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Tips from a Master Installer - - BlackboxMyCar Canada

Tips from a Master Installer

Have you ever tried installing a dash cam or battery pack by yourself? How long did it take you on your first try? For some, the first attempt can take between 3 hours to a full day! Of course, the more you practice yourself, the more you familiarize yourself with the right strategies to make the next ones fairly easy!

Take it from the Master Installer himself, Mr. Jay Ryu. We had the privilege of welcoming Mr. Ryu, the CEO and Founder of MotoPark in South Korea. With over 16 years of experience in installing dash cams and having completed over 20,000 installations, there’s no doubt that he is a master of his craft.

In this blog post, join us as we break down the insightful tips Jay Ryu shared while installing the Thinkware U3000 and BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 Battery Pack, into a 2016 Volkswagen GTi, all under 2 hours.

How Jay Ryu Installs a Dash Cam

Installing a dash cam in your vehicle can be challenging, especially if you're dealing with European vehicles with intricate interiors and thin panneling, like the 2016 Volkswagen GTi hatchback. Fortunately, Jay Ryu is here to help us through the process!

Jay's approach to installation is one-of-a-kind – he started by getting the rear cable ready. Unlike most installs, which begin with hardwiring the front camera, Jay begins with the rear connection cable. For him, working on the rear camera first is more efficient. For this, we are amazed to see that Jay uses a brilliant yet simple tool: a coat hanger wire with electrical tape on both ends. We think it is pretty innovative, as this tool can be manipulated along various angles to hold open slits, while still maintaining its stiffness to help make space for him to slide in the wiring easily. He goes above and above by wrapping sound-absorbing tape around the rearcable, assuring a clean, noise-free installation.

Moreover, Jay utilizes zip ties to keep cables in order throughout the installation, in addition to the use of the coat hanger. We noticed that he frequently ties the camera cords to existing wires within the vehicle to keep it looking factory-finished. Neat!

As Jay works his way through the installation, he slips the coat hanger into the B-pillar, keeping it open to make room for the cable. This streamlines the process and avoids the hassles of working in the cramped quarters of a vehicle's interior. And Jay's expertise does not end there – we know that hatchbacks, with their liftgate hosing, provide a special challenge. However, Jay shows how a little WD40 may loosen up the hosing, making it easier to run the cable and finish the rear installation.

Jay proceeds to attach the camera to the rear windshield. Still, the most difficult part of the process awaits us: hardwiring the front camera.

Jay's method for hardwiring the front camera is a work of art. He shows how customizing a standard hardwiring kit and a BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 dashcam battery pack output connection may make the installation process even more efficient. He begins by soldering the required connections together, resulting in a spliced hardwiring kit tailored to the specific car. We can say that he’s a real pro at this, from the way he trims the cables and also solders them for longer-lasting connections. While soldering may be intimidating to rookies, Jay offers another solution, the solder seal connectors. These handy devices allow for a solderless, crimpless connection, which is ideal if soldering is too advanced for you. Simply heat up the wire connector after placing it over your wiring connection and apply heat, the connector will do the rest, staying strong and durable.

Disassembling the rearview mirror console is next, and this is when Jay's talent truly shines. He disassembles the complete rearview mirror console, rather than taking the easy route of wiring around it. Sure, it’s more complex, but the procedure results in an extraordinarily clean installation.

And now that the front camera is in position, with all of the wires neatly tucked away, Jay goes on to the final piece of the puzzle – the battery pack.

Installing the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 Battery Pack

Jay chose to install the Power Cell 8 beneath the driver's seat for this installation. He goes above and beyond, trimming the battery power wire to the proper length and fixing the ground connection.

We appreciate his meticulous attention to detail to guarantee a reliable and long-lasting installation. From start to end, the entire procedure takes less than two hours, and Jay's efficiency and precision just shows how much of an expert he is!


The Future of Dash Cam Battery Packs

In the second half, we spoke to Jay about his thoughts and experiences working so closely on Battery Packs. Jay's observations extend beyond the installation process. For him, understanding battery health and potential advances is a must for anyone who wants to use or install a dash cam. Beyond that, he also emphasized the need for specialized wiring to reduce electromagnetic interference, sometimes known as "noise." While this may not be a concern for most users, particularly aural noise, he said that it can influence the performance of various components within the car.

Furthermore, many dash cam users are concerned about their battery pack’s lifespan. Jay recommends against entirely discharging the battery. Instead, operating the car on a regular basis can assist in keeping the battery charged. It is not recommended to leave the dash cam on when the car is safely parked; instead, switch it off when not in use.

He additionally stresses the distinctions between the Korean market and markets such as the United States and Canada. Dash cam batteries are becoming increasingly specialized in Korea, proven by the rise in parking monitoring or parking mode. In Korea, the batteries have more than twice the capacity of batteries from other countries. Still, he expects to see batteries with higher energy densities like lithium titanate. These advancements could lead to more significant developments in the dash cam market, offering users extended recording capabilities on smaller-capacity batteries.

Jay also points out that current battery packs primarily use lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which offer a more extended lifespan compared to alternatives like lithium polymer or lithium-ion batteries. Lithium iron phosphate batteries can provide approximately 1,500 to 2,000 charge cycles compared to the roughly 500 charge cycles of other types. Though bulkier due to their lower energy density, they offer enhanced safety features with a reduced risk of overheating and explosions. Jay expects future Battery Packs to experiment with different power supplies, such as Lithium-Titanate. Learn more about this here.

BlackboxMyCar x MotoPark: 11 Years and Beyond

What began as a friendship between our CEO Alex Jang and Jay Ryu has turned into a strong and long-lasting business partnership, with BlackboxMyCar being a valued customer of Moto Park for almost 11 years.

In his closing remarks, to be a competent installer, you must be experienced, and have a deep regard for the vehicles they operate on. Jay mentioned that some installers are more concerned with their ego than with learning from others. He then promotes humility and a desire to learn from everyone, regardless of their degree of skill. There's no shame in asking for help, especially if you're new to this field.

Finally, he said that installers must be transparent and honest about their experience with certain vehicles, as well as evaluating the potential impact of their job. Each vehicle should be handled with care, as if it were their own.

We hope you learned from this blog, and through the lessons shared above, you can have the confidence to work on your own dash cam installation quest, whether it's in your own car or for others. Remember, this is not just about doing the task for security and safety, but also about finishing it efficiently and with care, just like the Master Installer.

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