Dash Cam Mount

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Introduction: Dash Cam Mount

About: Mops from sticks and rags. Cheap!

These are my trials and tribulations figuring out a way to mount a cheap dash cam after the suction cup broke. I suppose you could do this with a GPS too, if you don't mind craning your neck to look at your map.

My dash cam was found on a clearance rack at Walmart for ~$7. Cheap. Naturally the suction cup completely failed after about six months. So I had to come up with a replacement or spring for a new cam.

To start, I made a test mount using a debit card for the support and a spring clip.This looked good but in practice the debit card plate jiggled so badly you would get seasick reviewing the movie files. So the "test" was christened a proof of concept - hey, I meant to do that!

First, let's explore the concept.

Step 1: Materials and Conceptualizing

You'll need a drill to make holes for the pop rivets. The concept used a dead debit card for the mounting plate. The other part you will need is a picture frame spring clip, the type used to mount artwork in metal picture frames.

Drill one hole in the plate and a center hole in the spring clip (a punch is useful to keep your bit from skating when you drill into the metal). Join with a small pop rivet.

Drill two holes in the plastic base of your suction cup mount base and corresponding holes of your plate. Attach these parts with rivets. For this step you need to pay attention to the orientation of the mount - in my case the ball mount was orientated toward the floor of the car and was on the reverse side of the plate from the clip. If you get this backward, your video will become a rear view dash cam.

Test fit your mount by installing your dash cam to the hacked mounting base and then push the spring clip onto the windshield while gently peeling back a portion of your car's headliner. Ease the clip up so that it's firmly held between the headliner and the windshield. To help prevent scratching the glass, put some electrical or duct tape over the spring clip.

Didn't work so well eh? Let's cut the rivets out and rethink.

Step 2: The Completed Mount

After my brief test run and some self induced nausea watching a dash cam movie, I went back to the shed and dug up a metal shelf bracket. These are easily found at your local thrift or hardware store. Find one that's thin - don't bother with one with two sets of lugs that fit into the shelf rails.

The bracket end may have a flange where the bracket fits into the rail. Mine just broke off with pliers but you may have to cut the bracket end off your shelf bracket. Otherwise skip this part.

Next, roughly mark the shape of the suction cup base onto the bracket with a Sharpie, and then cut out the bracket using a Sawzall kind of tool.

Then drill a hole in the narrow end of the bracket and rivet the spring clip to it.

Next drill a hole in the wider end of the bracket and do a test fit. I didn't have a long enough rivet to fit through both the OEM mount and the thicker plate so I tried a machine screw and nut. Not as slick looking as rivets, but it worked so well, I didn't bother drilling another hole.

Insert the assembly between the lip of your headliner and glass, and do some wire management while you are fiddling around.

Again, note the tape on the spring clip, intended to lessen the risk of scratching the glass installing or removing the mount. Some windshields have antennas embedded in them and you want to avoid damaging them.

The stiff plate works well. Unfortunately I lost the cool Kia logo from my prototype. :-)

With the money saved by not having to buy a replacement dash cam, maybe I'll get a VR headset and see how that affects my motion sickness....

Be sure to check out @wongman2001's Direct Wire GPS Mount 'ible too. If you have a mirror cover gizmo, you may be able to attach your mount to that and then hardwire your cam to the wiring there.

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3 Comments

What Timing! I've had this project on the back burner till the temperature rises above freezing. -30C and no garage just don't cut it for this kind of work. The suction cup still works on mine, but only in summer. The roof lining approach was what I'd decided on too. I like the spring idea, I'll remember that if my prototype doesn't work. Before my previous dash cam was stolen, I used to lay it on a couple of heavy mitts on the dash and then flip the video if I really wanted to see it.

Thanks, I'll try to post mine when I get around to it.

Saltidae

1 reply

Yeah, I did the far north thing for a couple of decades, garageless. Stuff just doesn't get done and if you try to fix something outside, it just breaks. :-) It's 14°C here today so no excuses for me goofing off, but I am.

I have my cam set to turn off the video screen after a minute and just rarely push a button if I want to check that it's still recording the road.

@gm280, the cam records video on a mini sd card. Cheap cams like mine don't let you read license plates except under ideal conditions and you don't get a rear cam. The better resolution cams start around $80 USD and go up from there.

What do you record your video with? Is that built into the camera? And if so, how much time does it record? Also what is the resolution. I ask because I was interested in doing something similar. But it has to have a very good resolution to be useful, in my opinion.