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Back-up / Reverse Monitor

techboj

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July 19, 2005
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City, State
Surrey, BC Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Sport + 06 EB
My 99 sport used to have a 7-inch DVD monitor on a homemade housing right under the radio bezel. I have used it for several years but the cheap myron-davis player eventually failed. Since the model is no longer being made and I really have very little use for it, I decided to do something else.



I've always wanted a reversing monitor to help me in backing up or when hitching to a trailer ball. They were previously an expensive add-on but now you can get one for under $100 including the camera. I got one from a local Canadian Costco for about $50 on sale.

Most aftermarket reversing cameras are wireless and uses bluetooth technology. While this is generally good and simplifies installation to a certain degree, it does offer some disadvantages. 1. Some parking lots have wireless cameras running off the same 2.4Ghz frequency - I've seen aftermarket reverse cameras pickup these signals instead of what your actual camera is transmitting. 2. Since there is a new legislation in BC (Canada) against operating a mobile phone whilst in the car without handsfree, I have a bluetooth wireless module installed for my phone that conflicts with the wireless reverse cameras.

Anyway, the video monitor is a small unit with a 3.5 inch screen. It comes with various adapters so you can install in in-dash, suction cup, on the windshield or vent clips. None of these options appealed to me. I wanted a more oem / integrated look.



I remembered I had a non-working 2nd gen computer / trip console. I dismantled the screen and removed everything inside and placed the new aftermarket video screen behind it. After adjusting the viewing angle, I recured everything and wired the video screen and camera as instructed in the included diagram. The other good thing with this monitor is that it has instructions on how to hardwire it instead of using wireless. The usual bluetooth signal is good for about 30 feet which is longer than most vehicles but the wired option provides additional flexibility if you want to install the camera in a towed vehicle (such as a trailer, camper). Furthermore, the wired option prevents the interference on and from bluetooth and 2.4Ghz equipment. The wired option simply utilized a long stereo patch cable (similar to the cable used to connect your mp3 player to a stereo jack, except its 20 feet long



Photo above show the oem-looking trip computer installed in a 99 sport. Contrast, brightness and orientation only need to be set once. The camera generally remembers the settings unless you disconnect the main battery. If there is a need for adjustment, notice the small "pin-holes" I made on the screen





Photo above shows the image as displayed by the rear view camera

Wiring of the camera itself was simple. The camera itself receives it's trigger from the reverse lights. I had to run a small gauge wire from the positive of the reverse light to the designated wire on the camera. Another wire was for ground and the the wired option plugs into a jack that looks like a standard stereo port. Run this cable towards the center console and plug it into the monitor. No additional wires are needed to power the monitor. The monitor automatically powers up when the vehicle is shifted to reverse



Current location of the camera is below the bumper and above the hitch. My intention was to make the camera not visible (as opposed to having is slapped on the license plate). The problem with this is that the spot between the bumper and the hitch gets mucked up with snow and dirt during winter. This summer I will move it to the rear center trim (the one with the ford logo) above the license plate. I'm also planning on changing the switches on the computer to more functional accessory switches (more lights, etc)
 


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Carguy3J

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North East New Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
Cool.
What about leaving the camera where it is, and just making some sort of shield (plexi?) to keep the mud/snow/etc.. off it?
 




briwayjones

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Maryland, USA
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Eldersburg, MD
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Ford Explorer XLS
Thanks.

I was looking at your X = I wish I had a manual too !!

I think there's a swap to manual in your future. :D

I like the idea of moving it up higher to behind the trim piece or somewhere. It would be at a better angle to see things and what's going on.
 




corkey

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Sioux Narrows Canada
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Elite Canuck,multiple ifs offender,, and musky maniac,, i wheel and i fish,,
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 xls,96 xl,91,08 Ranger
don't put it up exposed to a possible smashing by the trailer tongue, , i am on camera #2 for that reason,,
 




617ricky

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City, State
Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
Pretty cool. I'd love something like this in mine.. What would be even cooler is if the screen toggled between that and a GPS - is that even possible?
 




Eagleisx

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City, State
Brantford,Ontario,
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Eddie Bauer 4x4 expl
Rear Camers

I have the same system, i purchased mine fron Canadian Tire,it is the cats ass,really good when zombies are walking behind your truck.
 




techboj

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City, State
Surrey, BC Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Sport + 06 EB
Pretty cool. I'd love something like this in mine.. What would be even cooler is if the screen toggled between that and a GPS - is that even possible?

I've seen it done but it depends on your existing equipment. The video monitor that came with my kit allows for video in - and I've been able to feed it signal from an ipod video without any issues. Without completely reworking everything and keeping the connections simple, the GPS should support video out as well. The problem with this is that you would lose the touchscreen interface on navigation (unless you keep the GPS - although that would be redundant). The next issue is location. The lower console area seems too low for a GPS screen location so having the display there would be awkward. Most portable GPS also have a 3.5-4.5" screen. The backup camera monitor also has a 3.5" screen so it's not going to be an improvement

The last consideration is the cost. If you do not have an existing GPS and backup camera system then that should set you back about $300. For a few $$ more I was able to set up an Pioneer AvicD3. It had DVD based GPS navigation, DVD movie playback, automatic switching backup camera and full Ipod interface control (it even has full bluetooth but it needs an expensive additional module so I didnt install that).

So to answer your question - yes its possibly doable. But the resulting product may not be worth your cost and time
 




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