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Installing the BlackVue DR770X-2CH Dash Cam via Hardwiring in a 2015 Tesla Model S - - BlackboxMyCar Canada

Installing the BlackVue DR770X-2CH Dash Cam via Hardwiring in a 2015 Tesla Model S


A lot of you may still be wondering if you can install a dash cam into an electric vehicle. And the answer is yes! In fact, for today’s blog, we’re going to show you how to install a two-channel dash cam into an electric car, particularly the 2015 Tesla Model S. This installation took place at our office in Richmond, BC.

The dash cam that we’re hardwiring in this Tesla is one of our premium full HD dual-channel dash cams, the BlackVue DR770X. Yes. Teslas have existing cameras installed, and while we love Tesla cams, we recognize they can be rather basic, which is why so many Tesla drivers have come to us for dash cam installation. With the DR770X capturing 1080P @ 60 frames per second, plus its advanced parking mode and Cloud connectivity features, this dashcam is expected to make the Tesla driving experience more convenient and secure than ever.

 

 

If you are planning to install a dash cam by yourself, we recommend you get some essential tools for the job, like the BlackboxMyCar Essential Install Kit – as it comes with a circuit tester, trim remover, and other handy tools to make the hardwiring and installation process more manageable. For this installation, we worked with our specialist installer, for some advanced wiring methods. Teslas are more particular than standard vehicles, as their wiring systems are much more unique, and they never truly shut-down, always active and alert.

Ready to learn more about our installation? Let’s dive in!

 

Step 1: Dash Cam Placement and Mounting

Just like any other installation, the first step is to decide where you want to install your dash cam. Tesla cars have sleek and state-of-the-art interiors, with ergonomic panels and screens.

When getting a dash cam, you should pick one that’s built discreetly, something that you can hide behind the rearview mirror. We’re glad that the luxurious and minimalist form factor of the BlackVue DR770X fits perfectly in this car.

your view while driving.

We recommend powering the camera temporarily with the cigarette lighter adapter and pairing the camera with your phone. Through the BlackVue app, we were able to live-view the BlackVue DR770X, enabling us to find the ideal mounting position and viewing angle for this dash camera.

Once you have chosen the location, it’s time to mount the dash cam onto the windshield using the provided adhesive mount.

Step 2: Wiring to a power source

Typically, the next step is to find the vehicle’s fuse box. For the Tesla Model S, the fuse box is located at the front trunk of the car. However, we were unable to locate an ACC fuse in this fusebox, therefore we had to splice into existing wiring going through the vehicle. This is not too uncommon for Tesla vehicles, as they are always active and powered, the majority of wiring is constantly on. For this install, we spliced into wiring located on the passenger side of the vehicle, tucked in the footwell, behind some of the panelling.

Starting from the camera, we wired across from the passenger’s side of the windshield, through the headliner, to the side A-pillar. From here, it’s just a matter of tucking in wires behind any panels and header of the vehicle. Here, we used the pry tool or a flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic trim pieces along the A-pillar.

When it comes to hardwiring into an EV, it’s important to make sure that you are wiring to the 12-volt accessory battery instead of the main battery. Some EVs will also place their accessory fuse boxes in difficult locations, like the Model S.  

The good news is modern hardwire kits like the BlackVue DR770X’s have built-in voltage monitoring. Through the built-in voltage monitoring, the dash cam constantly monitors the voltage level of the accessory battery. If the voltage drops too low, the dash cam will automatically turn itself off to prevent complete drainage of the vehicle's battery.

BlackVue’s hardwire kit requires a ground connection, and an ACC connection. The ground is simple enough, and finding an unpainted bolt will do, but finding a proper ACC connection is a bit more challenging. We weren’t able to find a proper ACC fuse in the vehicle, so we did end up splicing into existing wiring. Do consult your user manual to find which one is right for you, and also, make sure the fuse tap you’re adding is equal to or higher than the existing fuse you’ve chosen.

We also advise you not to use any of the fuse slots used by any of your vehicle's critical components, such as the airbags and engine modules, for safety. Moreover, you can use a Voltmeter to test these fuses, but feel free to use a Circuit tester which is included in our essential installation package.

Step 3: Run the rear connecting cable to the rear windshield

Now, the front camera should be powering up properly. Still, we need to get the rear camera of the BlackVue DR770X in place.

Connect the rear camera cable to the front camera. We’ll route the rear coaxial cable along the headliner, past the A, B, and C pillars on the passenger side. Using a Trim Tool or similar tool to get in there can prove helpful, and BlackVue’s thin coaxial cabling makes the tough job easier.

Following from here, we’ll eventually reach the rear windshield. Tesla Model S, despite looking like a sedan, has a liftgate like more difficult hatchbacks. For ideal coverage, we opted to mount it right at the bottom center of the rear window, making sure it’s not covering the defroster grid lines.  

Sometimes, because of the placement of the rear camera, you may end up with footage that is upside down. So like the front camera, you’ll want to check the live-view of the rear camera before mounting, making sure it’s up and running, and using the positioning lines accordingly. If footage is upside-down, rest assured there’s normally a setting in the camera to flip it.

Step 4: Test the Dash Cam

Before hitting the road, test the dash cam to make sure it's working properly. Turn on the car and check if the dash cam turns on automatically. If it doesn't, check the power connections and make sure the dash cam is properly mounted.

Make sure that the camera is properly going into parking mode as you turn on and off the vehicle. If not, check the settings of the camera, and then check your wiring connections.

Step 5: Clean it up

Now that our cameras are installed, and the wires are well-kept, let's return to the fuse box to clean up the wires. You can use electrical tapes or cable clips to keep the cables bundled up, and put the cover back.

That's it – another proof that dash cams will work and are needed for electric vehicles. With these simple steps, you can easily install a BlackVue DR770X-2CH Dash Cam in your 2015 Tesla Model S. The dash cam will provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable witness in case of any accidents or incidents on the road!


Hardwire dash cam installation guide

Planning on installing a dash cam in your car? Check out our Step-by-Step Dash Cam Installation Guide  and our selection of handy installation accessories. And if you ever need a hand during the installation process, just call us; our dash cam specialists are available to help!

Looking to have your dash cam professionally installed, we do offer installation services at our Richmond BC location.

Please see some of our other dash cam installations in the BlackboxMyCar Dash Cam Installation Gallery.

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