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Old 08-06-2009, 08:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rear View camera install

After installing a Kenwood 5140 Nav unit (click here to read up on it)I started looking at reverse camera options. There's a ton of them on the market and next to no information on the quality of them. Price ranges from cheapo chinese $10 units to $2-300 for brand names like Pioneer and Kenwood. I suspect those are just rebranded chinese units at the end of the day.

After much research, hmming and hawing I decided to go midway and purchase a cheaper brand name. I purchased an Audiovox Roselsa camera off Ebay. Feature wise, I looked for a camera that had decent night vision. The whole reason for the exercise is my Forester has very dark tint and I can't see jack backing up in the dark.

Once I received the unit I had to decide where to mount it. I was originally going to mount it from the inside but someone who works with video told me that IR will reflect back on tint so outside mounting was the only option. This is a wired unit so I had to run the wires from the install point to where the cable from the head unit reaches the back. Thankfully they use a single cable to house the video signal , power and ground. Beware, some of the Chinese cams have seperate cables right from the camera which makes for a messy install.

Install locations: My options were under the spoiler, on the licence plate or under the bumper. I didn't want to drill into the spoiler and since it snows here I didn't think under the bumper was a good idea so on the plate it went. I removed the plate, used the base of the camera mount as a template and drilled 3 holes. Attached the base, then camera and reinstalled.










Since the camera is mounted on the outside you have to get all the wires routed to the inside. Its not as easy as it first sounds. There are two issues: 1) Getting the wires into the car from outside and 2) Routing the wires from the hatch which is seperate from the body of the car. What I did was route the wire from the rear plate up under the trim plate which resides below the rear window. See the pic above for detail.

To accomplish this you need to remove the trim plate on the outside + the trim on the rear hatch. Both are easy, you need to start from the inside and remove the panel. There are a couple of screws to remove (including 2 on the inside handle) then a few more clips hold it on. Take you time so you don't break anything. Once that's done , the exterior trim panel is held on by both metal bolts and plastic clips. You'll need a rachet with extension to reach them. Can't recall the size but 10-12mm sounds familiar. See pics below to get an idea of where all the holes , bolts, clips are located.










You don't need to remove the light from the trim. I was looking at routing options for the wire and pulled this off. Its a dead end so don't bother.






Once you're all done it looks like this





Here's the difficult part. Now that you've routed the wire under the trim it needs to get from OUTSIDE to INSIDE the hatch. I did this by drilling a hole into the body, yikes ! I used a drill bit to start the hole then a dremel to enlargen it just enough for the wire harness to fit. I slipped a couple of times with the dremel but since its hidden you'll never see it. Also, once I finished making the hole I filed down the sharp edges then painted the bare metal so it won't rust.

Starting point



Sorry !





Painted



Next I routed the wire through. I used flex wire around the hole as its durable and I didn't want to risk having the wire getting cut on the metal edge. I'd rather not take this all apart again.



Now you have to get the wire from way up on the hatch into the body. I chose to route it through the tail light and sneak it through an existing grommet. This requires running the wiring down the side of the hatch.



Then down through a grommet which provides power to the plate light.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I cut a hole with an exact knife then used silicone to seal it back up again





Now to the tail light. You'll need to remove it, there's 2 nuts to remove with a rachet. Notice my 200amp power supply in the hatch. You just may want to test the camera works before you install and replace everythign. I used it to supply power tempoarily to the camera.



Sneaking it through



High tech light positioning device keeping the rear light in place while I route the wires.



For whatever reason I dont' have pics of the rest. Its pretty easy though. With the wires all on the inside I routed them from the tail light into the rear interior. Connect the camera video cable to the Nav unit (I had already run a cable down the passenger side), then hook up power/ground. I tapped into existing wire using tap connectors. Test that it all works and bolt back all the trim parts you've removed.

Review on the reverse camera: Overall I'm pleased with the results. The image is pretty clear, its a widescreen lens so you can see quite clearly what's behind you. I played with the angle so that its down on an angle and I'll see any objects on the screen before I hit them. While I can't see my bumper I used a garbage can in the driveway to test it out. I know now, once the curb dissapears on the screen I have about 2 feet until the bumper touches it.

Night vision: Excellent. Where as before I couldnt' see jack when I reversed in the dark now I can see very well. The IR picks up any available light and does a great job. Just the reverse lights are sufficient light to see on the screen, even the brake lights will through enough light to let the camera see in the dark. What's cool is the Kenwood has an option to switch automatically to reverse camera display every time you engage reverse gear. This is done using a remote wire connected to the reverse light. Very simple and effective.



YouTube - Audiovox reverse camera demo video
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Nice write up. I am thinking of mounting something like this on my Forester, but on the wind deflector on the back of my car. I would like something high enough to look over the tent trailer when towing; but I could still tilt down when not towing. Then a manual switch to turn it on, if I need it, while driving.

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Old 11-24-2009, 10:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I toyed with the idea of mounting it under the rear wing but just couldn't bring myself to drill into it. When shopping for a camera check out their mount. Many of them (mine included) are angle adjustable so they will suit your needs.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Would you be so kind to cover a most interesting part: how did you connected your head unit's backup wire to forester's reverse gear signal wire? Where is it located, what's the best approach? Pictures? Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spodg View Post
Would you be so kind to cover a most interesting part: how did you connected your head unit's backup wire to forester's reverse gear signal wire? Where is it located, what's the best approach? Pictures? Thank you!
Those pics don't exist, not sure what happened to them. Its still pretty straight forward. The deck has a "reverse light" remote trigger wire. You tap into the power wire for the reverse tail light. When you backup the reverse light comes in, this sends a signal to the HU to display the reverse camera image. This wire runs all the way down the side of the car , I found it was easiest to tap into it right at the tail light. Pull the panel on the inside and you'll see the wires, tap into it there.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks. Easiest? It doesn't make sense to wire HU's backup wire up to the tail light, if the gear selector is right here, near the HU. I wonder... is there a shorter way to tap to rear signal wire?
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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IMO easiest. The video cable runs down the lenght of the car so I put the reverse remote wire in at the same time, no extra effort. One thing you'll find is the cable looms are rather tight and bound in most areas so tapping into a single wire can be tricky up front. Yes it can be done and if you want you can easily tap in anywhere you see the wire exposed. For me, I tapped into it in the rear with lots of room to work with and no chance in damaging anything.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You just want the shocked looks of the people eating you dust, admit it!
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is fun to drive with the reverse cam on.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I plan on installing backup camera soon. :) Just ordered wireless camera. I am too lazy to disassemble the interior to do the wiring. Maybe I will regret about such decision. :) So basically I will have to wire power to camera and receiver. Legacy, do you know if there's 12V source in tailgate under trim?
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So basically I will have to wire power to camera and receiver. Legacy, do you know if there's 12V source in tailgate under trim?

You've got power to light up the licence plate lights in there. Don't forget to give me rep points for all this



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Old 11-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You've got power to light up the licence plate lights in there. Don't forget to give me rep points for all this
Is that a joke? Those license plate lights glowing only when parking lights turned on, or headlight switch is on. I meant is there constant 12V source that works when ignition key is in ACC or ON position?

What's rep points and how to give them? I'll give you some for the idea about camera for sure. :) LOL
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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LOLS , you are correct , the headlight switch needs to be on. I run my lights on always so I'm used to that light being lit. There is the lock mechanism in there as well, remote lock/unlock works without the key so it appears there's a source of constant 12v from there. I've never messed with it so I can't confirm , remove the panel and have a closer look at teh wires in the pic.

Not sure where that rep point thing is.

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Old 08-15-2010, 06:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hmmm. What a great job you did. This will be a too tough and time consumer job for me, Hmm, I am pretty lasy to do this kind of job. There are two main types of back-up cameras. One is a wireless device that simply attaches the hardware at desired locations. The second rear view camera is a device that requires running wires through the headliners of the car. Each is effective although there can be a few seconds of delay with the wireless device.
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