This album illustrates the installation of a Valentine One radar detector in my 1999 Mazda Miata. I used a hardwired install to eliminate obvious cabling and the use of a cigarette adapter. I also installed a remote display to relocate the warning signals to my gauge cluster.
- Miata (NB - 1999+) - Valentine One Radar Locator - Windshield Mount - Direct-Wire Power Adapter Kit - Zip Ties - Velcro - Remote Display (optional) - RJ-11 Phone Cords
- Phillips Screwdriver - Pliers
A preview of where this is all going. Note the detector above the rear-view mirror and the remote display between the speedo and tach.
In order to avoid using the cigarette lighter adapter to power the V1 we want to hardwire the power connection to a switched +12 volt DC power source.
Remove the fuse box cover by grabbing the door and pulling out and up.
The fuse box shows most of the available circuits for the interior - the great thing is that they all run through this box so you can easily tap into the one you want. I choose to use the 20A "Cigar" circuit, which powers the cigarette lighter. This is the circuit Mazda designated for accesories, if you tap into another system and screw up you risk blowing the fuse on something you need at the most inopportune time, e.g. headlights. You can use any of the other circuits if you wish so long as they power up only when the ignition is on (assuming you only want your V1 on while the car is running).
Remove the fuse box by unscrewing the two phillips head screws on the left side.
The fuse box has been detached and is hanging with the fuses facing down. We now need to tap into the cigar wire using a "vampire" inline wire tap. The cigar wire is solid yellow and emerges from directly behind the corresponding fuse on the front.
Using a pair of pliers close the tap around the yellow cigar wire.
Now we need to attach the positive (red) feed from the V1 direct-wire adapter to our vampire tap.
Insert the spade connector from the direct-wire adapter into the side of the vampire tap. Make sure it seats fully, I had to pull back the rubber cover on the spade connector then work it over the vampire tap after seating.
To make a complete circuit the black wire on the direct-wire adapter must be grounded. Anything metal in the cabin will work, I used one of the screws that holds the fuse box.
Attach the ground connector under a screw. Reattach the fuse box using the two phillips screws.
Using velcro secure the direct-wire connector somewhere under the dash. I stuck mine just under the fuse box with the two outlets facing forward so I could access them through the fuse box door.
Now we need to route the power cable from the adapter up above the windshield to connect to the detector. I would recommend mounting the detector and attaching the power cord to ensure you have adequate slack. It is easy to tuck the cable under the weather stripping in the windshield header, then down the a-pillar and behind the dash. I didn't need to pull off any hard trim and the only exposed cable is where it jumps the top latch and where it comes out to connect to the detector.
Connect the power cable and route from detector to adapter.
The miata windshield is so close to the driver it is very easy to see and operate the V1 from the base unit, but the remote display provides a little more stealth, particularly at night, since the base unit no longer lights up when the remote is connected. I used some velcro to stick the remote display above the steering column between the tach and speedo, then routed the cable down to the adapter. I don't really like how it looks or that it blocks the odometer, so I'm considering replacing the airbag switch panel with a combination V1 / Audio Aux-In / MP3-Player Power combination panel. I'll update this when and if that gets done.
Mount remote display and connect cable to direct-wire adapter.