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Goood Morning Britain,

 

I have purchased my 1st dash cam, its a Cobra incase anyones interested lol, however i would like to hardwire it in to my vehicle, has anybody attempted it and achieved this task may i ask? And if so would you be kind enough to talk me through it please.

Saying that, i need to buy a hardwire kit first from some place!!!

Cheers 

 

Sammy

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Doing it yourself is really easy from a technical perspective, but painful from a practical point of view. If it's a simple two wire connection, then its the black/ground to a ground point anywhere, and red/power to power source. There is often more wires though, such as active power, and signalling input like head unit aux. Most usually go to fuse points via the kits adapters. The kit will usually have full instructions and parts. 

The hurdle is hiding and routing the wiring, as it will likely need to go behind things like the dash, roof liner, a pillers, even possibly through tunnels to the Battery, etc. Get a swear jar ready, a full free day(if not a technical person), and LOTS of penny's as you work out how.

BUT you should consider this big problem:

Yours or any other insurance companys may ask for proof of professional installation in a claim, if its suspected to be done badly - and use it against you if its a bodge job.

For example, its all to easy to take the easy route of a DIY job, and just twisting the wires to a point and taping up, instead of using proper connector's - or just connecting grounds end to the nearest bolt. This will work, usually quite well, but has some small risk. Most of all, it opens the door to "This was unprofessionally performed/installed, voided warranty, and may have contributed to car faults/accident/etc."

On 99% of cars, I would recommend a professional install purely for liability purposes.

Just not on mine 😛(older classic car) 

 

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Thanks guys.

For me..the running of cabling is a doddle...its the electrical connections bit that confuse me.

So with these kits then, i see a black and a red wire...do these connect directly to the car Battery?

And i see a fuse holder, thats easy because you dont need to touch that as its in-line and just needs tucking away.

But then i see an actual blade fuse...hmmmm...thats the scary bit for me...where does it go?

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Check the Kit to be precise, but no - none need to go to the Battery unless the kit directly says so.
The fuse box and existing ground cables will work fine.
Honestly, its best to read the instructions than anything i've written below, they are usually more accurate and detailed - but if not then there is a general setup for most dashcams:

If there is only 2 wires, red and black:
then black goes to ground, technically anywhere you can.
-A metal point on the car such as a bolt hole would work as ground, where you would use a proper fitting such as a Crimp Ring Terminal end, but it would be best to use an existing ground cable, which are everywhere, such as the one off the back of the audio/stereo unit.
-The red power cable goes to a power source which is only live when the ignition is on - usually there is an inline fuse on the red cable and it either goes over(piggy backs e.g Halfords "Autoblade Add-a-fuse") to the cig lighter fuse or replace's it altogether. The cig light will still work, its just the Dashcam will draw from there - The Cig lighter fuse is used because it only activates when thee ignition is on. That way a simplistic dash cam wont stay on and drain the Battery when the car is switch off. IgnON/DashcamON --> IngOFF/Dashcamoff

Most hardwired kits however have at least 4 cables, as most dash cams these days have more features:
- That means there is often 4 cables - 1 Ground, 1 Power (Permanent), 1 Power (Ignition) and an Aux line.
--The ground is the same as above,
--the Permanent power goes to a permanently live power source, same the same as say where the alarm gets power, (This is so the dash cam can work in standbymode,  when the car is off and unattended, such as using motion detection to take picture of people looking into your parked car)
--the Ignition power goes to an ACC line or something like the cig lighter fuse, that way the dashcam knows when the ign is switched on, and goes into video recording mode. The Dashcam kit should tell you specifically how it should be connected.
--and the AUX(usually a proper plug on the end) goes into the back of the stereo so you can view the Dashcam on your cars LCD screen (if you have one with AUX input, but makes a terrible reversing camera lol)
-In my old car I had two separate dash-cams, one at front, one at back, (I hardwired both - 4 cables each. piggybacked the Cig Light Fuse for Ign Source cable, piggybacked the fuse for the alarm, grounded to a frame bolt behind the dash, and plugged the two aux's into front and rear aux on my head unit. B@ST#RD thing to wire up 😞 
-WHen I would park the car,  the dashcams went into "observe mode" snapping pictures by motion dection or recording for a duration on an impact. When i got back and started the car, it went into Normal record mode.

Next you have more complex and expensive dashcams which integrate into the car, alarm, stereo and more - They have their own GPS, sim and antenna, and the cables get right out of control for those. It allows the dash-cam to be mush more "smart" in when to turn on, display and even interact on the car LCD screen, knowing how to turn on, what turn on(IR light for example), detection and zoom, record extra information about location, car speed, etc, even to notify the user of events by phone and even upload video, all automatically. Basically more like a smartphone than a Dashcam.

As I said though, It really best to use the kit instructions than any of the rambling above, and have a professional installer do it for you... I wouldn't listen to the advise above :)

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Hi

Just a thought guys...

How about if i were to find a lonnng usb lead that fits my Dashcam and then run this frim the Dashcam, through the roof liner, down the A pillar, and down a side wall some where, and let it dangle very near to the cigarette port whereby i already have a usb charger plugged in.

If such lonnng usb leads exist on ebay...then its an option.

Agree???

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It's whats I'm doing now :) (I'm waiting for my new dash cam, got a temp one up at present.)

The only thing i will say is this - MOST of the time the above will work without issue.
However, its worth testing first using a USB cable you might already have.
This is because on rare occasion, certain devices need a custom USB cable, and sometimes need more amps.

Examples:
I have a dual, 2 amp, USB port plugged into my cig lighter, and 2 standard USB cables running to the dash cam and phone.
This all Works fine.

The 1st USB Cable for the Dash cam is a long ***** cable from an old portable hard drive(dash-cam end is the mini USB type). Works fine, and I've charged other devices with it.

The 2nd cable is for my phone, and is a cheap cable from a Belkin phone charger.(Phone end is micro USB) - It charges my phone fine, and I've also charged many other devices with it too.

BUT - My cheap crappy tablet wont charge with anything other the cable it came with, despite it being USB and micro HDMI. The manufacturer did some kinda custom job on the cable - AND it wont charge other devices either. So If want to charge it in the car, I have to swap out a damn cable. 




 

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1 hour ago, SAM LOVERS HER TOYOTAS said:

Hi

Just a thought guys...

How about if i were to find a lonnng usb lead that fits my Dashcam and then run this frim the Dashcam, through the roof liner, down the A pillar, and down a side wall some where, and let it dangle very near to the cigarette port whereby i already have a usb charger plugged in.

If such lonnng usb leads exist on ebay...then its an option.

Agree???

That’s exactly what I done in my Prius, and it works very well with no problems. I got the long usbcable off eBay. Used a piece string to get a rough length of cable required, added a bit just to make sure I got enough. Any spare cable can be hid under the dash somewhere.

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17 hours ago, SAM LOVERS HER TOYOTAS said:

Hi

Just a thought guys...

How about if i were to find a lonnng usb lead that fits my Dashcam and then run this frim the Dashcam, through the roof liner, down the A pillar, and down a side wall some where, and let it dangle very near to the cigarette port whereby i already have a usb charger plugged in.

If such lonnng usb leads exist on ebay...then its an option.

Agree???

Most dash cams come with a cable long enough to do that.

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Guys 

You know these hardwire kits, are they all the same thing?

Ive decided on 2 manufacturers only one has two bare end wires, black and red,

whereas the other model has a black with an earthing point, and a red connected to a piggy back fuse.

Im not sure which to go for rarely if i decide the hardwire route

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Drivesmart-Micro-USB-Hardwire-Hard-Wire-Kit-Cobra-Drive-HD-CDR-855-835-820/311944192411?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

or

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Cobra-CA-MICROUSB-001-Dc-Adapter-Dashcam-Accessory-CA-MICROUSB-001/192572695064?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

 

 

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Between those two, Id be looking at the drivesmart one.
However I cant stress enough to check your dash cam will work with the output of any hardware kit first.(yes this is my disclaimer :) )
Drive-smart says: "Our kits all come fused with a 12 -24V input and 5V 2A Output" - so just make sure your Dash cam will be OK with the 5 volt 2 amps it will get .
Its 
VERY likely it will, but i cant promise you it will work sorry. Also make sure your fuses are mini blades (small ones). 

My Reasons for the drivesmart:
1 - Its 2 amp, so it can charge/power 2amp devices as well (My galaxy note phone is 2 amp for example)  whilst the other which is 1 amp only. (Most dash-cams will work fine as they will only draw one amp anyway, its just that this kit can provide 2 amp, so  if a device need that, its got it)
2 -  It comes with the fuse adapter / aka fuse tap. - below is a good video of what these are and how to use them, (again, just got to make sure your car has micro/mini fuses to tap into) - If you were to buy the other kit your just going to be adapting it to do almost exactly this anyway, either buying an adapter, soldering, taping twisting, etc, etc. The Tap is a nice clean easy way to do it, and this kit already has it.

3- Its cheaper with a better rated and higher powered seller who delivers faster :)

The only thing I see the other kit being better for is that it appears to be actually from Cobra themselves. (Id want to double check that to be sure), where as the drivesmart one is a different manufacturer. If it were a genuine cobra kit, it means it has tested zero risk to a genuine cobra dash-cam, and may even get you some support assistance from them, possibly warranty, etc,etc.. you would need to ask them first of course. I don't know how far drive-smart would help for installation.


Again, I wouldn't listen to me, or any of the above... I'd get a professional installer to do it :)

 

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2 hours ago, Supra_knight said:

Between those two, Id be looking at the drivesmart one.
However I cant stress enough to check your dash cam will work with the output of any hardware kit first.(yes this is my disclaimer 🙂 )
Drive-smart says: "Our kits all come fused with a 12 -24V input and 5V 2A Output" - so just make sure your Dash cam will be OK with the 5 volt 2 amps it will get .
Its 
VERY likely it will, but i cant promise you it will work sorry. Also make sure your fuses are mini blades (small ones). 

My Reasons for the drivesmart:
1 - Its 2 amp, so it can charge/power 2amp devices as well (My galaxy note phone is 2 amp for example)  whilst the other which is 1 amp only. (Most dash-cams will work fine as they will only draw one amp anyway, its just that this kit can provide 2 amp, so  if a device need that, its got it)
2 -  It comes with the fuse adapter / aka fuse tap. - below is a good video of what these are and how to use them, (again, just got to make sure your car has micro/mini fuses to tap into) - If you were to buy the other kit your just going to be adapting it to do almost exactly this anyway, either buying an adapter, soldering, taping twisting, etc, etc. The Tap is a nice clean easy way to do it, and this kit already has it.

3- Its cheaper with a better rated and higher powered seller who delivers faster :)

The only thing I see the other kit being better for is that it appears to be actually from Cobra themselves. (Id want to double check that to be sure), where as the drivesmart one is a different manufacturer. If it were a genuine cobra kit, it means it has tested zero risk to a genuine cobra dash-cam, and may even get you some support assistance from them, possibly warranty, etc,etc.. you would need to ask them first of course. I don't know how far drive-smart would help for installation.


Again, I wouldn't listen to me, or any of the above... I'd get a professional installer to do it 🙂

 

Thank you so much for an indepth report on your opinion supra knight. Much appreciated.

From the two options ive decided, the Cobra is a good bet, being genuine, and i wont have to worry about fuse blade sizes, and its designed for my Cobra Dashcam.

I shall report back once it arrives and fitted.

Thank you once again.

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Helooo

Does anybody know where i can find the fuse relating to my cigarette lighter so that i can tap into this for my Dashcam as a power feed?

I believe i simply need to twist the power lead coming from my Cobra hardwire kit around one leg of the fuse and it should work fine...so Cobra tell me!

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I think you should give the job to a competent garage to do this work..Your car could catch fire if you do the installation wrong, and your Insurance could be void. Halfords, in the UK do a hard wire  Dash Cam for £30.00. xx 

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1 hour ago, TotallyToto said:

I think you should give the job to a competent garage to do this work..Your car could catch fire if you do the installation wrong, and your Insurance could be void. Halfords, in the UK do a hard wire  Dash Cam for £30.00. xx 

Only if you buy the camera from them plus not all Halfords are competent ...

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On 6/24/2018 at 2:51 PM, TotallyToto said:

I think you should give the job to a competent garage to do this work..Your car could catch fire if you do the installation wrong, and your Insurance could be void. Halfords, in the UK do a hard wire  Dash Cam for £30.00. xx 

Thank you, however surely its an easy self diy project, the hardest part is running the wiring and tucking it, tapping into the right fuse is the easy but surely?

 

sammy

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8 minutes ago, SAM LOVERS HER TOYOTAS said:

Thank you, however surely its an easy self diy project, the hardest part is running the wiring and tucking it, tapping into the right fuse is the easy but surely?

 

sammy

It’s all quite easy to be honest. Just double check the fuses is only live when the ignition is on as my fuse for the cigarette lighter was live all the time even if the socket itself wasn’t(?!) And don’t tuck wires in front of any side airbags

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On 6/24/2018 at 2:51 PM, TotallyToto said:

I think you should give the job to a competent garage to do this work..Your car could catch fire if you do the installation wrong, and your Insurance could be void. Halfords, in the UK do a hard wire  Dash Cam for £30.00. xx 

Whilst there is an element of truth to there being risk, you would have to make one hell of a mess, (if not go out of your way to try) in order actually start a fire wiring a dash-cam - its extremely unlikely even for the most technically challenged people. Yes, I know there are people like that out there, those who can screw up a cup of coffee, but the OP here doesn't come across that way. She sounds like she is doing her research, leaning, evaluating and applying things correctly. Fire chances = <1%

Referring to vehicle insurance, I've said the same thing as well, liability can be  concern - BUT: 

It does depends on your insurer. Some insurer's will void you for having a Satnav/Phone/Dashcam holder/Anything that's not from factory on the dash.  I've even seen insurers void claims for people having aftermarket visors, air fresheners and even bumper stickers(Seriously). Typically the cheaper the insurer, the worse they are for this kind of thing. Its why you should beware the cheapest.- "The devil comes bearing gifts" as they say. My insurer on the other hand isn't cheap, but they did literally ask me to please "not bother calling them about the dash cam wiring or cosmetic changes". (Mine is a specialist though as my car is one hell of a lot different with a lot of performance modifications.)

There is no standardized certification, nor qualifications required for dash-cam install. So as long as the installer does a genuinely proper clean install, properly routing, proper wiring and using proper connectors, (which is very VERY easy to do on a dash cam) your finish will be as good, if not better than an installers such as Halfords.

If its a DIY job thats genuinely done properly, a Dashcam install will pose no risk, nor concern of any kind to your insurer or manufacturer. 

On 6/23/2018 at 7:19 PM, SAM LOVERS HER TOYOTAS said:

Helooo

Does anybody know where i can find the fuse relating to my cigarette lighter so that i can tap into this for my Dashcam as a power feed?

I believe i simply need to twist the power lead coming from my Cobra hardwire kit around one leg of the fuse and it should work fine...so Cobra tell me!

Unfortunatley where your fuses are located is beyond me. Usually they are in the foot panels either passenger or driver side. Your manual will tell you sorry.
If you are insisting on doing it yourself(obviously i cant recommend this :P), I would STRONGLY suggest you go to Halfords or the like, and buy the adapt-a-fuse ... much better than wire twisting to a fuse end, and much easier, but yes its going to cost another 5 or 10 quid for it ... twisting the wire to the fuse end should work, but obviously again - i can't possibly recommend you do that .





 

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On 6/24/2018 at 4:29 PM, Heidfirst said:

Only if you buy the camera from them plus not all Halfords are competent ...

I've heard bad things about Halfords, I would only trust them to fit wiper blades lol. I would either diy it or go to a proper auto electrician

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Cheers for all the input guys.

I went into Halfords today, had a look at an Autoleads piggy back fuse, they do a large and a small, im almost certain our fuses are the smaller type, cost was £8.00, no traders discount available, so i thought id see if i can find it cheaper online when i get time one if these evenings, hard life being a mum lol.

But i have decided ill either go...piggy fuse route or tap into the back of the ciggy lighter route...and avoid any twisting of wires...which is what Cobra themselves recommended to me believe it ir not!

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