Earlier this winter my dash cam stopped working. I thought perhaps the bitter cold killed it. But no, it was the cheapo Chinese Cable from eBay that broke. I didn’t find out until I replaced a fuse, the easy way to check would have been just plugging in the USB/ cigarette lighter Cable that the cam came with.
anyway, once I discovered what the issue was I ordered a new Cable on eBay… also from China, also cheap… actually much cheaper than the original, under $3 bux shipped! And this time I ordered one I should have gotten from the get go… a 90 degree cable that won’t experience the same crimping that killed the straight wire I replaced today… some pix:
The new cable came with a smaller converter, which I relocated to the A pillar area instead of the kick panel where the old one was. I also soldered the connections instead of just crimping them. All should be better quality now than my original hack job a few years ago when I first got this dash cam.
I ordered a $66 Chinese made A118C or B40 Pro sold by a slew of sellers on eBay which arrived within a week from an LA shipping address instead of waiting 30 days for one to arrive from China. It came in a genetic looking box, with genetic looking parts, along with genetic looking hard-wiring cable.
The install process was pretty straight forward even though I’ve never done anything like this before. I unscrewed a few hex bolts holding the header in place and got access to where I wanted the wire to sit, sticking out directly above the dash cam on the windshield:
I routed it along the A-pillar down to the dash, and threaded it further down to the kick panel by the driver’s door where the fuse box is located. I used an add-a-circuit I also bought on eBay to complete my install. Crimped the wires in place, plugged in 15A+3A fuses for the camera, and was pretty much done.
Was pretty impressed how quick and easy the install was. And most importantly everything seems to work as expected, and there’s no loose wiring hanging off anywhere, which is great. A professional finish.
Since the install I’ve driven around for a few days now and am pretty impressed with the video quality. I wanted to move the dash cam up and place it higher so it’s less visible from the outside.
I’ve shared some videos from the dash cam on facebook, so check them out there. No point in uploading them to YouTube as the video quality gets absolutely destroyed. Hopefully I never have to use any of the footage off the camera for anything insurance related. But I’m looking forward to getting some nice cruising footage from the next Miata get together, which is coming up this week.
PS. I took the opportunity to do a side by side comparison between the A118C B40 Pro and my GoPro Hero 3+ they’re pretty similar in size:
I need to go on a spending freeze after this week, but I’m excited with my latest purchase. I bought a Dash Cam for my MX-5 Miata!
I went with the no-brand Chinese wedge design dash cam called A118-C the capacitor version, also called B40 Pro by some sellers on eBay. It was $66 bux with shipping from California (US stock) and I also got the hard-wire kit to wire it into the system so I have the cigarette lighter free for other use like charging my phone while I drive. I think the design looks pretty neat!
I will likely use the dash cam alone without the wire cover that extends to the headliner. The MX-5 Miata headliner is plastic and I don’t see how I could stuff the wire under it, but I’ll find out when this thing arrives and I’m ready to mount it.
I’m most concerned about the hard-wiring kit because I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m sure the splicing of wiring should be pretty straight forward I just hope I don’t burn the car down by doing it wrong. (touch wood)
Anyway, it’s a cool accessory to have especially in this part of the world where people drive crazy… I often get the sense I’m about to be run off the road by a pick up truck with it’s driver on his/her cell phone. Hopefully with this thing I’ll have evidence if that ever happens. Or better yet, NOT!
I’ve sworn off modding another car after I dumped thousands on Supercharging a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor years ago and selling the car for just a fraction of what I put into it… but here I go again, modding another car. Little by little…
Luckily, hi-flow exhaust and forced induction are not on a list of mods for my Miata, but there are some things that are quite pricey. The necessary mods have already been done, like getting a second set of wheels for summer/winter use. I got a spare donut for future road trips. I got the licence plate mounted without drilling holes in the front bumper, pricey but necessary mod to avoid getting pulled over (as people do that don’t mount the front license plate that is required in New Jersey).
Fix few small dings/dents with paintless dent removal (PDR)
BOSE door speakers (they buzz)
Covercraft Sunshade [June 18, 2016]
I’ll also use this post to update things that I bought as a result of this list. Among them are the Covercraft sunshade I’ve been eager to get this summer to help keep the temps cooler in the car while it’s parked outside. Quite a few times I’ve gotten into the car whether at home or at work, and the steering wheel would be burning hot from baking in direct sunshine. Well, the sunshade will fix that. I managed to snag a display unit from eBay for about half of what they’re listed new: $35 shipped… It looks beautiful!
Being a display model there were a few imperfections, like the small tears in the reflective material where the threading punctures through at the bottom of the sunshade, and a crease across the top where someone obviously tried to fold this thing.
But this is something I could live with, and I’m sure it would have been inevitable while handling the sunshade in the limited space inside the car. I can see how easy it is to mangle the thing while trying to put it up on the windshield and using the sun visors to hold it in place.
As far as the items on the wish list. The Dash Cam is a necessary accessory because every time I drive somewhere someone tries to run me off the road. Driving such a small car makes you invisible. The intermittent windshield wiper module is necessary because the stock unit is not very good at controlling the speed of the wipers, they’re either too fast or too slow. Floor mats I need for those muddy days at Watkins Glen or other circuits. The chrome ring around the keyhole on the rear bumper is purely for aesthetics. And a car cover is for that time when I’m away and the car is in the driveway for weeks at a time.
The intermittent windshield wiper switch is on the way. Used eBay to make an offer of $30 for a used one and it was accepted, shipping from Texas included. Will post up pictures once it’s on the car.
Update June 22, 2016
Got two of my best offers accepted via eBay, and now have two Intermittent windshield wiper switches. The second one was also for $30 bux from a shop in Linden, NJ so I went and picked it up today. The install went as follows:
Done and done!
UPDATE August 2015: The Dash Cam has been installed: A118C
Motorsport Marshal, Miata Driver, Hot Wheels Collector