Reversing Camera

You can get cheap cheerful versions with RCA connectors or more durable versions, I’ve gone for a cheap cheerful option with 2 cameras and a 7″ screen… I’ll add updates on fitting it and testing it.

2*IR Reverse Camera + 7″ LCD Monitor Car Rear View Kit for Bus Truck

After reversing into a Mercedes I decided that it was time I fitted the camera I had already bought!

I bought two IR cameras and a 7″ screen from eBay for about £40, I could have got one camera on its own but this was before I decided to replace the stereo / head-unit in the front of the van and it was only £5 extra for the second camera.

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This is how it ended up! I wired it all up with the screen at the back of the van to work out the best position for the camera. I then cut off all the connectors for the camera and got the smallest cable grommet that could fit the camera cable through.

Note: I think they are called cable grommets! I’ll find the proper name and update the page later! The thing I am on about is the white plastic thing shown in the image above. They allow you to create a waterproof point to pass a cable through something, like a van door! You drill a hole big enough for the grommet, glue the grommet in place with sikaflex or something like that, pass the cable through the grommet and then screw the grommet tight and a rubber tube in the grommet clamps down on the cable making it water tight.

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I then stripped the cable ends and tested it again with croc clips to ensure I hadn’t made any mistakes and I had the wire connections correct.

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I then cut a big bit of black heat shrink to cover all of the individual connections once I had done them. I then soldered and heatshrunk (heatshrunk… is that a word? You know what I mean!) each of the 5 individual connections, as shown above.

Once I was happy that all of this was working and I hadn’t messed up with my soldering then it was time to attach the camera. This was fairly simple, it was just; cleaning the door, drilling three holes for the camera bracket, coating the bracket in sikaflex (other flexible adhesive brands are available!) Sticking it on and then using rivets to attach the bracket before the sikaflex dried and then wipe off any sikaflex that was squeezed out before it dried.

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That is the camera mounted. Now to run the cables through some flexible trunking and make sure there is enough slack in the trunking to allow the back door to open wide.

The power and video cables were run through flexible trunking all the way down the passenger side and behind the trim on the passenger side to the dashboard. The power for the screen came from a feed I wired off the 12v cigar lighter socket and the power for the camera came from an aftermarket fuse board that BT had wired up before I bought the van. You could wire it off the same place but I would advise that you take the power for the camera from somewhere that is isolated by the ignition key! You don’t want to park up for a week and have the camera slowly trickle away the charge in your engine battery (as oppose to the leisure battery).

Update: Having used this now for a couple of weeks I’m kicking myself for not fitting this sooner! As well as saving me £350 for reversing into a Mercedes the camera is so good and clear! You couldn’t shoot a hi-def film on it but for knowing how close you are to the car/wall/tree/child behind you, it is brilliant!