Dash Cameras - Wiring into cars electrics

I have been looking at Dashcams and it appears that all of them are powered by 5V which means they require a in-line transformer to run off a cars 12V system. Are there any 12V cameras? Do any car manufacturers have a 5V power point in the ceiling of the vehicle near the rear vision mirror? As it stands, if you want a dashcam, you either have to put up with the power cord dangling about or at least try to hide it as best you can in the side panels of the car before being able to plug into the accessory power point.


Here is info from Choice on buying dashcams.

In relation to its installation, it can’t be installed in a location that obstructs the view through the windscreen. This generally means it can’t be attached to the windscreen as the camera (and/or cable) could be seen in the line of sight when looking out the windscreen. Likewise for phone mounts and gps.

They can however be installed on the dashboard such that the line of sight through the windscreen is not obstructed in any way (that’s why they are called dashcams). If installed correctly on the dashboard, cables can easily be run down/through the dashboard to a lower source.

Ocassionallly in Queensland one hears of police having campaigns whereby drivers are fined if they have any attachments to the windscreen which are considered in the line of sight. The only place which wouldn’t be would an uncabled camera sitting behind the rear view mirror (from the driver’s sitting position). This is where etoll tags can be legally installed.

I’m not aware of any car manufacturers who have power sockets near the rear view mirror or sun visor.


Thanks for that. The installation I am referring to is when the camera is installed just in front of the rear vision mirror high up onto the windscreen. The line of sight is not obstructed. The cabling can be tucked into the side panels. The height of the camera gives a much better view picture and is not affected by the curvature of the windscreen if it was dash mounted lower down. The issue is that dash-cams seem to be all 5V requiring an in-line transformer to run off the cars 12V system making wiring difficult and clumsy. I wonder if members who are panel beaters by trade have a solution?

Hi John

I have done something similar to what you want. The cameras and GPSs normally obtain their power from what was called a cigarette lighter socket (now called a power socket or some such), either through a plug that fits straight into it or a USB plug adapter which goes into that socket.

To get there from the rear view mirror, you need to tuck the power cord up under the roof lining, down the side pillar, and under the console to the lighter socket.

There are two ways to do this yourself. Firstly, measure how long the run is from your lighter socket all the way up and around to your rear view mirror. Then -

  1. If you are able, you can always add in the suitable length of electrical wire into the existing power cord to make it long enough. OR/
  2. Obtain a long enough extension to reach from the lighter socket up, and around to the mirror. This cord would have a male plug on one end and a female on the other.

Then, it’s a matter of working out how to get the cable around from the lighter socket to where you need it to end. This will obviously vary from vehicle to vehicle.

If all this is too difficult, go to an auto electrician and ask them to do it.

Hope that helps.

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Third way. Noting Tamas comments for routing the wire, cut off the 12V plug (it probably has a fuse in it). Be sure to identify the 12V wire and the ground wire If the plug had a fuse in it, replace the plug with an inline fuse holder on the 12V wire. Connect the inline fuse holder to an empty position on the inside fuse block using a fuse wire tap. You can buy a tap for standard or mini blade fuses. Most cars have a few spare positions unless they have all the possible options. Connect the other wire to ground using any convenient screw to the body.

If there is no spare fuse position you can splice the wire to the wire feeding the 12V power socket.[quote=“meltam, post:4, topic:14026”]
If all this is to difficult, go to an auto electrician and ask them to do it.

That is excellent advice.


Thank you Phil and Tamas.
Food for thought here and I appreciate your kind advice.
Best regards
John Blakey

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