wire is grey and the ground wire is black with a white trace. The signal lead is brown with a yellow trace.

I would love to get a set of connectors, male and female, so I could simply make a small extension cable with addition wires to power the dashcams and radar detector, but I don't think Ford will make it easy to find them. Failing that I can use a standard crimp wire tap, though it would be nice if I didn't have to splice in.

Still, if this power source pans out it will be the least invasive hardwire requiring only the removal of the two piece cover and a couple wire taps. Since this is already at the mirror and the cover will hide the connection and wires, this should make for a very clean install.

I would probably add a sticky back so I can tywrap the wires and keep things from moving around.

I'll update this when I've confirmed everything and when I add the dashcams and radar detector I'll takes some pics and perhaps video the work.


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Old 01-04-2015, 03:10 PM   #8
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Ok, I timed how long power is on and found that power remains on for 30 minutes after the door is closed, not 10 minutes as I previously thought. So, in operation, if I tie the dashcams and radar detector into this circuit the power will come on when I open the door and remain on while driving and stay on 30 minutes after I park the car and leave.

This may be ideal for the dashcams as it would keep recording for 30 minutes after parking increasing the chance of catching parking lot events. Having the radar detector on for an additional 30 minutes isn't desireable, but given the power draw it should have no effect on the battery. I'd guess the total power draw for both the dashcams and radar detector at less than 20W and maybe less than 10W making the total energy draw between 5 and 10 WHrs.


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Old 01-04-2015, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor1956 View Post
OK, so you didn't have to remove the A-pillar trim completely, just pry it out enough to tuck the wires in. Did you push the wires in from the front side (toward windshield) of the trim or the back side?

Also, at the bottom of the A-pillar, how did you run the wires to the fuse panel? Were there any other cover that needed to be removed?

Brian
No i didn't have to take my trim off, i was able to tuck the power wire in pretty easily. I went out and took some pics of my install. I don't know if anyone else thinks it's good or not but it works for me.



The power wire feeds from the camera to a notch that was in the headliner, under the edge of the headliner to the A-pillar trim.


Under the upper edge of trim to the weather strip and down the door frame. From the weatherstrip i just jumped across to the underside of the glove box and secured the wire to other bundles with a tie-wrap.



My Aux connector was secured with a wire tie to a couple of holes i punched in the Ac duct. My ground wire went to a dash mount and the power wire went to the add-a-fuse in fuse 86.


Right now i have my camera set to power off after 3 min on loss of power so it still records when i get out of the car but not for the 30 min it would be if i was using car ACC power.

Last edited by Paradoxmaker; 01-04-2015 at 05:45 PM. Reason: Pictures didn't attach
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:08 PM   #10
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so is 86 a empty fuse location ?
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