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Dash Camera Wiring Options

Dash Camera Wiring Options

When purchasing a dash camera, you will need to decide how you want it wired into your vehicle. This is an important decision as it decides how discreet the camera will be and what features it has available to use.

Cigarette leadThe simplest way to wire the dash cam is via the cigarette socket. Many cameras such as the BlackVue come with a cigarette power lead in the box, whereas Thinkware cameras you have to ask for this option when purchasing. If you choose this method, you will simply have the camera mounted on your windscreen and the power cable going directly to your cigarette lighter socket. However, when you have the camera like this, it will not have parking mode enabled and has the potential to drain your vehicles battery if the cigarette socket is permanently live.

 

TThinkware Hard wire kithe second option you have is to hard-wire the camera directly to your vehicle. When hard-wiring your dash cam this way, it allows for a more complete installation. As you are able to successfully hide all wires from sight. Having your dash camera hard-wired also enables it parking mode. The Thinkware cameras come with the hard-wire kit as standard in the box, whereas BlackVue cameras need an addition wiring kit. This is our most popular method of installation.

Cellink B Battery Pack

Hardwired via an additional Battery

Hard-wiring the camera with the use of an additional battery pack is the third and final way of wiring your dash camera. As the name suggests, it is very similar to the option above, with the difference being the use of an additional battery pack. Using this method the camera connects to the battery pack which is wired to an ignition feed on your vehicle. The battery pack will then be hidden out of sight. Once the battery is fully charged you can expect between 15-100 hours of parking mode recording depending on the camera system and battery combination. One thing to bare in mind with this setup is that the battery will require driving time to recharge. As an example our most popular battery is the Cellink B, if this is used with a 2Ch dash camera the operating time will be approx. 15 hours.

If the battery was fully charged and you parked the vehicle at 6pm, the camera would stay on until around 9am the next morning. At this point the battery would run out of juice and the camera system would shut down. The battery and therefore camera would remain off until the vehicle is started, at which point the battery begins to recharge. It will take around 1.5 hours for the battery to fully charge, if you do not drive for this long the battery will never fully charge. If you’re only driving for say 30 minutes in the morning the camera system may only stay on for 3-4 hours before shutting down. It’s important to understand this point, many people purchase the battery assuming it will keep the cameras on 24/7. It is of course possible but you do need to be driving a fair distance each day for this to be the case.

If you have an existing camera and are looking for an installation only or if you are looking for both supply and installation, please get in touch and one of our experienced team members will be able to provide the best solution for you.

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How To: Resolve DAB Interference

DAB Interference Solutions

Some vehicles suffer DAB interference as a result of their dash camera being installed. This can be anything from a single radio station to the entire radio not working. However, there are ways that can fix this and get your DAB radio back. We have yet to come across a vehicle where we could not resolve this issue.

Ferrite CoresThe first way of removing the DAB interference is to attach ferrite cores to the cabling of the camera. It is usually rear cameras which cause the interference, so try attaching the core to the end of the cable at the rear camera first. If you have a front only camera it would be the same process but attaching the core as close to the front camera as possible. In the majority of cases, this one ferrite core will restore your DAB. If this does not work the next thing to try is to attach a couple more ferrite cores along the cabling of the camera, which should bring back your DAB radio.

Buy Ferrite Cores For £4.99

If adding ferrite cores has not resolved the DAB interference then you will need to re-route the cabling. This can either be changing it from the top of the trim to the bottom or changing the side of the vehicle that the cable is run.

Our engineers use these methods to to remove DAB interference and have yet to come across an instance that this has failed to work. If you are experiencing a DAB interference issue, you can try to resolve it yourself by using the above methods or you can contact us and we can get one of our fully trained auto-electricians to take a look at the vehicle and try to resolve the issue.

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Extend Your Dash Cameras Parking Mode Recording Time

How to extend parkinf mode recording time

If your dash camera has parking mode you will know that most only record for a short time after the vehicle is switched off. This can leave your vehicle vulnerable though as it will not last the whole night.

However, there is now a solution to this, a new and improved battery pack. These battery packs can be installed into your vehicle and are quickly re-charged by driving the vehicle for 1-1.5 hours. These battery packs can provide your camera system power for anything between 20 and 100 hours depending which option you go for.

The biggest problem with using a battery pack is the recharge time, if you don’t drive either sort regular distances of around 30 minutes each morning and evening, or a longer trip of 2 or more hours every couple of days. Then a battery pack may not be worth the additional cost, however, if you do regularly drive for times similar to this then a battery pack has the potential to keep your cameras recording all day.

Dash Cam Battery Pack Options

We have two solutions, the Cellink B or the Cellink Pro. Each battery pack was developed to meet a specific requirement and budget, read on for more details:

Cellink B Battery PackThe Cellink B

The cellink B will provide your front only camera with up to 30 hours of power or 15 hours for a front and rear camera system. This is additional battery pack will normally be placed under the front passengers seat. This battery pack can either be hard-wired or plugged into your vehicles cigarette socket. Find out more

The Cellink Pro

Cellink pro
This is a battery that will be placed in the boot, this way it will be discreet and not in your way. The Cellink pro can provide a front only camera power for 100 hours or 50 hours for a front and rear system. This option is perfect for those who’s vehicle may be unattended for a couple of days at a time. View the full description

If you have any further product questions or would like to have one of these batteries professional installed alongside a camera system then please contact us so we can provide a quote.

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BlackVue Accessories: Power Magic Pro or B-112 Battery Pack?

BlackVue Hardwire options

BlackVue is a brand whose products are known for their high quality, reliability and great feature sets. One feature that is highly requested, that the BlackVue dash cams excel in, is the Parking Mode. However, one of two BlackVue Accessories are needed to enable Parking Mode to operate effectively.

First of all, let us explain what parking mode is.  The dash camera will switch into Parking Mode once the vehicle has been static for five minutes, i.e. when parked. Whilst in parking mode the camera remains on but it will shut off non-essential functions such as the GPS, it will also stop saving video footage to the memory, unless it detects motion through the camera lens or an impact using the built-in G-shock sensor.

When the dash cam is in Parking Mode, if an impact or movement is detected, the camera will store the current clip onto the memory card. It will save five seconds prior to the event and at least the prevailing 55 seconds, the latter can be adjusted within the settings. This is great and provides you with the piece of mind that your vehicle will be protected when parked. However, as the camera draws power directly from your vehicle the last thing you want is for the camera to run indefinitely leaving you with a flat battery.

Parking Mode – Common Misconceptions

This is a good time to clarify a few points; the majority of people contacting us regarding the Parking Mode function believe the dash camera will be able to stay on and record throughout the night. For the camera to remain on it will draw power and in most cases this will come from your vehicles battery via the Power Magic Pro kit. The Power Magic Pro is explained in more detail below, but in short, it will protect your vehicle’s battery and shut the dash camera down when needed. In the vast majority of vehicles the dash camera will be shutdown after anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours, it varies widely and is dependant on a range of factors such as battery size, health, power draw from other electrical items within the vehicle and how often the vehicle is driven.

If you are one of the lucky ones, in the minority, you may find that your camera stays on for much longer than four hours but this is impossible to know until the dash camera has been fitted and in operation for a few days. If you want to guarantee longer than four hours, we would always recommend fitting the BlackVue battery kit which is shown below. When fully charged, this will provide you with around 15 hours of recording time on a front-only cam and approximately six to eight  hours on a front and rear dash camera.

The BlackVue Power Magic Pro


This is most common of the BlackVue accessories and is the minimum option you should go for if you want the dash camera correctly hardwired and the Parking Mode enabled. The Power Magic Pro is a hardwire kit and a battery save voltage cut-off device. The Power Magic Pro is usually wired directly into your vehicles fuse box and requires a permanent 12v feed, an ignition switched 12v feed and an earth. It will usually be hidden under your dashboard. As mentioned above, this device will normally shut the camera off anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours after the ignition has been switched off.

Buy the Power Magic Pro for £37.99

The B-112 Battery Pack

B-112 front
The BlackVue battery pack offers a couple of benefits over the Power Magic Pro.  If you want the dash camera to stay on for longer when parked,  the BlackVue B-112 battery pack provides approximately 15 hours of parked recording with a front-only camera or six to eight hours for a front and rear camera system, when fully charged. This is a significant increase in recording time. The battery pack is usually placed on the side of the centre console of your vehicle or under a front seat and is fully charged by driving your vehicle for 1.5 hours.

The battery pack only requires a 12v switched feed and an earth, this is important to note as it means the battery will only draw power from your vehicle when the ignition is on and the engine is running. This can be an advantage in vehicles that have an intelligent power supply system, it is quite rare but certain vehicles can be sensitive to third party electronics being connected. At worst they will issue warnings to inform you of a low battery or an unknown power drain. These warning systems only kick in if devices are drawing power when the vehicle is parked, as the battery kit only draws power when the engine is running these issues are completely avoided. As mentioned it is rare and can normally be avoided without the use of a battery kit but if you have any doubts this is the route to take.

Buy the B-112 Battery Pack for £169.99

The BlackVue Cloud and the Appropriate Hardwire Kit


For details on the BlackVue cloud read our blog here – BlackVue Over The Cloud

As a final consideration, if you would like to take advantage of the BlackVue cloud functionality you will need a WiFi network in close proximity to the vehicle that the camera can connect to. You may be lucky and find that your dash camera can find your home or office WiFi if you park nearby. However, for most this will not be the case, and of course if you ever park out of range of these networks your camera won’t be able to connect to the cloud.

As a result of this, really the only solution is to ensure that you have what is known as a MiFi network in your vehicle, MiFi simply means mobile WiFi. Dash Witness can supply you with a MiFi dongle and a data SIM that can be used in conjunction with either the Power Magic Pro or the Battery Hardwire Kit. This device will go on/off with the camera so you can guarantee that when the camera is on it will have a network to connect to.

In modern vehicles you may find that you already have a MiFi network or you may already have a dongle that you can plug into a USB port or the cigarette socket, but it is also likely that once you switch the ignition off the MiFi network will also go off. This isn’t much use if you want to receive a notification if your vehicle is hit whilst parked.

If you are looking for a fully functioning package that will provide remote reporting we would suggest purchasing the battery kit and MiFi dongle, we can hardwire both in during the installation process and test them when on site. This will ensure the MiFi network and camera are both on together, for as long as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to call us on 01865 598599 or contact us here