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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This weekend I installed a Viofo A129 Pro Duo (front 4K, rear 1080P) dashcam into my CX-30 Turbo Premium. There's a lot of good posts on this forum about various dashcams, which helped with my install. However, since this is a very common camera, I figured a detailed setup and gotchas post might prove helpful for anyone else down the line. My car is a US model, so keep that in mind.

I've installed Dash cams before—I put a single Street Guardian in my 2011 Mazda 3 hatch. But doing a dual cam is a much more involved job, and there's a lot more work to do.

These instructions/experience are for the A129 Pro Duo, but they'd work just the same for an A129 Plus Do, A129 Duo, or other similar dual wedge cameras like the Street Guardian duos.

Power Delivery

There's three possible ways to power this camera, and which one you choose can impact the camera's functionality.

Viofo Hardwire Kit. One of the big features of the A129 is its parking mode, but for the automatic low-power mode you need to use the hardwire kit. This kit taps into switched power and constant power, so when you turn the car off, it automatically switches to a low power mode. Unfortunately for us, as detailed in many reddit and forum posts, the interior fusebox supplies constant power at all times. This means the least invasive connection—fuse taps—requires routing wires through the firewall to the engine bay fuse box. If your soldering skills are up to snuff (or you're comfortable with splice taps), you can tap into constant power and switched power wires near the driver's side kick panel. See this post for more info: Jul 11, 2021 If I want to eventually use parking mode, that's probably what I'd do. However, I'm not using parking mode, and that opens up a few more options.

USB Ports. The USB sockets in the center console switch off after a certain period of time after locking the car. The 12V power socket in the console is constant power, so that's a no go for a plug-in USB adapter. I didn't want the camera to keep recording until the car decided to power down the ports, so that left me with...

Dongar Mirror Tap. If your car has a frameless auto-dimming mirror (with or without homelink), this is the easiest way to get a clean, stealthy install. This is a plug-n-play wiring adapter that provides a USB connection. The maximum USB power supplied by this adapter is 5V2A (around 10-12 watts). The camera itself draws a lot less power—something like 5V1A when using dual cameras, so it should be a safe draw within that circuit. The auto-dimming mirror circuit is switched with ignition, so it turns on and off with the engine. Accessory mode is not enough to get the camera to run. The downside of this method is no parking mode.

Availability for this adapter seems to be hit or miss. It seems to go out of stock on a regular basis. So if you're interested in using it, you might have to check for restocks.

Note that there is apparently 12V constant and switched power going to the rearview mirror area, so theoretically you could tap the Viofo hardwire kit to those wires. I don't know anyone who has done this, but the main issue is that the mirror housing likely doesn't have enough space to store the voltage regulator that comes with the kit. So while tapping into the mirror for the Viofo haredwire kit is technically possible, I would personally avoid it.

Installing the Dongar Adapter

Opening the mirror housing requires a trim pry tool and a little elbow grease. I started from the front of the housing where the center split meets the seatbelt indicators. Using the tool, I pried at the join until I was able to loosen the guide pins. Then I could work my way down the gap to the first clip. The goal is to separate the two halves horizontally. It'll take more effort than you think, but these are stout panels. You can use your pry tool to lift up the clips that hold the halves togehther and they should pry right out. Use your free hand to pull the left side to the left as you pry through the gap.

After removing the housing, you can remove the mirror by rotating it but that's not wholly necessary for this job. The wiring harness is all the way at the back, and it's secured to the panel by a little rubber stopper. Just pull it out and it'll come loose from the housing. Undo the clip that holds it in place, pull out, and plug both ends into the Dongar adapter.

Sky Daytime Photograph White Hood


The tricky part is arranging the wires and the adapter to fit nicely. It is possible to mount the USB connector to a flat spot in the housing with a bit of foam tape. The two thin wires that come from the adapter to the USB connector are very thin and are also really easy to get tangled up, so I suggest using the routing clip for the main wire bundle to secure those wires. Once you're happy with your wire arrangement, you should test the camera. Plug the camera into the USB cord and power on the car's electrical system (two presses of START without your foot on the brake). The camera should come alive on the second press. Make sure you can see a video signal. Once you're happy with the test, press the START button again to turn off the car. The camera should shut down with it.

You can do this test for the rear camera by plugging in the rear camera and repeating the test.

After testing the cameras and confirming that they work, it's time to button up the mirror housing. I routed the short USB cable that Dongar included down to the bottom of the housing and test fit both halves of the housing to make sure nothing would get in the way. I found it was easier to put the right (passenger) side of the housing up first, then the driver's side snapped right into place. The cable exits through a cutout at the bottom of the housing. It's possible to run the cable through the rearview mirror joint instead, but for these wedge shaped cameras, that's not an optimal route. Other cameras might work better that way.

Sky Daytime Cloud Black Tree


Mounting the Front Camera
  • Clean your windshield with some glass cleaner and then wipe down with an alcohol pad. This should remove any gunk, grime, etc. Give a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any condensation.
  • Make sure the temperature outdoors is at least 50 degrees F or higher, and the hotter the better to generate a solid bond. 3M adhesive likes it hot.
  • Make sure there's no condensation on the windshield! If you have a tinted windshield, mount the camera to the electrostatic sheet included with the camera.
I mounted my camera using Viofo's GPS mount, which has the power cable attached to the "top" edge of the mount. If you're not using the GPS mount, power goes into the USB port on the right hand side of the camera. You might want to use a right-angle cord in that scenario.

The thickness of the cable's plug will affect how you mount the camera. I gave just enough slack that I could unplug the wire if needed without opening the mirror housing. Since the A129 camera itself can be disconnected from the mount without disturbing the cables, I figured having a minimal amount of cord would suffice.

Before attaching the camera with adhesive, it's a good idea to do a positioning test. Power the camera and check your view using the camera's screen. If you're having trouble seeing the screen, use Wifi mode and your phone to act as a remote monitor. If you choose to mount under the mirror like I did, you can get a good picture with the right balance of hood/dashboard, road, and sky. You also want the image to be level relative to your hood and horizon. I've attached a sample image of my camera's view to show a good balance.

Cloud Sky Plant Hood Automotive tire


I found that the sensor housing's bottom edge and center seam were good guides for positioning the camera. If you're having trouble checking the image, you can use a piece of blue tape to hold the camera in place while you check. Once you have a good idea of where you want to mount the camera, it's time to mount.
  • Give one final wipe of the glass with a clean microfiber towel.
  • Remove the red protective film on the adhesive pad.
  • Remove the white strip on the edge of the adhesive pad.
  • Firmly press the camera against the windshield and hold for thirty seconds. Then remove the camera from the mount by sliding it to the right, and press on the mount itself for another thirty seconds.
If you forgot to remove the white strip, don't worry. Get some dental floss, work it under that edge of the mount, and then pull out the white strip. It'll come right out if you work the floss underneath the strip's edge.

Sky Cloud Hood Plant Car
White Light Plant Gadget Sports equipment


You can check the view from the outside to make sure you have all the adhesive touching the glass. Once that's done, it's time to start installing the rear camera.

Fishing the Rear Camera Wire

Before mounting the rear camera, plug it in to the main camera with its remote cord and make sure its getting a video signal. Use Wifi mode with your phone for an easier view.

NOTE: DO NOT USE REGULAR MINI-USB CORDS OR RIGHT ANGLE ADAPTERS! You must use the one supplied by Viofo because it has a proprietary 10 pin connector. It looks a lot like mini USB type B, but it's not. Both ends of the cable should have tags indicating which camera that end of the cable should plug into. The right angle plug is for the front camera and the straight plug is for the rear camera.

Before attaching the camera to the liftgate glass, you'll want to route the cable through the rubber cable conduit that connects the liftgate and the body. The first step is removing the top hatch trim using a pry tool or your fingers. It'll just pop right off with enough force as you pry against the metal clips that keeps it in place. If you're unsure, check out this point in this video.

To route the cable through the conduit, I initially referred to Arctic Hound's post here: Sep 3, 2020 about removing the grommets. But I found it difficult to reach the plastic grommet from under the head liner. So, like a dumbass, I unhooked the rubber tubes from the grommets. DO NOT DO THIS! It makes it so much harder. I spent an hour trying to reattach the rubber conduit until I gave up and figured out how to unclip the plastic grommet from the sheet metal. These things are more durable than they look, so don't be afraid to press in and squeeze the clips.

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design


There's not a lot of room inside the tubing itself, and the Viofo cable's USB plug is kinda thick. Something like a thin rod or wire coat hanger really helps to fish it through. Use electrical tape on the ends so you don't cut anything, and run the rod through the rubber tube. Once the end of the rod is through the other side, tape the USB plug and cable to the rod, then pull the rest of the rod through the rubber tube. The cable should come along for the ride, after a bit of effort. You might need to help it out a bit by massaging it through the conduit.

Once the plug end is through the rubber conduit, you can pull the cable to the desired length. When the camera is mounted to the glass, there'll be very little visible cable. You want a little slack inside the liftgate to account for movement of the liftgate, but not so much that you're going to run out of cable to the front.

Routing the Rear Camera Wire in the Body

After buttoning up the rubber grommets and adjusting the wire length, I needed to route the wire to the front of the car. I chose to copy ArcticHound's method again, seen here: Sep 3, 2020 For the headliner, I used a trim tool to push the wire into the gap between the headliner and the interior trim. This worked all the way to the C-pillar. I then routed the wire down along the C-pillar to the floor using the rubber door trim. Once you're at the floor, you can route it along the door sill panels, which pop off very easily. You might not even need a trim tool—I just pulled them off with my hands.

Vehicle Car Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle
Automotive parking light Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood
Automotive parking light Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design
Car Vehicle Window Light Motor vehicle


With the front and rear passenger sill panels removed, the wire can be tucked neatly along the sill and below the B-pillar trim. Once I got to the front passenger door A-pillar, I continued to run the cable up through the rubber trim until I got to the front headliner. At that point, I was able to connect the rear camera cable to the front camera. The Viofo kit supplies some clips with 3M tape on the back, and I used one to attach the wire to the sensor housing. These clips can be undone later in case you need to open up the housing. It won't interfere with anything at all.

With this routing, I had just enough cable to complete the job. There might be an inch or two of slack or inefficiency that I could have picked up from somewhere, but if the cable was any shorter it would have been really unfortunate. If you can't make the connection at either end, just undo your cable routing, adjust your lengths or slack, and try again. Viofo does make a longer rear camera cord, but for this car it's unnecessary. Routing along the ceiling will require less cord, but then you have to worry about where to put the leftovers. The ceiling might also mean potential airbag interference, and you don't want that. Avoid the ceiling if you can.

Part 2 with more images and video samples coming shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Mounting the Rear Camera

If you gave yourself the right amount of cable, you should now be able to mount the camera to the rear hatch glass. Viofo, in their infinite wisdom, put the power port on the back of the camera instead of the side. They also used a long, thick straight plug on the cable. This means that the camera can't mount as flush to the rear hatch trim as I would like. Nevertheless, you can still get a pretty close mount.

You'll want to mount the camera inbetween the defroster grid lines. I wound up using the second and third grid lines as a guide. The vertical grid in the middle of the glass is super helpful as a reference for centering the camera's position too. After a couple test fits I believe this spot is the best position for the Viofo rear camera. It's not the smallest rearview camera, but with the factory tinted hatch glass no one will ever see it.
Sky Cloud Plant Automotive lighting Street light
Sky Window Plant Property Building


I temporarily secured the camera with some blue painter's tape to do a test fit. While it's easier to attach the camera with the hatch open, it's easier to figure out WHERE to attach it with it closed. I folded down the rear seats, climbed into the rear hatch area, and used my phone as a remote monitor to confirm the image before committing to the 3M adhesive. The steps for affixing the rear camera are the same as the front camera.
  • Clean your hatch glass with some glass cleaner and then wipe down with an alcohol pad. This should remove any gunk, grime, etc. Give a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any condensation.
  • Make sure the temperature outdoors is at least 50 degrees F or higher, and the hotter the better to generate a solid bond. 3M adhesive likes it hot.
  • Make sure there's no condensation on the windshield! If your rear hatch has aftermarket tint, you can use an electrostatic cling to attach the camera.
  • Give one final wipe of the glass with a clean microfiber towel.
  • Remove the red protective film on the adhesive pad.
  • Remove the white strip on the edge of the adhesive pad.
  • Firmly press the camera against the liftgate glass and hold for thirty seconds.
The adhesive pad has the same setup as the front camera—a piece of red film and a white strip below that. Don't forget to remove the white strip in addition to the red film! If you forgot, use the dental floss method above to remove it.

A final note: because of the steep rake of the hatch glass, some defroster grid lines will show in your video. They will be singificantly out of focus, but if you're picky like me you'll notice them. I was able to greatly minimize their appearance thanks to the position and lens angle I set. I've attached a sample here—by keeping the most obvious line in the top part of the frame, it'll blend in with the sky on most days.

Cloud Sky Plant Road surface Natural landscape


And that's it! The camera will automatically record front and back video to your SD card.

The View from the Cockpit

How does it look to the driver? It's hard to show with cell phone pictures, but you can get a good idea. The front camera is hidden pretty well by the mirror, but the buttons are still visible and easy to press. This makes it easy to hit the emergency clip button to save your footage in the case of an accident, but it won't get in the way of your every day driving.

Automotive parking light Mirror Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle


The rear camera is less intrusive than I thought it would be. It would be even stealthier if Viofo made different choices in their plug and port design, but it's good enough. This rear camera isn't tiny by any means but it is significantly smaller than a second "main" camera. Other brands have smaller rear/aux cameras, so if this is really important to you, I'd suggest shopping around. But during my post-installation drive today, I found it didn't affect my general visibility much, if at all. It blends in pretty well to the hatch trim. The center passenger headrest was much more obnoxious, and I removed that the day I bought the car.

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Automotive mirror Motor vehicle


I've got some sample photos of the view here, as well as some sample video clips. Note, these are not representative of image quality because youtube compresses the videos after the fact. They're just to show how it looks during driving when installed in a CX-30.

Front camera:

Rear Camera:

PS: Use H.265 for better quality and efficiency

If you use a newer Mac or PC, and your editing software can open it, turning on H.265 mode will save you card space and give you better image quality for the same bitrate. This post shows how to do it. Most smartphones made in the past five years support h.265 as well.
 

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I'm in the same predicament with the Viofo 129 Pro Duo (about there being no switched fuses in the cabin fuse box). I've installed the front and rear cameras, and will be using a BlackBoxMyCar battery pack for parking mode.

That battery pack is the thing that needs to connect to power, and comes with wires to connect to the cigarette lighter (always on) or connect with a fuse tap. I was really hoping to use the fuse tap without going through the firewall (and don't want to use a mirror tap because I already have a radar detector connected there).

I found this post from 2020, which implies that fuse 18 can work as the switched source (at least with their model). In the discussion, people didn't seem to notice this post as they were preoccupied with some sort of OBD2 adapter plug (which I also can't use due the tuner module I'm running there).

Has anyone used fuse 18 for the reverse lights, AND waited the 6 minutes after locking to confirm if power does/doesn't shut off? This is a 2022 North American model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think the solution for the battery is, instead of a fuse tap, use splice taps for constant/ACC as if you were wiring in the OEM wireless charger. Where do you plan on mounting or storing the battery? Under the driver's seat?

You can snake the wiring through the firewall's main grommet, no mods necessary, but it definitely looks like some work.

It should be easy enough to test fuse 18 though—hook up your tap and use a multimeter and see if you get anything after six minutes.
 

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I think the solution for the battery is, instead of a fuse tap, use splice taps for constant/ACC as if you were wiring in the OEM wireless charger. Where do you plan on mounting or storing the battery? Under the driver's seat?

You can snake the wiring through the firewall's main grommet, no mods necessary, but it definitely looks like some work.

It should be easy enough to test fuse 18 though—hook up your tap and use a multimeter and see if you get anything after six minutes.
Yes, under the seat was the idea. What could I tap to get sufficient power? I believe the battery pulls a decent amount of amps (I want to say 7) and don't want to overload something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, under the seat was the idea. What could I tap to get sufficient power? I believe the battery pulls a decent amount of amps (I want to say 7) and don't want to overload something.
I think the solution for the battery would be to use a free "constant" fuse for your constant power, and then tap to some form of switched power to turn the charging on and off. I'm not sure how the A129 would work into that as far as switched/constant goes for the hardwire kit for parking mode. Does the battery supply USB power or does it supply 12V constant/switched?
 

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My dash cam is Thinkware, it has constant, ground and ACC wires. The Fuse I tapped into is constant, all internal fuse is constant and does not shut off thus need the TR4 to act as ACC, the video explains in details. Hope this helps all, it took me some time and effort to figure this out, best of the luck!
 

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I think the solution for the battery would be to use a free "constant" fuse for your constant power, and then tap to some form of switched power to turn the charging on and off. I'm not sure how the A129 would work into that as far as switched/constant goes for the hardwire kit for parking mode. Does the battery supply USB power or does it supply 12V constant/switched?
I believe it works like a bypass when the car is on (charges itself, but doesn't use it's own electricity to power the cameras). And then when the car shuts off, it switches to outputting it's stored electricity to power the camera for parking mode.

It connects to the dashcam via a mini USB (which I believe is proprietary, has extra pins) but the end that connects to the battery itself is completely proprietary.

The battery connects to power through two wires (they supply a fuse tap for it) or through the cigarette lighter outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did some research on the BlackBoxMyCar batteries, it looks like they make an output wire that's pin-compatible with the Viofo hardwire pins. That's slick. Yeah, I see your predicament. They only want switched power. Given the power draw of that battery, I would use a free switched fuse in the engine bay. If the battery can draw 9A, I'd be concerned about blowing the fuse, because even if the reverse light fuse turns off after five minutes, that's only a 10A fuse. You wouldn't want to blow that if you're charging at full draw and then put the car in reverse.
 

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That's a good point, I wonder if any of the unused fuse spots have power (and also shut off after 5 minutes). I guess I could do a whole bunch of experiments 🤣

Or maybe it's just worth it to go through the firewall and into the engine bay like you suggested. I'll let you know how it goes
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Plus, 9 amps at 12V is not an insignificant amount of power.

Looking at Arctic Hound's post that I linked earlier, he was using a Celink battery and wound up tapping into an Engine Control fuse in the engine bay. You could probably get by with the Reverse light fuse tap IF the BlackBoxMyCar battery can stay at 6A draw on a hard wire setup. Otherwise, a 15A would be the minimum.

Alternatively, get in touch with a car stereo shop. They may have some advice.
 

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Plus, 9 amps at 12V is not an insignificant amount of power.

Looking at Arctic Hound's post that I linked earlier, he was using a Celink battery and wound up tapping into an Engine Control fuse in the engine bay. You could probably get by with the Reverse light fuse tap IF the BlackBoxMyCar battery can stay at 6A draw on a hard wire setup. Otherwise, a 15A would be the minimum.

Alternatively, get in touch with a car stereo shop. They may have some advice.
There is a "low" and "high" switch on the input, fortunately. I'm not exactly sure what the amperages are for each but I can look into it 👍
 
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