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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I finally got a dash camera after a recent accident and I am trying to find a way to install properly. I got N4 from Vantrue with a hardwire kit. I am wondering anyone installed this dash cam in your Passat B5. I hear from the product review that the battery drains when the dash cam is being used when the car is parked. So I want to connect to a fuse that works only when I The key is on.

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Can some of you advise me which fuse location I should connect to? I found from other article that I can connect to the fuse for the rear window wiper which is 27 location. If that is the case, I might need to use the D connector above? Please see a photo of my fuse box below. I also found a fuse box diagram from the link below. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Bigevent


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As an installer in a previous life, I am really against piggy-backing on fuses. The fuse is not only to protect the equipment it connects to, but also to prevent overheating of the wire which can cause a fire. Even though you may be using the same size fuse as you are pulling out, it introduces more current draw on that fuse (you now have an extra accessory drawing power on that line) and it can cause the fuse to blow prematurely.

If you want the cam to only come on when the ignition is on, remove the knee bolster and you will see the relay panel with lugs that have red wires attached to them along the bottom. They should be labeled 30, 75X, etc. 75X is switched ignition. If they are not labeled, you'll need to use a multimeter or test light to determine which is powered only when the ignition is switched on. However, it is good to double check the correct lug even though they may be labeled. It may not look exactly like the below picture, but you get the idea.
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Put a ring terminal on the positive lead of the camera wiring with an inline fuse of the proper rating and remove the nut on that 75X lug, put it on, then tighten. Then, take the ground wire and either attach it to the metal frame or use and existing ground point (preferred). Grounds in a German car are brown wires (earth) and obviously they are fastened to a metal portion of the car.

Use zip ties to secure the wiring along existing wiring paths in the direction you want to route the wire to the bottom corner of the windscreen, avoiding sharp metal edges. Then, tuck the wire in along the dash corner, A-pillar, and headliner to the desired mounting location of the camera.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi VAGguy,

Thank you for your notes. I am convinced that using hardwiring to the fuse box might not be a good option for me. The main reason why I am not using the original dash cam charger connecting to the cigar jack is I am using it for my cellphone all the time. The method that you mentioned seems to be a little intimidating to me. So I want to ask one more question below for the charging option.

Can I use the OBD connector below? I learned that the OBD charger will run when the car is parked so I just need to turn it off when I park to make sure it does not drain my battery. Please let me know if the OBD Hardwire Charger cable can be safer than the hardwiring to the fuse fox. Worst case, I will use the original cigar jack charger if that is the safest way to use the dash cam.

Thank you again for sharing your experience and thoughts.

bigevent

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My general rule of thumb: NEVER use the OBDII port for anything other than it's intended use, diagnostics.
I've done a few ultra high end stereo installs on my vehicles and VAGguy's recommendation is the way to go.
It's simple, clean and it's the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you AndreasPassat and Tomvw. It is clear that VAGguy's method seems to be ready to go. The only problem is I am very bad at those things. But I am convinced that hardwiring to the fuse box and using the OBDII port is not a good option. So I will try the original cigar jack method that comes with the dashcam product. Actually, I did not even open the box yet since I was not sure which wiring method I should use. Today I opened the box and I noticed that the cigar jack adapter has a USB port as shown below so I will not lose my cellphone charging port. I hope using the cigar jack will not create any possible fire issue that can be caused by using the fuse box. And I can let the OBDII leave as it is just for its intended use, diagnostics. If I ever need any more devices to power, I will definitely look into the VAGguy's method.

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I have a side question about installing a dashcam to the B5 Passat wagon. Did one of you have installed a rear camera with your front dashcam? My dashcam comes with a rear camera and some youtube videos showed how to install a rear camera to a hatchback vehicle and the power wire goes through one of the flexible pipes as shown below. B in the photo below is the hidden wire and A is the actual rear camera. I am wondering how you would wire a rear camera if your vehicle is a hatchback.

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You guys are awesome and thank you for all your advice.

bigevent
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all,

I finally installed the dash cam(only front, will install the rear camera after figuring out the wiring along the hatchback hinge) and noticed that the cigar jack power in my Passat is always on whether the key is on or off. According to the dash cam manual, it is supposed to be turning on/off automatically when the key is on/off. Does cigar jack power in other model/brand turn on/off when the key is on/off?

I would need to turn on/off manually or unplug the cigar jack adapter while parking to avoid battery drain. Please let me know if your cigar jack power works differently.

Thank you.

bigevent
 

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Some vehicles have lighter / power sockets that are 'always on', some are 'ignition switched', and still others are 'hot when vehicle is "awake"' (read: will turn off after some period of sitting.)
As you've discovered, a B5 / 5.5 Passat's lighter socket is 'always on.'

I would respectfully suggest that you stop being afraid of attaching a piece of wire, with a 1/4" ring terminal, to the 75X lug on the relay plate. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hi cuppie and all,

You are correct that I have been afraid of uncovering parts of my Passat. Regarding the power source, I have been using the cigar jack for a couple of weeks and so far it has been working fine. I turned off the parking mode(which lets the cam be on while parking when detecting collision and/or sensing movement around the vehicle) and I always turn off the dash cam manually when I turn off the engine to avoid the battery drain. I will definitely try to use the 75x lug if I need any additional power source in the future.

Finally, I installed the rear cam that I have postponed installing it for a while, mainly because I was afraid of uncovering the trims and parts of the tailgate to wire it as I sketched below.
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Long story short, I failed to do so because the diameter of the flexible rubber conduit was too small to insert the camera wire with a USB-c jack through it. It was intimidating to pull the trim down (one side trim and one top trim at the tailgate hinge area) without knowing how they are attached to the car frame. Luckily, I was able to put them back although I broke one clip fastener behind the side trim shown below.
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For future reference, I would not recommend uncovering the trim for installing a rear camera. It was painful to put the trims back in, especially the side trim.

See a photo below that shows the rear camera installed. Basically, I run the wire along the outer side of the weather seal from the bottom of the side trim to the top middle. The leftover length of the wire is hidden behind the side trim.
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Cuppie’s note encouraged me to try installing the rear camera this weekend. I still feel pains in my hands and fingers from the two-hour installation process but I feel great that I tried. The fastener that came out from the broken part of the side trim will be a good reminder of overcoming my fear during my journey of learning more about my Passat.

Thank you again for sharing all your knowledge and experience.

Best,

bigevent

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought batteries in dash cam was a bad idea due to swelling ?
Do you mean batteries inside if the dash cam? If that is what you are referring to, there is no batteries in the cam. I am using a vehicle battery by connecting the power adapter that comes with the dashcam to the cigar jack. Let me know if I misunderstood.
 
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