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Post Info TOPIC: reversing camera advice


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reversing camera advice


Hi everyone, just joined grey nomads (though I feel like a charlatan as I am bald .... no grey at all!!).  I am neither a technical person or very handy, so I lose out on all counts.  I need advice please.  I very recently purchased a 2nd hand Jayco Outback, 2021 model.  It has a Sphere BTM7100S caravan reversing camera.  Are these any good?  I need to get my care wired for it.  The alternative is to go to something like a Furion wireless system.  My question then is, how does the Furion camera get power and can it be used as a rear vision while driving.  So confused!!  Any help appreciated.  thank you.  Geoff  



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Do you need one?

My Snowy River SR-19 came with one factory fitted to the van but its display unit is still in the original, unopened, box and will not be fitted.

It's all very much a personal preference of course but I prefer to get out of the car and walk around the van in order to get a mental image of the landscape. In reality I don't reverse the van that often that I feel a camera would be worth the hassle of fitting and having another display to site in the car.



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I have a caravan camera and I'm very happy with it. It allows me to see the car's right on my bumper.



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Welcome to GN's Geoff, Don't know about the specific brands of camera units - They are not (by Law) allowed to be used as a rear view whilst driving - Learning how to best utilise side (wing) mirrors is the best option, practice and more practice is the way to go.

I, like Mike believe camera to be next to useless. They could be of assistance when fitted to tug to assist in correct alignment of tow ball to hitch.

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I have twin cameras on the back (one 120 degree wide angle for reversing and one 45 degree narrow angle for rear vision). The display sits on the dashboard and I select which I want. The reversing camera does not get much use. Occasionally I use it to check how close I am getting to the end of the site. Also comes in handy when parking on the street, and reversing up to a parked car.

But I find the rear vision invaluable, maybe because I am interested to know if there is a queue behind, or whatever. On the multi lane roads it helps to be fully aware of everything behind. It's mounted up high so I get instant perspective. When there is a bend in the road, mirrors alone are more likely to have blind spots.

To GeoffSB, I suggest to find out the specs of what you have. It may be a rear vision camera.



-- Edited by Are We Lost on Wednesday 16th of February 2022 11:15:47 AM

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Are We Lost
Where did you get a 45 degree narrow angle camera from?
I've been after similar for years.

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I dont have that brand Geoff but I have a Safety Dave system which I had hard wired with the cable coming out of the windscreen pillar on the drivers side. Its easy to connect and disconnect the monitor which sits on the dash and is anchored to the windscreen with a suction cap. I dont use it to see when reversing the van I use the wing mirrors but as my wife is standing near the back the sound comes through the microphone so I can hear her directions as well as see hand signals. On the road my mirrors are the main way of seeing whats behind me the camera is an extra that can sometimes add to the picture..I find when it rains the spray makes the vans rear camera pretty much useless anyway.

BB

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Possum 3 i am not sure its against the law to use a review camera whilst driving i was under the impression you couldnt replace your mirror with a camera i also heard some trucks dont have mirrors now instead use cameras and monitor. My ute has a canopy giving me very little vision directly behind so i use a rear view cam as well as the fitted side mirrors same with my van can i be fined for having these cameras fitted ??

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I also have the Safety Dave camera, which is on constantly whilst driving. It is a rear vision camera, not necessarily reversing camera only.

I find it better than side mirrors (convex ones) as you can see a lot further into the distance and see vehicles right behind the van as well.

The passenger seat driver also tells me what's behind the van...........smile

Geoff, get it hard wired, easy to hook up when doing the 7/12 pin plug, Anderson plug, safety chains etc, and remove the screen when not towing as BB said.

Cheers Bob



-- Edited by Bobdown on Wednesday 16th of February 2022 05:43:15 PM

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bowiebd wrote:

Are We Lost
Where did you get a 45 degree narrow angle camera from?
I've been after similar for years.


 This is the dual camera unit I have.

 



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boab wrote:

Possum 3 i am not sure its against the law to use a review camera whilst driving i was under the impression you couldnt replace your mirror with a camera i also heard some trucks dont have mirrors now instead use cameras and monitor. My ute has a canopy giving me very little vision directly behind so i use a rear view cam as well as the fitted side mirrors same with my van can i be fined for having these cameras fitted ??


 Yes. My impression was that one MUST have the rear view side mirrors but one could ALSO have rear view cameras. Cameras shouldn't replace to mirrors.



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I don't know your camera brand but if it was fitted by Jayco it should be of good quality.

I suggest get an Auto-Elec to fit wiring to Tug if you are not DIY confident.

I find my Den camera useful when traveling and reversing and would not be without one.

But each his own.



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my caravan has a camera but the seller kept the monitor. i found out that the connector wasn't standard/interchangeable and that i'd have to buy a whole kit of camera and monitor to just get the monitor. i was going to replace both with another brand which was interchangeable/able to replace parts. lucky i hadn't got around to it yet because i'm changing vans.
i'd just check that your unit can hook up to other monitors and then go for it, wire up for a decent monitor. if you find it not up to snuff you could change the camera.
as for wireless, i've read they can get interference/connection issues, but i've also read posts where people are happy. personally, i wouldn't want to spend lots of money and then find issues so i'll be sticking to wired.

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The most useful thing I have discovered recently is to place a marker ( witches hat or similar) at the RIGHT entrance to your intended parking spot for the van. You can use your reversing camera and right wing mirror to make the reversing process easier . No shouting anymore from the missus or tittering from those parked up and drinking under their awnings
Got the tip from a podcast on the other viewer of the Grey Nomads
Phil

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Buzz Lightbulb wrote:

I have a caravan camera and I'm very happy with it. It allows me to see the car's right on my bumper.


 Now you just need to fit a push-button that turns on the stop lights of the caravan.

As they get up to the van press the button.

When I lived in Norway I had a salesman friend whom travelled a lot and had one fitted to make the tailgaters back off. One day we were driving along a road with crests about a km apart when a wise-guy deleted in rushing up behind us about 3/4 way up the hill. So he pressed the button and the stoplight came on and the wise-guy stamped on his brakes. Wrong place wrong time, winter in Norway, locked up all four wheels and off the road into a paddock.



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Are We Lost wrote:

I have twin cameras on the back (one 120 degree wide angle for reversing and one 45 degree narrow angle for rear vision). The display sits on the dashboard and I select which I want. The reversing camera does not get much use. Occasionally I use it to check how close I am getting to the end of the site. Also comes in handy when parking on the street, and reversing up to a parked car.

But I find the rear vision invaluable, maybe because I am interested to know if there is a queue behind, or whatever. On the multi lane roads it helps to be fully aware of everything behind. It's mounted up high so I get instant perspective. When there is a bend in the road, mirrors alone are more likely to have blind spots.

To GeoffSB, I suggest to find out the specs of what you have. It may be a rear vision camera.



-- Edited by Are We Lost on Wednesday 16th of February 2022 11:15:47 AM


 I also have the twin cameras (Safety Dave) on my caravan and find them to be very good, particularly the 45 degree narrow angle for watching the road behind as a supplement to the extended rear vision mirrors. By law, you need a clear view of the side of the van, which standard tug mirrors normally would not see (assuming that the tug is much narrower than the van). The only time that I have trouble seeing through the camera is when it is raining and water collects on the lens. That is another reason to rely on mirrors. Oh and the resolution of the small screen could probably be better. I've had my system for five years although I replaced the original single camera for the present dual cameras.

If retro-fitting cameras to an older van, you need to be careful of the routing of the cable(s). I was lucky enough to be able to visit my caravan when it was being built and took photographs of the framework and positions of all wiring so that if retro-fitting anything, I could avoid damaging wiring and fasten things securely on to the frame. This precaution has worked well for me a couple of times; particularly when running a second camera cable the length of the van.



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jegog wrote:
Buzz Lightbulb wrote:

I have a caravan camera and I'm very happy with it. It allows me to see the car's right on my bumper.


 Now you just need to fit a push-button that turns on the stop lights of the caravan.

As they get up to the van press the button.

When I lived in Norway I had a salesman friend whom travelled a lot and had one fitted to make the tailgaters back off. One day we were driving along a road with crests about a km apart when a wise-guy deleted in rushing up behind us about 3/4 way up the hill. So he pressed the button and the stoplight came on and the wise-guy stamped on his brakes. Wrong place wrong time, winter in Norway, locked up all four wheels and off the road into a paddock.


 Or turn your tail lights on.



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I think rear, side and front cameras should be compulsory on all trucks. Have you seen those ads which indicate that truck drivers can see almost nothing on any side of their truck so its up to you to keep out of their way? I would feel a lot safer if all trucks had cameras and radar sensors on all sides. I think rear cameras on caravans can provide useful information on the number of cars building up behind you and anyone tailgating you, so are useful.



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I've driven a lot of miles in trucks, interstate and local, including triple road trains. In fact the longer the combination the better as it tends to slow the impatient stupid drivers from trying to overtake when it is dangerous to do so....it gives the truck driver half a chance of seeing the car and taking action if possible to avoid them

As far as fitting cameras to trucks, some do, the cost is a factor. Those that do fit them, usually facing forward or down the sides from the mirrors, is not so much so they can spend time looking at several screens in the cab as well as the road and in the mirrors, but to record what really happened when a car driver complains that the truck "hit" them.

I have lost count of the times car drivers have tried to overtake me when there is really no room to do so...this is very common where lanes merge. The truck just can't stop on a zac or even pull off the road to avoid collision as they could roll over when driving on a soft verge. They too may not have even seen the car until too late.

What happens as a rule, is the car drivers accelerate to get past the truck before it has to move across and just doesn't make it in time. Then the car driver blames the truck driver, tells his insurer that the truck just pulled across without warning and hit them.

I know of truck drivers involved in these types of accidents where unfortunately the car driver has lost their life...the truck driver is not at fault.

If driving on a dual carriageway, and you are coming up beside a truck, don't sit in the lane next to the truck...ever. The driver does have a blind spot which is usually beside the cab and to about half way down the prime mover or body of the truck, the trucks mirrors are useless to that point. The truck driver cannot see you. You need to hang back just behind the truck, and overtake when safe, or if you have to be closer to the truck, make sure you are at least halfway past the front of the truck's cab so the driver can hopefully see you.

Though a larger truck, such as those pulling 2 - 3 trailers, if the truck is what they call conventional and not a cab over, the bonnet of the truck is often big enough that a smaller vehicle can be right in front of the truck but invisible to the truck driver, so if that car were to brake the truck driver wouldn't even know the car was there until he feels the impact...if he feels it at all. Remembering the truck trailer combinations can be in excess of 100 tonnes.

Bottom line, if you value your car or van, give the trucks room. I have to add that not all truck drivers are brilliant drivers either, you have to allow for the idiot truck drivers as well...

 

 



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Hitting the road wrote:

I've driven a lot of miles in trucks, interstate and local, including triple road trains. In fact the longer the combination the better as it tends to slow the impatient stupid drivers from trying to overtake when it is dangerous to do so....it gives the truck driver half a chance of seeing the car and taking action if possible to avoid them

As far as fitting cameras to trucks, some do, the cost is a factor. Those that do fit them, usually facing forward or down the sides from the mirrors, is not so much so they can spend time looking at several screens in the cab as well as the road and in the mirrors, but to record what really happened when a car driver complains that the truck "hit" them.

I have lost count of the times car drivers have tried to overtake me when there is really no room to do so...this is very common where lanes merge. The truck just can't stop on a zac or even pull off the road to avoid collision as they could roll over when driving on a soft verge. They too may not have even seen the car until too late.

What happens as a rule, is the car drivers accelerate to get past the truck before it has to move across and just doesn't make it in time. Then the car driver blames the truck driver, tells his insurer that the truck just pulled across without warning and hit them.

I know of truck drivers involved in these types of accidents where unfortunately the car driver has lost their life...the truck driver is not at fault.

If driving on a dual carriageway, and you are coming up beside a truck, don't sit in the lane next to the truck...ever. The driver does have a blind spot which is usually beside the cab and to about half way down the prime mover or body of the truck, the trucks mirrors are useless to that point. The truck driver cannot see you. You need to hang back just behind the truck, and overtake when safe, or if you have to be closer to the truck, make sure you are at least halfway past the front of the truck's cab so the driver can hopefully see you.

Though a larger truck, such as those pulling 2 - 3 trailers, if the truck is what they call conventional and not a cab over, the bonnet of the truck is often big enough that a smaller vehicle can be right in front of the truck but invisible to the truck driver, so if that car were to brake the truck driver wouldn't even know the car was there until he feels the impact...if he feels it at all. Remembering the truck trailer combinations can be in excess of 100 tonnes.

Bottom line, if you value your car or van, give the trucks room. I have to add that not all truck drivers are brilliant drivers either, you have to allow for the idiot truck drivers as well...


 Lots of very good advice here,Dean. As you suggest, the blind spot is the problem because, although your spotter mirrors tell you that there's a car in that spot,you can't see enough of that car to predict the driver's intentions. The picture I've included is a guide to show motorists where they should NOT drive if they wish to travel at the same speed as the truck. It's fine if a car passes through that spot when overtaking,or being overtaken, because the truck driver knows they're there, but if they remain in that spot they're sometimes hidden from the truck driver's view. As shown, the truck's mirrors give a wide field of vision down both sides of the trailer(s), with the field getting wider the longer the truck is. Cameras would be of little use. The fella behind doesn't matter, because the moment he moves left or right to overtake, the truck driver will see him, while getting in front of the truck without being seen also would be difficult. The bonnet of my truck is over 2.5 metres high, and I can see nothing in front for quite some distance from the bullbar, but I know if a car is there as I've seen it come up the side of the truck before it disappears from my view. If it doesn't reappear in the lane it was in, it's either slowed down or it's ducked in front of me! The usual warning in the back of trucks is "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you". Whilst this is not entirely true, it is a timely warning to motorists! As you suggest, truckies have enough to contend with while driving a 53 metre long vehicle weighing well over 100 ton without having to keep looking at various cameras. Hesitancy when overtaking trucks is a big problem, with cars sitting back although there is a mile of room to overtake, eventually deciding to "go", then when they're half way past, the driver realises there's no room left and they're then stuck in no-man's land. Nothing the truckie can do. Cheers

P.S Although I don't entirely agree with what this picture intends to show, it at least alerts motorists to the many dangers of "blind spots".

P.P.S Although it is the same model,this is NOT the actual truck that I drive, picture shows how the high bonnet hides cars immediately in front.

AC4EE9A8-A127-49AB-A816-70200B471D65.png

 

7DEA2AFB-6D73-4358-9475-B990BDA73D75.png

 

 



-- Edited by yobarr on Saturday 2nd of April 2022 05:52:21 AM

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I still think it is funny that car drivers have to ensure that they see what is in their blind spots by glancing out the windows but cars have to take responsibility to ensure that there is nothing in the truck drivers blind spots. We have been almost run off the road several times by buses and trucks. Why cant truck drivers take responsibility to ensure there is nothing in their blind spots? I dont like the thought of speeding past the truck in order to avoid its blind spot.



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Derek Barnes


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Derek Barnes wrote:

I still think it is funny that car drivers have to ensure that they see what is in their blind spots by glancing out the windows but cars have to take responsibility to ensure that there is nothing in the truck drivers blind spots. We have been almost run off the road several times by buses and trucks. Why cant truck drivers take responsibility to ensure there is nothing in their blind spots? I dont like the thought of speeding past the truck in order to avoid its blind spot.


 Derek,there is no need to "speed past the truck to avoid its blind spot". Simply maintain your approach speed and all is good. We see you approaching and we see you  when you've passed us. All is good. The problem drivers are the ones who get into the blind spot and then adjust their speed to match that of the truck. As far as you being concerned about being "almost run off the road several times by buses and trucks", now that you are aware of the problem you no doubt can look forward to being a better driver, and perhaps feeling a lot safer around trucks? Cheers



-- Edited by yobarr on Friday 1st of April 2022 08:12:38 PM

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There are copious YouTube videos of small vehicles being struck by trucks because of those vehicles being in the truck driver's blind spot. After watching some of those videos, I have taken the practice of trying to minimise my time in those blind spots. Years ago, on a construction site where I worked, another employee lost his life from a collision when he and his work motor scooter were in the blind spot of a concrete truck.

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I think the rule should be
"If you can't see the driver's face in their mirror then they can't see you and probably can't see your car".
Would a headlight flash when starting to overtake be useful or annoying.
When I first got my drivers licence the rule for overtaking was to first sound the warning device to notify the other driver that you intend to overtake them.
I think it was abandoned as too many were using it as a start signal for a race.


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Derek Barnes wrote:

I still think it is funny that car drivers have to ensure that they see what is in their blind spots by glancing out the windows but cars have to take responsibility to ensure that there is nothing in the truck drivers blind spots. We have been almost run off the road several times by buses and trucks. Why cant truck drivers take responsibility to ensure there is nothing in their blind spots? I dont like the thought of speeding past the truck in order to avoid its blind spot.


 Hi Derek. For some time I have been considering your post, and in addition to what I already have posted in reply I would like to include these photos to help you understand what we are talking about here. This shows that a vehicle in this spot is not visible to the truck driver, and he cannot "glance out the windows". The car cannot be seen from the driver's seat without a convex  mirror pointing straight down. My truck has 3 mirrors on each door, all set up differently to get the best view possible. Despite the vehicle having "Road Train" and "Do not overtake turning vehicle" signs displayed at the rear, regularly other drivers, usually young and perhaps inexperienced, try to sneak up alongside my trailers when I'm turning. Truckies can do only so much to compensate for the stupidity of others. Cheers

P.S Although they are the same model,neither of these trucks is the one I drive.

D78A06C0-8AEE-4D7F-9567-378E2318947C.png

 

6FEABF07-87CE-4ED5-BD8B-CE6B11B8ABF7.jpeg



-- Edited by yobarr on Saturday 2nd of April 2022 07:31:16 PM

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Excellent posts yobarr...many7 good points made. No truck driver ever wants to be involved in an accident...and definitely do not want anyone in any car to be hurt. All want to get home to loved ones safely and in one piece.

Drek Barnes wrote: "I still think it is funny that car drivers have to ensure that they see what is in their blind spots by glancing out the windows but cars have to take responsibility to ensure that there is nothing in the truck drivers blind spots. We have been almost run off the road several times by buses and trucks. Why cant truck drivers take responsibility to ensure there is nothing in their blind spots? I dont like the thought of speeding past the truck in order to avoid its blind spot."

Derek, if you have been "almost" run off the road several times by trucks and buses, with respect you need to think a little before trying to overtake or what ever you were doing when you have been "almost run off the road".

The reason they are called blind spots is because they are just that. On the driver side there isn't so much an issue for an alert heavy vehicle driver to spot a car alongside, but on the left side it can be impossible. That is why you do not put your car where it may be invisible to a driver.
Don't think for a minute the truck driver doesn't want to avoid a collision, but if he cannot see you the chances reduce.

Be aware too that a heavy vehicle combination can be thrown around by road dips, potholes and undulations. The roads in many places in this country are average to poor. A trailer behind a truck can easily move up a metre from side to side due to poor road surface...the more trailers the greater the potential movement...a car driver needs to be very aware of that. Maybe Derek you have tried to overtake on a bad stretch of road and the truck / trailer combination has been thrown around and caused you to be nearly run off the road?

Many car drivers wrongly think that due to the larger wheels and tyres on trucks the ride must be so much better than a car and easier to control. That is so far from the truth. A car soaks up the bumps and dips with ease, a large truck bounces and bangs along due to the weight carried, plus the tyres are really not very good at absorbing bumps and dips in the road surface.

My advice is to wait for an overtaking lane before trying to overtake if you are not confident, unless the truck is crawling of course and the road in front is clear. The truck driver will use the indicator generally to signal that it could be safe to pass. If you do...don't dawdle, but keep your speed to where you can handle the car safely.

And yes, a quick flash of the headlights to indicate intention is a good idea too...trucks drivers will usually flash headlights to another truck if they intend to overtake, though generally they will communicate via UHF of their intention.
I will always give a quick headlight flash to car caravan combo too if i am about to overtake them in a heavy vehicle.

This subject is one that could be discussed at great length as it is a safety issue...











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Should " bonneted trucks " be phased out then?. They have worse vision, take up more road as well.

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Craig1 wrote:

Should " bonneted trucks " be phased out then?. They have worse vision, take up more road as well.


Hi Craig.  We perhaps should instead phase out apparently blinkered drivers, who seem to have little spacial awareness, and comprehend nothing but that which is directly and immediately in front of them. Truckies generally know what is going on for dozens of metres behind them, 500 metres ahead of them, and over wide areas on both sides of their vehicles while the average car driver has no clue. And conventional (bonneted) trucks simply have a small cab primarily behind the engine, rather than a more roomy cab directly over the engine. Ride  better and are safer in an accident. Cheers



-- Edited by yobarr on Sunday 3rd of April 2022 08:33:46 PM

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I reckon I knew that, but just wanted you to confirm Chris.

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12V cameras fitting and wiring are simple and cheap.  Suppliers hide the facts and make enormous profits.

A $30 100° colour camera, $50 monitor with dual inputs, $35 for 2 x10m of reversing camera cable (at Jaycar), GX12 Aviation line plug and socket ($6 ebay), some light power cable and a few other connectors are all you really need.  Reversing camera cable is a 75 ohm co-axial cable, 50 ohm microphone cable plus a 12V wire in a single sheath with a GX12 plug at camera end, socket monitor end.

woza cable pinout.jpg

Running the all-in-one camera cable is the hardest part.  If passing the cable up the A pillar to the roof lining to come out at the rear mirror position disconnect the battery to avoid triggering any air bags.  Start with the pins socket end of cable 1 where the camera will be mounted at the rear of the caravan and run the cableto the tow hitch.  Start with the pins end of cable 2 poked out from the rear of your tow vehicle next to the trailer plug and run it to where the monitor will be mounted.  If you bought a camera and monitor with GX12 plugs/sockets you just need to splice into ignition power and the wiring is done.  Mount the camera and monitor and pull the cables in with cable ties.  If other plugs are used cut them off and solder the wires onto the GX12 plug/socket.

Or you can buy similar parts from Safety Dave for 3-5 times the cost.

There are at least 6 video systems that are used for car cameras !

The most common currently is analog composite colour video in NTSC (USA standard) or PAL format (EU & AU standard).  Most common monitors will accept either with auto switching (but check !).  Well proven and very cheap on ebay.  Avoid the Russian/French standard SECAM system.

Next are the various CCTV or surveillance systems, these all use the same cables but apply different voltages and frame rates.  Don't use these either.

Finally there are the direct digital system, USB cams and CCD direct.  USB is often used for 'crash cameras' while the CCD cameras allow stiching together the images from surrond cameras in the newer '360 degree view' systems.

Digital 360 degrees is the future, composite PAL is the current norm in Australia.

bye

 

 



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