There are two basic types of installations for a vehicle camera system. The plug and go method is a lot easier than hard wiring the system, but hard wiring often allows for a more stable and sturdy install. Both methods are equally effective, but it depends entirely on your preferences, as to the way you decide to go. The slight differences between the two methods are going to be discussed to help you make an informed decision about how to properly install a vehicle camera system.
The Plug And Go Method For A Vehicle Camera System Install
The simpler of the two installs, the plug and go method, is usually the intended method for your install. Most vehicle camera systems come with a convenient plug that is designed to easily work with your 12v auxiliary power source, without having to get inside of the fuse box. It is a fast and convenient method, that when done properly, can look professional and stylish. However, whenever a vehicle camera system is installed improperly, it can look unprofessional and pose a risk to the safety of anyone in the vehicle. One simple plug and go model is the Goluk T2 FHD dash cam. The model number for this unit is T2 FHD, and it sells on Amazon.com for $148.99.
Attach the camera to the front windshield, or dash, with the appropriate mounting bracket, or adhesive, that is typically given to you by the manufacturer. Follow the directions carefully, as they have done thorough testing, to find out the best installation method for their vehicle camera system. Always clean the area well, and allow sufficient time for it to dry, before applying the adhesive. This will help you achieve a long-lasting mount.
To avoid having the wires pose a threat to anyone’s safety, hide them under the vehicle’s carpeting, tuck them under the edge of the headliner, place them between rubber pillars, and make sure that any excess wiring is zip tied together. If the wires are left dangling, not only does it look unprofessional, but it could increase your chances of becoming injured or involved in a crash. Getting tangled up with the wire could result in a fall occurring, upon exiting the vehicle, or could cause you to become distracted and run into another vehicle. Take an extra few minutes to install the wires properly on your new vehicle camera system, regardless of which installation method you choose. Now, plug the wire into the outlet and begin recording videos.
Hard Wiring A Vehicle Camera System
First, make sure that you have a credible wiring diagram for your particular vehicle. If one is not readily available, one should be obtained before beginning because it can be a useful tool for tracing down existing wiring. Locate your fuse box, making sure that all switches and other power sources are off, remove the cover. If it makes you feel more comfortable, disconnect your battery cable until you are ready to test your work, however, you may need it connected until after you have found where you are going to tie in.
Referring to your wiring diagram, check to see if there are any free fuses that you can use. In other words, is there an empty spot for just such an occasion. There is not always a free space available, but in many cases, there are 2 to 3. If there is not one available, you will have to wire to an existing circuit. Good choices may include auxiliary, interior lights, heated seats, etc. Do not attempt to wire into established fuses for airbags, brake lights, or another type that might endanger your safety if it were to break.
Next, you will need to check with your battery pack, or wiring kit, as to whether you need constant or ignition switch power. The battery will need to be connected, so you can test the circuits with a multimeter. For a constant power source, the multimeter should light up, even with the ignition in the off position. If you only need power when the ignition switch comes on, the multimeter should light up when the key is on, and it should extinguish upon turning it back off.
Now that you have found where you want to get power from, the question remains, how do you tie it in. The easiest way is to buy a product that simply plugs into the fuse box that has an extended wire off of it containing a crimping coupler. Simply crimp your hard wiring kit into the coupler, with a set of needle nose pliers, and you are almost ready to test your vehicle camera system installation out, but not quite yet.
The next step in the process is to successfully ground your hard wire kit. There are multiple different locations that this can be achieved, but it should always be done to metal. Plastic, or another material, between the wire and the frame will result in a bad ground, and your unit will not function properly, if it functions at all. Try to find the factory location where they grounded your fuse box. Use a socket and ratchet to either back the nut or bolt off, attach the new grounding wire, and tighten the bolt securely back in place.
Test Your New Vehicle Camera System Out
If you disconnected the battery terminal, reconnect it now, then plug the wires into the back of your camera. Turn on your ignition switch and check to see if lights come on, or if the screen comes on. If they do, your vehicle camera system installation was a success. Use zip ties or electrical tape to hold any excess wiring securely in place, and start recording videos on your new device.
Trouble Shooting Your New Installation
So, your new toy did not fire up on the first try, do not fret, troubleshoot your installation in these ways.
Check to make sure that your ground is securely in place, and that it is in the right place. Any other type of material like rubber or plastic can cause a faulty ground and not allow your vehicle camera system to power on. Double check the instructions for your specific hard wire kit, and make sure that you connected to the correct type of power source, either constant or ignition switch controlled. Connecting it backward could have adverse effects on the unit. Hopefully, these little tips will have you up running and watching your videos in no time.