Cheap Backup Camera Mod!

I have been puttering along with my crappy old black and white backup camera for quite a while now! The picture comes and goes, and if I bang it enough, it might work 🙂 Well last week I finally had enough!

So as usual, I hit the computer and brought up Amazon’s website. I shop exclusively with Amazon for two reasons: 1) All Prime purchases are protected and cost nothing if you return them. 2) I can get my orders even if I’m on the road shipped to a campground or truck stop in route.

So after reading all of the reviews on about 15 different systems, this is the one I chose:

  • Backup Monitor: 7 inch TFT LCD widescreen with high resolution, full color, PAL/NTSC auto, 2 video inputs. Switch picture by V1/V2 button or remote control. Come with remote control and stand.
  • 2 Rearview Camera: Depend on your needs, you can adjust install camera location. Switch picture by V1/V2 button or remote control. Rear view camera: IP68 waterproof, with reversing line,18 individual Infrared (IR) LED night vision support 30ft (max).
  • The Monitor and Camera gives a bright and stable reversing image during driving full time.
  • Advantage and Wide Range of Applications: DC 12V-35V power input, more safe, fit most of large vehicles, such as RV, truck, trailer, bus, motorhome, caravan and campers

 

Excuse the Chinglish wording in the ad! 🙂 The directions are worthless as well.

Amazon Prime Product Link – Camecho 12V 24V Vehicle Backup Camera System – $86.99

So, I was really excited to get this fixed, since I have a scooter on a trailer hitch that I like to keep an eye on while driving. I got right to it and unscrewed the dashboard cover! This is the old clunky system I took out:

What I found really interesting was, I could still buy this system from a few RV stores online! The price? A whopping $650! No thank you! But I’m sure there are plenty of RV owners who will bring their coach into the shop and just say, “fix it.”

So once I got the old system out, I started wiring up the new one.

 

This is the old duplex shielded cable that was hard wired into the coach. This cable is way better than the crappy RCA cables that came with the unit so I decided to repurpose it.

I cut off these connectors at both ends and found four wires inside. Red and black which is obviously power and two whites which is video. The two whites are exactly the same, so I had to setup the system temporarily to see which was positive and negative.

This is the backup cam wiring with the ends cut off to determine which wires were which:

Since a picture is worth a thousand words and I’m kind of long winded to begin with 🙂 These are wires I was working with. Power and video on the right to the rear camera, and power to the monitor on the left.

Oh, by the way, the camera housing was in terrible shape! The fiberglass was cracking and there were two large cracks all the way through, though it was still dry inside… dirty, but dry.

One thing I was very happy about was, I was able to repurpose the camera bracket! The two cameras were almost identical in size! I did have to clean all the dirt off and remove the original weather stripping from the housing. After that I patched all the cracks and shot some white gloss plastic paint on it. I’m no painter, but it came out okay.

So once I had all the wires identified and labeled, I went about permanently attaching them with crimp connectors. I then screwed in the base for the monitor to the dash and snapped the monitor into it. The monitor is removable by pressing a button and unplugging one wire. Behind the dash I wired the second camera wiring, though I’m not using it as of now. I might install the second camera on the passenger side mirror later on. This is the final product:

The camera has nice color, though you really can’t see it in the photo. It took some time to adjust the camera to the right spot. I wanted the end of the red lines to be exactly where the end of my motorcycle rack is. In this photo, is is absolutely perfect!

Total project time: two hours
Total project cost: Less than $90.00
Amazon Prime Product Link – Camecho 12V 24V Vehicle Backup Camera System – $86.99

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