Experience Hardwiring VIOFO A129 Dashcam

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Kyle’s Clarity, Mar 16, 2019.

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  1. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Thanks @megreyhair. I'm glad I now know that, just in case. I was able to confirm the manual charging door release function, but sadly not the rear seat ejection one, in the Owner's Manual, on Page 563, after stepping through 134 of 136 uses of the word "manual" in the manual. The nondescript picture that they illustrate that handle, taken from a stand on your head and look up perspective would not have been much help. I'm over 3 years into ownership of my 2018 Clarity, and still discovering new stuff about it.
     
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  3. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I got my Viofo A129 Pro Duo today, and have installed the Dash Cam. I'm still contemplating the Rear Cam Install. Thanks to @Kyle's Clarity for his detailed descriptions of his install, which really helped.

    I do want to elaborate just a bit on the removal and reinstallation of the cover panel, in the area of the fuse block, in the hope that it might simplify things for the next guy to try it. I struggled getting that thing apart for an embarrassing amount of time - fearful that I would break it, or one of the adjacent parts. Once I had it out, and studied it, I found that there really are only 3 steps necessary to easily remove or install it, without pain or damage, and that either can be accomplished in about 30 seconds.

    1. Reach under the edge of the adjacent floor cover, and yank it up, far enough for the hidden projections under it to clear their hold on the cover panel.
    upload_2021-4-6_21-7-2.png

    2. Lift out the door weather-stripping adjacent to the cover panel. (Not to worry, it just gets pushed back on afterward, with no damage.)
    upload_2021-4-6_21-11-30.png

    3. Pull the cover panel towards the rear of the car, about an inch, or so, and extract it to the right side.

    Reassembly is mostly the same steps in reverse, except that you need to assure that slots in the 2 hidden attachments are engaged with the 2 round buttons that are attached to the frame. You can test by attempting to pull the cover to the right after pushing the cover panel in place.

    upload_2021-4-6_21-19-47.png

    upload_2021-4-6_21-21-26.png

    Overall, the project went really well. I did remove power from the 12v Battery, by disconnecting the Negative terminal, to avoid any possibility of blowing the Airbag when I opened up the A-Frame.

    I installed the cable down the A-Frame on the Windshield side, above the airbag, and tie-wrapped to the existing plastic conduit, and I left a loop of cable near the top, in case I decide to move the cam later.

    upload_2021-4-6_21-27-17.png

    I also wrapped the cable with foam insulation in each area where I wasn't able to tie it down, to avoid movement and rattles.

    upload_2021-4-6_21-32-34.png

    I also opted to connect the Hardwire Kit wiring to Fuse Slots 11 (ACC) and 18 (Battery), so that I could easily dress the wires away from the OBDII port.

    upload_2021-4-6_21-36-17.jpeg

    I also used the multi-connection ground bolt for the Ground Wire of the kit. It's a 10mm head on that bolt, and very hard to manage with sockets or closed/open end wrench, but I finally was able to do it. The screw that holds down the manual release for the charging cover would probably work just as well, actually.

    upload_2021-4-6_21-43-47.png

    I'm really happy with the Phase 1 results so far. I'll post more when, and If, Install the Rear Cam.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
    insightman likes this.
  4. I just installed this same dash cam system last week, front and rear, and I used pretty much the same method for wiring the front camera as @vicw. Did we all get the same Amazon flash deal a couple weeks ago? ;-)

    For the rear camera wiring, I ran the USB cable from the camera over to the A-pillar, and routed it over and beyond the airbag to stay out of its path. I then pulled the weatherstripping from the front and rear doors, and tucked the cable into the void space between the headliner and the side curtain airbags.

    The only places where it was tricky was with the B-pillar and C-pillar since they have clips that apparently have to be broken in order to pull the covers off. I ended up pulling the pillar out as far as it would go (about 1/2-3/4") and running some stiff electrical wire between the front and rear door, being careful to stay away from the airbags. I was able to fish the USB cable through while keeping it away from the path of the airbags if they were ever to deploy.

    I had to do the same thing with the C-pillar, but also had to pull off the D-pillar trim in order to fish the wire through. There are no airbags in the D-pillar area, but it won't come off completely without the C-pillar being removed first, so I had to bend it out of the way enough to get the cable through, then snap it back in place. I had an extra 3-4ft of cable left, so I just tucked it into the headliner behind the rear camera.

    Looks a little trickier than it actually was, but worth it to have both a clean install and a rear-facing camera. Took about 30 minutes to run the cable from front to back.

    IMG_7143.jpg IMG_7144.jpg IMG_7145.jpg IMG_7146.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  5. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Hi @Vitamin P Welcome to the forum, and congrats on living in the San Diego area. We spent quite a few years there before retiring. It's the best place ever.
    I didn't catch the Amazon Flash Deal on the cam, unfortunately.

    Thanks for sharing your installation. It looks a bit daunting, but maybe it's not as much of a struggle as it appears. I did have some problem getting my bearings on the first pic, though. I'm thinking that the camera was facing up from the driver's door opening. Is that black cable, next to the first joint of your finger the rear cam cable? If so, that looks like it is running below the airbag, lying against it, but maybe it's a different one. I'm hoping, probably foolishly, to be able to actually run the cable above the airbag, farther up, where it couldn't interfere with the downward trajectory of the side curtain airbag if it ever deploys, but maybe that just isn't feasible or possible at all.

    I've been trying to figure out how to temporarily remove the Grab handles, in the hope that would allow the headliner to be pulled back further and perhaps expose an area which would accommodate the cable above it, but haven't been able to budge the handle mount covers so far.

    I also considered the possibility of running the cable down and through the sills, and back up in the rear, but the cable measures 19'6", and it doesn't look long enough to do that route. I may just have to settle for a below the airbag route, and just try to avoid rolling the Clarity.
     
  6. It's weird that I'm being listed as a new member. I've actually been on here for a year and half, and was fairly active in the beginning. Maybe it's because I haven't posted anything for more than 6 months or something...

    You're correct about the first photo, I was pointing up at the gap between the door and headliner from just outside the car. And it is the USB cable that you see in the photo. From that angle it looks like it's in front of the airbag, but it's actually behind it. I think it's out of the way if it were to deploy, it would likely inflate downward in front of it, but I may end up going back in and taping it to the the frame to be on the safe side. There's a little more room there than it looks in the photo.

    My first attempt was to run fish tape in the headliner from rear to front to stay well away from the airbags, but there are too many crossmembers in there, and the tape kept getting stuck before I could get it all the way forward. Bummer because it would've only been a 6ft run from front to back that way. The grab handles probably have cover pieces hiding some screws, so you can try that, but it seems like a lot more work to try to get the headliner pulled away.

    I didn't think my cable was 19ft, it seemed more like 12ft based on the amount leftover that I had to tuck away.

    One other issue I ran into was with the fusebox. I ordered a set of fuse taps based on the link that posted in the first message in this thread, and they didn't fit my fusebox. The original poster had a 2018 model, and mine's a 2019, and my fuses are the low-profile ones and not the standard mini fuses, so maybe they changed them between 2018 and 2019. What year is your Clarity, and what style fuses are in your fusebox?

    Good luck with the rest of your install!
     
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  8. Random.Clarity

    Random.Clarity New Member

    Alternatively, you can just tuck the cable into the weather stripping along the top of the door openings and under the plastic trim between the front and rear doors. No need to pull the headliner.
     
  9. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I measured mine again today, just to be sure. It's still 19'7". Maybe they shipped you a short one, since you didn't pay the full retail price for it. As long as it was long enough to install it is what really matters. I just didn't want to lead anyone astray with an mistaken measurement.

    My Clarity is a 2018 model, and I used the low-profile add-a-circuit taps on mine, but I suspect either variety would work, based on the photo that @Kyle's Clarity posted.

    By the way, I'm giving up on my hope to install the cable for the rear cam up higher in the headliner, above the airbag. It's just too much of a struggle trying to remove the Grab Handles to get access that high up. I'm going to route mine pretty much the same way as you and @Random.Clarity did, I wish I could tie or tape down the cable just inside the left entry doors, but that doesn't really look feasible. After much staring and contemplating, I really think the cable will sit far enough below and to the left of the trajectory of the airbag, that it won't interfere with it, should it deploy (hope ours never do).

    I like the position you chose to mount the rear cam, with only the miniUSB plug showing between the cam and the top edge of the window. Thanks for sharing your install info. It's really helpful.
     
  10. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Well, I managed to install the Rear Cam today. It took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete, following the routing and techniques that @Vitamin P showed above. It went well, and all is working, BUT, after completing the install, I encountered a problem that hadn't occurred to me to expect.

    Apparently, the proximity of the Rear Cam to the nearby roof antenna pretty much kills the signal reception for SiriusXM, presumably because of RF generated by the cam. XM is not completely dead, but it completely loses signal input more that it has it. I moved the cam about 6" down from the initial highest placement, which improved the performance, but it was still subject to too many interruptions. I was concerned that I might have disrupted the antenna connection, when I jammed about 8' of excess cable into the headliner, but the problem severity follows the distance between the cam and the antenna, so I don't think the cable routing is causing the problem. I also temporarily wrapped aluminum foil over the cam back, and it helped even more, at an acceptable level, but obviously I can't leave it that way.

    I temporarily moved the cam to the window in the trunk. I couldn't quite center it, but it's within a few inches of center. I took a test drive with it, and am blown away how good it looks. There is no interior stuff in the image, and no reflections at all, and the angle is perfect, I think. I had no RF interference problems to XM radio from that position.

    If I can find a route for the cable, which I think should be pretty easy, and if I can be confident that it won't pop off from trunk slamming, I'm going for it. I haven't tried it at night yet, and the window seems to be slightly tinted, so it might not be wonderful imaging, but I hope acceptable.
     
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  11. Please report back on that--I've been considering it too. Very stealth, and since I'm still not comfortable possibly interfering with the side curtain airbags, I may want to run it on the floor anyway

    Would it kill them just to run a USB from front to back (or at least design for a clean path)
     
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  13. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Yes, I plan to try the permanent trunk placement tomorrow, and will update.

    I'm really impressed with the daytime imaging with the trunk placement, but I realize it may compromise night time view. Even with that, I think we can stay with it - we don't drive that much at night anymore.

    I wanted to try running it on the floor, too, but my cable, at 19' 7" just didn't look like it could reach. Admittedly, I was measuring the path pretty conservatively, and it might have been possible, but I didn't want to do that much work to reach the end, and find it short. @Vitamin P believes his cable was significantly shorter than mine, so I guess it's possible that Viofo isn't always providing the exact same cable for each unit. If the cable was long enough, I think the lower part via the floor sills might have actually been easier. I suppose you could purchase a really long USB cable for the job if yours doesn't look sufficient to the task. While I wish I could have tied down the cables going to the back, I don't think their placement, as it is, really could interfere with the airbag deployment. Hopefully, we will never demonstrate that.

    If you do run a lower cable, please share your experience with that project. It's always possible for us to go back and reroute.
     
  14. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Here is a sample daytime image with the Rear Cam placed in the trunk.

    upload_2021-4-9_21-53-57.png
     
  15. Once you get to the trunk you could just use an extension cable

    Amazing picture, btw. Since the corner of the trunk window behind the driver probably can't be seen from the driver's side, it probably won't even be visibly blocking any of the view.
     
  16. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I agree, an extension cable could be used, if necessary. Actually, I place the cam as close to the center of the window as I could, and it can be seen by the driver, but it's no big deal.
     
  17. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    OK, I managed to get the cable run from within the cabin to the Rear Cam in the trunk. Finding a suitable opening was a bear, and I almost gave up no the project, but I finally managed to find one roughly below the orange attachment button in this pic. I could feel, but not see an opening immediately behind a vertical plastic thing. The green wire is pushed up from the trunk area.


    [​IMG]

    I had previously removed the cover plate for the Trunk Keylock to give me better visibility and access to the area in the trunk

    [​IMG]

    I strung the cable into the trunk, and by this time, I was too exhausted to fuss around with the plastic coverings in the trunk, so I tied the cable down for now. I think I have the cable positioned where the stresses of trunk openings won't damage it, but it does look vulnerable to snagging on stuff in the trunk. I will need to improve on that. I did end up with a few extra feet of cable, which I pushed down behind the soft padding on the left side of the trunk,

    [​IMG]

    The plastic tie-downs that came with the cam look nice, but they don't really stick very well to the trunk lining. I need to work on that, too.

    [​IMG]

    For the moment, I plan to rest up and enjoy the results. I'm open to any suggestions on how to pull off those covers in the trunk. I did try to do it, but gave up for now.
     
  18. Or accidents that happen behind you where the authorities would need some video for proof of fault.
     
  19. Not having read your entire experience I was confused until the last picture. I put mine at the top of the rear window. Much easier installation. And now that I've read the rest I understand. Not being someone that uses SiriusXM I had no idea the antenna would cause problems.

    I did use the low route. On Facebook I did a write up with pictures. If you are a member there search viofo and choose me (list at left after telling it to search) as the poster.

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021 at 1:50 PM
    JustAnotherPoorDriver likes this.
  20. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    That's true - it's much easier. Actually, I did that first, but the cam caused serious interference with SiriusXM radio. I moved it to the trunk to eliminate the interference, and surprising now get what I think is a better image from that location. I posted a sample pic of the trunk image yesterday.
     
  21. That is a really clear picture! BTW, I added to my last post re: where I ran my cable.
     
  22. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I was really surprised with the interference problem. It affected SiriusXM very seriously, but not FM, and AM seemed OK, but I just checked one channel.

    I'll check it out on my wife's Facebook account. Was the cable that Viofo included with the cam long enough? Do you recall how much you had left over (I'm considering the extra length that would be needed to reach the trunk)?
     
  23. I did have extra cable, but I cannot remember how much. The last post on FB mentions that I tucked under the roof liner by the cam. I doubt there was enough to reach where yours is.

    BTW I'm Roger Rice on FB. Will make the search easier.
     

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