Fraud Blocker What is an IROAD OBD-II Power Cable? — BlackboxMyCar
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What is an IROAD OBD-II Power Cable?

If you want to enable your dash cam’s parking mode, you have three options to choose from – hardwiring, using a dash cam battery pack, or using an OBD power cable. While these parking mode kits depend on the dash cam you are using, it is important to know how each of them differs from one another.

In this article, we will focus on the OBD installation using an IROAD OBD power cable, and show you how to activate parking mode through this method.

What is an OBD power cable?

First, let us define what OBD means. OBD is actually short for on-board diagnostics, which is the standardized computer system that all modern vehicles have equipped (models in 1996 and newer). The on-board computer system plays a crucial role in monitoring different electrical sensors throughout your vehicle.

For dash cams, an OBD cable provides a simpler and more convenient method for parking-mode recording over the traditional fuse box hardwiring method.

Instead of using a hardwire kit to connect to the vehicle’s fuse box, which can sometimes be a pain as the location of the fuse box can differ greatly between vehicles, the OBD cable connects to the OBD port which is almost always found on the driver’s side near and around the steering wheel column.

Note for Electric Vehicle Owners:

While the traditional dash cam installation to the fusebox is more common, it can take some time to test fuses and find a suitable ground. This process can be quite tedious and difficult for a first-timer or someone not too mechanically-inclined, and even with walkthroughs readily available.

Newer electric vehicles (Tesla Model 3s, for example) do not have a fuse panel at all, this would make installing a parking mode enabled dash cam in the traditional sense, impossible. This is why we would recommend either installing via battery pack (through CLA) or installing through OBD Cable. If you own an electric vehicle, consult your Vehicle Owner's Manual to see if your vehicle has a fuse panel or not.

Using the IROAD OBD-II Power Cable

Available in BlackboxMyCar, the IROAD OBD-II Power Cable is designed to ensure seamless integration for enabling the built-in parking surveillance modes of your dash cam. It has two switches on its side - “S”, which stands for Standard, and “P”, which stands for Parking.

Having this in the S position will mean that power will cut off when the car is off, and setting this to the P position will allow the OBD cable to continue drawing power when the vehicle is off.

Thus, if parking-mode recording is desired, simply leave this to the P position. The voltage and timer cutoff settings can all be adjusted in the IROAD viewer or IROAD smartphone app.

Moreover, the IROAD OBD-II Cable comes in two versions: a "Non-Electric/Hybrid" option for conventional gasoline/hybrid engines, and a "Electric" option for true electric vehicles (ie. gets all of its power from electrical sources).

IROAD OBD-II Power Cable Compatibility

Beyond the IROAD dash cams, the IROAD OBD-II power cable is also compatible with Thinkware dash cams, activating its parking modes including Motion Detection, Impact Detection, Time Lapse Mode, and Energy Saving Mode.

As no physical hardwiring is necessary, this method should allow for a simple installation, plugging directly into your OBD II diagnostic port. No need to mess with tedious panel removals and hardwiring – simply plug the cable into your OBD-2 port and you're done!

Once the cable is easily installed into the vehicle's on-board diagnostic (OBD) port, your Thinkware dash cam will receive power at all times, even when your vehicle is off, so you can have maximum peace of mind. This has also been proven to work reliably, as it is built with thicker cables sized at ‎3 meters.

Note for Electric and Hybrid Car users:

Due to the significant powertrain differences of hybrid and electric cars and trucks as compared to traditional gas or diesel vehicles, this Thinkware cable is not likely to be 100% compatible with hybrid and full electric vehicles. This is not compatible with Stop-and-Start System enabled vehicles as well.

Recently, Thinkware released the all-new U3000 4K UHD dash cam. Unlike the older Thinkware models, the U3000 now comes standard with a Thinkware OBD power cable instead of a hardwiring kit. If you have other Thinkware dash cams like the U1000, F200 Pro, and Q1000 - all available at exclusive Signature Bundles, you can also use an IROAD OBD-II power cable to activate these Thinkware models’ parking modes.

Note for battery pack users:

If you’re using a battery pack like the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8, please note that you cannot connect a dash cam to the battery pack via the OBD-II power cable. You will need a pre-spliced hardwiring kit. Speak to our product experts to learn more.

Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.