We got MX-5 RF

Recently we acquired 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF (Launch Edition). On the first day of owning it, I added my favorite gadgets:

These four are the simplest and most practical updates.

Next was lighting upgrades:

A week after I decided to add my electronic gadgets:

The previous owner already installed the CarPlay hub and SmartTop module, but no backup camera. Visibility in this car is not great and I think the backup camera is very essential. For the experiment, I ordered from Amazon a low-cost camera with dynamic guiding lines. To install this camera I need to drill just one small hole (8mm) and attach the camera with the provided 3M tape. It is possible to use a special nut for securing, but I lost it during the installation process.

The camera has a small round 4 pin connector, which makes cable routing very easy. Using a 15″ extension cable with the same round connectors I routed the cable to the CMU. I don’t want to use an extra harness just for the camera, so I soldered female terminals to the 2 power wires and 2 for video and inserted them into the 28 pin connector (main car harness). Camera by spec designed for 12V power, CMU unit provides 6V and it is not an issue, because the camera itself needs just 3.3V. Everything works fine with 6V power.

Guiding lines are simulated, the camera has an integrated gyroscope. I don’t think it is very practical but looks cool.

Installed trunk lid liner, which I designed three years ago for the MX-5 ST. Apparently, the RF trunk opening is a little smaller, so I need to trim it a little bit to make it fit better for RF. Picture shown ST version with RF.

I did a lot more modifications during this year. Here is the list:

  1. Kenstyle steering wheel.
  2. Installed BlackVue 750X dashcam with my short cable.
  3. Installed quick battery disconnect switch. Very handy for testing electronics.
  4. Windows controller, solved the problem with the gap when operating with the roof.
  5. Roof controller with key fob control. This is one of my favorite improvements. I found it is much easier to go in and out of the car when the roof is down and close/open it by remote while walking away or approaching the car.
  6. Cobalt exhaust, but probably will replace with OEM again. It makes driving on freeways less pleasant.
  7. The most recent upgrade is the digital speedometer.