Due to the increasing amount of crash for cash claims, and being screwed over by 2 coppers on a bogus speeding charge a couple of years back, I decided to look into getting a dash cam in the event of having an accident. These devices are extremely popular in Russia as the Police out there are corrupt and if you look on Youtube you can see numerous clips of accident they have captured.
After doing a bit of research into the various cameras on the market I decided to go for a Pittasoft Blackvue DR400G-HD. The reason I went for this one is the Blackvue range appears to be the leaders in this technology. They have the best technology on the cameras (as the name suggests this camera has HD capability) and the software appears to have the best and most user friendly functionality.
Overview of the camera:
The camera can record in full HD 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps, although there is also a range of lower resolution options.
GPS data logging which can be relayed onto Google maps.
3 axis G shock sensors.
Speed recording (mph or kph) via GPS coordinates.
Memory Micro SD card
Angle of View 120¾(diagonal), 98¾(horizontal), 55¾(vertical)
LED recording status indicators.
Parking recording (motion detection)
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Since I’ve bought this camera there have been reports of poor reliability with this unit primarily due to overheating caused by the file compression during use. But so far I haven’t experienced any problems with the operation of mine. So it’s worth doing your research before purchasing. But these problems appear to have been rectified with the newer Blackvue DR500GW-HD.
I’ve also paired this with a Power Magic Pro battery discharge prevention device. As the camera is typically plugged into the cigarette lighter terminal the camera will shut down when the ignition is turned off. This device allows power to be continuously supplied to the camera to utilise the motion detection parking feature on the camera without draining the battery. The ‘Pro’ version has an additional on/off switch on the device which the Power Magic doesn’t. I originally intended to install this in a location to utilise the on/off switch but I’ve found the switch to be unnecessary as the device can be simply unplugged if required.
Overview of the Power magic pro.
Rated output voltage: 12 – 24V
Output voltage cut-off: 11.6V – 11.8V & 22.8V – 23.2V
Output voltage restoration 11.7V – 11.9V & 22.9V – 23.3V
Output voltage cut-off timer function 6 hours – infinity.
The installation guide below describes how to install the Blackvue dash camera along with the Power magic Pro. I’ve included photos of the reverse side of all trim panels removed to indicate where the fixings are.
2x Add A Circuit Fuse Tap Piggy Back Mini Blade Fuse Holder
Flat blade screwdriver
Philips head screwdriver
WARNING: Removing the A pillar trim will reveal the side curtain airbag. For your own safety do not tamper with or remove the airbag or its wiring!!
Firstly the panel removal, bear with me through this as there is quite a bit but it is straight forward.
Using a plat blade screwdriver partly withdraw the clip containing the airbag warning label. Wrap the screwdriver in a cloth so you don’t damage the clip.
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Prize off the middle clip and slide the trim panel away from the dash.
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Place a flat blade screwdriver in the gap on the sun visor mounting to release the cover.
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Remove the 2 screws, withdraw the sun visor and disconnect the wiring harness.
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Insert a flat blade screwdriver in the front of the left side visor fixing and turn anti clockwise to release the fixing.
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Pull down the drivers roof handle and prize open the caps covering the bolts. Remove the bolts and remove the handle.
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Place a flat blade screwdriver behind the clear plastic interior light in the location shown and push forward to prize out the cover. Be careful not to break the hinges. Repeat on the passenger side light.
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Place a flat blade screwdriver between the interior light trim panels and pull backwards to remove the covering trim.
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Remove the 4 bolts as shown and withdraw the interior light. Unclip the 4 wiring harnesses. Note: the lower portion of the assembly in the photo can be pushed down and out of the unit to aid disconnecting of the wiring harnesses.
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On the drivers’ door sill insert a flat blade screwdriver in the slot indicated and twist to release the cover. Remove the screw now revealed
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Remove the rubber door seal and prize off the door sill trim panel. The retaining pins are indicated with the red arrows. You may need to raise the boot release handle slightly aid removal. Note: On refitting you will need to line up the pin on the lock barrel with the slot on the lock mechanism (both indicated with green arrows). This was easier than anticipated, just put the key in the lock and give it a twist until it engages.
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Next remove the dashboard trim directly under the steering wheel. Firstly remove the Philips screw in the bottom right corner. Prize off the trim panel starting on the right side is easier. Be careful not to damage the lower left clip and disconnect the wiring plugs.
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Prize down the lower trim panel at the 3 point show and pull forward to withdraw from the retaining pin indicated.
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Remove the fuse box cover panel in the lower right corner of the foot well. Pull the 2 retaining clips to release them and remove the panel.
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Congratulations, you’ve now stripped all the trim panels from your car it’s time to start installing the wiring.
Firstly the power cable to the camera needs to be fed up the A pillar of the car. To do this take a piece of stiff wire and feed it down the A pillar behind the side of the dash board. Tape the power cable to the wire and pull the cable up from behind the dashboard.
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Feed the power cable behind the wiring loom up the A pillar. I passed the wire under and over each wiring loom fastening to stop any rattling.
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Gently pull down the roof lining in the front right corner being careful not to damage it. Feed the power cable across the roof lining following the path of the wiring loom to the sun roof. The wire will appear as per the below picture. Then pass the power cable forwards beside the rubber tube and out the front of the roof lining to follow the rear view mirror wiring loom.
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Working inside the dashboard this is the area I chose to install the Power Magic Pro. I’ve indicated the earth point for the Power Magic Pro with the red arrow.
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Here you can see the black power cable passing in front of the big round bulk head and behind the main wiring loom.
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Now connect the 2 piggy back mini fuse holders to the red and yellow Power Magic Pro power feed wires. Connect the yellow (BATT+) wire to fuse 6 (Interior lights - permanent power supply) and the red wire (ACC+) to fuse 9 (cigarette lighter).
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At this point it is worth configuring the timer function on the Power Magic Pro while it is easily accessible. Using the double sided adhesive pads supplied attach the Power Magic Pro unit to the side of the vertical grey box shown in the earlier photo. I’m not entirely sure what this box is but there appears to be 2 of them and they sound quite empty so I didn’t see any issue in using this as an anchor point, and it hasn’t caused any problems. Maybe someone can shed some light on what they are for. Ensure the unit is correctly rotated so the wires connect to the unit on the right hand side.
Connect the wiring harness to the unit and connect the black earth wire to the earth point indicated earlier. Working from underneath secure the earth and the 2 power wires to the wiring loom using wire ties.
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Now connect the cigarette lighter female connector on the Power Magic Pro wiring harness to the camera power cable cigarette lighter male connector. Secure this to the vehicles main wiring harness on the left hand side and tidy the cables with wire ties. The install should look similar to this.
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Returning back to the camera power cable. Clean the area of the windscreen where the camera will be fixed. Using the double sided stick tab provided attach the camera and the holder to the windscreen. Attach to the windscreen as per the instructions ensuring the camera is level and the lens is in the middle of the windscreen. Remove the rear view mirror wiring channel cover, place the wire in the channel, and replace the rear view mirror wiring channel cover.
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Now insert an additional 10 amp fuse into the piggyback connector in fuse location 6 and an additional 20 amp fuse into the piggyback connector in fuse location 9. Connect the power cable to the camera.
I’ve chosen to feed all the spare camera power feed cable, of which there is a quite a lot, back behind the dashboard. This is to ensure none of it rattles around in the roof lining, and with it behind the dashboard I can secure it adequately with wire ties.
The hard parts now done. Now it’s time to replacing all the interior trim panels in the order they were removed.
Now all that’s left is to set up the camera. All but 1 of the settings is user personal preferences in the cameras software. However you will need to set up the vertical angle of the camera. At this point it’s useful to connect the camera to an external monitor using the supplied video out cable to set this up. Otherwise you’ll need to remove the SD card, connect it to your computer to review the footage, then go back and adjust the camera. It’s a simple job but a little inconvenient going back and forth to get it right. Alternatively I used the supplied video out cable with an additional extension cable and connected it to the adapter cable I created on the back of my sat nav unit for my rear view camera install. This provided a live feed to the sat nav screen from the camera greatly reducing set up time.
The installation is now complete! Enjoy!
CJ can you get rid of the thumbnail at the bottom of the thread as they're photos no longer needed. Also would this be better off in the 7th Generation DIY section??
I'll upload a video recorded on the camera in the next few days.
Sorry if some of the photos are low quality they're taken on a camera phone. If anyone has any questions I'll answer them the best I can.