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Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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Old 02-14-2017, 09:27 PM   #1
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Default Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Hello, I bought a 1995 Civic LX second-hand, so I'm not sure if this security light and rectangular "cut-out" is OEM or a post-purchase modification. Which is it?

I tried to have the rectangular thing pop out, as you can see in the pic. But I can't pull it out much further. The wire must be short.

Some questions:
1. How can I pull it much further, so that I can remove and replace the light?
2. What would the electrical specs of the power be (volts, amps, etc?)
3. What dimensions (of the hole) am I working with (minimum or maximum dimensions)?
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Last edited by DaHonDaHon; 02-16-2017 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Removed first pic (rectangular thing not popped out coz it's so big). I think the one remaining pic is enough.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

I've never seen that oem.

Pull the panel below steering wheel off (3 Phillips screws) then the two 10 mm bolts and you should have a easier time playing with that led.

Youll want ant to see what was installed anyway. Maybe you can buy a remote and pair it to the original system. Let me know if you need help with that
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

If you're replacing it with a camera cut the wire.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Use a small flat screwdriver and push down on the top clip. U can see it on the photo. There may be another on the bottom. It will pull out. Look like that LX version don't have power mirror. That's why that box is there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Your other questions about current and voltage can be answered by finding out what after market alarm you have installed and getting the schematics and installers manual for it.

That LED is part of an aftermarket alarm system.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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If you're replacing it with a camera cut the wire.
Thank you, Tony for your reply. I'm a real electronics/automobile noob: Can't you reuse the wire for the camera (or whatever will be replacing the LED)?
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

That led is anywhere 6-12v but only when system is armed and it will blink not stay powered meaning you'll get bursts of voltage.

You need to figure out what car security cam you want and I can help you with getting it installed.

Like we all said already it really is worth your time to take a few screws out and find out what the LED goes to. Whatever it is I can help use it or tell you how to remove it.

Im a installer and have yet to see anything that didn't run off of ignition or constant. Both 12v

both can can be found easily after removing 5 screws!



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Old 02-16-2017, 05:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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Thank you, Tony for your reply. I'm a real electronics/automobile noob: Can't you reuse the wire for the camera (or whatever will be replacing the LED)?
I don't think so. It won't provide enough power through it to power the camera and its only on when the alarm is armed. It is a cool idea but also look into fish eye lens to get better angling. Also place it near the center of the dash if you do decide to go fish eye.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:14 AM   #9
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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I don't think so. It won't provide enough power through it to power the camera and its only on when the alarm is armed. It is a cool idea but also look into fish eye lens to get better angling. Also place it near the center of the dash if you do decide to go fish eye.
Yes, good idea to go with 'fish eye lens'. I was thinking the same thing. Yes, if the camera was in the spot where the red LED is, it won't see a lot, especially considering that the steering wheel blocks a lot. I do plan on having something in the center: where the temperature control is... there's 2 sliders. My plan is to insert the camera inside one of those horizontal slots. The darkness will hopefully render it virtually invisible.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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That led is anywhere 6-12v but only when system is armed and it will blink not stay powered meaning you'll get bursts of voltage.
You need to figure out what car security cam you want and I can help you with getting it installed.
Like we all said already it really is worth your time to take a few screws out and find out what the LED goes to. Whatever it is I can help use it or tell you how to remove it.
Im a installer and have yet to see anything that didn't run off of ignition or constant. Both 12v
both can can be found easily after removing 5 screws!
Thank you Badcopyinc for the helpful text, the helpful photo and your kind offer of guidance. It's really much appreciated.

Yes, I plan on unscrewing the gray housing/dashboard this weekend. Then I can see about power specs for the LED, and what are other power options are.
As for what car security cam I want, here's what my thoughts are so far:
--I'd like to install regular cams (regular= records when there is light available) with wide angle (or even fish lens) that can see a lot.
--I'd like to install no-glow IR to work in conjunction with cameras that can see in pitch black (I have in mind something like no-glow infrared trail/game cameras). The trouble happens, I suspect at night.
--If possible, I'd like the cameras to start recording once one of the two front doors open. Since the interior cabin light (overhead, on center of roof) can be put into "Turn on when door is ajar", we can somehow connect the cameras and IR LEDs to work in conjuncition with opening of door. So the opening of the door will trigger the turning on of cameras and IR LEDs and whatever else (maybe mic also) for 30 minutes from time of door-open. (I believe the problem takes no longer than 30 minutes). If possible, it would also be nice for the cameras to capture just one minute before the door opens (but I guess this means an always-on recording.
--As tony_2018 (he must be preparing for a House of Representative campaign!) kindly and wisely suggests, have cameras in good spots.... in spots that aren't blocked by, for example the steering wheel. My idea (as I replied to tony) is inside the horizontal slots where you can control heat-cold spectrum temperature or power of fan (Off, 1, 2, 3, 4). I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

If I was going to hide one it would be behind the clock.

the systems I install into the FBI and local law enforcement vehicles do all you're asking for minus the camera being hidden and no glow IR.

Triggering the camera or multiple devices when dome light is triggered is not difficult. Or shock sensor or radar sensor (best option)

if you're doing all this you should go with a security system. Possibly with a smart start type setup so if the vehicle was stolen you'd be able to track or shut down the car.

Or or a proximity keyless aka passive keyless so it won't run without your rfid tag
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Yeah I think the clock is perfect
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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If I was going to hide one it would be behind the clock.
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Originally Posted by tony_2018 View Post
Yeah I think the clock is perfect
Tony & BadCopy, thanks for the suggestion. As you two do, is it safe to assume that the glass/plastic that faces the car's cabin would hide the camera in plain sight? In other words, would the clock be so dark behind the glass/plastic that it's virtually invisible (unless, perhaps, you shine a flashlight at the clock)?

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Triggering the camera or multiple devices when dome light is triggered is not difficult. Or shock sensor or radar sensor (best option)
Thank you for sharing these 2 other options. Does shock sensor work by a sudden shaking, such as when the door is closed shut, or when a person sits down onto the seat? Would it be sensitive enough to sense when the door is opened?
About radar sensor, I assume that it works like an eye and needs to "see" the movements? I'd love to hear more about how radar sensor works and how it's the best option.

Thank you, again, fellow Honda-Tech members, for sharing your helpful replies, answering questions that I ask, and even answering questions that I don't have the schema/foundation to ask.

Last edited by DaHonDaHon; 02-17-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Radar is in all the state police vehicles we do and we usually install custom triggers in hatches on them as well.

Basically if any door hood or trunk get opened while system is armed will trigger the alarm and any other device of your choice. If you have two way your keys will be paging you to tell you your alarm is going off. If you have smart start your phone will be alerting you as well.

the radar they get is invisible the sensors get mounted under carpet or behind a panel sometimes and it works more like sonar. Any hands reaching in open windows will trigger the alarm. For example cop parks cruiser at the 7-11 to get some donuts locks the car but leaves window down. Anyone reaching in the vehicle will trigger the alarm. Even without touching the car.


If you find out what you have installed in your car now you'll only need to connect to 3-4 wires at most to hook up the camera.

my coupe doesn't have a clock or I'd take mine apart and confirm a good place for camera. I'd replace the plastic with clear acrylic and tint it. Camera right beside the actual display.

But if you're invested to this you could also do something on the cluster/speedo. There's enough room below the tach gauge. It would just be visible while driving though


and the shock sensor depends on what brand of sensor. Most common is dei, at full sensitivity mounted correctly will go off will a light slap. I usually set mine half or three quarters
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:50 PM   #16
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Default pics, plans, clarification

Here are pics I've taken before I created this thread: .pre-dashboard-removal_pics (imgur)

badcopy, when I remove the dashboard/gray_housing, here's what I plan to do:
  • See what the red LED is connected to
  • Take a photograph of the clock and plastic in front of it (might be harder to accomplish)

Based on this pic: Page with dashboard removal diagram (imgur), the clock's housing is different than the LED's housing. I'll have a lot of removing to do.
Am I also looking for other info? Should I take photographs of other parts? I ask coz I just want to make sure that we get all the info/pics we need in one swoop. Do I need to take a pic of all the

P.S. A note of clarification: Not needing theft protection, whether in the form of an alarm or immobilization. Also, not needing to be notified real-time of any happenings.

I replaced my carpets with clear mats. I guess putting sonars under clear mats won't work.

badcopy, my thought process may be missing important bits of info... is sonar necessary, if having a sensor that can detect the door opening is sufficient? The happenings don't include hands reaching into open windows.

Last edited by DaHonDaHon; 02-17-2017 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:10 PM   #17
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Default where I need (and don't greatly need) eyes

Hi all. Just wanting to add that one particular area I need eyes on are the front passenger seat area. By that I mean:
  • Seat itself (the things placed on the ”shotgun” seat)
  • Floor area in front of shotgun seat

I don't have a huge need for eyes on the rear seat area.

I thought I could place an eye inside the hole where the windshield wiper lever is.

Last edited by DaHonDaHon; 02-17-2017 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:28 PM   #18
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Default placing an eye where windshield wiper lever is

I have been thinking about other places I could put eyes on. And one of the places is the hole where the windshield wiper lever is (right side of steering wheel).
Here are some upsides to this vantage point:
1. This will give a good view of shotgun-seat area (please see my preceding reply).
2. Easy to place eye
3. Hard to see. No one looks inside this hole. the steering wheel conveniently acts as a cover. In other words, both its seeing and its not being seen are good.

3 pics http://imgur.com/a/3dXRh

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Last edited by DaHonDaHon; 02-17-2017 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

I'm getting the feeling your goal is to covertly spy on someone else not as a theft deterrent.

That handle is packed with switches and wires.

you don't need sonar just to record someone. I was just explaining what it is. I was under the assumption this was to catch someone trying to steal from you.

Not wanting an alarm begs the question what exactly do you want to record. Because that changes a lot of things like how the device will be triggered and placement.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:48 PM   #20
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Default pics after I removed the three screws from lowest compartment

Here are pics after I removed the three screws from lowest compartment

https://imgur.com/a/JCEBl
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:44 PM   #21
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

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Originally Posted by Badcopyinc View Post
I'm getting the feeling your goal is to covertly spy on someone else not as a theft deterrent. .
yes, that's what I wrote 3 posts before .
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That handle is packed with switches and wires.
Does this mean we can't place anything in there?
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you don't need sonar just to record someone. I was just explaining what it is. I was under the assumption this was to catch someone trying to steal from you..
Catch on video, not live.
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Not wanting an alarm begs the question what exactly do you want to record. Because that changes a lot of things like how the device will be triggered and placement.
Please see my previous posts. There I say the place I want eyes on.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

I apologize for misunderstanding you. I should have read your posts better.

I would Place camera behind the clock for sure and maybe inside the hvac vents but that's risky. If light shines the right way the passenger might be able to see it. Anything in the cluster would show because it's illuminated from behind. The moving switches inside the wiper handle wouldn't work. Outside of that I can't come up with anything that would be completely hidden. Best bet is to try hvac vent and see if you notice them. That way you're not as restricted by size and will get most of what you're after. Mount your no glow ir in the same place as cameras.

Camera wise you probably want to get a system with a DVR. Dsecctv offer a hidden camera system with dvr and it reads like it includes ir motion detection as well. Killing your need for anything but a modded USB cigarette lighter adapter and the USB cables to any system of your choice because they would charge while the car is on as well as being completely hidden. And the ir would record the moment it detected motion inside the car. Only thing you have to worry about is placement and how you're going to retrieve the footage? Hence me suggesting a dvr system that could be mounted in the trunk and video retrieval is as easy as pulling back the cover on either side of trunk wheel well covers and removing the media.



As for your photos with cover off. The very first one looks like there is a keyless or remote start module leading off the top left corner of the fuse block. Take photos of that if you're interested in finding out what's installed.

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Old 02-18-2017, 09:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

Badcopy, thank you for reviewing my posts.

Knee bolster
After I removed the lower dashboard cover, i tried to find the knee bolster (Step 4 in http://i.imgur.com/Snl31wQ.jpg). Maybe I'm blind, but I don't think I saw it. Or if I did, I didn't realize I was staring at it. When you browse the the "lower dashboard cover removed" album (I removed the three screws - Album on Imgur), do you see the knee bolster? Maybe my used Civic didn't come with a knee bolster?

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The moving switches inside the wiper handle wouldn't work.
If I understand you correctly... you're saying that the movement of the lever is what prevents us from placing our objects in there. Can't we simply place our objects out of range of the moving parts? I thought we can secure them against the gray steering column housing. I really like that angle, because I need eyes that can see what happens at the foot and seat level area of the front right seat.

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Outside of that I can't come up with anything that would be completely hidden.
Can we use the space where the front speakers are? I don’t mind removing the speakers if space is an issue (I don’t play audio in the Civic.) Again, like the space that contains the windshield-wiper lever, the speakers have a great viewing angle.


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Camera wise you probably want to get a system with a DVR. Dsecctv offer a hidden camera system with dvr and it reads like it includes ir motion detection as well.
Yes, I would need a digital video recorder.
Were you referring to this (http://www.dsecctv.com/Prod_telecame...stratore.htm)? I prefer not to get a system powered by a portable battery. My preference is for the power to come from the car battery.

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Killing your need for anything but a modded USB cigarette lighter adapter and the USB cables to any system of your choice because they would charge while the car is on as well as being completely hidden.
What modification would this USB cig lighter have? And what would this object look like? You said it would be “completely hidden”? How exactly is it hidden? Anything connected to the cigarette lighter would be very obvious, no?

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And the ir would record the moment it detected motion inside the car.
I can set the interior/cabin light (like here https://i.ytimg.com/vi/FEhi8l2yj9s/maxresdefault.jpg) to turn on only when a door is ajar. Rather than having IR detect motion, couldn't we somehow connect all our objects to whatever it is that turns on that interior light?
Quote:
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Only thing you have to worry about is placement and how you're going to retrieve the footage? Hence me suggesting a dvr system that could be mounted in the trunk and video retrieval is as easy as pulling back the cover on either side of trunk wheel well covers and removing the media.
Unfortunately, the trunk is being breached as well as the car's main cabin. Plus, the sturdy cut-out plyboard (not sure what you call that wooden thingie) that separated the wheel well from what's on top is not there. In other words, if you open the trunk, you'll see the spare tire right away. So storing the DVR or any other object in the trunk won't work.

My initial thoughts on retrieving the video files are:
Storing the media (e.g. microSD card) behind the lower dashboard cover, or behind some housing. Yes, it will take me some time to unscrew/unbolt, but this way it's completely out of sight and reach. Taking out 3 screws will take me just one minute, and putting it back will take me just another minute.
Or, have the DVR with storage (e.g. microSD) transmit a hidden wifi signal. I envision the wifi to only work when the car is running. With my laptop near or in the car, I could upload the videos onto my computer. Because the wifi signal is hidden, no one will be able to see the wifi ID on their smartphone/tablet/computer unless they know the wifi ID. (This wifi idea may be overkill, but it is a bit more convenient than removing housing.)


Quote:
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As for your photos with cover off. The very first one looks like there is a keyless or remote start module leading off the top left corner of the fuse block. Take photos of that if you're interested in finding out what's installed.
Hmmm... okay, I’ll try to move away the wiring so that I can take an unobstructed photo of that black box. (But, just to let you know, i’m not interested in using a keyless or remote start module.)
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:17 AM   #24
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Default Re: Replacing security light with mini camera [1995 LX]

If your not interested in the box that leave it be. No worries for photos.

Behind speaker grills in doors are easy.

I meant on the side in the trunk not on the floor. but underneath the dash anywhere is fine.

In order to use the wiper switch you would need to take all the guts out and lose all functionality possibly.

Behind center console floor is another possible area where you'll see passenger footwell.

Modded cig lighter is basically a cig lighter tapped into the wires leading to cig lighter supplying you with 12v while car is running charging your batteries. You'll always have power available. Cheap and efficient.

every satellite install I do is the same concept I crack open sirrus sat cig lighter connect red wire and black wire to the adapter and attach those to wires leading to cig lighter. That way it's never plugged into cig lighter. Never seen and working perfectly

if your device has a trigger wire than setting it to dome light is easy. I wouldn't concern myself with the car side as much as what system you have. That will define how the install will go.

Get that and then we can go over details a lot better. Battery power or 12v are easy so don't stress that. You know possible locations for cams so take some time dismantle the car get measurements and move forward from there
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