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Thread: 2nd Generation CX-9: Running cable for rear dashcam

  1. #1
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    2nd Generation CX-9: Running cable for rear dashcam

    This is a DIY How-To for a rear dashcam installation for the 2nd Generation Mazda CX-9. Please note that this guide is mostly just to show how I ran the power cable for the rear dashcam. With this particular front and rear dashcam combo (Viofo A129 Duo), the rear camera transfers data and gets power from the front camera via a single cable. The front camera is connected to the Homelink-enabled rear view mirror using an Invisicord (more details found here).

    This process was documented/photographed by myself, using a crappy P+S digital 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 set I installed is the Viofo A129 Duo. Both front and rear cameras record in 1080p 30 FPS (if the rear is disconnected, the front changes to 1080p 60 FPS). It takes still photos, and has a mic. Along with other standard features, it has GPS and Wi-Fi functionality, and can accept up to a 256gb microSD card. Viofo has stated that the best cards to use for their dashcams are Transcend High Endurance. Samsung Pro cards also work well, but they will not honor the 10 year warranty if the card is used for "surveillance recordings". Since both cameras write to the single card in the front camera, I plan to upgrade my 32gb Transcend High Endurance card to a 128gb. Moving on..


    What you'll need:

    - Flathead screwdriver/pry tool
    - A rear dashcam
    - Wire fish tool
    - USB extension cable (more on this later)


    1. Figure out where you want to mount the rear dashcam on the rear windshield. Be sure that you take into account the cords that may plug into the camera and the cards that may be installed, and leave adequate space around the camera to make those areas easy to access. 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. Ensure that the double-sided tape does not cover any rear-defroster lines. Covering these lines may cause issues with the defroster functionality, and removal of the double-sided tape could damage the defroster lines. After mounting the camera, turn off the car.


    2. Since my rear cam is powered by the front cam, I ran the wire from the front camera through the headliner on the driver's side.


    DSC03326.JPG


    3. Run the cable around the A-pillar and into the rubber weatherstrip. EDIT: DO NOT run the cable around or across the A-pillar. Running the wire this way will interfere with the way the side curtain airbags deploy in an accident. Instead, run the wire down the A-pillar, along the windshield glass, until you reach the base of the A-pillar. The wire can cross the A-pillar at this point. Thanks for pointing this out, Anchorman.

    *image deleted due to safety risk*


    4. Run the cable down to the footwell area, tucking it behind the weatherstrip as you go.


    DSC03328.JPG


    5. Using your screwdriver or pry tool (wrap the end in an old t-shirt or something if you want to prevent scratches), insert one end into the groove identified by the yellow arrow and pry the step cover up. This piece is held on by plastic and metal clips. Once you get your fingers underneath you can easily pull it off by hand. The area underneath is exposed, which is the perfect way to run the cable to rear.


    DSC03329.JPG


    6. Open the rear door and remove the step cover (same as the front). Use your wire fish tool to pull the cable from the front to the rear, then run the cable up through the weatherstrip of the rear door frame. This is when I realized that the cable that was provided to me wasn't long enough (6m/19.7ft).


    DSC03332.JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    7. As a temporary solution, I tucked the cable behind the seat belt bracket, then tucked it behind the C-pillar panel to keep it out of the way. EDIT: Again, DO NOT route the cable this way. It is possible that the cable can still interfere with the deployment of the side curtain airbag for any 3rd row occupants. Instead of running the cable up the C-pillar, run it up the D-pillar, close to the 3rd row seatbelt. The main thing to note is not to run the cable "over" any of the windows. For reference, this is an image of the safety restraint systems on the 2017 CX-9. The side curtain airbags are item 7.

    *original image deleted due to safety risk*




    8. Remove the liftgate cover. This piece simply pulls right off, and is held in by metal and plastic clips. The red arrows show where some of the clips attach. Connect the power cable to the rear camera.


    DSC03333.JPG


    9. Replace the liftgate cover by pressing down on the areas identified by the yellow arrows.


    DSC03334.JPG


    As it stands right now, both cameras are working great! But I need to figure out a solution to lengthen the USB cable. I have an old USB extension, but I don't think it'll be compatible as the cable supplied by Viofo transfers data and power, and as such, is a much thicker cable. Will update when I hear back from Viofo.

    Originally I had planned to try dropping the headliner and running the cable from the weatherstrip to behind the headliner, where it would come out where the 3rd brake light is. I'll update this post if I can find the time to try that.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sm1ke; 06-24-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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  3. #3
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    You can run your cable on the inside of headliner, that would free enough cable.
    This is how I did it, and just secured with duct tape to prevent rattling. ( my setup is little different: Viofo 119S up front and Blueskysea in rear, but I ran power cable from the front this way):
    Also I ran my cable through Right rubber boot, as it has more room due to only been used for rear window washer sprayer line)


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    That rocks! Thanks for taking the time and effort to post.

  5. #5
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitpk1 View Post
    You can run your cable on the inside of headliner, that would free enough cable.
    This is how I did it, and just secured with duct tape to prevent rattling. ( my setup is little different: Viofo 119S up front and Blueskysea in rear, but I ran power cable from the front this way)
    Thanks for those pics vitpk1. Did you run the power from the front headliner all the way to the rear (without going down the weatherstripping and through the step channels)? If so, I'll definitely do that instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitwolf View Post
    That rocks! Thanks for taking the time and effort to post.
    Happy to
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    2nd Generation CX-9: Running cable for rear dashcam

    I did run power from fuse box ( used tap a fuse adapter), single 12V to 5V adapter, than spliced power cords for the front and rear dash cams, ran it up the pillar and secured to the inside of the headliner( one power cord for the rear all the way and one cord towards the rearview mirror).
    Last edited by vitpk1; 09-28-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hi,

    Can you please provide where and which fuse adapter you used and are you able to guide me through the process?

    Thanks

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    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitpk1 View Post
    I did run power from fuse box ( used tap a fuse adapter), single 12V to 5V adapter, than spliced power cords for the front and rear dash cams, ran it up the pillar and secured to the inside of the headliner( one power cord for the rear all the way and one cord towards the rearview mirror).
    Perfect, thanks. Sounds like the whole wire fish step can be avoided, which is nice because others won't have to go through what I went through (made my own wire fish by taping three chopsticks together and putting a twist tie on one end, lol).
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    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Ok! So I tried running the wire through the headliner instead of through the step channels. It was pretty straight forward, but due to the thickness of the cable (and because I was a little lazy and strapped for time to figure out how to lower the headliner), it doesn't look as clean as I had hoped. No big deal though, the wire is only exposed in two spots. I think if I could figure out how to pop the screw out of the headliner (near the single interior light just above the cargo area), I could drop the headliner a bit and fish the wire through the boot, as vitpk1 did. Unfortunately, I'm still stuck with 6" of exposed cable due to the thickness.

    Anyway, here are the pics. Again, very straight forward, so a step by step really isn't necessary, I think.


    DSC03341.JPG

    Here you can see that I couldn't get the cable hidden here. A thinner cable would tuck behind there nicely.

    DSC03342.JPG


    DSC03345.JPG


    DSC03346.JPG

    You can tuck and secure the excess cabling behind the upper liftgate cover, as shown in this pic.

    DSC03339.JPG


    There's still room for improvement with my routing, for sure, but for now it looks clean enough.

    The Viofo A129 Duo camera setup is pretty good so far! Nice to not have to buy and manage two microSD cards, and it's also nice that it doesn't freeze up if I leave it running for too long. Now all I need is a larger microSD card
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    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    vitpk1, how did you remove the screw in the headliner (shown in this pic, with your index finger pointing towards the hole)? It looks like one of those fasteners where you use a flathead to lift the center, and the entire screw pops out, but I didn't see a spot to insert a screwdriver.

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    @sm1ke I copied your routing and managed to hide all the cables save for the bit that goes into the cam itself. For the B pillar if you pull back the weather stripping there is a gap that you can run the cable through.

    I wish I knew how to pull down the headliner a bit. What I had to do was run it along the hatch weather stripping and then up towards the cam. I had to make a small slit to the weather stripping so the cable does not pull it upwards when opening the hatch.

  12. #12
    Registered Member Anchorman's Avatar

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    You do realise that crossing the top of the A pillar is extremely dangerous? If the airbag isn*t torn apart if it needs to deploy then somebody is going to get maimed by the trim or the wire when it hits them in the face. It*s airbag failure, whipped with a severed wire or hit by trim at explosive speed, which do you prefer? The trim is tethered to the A post so that it stays in place but it has no option but come off as you*ve tied it to the airbag.

    It is possible to cross under it safely but that trim has to come off to do it. The official Mazda way is to cut the tether and fit a new one but you can get it off if you are careful and reuse it. This shows you how but if you make a mess getting it off, just buy a new one. It*s not worth the risk.


    Oops, no, Iíve just realised youíve done it again on the B pillar. The only safe way is to down under the doors and come up somewhere in the trunk. Ironically the legal reminders that you are interfering with the air curtain are clearly shown in the photos! If you run out of wire you can buy a 10ft extension off amazon or eBay.

    https://youtu.be/6Y85r6yEhTM
    Last edited by Anchorman; 06-21-2019 at 04:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered Member Anchorman's Avatar

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    To get those trim clips out you just pop the centre part out with a small screwdriver and then the main body of the clip will just fall out.

  14. #14
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anchorman View Post
    You do realise that crossing the top of the A pillar is extremely dangerous? It is possible to cross under it safely but that trim has to come off to do it. The official Mazda way is to cut the tether and fit a new one but you can get it off if you are careful and reuse it. This shows you how but if you make a mess getting it off, just buy a new one. It*s not worth the risk.

    Oops, no, I*ve just realised you*ve done it again on the B pillar. The only safe way is to down under the doors and come up somewhere in the trunk. Ironically the legal reminders that you are interfering with the air curtain are clearly shown in the photos! If you run out of wire you can buy a 10ft extension off amazon or eBay.

    https://youtu.be/6Y85r6yEhTM
    I appreciate the heads up, but you could be less of an ass about it. I edited your original post above so you could see how. It gets the point across without the sass.

    Thanks for posting (and making) that vid. At the time, Viofo did not sell an extension for the rear cable, and you can't just use any USB extension as the cable is proprietary. Viofo does now sell an 8m cable, which I just ordered. I'll use your video if I end up running the cable through the cabin instead of through the headliner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anchorman View Post
    To get those trim clips out you just pop the centre part out with a small screwdriver and then the main body of the clip will just fall out.
    The headliner clip I'm talking about doesn't have a center part that can be popped out with a screwdriver.


    I'll leave the instructions as is, and I'll update them after I've rerun the new cable.
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    Registered Member Anchorman's Avatar

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    I*ll consider myself told off!

    Hats off that you*ve taken it onboard. I*d hate anybody to get hurt - experiencing an accident bad enough to deploy the airbags would be bad enough without any unexpected add ons.

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