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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just bought a Viofo A129 Pro Duo - which basically means it's 4k native for the front camera and has a 2k rear camera, wifi connectivity to your cellphone and GPS tracking. But no "cloud" functions. The cloud functions sound great - and often are free from other top brands like Thinkware or Nexar - unfortunately they require an internet connection to actually work. So if you want to view your dashcam from work, or use vehicle tracking (aka theft recovery) or other GPS related features, you either need to leave your cellphone in the car or sign up for a dedicated monthly hotspot.

I realized I'd rather use a stand alone GPS tracker (or OnStar) for theft recovery rather than worry about that in my dash cam - so the Viofo A129 Pro does very well from a value standpoint once I make that distinction. I also added a CEllink Neo battery to run the dashcam off of, as it will eliminate the risk of running the car battery down.

I just installed it, so I am getting used to some features, but running the wires was actually pretty easy. I will update this post with details once I get a few pictures of the routing, etc.

The install:

First off, you can connect to the camera via wifi with your phone, so you can use that to figure out where you want the camera. In the V2, I would suggest driver's side behind the rear view mirror for the A129 model. It's thin enough to fit there perfectly with enough room left over to adjust the mirror, but different designs and drivers may vary. So definitely take time to figure this out. There are 3 additional adhesive strips in the box if you make a mistake.

Clean off the windshield well, then peel and stick.

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You'll notice the micro SD card on the side. It is a bit of a pain to install and remove as it's flush with the camera body - if you have fat fingers like me you'll need to use a coin or something to release it.

The ports for the rear camera and USB are on the passenger side (and the camera slides off the adhesive GPS base to the right), so leave a little room between the camera and the rear view mirror mount.

The wires will tuck up under the head liner easily - just push them in with a plastic tool. No need to remove anything for me. I have my radar detector mounted there also so it was a little more cramped than usual.

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The wires for your battery connection and the rear camera will run along the passenger side headliner - again using a plastic tool, you can pry / bend the headliner down just enough to wedge the wire(s) behind them, along the A pillar, passenger door and B pillar to the rear of the car.

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Then there's enough space to run down the side of the glove box - allowing you to stow the battery in the floor board, glove box or mount it somewhere. The battery doesn't seem to get hot but I'd still take care on placement for airflow.



Here's where it's a little more involved - there is a bolt behind that small access panel. Remove it, pop the B pillar cover off and that will allow you access to the rear of the headliner. In my case, with the Wagon, I also popped off the rear upper cargo trim to allow access to the rear hatch. It just pops off.

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I ran the wires along the outer edge of the head liner to the rear hatch. I fed the single rear camera feed along the Wagon's hatch mount, securing with a zip tie, then the camera to the rear glass. Again, clean the glass, peel and stick. Avoid the defroster lines and check your orientation with the wifi and your cellphone. I just tucked the excess cable (around ~3-4 feet remaining) under the rear headliner.

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The rear cargo panel again just pops off. Pull it from the top. I notched mine where the wire tucks under to avoid chaffing over time.

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OPTIONALLY, you can buy a stand-alone rechargeable battery (ie blackboxmycar.com, etc) - this will power the camera for several days in standby mode (parking mode), and prevents the dashcam from draining your car's battery. If you're a power user, you can even daisy-chain batteries for more capacity.

Currently, I have this battery plugged in to the cigarette lighter as it's accessory-only (off when the car is off), so the battery only charges while driving. I am going to install an add-a-circuit to the front fuse box to trigger a relay, then hard-wire the battery with the included harness to the terminals in the engine bay for faster charging. When hard-wired, it will draw 9 amps and charge fully in 40 minutes. Using the cigarette lighter, it's limited to 5 amps and takes 90+ minutes to charge. There is a switch on the battery where you can turn it off, or low/high charging. This is a manual switch so think about which one you pick - using "hi" mode on the cigarette lighter could blow a fuse potentially.

I'll probably store the battery in the glove compartment and run the wires through the door grommet in the same way I ran wires for my wide-band oxygen sensor.

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The voltage-selector harness you see is for the dashcam specifically, to be hard-wired to the car and is set to avoid draining your battery. Using the separate Cellink battery makes this moot.


View from the Driver's seat:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Remember that the resolution is limited by forum file compression and your monitor - in many cases the "real" resolution is significantly better. These shots are 2k x 60hx native for the front camera and 2k 30hz for the rear. The A129 Pro is capable of 4k x 30hz, but I wanted to experiment with video quality at speed. It's actually kind of tricky to get full resolution clips from the dashcam videos, and basically requires specialized third-party software to utilize it efficiently. If you open the videos in Window's (media player) and try to copy/screen shot the playback, you are significantly reducing the quality of the image.

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I'll have to figure out how to link to a decent video, but I suspect it will all get compressed and not be helpful anyway.

I also recommend DashCamViewer - which shows nice plots of your GPS data not only in speed, but locations on Google Maps relative to the video (and sound). It's total, real-time logging of where you are, how fast you're going and video of the front and rear - basically it's the Government's wet dream but you pay for the service!

However, with the value of Wagons and the risks of someone else hitting me, I felt the $600 for a dashcam and battery were probably worth it. At the least, I might get some sweet videos from drag racing! The GPS speedo appears to be very accurate, so...
 

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I've been looking at getting this add on when I get Theia for radar detection, having someone in the dash trim just once,

Curious what the battery life will be for the parking feature....if she sits for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
With the Cellink Neo battery, it will do 24 hours continuous with a 2 channel cam. If only using the front camera (ie a 1 channel) then it will do 2 days continuously. This will obviously be much longer if your dash cam has power saving modes while parked (most do).

The battery is almost 77 watt-hours, and even has Bluetooth so you can use an app to monitor charge.

Time will tell how it holds up, but so far so good.
 

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Does the battery charge when the vehicle is running?

Theia is taking forever!


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, battery only charges when the car is running. That's the whole point, to avoid draining theia car battery while sitting.

There's a cable to hard wire the battery with an accessory trigger - but you have to either buy a separate cable for the battery or hook up a relay (which I'm going to do).

Right now, I have it charging off the included cigarette adapter (same difference, just slower charging).

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Theia is taking forever!


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Yes it is.

From the first time I saw it was going to do, which I sort of did with Electronic Surveillance Systems on subs....I wanted it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
So you chose to post pics with Cops? LOL...
I was sight-seeing in Mexico - just having fun. But also, I wanted something to compare the 2k at 60hz front to the 2k at 30hz rear cameras at 70 mph. I'm going to bump the front up to 4k resolution and go look for more cops to compare image quality!

Ironically, my first drive with the dashcam and that blue SUV cut me off at 50mph with a Park Ranger right next to her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I used the existing harness for the CEllink to wire it into an Ignition-on relay for faster charging.

I used a Bosch 5 pin relay because I had a spare, but you only need a 4 pin of course. I also used an existing circuit (for my wide band +12v) for the relay signal as it was convenient.

It looks messy, but whatever. Accessory signal to trigger the relay, with +/- to the remote battery terminals in the engine bay.

Feeding the battery-side connector through a grommet in the door panel, so it pops out in the lower passenger compartment.


Battery end pigtail coming through:


Feed the engine side end through the passenger quarter panel to the engine bay. You can fish it up past the inside of the fender into the engine bay (I actually used a fish hook to snag it!):


Here's the wire to the fuse box:


Here is my messy relay, using the spare Ignition-on circui often used for wide bands to also trigger the relay. I don't expect any issues with my wideband as the grounds are more important for clean signals. I cleaned all bolts and connections, and used dialectic grease on install:


The battery makes an audible chime when it starts to charge and when it turns off, confirming the relay works.

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Thanks for the write up and pictures.


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I have this same dashcam ,I would have rather went with a blackvue or think ware.
 

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I'm currently running the Thinkware F800 front and rear.
I didn't opt for the pro with cloud features as there was a good deal for the F800 at the time.

One thing I experience that I don't see in your pictures is the dash reflection showing up
I was informed that using a polar lens should reduce that greatly. However at a small cost to the video quality.
Are you using a polar lens at all on this camera?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have this same dashcam ,I would have rather went with a blackvue or think ware.
I researched them all quite a bit - the Viofo has among the best image quality and very good battery life. The Thinkware has better energy management and parking modes, the image quality is probably similar - but with the cloud functions it's significantly more money. I wrote Blackvue off as their image quality was at the bottom end, and I saw a lot of customer-service type complaints with them specifically.

In my case, I didn't want cloud and I garage the car so the Viofo was the best overall choice for me.

One thing I experience that I don't see in your pictures is the dash reflection showing up
I was informed that using a polar lens should reduce that greatly. However at a small cost to the video quality.
Are you using a polar lens at all on this camera?
Yes - good eye! Polarized lens on the front, but as-is in the rear (giggity).

I need to get a 4k image up for comparison (I past another cop today).
 
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