I picked up an inexpensive, but well regarded no-name wedge-style dash cam today. It goes by many names such as B40, A118, Skyview G6. I initially went with a non-hardwired install, using the hidden 12V socket in the centre console, but it currently is plugged into a dedicated socket beside the fuse box. Here are a few pictures showing both styles of installation.
The A118's mouting bracket is stuck right to the windshield with 3M adhesive. The wedge shape allows for a very unobtrusive install behind the mirror with the lens looking just below the sunscreen.
The USB power cable is tucked under the headliner and routed to the driver's side A-pillar. The loose fitting, gappy Subaru headliner works in our favor this time.
Removing the A-pillar cover is easy. Hold on to the middle of the cover and gently pull towards the centre of the car. It should come off with very little force. After it's loose, an upwards tug will release it from the dash/speaker grill area. A plastic strap that I assume is there to prevent the cover from smacking you in the face if the airbag goes off must be detached before the cover can be completely removed. When re-installing, orient the cover close to the final resting place before reattaching the strap. There's not enough slack to maneuver it around if it's attached with the steering wheel in the way.
Be careful around that pink thing. The good news is there's plenty of room to route the wires down the A-pillar without getting in the way.
I ran the USB power cable down the pillar, using several zip ties to keep everything taut. The cable was dropped down into the void beside the speaker grill. With a bit of luck, it's a clean drop down to under the dash.
At this point, it's a straight shot to the fuse box for a hardwired hookup (see below), or you can cross over under the dash towards the centre console, tucking the cable under the plastic trim. The wire pops out beside the driver's seat and enters the arm-rest bin through the convenient cutout in the front. A bit of gaffers tape keeps the cable out of the way.
I noticed that when moving the seat back, the seatbelt wiring caught the USB cable and tugged it out from under the trim. More gaffer tape to the rescue:
It would be pretty straightforward to go into the bin from the bottom via a small hole cut out of the bin floor for a completely clean install, but I chose not to hack anything up with a trade-off of a bit of visible wiring.
Plugged into the accessory port:
End result. The camera flash makes it easy to see but with normal outdoor lighting, it doesn't stand out. Just how I want it.
Subaru's exposed wires are uglier than mine.
I'll probably eventually hook up the camera to the fuse box, but in the meantime, this is a reasonably clean, super easy install.
I've since added a new accessory socket near the fuse box, so the wire is no longer routed to the centre console. On my car, fuse slot 23 is unoccupied and accessory-switched, so it's ideal to receive the fuse tap for the new circuit. The ground wire goes to the fuse box mounting bolt on the left side.
Here are pictures of the current (and likely final) install:
There's lots of space in the cavity surrounding the fuse box, so it's easy to tuck away the large 5V USB adaptor + 12 V socket out of the way. The wiring from the headliner down the A-pillar stays the same.
Now all I have to do is find some meteorites!