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      10-15-2015, 05:55 PM   #1
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Integrated Hidden Dashcam Setup DIY [OEM+]

I hate obvious dashcams and radar detectors mounted on the windshield right in your face, so I put together my very own! I went for oem styling and integrated design.

With the camera hardwired, I have 24/7 motion detection, 12 hours of 1080p at 60fps, and playback on an ipad using a camera connector kit.

This is the previous thread which inspired a DIY due to popular demand:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1082116

Just a disclaimer, I love tinkering with this kind of stuff and what I may think is simple may not be the case for others. What I thought would be a short and simple DIY has turned out to a bit more complicated than I thought in order to provide and go into the same level of detail as other DIYís on this forum. Please excuse any unclear details and I will do my best to clarify. This is my first implementation and some things might look crude on the inside, but it works well and Iím not exactly selling these - Iím sure you guys will make your own modifications and refinements.









Sample Clip:


Required:
-Mobius Actioncam with Wide Angle lens : The newest ďtype CĒ lens are widest for largest field of view
(http://www.amazon.com/Mobius-Action-.../dp/B00GT2B4R6)
-Microsd Memory Card: Mine is 64GB, this is good for about 8 hours of 1080p which will be a couple days of recording depending on if you want motion detection or power on with ignitionÖetc
(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o04_s00)
-OEM High Beam assist mirror plastic cover: These are for cars with high beam assist. Since most of us donít have this feature, our mirror cover is smaller and donít have the extra bulge in which the high beam camera usually sits.
There are two models of these depending on your production year:
Before 10/2009 - P/N 51167161083 (http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...167161083.html)
After 10/2009 - P/N 51169219140(https://www.ecstuning.com/ES84103/)
-Car USB Charger: 500mA is all the camera needs, however I would recommend you get a 2.1A as itís not much more and you can charge everything with it
-Car Cigarette Lighter Socket : All you need is a USB power socket, I chose to get this so I can have an extra iPad charger as well as hardwire this in my fusebox and hide the wires
(http://www.dx.com/p/car-cigarette-li...9#.Vh7l9BNVhBc)
-Light Pipe: This is essentially a pipe made of acrylic/plastic which gathers Light from an LED and focuses it on the end commonly used on cheap electronics. I pulled this off of a covering of a circuit board from work. Iím not quite sure where these would be sold, maybe radioshack or somewhere that sells circuitboard components.
(http://www.emcoplastics.com/wp-conte...pe-300x211.jpg)

Optional:
-Power Magic Pro: This kit includes a car cigarette lighter socket as well as an automatic shutoff for if you decide to hardwire the dash cam to the car and have it on 24/7 but donít want it to kill your battery.
(http://www.rearviewsafety.com/power-...EjbRoC5fzw_wcB)
-Dual Male & Single Female USB Connector: This if for if you want to be able to view your videos on an iPad
(http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Adap.../dp/B0041CFFBM)
-Apple Lightning Camera Kit: Also only for if you want to view your videos on an iPad
(http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD...-pla-btb-slid-)

Lets get started!

1. Setting Up the Camera

First you must get your mobius action cam setup. Since this camera is so versatile and basically a mini go pro being used from dash cams to aerial cams on model planes, there is a huge amount of different settings you can do. I would recommend you play and familiarize yourself with this camera first as this is the most complicated part. Understand how this camera will behave will save you a lot of headache later down the line when you scratch your head wondering why it didn't record that idiot running into you. There is a whole forum simply on this camera, the developer of this camera is extremely responsive with questions.

Website: https://www.mobius-actioncam.com/
User Manual: https://www.mobius-actioncam.com/wp-...l-23jan15a.pdf

The User Manual should cover everything you need to get going from selecting a microsd memory card with the proper class ratings and correct format (Iíve provided the one I got above in required materials which works well so far). Once you get it working (as well as firmware on the camera updated), you must configure the camera settings to your liking. I currently have the camera hardwired so it is constantly on standby with motion detection to activate recording. This causes intrinsic power draw from your car (Error code: 2DED) but as long as you drive the car regularly, itís not an issue. If you like, you can definitely get a Power Magic Pro which will cut off power to the camera when it detects the car battery is running low.

Just a couple things you can config to give you an idea:
-Resolution(720 or 1080p)
-Frame rate (30 or 60fps)
-Video duration
-Recording timeout
-Camera ON (power detect, manual button..etc)
-Camera record (power detect, motion detection, manual button..etc)
-Motion detection sensitivity (3 settings, from a bird to a car going by)
-LED indicator flicker
-Automatic overwrite
-Time & date stamp

Setting up the camera is all explained in the User manual but here it is for those of you too lazy to go look (I feel you).
1. Disconnect the camera from the PC and turn it off.
2. Press and Hold Down the Mode button. DO NOT RELEASE the button until step 4.
3. Press and Hold Down the Power button until the RED LED blinks 3 times and the camera turns off. This will take about 5 seconds. During the process, the blue and yellow LEDs may blink.
4. Release the Mode and Power buttons.

You will see a SYSCFG.TXT generated in the camera. You can then manually edit the text file yourself or there are apps on the site you can launch the file with to make things a bit easier to configure. Everything is pretty self explanatory. To put the settings on the camera, you simply repeat the steps above after youíve modified and saved the same file.

For those of you in hotter climates such as myself in California, the battery included in the camera doesnít stand a chance and will ballon during the summer. The solution to that is replacing the battery with a super capacitor so your videos will finish recording and get saved if power is cut. However I have no need for that since mine is hardwired and therefore constantly powered - I simply pull out the battery, The only issue I see with this is that the date and timestamp are always wrong since there is no power for it to be saved after configuring.

Remember since this camera will be enclosed in the rear view mirror assembly cover and the only access will be through the usb cable, you will have to open the cover every time to get to the buttons in order to configure. I have no problem with this since I make sure Iím happy with my configurations before closing it up and all I need from the camera is the usb cable to read/download recordings.

2. Disassembling the camera

Nothing to it, take out the four screws and separate the body of the camera to pull out the circuit board and lens connected to it. That is all you need from the camera - you can put the cover, metal heatsink, and rubber buttons aside.

3. Wiring

You must decide how you want your dash cam to run. Would you like it to record only when you drive or also with parking mode to capture any potential hit & runs or vandalism? All you need is a usb socket to power the camera, just depends on if you want the cable hidden and going into your glovebox/fusebox or you donít give a crap and am fine with it dangling to go into one of your existing cigarette lighters. If youíre hardwiring, you need to pick a fuse you want to tap. I picked Fuse 73 which is power locks since it is always powered. If you only want the camera to run when the car is on, you can look up which fuses are powered only upon ignition.

Here is a DIY which shows in detail how you hardwire as well as tuck the cable around the pillars trim/airbags and to the rear view mirror: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=993352

I believe the supplied USB cable with the camera is around 3-4 feet and was long enough to route from my rear view mirror, around the passenger B pillar under the headliner, and into the glovebox.

4. Mirror housing cover

The mirror housing cover is OEM and therefore should fit directly however mine required some modification (not sure what the deal was here). Try to see if yours requires some fitting first. I had to thin/taper down the top where it slides into the round anchor which joins the rear view mirror to the windshield. There was also a bracket I had to bend in. See pictures below.





To allow the extra wire to go into the housing, I just drilled the opening bigger. I got frustrated at trying to squeeze all the wires through the original hole and snapping the two covers together, this makes it much easier.

I then drilled a small hole on the driver side approximately right next to where the LED on the circuit board will be positioned (see later section on mounting circuit board) and stuffed/glued a light pipe through. This feature is a godsend as I had no idea whether the dash cam was recording or even working, there would be periods where it would stop working for whatever reason and I had no idea unless I looked at the videos or opened the housing cover to look at the LEDís. With this, you can see from both the drivers seat and outside the car whether the dash cam is on standby or recording. Itís really neat to walk by or wave your hand in front of the dash cam and see the red light go from solid (standby) to blinking (recording) - itís very similar to the alarm light just dimmer.




5. Mounting the circuit board & lens

What you have now is the circuitboard and lens attached to it by a ribbon cable. Using a old credit or gift card, I cut out a rectangular strip with indent for the lens (see picture below). I then took drilled two holes through the sides so I could attach it to the lens using the existing screws. This mount I have is crude but I donít have time to go manufacture some elaborate mount - ideally I would be one of those swivel ball mounts so you can position the lens in any way you like. I then ziptied a little clip around to the rain sensor (see picture) to hold it in place without making permanent modifications to my car. In the picture you can see thereís some hot glue on the tip of the clip, this makes it easier for the clip to stay secure with the zip tie.




The circuit board is secured simply by the usb head ziptied to the metal rear view mirror bar. It should be snug just with the usb connection and the force of the board against the mirror bar. Since the mirror bar is metal, it works perfectly because it doubles as a heatsink - yes those two oddly shaped triangles we took out were heatsinks. So make sure the side of the board where the heatsinks originally were is against the mirror bar. With this positioning, the main LED will be facing the driver - use this to approximate the location of the light rod before you drill and insert on the mirror housing. Once the circuit board is plugged in, simply clip your janky mount onto the little clip and play around with the position so your lens are pointed straight and center. You will have to mess around with the clip and bend the credit card mount a bit. Keep in mind the position may still change when you put the mirror housings back on. You may have to do a recording make position adjustments until youíre happy. This mount has worked very well for me since it absorbs bumps, you can see all the sample clips are very stable even with my ridiculously stiff suspension - my filmmaker friends are astonished it doesnít have some sort of expensive stabilizer bullcrap or whatever it is they spend their money on.



Now, put your mirror housing back on and it shall look as if the camera came from the factory with it!


Now connect the other end of the USB cable into your power source and youíre done! Now to view your videos, simply unplug the usb cable and plug it into your laptop which will basically read as a USB drive. I find this very convenient because only one cable is necessary and accessed in your glove box which makes this very OEM and integrated.

6. iPad display (Optional)

I donít necessarily carry my laptop around everywhere I go and I always want to be able to view my videos so I always have an iPad mini in my car. It doesnít necessarily have to be an iPad, just anything that can read and display from a USB drive. It would be expected that you can simply use the Apple iPad camera connector kit adapter (Female USB to Lightning) to so straight into your iPad but iOS will yell at you about too little power supplied by the dash cam. I resolved this by using a dual male and single female usb adapter which is typically used for hard drives which require more than one 500mA USB port. Basically two male USB ports are daisy chained - one does power and data and the other just feeds extra power. The data & power male USB goes to the iPad camera connector adapter and then very quickly before the iPad complains about the lower power, plug the second male USB (power only) into the usb power your dashcam (data & power) was just plugged into. The Photos app should then pop up and display all your videos on the camera, it may take a minute to load all of it if you have tens of gigs of videos.

Normal dash cam operation: Data & power USB connected to power


iPad read: Data & power USB to iPad, power USB to power











Big brother is watching.


Last edited by Pawlin; 12-03-2015 at 10:12 PM.
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      10-17-2015, 01:52 AM   #2
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Thanks again for the DIY. What are your settings for the following?
  • Motion Sensitivity
  • Motion Timeout
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      10-17-2015, 01:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm
Thanks again for the DIY. What are your settings for the following?
  • Motion Sensitivity
  • Motion Timeout
High and 30 seconds
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      10-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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We should be able to use a blackvue 650 right? Do you have a list of other camera's that can be used?
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      10-26-2015, 01:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatRWD View Post
We should be able to use a blackvue 650 right? Do you have a list of other camera's that can be used?
This DIY is specifically for the mobius actioncam. If you can separate the lens the blackvue and fit them in the housing then yes you can but I haven't tried.
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      11-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #6
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This is awesome. I'll be buying parts for this shortly.
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      11-09-2015, 03:54 PM   #7
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What a DIY. Nice
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      01-09-2016, 02:53 PM   #8
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Great DIY!

Will this dashcam 'XIAOMI CAR DVR' fit in the housing?

its an interesting new dashcam


http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_268947.html
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      01-10-2016, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1CHA3L View Post
Great DIY!

Will this dashcam 'XIAOMI CAR DVR' fit in the housing?

its an interesting new dashcam


http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_268947.html
No chance. The original mobius doesn't even fit in the housing - only the camera senor and lens fit.
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      03-21-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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Can the ipad support 2 cams going in it? I wasnt to put a cam in front and back
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      03-21-2016, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maniac0908
Can the ipad support 2 cams going in it? I wasnt to put a cam in front and back
The point of the iPad is to be a reader/viewer. All the video is stored on the micro sd cards on the camera.
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      03-22-2016, 01:08 AM   #12
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Here is a few shots of my install. I did it on a FineVu CR500. But mine is all integrated together and I had made a small opening on the other side for the USB connection to pull data off the camera. Hope OP does not mind me posting here.

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      03-22-2016, 09:07 AM   #13
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looks good!
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      03-24-2016, 08:41 PM   #14
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This is SOOO clean looking!! Love it!
What lip do you have?
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      05-05-2016, 01:49 PM   #15
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I'm currently looking into the same setup but using this camera.

http://wickedhd.com/wickedhd-1080p-b...32gb-sdhc.html

One advantage is it's 170į field of view and night vision.

I suspect the design may make it easy to simply afix the camera to two cards mounted inside the enclosure as well.



I'll keep everyone posted.
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      05-05-2016, 03:40 PM   #16
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Finger print on the lens...

This is a very cool DIY BTW! Wouldn't mind doing something like this for my car someday! I have a few GoPro's, but they stand out like sore thumbs, and are not really geared for this kind of permanent application.
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      05-11-2016, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yozh View Post
Here is a few shots of my install. I did it on a FineVu CR500. But mine is all integrated together and I had made a small opening on the other side for the USB connection to pull data off the camera. Hope OP does not mind me posting here.

Attachment 1386884

Attachment 1386885

Attachment 1386886

Attachment 1386887
what is the big silver thing on the bottom?
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      05-13-2016, 09:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdutch513 View Post
what is the big silver thing on the bottom?
All, it's not big, but it is a camera control panel from the camera itself. I had extended a flex cable and mounted it on the bottom. I like that it does not flash in your face and I know that camera is on as it tells you when it starts recording (can mute too).

Pics here will be able to give you an idea of what part of the camera it is.
http://finevudashcam.com

I'll try to update with better pics too.
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      06-07-2016, 09:07 PM   #19
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Pawlin this is badass. Just got my camera in today and only waiting on the housing. Do you have your video set to loop of you just wipe the SD card every other day?
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      06-09-2016, 08:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yozh View Post
Here is a few shots of my install. I did it on a FineVu CR500. But mine is all integrated together and I had made a small opening on the other side for the USB connection to pull data off the camera. Hope OP does not mind me posting here.

Attachment 1386884

Attachment 1386885

Attachment 1386886

Attachment 1386887
This is awesome I love how you kept the controls integrated! I was thinking of drilling holes in the housing to create buttons but it didn't end up being feasible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdutch513 View Post
This is SOOO clean looking!! Love it!
What lip do you have?
Thanks! It's an Arkym replica made by CPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Clipper View Post
Pawlin this is badass. Just got my camera in today and only waiting on the housing. Do you have your video set to loop of you just wipe the SD card every other day?
Awesome gl, I have the camera setup to loop - there's a ton of configurations you can do on this camera.
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      06-16-2016, 06:08 PM   #21
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Thanks for the detailed DIY post.

Are you getting any battery error codes with the unit on constant on?
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      06-19-2016, 03:24 PM   #22
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Question for you. I got around to mounting the camera today and the front of the housing doesnt sit flush against the window. Did you have this issue? If so, how did you fix? I'm thinking double sided tape?
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