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Old 08-20-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
DarrenDriven
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Dash Cam Installation (BlackVue DR400G-HD)

OK guys, this started as speculation and then I had a few beers and pulled the trigger. My BlackVue DR400G-HD ($260 @ Amazon) arrived about a week ago and I finally had some time to install it today.


Here is what you get in the package. The camera, a couple of cables, a 16Gb microSD with two different adapters, some sticky-backed cable holders, some quick instructions and a more in-depth instruction booklet.


One side of the camera (pictured) has the 12V DC input, the video output and the microSD slot while the other side has a large button that you use to turn the unit on and off. The mount seems pretty sturdy with a solidly-locking mechanism that releases with the push of a button and high-quality 3M sticky tape on the bottom.


1. Clean the glass where you are going to stick the mount.


2. It's best to adhere 3M tape on a warm day, or at least onto warm glass. If it's a cold day you should heat the glass and the tape with a hair dryer to insure that it will make a strong bond. Also, make sure you stick the mount where you can get the camera in and out without the rearview mirror getting in the way.


3. I plugged the cigarette lighter adapter in, turned on the camera and then used a monitor that I had laying around to adjust the angle of the camera, but you could also just guesstimate and then play the footage back on your computer to make fine adjustments. I set the height of my camera a bit high since I did the install in my angled driveway, but it's a snap to adjust the vertical angle of the camera in seconds.


4. Time to start running the power cable. I used one of the adhesive-backed cable holders to clean up the installation and to prevent tension from eventually pulling the wire out of the headliner. Then I just tucked the cable up between the headliner and the sheet metal. You really don't have to barely pull on the headliner to get the cable up there and it seems like it MIGHT fall down in the future, but it MIGHT not. I'll worry about tucking it farther up there if it falls out.


5. At the top right corner of the driver's side A-pillar you can just tuck the wire in. I didn't tuck it all the way for this photo so you could see how I ran it, but ince it is tucked behind the panels you can't see it at all.


6. The top left corner of the driver's side A-pillar is more tucking. I used a small flat-tipped screwdriver to lift the rubber window seal, then just pushed the wire behind it.


7. Super easy to run the wire from the top of the A-pillar to the bottom behind the window seal.


8. We are at the bottom of the window seal, time to remove the dash end panel by pulling gently on the bottom edge with your finger.


9. It should easily pop out, exposing the end of the dashboard.


10. Work the wire all the way behind the window seal, then use a flat-tipped screwdriver to tuck the seal back between the dash and the A-pillar.


11. Now we need to remove the lower dash panel. Remove the Phillips screw on the left side.


12. Then remove the Phillips screw at the bottom right of the lower dash panel.


13. The lower dash panel is now only held in with plastic pressure rivets(popits?) so just pull gently on the bottom right and the whole thing should pop off.


14. Now you can tuck the wire between the dash and the door seal so it is exposed right at the bottom of the dash.


15. I took this opportunity to cut the cigarette lighter adapter off of the end of the power cable. I left a few inches on the adapter in case I ever want to reattach it. I then carefully stripped the insulation, exposing the red (+12V) and black (ground) wires.


16. During another DIY I discovered a constant +12V (green/yellow) and ground (black/yellow) in the wiring plug behind the lower dash panel. Check my arrows and you will find them, too. Attach your camera's red wire to the 86's green/yellow and your camera's black wire to your 86's black/yellow wire. You can strip some insulation and solder the wires, or you can use 3M wire tap connectors. Since I already had soldered other wires in, I just attached my camera leads to the wires I had already had running through there. I connected to constant power so my camera will ALWAYS be running. Not sure if that will drain the battery or not... but if you want to connect to ignition power just attach your camera's red wire to the 86's red/blue wire that is a little below the green/yellow wire.


17. There is plenty of wire left over, so I bundled and cable tied it to another harness that will be hidden when we replace the dash panels.


18. Replace the lower dash panel and the dash end panel. As you can see, there is no trace of the camera wire at all.


No trace of the wire anywhere! It is completely hidden, yet still could be removed easily if you needed to move the camera to a different vehicle.


Here is some test footage of the new camera. I have it aimed a tad too high, so I will move the camera angle down a little to decrease the bright sky's effect on the footage.









Last edited by DarrenDriven; 08-21-2012 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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Last edited by DarrenDriven; 08-20-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
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Nice. I want this and have been researching it for about 3 days now.

Im scared to touch any of those wiring stuff but if I dont and just plug it in using the 12v lighter power, I will be missing out on the parking detection features.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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Nice job. Is it hooked up so that you get constant power for park mode?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Yes, I have it hooked up to constant power so that it will record while parked. It will only record if it senses motion in front of the camera, or an impact to the vehicle.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenDriven View Post
Yes, I have it hooked up to constant power so that it will record while parked. It will only record if it senses motion in front of the camera, or an impact to the vehicle.
That's a brilliant feature. Gonna have to do this.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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I wonder if you can hook up the AV cables to the navigation system and use the LCD screen as a monitor as an option.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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that thing has gps? i just ask because it show speed on that video
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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thank you! we were all waiting for this!
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Yes, you can hook it up to nav if it has an input. The camera comes with the cables and the instructions on doing just that. I don't think that the BeSpoke has an input, though, so I didn't bother.

Yes, @v12, the camera has a built in GPS, and inertia sensor (G meter).
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:09 AM   #11
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So this can be a cheaper alternative to go pro? What's the resolution that it records in?
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenDriven View Post
Yes, I have it hooked up to constant power so that it will record while parked. It will only record if it senses motion in front of the camera, or an impact to the vehicle.
Very nicely done! As for the parking usage... It is recommended that you also integrate the "Power Magic Pro" into the Black Vue and the vehicle's power source since it does constantly uses your power. (Not good especially when you are in a very busy area, ex. mall?)

What it does is prevent your battery from completely draining. It reads your vehicle battery voltage drops, and you can set it when to completely shut the camera off to prevent complete discharge of the battery.

Here is the link: http://www.autoblackbox.com.au/index...&product_id=90
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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So this can be a cheaper alternative to go pro? What's the resolution that it records in?
From reviews, this is said to be even better than the "Go Pro" cameras.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:33 AM   #14
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For those who don't want to wire into the car's harness there are available switched and constant power in the fuse panel where you could get a simple tap fuse to complete the install. If you are especially lazy or don't like cutting wires there is an adapter port in the glove box.

Looks good, really makes me want to get one. I have been holding off but I dunno how long I can keep my wallet at bay.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Very nicely done! As for the parking usage... It is recommended that you also integrate the "Power Magic Pro" into the Black Vue and the vehicle's power source since it does constantly uses your power. (Not good especially when you are in a very busy area, ex. mall?)

What it does is prevent your battery from completely draining. It reads your vehicle battery voltage drops, and you can set it when to completely shut the camera off to prevent complete discharge of the battery.

Here is the link: http://www.autoblackbox.com.au/index...&product_id=90
Yeah, I read about that... and I will let you guys know if this camera actually draws enough voltage to worry me. When parking for extended periods I could always just unplug it right at the unit. I wouldn't think that 24 hours of recording digitally would draw that much current... but we'll see.

Quote:
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So this can be a cheaper alternative to go pro? What's the resolution that it records in?
I think a GoPro Hero is $200-ish, so this isn't cheaper than that, but this camera comes with some GREAT software that really makes using it easy. It records at five different resolutions, the greatest is 1920x1080 @ 30fps. On top of that, this monitors your GPS location, vehicle speed (could be useful for getting OUT of an erroneous speeding ticket) and whether or not there was an impact to the vehicle.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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I think a GoPro Hero is $200-ish, so this isn't cheaper than that, but this camera comes with some GREAT software that really makes using it easy. It records at five different resolutions, the greatest is 1920x1080 @ 30fps. On top of that, this monitors your GPS location, vehicle speed (could be useful for getting OUT of an erroneous speeding ticket) and whether or not there was an impact to the vehicle.
I know that the GoPro Naked goes for $200 with less quality than the HD Hero2 which goes for $250 right now regular $299. Then they have the packages

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/null/GoP...at240800050019

so its a toss up for me on which I would go with. Have to do my homework!
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:36 PM   #17
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I know that the GoPro Naked goes for $200 with less quality than the HD Hero2 which goes for $250 right now regular $299. Then they have the packages

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/null/GoP...at240800050019

so its a toss up for me on which I would go with. Have to do my homework!

The GoPro is a great camera to be sure.

The Blackvue is the one you want, if you want a specialized dashcam. If you want a more general cam you can use all around then I would go with a GoPro.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #18
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Yeah, if you just want a camera for a track day or something, go with the GoPro. I want a camera that will be on all of the time to record the idiots on the road, etc.

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Old 08-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #19
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So if I got a ticket for going 90 MPH and then I review this camera and the GPS shows Im going only 88 MPH, doesnt that mean I can use it as evidence to void the existing ticket? I heard that if theres a single thing wrong on the ticket (date, time, speed, mispelled name, wrong license info, wrong eye color, weight, etc) can void the ticket.

Is that true?

Edit: I pulled the trigger. I saw the stock going down on Amazon. So I had to buy before it runs out or goes up in price... supply and demand
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:40 PM   #20
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So if I got a ticket for going 90 MPH and then I review this camera and the GPS shows Im going only 88 MPH, doesnt that mean I can use it as evidence to void the existing ticket? I heard that if theres a single thing wrong on the ticket (date, time, speed, mispelled name, wrong license info, wrong eye color, weight, etc) can void the ticket.

Is that true?

Edit: I pulled the trigger. I saw the stock going down on Amazon. So I had to buy before it runs out or goes up in price... supply and demand
I heard some dude got his kid of a speeding ticket using GPS as evidence somewhere in the US a couple years ago, I don't remember the particulars...
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #21
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Hey DarrenDriven, I was wondering if you have pulled the SD card and examined the contents. I assume aside from the MP4's there are also some data files that contain the GPS data? Just wondering how they are storing that..
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #22
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Round of applause Darren. Round of applause.
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