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      04-18-2014, 03:08 AM   #1
Frogman
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Hardwiring a 5v dashcam DIY

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This DIY is a little different from the normal dashcam or radar detector install previously documented in these forums.

I wanted to install a very small and stealthy dash cam and I didn't want to use any of the of the 12V sockets nor run the wire all the way around the body of the car from the fuses.

I reviewed the excellent installation job posted by JBM and shawnsheridan about tapping into the switched power in the rear view mirror housing. That was exactly what I wanted!

But, the camera I have (the Mobius ActionCam) is powered by a 5V mini-USB connector and putting 12V into that would fry the camera.

I found a really small DC to DC converter on ebay that would fit inside the rear view mirror housing. All of the others were way too big or tall. This converter takes 5-28VDC in and has an adjustable output from 1.3 to 17VDC. I just had to adjusted it to 5 volts. My brother, who designs power supplies for a living, tested this little gem and the voltage was very stable (2mV between 0 and 1000mA load) and heat output was very low; only about 22 degrees F above ambient at 500mA load. Perfect!

Here is a picture of the converter with a 90 degree mini-USB cable connected to it.
I used quick disconnect leads on the supply side so I could remove it easily if needed to.
I covered the circuit board with heat shrink tubing to protect the converter before I installed it.



Installation was pretty straightforward.

1. Remove the rear view mirror housing. Just slide a plastic card into the seam and separate. It comes apart fairly easily.



2. I attached the shrink tubed converter to the rear view mirror housing with 3M double sided sticky
tape so it wouldn't move around and I anchored the USB cable to the housing with a
sticky clip for strain relief.



3. I tapped into the switched 12V and ground wires in going into the rear view mirror
as others have. I didn't use invisi-cord, I just got some small wire splices and tapped into the wires.
There isn't a lot of room to work up there, but this step went fine.



4. I then just connected the quick connects, tested the power, and reinstalled
the rear view mirror housing. It just snaps back together.



5. Finished.
I wasn't able to put the camera any closer to the mirror housing because I didn't want to block the auto-headlight sensor on the mirror.



Parts List:

Camera: http://www.amazon.com/Angle-Mobius-A...7882494&sr=8-3

Low-profile mount: http://www.amazon.com/Adhesive-threa...8006039&sr=8-3

DC-DC Converter: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-3A-DC-D...item3cd868cc79

Right-angle USB cable cannibalized from this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Quick connects: http://shop.ballardsupply.com/MOLEX-...625-1PRT-P.htm

Splices: http://www.amazon.com/JT-Products-12.../dp/B003HULGY4

Miscellaneous black/yellow wires came from a spare PC 4-pin Molex HDD power cable.

Last edited by Frogman; 06-19-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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      04-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
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Can you share links for the various parts for those who might want to do this?

Would it be possible to place it on the drivers side as it seems it could be fully hidden by the rear view mirror?

Thanks!
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      04-18-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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Wow, good work!
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      04-18-2014, 11:02 PM   #4
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Nice job!
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      04-19-2014, 12:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdubmd View Post
Can you share links for the various parts for those who might want to do this?

Would it be possible to place it on the drivers side as it seems it could be fully hidden by the rear view mirror?

Thanks!
I added the parts list and links to the first post.

I originally looked at putting the camera on the drivers side, but with the rear view mirror in it's normal position, there just wasn't any room to mount it and keep it hidden and still allow for the power cable to be plugged in.

Last edited by Frogman; 04-20-2014 at 12:07 AM.
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      04-19-2014, 01:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnsheridan View Post
Nice job!
Thanks. Your post on wiring your radar detector gave me the idea.

I added the USB cable strain relief clip based on reading your episode of shorted wires when you suction cup failed.

It would have given me a heart attack to see smoke coming out of my mirror housing!
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      04-19-2014, 08:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
Thanks. Your post on wiring your radar detector gave me the idea.

I added the USB cable strain relief clip based on reading your episode of shorted wires when you suction cup failed.

It would have given me a heart attack to see smoke coming out of my mirror housing!
Haha...I did almost have a heart attack. The bad part was I was boarding a plane for the left coast, and had to wait 5 days to get back to my car and figure out if it was damaged or not. Thankfully not, but it was a long 5 days or worrying, thinking my car burned to the ground in the airport parking garage.
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      04-19-2014, 11:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
I added the parts list and links to the fist post.

I originally looked at putting the camera on the drivers side, but with the rear view mirror in it's normal position, there just wasn't any room to mount it and keep it hidden and still allow for the power cable to be plugged in.
Thank you! ... This will be the next project.

Last edited by rdubmd; 04-20-2014 at 12:01 AM.
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      06-19-2014, 04:31 PM   #9
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This is a wonderful thread, very useful.
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      09-10-2014, 05:02 PM   #10
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Would this setup allow for someone to run both a radar detector and Mobius dash cam off the same tap?
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      09-10-2014, 05:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Would this setup allow for someone to run both a radar detector and Mobius dash cam off the same tap?
I would think so, you just need to tap into the 12V coming out of the car. The converter board has 2 sets of holes on both the input and output sides, so there's easy access to 12V on the input side.

The only thing I might be worried about is total current draw. The Mobius only uses about 2-1/2 Watts (500mA at 5V). How much juice does the radar detector use?
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      09-10-2014, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
I would think so, you just need to tap into the 12V coming out of the car. The converter board has 2 sets of holes on both the input and output sides, so there's easy access to 12V on the input side.

The only thing I might be worried about is total current draw. The Mobius only uses about 2-1/2 Watts (500mA at 5V). How much juice does the radar detector use?
http://www.valentine1.com/v1info/pdf...ifications.pdf

It seems the max is about 500mA at ~12V for the Valentine 1.
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      09-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
http://www.valentine1.com/v1info/pdf...ifications.pdf

It seems the max is about 500mA at ~12V for the Valentine 1.
Ok, so about 8.5 Watts total, or about 0.710 Amps. I wonder what the fuse is rated at?
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      09-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #14
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Well done!
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      09-13-2014, 06:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
Ok, so about 8.5 Watts total, or about 0.710 Amps. I wonder what the fuse is rated at?
In this thread, it seems that they have pictures of the fusebox in the trunk. The lowest amps the fuses are rated for seems to be 5A.

http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=681146
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      09-21-2014, 07:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
Ok, so about 8.5 Watts total, or about 0.710 Amps. I wonder what the fuse is rated at?
Install complete http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...6#post16668046
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      10-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #17
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Amazing work, thank you for sharing!
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      12-16-2014, 12:36 AM   #18
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Do you have automatic high beams? I see you have that camera in the rear view bezel, I dont have that option and im thinking of ordering that bezzle and hiding the camera in there.
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Last edited by ilyabarankevich; 12-16-2014 at 02:42 AM.
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      12-16-2014, 12:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyabarankevich
Do you have automatic high beams? I see you have that camera in the rear view bezel, I dont have that option and im thinking of ordering that bezzle and hiding the camera in there.
Yes, I have the auto high beams. The mobius gets a little hot, I'd worry about making sure you can dissipate the heat if you tucked the camera in there. Plus, you will need access to the SD card in the back, how will you get to it without disassembling the cover?
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      12-18-2014, 02:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
Yes, I have the auto high beams. The mobius gets a little hot, I'd worry about making sure you can dissipate the heat if you tucked the camera in there. Plus, you will need access to the SD card in the back, how will you get to it without disassembling the cover?
People have said that if you replace the batteries with the caps it doesnt heat up as much... Well the only reason why i would access the sd card is if i want to see something that happened. Hopefully this will never happen.

I see your point that it will be hard to access... maybe i can velcro the unit it self to the side of the cover and run the camera to that opening on the inside. That way i can get to the memory card easier...
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      12-18-2014, 03:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyabarankevich View Post
People have said that if you replace the batteries with the caps it doesnt heat up as much... Well the only reason why i would access the sd card is if i want to see something that happened. Hopefully this will never happen.

I see your point that it will be hard to access... maybe i can velcro the unit it self to the side of the cover and run the camera to that opening on the inside. That way i can get to the memory card easier...
i thought about mounting it to the bottom of the housing cover too. An L-bracket could be used to attach to the mirror housing and then bend the L-bracket so that the the camera can be mounted horizontally to the bracket. That way the camera would be centered in the window, just below the housing for easy access to power and the SD card.

I ultimately rejected the idea because the camera was too visible and blocked part of my view out the window.

Like you, I didn't want my camera easily visible. Where I have my camera now (tucked under the right hand side of the mirror) does not block my view and is virtually invisible from the outside.
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      01-31-2015, 05:27 AM   #22
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I don't have those wires to rear view mirror. Any Idea where I might be able to get power from? Really want to avoid taking trims out
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