DIY Install Guide: Budget Dash Cam Front (1080p) and Rear (720p) Hard Wired to NC - with links

DIY BUDGET DASH CAM FRONT (1080p) AND REAR (720p) INSTALL - TOTAL COST £50.

Took around 2 hours, hardwired into the interior fuse box, freeing up the cigarette lighter.

Dash cam link here:

Hardwire kit link here:

The wiring kit provides a type of piggyback fuse, inserted to the 15A AUX POWER slot. There arent many places to earth from; the 10mm just behind the fuse box was used.

The power lead then runs from the interior box, tucking away nicely behind the plastic trim, up the side of the passenger A-pillar, running along the windshield - totally unseen.

Removing the windscreen plastics was not required - there is a small enough gap to hide the cable behind the plastic trim using a trim tool, credit card or similar. (Kickplate, rubber seal and lower plastic around the fuse box were removed).

The interesting part was the rear camera.

There is a small plastic blanking plate between the rear number plate lights that pops out, providing the ideal mounting place.

Behind this plastic blank plate, there is a hole. The cable was routed down this hole, inside the boot lid, following the existing wiring and cable tying together where necessary.

The cable is tucked under the rubber boot seal, running along to the DRIVERS SIDE of the boot - this is reportedly the ONLY access area into the cabin (rag top NC1).

A small gap, low down towards the back of the boot floor where the existing cables go, is the hole you’re looking for. My boot interior is already stripped of carpet and plastics (I carry alot of random crap)…

Difficult to photograph, a flexible drainhole tool was used to pull the cable through the hole. For the cabin, the plastic side panel, seat belt cover, rubber seal and kickplate were removed to access.

The cable was routed under the carpet, back up the drivers side A-pillar (in the same way as the power cable on the passenger side) and into the camera.

2 hours later with coffee breaks and I have a stealth install and real piece of mind, plus something to use for fun! No screen upgrade planned, but could also be used as a reversing camera with something to view through.

Though I appreciate this isn’t super detailed, I do hope it to be useful as a rough guide for some people. During my own research, I found a few handy pictures through facebook group searches, but not many start to finish explanations. It is a relatively straight forward job, with the “boot routing” posing the most difficulty in my experience.

I’d be happy to answer any questions, and will report back on the performance. Also happy to receive any feedback - have you done something differently?

  • Clare :slight_smile:

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As a Mk1 owner, your NC looks fantastic.

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Thank you, that is really appreciated!! It’s a little lower than OE, on Eibach blue springs at around 35mm drop. It’s also the 2.0 6-speed Sport, so lower from the factory anyway. Other than that, its pretty stock!

I’m a MK1 owner myself, currently have 2, one of which I’ve had 8 years now. After almost 2 years ownership and 2 european trips, the NC delivers a more refined and comfortable drive. The MX5 experience is still 100% there, and that’s what it’s about really; function《 form. I can appreciate both platforms for different things, desperate to get in a ND for a weekend!

Here’s a picture of my “well loved” first in it’s current state :sweat_smile:

And my other NA project… because who needs to eat, right? :joy::woman_shrugging:

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Hmm, I hope you have better luck with that Apeman camera than one of my swimming friends did.

After much grief and aggro over a couple of weeks trying to get the Apeman to work for more than about half an hour at a time he binned it and eventually went to Halfords and ended up with a NextBase 522 and its rear friend setup in his Pug.

The disadvantage of the Nextbase rear camera is that it’s for inside use, and would not survive on that bumper plate. However, I’m guessing that the Apeman rear camera will plug into a basic Nextbase 522 and work OK - they share the same mini-jack connector and image standard.

Thank you - I have read some of the negative experiences / customer reviews. The NextBase models come with some great reviews… they also come with a price out of my budget for the job :sweat_smile: Hopefully things will go well with this particular item, I will certainly pop back at some point with a review/ some footage!

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Three MX5’s ?! You well and truly have the bug ! I can see the temptation for the Mk3. I was tempted to change to a Mk3 in the past for the reasons you stated. Having owned my Mk1 V-Spec for te years, I found it difficult to part with it and so I still have it !

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Great write-up Clare!

I’m using a dashcam with GPS speed etc., in my NC when we go to Cadwell Park next week, and using a GoPro as the in-car footage. I fitted a dual usb socket in the coin tray using a piggyback connection to the cigarette lighter socket, this drives both cameras. If I get some good footage I’ll post some up.

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Morning, thank you! I almost purchased the GPS receiver add-on for this one, but with mixed reviews I thought I would just try the device alone for now. I think the action cam will do a superb job for Cadwell, I’ll keep an eye out for the clips! Enjoy! :star_struck:

Funny how co-incidences happen…
SWMBO was brake tested by a possible ‘crash for cash’ idiot a couple of days ago, fortunately she was aware of the possibility and had sufficient distance that she could brake gently enough so the car behind her did not hit her and there was no contact. But it scared her, another time she might not be quite so alert, and then the hassle would begin.
So I’ve taken my own advice and bought the Nextbase 522 two camera system with memory chip package to install in the Mazda3. According to the manual, getting the trim panels off is a bit more tricky in that car than the easy NC - clips will be broken and need to be replaced. The basic electrics are very similar to the earlier ND, including the fuse panel by the passenger’s left knee where I’ll be taking the power from.
Rather than hijack this thread once I’ve done it I’ll post some pics in the General Discussion / Car Talk section.
Playing with the two cameras here on the desktop is useful, and it allows me to check it all works, and also install the required firmware updates before going anywhere near the car (as and when she lets me)

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Hi. I’ve been looking back and studying your (very good) write up as I am planning to do similar. Can you just explain (as if to a simpleton) what you mean in your photo where you have added the note ‘wrong fuse’. Is that not the right one to piggyback on and if that’s the case where should it go?
Many thanks and how did it perform by the way. All good I trust.

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Hi :wave:

:slight_smile: Thank you, glad it has been of some use/ interest to you!

The picture that says “wrong fuse” is where I’d previously taken a picture of it piggybacked in the wrong place. The photo above it, or this one taken today, is where it needs to be!

I have no complaints with the camera, recording, sensitivity, or playback quality…

If it’s for more than just insurance back up, I’d maybe consider adding some form of external microphone to better pick up the sound of the engine - if it’s for recording “adventures etc”. The sound playback does not do my Goodwin Racing box justice!! :laughing:

Good luck with your install! :slight_smile:

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Very helpful. Many thanks and all the best.

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Great writeup, looks very easy to follow. I’ve ended up with a ‘spare’ Apeman camera after ordering another one thinking the one we’d had installed in my wife’s car was faulty. Turns out it wasn’t, just not setup right. Going to install the spare one in the MX5 at the weekend now. :slightly_smiling_face: