Nowadays, you can undoubtedly install a camera in pretty much anything. With a plethora of possible uses, cameras bode well to have one in your vehicle. Because of the increasing number of vehicular accidents each year, keeping a visual record of your travel can help a lot in case of an accident.
Then, the dashboard camera or dash cam entered the market. As its name implies, a dash cam is a device that is installed to your vehicle’s dashboard. The device is widely popular in Russia as the videos recorded by the device is considered a stronger evidence over verbal affirmation in court.
Although the device is called a dashboard camera, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you install it on your car’s dashboard as you can also have it installed on the windshield using suction, making sure the device faces slightly down so that you can get a clear view of the tip of the hood. This article will discuss how to mount a dash cam.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Installation
There are several ways you can mount a dash cam in your vehicle. One of the common problems with installing a dash cam is the power supply cable. The majority of dash cams sold in the market only work for a limited time using battery power. There are dash cam models that need to be plugged into the vehicle’s 12V system in order to function.
Also, most dashboard cameras come with a mount that is specific for the model. There are also models that come with suction cups instead. If your dash cam does not come with one out of the box, it is probably designed to simply lay the device on your car’s dashboard. You can customize it by adding a Velcro strip to hold it securely in place. There are also universal mounts and suction cups sold separately if you want to have a different one.
There are also dash cams that come with double-sided adhesive tape. These adhesives are considered more secure compared to a suction cup. This is especially applicable if your vehicle comes with a dot matrix near the rear view mirror. The adhesives help shade sun glare.
How Does a Dash Cam Work?
The majority of dash cams sold in the market are the plug-and-play models. The camera is plug into power and automatically starts when the car is turned on. The recorded video is then stored in the dash cam’s removable storage, usually a SD card. As soon as you hit the SD card’s storage limit, the dash cam system will automatically overwrite the oldest files stored and start recording. This is a never-ending loop.
Newer models of dash cams come with geotagging features which enable you to tag your files so you can easily pinpoint the location of what the device has been recorded. More sophisticated models also enable you to monitor date, speed and time for the recordings. These models also come with shock sensors that can conveniently geotag the recording upon collision to ensure that the video files do not get overwritten in case of an accident.
Steps on How to Mount a Dash Cam
- Find the best place in your car to install the dash cam
When finding a suitable place for your dash cam, it is recommended that you choose a location that is out of sight from the driver and the passenger. The best example would be behind the vehicle’s rearview mirror. You will need to see what the camera placement look like both in the passenger and driver perspective. This is to ensure that both views are not blocked by the dashboard camera as it can be distracting.
- Mount the dash cam accordingly
You need to ensure that you line up the mount evenly in order for the video to appear leveled. You also need to make sure that the view of the dash cam is free from any obstructions. Once you see that the dash cam is correctly lined up, you can have it mounted using the suction cup or adhesive strips that come with it.
- Set up the wires properly
You can make use of an adhesive tape or other means to ensure that wires are discreetly hidden. Another great option is to use semi-permanent hooks to secure the dash cam wires. Using this technique can help you hold the cables up securely while allowing you to easily remove them when the need arises.
- Plug the power cable into the vehicle cigarette lighter and you are ready to go
The majority of dash cams have the capability of starting or stopping the recording as soon as it receives power. Depending on the manufacturer and the model of your dash cam, power either shuts off as soon as the vehicle is turned off and stays on even when the car’s ignition is turned off.
Hard-wiring your Dash Cam
Another option to consider is hard-wiring the dash camera. With this type of installation, you won’t be using the vehicle’s 12V plug instead it will be hooked up to the fuse box. If you are worried about killing your vehicle’s battery, you can get a battery discharge prevention device in order to regulate the power that comes to the dash cam in the event the battery’s voltage drops low.
Whether you prefer the dash cam to be hard-wired or hooked up to the cigarette lighter plug, make sure that you have a long power cable. Using a short cable that hands down from the dash cam to the vehicle’s center console can be a huge annoyance and impacts the dash cam’s discretion.
Check out how to hide cables:
Check out how to mount a dash cam video: