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Installing Additional 12V Accessory Socket For Dashcam


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#1 GSM

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hi guys,

So last week I bought a SmartCam dash cam from eBay, and it is a neat bit of kit.

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2c66b12728

HD recording, perfect picture, audio is good, and it's relatively discrete - got it sitting behind my rear-view mirror, so it doesn't block more of your view than a dangling air freshner would.

The only thing is that the battery is only really designed to come on for short periods of time, say, during the night when it detects the motion of an approaching (possibly malicious) pedestrian. So the battery doesn't last very long on its own and the thing needs to be plugged in pretty much constantly when you're driving around during the day.

I'm not a fan of having a big wire from my accessory socket going from the centre console to the camera ALL the time, so I'm going to fit a new socket somewhere and re-route the wire so that it's out of sight - behind some trim pieces and fabric, etc.

My issue is this: When I watched a review video for the camera online, a guy had it connected to his accessory socket. When his engine was off, it didn't provide power to the camera and it just worked on battery. When his power was on, it did provide power. (5.35 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeKUZNDDTSk). However, in my Focus, the accessory socket seems to provide power CONSTANTLY, whether the engine is on or off. I don't want this - that means the camera would be draining my battery all night, leading to starting problems in the morning, right?

Anyway, why is this the case for me but not the case for the reviewer (he's driving some sort of Mazda, but is it really true that some cards accessories are connect direct to the battery, whilst some are only connected to a feed that comes on with the ignition?)? And HOW should I connect my new accessory socket such that it only provides power to the camera when the ignition is on, and not just all the time draining from the battery? I don't want to have to unplug it everytime I leave the car, especially if I'm mounting the new accessory socket somewhere like in the boot.

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#2 Pitmonster

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:55 PM

Some cars have their cig lighter / accessory socket switched with the ignition, some don't. I guess the reviewer's car had the opposite set up than your car.

If you are installing an extra socket, you need to find a 12v supply that is switched with the ignition. Check for existing items that only work with the ignition on.
Obvious places to look would be the stereo, or maybe the electric window wiring loom.

Your radio has two 12v supplies:
- One unswitched (permanent live) so that the memory remembers your stored radio stations etc
- One switched, so that the radio turns on when you start the car, and turns off when you stop the engine. This would be the one you need.

Just be careful of current/amps etc.
Check the load of your dash cam, because if it's too much you may keep blowing fuses.

#3 gc88

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:07 PM

http://www.fordowner...ts/#entry199641

Unless I'm wrong, pretty much the same thing I'm after in the above?

#4 GSM

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:12 PM

http://www.fordowner...ts/#entry199641

Unless I'm wrong, pretty much the same thing I'm after in the above?


Yup, pretty much.

So, does is your 12v in the boot the same as the one in the centre console? Permanent live?

#5 gc88

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:32 PM

Believe its on the same circuit, so I guess so!

#6 Preee

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:50 PM

Wire it into your glove box , your right next to the Fuse box so pick at least a 20a fuse and connect it into there first checking theres no power after ign off. Simple job then and you can run the cable down the passenger pillar

#7 reesmew

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:26 PM

I've used some piggy back fuse connectors to take a switched live supply from the glovebox fuse box for my drl's.
The advantage is that nothing needs to be spliced into plus you can just remove the piggy back in case of a problem.

#8 GSM

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

Wire it into your glove box , your right next to the Fuse box so pick at least a 20a fuse and connect it into there first checking theres no power after ign off. Simple job then and you can run the cable down the passenger pillar


Great idea.

Any fuses in there that you're aware of that power off after ignition?

#9 Preee

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:07 PM

Off the top of my head and without checking , i wouldn't like to say , but 5 minutes with a tester would soon solve that problem.

#10 Lenny

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:44 PM

i needed an ignition live for my ford racing gauges in the st pod,
so i spliced in to the red and black large cables on the loom that connects to the fan controls.
works a treat, but i also fitted an inline fuse to the red feed.

#11 GSM

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

i needed an ignition live for my ford racing gauges in the st pod,
so i spliced in to the red and black large cables on the loom that connects to the fan controls.
works a treat, but i also fitted an inline fuse to the red feed.


Cool, might have a go at that then. Is that the right rating for a 12v accessory socket too? Think there's already an inline fuse on the kit I bought, so should just be a matter of splicing.

#12 Lenny

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:28 PM

Cool, might have a go at that then. Is that the right rating for a 12v accessory socket too? Think there's already an inline fuse on the kit I bought, so should just be a matter of splicing.


not 100% sure on the amp of the main power supply to the fan cables but the core of the cable is fairly thick so i assume it would be 20 amps but not 100% you may wish to check with a meter. but it feeds my two gauges fine.

#13 .Ryan

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:16 PM

I do fancy one of these! Can you get us a pic of the car from the front and how the camera looks from the outside mate?

#14 Lenny

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

I do fancy one of these! Can you get us a pic of the car from the front and how the camera looks from the outside mate?


if its visible through the windscreen,
you could fit a silver sun strip and have the lens of the camera peaking out just below the strip.

#15 GSM

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:52 PM

I do fancy one of these! Can you get us a pic of the car from the front and how the camera looks from the outside mate?


No problem, I'll snap a few pics tomorrow as it's a bit dark out now.

Mine is just right behind the rear-view mirror. From the driver's seat it takes up no more space in your field of view than a magic tree air freshner, the way I have it set up. If you don't have light/rain sensors then it'll be even easier. I have them, so the casing for the rear-view in my car takes up quite a bit more room than a standard mirror.

You can see the camera relatively easily from outside, but I like it that way. I actually want it to be clear that there's a camera in the car to passers by (especially a foul neighbour who recently made an off-hand threat to my vehicle - hence why I initially fitted it), but at the same time it wouldn't be difficult to conceal if you wanted it to be a bit more discrete.

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