When talking about the installation of your new Blackvue Dashcam, you’re really only considering one of two things, cosmetic appearance, or Park Mode. Each Blackvue comes with the standard cigarette power cable. So why would you bother with different installation options? What’s the point and what are the costs involved?
Standard Cigarette Lighter Install
The most simple method is to use the standard 12V power cable that comes standard with most dashcams. It is intended to plug right into your cigarette lighter outlet for power while your vehicle is being driven. The benefits to this most basic of configurations are not only its simplicity and instant installation, but also the fact that no additional costs are required since nearly all dashcams come with a standard 12V power cable. One of the biggest benefits to users, aside from the easy plug and play, is that no technical knowledge is required for the installation.
A few down sides to this method must be noted. First, and likely the biggest deterrent is that your power cord will be hanging from your camera in plain sight (although, you can still tuck the cord around the headliner if so desired). Another drawback is that your cigarette lighter outlet is also now unavailable, which you may need to charge your cell phone, for example. More importantly, you will not be able to utilize the “Parking Mode” feature of your dashcam, unless your cigarette lighter outlet is always hot, which is extremely rare.
- Easiest installation approach
- Get up and running in seconds
- No added cost, cables come with every unit
- No technical knowledge required
- Cord hanging, looks messy
- Cigarette lighter port is occupied
- Parking mode is not possible
Power Magic EZ
The easiest of all “installation” methods. It’s almost as easy as using the standard power cable mentioned above. The EZ is equipped with a low voltage safety cutoff, so you can take advantage of your dashcam’s “Parking Mode” feature without fear of draining your vehicle’s battery. There is also an override switch on the device should you want to turn “Parking Mode” off. Not only is it an inexpensive upgrade, but it also leaves your cigarette outlet available and gives your camera the appearance of an OEM installation.
A few downfalls to this approach are the extra cost of the module, minor as it is, along with your OBD-II port being occupied by the EZ. We have also run into a few vehicle types that device will not work with as intended. In time, BlackVue will correct this issue, but for now, make sure it works with your vehicle type before purchasing.
- True plug ‘n’ play installation
- Override switch to turn off Parking Mode
- Bypasses cigarette lighter
- May not working with all cars
- Occupies your OBD-II port
- Minor extra cost
This is also an inexpensive method that will leave your cigarette lighter outlet free and give you that OEM installed look. These are easily connected to any 12V power source, like your fuse box or a 12v battery.
We do not recommend this method unless you are an advanced user who can work with the lack of low voltage protection. We also do not recommend using “Parking Mode” with the Direct-Wire Harness strictly due to its lack of low voltage protection. You wouldn’t want to risk draining your vehicle’s battery inadvertently. This also comes with an additional minor cost to purchase the harness, and you need to have some automotive/electrical knowledge to complete the install.
- Bypasses Cigarette lighter
- Direct connection to any 12V source – fuse box, car battery, external battery etc.
- OEM factory installed appearance
- Only recommended for advanced users or special installs
- Not recommended for Parking Mode
- Requires automotive and electrical knowledge
- No low-voltage protection
Power Magic Pro
The Power Magic Pro, is a very reliable and inexpensive solution. With the PMP you can safely utilize “Parking Mode”, but also turn it off via the override switch on the side of the unit. Given the extremely small footprint, the PMP can be mounted anywhere inside your vehicle. The time settings can be set to run “Parking Mode” infinitely, or for just a few hours, making this the best solution for timed “Parking Mode”. The low voltage safety protection will ensure you do not drain your vehicle’s battery. Since the PMP connects to your fuse box, your cigarette lighter outlet will be available for other uses.
You will need some automotive/electrical know-how to complete this install. The PMP will be in-between your fuse box and camera, so it does require that one extra step. You also must consider the minor upgrade cost to purchase the device.
- Bypasses Cigarette lighter
- Best solution for parking mode and timer mode
- Low voltage protection
- Small footprint, mounts anywhere
- OEM factory installed apperance
- Requires automotive and electrical
- One extra step to install the PMP
- Minor extra cost
B-112 Battery Pack
The B-112 Battery Pack from BlackVue. This will plug into any 12V outlet to charge and is very easy to install. Since the battery is not wired to your fuse box, it is very easy to remove. The battery serves as the only source of power for your dashcam, so there’s no risk of draining your vehicle’s battery.
The B-112 is the most expensive solution on our list and is also the largest and most difficult to hide. You will need to use one of your few 12V outlets and will have also limited “Parking mode” availability. The batteries do not possess enough power to run “Parking Mode” for an extended amount of time (12+ hours).
- Plugs into any 12V power source
- Very easy installation
- No wiring to fuse boxes or batteries
- No risk of draining battery
- Expandable if needed
- Significant extra cost
- Limited parking mode duration (compared to using the Power Magic Pro)
- Need to hide a large battery pack somewhere in the cabin
- Cigarette lighter plug is occupied
There you go! We told you there was a few ways to go about it. The simplest way to think about it is if you’re after Parking Mode and an OEM look, then the Power Magic Pro is your best bet. Its got the smarts to run off your cars battery without damaging it and it can be ghost installed into your car, giving it the factory look.
If you’ve any doubts in your mind about what installation method is best for you, give us a call on 02 9708 5444 or come in and see the team!
As always, life’s too short for crappy audio and drive safe!