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Thread: 2nd Generation CX-9: Dashcam installation

  1. #1
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    2nd Generation CX-9: Dashcam installation

    ** UPDATE 1/31/2019: Just wanted to update this guide with my current setup. I'm now using a Viofo A129 Duo, which is a pair of dashcams, one for the front and one for the rear. Both record in 1080p and offer the standard features like time-lapse, motion detection, parking mode, etc. Both cameras write to a single microSD card in the front camera. I'm also currently using a Samsung EVO Plus 256gb memory card. The 32gb Transcend High Endurance card was great, but with video from both cameras being saved to the card, it filled up quite fast. So far the $80 CAD Samsung EVO Plus card has held up well, I've had it running nonstop in the car for a few weeks now (I occasionally reboot the cameras manually, just because). Something to note: We've been experiencing an extreme cold snap over the past week. Happy to report that the cameras have been operating perfectly in temperatures as cold as -45 Celsius! Also, here is a link to the rear dashcam installation for ease of reference:
    Rear dashcam installation

    ** UPDATE 8/13/2018: See post #3. I bought an Invisicord and was able to tap the dashcam power into the homelink rear view mirror for a cleaner install. This also frees up the 12v socket on the passenger side. The cord itself is expensive (it costs more than I paid for the cam lol), but this way you'll be able to tap into a power source that's always on, which is necessary if you want to use the motion detection feature on your cam (if it has the feature). The other option would be a power bank dedicated to the dashcam, and that is a bulky, less elegant solution.

    Also, see post #15 for tekz's rear cam installation notes!



    This is a DIY How-To for a dashcam installation for the 2nd Generation Mazda CX-9. I decided to document this process as it seems nobody has done it yet. Please note that this guide is mostly just to show how I ran the power cable for a front dashcam. If you buy a dashcam for security reasons (motion detection) or if you buy one with a rear camera, you'll need to research those particular installations further. I just installed a front camera for insurance purposes.

    This process was documented/photographed by myself, using my crappy cellphone camera and my 2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature as the "demo" vehicle. This DIY is provided as a learning aid and reference guide. I assume no responsibility for any damages you may inflict on yourself or your vehicle.

    The camera I bought is a fairly small unit that I bought from an online reseller for $35 CAD. It's so cheap, it doesn't even have a brand or model number on the box or in the instructions, but in the listing it said it was an A118C-B40C model camera, which is fairly popular as a cheap but effective dashcam. This also has a motion detection feature, is powered by a 12v adapter, and uses a "safe capacitor" battery type (no idea what that means, but everyone told me that that's what I should be getting). Unfortunately, since the 12v socket is the only way to properly charge anything (phone/tablet/etc.), I need to figure out an alternative for charging my phone (thinking I'll run a USB cable from the 2nd row armrest, but still considering options) EDIT: See post #3 for the solution I used. It records in 1080p or 720p at 30 FPS, takes still photos, and has a mic. It also does loop cycle recording, meaning that it records in blocks 1, 3, or 5 mins, with each "block" saved as a different video file on the SD card.


    What you'll need:

    - Flathead screwdriver (optional)
    - A dashcam
    - MicroSD card (I used a Kingston Class 10 32gb card. Most dashcams accept MicroSD cards that are Class 10, and go up to 32gb) <<< Ignore this and buy a microSD specifically used for dashcams, like a Transcend High Endurance card. The Kingston I have took a crap and is useless now, none of my devices will read it anymore.

    If you want constant power to your dashcam, you'll also need:

    - Invisicord (micro connectors with mini USB cable)


    1. Figure out where you want to mount the dashcam. If your camera has a video display, you can connect the power cable and turn the car on, then mount the camera using the video output as a guide. After mounting the camera, turn off the car.


    1-1.jpg


    **If you bought the Invisicord, skip steps 2 to 7 and go to post #3.**

    2. Run the cable from the camera into the headliner, just above the rear view mirror. There's enough space to use your fingers to run the cable into the headliner, all the way to the passenger side A pillar.


    2-2.jpg


    3. Run the cable between the seam in the A pillar. A screwdriver can help to widen the gap a bit, but be careful that you don't rip the fabric on any sharp edges.


    3-3.jpg


    4-4.jpg


    4. Pull the rubber strip back a bit and run the cable all the way down to just below the glove box.


    5.jpg

  2. #2
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    6.jpg


    5. Wedge the cable between the seam in the plastic trim pieces. In the second pic, I'm pulling the plastic panel towards me just to loosen the area, creating a little more room to wedge the cable in. You don't have to remove this panel.


    7.jpg


    8.jpg


    6. Right under the glove box, there is a plastic panel. Run the cable between the glove box and the panel to the 12v socket.


    9.jpg


    7. Plug the socket in, then stuff the excess cable into the space shown in the picture below. That's it! You're done.


    10.jpg


    Hope that helped you guys out! If you have any questions, post them here and I'll do my best to answer them.
    Last edited by sm1ke; 06-16-2018 at 01:22 AM.
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  3. #3
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Here's some sample footage showing a daytime clip and a nighttime clip, with audio from the dashcam mic. As you can see and hear, its a very, very basic cam. I will probably upgrade the camera in the near future at some point.




    Dashcam Install w/ Invisicord

    Thanks SK77X for linking this thread: https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/show...powered-by-USB

    .. which led me to this thread, with some great info from DBLXX: https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/show...al-TODAY-ONLY-!

    Thanks to superp4 for the Invisicord install. I basically just rehashed his instructions, added pictures and edited one step to use the constant power instead of the switched power. If you just want your dashcam to turn on and off with the car, follow superp4's instructions in post #11.

    Here's a picture of the Invisicord. The yellow lead is the positive tap, and the black lead is the negative/ground tap. The other end is a mini USB connector that will plug into my dashcam.


    DSC03243.JPG


    1. Locate the wiring harness on the back of your homelink rear-view mirror. Press down on the tab and pull the connector out.


    DSC03251.JPG


    2. Refer to the diagram below (credit: DBLXX). As you can see, the green/black wire on the bottom left is your constant power. The bottom middle (black) is the ground.


    Mirror Electrical.png


    3. Press the black lead into the grounding socket of the harness (bottom middle, black wire). Then, without letting the yellow lead touch anything, insert it into the constant power socket (bottom left, green and black wire). The leads require some effort to get into the sockets, but once they're in, they won't easily wiggle/vibrate out. Also, if you're worried about accidentally blowing fuses, you can just disconnect the battery before this step.


    DSC03256.JPG


    4. If you disconnected the battery, reconnect it now. Connect the mini USB connector to the dashcam, and it should power on.

    5. Push the extra cabling into the headliner.


    DSC03257.JPG


    6. Turn the motion detection feature on, and that's it!
    Last edited by sm1ke; 08-13-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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  4. #4
    Registered Member Srad600's Avatar

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    The video quality is actually pretty good for a cheap cam. Clean install! Although the 12v cigarette chord wouldn't play nice with my OCD.
    Oh, not sure about others but the attachments for parts 1-3 seem to be broken (at least from my computer).

  5. #5
    Registered Member Atxyde's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
    The video quality is actually pretty good for a cheap cam. Clean install! Although the 12v cigarette chord wouldn't play nice with my OCD.
    Oh, not sure about others but the attachments for parts 1-3 seem to be broken (at least from my computer).
    I can't see the attachment either.

    Very interested in this. I want to hide my dashcam cable and I was figuring out how to. Thanks, @sm1ke.

  6. #6
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    That is exactly what I did! the only thing is now my only 12v outlet is used up and the usb ports in the armrest are really slow at charging.... anyone know how to hardwire the camera to the fusebox?

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    dm1ke, thank for the tutorial. Let us know the longevity of the dash cam. I got one cheap also but it eventually broke down after a few months. thanks for the share.

  8. #8
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late replies everyone, I was a bit busy with moving to a different city.

    Quote Originally Posted by Srad600 View Post
    The video quality is actually pretty good for a cheap cam. Clean install! Although the 12v cigarette chord wouldn't play nice with my OCD.
    Oh, not sure about others but the attachments for parts 1-3 seem to be broken (at least from my computer).
    Yeah, quality is a little better than I was expecting, but it's not on the same level as some of the $350 cameras out there. Not being able to read license plates at night on the cam was troubling, but I played with the white balance settings and it's better now. When I spend more money on a cam, I want one that has an auto white balance feature, lol. Thanks for letting me know about the broken links, I could have sworn they were there when I first posted. I'll try to fix them now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atxyde View Post
    I can't see the attachment either.

    Very interested in this. I want to hide my dashcam cable and I was figuring out how to. Thanks, @sm1ke.
    Happy to help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benhui86 View Post
    That is exactly what I did! the only thing is now my only 12v outlet is used up and the usb ports in the armrest are really slow at charging.... anyone know how to hardwire the camera to the fusebox?
    Nice! Yeah, if anyone has any experience hardwiring a dashcam to the fusebox, that would be very helpful! I think wiring the cam to the correct fuse would allow for the use of the motion detection feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by widdy88 View Post
    dm1ke, thank for the tutorial. Let us know the longevity of the dash cam. I got one cheap also but it eventually broke down after a few months. thanks for the share.
    Thanks, I'll be sure to keep you updated if this cam breaks. One of the characteristics that seems to be advertised a lot with the cheaper dashcams is heat resistance. I wonder if that's why your cam broke widdy88?
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  9. #9
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    All pics should be working now.
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    Registered Member SK77X's Avatar
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    Have you thought about this option for powering your dashcam?

    https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/show...powered-by-USB

  11. #11
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    I ended up buying an invisicord.
    http://invisicord.com/osc2/catalog/p...2cd973f6b93dcc
    Optioned it with mini USB connector for my dashcam, micro connector which fit perfectly into the powered harness, and added a fuse
    Disconnected the power harness going to my homelink autodimming mirror. Looking at the harness from behind, there are 10 sockets. Only the bottom 5 do anything. Green (bottom left) is always on. Middle is ground, and so is the one just to the right of it. Blue (bottom right) is switched (12V on but only with ignition on). I plugged invisicord black micro connector into the middle grounded socket, then the yellow positive lead into the same socket as blue. This way, dashcam turns on with ignition, off when car is off. Avoids having to tuck wires into trim and frees up 12V power for other things.

  12. #12
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superp4 View Post
    I ended up buying an invisicord.
    http://invisicord.com/osc2/catalog/p...2cd973f6b93dcc
    Optioned it with mini USB connector for my dashcam, micro connector which fit perfectly into the powered harness, and added a fuse
    Disconnected the power harness going to my homelink autodimming mirror. Looking at the harness from behind, there are 10 sockets. Only the bottom 5 do anything. Green (bottom left) is always on. Middle is ground, and so is the one just to the right of it. Blue (bottom right) is switched (12V on but only with ignition on). I plugged invisicord black micro connector into the middle grounded socket, then the yellow positive lead into the same socket as blue. This way, dashcam turns on with ignition, off when car is off. Avoids having to tuck wires into trim and frees up 12V power for other things.
    Nice! Thanks for contributing with some easy steps to follow.

    I think I'm going to order the Invisicord now. The only difference between what you did and what I want to do is have continuous power to the dashcam, even when the car is off (so I can use the motion detection feature on the cam when the car is parked). If I want that, I would just plug the positive lead from the Invisicord into the green (bottom left) socket of the homelink mirror, correct?

    Edit: Also, it looks like the server issues wiped the pics from the first post. I'll try to get those pics up again in a couple of days.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
    Nice! Thanks for contributing with some easy steps to follow.

    I think I'm going to order the Invisicord now. The only difference between what you did and what I want to do is have continuous power to the dashcam, even when the car is off (so I can use the motion detection feature on the cam when the car is parked). If I want that, I would just plug the positive lead from the Invisicord into the green (bottom left) socket of the homelink mirror, correct?

    Edit: Also, it looks like the server issues wiped the pics from the first post. I'll try to get those pics up again in a couple of days.
    Yes, just plug the yellow into the same socket as green. Just be careful not to touch yellow and black leads together otherwise could blow a fuse or something. Also there is a risk of running down your battery if you plug it into the always on port, depending on how long you leave the car off.

  14. #14
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superp4 View Post
    Yes, just plug the yellow into the same socket as green. Just be careful not to touch yellow and black leads together otherwise could blow a fuse or something. Also there is a risk of running down your battery if you plug it into the always on port, depending on how long you leave the car off.
    Thanks! Updated post #1 and post #3 with Invisicord install and photos.
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    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Also, here is some info from tekz regarding the rear cam installation.

    Quote Originally Posted by tekz View Post
    ... I installed another dashcam in the rear. I placed it on the inside top portion of the rear windshield and ran the wiring through the plastic cover above it, then the wiring remains exposed on the right side when facing the cargo area just above the 12v outlet. Of course the wiring exposure is not as tidy as the front but nevertheless works for its purpose!
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