The main problem I was horrified to see, were the numbers of videos (including one driving instructor) who was showing people how to hardwire the cables over the 'A' Pillar, instead of removing the 'A' Pillar Trim and routing the cable behind the Airbag stored inside - that most of these people seem to forget they have!
The side curtain Airbag on most vehicles goes along the side of the vehicle and ends at varying distances inside the A Pillar. So imagine a deployment of the side airbag and the dash cam wiring is in front of the airbag - I suspect it may act like cheesewire and garotte (or worse) any occupant in the passenger seat or cause it to mis-deploy or other scenarios.
Anyway, I wanted a camera with a relatively small footprint, given that the Aircross has a significantly large shroud on the centre of the windscreen housing the ADAS equipment / sensors. So after painstaking searching I found the Navitel R10:
Some Features I like
- Full HD 1080p
- Built-in GPS & WiFi
- Speed Camera Database
- Phone App can display Live Camera Broadcast
- Clips can be Downloaded to phone or PC
- Additional software for your PC allows instant stitching together of your journey segments to show one continuous trip, with map location.
- 2 year Guarantee
| The Footprint & Look|
Unobtrusive, compact and looks totally unconventional,
with the 'Eyeball' shape
|Versatile & Well-Designed|
The Mount actually contains the built-in GPS Module & Power.
There is a Magnetic Connection to the camera (very Strong).
There is a cover that hides the MicroSD card.
Containing a separate power port for connection to a PC,
this can power the camera when detached from the mount.
A reset button is also here.
The Control buttons are on the underside.
The camera can be rotated 360°.
So can be useful for quickly recording events to the sides, inside cabin
or rear of the vehicle.
The Camera Module can instantly be detached
without any unplugging of cables
|GPS Digital Speed Display|
The screen of the camera can be turned off
or it can be used to display vehicle speed from the GPS
Installation / Issues
So, my first mistake was focussing on mounting the camera tucked up to the left of the shroud - without checking the footage!
So first tip - always check the video footage before wiring or mounting, as different cameras have quite variable viewing angles - anywhere on average from about 140° to 180°.
|So I thought, 'Great'.....||..... until I saw the footage and how everything to the right was blocked out|
I had to risk it and mount it in the centre. The only place for this was underneath the central shroud.
Tip: If you need to remove the 3M mounting Pad from the windscreen, don't try and pick it off. Get hold of a hair dryer and gently heat the outside of the windscreen directly behind the mounting pad. Use full heat for about 1-2 minutes to loosen the adhesive. Then with one hand on the inside of the vehicle, hold the mount and apply pressure in one direction only whilst continuing to apply heat and it should at some point just pop off in one go. If successful, you should be able to re-use the mounting pad and keep any spares you have for future use.
|As it turned out, this did not distract the driver's view at all thankfully.|
Note: This image was taken from the passenger side.
I started off second time round by by checking the position with live camera footage to make sure it was placed exactly where I wanted it. Clean the windscreen with an alcohol wipe in the area where you want to mount the camera pad.
Next I used a small trim spatula tool to carefully prise the headlining down a fraction - just enough to hold the wire near the centre of the rear view mirror. Here I allowed enough cable to route around the shroud edge and to connect into the camera without any excess. Remember with this camera, you don't need to keep plugging and unplugging wires - the mount always stays on the windscreen and the camera is attached and detached magnetically.
Next, use trim removal tools to gently remove the end of the dash panel on the passenger side. There are clips that are quite tight all around the cover (I have marked these in cream arrows above). My advice is to work your way around gently and do not try and pull off completely from one direction or you will risk snapping the other clips. Be wary that you will need to lift part of the weather strip as the cover goes underneath this. When you have made progress lifting it partly away all the way around, I suggest pulling directly off from both sides at the same time. It will come off with some persistence - just don't yank it off.
Next use your Trim to gently recess the wire into the headlining back to the corner of the windscreen.
Now for the 'A' Pillar trim. There is no need to remove this fully - especially as the speakers are wired into the bottom of the trim. Just lift up the weather strip to get behind the top of the 'A' Pillar, and use a combination of a trim too, and your fingers to gently lift the top part away. Be very careful, as there is an airbag inside (especially when using a trim tool - do not go too deep)!
|Gently prise the top part away. You can see just see the airbag in the picture above.|
Feed the wire behind the airbag and out.
|Route the wire from the corner of the headlining behind the airbag.|
It is therefore important not to fix anything at the fusebox end before doing this part.
A neat, tidy and safe job.
|Now you can tuck the wire all the way down behind|
the weather strip. Replace the 'A' Pillar Trim by gently
but firmly knocking it back.
|Here the wire exits out of the Weather Strip|
Near the Dashboard end panel.
Next for the fuse. I used the top brown 5A fuse (Fuse number 33 on the above diagram)
I wanted an ignition-switched live for my camera, as I want it to go off with the ignition. Reason being, I always used to forget to turn the camera off and I don't want to run the car battery down. This Navitel camera has a battery that can power the camera back up in the event of a knock detected by the G Sensor in parking mode and will power the camera back down if it detects nothing after a configurable set time. So in my case that is adequate for my needs.
Remove Fuse F33 using some long nose pliers and insert it into the piggy back fuse holder from your hard wiring kit along with a suitable smaller fuse for your camera, and then re-insert the piggy back fuse into the fusebox.
All you need to do now is connect the live camera wire to the fuse holder live as shown above using bullet fixings or similar as supplied in your hard wire kit.
Next use a 13mm socket to remove the top bolt as shown above by the green arrow. Use a suitable wire clamp to secure the earth wire form the camera lead to the bolt and reattach.
I used some heat shrink wraps to cover all the connections. Finally. just carefully tie up any excess wire with a cable tie and hide it neatly away in the fuse box.
First test that the camera powers up before reattaching the dash end panel trim!
If all is successful reattach the dash end panel.
Finally, I just need to tidy up the wiring around the shroud.
I bought some of these Bullet shaped wiring clamps - they are made of soft silicon and are just pulled up at each end to allow you to thread the wire through. They have 3M sticky foam pads. I wanted these rather than the square type as trying to get a small size is impossible. I wanted to hide as much of the bullet as I could behind the black windscreen frit (the black dots on the glass).
So having used a few of these you can see above that the cable is all nice and tight.
The picture above shows a still from the camera in its new position, so you can see the view to the right has been resolved.
I'm very pleased with it and took an extended guarantee with Amazon for 3 years for little over a £10 which covers accidental damage too.
So if you want something small and compact with HD footage that doesn't cost the earth and looks different I can definitely recommend the Navitel R10.