John's Musings


Yeah, Me Neither

GoPro Hero 4 Silver as a Dashcam

So I bought a 2017 Tacoma a couple of months ago and saw something stuck to the windshield just to the right of the rearview mirror. It was a GoPro mount. I did a little googling and found out that Toyota started putting them in a year or so earlier. Kind of a stroke of genius I guess. The mount literally costs a dollar or two and encourages one to install a GoPro as a dash cam.




That's real cool and everything but there is one issue here. They provided no way to apply power to the GoPro which (in my case with the Hero 4 Silver) takes 5 volts through a mini USB connector.


So to use the GoPro you'd literally have to remove it and charge it nightly. Or you can hardwire it yourself which is not so difficult.


There are a million dash cam hardwire kits on line, some very inexpensive. Basically you wire them into a 12 volt source of power anywhere in the vehicle, and attach the black wire to ground. Just upstream from where you connect those wires is a little block which is a 12 volt to 5 volt converter. Then you simply snake the mini USB connector along the headliner to the GoPro.





I bought this kit from the DashCamstore.com. It is fairly ingenious as it plugs into the fuse block. You decide whether you want the camera powered all the time or not. I did not want constant power so I pulled the 10 amp fuse from the Windshield Washer and then you insert that fuse into the adapter shown below. Then you just plug that fuse adapter into the block. Next find a bolt on the car somewhere and attach the black ground wire.




Once you have power I suggest you test the cable BEFORE routing it. What a pain that would be to professionally route the cable just to find out it didn't work or something. On my Tacoma I popped off the SRS Airbag plastic cap right about where my label says "APillar". Under it is a 10 mm bolt head which then allows you to pull the plastic trim APillar out. In the lower left hand corner of your dash will be a hole. I ran a fish tape straight into that hole which came out near the passenger door or left foot kick panel.


Taped my USB cable end and pulled it back through. I neatly zip tied everything underneath and stowed it. From there you simply run the wire up along the wire bundle in the APillar making double damn sure you don't obstruct the airbag. Just follow the wire bundle. I zip tied my USB cable twice in there. From there you simply stuff the wire up under the headliner. It pushed up under there real easily and the headliner does not get mangled in any way, shape, or form. You can see the USB cable end sticking out in my photos. Then simply plug it in the GoPro.






I hadn't plugged mine in on the above photos as my GoPro only had a sealed case. You need a skeleton case like this (photo below). It allows for you to use the touch screen and plug it in. Just don't go surfing with it. Anyway the installation is super clean with just a few inches of wire showing from the headliner. I'm real pleased with how this whole project went.



Installing a dash cam with a permanent power source is EASY. Even though this was done in a Toyota Tacoma the steps are going to be essentially the same for any vehicle. Anyone can do it.




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