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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At the same time as I installed LED dome lights in my facelift SLK320 I took advantage of the fact that the car was in pieces to wire in a dashcam located in front of the mirror.

As the steps are much the same for the dashcam as for the LED dome lights I've borrowed some of the photographs and instructions. But before I get that far, I'd like to present my thinking and provide a bit of background.

Choice of Dashcam
I chose a Nextbase 412GW as my dashcam for two reasons:
  • There is a magnetic mount fitted to these cameras which makes removal and refitting the camera a 15 second task at the start and end of a journey.
  • The camera gets very good reviews (as to most of the Nextbase dashcams) and will capture "QUAD HD 1440p" at 30 frames per second.
I'll do a separate review of this camera when I get a chance to drive Silkie with it fitted.
Nextbase412GW.jpg

Powering the Dashcam
Dashcams are usually supplied with a plug-in 12V adapter with a long power lead so the lead can be 'discretely wired' semi-permanently into the car. This dashcam, like many others, actually runs on USB power and the 12V adapter is in fact a plug-in 12V to USB adapter with a long USB cable. Armed with this information I sought out a hard-wired 12V to USB adapter and a short 20cm mini USB lead and installed these above the dome light so that there are no trailing wires.
12V usb power.jpg
USB Cable.jpg

SLK Wiring for Dome Lamp
If you've read my post on the LED dome light you will see the plug to the dome light has four cables. See the wiring diagram below for more details. E15/1 is the Dome Light; E18/1 is the boot light. Looking at the car wiring I discovered that the dome light is fed a permanent 12V power from Fuse 9 (10A) in fusebox F1 via a Red/Grey cable connected to Pin 4 of the Dome light connector. Ground is connected to the dome light via a Brown wire on pin 2 of the Dome Light connector to earth point W29/2. Therefore, if I tap across these two cables I will have a permanent 12V power feed for my dashcam.
Dome Wiring.jpg

I'll walk you through the installation in the next post.
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Part 2 - Dashcam Installation (Facelift R170)

The installation takes about 30 minutes if you don't run into problems. For safety while you're working pull Fuse 9 from the fusebox and see that the dome light does not light. If you're not happy crimping cables in the car get the install completed by a competent auto electrician.

To do this you will need the following:

Parts
Dashcam (the Nextbase I installed is available here)
12V USB Adapter (This is like the one I bought)
Short (20cm) USB A Male to mini-USB lead (This is like the one I had)
Two cable crimps (A set of ten is available here)

Tools
Pozidrive screwdriver
Plastic panel tool
Crimp tool for crimps (I used heavy duty pliers)

Method
Step 1 - Using a thumb or a plastic panel tool ease down the cover off the dome light.
P2260121.jpg

Step 2 - Once the cover is safely off undo the two screws nearest to the windscreen. Be careful of the lens in front of the dome lamps. These are fragile and may break easily.
P2260123.jpg

Step 3 - Using the rear view mirror as a help ease the dome light housing towards the rear of the car and pull the front part of the housing down till the clips are visible. Now push the housing towards the front of the car and pull the rear part of the housing down till the metal clips release and the housing is free.
P2260129.jpg

Step 4 - You can see that there are two plugs and cables that are connected to the housing. The larger one on the end connects the lamps and switches. That's the plug we want. The smaller one in the centre is for the infrared sensor. Disconnect both plugs and put the dome housing somewhere safe. You may have to unclip the smaller plug to separate it. If so, ease back the two grey clips and ease the connector out then pull the connectors apart. Ease the cables down from the roof lining, separate them and prepare them for crimping.
P2260142.jpg

Step 5 - Ease the mini-USB plug through the headlining where it meets the windshield ready to connect to the dashcam
P2260141.jpg

Step 6 - Using one of the crimps connect the Red wire from the USB adapter to the Red/Grey wire on pin 4 of the dome light plug. Using another crimp, connect the Black wire of the USB adapter to the Brown wire on pin 2 of the dome light plug. (Note if you've not pulled Fuse 9 out, the red/grey cable is at 12V so be careful with metal tools near the car metalwork).
P2260143.jpg

Step 7 - Plug the USB lead you installed in Step 5 into the 12V USB adapter and, if it's nearby, connect the dashcam. The dashcam should charge or turn on with Fuse 9 installed. If it does, then success! You're ready to re-assemble the dome light.
P2260144.jpg

Step 8 - carefully push the cables and USB 12V power adapter into the gap in the headlining between the dome light opening and the windscreen. Then offer the housing back up to roof and insert it cable-first. The housing will just click back into place with simple finger pressure. Insert and tighten the two screws (remember the housing is plastic - don't over-tighten them) then offer up and clip into place the outer cover of the housing. If the dashcam is still connected it should still be on and the dome lights should also still work.
P2260148.jpg

To complete the installation position the mount of the dashcam on the windscreen where you want the dashcam sited - remembering that the power lead is only 20cm long.

Finally a couple of tips for you:
  • Remember to remove the dashcam when you have finished driving if you are not using it to avoid draining the battery.
  • If your dashcam has a 'parking mode' then it will work in this mode with this wiring set up.
  • I've configured my dashcam to power on when it is connected and then to black out the screen after 30 seconds. This gives enough time to see it's working and to align the camera before I set off.
  • Once you're driving you shouldn't be looking at or be distracted by the dashcam.
  • And last, but not least, please check your local laws with regard to dashcam installation and use.
 

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Premium Member
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614 Posts
So Savcom;

Technically speaking right, I have a cigarette lighter plug-in jobby; on the front there's a sticker Input 12-24v output dc5v...

If I simply smash the casing (carefully obviously) could I not just use the converter that is in there and wire it same same but different?
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So Savcom;

Technically speaking right, I have a cigarette lighter plug-in jobby; on the front there's a sticker Input 12-24v output dc5v...

If I simply smash the casing (carefully obviously) could I not just use the converter that is in there and wire it same same but different?
Technically speaking, yes you could. Practically speaking you'd need to also make absolutely sure that your exposed cigarette adapter innards are adequately insulated and protected from the rest of the car (wherever you decide to install it). And, if you do sheath it in insulation tape / foam / tube, that it doesn't get hot without airflow around it to keep it cool. You may also need to think about an in-line fuse too.

Good luck!
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ive ordered one of the boxes you did :D

My carefully smashing idea went bad after about 5 seconds.
:grin::grin::grin:

I also had a cigarette lighter-to-USB adapter and looked at doing the same as you. Then I saw these simple small units and decided that was quicker and easier and safer.

Now looking at adding ambient lighting to the SLK for night time driving. MORE mods to the dome light!! :surprise:0:):nerd:
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK350
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827 Posts
So Savcom;

Technically speaking right, I have a cigarette lighter plug-in jobby; on the front there's a sticker Input 12-24v output dc5v...

If I simply smash the casing (carefully obviously) could I not just use the converter that is in there and wire it same same but different?
A better option would be a dual USB inline charger like this https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/322940506127

Just search on eBay for 'dual USB charger waterproof' for a few options.
I fit one of these under the dash for my dashcam and phone.
 

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Registered 1999 SLK230
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204 Posts
Just put a dashcam in my daily drive and got an additional mount for the SLK

So my question is, is the wirring the same in a pre facelift (1999).

If anyone knows would be much appreciated

Cheers from down under
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
Joined
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Just put a dashcam in my daily drive and got an additional mount for the SLK

So my question is, is the wirring the same in a pre facelift (1999).

If anyone knows would be much appreciated

Cheers from down under
The interior lamp in a pre-facelift SLK is smaller and is quite different. The functionality is the same and the wiring diagram looks the same for all models, so I would take your interior lamp out and check the wiring on the plug against my info above. If they match you should be good to go!
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230/2000 SLK230/2012 SLK250
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160 Posts

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Registered 2002 SLK 230
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127 Posts
This thread popped up just at the right time.


Was working on the car last night and was looking at a better way to run the cable for the sat nav, so I have just ordered two dual USB ports. One will go under the dashboard and feed the sat nav , which is mounted on the windscreen next to the A pillar and the other will go somewhere near the rear of the cockpit, so it can be used for phone charging and power a rear mounted camera when on my travels.


G
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
Joined
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
A better option would be a dual USB inline charger like this https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/322940506127

Just search on eBay for 'dual USB charger waterproof' for a few options.
I fit one of these under the dash for my dashcam and phone.
I did look at this as an option too, but I have USB out on the rear of my head unit, so this feeds up to the drawer unit and powers my smartphone and a USB stick containing my music. The dashcam power is totally self contained above the interior light so all wiring is totally discrete and invisible.

The passenger can make use of the old cigarette lighter socket in the centre console in which I have a 4A capable USB charger.

The only thing left to add would be a power source behind the seats for the rear-mounted camera - and I could use the cigarette lighter for that.

I love these cars - and this forum. So much capability - and so much inventiveness. :grin::x:grin::x
 

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Registered 1998 SLK230/2000 SLK230/2012 SLK250
Joined
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160 Posts
This thread popped up just at the right time.


Was working on the car last night and was looking at a better way to run the cable for the sat nav, so I have just ordered two dual USB ports. One will go under the dashboard and feed the sat nav , which is mounted on the windscreen next to the A pillar and the other will go somewhere near the rear of the cockpit, so it can be used for phone charging and power a rear mounted camera when on my travels.


G
When I swapped out my radio, I was having trouble with the stock antenna, so I fed an antenna under the carpet and located it under the deck that flips up when the roof is raised/lowered. At the time, I considered putting a low profile charging port on the smaller fixed rear deck facing up, but when I sat in the car and imagined using it, I concluded that would be a total pain and impractical. That might work for you

Here's an alternative - my next choice was the vertical side of that little deck, but there was too much steel to cut through for my taste.. So instead, I fed a charging cable from behind the dash, ran it under the carpet and console, then up the rear wall, and now it hides in the leather pouch that is on the rear wall between the seats. I can drop a tablet in there, or a phone, or whatever, and there's enough cord to pull it out if I ever need to do that.

I never considered putting a camera back there.... Believe me, I've thought about installing a rear-facing 1000 lumen light panel, to discourage those truck/SUV drivers who seem to emjoy tailgating little cars at night, but never a camera. :D

I also put a cigarette lighter style socket in the trunk, right above the hydraulic pump for the roof. It's got a little flap cover to help keep it clean. That's come in handy a few times, usually when I'm using the tire pump.
 

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Another Excellent informative Post Savcom I'll be installing mine the weekend, while installing my hands free Mic now all the parts have arrived.
:grin:
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #15

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Registered 1998 SLK230
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557 Posts
I own two vehicles and obviously don't use them at the same time. So what extra parts/components would be required to simply be able to transfer the dashcam between the two vehicles? Do you think that they would be available, seperately? Why stop there? There's my Partners car, too! (We no spend a lot of time as Driver/passenger!)

David
 
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