SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I finally hardwired a front dash cam and my Valentine1 radar detector today. It took me awhile to decide what would work best in the XC90, especially since there were restrictions for mounting points so not to interfere with Volvo's camera safety system. After doing a lot of research and seeing different installs, a light bulb went off in my head last week and I found a solution that was simple and cost effective for me. I now have both front and rear dash cams and a hardwired radar detector running in the T8.

Here is how the final result looks from the driver's side:



When I reviewed the owner's manual for the hundredth time, I realized that the Camera Limitations area did NOT include the area immediately to the upper right or left of the Intellisafe system. That became the spot for the radar detector because I wanted it mounted high to maximize detection capabilities. I've seen a lot of people with the Blendmount bracket installed right under the mirror, but I think the bulk of the V1 would hang too low and actually interfere with driver visibility.

Here is what it looks like from the passenger's side:



The spot under the mirror became the location for the dash cam, a VIOFO A119S. It's fairly low profile and does not block very much of the view. The picture below shows what it looks like from behind. You can see that it is fairly discrete:



I originally wanted an Innovv C5 motorcycle camera so that I could mount it in the front grille outside, but I didn't like how low the viewing angle was on the vehicle. My next choice was a Garmin Dash Cam 55 which has been rated as the best name brand dash cam. I liked the Garmin 55 because it could be mounted high and aimed to avoid distortion problems from the curvature of the windshield. But the VIOFO A119S dash cam also has good reviews and actually has a better resolution at half the cost of the Garmin.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about the A119S if you want more information about it, but I posted this video so that people can see what the angle looks like when a camera is mounted under the rear view mirror:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Hardwire installation steps

Here are the steps that I followed to hardwire the A119S dash cam and V1 radar detector.

I've had the V1 radar detector for many years and I already had the hardwire kit for it. I bought the A119S dash cam new from Amazon for about $120 CAD. I deliberately chose NOT to get the GPS module because I don't want GPS information embedded in my dash cam videos. I also needed some additional supplies to be able to connect everything to the XC90's fuse box. The right angle mini USB cable allowed the wire to hide more easily than the one that came with the camera:



Products used (from Amazon.ca):
  • HitCar DC 12V to 5V 3A Power Inverter Mini / Micro USB DC 3.5 Hard Wired Converter Kit Car Charger Cable for GPS Tablet Phone PDA DVR Recorder (Dual Female USB)
  • Etopars 5 X Car Vehicle 12V 24V Car Motor Add-a-circuit MICRO2 ATR Fuse Holder Adapter 15A

Tucking in the wire around the trim at the top of the windshield was easy:



Every post I read about accessing the fuse box under the glove compartment mention how hard it was to pull back the carpet. Maybe because of that, I actually found it surprisingly easy :D:



What was harder was finding a fuse slot that was not powered all the time. I made a compromise, using two fuse slots that are not used in my R-Design trim: One for massage seats (in the Inscription trim) for the dash cam and another for Rear Seat systems (in the Excellence trim) for the radar detector. I think the one for the radar detector is on all the time, but that's OK because I can power the V1 on and off easily. There was actually a fuse for a TV but that also seemed to be powered all the time. I wonder if I should use it instead because there must be some kind of cutoff timer for someone using a TV in the XC90! The connection for the ground wire was very easy to find. (Note: All the fuse slots were filled, even ones that were not specified to have any function. There's one missing in the picture because I already pulled it out and tested the Add-A-Circuit.)



Here's what it looks like with the Add-A-Circuit fuses installed, just before I put the cover back on. The ground connection is outside the fuse box:



I wasn't sure about the next step, removing the A-Pillar cover and running the wires down, but it is extremely important not to interfere with the air bag system. The cover is easy to remove because it is only held by one 8mm bolt and two clips. With a firm grip and a little wiggling, it comes right off:



I've seen some people run wires across the top of the A-pillar and go down the outside under the weather strip. DO NOT DO THIS! You can see when the cover is removed that if you do this the wire will go right across the air bag. I have no idea how that will affect the way the air bag will deploy but I don't think it would be good.

I used one zip tie at the bottom to keep the wires neat and tidy:



Before I put the A-pillar cover back on, I ran the wires under the side trim so that everything remains hidden:



So this is what I have under the glove compartment now:



The V1 hardwire kit comes with a connection for the hidden display which I have always used in the past, but I'm not sure I will do in the XC90. But I stuck it with double-sided tape in an easily accessible place so that I can add it any time. There are two hardwired USB ports available there now.

The finished installation has all the wires hidden except for right behind the rear view mirror and underneath the glove compartment which is not visible unless you stick you head under there :D:



Reference page for all images:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,767 Posts
I've seen some people run wires across the top of the A-pillar and go down the outside under the weather strip. DO NOT DO THIS! You can see when the cover is removed that if you do this the wire will go right across the air bag. I have no idea how that will affect the way the air bag will deploy but I don't think it would be good.
Good point. Thanks for sharing that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Excellent writeup, pictures and video! Thanks for taking the time to document it for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Doesn't this car have all the features to stay within speed limits so you won't need a radar detector?
There are legit purposes for a radar detector besides speeding. Knowing that a police officer is around the next corner can be useful because other drivers will instinctively step on the brakes when they see them. If you act proactively, and give yourself more stopping room, or room to move over for a stopped vehicle, you make the road a safer place for everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Doesn't this car have all the features to stay within speed limits so you won't need a radar detector?
Ha, ha. Valid point! As I said I've had the V1 for many years-since 1999, in fact :eek:. During that time it has saved me numerous times making the initial investment incredibly valuable. Now with the Volvo, it's more of a nostalgic feeling of hearing the beeps and squawks and the directional arrows keeping me situationally aware while I'm on the road :cool:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
This is awesome.

Anyone knows why car manufacturers don't provide USB ports right behind the rear-view mirror? Would make our lives easier.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,224 Posts
This is awesome.

Anyone knows why car manufacturers don't provide USB ports right behind the rear-view mirror? Would make our lives easier.
Yes, indeed. Clever idea about USB port behind the rear-view mirror or built into the mirror itself. The dash cam would be intriguing if I could avoid the hassles of wiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
There are legit purposes for a radar detector besides speeding. Knowing that a police officer is around the next corner can be useful because other drivers will instinctively step on the brakes when they see them. If you act proactively, and give yourself more stopping room, or room to move over for a stopped vehicle, you make the road a safer place for everyone.
Someone please explain this to Virginia and Washington, DC.
They're illegal here and if caught with one installed in your vehicle, even if turned off, the fine is $1000 USD and I believe in addition VA puts points on your license.
Nothing stands in the way of their money train.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Someone please explain this to Virginia and Washington, DC.
They're illegal here and if caught with one installed in your vehicle, even if turned off, the fine is $1000 USD and I believe in addition VA puts points on your license.
Nothing stands in the way of their money train.
Is it still a secondary offense in VA? I know when I lived in Virginia (8 years or so ago), they couldn't pull you over JUST for having a detector. You had to get pulled over for something else first. I had a stealth install of a V1 in my G35 when I lived in VA and had no issues for 5 years with it, and I still have my dash-mounted V1 (same spot as the OP's) one on my XC90 when I head back to visit my parents. I never take it down honestly, just turn it off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Is it still a secondary offense in VA? I know when I lived in Virginia (8 years or so ago), they couldn't pull you over JUST for having a detector. You had to get pulled over for something else first. I had a stealth install of a V1 in my G35 when I lived in VA and had no issues for 5 years with it, and I still have my dash-mounted V1 (same spot as the OP's) one on my XC90 when I head back to visit my parents. I never take it down honestly, just turn it off.
Still a secondary in VA, yes, but still a breathtaking fine.
They don't have to pull you over should they visually identify it, but if they want to they will craft up an excuse to generate the primary contact: (i.e. observed manipulating cellphone, failure to maintain consistent speed, following too close, wandered in the lane).

Where they can really nail you is if it's on. Many of the VSP cruisers on I-95 / 85 & 66 and the affluent NoVA local county police assigned to highway patrol, their cars are equipped with radar & laser detectors. They can detect you detecting them and if they do, it's bingo berries in your rear view mirror within the next mile or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Back in my college days, I was driving late at night through Ontario, Canada, where they are also illegal.

A police vehicle pulled in behind us and kept flicking their radar on and off. Like Pavlov's dogs, I hit the brake pedal every single time they did it even though I wasn't speeding. The other guys in the car screamed at me to stop, but it was too late: we got pulled over.

Luckily, we got some valuable advice before our road trip telling us that if we got pulled over, to hide the detector on our bodies, because while the police could search the vehicle for a radar detector, they could not search persons. We were questioned about the wires and the missing cigarette plug and I played dumb about my brake use and in the end they had to let us go with no consequences :D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Thank you for the detail write up. You give me the courage to proceed? Could you share the Amazon link for the 12 volt to 5 Volt dual usb adapter and the fuse adapter kit?

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Excellent job and pictures! Bursting Blue is a very nice color!
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top