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BlackboxMyCar | Dash Cam Installation: 2012 BMW M3 x FineVu GX33 Dash Cam and Cellink NEO Battery Pack

BlackboxMyCar | Dash Cam Installation: 2012 BMW M3 x FineVu GX33 Dash Cam and Cellink NEO Battery Pack

This photo blog will show how we installed a FineVu GX33 dash cam and Cellink NEO battery pack into a 2012 BMW M3. If you're considering installing a dash cam, we recommend the Blackbox MyCar Essential Install Kit. The BlackboxMyCar Essential Install Kit comes with a circuit tester, trim remover tool, and other handy tools to make the hardwiring and installation process more manageable.

You will notice a Low and High switch on the side of the Cellink NEO battery. If you are powering the NEO battery with a cigarette socket in your car, then you will choose the Low setting. This setting draws at 5A and will give you a full charge in under 2 hours.

If you are looking for a faster charging time, you will need to hardwire the NEO to your car’s fuse box and flick the switch to High. This setting draws at 9A and will give you a full charge in under an hour.

While the easiest way would be to use your car’s cigarette socket, we went with hardwiring the NEO to the M3’s fuse panel for this installation.

We installed a FineVu GX33 dash cam and the Cellink NEO battery pack into a 2012 BMW M3.

Dash Cam Tips

You don't need a dash cam battery pack for parking mode recording. You can also hardwire the dash cam directly to the fuse panel. However, it’s better to use a battery pack if your vehicle’s electrical system is more sensitive or if you want to eliminate any wear and tear on your car’s battery.

Dash Cam Tips

You don't need a dash cam battery pack for parking mode recording. You can also hardwire the dash cam directly to the fuse panel. However, it’s better to use a battery pack if your vehicle’s electrical system is more sensitive or if you want to eliminate any wear and tear on your car’s battery.

Step 1: Mounting the FineVu GX33 front and rear camera (dual dash cam system)

The GX33 is a tad bigger than the other entry-level models from Thinkware and BlackVue. But it still sits neatly behind the rearview mirror.

Before installing a dash cam in any car, check how far the wiper goes because if you mount the front-facing camera above the wiper's reach, it will not have a clear vision. You want to make sure you are mounting the dash cam in a spot so you can always get a clear windscreen in front of it. This also applies to the rear dash cam if wipers are on your back windshield.

Next, clean the windshield from the inside of the car to ensure the camera sticks properly and to clean off any marks or smears that might affect the video quality of your footage.

Despite being a larger dash cam, the FineVu GX33 fits nicely behind the rearview mirror in the BMW M3. We also used the Installation Angle Guide in the FineVu mobile app to check the angle of the dash cam.

Finally, we connected the power cable, external GPS module, and the rear camera connecting cable. The Cellink NEO  comes with multiple output options. For the FineVu GX33, you will need the Power Output Cable w/Spliced FineVu GX33 Hardwire Kit.

Step 2: Find the best location to place the battery pack

A fully charged Cellink NEO battery pack can run a single 1-channel dash camera for about 45 hours, while a dual-channel system can be run for about 25 hours with its integrated 76.8Wh. This measurement based on continuous runtime.

The Cellink NEO dash cam battery pack measures 150mm x 170mm x 38mm (5.9in x 6.7in x 1.5in), making it easy to stow away under the driver or passenger seat or in the glove compartment.

For this installation, we stored the battery pack in the glove box as it is the closest spot to the fuse panel, located in the front pillar on the passenger side, under the glove box.

Step 3: Locating the correct fuse for the hardwire installation

While we are not hardwiring the FineVu GX33 to the car's fuse panel, we are hardwiring the battery pack to unlock the battery's fast charging feature. The Cellink NEO hardwiring kit is a 2-wire cable, one for ACC (constant) and ground. You need to look for an empty fuse slot or one you can piggyback off using the add-a-fuse kit included in the Essential Install Kit. Use the circuit testing in the Essential Install Kit to help you find a suitable continuous power fuse that is less than 10A. Always refer to the Fuses section in the vehicle's owner's manual to avoid fuse slots that could pertain to certain safety features within your car.

Once hardwired, the Cellink NEO battery pack will recharge itself when you turn on the ignition, and when you power down the car, the dash cam will be able to draw power from the battery pack to run parking mode.

Step 4: Tucking the dashcam power cable from the headliner to the battery pack

Take your time when removing the console cover or the A-pillar cover - be careful not to break any of the clips behind the covers.

Because we placed the battery pack in the glove box, we need to guide the power cable and the rear camera connecting cable along the headliner on the passenger side to the A-pillar, then into the weatherstripping, and finally into the side canal that feeds into the glove compartment.

Use the included prying tool to gently pull back the headliner trim, A-pillar, and the weatherstripping. Take your time when popping open the A-pillar - it's pretty straightforward, but be patient and careful not to break any clips behind the pillar. Feed the cable into the glove box and plug it into the Output slot.

Dash Cam Tips

Cables not tucking nicely into the headliner? Use the 3M adhesive cable clips to secure them along the headliner.

Dash Cam Tips

Cables not tucking nicely into the headliner? Use the 3M adhesive cable clips to secure them along the headliner.

Step 5: Running the rear camera connecting cable to the rear of the BMW M3

Run the rear camera connecting cable along then A-B-C pillars to the rear windshield.

Pick up the rear camera connecting cable you have routed along the headliner with the power cable and run it along the A, B, and C pillars. Remember, don’t just tuck the cable under the rubber seal because it will create a little gap that might prevent the door from sealing properly - you will get wind noise, or worse, water can seep into the car. Take your time to guide the cable under the trim - remove the B pillar covers and use the pry tool to carefully tuck the cable underneath the panel covers.

When you get to the rear windshield, route the cable along the rear windshield headliner until you get to the rear camera. Plug the connecting cable into the rear camera and power on your car to turn on the dash cam.

Suppose you haven't done so, download and install the FineVu app on your smartphone. Once your FineVu is powered on, press the WiFi button on the front unit to switch it to Wi-Fi mode and then connect to the dash cam using the app. Installation Angle Guide in the FineVu mobile app to check the angle of the front and rear cameras and adjust as needed.

And there you have it, a FineVu GX33 dashcam and Cellink NEO battery pack installed in a 2012 BMW M3. The installation took around 2 hours, including routing the cables, testing the battery pack power source, and checking the front and back cameras using the mobile app viewer.

From the outside, looking in from the front of the vehicle, the GX33 front-facing camera and external GPS module blend in well with the car.

Can a dash cam battery pack protect my car battery?

The BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 holds 25% more power than the Cellink NEO and can power a 2-Channel Full HD system up to 35 hours.

Your dash cam will draw power from the dash cam battery pack instead of your car battery, even if you have hardwired the battery pack to your car battery. By hardwiring a dash cam battery pack to your car battery, you essentially provide the battery pack a means to recharge. The battery pack is designed to recharge only when driving the car. When the ignition is off, the dash cam relies solely on the battery pack for power, eliminating the need to draw power from the car battery. Plus, you can always take the dash cam battery pack out and recharge it at home - all you need is a power inverter.

Hardwire dash cam installation guide

Planning on installing a dash cam in your car? Check out our Step-by-Step Dash Cam Installation Guide  and our selection of handy installation accessories. And if you ever need a hand during the installation process, just call us; our dash cam specialists are available to help!

Looking to have your dash cam professionally installed, we do offer installation services at our Richmond BC location.

Please see some of our other dash cam installations in the BlackboxMyCar Dash Cam Installation Gallery.

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