generaltso

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TL;DR - I worked with FITCAMX to test dash cam designs for the MME. It's now available to purchase (links at the bottom of this post)

I never really thought dash cams were necessary, but then last year, somebody pulled out in front of my son (while he was driving my wife's RAV4 Prime). He successfully swerved around her, but she claimed that he hit her car and dented the bumper (even though there was zero damage to the RAV). She filed a claim against our insurance company, which was ultimately denied due to lack of evidence, but it would have been a whole lot quicker and easier if I had dash cam footage.

But I really don't like the look of aftermarket accessories hanging from the windshield or visible wires snaked around. My research led me to FITCAMX, which is a Chinese company that makes replacement mirror surrounds with integrated dash cams. I installed one in the RAV4 and was very impressed with the OEM look. Then I installed one in my son's Jeep Renegade and was equally impressed.

Sadly, FITCAMX didn't list one available for the Mach-E. I reached out to them in April to see if one was planned, and they said that they had a prototype based on a Chinese market Mach-E that I could try. Of course, I agreed, and they sent it my way. Right off the bat, I could tell that it was not the same as the mirror surround in North American MMEs. It was a little bigger, had an opening on the side for a USB port, the vents were different, and one of the clip mounts was in a different location:

1662924130465.png

1662924219364.png


Another issue was that the plug for the pass-through that pulls power from the rain sensor had a little plastic tab on the wrong side.

1662924366219.png


I trimmed that tab off, and I was able to get it to fit.

1662924588650.png


Although it wasn't a perfect fit, I installed the Chinese version and confirmed that it functioned as expected.

1662924906491.png


Since they didn't have access to a US version of the MME in China, my contact at FITCAMX asked if I would be willing to send my original mirror surround to their 3D scanning partner in Florida so that they could digitally scan it to create a mold that would be a better fit. I agreed and shipped it off to Florida. After scanning, they were able to overlay the Chinese and US versions in their modeling software. The red shading shows the dimensional differences between the two:

1662925320597.png


With the digital scan, they were able to create a new model and 3D print a prototype for me to try. The color was horrible, but the fit was much better. Here's the new prototype next to the Chinese one:

1662925625562.png


And mounted in the car:

1662927575110.png


1662925736329.png


After sending them pictures, including a screen grab to show the angle of the camera, they sent the design off to the factory for mass production.

1662925866108.png


The original estimate was about a month to have the first production units roll out of the factory, but they ran into an issue with the mold that took an additional few weeks to resolve.

I received word last week that the production version was finished and one was being shipped my way to test and photograph for installation instructions. I was planning to wait for that before posting my story here, but it appears that FITCAMX has already listed them for sale on their website and their Amazon store. Since owners are already reporting placing their orders, I figured I'd get this out before they start arriving. All in all, this process took about 4 months. I don't get any kickbacks or anything, so I take no responsibility for the product if you don't like it. But I will be so happy to not have to look at the ugly cream colored mirror surround anymore!

FITCAMX Purchase Link

Amazon Purchase Link

EDIT: I finally received the production version, which was stuck in customs clearance for a while. The folks at FITCAMX asked me to record my install so that they could use it in their instructions, and I'm posting it here as well. It took me about 2 minutes to install, but I cheated a little since I didn't have to move the clips over from the original surround (I had an extra set).


 
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SROSE

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This looks awesome. Wish I didn't just buy a dash cam setup last week. Maybe I'll keep this in mind for the future.
 

JohnFoxeSheets

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TL;DR - I worked with FITCAMX to test dash cam designs for the MME. It's now available to purchase (links at the bottom of this post)

I never really thought dash cams were necessary, but then last year, somebody pulled out in front of my son (while he was driving my wife's RAV4 Prime). He successfully swerved around her, but she claimed that he hit her car and dented the bumper (even though there was zero damage to the RAV). She filed a claim against our insurance company, which was ultimately denied due to lack of evidence, but it would have been a whole lot quicker and easier if I had dash cam footage.

But I really don't like the look of aftermarket accessories hanging from the windshield or visible wires snaked around. My research led me to FITCAMX, which is a Chinese company that makes replacement mirror surrounds with integrated dash cams. I installed one in the RAV4 and was very impressed with the OEM look. Then I installed one in my son's Jeep Renegade and was equally impressed.

Sadly, FITCAMX didn't list one available for the Mach-E. I reached out to them in April to see if one was planned, and they said that they had a prototype based on a Chinese market Mach-E that I could try. Of course, I agreed, and they sent it my way. Right off the bat, I could tell that it was not the same as the mirror surround in North American MMEs. It was a little bigger, had an opening on the side for a USB port, the vents were different, and one of the clip mounts was in a different location:

1662924130465.png

1662924219364.png


Another issue was that the plug for the pass-through that pulls power from the rain sensor had a little plastic tab on the wrong side.

1662924366219.png


I trimmed that tab off, and I was able to get it to fit.

1662924588650.png


Although it wasn't a perfect fit, I installed the Chinese version and confirmed that it functioned as expected.

1662924906491.png


Since they didn't have access to a US version of the MME in China, my contact at FITCAMX asked if I would be willing to send my original mirror surround to their 3D scanning partner in Florida so that they could digitally scan it to create a mold that would be a better fit. I agreed and shipped it off to Florida. After scanning, they were able to overlay the Chinese and US versions in their modeling software. The red shading shows the dimensional differences between the two:

1662925320597.png


With the digital scan, they were able to create a new model and 3D print a prototype for me to try. The color was horrible, but the fit was much better. Here's the new prototype next to the Chinese one:

1662925625562.png


And mounted in the car:

1662927575110.png


1662925736329.png


After sending them pictures, including a screen grab to show the angle of the camera, they sent the design off to the factory for mass production.

1662925866108.png


The original estimate was about a month to have the first production units roll out of the factory, but they ran into an issue with the mold that took an additional few weeks to resolve.

I received word last week that the production version was finished and one was being shipped my way to test and photograph for installation instructions. I was planning to wait for that before posting my story here, but it appears that FITCAMX has already listed them for sale on their website and their Amazon store. Since owners are already reporting placing their orders, I figured I'd get this out before they start arriving. All in all, this process took about 4 months. I don't get any kickbacks or anything, so I take no responsibility for the product if you don't like it. But I will be so happy to not have to look at the ugly cream colored mirror surround anymore!

FITCAMX Purchase Link

Amazon Purchase Link
Cool, thanks. I understand you have no skin in the game for others ordering, but I hope you're getting a great deal on yours!

I look forward to hearing how you like the production version...
 

Neil4Real

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On the cars you have it already installed in, does the replacement mirror surround feel just as sturdy as OEM or can you tell it’s different?

Also, does anyone know of any issues with this route, tapping into the rain sensor, or the Dongar method, tapping into the auto dimming mirror? I think I saw that @DevSecOps mentioned it wasn’t smart to do so, just wondering why (other than the fact you only have power when the car is on, no parking mode) as more and more people seem to be doing it.
 
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generaltso

generaltso

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On the cars you have it already installed in, does the replacement mirror surround feel just as sturdy as OEM or can you tell it’s different?
In the other cars, it’s just as sturdy as the OEM surrounds, which makes sense since you actually have to move the clips over from the OEM surround to the posts on the FITCAMX.
 


DevSecOps

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Also, does anyone know of any issues with this route, tapping into the rain sensor, or the Dongar method, tapping into the auto dimming mirror? I think I saw that @DevSecOps mentioned it wasn’t smart to do so, just wondering why (other than the fact you only have power when the car is on, no parking mode) as more and more people seem to be doing it.
Why do people do it this way:

Cheaper and/or they are lazy (easier). Not bashing on either, but it's the truth.

Why is it bad:

The car was engineered with every circuit to handle a load designated by the fuse that it uses. Adding additional load to that circuit is not was it was designed for. Additionally, if that circuit (and I don't know what the mirror and rain sensor are paired with) is paired with a critical component and you have a failure of the camera or the fuse you could lose something that's critical to the cars safety (i.e. emergency brake assist).

Some manufacturers have gone to the extent of warning people not to do this as it has fried other components on the same circuit. Myself personally, I once had to pay over 1k out of pocket to Audi because of this exact thing happening to me. In my case it caused the voltage to be off for the backup camera (built-in) and therefore it would malfunction. The high labor cost was in tracking it down. The dealership even got Germany involved. Needless to say, I felt like a moron.

People will continue to say that there's nothing wrong with this method, but in general I don't think we should tap into anything, especially something that is quite possibly on the same circuit used by critical safety components. In some cars there's no extra fuses, and that presents a challenge. The MME has a ton of open fuse spots so I just don't see how people justify the 30 minutes they save by tapping.

As for on while parked:

I've seen people say "don't do this"... the LVB will be maintained by the HVB. There's no need to worry about your battery dying (unless you're under 12% SOC). In my car I have 3 always on devices connected to the LVB, including a dash cam and it takes 3 days before I get a DC/DC warning. As long as you drive and/or charge the car regularly you wont get the alert. Even so, it's not a big deal.

NHTSA published TSB for Corvette mirror taps
Alfa Romeo - Safety feature malfunction due to mirror tap
 
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yngwenli

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I suppose the best thing from this is that a fit like this is less noticeable for thieves so maybe not as likely for someone to steal your dashcam. I haven't gotten around to a dash cam yet, but it's something I want to work on eventually.

You can add me to the laziness camp as well, but this solution doesn't solve the sentry mode so still keeping my eyes out for a lazy person and discreet solution.

Once someone has this running, maybe they can post/comment/share pics of running cables to the back and how it was.

When I have a ton of time, maybe I'll get around to re-reading everything from that dash cam thread to see how much work as well.
 
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HuntingPudel

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Oh, golly. Something else to spend kibble on. I still have to save my kibble since I shouldn’t have bought my Steeda anti-sway bars yet. LOL. 😰🐩

If someone has the pin-outs for the mirror connector I would want them so tha tI can connect to a backup battery for a sentry mode. 😊🐩
 

NewGuy

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Looks great. Have any pics from the outside?

How’s the camera quality? Any videos to share from day and night?
 
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generaltso

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Looks great. Have any pics from the outside?

How’s the camera quality? Any videos to share from day and night?
Here's a pic from the outside. It will obviously be much less noticeable when it's black.

1662984692649.png


I don't have any video clips handy, but it's the same 4K camera that's in the entire FITCAMX line of products. Here are some samples from YouTube.



 

Stevey

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Does anyone have an Amazon link to the Duel camera (Front & Rear) option? Does anyone know if I can add a rear later or buy separately. I prefer to share my Info and credit card data with as few site as possible, so would like to purchase thru Amazon.
 
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generaltso

generaltso

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If someone has the pin-outs for the mirror connector I would want them so tha tI can connect to a backup battery for a sentry mode. 😊🐩
FITCAMX does sell a fusebox adapter harness that can be used to supply power for sentry mode.
 
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generaltso

generaltso

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Does anyone have an Amazon link to the Duel camera (Front & Rear) option? Does anyone know if I can add a rear later or buy separately. I prefer to share my Info and credit card data with as few site as possible, so would like to purchase thru Amazon.
It doesn't look like they've added the rear bundle to their Amazon store yet. Send them a question through Amazon and ask them to add it to their Amazon store, and I bet they will. I don't think you can add the rear camera later because the front camera wouldn't come with the input plug on it if you don't get the bundle.
 

Kamuelaflyer

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Why do people do it this way:

Cheaper and/or they are lazy (easier). Not bashing on either, but it's the truth.

Why is it bad:

The car was engineered with every circuit to handle a load designated by the fuse that it uses. Adding additional load to that circuit is not was it was designed for. Additionally, if that circuit (and I don't know what the mirror and rain sensor are paired with) is paired with a critical component and you have a failure of the camera or the fuse you could lose something that's critical to the cars safety (i.e. emergency brake assist).

Some manufacturers have gone to the extent of warning people not to do this as it has fried other components on the same circuit. Myself personally, I once had to pay over 1k out of pocket to Audi because of this exact thing happening to me. In my case it caused the voltage to be off for the backup camera (built-in) and therefore it would malfunction. The high labor cost was in tracking it down. The dealership even got Germany involved. Needless to say, I felt like a moron.

People will continue to say that there's nothing wrong with this method, but in general I don't think we should tap into anything, especially something that is quite possibly on the same circuit used by critical safety components. In some cars there's no extra fuses, and that presents a challenge. The MME has a ton of open fuse spots so I just don't see how people justify the 30 minutes they save by tapping.

As for on while parked:

I've seen people say "don't do this"... the LVB will be maintained by the HVB. There's no need to worry about your battery dying (unless you're under 12% SOC). In my car I have 3 always on devices connected to the LVB, including a dash cam and it takes 3 days before I get a DC/DC warning. As long as you drive and/or charge the car regularly you wont get the alert. Even so, it's not a big deal.

NHTSA published TSB for Corvette mirror taps
Alfa Romeo - Safety feature malfunction due to mirror tap
I don't discount what you have to say on this or similar solutions to powering dashcams. The last thing we need on this forum is another rash of threads where, for example, every flux capacitor is falling because of what turned out to be an ill-advised modification. On the other hand, I also rather strongly dislike many of the more conventional solutions as the wire to the most commonly used fuse box is plainly visible. I'm also not going to run wires through the firewall or drill holes for a dash cam. In the end, I either go with this solution, or something similar or forego a dashcam altogether. What it comes down to is the probability of unintended consequences. The exact probability of something going wrong can't really be answered by either of us. I haven't worked that out for myself which is why I haven't ordered this yet.

 

 
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