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Blackvue DR550GW 2 channel in-car camera installation

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Helifella, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Hi everyone - long time no speak, but i'm back to ask some big favours.

    I've just ordered the above camera from the great folk at Advanced In-Car Technologies.
    Blackvue DR550GW 2 Channel In-Car Camera| Advanced InCar Technologies

    It should be at home when I finally get back from flying in sunny Essex.

    I've also ordered the Smart Power Battery Monitor Smart Power Battery Monitor | Advanced In Car Technologies to remove the risk of a flat battery whilst parked up. I decided to have this as I only have on-street parking at home and a few cars have been knocked.

    So on to the favours -

    Tim at AICT has said to feed the AV cable from the front cam behind the headlining to the rear cam. Anyone know how to lower the lining?

    Secondly does anyone know which wires I need to tap into beneath the steering wheel to wire the Smart Power into?

    It maybe clearer once I get the kit opened up but thought i'd ask here in the meantime.

    Once I start the install I will document the steps and how easy I found it etc.

    Thanks in advance

    Matti.
    #1
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Best thing is to drop the light assembly, then grab handles, get a wire coat hanger, straighten it, bend the end over to make it rounded of, to avoid any damage & allows it to slide through easier & feed the wires across the roof without lining being removed, drop the trim above the boot cover, it pops out with some effort as only spring clips holding it in, usually down the passenger left is were I'd go & also this route with a sunroof in place.

    Need to use a spare fuse point, fuses 1 to 11 for ignition switched, permanent well see what's free lower down & add a fuse point with repair wires, use separate fuse for these to avoid causing issues with other systems.
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  4. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    About to do this myself...Heli would you mind taking a picture of your rear setup when you've done it... still cant work out how neat the rear camera will be (wirewise)

    Alisdair
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  5. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Will do, I will photo every step. i'm a stickler for fussiness so it will be neat as possible.
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  6. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 10, 2013]
    Slight unforeseen delay - cracked windscreen!! Replacement due tomorrow Wx permitting!
    #5
  7. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Sep 10, 2013]
    HEH bad luck mate!

    Cant wait for the results though...
    #6
  8. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    Screen replaced, so will begin the install possible after work this eve, if not tomorrow eve.
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  9. Wicked666
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    Wicked666 Active Member

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    [Sep 11, 2013]
    Remember to take pics!
    #8
  10. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    Pics taken,

    Will do the write up this eve - looks fab!!
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  11. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    How have I only seen this thread?? Wayyyy too busy at the moment!!

    Glad you got there eventually after the cracked screen... Get the pictures up. Everybody lurveees the pictures.

    As a side note here is the camera in my car that I've been testing:

    [​IMG]

    -

    Here's what the cameras also look like:

    [​IMG]
    #10
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  12. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    Does the rear cable just dangle when the boot is open?
    #11
  13. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 13, 2013]
    Careful positioning means the AV cable is to the nearside which I don't think is noticable when the boot is shut. Pics inbound....
    #12
  14. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 14, 2013]
    Right then folks, the long awaited install steps.

    First off, pop the large lens from the upper interior lighting cluster near the rear view mirror, followed by popping the trim around the map light switches - careful as there maybe a short wire between the two items.

    IMG_2363.jpg IMG_2362.jpg
    Near the large round opening are two Philips screws that need removing, this will allow you to lower the whole assembly. At this point click the trim back onto the main housing to stop the risk of damaging the short wire. The whole assembly will now hang from the headlining.
    IMG_2347.jpg

    Moving to the nearside of the car, pull down the dampened grab handles and unscrew the Torx screws behind the two flaps on each handle. These flaps can be a little tricky to pop open. So remove both front & rear handles, you could remove the driver grab handle at this point too if you wish.
    IMG_2349.jpg IMG_2350.jpg

    Next pull the rubber seals down form the top of each nearside door revealing the open edge of the headlining.
    IMG_2348.jpg

    Using a straightened metal wire coat hanger or some stiff garden wire (I didn't have a metal hanger to hand and couldn't straighten a plastic hanger without snapping it...) Put a U bend in one end of about an inch / 2cm. Use this to hook one end of the Blackvue AV cable and bind with insulation tape to protect and streamline the joint so it can slip between the headlining & roof space.

    Placing the other end of the AV up through the light cluster pop it through out towards the front by the top of the windscreen, to the left of a central wide bracket. This will keep the AV & power cables nicely in line later on.

    With the other end firmly attached to the wire, use the wire as a big needle and also feed it up through the light cluster hole, this time aiming for the front passenger door. Once there head rearward to the rear passenger door.

    Briefly move to the boot and remove the rubber seal from the upper edge by the large plastic trim panel located centrally above the rear head restraints. Pop the nearside edge of this panel down and using the handle of a screwdriver wedge it open.

    Next get a hold of the edge of the headlining which is tucked into the nearside quarter light window and feed the needle rearwards towards the screwdriver.
    IMG_2351.jpg IMG_2352.jpg IMG_2353.jpg

    Gently remove the insulation tape from the end of the AV cable and carefully pull the excess AV cable checking back along the various access points you created to ensure the cable doesn't foul or snag anywhere, making sure the cable is clear and not wrapped around the curtain airbags. With the AV cable sitting to the left of the rear plastic roof panel, feed it upwards behind the tailgate plastic trim.
    IMG_2358.jpg IMG_2357.jpg

    Then pop it out centrally to where the rear camera will be mounted. Tuck the excess AV cable neatly back into the roof void and replace all the trim, seals and grab handles on the nearside of the car. Next thoroughly clean the whole rear window and stick the rear camera centrally into position and plug in the AV cable jack to the camera.
    IMG_2354.jpg IMG_2371.jpg
    This completes the rear camera installation.

    Now to complete the front camera installation drop the drivers door seal from the top, down the A-pillar to below the fuse box access panel.

    Using the wire needle again, tape up the Blackvue power lead jack plug and thread it from the door opening towards the front roof light cluster.
    IMG_2361.jpg IMG_2360.jpg
    Unwrap the power lead jack plug and like the AV cable feed it through behind the roof lining, left of the large central bracket, out towards the top edge of the front windscreen. Stick the larger front camera in position and plug in the two jack plugs.
    IMG_2370.jpg
    Once in position, adjust the two short lengths of visible lead to make them as neat & straight as possible. This maybe different if you have the auto wiper / light sensors behind your rear view mirror - I don't, so these two wires will be more visible so it's key these look neat. Keeping left of the wide central bracket of the head lining will position the wires to fall vertically down the windscreen to the camera.
    IMG_2369.jpg
    The main interior light cluster can now be secured back in place, remembering to pop the trim panel off it to gain access to the two screw holes. Once back in position clip the lens in place.

    Pop the side cover panel to the fuse box.
    Taking care again not to foul the offside curtain airbag, feed the power lead down the A-pillar and into the fuse box area.

    Drop the knee panel from the underside of the steering column to gain better access. There is a hex bolt either side, towards the bottom near the bonnet release and the other is left most in line. There is a third hex bolt in the upper left corner of the fuse panel. This will then allow the panel to drop down off a series of hooks along the top edge near the light switch.

    I then fixed the Power Magic in place with cable ties wiring it into the 12v+ of the permanent live cigar socket circuit and the switched 12v+ of the A/C / blower circuit and an earth point on the chassis nearby.
    IMG_2364.jpg IMG_2366.jpg IMG_2367.jpg
    Plugging the cigar sized jack plug of the Blackvue power lead into the cigar socket of the Power Magic I ran a full test of all systems to ensure compatibility of the new ancillaries and existing circuits with success. Finally refit all the panels, seal & drivers grab handle.

    I then used the Blackvue App on my iPhone 5 to view the live footage and set the correct viewing angle of both cameras.

    With standard privacy glass you cannot see the rear camera from outside the car unless you get right up to it and look for it. As for the front it sits nicely by the rear view mirror. I may add a strip of black insulation tape to the front camera bracket which is grey in colour to further blend it into its surroundings.
    IMG_2376.jpg

    Overall I think it took longer and more grey matter to scribble this write up than install the camera system. Have a look at the Blackvue Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlackvueUK?ref=ts&fref=ts for more images & actual footage.

    Finally I would like to thank Tim at Advanced In-Car Technologies and ASN members Trups & NHN for their assistance in the purchase and advice prior to my installation.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  15. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Sep 14, 2013]
    Thanks Man!
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  16. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 14, 2013]
    Ps excuse the filthy windscreen - it's part way through an application of Duxback ready for more of Yorkshire's finest liquid sunshine.
    #15
  17. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 14, 2013]
    You like?
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  18. Wicked666
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    Wicked666 Active Member

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    [Sep 15, 2013]
    Great write up and superb installation!
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  19. Helifella
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    Helifella Flying low level

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    [Sep 15, 2013]
    I've decided to put a strip of black insulation tape around the front camera mount so it blends in better withe the black backing of my rear view mirror. So the only part of the camera that stands out is the chrome ring around the lens.

    i will try and take a pic tomorrow.
    #18
  20. Brew
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    Brew New Member

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    [Sep 29, 2013]
    [h=5]Hello all,
    I'm thinking of up-grading my SD card on my BlackVue DR550GW-2CH (currently 16GB) - what have others experienced when upgrading? Can you go to 64GB - any problems? What is the recommended CLASS? I've been told it needs to be formatted prior to installing to a 32K cluster format...is that correct? TIA[/h]
    #19
  21. monopole
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    monopole pro-monopole-ish-ism-istic

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    [Sep 29, 2013]
    32Gb max afaik, unless they change the firmware!

    The camera will format the card as reqd so don't worry about that, just hold the Wifi button for more than 10 secss
    #20
  22. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Sep 30, 2013]
    Yeah you can whack in a 64GB card... Just need to format it in a certain way.

    The Blackvue will only see it as a 32GB card but will still keep recording to it though :)

    Will try and find the instructions.
    #21
  23. Smeds
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    Smeds Member

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    [Oct 23, 2013]
    Can you set the lights on the camera to go out when recording, I've set it to off in the settings but they both stay on. The rear will also stay on when it's in park mode.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
    #22
  24. mjwilliams101
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    mjwilliams101 New Member

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    [Dec 12, 2013]
    My DR550 arrives tomorrow - fitting looks challenging! Does anyone know if you can disable the voice commands on start up?
    #23
  25. Cockney Boy
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    Cockney Boy Member VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 12, 2013]
    Yes there is a setting to mute the voice commands
    #24
  26. S3 Ste
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    S3 Ste New Member

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    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Hi guys, I attempted to install my Blackvue GR550GW but had trouble running the AV cable above the roof lining. I followed Helifella's guide (thanks for taking the time to write up such a good guide). I managed to remove all the trim, grab handles and pulled down the rubber seal on the door (mine is a 3 door), but I got stuck when feeding the cable through. The problem I had was that I couldn't feed the cable through towards the door because the side airbags are in the way. I didn't want to damage anything so tried feeding the cable directly to the boot and failed. I tried using a straightened coat hanger and some stiff earth cable. Am I safe in pushing the cable under the side airbag so I can grab it and feed it though easier? I don't want to break anything or set an anything off.
    Thanks
    #25
  27. Phil-1
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    Phil-1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 10, 2014]
    Great write up. Do you have anymore information on the power magic pro wiring? I'm very tempted to get the 550 now. Will possibly get one at the end of the month.
    #26
  28. S3 Ste
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    S3 Ste New Member

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    [May 11, 2014]
    Hi mate, ignore my last post I had a blonde moment:think:
    i removed the bolts that secure the dash under the wheel and unhooked it to get better access. I secured the power magic pro and cig connector with Velcro and zip ties. Since the wires are quite short I used the nearby metal bolt near the fuses as a ground. Just make sure to remove the paint first and use a ring crimp. I used 2 piggy back fuses for the power. One goes to a permanent live (cig lighter fuse) and the other to a switched live. This is where i fused mine (I know it's messy but this was before I finished)

    Attached Files:

    #27
  29. Phil-1
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    Phil-1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 11, 2014]
    Thanks that's just what I needed to know.

    Just waiting for a reply regarding any member discount then I will order it

    Phil
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  30. S3 Ste
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    S3 Ste New Member

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    [May 11, 2014]
    No probs, I fitted my rear av cable by dropping the front and rear light clusters, and feeding the cable through the roof space with electricians cable rods. I found that to be the most awkward part, other than that its pretty easy to install :sm4:
    #29
  31. Phil-1
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    Phil-1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 11, 2014]
    Thanks again. I will order some of those fuse piggy back connectors.
    #30
  32. Coryman
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    Coryman New Member

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    [Jun 5, 2014]
    I am about to fit a DRG550 and appreciate all of the help with the fitting instructions and tips to make the job easier. However, my car is a A4 SE estate and would like to ask if anyone has fitted the kit to an estate. I am not sure how to access the tail gate to run the AV lead through to the rear camera. I would imagine following the the wiring harness would be the best bet, does anyone have any experience with fitting the system in an estate.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ian
    #31
  33. Coryman
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    Coryman New Member

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    [Jun 7, 2014]
    All, sorted.
    I dropped the front internal light panel, the central light and the tailgate light. I then used a 3mtr length of curtail spring wire and threaded it through the rear tailgate light opening. There are small areas of padding between the roof lining and roof skin, which takes a little patients to get the wire through the padding to the front, I used a short push-pull action, which worked very well. The rest was fairly simple, removing the lower tailgate panel to allow the nearside of the 'U' upper panel to be un clipped. The AV cable was attached to the curtain wire at the front and carefully pulled through to the rear, this will need a little teasing of the roof panel to allow the bulky plug end through the couple of pieces of padding and routed through the nearside tailgate hinge grommet hole and behind the 'U' shaped panel.

    Ian
    #32

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