('14-'18) How to: Hardwire Dashcam - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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How to: Hardwire Dashcam



This guide will show you how to hardwire a dashcam to the rear-view mirror wiring harness.

The guide is written assuming you are using a 12V dashcam and not a 5V USB camera. If you have a 5V camera you will have to figure out how to wire in a converter. (Or perhaps get a camera designed for use in a car).

I am using a BlackVue DR500GW-HD dashcam. It has served me well for three years in my 2010 Forster, and now I am installing into my 2016 Forester.

BlackVue makes great DashCams and I can't recommend them enough. The only issue I have ever had with the camera is a dead time holding battery. Considering the camera literally bakes under the Texas sun for hours on end, that isn't bad at all.


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Difficulty:
This project is easy and takes 15 or 20 minutes.

You will need some electronics knowledge and know how to use a multimeter to double check all wire connections and voltages!

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First open the sun-glass holder and remove the two screws inside.
Pop the back edge of the map light assembly to remove it.

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Disconnect the three connectors attached to the map light assembly.

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Locate the rear-view mirror wire harness. It is tucked away on the passenger side of the car.
Disconnect the black side of the connection.

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Carefully pop the front edge of the plastic. This will give you room to slide the wires around behind the plastic.

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In order to tap into the power connections on the rear view mirror, I removed two small terminals from a spare Subaru Radio Harness.
However, any contact which will give you a straight piece of thin metal will work.
If you feel like paying someone a redicuous amount of money for two wires and two terminals you can buy a MirrorTap kit.

I soldered these two contacts to the wire running to my dashcam, taking care to mark the 12V side, and double check my connections.

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To tap power from the rear view mirror, carefully insert the thin terminals into the back of the housing. The terminals should fit snugly and not fall out on their own.

Looking at the back of the connector, and with the release tab facing down: The ground wire is the 2nd terminal from the left, and the 12V switched wire is the 3rd from the left. The 12V wire has a white stripe.

Always double check the connections using a multimeter!

You could also try using a tap to get at the wires, but then you risk cutting the wires as the tap vibrates over time. Tapping into the back of the connector is non-permanent, and easy to do with the small crimp terminals.

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Run the rest of the dashcam wire up and into the same space are the rest of the rear-view mirror wires. You may find it easier to feed the wire up from the windshield instead.

Once the wire is run, use a zip-tie to secure the terminals in place.

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In order to prevent future squeaking of plastic-on-plastic, wrap the zip-tie with the soft side of some adhesive velcro.

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If you haven't already, mount your dash cam behind the rear view mirror.

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The BlackVue camera I am using fits perfectly behind the mirror. I put the camera aperture dead center in the dash. I used a bubble level app on my phone to ensure the camera was mounted level.

Make sure and don't put the camera in front of your auto-dimming light sensor.

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Behind the rear view mirror, slide down and then remove the wire cover.

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Run the cable for the Dashcam next to the existing rear view camera wires. Then cover them up with the wire cover.

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The camera is so small that you can't even see any part of it from the driver's side.
From the passenger side, the camera looks like just part of the mirror.
From the front of the car you can barely make out that there is even a dashcam installed.

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Here is an image from the camera feed when it was installed in my 2010 Forester.

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Here is an image after today's install. (The resolution isn't as high as it is a frame grab taken on my phone)
The camera is wide angle enough to see from one side of the dash to the other.

wader, zennoodle, quidagis and 8 others like this.


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Last edited by ZapWizard; 01-19-2017 at 11:55 AM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 04:30 PM
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Wow ! Thanks for the awesome guide . The detailed pics and step by step instructions are excellent. I'll have to give this a try this summer. My 2012 did not come with an auto-dim mirror, but from what I read, it is per-wired for one. Also thanks for the $$$ saving tip and link. $30 for 30 cents worth of plastic and wire.... what a rip off.


....That's what I think !
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-21-2016, 12:02 PM
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 04:43 PM
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Thank you for this great guide. I am gonna hardwire my dash cam too. Can I ask how many gauges are those wires? Thank you again!
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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I am not sure what gauge the wires were, as I used what I extracted from the Subaru wiring harness. If I were to guess, I would say they are 24AWG. If your dashcam runs off 12V, the amount of current should be minimal anyways. You shouldn't, for example, try to run a amplifier using this same piggy-back method.


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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 04:56 AM
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My dash cam use 5v, I will put a 12-5 transform in it, I will use T-tap to get power, the switched power and ground looks bigger than the others, I will take a look this weekend. thank you!
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 04:20 AM
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dang it, I might taped into a wrong wire.
I found 3 wires connected to the rear view mirror, one white, two black. I measured with a multimeter and seems like the white is +5v, two blacks are ground and both seems switched. So I connected positive to the white and ground to one of the two black wires.
after few days, looks like my dash cam(mini 0805) seems acting funny. it always shut itself down when I start drive, it's lcd will turn on when I stop.
did some googling, I might taped to wrong ground wire, this ground wires seems REVERSE signaled.
I hate to open it up again. can anyone confirm my theory? thanks!
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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First of this guide is for a 2016 (Probably also works for 2014+) what model year is your car?
There are no +5V signals at all in the rear-view mirror harness. The only voltage sources in the car near +5V is the +5V USB and +6V Rear Camera signals that come from the head unit.

I got the offical wiring document now, I didn't at the time I did this guide.
They give the pinout for connector R139. This is the WHITE connector behind the map lights that the mirror harness plugs into.
They don't give the pinout for the actual rear view mirror wire harness.

Quote:
Pin 1: Brown w/ Yellow: +12V reverse, Fuse No 18
Pin 2: Black, Ground
Pin 3: Light Green w/ White, +12V ACC, Fuse No 6
Pin 4: Red, Controls side mirrors (Auto-dim function)
Pin 5: Light Green, Controls side mirrors (Auto-dim function)
If you don't have the auto-dim mirror, and only three wires, then you probably tapped into the reverse power signal. But also, these signals at +12V and your camera specs say it takes +5V. You posted above that you would use a power convertor, did you?


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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 04:46 AM
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I really need to do this for my VicoVation Marcus 4. Should go ahead and get a rear dashcam too while I'm at it.

The secrecy of my job prevents me from knowing what I'm doing.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapWizard View Post
First of this guide is for a 2016 (Probably also works for 2014+) what model year is your car?
There are no +5V signals at all in the rear-view mirror harness. The only voltage sources in the car near +5V is the +5V USB and +6V Rear Camera signals that come from the head unit.

I got the offical wiring document now, I didn't at the time I did this guide.
They give the pinout for connector R139. This is the WHITE connector behind the map lights that the mirror harness plugs into.
They don't give the pinout for the actual rear view mirror wire harness.



If you don't have the auto-dim mirror, and only three wires, then you probably tapped into the reverse power signal. But also, these signals at +12V and your camera specs say it takes +5V. You posted above that you would use a power convertor, did you?
sorry my bad, I meant to say +12v, and yes, I massed up because what I installed was the converter and I connected to the rear view mirror(I have the homelink mirror).

I did some more test turns out I might be right. whenever I put in reverse, it will lose power which will cause my dashcam shut off after 15 secs. I might end up live with it since I do not backup a lot.

luck for me, this wire LOSE power when backup instead GET power. so I still have power most of time.

my forester is 2009, everything inside is same as yours.
thank you @ZapWizard !


Last edited by rainlake; 03-11-2016 at 09:29 AM.
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 10:55 AM
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Nice write-up!

How long does the camera take to boot up and start recording when you start the car?

I bought a DR650 2 Channel recently with a PowerAdd and was going to do the more complex install to the fuse panel but I would like to use the camera in the mean time since it may be a while before I have the time.


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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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My BlackView takes between 10 and 30 seconds to startup. If it's a really day hot up to a minute, after all these years the capacitors probably need to be changed.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 11:33 AM
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Strange that the wiring to the connector seems different from the "(14+) MirrorTap/Invisicord Install" post. (Sorry, just signed up here so I can't link to it.) Looks like the same auto-dimming mirror with Homelink. I guess I'll be testing them myself.

Planning to use a "HitCar DC 12V to 5V Power Inverter Mini / Micro USB DC 3.5 Hard Wired Converter Kit Car Charger Cable for GPS Tablet Phone PDA DVR Recorder (Mini USB Straight)" from Amazon for a dash cam install.
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-26-2016, 02:46 PM
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I love how this looks and it even looks like something I can do. Does anyone know if this setup is compatible with the Eyesight system? I am worried about blocking the cameras and I am also hoping the wiring is the same.

This is the first thing I will be doing on my new Subie, any help is appreciated.
Thanks!
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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@GCymbala

The wiring can change between years, so I always suggest double checking everything with a multimeter. Even the Subaru Tech Info website is sometimes wrong.

That HitCar DC adapter looks like it will do the job for a 5V camera.


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